I will be interviewed on the Tony Fisher show on BBC Radio Essex tomorrow, Monday 27th July, at around 2:00 to 2:15 pm. The subject will be the new book, Murder in the Red Barn.
Very damaging this business of Blair and his views on the leadership of the Labour Party. I mean, who would have thought that anyone in the Party was the remotest bit interested in his opinion about anything, considering the damage he has done to them and the country? The fact that their ‘Progress’ group, ‘Labour’s new mainstream’ were, surely spells doom for them for a generation.
Was there ever a more perfect oxymoron than John Whittingdale, Culture Secretary? To hear his silvery tongue explaining on the BBC how he intended to dismantle that institution, is the most effective emetic I have experienced for quite some time.
Let the government beware! Even Blair declined to touch the BBC other than to collect a couple of scalps over the Gilligan affair. Anyone who has visited other countries and watched their TV knows that the BBC is so infinitely better than anywhere else the observation has become a cliché.
Bias? Well, as long as the ‘Right’ think the BBC is left-wing biased, and the ‘Left’ think it is right wing, I think we have a balance. And that, surely, is what we all want.
I have sent the following letter to the Daily Telegraph:
I have always thought Boris Johnson to be a rather likeable and intelligent buffoon, but his ill-judged anti-German rhetoric (Comment July 13), spiced up as usual by reminding us of his classical education, has brought the Little-Englanders scurrying out. David Olsen (Letters, July 14) feels able to write a rather unpleasant little piece reminding us (as if the TV and films will ever let us forget) that we have fought two great wars to prevent German dominance of Europe. We must wake up, he says, to Germany achieving that aim, without firing a shot. This apparently, because Germany, that is, the German taxpayers, who hold by far the greatest share of Greek debt, have the temerity to insist on strict terms for a financial bailout of Greece.
I find it difficult to believe that I am reading this xenophobic drivel in a quality newspaper. For seventy years millions of people in France, Germany and the other European Union countries, Britain included, have sweated to ensure that nothing like those two wars can ever happen again – at least within Europe. I love Greece and I love the Greeks, but clearly they do not belong in the Euro Zone. Their economy just does not match those of their partners. How would Boris feel, I wonder, if his bank told him, ‘sorry Mr Johnson, we’ve invested your savings in what appeared to be a good venture, but it’s gone bankrupt; the money’s all gone I’m afraid.’
How can I look my German friends in the face after they have read Boris’s latest flummery dressed up as informed comment?
Interesting counterpoint tonight. I went to the Chelmsford beer festival, as you do, and listened to a quite competent rock ‘n’ roll band. But then they did the Who’s Can’t Explain. Now I remember listening to the Who playing Can’t Explain in the Ealing club in 1964, can it possibly have been fifty-one years ago? Well it was, and to say that the band I heard tonight were the palest shadow of the Who as they were is not to denigrate the band, rather to remember the brilliance of the Who, surely one of the most exciting bands ever.
Then on the TV this evening was the recording of a live concert by Chuck Berry in 1972. Chuck berry is the same age as the Queen, he’ll be ninety next year. And listening to him and watching him, the most competent of performers, took me right back to my days in the band in the early 1960s. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that if you want to succeed in the pop music scene, you need to be original. The Who were original; Chuck Berry, endlessly imitated is, nevertheless, actually inimitable. Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Well, Gasp! As my old mate Paul R used to say – probably still does in fact. Paul, if you read this, you must have a pint for me in the Bitter End.
I must have had a good half an hour on BBC Radio Suffolk this afternoon on the Lesley Dolphin show with Simon Talbot standing in, and he just let me talk! He was interested in my days in a Rock ‘n’ Roll band, and I nearly fell off my perch when he played the one and only record we made in 1965… He also got me talking about school days, my time as a project manager on space imaging at e2v, and of course those books.
Anyway, for anyone who’s interested here is the link, and it will be available for the next 28 days.
It seems I now have two more interviews on the BBC about the new book; tomorrow, Thursday 9th July, on BBC Radio Suffolk, the Lesley Dolphin show around 3:00 pm, with Simon Talbot standing in for Lesley, and then on Monday 27th July on the Tony Fisher show, BBC Radio Essex at around 2:15 pm.
Murder in the Red Barn is officially published today. Get those orders in! There is only a limited number of first editions available...
Those of you who can tune in to BBC Radio Suffolk, next Thursday, 9th July, around threeish should hear me interviewed about the books etc.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs