Television

Before You Vote Tory, Think: Can You Afford £50 for Medicine? Or £50,000 for an Operation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/12/2019 - 5:24am in

Corbyn’s factual statement that the Tories are considering selling off the NHS to the Americans clearly has got both them and Trump rattled. The Sun’s headline today followed in that wretched rag’s long, ignoble tradition of deceit. It denied furiously that the NHS was for sale, and that Trumped had definitively refuted it. In fact it shouted that he had ‘thumped’ Corbyn ‘the chump’. In fact he hadn’t. Zelo Street has produced a devastating refutation of its own, which demolishes the Scum’s lies. It quotes Trump and his wretched UK ambassador, Woody Johnson, who both side that they wanted the NHS on the table. As well as a report from Sky, which also said they did.

The piece concludes

‘Tory cheerleaders can stamp their feet and cat-call all they want. Trump has already said that the NHS would be on the table in future trade talks. No amount of propagandist knocking copy can change that. Nor can it make Bozo The Clown a competent PM.

The Murdoch mafiosi is now beyond desperate. But you knew that anyway.’

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/12/bozo-and-trump-nhs-denial-busted.html

The Scum would lie about this, as recent biographies of Murdoch have shown that he, as well as the Tories and Trump, want the NHS privatised.

To anyone considering voting Tory anyway, I strongly advise you to think. I’ve friends, who have trained in medicine. And they told me the real price of what some services we so far get free or at least cheap, would cost if we had to pay for them if the NHS was privatised. Some prescription cough medicines actually cost as much as £50, or so I’ve heard. And an operation can cost £30-50,000. These are the kinds of prices you would expect to pay if the Tories, Trump and Murdoch have their way and privatise the NHS, following long-term plans that started with Thatcher.

The leading cause of bankruptcy in America is medical debt. About 40,000 people die every year because they cannot afford proper treatment. In Virginia, people wait overnight in their cars for that one weekend every month when dental treatment is available free. And in some areas people are so poor that they are forced to hoard medicine or get animal medicines from the vets’.

This is what you would get here, if the Tories, Trump, and their backers in private medicine, private equity firms and hedge funds get their way.

We cannot let that happen.

Vote Corbyn to keep the NHS nationalised and free from charges.

 

Desperate Tories Now Using Smear Manuals against Labour and Lib Dems

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/12/2019 - 4:15am in

I love the smell of Tory fear in the morning! You can tell how desperate the party of Thatcher and Johnson are when they’re reduced to lies and smears. Not that they were above them anyway, but now they seem to be rapidly abandoning any attempt at fair play. Mike reports that an article in today’s Groaniad reveals that the Tory party is equipping its doorstep campaigners with special dossiers they are to use against their opponents. There’s a 17 page one for Labour, and a 19 page one for the Liberal Democrats. These manuals contain such fictional statements that Labour’s immigration policy would open the door to 840,000 migrants a year, and that the Lib Dems are trying to push sex work as an appropriate career for schoolchildren and policies that are pro-pimp.

Mike comments that people seem to believe some of this nonsense, but that it isn’t putting them off voting Labour. Someone had tweeted him personally that in spite of Labour’s ‘open door policy on immigration’, they were still going to vote for the party. As this person was doing the right thing, Mike didn’t correct them.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2019/12/03/not-sporting-not-working-tories-are-using-manuals-to-smear-rivals-but-they-arent-changing-minds/

Okay, the accusation that Labour is in favour of open door immigration and this country being swamped with non-White immigrants has been a staple of the right and the far right since forever and a day. It’s one of the constant lines – or lies – repeated by newspapers like the Heil, for example. The other stereotypical smear against Labour, and one which Private Eye has parodied mercilessly in the past, is that a Labour government will bring mortgage prices down. I haven’t seen jokes about that line recently in the magazine, perhaps because if the Heil actually did run, the exorbitant house prices at the moment would mean that Labour’s vote would actually go up.

