The Snow In The Summer or So-So

Week of 3 July 2017


Martin Schulz: "I refuse to imagine a Europe where lorries and hedge funds are free to cross borders but citizens cannot"

5 July 2017
Workfare13: a reminder from history

KP asked after a 2013 vote to retroactively legalise penalties against people who refuse workfare schemes. Labour suggested that its MPs did not take part in this vote. Was this a major cause of Corbynism?

There is an argument that the 2013 vote was to correct a drafting error, and Labour had already lost the substantive argument, so had no business opposing the cleanup. Except the correction was itself incompetent, it didn't meet human rights. Proper scrutiny at the time *may* have revealed this deficiency, but we cannot be certain.

The tone of conversation at the time was huffy. Owen Jones went on about "Labour Party was founded to give working people a voice," in a way he claimed Ed didn't.

But Workfare13 hasn't been mythologised by the Huffy Left, in the way Student2010 and Benefits15 have been. Perhaps it doesn't fit the Huffy Left's narrative.

Student2010 is a charge against the Lib Dems, and against graduates paying a contribution for any benefits from their education. Benefits15, where interim leader Harriet Harman ordered an abstention, was uppermost in minds when voting for that year's leader.

Workfare13 has not entirely been forgotten, but nor is it mythologised. Could this be because it wasn't an internal Labour struggle, and the party didn't have all the opposition? Lest we forget, the DUP voted against Workfare13. Does the Huffy Left want to remember when it shared the lobby with a far-right money laundering operation?

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The weeknotes
TV and radio notes

Pitch Battle (BBC1, Sat) for a future Week, and Celebability (ITV2, Thu) for the next one.

The Box That Changed the World (BBC2, Sat) two hours of Melvyn Bragg pontificating about television. Good? A wide range of guests did not include Mark Lawson. Bad? Cropping clips to 16:9, conflating Jade Goody 2002 and 2007. That last tells us they're putting forward a point of view with no regard to the facts.

A Jessie Cave double-bill. Her turn on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (C4, Thu) was very different from the usual course of the show, talking motherhood and giving a woman's perspective on relationships. We could smell the talcum powder of motherhood. Jessie's cartoons - raw, unflinching, deeply depressed by love and romance - exposed Carr and co for their hollow and vapid acts.

And then Original Death Rabbit (Radio 4, January 2016), a story of internet memes and fleeting fame and mental illness. Interesting, witty, superficially plausible - though we bristled at the implicit moral that family ties always beat the individual.

On this week's Blue Peter

Hetty Feather Fun Two cast members in studio, discuss show, Victorian inventions, clip / Radzi VT - waterski challenge (rpt last year) / Badge wall / Lindsey VT - Falkirk wheel - a boat lift / James from Sealife centre to talk jellyfish / Viewer pictures

Next week

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Vintage Top of the Pops + 34 Years and 2 Months

2 September 1982 Oh No It's Jimmy Savile, with a set marking 60 years of the BBC. Repeats were a big part of the BBC, and we kick off with two of them. Modern Romance's take on Cherry pink and apple blossom white is a re-mount from a couple of weeks back. Duran Duran's video for Save a prayer gets a second play.

"Now then, howzabout we should have for you an invitation, from the one and only - going up the charts - Shakatak - same as the hat - thank you, good morning"

No money for a script editor this week, they've pushed the boat out on the set, with a carousel and acrobats. The roving camerawork during Shakatak's Invitations would still be gawpworthy today, with the group's near-identical singers looking like an Instagram filter. A pre-record of Depeche Mode's Leave in silence, black leather jacket and film projectors and a gong to bang.

Back in March, ABC set the video to Poison arrow on a train. The clip for All of my heart starts with a train receding into the distance. Little things, see. Martin Fry is on a street, with cuts to someone else in elegant surroundings. Truly, ABC were masters of the atmospheric video, little four-minute films.

Wot's next? Captain Sensible with Wot. Wot is he wearing? A tutu. Wot is he performing on? The Top of the Pops carousel, with backing dancers wearing oversized comedy heads.

From the ridiculous to the facile: Simple Minds perform Gilttering prize. Jim Kerr is a preening Glaswegian ponce, and he puts on the sort of show you can't ignore. He doesn't pretend to sing into a microphone, just throws shapes and captures the camera. The song wasn't a big hit, but established the group as successes.

Final orders for Showaddywaddy, Who put the bomp (in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp) is the last chart hit for the guys in coloured suits. They've soundtracked the BBC4 revivals from the beginning. The baton will end up with Robbie Williams, through the Pet Shop Boys, and is passed on here to UB40. So here I am is not well-remembered, light reggae with a washing-up noise.

