The White Crow

Ballet – codified dance that works for swans but not for mallards.
Maybe cos I don’t like pepper sauce, I can relate to the waiter scene; maybe cos the first London cafe we went to tried to short change us – we were from a village – I can relate to the waiter scene.
I wasn’t as skilled, trained or aware as the Rudolf Nureyev shown in “The White Crow”, but some experiences I can share.
The film title – a Russian saying for someone who is very different – hints at an emphasis on his psyche, backed up by the waiter scene. But the movie tells a better story, with reasoned discussions before the menace purveying the episode of defection; and ballet looks more interesting shot from short range – why didn’t they do the same for Nureyev in the sixties?
The film takes a tad too long to tell its story but it is worthwhile.
(3 stars; e:3; s:4; p:4; wiki; Guardian review – 3 stars; Parkinson interview with Nureyev.)

Brian Markin

City Councillor for Robin Hood ward (1995-2003) and Leen Valley ward (2003-2007).
Brtian grew up near the old Bluecoat school, which he attended and which we now know as the International Centre.
Married to Maisie, their family life started in the old St.Ann’s terraces.
He met his wife when they were both working for Woolworths.
They had 5 children.
He ran a stall in Nottingham’s market; loved holidays and angling.
He was in pain for most of his adult life with an injury incurred whilst doing national service.
A Liberal Democrat as a Councillor, one time leader of the opposition, turns out our politics were to align after his service.
He became an Alderman in 2008 and its plain Brian was, and his family are very proud of his service.

Out of Blue

A special preview of “Out of Blue” at the Broadway in Nottingham.
The film comes from a short story by Martin Amis and is a slow-moving “film noir”. An immersive pleasure rather than action movie; even the detective’s car shining blue lights is relatively slow moving.
The film draws heavily on ideas from quantum and astro physics, include the mind exercise of “Schrödinger’s cat“.
The movie’s director, Carol Morley, was there to take questions after, and said that when she met Stephen Hawking, she talked about us being made of stardust – woah – something the hippies were already singing about in the sixties. So after 3 arty questions from the audience, I asked her how physics had changed her life. Her answer – how bewildering the double-slit experiment is.
(3 stars; e:3, s:3, p:3; Guardian review – 3 stars)

Featuring alongside Billy Bragg

Oh, what that could have meant …
Duetting on “Lover’s Town Revisited” which was on my Radio Nottingham featured 8 tracks.
Having him sing my updated version of his “Days Like These” – “liking Facebook is not enough ...”.
Instead, we’re both in a Guardian video. He’s saying he’s not sure about another referendum and wants a peoples’ assemblies. I’m saying we need to learn from Ireland on how to do a referendum for a result we can all get behind.

The editor cleverly has a man saying people are saying they know when they don’t, then Billy Bragg saying we need an People’s Assembly, then me saying we probably need a 3 option vote, but don’t know how to safely do it, and then the street cleaner saying put the 5 best speakers on a platform to lead a decision.

Billy Bragg, at 3:24, 26 seconds –
“I don’t support People’s Vote. I think it will be divisive. I would prefer, rather than having a referendum, that we have a People’s Assembly, so that we can debate the issues, we can all have our voices heard and come to a decision through deliberation rather than a one-day winner-takes-all referendum cos what we need to get out of this is some kind of consensus and a People’s Assembly will start the process of bringing people back together again.”
then me at 3:50, 43 seconds –
“I think one of the genuine problems is that I don’t know how you carry a referendum that isn’t one or the other. And yet it feels like that’s what we need.
People who want to come out as quickly as possible deserve an option.
The people who actually think May has done the best she can and they deserve a voice [option].
And those of us who felt … our future is properly in Europe – we feel we deserve a voice [option] as well, … so how do you safely conduct a 3 option ballot, cos I don’t know how to do that and what I am impressed by is places like Ireland where they’ve had the referendum and they’ve made processes on how to pose the question and then get an answer that people can accept.”

I’m also recorded talking about poverty –
At 2:38, for fifteen second –
“There’s new kinds of poverty.
And it’s time people woke up and realised just what’s going wrong in our society,
cos in 10, 15, 20 years’ time, we’ll all be saying why didn’t we do something about it,
and we’ll have to do the whole Blair – Brown thing all over again.

Put it to the People March

Nice to be with friends.
Nice to be with EU supporters.
Nice to do a video.
Nice to read the placards.
Nice to represent Mel Read, former MEP, on the march.

Higher res. photos available.

Transcript of a video published by “Labour for a Public Vote”
I think I’m here today cos I’m carrying this enormous grievance.
I feel bad about the way we lost the referendum.
turns out that those who won the referendum feel bad about it as well.
The only way we’re gonna sort this out – cos the MPs have all got their own values, their own convictions – they haven’t got a majority for anything – we’re going to have to have another vote. 
Whether it’s a confirmatory ballot, or a ballot with three options, I don’t know, but we need change.
And I wanted to be with the people today who want to express that view.
I hear we’re here a million strong – fantastic there’s 4 million signed the petition.
And this is for the people.

Castle Marina advice surgery

Rehearsing bus services, the needs of the boating community, road safety, cycle lanes, tow paths litter and rough sleeping, oh and Brexit. 
With Lilian Greenwood MP, and Councillors Sam Webster and Georgia Power.

Published 26th March; a postscript from Cllr. Webster on the W1 and L5 services; I was going to put it in a comment, but the comments facility doesn’t take images.

Petition to Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU

I’ve signed the petition “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.”
I don’t usually sign petitions.
But we’re not ready.
And the majorities for Remain against May’s “Deal” and against “No Deal” are 62-38 and 58-42. And May’s Deal isn’t a finished deal and No Deal is a hard Brexit where trade will be determined by the WTO.
Over 2,000,000 have now signed (1 a..m. update) . And the latest media trick of saying “we” are above it all, and “we” just want it over is patronising and wrong; there are serious issues to resolve. So please join in.

Planning committee – March 2019

From a Nottingham Post article on proposal for 422 student flats accommodation between Mansfield Street and York Road.
The accommodation is needed, but the rear views are a tad monolithic.
Councillor Mike Edwards, who represents the Bridge ward for Labour, added: “The tops of the buildings are just blocks with straight lines, and it’s just not good enough.
“We need some approach that makes the tops of the building more interesting.
“I don’t want to send a signal to say we don’t support this, but I do want to send a signal that says the top of these buildings needs to be better.”