Legislative body of government
After Chris Pincher, the former Conservative deputy whip, resigned over allegations of drunken groping and was suspended from the party, questions are being asked about the protection and promotion of those accused of bad behaviour in the Houses of Parliament. On the Sky News Daily, Niall Paterson speaks to Jon Craig, Sky's chief political correspondent, and Peter Cardwell, a former special adviser, about the culture of sleaze in Westminster and the challenges of tackling it. Editor- Philly Beaumont Producer - Rosie Gillott Interviews producer – Alys Bowen
Guest: The DA's Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Kevin Mileham MP, John's John to explain the DA's Fuel Price Deregulation Bill and it's submission to Parliament. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Last updated : 2022.07.04 The latest news from home and abroad, with a close eye on Northeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula in particular
This year the UN celebrated its 77th Anniversary amidst an unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic, the Afghanistan political crisis and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. In the first part of this two-part Raisina Dialogue episode, we analyse the significance and influence of institutions like the United Nations in a multipolar world which is facing multilateral challenges. With the ongoing crises, the UN has come under serious criticism for failing to demonstrate a positive image of its role. “The UN is just a little more than the sum of the power dynamics of the most influential member states, so how they act or not is going to determine the effectiveness of the UN” states Laksmi Puri, Former Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations, India. Will the UN go the way of its predecessor, the League of Nations, and sink into the abyss of history as an irrelevant failure or will it aggressively reform and respond to the challenges of today? Speakers: Ararat Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Armenia Daniel Carmon, Senior Research Fellow, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Israel; Former Ambassador of Israel to India Lakshmi Puri, Former Assistant Secretary General, United Nations, India Charles Kupchan, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of International Relations, Georgetown University, United States Jane Holl Lute, Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, United States Moderator: Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, India The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs.
This year the UN celebrated its 77th Anniversary amidst an unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic, the Afghanistan political crisis and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. In the first part of this two-part Raisina Dialogue episode, we analyse the significance and influence of institutions like the United Nations in a multipolar world which is facing multilateral challenges. With the ongoing crises, the UN has come under serious criticism for failing to demonstrate a positive image of its role. “The UN is just a little more than the sum of the power dynamics of the most influential member states, so how they act or not is going to determine the effectiveness of the UN” states Laksmi Puri, Former Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations, India. Will the UN go the way of its predecessor, the League of Nations, and sink into the abyss of history as an irrelevant failure or will it aggressively reform and respond to the challenges of today? Speakers: Ararat Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, ArmeniaDaniel Carmon, Senior Research Fellow, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Israel; Former Ambassador of Israel to IndiaLakshmi Puri, Former Assistant Secretary General, United Nations, IndiaCharles Kupchan, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Professor of International Relations, Georgetown University, United StatesJane Holl Lute, Former Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, United StatesModerator: Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament, IndiaThe Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs.
Pastor Ryan shares Sunday in Williston. In the early stages of the revolutionary movement in the colonies during the 1760s and early '70s, patriots used such celebrations to proclaim their resistance to Parliament's legislation while lauding King George III as the real defender of English liberties. However, the marking of the first days of independence during the summer of 1776 actually took the form in many towns of a mock funeral for the king, whose “death” symbolized the end of monarchy and tyranny and the rebirth of liberty. Just as our independence from Britain was liberating it also came at great cost! Great Freedom, Comes at great cost! Romans 5:6-11 NKJV “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:13-17 NKJV “(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, Our Indepence from the Tyrany of sin being slaves to its lordship in our life ceased. Deaths reign no longer holds any authority in our life! FREEDOM RINGS! Let freedoms bell ring! On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell summoned citizens of Philadelphia for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Let this bell alert us to freedom! Both to hold onto the freedoms we've received as well as the freedom we require. (even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)” Can you recall the day when you viewed someone making 24,000, or 35,000, 60,000, (I can remember when I heard of those numbers I was amazed that someone could make that much.. it was something that was hard for my mind to grasp.. there is a day that you've said in your heart 250,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 50,000,000, 100,000,000, 500,000,000 unfathomable, you're going to look back and laugh not at yourself in a manner of degrading yourself but in a manner of awe inspired laughter at the goodness of your God and what he can do when you are faithful to do your part in the Kingdom of God. If you're a supplier He will Supply. If you have seen something placed on your heart to do. Don't allow the enemy to hold you up. All it takes is a step. The season we're in requires an acceleration of position! Show yourself faithful and He will show Himself faithful He cannot deny Himself! 1 Corinthians 1:9 TPT “God is forever faithful and can be trusted to do this in you, for he has invited you to co-share the life of his Son, Jesus, the Anointed One, our King!” Ephesians 2 (TPT) :7“Throughout the coming ages we will be the visible display of the infinite riches of his grace and kindness, which was showered upon us in Jesus Christ.” Romans 11:11-24 NKJV “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?” John 8:34-36 NKJV “Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Let Freedom Ring Glatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Let Freedom Ring Jeremiah 5:22 “Do you not fear Me?' says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, Yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.” Remember the freedom we've received cannot stay beyond the bounds that Jesus has set in our life! Freedom, and liberation from tyranny will return to its bound. LET FREEDOM RING!!!
As Papua New Guinea prepares to go to the polls, women candidates are campaigning to return to parliament. Australia's nearest neighbour is one of the few countries in the world with no female MPs, but a small group is standing to change that, and their nation, for the better.
MPs are increasingly held in contempt by the public. How can Parliament improve its standing? Dr Hannah White, deputy director of the Institute for Government and author of Held in Contempt, joins Ros Taylor to discuss what's wrong with the House of Commons, and how Westminster can repair its reputation in the wake of recent scandals. “It only dawned on me over the decade I worked there how Parliament wasn't a normal workplace.” “There's a small minority of MPs who don't treat staff well, and there are no consequences for that.” “Most people don't have much idea of the difference between Parliament and Government.” “The Prime Minister's main job was to tell the country the rules, if he didn't understand them he should've sorted that out.” “Society has changed a lot, but the Palace of Westminster hasn't.” https://www.patreon.com/bunkercast Presented by Ros Taylor. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Lead Producer: Jacob Jarvis. Producers: Jacob Archbold, Jelena Sofronijevic and Alex Rees. Music by Kenny Dickinson. Audio production by Jade Bailey. The Bunker is a Podmasters Production. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest: Jamila Hastick, Electronic Services Librarian, Library of Parliament It's Canada Day! Guest Jamila Hastick talks about what it's like to work as a librarian in the Canadian Library of Parliament/Bibliothèque du Parlement.
America's separation from Britain is often simplified by both those with enthusiastic and cynical motivations. But the years leading up to July 4th, 1776 were complicated, replete with hope, disgust and sacrifice. On this episode we talk about the Stamp Act and other actions on the part of Parliament that ultimately pushed the often fractious American colonists towards unity, rebellion and finally revolution. To hear on Stitcher, click here! To hear on iTunes, click here! To hear on Spotify, click here!
In EVN Report's news roundup for the week of July 1: Parliament votes to strip two opposition MPs of their positions in the National Assembly for their prolonged absences; Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says several Armenian villages will be handed over to Azerbaijan; Armenia has its first woman Prosecutor General and more.
John Howard experienced both the highs and lows of politics during 33 years in Parliament, 14 of which were in Opposition. In this Watercooler Conversation with Nick Cater, Australia's second longest-serving prime minister draws lessons from the Liberal Party's 2022 election defeat and urges unity and a focus on Liberal principles and policy. Email Nick Cater firstname.lastname@example.org Support these podcasts by becoming a premium subscriber from just $10 a month: www.menziesrc.org/subscribe Nick Cater is executive director of Menzies Research Centre
Our guest today has a truly inspirational, transformational weight loss story. About 5 years ago Tom Watson lost eight stone (that's 112 pounds or 51 kg) and reversed his Type 2 diabetes by committing to a whole new way of life and we are very excited that decluttering played a part in his journey. Tom is a Declutter Hub Podcast super fan and this is one you're not going to want to miss. Tom served as MP for West Bromwich East from 2001 until 2019 and was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2019. He was a minister for Prime Minister Tony Blair and worked at the very heart of 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. During his time in the Houses of Parliament, Tom built a reputation as a passionate campaigner. He challenged corrupt tabloid newspapers during the phone-hacking scandal and campaigned for reforms to the betting Industry. After changing his diet and getting fit, Tom has the global sugar industry in his sights and is committed to raising awareness about the dangers of excess and hidden sugars and improving public understanding of conditions like type 2 diabetes. For more show notes go to our Podcast Page. If you haven't already, make sure you check out our website The Declutter Hub. We are delighted you're here and can't wait to share all our top tips about decluttering and organising with you. Please feel free to join our Facebook group The Declutter Hub Community and you can find out more about The Declutter Hub membership here.
