Woes of a Migraine Suffering Retail Worker On a Sunday…


9:30am, Sunday. At work, can’t see, getting migraine.

Fellow worker: Are you okay?

Eyes shut, holding sink for balance, concentrating on not getting sick.
Mmm, getting a migraine.

“Oh, yeah I’ve got a bit of a headache too.”



Headache: Pain in head.*

Migraine: Any form of light suddenly blinding, visual disturbance in my case taking the form of a chequered pattern squiggly line right in eye line. Nausea, most likely will be sick bright yellow acidic bile, disorientation, loss of depth perception and basic motor skills. Stop making sense when talking. Numbness down left side. Slow building of demonic headache. Period of at least twenty four hours spent with light sensitivity, vomityness and “four screws” headache. For next day or so leaning down will bring headache back.*

What I imagine Borg assimilation feels like. *

*** Disclaimer: May not be technically medically accurate. 

There’s A Battle Outside and It’s Ragin’


Listening to David Cameron tell the House of Commons about all the things the Conservative Party have done for the country, I’m not sure why the opposition aren’t just standing on their chairs shouting “BUUUULLLL SHIT”.

Well, I am sure why; because of course they would be, if they were a real opposition. The Labour party are at their core, no different from the Conservatives. Ed Milliband spoke the absolute truth, in saying telling people they’re better off, when they know they are not, is fairly pointless. Unfortunately, telling people Labour would do better by people, when I live in a Labour run ward and Labour are quite unapologetic about doing exactly what the Conservatives do, is also, fairly pointless.

Still, listening to the current Government tell absolute lies is almost dizzying. However cynical I may get, however long I spend watching lying politicians lie, it still takes me by surprise. Not absolutely astonished, totally didn’t see that coming, kind of surprise, but a sort of dull, it has to end somewhere, kind of surprise. The leader of our country, can’t just blatantly lie, on national television…can he? …kind of surprised.

Cameron spoke about the fall of unemployment, now fallen so far that housing interest rates might go back up. Only fair huh, we’ve all clearly got money now.

Oh wait no…no we haven’t…in fact the overseas charity “Save the Children”, now operates in the UK, because so many families are too poor to feed themselves.

I don’t understand how people can’t see this. We’re not recovering. Things are getting worse. Yes, it is possible that the Government figures, are taking a positive turn…but how does that help you, or any of the millions of people simply not able to support themselves? This is not recovery, this is abandonment. This is deciding that poor people don’t matter. This is choosing to judge the country on statistics, rather than on the struggle of it’s people, or the state of it’s public services.

Yes, the unemployment statistics have gone down. Unemployment statistics are generated by the Office for National Statistics, a branch of the Government. The ONS can’t directly lie, they need to be able to explain their figures. So yes, technically, less people are currently claiming unemployment benefits than before the Conservative/Lib Dem Government. That does not mean the employment problem has been improved, it has gotten far, far worse.

People on zero hour contracts count as employed, for these stats. Having a zero hour contract means you may not work a single day, or get paid any money at all, from week to week. But you are employed, for the sake of these statistics. All part time contracts, count as employment, even if the worker needs a full time job to get by. Being unemployed but not claiming benefits, means you don’t show up in the stats at all.

So yes, technically, the number of people actively on the dole, has gone down. The numbers of people with a job on which they can‘t feed themselves, has gone way, way up. The numbers of people with stable, full time employment on the other hand, has gone way, way down. This Government have been directly responsible for the loss of thousands of full time, permanent jobs, through cutting public services. In return, they have given many people the opportunity to work for free, or with no rights or guaranteed hours at all.

Cameron also pointed out that there are “less claimants” now. Less people claiming any form of welfare. Well yes, there are, largely because his Government have cut disability welfare to ribbons. They would like us to believe that means people can’t fake being disabled so they don’t have to work. The reality, is we have left disabled people to fend for themselves. People in need of the support network we did once fight for and defend, in the welfare system.

What will it take, for us to collectively call bullshit?

I sincerely believe it would be an entirely acceptable policy for the Conservatives now, to say poor people do not matter. For their next manifesto just to say, outright, that covering the costs of basic human rights for all of the pesky millions who populate this country is quite a drain on resources, so they aren’t going to bother. In fact even if they continued to gain support, I would still prefer they just did that.

