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The best revenge
How women won the vote for Obama By Emma Brockes
That phone call
The ‘ordinary’ monsters
Why we should eat more
Notes & Queries
How small is small?
How to concede an election
Barack Obama an Mitt Romney; (b d elow) losing presiden tial candidate in 19 96, Bob Dole
How to concede an election gracefully
e’ve all been there. It’s 1am, you’ve just lost the American presidential election, and now you’ve got to call the victor to concede. What the devil do you say? This, as history now records, was the quandary facing a certain Willard Mitt Romney – or, as David Lynch termed him last week: R-Money – in the early hours of Wednesday morning. For variously obvious reasons, it must have been a diﬃcult moment. There was no love lost between R-Money and Obama during the campaign – at one point, the president implied that Mitt caused cancer – while only hours before Romney had boasted that he was so conﬁdent of victory, he had only prepared a winner’s speech. All 1,118 words of it. Not that he’s counting or anything. Emotions aside, though, there’s an art to timing the concessionary phone-call. Too early, and you risk either upsetting your supporters (who want to feel they at least made things close) – or worse still, foreclosing the possibility of a nd win. Too late, and you’re seen as ter. divisive and bitter. andidate “The losing candidate has an ” important duty,” said Steve nior Schmidt, the senior Republican strategist who cCain advised John McCain cede on when to concede C in 2008, on NBC on s Monday. “That’s to concede the election in a r graceful manner ite and begin to unite the country.” ob Republican Bob ple Dole is an example of hings. how not to do things. mIn 1996, he seemingly conceded to
the incumbent, Bill Clinton, before polls even closed in California. Half an hour later, the concession was retracted and the mistake was attributed to mythological creatures. “Either a gremlin or ca some other thing caused it to be released,’’ ex explained Dole’s hapless press secretary. pre In the ho hours leading up to the ph phone call, the candidates simply hang a about. “Ev about. “Everyone’s sitting there,” says sitting the Schmid “They’ve Schmidt. show showered in the ho hotel. They’ve moved over to the [campaign] site. They’re restless – a lot of it is just watching i TV.” (So restless, in fact, re that this y year Romney’s aide Garrett Jackson Garre preferred to spend the evening c chasing the younger m members of the
Romney clan down the corridors of a gloomy hotel. He released a photo of the shenanigans. It’s supposed to be touching, but really it looks more like something out of The Shining.) Nearby, explained Schmidt, will have been “a war-room of young kids”. These strategists do the number-crunching on the results as they’re announced and ultimately advise the losing candidate on when to give in. “It’s a tough moment,” Schmidt continued, “when you have to tell the candidate, as I did, that we’ve lost Ohio: you’re not going to be the president of the United States.” But even at this stage, the phone call can go wrong. In 2000, Al Gore famously rang George Bush to concede once it looked like he’d lost Florida. Minutes later, Gore was back on the blower. Some of the Florida results looked ﬂawed, and he wanted to stay in the race. “Let me make sure I understand,” an enraged Bush apparently
replied. “You’re calling me back to retract your concession?” “You don’t have to get snippy about it,” Gore shot back. Snippy, however, didn’t even begin to describe what followed. Legal wrangling continued for weeks, and it wasn’t until December that Bush could safely call himself president-elect. John Kerry, Gore’s successor as Democratic challenger, achieved rather more grace – mostly because his loss was that much more obvious. “Congratulations, Mr President,” was his gambit at the start of a measured ﬁve-minutelong conversation between himself and George Bush in 2004. And what of old R-Money? Well, in the end, it seems he opted for the Kerry school of concessionary telephony. Shortly before 1am, east-coast time, a Republican aide told CNN he had called Obama for a “short, polite” chat. Good for him. Patrick Kingsley
Shorter er cuts s
2 The Guardian 08.11.12
4,000 4,000,000 likes
Dyla Bob Dylan attracted a lot of thumbsthumbs-ups when his ﬁrst ever Faceboo Facebook status predicted a landslide for Obama. “He’s a hard act to follow.” A positive soundbite from Dylan? The soun times really are a-changing. tim
Academics are contemplating putting students through drugs tests around exam time, according to the author of a Cambridge University study that found 10% admit to taking pills to enhance their performance.
Does your car have a spare tyre?
t is an unfortunate axiom of modern motoring that the ﬁrst time you clap eyes on your spare tyre is usually the ﬁrst time you get a ﬂat, and it’s always a moment of apprehension. Will the jack be of unfathomable design? Will the spare itself be ﬂat? Will it be one of those spacesaving toy tyres that can only be driven on safely for 50 miles (or unsafely for much, much longer)? What about this scenario: you open the boot and ﬁnd nothing at all. It’s a not very widely publicised fact that an increasing number of new cars don’t come with a spare. (Contrary to what many people think, there is no legal requirement to carry one, but if you do, it must comply with laws on wear and condition.) According to a new survey by Auto Express, only a third of current Ford models have one, and none of the new Minis includes
them as standard. What you get instead d is a repair kit – a bottle le of sealant and an electric ctric compressor. The problem with the sealant is that it won’t work for larger leaks, and the glue leaves the tyre beyond repair. The RAC attributes 20,000 call-outs a year to new cars without spares. The stated reasons for this rather glaring omission are varied. Some manufacturers claim that consumers have demanded extra boot space, which had to come from somewhere. Others insist it is done to cut down on weight, and carbon dioxide emissions. Industry representatives maintain the repair kits are cleaner to use, and that fewer drivers these days know how to change a tyre anyway. That’s right: it’s our fault. The manufacturers’ main consideration is, of course, the bottom line: even those little donut wheels cost up to £150. A repair kit, on the other hand, costs about £20. Do yourself a favour and check the arrangements in your car’s boot. That way, when you next get a ﬂat, at least you won’t be surprised. Tim Dowling
Pass notes No 3,278 Nate Silver
Age: 34. Appearance: Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Never seen it. Then just imagine a generic massive geek. Will do. So who is he? He’s a psephologist and former sabermetrician. A what and a what now? A statistical analyst of elections and a former statistical analyst of baseball. His blog, FiveThirtyEight, now hosted by the New York Times, is the go-to site for cold, hard election stats. So he’s pretty good then? Well, he got Tuesday’s presidential election exactly right. So did half the world’s tossed coins. True enough. But they weren’t quite as accurate. Meaning? Silver didn’t just predict Obama was going to win it. He correctly projected the results for every single one of America’s 50 states. Something 50 tossed coins would have less than a one in a trillion chance of getting right. Ah, well. That’s a little more impressive. How’d he do it? With his “election simulator” statistical model, which aggregates hundreds of polling ﬁgures and economic data, weights it all for accuracy, factors in a load of fancy maths about past elections and boils the whole thing down to a percentage chance of victory for each candidate. On Tuesday morning, while many pundits were insisting it was too close to call, Silver’s model put Obama’s chances at a precise and healthy 90.9%. How did pundits feel about that? Pretty uncomfortable. He was derided in the media as “a joke”, who was “getting into silly land”. One rightwing blogger even dismissed his predictions on the grounds that Silver – an openly gay Democrat – was “thin and eﬀeminate”. Because your maths is wrong if you’re not fat and masculine? Apparently. Why such hatred for a mere statistician? A few reasons. In part, because he dispelled the myth of Mitt’s momentum. In part, because some people feel that stats have “a well-known liberal bias”. And, in part, because if number-crunchers are this dang good, the days of the postulating pundit may be, well, numbered. Do say: “Lies, damned lies and thin and eﬀeminate statistics.” Don’t say: “I thought a sabermetrician measured swords.”
The average diﬀerence in executive pay between men and women, according to the Chartered Management Institute. That’s £14,689 less a year if you’re a woman. In other words, for every £100 that men take home, a woman gets £85. Need we go on?
PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES; ALAMY; REX REATURES
We focus-grouped this intensively. Apparently, the more of my quivering lie-hole I cover, the better
I got mine from porngear4u.com
Here’s a cunning stunt by the Movember charity campaign, who have added moustaches to the waxworks of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Madame Tussauds. What do you think they’re saying? Tell us at guardian.co.uk/shortcuts
A safety-conscious dad has developed a pepper-spray iPhone case for his daughter. That’ll make her popular on campus.
American news anchor Jai Cunningham held back tears as he pledged to shave his head on air every time a woman or child is killed in the US as a result of domestic violence, after a friend was murdered by her partner.
‘Kenyans don’t lose races’
As his tweet shows, comedian Chris Rock thinks Obama’s second term was inevitable.
08.11.12 The Guardian 3
Away from the celebrity scandals and conspiracy theories, abusers are often the most ordinary of monsters
re we in the midst of paedogeddon? A huge, unnecessary moral panic about abuse triggered by the Savile revelations? Not exactly but something strange is going on. We have indeed been here before, but my hope is that instead of swinging between outrage and denial about child abuse, we may start to hear what victims and their advocates have been telling us for decades. The MP Tom Watson says he has been shocked by what he has been told about coverups, Tory politicians and paedophile “networks”. He seems genuinely horriﬁed by the dark and disturbing information he has received. I understand a little because since I wrote about Savile a couple of weeks ago, asking that we focus on the victims and not the BBC or political point-scoring, I have also been the recipient of too much information. While I imagine Watson has been privy to horrible stories about institutionalised sexual abuse, I have been inundated with stories from women who have been abused mostly in familial circumstances. Some of them are confused about whether they really have been abused. It is terribly sad stuﬀ, listening to adults who feel guilty about something that happened to them long ago, and who feel betrayed by those who should have protected them. This tangle of feelings may lead to damage that resonates through generations because the boundaries between sex and love became so twisted at an early age. My point is simple: the locus of most abuse remains the home but in the current climate it is easy to get swept into David Icke-type conspiracy theories. The internet is awash with names of powerful men who are being outed as abusers with no evidence. We need to be clear. The abuse of those in care, children often already neglected, with behavioural problems, is something we have known about for some time. In the 1990s institutional abuse was being investigated by 41 out of 43 police forces. Yet the Waterhouse Inquiry reported a “cult of silence” about the level of abuse. Is silence the right word? Rather, those abused as children have been screaming into a void. The culture pressed some kind of mute button when they spoke. We value neither them nor the people paid to look after them. The low status of “carers” is an intrinsic part of this scandal. Residential social work is often done by low-paid and unqualiﬁed people. I know, as I did it when I was not much older than the teenagers in my care. The economy of care has
This sudden need to apportion blame is about our guilt for not having listened
actually worsened since then, as the private sector moved into care homes, pushing pay down. One of the shocking facts to come out of the Rochdale grooming scandal was the number of private children’s homes in the area. Thus, we remove children from families and entrust them to those we pay little and don’t bother to train. Social work is demonised by those who bang on about “paedos” but see all child protection as “health and safety gone mad”. Indeed this focus on paedophile networks becomes unhelpful and hysterical. Historically we have swung from Satanic abuse to a backlash of false-memory syndrome, where victims were again discredited. Feminists have been accused of pushing an “anti-family” agenda as though we don’t have families. To bring this back to the victims once more, we now have adult men who are naming high-proﬁle abusers, a ﬂurry of rumours and an attempt by the government to appear to be doing something. The recognition of abuse has been seen as a leftie/ liberal delusion. Safeguarding and CRB checks have indeed been cack-handed and intrusive but it is important to remember they were born from a wish to protect children. These allegations are not new and we know there has been a complete breakdown of trust between the victims and the police. Why haven’t the police investigated the evidence they are said to have in North Wales? We now see each institution trying to cover its tracks, be it the BBC, the police or the government. All are struggling to cope with information that is very old but to which they have turned a blind eye. Transparency remains a fantasy, which is why conspiracy thrives. The nightmares of boys taken in Bentleys, girls taken to a ﬂat to meet a celebrity, the banality of evil revealed in blood-streaked sheets, are enough. We do not need to concoct vast networks of paedophiles. This happened in our midst. This sudden need to apportion blame is about our guilt for not having listened. But those who have been abused are used to not being believed. Those who abuse count on this. The focus on Savile has triggered many to now tell their truths and, if we can bear to listen, it is heartwrenchingly apparent that, unlike Savile, many of these men who abused children are the most ordinary of monsters. We don’t need an inquiry to tell us this, or that “care” is often not care at all. We need, instead, the political will to provide the resources to look after our most vulnerable children properly and to prosecute those who rape them. Only then will we have “moved on” from where were 20 years ago.
