Paris, after the grieving and soul searching, where do we go from here?


Of all the horrors to happen across the world in recent years, this felt all the more horrific. To have such a senseless massacre occur so close to home, not just geographically but also culturally, politically and spiritually. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to live in Paris right now, a city struck not once but twice this year by cowardly terrorism. A city seemingly under siege.

So where do we go from here? For Paris, the best thing to do is to pick up the ‘Blitz spirit’ — having the determination to face this situation — similar to that demonstrated after the Charlie Hebdo attack earlier this year. To send a message, that we, as a western society (and people) will not be cowed into fear. That these attacks will not weaken our resolve, but strengthen it.

It is also critical that we understand what we are really up against. It is Islamism, and in no way does it match with out 21st century democratic way of life. It is absurd to carry on insisting that this has NO religious link at all and it’s condescending in the extreme to behave as if any such acknowledgment will lead to some sort of Fourth Reich in Europe — it won’t. No one, of any religion or none, should be afraid to walk the streets of Europe.

One final point, I won’t deny the war in Iraq and ridding of Saddam Hussein in some way contributed to the creation, or at least laid the foundations of for ISIL. But this global terrorist network and its actions cannot be blamed on western foreign policy. Why does ISIL kill fellow Muslims in Syria and Iraq?Why does it throw homosexuals from buildings? Why does it kill aid workers helping fellow Muslims? Why is it enacting racial cleansing like that discovered in Sinjar? What foreign policy did any of the above do to merit senseless slaughter? None.

We need to eliminate this ISIL/ISIS/Daesh stain from the world and the obvious first step would be for Russia and the Western world to co-ordinate their efforts. For this global coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy this evil.

My original post.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will be everything we hoped for and more… #SDCC

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This weekend fans at San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H were treated to a special behind the scenes look of the creation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Director J.J. Abrams, Producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan were joined on the stage panel by cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.

The behind the scenes footage shows just how much effort Abrams and the Lucasfilm team have gone into reviving the magic of the original trilogy and bringing it into the modern age of film. Using practical sets and props, utilising CGI as little as possible. All of which has been done here in the UK.

The wonderfully talented Titan of cinema Sir Christopher Lee has died at 93

CHRISTOPHER LEE as the Wizard Saruman the White in the fantasy adventure “THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), released by Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

Sir Christopher Lee, the undoubted Titan of Cinema has sadly died at the age of 93.

Lee appeared in hundreds of films through his career, most recently (and probably most memorably) played Saruman the White in Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit, and Count Dooku in Star Wars.

He was the cousin of Ian Fleming, the writer and creator of James Bond and was the only member of the LOTR cast to have actually met J.R.R Tolkien. He serves in the RAF during WW2 and joined the SAS on classified missions. He even hunted Nazi war criminals after the war.

On top of all that he was in a heavy metal band that released albums every Christmas.

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Does freedom of speech give the right to offend? – #JeSuisCharlie


World leaders have descended on Paris to join a 1 million strong march of solidarity in the name of freedom and liberty. Following the attack on Charlie Hebdo we have been forced to question our rights in society. What can we say, what can we write, what can we draw?

Firstly it’s important to distinguish that in our society everyone is free to take offence at anything but what they cannot do is insist that someone do not do something that does offend them. We are free to offend and we are free to be offended. The second thing to distinguish is that every idea is open to scrutiny and no idea whether it is a philosophy or a religion is immune or can/should be immune from criticism. And this is where people wrongly accuse one another of being phobic of their religion. It is not islamophobic to scrutinise Islam just as its not Christian-phobic to scrutinise Christianity.

2016 Star Wars spin-off film to have heist storyline?


According to Slash Film, the site’s sources say the 2016 Star Wars spin-off film will see a group of bounty hunters trying to steal the plans for the first Death Star. These plans eventually fell into the hands of Princess Leia and R2-D2 in ‘A New Hope’.

This would fit in with previous rumors that suggested Boba Fett may star in his own spin-off film, what better bounty hunter than the infamous Fett? Slash also mentions that the Millennium Falcon is “somehow involved” as well, though Han Solo is not.