Squiz Kids is an award-winning, free daily news podcast just for kids. Give us ten minutes, and we'll give you the world. A short podcast that gives kids the lowdown on the big news stories of the day, delivered without opinion, and with positivity and humour.‘Kid-friendly news that keeps them up to date without all the nasties' (A Squiz Parent)This Australian podcast for kids easily fits into the daily routine - helping curious kids stay informed about the world around them.Fun. Free. Fresh. LINKSWorld's worst hotel room https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/oddly-enough/swiss-zero-star-hotel-offers-sleepless-nights-ponder-worlds-crises-2022-06-23/‘Have A Go' Month - Australian Olympic Committeehttps://www.olympics.com.au/have-a-go/Squiz Kids for Schools - Free 30 Day Trial: https://www.squizkids.com.au/squiz-kids-for-schools/Squiz Kids Apple Subscriber Content - Free 30 Day Trial: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/squiz-kids/id1494238283Squiz Kids Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/squizkids/?hl=enGot a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at email@example.com
In this session, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP took questions from opposition leaders and other MSPs in the chamber. You can find out more about the Parliament at http://www.parliament.scot/, and transcripts of FMQs are available on our website: https://www.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/what-was-said-and-official-reports/what-was-said-in-parliament/
Hello and welcome to the Alcohol Alert, brought to you by The Institute of Alcohol Studies.In this edition:International experts call for ban on all alcohol promotion 🎵 Podcast feature 🎵‘No clear evidence’ MUP reduces harmful drinkingVast difference in alcohol-related deaths remains between richest and poorest in ScotlandContents Unknown: How alcohol labelling still fails consumers‘No place for cheap alcohol: The potential value of minimum pricing for protecting lives’Sobriety tags rolled-out further despite no evidence of efficacyIrish Government makes moves to improve product labellingBrexit Freedoms Bill could deliver pint-sized wine bottlesNo and low alcohol sales double in the UKAlcohol Toolkit Study: updateWe hope you enjoy our roundup of stories below: please feel free to share. Thank you.IAS BlogsTo read blogs click here.International experts call for ban on all alcohol promotion 🎵 Podcast feature 🎵Realising Our Rights, a new report launched on 28 June by Alcohol Focus Scotland (AFS) and a group of subject experts, calls on governments across the world to introduce comprehensive restrictions on alcohol marketing in order to improve health.The publication explains how increasingly sophisticated marketing means that people are being constantly bombarded with positive messages about how alcohol enhances their lives. The alcohol marketing experts who helped develop the report point out that this seeks to build long-term relationships between people and alcohol brands, which reinforce alcohol as a social norm and ultimately contribute to high levels of consumption and harm across the world.They particularly draw attention to at-risk population groups, with children and young people, and people at risk of an alcohol problem, more affected than others.A number of additional pieces of research were commissioned to help develop the report, including research examining the impact of alcohol marketing on people with an alcohol problem. The complementary research found that this demographic has an increased susceptibility to alcohol marketing, which fosters positive alcohol-related emotions and increases their likelihood of drinking.The group’s recommendations include:Additional research for the report included analysing case studies from seven countries with marketing restrictions, to understand the processes, successes and challenges to introducing these restrictions. These case studies can be used by countries looking to introduce similar restrictions, to better understand issues around:Utilising a window of opportunityOpposition from the alcohol industryHow to frame regulationsUse of evidence and argumentsThe AFS report includes a human rights-based approach to marketing restrictions, highlighting that states have a legal obligation to protect citizens’ rights – such as the right to health – and that commodities that infringe on these rights need further restriction.AFS’ Chief Executive, Alison Douglas, said:“The current self-regulatory approach to alcohol marketing is failing to protect people and has led to our communities being wallpapered with promotions for a product that harms our health.“People don’t just have a need to be protected from alcohol marketing they have a right to be protected. A number of other countries have already imposed bans on alcohol marketing, if we want to create a more positive culture where everyone can realise their right to health, the UK and Scottish governments must act to restrict alcohol marketing.”The Scottish Government is consulting this year on marketing restrictions, and the Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd said:“I welcome this report and will study carefully its detailed findings and recommendations. I am determined to tackle the harmful impacts that alcohol marketing can have on children and young people, as well as the triggering effect it can have on heavy drinkers and those in recovery.”Tom Bennett, one of the report experts who is in long-term, abstinent recovery from an alcohol problem, said:“Alcohol marketing can be massively triggering; it’s designed to be. Seeing an image of a cold beer on a warm sunny day or a midwinter glass of whisky in front of an open fire can be highly appealing. Yet the message these images convey, that alcohol is life enhancing, is at odds with the health risks.”‘No clear evidence’ MUP reduces harmful drinkingPublic Health Scotland and the University of Sheffield released the final report on the impact of minimum unit pricing in Scotland, which suggests that among those drinking at harmful levels or those with alcohol dependence, there is “no clear evidence of a change in consumption or severity of dependence”.It also found that some economically vulnerable groups saw increased financial strain as they ended up spending more on alcohol. Some of those surveyed reduced spending on other things such as food and utilities.Public Health Scotland’s theory of change for MUP (reproduced from Beeston et al, 2019)However, there was little evidence of other negative consequences, such as increased crime or a shift to illicit substances. As this was an argument frequently used against the introduction of MUP, it is an important consideration.Further, the proportion of people who had drunk at hazardous levels in the last week fell significantly by 3.5% in the market research data. Other analyses of Scotland’s MUP have also found reductions in consumption among some population groups.Professor John Holmes, the lead researcher on the project, highlighted in a recent IAS blog that MUP isn’t designed to reduce drinking for those who are dependent:“Alcohol dependence is a more complex problem than harmful drinking and is best-tackled by early identification of alcohol problems and the provision of an accessible and effective treatment system.“MUP may therefore only contribute to a reduction in alcohol dependence by preventing future cases rather than addressing current ones.“Overall, our report offers a nuanced and mixed picture of the impact of MUP on a key population of concern, with both positive and negative findings for those on both sides of the policy debate.”During a meeting of the health committee in Holyrood, Dr Sandesh Gulhane (Conservative MSP for Glasgow) claimed that MUP was failing, and that the most vulnerable were cutting back on food to afford the high prices. Professor Petra Meier responded that pricing policies alone would not be enough to alter the consumption for some very heavy drinkers, and investment in health services is also necessary: “addiction services have had major cutbacks during Covid, they have been virtually inaccessible unless you were able to join online groups and make do with things like alcoholics anonymous online and so on.”Vast difference in alcohol-related deaths remains between richest and poorest in ScotlandIn related news, Public Health Scotland (PHS) also released its MESAS report 2022 (Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland's Alcohol Strategy) on 21 June , which shows huge inequality between the poorest and most affluent adults who consume alcohol, in terms of hospital stays and deaths.Rates of alcohol-specific deaths were five times higher in the poorest communities and hospital stays were nearly eight times higher.Vicki Ponce Hardy of PHS said the report showed that significant inequalities were resulting in "preventable" deaths:“The most recent survey data shows that almost a quarter (24%) of adults in Scotland still drink more than the recommended, low risk, weekly, drinking guideline. Among those exceeding the guideline, it's those in the lowest income group who are likely to consume the most."Contents Unknown: How alcohol labelling still fails consumersA new study by the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) looked at alcohol product labelling information on 369 products and found that:The AHA recommends that the UK Government sets up an independent body to monitor and enforce mandatory labelling, based on the WHO’s best practice for labelling.Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, AHA’s chair, said:“Those who profit from the sale of alcohol cannot be trusted to willingly provide product information. Legislation on alcohol labelling must ensure that consumers have the full picture of the contents and risk to health of the products they buy through Government making clear labelling on all alcohol products a legal requirement.“Given the choice, most alcohol producers are leaving this vital information off the labels, keeping consumers in the dark about what’s in the products they are drinking.”Product discrepancies were also foundMatt Lambert, the chief executive of the industry body the Portman Group, responded:“This report doesn’t correspond to the findings of Portman Group’s much larger and more comprehensive recent survey where we looked at 400 products including the biggest brands by market share – the ones which accurately represents what most customers are buying. That research found near universal coverage of industry best practice showing pregnancy warnings, alcohol unit information, signposts to responsibility messages, and four in five products carrying the Chief Medical Officer’s low risk guidelines.“Industry self-regulation has been responsible for voluntarily delivering greater information and awareness for consumers and the AHA’s own report shows that significant progress has been made. The sector is firmly on track to provide more information to consumers without recourse to valuable Parliamentary time, public funding or mandatory measures.”The UK Government is set to consult on alcohol product labels “in due course”.‘No place for cheap alcohol: The potential value of minimum pricing for protecting lives’The World Health Organization has published a comprehensive review of minimum pricing policies, in order for states and policymakers to understand the best available evidence and implementation practicalities on these policies.The report looks at evidence from simulation modelling studies and real-world studies in Scotland and Canada, which show encouraging results regarding reducing overall alcohol consumption.It goes on to look at objections and concerns around minimum pricing policies, such as any adverse economic impact and increases in illicit alcohol, and finds little to support these.As Scotland struggled to introduce minimum unit pricing due to legal battles with the whiskey industry, the report discusses requirements for the policies to be consistent with international trade law.International comparisons of minimum pricing rateAs Dr Aveek Bhattacharya, one of the report’s lead authors, explained in an IAS blog this week:“Here in one place, WHO Europe has collected a fact base on how and how well the measure works in different countries.“It is, to our knowledge, a unique resource, and we hope it will be useful to policymakers as other governments consider taking the leap in future.”Sobriety tags rolled-out further despite no evidence of efficacyFrom the 15 June, the Government rolled-out so-called ‘sobriety tags’ further. The tags monitor alcohol through sweat and are being used for prison leavers if their probation officer thinks they could reoffend when drinking.Alcohol is believed to play a part in 39% of violent crime in the UK and roughly 20% of offenders supervised by the Probation Service are identified as having drinking issues.Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said:“We’ve seen that alcohol tags work - with tagged offenders complying 97% of the time. That’s why we’re going to double the number wearing them from 900 to 1,900 over the next two years, focusing on those leaving prison on license.”This focus on compliance while wearing the device says little about whether the scheme works in the long-term in reducing reoffending. As Dr Carly Lightowlers wrote in an IAS blog last year:“A focus on compliance – in terms of alcohol-free days – is somewhat of a smokescreen as what is needed is evidence of whether drinking and related offending are reduced in the long term after tag removal, which is yet to be provided.”Additionally, a report from the National Audit Office released on 8 June said a failed plan to transform the electronic tagging system has wasted £98 million.The report says that the Government does not know if tagging offenders is helping to cut reoffending because of failings in the system, and that efforts to change the system were abandoned in March after 11 years and £153 million.Irish Government makes moves to improve product labellingLast week, the Irish Examiner reported that the Irish Government has made an application to the European Commission to enact regulations that would require health warnings on all alcohol products. These would include warnings regarding liver disease, fatal cancers, and consuming alcohol while pregnant.The regulations also provide for those selling alcohol in licensed premises to be required to display a notice containing the same health warnings, a link to the public health website and an indication that the alcohol and calorie content of products is available on request.The measures are contained in the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which has introduced a range of interventions including minimum unit pricing and restrictions on advertising at sporting events.Brexit Freedoms Bill could deliver pint-sized wine bottlesIn a Telegraph article on the first day of June, Brexit Opportunities Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, was said to be “spearheading the drive to ditch unnecessary regulations” around the sale of alcohol.One of the mentioned regulations was that sparkling wine “can only be sold in traditional champagne-style glass bottles, complete with mushroom cork and foil”. The article states that regulations about bottle sizes could be scrapped, meaning wine producers could offer pint-sized bottles for the first time in half a century.Another rule that says drinks cannot be called wine if they are under 8% could be got rid of, meaning no and low-alcohol wines can be referred to as wine, instead of synonyms such as “wine-based drink”.The article states that:“The plans, set to be outlined in the upcoming Brexit Freedoms Bill, could be enacted swiftly because legislation giving ministers the power to make the changes has already passed Parliament.”Patrice Noyelle, President of Pol Roger Champagne, presents a pint bottle of champagne to the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in 2008. CREDIT: Daniel JonesNo and low alcohol sales double in the UKAccording to alcohol market research group IWSR, sales of no and low alcohol products in the UK have doubled from 2016 to 2021, from $240m to $454m. Alcohol-free sales tripled from $52m to $184m.Emily Neill, head of research at IWSR, said promoting low-alcohol drinks was partly a commercial decision by companies:“What you’ve seen in markets such as the UK and US is consumers becoming much more conscious of their health…there’s a higher proportion of younger consumers who don’t drink at all or would like to moderate their consumption.”AB InBev said six years ago that it would aim for low-alcohol and no-alcohol beers to make up a fifth of sales by 2025, a target it admits it is unlikely to meet, with about 6% of sales currently from the products.Despite this, sales of no and low alcohol products are still very low in the UK. A study summarised in an IAS blog last year showed that of UK households that bought alcohol, only “0.92% also bought zero alcohol beer between 2015 and 2020” and only “2.17% bought low alcohol beer”.Alcohol Toolkit Study: updateThe monthly data collected is from English households and began in March 2014. Each month involves a new representative sample of approximately 1,700 adults aged 16 and over.See more data on the project website here.Prevalence of increasing and higher risk drinking (AUDIT)Increasing and higher risk drinking defined as those scoring >7 AUDIT. A-C1: Professional to clerical occupation C2-E: Manual occupationCurrently trying to restrict consumptionA-C1: Professional to clerical occupation C2-E: Manual occupation; Question: Are you currently trying to restrict your alcohol consumption e.g. by drinking less, choosing lower strength alcohol or using smaller glasses? Are you currently trying to restrict your alcohol consumption e.g. by drinking less, choosing lower strength alcohol or using smaller glasses?All past-year attempts to cut down or stopQuestion: How many attempts to restrict your alcohol consumption have you made in the last 12 months (e.g. by drinking less, choosing lower strength alcohol or using smaller glasses)? Please include all attempts you have made in the last 12 months, whether or not they were successful, AND any attempt that you are currently making.The UK Alcohol Alert (incorporating Alliance News) is designed and produced by The Institute of Alcohol Studies. Please click the image below to visit our website and find out more about us and what we do, or the ‘Contact us’ button. Thank you. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit instalcstud.substack.com
Plastic. It's not so fantastic, according to 100,000 New Zealanders who've signed a petition urging the government to ban single-use plastic bottles. But with about a billion of them sold in this country every year, it's going to be a tough habit to break. Ruth Hill reports.
The brakes have gone on a social housing development on Auckland's North Shore following complaints it could change the character of the neighbourhood. That's despite thousands of desperate families in the city on the wait list for a home. Kāinga Ora was going to build 37 homes and a community room on Bonair Crescent in Millwater but has now suspended its plan. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to Parliament asking for the development to be stopped because of concerns for the safety and security of the community. Kāinga Ora regional director North and West Taina Jones talks to Lisa Owen.
UK correspondent Harriet Line joins Kathryn to look at the NATO meeting in Madrid, plans to hold a second vote on Scottish independence and Downing Street able to give anonymous evidence suggesting Boris Johnson lied to Parliament.
After a peaceful march from the El-Wak Sports Stadium to the ministries area, the Arise Ghana protestors presented a petition to the Finance Ministry and Parliament demanding action to address the cost of living crisis and unpopular government policies.
Historian Rob McDonald joins us on this Fourth of July week to talk about the events leading up to the founding, and his observation that the Founders thought less that they were declaring independence from Great Britain than that Parliament and the King had effectively declared the colonies independent by failing to fulfill the basic functions of government. Get Your Copy of Cooperation and Coercion Now! http://www.cooperationandcoercion.com Show Your Support for Words & Numbers at Patreon https://www.patreon.com/wordsandnumbers Quick Hits and Foolishness of the Week https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/this-gorgeous-leather-is-made-from-the-hide-of-an-invasive-predatory-fish/ https://www.inversaleathers.com https://www.fb.org/newsroom/cost-of-july-4th-cookout-17-higher-compared-to-year-ago Foolishness of the Week https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-gas-prices-surge-stations-now-hold-up-to-175-of-your-money-when-you-swipe-11656277411 Join the Conversation Words & Numbers Backstage https://www.facebook.com/groups/130029457649243/ More James at Smoke & Storieshttps://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjILow4-ZJpBV-NnmSusZJ_vCuzKUJ4Ig Let Us Know What You Think mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Antony Davies on Twitter https://twitter.com/antonydavies James R. Harrigan on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/JamesRHarrigan
Papua New Guinea is one of the few countries in the world that does not have women in their Parliament. But there's a real shift to try to change that at the upcoming election this weekend, with more than 140 women putting up their hands as candidates. Is the message getting through to female voters?
Clement is in conversation with political editor at News24, Qaanitah Hunter, Associate Editor at Daily Maverick Marianne Merton, former mineral resource minister Dr Ngoako Ramathlodi, former Chairperson of the Parliament's Eskom Inquiry Zukiswa Rantho and Democratic Alliance Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone, zooming into what the state capture report says about the president, the ANC and parliamentary oversight See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Are our policing systems broken? Today, we dive into reimagining public safety following an array of policing scandals across the country. Plus, what did our government achieve and fail to achieve in Parliament this past year?Sponsors: Images Festival, Calm, The Peak See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
After laying low for two days, the National MP Simon O'Connor has returned to Parliament with a mea culpa for his caucus. On Saturday, the MP published and then later removed a message supporting the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. O'Connor says it was his own choice to take the post down - and denies he - and his conservative colleagues - are being gagged. Here's our deputy political editor Craig McCulloch.
The Smart 7 is a daily podcast that gives you everything you need to know in 7 minutes, at 7 am, 7 days a week... With over 10 million downloads and consistently charting, including as No. 1 News Podcast on Spotify, we're a trusted source for people every day. If you're enjoying it, please follow, share, or even post a review, it all helps... Today's episode includes the following:https://twitter.com/i/status/1541406240495923202https://twitter.com/i/status/1541154963363094530https://twitter.com/christopherjm/status/1541525200793206786?s=21&t=zRtYvl3nbd-e2KN-50hDEghttps://twitter.com/i/status/1540978879548067840 https://twitter.com/i/status/1541320160090415104https://twitter.com/i/status/1541343744120717312 https://twitter.com/i/status/1541379526625746952https://twitter.com/i/status/1541363053148741633https://twitter.com/i/status/1541385352392220672 https://twitter.com/i/status/1541489132379283456https://twitter.com/i/status/1541258361420845056https://youtu.be/3xqkU0qH2b4https://youtu.be/dH3yylTyB8M In Ireland? Why not try our Ireland Edition? Contact us over @TheSmart7pod or visit www.thesmart7.com Presented by Jamie East, written by Liam Thompson, researched by Lucie Lewis and produced by Daft Doris. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Tears welled in the eyes of Labour MPs Jamie Strange and Rino Tirikatene as they spoke of how their respective mothers were urged to have abortions while pregnant with them.The pair were defending their decisions in 2020 to vote against decriminalising abortion in Aotearoa, explaining how personal those decisions were for different people.They were two of nine Labour MPs who voted against the bill - 37 voted in favour - which passed by a narrow margin in Parliament of 68 to 51.The strength of laws securing the right to safe and equitable access to abortions in New Zealand has come under scrutiny after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and the constitutional right there, allowing states to ban abortions - over half have indicated they will do so.The ability for politicians to speak freely on the subject here, traditionally treated as a "conscience" vote allowing them to take individual stances as opposed to following a party line, has also come into question.National MP Simon O'Connor was forced by leader Christopher Luxon, himself opposed to the right to an abortion, to take down a social media post Luxon said "triumphalised" the ruling and did not represent the party's current position not to relitigate or revisit the topic of abortions.O'Connor was one of 35 National MPs who voted against abortion reform in 2020 - 13 of whom remain in Parliament - alongside 20 who voted in favour.Labour's Tirikatene, MP for Te Tai Tonga, said his vote on abortion in 2020 was "a personal decision"."I wouldn't be here today, because my mum was advised by her doctor to have an abortion when she was carrying me. It's a very personal issue, and I'm pleased that my mother made her health decision."Strange, standing aside Tirikatene, said he did not know that of his colleague, as he revealed his own mother had made a similar decision."My mother was also advised to have an abortion back in 1975. She didn't. I'm here today for that reason."So as Rino was saying, it is a very personal issue. It's also a very complex issue. It's certainly multifaceted. And I think we would both acknowledge that it is a very complex issue, and it's different for each person."Labour MP Jamie Strange says abortion is a personal issue, and has revealed his mother was told to have an abortion when pregnant with him. Photo / SuppliedThey both said they agreed with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's strong statements on the issue, saying the US decision was a "loss for women everywhere", and assurances that it would not be relitigated.Tirikatene said they felt they could still express their personal views on the matter, and if any legislation did come up again it would be treated as a conscience issue."We support the Government position and the statements that have been made by our Prime Minister."But again, when these issues do come before the House, they are treated as conscience issues. And so that's how we always approach it."Labour MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki said she had always been opposed to abortion but the choice was "part of New Zealand's fabric now"."That's not what the Government is going to do, it's not going to change the law."Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri said her vote against abortion reform in 2020 was due to cultural concerns within her electorate. Photo / Warren BucklandArdern said shortly after the US ruling it was a "loss for women everywhere". She said people were "entitled to have deeply held convictions on this issue"."But those personal beliefs should never rob another from making their own decisions."How New Zealand MPs voted on abortion reform in 2020The Abortion Legislation Bill, to decriminalise abortion, at its third reading in 2020:YES:LabourKiri AllanGinny AndersenJacinda ArdernDavid ClarkTamati CoffeyLiz CraigClare Curran (no longer an MP)Kelvin DavisRuth Dyson (no longer an MP)Paul EagleKris Faafoi (MP until July 23)Peeni HenareChris HipkinsRaymond Huo (no longer an MP)Willie Jac...
