Alan Clark

Devout. Considered. knowledgeable.
A lecturer.  A long-serving Labour Councillor.   Party activist.
Briefed.  Exposed the poll tax in Nottingham as it was being implemented.
Represented the highly marginal Robin Hood ward and an early user of IT to produce local ward leaflets.
Led Labour’s by-election campaign when the city was regained for Labour in 1988.
Chaired various committees.
An extensive social networker, keeping people informed.
Introduced Robin Hood Energy.


A war movie, without the distracting love stories and over poignant speeches.
A war movie that doesn’t worry about what Churchill is saying.
A war movie that doesn’t show an enemy face until the final seconds.
A war movie that doesn’t show blood or gore.
A war movie that shows Spitfire Mark 1s in 70mm IMAX.
A war movie that shows what it was like to try to return home and try to help the evacuation.
On land, on sea and in the air.
Compelling action. Bullets zinging. Bombs exploding. Torpedoes hitting. Ships sinking. Planes duelling. combattants bracing.
A war movie, not a survival movie, even if the Director says so.

So go see Dunkirk.

The surprise – what limited dialogue there is can’t be heard very cleary – a mistake not made since “The Patriot”.  Understandable maybe if the background is explosions, but when reading a newspaper article on a train back in Blighty?
Some of the storylines are a bit misjudged (the trawler, one event on the little ship) and there’s no celebration of French efforts.

The myths of Dunkirk

dunkirk movie german map leafletaaxxxxhPromotional interviews for the movie Dunkirk keep stressing how Churchill thought the operation to bring British and allied forces out of the trapped pocket might ony save 30,000 when 338,000 were to be relieved says more about our willingness to buy such stories rather than what was actually said by British senior officers.
And the story of the little ships being brought over by their owners was also something that took off after it was penned by an American author – they were mainly sailed by Royal Navy personnel.
Worst about it all is how the role of French soldiers in enabling the evacuation is underplayed.
Then ideas that Hitler was being kind to the British – more a judgment of a British army returning home was never going to come back and there were other objectives to meet.
Nor did the Luftwaffe particularly fail – they were asked to do too much from bases too far away.
And of course there are records of British servicemen poor discipline.
As it happens, the British were planning an evacuation a few days previous and a major operation after Dunkirk brought another 190,000 personnel to Britain.
The Allies were out thought and outmanoeuvred in the Battle of France.
And debacles were to follow elsewhere, notably in Singapore.

But enough already.
Cos the point is that even once we cut through the myths and hear more of the reality, the Dunkirk evacuation was still an extraordinary effort, including the French.  Something to be proud of and to draw inspiration from.

Splendour, splendour, b’dum, b’dum

WP_20170722_16_06_48_Pro ac0258h Splendour Buzzcocks

I was sixteen in 1977,
and we had the Buzzcocks;
and I know every time has its favourites,
but we had the Buzzcocks;
and I’m sure X-Factor has had its discoveries,
but we have the Buzzcocks.
And we had a great time.

1. Fast Cars  2. I Don’t Mind  3. Autonomy  4. What Ever Happened To?  5. Why She’s A Girl From The Chainstore  6. Sick City Sometimes  7. Why Can’t I Touch It?  8. Noise Annoys  9. You Say You Don’t Love Me  10. Love You More  11. Promises  12. What Do I Get?  13. Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)   14. Harmony In My Head

Full council – July 2017

Covered –
– a sober review of actions taking place prompted by the fire that devastated the Grenfell Tower;
– the council being awarded good for its children services by Ofsted;
– condemnation of the cuts the government is still planning for school budgets;
– a motion calling for Bedroom tax to be dropped now that there is a majority opposing it in the House of Commons;
– protests against money being found for the north of Ireland whilst Nottingham’s budget is cut.
Astonishing to hear the Conservative Deputy Leader saying that cuts to Nottingham had been justified.  Yep, justifying the cuts made on Nottingham.

Tributes to Glen O’Connell on his retirement on the 22nd anniversary of his return to the city council to lead our legal team.