But the accusation that the Lib Dems are promoting pimping and prostitution is a new one. I think it comes from a conference the Lib Dems held a year or so ago, which was about improve conditions for sex workers. One of the talks was about taking the stigma out of it. But the Lib Dems don’t seem to pushing pro-pimp policies or encouraging schoolgirls to get jobs as prostitutes.

But it does seem more than a tad hypocritical on the part of the Tories as they are and have been.

Way back in the 1980s, when Maggie Thatcher that was unchaining the power of private industry, one industry that a certain section of her minions definitely wanted unchained from state prohibition was prostitution. There was a certain section within the Tory party, as I recall, that wanted it legalised. I think they used the same arguments for it that have been around ever since the late 17th century-early 18th century economist Bernard Mandeville put them forward. Mandeville was an early advocate of free trade against the prevailing mercantilism, in which the state rigidly regulated trade between nations and colonies. Mandeville wanted publicly funded brothels. These, he argued, would allow the men, who used prostitutes to satisfy their lusts legally, while protecting decent women from their attentions. I think the Lib Dems, who set up the conference also had a feminist angle. They seem to have felt that if prostitution was legalised, it could be properly regulated to keep the prostitutes themselves safe. I think the models for such legislation are the continent and Australia. I’m sceptical that these arguments actually work in practice. But the main point here is that the Lib Dems haven’t necessarily promoted anything that the Tories weren’t debating nearly forty years ago.

But the Tories are forcing people into prostitution.

It is by and large the last refuge of the poor and desperate, women and men who can’t make ends meet any other way. Under Thatcher there was a series of scandals in which Tory politicos were caught using rent boys. So much so that there was a sketch on Spitting Image in which a Tory politician, explaining what his government has done to the nation, declares that it has opened lots of work for young men to a lad. When the lad asks what work it is, the Tory replies that it is as a rent boy, and he’ll see him later.

More recently, there were reports a few years ago about female students turning to prostitution in order to pay the tuition fees that New Labour introduced, but the Tories and Lib Dems increased.

And let’s not forget another incident, in which a Jobcentre had to apologise for suggesting that work in sex shops was a suitable occupation for women wishing to get off the dole.

I don’t know, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if there had been an increase in prostitution in general as women were forced to turn to it simply to keep body and soul together through the poverty Tory welfare cuts, wage freezes and zero hours contracts have caused.

The Lib Dems may not have been actively promoting prostitution with their conference, but the Tories have also openly advocated it and their policies are pushing vulnerable women into it through the poverty they’re creating.

BBC Offers Bursary Schemes for New Writers to Join “Doctor Who”, “Call the Midwife”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/12/2019 - 1:45am in

The BBC, as a public service entity, gives back as much as it can. It has a brief to educate and inform on top of entertain. And part of that brief is to provide educational resources.

One thing the BBC likes to do is nurture the next generation of writers through various programs. They also have online resources like their Writer’s Room website, which offers sample scripts and tips on writing and submitting to the BBC.

Now Doctor Who and Call the Midwife have offered bursaries to new writers to submit scripts. A bursary is like a scholarship. According to Deadline Hollywood, the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund offers aspiring writers a chance to work with the writers of current major British TV shows. The goal is to write a speculative script for a single episode and get it ready for production. A playwright named Zoe Cooper has delivered a script for Call the Midwife under the scheme. A new writer will join the Doctor Who writing team for Series 13. The bursary pays £15,000 (US$20,000) to the winning writers, which is a living wage.

bbcBBC
A Resource for Writers

Sounds pretty neat doesn’t it? When I was in college, I came to write radio plays for the BBC after attending BBC writing workshops. I can attest that the BBC genuinely cares about discovering and nurturing new writers. The ScreenSkills bursary is probably only eligible for UK-based writers, but the BBC Writer’s Room website is open to everyone everywhere with an internet connection.

So if you’re an aspiring screenwriter with an interest in writing for TV – and we know many of you read this site – you really should go to the BBC Writer’s Room site. It’s one of the best resources for screenwriters out there. You get access to interviews, tips, submission guidelines and scripts, all for free.

