Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tony Curtis R.I.P.


How sad to hear today of the death of Tony Curtis.

Not the easiest man in the world to get along with by all accounts, but a great actor, with a real gift for comedy.

He was great in Some Like it Hot. He was great in The Sweet Smell of Success.

And as you can see above, he was brilliant as Chester Schofield in that wonderful Sixties comedy Monte Carlo or Bust- co-starring with the one and only Terry-Thomas. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Ed Miliband must be like Harold Wilson

This piece of mine appears in today's First Post.

Neil Clark: If Ed Miliband can unite Labour as Wilson did, maybe he can also win four general elections.

Man of the moment Ed Miliband has had no shortage of advice since he won the Labour leadership contest on Saturday. But if he's really shrewd and wants to re-establish his party as the party of government, he would do well to follow the example of Labour's most successful leader. No, not Tony Blair, but Harold Wilson.
You can read the whole of the article here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

After Delhi, stand by for a Poland/Ukraine fiasco

The piece of mine appears in the First Post.

Neil Clark: Let’s make sport the focus of international tournaments - not the location

The host of a major international sports event is behind schedule with its preparations and doubts have been expressed as to whether the tournament will be able to go ahead as planned.

No, I'm not referring to Delhi, desperately trying to get things ready for next month's Commonwealth Games, but to Ukraine, co-host of the 2012 European football championships.

You can read the whole of the piece here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ed Miliband left-wing? They're having a laugh

This article of mine appears in today's First Post.

Neil Clark: The portrayal of Ed Miliband as a leftie shows how far to the right Britain has travelled.

According to his critics, he's a dangerous left-wing radical who, if he ever became prime minister, would take Britain back to the Socialist 1970s.

According to his supporters, he's the man who will lead Labour away from Blairism and reconnect the party with its core supporters and traditional values.

Both his detractors and supporters are in agreement that Ed Miliband - who could well be Labour leader when the results of the party ballot are revealed this weekend - is the candidate for 'change'. Miliband himself has as his campaign slogan: 'Call for Change'.

But if we look beyond the rhetoric and the sound-bites, a very different picture emerges.

You can read the whole of the article here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A party's soul is sold

This column of mine appears in the Morning Star.

Neil Clark explains how ‘Orange Book’ Liberals betray their roots.

As a big fan of the classic 1970s TV drama Upstairs, Downstairs, I was delighted to read that three brand new episodes of the programme are to be broadcast this autumn, with plans for a new series to be shown next year.

Upstairs, Downstairs told the story of the inhabitants of 165 Eaton Place in Belgravia, London, focusing on both the toffs "upstairs" and the lives of the servants "downstairs."

The original programme, which was screened from 1971-5, covered the years 1903-30. It was a period of enormous social change during which those "downstairs" made important social advances and the old class system, so rigid in the Victorian era, began to weaken.

Master of the house Richard Bellamy, played by David Langton, was a paternalistic Tory MP who had much sympathy with the reforming Liberal government which swept to power in 1905. It was that same Liberal government of Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state.

How ironic, then, that exactly 100 years on, it's the Liberals who, together with their Tory coalition allies, are working to destroy the welfare state their predecessors helped to establish.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The elusive Mr Cameron: how long can the ploy last?

This article of mine appears in today's First Post.

Contrast Cameron's first months in office with Tony Blair's in 1997. In the summer of 1997, the new British Prime Minister was here, there and everywhere, announcing new government initiatives on what seemed to be a daily basis, hob-nobbing with 'Cool Britannia' pop stars at Number 10 and stealing the show with his reading from 1 Corinthians 13 at Princess Diana's memorial service.

This summer we've seen plenty of Nick Clegg, deputy PM, of George Osborne, the Chancellor, of Foreign Secretary William Hague and of Business Secretary Vince Cable. But of the man who is supposed to be running the country, we have seen remarkably little. Dave has been almost as elusive as Mrs Mainwaring in repeats of Dad’s Army.

You can read the whole of the piece here.