+I was writing about HMV yesterday—and I have to say they have this phenomenal capacity to display DVDs in alphabetical order. Not everyone these days knows what that is. I had been casually searching for some time for Defence of the Realm, the mid-1980s thriller starring Gabriel Byrne as an intrepid investigative journalist on the trail of establishment dirty tricks, cover ups, potential nuclear annihilation, etc. etc. all thrown in. I think I must have watched it on telly not long after the film came out (1986) and at the time it was culturally in tune with late cold war paranoia, stories about ‘Labour MPs are spies,’ and the get behind the invigorated post Falklands Thatcherite revolutionary patriotism schtick. I seem to recall that at the time I would have thought this is all so true . . it must have been because around then we also had the mini TV series Edge of Darkness, starring the estimable Bob Peck and the always entertaining version of a normal American, Joe Don Baker. There was lots to be paranoid about and some of the films of the period captured that unease without resorting to the two dimensional crap coming out of Hollywood today (thanks in part to computer generated images). What was it about the 80’s? Were we threatened by rightwing demagogues, or something even more sinister abusing the tools of the state to keep us in state of oppression?
So I shall look forward to seeing the just released film Official Secrets, starring Laura Knightley as Katherine Gun, the GCHQ officer who revealed compromising information in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War—information which compromised the case for war. We could do with some of that courage now, a few leaks from high up civil servants forced to deal with Johnson’s Brexit shite wouldn’t go amiss. I would call it a patriotic duty. Well, that’s all a long way from HMV, isn’t it?
+Perhaps a lasting legacy of the Brexit shite will be a new phrase entering the English language, 'doing a Bercow.' This could become as common as 'Gordon Bennett' or 'Bleedin' Nora,' and I rather hope this phrase might be the lasting memorial for a Speaker of the House of Commons who rejoiced (at length) in sticking a hot poker up the government's arse.
+All we hear from the BBC these days is their vox pop interviews with people who live in Brexit voting constituencies (it's cheap to do, I suppose). The voices from these areas all seem to say 'we're fed up with this so end it now!' I don't understand this. The same people have watched decades of Coronation Street and EastEnders without saying 'end it now!' And what damage I wonder do those soaps inflict on people's mental health?