The post BBC Offers Bursary Schemes for New Writers to Join “Doctor Who”, “Call the Midwife” appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Satirist Would Cast Stuffed Animal to Play Boris Johnson

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 6:35am in

Here’s a funny story from yesterday’s I to provide some light relief, though it’s still about our comedy prime minister. And yes, I know it’s ad hominem, but it’s still funny. According to the article ‘PM could be played by stuffed animal’ by Alex Green, the satirist Armando Iannucci declared that he would make this casting choice at the British Independent Film Awards. Most of the article was really about the decision to cast Dev Patel as the hero in Iannucci’s colour-blind version of Dickens’ novel, The Personal History of David Copperfield. Iannucci said that he made the casting decision as a statement of Britishness, which ‘is open and generous and eccentric and funny, rather than closed and isolationist and withdrawn, which is the language we are hearing at the moment in certain other quarters.’

But of our comedy Prime Minister, the writer and creator of comedies like The Thick Of It, The Day Today and The Death of Stalin said, according to the newspaper, ‘I would probably use…stuffed animals. The smaller the better. The animal that shits the most.” This precisely shows how much Johnson is esteemed by the creator of those TV series and film. And as Johnson continues to show how inept, greedy and treacherous he really is, so more people are going to agree with Iannucci.

“Dracula”: BBC One Stakes Out New Year’s Day for Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss Limited Series Premiere [VIDEO]

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 4:39am in

More than a month after Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) dropped the first teaser trailer for their highly-anticipated Dracula limited series at MCM London Comic Con, viewers are learning when Claes Bang‘s (The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Borgen) bloodthirsty count will be haunting their screens – and now, they know.

BBC One

The three-part drama – which finds Dracula travelling from 1897 Transylvania to wreak havoc against Victorian London – will premiere on a date many of us Doctor Who fans have been hearing about a lot this week: January 1, 2020 (New Year’s Day – and also premiering on BBC iPlayer).

Here’s a look at the BBC One announcement video, via Twitter – followed by teaser trailer and a rundown of the network’s holiday schedule:

draculaBBC One

BBC One’s Dracula stems from Sherlock producer Hartswood Films and will air on BBC One in the U.K. and Ireland and then on Netflix in the U.S. and internationally.

The cast of Dracula also includes Jonathan Aris (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch), Sacha Dhawan (The Boy With the Top Knot), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), Catherine Schell (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Youssef Kerkour (Jack Ryan), Clive Russell (Game Of Thrones), Lyndsey Marshal (The League of Gentlemen), Chanel Cresswell (This Is England), Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game), Lydia West (Years & Years), Paul Brennen (Happy Valley), Sarah Niles (Catastrophe), Sofia Oxenham (Poldark), John McCrea (God’s Own Country), Phil Dunster (Humans), John Heffernan (The Crown), Joanna Scanlan (No Offence), Dolly Wells (Can You Forgive Me?), Morfydd Clark (Crawl), and newcomer Millicent Wong.

draculaBBC/Netflix

Westworld‘s Jonny Campbell is set to direct the opening episode, with Damon Thomas (Killing Eve) and Paul McGuigan (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) helming the second and third outings, respectively. Moffat and Gatiss are writing the series, and will also appear in the series in currently undosclosed roles. While few specifics are known about the project, the producers have stated in the past that it will be a reinvention of the Bram Stoker classic for a 21st Century audience – similar to how they approached Sherlock.

“It’s seriously delightful that our new ‘Dracula’ is being shot at Bray Studios, the former home of Hammer Films. This wonderfully atmospheric and legendary studio gave birth to so many famous monsters and stars – most memorably Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. As we watch Transylvania once again rise on the sound stages of Bray, it’s amazing to be able to say that Count Dracula has finally come home.”

– Mark Gatiss

draculaBBC/Netflix

Gatiss, Moffat, and Sue Vertue executive produce for Hartswood Films and Ben Irving for the BBC, with Larry Tanz and Carolyn Newman representing Netflix. Filming commenced at Orava Castle in Slovakia before moving on to England and Bray Studios – once owned by iconic U.K. horror producer Hammer Films.

