The roots of Blake’s 7

Lion & Unicorn

To mark the 40th anniversary of the first episode of Blake’s 7 being aired on 2 January 1978, this is an extract from Alwyn W Turner’s book The Man Who Invented the Daleks

At conventions and in interviews in the last decade of his life, Terry Nation often told the story of how Blake’s 7, his last major work, came into being and of his absolute confidence in the concept. ‘I said to my wife: “I’m going to pitch this show today, and I know they’re going to do it.”’

His account of the subsequent meeting evokes an era at the BBC that has long since passed. ‘I wanted to do another science fiction show, a good, rousing adventure series in space,’ he remembered. ‘I went and pitched the idea. I said, “The Dirty Dozen in Space”, and they said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” It was just like…

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Bring Back Nostalgia

Thought-provoking articles on words that are going out of fashion. As long as “poinjay” doesn’t die out…

English-Language Thoughts

This is kind of a companion piece to yesterday’s post, being about obscure words none of us really use.

I’ve seen a lot of lists on social media and various websites about obscure words people need to be made aware of, or obsolete words which need to be brought back. For example, here’s a story I came across this morning on the BBC Culture website: Twenty-six words we don’t want to lose.

Here’s the full list of words from the article; see if you guess what one of my issues with the list might be:

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Catalonia: the case for self-determination

Yet another excellent analysis by the grandson of Lt Col H Jones.

The Personal Blog of Henry Jones

On Saturday, 21 October, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to remove Catalonia’s regional government and rule the region directly from Madrid. The situation faced by Spain is that of the right to self-determination. This right is enforced by United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514, which states that ‘All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’

The UN being the go-to organisation for legal disputes of an international nature, it seems the writing is on the wall. Catalonia, using international law, legally has the right to determine its political status and become independent. However, we have an issue. The Spanish Constitution, created in 1978, gives autonomy to the regions of Spain, but affirms ‘the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation.’ According to the constitution, an independence referendum is…

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No lessons from history

A very well-analysed article.

Lion & Unicorn

Past performance, as they say in financial services, is not an indicator of future outcomes. The same is true in politics.

There are some broad lessons one can draw from history: the British electorate tend to vote solely on domestic issues, for example, as Winston Churchill found out in 1945, and Tony Blair in 2005 – and possibly Theresa May this year. But there are times when one has to admit that looking at the past is no help at all; the present really is a different country.

Which is pretty much the case right now. We haven’t been anywhere like this in modern times.

You can see some parallels, of course. Maybe the late 1970s, when living standards fell, with prices rising faster than wages, and there was a loss of faith in the future. We also then had a government expressing doubts about the economic policies that had…

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Memories of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Some wonderful photojournalism from a former classmate of mine. Not just a blogger, but also a published author.

Liz Taylorson

The setting of Robin Hood’s Bay, the little old fishing village just south of Whitby on the North Yorkshire Coast was one of the key inspirations for “The Little Church By the Sea” and it’s a place I’ve been visiting all my life.

When I was little, I used to be taken to “Bay” to visit a friend of my mother’s who lived in one of the the new houses at the top of the bank. I loved the view from her garden over the village to beach and the bay beyond, and I especially loved going to visit in the winter when the weather was stormy, but it was cosy in her house looking out over the sweep of the bay.


I also loved the old village with its twisting paths and cottages – we went to see the ancient little cottage that had once belonged to this friend’s…

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Disunity In The Tory Party And What It Means For The Country

Thought-provoking article.


The Conservative Party traditionally involves many career politicians with ambitions of getting a senior post in the cabinet or becoming prime minister.

Of course they also want to form a government or – more accurately – be/remain in power. Theresa May, however, is now threatening that vision which is why a rebellion triggered by leadership hopefuls or backbenchers could be highly likely at some point – especially after May announced that she would fight the next election. I don’t think that (former) Tory MPs will forget either losing their seat or having had a drastically reduced vote share.

Compared to the danger for single Tory politicians whose prospects of staying in power are slowly fading, the danger of a shambolic government that still is in power is far greater for the general public.

The Tories are for example utterly disunited on Brexit (eg Johnson’s article in the Daily Telegraph). There…

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