35 rookie MPs are in Canberra for a crash course on parliamentary procedures and how to navigate the 75,000 square metre parliament house. 27 year-old Fatima Payman and 30 year-old Max Chandler-Mather are the new generation of politicians to be elected to Federal Parliament.
So, you've been elected to Parliament. What next? How do you navigate the 75,000 square metres of Parliament House in Canberra? Where do you get a coffee? And where's your office? Annika Smethurst, the Age newspaper's Victorian parliamentary correspondent and the Briefing's Canberra insider, worked in the halls of federal parliament for more than a decade. She explains 35 new members of the House of Reps start their new jobs today…and what they face as they start their new career. They'll be given an office, an advisor, and a showbag. So what's it like to be a brand new MP? Today's Headlines PM to attend NATO summit Census: Less than half the population is Christian Dads could get 20 weeks leave Teacher's Pet creator on the stand More protest action planned following Sydney traffic chaos Follow The Briefing DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE BRIEFING NEWSLETTER. LINK IS IN OUR BIO ON INSTAGRAM Instagram: @thebriefingpodcast Facebook: TheBriefingNewsAU Twitter: @TheBriefingAU See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This episode was sponsored and requested by listener Brock Crocker.Serving as a Member of Parliament from 2006 to 2019, Maxime Bernier held several cabinet posts before attempting to gain the leadership of the Conservative Party. He would go on to found the People's Party of Canada, taking the party into the 2019 and 2021 elections.Support: patreon.com/canadaehxDonate: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/craigUDonate: canadaehx.comE-mail: email@example.comTwitter: twitter.com/craigbairdInstagram: @Bairdo37YouTube: youtube.com/c/canadianhistoryehx
In this episode, we meet East-West Psychology PhD, Monica Mody, who is a writer, poet, and educator aligned with earth-based and decolonial feminist perspectives. Monica speaks about her approaches to writing, scholarship, and poetry as a cross-genre, transdisciplinary practitioner, and we discuss her dissertation, titled "Claiming Voice, Vitality, and Authority in Post-secular South Asian Borderlands: A Critical Hermeneutics and Autohistoria/teoría for Decolonial Feminist Consciousness," which received the 2020 Kore Award for Best Dissertation in Women and Mythology awarded by the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. Monica speaks about the importance of tracing and reconstructing her motherline story and how her creative process helps to tap into the voice of her ancestral memory and the voices of the ancestresess. She shares two of her poems and we discuss the role of poetics in her academic writing and what the intersection of knowledge and creativity looks like to her. We end with discussing Monica's ideas about what she calls earth-ecstatic spirituality. Monica Mody is the author of Kala Pani (1913 Press), the forthcoming Bright Parallel (Copper Coin), and three chapbooks including Ordinary Annals (above/ground press). Her academic writing can be found in The Land Remembers Us: Women, Myth, and Nature, and Integral Review: A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis. Her poems appear in anthologies including The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Poets, Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing, Witness: The Red River Book of Poetry of Dissent, and &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing. Her poetry has also been published in Poetry International, Indian Quarterly, Almost Island, Boston Review, and other literary journals. Besides a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology, Monica holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from the National Law School of India University. Among the awards she has received are the Sparks Prize Fellowship (Notre Dame), the Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa), and the Toto Award for Creative Writing. Monica has presented her work widely, including at the Parliament of World Religions, Symposia of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, American Academy of Religion Western Region, Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conferences, and Oakland Summer School. She has been invited to read her poetry at events including Poetry with Prakriti, Bengaluru Poetry Festival, the Trauma and Catharsis Symposium on Performing the Asian Avant-Garde, and the Asian American Writers' Workshop—as well as been a part of art shows including Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision. Monica was born in Ranchi, India, and currently lives in San Francisco, unceded Ramaytush Ohlone territory. She teaches as an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Monica Mody website: www.drmonicamody.com Connect with EWP: Website • Youtube • Facebook Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, women have made important gains in representation, especially in senior leadership. Women have been at the forefront of solutions for managing societal crisis.The question we aim to address in this episode is- how we can rethink of women leadership in ways to craft a just, more prosperous and fairer society. Women are making a sufficient percentage in parliaments around the world. “Women need space, women can no more be viewed by the type of husbands they have,” says Kwati Candith Mashego-Dlamini Most peace processes are premised on the assumption that the actors who pursued war, primarily men, will also act as the main agents for peace. Can women's participation in conflict prevention and resolution, improve outcomes before, during, and after conflict?We explore the question of what are the various issues that women need to manage and deal with, that are different from what men need to go through? Should women be further empowered and their potential unlocked to accelerate development? How can female leadership be enhanced across the political sphere, boardrooms, and financial systems? What can be done to make technology more inclusive for women and to aid them in crisis response and recovery? How can education be made more accessible, not just for women as students, but for women as educators?In conversation with -Smriti Z. Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, India Kwati Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa Waseqa Ayesha Khan, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources; Member of Parliament, Bangladesh Vanita Sharma, Advisor, Strategic Initiatives, Reliance Foundation, India Shombi Sharp, Resident Coordinator India, United Nations Moderator: Chandrika Bahadur, Former Director, SDG Academy, India The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs.