This week Suzanne spent election night in the US Embassy eating free Big Macs and watching the very English Glenn Tillbrook of Squeeze perform Up the Junction. “An unlikely but wonderful gig.”
08.11.12 The Guardian 5
PHOTOGRAPH CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS
Romney’s campaign was marked by outdated pronouncements on rape, abortion and family
6 The Guardian 08.11.12
n the very long list of people who, in what might come to be seen as the most impressive achievement of his campaign, Mitt Romney managed to alienate (a single, late-breaking example: “He hates Chinese,” said the deliveryman who brought around the takeaway to my ﬂat on Tuesday night), the biggest and most damaging group by far was women. As the results came in, while we had to wait late and long for the ﬁnal verdict – endure Karl Rove’s 11th-hour meltdown; enjoy Diane Sawyer’s awesome, possibly mini-bar-assisted close of show banter and louche upper-body sway – it was clear from relatively early on that while the Latino vote came out solidly for Obama, it was women, particularly single women, who made themselves most decisively heard. This shouldn’t have been surprising. The Obama campaign had hammered away at Romney’s record on women in pointed campaign ads from way back, targeting the customary staples – Romney’s opposition to Roe v Wade, abortion under any circumstance and insurance coverage for contraception – so comprehensively that the danger became one of reduced impact through overexposure. The surprise on Tuesday night was that, after such a long, repetitive and exhausting campaign, Republicans managed to refresh these arguments in such enduringly wacky ways as to provoke a kind of awe. You could only laugh as the coverage revisited them; in Missouri, let’s hear it one more time for Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” discourse; for Richard Mourdock in Indiana (babies born of rape are a “gift from God”); in the Pennsylvania Senate race, for Tom Smith comparing rape to unwed motherhood, and so on and so on – for a full list, see the Atlantic Monthly’s helpful round-up. As many pointed out on Twitter, it was almost as if Republicans had forgotten women could vote. By contrast, Romney’s modest gaﬀe about “binders full of women” looked
rather sweet and paternal and mercifully removed from the crowded junction in his party where gynaecology and theology meet. It was against this backdrop on Tuesday morning that people walked out to vote. In 2008, the atmosphere in New York on election day was like nothing I have experienced; for sheer community spirit, the only thing New Yorkers could compare it to was the city’s 1977 blackout and the days after 9/11. Men in suits made eye contact with homeless people as if they shared a common reality; commuters on the subway, for whom smiling is usually defensive, facial air-freshener to conceal a bad smell – grinned warmly, conspiratorially. When I went up to Harlem that night, in what seemed afterwards to be the most indivisible unit of human emotion there is, people walked through the streets banging pots and pans together. There was none of that this time and no one expected it. People rose early, anticipating huge queues after television coverage of early voting chaos. In an apartment block on the Upper West Side, a young couple emerged at 6am, bleary-eyed, in their tracksuit pyjamas and made their way downstairs to the polling station oﬀ the hallway. It was empty. In New York, at least, while an hour or so wait was not unusual, plenty of polling stations experienced sluggish starts as people forced themselves up and out to vote. There was no romance; it was a question not of hope but of duty, giving voting queues in the city a muted, slightly martyred air. (Plus it was 1C out there). Those waiting wanted to get the job done, a sober ethos they hoped Obama would take with him into his second term. In Harlem, where four years ago you could hardly turn a street corner without tripping over an Obama campaigner, where everyone seemed to be wearing campaign badges and T-shirts, there were few outward signs of an
life. No wonder single women voted so overwhelmingly for Obama, says Emma Brockes
men won it
08.11.12 The Guardian 7
Voting as one: the faces of some of Obama’s supporters, celebrating their victory against Mitt Romney’s Republicans election taking place. This was partly down to hurricane Sandy, still zapping the city’s emotional and physical resources; on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, a long line of people waiting with cans to buy petrol was more feverish than the queue one block up to vote. It was partly down to customary second-term campaign fatigue. Even by the standards of content-free cable news coverage, things were looking pretty burnt-out on Tuesday morning, with an MSNBC pundit trying to eke drama from polling data by suggesting that Nate Silver would never, for example, have predicted Dunkirk, to the baﬄement of fellow panellists. Mainly, however, the muted air came from a sense this time of No Messing About. Once the jokes about dogs on car roofs and Mormon underpants fell away, the stakes for this election became abnormally high. Obama didn’t need to inspire; he just needed to be the guy not threatening to turn back women’s reproductive rights to 1973. Comments coming out of the voting queues registered as much, and across party lines. “Seeing [his] attitude toward woman in general,” Mary Mitchell Bartley from St Louis, and previously a Republican, told journalists, “voting for him would be impossible.” “I’m not the only one who sees it, right?” said Kathy McLean, 54, working her shift in a launderette in Brooklyn. She shuddered. “Paul Ryan? He doesn’t have a clue.” She had been up at the crack of dawn to vote in Prospect Heights and was a rare example of someone so angry she was excited to vote. “Excited, yes. Obama must win,” she said, pointing a ﬁnger over a pile of laundry on the counter. “I needed the bathroom so bad this morning but I would have peed myself rather than leave that line.” What was she voting for? “For healthcare and child services for people in need; for people like me, the poor and the middle class. If Romney wins, it’ll be all about the upper tier.”
So it went throughout the day. As usual, the most moving sight of the election was those who had the most to overcome, making the most eﬀort to vote; the old and inﬁrm, coming up the street on walkers and the arms of carers, mixing, at the Brooklyn polling station I visited, with the predictable assortment of young men in skinny jeans and asymmetrical hair, brandishing books by Günter Grass. Some were inclined to give Obama a break. “He’s only got two hands and a brain,” said Ronald, a 47-year-old who asked to be identiﬁed only as “a Virgo, been single for two years”. He said: “He spent all that time straightening out what Bush did.”
That 68% of single women voted to stop Romney is a decisive moment in feminism
“I’m not excited to vote,” said Lydia, a 68-year-old African American retiree. “Last time, it was very exciting. This year, less exciting. I vote because if the wrong person gets in, it’ll be a question of not what you know, but who you know.” Belinda Nettles, 42, guarding her plastic bottle collection on the corner of Atlantic Avenue, voted for Obama in the last election. She didn’t vote this time for two reasons: one, in a telling indicator of the way democracy functions these days – “I haven’t seen the TV for a very long time, and I can’t vote without seeing the personalities.” And two, because since the last election she has become homeless, “kicked from shelter to shelter”. It’s a fair bet that Nettles is one of the 47% of people Romney would have
a tough time respecting. But she became homeless under Obama. So would she have voted Republican? She grinned. “Hell, no.” In the end, the assumption made by decent, liberal Republicans – that this wasn’t the real Romney; that once in oﬃce he would simmer down and remember himself – became too much of a gamble to take. If any further evidence of that were needed, there it was in his concession speech. Looking weary, Romney spoke as if from his father’s era, thanking his sons for their help, “and their wives” for holding the fort at home. He sounded, as he always has, like a nice guy from the 1950s who, when he hears a woman speaks about anything beyond dinner, sees in the corner of his eye a dog on its hind legs. In the post-game analysis there will be speculation that Romney’s defeat will mark the end of the Tea Party, given the damage it did to his mainstream appeal. And there will be a temptation to write oﬀ the whole thing as idiotic. The sobering fact is that if Romney had won, with three places on the supreme court potentially up for grabs during his tenure, he could have changed the social landscape of the United States. According to exit polls, 68% of single women voted to stop him – women who, I think it is safe to assume, voted partly out of a desire to retain governance of their own ovaries, rather than outsource them, say, to a Republican senator from Missouri. This is as decisive a moment in feminism as there has been. Debates about where we are in a post-post-feminist world, how squeamish women are about calling themselves feminists, whether to wax or not to wax – all the tap-dancing that supposedly must be done these days to engage women in their own political interests – all of that fell away. Red or blue, left or right, “career woman” or “homemaker”, they voted as one. As Obama said on the stump: “Don’t boo; vote. Voting is the best revenge!”
8 The Guardian 08.11.12
From late-night text messages to living wages for the little people, John Crace takes a satirical stroll down the corridors of power
Tom Watson: Are you sure you’ve handed over all your text messages? Cameron: Absolutely! I’ve got nothing to hide. Raisa the ex-police horse: I wouldn’t be so sure about that, big boy. Cameron: What are you on about? Raisa: Don’t try to deny our love. Remember that ride we had together? How you said you found me utterly uncontrollable at ﬁrst? I can’t tell you how arousing that was. And then you tamed me after a long, sweaty, passionate ride ... Cameron: I may have to withdraw the whip. Raisa: I love it when you talk dirty. Cameron: What I mean is that you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Raisa: Don’t say it! I couldn’t bear it if you had been using me all along just to get to … Rebekah Brooks: Me. I knew it was me you always wanted, Davikins. I could see it in your eyes when you made that beautiful party conference speech. I know you were talking to a whole nation, but I felt as if you were looking deep into my soul and saying: “You are the one, Bex.” In that moment, you completed me. I don’t mind admitting that I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably. Cameron: Stop using that word. It’s embarrassing. Brooks: I don’t care, Davikinsy-winsy. I’m not ashamed that I wept. Twice. I’ve never done that for anyone before. Not even Ross Kemp. Cameron: Steady on, Bex. Brooks: There’s something about a chinless wonder with red cheeks that I just ﬁnd irresistible. Cameron: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Brooks: You can’t get rid of me that easily. Remember how you texted me those loving LOLs when I said I thought we could work well together. How we used to meet for those kitchen suppers? Cameron: I’ve been trying to forget … Rupert Murdoch: Well I haven’t, sonny. And if you continue to try to fuck with News International after toadying up to me for so long, then you’re in for an even bigger kicking. Cameron: Oh, whoops! I’ve accidentally deleted all my old text messages. What a pity! Vodafone: We’ve probably still got them somewhere. Cameron: Do you want that tax break or not? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go oﬀ to Saudi Arabia for a very important trade deal. Saudi Arabia: You’ve got a bit of a cheek turning up here after all that crap you talked last year about Arab Springs and democracy. Cameron: That’s just the thing, Your Highness. I realise now that I may have been a little hasty in supporting voices of liberalism in the Arab world. Which is why I want to oﬀer you the chance to buy as many heavy-duty weapons as you like so that you can suppress any dissident voices both within your own country and beyond its borders.
