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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘television

Tony Blair With Andrew Marr

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Showdown

I have to admit I was impressed.

I do not begrudge it all.  It was fantastic, riveting television – if you’re a politics junkie like me.  I know there will be vociferous opinion against but I thought he was marvellous, quite inspiring and utterly convincing.

He always was the best possible successor to Margaret Thatcher and that shone through in the interview.  He’s explicitly not a socialist, so why he persists in the Labour Party I don’t know.  I can see why he supports the coalition.  In fact, he’d make the perfect coalition PM with Dave and Nick as his deputies!  Now there’s a thought!

I never voted for him but always rather liked him.  I confess I allowed myself to be swayed by the Bliar and anti-Blair brigade but yes, even I am susceptible to propaganda.  Recently, I have given serious attention to his involvement in the Israel Palestine dispute.  I have been deeply impressed at his even-handedness.   It is a talent to remain so impartial in such a heated and emotional situation.  It convinced me of his integrity.

That is the quality that shines through.  It is the quality that matters to me most, that I think means most of all.  He is a man of integrity.  I do not agree with him on everything by any means but…

He is a great man.

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Compassion Fatigue

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Let The Rest Of Them Drown

I did, I turned over this evening when the BBC News coverage of the Pakistan floods came on.

I didn’t want to see a child die on my television screen.

I can only care so much.  For everyone, charity begins at home.

Like it or not, Pakistan doesn’t have the best reputation in the world.  Of course, the individual tragedies are heart-breaking but there’s no great groundswell of public sympathy for a country that is the origin of  so much evil in the world.

A religious zealot might suggest that the rains should fall on Pakistan and Israel for weeks on end so that the world might be cleansed of its infection.

It is less brutal than the story of Noah and his Ark.

Cooking Doesn’t Get Tougher Than This!

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I's Da Boys!

It doesn’t get more entertaining either.  Masterchef is back and, yet again, it’s better than ever.

The producers have made some little tweaks here and there.  All of them are improvements.  The individual skill test in front of Greig and John is wonderful, confrontational, dramatic, even excruciating at times!

It is extraordinary that even the very best restaurants will now let in Masterchef contestants as guinea pigs in their kitchens.  That is the power of television.

The secret ingredient?  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- it’s the music.  That’s what makes it so compelling.  It’s the relentless driving beat.  I don’t know whether it’s house or trance or what but it’s addictive.  It’s the one.  I’m totally, utterly,  obsessed, enslaved to it.  I couldn’t dream of turning over!

Who Will Stand Up For Justice?

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The CPS are dithering over the police murder at the G20 protest.   Just like the assault on Nicola Fisher, we all saw on television the attack on Ian Tomlinson which led directly to his death.   The delay in bringing charges in this matter is outrageous and already amounts to a miscarriage of justice.  Justice delayed is justice denied.

Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions says he is working as quickly as he can on a careful investigation in “this difficult and complex case”.  See the full story here.

This is rubbish.  It is a pathetic excuse and I simply don’t believe him when he says he is having difficulty getting medical evidence.  Proceed without it!  The evidence is clear enough.  If the accused was anyone other than a police officer he would already be behind bars.

With the Smellie acquittal, this perversion of justice at the DPP’s own hands and the Newsnight story yesterday that people arrested at the Gaza protest are being treated as terrorists, we have reached a new low point in our history.

Those politicians, civil servants, police and legal officers who have allowed these events to unfold are guilty of treason.  They are destroying our country and our civilisation just as much as they could with bombs and bullets.

Channel 4 – The Air Hospital

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This was magnificent television, enough surely to shock us all out of our complacency.  Watch it here.

It was the story of the courageous team that flies our badly injured heroes home from Afghanistan in a C17 aircraft, converted to one large intensive care unit.  Every second of this documentary is shot through with pain, heroism, trauma and the utter pointlessness of the war.

I am afraid that I don’t believe we will be any further on in Afghanistan in another year.  I don’t believe that having our troops there now is making our country safer.  I think it actually makes terrorist attacks more likely.