This week's episode looks at “All You Need is Love”, the Our World TV special, and the career of the Beatles from April 1966 through August 1967. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a thirteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Rain" by the Beatles. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ NB for the first few hours this was up, there was a slight editing glitch. If you downloaded the old version and don't want to redownload the whole thing, just look in the transcript for "Other than fixing John's two flubbed" for the text of the two missing paragraphs. Errata I say "Come Together" was a B-side, but the single was actually a double A-side. Also, I say the Lennon interview by Maureen Cleave appeared in Detroit magazine. That's what my source (Steve Turner's book) says, but someone on Twitter says that rather than Detroit magazine it was the Detroit Free Press. Also at one point I say "the videos for 'Paperback Writer' and 'Penny Lane'". I meant to say "Rain" rather than "Penny Lane" there. Resources No Mixcloud this week due to the number of songs by the Beatles. I have read literally dozens of books on the Beatles, and used bits of information from many of them. All my Beatles episodes refer to: The Complete Beatles Chronicle by Mark Lewisohn, All The Songs: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Release by Jean-Michel Guesdon, And The Band Begins To Play: The Definitive Guide To The Songs of The Beatles by Steve Lambley, The Beatles By Ear by Kevin Moore, Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald, and The Beatles Anthology. For this episode, I also referred to Last Interview by David Sheff, a longform interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono from shortly before Lennon's death; Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, an authorised biography of Paul McCartney; and Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey. Particularly useful this time was Steve Turner's book Beatles '66. I also used Turner's The Beatles: The Stories Behind the Songs 1967-1970. Johnny Rogan's Starmakers and Svengalis had some information on Epstein I hadn't seen anywhere else. Some information about the "Bigger than Jesus" scandal comes from Ward, B. (2012). “The ‘C' is for Christ”: Arthur Unger, Datebook Magazine and the Beatles. Popular Music and Society, 35(4), 541-560. https://doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2011.608978 Information on Robert Stigwood comes from Mr Showbiz by Stephen Dando-Collins. And the quote at the end from Simon Napier-Bell is from You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, which is more entertaining than it is accurate, but is very entertaining. Sadly the only way to get the single mix of "All You Need is Love" is on this ludicrously-expensive out-of-print box set, but the stereo mix is easily available on Magical Mystery Tour. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A quick note before I start the episode -- this episode deals, in part, with the deaths of three gay men -- one by murder, one by suicide, and one by an accidental overdose, all linked at least in part to societal homophobia. I will try to deal with this as tactfully as I can, but anyone who's upset by those things might want to read the transcript instead of listening to the episode. This is also a very, very, *very* long episode -- this is likely to be the longest episode I *ever* do of this podcast, so settle in. We're going to be here a while. I obviously don't know how long it's going to be while I'm still recording, but based on the word count of my script, probably in the region of three hours. You have been warned. In 1967 the actor Patrick McGoohan was tired. He had been working on the hit series Danger Man for many years -- Danger Man had originally run from 1960 through 1962, then had taken a break, and had come back, retooled, with longer episodes in 1964. That longer series was a big hit, both in the UK and in the US, where it was retitled Secret Agent and had a new theme tune written by PF Sloan and Steve Barri and recorded by Johnny Rivers: [Excerpt: Johnny Rivers, "Secret Agent Man"] But McGoohan was tired of playing John Drake, the agent, and announced he was going to quit the series. Instead, with the help of George Markstein, Danger Man's script editor, he created a totally new series, in which McGoohan would star, and which McGoohan would also write and direct key episodes of. This new series, The Prisoner, featured a spy who is only ever given the name Number Six, and who many fans -- though not McGoohan himself -- took to be the same character as John Drake. Number Six resigns from his job as a secret agent, and is kidnapped and taken to a place known only as The Village -- the series was filmed in Portmeirion, an unusual-looking town in Gwynnedd, in North Wales -- which is full of other ex-agents. There he is interrogated to try to find out why he has quit his job. It's never made clear whether the interrogators are his old employers or their enemies, and there's a certain suggestion that maybe there is no real distinction between the two sides, that they're both running the Village together. He spends the entire series trying to escape, but refuses to explain himself -- and there's some debate among viewers as to whether it's implied or not that part of the reason he doesn't explain himself is that he knows his interrogators wouldn't understand why he quit: [Excerpt: The Prisoner intro, from episode Once Upon a Time, ] Certainly that explanation would fit in with McGoohan's own personality. According to McGoohan, the final episode of The Prisoner was, at the time, the most watched TV show ever broadcast in the UK, as people tuned in to find out the identity of Number One, the person behind the Village, and to see if Number Six would break free. I don't think that's actually the case, but it's what McGoohan always claimed, and it was certainly a very popular series. I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't watched it -- it's a remarkable series -- but ultimately the series seems to decide that such questions don't matter and that even asking them is missing the point. It's a work that's open to multiple interpretations, and is left deliberately ambiguous, but one of the messages many people have taken away from it is that not only are we trapped by a society that oppresses us, we're also trapped by our own identities. You can run from the trap that society has placed you in, from other people's interpretations of your life, your work, and your motives, but you ultimately can't run from yourself, and any time you try to break out of a prison, you'll find yourself trapped in another prison of your own making. The most horrifying implication of the episode is that possibly even death itself won't be a release, and you will spend all eternity trying to escape from an identity you're trapped in. Viewers became so outraged, according to McGoohan, that he had to go into hiding for an extended period, and while his later claims that he never worked in Britain again are an exaggeration, it is true that for the remainder of his life he concentrated on doing work in the US instead, where he hadn't created such anger. That final episode of The Prisoner was also the only one to use a piece of contemporary pop music, in two crucial scenes: [Excerpt: The Prisoner, "Fall Out", "All You Need is Love"] Back in October 2020, we started what I thought would be a year-long look at the period from late 1962 through early 1967, but which has turned out for reasons beyond my control to take more like twenty months, with a song which was one of the last of the big pre-Beatles pop hits, though we looked at it after their first single, "Telstar" by the Tornadoes: [Excerpt: The Tornadoes, "Telstar"] There were many reasons for choosing that as one of the bookends for this fifty-episode chunk of the podcast -- you'll see many connections between that episode and this one if you listen to them back-to-back -- but among them was that it's a song inspired by the launch of the first ever communications satellite, and a sign of how the world was going to become smaller as the sixties went on. Of course, to start with communications satellites didn't do much in that regard -- they were expensive to use, and had limited bandwidth, and were only available during limited time windows, but symbolically they meant that for the first time ever, people could see and hear events thousands of miles away as they were happening. It's not a coincidence that Britain and France signed the agreement to develop Concorde, the first supersonic airliner, a month after the first Beatles single and four months after the Telstar satellite was launched. The world was becoming ever more interconnected -- people were travelling faster and further, getting news from other countries quicker, and there was more cultural conversation – and misunderstanding – between countries thousands of miles apart. The Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the man who also coined the phrase “the medium is the message”, thought that this ever-faster connection would fundamentally change basic modes of thought in the Western world. McLuhan thought that technology made possible whole new modes of thought, and that just as the printing press had, in his view, caused Western liberalism and individualism, so these new electronic media would cause the rise of a new collective mode of thought. In 1962, the year of Concorde, Telstar, and “Love Me Do”, McLuhan wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy, in which he said: “Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence.… Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time.…” He coined the term “the Global Village” to describe this new collectivism. The story we've seen over the last fifty episodes is one of a sort of cultural ping-pong between the USA and the UK, with innovations in American music inspiring British musicians, who in turn inspired American ones, whether that being the Beatles covering the Isley Brothers or the Rolling Stones doing a Bobby Womack song, or Paul Simon and Bob Dylan coming over to the UK and learning folk songs and guitar techniques from Martin Carthy. And increasingly we're going to see those influences spread to other countries, and influences coming *from* other countries. We've already seen one Jamaican artist, and the influence of Indian music has become very apparent. While the focus of this series is going to remain principally in the British Isles and North America, rock music was and is a worldwide phenomenon, and that's going to become increasingly a part of the story. And so in this episode we're going to look at a live performance -- well, mostly live -- that was seen by hundreds of millions of people all over the world as it happened, thanks to the magic of satellites: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "All You Need is Love"] When we left the Beatles, they had just finished recording "Tomorrow Never Knows", the most experimental track they had recorded up to that date, and if not the most experimental thing they *ever* recorded certainly in the top handful. But "Tomorrow Never Knows" was only the first track they recorded in the sessions for what would become arguably their greatest album, and certainly the one that currently has the most respect from critics. It's interesting to note that that album could have been very, very, different. When we think of Revolver now, we think of the innovative production of George Martin, and of Geoff Emerick and Ken Townshend's inventive ideas for pushing the sound of the equipment in Abbey Road studios, but until very late in the day the album was going to be recorded in the Stax studios in Memphis, with Steve Cropper producing -- whether George Martin would have been involved or not is something we don't even know. In 1965, the Rolling Stones had, as we've seen, started making records in the US, recording in LA and at the Chess studios in Chicago, and the Yardbirds had also been doing the same thing. Mick Jagger had become a convert to the idea of using American studios and working with American musicians, and he had constantly been telling Paul McCartney that the Beatles should do the same. Indeed, they'd put some feelers out in 1965 about the possibility of the group making an album with Holland, Dozier, and Holland in Detroit. Quite how this would have worked is hard to figure out -- Holland, Dozier, and Holland's skills were as songwriters, and in their work with a particular set of musicians -- so it's unsurprising that came to nothing. But recording at Stax was a different matter. While Steve Cropper was a great songwriter in his own right, he was also adept at getting great sounds on covers of other people's material -- like on Otis Blue, the album he produced for Otis Redding in late 1965, which doesn't include a single Cropper original: [Excerpt: Otis Redding, "Satisfaction"] And the Beatles were very influenced by the records Stax were putting out, often namechecking Wilson Pickett in particular, and during the Rubber Soul sessions they had recorded a "Green Onions" soundalike track, imaginatively titled "12-Bar Original": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "12-Bar Original"] The idea of the group recording at Stax got far enough that they were actually