The post “Dracula”: BBC One Stakes Out New Year’s Day for Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss Limited Series Premiere [VIDEO] appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Labour Plans Rail Nationalisation that Will Save Commuters £1000 a Year

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 3:04am in

This is another story I found in yesterday’s I. It’s by Harriet Line and it’s about how Labour plans to cut rail fares to save passengers money by nationalising the railways. The article runs

Regulated fail fares in England will be cut next month if Labour wins the general election, the party says.

Jeremy Corbyn intends to renationalise the railways when contracts expire if he wins on 12 December, and has announced plans to cut regulated rail fares by 33 per cent from January 2020.

The party estimates the policy would save the average commuter more than £1,000 a year, and says it would represent the biggest ever reduction in rail fares.

It comes after Britain’s train companies confirmed over the weekend that they will raise prices by an average of 2.7 per cent next year.

Labour has also pledged to deliver a simple ticketing system across the nation – with “islands” within which zonal rail fares will apply across all public transport. There would also be a daily price cap.

Labour estimates that the policy will cost £1.5bn per year and would come from exiting Department for Transport budgets. Mr Corbyn said: “Taking back control of our railways is the only way to bring down fares.”

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary said: “This is another desperate attempt from Labour to distract from their inability and unwillingness to be straight with people.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group said: “Rail companies have been calling for some time for changes in regulations to enable an easier-to-use, better-value range of fares, but it’s a red herring to suggest that reforming fares needs a change of ownership.”

There are two comments to make here. First, it is one again a piece of massive hypocrisy for Grant Shapps – of all people – to accuse Labour of not being ‘straight with people’. As we’ve seen time and again, it’s the Conservatives who lie and suppress documents. Like that report into possible dangerous Russian influence in the UK. And their reputation for telling the truth is so far down the tubes, that it provoked nothing but laughter from the audience during the Beeb leader debates when Boris decided he wanted to talk about transparency. As for Shapps personally, I remember a little while ago that he got caught trying to charge the taxpayer for Hebrew lessons, either for himself or for his boyfriend. I’ve got nothing against people learning Hebrew, and certainly not Biblical Hebrew. Or indeed any other language. But unless it’s something a politician needs as part of their job, they shouldn’t expect Joe and Josephine Public to pick up the bill.

As for the Rail Delivery Group, their objection is also easily dismissed. Since Thatcher privatised the railways, we’ve been paying more in subsidies for a poorer service. This is partly because of the way the service was privatised, so that rolling stock was separate from track, but it’s also because it’s directors want to make a profit for their shareholders. And that means cutting services while raising fares.

There is going to be considerable opposition from the Tories, as they represent the interests of big business, the proprietors and managers against working people and the ordinary people, who actually use public services. But people are fed up of poor services and the same old excuses being trotted out again and again by the rail companies. Nationalisation won’t make it perfect. British Rail was something of a joke when I was when growing up. But it’s better than what’s replaced it.

A Corbyn victory and nationalisation can’t come soon enough!

“Doctor Who” Series 12: BBC America, Fathom Events Hosting “Spyfall” Early Screening; Q&A w/ Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole & Mandip Gill

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 1:15am in

Last month, Doctor Who fans learned that Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Goran Višnjić, and Robert Glenister would be joining Jodie Whittaker‘s 13th Doctor during Series 12, and received a new teaser with tagline (“Space. For Everyone.”).

With November 23 marking the anniversary of the first airing of the show, viewers got the real deal when the BBC released the official trailer (see below) – with Doctor Who listed at the time as being set to return early 2020.

Well, now we know that “early 2020” means New Year’s Day as the Doctor and her companions Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) materialize back on to BBC One and BBC America screens with two-part series-opener Spyfall. Written by showrunner and head writer Chris Chibnall, the second-half of the series premiere will air on Sunday, January 5 – with subsequent episodes airing on Sundays.

doctor whoBBC/BBC America

Now BBC America and Fathom Events are teaming up to give Who fans the chance to screen the Spyfall wrap-up early. On January 5, viewers can take part in a one-day-only event that includes a screening of the entire series opener (before it airs on BBC America); after the screening, Whittaker, Cole, and Gill will take part in a live Q&A session set to be simulcast over 600 cinema screens nationwide.

Ticket information and a list of participating theaters/locations will be available on Fathom Events website starting Friday, December 6 (check it out here).

“What better way to ring in a new decade than with our favorite Time Lord? BBC AMERICA is excited to kick off the New Year with New Who, including a thrilling New Year’s Day premiere followed by new episodes every Sunday this winter. Last year, thousands of Whovians packed Madison Square Garden to celebrate Jodie Whittaker’s landmark debut as the first female Doctor. This year, we’re thrilled to partner with Fathom Events to bring that unique experience to fans all across the country, as Doctor Who embodies the idea of space for all. Let the New Year’s countdown begin!”

– Courtney Thomasma, Executive Director, BBC America

BBC America’s celebration of Doctor Who doesn’t end there, however. From Tuesday, December 24, through Wednesday, January 1, the network will air full seasons and specials highlighting all of the modern Doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker). Don’t think BBC America forgot about “Classic Who” fans, though: on Thursday, December 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the network will debut animated “lost episodes” titled The Macra Terror

Speaking with RadioTimes recently, Chibnall explained that the goal of this season is to give both new and long-time Doctor Who fans a better appreciation of the scope of the Doctor’s universe:

“Last year was a recruiting year for the show, and I think we managed to recruit some people for the show. That’s exciting. And obviously we kept the existing audience and built on that. I think this year we’re developing that, so for all the people who are new to Doctor Who we’re going to go ‘Look at the amazing world of Doctor Who, look at all the treats that are in there.’

So we’re building on last year. There are lots of new faces, a few old faces. There are some things trickling through which might be important. It’s different! I think you always need to take new, big risks from a storytelling point of view.

Doctor Who has to exist in the modern television landscape. There is so much drama, there are so many shows. We have to continually find new reasons to be existing. But also there’s loads of things the show hasn’t done before. I think you saw last year that we took a lot of risks, and I think that they paid off, and I think that we’ll continue to take some big risks this year.

But you can do that and also give people all the stuff they love about Doctor Who as well. You balance the two.

Risk is built into Doctor Who, from day one in 1963. No question of that.”

The post “Doctor Who” Series 12: BBC America, Fathom Events Hosting “Spyfall” Early Screening; Q&A w/ Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole & Mandip Gill appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Corbyn Calls for Reductions in Membership of the Royal Family

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/12/2019 - 12:44am in

I found this in yesterday’s I, underneath an article reporting that Buckingham Palace has denied allegations that Prince Andrew exploited his position as trade envoy. It’s a short piece reporting that Jeremy Corbyn has called for ‘cuts to the Crown’, as the title has it. The article reads

The number of Royal Family members should be reduced, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested.

The Labour leader said he believed that the public would agree with him following the furore surrounding Prince Andrew’s relationship with the convicted American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Mr Corbyn has previously insisted that he does not want to abolish the monarchy. Interviewed on Sky News’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said ‘I think the behaviour of individuals within the Royal Family is being looked at, shall we say.’

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said ‘We need to be respecting the institution of the monarchy. If Jeremy Corbyn is saying he wants to cut the numbers he should come out and say he wants to cut.’

It’s a bit rich for the Tories to complain about attacks on the monarchy, as they used to do it all the time whenever Prince Charles criticised their awful policies in the 1980s and ’90s. I also know Tories who despise Murdoch and his papers, which they see as exploiting and denigrating the Crown. And I think they have a point. For all that the Scum plays up and celebrates the monarchy, it’s also ruthlessly exploited and publicised royal scandals. Some of this might simply be to sell more newspapers, but I’m also highly suspicious that there are more personal political reasons behind it. Like in the last referendum on whether Australia should abolish the monarchy and become a republican, Murdoch came out very strongly urging his former compatriots to do so. This may well have done the republican cause Down Under more harm than good, as Murdoch became an American citizen for commercial reasons. As a foreign national, he wouldn’t have been able to own, or at least not own quite so much, of the American press and broadcasting. Nobody likes being told what to do, not least by people who have flown their own country, and the Australians voted to retain the Queen as head of state.