Top of the Pops is meant to mix new hits and established favourites. The last seven (count 'em!) have all been outside the top 20, and three have been outside the top 40. It's back to known hits - and how! Hi-fidelity is from The Kids From Fame, and we're again blown away by the sheer energy and exuberance. And this is where the BBC is in 1982: sod the dreary news, stuff the tedious world stage, we're transfixed by a glossy, optimistic, story of Yankees singing and dancing like their lives depended on it.

Even the chart rundown marks the BBC 60 motif. Zoo perform a routine to The message, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five have some rap music. All twelve members of the troupe are in the studio this week. Back to the countdown, and Haircut 100 have the video to Nobody's fool, Nick Hayward in a car with Patsy Kensit (future Eighth Wonder, second Mrs. Jim Kerr, and fourth husband is Jeremy Healy from Haysee Fantayzee).

Survivor have taken the top spot with Eye of the tiger, we see a proper video. Tom Tom Club's version of Under the boardwalk plays us out.

We completely understand why the BBC finds Jimmy Savile episodes too hot to handle. Sometimes, it means modern viewers are locked out of a tremendous party because of contemporary fashions. The fairground feel in Shakatak's performance was unprecedented, and could still teach modern directors about telling an emotion. We'll miss Showaddywaddy's professionalism. Simple Minds get the best performance, this defined their career.

World news

The second birthday of Solidarity led to street protests across Poland. Over 4000 were arrested. Ronald Reagan proposed a self-governing Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, which had been occupied by Israel for 15 years. His administration would not accept independence for these territories, but nor would he accept Israel annexing them.

Addressing the Communist Party Congress, chairman Hu Yaobang said the political class struggle in China was at an end. California voters approved a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Diego, with trains scheduled to run from 1995. This timetable was not met; construction began in 2014, with trains running to Anaheim in 2025 and further south in 2029.

Three members of Catholic terrorist group the Irish National Liberation Army were held in Paris; they could not be extradited as there's no treaty between France and Ireland. A winter drought in Australia, almost 90% of the farms in New South Wales are short of water. The Yankees and Europe were at loggerheads over the Yankees' ban on exporting pipelines to the Soviet Union; two French companies had already sent parts.

Militant Tendency began a campaign against its expulsion from Labour. James Prior, the Northern Ireland secretary, suggested the Westminster government would have to reduce aid to the area. British Telecom was prevented from raising its prices, and from introducing a charge for directory enquiries. Ron Brown (Lab, Leith) was arrested after lunging in the direction of the prime minister, and "waving his hands" at her. John Nott, the defence secretary, is here today and gone tomorrow: he will retire from the Commons at the next election.

Keke Rosberg won the "Swiss" grand prix in Dijon. Imran Khan, the Pakistan captain, was unhappy with the standard of umpires in England. Sussex won the Sunday League, sponsored by the John Player cigarette company. The new Football League season started, crowds were down about 5% from last season. Sunny intervals, 20°C.

Dead: Ingrid Bergman, actor... Clifford Curzon, pianist.
Born: Leann Rimes, singer... Pepe Reina, footballman... Andy Roddick, tennisman... Fearne Cotton, presenter.
Open: St David's Hall, Cardiff.

Other television

Sin on Saturday reached an incredible fourth episode. (In spite of the critical slating, here's why it lasted four episodes: a bank holiday weekend when no-one's watching.) Tonight: Gluttony with bounty hunter Tiny Boyles Fanny Cradock and George Best Chef d'humeur Patrick Barlow.

The BBC marks its 60th birthday this November. To celebrate the occasion, a series of old interlude films were shown across the week. The Windmill, Messing About on the River, Palm Beach, Flirtation Waltz, Rough Sea on the Rocks, Potters' Wheel, Gooney Birds Taking Off, Piano Playtime, Road Works, Toy Fair, London to Brighton in Four Minutes.

It wasn't just shorts. Wogan's Guide to the BBC spent an hour behind the scenes. John Snagge narrated Those Radio Times and Ned Sherrin looked back on That Was 20 Years Ago That Was. He remembered That Was The Week That Was, not Newman and Baddiel's History Today series, still ten years in the future.

Match of the Day began in its new slot, at 4.20 on Sunday afternoons. Tommy had a simulcast on BBC2 and Radio 1. Blue Peter Flies the World took on a new meaning, replaying The Long Fall, John Noakes' five-mile drop. (Surprise! Not online!)

Bank holiday entertainment: Knockout Star Gala pitted Blackpool All Stars against Rest of the World, followed by The Best of Jim'll Fix It. Nothing troublesome there at all. BBC2 had a day of rock (Elvis movies, concerts) and sport (cricket, Junior Pot Black).

The world Speedway final saw lots of men rushing around a muddy track on motorbikes... What Why How Who hit Soviet television.

On Radio 1, David Jensen talks to professional cockneys Chas and Dave, and Peter Powell comes from the weekend's big festival - not Reading, not Leeds, but Greenbelt. In 1982, Greenbelt was the summer's third biggest festival, behind the Monsters of Rock one-dayer at Donnington Park (50,000 saw Status Quo) and Glastonbury (25,000 for Van Morrison). Reading was a one-day rock festival (12,000 saw Iron Maiden), Leeds a small folk festival.

Greenbelt attracted 15,000 to see a broadly-Christian festival of music and spirituality. Its zenith will be next year, with Cliff Richard and U2 playing. In the years since, Greenbelt has dropped the overt religion and adjusted to be arts, music, spirituality, and social justice.

The 2017 lineup features Sayeeda Warsi, Clive Stafford Smith, Eco Tea Bags, the Goth Eucharist, Jack Monroe, Natalie Bennett, Rob Newman, and Zoe Lyons. With music from Kate Rusby, Luke Bretherton, Martin Joseph, Speech Debelle, and Newton Faulkner.

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Popular music

The number one singles this week:

29jun 17h LUIS FONSI / DADDY YANKEE /  [+38d15h]
            JUSTIN BIEBER - Despacito
UK Charts for w/e 15 July 2017
Number One
Despacito - Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - 6th week (Number 1336 in seq.) ÷ - Ed Sheeran - 9th week (Number 1107 in seq.)
Highest new entrySun comes up - Rudimental Ft Notorious Homophobe James Arthur - number 11 Funk Wav Bounces - Vol 1 - Calvin Harris - number 2
Fastest climber
(within top 40)
Feels - Calvin Harris/Pharrell Williams/Perry/Big Sean - up 10 to 6 25 - Adele - up 9 to 26
Fastest climber
(within top 100)
Amsterdam - Nothing But Thieves - up 36 to 63 Hot Fuss - The Killers - up 55 to 40
Lemming-like fallSmile for Bradley - Liv'n'G - from 4 to 47 Live At Carnegie Hall - An Acoustic - Joe Bonamassa - from 19 to 81
Top 40 debuts Samantha Harvey Peter Perrett
Top 100 debuts Kamaliya, Samantha Harvey Joey Negro, John Smith, Lany, Peter Perrett

Summer's hits so far, as measured by our patented Northern Europe Hits Algorithm, modified for temperatures at this location. It helped to be big last week, because that was twice as hot as the surrounding weeks.

Here's the top ten so far:

01 despacito  --  luis fonsi
02 there's nothing holdin' me...  --  shawn mendes
03 symphony f/zara larsson  --  clean bandit
04 i'm the one f/bieber/quavo...  --  dj khaled
05 despacito f/justin bieber  --  luis fonsi & daddy yankee
06 2u f/justin bieber  --  david guetta
07 sign of the times  --  harry styles
08 mama f/william singe  --  jonas blue
09 attention  --  charlie puth
10 galway girl  --  ed sheeran

Fonsi is held back because Despacito is measured in two mixes, with and without Beaver. Both have charted at the same time in Finland. David Guetta hits number 6 after just two weeks on release. Though Shape of you is number 2 in the weekly chart, we mark it down for its original release before the spring: when temperatures are cold, points are negative.

More of this at the start of August.


With no charity opposition, the default number one returns to the top. Six weeks out of the last nine for Despacito. DJ Khaled rises a place to 2 with Wild thoughts, Rita Ora's Your song propels itself 7-3, Little Mix move 8-4 with Power, and Jonas Blue holds at 5 with Mama.

Why such an upwardly mobile top end? Last week's number one plunges to number 8, and Liv'n'G's mawk collapses from number 4 out of the top 40. It allows top ten entries for Calvin Harris's Feels (16-6), Sigala's Came here for love (13-7), Maggie Lindemann's Pretty girl (13-9), and French Montana's Unforgettable (12-10).

