Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Twelve slightly miffed men

Where to start? It's not often someone recounts their first racist attack, and makes you laugh, but such was the beauty of Benjamin Zephaniah's Rebel Rant last night, delivered softly spoken, with a blend of the personal and the poetic, that it didn't feel out of place. Hit on the back of the head with a brick when only 8 yrs of age, his attacker screaming at him to 'Go home you black bastard', the only part the young Zephaniah didn't understand, when he got home to his also black mother, was the word 'Bastard'. Though nervous about speaking Benjamin was on fine form. My favourite: why is it that the right-wing always rave on about Anglo-Saxons - the clue is in the words - two cultures, more than one, therefore, Multi. Over 300 people turned out for a great launch event for the festival. No surprise really. When the right-wing press (Daily Mail, I think) ran a headline asking 'Would you let your daughter marry this man?', after Benjamin had been awarded an honourary degree, he told us that while people in his home city were upset, and in London, angry, in Liverpool people turned out to demonstrate on his behalf and then invited him for a three year residency. He seems to like Liverpool. He likes classic cars too, but that's for another time.

I got home after a very busy day and was about to continue reading 'Dial M for Murdoch', The MP Tom Watson's book about the phone hacking scandal. Then I switched on the news, and, like the book had come to life, there was the Murdoch clan and hangers on getting their arses well and truly kicked by the House of Commons committee that has been conducting the inquiry into their behaviour. Forget about the Tory sideshow for a moment on their refusal to support the issue of their suitability for governance of major corporations, this is the real deal, and begs the question: they have admitted being involved in covering up illegal activity, therefore, why are they not under threat of arrest? Contrast their treatment with that of those rioting last year. Now don't get on your high horse, no-one here is condoning rioting, etc. regardless of their view on cause and effect, etc. You see, the real story here is not about Murdoch - he's been caught red-handed (talking about red, anyone seen Rebekah Wade anywhere?), the real story is the collusion of the Police. This ain't over....

One person last night pointed out the make up of the mayoral cadinates for Liverpool. All men, all white, all middle-aged. That's why, regardless of their politics, the mayoral election does not represent Liverpool - either its make up or its politics.

WoW is bang on the money right now with the issues being represented at the festival - phone hacking, Feral britiain, Piracy, etc. It's all there. Try not to miss out this time....

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