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A great piece from an Aussie sports commentator and mental health advocate Glenn Mitchell

Posted on 9 February 2012 | 9:02am

Unless I have bumped into him at a Test Match, I don’t recall meeting Australian sports commentator Glenn Mitchell. But I couldn’t resist posting this piece he wrote, which was sent to me on twitter via Green Party press officer Scott Redding.

Glenn’s piece makes clear they are fighting the same battles as we are, but also with the same slow but steady change in attitudes, which is why the Time to Change campaign is so important. I hope Glenn won’t mind me reprinting his piece in full here.

‘Since my life fell apart in the middle of last year due to a breakdown that resulted in me resigning my sports broadcasting position at the ABC after 21 wonderful years I have been on a steep learning curve as I endeavour to discover more about mental illness and suicide prevention.

I have always been a man who has loved statistics but the two most alarming I have ever come across are ones that I have only just discovered in recent months.

Believe it or not, in a wonderful country like Australia with all it has to offer, the greatest killer of males under the age of 44 is suicide. That’s right, more men in that demographic die by their own hand as opposed to any other fashion.

Allied to that damning statistic is yet another one – throughout Australia each year, more people die by suicide than from the aggregated road tolls across every state and territory in the country.

And when you consider that there are a number of car accidents that each year are considered to be possible suicides, yet are recorded as simply a road fatality, the gap between the two may be somewhat greater.

In so many ways, suicide is the silent killer in our society. Silent in the fact that it is not really spoken about, even now in the 21st century.

Whilst there are many different causes and triggers for suicide, depression is more often than not associated with someone taking or attempting to take their own life.

The stats that are put forward by the medical fraternity would indicate that around 20% of people in Australia will be affected by depression at some point in their lifetime and 6% will actually experience a major depressive illness – in today’s terms that equates to 4.5m and 1.4m people respectively.

When you look at it in those sorts of terms the numbers are truly staggering and alarming.

Unfortunately, in many people’s eyes there is still a stigma attached to mental health, although over time and with better education it is slowly changing.

Australian males are certainly at the head of the queue when it comes to failing to talk about such subjects. The old “she’ll be right attitude” is still very prevalent in our society.

Whilst women are more likely to express their emotions and concerns with a girlfriend over a coffee, men are more likely to either try and ignore the situation or believe that it will rectify itself. Often, both those approaches are fraught with danger.

It is time that we, as a society, realized and accepted that there is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about with regard to mental illness.

I decided to go public about my condition late last year in the hope that it may encourage some other people to take that first step and seek professional help.

Shortly after featuring in a newspaper article and a television current affairs piece, my wife and I took our young son to the Perth Royal Show.

The reaction to what I had done from total strangers was quite astounding. Many people I had never met came up to me that night to express their support and encouragement for my rehabilitation.

But what struck me most of all were the first few words that came out of their mouths. Without fail, they either said “you were very courageous” or “you were very brave” to have spoken so publicly about your condition.

I later reflected on those opening words and it indicated to me that we still have a significant way to go before mental illness is embraced within society like most other physical complaints.

Had my media appearances chronicled a battle with cancer or some other serious disease, I doubt people would have come forward and called me brave or courageous. I would think that the most common opening words might have been along the lines of “sorry to hear about your illness” or “mate, all the best”.

But when it comes to admitting a mental illness people automatically seem to view one’s public admission as an act of bravery or courage.

The question in the 21st century is why?

With regard to my own particular illness – bipolar type 2, which was finally diagnosed in early September last year – I am required to take medication for the rest of my life.

So too, are those who are afflicted by illnesses such as diabetes or asthma.

Each requires the intervention and vigilant use of medication to help maintain the individual’s well being.

Yet, if you were to ask a group of 100 people in a room to raise their hands if they suffer from diabetes or asthma you would probably see a 100% response rate from those who were affected by those illnesses.

But try asking the same question about mental illness, and believe me I have done during many of my community talks for the suicide awareness and prevention agency, One Life. Without fail, I see a very small number of raised hands when compared to the medical fraternity’s statistics that indicate the breadth of mental illness in our society.

And again, we have to ask why?

In 2012, it is high time to let go of the stigma and stereotype. Mental illness should be looked upon by all of us in the same light that we view asthma, diabetes, cancer or any other medical condition.