There’s a special offer on the Eurofighter. Three for the price of two
Saudi Arabia: So what’s the deal? Cameron: I’ve got a special oﬀer on the Euroﬁghter. Sign up by the end of the month and you get three for the price of two. Nick Robinson: Can I have a word about this? Cameron: I’d love to! But unfortunately I seem to have left you behind in Britain. Milidee: You can have a word with me, Nick! Robinson: Why on earth would I want to do that? Milidee: Because I’m the leader of the opposition. Robinson: So you are. I’d completely forgotten. Just, please, no more of that One Nation drivel. Milidee: Don’t worry! Milidum and I have concoctedliving wages a very cunning plan. Robinson: Go on. Milidee: We’re going to campaign for a living wage. A fairer deal for ordinary people … Robinson: And what is this living wage? Milidum: Well, I struggle to get by on over half a million a year, despite all my earnings outside parliament. So for me a living wage is about £2,000 per day. But I reckon the little people should easily be able to manage on £7.45 per hour. Everyone: So this is what One Nation means? Milidee: One nation. One nation. One nation. Milidee Milidum: Er quite. What my idiot brother is really Milidum: u trying to say is t g say that he understands that life a can be tough fo the not-so-poor as well and h for that we all need to pull together. nee Nadine Dorries: I know exactly what you Dorrie mean. How is anyone supposed to get by on an a MP’s wage now? Count me in for a month in the jungle and an extra £40K. jungle u e Cameron: This is monstrous. I will have to C Cameron: Thi withdraw your whip! y Raisa: I bet you say that to all your laydeez. be Dorries: Sod oﬀ, posh boy. You try living on So £65K. Besides, it’s part of my job to go on TV Besi and make my ideas known to the public. Cameron: And what ideas are those? Cameron Dorries: That I expect us to lose the next Dorries: election and that I am now available to do electi absolutely anything to trade on what little absol fame I have. Louise Mensch: I would never do Lou something like that. som Dorries: Of course not … Do Cameron: Calm down, dears. I’ve just got Ca Barry on the phone. Apparently he’s just Ba won an election. w Osborne: Is Barry your black man from Os Plymouth? Pl Cameron: Don’t be silly, Ozzy. He’s my other Ca black man. I know two actually. bl Osborne: Wow! That’s incredible, Cams. Os Cameron: I know. Now how are you getting on Ca making up for that £40m we blew screwing up m the rail franchise? th Osborne: All in hand, Cams. I put a huge bet on Osb Romney to win. Rom
08.11.12 The Guardian 9
dozen teenagers push their way through the doors of the New Cross branch of Sainsbury’s in south-east London, and bear down on the self-service checkouts. To the shoppers ﬁlling trolleys in the fresh fruit aisle, they might for a moment look like looters. But then they start yelling. “Shoppers of Sainsbury’s,” shouts one woman in the crowd. “SHOPPERS OF SAINSBURY’S,” repeat her friends. “We are here today.” “WE ARE HERE TODAY.” “In solidarity with Sainsbury’s workers.” “IN SOLIDARITY WITH SAINSBURY’S WORKERS.” In this gospel fashion, the teenagers make the incongruous announcement that, despite sizeable proﬁts, the supermarket still fails to pay its workers the London living wage of £8.30 an hour. “Sainsbury’s pay for workers is worse than Tesco!” they cry – but by this point said workers are gently ushering the protesters from the shop. “We are in solidarity with you,” they add, but sadly the feeling is not mutual. “It’s worse than Asda!” is their last plaintive cry. But to no avail. They are now outside in the car park. Just a few days ago, most of these sixth-formers – mainly women, mainly Muslim and working-class – were not particularly political, let alone radical. “I didn’t realise I could do these things,” says 17-year–old Mamataj Begum, who found herself shaking with emotion afterwards: “I wouldn’t have done it this time last week.” But that was before she signed up for Demand the Impossible – a free, ﬁve-day course at Goldsmith’s College that introduced around 25 teenagers from east and north London to activism and radical politics. By the time I arrive towards the end of the week, the class has had workshops on the Egyptian revolution, Palestine, oil spillages in Africa, and feminism. Prominent leftwinger Mark Fisher has given a talk on the problems with capitalism, and the group has brainstormed some alternatives: social democracy, mutualism, anarchism. They have tried diﬀerent kinds of activism – leaﬂeting, petitions, and the ﬂashmob – and been encouraged to critique the eﬀectiveness of each tactic. Today, they are planning their own campaigns. One group wants to set up a support hotline for Asian victims of domestic violence. Another wants to combat negative stereotypes of young people by making ﬁlms of inspirational teen-
‘We’ve created some feminists!’
Too young to vote? That doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Patrick Kingsley, joins a one-week college course that teaches teenagers the theory – and practice – of political activism
agers. Still others want to campaign for gender-neutral toys. “Girls shouldn’t have to play with Barbie,” says sixth-former Jessica Luong. “They can play with Action Man too.” She would start small and focus on individual outlets. What would her protest look like? Leaﬂeting at ﬁrst, she says. Isn’t that a bit boring, asks Holly Rigby, a full-time activist helping to run the course. All right, says Luong: what about a protest outside the store? “Or how about,” says Holly, “a protest inside the store!” e Demand the Impossible is sible in good company. It’s one of several leftwing activist ivist workshops to have emerged merged in the past year. There’s UK e’s Feminista, which runs boots camps for campaigners for s gender equality. Netroots hosts oots an annual conference for online activists. Hard-left left group Counterﬁre organanised a citizen activism day at the School of Oriental and African Studies in central London don this spring. And then there were the student occupaupations of 2010, and last year’s
‘They’ve taught us to think in a diﬀerent way’ … a study group at Demand the Impossible; (below) a student makes a point
Occupy camps – all of which were loose attempts to both critique capitalism and engage people in direct action. But Demand the Impossible – a riﬀ on a quote by Che Guevara – is doing things a bit diﬀerently. Its contemporaries are either aimed at more experienced thinkers – in the case of UK Feminista – or run by groups (Counterﬁre) with explicit, didactic agendas. Some, like Netroots, are niche, while others – Occupy – are notoriously vague. All of them are often criticised for their reliance on middle-class participants versed in protest technique and leftwing theory. Demand the Impossible is an attempt to do what its forebears couldn’t: to engage with ordinary, working-class, predominantly Asian teenagers with little or no experience of activism or leftwing thought. “We went out of our way to ﬁnd people who weren’t particularly radical,” says Jacob Mukherjee, the 29-year-old who created the course with his best friend from university, Ed Lewis. Both teachers at north London state schools, they asked their students to spread the word about the summer school. “The bar was very low,” says Lewis. “One said their teacher had gone on strike – and that was enough.” The course is structured through the prism of, in Lewis’s words, “transcending capitalism” – but I don’t meet anyone who thinks they have been brainwashed. “The course isn’t actually about being a capitalist or a socialist,” argues Luong. “It’s not about labels. It’s about exposing yourself to diﬀerent ideas.” At one point, some of the students are sent to ask the people of New Cross to sign a petition that, amusingly, calls for the end of capitalism. It garners 11 signatures in half an hour – perhaps not enough to bring about a global revolution. Then again, the petition isn’t a serious attempt to radicalise either New Cross or the people on the course. It is just a useful means of sparking a discussion about the eﬀectiveness of diﬀerent activist tactics. “They haven’t indoctrinated me,” smiles Begum. “At the end of the week, I’m still a little bit capitalist.” If anything, Lewis and Mukherjee are surprised by how wedded their students remain to capitalist ideas, and to the virtues of meritocracy. They are interested in critiquing capitalism, sure – but most of them don’t yet have fundamental problems with it. Early on in the week, the pair ask the students to come up with a fairer way of structuring society. The world, they argue, is currently shaped a bit like a pyramid – with the rich few in the tip at the top, and the impoverished masses in the wide bit at the bottom. What
10 The Guardian 08.11.12
On the web For a sideways look at the news, visit our Shortcuts blog guardian.co.uk/shortcuts
shape, they ask, would create a fairer system? A couple of people suggest a ﬂat line, putting everyone on the same level. But most wanted a less radical redesign. A semi-circle would do – more room at the top, but still some opportunity for people to work their way up the social ladder. “They all watch Alan Sugar,” says Mukherjee. “So they all believe: if I’ve got enough drive, I can make it. They don’t really see anyone from other social spheres. So they don’t really know how other people are so much more advantaged than them.” Still, he shouldn’t be despondent: “They’ve taught us to think about things in a diﬀerent way,” says Begum. “You can’t really do that in lessons.” Ah, the national curriculum – another recurrent theme. If the course is biased, say several students, it’s no more so than their human science Alevels at school, which rarely encourage independent thought, and hardly ever challenge capitalism. “In history, you don’t learn about radical politics, says Luong. “You do explore ideas, but only in the way that the curriculum teaches them.” In two years of business studies, 18-year-old Rosemary Ovensehi says she was never prompted to question whether businesses should
care about anything other than proﬁt. But on the ﬁrst day at Demand the Impossible, she learned about Shell’s chequered environmental record in Nigeria – and for the ﬁrst time realised proﬁt isn’t the only thing a business should be forced to worry about. The week is full of such Damascene moments. As a child, Adenike Ijanusi, now 17, had always wanted to be a ﬁreman, so a few years ago she did work experience at a ﬁre station. When they arrived, all the workies were lined up and asked to introduce themselves. But when they came to Ijanusi, the ﬁremen missed her out. As the only girl there, she was shunned. At the time, she just thought sexism was a fact of life, and set her sights on other goals: “I just washed it out of my mind.” But the course, with its side-focus on feminism, made her realise sexism is something that can and should be fought. “We’ve created some feminists!” says a delighted Maeve McKeown, a PhD candidate at UCL who gave an introduction to feminism on day two. “There were a few who were feminists at the start, but I don’t think most of them really understood how it extended into their own lives. That’s the diﬀerence to how it’s been taught in
They have tried petitions, leafleting, and the flashmob. Today they are planning their own campaign
their schools. There, it’s just about the suﬀragettes.” “I wasn’t really a feminist before,” says Begum. “I thought it was about ﬁghting for the right to vote. Now I realise how relevant it is, and how it’s about domestic violence and street harassment.” Some girls were so moved, they now want to set up a support hotline for domestic violence victims from ethnic backgrounds. At the end of the week, the students give presentations on what they have learned and what related projects they plan to do. On the walls you can still see the massive mind-maps they drew at the beginning of the week – hundreds of scribbled statements of what they thought politics was about: simplistic slogans such as “No War!”, “More Taxes!” and “End Poverty”. But just ﬁve days later, those same teenagers are talking conﬁdently about eco-anarchism and mutualism in the same breath as the patriarchy and Mark Fisher. It’s hard not to feel a little moved – a feeling that makes Lewis simultaneously elated and crestfallen. “I was just thinking about going back to school,” he says, “and feeling very depressed.” demandimpossible.wordpress.com
PHOTOGRAPHS FRANK BARON FOR THE GUARDIAN
08.11.12 The Guardian 11
Shell out for oysters
Britain’s native oysters are in decline, depriving ﬁshermen of a living and food lovers of a wonderful treat. As the season gets underway, Susan Smillie hears that the best way to save them is to eat more
arry Prynn hauls up his small oyster dredge, alone, but for the seagull hovering above his little gaﬀ-rigged sailing boat, Dolly. He backs the sail, and heaves to, drifting slowly with the tide along the edge of a 25 metre-deep channel, hunting for oysters where the bed leaps to two metres. Built in 1912, Dolly is older than Prynn, though he is getting on too – he should have retired years ago, but he can’t bring himself to leave. Every winter, he’s out in the estuary between Truro and Falmouth in Cornwall, handdredging the wild Fal oysters in this 500-hectare bed, a special area of conservation in the Carrick Roads waterway. It has existed for 500 years in the shallow channel where seawater mixes with the fresh water running down valleys from the River Fal’s source at Bodmin Moor. This is probably the last oyster ﬁshery in the world using such traditional methods – only vessels powered by sail or oar can operate, within restricted hours – which makes for a sustainable operation. It is a public ﬁshery, open to anyone with a licence, and several families have worked it for decades. But this could be the last generation of oystermen here – numbers have dropped to 10 boats with around 20 ﬁshermen earning a living. At 37, Christopher Ranger is the youngest owner/skipper; unusually, he has taken on an apprentice and is teaching him the ropes. A lot of the skill is in the sailing, he says. “You want to catch more, and sail less, go across the seabed slowly.” The short season and dwindling catches mean it is a far from lucrative business – bad weather meant Ranger
got only 50 days ﬁshing last year, catching about 50 oysters a day. He charges around £1.25 for the smallest to £3.50 for larger specimens, selling online, to local restaurants such as the Greenbank and the likes of Mark Hix in London. Cornwall’s geology gives the oysters a slightly coppery ﬂavour – they are being considered for protected designation of origin status. Native oysters were once abundant in Britain, but today you are more likely to come across hardier rock – or Paciﬁc – oysters, which have the commercial advantage of being available all year rather than just in the September to April native season. Natives are in trouble in parts of the country – a combination of overﬁshing, pollution and disease has contributed to their decline (in a global assessment, scientists estimated UK stocks had dropped by between 90% and 99%). There are periodic bans, such as that agreed this summer between the Blackwater Oystermen’s Association and the Essex Wildlife Trust, after the population there was found to be close to collapse. Should we be eating natives at all? Absolutely, say scientists, who gathered at a conference at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge last month. Dr Philine zu Ermgassen, researching oyster restoration with the Nature Conservancy, points to the US where public funds are helping to relay oyster beds, and reaping the beneﬁts that come with the return of these important habitats. “The UK doesn’t have that same investment,” she says. “Fishermen are the biggest champions of oyster restoration here, they hold natives close to their hearts.” Ermgassen and others believe that
Oyster ﬁsherman Barry Prynn on his boat Dolly
The Truro oyster fishery is probably the last in the world using such traditional methods
creating economic demand is the best way to support ﬁshermen taking care of the remaining beds. Bernadette Clarke, ﬁsheries oﬃcer at the Marine Conservation Society, says good management can only help to conserve oyster beds, such as the wild ﬁshery at Loch Ryan in Scotland, where ﬁshermen harvest just a small proportion of their oysters, allowing smaller ones to grow. But creating more demand may not be easy. Although oysters were the food of the poor in Victorian times, many British people are now wary of them. A glut of negative headlines – high-proﬁle poisoning cases, and news last year that 75% of British-grown oysters contained “low levels of norovirus” –haven’t helped (even though it didn’t change government advice on eating them). That isn’t the only image problem for the oyster. Health concerns aside, they are regarded as expensive and exclusive. There’s anxiety, too, about how to eat them, and how they will taste – and feel. Do you chew? (Yes.) Are they slimy? (No.) What do they
12 The Guardian 08.11.12
How to make the perfect Fried eggs
The great French chef Fernand Point is said to have judged a chef by the way he fried eggs. So if you think you already know how to do it, read on.
Bacon fat is traditional, and advocated by Delia Smith, but though the ﬂavour is good, it makes for a messy looking egg. She also suggests substituting groundnut oil, which may be clean, but is boring tastewise. More popular are olive oil, favoured by Jamie Oliver, Spanish chef José Andrés and American food writer David Rosengarten, and butter, beloved of Point, his culinary disciple Bernard Loiseau, and Cooks Illustrated. Both lend distinctive ﬂavours to the egg, but the richness of butter is a better complement for the yolk.
Then the pan is covered to speed up the process, which results in an almost perfectly cooked egg – a soft, but ﬁrm white, and a gorgeously runny yolk. Loiseau takes Point’s low-heat technique a step further, cooking his egg on a saucer set over a pan of simmering water, then basting it with hot butter as before. It is even softer, but I begin to wonder if this is an entirely desirable quality – I’d quite like my egg white to have some bite. Step forward Rosengarten, who deep fries in olive oil, for “the crispiest, most ﬂavourful fried eggs of all”. Although the yolk is perfectly cooked, the white is almost crunchy, and very greasy. Lastly, I try the sous-vide technique from Dr Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine at Home. I cook whole eggs in a 67C water bath for 40 minutes, separate the yolks, then bake a mixture of whisked egg whites, double cream and salt in an 160C oven for 12 minutes. Once they’re set, the yolks are plopped on top, and served, a mere one and a quarter hours after I started. The whites are tender and creamy, the yolks rich and sticky. Delicious – but not a fried egg. I’ll stick with this simple but eﬀective method – quick and easy enough to make the morning after the night before, and it hits the spot every time.
Bring your eggs to room temperature before cooking (very fresh eggs are best for frying, because the stronger proteins give a neater shape). Smith uses a high heat for a “slightly crispy, frilly edge; the white will be set and the yolk soft and runny”. After 30 seconds, she then turns the heat down to medium for a minute. The white is too tough, although the yolk is satisfyingly runny. Andrés goes for a medium-high heat and, like Smith, tilts the pan to baste the egg throughout cooking. Using a smaller, steep-sided saute pan and more oil, however, means his egg sits in a pool of hot fat, almost as if it is being shallow fried. Although the contrast of texture between this outer shell and the soft, gooey yolk is interesting, it’s not what I want on my breakfast plate. Oliver dismisses such “crispy, bubbly eggs” in favour of cooking them gently over a medium-low heat. They are “soft and silky” as promised, but the white takes ages to cook through. Point cooks his egg on a heat “so low that the white barely turns creamy”, and ﬁnishes it with melted butter. This is a nice idea, but leaves a lot of undercooked white.
Perfect fried eggs
1 fresh egg, at room temperature 1tbsp butter Salt and pepper Crack the egg on to a saucer to make it easier to slide into the pan. Heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, and ﬁnd a saucepan lid, ideally slightly smaller than the pan, so you can wedge it over the cooking eggs. Once the butter has melted, but not begun to foam, swirl it around the pan to coat, then slide in the egg. Cover and leave for 3½ minutes, then check the white, lift out, season gently and serve immediately.
taste like? (Wonderfully, of the sea, with a surprising variety of subtle ﬂavours, such as cucumber, cashew or pears, depending on where they grew.) Richard Corrigan, the chef behind Bentley’s Oyster Bar in London, is a fan of Loch Ryan’s oysters. I try these, plus Whitstable and Colchester oysters, with lemon and pepper. The diﬀerence in ﬂavour is extraordinary – shamefully, given I’m Scottish, I prefer the sweet, ﬁrm little molluscs from West Mersea, and the salty, grassier Whitstable oysters over the loch’s more metallictasting creatures, but they’re all far superior to rock oysters. Back in Falmouth, I visit the town’s annual oyster festival. The queue for the creperie is three times longer than that for the oyster stand. “Most people who ‘don’t like them,’” says a woman behind the counter, “haven’t actually tried them.” I think of Ranger and his apprentice, heading out to return the cultch (oyster shells) to the beds they have been working to help the next lot of spat attach, and I can only hope that changes.
PHOTOGRAPHS SUSAN SMILLIE AND FELICITY CLOAKE FOR THE GUARDIAN
To share your tips, read more of Felicity’s techniques and join the conversation, visit guardian.co.uk/ food
Tricks of the trade
Cooks Illustrated stresses the egg should be fried “over the lowest possible heat”, but, unlike Point, allows the butter to foam rather than simply melt.
08.11.12 The Guardian 13
Tomorrow in ﬁlm and music: Jake Gyllenhaal speaks about his new ﬁlm End of Watch. Plus: Peter Bradshaw’s verdict on Argo and Alexis Petridis’s verdict on One Direction’s debut album
Midweek supper Chestnut and gorgonzola risotto
There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of risotto – it’s a one-pot wonder that can be plonked on the table to feed a whole load of people. Chestnuts are in season now and work really well in this dish, and if you fancy, they go with wild mushrooms as well. (Serves two) 2tbsp olive oil 50g butter, for cooking 1 small onion, ﬁnely chopped 225g risotto rice 200ml white wine 150g precooked chestnuts, crushed 1,200ml vegetable stock, heated through 1 tbsp parsley, chopped 150g butter, diced, to ﬁnish 150g gorgonzola, diced 100g parmesan, grated Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, saute the onion for two minutes. Add the rice and toast for three minutes, stirring to allow the grains to open up. Pour in the wine, stirring while the liquid evaporates. Add the chestnuts to the rice, followed by the stock, a ladle at a time, ensuring the liquid is absorbed before adding more, stirring through for 15 minutes. Check that the rice is cooked to your liking, add the parsley and remove from the heat. Add the butter and gorgonzola and serve immediately topped with grated parmesan.
EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW SCREENINGS
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
You’ve never met anyone like PAT (Bradley Cooper – THE HANGOVER) – he’s lost everything; his house, his job, and his wife and now ﬁnds himself living back with his mother and father (Robert DeNiro – MEET THE PARENTS) after a stint in a state institution... PAT’s never met anyone like TIFFANY (Jennifer Lawrence – THE HUNGER GAMES) - a quirky, ballsy girl with quite a few problems of her own... In the feel-good romantic comedy SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, we meet both PAT and TIFFANY who embark on an unexpected friendship that gives us all hope that if you stay positive you might just have a shot at a silver lining! In cinemas from 21st November To download tickets simply go to www.showﬁlmﬁrst.com and enter code: 115491
Screenings take place on Sunday 18th November, a 10:30am for 11am start at the following cinemas:
● BURY ST EDMUNDS Abbeygate Picturehouse ● STRATFORD-UPON-AVON Picturehouse ● LONDON Stratford East Picturehouse ● LONDON Greenwich Picturehouse ● LONDON The Gate, Notting Hill ● LONDON The Ritzy, Brixton ● LONDON Clapham Picturehouse ● LONDON Hackney Picturehouse ● LONDON Lexi, Kensal Rise
The promotion is open to all UK residents, excluding households of employees of Guardian News and Media Limited, Entertainment Films and their agents or anyone professionally associated with this promotion. Tickets are subject to availability and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis via www.showfilmfirst.com. Each reader may claim up to two tickets. Readers who successfully book tickets must present this page with the ticket and have ID available if required. No photocopies of the page will be accepted. The tickets are not for resale. No cash alternative. No late admittance. The cinema reserves the right to refuse admission. In the event of a dispute, the cinema manager’s decision is final. For full terms and conditions visit: www.showfilmfirst.com
Angela Hartnett is chef patron at Murano restaurant and consults at the Whitechapel Gallery and Dining Room, London. Twitter.com/angelahartnett
14 The Guardian 08.11.12
PHOTOGRAPH SARAH LEE FOR THE GUARDIAN
Notes & Queries
Is there a smallest thing in the universe?
Is it true to say that progressively shrinking size is inﬁnite? For example, is a trillionth the size of the nucleus of an atom actually possible? Mathematically, yes, although a non-inﬁnite universe may run out of space to write down all the zeros after the decimal point. Practically, no; there are physical observational limits to the smallest distance we can measure, related to the wavelength of the radiation we observe with, which is proportional to the limits of the amounts of energy we have available to impart to particles. There’s also Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in play, which means that the more precisely we know something’s location, the less certainty we have about its other properties – ie the smaller we get, the less we know what the thing we’re actually measuring is. But there is also an absolute physical limit (well beyond those observational limits) called the Planck length, beyond which it is widely regarded (because it is derived from three fundamental constants of the universe, so we’re pretty sure about this one) that no measurement or observation is possible. If you can’t observe beyond that point, then to all practical purposes that is the smallest thing possible in the universe. Does that mean even smaller, unobservable things are theoretically possible? Almost all fundamental theories such as special relativity, string theory and loop quantum gravity say not, and
incorporate Planck’s length as their absolute base unit, a sort of dpi (dots per inch) of the universe. However, the joker in the pack – extra dimensional theoretical physics – allows for diﬀerent values of those fundamental constants, any value for Planck’s length, and therefore no practical limit to the observable universe(s). James Zigrino, Edinburgh
The signiﬁcance of thee and thou
Most European languages diﬀerentiate between familiar thou/tu and formal you/vous. When did English stop doing this and why?
Regarding the plight of polar bears with their ever-diminishing food supply, has anyone thought about relocating penguins from south to north? It seems ecologically a sound move. Dr Stuart Jones, Skegness, Lincs Why do Italian national sports teams mostly wear blue, rather than one of the colours represented on the ﬂag? James Forrester, Amstelveen, Netherlands Send questions and answers to firstname.lastname@example.org or online at guardian.co.uk/ theguardian/series/ notes-and-queries. Please include name, address and phone number.