That way at least, we could all be honest with each other. People could just say, if they really don’t care. As it is now, the Conservatives playing White Knights to our poor, overly indulgent selves, I listen to the very people being utterly shafted by this pack of fucking parasites, defending them. Believing, that something good will somehow come from this.

Cameron said profit isn’t a dirty word. Welfare, is not a dirty word. Help, support, provide…none of those are dirty words. None of those, hide dozens of food banks in every large city, or thousands of applicants for every crappy part time job. Profit is a disgusting word, because unlike the words exploitation, oppression.. Murder; “profit” pretends to have no consequences.

If we could all take a step back. If we could watch what we are letting happen, to ourselves, from afar, we would revolt tomorrow.

Nerd is in the Blood


Actual Conversation just had between me and my mother. I was chopping peppers and singing a dramatic version of A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall, as is my tendency when alone in the kitchen. Mom walks in:

Mom: I’ve wandered on the side of twelve misty mountains.
Me: Have you walked and crawled on six crooked highways?
Mom: I have.
Me: What was that like?
Mom: It was hard.


Sherlock Series Three Roundup


Anyone who has read the original Sherlock Holmes stories, will know what I mean when I say they were constrained by their time frame. The stories are in some ways, very dry. I’m not suggesting emotion and character interaction isn’t there, of course it is, there to such an extent many people then and even now, aren’t entirely sure Holmes was fictitious. The temptation to bring Holmes and Watson into modern day, however, by a modern reader, is not at all surprising. I said at the beginning of the previous series, my clearest emotion on discovering BBC Sherlock, was jealousy at Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat getting to be the first.

Sherlock removes all of the constraints of Victorian and Edwardian propriety, giving it’s creators the freedom to do more or less anything, with one of the greatest fictional characters of all time and as a concept alone, it is brilliant. It is, as I said back then too, something of a creative tightrope. If they had not dared to mess with the canon too much, then there would have been no point in Sherlock. If in the freedom of twenty first century Holmes, they strayed too far from the original stories, then what made the series such an amazing idea, would have disappeared.

Some book fans might disagree with that, but I can’t imagine there are that many purists out there. After all the original stories are littered from start to finish with continuity errors ranging from the unfortunate to the ludicrous. Watson is referred to as James by his wife for an entire story, Arthur Conan Doyle apparently forgetting he’d already given him a first name. Professor Moriarty and his brother, Colonel Moriarty, both have the Christian name James, which seems unlikely. Mrs Hudson turns into Mrs Turner for one story and chronologically, Watson seems to move in and out of Baker Street an unfathomable number of times and it is unclear whether he married once or twice. Beyond continuity, many of the stories involve utterly bizarre and occasionally asinine plot lines and in some cases, noticeably lazy and non-committed endings. This is not nit-picking a great work, this is the predictable result of a writer who for at least a time, had less love for his character than his audience did, by a country mile. ACD was no purist when it came to Sherlock, I see no reason to be either.

In the previous series‘, Gatiss and Moffat walked the tightrope very impressively. The first two series were really, really good. They did have problems, personally I’ve hated the text-on-screen stuff from the start and though I know I’ve said it a lot, I’m saying it again, it looks cheap and is a lazy solution to a narrative challenge. There were other issues, in the second series especially some of the cruder dialogue came off as shallow rather than just irreverent and some of the references to the books felt more perfunctory than clever. I sometimes think the series’ suffers from it’s three ninety-minute episodes format.

None of that mattered, over all. The series’ were exciting, funny, devilishly clever and despite all modernisation, very Sherlock Holmes. Bottom line, it‘s uniquely entertaining. The fact it was also a very true adaptation is if you’re me, a bonus.

The third series, is less easy to call. After the second episode I would mostly say it was crap. In all fairness, looking at the series as a whole, I’m not going to say that, but it was not up to standard. There are elements, that were genuinely brilliant, but unlike the previous two series, the brilliant elements did not make it possible to ignore other faults.

Episode one, could be forgiven for not having much in it, in terms of one solid storyline. The Empty House is a strange story. The fact that no real explanation was given for Sherlock‘s return from the dead was a good thing, to me. The book explanation is so piss-poor as to be laughable, but that is because his ’return’ was never meant to happen. ACD was backed into a corner by a demanding public, he brought Sherlock back with reluctance and the half-arsed nature of his explanation is eloquent on his views. I really think Mark Gatiss got the hardest job of this series, in writing the first one. He had to bring Sherlock back, ‘explain’ his death, show us John’s ruined life but at the same time introduce us to and make us care about Mary Morsten, reintroduce all of the old characters and show us their lives as of two years later, invent and solve the crime that had to bring Sherlock back to England and to do it all, while living up to impossible hype and expectation. Given all of that, it’s not surprising it all felt a little bit disjointed. Within disjointedness there were as ever, moments of utter brilliance, but I’ve already blogged like a super geek about that. Still, these episodes are more or less feature-length, they really need a strong, single thread through them which it did not have.