Although there’s a sizable minority that would like Britain to become a republic – the I’s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has made it clear several time she’d like the monarchy to be abolished – as a whole it’s not a sentiment shared by the majority of the population. But just listening to the people around me, it’s clear that people are fed up with the state having to support various members of the royal family, who are not in line for the throne and don’t perform any clear role. Like Princess Eugenie, who wanted the taxpayer to spend several million on her wedding as they did for Princess Beatrice. Or was it the other way around? Either, ordinary people were not impressed with this display of royal entitlement. At the moment, I don’t think it’s a particularly big issue, not with more pressing concerns like Brexit, the Tories’ determination to sell off the NHS and utterly destroy the welfare state and the lives that depend on it. But it’s certainly an issue that will return, and at some point they might have to cut the numbers down in order to restore the Crown’s popularity. Especially if there’s another scandal like that of the present.

Astronomer Vladimir Firsoff’s Argument for Space Exploration as a Positive Alternative to War

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 02/12/2019 - 11:58pm in

Vladimir Firsoff was a British astronomer and the author of a series of books, not just on space and spaceflight, but also on skiing and travel. He was a staunch advocate of space exploration. At the end of his 1964 book, Exploring the Planets (London: Sidgwick & Jackson) he presents a rather unusual argument for it. He criticises the scepticism of leading astronomers of his time towards space exploration. This was after the Astronomer Royal of the time had declared that the possibility of building a vehicle that could leave the Earth’s atmosphere and enter space was ‘utter bilge’. He points out that the technology involved presented few problems, but that ordinary people had been influenced by the astronomers’ scepticism, and that there are more pressing problems on Earth. Against this he argued that humanity needed danger, excitement and sacrifice, the emotional stimulation that came from war. Space exploration could provide this and so serve as a positive alternative, a beneficial channel for these deep psychological needs. Firsoff wrote

The traditional planetary astronomy has exhausted its resources. No significant advance is possible without escape beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The orbital observatories to come will reveal much that is now hidden about the other planets. Space travel is a short historical step ahead. The basic technical problems have been solved, and the consummation of this ancient dream is only a matter of a little effort, experiment and technical refinement. When Bleriot flew the Channel the Atlantic had already been spanned by air lines. And so today we have already landed on Mars – even Triton and Pluto have been reached.

But do we really like to have our dreams come true?

Possibly that happy extrovert the technologist has no misgivings. He sees the Solar System as an enlargement of his scope of action, and has even suggested preceding a descent on Mars by dropping a few bombs, “to study the surface” (this suggestion was widely reported in the press). Yet the astronomer does not relish the prospect of leaving his ivory tower to become a man of action. He is troubled by this unfamiliar part, and a small voice at the back of his mind whispers insidiously that his cherished theories and predictions may, after all, be false. The dislike of space travel is psychologically complex, but there is no mistaking its intensity among the profession.

The general public shares these enthusiasms  and apprehensions, more often than not without any clear reasons why. The Press (with a very capital P) feeds them with predigested mental pulp about what those ‘wonderful people’ the scientists have said or done (and not all scientists are 12 feet tall). At the same time the scientist is a ‘clever man’, and the ‘clever man’ is traditionally either a crank or a scoundrel, and why not both? Whatever we do not understand we must hate.

Of such promptings the fabric of public opinion is woven into varied patterns.

“Space flight is too expensive. We can’t afford it”… “What is the point of putting a man on the Moon? It is only a lifeless desert.”… “We must feed the backward nations, finance cancer research” (= in practice “buy a new TV set and a new care”)…

Wars are even more expensive and hugely destructive, and cars kill more people than cancer and famine put together.