English has not wholly lost its familiar form: a couple of years ago I worked with some contractors in Rochdale who all called each other “thee”. It was still common enough in the early and mid-20th century for DH Lawrence to expect his readership to understand the signiﬁcance of Walter Morel in Sons and Lovers addressing the young, middle-class woman he is about to start courting as “thee”, and JRR Tolkien expected his to unpick the signiﬁcance of the conversation between Eowyn and Aragorn, as he takes his leave of her to lead his troop to Minas Tirith, in which she addresses him as “thou” while he ﬁrmly sticks to “you”. The spectacle that Eowyn I like thee … Walter courts is making of herself in Gertrude in Sons and Lovers
this scene, and the slap that Aragorn is giving her, caused my very toes to crawl away with embarrassment. Rachelthedigger English has not quite stopped using thou/you. Many older Cumbrians use “thou” in informal conversation. tawnyowl3 My (Yorkshire) parents used to assure me that in their schooldays it was insulting to use “thou” to one who was not either a sexual intimate or a much younger child. An appropriate ﬁghting response, my mother claimed, might be: “Doan’t thee ‘thou’ me: thee ‘thou’ tha’sen, an’ see how tha laikes it!” Andrew Coulson, Musselburgh, E Lothian In my home city of Bristol, “thee” is regularly used, often in the form of “dee”, so “are you going to …?” becomes “deest goin’ to …?” This is best seen in the threat of a punch: “diesel get a knuckle san’wich ...” Andy Bebington, Croydon, Surrey
The joy of a half-empty glass
What causes someone to possess a “glass half empty” (negative) mentality, as opposed to a “glass half full” (positive) attitude? Any negativist who cares if a glass is half empty or half full is a rank amateur. We truly negative people know that it doesn’t matter, because someone is bound to knock it over and spill the lot shortly anyway. Michael Fisher, Queensland, Australia
PHOTOGRAPH SONS AND LOVERS ITV1
08.11.12 The Guardian 15
ileen Atkins is trying to eat a fruit salad while explaining why women in the theatre ﬁnd it diﬃcult to eat properly when they are working. Michael Gambon is easier to please: a ham sandwich and a quick fag will see him through. The pair are rehearsing what must be one of the swiftest transfers in stage history. All That Fall, a radio play by Samuel Beckett ﬁrst broadcast in 1957, and which had never before been staged in the UK, closed last Saturday at the tiny, 70-seat Jermyn Street theatre in central London; tonight, it reopens for a three-week run in the West End. “It’s nice to give it a bit more life,” says Atkins, who gives a bravura performance as Maddy Rooney, an elderly Irish woman who turns a walk to the station to meet her blind husband, Dan (Gambon), into an impassioned examination of her life. Atkins turned down a ﬁlm role to appear in All That Fall. “I’m feeling rather awful about that,” she says, “because I now know the actress who got the part.” “Was it good money?” asks Gambon. “More than we’re getting,” she says. Atkins is 78, Gambon 72, and oﬀ stage they have the same easy intimacy of the old couple they play. Atkins does not for a moment think she made the wrong choice: putting on this rare piece, with a cast of nine under director Trevor Nunn, was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. “I wanted to do it the minute I read
Beckett’s estate insists All That Fall, his play about a woman going to meet her husband, be staged as a radio drama. So how are Michael Gambon and Eileen Atkins getting on? Stephen Moss ﬁnds out
it,” she says. “The ﬁlm company was saying, ‘You can be a day or two late, can’t you?’ I said, ‘We’ve only got two and a half weeks’ rehearsal and I can’t give up a day.’” The play is a characteristically Beckettian mix of bawdiness, comedy and tragedy. What begins as a comic expedition turns into a whodunnit: as a treat for her husband on his birthday, Mrs Rooney is meeting her husband after he has spent Saturday morning at his oﬃce. She encounters a variety of local characters on the way, each travelling by increasingly sophisticated modes of transport – horse and cart, bicycle, then Mr Slocum’s “limousine”. imousine . The production’s success is somewhat surprising – not least east because of stringent rules imposed by the Beckett estate, te, which demand that it has to be staged as if it were a performance mance for radio. The actors carry scripts; props and gestures are kept to a minimum; and there are microphones hanging from the ceiling to simulate a 1950s studio. Nunn calls nn it a “visualised radio play”, and the conceit is that the audience are nce eavesdroppers at a studio recording. cording. “Having to carry the script locks pt your acting down,” Gambon admits. n “You want to hug people and do d things with your arms, so that is a bit at restricting. I don’t know my lines, so I have to keep ﬂicking down at wn the script, which holds you up. It s It’s
‘I don’t know my lines’ … Michael Gambon with Eileen Atkins on set; below, the pair in rehearsals
an impediment in the way of your emotions. It does strange things, but you get used to it.” “It’s stylised,” Atkins says, “and it’s interesting. You have to make it work for you.” As I watch the run-through, it’s clear that, by now, the rest of the cast know their lines – but Nunn still wants them to behave exactly as they would for a radio recording, reading oﬀ scripts. Th only truly physical piece of The theatre com when Mr Slocum, an old comes admirer of Mrs Rooney, levers her into his car in a sequence ﬁlled with double entendres: “I’m coming, Mrs Rooney, entendre I’m com coming. Give me time, I’m as stiﬀ as yourself.” It’s undeniably funny, but the u mood darkens when Mr Rooney’s much-delayed train eventually much turns up. A body was found on the line. Was he responsible? And li what does his great howl at the end of the play signify? Although o his howl is undeniably visceral, h Gambon, the great scene-stealer, Gam has had to rein himself in. “I feel h myself wanting to do more physimyse cal acting the whole time,” he says. When h triumphed in Krapp’s Last he Tape in 2010 in the West End, there 20
16 The Guardian 08.11.12
way through,” says Gambon. “But some don’t move at all.” “It’s agony when they don’t move,” says Atkins. “Like being in a church,” Gambon adds. Could he not galvanise them with a penis gag? “Oh, don’t tell him that,” says Atkins.
PHOTOGRAPHS SARAH LEE AND TRISTRAM KENTON FOR THE GUARDIAN
were no such inhibitions. “I invented a few bits. A banana falls on the stage. Krapp bends over to pick it up, and on the way up it travelled past here” – he motions vaguely at his crotch – “so I brought it in a bit and brought the house down. The director said, ‘Leave it in and see what happens.’” The trustees from the Beckett estate, who were present to make sure the master’s wishes were being adhered to, let it pass. Gambon, who has done two other Beckett plays in the past eight years
(Eh Joe, Endgame), says it doesn’t do to be too austere. “I heard of a professor from Oxford who was trying to get an interview with Beckett in Paris for three years, and ﬁnally Beckett agreed to meet him in some cafe. He said to the Oxford man, ‘What’s the new TR7 like?’ And the man said, ‘I don’t know, I haven’t read it yet.’ Beckett said, ‘It’s a car, you fucking eejit.’” “People come a bit reverential,” says Atkins. “I want to put a notice outside saying, ‘You can laugh.’” “Some have been laughing all the
‘People can be a bit too reverential with Beckett. I want to put up a notice saying: You can laugh’
ll That Fall is a complex text, and has been read in many ways. It was intensely personal to Beckett, who drew on his upbringing in Dublin for many of the characters, and compresses many of his great themes – death, sex, loss of faith. It has been endlessly rationalised, and its inner rhythms and structures mined, but Atkins feels it’s unwise for actors to overdo the analysis. “I have a massive feeling for Beckett and for this play,” she says. “If academics want to discuss it, that’s ﬁne; but it’s not very productive for an actor. You just have to have a feel for the text, the words, the poetry.” To act the roles, do they feel they need to know all the answers to the riddle at the heart of the play? “I think it’s for the audience to decide,” says Atkins. “People should go away into restaurants afterwards and discuss what it was about. I have a story in my head, and my story of telling this is as valid as anybody else’s.” Will the play have a further incarnation after its short run here? “I’d like to go to New York with it for a couple of weeks,” says Atkins. “It would go well in New York,” echoes Gambon. “A month on Broadway in a small theatre. It would be fun.” But ﬁrst Atkins has to ﬁnish her fruit salad, while Gambon has to have another cigarette and then move his car. Undemonstratively.
All That Fall is at the Arts theatre, London WC2, until 24 November. Details: 020-7836 8463, artstheatrewestend.co.uk
08.11.12 The Guardian 17
t came as a shock to hear, over dinner with Gil Evans in 1978, that in the preceding year he had made only one public appearance. A man who had already done as much as just about anyone to shape the music of the 20th century had performed, unpaid, at a beneﬁt for his children’s school in New York. And that was it. The great man’s rueful revelation came a day or two after his long-awaited London debut, in which he and his 12-piece American band had been received with rapture by an audience keen to show its aﬀection and reverence for the man whose collaboration with Miles Davis on a trio of classic albums – Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain – had redeﬁned the art of jazz orchestration. Had he received anything like the appropriate material reward for his eﬀect on music, Evans would have been able to live like Elton John. Instead, he spent his life – even his later years, when he was rather more in demand for concert tours and ﬁlm scores – in perpetual economic crisis. Since he functioned primarily as a re-arranger of other people’s compositions, he received little in the way of royalties from the recordings to which he made such a profound contribution. Although hundreds of thousands of copies of Sketches of Spain might have been sold in the half-century since its appearance, Evans went home from the sessions with, at most, a couple of thousand dollars in arranging fees. No wonder he followed Davis’s example and, in the latter part of his life, courted a younger, bigger audience. By the time he arrived in London 34 years ago, his repertoire had moved on. Fans hoping for the coolly luminous sounds unfurled on earlier albums were to be disappointed. Instead of the delicate reimagining of pieces by Kurt Weill and Léo Delibes, we were presented with bold, driving versions of Jimi Hendrix songs, taken from Evans’s LP devoted to the guitarist’s themes, recorded four years earlier.
‘The best after Duke’ …Evans with Miles Davis; the pair recorded three classic albums the equal of his celebrated work in the 1950s and 60s? The trumpeter Henry Lowther – a lifelong admirer who played in Evans’s bands during a couple of seasons at Ronnie Scott’s, and on a 1980s UK tour – thinks not. “Gil was an absolutely lovely man,” says Lowther, who also played on Evans’s soundtrack to Julien Temple’s Absolute Beginners. “He was modest and unassuming, but he was terribly disorganised and a chaotic bandleader. It was notoriously diﬃcult to get music out of him. Sometimes, he’d turn up at the studio with a few scraps of paper, and sometimes he wouldn’t have anything at all. “Most of the pieces he gave us were one-chord jams with no organisation. It was a bit of a free-for-all, and musicians tend to take advantage of that to release their egos and thrust themselves forward. That was a bit disappointing, although there’s no doubt in my mind that Gil was the most important writer in jazz history after Duke Ellington.” As if to make up for the disappointment, in recent years Lowther has performed in recitals of music from all three early, classic Davis/Evans albums, taking the soloist’s role. Such shows are increasingly common and greatly enjoyed, since the original creators performed little of this cherished music live. But the last years of a great life in music were not just a matter of onechord free-for-alls. They contained their share of immortal recordings – Zee Zee from 1971, There Comes a Time from 1974, the 1978 Festival Hall version of Variation on the Misery – often based on no more than a scrap of material coaxed into shimmering, multifaceted life. Perhaps a little of that magic will return on Sunday.
Celebrating Gil Evans is at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE1 (0844 847 9910), on Sunday. The London jazz festival (londonjazzfestival.org.uk) starts tomorrow.
