Just an Observation Friday 12th October


News is just coming through this morning that BNP leader Nick Griffin-you know him, the man that is to attractive what X- Factor joke Rylan is to musical talent- has been suspended from Twitter after tweeting the addresses of the two gay men who had just won their case against a B&B owner whose homophobia had refused to allow them to share a double bed due to their sexual orientation and her religious beliefs. Despite a court reaching a verdict in favour of the two gay men, Griffin decided that this is a miscarriage of justice and as such some form of retribution-the inference is this should be of a violent nature- needed to be meted out to restore dignity and righteousness to a deteriorating society.

The beliefs of Griffin and his followers is none of my concern-I am not saying it doesn’t concern me but there is little I can do to change these bigoted and misinformed judgments- and freedom of speech is a privilege bestowed on every citizen in the country. The trouble with privilege is it can be so easily abused and the daily growing horrors which are emerging about Jimmy Savile are testament to this. Twitter were right to immediately suspend Griffin as what he was doing was inciting hatred and violence against two men, both past middle age and in a secure relationship, with the attentions of a ‘British justice team’.

Griffin, this morning, has denied that his message was inciting violence but merely encouraging people to gather outside the couple’s house and demonstrate for the ‘right to discriminate’.  Glad he cleared that up then. I feel much more secure knowing  he is the leader of a political party which is worryingly gaining more credibility amongst the bigoted, misinformed and malleable. Perhaps that is me discriminating against those less tolerant than myself but apparently, I assume, I also have the right to discriminate.

Let me just say that any kind of discrimination is wrong and encouraging people to use mob strength and force to enforce a point is never anything other than bullying. There have been many steps forward in racial and sexual tolerance in the last few decades and whilst people such as Griffin are a harking back to a previous era his ideas were unacceptable even then. In this he doesn’t even emerge as a throwback to a throwback he is something far more malignant and evil and even less civilized.

This weekend there are a few interesting events to investigate, kicking off with a new night at the Counting House called Rally & Broad which boasts spoken word, live literature, music and even dancing. Guests include Neu! Reekie supreme Michael Pedersen, Hazel Morrison, Kirstin Innes and musical treats on a punk folk vibe from Billy Liar amongst others. Starting at 7.30 and going on right through until 1 am it certainly looks like a night which could take off and as it is billed as a launch I am assuming it is going to be a regular event which is good news to these ears as Edinburgh is in desperate need of more nights such as these combining different elements and operates as a meeting ground for those who want more than a night out than simply sitting in a pub or going to a club.

On Sunday there is the second night of live music accompanying films- some made especially for the evening- ‘Envelope’ at the Institute. The first night last Friday was a resounding success pulling in a substantial crowd who not only appreciated the films and music on show but contributed significantly to the evening. A full review of that night can be found here.

At the cinema all talk seems to be generated towards the new Bond film ‘Skyfall’ due out next week which I hope is better than the last outing ‘Quantum of Solace’ which, after the rejuvenation of the brand with the introduction of Daniel Craig in the impressive ‘Casino Royale’, was something of a disappointment. Until then ‘Ginger and Rosa’ starring Christina Hendricks and Annette Bening at the Filmhouse looks like a worthwhile proposition so I will probably make my way along to see that at some point. A good bit of existentialist angst goes a long way in this gloomy weather and by the way when will it ever stop raining? Autumn is usually the most reliable season- discounting winter which inevitably seems to get longer every year- but this year it has been unbearably awful and hard to derive any pleasure from never mind creating the usual leisurely stroll into winter.

Also on this Sunday at the HMV picture house is the return of eccentric pop duo Sparks. Best known for classic seventies hits such as ‘This Town ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us’, ‘Something for the Girl with Everything’ and the dreamily surreal disco classic ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ all of which are still guaranteed to throw me into something of a frenzy. I saw them about six years ago and they still put on a show which would have kids half- in some cases even a third- their age quaking in their heels at the energy and talent they can muster with apparent ease and Ron Mael still has that glassy eyed stare-possibly the scariest ever in pop- and Chaplin/ Hitler mustache. It promises to be a good gig and a fitting end to a good weekend. So here goes!

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