Episode two, simply annoyed me. Everything that annoyed me before, suddenly could not be ignored anymore. I understand, that many fans want to go as deeply into the relationship between John and Sherlock as possible and that yes, obviously despite their shared social difficulties they are very close friends and yes, that is still the case despite Sherlock’s fake death. What I don’t understand, is devoting ninety minutes of a Sherlock Holmes adaptation to having Sherlock and John tell each other how much they care. We know that, that’s the whole point. We see how much the other means to both, without them needing to say it. If Sherlock’s death brought any of this into question, jumping into a bonfire to save John surely answered it.

I also understand that fans love the fun stuff. John telling Sherlock not to show off with his cheek bones and his collar, Mycroft Holmes saying the words “Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on.”, and the more sentimental moments like Mycroft telling John Sherlock originally wanted to be a pirate, or John handing over Adler’s phone, because Sherlock showed some vulnerability in wanting it. All of those things, are part of what make Sherlock awesome. The problem is, that in order for those moments to play that part, they have to be in some way unexpected. Large chunks of the Empty Hearse and all of the Sign of the Three, was just that. No great game to fit it all in around.

Again, I don’t want to lay into the individual writer for it. He had basically a wedding, and a tiny bit of eventual and short lived crime, to work with. He wrote a very witty, very sweet and very charming episode, but without the crimey bit it’s both very un-Conan Doyle (despite the plethora of much appreciated story references) and it kinda derailed the series to the point of taking the mind almost entirely away from the bad guy very briefly introduced in episode one.

On the other hand, the need for us to be very invested in John’s marriage and wife, is made clear in episode three. While for me this doesn’t excuse the Sign of the Three, it goes some way towards explaining it.

And finally, last night’s episode, His Last Vow. Now, this one I did enjoy. Mostly I was pleased to find the return of one solid crime based plots, but there was much more. This episode is based very closely on one of ACD’s creepiest bad guys, Charles Augustus Milverton. He was a true, skin crawling kinda bad guy and almost all of the other plot elements, the truth about Mary, Sherlock’s fiancée, all fit together very well. There were still some disjointed elements. I do think this is mostly because of the length of each episode, the many different relationships and familial interactions while lovely, were a little bit scattered in every direction.

Not surprisingly, Mycroft was my favourite thing about this episode. I have wondered from the start of Sherlock, what prompted the decision to make them not get on. More entertaining would be an obvious answer, but as two great fans of the books Gatiss and Moffat would surely know there’s no sign of discord between them. Sherlock makes two things clear about Mycroft in the books, one, that he is an extremely important and well respected man and two, that he regularly goes to him for help when a puzzle bamboozles him.  I guess it’s no more of a departure from the books to have them at each others throats, than having Mycroft be so important a character, is in the first place. Mycroft Holmes is only in two of the sixty Sherlock Holmes stories, only even mentioned in two others. As I’m very glad of the latter, I’m happy to accept the former, even though it hurts!

The scene at Baker St following Mycroft’s drug raid, is probably one of many clues to why this modern day sibling duo aren’t quite such good friends. The first is in the very first episode, “try not to start a war before I get home.” The many signs Sherlock is repelled by Mycroft’s job, rather than Mycroft himself, are mostly awkward or funny. Sherlock’s violent outburst, and one of my favourite lines of the series, is genuinely unpleasant to watch. “Don’t appal me while I’m high.” – In the days of ACD, being a politician possibly did make for a respectable job. All elements of Sherlock are adapted to modern day. Mycroft Holmes, while despite Sherlock’s claim, an excellent big brother, is not really one of the good guys.

I sort of think he knew exactly what Sherlock was planning, (“must be something in the punch”) and presumably a former trained assassin marrying Sherlock’s flatmate didn’t escape his notice either which would suggest he also knows who shot Sherlock and why…then again I assume he knows everything. I was right, to be fair, about what he knew in the second series. 😉

The family scene was fantastically played. Mark Gatiss steals scenes that feature Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, which is pretty amazing. “Oh dear God it’s only two o clock, it’s been Christmas day for at least a week how can it only be two o clock?”

