Today the British Ambassador to the E.U. delivered a letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, starting the process by which Great Britain leaves the Union.
Though few expected it there are so many reasons why this is happening. The principal one is that we were allowed a referendum on the subject and other countries were not. Other reasons include the credible threat that Nigel Farage and UKIP posed to the Conservatives and the fact that at least one third of the British wanted to leave in every poll taken since 1973. Even well-informed British opinion-formers mostly never understood that the EU was not a trading bloc, but an embryonic federal state. Free movement of people was a design fault in a trading bloc, but it makes perfect sense if Europe is a sort of country.

The E.U. is now widely seen for what it has become: an oligarchic structure, riddled with corruption, built on a denial of any sort of popular sovereignty, enforcing a bitter economic regime of privilege for the few and duress for the many.
Perry Anderson, former editor of New Left Review

Since the break-up of the post-war settlement which gave us decades of ‘never-had-it-so-good’, British society has been destabilised. A large section of the middle class hates the resulting liberalisation of a new order, dominated by large-scale uncontrolled immigration, crypto-socialists, so-called “modernising” Tories – and hung down by debt. Another, younger section, better at adjusting, quite likes it.

Lower down the scale, the old division in the working class between “rough” and “respectable” has been exacerbated as their settled security of jobs, full employment and welfare was replaced by employment insecurity, lagging household incomes and the death of traditional industries. The result was alienation, resentment and impotent anger, all greater among the “rough” than the more conformist “respectables”.

In June 2016, the two disgruntled groups, the alienated middle and the rough working – both left behind and resenting it – took their revenge by voting Brexit – to the horror of the modern middle and the respectable working, who saw it as a takeover by ignorant, xenophobic, racist, obscurantist, out-of-date yobs and geriatrics. On this analysis, both vote and reactions have more to do with the social antagonisms of class-divided Britain than either the iniquities, or the benefits, of the European Union.
Austin Mitchell, former Labour M.P.

The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.
Mikhail Gorbachev

For all its faults, provided that the world economy remained fairly stable, the EU would probably have been able to stagger on reasonably well. The trouble is, though, that over the past few decades the world has undergone three enormous shocks: the collapse of communism, the advent of globalisation and the communications revolution. These shocks demanded the utmost flexibility in order for the economy to adjust to them. But flexibility is exactly the thing the EU has learnt not to do.

Not only that, but more recently it has made three big mistakes. The first is the formation of the euro, which many economists, including me, correctly identified as a prosperity-destroying machine long before its inception. The second was the failure to amend the free movement rules once the EU had been extended to encompass the former communist countries of eastern Europe. The third was the introduction of the Schengen passport-free travel zone, which has proved to be a security nightmare at just the time that security is at a premium.
Roger Bootle


Delight at BBC boost

Hurrah BBC 3 coming to BRUM! But we do NOT want Channel 4 and its awful programmes loike Benefits Street which made ordinary Brummies look feckless and denigrated Birmingham my home city and made Brum and Brummies a laughing stock……Clear off Channel 4 we don’t want or need you after the hatchet job you did on Birmingham with ‘Benefits Street’ welcome to the Beeb, building on your presence at the iconic Mailbox…..Keith Bracey, former investment promotio and inward investment professional with Locate in Birmingham, the city’s former investment promotion agency….I bought the Elmhurst School for Dance from Camberley to Edgbaston in Birmingham to become the feeder Ballet School for the Birmingham Royal Ballet from 2000 until 2004 when I project managed the relocation and new build.

Why Birmingham is the obvious location for Channel 4’s new home

I don’t want Channel Four in Birmingham…..remember ‘Benefits Street’…..the residents of James Turner Street in Winson Green were ridiculed and pilloried and lives were destroyed. Ordinary Brummies were held up as some sort of laughing stock and my home city of Birmingham’s people were made to look feckless and idiotic……people have short memories……We don’t want or need you Channel 4 with BBC 3 moving to The Mailbox or your awful programmes like ‘Hollyoaks’ ‘Big Brother’ (which started on Channel 4 and is a voyeuristic ‘freak show’ of awful folk trying to publicise themselves for so called entertianment…..NO…NO..NO TO CHANNEL 4 in Birmingham! Keith Bracey

Shakespeare Plus 2017

William Shakespeare is the GREATEST WEST MIDLANDER born 25 miles from my Home Town of Birmingham, Britain’s second city in Stratford – Upon – Avon

Michael Griffith: Home Page- Literature and Life Summer 2023


Hello All, we now begin our Shakespeare Blogs for 2017. We have had a wonderful launch into a Shakespearean autumn with Bell Shakespeare’s  Richard III awaiting us on Wednesday 15th March. As a preamble to that we have explored the context of the European Renaissance and 16th Century England. What a time that was with the fears of the plague and political intrigue hovering over people’s lives. Were their times any more fraught than our own? An interesting question. Kate Mulvany as Richard III will bring a totally new perspective into audience’s reactions to Richard III. As the recent discovery of Richard IIIremains in a carpark in Leicester provoked, there are still unanswered questions: was he an outright villain, or were there any redeeming aspects to his experience as a human being born with some very compromising defects: r3

Blog Topics begin this week. Here is a selection to chose from. Enjoy…

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Flatpack Film Camp

#Birmingham’s #FlatPackFestival starts on April 7th in the city

Welcome to the Blog of the Media Archive for Central England

On Friday the 7th of April Flatpack will host a brand new one-day Film Camp exploring some of the latest innovations in cinema. The event is open to everyone from large scale exhibitors to community cinema organisers, student film groups and just about anyone interested in film. So if you are fanatic about film or want to learn new skills and network with others in the industry, be sure to book your place.

The one-day event will be packed with a number of insightful workshops and panels from 10:00 till 18:00. Including a panel on the relationship between music and film chaired by film journalist Beth Webb, with musicians John Sweeney and Ruth Chan alongside animator Loup Blaster. We here at MACE will also be involved, leading a workshop on how to build your own archive, with practical tips and expert guidance on how to successfully screen archive film.

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