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Ancient Parliamentary Privilege Still Vital in Modern Democracy

Periodically ‘Parliamentary privilege’ is a term thrown into the spotlight by events. Now it’s on the agenda again with a big consultation exercise. This article was first published on Suite 101, 27 April 2012. It is republished now, as the question is still outstanding. In May 2011, Lib Dem MP John Hemming named aloud in Parliament Ryan Giggs as the footballing celebrity who had been granted a High Court ‘super injunction’ to gag anybody from speaking about or reporting his alleged affair with a former reality TV star. The order was so powerful that it could not even be acknowledged as existing. Coming as part of a stream of big public names employing the same tactics to keep their lives private, the question of what the media should and could report was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Love Left Hanging

Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company at St George’s Theatre, Gt Yarmouth Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 20 April 2013 The notorious Maria Marten barn murder at Polstead, Suffolk for which William Corder was hanged, still excites controversy, films and melodramas galore. However, this take by new and upcoming Stuff of Dreams Theatre offers the few facts and looks at the lies, deceptions and other likely culprits to ask the audience who it finds guilty. Policing was young in the early 19th century, forensics unborn. ‘It’s not what you see or are told, but what is branded in your mind’ persuades people now as then. Co-writer and Artistic Director Cordelia Spence weaves a clever narrative, moving from jury room to tragic village, with a puppet as a child, some powerful physical theatre and hanging … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Swimming With Sharks

Swimming With Sharks Seagull Theatre Rep Company, Lowestoft   The movie business is about illusion and self, ‘money, girls, power.’ This play from the George Huang 1994 film rips the rosy spectacles off Tinseltown, where everybody has a story, everybody pays a price in personal terms. They’re all sharks in that pool. The young, innocent Guy, (Ricky Reeve), arrives in the office of the mogul (John Hales at his theatrical best, who also directed) and starts learning the realities of Hollywood immediately and painfully. Milly Finch as the ambitious producer who dares to hope Guy is different gives a well-judged interpretation. Principals are ably supported by Alan Bolton, Richard Boakes, Patrick Pilgrim, Ryan Hammond, Rosie and Lily Vincent – an inspired mix of old hands and new faces. Rich with comedy and throw away truths, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

Personal Privacy: The Next Big Debate the UK Should Have?

Not since times of war and national crisis has personal privacy been such a live issue. In times of rapid technological development, the concept of personal privacy is being consigned to history. Is a debate worth having before it’s too late? Or is it too late already? This article was first published on Suite 101, 3 April 2012. It is republished with more recent links below. Politically, it could be that Coalition Government problems about an ill-judged Budget, about handling a potential fuel crisis and about changing the definition of marriage will fade with time. However, these difficulties will probably pale into insignificance when set alongside the head of steam building against proposals to increase ‘official snooping’ into almost every corner of every citizen’s life. In a democracy it’s generally a given that … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101