Shame or embarrassment should not be a determining factor in one seeking help.

And … just for the record, not once since I publicly admitted my condition has anyone called into question my decision. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and full of encouragement.

There is nothing to hide. There is no need for shame. It is not a case of being brave. It is merely a matter of facing, tackling and talking about mental illness as you would any other disease.

If as a society we could manage to achieve that we would be living in a far better place.’

Amen to that.

Ps, off now to the dentist, then towel round head in advance of Question Time – up against Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, Shirley Williams, Steve Coogan (wonder if phone-hacking will come up) and ””’Dame”” (PTSB*) Ann Leslie. Thoughts welcome on what will come up and how best to handle it.

* Pass The Sick Bag

  • Olli Issakainen

    Some thoughts for Question Time.
    We need responsible capitalism with emphasis on fairness. Economic inequality leads to collapse.
    The concentration of wealth is the real cause of the crisis. Consumer demand is low.
    Under regulated capitalism growth was higher and unemployment lower.
    We need to replace neoliberalism and austerity with a new economic model which puts jobs and growth first. Plan A is not working.
    WE NEED A FULL INQUIRY INTO THE BANKING CRISIS. How much was caused by greed? How much by incompetence? How much by criminality?We need to know the whole truth so that bailouts will not happen again.
    In the eurozone we need growth instead of austerity. EU needs growth compact, not fiscal compact.
    Overspending by governments did not cause the crisis.
    Banks are not too big to fall – they are too powerful to fall. Investment banking should be separated from retail banking.
    We are not having free market capitalism. We have socialism for the bankers.
    Israel is about to attack Iran. Oil prices will skyrocket. This will lead to depression.
    Greece might default on 20 March. Austerity is not working.
    £50bn merger between Glencore and Xstrata should not be allowed to go through.

  • ambrosian

    I am seldom made angry by Ann Leslie. I think that’s because I’ve never been able to take her seriously. She’s like an ageing pantomime dame and people of my age have heard some of her anecdotes countless times on radio and TV.

    She’s often described as ‘the doyenne of foreign correspondents’ and is living proof that travel doesn’t broaden the mind.

  • ambrosian

    I hope you (or somebody) asks “Saint” Shirley why she abstained, not for the first time, in the House of Lords vote last night.

  • Re Question Time – if you get a chance to push your line on a Leveson style inquiry on the banks then do it.

    It’s a straight up argument that’s hard to oppose. 

  • Re Question Time – If you get a chance to raise your line re a Leveson style inquiry into the banking crisis then do it.

    It’s a straight argument that’s difficult to refute.

  • Ehtch

    Always been fascinated by the question of fall into a bottle, with it’s social stigma, or take the easy way out, as in draw your own curtains, if one considers modern medical drugs you don’t feel happy to partake? Quite a complex question, as like the human brain, with effects of life and living, nature and nurture, affecting it coming from all directions. Always stuck with me of those Ozzies in the outback, in their remote pubs, getting plastered, but seem to be enjoying life, in a different way, Mr Dundee style, as found by Dom Joly on his fairly recent travels, in the Humptydoo, I think it is called, as here,

    But you have got to have plenty of spare time on your hands to choose the pop, and only work fairly infrequently, like putting the ocassional book out, poem or artwork, or something.

  • Jeffmacuk

    Please get the message out about the nhs. The wider public just doesnt seem to believe how near we are to losing it. With respect no ones talkin about phone hacking, coogans starting to get irritating. The left has got to get this message out, keep mentioning Tory privitizstion so theres no way you can be edited out!

  • Michele

    I’m not at all fond of Ann Leslie (or her mannered am-dram vocals)  but blimey, she’s done good for someone treated the way she was as a child and as restricted after such extensive surgery.

    I hope her role at the Wail means that she was apart from the sordid way it behaves domestically.

    Having read a few features about her just now I can’t imagine what such an educated and experienced person could have ever thought was clever in what she said publicly about Dali’s privates.

  • Shirley Davis

    Hi again, not commented for ages BUT have read all posts.

    The issues those with hidden conditions face are mainly to do with control. Any illness that can be seen is perceived as unavoidable and treatable and lamentable and to be deserving or compassion.

