Sunday, 25 October 2020

Doctor Who - Time Lord Victorious: He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not (Big Finish Audio)

Cross-posted from Howie's World of Comics

Time Lord Victorious is a multi-media Doctor adventure that began in Doctor Who Magazine last month as a comic strip featuring the Ninth Doctor (and is continuing) plus a second comic adventure published by Titan (in an American format) featuring the Tenth Doctor. I will get around to reviewing these in due course but am a bit behind and anyway this sixty minute features the Eight Doctor who is only known from one BBC film and a short special some years back.

The Eight incarnation of the Doctor was or is played by Paul McGann and Big Finish have produced a large range of audio adventures on CD featuring him and his various companions, the best known being Charlie rescued from the crashing Airship 101 but that is a story for another day even if in the past. Time travel can be confusing.

This Doctor has of course not yet met the Ood but then he's just decided  land on a planet called Atharna to revisit one of the seven hundred wonders of the universe but somethings wrong. The place is bare, a desert where an ocean should be and there are two people in need of his help.

Photo: CC Swamp Dragon

The Doctor is about to meet Brian a rather nasty assassin and bounty hunter who is on the trial of two lovers. One to bring home the other to kill. Did I mention he's one of the Ood?

Part one of  a story to be continued in next months release My Enemy Of My Enemy featuring the Doctors most dangerous opponents?

Watch out for further comics, books, Big Finish audio CD's and a five part You Tube BBC Animation as Time Lord Victorious continues over the coming months.

Available from Big Finish 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

The Beatles Broadcasting Live in the US '64 (Limited Edition Picture Disk)

The Beatles were very much a band that I listened to and sang along with as a child. Like many of my contemporaries I went on to be a fan for life and even today cannot resist playing one of their tunes.  In 1964 when these recordings were made I'd have been about 8 years old and listened to them on the radio. Of course these particular concerts were broadcast in the USA so are new to me as well as many other fans.

This is a limited edition "picture disk" and although I remember seeing these back in the days when we actually had record shops this is the first one I've ever purchased. Indeed what spurred me to buy this had been listening to a Doctor Who adventure (reviewed here) where the Beatles had been erased from history. The horror!

That was fiction. These concerts are a reminder of a phenomenon that existed around the bband and I wonder if the girls screaming can actually hear the music being played? There are two short concerts Side 1 is in Miami with a bonus studio track whilst the other is in New York. A couple of songs are inevitably duplicated

I couldn't find any video of these but here's an interview with the Beatles from New York at the time.

Available from:

Friday, 23 October 2020

Bubblerock Is Here To Stay (The British Pop Explosion 1970 -73)

Playing this album is like putting on the radio in the early seventies. Looking through the track list when ordering this triple CD collection there were lots of bands and/or songs I recognised but equally many I didn't. In fact when playing many of these are simply "forgotten tunes" that those of my generation will recall though I have to say there are a few that I either do not recall or may not have heard.

This is the third compilation of early seventies music I have picked up from Cherry Red Records ( the previous ones New Moons In The Sky and Peephole In My Brain being collections of Prog music from 1970 and 1971 respectively.

As I started to collect records in my schooldays prog Rock and early Metal became very much the scene that influenced my musical tastes however these songs were for sitting and listening to and not for parties or discos! The "Pop" music scene was quite lively and there were plenty of 45's that could be played either dance to or just have a general bit of fun.

Bubblerock Is Here To Stay contains no less than 85 tracks on 3 CD's beginning with this featured track from Mr Bloe which is instantly recognisable and features Blue Mink, St Cecilia, The Piglets, Mungo Jerry, Peter Skellern and Middle of the Road amongst so many other acts from the early seventies and is highly recommended for both those who want a trip down memory lane or simply to explore old music.

