The Doctor Blake Mysteries (BBC daily 2.15pm and Iplayer) A brilliant Australian crime series that I had to watch on Lovefilm but is now being shown on the BBC. Lucian Blake returns to his hometown Ballarat after 30 years to take over his deceased father’s medical practice.He is a complex character, haunted by the disappearance of his wife and child in Singapore prior to the Second World War, and still coming to terms with his own experience of the war. In his role as the police surgeon he comes into conflict with the police service who see him as a suspicious character because of his background, his search for the truth through his interest in forensic science, and his sensitivity to the people he comes across including Communists, aboriginal people and women. Running throughout the series is his relationship with the very straightlaced housekeeper Jean Beazly whose own life is as complex and painful as Lucien’s. It’s great watching a series that deals seriously with older people and their life experiences. Craig McLachlan is wonderful as the enigmatic Lucien Blake and Nadine Garner as Jean Beazsly is an excellent co-star.
the Ashton Job Centre Xmas demo on Thursday 17 December at 1pm and show Tameside against the Cuts that they are not alone. Every week they support people who are claimants at this jobcentre and offer advice through the blog: thepoorsideoflife run by TAC activist Charlotte Hughes. Every week she publicises the latest outrageous assault on the poor. But she doesn’t get paid for it and is on a low income. We need to keep her blog going. If you can, please make a donation to keep the blog going.
to the evocative singing of Canadian Inuit singer Tanya Tagaq. She sings on the new soundtrack of the 1922 film Nanook of the North. The film is classed as a documentary but some of the scenes were staged including the Inuits using harpoons, instead of guns, to hunt. It was the first documentary ever made and an important film because it reminds of the Inuit way of life even though at that time it was in decline. Tanya’s singing is fabulous. Watch the film and listen to her at
In her new book This Changes Everything Naomi Klein points to the indigenous people of Canada and America (including the Inuits) as the activists who are at the forefront of challenging the attack by global companies on their communities and how they are joining up with non indigenous people to stop everyone’s environment being destroyed. Buy it at
Refugee Radio Times- Voices of Asylum Identity and Resistance. It is a collaboration between refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and journalists and writers. We live in a time where the issue of migrants has never had so much press and media coverage but few of the people involved ever get to tell their story. In this book we hear their story: of people who have experienced what it means to have to leave your own country and seek sanctuary elsewhere. Particularly shocking is the story of Osman, a refugee from Sudan, who has spent eight years being shuttled around Europe trying to find a country to accept his asylum claim. What does this system do to people? Read about the effects of trauma in a very interesting interview with Shawn Katz, a psychologist. One of the most interesting books I have read recently, we need more books like this! It was produced by a charity – Refugee Radio Times – so support them and buy it at