Snippets of informed gossip, intrigue and odd occurences!
Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pg. 45.
Squall Ejected From PlLGER Lecture
A remarkable and laughable event occurred at the large and well-publicised Marxism '96 conference held in London in July, when a Squall journo attended a lecture given by the respected freelance journalist John Pilger.
The packed auditorium at the Institute of Education heard Pilger diagnose the dire state of the British media, describing many examples of the suffocation of truth resulting from the grip of the big western media moguls.
He called on all young journalists to avoid the press release, ignore the D notice and get on with some sorely needed, record-straightening, investigative journalism. The Squall journalist naturally thought the 20 Squall magazines he had in his bag might be a welcome example of just such an attempt, and so resolved to sell them outside the lecture theatre.
However, hardly had five minutes elapsed before he was approached by two Socialist Worker Party stewards and told to leave the building. Showing not the least interest in the contents or origin of the magazine, they insisted that the rules laid down were that only their newspaper - the Socialist Worker - was to be sold on the premises. They were flummoxed for about five seconds, when the Squall journo ventured that their Murdoch-like grip on information dispersal was the very antithesis of what had been heard coming from John Pilger's mouth. However, recovering their legendary powers of debate, the SWP steward replied that their rules were the rules and would the Squall journalist leave the building and take 'his' magazines with him.
The disease goes deeper than Murdoch it seems.
Irate property owner sees light
A bizarre meeting between a squatter and the owner of the property he was occupying produced unexpected results.
The squatter wandered into the Advisory Service for Squatters office in June, asking for advice on how to negotiate with property owners. He told the ASS crew that he had attempted to speak with the owner of his London squat but had been rebuffed and told to vacate the property immediately. As he explained his situation, who should walk into the ASS office with steam coming out of his ears but the owner himself. The squatter once again asked the owner to let him stay until the building was to be renovated, offering to look after the building until then. However, the owner once again refused, and instead issued threats to illegally evict the squatter without a court order.
The increasingly heated exchange resulted in the owner asking the ASS bods whether their office had ever been bombed, before storming out of the office. The squatter left at the same time.
However, a happy ending resulted when the two former adversaries hit it off on the way home, with the owner finally acknowledging that allowing the squatter to stay in the property until building work started was in fact a mutually beneficial arrangement. Sweet as.
Word reaches Squall that Capt. Dan, mainstay of the McLibel Support Campaign was seen Egyptian belly dancing at WOMAD festival.
Dan, once a corporate lawyer with Lovell, White and Durrant hasn't looked back since leaving the shipping litigation department to help the McLibel Two expose McDonald's.
Dan now sleeps on the floor of the McLibel Support Campaign office with what he describes as the "most minimal of belongings".
A year's subscription to Squall for any photographs of the Captain in his "most minimal" Egyptian bikini, banging it to the bazouki.
Dimitri, an Eastern European asylum seeker, living in Hackney Council's hostel for homeless refugees and asylum seekers, was arrested for shoplifting a bottle of vodka.
Appearing at a local Magistrates' court, Dimitri begged the magistrate to send him to prison. He informed the court that the cell he had been held in was far preferable to "that awful Council hostel" and implored the judge not to make him go back there.
The magistrate was less than impressed. He fined Dimitri despite the fact that as an asylum seeker on no benefits he could obviously not pay.
Mr Flower's Tower of Power
I was standing outside the North London house of a certain highly unpopular cabinet minister protesting against... well him really, when a motorcyclist pulled over.
"Are you protesting against Mr Flower?" he asked. "Yes," I replied, "would you like one of our interesting fliers?" "No, I don't need a flier," he said, "but I thought you might like to know that a friend of mine, a male prostitute, has visited this house on a number of occasions. Good evening."
The society function of the quarter had to be the Exodus wedding up at HAZ manor in Luton this summer.
During the Agadoo period of the party (we kid you not - bridegroom and Exodus spokesperson Glenn Jenkins, along with bestman and rated techno-jungle DJ Hazad, sang all the words to Agadoo and a disturbing array of other pap classics including Stars on 45 and the Birdy Song), I overhead a natter between two old ladies wearing hats, gloves, the lot. One of them was tapping her foot as the conga line passed her for the third time. She turned to her friend and said: "Well, these raves aren't so bad after all are they?"
Tribal Butlins. Phoenix Schmoenix. Did you see how long the queue for the cloakroom marquee (yes I did say cloakroom) at the Blathering was?
At the Phoenix my mate who was working at the event, a stilt-walker in a nine-foot alien costume, was stopped by Vinces' boys every time she went in or out of the main arena. She had to bend right over so the big, bad bouncers could reach to check that her wristband was securely fixed. Top security doing their job. Well, it could have been an elaborate ruse so she got in to see the Sex Swindlers for free.
You do get what you pay for though: they'd laid on a beautiful almost-full moon at the Blathering. I blagged my way nicely into the VIP Redbull tent: lots of beautiful people jittering and talking very fast. Free shots of any spirit you like with Redbull: "Four Jack Daniels please. Hold the Redbull. Oh and five vodka and oranges. Hold the Redbull." Well, you'd be up all night if you drank that shit wouldn't you?