    Anything psychological (yours AC) or neurological (mine) is considered controllable. So the person suffering has to amend behaviour to bring on a change, to heal themselves. How weak we are when we ‘fail’ to do so. How selfish to take up time, resources, money, to actually admit to needs and time – and love.

    N’est ce pas? Love that phrase. Means so much more that ‘isn’t it’, because it speaks to me of ‘it will happen whether you like it or not’.

    AC has a depressive illness; I have Multiple Sclerosis that affects the hidden area of my body, the central nervous system, so much is out of my control, n’est ce pas?

    We know no shame in telling it as it is; we know no shame for being out of control. The world at large needs to know it is what it is, n’est ce pas.

    My admiration for this blog continues; my concern for anyone who doesn’t ‘get it’, well I just hope you never do get it – a mental or a neurological condition. We are submitted to things we cannot control; only comment about us if you know what we face on a daily basis.

    I speak here to the world at large not AC’s regulars.

  • Ehtch

    furthermore, might as well post something of one of my favorite actors from the US, still alive, Steve Buscemi, in a great americana US film that I like, quite outback Oz like,
    Korea? What Korea?!?

  • Anonymous

    The advertising said Kirsty Allsopp would be on! If so, ask:”You helped inflate the housing bubble with your property porn. You were wrong to do so. Were you clueless or corrupt? Those are the only two choices. I.e. had you no idea what you were doing or are you in the pay of property interests. I thought clueless (as your mate Phil lost a packet) but you keep turning up on newsnight telling people there are still good deals out there – suggest you are influenced.”

    Topics to come up otherwise:

    – Bankers bonuses (might not cover this as they’d done it to death.)Get your call in again for inquiry. Mention Gillian Tetts backing.Mention Reagan did it for S&L, jailed 2000 financiers.With backing of you, Tett, Reagan – shows it has support from left right and centre.

    – Leveson. You’ve got this one. Put boot in on Dacre.Again, make your point that bankers did more people more harm than phone hackers, so they need inquiry too.

    – NHS. Lansley. Victory for Ed at PMQs. BBC ignoring it for Redknapp.Alan Milburn has indicated he may take over the job. Carry on improvements he made under labour. Blair put country first in this regard. Made reforms to favour patient not producer.

    – Syria. Don’t know your position on this one.

    – Europe “Veto”.Ed’s “A veto was just for Christmas”.Say same thing you did on “This Week” perfect.

    – American Presidential race maybe? Will Obama win (yes.)Who is the best / worst candidate for him to face.I think he stuffs Gingrich / Romney / Santorum.Best chance for Republicans is dragging on the fight to Brokered Convention which allows new entrants. Mitch Daniels could then enter, much more of a threat to Obama.

    Would definitely try and get your call in for banking inquiry regardless of the question – this is GOLD from you. If Ed Miliband added it to his manifesto I’d consider voting for him instead of my usual “none of the above”.

  • Michele

     After mentioning her in a post yesterday (when saying 3 of the Gang of 4 were against the bill) I heard a vague mention last night that she had been ‘won over’.

    Could it be that at the next vote she’ll be ‘for’?  I feel sick (and that’s not meant as a joke).

  • Ehtch

    sorry, forgot to post the pre-response above, it goes “did you kill anyone?”  Steve said, in the film, and Bill said “what kind of asinine question is that?”.
    Then comes the “in Korea I meant”, and Bill says “Korea? What Korea?”, as in forget.

  • Anonymous

    More topics – Harry Redknapp / Fabio Capello but you’ve got that.

    The whole responsible capitalism thing, Ed making a speech about fairness in tough times, one of my new favourites Rowenna Davis on the staggers has a great article on this, she has a great article on a way to responsibly reform banking too. Ed setting the agenda on this. You and Peter Oborne called it at the time when everyone else rubbished his speech.

  • Gilliebc

    Very well said Shirley.

    On a lighter note ‘n’est ce pas’ the fictional Poirot says that quite a lot and I never knew what it meant until today!  So thanks for that 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I agree with much of what you say (here, not in general) Olli and have now realised your MO is to post your thoughts, but not engage in discussion about them, but I’ll keep commenting anyway.