…In fact lets just save some time (though I fear, that horse may have bolted) and say I loved, every bit of Mycroft. I am biased, I love the character anyway, but Mark Gatiss is fantastic. He and Benedict Cumberbatch compliment each other brilliantly. Sherlock’s line, “what the hell am I supposed to say to that?”, was just perfect. Also, Here be Dragons. Awesome.

I realise, at this stage, (Literally, I’m just realising it now) that I am considerably more forgiving of non-crime related story lines when they’re between Sherlock and Mycroft, than between Sherlock and John, which would be unfair of me. The difference is, I think, that Sherlock and John are the centre of Sherlock, therefore they need to be mostly solving crime. Sherlock and Mycroft, or any other character, is just as positive a sub-plot as John and Mary. Even in this episode, there was still quite a noticeable lot, of Sherlock and John telling each other in case we missed it at the wedding, how much they love each other.

There were, among things I didn’t like so much, things I was very unsure of.  Mycroft mentioned another brother? I hope not, that’s a deviation I feel I would not enjoy. There are a number of adaptations that theorise a third Holmes brother, an elder Holmes based almost entirely on the fact Sherlock once mentioned his family were country squires so it is assumed that if Mycroft were the eldest he would have inherited a country house but in fact lives in a flat in Pall Mall. I really don’t want any of this distracting crap in Sherlock.

Did CAM, not think it possible or even, probable, that far from needing Sherlock to shoot him, Mycroft’s people would in the interest of public safety, on learning his records existing only in his own mind?

And finally, Moriarty. Brilliant ending, to be fair, but he’s dead. He’s just dead, don’t be silly.

As with not wanting to blame each writer for the other two episodes, I don’t look at His Last Vow and think Steven Moffat is the stand out writer of the series. All three are excellent writers, it was very much the plots that decided my view of each episode and they are less dependent on the individual writer. There is something of a similarity in Sherlock, to the Moffat series’ of Doctor Who. When it started, it was phenomenal. Then it gained popularity and writing and character tropes, and ran itself into a trench. I hope this will not prove to be true in later series, but they need to take care. The original stories should always be the centre, because that’s what makes Sherlock and they and their cast, are more than talented enough to make it their own, without abandoning ACD entirely.

An east wind blowing, was the last we ever saw of Holmes and Watson. I’m glad Sherlock has more time.

Sherlock: The Empty Hearse


Okay…that wasn’t great. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed bits of it, lots of bits, but that’s all it seemed to be. Lots of bits. Disjointed. The rest of the series might tie it together better but as an episode, that was messy.

Still, GOOD BITS: Derren Brown. He has tweeted “…Pleased you enjoyed my cameo. (And trust you hated them and me for just a second…)” …which I absolutely did. In fact while it briefly appeared Derren Brown was actually going to be the explanation, I said to my brother it’s a good thing I wasn’t overly interested in the explanation, to which he replied “clearly they weren’t either”. I should have had more faith. And a quite brilliant cameo.

The reason (excuse) for the Derren Brown cameo was good too, Anderson’s weird guilt fueled Sherlock club is a nice touch. I was quite happy to not have Donovan in it but to see some remorse and redeeming characteristics from Anderson.

Mycroft. In that, he’s generally awesome and in the new, more book friendly version of their sibling rivalry. I didn’t like the slightly vicious version that appeared in the second series. The playing Operation moment was awesome, as was the revelation they had both thought Sherlock was an idiot until they met other children. His explained role in Sherlock’s ‘fall’, was just as hoped. Mycroft calling Sherlock from Les Mis…I think it’s fair to say I liked all of Mycroft.

No unambiguous explanation. It does not matter how he did it, but of course, it doesn’t hurt to keep you guessing.

John. Punching, strangling, generally attacking, people who have made you grieve for them for years, is the correct response.

Mrs Hudson. Lestrade. Molly(!). Mary. The guy in the hat. The hat!!!