This rumor comes as it has been confirmed that a short minute long teaser will be shown at select cinemas across the US this Thanksgiving. See list below:

CA Irvine Edwards Irvine Spectrum 22 & IMAX
CA San Diego Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX
GA Atlanta Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX
IL Chicago Regal City North Stadium 14 IMAX & RPX
NY New York Regal Union Square Stadium 14
PA Warrington Regal Warrington Crossing Stadium 22 & IMAX
TN Knoxville Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX
TX Houston Edwards Houston Marq’E Stadium 23 IMAX & RPX
WA Seattle Regal Thornton Place Stadium 14 & IMAX

Drawings of major British historical events from first illustrated newspaper


The Illustrated London News published intricate artwork on its front covers for more than 160 years, this included historic moments in British history such as royal ceremonies and the Great War – boasting as many as 300,000 readers. The works were by famous artists such as Terence Cuneo, Fortunino Matania and Bryan de Grineau.

Star Wars Episode VII: Is this the first look at the new Stormtroopers?

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Images have surfaced online oh what is reportedly new Stormtrooper Helmets for the upcoming geek fest Star Wars EPisode 7. Given that Episode VII is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the spacecraft, uniforms and gadgets it features will all surely get an update as technology advances in the fictional universe, and while the Stormtroopers helmets are still instantly recognisable in their white moulded plastic, they look a little more sleek and ergonomic.


IndieRevolver has the scoop on the pictures, which was backed up by design artist Tom Hodges An RPF user meanwhile also posted a picture of the very same helmet, which they claim came from an “insider friend”.


The unconfirmed leaks follow images of what looks to be the Millennium Falcon being built, and an update on the X-Wing that JJ Abrams showed off last month. IndieRevolver has another Stormtrooper pic, which it claims is an update on the Snowtrooper soldier.


Rest in Peace, Childhood Hero & Comedic Genius


As you will have all heard by now, the comedic genius Robin Williams committed suicide on August 11th following a long struggle with depression. 

Here was a childhood hero of mine and millions of others, being brought up with films like Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Flubber, Aladdin and Hook. The world already seems a lot darker – he will be sorely missed. 

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Britain Has Invaded Nine Out Of Ten Countries, From France To United States


Having done a bit of reading the other day i came across the rather fascinating revelation that Britain has invaded nearly 90% of the world’s countries during its history, with only 22 out of 193 not on the receiving end of a bit of Great British aggression. The findings are detailed in a book, “All the countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To” (should have guessed) by historian Stuart Laycock who found the time to research into the matter.

Some of the 22 countries that have escaped British ambition include Andorra, Luxembourg and the Vatican City. The issue with this research, however informative it may be is that it stirs the endless debate in Britain of “was empire bad? If so how do we rid ourselves of such foul play?” The fact remains that the very same British Army / Navy that built an Empire also helped oust the Nazi’s from Europe and the Japanese from Asia, if you want to date further back we also saved Europe from the ever growing hands of Napoleon. Conquest and colonisation have been around a long time, Romans, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians etc.

Hitler was responsible for a war where approximately 30 million lives were lost, Stalin supposedly 60 million, many of which were his own people – does russia continuously go on about its bad past, or Germany? Yet here in Britain we will kick ourselves over the fact that we have brought nations across the world democracy, the rule of law, infrastructure, education and masses of knowledge.

How does comparing what happened hundreds of years ago, in a world that none of us can actually imagine existing in grant us the arrogance to denounce what occurred? What Britain did was beat everyone else doing exactly the same thing but in a nicer way (where possible). Britain survived better than most because its people well understood the society in which the world existed at the time. This is yet another “in hindsight” that keeps the British in their place, but at least we stopped one of the most hateful fascist armies the world has ever known in the 20th century, so all those places previously invaded ensured that we could do so. Stop berating British history because its nonsense to do so in a world that is now nothing like it!

Scottish Independence: Listen to George Galloway’s stirring speech in defence of the United Kingdom!