    If we want growth – we look at the policies in our own country, or in any other country, at whatever point in history, that brought growth – and follow those. Obviously the most rapid growth we ever had was under ‘er oo must not be named.

    If we want employment, same thing. Communist countries managed it, essentially by getting half the population to dig holes and the other half to fill them in, ie unproductive work that doesn’t produce food or increase standard of living.

    If we want productive growth, productive employment ie economic growth plus employment, well its a little bit harder. It rules out Thatcher (3.6 million unemployed) and it rules out the Soviets.

    There is a glaring example of someone I haven’t mentioned who generated some of the greatest growth ever known, and created 10s of millions of jobs, yes 10s of millions. But if people don’t want to see they will not see. From my upbringing I have learned well that “People only hear what they want to hear, and only see what they want to see.”

  • Gilliebc

    That’s a spot-on comment ambrosian about AL and so nicely put too.
    My first thoughts on reading she is to be on QT tonight were something along the lines of ‘not that old hag again’ but you’ve put your thoughts in a very kind way.

    ‘……… proof that travel doesn’t broaden the mind’  both amusing and apposite.

  • Gilliebc

    I didn’t know any of that what you said or alluded to about AL,
    Michele.  It sounds interesting.  Makes me want to learn more, so I shall be checking it out latters 🙂

  • Gilliebc

    Aren’t you being just a little harsh on Kirsty Allsop, reaguns?

    I think you may be crediting her and Phil S with much more power and influence than they actually have.

    Though having said that I believe KA falls into the ‘toff’ category.  So maybe it’s worth examining more closely.

  • Gilliebc

    AC, with you and Steve Coogan on the panel it would be surprising if phone-hacking didn’t come up. 

    With Ann Leslie also on the panel (that’s very bad luck)  I think you may need to call on your reserves of patience and tolerance, whilst at the same time not allowing her to get away with saying anything too ridiculous or patently untrue.  So good luck with that one! 

    Probably best to treat her with a degree of humour though.  You are showing that side of your character more on TV just lately and it works extremely well and is very effective.

  • Ehtch

    posted Saint Etienne somewhere here else super-recently, just released, but a good one from them a “few” years ago from then, young people under Tory’s come back to haunt them again like a bad case of Herpes Simplex/cold sores, as predicted by Saint Etienne in 1990,

  • Ehtch

    Anyway, I am off soon to watch Scarlets vee Glasgow in rugby, Scarlets is from Wales by the way, west wales, and Glasgow is in Scotland, for those from the south-east of that England. Anyway, available live to watch on BBC Alba, in Gaelic, at the link here. No englishman, I am not pulling your plonker here, you Chelsea supporter. Kick off at 7:05pm. Also available on BBC Wales, in english, if you choose, find your own link for that.

  • Anonymous

    Also always think you should mention depression in interviews Alastair – I only found out about this by pure chance, would have been more of a fan for longer if I’d known.

  • Michele

    I don’t think QT should even offer to put Ann Leslie through what she’s no longer capable of again.

  • Ehtch

    QT tonight Alastair, ref that waste of fresh air, Ann Leslie – ANGELS THAT THEY ARE NOT!!! You have insulted my mother Ann – like to see you try and cope with a bag of bones brought into casualty at 3am in the morning, barely alive, after being dug out of a BMW that implanted itself into the front of a truck, and fight to keep that bag of bones alive for three hours for nothing. Ann, you are a stupid stupid bitch, and be thankful you had watever care you had, you gin and tonic soaked total twat hack. Out of respect of my mother, I will not wish you an end like that, silly moo.

  • Anonymous

    Gilliebc do you get my point though, Kirsty, Phil, Sarah Beenie and countless others were in our faces every week telling us to buy houses right up to the second “p” in “POP” when the bubble burst!

    Now, I suspect they were just as clueless as most people including most politicians and economists. So I could forgive them for that. IF Phil was not on with a new property show and IF Kirsty was not on newsnight telling people that “things might pick up” and “there are still growth areas with good opportunities” making me think people in the property industry are leaning on her to “sell to book”.

    I only want to see them on TV if its an expose showing how clueless (or corrupt) they were and get them to apologise for their role to all the people who are in negative equity or whose wages / savings have diminished. This is from no personal spite, as I had discovered real economics before the crash and prepared myself accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    Partway through Question TIme, Ann Leslie fighting corner well, Shirley Williams doing tremendously well.

