Month: April 2015

Lonely Jonathan Garston finds an supporter, from Epping Forest Tories


gavin chambers endorsement

These days, the last of the Milton Tories cuts a lonely figure on the campaign trail. My little birds disagree on whether Cllr Jonathan Garston is genuinely on his own, in his increasingly doomed-looking struggle to hold onto his seat a week from today, but he seems to be suffering from the classic Southend Tory dearth of activists.

And his latest leaflet might actually be attesting to that.

Read on…

Advertisements

The importance of copyright to writers, in the words of a writer


green burning copyright

My post(s) about the Green Party copyright proposals are still getting a frankly embarrassing number of views, but a coherent defence from the Greens themselves has yet to emerge.

I don’t mean to dwell, but I saw this simple, three-sentence summary of the situation from Stephen Volk — the writer behind TV series’ Ghostwatch, Afterlife, and the excellent novella Whistable — which (With his permission, of course -Ed) I think deserves to be shared. it sums up the reason that this is such an important issue, and why people are so concerned about the policy, better and more succinctly than I ever could:

People who debate copyright often do not seem to realise that copyright equates with income for some people. It’s not a luxury it’s a necessity. How can we value creativity if it becomes free?

Green Party, take note…

Kipperwatch! Has House Moyies gone over to the Indies in its entirety?


dodgy indie bar chart

The most obvious sign of a convergence of Southend’s Independent Party Group and the UKIP exiles is the name Alex Moyies on the West Shoebury ballot paper as an Independent candidate. It’s a little less obvious that Margaret Haydon, the other Indie in West Shoebury, is James Moyies’ mother-in-law.

It’s hardly surprising, really. The sudden supremacy of Floyd Waterworth seems to have put a lot of noses out of joint, both amongst those who were elected for UKIP last year and those who might have stood for UKIP this year, not least of which Moyies Jr.

The joint leaflet issued by Moyies Jr and Haydon is an interesting read. Like most indie literature, it uses an impressive number of words to say very little. But it’s the bar chart which grabbed my interest. I love a good political bar chart, and it’s usually the Lib Dems who excel in this field. Here the bars seem, broadly, accurate to the West Shoebury results last year, but take a gander at the axes.

LD, Lab, Con….and Moyies? Funny, I thought James Moyies had won last year as a UKIP candidate, not an independent.

Now clearly the Moyies name is Alex’s best chance at actually winning, but this makes an interesting suggestion to me, one which chimes with the whispers that I’ve heard from the dispossessed Kippers: that post-election we’ll be seeing the anti-Waterworth faction — led by Cllr James Moyies — joining the Independent Party Group.

Given that the outcasts’ leader has been expelled from UKIP, and condemned personally by Nigel Farage as not being “team players“, it doesn’t seem like there’s any way back that way for him. And given that the only requirements the Indies put on its councillors is to bend the knee to Ron Woodley and Martin Terry…

If you’re still in doubt, though, have a look at the imprint on the Haydon/Moyies Jr leaflet:

west shoebury indie imprint

20 “Under the Knife” (Gotham season 1) [SPOILERS]


gotham

I seem to have gotten behind on my reviewing. I blame the election.

Yes, this is indeed last week’s Gotham review, so if you’re hoping for my usual navel-gazing lead-in, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed (Nobody is going to be disappionted at that, trust me -Ed).

I’m just going to jump straight in.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

The real alternative to the Tories in Shoeburyness is Maggie Kelly


maggie kelly friars library

On Monday night, there was a hustings for the local elections in Shoeburyness. I wasn’t able to make it, more out of work commitments than any greater urge, though I had debated on Twitter whether it was worth attending.

Those few regular readers who I’ve managed not to annoy away may recall that I was meant to be taking part in a very similar hustings last year. The Labour candidate for Shoeburyness couldn’t make the date, so it was agreed that I, as West Shoebury candidate, would stand in for her. Agreed until about ten minutes before the event, when Independent Party Group councillor Anne Chalk decided that I would outshine her chosen candidate the now-Cllr Nick Ward, and excluded me.

What grated the most, though, was the way that it was presented that Labour hadn’t bothered to turn up.

This year Maggie is our candidate again, against Anne Chalk herself. This year she made it to the hustings, and although I wasn’t there, she demonstrated that she is the only alternative to the Conservatives for the people of Shoeburyness.

(more…)

03 “High Sparrow” (Game of Thrones season 5) [SPOILERS]


game of thrones season 5

It’s strange, really, that we’re five seasons into Game of Thrones.

Five series of death, violence, a little bit of sex, and some of the best story on TV.

What’s interesting is that it has become it’s own entity. All adaptations either define themselves, or become shadows of their source, and it seems inarguable that Game of Thrones has not done the former. I can’t be bothered to look up the viewing figures, but the series has once again topped the most pirated list.

Each series adds more layers, more characters, more plotlines like a spider to a web. I didn’t altogether rate the third season, but on the whole it has been a remarkably consistent upwards curve. And season five looks already set to continue that trend.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

On the Rochford & Southend East election hustings (Bell Vue Church)


debate

I like to leave a little space between a debate and giving my thoughts on how they went.

Partly, that’s related to my attempt to more widely document such debates, by recording and publishing them. As I discussed with fellow local politics blogger John Barber recently, I think my own views and commentary should remain separate from the actual recording itself, so that people can make their own minds up.

But also, I do like to digest what I’ve witnessed, to give a more thoughtful analysis (Some may disagree on that point -Ed). To that end, getting on for five days later, let’s take a look at the Rochford & Southend East hustings on Wednesday 22nd April 2015, held at Bell Vue Baptist Church.

The first thing I’d like to say, before looking at the candidates, is how well hosted I thought it was. The candidates were mic-ed up, it was all clear and audible, and the questions were wide-ranging and challenging. The evening was, in total, attended by somewhere between 100-150 people, if I had to guess. Most even lived in the constituency, I believe.

If you haven’t had a listen yet, I implore you to do so before reading my own views. Make your own mind up.

Read on…

Letter to the Editor: Green Party policy would destroy the arts


Sir,

The Green Party, it’s candidates persist in telling us, is the only party standing up for the arts. It’s a nice sentiment, but sadly it’s not borne out by their actual policies.

According to the policy section of their national website, the Green Party of England and Wales want to reduce the length of copyright protection from, at present, 70 years after the death of the creator, to “a usual maximum of 14 years” from the point of creation. Under this, JK Rowling would already have lost her rights to the first four books of the Harry Potter series, and anyone producing any creative work would only truly be able to call it theirs until 2029.

This sort of on-the-hoof policy making sounds very fluffy and nice, but in practice it will run the creative industries in the UK into the ground, as those who produce works of art in whatever medium are routinely robbed of any rights to their creations.

It seems, to this writer, a funny way to support the arts, by picking the pockets of artists themselves. Why should anyone trying to earn a living in the creative industries vote for the Greens, when they are pursuing disastrous ideas like this?

Matt Dent

Labour Party candidate for Blenheim Park ward, Southend-on-Sea