Posted tagged ‘revolution’

John Sullivan RIP

April 25, 2011
John Sullivan, RIP

John Sullivan, RIP

On Saturday 23rd April, comedy legend John Sullivan passed away aged only 64. John is of course world famous for creating the series Only Fools and Horses, but he will always have a special place in my heart for creating one of my favourite comedy characters, the legend that is Walter Henry Smith, aka Wolfie Smith. Portrayed by Robert Lindsay, Wolfie was the redoubtable revolutionary leader of the Tooting Popular Front over four series of Citizen Smith (1977 – 1980). Incidentally, one half of this blog’s name comes from that show, as does my cousin BarryGruff’s blog banner.

Wolfie Smith

Wolfie Smith

As a tribute to the late Mr. Sullivan – who lost a six-week fight with viral pneumonia on Saturday – I’m posting my favourite Citizen Smith episode – “The Glorious Day” – wherein our heroes steal a tank and invade the English parliament. I once had the dubious pleasure of visiting “the mother of all parliaments”, and this episode was constantly running through my mind. As my own little tribute, I wore a hammer and sickle t-shirt and ended up in some verbal fisticuffs with our ultra-monarchist tour guide. I also managed to sneak into the House of Commons and shoutily argue with my Lib-Dem friend across the dispatch boxes (parliament was in summer recess). Too bad digital cameras weren’t ubiquitous back in those heady days.

Citizen Smith – The Glorious Day [Part 1]

Citizen Smith – The Glorious Day [Part 2]

Citizen Smith – The Glorious Day [Part 3]

John Sullivan (1946 – 2011) RIP



Mark Thomas-Coke Download Link / BBC on Venezuela

November 20, 2007


As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the full Mark Thomas/Coca-Cola Dispatches programme is now available for download here (via Couchtripper – rename the CTR file to WMV). I have yet to watch it myself.

Also, last night I had the misfortune to catch some of BBC’s This World program about the Venezuelan Revolution. The Jon Sweeney presented ‘documentary’ was entitled “Chavez: The Trillion Dollar Revolutionary“, and boasted as one of its selling points an interview with the Bolivarian president. To be fair, I didn’t catch it all – but from what I saw the interview consisted of Sweeney asking Chavez one idiotic question – about money Chavez gave to London Transport in exchange for transport advice – at a press conference.

From the moment I flipped over to it, I could see the tone was entirely hostile to the Bolivarian project as a whole – and what good things Sweeney had to say about the revolution were through (metaphorically, and perharps literally) gritted teeth. Children get free meals in schools – “aah a cunning plan to indoctrinate them!”, peasants collectivise agricultural land – “ahh but look, there’s some dirt on the farm!”, Bolivarian Circles are armed and trained in case of Imperialist intervention and/or counter-revolution – “ahh, they might use weapons against those who refuse to vote for Chavez (even though ballots are secret and there’s been no evidence of this ever happening)!”, people in the barrios seem genuinely happy with their President – “ahh, but there’s still gang violence which is obviously all Chavez’s fault!”, and so on.

Now I’m not going to argue that the Bolivarian revolution is perfect – it’s not – nor that Chavez is some kind of saintly superhero – he’s not – but this program was farcical. And I’m going to stop talking about it now – though there is some dicussion over on the MediaLens board.

However, here are some good documentaries about the ongoing processes in Venezulea, and a link to the Hands Off Venezuela website.

John Pilger: The War on Democracy (2007)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2000, aka Chavez: Inside the Coup)

No Volveran: The Venezuelan Revolution Now (2007 – Incidentally, this is getting a screening in Connolly Books, Dublin on Monday 26th November – see here for full details)

Venezuela Bolivariana: People and the Struggle of the Fourth World War (2004)

Venezuela From Below (2007)


BArb Wire Love