Re-Establishment 17

Sorry for the break. I was staying in London in one those seriously grotty hotels around Kings Cross station, so that I could get into the British Library quickly and not miss a second of the – far too restricted – hours its reading rooms are open. I was immersed in Burnes related manuscripts through the day and spending the evenings fitting the raw material into the overall picture (mostly by lying in the bath and thinking very hard, but that might be too much information).

I did however emerge after midnight on Thursday to go down to Ronnie Scott’s and contribute to the pop-up reopening of the Establishment Club, which it is hoped will lead to the Club eventually reoccupying its old premises. Obviously the organisers are setting themselves an impossibly high bar in trying to follow in the footsteps of Peter Cook, though the attempt is not too sacreligeous as it has the support of his widow, Lin.

John Fleming’s review linked above gives a fair account of what I said, which focused particularly on the agenda of the mainstream media in not reporting the real news. The Evening Standard evidently has no sense of irony, as they produced (two thirds of the way down page) a totally tendentious account of my appearance, not reporting anything I said, completely misrepresenting audience reaction and claiming I was attempting to do stand-up comedy.

I suppose I should be grateful to the Standard for this unlooked-for proof of the truth of what I said. But somehow I am not.

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17 thoughts on “Re-Establishment

  • Mary

    Who ‘writes’ that waspish tittle tattle in the Standard? Sarah Sands? Whoeever? Repellent. What interest do the Levedevs have in the Litvinenko inquest I wonder. And some nasty jingoism at the end of the piece with the Union Jack dress and helping of the heroes.

    So most of these 600,000 copies fill the floors of the Tube trains and litter the rest of London.

    263,095 (paid, December 2006)]
    600,000+ (free, October 2009)

  • Martin


    On May 7 2007, under the headline “The Complexity of Truth” you wrote “My own view is that the fertiliser bomb, 7/7 and 21/7 cases deserve to be discussed in a much more penetrative and complex way than is being done at present. I have a strong feeling that few on any side will agree with this posting, which is probably why I need to make it.”

    So I’m pretty sure that this is the subject you are going to return to in your eagerly-awaited “controversial” post.

    Coming out as a “truther” will certainly earn you more ridicule from The Evening Standard, but you won’t lose your friends.

    But, before you get invited into the orbit of the “Highgate Hub”, ponder what Mary wrote in response to another of your posts today – about the US delisting of the MEK as a terrorist organisation.

    Then ask yourself how an MEK supporter/fundraiser (and alleged trustee of its fraud-ridden charity Iran Aid) with impeccable humanitarian instincts, can also be at the very centre of Britain’s hapless and much derided truth movement.

    That “representative of the security services” you referred to in your 2007 post will have come from MI5. What never gets mentioned is MI6/SIS-protected activity within Britain.

  • Blue_Bear

    I still get sad when I go past the old Ronnie Scott’s in Brum to see it’s now just another strip-joint. Sigh.

  • Nextus

    Hmmm. The Establishment Club is a strange setting for such a hard-hitting non-satirical message – but potentially a very effective one.

    Credit to Keith Allen for not trying to put a comic spin on such a grave ethical issue.

    In any case, you couldn’t have scored any lower on the laugh-o-meter than Lembit Opik – who was actually trying to branch into stand-up as a post-political career. To paraphrase Bob Monkhouse, people scoffed at the very idea – but they’re not laughing now.

  • theGingerZilla

    Is it really that surprising any part the establishment and their trolls drags up a load of made up crap so they can smear excrement everywhere when you happen to cast the occasional mirror in their face?

    Craig this really is so absurd you can’t help but laugh.

  • Mary

    Who wrote this crap? I thought silos were structures for storing grain and the like.

    Effective partnerships

    The public will expect PCCs to use their mandate to lead the way; to galvanise others, challenge silos while always looking to cut crime. PCCs will be in a strong position to drive action and collaboration across a range of agencies and partnerships, and may provide an opportunity for even greater local reform.


    Dangerous precedents are being set.

    St Theresa is being warned that there will be a very low turnout for the election of police commissioners. Perhaps that is what is wanted. Power goes into one pair of hands yet few of the electorate voted.

    Police and crime commissioner candidates warn of turnout
    The public can vote for police and crime commissioners on 15 November

    Police and crime commissioner elections
    Watchdog queries police adverts
    Police commissioner support ‘low’
    Impartiality vow by police chiefs
    Police election website launched

    The home secretary has been warned that the forthcoming police and crime commissioner elections could result in the lowest turnout in British history.

    With 50 days until polling day, 20 candidates have sent Theresa May an open letter urging her to rethink how the elections are being run.

    Turnout could be “rock bottom” they say but better information on candidates and TV broadcasts could improve it.

    The coalition said it had been promoting the elections for two years.

    And a government national advertising campaign, including television and radio adverts, is expected to launch in October.


  • Mary

    By just going round the BBC website, I came across this. Lebedev has been using his fists!

    Russian media mogul Alexander Lebedev has been charged with hooliganism in Russia after he punched a fellow guest during a TV debate last year.

    Mr Lebedev, who owns Britain’s Independent and Evening Standard newspapers, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

    In September 2011, he knocked former real estate businessman Sergei Polonsky off his chair during the heated debate.

    Mr Lebedev says the case is a vendetta for his criticism of the Kremlin


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