What this programme reminded me of most effectively is that every time we hear of another soldier who has lost his life, there are four or five others, horribly mutilated and facing a future which may well be worse than death.

It has been said a hundred times but we need to say it a hundred times more, every day.  This is an unwinnable war, a pointless war.

Bring our boys home now!

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 26, 2010 at 11:58 am

Back On The Wire

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I’m back.  Apologies to those who have missed my posts.  Thanks to the hundreds who have asked where I am.

Truth is that I was under the cloud of a vile, vicious, unforgiving flu virus.  If anything ever deserved the unremitting attentions of the Israeli Army and everything that Mossad has to offer then it was this.  Misery, depression, lack of motivation – nothing could have been more unforgiving and merciless in its attack.

I survived.  Perhaps Palestine will not.

As I emerged from under this dark cloud there was one thing that helped me through.  I have read about it for  months.  The HBO series, The Wire.  I have seen it described as the best thing ever on television.  These superlatives seemed different from most and as I immersed myself in the stories of Baltimore I understood why.

This is magnificent television. Wonderful characterisations not based on “star quality” or reputation but on acting ability.  Utterly credible dialogue, surely much of it improvised.

What seems at first glance as just another American cop show is revealed as the very best in drama, capturing every nuance of the human condition.

I pray for the people of Palestine.  I curse the evil Israeli state.  I look for hope in mutual understanding through drama like “The Wire”.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 2, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Walking The Dog 9

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High summer.  A blanket of thick grey cloud and a force four or five south-easterly blasts a fine drizzle into my face.  We’re checking out the aftermath of yesterday’s invasion and the pleasant surprise is that there’s no evidence at all of the drama that was played out near the Langstone bridge.

The world, his wife and about a thousands grockles invaded our space yesterday all in search of a dying whale.  Actually there were probably about a hundred turning the sea wall in front of Langstone millpond into a grandstand.  It’s a well known fact though that one grockle causes a disturbance in the Force equivalent to 10 locals so the initial, instictive estimate is more accurate.

Sid, the harbourmaster, came into The Bluebell at lunchtime on Thursday and relayed the news.  I took a walk up there with the dogs out of interest and the fantasy of a five figure photography fee.  To be honest, I don’t understand the fuss.  I know that Captain Kirk and Mr Spock have helped to endow whales with mystic, spiritual qualities but I see more interesting, exciting and tragic things nearly every day in Chichester harbour.  When the grockles arrived the following day I don’t think one of them turned round and noticed the 30 odd little egrets roosting in the trees just a few yards behind them.  The television crews certainly didn’t.

The entire area was in gridlock.  Glorious Goodwood and the whale turned our local paradise into an extension of the M25.  Television crews and photographers with lenses as long as my arm clogged our roads and pathways.  In the harbour itself, massive RIBs, the inshore lifeboat, helicopters and even a police boat added to the mainly manmade drama and the huge cost of it all. All credit to them though because this morning when I walked past the millpond where yesterday there was even a tent erected for the press and the multiple veterinary, wildlife and eco professionals, there wasn’t a single scrap of litter to be seen.

The same morning that the sorry whale paddled up the channel between Thorney and Hayling, Capone, Carla and I were on the other side of Thorney, in our latest favourite spot, waist deep in the saltmarsh grasses.  Our friend the heron came into sight and as we sidled up towards him I was delighted to see that his mate was there.  My longest lens is a mere few inches so, as best as one can with two dogs squabbling over a stick, I tried to get closer.

The birds took off and escaped me but as we reached the limit of that direction where a vicious barbed wire fence hinders any further progress,  I saw them both on the side of the river bank.  Then I saw double, for perhaps 60 or 70 yards in front of me were four herons casually watching the water and thinking about breakfast.

This was a truly remarkable sight.  Much more interesting to me than a enormous, sad mammal lying in the mud and I managed to record it at the limit of my zoom lens.  This was my scoop, captured in glorious Kodak colour while the grandstand roared and cheered and applauded.