Television

John Berger and seeing politically

Author: 

Hugh Daniels

Since the death of John Berger on 2 January the bourgeois press has squirmed over the task of commemorating a major public figure who was also a lifelong Marxist. Some have responded by simply attacking him.

As demonstrated in his seminal 1972 BBC TV series (and accompanying book) Ways of Seeing, John Berger shared the period’s wariness about the dangers of seductive ideologies. However he responded by encouraging us to locate contradictions and complexities within our experience of the world, rather than keeping our distance.

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Al Jazeera’s phoney scandal

Author: 

Keith Road

The “scandal” over the activitiesof pro-Israel groups in the UK and their links with the Israeli embassy uncovered by Al Jazeera is largely manufactured.

Al Jazeera’s story got blanket news coverage after the main protagonist in their undercover footage, Shai Masot, a minor Israeli Embassy official, resigned. Masot was caught on camera saying he would like to see Junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan removed.

We should oppose the lobbying and espionage of governments and organisations who want to promote harmful ideas. But we should do this consistently, and not just for those instances where it is connected with Israel.

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Al Jazeera’s phoney scandal

Author: 

Keith Road

The “scandal” over the activitiesof pro-Israel groups in the UK and their links with the Israeli embassy uncovered by Al Jazeera is largely manufactured.

Al Jazeera’s story got blanket news coverage after the main protagonist in their undercover footage, Shai Masot, a minor Israeli Embassy official, resigned. Masot was caught on camera saying he would like to see Junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan removed.

We should oppose the lobbying and espionage of governments and organisations who want to promote harmful ideas. But we should do this consistently, and not just for those instances where it is connected with Israel.

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History minus the workers

Author: 

John Cunningham

Normally I wouldn’t have bothered with Sebag Montefiore’s three-part documentary on Vienna (broadcast December 2016). His approach to his topics is somewhat predictable and conservative. But when I lived in Hungary for nine years I tasted some of the splendours of the architecture and the cultural inheritance of the Hapsburgs, not to mention its many contradictions and unpleasantries, in Budapest, Pécs and elsewhere.

A review of Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream, BBC4.

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“While cowards flinch and traitors sneer….”

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

Paul Mason was on the Daily Politics (BBC2 12 noon) today.

He said, “I have never been to a Momentum meeting”. Then went on to have a lot to say about it. Specifically, “If Jill Mountford [National Committee member of Momentum] is not allowed into the Labour Party and I cannot see her being… and remains basically an expelled member of the Party and remains in Momentum I will not remain in Momentum.”

Paul Mason says expelled Labour members should not be in Momentum...

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Blaming The Victims

Author: 

Marieme Helie-Lucas

The Algerian socialist-feminist Marieme Helie-Lucas responds to Deeya Khan's film Islam's Non-Believers, which was broadcast on ITV on 13 October.


For the past three decades, we have been witnessing the implementation in politics of the concept of perversity in psychology. Truly, this is a case study.

The Algerian socialist-feminist Marieme Helie-Lucas responds to Deeya Khan's film Islam's Non-Believers, broadcast on ITV on 13 October.

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Dispatches attacks Workers' Liberty

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

In the video above Sacha Ismail explains why he was secretly filmed by Dispatches, the politics behind the programme — distrust of socialist ideas, and what Workers' Liberty stand for.

Channel Four slurs against Workers' Liberty and Momentum + explainer video.

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Owen Smith, the AWL and “left anti-semitism”

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

On BBC Question Time (Labour leadership debate, 8 September) Owen Smith, in the stream-of-consciousness style that has come to typify Smith's approach to political debate, links the Alliance for Workers' Liberty (as part of the “hard left in our Party” “flooding into the Party”) to those on the left who “associate anti-Zionism, anti-imperialism”, “anti-Israel” perspectives (sic). That is, he implicitly called us anti-semitic.

This incoherent tirade against the “hard left” was a disgraceful intervention into an important issue that deserves serious, well-informed debate.

Owen Smith misrepresents "left anti-semitism" and smears AWL's record on this issue.

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The life and films of Ken Loach

Author: 

Luke Hardy

People think they know what to expect from a Ken Loach type of film. It’s about working class struggle, collectively or as individuals. It’s political. It uses non-professional actors, alongside professional ones. It will be naturalistic and eschew studio filming or flashy effects. The welcome BBC documentary ‘Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach’ reminds us there is more to Loach.

A review of Versus, now available on BBC iPlayer.

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Style trounces substance in small-screen Bond

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Daniel Randall reviews The Night Manager (BBC, 2016)


The Night Manager has a good go at being right on. The opening episode drops us right in the middle of Tahrir Square, days before the fall of Mubarak. Tom Hiddleston's Jonathan Pine, a dashing ex-soldier working as the eponymous night manager in a luxury Cairo hotel, is first motivated to go after Hugh Laurie's dastardly arms dealer Richard Roper because he's worried the weapons he's selling might be used to put down the uprising.

Daniel Randall reviews 'The Night Manager' (BBC, 2016).

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