Available from Cherry Red Records: here

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Labour To Win: Young Labour Elections. Stand up to bullying & entryism


It's been many years since I was either eligible for or took any particular interest in the youth wings of any party. Like Peter Hain I started off life as a Young Liberal way back in the early seventies when Militant took control of the Labour Party Young Socialists as a springboard to their other operations in the Labour Party. We all know where that that led and having joined the Labour Party in the late seventies I remember the events that led to the expulsion of Militant and the closing down of the LPYS.

Youth groups have always been vulnerable to entryist groups and Militant was far from the first group the Labour Party had problems with. The Socialist review group was kicked out in the early sixties. It eventually became the Socialist Workers Party. The Young Socialists then became under the influence of the Socialist Labour league & got booted to form the Workers Revolutionary Party. 

Today is no different. Although small groups like Socialist Appeal and the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) are trying to make inroads these modern groups are eclipsed by Momentum the modern Militant for all intents & purposes.

It remains important that Young Labour remains the official youth group of the Labour Party and is as free as possible from outside influences so that young members can develop rational and reasoned politics that we will need for the future.

One of the candidates for Chair one Eluend Anderson has withdrawn from the contest due to a huge on-line attack over some "off colour" joke she allegedly made some time ago. Besides the atrocious bullying that led to Eluend closing all her social media accounts this holier than thou approach to politics i dangerous. 

After all who amongst us has never in all their lives said or done something "off colour in in their lives, I mean FFS I was a teenager and young adult in the seventies. Nobody, I repeat nobody is a saint and the expectations put on young people these days by the (for want of a better word) "woke" brigade who think everything is a micro-aggression or discriminatory for some reason has led to a shutting down of debate even at university level.

Something the Party as a whole needs to address one day.

In the meantime Labour to Win has recommended the following individuals for the internal Young Labour elections. They are from a variety of traditions apparently and I'm happy to reproduce their list for young members to consider though don't ask me any questions about the individual candidates because until the last couple of days or so I had not taken much notice of what is going on. 

Young Labour Elections

If you're under 27, you'll also have received a ballot for elections for Young Labour's National Committee. As with the NEC elections, we're recommending candidates that represent a broad swathe of traditions in the Labour Party, but are all committed to engaging constructively with the party to build a better, kinder and more open youth wing. The candidates are as follows:

Chair - Cathleen Clarke
NEC Rep - Kira Lewis
International Officer - Rosie McKenna
U18s Officer - Jimmy Sergi
Student Representatives - Alli McKelvey and Dylan Patel
Eastern Rep - Tina Bhartwas
London Rep - Henna Shah
North - Adam Ellison
North West - Holly McCormack
South West - Marley Bennett
Wales - Jack Dunne
West Midlands - Jennifer Maidment
Yorkshire and the Humber - Jess Raspin

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Yusuf / Cat Stevens: Tea For The Tillerman 2

One of the big artists back in the seventies was one Cat Stevens who released a number of hit singles and albums. His unique vocals and brand of Folk-Rock was highly entertaining. A couple of years back I picked up one of those compilation albums that seem to be in vogue these days. I was reminded of his hits Matthew & Son (from 1967!) Moonshadow, Morning Has Broken and Can't Keep It amongst others.

However one album that helped define his music was Tea For The Tillerman which has it's 50th anniversary this year. I remember it the first time round and am beginning to feel old as a result! In order to cerebrate tit's original release Cat has redone the whole album and a good job he has made of it as well. 

Here to prove the point is the new version of Cat Steven's own old classic Wild World. Just one word: Enjoy.

Official Website:

Labour Against Antisemitism: Statement on Len McCluskey’s Newsnight Comment


Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism, has said:

“Len McCluskey’s “count his gold” comment about Peter Mandelson (whose father was Jewish) on last night’s Newsnight programme appeared to promote a blatant antisemitic trope.

It is unsurprising but still shocking to hear one of the most senior figures in the British Labour movement seemingly reveal such a poisonous view. Over the last four years Mr McCluskey has at times appeared to dismiss antisemitism in the Labour Party, describing it as “mood music”, but this is the first time he has made such a seemingly antisemitic comment himself.