In fact there were good things about all of it. It still looks amazing, the sound track is brilliant, the dialogue is great, but there are way too many callbacks from other episodes, nothing really seemed to happen in the episode that wasn’t basically a vehicle to reference an earlier episode or just…maybe trying to be too clever. The Sherlock Holmes stories were often absurd, many had ridiculous explanations and abrupt, rather disappointing endings, but what they don’t seem to me, is arrogant. There is a slight tone of arrogance, in between the many and appreciated book references, in the reuse of earlier jokes and never ending self or fan-referencing. (The mind palace moment from the second series was really, really, terrible, if anything I would carefully avoid reminding us of that incident. Though I do appreciate the Derren Brown fanboyism.)

This I do think is likely to be improved on in the next two episodes. They have introduced a villain already, that suggests the series will have one major story arc. It’s very possible all of the ‘bits’ of this episode were just necessary plot laying. A lot had to be cleared up from the last series and there were things fans were going to want to see. Fair enough, don’t judge too harshly on one episode.

What I don’t think will change and is not limited to this episode, is the massive overuse of visual effects. I mentioned in the last series, how much I hate the on screen text thing. I still hate it. It’s getting more elaborate, only drawing attention to it only making me hate it more. There’s way more though, the fast forward cameras, the Sherlock’s mind cam. The episodes are an hour and a half long and I don’t think there were more than a few minutes in this one of just straight forward film. This is a personal thing of course. I don’t like visual effects which remove you from the story and remind you there’s a camera there, in anything, even when they’re well done. Breaking Bad does it once or twice an episode, I don’t like it then either. Sherlock does it constantly. At best, the best episodes of the three series so far (A Study In Pink, Hounds of Baskerville, The Blind Banker), help to ignore it. If anything, this series seems to be going for even more.

Omni Ignotum, Pro Magnifico


Sherlock time!!! Two years is a long time to wait on a cliff hanger, but it does seem to have had a brilliant effect on the fame and hype of Sherlock. I was in the Sherlock Holmes museum in Baker Street about a year ago (yeah, what of it), when I noticed someone had written in the guestbook: “I BELIEVE IN SHERLOCK HOLMES.” …For non-nerds/Holmes book fans, that’s a Sherlock-the-TV-series reference, in a Sherlock Holmes the fictional character from the books, museum. That’s awesome.

Anyway at the time of the last series I wrote this: Review of Sherlock Series Two Episode Three

It’s now time to see. I’m not that interested in the “how” part. How Sherlock faked his death doesn’t seem to be that relevant. While I’m sure it will all be very clever, it’s clever in the way Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his stories backwards, because if you are the creator you start with the clues. We the audience see only the baffling effect. If the creators decide John Watson dreamed the whole thing, we’d have to accept it.

I’m interested in the rest. The how does he go back into his old life, part. I think if I was Watson, of the books, instead of being glad to see Holmes I’d have punched him in the eye. Same for John of the series, surely? Oh you let me think you were dead for three years? *thwack*. Most importantly for me, at the time and still now though, is finding out what Mycroft did. I didn’t believe then, his “betrayal” could be real. I will now be most upset, if this is not proven true. 😉

Right I’ll be back in an hour and forty minutes…

Said the Joker to the Thief


My opinion of the Labour Party as a whole, has been pretty low for a few years now. For a while, I believed they were the lesser of two evils. Labour might not be great but at least they’re not the Tories. I also believed that voting for minority parties, ran the risk of “letting Tories in by the back door”.

Those very words were used by a Labour Councillor to me last week while I was standing outside a Birmingham Council Consultation meeting. The meeting was far, far more boring than the title makes it’s sound. I know it sounds boring, but you don’t understand boredom until you’ve stayed awake through that meeting after a nine hour shift in a shop two weeks before Christmas. (The meeting was chaired, by Brum Council leader, Sir Albert Bore. That’s his real name.)

These meetings have been held all over Birmingham in the last couple of weeks. The Council cabinet, that is the Brum Councillors who make the decisions on what our money is spent on locally, explain just how many cuts will be made next year and on what, exactly. They then agree how terrible it is in response to questions from the audience.

So before I went into this meeting, I spoke to some people outside, about voting for a socialist alternative in elections, namely TUSC (The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition), rather than Labour or Tories, over and over again, when both do exactly the same things. One Labour Councillor said if we stood against him, we’d be “letting Tories in by the back door”.

Inside the meeting, the Labour Councillors all told us how they were planning to carry out the Tory (and Lib Dem) Government cuts.

…So, Labour want us to vote for them, in case the Tories get in, but while Labour run Birmingham Council they will be implementing all of the Tory cuts. Great.