    Alastair says “I’m in favour of a free press. We do not have a free press in this country when its controlled by 3 powerful men: Murdoch, Dacre and (inaudible)”.

    Was the third one Desmond? If so, how about the proprietors of the Daily Mirror, The Independent (Ledbedev) and The Telegraph (Barclay Brothers.)

    • Michele

       Yes the third was Desmond, who seems to have admitted he’s just running a comic.

      • reaguns

        Yeah, I thought so. Obviously Murdoch has too much power, but Dacre just has one (admittedly popular paper) and Desmond indeed has porn and comics. There is still the Telegraph, The Mirror, The Guardian, The FT and The Independent outside of that group.

        Cannot have govt controlled press, and all the supposed “independent” institutions like BOE and judiciary are always leaned on by Govt too heavily, this was one of the worst acts of Tony Blairs government, going past the institutions of cabinet, parliament, judiciary.

  • Anonymous

    Good point made by Alastair to Philip Hammond, saying Tory defence review was a spending review not a defence review. Hammond said that was because of the deficit labour left.Irrelevent. Defence spending should not be cut under any circumstances, until the day the worlds last dictatorship becomes a democracy.
    Campbell 1, Hammond 0.

    AC I think, points out on Syria its a tough choice either way.Coogan makes great point that when we intervene people say we shouldn’t have ie Iraq, Libya, but when we don’t people say we should have ie Bosnia.Shirley Williams pointed out that we acted in Kosovo and that was successful. Shirley Williams pointed out that Paddy Ashdown wanted us to intervene in Bosnia, we didn’t and there was slaughter.
    Paddy Ashdown 1, The Combined Governments of the World 0.

    • Michele

      I used to admire Paddy Ashdown.

      It’s sad to hear that members of the armed forced are again rueing the loss of Harriers, given the growing tensions in the South Atlantic. 

  • Ehtch

    Blimey!! – did she wind me up or what? But I have calmed down now and wound my neck in, the bulging veins surrounding my head have reduced, etc. etc.. Whoof!, knew QT was bad for my health, but that was something else – what a silly old woman, ey?

  • Ehtch

    furthermore, the BMW/truck was a true event – happened in the late 1970’s, on Nantycaws hill, outside Carmarthen. Four in the BMW three mashed to pulp, and only one got to hospital in contact with the rest of us on planet Earth. Then my mother had to come home at the end of her shift, and try and act “normal”, helping to bring up and run a family. Ann Leslie is starting to bulge those veins of mine again – calm down Huw, calm down, don’t let the silly cow upset you.

    And I have many many other events I can recall – I could tell when my mother had a “difficult” night, when she was quiet and subdued when she came home at about eight in the morning. An old neighbours son that got knocked down and didn’t make it was another one that sticks with me too. Shame on you Ms. Leslie.

  • Ehtch

    Alastair, ref, your twitter front page change things – looks the same at the moment in PC world, full width keyboard before me, as per from Wales/Cymru outside half that presently holds the throne, Rhys. Excellent lad from the extremely extraordinary full of deep deep long lost history of the Towy Valley, up the road from Merlin’s Town, better known as Carmarthen, from Pontargothi don’t you know. Anyways, Prince Rhys on twatter, sorry, twitter – checkout the make-up – oo-err misses,

  • Ehtch

    furthermore, ref. QT last night – never seen “Alan Partridge” so wound up and political, but he is great mates with “Bryn” from Barry, so that is alright with me, as here, like, on one of their gay trips into the sticks, “Men, let’s go to bed”, or something like that it was, funny series it was,

  • Ehtch

    ladies, whenver I meet your husbands/partners this song always appears, happened majorily in Mayrhofen new years ’86 big time first, when went skiing on my own, and a male future IBM official took irrational offence,
    Love Carole King, always have done since I became sense, in any human sense you want, even necrophilia if you want, as pointed out by Ricky Gervais and Elmo from Sesame Street. via YT here – JESUS, is this fucking funny or what?