His cool, luminous sound redeﬁned jazz. Then he threw it all in for Jimi Hendrix. Richard Williams on the many lives of Gil Evans
‘He was a chaotic bandleader – it was notoriously difficult to get music out of him’
His version of Hendrix’s Little Wing gets another airing this Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, where the Trinity College of Music Big Band, directed by saxophonist Mark Lockheart, celebrate the centenary of Evans’s birth as part of the London jazz festival. The ﬁrst half of the concert will be devoted to interpretations of the ﬁve pieces on Out of the Cool, Evans’s great 1960 studio album, with the second featuring material from his later career. Lockheart, who came to the attention of the jazz world as a founder member of Loose Tubes in the 1980s, heard Evans for the ﬁrst time at the age of 14. “I was blown away,” he says, “and he became a huge inﬂuence on me. One of the wonderful things about his music is that it’s full of eccentric touches. It never sounds like generic jazz. And everything is very stripped-down: he teaches you not to overwrite.” Was the music Evans made in the ﬁnal years before his death, in 1988,
18 The Guardian 08.11.12
Battle of the titans Do Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs hold their own against great colour shots? guardian.co.uk/art
My best shot Samuel Aranda ‘Fatima went looking for her son amid the violence in Yemen. This is the moment she found him alive’
The New York Times sent me to Yemen last year to photograph protests against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. No one was really covering the story – most foreign correspondents and spondents photographers were in Tunisia, e Egypt or Libya, reporting on the orting revolutions there. This was taken on my n second day, after hours urs of intensive shooting g and bombing. Twelve ve people were killed and 30 nd wounded that day. Early in the morning, I went to what was dubbed Change Square, where protesters were ere congregating, and marched with them until snipers attacked us. We retreated to the square only to ﬁnd tanks ﬁring artillery shells. I ran into a nearby mosque that was being used as a makeshift hospital. That was when I found Fatima holding her wounded son Zayed. son, It was chaotic. Everyone c was crying. But Fatima was cryin completely calm as she complete waited fo a doctor to see her for 18-year-old boy. His leg was 18-yea wounded and I assumed wound he had been shot, but he’d actually fallen, intoxicated by tear ga After the picture gas. was taken, he spent wa three days in a coma. t When Fatima heard that protesters had been killed, she went straight to this mosque to see if Zayed was there. This is the moment she found her son alive. Their pose and the way the light fell made it easy to see the shot. In a matter of seconds, I’d taken ﬁve frames. I knew it was a strong image, but I was overwhelmed by the reaction it got. I didn’t know anything about them at all – none of these details – until much later, when the shot won this year’s World Press Photo award and I was able to go back to Yemen to hear their story properly.
Interview by Sarah Phillips. The World Press Photo exhibition is at the Royal Festival Hall, London SE1, tomorrow until 27 November. Details: worldpressphoto.org
Born: Barcelona, 1979. Studied: Trained at El País and El Periódico de Catalunya. Inﬂuences: James Nachtwey, Stanley Greene. High point: “In 2004, my story about Moroccan immigrants forced Spain to change its policy.” Top tip: “Open a bakery!”
08.11.12 The Guardian 19
Adelphi Theatre 0844 579 0094 NOW PREVIEWING CAMBRIDGE 08444124652 Roald Dahl’s
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 3pm www.thebodyguardmusical.com Aldwych Theatre 0844 847 1712
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
LYCEUM 0844 871 3000 book online www.thelionking.co.uk Disney Presents
PHOENIX THEATRE 08448717629
THE LION KING
Tue-Sat 7.30, Wed, Sat & Sun 2.30 For Group/Education rates call 08448717644 / Disney 02078450949
BLOOD BROTHERS FINAL WEEK-ENDS SAT
Piccadilly Theatre 0844 871 3055
Savoy Theatre 0844 871 7687 Will Young as Emcee Michelle Ryan as Sally Bowles
Shaftesbury Theatre 0207 379 5399
"A musical like this comes around once in a lifetime." Sunday Tel Tue-Sat 7.30, Tue,Thu & Sat 2.30 www.tophatonstage.com
Criterion Theatre 0844 847 2483 London’s Funniest Comedy
LYRIC THEATRE 0844 412 4661
Based on the songs of the Spice Girls Book by Jennifer Saunders From 27 November | £20-£67.50 www.VivaForeverTheMusical.com
ROCK OF AGES
THE SMASH HIT MUSICAL
The 39 Steps
Mon-Sat 8pm, Wed 3pm, Sat 4pm
THRILLER – LIVE!
Tue-Fri7.30, Sat 4&8, Sun 3.30&7.30 www,thrillerlive.com
St James Theatre 0844 264 2140
DADDY LONG LEGS
Ambassadors 08448 112 334
Mon, Thu-Sat 8pm Thu, Sat & Sun 3pm, Sun 6pm
DOMINION 0844 847 1775
WE WILL ROCK YOU
by QUEEN & BEN ELTON Mon-Sat 7.30, Mat Sat 2.30 Extra show last Wednesday of every month at 2.30 www.wewillrockyou.co.uk
GIELGUD 0844 482 5130
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
***** 'A magnificent triumph' Mail on Sunday Mon-Sat 19:45, Wed & Sat 15:00 chariotsoffireonstage.com
New London Theatre 020 7452 3000 / 0844 412 4654
Warhorseonstage.com NOVELLO 0844 482 5115 'ABBA-Solutely Fabulous' D.Mail
PINTER 0844 871 7622 ALAN AYCKBOURN’S A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL achorusofdisapproval.com
A new musical Directed by John Caird www.stjamestheatre.co.uk
APOLLO THEATRE 0844 412 4658 TWELFTH NIGHT RICHARD III In repertoire Tickets released every day Shakespearewestend.com
St Martin's 08444 991515 60th year of Agatha Christie's
Prince Edward 0844 482 5152 Evenings 7.30 Mats. Tues 3 Sat 4 www.the-mousetrap.co.uk
DRURY LANE 0844 871 8810
HER MAJESTY'S 0844 412 2707 THE BRILLIANT ORIGINAL
SHREK THE MUSICAL
Duchess Theatre 0844 412 4659
Mon-Sat 7.45, Thurs & Sat 3pm, www.Mamma-Mia.com
APOLLO VICTORIA 0844 847 1696
WickedTheMusical.co.uk Mon-Sat 7.30pm Wed & Sat 2.30pm ARTS THEATRE 020 7836 8463 A Radio Play by Samuel Beckett Directed by Trevor Nunn
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Mon-Sat 7.30, Thu & Sat 2.30 www.ThePhantomOfTheOpera.com
Winner Best Musical! Oliviers Tue-Sat 7.30,Tue&Sat 3pm, Sun 5pm Vaudeville Theatre 0844 412 4663
Garrick 0844 412 4662 book online loservillethemusical.com
OLD VIC 0844 871 7628 SHERIDAN SMITH
Mon - Sat 7.30, Thu & Sat 2.30 QUEEN'S 0844 482 5160
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 2.30pm Final week
ALL THAT FALL
Cast includes Eileen Aitkins And Michael Gambon
LOSERVILLE the Musical
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat 3pm Tickets from £10.00 - £49.50
London Palladium 0844 412 4655 TOMMY STEELE in THE SPECTACULAR MUSICAL
PALACE THEATRE 0844 412 4656
Wyndham’s Theatre 0844 4825120
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
WINNER! 2012 Olivier Audience Award Eves 7.30, Mats Wed & Sat 2.30 www.LesMis.com
think the prime minister is abroad at the moment isn’t he? In the Gulf, selling arms to countries with dodgy humanrights records; not in America talking to a dodgy petrochemical company as the PM is in this political conspiracy thriller, Secret State (Channel 4). Same idea, though – dubious big business ahead of domestic hardship. It’s diﬃcult not to replace characters with their counterparts from the real world. Of course, no one would wish it on our PM, but if his plane were to come down in suspicious circumstances (Boris, was that you, with your big grouse-buster blunderbuss?) on the way back, there could be a similar scenario. The home secretary and the foreign secretary ﬁght for power. So that’s Felix Durrel (Rupert Graves) and Ros Yelland (Sylvestra Le Touzel), respectively, in Secret State; Theresa May and William Hague in real life. Their genders are reversed then, and you can’t see Hague going there again. Actually Yelland reminds me more of Louise Mensch, and posh boy Durrel – they call him Fauntleroy – of George Osborne. Then there’s the main man, thoughtful deputy PM Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne), who’s too digniﬁed, too likeble, to be Nick Clegg; more of a Ken Clarke. And scheming string-pulling chief whip John Hodder (Charles Dance) is probably not the type to abuse the cops at the gates of Downing Street; he’s craftier than that. I’m not sure the coalition has one of them at the moment; he’s more of a Bernard Ingham. They may be caricatures, but they’re just about credible. And they should be; Chris Mullin, who wrote A Very British Coup, on which this is very loosely based, spent 23 years in the Commons. Mullin is Labour, and so was his ﬁctional cabinet (as they were in the ﬁrst TV dramatisation of the novel, in the 80s). This time it’s not clear what
‘Too honourable’ … Gabriel Byrne in Secret State not for his performance (he doesn’t say anything) but because he’s played by Mullin, now retired from politics. Mullin probably wouldn’t recognise it as having much to do with his book, or the ﬁrst TV adaptation, which more than nodded to rumours of real-life murky attempts by the security services and other dark forces to undermine governments. That was the 1980s though, when there were fewer distractions and people had more time to get involved in brooding, intricate thrillers. This one may have just about credible characters, but otherwise the real world has been abandoned. It’s been sexed-up and Spookiﬁed for the attention-deﬁcit 21st century, with big explosions and downed planes, spy-cams pointing every which way, and glamorous young staﬀ at GCHQ. Heaps of fun, but not a whole lot more. It was a night of 80s remakes. Thirty years on from the ﬁrst Comic Strip Presents episode – the Famous Five parody in which Adrian Edmondson, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Peter Richardson and Timmy the dog went mad in Dorset – here’s The Comic Strip Presents ... Five Go to Rehab (Gold). Dick (Edmondson) is nostalgic for those happy days cycling in the West country, camping, lashings of you-know-which ﬁzzy drink etc, so he gets the old gang back together to pedal down memory lane. The others’ hearts aren’t really in it though; they’ve moved on, they’re alcoholics, they’ve got other secrets, they don’t want to be there. Which rather reﬂects the whole experience I’m afraid. Comedy has moved on; what was once anarchic now isn’t. This kind of pastiche feels tired (was it ever that funny?), certainly laboured over an hour. Someone left the top oﬀ the ginger beer, for 30 years. No ﬁzz left; it’s warm and ﬂat.
Last night's TV Secret State is just like real British politics – but sexed up and Spookiﬁed
By Sam Wollaston
side of the house they are on and it doesn’t matter. I’m just assuming they’re Tories because of how they are. There are lots of good performances. I don’t quite believe Byrne as a top British politician taking on the nasty American company that blew a hole in Teesside; he’s too thoughtful, too honourable, too bullshit-free (there’s something of Borgen about him, like the time he abandons a prepared speech and speaks from the heart). He’s certainly very watchable, though, a proper screen presence. The others – Graves and Le Touzel, Dance as the pantomime-villain master-puppeteer, Gina McKee as the journalist – are also good. I was enjoying Tobias Menzies as the PM too, before his plane came down (Charles Flyte he’s called, ho ho). And the vicar deserves a mention too –
AND ANOTHER THING
PHOTOGRAPH LAURIE SPARHAM
How will Nadine Dorries square her Christian faith and pro-life views with the needless slaughter – purely for TV entertainment – of innocent animals in the jungle? After all, Jesus loves witchetty grubs too.
08.11.12 The Guardian 21
TV and radio
Film of the day The Inbetweeners Movie (9pm, Channel 4) The sixth-form gang from the TV sitcom head to Malia for a ladsabroad excursion. All sorts of crass and crude antics, but some sympathy too, for their hormonally-challenged predicament.
6.0pm BBC News (S) (Followed by Weather.) 6.30 Regional News Programmes (S) (Followed by Weather.)