And yet before 1939 Britain ruled half the world, her coffers were stuffed with gold, she also had 5 million on the dole, slums, an inadequate system of education, poverty and dejection. Came a long and terrible war, a fearful squandering of resources, the Empire was lost, and in the end of it it all the people “had never had it so good”, which for all the facility of such catch-phrases is basically true. Not in Britain alone either-look at West Germany, look at the U.S.S.R.! One half of the country devastated, cities razed to the ground, 30 million dead. BHut in Russia, too, the “people had never had it so good”.

In terms of ‘sound economics’ this does not make any sense. 

The reason is simply: ‘sound economics’ is a fraud, because Man is not an economic animal, or is so only to an extent. He needs danger, struggle, sacrifice, fear, loss, even death, to release his dormant energies, to find true companionship, and-oddly-to attain the transient condition of happiness … among or after the storm.

That German soldier who had scribbled on the wall of his hut: “Nie wieder Krieg heisst nie wieder Sieg, heisst nie wieder frei, heisst Sklaverie” (No more war means no more victory, means never free, means slavery) was a simple soul and he may have survived long enough to regret his enthusiasms among the horrors that followed. Yet the idea, distorted as it was, contained a germ of truth. For heroic endeavour, which the past enshrined as martial valour, is as much a necessity as food and drink. We must have something great to live for.

Hitler’s ‘endeavour’ was diabolical in conception and in final count idiotic, but it cannot be denied that it released prodigious energies both in Germany and among her opponents, and we are still living on the proceeds of this psychological capital.

What we need is a noble uplifting endeavour, and even if we cannot all take direct part in it, we can yet share in it through the newspapers, radio and television, as we did, say, in the epic rescue operation during the Langede mining disaster. It became a presence, everybody’s business-and I doubt if it paid in terms of £ s.d…

You will have guessed what I am going to say.

Mankind needs space flight. Let us have space ships instead of bombers, orbital stations instead of ‘nuclear devices’. The glory of this great venture could do away with war, juvenile delinquency and bank raids. It could be cheap at the price.

It is a fallacy to imagine that money spend on developing spaceflight is lost to the nation; it is only redistributed within it, and it is much better to redistribute it in the form of real wages than in unemployment relief. Besides, real wealth is not in a ledger; it is the work and the willingness to do it.

Yet if we go into space, let us do so humbly, in the spirit of cosmic piety. We know very little. We are face to face with the great unknown and gave no right to assume that we are alone in the Solar System.

No bombs on Mars, please.

For all that they are well meant and were probably true at the time, his arguments are now very dated. I think now that the majority of astronomers are probably enthusiasts for space flight and space exploration, although not all of them by any means are advocates for crewed space exploration. The Hubble Space Telescope and its successors have opened up vast and exciting new vistas and new discoveries on the universe. But astronomers are still using and building conventional observatories on Earth. Despite the vast sums given to the space programme during the ‘Space Race’, it did not solve the problems of crime or juvenile delinquency. And it was resented because of the exclusion of women and people of colour. Martin Luther King led a march of his Poor Peoples’ Party to the NASA launch site to protest against the way money was being wasted, as he saw it, on sending White men to the Moon instead of lifting the poor – mainly Black, but certainly including Whites – out of poverty. And as well as being enthused and inspired by the Moon landings, people also grew bored. Hence the early cancellation of the programme.

And people also have a right to better healthcare, an end to famine and a cure for cancer. Just as it’s also not wrong for them to want better TVs and cars.

But this isn’t an either/or situation. Some of the technology used in the development of space travel and research has also led to breakthroughs in other areas of science and medicine. Satellites, for example, are now used so much in weather forecasting that they’re simply accepted as part of the meteorologists’ tools.