  • Ehtch

    By the way, Alastair, Gary Lineker as a back of a horse on the beeb charity nonse – please tell him to stick to his golf clubs and golf courses, he is like an over paid uncle at a transmission wedding, turns my guts.
    Jonathan, what do you say about golf freeks in human time, pray tell, again,
    Checkout the nice lady after 8:00 – right up my street, love to partake in some indoor tennis with her, oh yes! What did you say love? ‘Oh yah’ – does that mean you are enjoying me in your say english speak? I know the depth of me, let me find the depth of yewers, say’s Tom Thomas…
    I have a way with words, when I try – one or two bananas love… giving away my secrets here..
    Tom, sending some republican ladies wetting their knickers in the US, back in ’69, I think it was,

  • Michele

    .Doesn’t it mean, more literally, ‘Is it not so?’ which is also nice in English.

  • Ehtch

    We were the first? Loike fock we was, my cousin was, and his side of the family, him over there in the corner, with whiskers and stuff – don’t touch him! you’ll might catch something, just say hello, from about two yards back.

  • Richard

    Did you spike her hip flask of bile in the green room to cause Ann Leslie to get in that state last night, Al? With Dacre’s performance earlier in the day and hers last night, your case could not be made better about Daily Mail etc.

    I think that the programme was proof that people should retire at a certain age, as Shirley and Ann are both well past their sell by dates.

    It also showed why people like Steve Coogan, having a one issue, but very valid, platform, are out of their depth on such programmes. He waffled and should stick to his knitting on most subjects.

    As for you Mr C you showed, yet again, how your party needs you. You could eat, without salt, the entire opposition front bench. When are you going to dive in? We should be told.

  • Lellybellybean

    Fantastic QT last night- AC did well to keep his dignity while Ann Leslie  spouted her usual nonsense (so rude and to get personal which AS was not)..i just wish it wasn’t on so late – i was falling asleep so had to watch on iplayer. QT should be peak time – rather than the nonsense that is on offer.  I wish the subject of the ‘golden jubilee’ came up tho…

  • Ehtch

    Let me tell you a story, Max Bygraves like, a sweet story, I hope for all. Took my thirteen year old daughter, Siân, to be blessed by the Lady of the Lake, at Llyn y Fan Fach, photo,
    When taking her back down, stayed to look at leaping trout at a trout farm pools. And a lady appeared to evening feed them, and I said to her, “Sim ‘mae – gallu fy crwt, nawr fy ferch, gallu helpu chi i bwydo y fein brithyll ti fan na?”
    And she said “Ie, dere Siân, helpu fi”. But I had to tell her ” Geni hi yn Croydon, a ma hi’n tipyn o cockney, rhaid i siarad yn saisneg i hi, but I am working on it, ti gwybod”. And the trout lady farmer said “Fi’n gwybod, ti wedi bod yn spreddo the seed i fe? Y taffy diawl ti, da iawn”. : )
    Trout farm pic, down the hill from Llyn y Fan Fach here,

  • Michele

    I don’t follow much about tweets but of the selection I found of those to QT last night I liked this from Dr Matthew Sweet …….

    Anne Leslie is presumably on her own doorstep by now, fumbling in her handbag & shushing her potted bay tree. #bbcqt

  • Ehtch

    “Things” have been affecting my online experience, keep having to reload pages. Camerons army in action, behind the megabit curtain? Hope the same thing is not happening to you Alastair, ref Twitter and stuff. Won’t surprise me this tory lot will play games like this, what they did in the 1980’s. Stories I have heard would curl the hairs on the back of old Pinochet from Chile, with his firing line killing citizens.

  • Gilliebc

    I do sort of get your point reaguns.
    I was probably forgetting just how seriously some gullible people take these TV property pundits!

    Glad to hear you weren’t personally affected.

  • Anonymous

    Too right. There are a lot of things I disagree with Paddy Ashdown on for instance the Euro – but he puts the best case I’ve heard for many of those things.

    When I heard we were selling harriers I thought they must be obsolete, we must be selling them as trainer jets, or to some pacifist country or some tinpot country. Then I find out the US Marine Corps bought them. Absolutely incredible decision.

  • Anonymous

    No I feel sorry for all those people who got burned by it, except those who used to flaunt their property “wealth” and call me an idiot!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah and it has a precedent under Ronald Reagan, and support from the very respected Gillian Tett.