George Galloway

Hello all, we are coming ever closer to the very important question which will decide the future of our 300 year old union, the United Kingdom. In September Scotland will vote in a referendum as to whether it will continue to be part of the union or go it solo.At a debate held yesterday by the paper The Spectator, Respect MP George Galloway savaged the Yes campaign as he evoked the spirit of the Blitz and the spectre of a bankrupt post-oil Scotland in an impassioned plea for Britain to stick together.

The speech itself is brilliant, you read and listen below:

If Scotland votes Yes in September you will be handing the prize for which 100 years the SNP has fought. They have fought for it despite everything and anything that was happening. When London was burning under the Blitz, their poet laureate (Hugh) MacDiarmid said: “London is burning, I don’t care.” They said it was England’s war.

They want you to refight a battle 700 years ago between two French-speaking kings with Scottish people on both sides. I prefer to remember a rather more recent battle when this small island of English-speaking people stood alone and if we had not stood but capitulated like others had done before us we would be having this meeting in German if we were going to have it at all.

And not one person asked in that summer and autumn of 1940 and into 1941 if the pilots who were spinning above us defending us from invasion from the barbaric horde were from Suffolk or Sutherland. We were people together on a small piece of rock with 300 years of common history. That’s what they want to break up and all the rest is balderdash. That’s the truth of it. How come so few women are in favour of independence? Why are Scotland’s women the most resistant of all the demographics in this contest? And the reason is that women simply don’t like gambling.

And everything in their (the Yes campaign’s) project is about gambling – for your future, your pension, your children and their children’s future. And you are right not to like gambling. But just a few hundred yards from here on the North Bridge, one of Scotland’s women, one of our highest achieving women in the history of our entire country, JK Rowling sat in a café and wrote books that people all over the world love.

And what happened when she dared to opine as to how people should vote in September? She was subjected to a torrent of abuse and hatred online and in the post. And that is the second reason why women don’t like independence – because they can see that it has already generated and will generate a politics of grudge and division based on where one stood. I am tired of being called a quisling or a traitor or – I was ordered last night from the rougher end of the trade – “get back to England”.

I’ll go wherever I like in these islands or anywhere else and speak my mind and you see that is the authentic voice of those that seek to break up this country.

I have been divorced more than once. Trust me it is never ever amicable, whatever anybody tells you. But you can make a deal. You can give the partner who is walking out on you all the CDs the DVDs, the dog, the car – you can give them everything, but the one thing you will never ever give them is the right to continue to use the joint credit card.

And that is what their plan A – and they have no plan B – amounts to.

They want to use a currency issued by the Bank of England – the clue being in the name; they want to continue to use it and they imagine that the people that issue it will allow them to do so; to use the joint credit card, even though and as they are walking out the door.

So this is the first time ever that people in a small country, where everyone speaks the same language, are being asked to break up and break up on the basis that they don’t have a currency to use.

There will be no pound. Trust me on that. I came yesterday from Parliament (where) the leaders of the mainstream parties have not changed their minds. An independent Scotland will not have the pound.

What will it have instead? The euro – how’s that going? Anybody fancy that or are we going to bring back the groat?

I see one or two pensioners here, or people close to pensionable age. How do you fancy your pension in groats? How do you fancy a pension that is based entirely on the absolutely unstable price of a commodity that will be finished in 2050?

And in my lifetime oil has been as low as $9 a barrel and as high as $156 a barrel. Who wants to mortgage their children and their children’s future on a finite resource that will soon be finished and the price of which is simply un-calculable? Un-calculable.

There will be havoc if you vote Yes in September. Havoc in Edinburgh and throughout the land and you will break the hearts of many others too.

Because, as I look at my fellow debaters on my side, I was reminded of the Duke of Wellington reviewing his own troops before the battle of Waterloo: “I don’t know what they do to the enemy but they don’t half frighten me.” “The difference is we have come together but temporarily at a moment of national peril.

The nationalists on the other hand are permanently together for they have only one purpose – to persuade you that [Stagecoach Group transport firm founder and prominent Yes campaigner] Brian Souter, the gay-baiting billionaire, funder of their campaign is someone more worthy of looking up to than JK Rowling.

I know which side I’m on. I’m with JK Rowling. Just say No.