They did tell us about the cuts with a lot of regret and comments about how unfair the cuts are, especially on vulnerable people. I find it hard to accept, given how sorry they are about that, that their 2014-15 budget involves the heaviest cuts falling on “adult social care”. Vulnerable and disabled adults, in other words. But it’s okay, Labour are sorry, while they’re carrying out cuts.

The basics of the 14-15 budget, are that all services, libraries, leisure centres, youth services and so on, are going to be cut the bone, huge numbers of jobs will be lost but the council are promising not to actually close anything. In order to make this happen, they are appealing for volunteers, to continue running all of the things. So pay your taxes, and then run your own services. Sounds fair. This promise not to close anything, lasts until 2015, but after that, with regret, they will have to start closing things. And again, Labour are sorry, Conservatives are nasty.

Don’t get me wrong, Conservatives are nasty. The Conservative cuts are vicious and remorseless but what does not seem to be sinking in for Labour is that they are in charge of Birmingham, and they are implementing exactly the same cuts. If they do feel remorse, it doesn’t help the thousands of people they’ve made redundant, or vulnerable people they’ve taken vital services from.

As the meeting went on, the questions became more and more accusing, people stopped politely waiting their turns. Eventually, one lady asked, given the council is predicting nothing but worse and worse cuts, indefinitely, and claim the Government are responsible, isn’t it time the Labour Council of Birmingham stood against it, and set a needs budget instead.

I woke up a bit. A needs budget, would mean the council working out how much it would cost to run all our services properly, to meet the actual needs of the Birmingham people. How many hospitals, libraries, etc, do we need, how many homes need building to meet demand. They then demand the necessary amount, from the Government. Sounds only logical, doesn’t it? The reason this isn’t how councils are currently run, is because ultimately this would have to be paid for in higher taxes of very wealthy people. Our Government of millionaires, don’t want that.

The lady who had asked the question, proposed a more immediate needs budget. For Labour in Birmingham to refuse to implement Tory cuts, end of.

Sir Albert Bore addressed this question. He said to run a deficit budget, that is to continue spending more money than the Government are allowing, is illegal. He is right, it is illegal. He said the result would be the Government sending commissioners to run the council instead, this he would not allow. He wouldn’t allow it, because it would mean the Labour Council would be dictated to on what they could spend money on and how much.

…Is that…different, to them just voluntarily putting through Government cuts?

It was a bit like talking to a Firby. It will respond, but the answer will have little or nothing to do with the question, won’t make any sense and will get very repetitive.

A fellow Socialist Party member, raised the same question and said more clearly, you are already having your budget dictated to you. If you set a needs budget, you wouldn’t be a council fighting the Government, the entire city would be behind you. The tiny audience cheered.

The reply, really sums up just how useless, how self serving, and how exactly the same as the Tories, Labour really are now. Another Labour Councillor replied.

He started, by telling us about earlier budgets, and how changes had been made to them, based on consultations with the public. How they were willing to listen to any, sensible suggestions, on how to implement the cuts. At that point, most of the people in the meeting were laughing, or in mine and the questioners case, heckling. Really, he wanted our suggestions on how to help Labour do the Government’s dirty work?

He went through a rather long winded soliloquy on how hard the decisions they had to make were and how difficult it was, for them.

He finished, with stating that what he would not do, was listen to “gesture politics”, like an illegal budget, that would make no difference and would only make people’s struggles worse. They were going to stand up to the cuts and not make gestures.

I’d say the room was split equally between support for Labour and support for the hecklers slowly building volume in the corner. Labour’s plan then, was to “stand up to the cuts”, by implementing them.

We walked out in the end, there comes a point when trying to break into their monotonous spiel doesn’t work and while I think we’d made our point, we walked out furious. Funny, but depressing. The last comment I made was “it wasn’t a gesture in Liverpool”.

Labour have operated an illegal budget, in defiance of a Conservative Government, before. In the 80’s in Liverpool one Labour council broke the law, to protect the people of Liverpool. That “gesture”, built houses, hospitals…Personally I think those make more of a difference than Labour of today, in Birmingham‘s plan…to do exactly as the Tories do, but to feel a lot of self pity about it too.

Worse, judging by that reaction to the increasingly desperate call for needs budgets in the council, Labour of today seem to show genuine contempt, for the mere idea of trying to help ordinary people.

Labour is useless. The old workers party is dead. It’s time for a new one.