  • Ehtch

    ok, last Victoria from Blackpool, Fake Blood, get ready for summer Ibiza/Zante friends, tidy banging,

  • Ehtch

    Ibiza and Zante as here, ladies and boys enjoying themeselves last year,

  • Anonymous

    One thing I forgot from QT last night. Philip Hammond (who I found to a godawful and insufferable transport minister) near the end said of Syria “Lets be honest, the only military power in the world who could really take on this mission is America.” Now, I’m not sure if he meant that as narrowly as it sounded, or if he meant the only western power, but we often hear this “America is the world’s only superpower” stuff as if you had America, then way below that you had all the medium powers.

    This is a distorted view. Russia should still be viewed as a superpower. If there were a fight, without American Involvement, between Russia and the next 10 biggest military powers combined: China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan, Israel and whoever the next four are (Turkey? Iran? North Korea? Taiwan? Japan?) how long do people think it would take Russia to put all of them to the sword? The answer is “not very”.

  • Ehtch

    Alastair, been looking in the attic of our old house, and found stacks of stuff on cricket, rugby and footie – even got a chewing gum book of photos of when Burnley and Blackpool were in division one of the football leage in 1970 – the most magical is George Best with facial fungus on his face, taken during, ummm!, one of his benders no doubt. Super super brilliant pics of LUAFC, Giles, Rod Belfitt, Mick Bates and everything. Even got a The Sun cricket paperback type book of Ray Illingworth’s England, Boyc’s and John Snow and all. And tons more, Barry John yearbook, 1972. Georgie Best yearbook too, the list goes on.

  • It does indeed Michelle – I knew what I was getting at but not quite precisely!

  • And now I’ve spelt Michele incorrectly – not my day, is it? N’est ce pas?

  • Ehtch

    by the way, you can find your way round the whole Welsh rugger team with links there, twatting with the best. Most probably the Daily Snail is trolling there already, sniffing for something. They need to give me a shout, I know “things” – shall we start at ten grand DM?

  • Ehtch

    Anyone notice the funniest line in this? Dom says, along the lines of, “we have got to push off, I have a branston pickle voiceover to do next week”. Always makes me laugh my bollocks off it does, around 3:10 in the vid – I like Dom, there is something about him, his mate too.

  • Ehtch

    Two bananas as in up the M1 or the M2 love?, if you get what I mean? No? oh I give up on you, you sexual heathen. Anyway, more Tom, classic classic Tom,

  • Ehtch

    Might as well post another piece of americana that is right up my main street, with a couple of actors that I really like, Harry Dean Stanton the great, and Dean Stockwell, who has done remarkable well in adult life after his child-actor experiences, coping with those alleged money robbing agents/accountants at such a young age – Paris, Texas,

  • Ehtch

    Might as well post some ‘grim up north’ when it became popular in circ-brit-1960 – A Taste of Honey, from the mind of the great recently late Shelagh Delaney, made into a film starring the great Rita Tushingham and the remarkable Dora Bryan, just turned 89. Stunning films from then of the same gendre, This Sporting Life, Room at the Top, etc., etc.

    A Taste of Honey intro put to music too soon for it, about a couple of years too soon,

  • Ehtch

    S’pose I would be too shy to post some This Sporting Life and Room at the Top, so here goes,
    Room at the Top starring Simone Signoret, the brilliant great french post-war actress.

  • Ehtch

    Crisis point, and demise, for Simone Signoret’s character in Room at the Top. Thought I would post a pre-taster first, for those that are interested – “I am going to marry Susan – I have put her in the family way, shotguns and all that”, or paroles to that effect,

  • Ehtch

    Furthermore, just posted this comment on youtubby on the part eleven that I just posted here, I quote, via copy paste,
    “That is all he had to tell her that we can still see each other, every now and then, when no-one is looking. Simples. Susan is happy, her parents are happy, and they will be happy, in their loving beds every few weeks or so. Or am I being too french here? OO-LA-LA!”

    But I suppose 1959 Britland is different from now – don’t see many lads being marched shotgunned up the aisle in front of the Vicar these days. Ah yes, those were the days, when father’s of daughters were proper fathers. GET OFF HER SCUMBAG, get back to the hole you come from – Siân, get in here, and drop those balls in your hand…..

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