6.0pm Eggheads (R) (S) Quiz, hosted by Dermot Murnaghan. 6.30 Strictly Come Dancing — It Takes Two (S) 7.0 The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World (R) (S) (AD) Observing nocturnal creatures in a ﬂooded Amazon forest, including a curious sloth, giant anteaters, vampire bats and a species new to science. 8.0 MasterChef: The Professionals (S) Six chefs battle it out in the quarter-ﬁnal, demonstrating a dish of their own invention.
6.0pm Local News (S) (Followed by Weather.) 6.30 ITV News And Weather (S)
6.0pm The Simpsons (R) (S) (AD) Homer’s mother dies. With the voice of Glenn Close. 6.30 Hollyoaks (S) (AD) 7.0 Channel 4 News (S) (Including sport and weather.) 7.55 4thought.tv (S) War veteran John Ley, 92, argues that there is no glory in the killing and dying he has witnessed.
Great Continental Railway Journeys 9pm, BBC2
Michael Portillo retraces journeys featured in George Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide from 1913. The choice of year is, of course, not accidental, as the politician-turnedjourno hunts for evidence of a world about to be swept away by the ﬁrst world war. Portillo begins with a journey through France in search of La Belle Époque, a trip that takes in Montmartre, absinthe, and the Monte Carlo casino. Jonathan Wright National party, which had previously made inroads in the area. Contrasting with the idiocy of far-right politics, cameras also follow something important: the closure of an old people’s home. Staﬀ worry that moving elderly residents will lead to premature deaths but can’t do much except oﬀer care and compassion: “It’s lovely where you’re going … D’ya need a cuddle?” JW
7.0 The One Show (S) Matt Baker and Alex Jones present the live magazine format. 7.30 EastEnders (S) (AD) Kat receives another text from her lover. (Followed by BBC News; Regional News.) 8.0 Young Apprentice (S) The hopefuls attempt to publish cookbooks, but an inability to spell proves a major drawback for some of them.
7.0 Emmerdale (S) (AD) 7.30 The Best Start In Life?: Tonight (S) Fiona Foster investigates parents’ expectations on their children to excel academically.
8.0 Emmerdale (S) (AD) Declan is puzzled as Megan asks Katie about setting Robbie up with the CCTV. 8.30 Emmerdale At 40 (S) Featuring cast members past and present.
8.0 Kirstie’s Vintage Home (S) New series. Kirstie Allsopp helps families transform their cluttered homes, attempting to introduce them to new crafts, skills and techniques for interior decoration. 9.0 The Inbetweeners Movie (Ben Palmer, 2011) (S) (AD) Awkward teenagers holiday in Greece. Entertaining featurelength spin-oﬀ from the British TV comedy. With Joe Thomas and Simon Bird.
9.0 Hunted (S) (AD) Sam suspects that Turner intends to assassinate a Pakistani presidential candidate.
Hebburn 10pm, BBC2
Jack’s oﬀ for an interview at the Barnsley Gazette and his sister Vicki, who gets all the best lines, has a new car so she can give him a lift. “I feel like when Cheryl drove that tank in Afghanistan,” she muses. Her enthusiasm soon subsides when she and Granny Dot get lost and risk missing their appointment at the Wax Hatch. Back at home, Joe (with Vic Reeves in his surprisingly normal dad role) lends Sarah his special fork to clean the hairs out of the plughole. Later, Jack and Sarah break some big news. Hannah Verdier
10.0 BBC News (S) 10.25 Regional News And Weather (S) 10.35 Question Time (S) Bexhill-on-Sea is the setting. Guests include Labour MP Chuka Umunna and Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams. 11.35 This Week (S) Andrew Neil, Michael Portillo and guests discuss political and parliamentary developments from the past seven days.
9.0 Great Continental Railway Journeys (S) (AD) New series. Michael Portillo retraces journeys from Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide of 1913. Here, he travels from London to Monte Carlo. 10.0 Hebburn (S) (AD) Sarah attempts to give Jack advice on his interview technique. 10.30 Newsnight (S) Analysis of the day’s events, presented by Kirsty Wark. (Followed by Weather.)
9.0 DCI Banks (S) (AD) Part two of two. Banks remains focused on Owen, while Morton uncovers new leads pointing to Ellie’s ex, Tyler. Last in series.
Hatﬁelds & McCoys 9pm, Channel 5
The ﬁghtin’ and a-feudin’ moves up a notch or two as the town is visited by bounty hunters looking to spill Hatﬁeld blood. But strangers are no match for the local family who know the region too well, so the only blood these gunmen end up spilling is their own. It becomes clear to the McCoys that they’re going to have to ﬁnd help closer to home in the shape of the well-named Bad Frank. There’s also a Hatﬁeld/McCoy wedding that fails to bring the families closer. Phelim O’Neill
10.0 ITV News At Ten And Weather (S) 10.30 Local News/ Weather (S) 10.35 Corfu: A Tale Of Two Islands (S) A hotel manager feels the impact of the economic downturn.
11.20 Dara O Briain’s Science Club (R) (S) (AD) The comedian is joined by a team of experts to investigate a subject each week.
11.05 The Jonathan Ross Show (R) (S) With Olly Murs and Melissa George. Music from Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris.
11.05 The Inbetweeners Top 10 Moments (R) (S) A countdown of the comedy’s greatest moments, featuring interviews with actors Joe Thomas, Simon Bird, James Buckley and Blake Harrison..
Lucumi Choir. 12.30 Through The Night. Including music by Beethoven, Janacek, Strauss, Khachaturian, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Enescu, Mendelssohn, Telemann, Mozart, Maldere, Stenhammar, Donizetti, Quantz, Lully and Dowland.
6.30 Breakfast. Sara Mohr-Pietsch introduces favourite pieces, notable performances and a few surprises. 9.0 Essential Classics. With Sarah Walker. Including the Essential CD of the Week: Virtuoso and Romantic Encores for Violin, performances by Frans Bruggen and this week’s guest, physicist Athene Donald. 12.0 Composer Of The Week: Mendelssohn. Donald Macleod follows Mendelssohn as he bids farewell to Berlin and turns
The Year the Town Hall Shrank 9pm, BBC4
The series focused on spending cuts in Stoke-onTrent continues with the run-up to the May 2011 local elections. It’s a campaign we see, in great part, from the perspective of the British
Great Continental Railway Journeys, BBC2
down a trip to New York, where he had been invited to conduct a musical festival. 1.0 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. The third of this week’s concerts given by the Nash Ensemble at LSO St Luke’s features Mozart’s Piano Trio in G and Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor. (R) 2.0 Afternoon On 3. Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, with Charles Castronovo, Jean-Francois Lapointe and Annick Massis. Michel Plasson conducts the Netherlands Radio Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra. 4.30 In Tune. Sean Raﬀerty presents live music by the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and harpsichordist KahMing Ng. Plus guests from Puppetry in Opera. 6.30 Composer Of The Week: Mendelssohn. (R) 7.30 Radio 3 Live In Concert.
From City Halls, Glasgow, Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra perform excerpts from Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde Act 2. 10.0 Free Thinking. An audience with Lee Hall, writer of Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters, recorded at the Sage Gateshead as part of the Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival. Chaired by Philip Dodd. 10.45 The Free Thinking Essay: New Generation Thinkers. Historian Emma Griﬃn, one of Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers, gives a talk on what makes a good mother today, recorded at the Free Thinking Festival. 11.0 Late Junction. Max Reinhardt’s selection includes Rhodri Davies, Kid Koala and the London
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News headlines and sport with John Humphrys. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday In Parliament. Political proceedings, with Sean Curran. 8.58 (LW) Weather 9.0 In Our Time. The story of the Upanishads, the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism. 9.45 (LW) Daily Service. Led by the Rev Dr Mark Wakelin. 9.45
22 The Guardian 08.11.12
Full TV listings For comprehensive programme details see the Guardian Guide every Saturday or go to tvlistings.guardian.co.uk/
6.0pm Home And Away (R) (S) (AD) Sid, Indi and Sasha prepare for Dex’s return home. 6.30 5 News At 6.30 (S) 7.0 Rolf’s Animal Clinic (R) (S) Neil Townsend operates on a horse that has infected sinuses. (Followed by 5 News Update.)
6.20pm Come Dine With Me (R) (S) Four contestants compete to win £1,000 cash.
6.0pm House (R) The team attempts to diagnose and treat an ailing mobster in time for his testimony in a court case. 7.0 House (R) The team tries to determine why an obese 10-year-old girl had a heart attack.
E4 6.0pm The Big Bang Theory. Raj faces being sent back to India. 6.30 The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon faces his arch-enemy — actor Wil Wheaton. 7.0 Hollyoaks. A rift develops between Tony and Cindy. 7.30 How I Met Your Mother. Ted meets a former girlfriend. 8.0 How I Met Your Mother. Marshall worries about his past indiscretions. 8.30 The Big Bang Theory. The friends ﬁght over a ring they believe was used in The Lord of the Rings. 9.0 2 Broke Girls. Caroline struggles to assemble a folding bed. 9.30 New Girl. The ﬂatmates celebrate Thanksgiving. 10.0 Big Fat Quiz Of The 00s. Jimmy Carr tests six celebrities on their knowledge of the 2000s. Last in the series. 11.40 The Big Bang Theory. Raj faces being sent back to India. Film4 6.35pm Beaches. Drama, starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey. 9.0 The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Romantic fantasy, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. 11.35 Another 48 Hrs. Comedy thriller sequel, starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. FX 6.0pm Leverage. Ford’s team investigates the wounding of a soldier. 7.0 NCIS. The team makes a surprising discovery. 8.0 NCIS. A Navy diver hunting for sunken treasure is apparently murdered. 9.0 Family Guy. Brian becomes a best-selling writer. 9.30 American Dad! Stan fakes his family’s deaths to avoid embarrassment. 10.0 The Cleveland Show. Pilot episode of the Family Guy spin-oﬀ, with the voice of Mike Henry. 10.30 Family Guy. Peter and Lois visit a psychic. 11.0 Family Guy. Meg receives a makeover. 11.30 Family Guy. Peter learns Loretta is having an aﬀair. 12.0 American Dad! Stan becomes obsessed with a band. ITV2 6.0pm The Jeremy Kyle Show USA. The host takes his successful talk-show stateside. 7.0 You’ve Been Framed! Harry Hill narrates camcorder calamities. 7.30 You’ve Been Framed! Harry Hill narrates camcorder calamities. 8.0 The X Factor USA. The build-up to tomorrow’s live shows continues. 10.0 Celebrity Juice. With guests Dougie Poynter, Tom Fletcher, Mel C and Ashley Banjo. 10.50 Totally Bonkers Guinness World Records. Incredible and peculiar record-breaking attempts. 11.20 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. Comedy sequel, starring Eddie Murphy. Sky1 6.0pm Raising Hope. Jimmy’s parents suggest he discipline his daughter. 6.30 The Simpsons. Lisa discovers her mother was an A-grade student. 7.0 The Simpsons. Bart and Lisa have families of their own. 7.30 The Simpsons. Homer takes part in an FBI operation against Fat Tony. 8.0 The Middle. Brooke Shields guest stars. 8.30 Modern Family. Claire plans a bit of Halloween mischief. 9.0 Spy. Tim is forced to take Marcus to work with him. 9.30 Trollied. The staﬀ accidentally discover one another’s pay rates. 10.0 A League Of Their Own. Sport-based comedy quiz show, hosted by James Corden. 11.0 Road Wars. Police oﬃcers combat vehicle crime. 12.0 Road Wars. Police oﬃcers combat vehicle crime. Sky Arts 1 6.0pm All You Need Is Love. The origins of American popular music. 7.0 Big Ideas For A Small Planet. Two diﬀering visions of the future of electric cars. 7.30 Dead Art. Dee Snider visits Pere Lachaise cemetery on the outskirts of Paris. 8.0 Mariella’s Book Show. New series. With Anthony Horowitz, Alexander McCall Smith and Frances Osborne. 9.0 Playhouse Presents: Walking The Dogs. Comedy drama, starring Emma Thompson. 9.30 Onion News Network. The studio becomes sentient. 10.0 Cream Live At The Royal Albert Hall. The reunited band’s week of concerts in 2005. 12.0 Mariella’s Book Show. With Anthony Horowitz, Alexander McCall Smith and Frances Osborne. TCM 7.05pm Eight Legged Freaks. Comedy horror, starring David Arquette. 9.0 Police Academy. Comedy, starring Steve Guttenberg. 10.50 The Lost Boys. Comedy horror, starring Kiefer Sutherland. World Brieﬁng 3.30 Outlook 4.0 News 4.06 Assignment 4.30 Sport Today 5.0 World Brieﬁng 5.30 World Business Report 6.0 World Have Your Say 7.0 World Brieﬁng 7.30 Science In Action 7.50 From Our Own Correspondent 8.0 News 8.06 Assignment 8.30 The Strand 8.50 Witness 9.0 Newshour 10.0 News 10.06 Outlook 10.30 World Business Report 11.0 World Brieﬁng 11.30 Business Daily 11.50 Witness 12.0 World Brieﬁng 12.30 Science In Action 12.50 Sports News 1.0 World Brieﬁng 1.30 World Business Report 1.50 From Our Own Correspondent 2.0 News 2.06 Assignment 2.30 Outlook 3.0 Newsday 3.30 The Strand 3.50 Witness 4.0 Newsday 4.30 Science In Action 4.50 From Our Own Correspondent 5.0 Newsday
7.0pm Top Gear (R) (S) The hosts are each given a budget of £5,000 to ﬁnd a car that can hold its own on a racetrack and handle everyday tasks. Alastair Campbell tries out the Reasonably Priced Car. 8.0 Don’t Tell The Bride Goes Global (R) (S) Highlights from other countries’ versions of the show.