But I agree with Firsoff in that space is an arena for positive adventure, struggle and heroism, and that it should be humanity’s proper outlet for these urges, rather than war and aggression. I think the problem is that space travel has yet to take off really, and involve the larger numbers of people in the exploration and colonisation space needed to make it have an obvious, conspicuous impact on everyone’s lives. There is massive public interest in space and space exploration, as shown by Prof. Brian Cox’s TV series and touring show, but I think that to have the impact Virsoff wanted people would have to feel that space was being opened up to ordinary people, or at least a wider section of the population than the elite scientists and engineers that now enjoy the privilege of ascending into Low Earth Orbit. And that means bases on the Moon, Mars and elsewhere, and the industrialisation of space.

But I think with the interest shown in the commercial exploitation of space by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, that might be coming. And I certainly hope, with Firsoff, that this does provide a proper avenue for the human need for danger and adventure, rather than more war and violence.

“Doctor Who” Star John Barrowman Suffers “Severe Neck Injury”; Cancels Shows, Goes for MRI Testing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/12/2019 - 12:32pm in

Entertainment multi-talent John Barrowman (Arrow, Torchwood, Doctor Who) suffered a major health scare this weekend, sharing that he was rushed to the hospital with a severe neck injury that left him (in his own words) “impossible for me to sing & move.” The injury forced the celebrity to cancel his upcoming performances at the Bristol Hippodrome show and the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow.

doctor whoImage Number: AR801a_0262b.jpg — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a look at what Barrowman had to say about his injury in his initial post:

“I’m devastated to have to tell you that due to a severe neck injury, which has made it impossible for me to sing & move, I’ve been rushed to hospital for a diagnosis. The Doctors have advised me to not perform this weekend while I try and recover, so I’ve had to make the very difficult decision to cancel my performances at the Bristol Hippodrome on Saturday 30th November and at the SEC Armadillo, Glasgow, on Sunday 1st December.

I am so disappointed and upset as I was looking forward to seeing you all, I feel I am letting everyone down, but it’s simply not possible for me to do the show in my current condition. We have thankfully managed to open the Oxford New Theatre concert (Sat 14th December) for Bristol audience members to transfer to, and we have managed to move the Glasgow date to Tues 3rd December so I really hope you will be able to still see me have A Fabulous Christmas. All my love, John x”

View this post on Instagram

I'm devastated to have to tell you that due to a severe neck injury, which has made it impossible for me to sing & move, I've been rushed to hospital for a diagnosis. The Doctors have advised me to not perform this weekend while I try and recover, so I've had to make the very difficult decision to cancel my performances at the Bristol Hippodrome on Saturday 30th November and at the SEC Armadillo, Glasgow, on Sunday 1st December. I am so disappointed and upset as I was looking forward to seeing you all, I feel I am letting everyone down, but it's simply not possible for me to do the show in my current condition. We have thankfully managed to open the Oxford New Theatre concert (Sat 14th December) for Bristol audience members to transfer to, and we have managed to move the Glasgow date to Tues 3rd December so I really hope you will be able to still see me have A Fabulous Christmas. All my love, John x

A post shared by John Barrowman MBE (@johnscotbarrowman) on Nov 30, 2019 at 2:17am PST

Hours later, Barrowman returned to social media to update fans on his condition: heading out to get an MRI scan on his neck and then waiting for a diagnosis from the medical team:

“Heading to hospital for an MRI scan on my neck!
I’ll Keep you all posted on my progress – Bless you all and thanks for all your good wishes.. JB”

View this post on Instagram

Heading to hospital for an MRI scan on my neck! I’ll Keep you all posted on my progress – Bless you all and thanks for all your good wishes.. JB #Fabulous @scottmale @deccarecords @cuffeandtaylor

A post shared by John Barrowman MBE (@johnscotbarrowman) on Nov 30, 2019 at 5:00am PST

The injury forced the celebrity to cancel his upcoming performances at the Bristol Hippodrome show and the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow. Ticket holders for those shows were given an opportunity to exchange their tickets for future shows:

Daily Mirror

The post “Doctor Who” Star John Barrowman Suffers “Severe Neck Injury”; Cancels Shows, Goes for MRI Testing appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

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