We hope the still to be published Equalities and Human Rights Commission into institutional antisemitism in the Labour Party will provide a framework for tackling this kind of anti-Jewish racism, and we look forward to Mr McCluskey’s forthcoming retirement as General Secretary of the Unite union.”

Monday, 19 October 2020

Labour NEC Elections: Reclaim the Party! Vote for Change!


The ballot for the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party opened today. Labour First have issued a list of recommended candidates that will reclaim the party and help Keir Starmer make Labour electable again. This will be no easy task. Despite the decline of the hard left they are far from out of the fight. Momentum and the other factions are organising so it's time for moderates and their allies to do the same.

Every vote will count. Contact fellow party members and ask them to use their vote to restore hope and reason in the Labour Party.

Voting Guide

We have six candidates standing to be CLP reps. It’s a transferable voting system so you have to number the candidates, not put crosses. The important thing is to number all our six candidates as your first six choices, numbers one through to six.

We aren’t recommending a set order to vote for our six candidates as it would be unfair on the candidates we didn’t put at the top; we think they are all great and they all deserve a chance to win. And it would be patronising to our supporters to tell them the exact order to vote.

Our six candidates are listed here in alphabetical order, so you can find them on the ballot, but you can rank them in any order you prefer:
  • Luke Akehurst - NEC member 2010-2012, former Chief Whip of Hackney Council and parliamentary candidate in Essex and Hampshire
  • Johanna Baxter - NEC member, Cunninghame North CLP Chair, Scottish Executive Committee member
  • Gurinder Singh Josan - NEC member, antiracism campaigner, Vice Chair of Sikhs for Labour, Sandwell Unite branch secretary
  • Terry Paul - Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services on Newham Council and former PLP Campaigns Officer
  • Michael Payne - Deputy Leader of Gedling Borough Council & Notts County Councillor; Deputy Leader of the LGA Labour Group
  • Shama Tatler - Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning, Brent Council
In the interests of ensuring a politically pluralistic NEC, and to ensure gender and regional balance, Labour to Win is only standing six candidates itself, and also urging its supporters to vote for three other candidates, from the left of the party, with your 7th, 8th and 9th preferences.
  • 7 - Ann Black – Open Labour - NEC member 2000-2018 as part of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance, South East Regional Board Member, Secretary of Oxford & District Labour Party
  • 8 - Theresa Griffin – Tribune Group - MEP for the North West Region, 2014-2020
  • 9 - Paula Sheriff – Tribune Group – MP for Dewsbury, 2015-2019
We need you to vote for all six Labour to Win candidates with your six highest preferences because although the STV voting system usually produces proportional results i.e. if we get one third of the vote we get one third of the seats; this only works if people vote for all a team’s candidates, if you start lending high transfers to other candidates it could lead to us getting less than our fair share of seats.

The STV voting system is incredibly complicated but it usually produces fair results where all strands of opinion get represented. If a candidate gets more than 10% of the vote they will be elected straight away. Any surplus votes a winning candidate gets above 10% are redistributed to their 2nd preferences and so on. The candidates at the bottom are knocked out and their 2nd preferences redistributed and so on. This carries on until all nine seats are filled.

For Treasurer we recommend voting for the incumbent, Diana Holland.

If you live in Wales, we recommend voting for Carywn Jones for Welsh Rep.

If you are a Labour Councillor, we recommend you vote for these two candidates for local government representatives:
  • Nick Forbes - Leader of the LGA Labour Group and Newcastle City Council, incumbent NEC member
  • Alice Perry - Islington Councillor and LGA Labour Group Deputy Chief Whip, incumbent NEC memberIf you are under 27 years old, we recommend you vote for Kira Lewis for Youth Representative.
If you have registered with the party as a disabled member, we recommend you vote for George Lindars-Hammond for Disabled Members Representative.

Further info: