Month: June 2015

Is this a victory for public transport in Southend?

southend bus

I was rather pleased, reading in the Echo yesterday that the portfolio holder for transport on Southend Borough Council, Cllr Martin Terry, is apparently earnestly considering a park and ride arrangement for Southend.

Readers will, I hope, forgive me for staking a small claim to this policy, given that during the election campaign myself and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southend West, Julian Ware-Lane, called for just such a measure as part of a number of vital transportation reforms that the town desperately needs.

Read on…

Jurassic World – A Review

jurassic world

I’m of about the age that means the original Jurassic Park film was formative of my affection for films and dinosaurs. It is a pretty key piece of my cinematic education and psyche.

I’m also a bit odd, in that I don’t regard the sequel, The Lost Word as a complete catastrophe as everyone else thinks it was. Yes, it could definitely have done without the gymnastics, and it was weird that the back end of a Godzilla film got caught up at the end. But there was still a good film in there somewhere.

Jurassic Park III, mind, was an unadulterated disaster, start to finish.

So that’s the pantheon of Jurassic Park films. That is the scale on which Jurassic World be judged, but this blogger at least.

Read on…

03 “Broken Bough” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


The third season started, without wanting to include any spoilers, with a bang.

It’s odd that a series which is so good has somehow managed to evade popular awareness so far. It’s perhaps a bit niche, but post-apocalypse has a fairly widespread appeal. And Defiance has (For this viewer at least -Ed) managed to hit the nail pretty precisely on the head.

Maybe the third season will be where it finally breaks into the mainstream?

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Why I’m backing Stella Creasy for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

stella creasy

Last week I blogged about the importance of being able to win elections, and win power, if you want to make a difference.

I am a campaigner. An activist. When it comes to politics, I am most comfortable on the doorstep (Or behind a keyboard -Ed). Interactions with people are where the difference is made, where the fight is won.

So naturally that is what informs my choice for the new Labour leader and deputy leader.

That is why I am backing Stella Creasy for deputy leader.

Read on…

01 “The World We Seize” & 02 “The Last Unicorns” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


So Defiance is back for a third season, and enters that select club of series not put down after the second.

As regular readers will recall, I’ve quite enjoyed the first couple of seasons. They haven’t been flawless, but any series which blends Farscape with Fallout is onto a winner from the start.

Where it runs into a slight problem here is that at the end of season 2, the grand threat and story arc which had sustained it over the first 25 episodes came to something of a conclusion. The question, then, which this presents is how to move forward. Bringing back the original big bad seems shortsighted and lazy, so I would hope that Defiance wouldn’t choose that point. But then does it craft out of what it had already mentioned but not explored, or does it introduce something completely new.

See, I’m getting into it already.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

The myth of the principled opposition

10 downing street

If there’s one thing that we should have learnt from the last five years, it’s that opposition is miserable.

In opposition, there is of course no power. And without power you can’t do much of anything at all. All of the grand ideas that you have, all of the ways that you want to make life better — for yourself and for everyone else. The doors of power and change and influence are closed on you.

In opposition all you can do is watch whilst others tear apart all that you treasure and worked so hard to build.

Read on…

10 “Mother’s Mercy” (Game of Thrones season 5) [SPOILERS]

game of thrones season 5

So here we are. Again.

How does this happen? You wait all year for a Game of Thrones season to come, and then it’s gone in a flash. And we have another year to wait (And that’s just for the DVD release… -Ed).

Season five seems to have been one of the more controversial of the series. Barely an episode seems to have gone by without some new outrage gripping the internet. For me, though, I think it’s been the best yet. Dark, bleak, serious, and with an edge of storytelling with no regard for what anyone wants.

Beautiful, in a word.

Read on… (and mind the spoilers!)

It Follows – A Review

it follows

There was a bit of a stir about It Follows when it came out a little while back.

It happens occasionally. Horror is, by and large, a looked-down-upon genre amongst many film critic circles, but occasionally some of the magic gets through. As in the case of It Follows, from the look of it; something which gets the mechanics right on the one level, and the deeper meaning on another.

Of course, there’s always a danger. The “meaningful” can easily become dull, and lose any sort of actual relevance. Walking the tightrope is a difficult task. Is It Follows up to it?

Read on…

For “ineffective councillors”, Cllr Garston should look in the mirror

jonathan garston ineffective

When Jonathan Garston won re-election last month in Milton ward, nobody was more surprised than he was. Right up until the final moments, Jonathan was sure he had lost.

Equally, I don’t see that anyone can believe that his 51 vote majority is a result of his dynamic campaigning and magnetic personality, as much as the national swing of a general election. His surprising success, though, seems to have gone to Jonathan’s head.

I’m not sure which part of his thank you leaflet I like the most. The bit where he promises to prevent Labour and the coalition from misrepresenting your interests, despite the fact that he’s partial to misrepresenting the work of Labour Cllrs Julian Ware-Lane and Cheryl Nevin in solving local parking issues as his own. Or maybe the bit where he claims he works tirelessly on your behalf, despite the fact I’ve never known him knock on my door, or even seen him on my road…

But the best bit is the part where he calls on residents to Help us get the ineffective Labour Councillors out of Milton!

Milton doesn’t have any ineffective Labour councillors. Milton has two of the most hardworking and successful councillors in the borough, who have achieved more than the lone remaining Conservative in the ward. I would rather have councillors who listen, who work, who I see more than simply when they have an election on the horizon. If Jonathan Garston thinks Cllrs Ware-Lane and Nevin are ineffective, I hate to think how he must view himself.

Rather than throwing rocks at his ward colleagues, Jonathan could do with taking a leaf out of their book, rolling up his sleeves, and doing some work to earn the trust which the voters of this ward have placed in him.