7.0pm World News Today (S) (Followed by Weather.) 7.30 The Sky At Night (R) (S) Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott reveal the composition of the universe.
7.30 Hugh’s 3 Good Things (S) A selection of recipes with mushrooms as the main ingredient, including ideas for salads, pastries and jacket potato ﬁllings.
8.0 WW1’s Tunnels Of Death: The Big Dig (S) Part one of two. An archaeological team explores First World War battleﬁelds near the village of Messines in Belgium. (Followed by 5 News At 9.)
8.0 Shock And Awe: The Story Of Electricity (R) (S) Jim Al-Khalili explores mankind’s attempts to harness electrical forces, and examines the work and theories of scientiﬁc innovators. 9.0 The Year The Town Hall Shrank (S) The city’s residents begin to feel the true extent of the cuts, and with the local elections looming, politicians have to face up to the consequences of their decisions. 10.0 The Nazis: A Warning From History (R) (S) 10.50 Food In England: The Lost World Of Dorothy Hartley (R) (S) Historian Lucy Worsley charts the story of the writer. 11.50 Tales From The Wild Wood (R) (S) Spring arrives in Strawberry Cottage Wood, and new life emerges within the forest, as squirrels are drawn to Rob Penn’s newly-planted trees.
8.0 Grand Designs (R) (S) (AD) Kevin McCloud meets a dairy farming couple, who want to build a modern house in Wiltshire, constructed from engineered timber, with a barrelshaped roof. 9.0 Scandal (S) (AD) Olivia takes on the case of the son of a businesswoman who has been accused of rape.
8.0 Urban Secrets (R) (S) Alan Cumming tours the lesscelebrated sights of Brighton, including a toy museum and a boutique specialising in unusual headgear.
9.0 Hatﬁelds & McCoys (S) Three bounty hunters are lured to the area when rewards are put on the heads of Anse and his sons.
9.0 Russell Howard’s Good News (S) The comedian oﬀers his perspective on stories dominating the media. 9.30 Some Girls (R) (S) Comedy following 16-year-old Viva as she grows up on a south London estate. 10.0 Wilfred (S) (AD) The duo face existential questions. Comedy, starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann. Last in the series. 10.20 Great Movie Mistakes (R) (S) 10.30 EastEnders (R) (S) (AD) 11.0 Family Guy (R) (S) Stewie persuades Brian to take it slow with his new girlfriend. 11.25 Family Guy (R) (S) Peter becomes so obsessed with 1963 hit single Surﬁn’ Bird. 11.45 American Dad! (R) (S)
9.0 Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets (S) The actor uncovers the gossip and intrigue behind the closed doors of some of the world’s most famous rooms and suites.
10.0 The Contractor (Josef Rusnak, 2007) (S) A former assassin is coaxed back into service for one last mission, but ends up framed for murder. So-so action thriller, starring Wesley Snipes and Charles Dance.
10.0 My Social Network Stalker: True Stories (R) (S) Documentary following the story of Ruth Jeﬀery, who was subjected to more than three years of online abuse by her boyfriend Shane Webber. 11.10 Embarrassing Bodies (R) (S) Dr Christian Jessen oﬀers on-the-spot STI checks for holiday-makers on one of the island’s beaches.
10.0 Don’t Sit In The Front Row (R) (S) 10.30 Game Change (Jay Roach, 2012) (S) Compelling drama examining the impact of Sarah Palin on John McCain’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. With Julianne Moore.
(FM) Book Of The Week: On Wheels. By Michael Holroyd. 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Lively discussion with Jenni Murray. 11.0 From Our Own Correspondent. Presented by Kate Adie. Last in the series. 11.30 What’s So Great About — Beckett? Lenny Henry gets to grips with Samuel Beckett. Last in the series. (R) 12.0 News 12.04 You And Yours. Consumer aﬀairs. 12.57 Weather 1.0 The World At One. Presented by Edward Stourton. 1.45 Foreign Bodies. Mark Lawson discusses the world of detective Harry Hole with author Jo Nesbo. 2.0 The Archers. Lilian takes on a new role. (R)
2.15 Afternoon Drama: The Other Simenon. The Neighbours, by Georges Simenon. 3.0 Open Country. Helen Mark visits the Lake District. 3.27 Radio 4 Appeal. On behalf of the charity Circles. (R) 3.30 Bookclub. David Almond’s Skellig. (R) 4.0 The Film Programme. With Francine Stock. 4.30 Material World. With Quentin Cooper. 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair. 5.57 Weather 6.0 Six O’Clock News 6.30 Andrew Lawrence: How Did We End Up Like This? A comic take on human evolution. 7.0 The Archers. Rhys receives an oﬀer out of the blue. 7.15 Front Row. A report from the opening night
of People, Alan Bennett’s new play. 7.45 The Righteous Sisters. By Jane Purcell. 8.0 Law In Action. Tensions over the issues of extradition and votes for prisoners. Last in the series. 8.30 The Bottom Line. Business issues that matter. 9.0 Saving Species. The Scottish wildcat and the bearded tooth fungus. (R) 9.30 In Our Time. The story of the Upanishads, the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism. 9.59 Weather 10.0 The World Tonight. With Robin Lustig. 10.45 Book At Bedtime: The Cleaner Of Chartres. By Salley Vickers. 11.0 The Headset Set. Sketch show set in a call centre. 11.30 Today In Parliament.
Sean Curran presents. 12.0 News And Weather 12.30 Book Of The Week: On Wheels. By Michael Holroyd. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
Radio 4 Extra
6.0 Orphans In Waiting 6.30 Paperwork 7.0 Chambers 7.30 Andrew Lawrence: How Did We End Up Like This? 8.0 Parsley Sidings 8.30 Take It From Here 9.0 1834 9.30 Just A Minute 10.0 My Family And Other Animals 11.0 Married Love 11.15 The Unhearable 12.0 Parsley Sidings 12.30 Take It From Here 1.0 Orphans In Waiting 1.30 Paperwork 2.0 South Riding 2.15 Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s Men Of Fashion 2.30 Born Brilliant:
The Life Of Kenneth Williams 2.45 A Kestrel For A Knave 3.0 My Family And Other Animals 4.0 The 4 O’Clock Show 5.0 Mind Your Own Business 5.30 Chambers 6.0 A Collection Of Bones 6.15 The Matrix 6.30 Weird Tales 7.0 Parsley Sidings 7.30 Take It From Here 8.0 Orphans In Waiting 8.30 Paperwork 9.0 Married Love 9.15 The Unhearable 10.0 Comedy Club: Andrew Lawrence: How Did We End Up Like This? 10.30 ElvenQuest 11.0 The Million Pound Radio Show 11.30 Sounding Oﬀ With McGough 11.45 The Tape Recorded Highlights Of A Humble Bee 12.0 A Collection Of Bones 12.15 The Matrix 12.30
Weird Tales 1.0 Orphans In Waiting 1.30 Paperwork 2.0 1834 2.30 Just A Minute 3.0 My Family And Other Animals 4.0 Married Love 4.15 The Unhearable 5.0 Mind Your Own Business 5.30 Chambers
Digital and 198 kHz after R4
8.30 Business Daily 8.50 Sports News 9.0 News 9.06 Assignment 9.30 The Strand 9.50 Witness 10.0 World Update 11.0 World, Have Your Say 11.30 Health Check 11.50 From Our Own Correspondent 12.0 News 12.06 Outlook 12.30 The Strand 12.50 Witness 1.0 News 1.06 Assignment 1.30 Business Daily 1.50 Sports News 2.0 Newshour 3.0
08.11.12 The Guardian 23
On the web For tips and all manner of crossword debates go to guardian.co.uk/crosswords
Quick crossword no 13,261
1 7 8 10 11 13 15 17 18 21 22 23 Sign of rejection (6,4) Minnow (7) Poisonous (5) Harpo or Karl? (4) Semi-visible natural satellite (4-4) Diamond-shaped pattern for woollens (6) Cup with a wide mouth (6) Really work extra hard (4,1,3) Strength — grievance (4) Medium used to achieve a result (5) Aromatic root with medicinal powers (7) Disparagement of something one wants but cannot attain (4,6)
6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5
Sudoku no 2,339
7 8 3 4 5 2 1 4 1 9 6 3 2 8 5 9 4 7 3 9 6 5 2
10 12 13 14
Want more? Access over 4,000 archive puzzles at guardian.co.uk/crossword. Buy all four Guardian quick crosswords books for only £20 inc UK p&p (save £7.96). Visit guardianbooks.co.uk or call 0330 333 6846.
17 20 21 22
1 Elizabeth I, perhaps (5) 2 Hideous (4) 3 Drinks server (6) 4 With exemption from customs tax (4-4) 5 Figure made from candle material (7) 6 Philatelist’s book (5,5) 9 Rotating machine that separates particles (10) 12 Detergent (8) 14 Nazi secret police (7) 16 Oval-ball game, colloquially (6)
19 Vessels with handle and spout (5) 20 Break — card game (4)
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0039 or text GUARDIANQ followed by a space, the day and date the crossword appeared another space and the CLUE reference to 85010 (e.g GUARDIANQ Wednesday24 Down20). Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Texts cost 50p a clue plus standard network charges. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline).
Solution no 13,260
S H A N T Y T OWN T N W H E H GANGRENE L E E S F E E L S R F I LO F A SH I ON I B K I M I CRONE S I AN E T S N HASH I SH EV I L N A W S A A K IWI ALKAL I NE E K N I I K SUGARDADDY
Hard. Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at guardian.co.uk/sudoku
Solution to no 2,338
2 4 8 3 9 7 1 5 6 1 5 9 6 2 4 7 3 8 6 3 7 8 1 5 2 9 4 9 7 3 1 8 6 4 2 5 8 6 4 5 7 2 9 1 3 5 1 2 4 3 9 6 8 7 4 2 5 9 6 8 3 7 1 3 9 6 7 5 1 8 4 2 7 8 1 2 4 3 5 6 9
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0036. Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline). Free tough puzzles at www.puzzler. com/guardian
24 The Guardian 08.11.12
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