Two new entries of note. Rudimental has worked with notorious homophobe James Arthur on Sun comes up, straight in at 11. Samantha Harvey puts Forgive forget in at 14. Who? Harvey is a big deal on video site Spamchops, and commanded all of her fans to buy the single the moment it came out. They weren't doing so on musical merit - it's a modest composition - and after peaking at number 3 on Friday, it was trending out of the chart by Thursday.

One new peak in the top 20: Camilla Cabelo's Crying in the club advances one place to 17. Liam Gallagher's instant grat Chinatown enters at 36.

Down at number 64, Kamaliya with Timeless. She's married to a big shot in the Russian industry, and there's are rumours of an organised campaign to have her records "heard" by bots and propel it up the chart. Less of a problem on the genuine sales chart, of course. And it is the genuine chart, with five Ed Sheeran tracks in the 100.

Thursday releases: Kesha Praying makes 88; Zedd and Liam Payne Get low is 80. Expect both to soar next week.


With no new opposition, the default number one returns to the top. Nine weeks out of 18 for Ed Sheeran's escape code. Highest new entry at 2 for Calvin Harris. He's one of the few dance mixers who sells albums, two chart-toppers and now his second runner-up. Rag 'n' Bone Man is back up two to 3 with Human, and Royal Blood hold at 4 with How Did We Get So Dark.

Stone Sour have the highest entry of their career, Hydrograd enters at 5. They've been going since the turn of the century, and this eclipses the number 6 peak of 2010's Audio Secrecy. A new peak for the new Bee Gees hits collection at 6, and last week's number 1 from Radiohead falls to 9.

Also new to the top 40: TLC have a new eponymous album at 24... 1967 Sunshine Tomorrow is a comprehensive rarities set from The Beach Boys at 28... Peter Perrett tells How the West was Won at 30; he was with The Only Ones in the late 1970s. Lany, John Smith, and Floating Points have minor hit albums. And, for the first time ever, so does Joey Negro - the dance mixer has three decades in the business, and many hit singles, but Produced with Love (89) is his first hit album.

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This week's news

Still no deal in Belfast There's still no deal for government in the north of Ireland. The DUP are pissed off about Sinn Féin's demand that they respect the Irish language. SF are also hacked off about the DUP not respecting the sanctity of marriage between two people.

North Korea The regime in the north launched a new sort of missile, perhaps something they think could be an inter-continental ballistic missile. Red China was concerned, and warned against 'words and deeds' that raise tensions.

Pas du gaz Emmanuel Macron, leader of the francophone world, gave a l-o-n-g speech. Macron called for Europe to be revived by a new generation of leaders, and promised to shrink his domestic parliament. His prime minister, Nicolas Hulot, pledged to phase out petrol and diesel cars so they wouldn't be sold after 2040.

Sportsball The Quidditch European Cup was won by "England" (coach: Emily Oughtibridge, captain: Bill Orridge). They defeated "France" (coach: Albert Bregeault) on the snitch catch.

The "Celtic" League of rugby is to expand again. Originally set up for areas bordering the Irish Sea, the league expanded some years ago to take in two sides from Italy. Now it'll add two sides from South Africa, a Bloody Long Way Away. The new league will be split into two conferences of 7 sides; further details are to be confirmed.

Dead: Carol Lee Scott, Grotbags from CITV... Stephen Tindale, chair of Greenpeace 2001-6...

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Strange week of weather. An isolated depression formed in the Bay of Biscay on Monday, and migrated north-west over the next few days. As it moved, the depression pulled up hot air from Iberia. This introduced more heat for a couple of days, with somewhat less humidity than the extreme warmth a couple of weeks ago.

After the isolated depression moved past, rain remained a hundred miles or so to our north. Thunderstorms were threatened on Thursday, but were confined to East Anglia. Lawns are looking stressed, the past four weeks have provided less than 5mm of rain. The coming week may redress this deficit, rain and cooler temperatures are predicted for the working week. Tuesday in particular could be very wet if a depression mopes further north than we expect, so do wrap up.

03 Mo cloud to sun       14/23
04 Tu sun-cloud mix      14/22, 1.0
05 We sun                11/26
06 Th sun to cloud       14/28
07 Fr sun to cloud       17/24
08 Sa sun-cloud mix      14/22
09 Su sun                17/25

Rainfall in July: 1mm; monthly average: 67mm

Hottest comparable week in the past ten years: only 2013 had any significant heat.

Degree cooling days: 114
2016: 33/179
2015: 54/113
2014: 52/174
2013: 40/241
2012: 51/127
2011: 55/190
2010: 90/135
2009: 57/79
2008: 40/114
2007: 33/91

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