Saturday 26 August 2017

Reunion and Reflections with Sue and Pete

Many apologies for lack of posts during the silly season. Craig has taken leave of absence, which he assures me is only temporary, and I have to say that as I hardly ever watch or hear the BBC these days, anything I might decide to say is not necessarily on topic or of interest. 

Talking of lack of new posts, it’s quite interesting that the critique of ‘The State’ on Harry’s Place, “Five Go Off on Jihad” has been top-of-the-page for four whole days and is still generating below-the line responses. Enid Blyton would be proud.

One thing I did listen to the other day was a couple of mid-morning programmes on Radio 4. The reunion - the Wapping Dispute episode, with Sue McGregor of the near-perfect radio voice, and a mixture of Fleet Street union activists and bosses who were ‘there’. The other programme was  Reflections with Peter Hennessy and Harriet Harman. 

The Wapping lot were entertainingly combative and the politics was fascinating. The unions’ militant reaction to ‘progress’ (they didn’t think much of it) and the reasoning behind their resistance - redundancy meant they would probably lose their homes as well as their livelihoods - pitted against the inevitable march of technology seemed all but irrelevant now that print media seems quaint and old fashioned and in imminent danger of dinosauring itself out of existence altogether. Those were the days my friend, when militants were proper militant. It was good radio though.

Listening to Harriet  Harman (aka Harperson) was a bit of an eye-opener. I’ve seen quite a lot of her recently as she’s been doing the rounds, presumably trying to promote her autobiography “A Woman’s Work.”  I guess the BBC was happy to cooperate with that enterprise. 

The main thing that struck me was her claim that the ‘men’ in politics were dismissive of womankind, regarding them collectively as ‘not leadership material.’ Since Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister, one couldn’t help wondering if it could have been Harriet Harman in particular rather than the sisterhood in general who wasn’t thought of as leadership material.  
She certainly sounded self pitying and shallow.
There is a lot of amused chatter about Laura Pidcock and her silly statement about never  ever wanting to ‘be friends’ with a Tory. Well, what about Harriet’s bizarre tale about “not wanting Margaret Thatcher to set eyes on her baby”. (She hid her baby and darted into a side room when she saw the PM bearing down on her in the corridor) narrowly avoiding an evil glance or a wicked spell.

These ladies’ childish and asinine declarations do them little favours. Are they expecting people to think of them as leadership material?


  1. I heard some of the Wapping Dispute Reunion - it was good radio, because essentially even now no one was prepared to compromise on their view of the dispute. Good. People should passionate about such matters. There was a lot at stake: free speech, livelihoods, workers' rights, lives, a culture...

    I'm not a fan of Harry's Place. I think their commitment to free speech is tissue-thin. I've seen people who have expressed perfectly rational concerns about migration policy threatened by mods with banning but also legal action. I haven't visited it for years and don't intend to now.

    I heard a bit of the Harriet Harman prog. I didn't know whose was the female voice. Clearly she had been a senior government minister herself. I was rather shocked when she confessed Barbara Castle had given her a copy of her book about being a woman in government and...she (I now know Harriet) hadn't read it!!! Just makes you realise how stupid some people in politics really are.

    Since we are rambling...Jack Straw's stupidity on Radio 5 Live was astounding. He said he really couldn't understand why Migration Watch said we needed to build a city the size of Birmingham to cope with the effects of migration into the UK because he hadn't seen any cities the size of Birmingham being built!!! Yes, Jack...could that be now why young people in London are being offered "micro-homes" as opposed to real homes, or are still living with their parents at 30 or are sharing houses with other people into their 30s or why poor families are being crammed into bedsit flats or why fewer and fewer people can afford to buy a family house with garden?

  2. Are they expecting people to think of them as leadership material?

    Yes. They're women. Automatically qualified. And if anyone asks for more reasons, they're experienced. Also, they stand up for (insert pet issue here). That's basically it.

  3. "...Many apologies for lack of posts during the silly season..."

    For myself there is no need to apologise as read this blog for quality over quantity.

  4. I too caught part of the Reunion - Wapping etc. Yes interesting in parts but there was one clip where Paul King, the machine worker, turned and we heard the nasty piece of work that he is (if you remember Jeremy Corbyn being interviewed by Krishnan Guru Murthy when he first became leader of Labour, how he suddenly turned into the snarling monster, remembered where he was and returned instantly into the sweet innocent that he wanted to portray, this was just the same). Paul King blamed Rupert Murdoch for his heart disease as the nice affable man that he wants to portray. I certainly missed what is written about the programme on the iplayer page, that he was accused of assaulting a police officer - but certainly as that growling mongrel that I heard, I would not have been surprised. It was enlightening to hear the programme and listen to all the politics behind the strike but as usual Union men come over as nasty people who must be impossible for employers to deal with - which isn't the story that the BBC wanted to portray.
    And usual story, Kevin McKenzie and Charlie Wilson (The Times) against Brenda Dean, Paul King, Marie Alvarado - 2 against 3 with Sue MacGregor leaning towards 2 against 4.


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