booked in for two weeks starting the ninth of April, and there was even an offer from Elvis to let them stay at Graceland while they recorded, but then a couple of weeks earlier, the news leaked to the press, and Brian Epstein cancelled the booking. According to Cropper, Epstein talked about recording at the Atlantic studios in New York with him instead, but nothing went any further. It's hard to imagine what a Stax-based Beatles album would have been like, but even though it might have been a great album, it certainly wouldn't have been the Revolver we've come to know. Revolver is an unusual album in many ways, and one of the ways it's most distinct from the earlier Beatles albums is the dominance of keyboards. Both Lennon and McCartney had often written at the piano as well as the guitar -- McCartney more so than Lennon, but both had done so regularly -- but up to this point it had been normal for them to arrange the songs for guitars rather than keyboards, no matter how they'd started out. There had been the odd track where one of them, usually Lennon, would play a simple keyboard part, songs like "I'm Down" or "We Can Work it Out", but even those had been guitar records first and foremost. But on Revolver, that changed dramatically. There seems to have been a complex web of cause and effect here. Paul was becoming increasingly interested in moving his basslines away from simple walking basslines and root notes and the other staples of rock and roll basslines up to this point. As the sixties progressed, rock basslines were becoming ever more complex, and Tyler Mahan Coe has made a good case that this is largely down to innovations in production pioneered by Owen Bradley, and McCartney was certainly aware of Bradley's work -- he was a fan of Brenda Lee, who Bradley produced, for example. But the two influences that McCartney has mentioned most often in this regard are the busy, jazz-influenced, basslines that James Jamerson was playing at Motown: [Excerpt: The Four Tops, "It's the Same Old Song"] And the basslines that Brian Wilson was writing for various Wrecking Crew bassists to play for the Beach Boys: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)"] Just to be clear, McCartney didn't hear that particular track until partway through the recording of Revolver, when Bruce Johnston visited the UK and brought with him an advance copy of Pet Sounds, but Pet Sounds influenced the later part of Revolver's recording, and Wilson had already started his experiments in that direction with the group's 1965 work. It's much easier to write a song with this kind of bassline, one that's integral to the composition, on the piano than it is to write it on a guitar, as you can work out the bassline with your left hand while working out the chords and melody with your right, so the habit that McCartney had already developed of writing on the piano made this easier. But also, starting with the recording of "Paperback Writer", McCartney switched his style of working in the studio. Where up to this point it had been normal for him to play bass as part of the recording of the basic track, playing with the other Beatles, he now started to take advantage of multitracking to overdub his bass later, so he could spend extra time getting the bassline exactly right. McCartney lived closer to Abbey Road than the other three Beatles, and so could more easily get there early or stay late and tweak his parts. But if McCartney wasn't playing bass while the guitars and drums were being recorded, that meant he could play something else, and so increasingly he would play piano during the recording of the basic track. And that in turn would mean that there wouldn't always *be* a need for guitars on the track, because the harmonic support they would provide would be provided by the piano instead. This, as much as anything else, is the reason that Revolver sounds so radically different to any other Beatles album. Up to this point, with *very* rare exceptions like "Yesterday", every Beatles record, more or less, featured all four of the Beatles playing instruments. Now John and George weren't playing on "Good Day Sunshine" or "For No One", John wasn't playing on "Here, There, and Everywhere", "Eleanor Rigby" features no guitars or drums at all, and George's "Love You To" only features himself, plus a little tambourine from Ringo (Paul recorded a part for that one, but it doesn't seem to appear on the finished track). Of the three songwriting Beatles, the only one who at this point was consistently requiring the instrumental contributions of all the other band members was John, and even he did without Paul on "She Said, She Said", which by all accounts features either John or George on bass, after Paul had a rare bout of unprofessionalism and left the studio. Revolver is still an album made by a group -- and most of those tracks that don't feature John or George instrumentally still feature them vocally -- it's still a collaborative work in all the best ways. But it's no longer an album made by four people playing together in the same room at the same time. After starting work on "Tomorrow Never Knows", the next track they started work on was Paul's "Got to Get You Into My Life", but as it would turn out they would work on that song throughout most of the sessions for the album -- in a sign of how the group would increasingly work from this point on, Paul's song was subject to multiple re-recordings and tweakings in the studio, as he tinkered to try to make it perfect. The first recording to be completed for the album, though, was almost as much of a departure in its own way as "Tomorrow Never Knows" had been. George's song "Love You To" shows just how inspired he was by the music of Ravi Shankar, and how devoted he was to Indian music. While a few months earlier he had just about managed to pick out a simple melody on the sitar for "Norwegian Wood", by this point he was comfortable enough with Indian classical music that I've seen many, many sources claim that an outside session player is playing sitar on the track, though Anil Bhagwat, the tabla player on the track, always insisted that it was entirely Harrison's playing: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Love You To"] There is a *lot* of debate as to whether it's George playing on the track, and I feel a little uncomfortable making a definitive statement in either direction. On the one hand I find it hard to believe that Harrison got that good that quickly on an unfamiliar instrument, when we know he wasn't a naturally facile musician. All the stories we have about his work in the studio suggest that he had to work very hard on his guitar solos, and that he would frequently fluff them. As a technical guitarist, Harrison was only mediocre -- his value lay in his inventiveness, not in technical ability -- and he had been playing guitar for over a decade, but sitar only a few months. There's also some session documentation suggesting that an unknown sitar player was hired. On the other hand there's the testimony of Anil Bhagwat that Harrison played the part himself, and he has been very firm on the subject, saying "If you go on the Internet there are a lot of questions asked about "Love You To". They say 'It's not George playing the sitar'. I can tell you here and now -- 100 percent it was George on sitar throughout. There were no other musicians involved. It was just me and him." And several people who are more knowledgeable than myself about the instrument have suggested that the sitar part on the track is played the way that a rock guitarist would play rather than the way someone with more knowledge of Indian classical music would play -- there's a blues feeling to some of the bends that apparently no genuine Indian classical musician would naturally do. I would suggest that the best explanation is that there's a professional sitar player trying to replicate a part that Harrison had previously demonstrated, while Harrison was in turn trying his best to replicate the sound of Ravi Shankar's work. Certainly the instrumental section sounds far more fluent, and far more stylistically correct, than one would expect: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Love You To"] Where previous attempts at what got called "raga-rock" had taken a couple of surface features of Indian music -- some form of a drone, perhaps a modal scale -- and had generally used a guitar made to sound a little bit like a sitar, or had a sitar playing normal rock riffs, Harrison's song seems to be a genuine attempt to hybridise Indian ragas and rock music, combining the instrumentation, modes, and rhythmic complexity of someone like Ravi Shankar with lyrics that are seemingly inspired by Bob Dylan and a fairly conventional pop song structure (and a tiny bit of fuzz guitar). It's a record that could only be made by someone who properly understood both the Indian music he's emulating and the conventions of the Western pop song, and understood how those conventions could work together. Indeed, one thing I've rarely seen pointed out is how cleverly the album is sequenced, so that "Love You To" is followed by possibly the most conventional song on Revolver, "Here, There, and Everywhere", which was recorded towards the end of the sessions. Both songs share a distinctive feature not shared by the rest of the album, so the two songs can sound more of a pair than they otherwise would, retrospectively making "Love You To" seem more conventional than it is and "Here, There, and Everywhere" more unconventional -- both have as an introduction a separate piece of music that states some of the melodic themes of the rest of the song but isn't repeated later. In the case of "Love You To" it's the free-tempo bit at the beginning, characteristic of a lot of Indian music: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Love You To"] While in the case of "Here, There, and Everywhere" it's the part that mimics an older style of songwriting, a separate intro of the type that would have been called a verse when written by the Gershwins or Cole Porter, but of course in the intervening decades "verse" had come to mean something else, so we now no longer have a specific term for this kind of intro -- but as you can hear, it's doing very much the same thing as that "Love You To" intro: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Here, There, and Everywhere"] In the same day as the group completed "Love You To", overdubbing George's vocal and Ringo's tambourine, they also started work on a song that would show off a lot of the new techniques they had been working on in very different ways. Paul's "Paperback Writer" could indeed be seen as part of a loose trilogy with "Love You To" and "Tomorrow Never Knows", one song by each of the group's three songwriters exploring the idea of a song that's almost all on one chord. Both "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Love You To" are based on a drone with occasional hints towards moving to one other chord. In the case of "Paperback Writer", the entire song stays on a single chord until the title -- it's on a G7 throughout until the first use of the word "writer", when it quickly goes to a C for two bars. I'm afraid I'm going to have to sing to show you how little the chords actually change, because the riff disguises this lack of movement somewhat, but the melody is also far more horizontal than most of McCartney's, so this shouldn't sound too painful, I hope: [demonstrates] This is essentially the exact same thing that both "Love You To" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" do, and all three have very similarly structured rising and falling modal melodies. There's also a bit of "Paperback Writer" that seems to tie directly into "Love You To", but also points to a possible very non-Indian inspiration for part of "Love You To". The Beach Boys' single "Sloop John B" was released in the UK a couple of days after the sessions for "Paperback Writer" and "Love You To", but it had been released in the US a month before, and the Beatles all got copies of every record in the American top thirty shipped to them. McCartney and Harrison have specifically pointed to it as an influence on "Paperback Writer". "Sloop John B" has a section where all the instruments drop out and we're left with just the group's vocal harmonies: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Sloop John B"] And that seems to have been the inspiration behind the similar moment at a similar point in "Paperback Writer", which is used in place of a middle eight and also used for the song's intro: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Paperback Writer"] Which is very close to what Harrison does at the end of each verse of "Love You To", where the instruments drop out for him to sing a long melismatic syllable before coming back in: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Love You To"] Essentially, other than "Got to Get You Into My Life", which is an outlier and should not be counted, the first three songs attempted during the Revolver sessions are variations on a common theme, and it's a sign that no matter how different the results might sound, the Beatles really were very much a group at this point, and were sharing ideas among themselves and developing those ideas in similar ways. "Paperback Writer" disguises what it's doing somewhat by having such a strong riff. Lennon referred to "Paperback Writer" as "son of 'Day Tripper'", and in terms of the Beatles' singles it's actually their third iteration of this riff idea, which they originally got from Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step": [Excerpt: Bobby Parker, "Watch Your Step"] Which became the inspiration for "I Feel Fine": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "I Feel Fine"] Which they varied for "Day Tripper": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Day Tripper"] And which then in turn got varied for "Paperback Writer": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Paperback Writer"] As well as compositional ideas, there are sonic ideas shared between "Paperback Writer", "Tomorrow Never Knows", and "Love You To", and which would be shared by the rest of the tracks the Beatles recorded in the first half of 1966. Since Geoff Emerick had become the group's principal engineer, they'd started paying more attention to how to get a fuller sound, and so Emerick had miced the tabla on "Love You To" much more closely than anyone would normally mic an instrument from classical music, creating a deep, thudding sound, and similarly he had changed the way they recorded the drums on "Tomorrow Never Knows", again giving a much fuller sound. But the group also wanted the kind of big bass sounds they'd loved on records coming out of America -- sounds that no British studio was getting, largely because it was believed that if you cut too loud a bass sound into a record it would make the needle jump out of the groove. The new engineering team of Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott, though, thought that it was likely you could keep the needle in the groove if you had a smoother frequency response. You could do that if you used a microphone with a larger diaphragm to record the bass, but how could you do that? Inspiration finally struck -- loudspeakers are actually the same thing as microphones wired the other way round, so if you wired up a loudspeaker as if it were a microphone you could get a *really big* speaker, place it in front of the bass amp, and get a much stronger bass sound. The experiment wasn't a total success -- the sound they got had to be processed quite extensively to get rid of room noise, and then compressed in order to further prevent the needle-jumping issue, and so it's a muddier, less defined, tone than they would have liked, but one thing that can't be denied is that "Paperback Writer"'s bass sound is much, much, louder than on any previous Beatles record: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Paperback Writer"] Almost every track the group recorded during the Revolver sessions involved all sorts of studio innovations, though rarely anything as truly revolutionary as the artificial double-tracking they'd used on "Tomorrow Never Knows", and which also appeared on "Paperback Writer" -- indeed, as "Paperback Writer" was released several months before Revolver, it became the first record released to use the technique. I could easily devote a good ten minutes to every track on Revolver, and to "Paperback Writer"s B-side, "Rain", but this is already shaping up to be an extraordinarily long episode and there's a lot of material to get through, so I'll break my usual pattern of devoting a Patreon bonus episode to something relatively obscure, and this week's bonus will be on "Rain" itself. "Paperback Writer", though, deserved the attention here even though it was not one of the group's more successful singles -- it did go to number one, but it didn't hit number one in the UK charts straight away, being kept off the top by "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra for the first week: [Excerpt: Frank Sinatra, "Strangers in the Night"] Coincidentally, "Strangers in the Night" was co-written by Bert Kaempfert, the German musician who had produced the group's very first recording sessions with Tony Sheridan back in 1961. On the group's German tour in 1966 they met up with Kaempfert again, and John greeted him by singing the first couple of lines of the Sinatra record. The single was the lowest-selling Beatles single in the UK since "Love Me Do". In the US it only made number one for two non-consecutive weeks, with "Strangers in the Night" knocking it off for a week in between. Now, by literally any other band's standards, that's still a massive hit, and it was the Beatles' tenth UK number one in a row (or ninth, depending on which chart you use for "Please Please Me"), but it's a sign that the group were moving out of the first phase of total unequivocal dominance of the charts. It was a turning point in a lot of other ways as well. Up to this point, while the group had been experimenting with different lyrical subjects on album tracks, every single had lyrics about romantic relationships -- with the possible exception of "Help!", which was about Lennon's emotional state but written in such a way that it could be heard as a plea to a lover. But in the case of "Paperback Writer", McCartney was inspired by his Aunt Mill asking him "Why do you write songs about love all the time? Can you ever write about a horse or the summit conference or something interesting?" His response was to think "All right, Aunt Mill, I'll show you", and to come up with a lyric that was very much in the style of the social satires that bands like the Kinks were releasing at the time. People often miss the humour in the lyric for "Paperback Writer", but there's a huge amount of comedy in lyrics about someone writing to a publisher saying they'd written a book based on someone else's book, and one can only imagine the feeling of weary recognition in slush-pile readers throughout the world as they heard the enthusiastic "It's a thousand pages, give or take a few, I'll be writing more in a week or two. I can make it longer..." From this point on, the group wouldn't release a single that was unambiguously about a romantic relationship until "The Ballad of John and Yoko", the last single released while the band were still together. "Paperback Writer" also saw the Beatles for the first time making a promotional film -- what we would now call a rock video -- rather than make personal appearances on TV shows. The film was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who the group would work with again in 1969, and shows Paul with a chipped front tooth -- he'd been in an accident while riding mopeds with his friend Tara Browne a few months earlier, and hadn't yet got round to having the tooth capped. When he did, the change in his teeth was one of the many bits of evidence used by conspiracy theorists to prove that the real Paul McCartney was dead and replaced by a lookalike. It also marks a change in who the most prominent Beatle on the group's A-sides was. Up to this point, Paul had had one solo lead on an A-side -- "Can't Buy Me Love" -- and everything else had been either a song with multiple vocalists like "Day Tripper" or "Love Me Do", or a song with a clear John lead like "Ticket to Ride" or "I Feel Fine". In the rest of their career, counting "Paperback Writer", the group would release nine new singles that hadn't already been included on an album. Of those nine singles, one was a double A-side with one John song and one Paul song, two had John songs on the A-side, and the other six were Paul. Where up to this point John had been "lead Beatle", for the rest of the sixties, Paul would be the group's driving force. Oddly, Paul got rather defensive about the record when asked about it in interviews after it failed to go straight to the top, saying "It's not our best single by any means, but we're very satisfied with it". But especially in its original mono mix it actually packs a powerful punch: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Paperback Writer"] When the "Paperback Writer" single was released, an unusual image was used in the advertising -- a photo of the Beatles dressed in butchers' smocks, covered in blood, with chunks of meat and the dismembered body parts of baby dolls lying around on them. The image was meant as part of a triptych parodying religious art -- the photo on the left was to be an image showing the four Beatles connected to a woman by an umbilical cord made of sausages, the middle panel was meant to be this image, but with halos added over the Beatles' heads, and the panel on the right was George hammering a nail into John's head, symbolising both crucifixion and that the group were real, physical, people, not just images to be worshipped -- these weren't imaginary nails, and they weren't imaginary people. The photographer Robert Whittaker later said: “I did a photograph of the Beatles covered in raw meat, dolls and false teeth. Putting meat, dolls and false teeth with The Beatles is essentially part of the same thing, the breakdown of what is regarded as normal. The actual conception for what I still call “Somnambulant Adventure” was Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. He comes across people worshipping a golden calf. All over the world I'd watched people worshiping like idols, like gods, four Beatles. To me they were just stock standard normal people. But this emotion that fans poured on them made me wonder where Christianity was heading.” The image wasn't that controversial in the UK, when it was used to advertise "Paperback Writer", but in the US it was initially used for the cover of an album, Yesterday... And Today, which was made up of a few tracks that had been left off the US versions of the Rubber Soul and Help! albums, plus both sides of the "We Can Work It Out"/"Day Tripper" single, and three rough mixes of songs that had been recorded for Revolver -- "Doctor Robert", "And Your Bird Can Sing", and "I'm Only Sleeping", which was the song that sounded most different from the mixes that were finally released: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "I'm Only Sleeping (Yesterday... and Today mix)"] Those three songs were all Lennon songs, which had the unfortunate effect that when the US version of Revolver was brought out later in the year, only two of the songs on the album were by Lennon, with six by McCartney and three by Harrison. Some have suggested that this was the motivation for the use of the butcher image on the cover of Yesterday... And Today -- saying it was the Beatles' protest against Capitol "butchering" their albums -- but in truth it was just that Capitol's art director chose the cover because he liked the image. Alan Livingston, the president of Capitol was not so sure, and called Brian Epstein to ask if the group would be OK with them using a different image. Epstein checked with John Lennon, but Lennon liked the image and so Epstein told Livingston the group insisted on them using that cover. Even though for the album cover the bloodstains on the butchers' smocks were airbrushed out, after Capitol had pressed up a million copies of the mono version of the album and two hundred thousand copies of the stereo version, and they'd sent out sixty thousand promo copies, they discovered that no record shops would stock the album with that cover. It cost Capitol more than two hundred thousand dollars to recall the album and replace the cover with a new one -- though while many of the covers were destroyed, others had the new cover, with a more acceptable photo of the group, pasted over them, and people have later carefully steamed off the sticker to reveal the original. This would not be the last time in 1966 that something that was intended as a statement on religion and the way people viewed the Beatles would cause the group trouble in America. In the middle of the recording sessions for Revolver, the group also made what turned out to be their last ever UK live performance in front of a paying audience. The group had played the NME Poll-Winners' Party every year since 1963, and they were always shows that featured all the biggest acts in the country at the time -- the 1966 show featured, as well as the Beatles and a bunch of smaller acts, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Yardbirds, Roy Orbison, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, the Seekers, the Small Faces, the Walker Brothers, and Dusty Springfield. Unfortunately, while these events were always filmed for TV broadcast, the Beatles' performance on the first of May wasn't filmed. There are various stories about what happened, but the crux appears to be a disagreement between Andrew Oldham and Brian Epstein, sparked by John Lennon. When the Beatles got to the show, they were upset to discover that they had to wait around before going on stage -- normally, the awards would all be presented at the end, after all the performances, but the Rolling Stones had asked that the Beatles not follow them directly, so after the Stones finished their set, there would be a break for the awards to be given out, and then the Beatles would play their set, in front of an audience that had been bored by twenty-five minutes of awards ceremony, rather than one that had been excited by all the bands that came before them. John Lennon was annoyed, and insisted that the Beatles were going to go on straight after the Rolling Stones -- he seems to have taken this as some sort of power play by the Stones and to have got his hackles up about it. He told Epstein to deal with the people from the NME. But the NME people said that they had a contract with Andrew Oldham, and they weren't going to break it. Oldham refused to change the terms of the contract. Lennon said that he wasn't going to go on stage if they didn't directly follow the Stones. Maurice Kinn, the publisher of the NME, told Epstein that he wasn't going to break the contract with Oldham, and that if the Beatles didn't appear on stage, he would get Jimmy Savile, who was compering the show, to go out on stage and tell the ten thousand fans in the audience that the Beatles were backstage refusing to appear. He would then sue NEMS for breach of contract *and* NEMS would be liable for any damage caused by the rioting that was sure to happen. Lennon screamed a lot of abuse at Kinn, and told him the group would never play one of their events again, but the group did go on stage -- but because they hadn't yet signed the agreement to allow their performance to be filmed, they refused to allow it to be recorded. Apparently Andrew Oldham took all this as a sign that Epstein was starting to lose control of the group. Also during May 1966 there were visits from musicians from other countries, continuing the cultural exchange that was increasingly influencing the Beatles' art. Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys came over to promote the group's new LP, Pet Sounds, which had been largely the work of Brian Wilson, who had retired from touring to concentrate on working in the studio. Johnston played the record for John and Paul, who listened to it twice, all the way through, in silence, in Johnston's hotel room: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows"] According to Johnston, after they'd listened through the album twice, they went over to a piano and started whispering to each other, picking out chords. Certainly the influence of Pet Sounds is very noticeable on songs like "Here, There, and Everywhere", written and recorded a few weeks after this meeting: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Here, There, and Everywhere"] That track, and the last track recorded for the album, "She Said She Said" were unusual in one very important respect -- they were recorded while the Beatles were no longer under contract to EMI Records. Their contract expired on the fifth of June, 1966, and they finished Revolver without it having been renewed -- it would be several months before their new contract was signed, and it's rather lucky for music lovers that Brian Epstein was the kind of manager who considered personal relationships and basic honour and decency more important than the legal niceties, unlike any other managers of the era, otherwise we would not have Revolver in the form we know it today. After the meeting with Johnston, but before the recording of those last couple of Revolver tracks, the Beatles also met up again with Bob Dylan, who was on a UK tour with a new, loud, band he was working with called The Hawks. While the Beatles and Dylan all admired each other, there was by this point a lot of wariness on both sides, especially between Lennon and Dylan, both of them very similar personality types and neither wanting to let their guard down around the other or appear unhip. There's a famous half-hour-long film sequence of Lennon and Dylan sharing a taxi, which is a fascinating, excruciating, example of two insecure but arrogant men both trying desperately to impress the other but also equally desperate not to let the other know that they want to impress them: [Excerpt: Dylan and Lennon taxi ride] The day that was filmed, Lennon and Harrison also went to see Dylan play at the Royal Albert Hall. This tour had been controversial, because Dylan's band were loud and raucous, and Dylan's fans in the UK still thought of him as a folk musician. At one gig, earlier on the tour, an audience member had famously yelled out "Judas!" -- (just on the tiny chance that any of my listeners don't know that, Judas was the disciple who betrayed Jesus to the authorities, leading to his crucifixion) -- and that show was for many years bootlegged as the "Royal Albert Hall" show, though in fact it was recorded at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. One of the *actual* Royal Albert Hall shows was released a few years ago -- the one the night before Lennon and Harrison saw Dylan: [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone", Royal Albert Hall 1966] The show Lennon and Harrison saw would be Dylan's last for many years. Shortly after returning to the US, Dylan was in a motorbike accident, the details of which are still mysterious, and which some fans claim was faked altogether. The accident caused him to cancel all the concert dates he had booked, and devote himself to working in the studio for several years just like Brian Wilson. And from even further afield than America, Ravi Shankar came over to Britain, to work with his friend the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, on a duet album, West Meets East, that was an example in the classical world of the same kind of international cross-fertilisation that was happening in the pop world: [Excerpt: Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar, "Prabhati (based on Raga Gunkali)"] While he was in the UK, Shankar also performed at the Royal Festival Hall, and George Harrison went to the show. He'd seen Shankar live the year before, but this time he met up with him afterwards, and later said "He was the first person that impressed me in a way that was beyond just being a famous celebrity. Ravi was my link to the Vedic world. Ravi plugged me into the whole of reality. Elvis impressed me when I was a kid, and impressed me when I met him, but you couldn't later on go round to him and say 'Elvis, what's happening with the universe?'" After completing recording and mixing the as-yet-unnamed album, which had been by far the longest recording process of their career, and which still nearly sixty years later regularly tops polls of the best album of all time, the Beatles took a well-earned break. For a whole two days, at which point they flew off to Germany to do a three-day tour, on their way to Japan, where they were booked to play five shows at the Budokan. Unfortunately for the group, while they had no idea of this when they were booked to do the shows, many in Japan saw the Budokan as sacred ground, and they were the first ever Western group to play there. This led to numerous death threats and loud protests from far-right activists offended at the Beatles defiling their religious and nationalistic sensibilities. As a result, the police were on high alert -- so high that there were three thousand police in the audience for the shows, in a venue which only held ten thousand audience members. That's according to Mark Lewisohn's Complete Beatles Chronicle, though I have to say that the rather blurry footage of the audience in the video of those shows doesn't seem to show anything like those numbers. But frankly I'll take Lewisohn's word over that footage, as he's not someone to put out incorrect information. The threats to the group also meant that they had to be kept in their hotel rooms at all times except when actually performing, though they did make attempts to get out. At the press conference for the Tokyo shows, the group were also asked publicly for the first time their views on the war in Vietnam, and John replied "Well, we think about it every day, and we don't agree with it and we think that it's wrong. That's how much interest we take. That's all we can do about it... and say that we don't like it". I say they were asked publicly for the first time, because George had been asked about it for a series of interviews Maureen Cleave had done with the group a couple of months earlier, as we'll see in a bit, but nobody was paying attention to those interviews. Brian Epstein was upset that the question had gone to John. He had hoped that the inevitable Vietnam question would go to Paul, who he thought might be a bit more tactful. The last thing he needed was John Lennon saying something that would upset the Americans before their tour there a few weeks later. Luckily, people in America seemed to have better things to do than pay attention to John Lennon's opinions. The support acts for the Japanese shows included several of the biggest names in Japanese rock music -- or "group sounds" as the genre was called there, Japanese people having realised that trying to say the phrase "rock and roll" would open them up to ridicule given that it had both "r" and "l" sounds in the phrase. The man who had coined the term "group sounds", Jackey Yoshikawa, was there with his group the Blue Comets, as was Isao Bito, who did a rather good cover version of Cliff Richard's "Dynamite": [Excerpt: Isao Bito, "Dynamite"] Bito, the Blue Comets, and the other two support acts, Yuya Uchida and the Blue Jeans, all got together to perform a specially written song, "Welcome Beatles": [Excerpt: "Welcome Beatles" ] But while the Japanese audience were enthusiastic, they were much less vocal about their enthusiasm than the audiences the Beatles were used to playing for. The group were used, of course, to playing in front of hordes of screaming teenagers who could not hear a single note, but because of the fear that a far-right terrorist would assassinate one of the group members, the police had imposed very, very, strict rules on the audience. Nobody in the audience was allowed to get out of their seat for any reason, and the police would clamp down very firmly on anyone who was too demonstrative. Because of that, the group could actually hear themselves, and they sounded sloppy as hell, especially on the newer material. Not that there was much of that. The only song they did from the Revolver sessions was "Paperback Writer", the new single, and while they did do a couple of tracks from Rubber Soul, those were under-rehearsed. As John said at the start of this tour, "I can't play any of Rubber Soul, it's so unrehearsed. The only time I played any of the numbers on it was when I recorded it. I forget about songs. They're only valid for a certain time." That's certainly borne out by the sound of their performances of Rubber Soul material at the Budokan: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "If I Needed Someone (live at the Budokan)"] It was while they were in Japan as well that they finally came up with the title for their new album. They'd been thinking of all sorts of ideas, like Abracadabra and Magic Circle, and tossing names around with increasing desperation for several days -- at one point they seem to have just started riffing on other groups' albums, and seem to have apparently seriously thought about naming the record in parodic tribute to their favourite artists -- suggestions included The Beatles On Safari, after the Beach Boys' Surfin' Safari (and possibly with a nod to their recent Pet Sounds album cover with animals, too), The Freewheelin' Beatles, after Dylan's second album, and my favourite, Ringo's suggestion After Geography, for the Rolling Stones' Aftermath. But eventually Paul came up with Revolver -- like Rubber Soul, a pun, in this case because the record itself revolves when on a turntable. Then it was off to the Philippines, and if the group thought Japan had been stressful, they had no idea what was coming. The trouble started in the Philippines from the moment they stepped off the plane, when they were bundled into a car without Neil Aspinall or Brian Epstein, and without their luggage, which was sent to customs. This was a problem in itself -- the group had got used to essentially being treated like diplomats, and to having their baggage let through customs without being searched, and so they'd started freely carrying various illicit substances with them. This would obviously be a problem -- but as it turned out, this was just to get a "customs charge" paid by Brian Epstein. But during their initial press conference the group were worried, given the hostility they'd faced from officialdom, that they were going to be arrested during the conference itself. They were asked what they would tell the Rolling Stones, who were going to be visiting the Philippines shortly after, and Lennon just said "We'll warn them". They also asked "is there a war on in the Philippines? Why is everybody armed?" At this time, the Philippines had a new leader, Ferdinand Marcos -- who is not to be confused with his son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, also known as Bongbong Marcos, who just became President-Elect there last month. Marcos Sr was a dictatorial kleptocrat, one of the worst leaders of the latter half of the twentieth century, but that wasn't evident yet. He'd been elected only a few months earlier, and had presented himself as a Kennedy-like figure -- a young man who was also a war hero. He'd recently switched parties from the Liberal party to the right-wing Nacionalista Party, but wasn't yet being thought of as the monstrous dictator he later became. The person organising the Philippines shows had been ordered to get the Beatles to visit Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos at 11AM on the day of the show, but for some reason had instead put on their itinerary just the *suggestion* that the group should meet the Marcoses, and had put the time down as 3PM, and the Beatles chose to ignore that suggestion -- they'd refused to do that kind of government-official meet-and-greet ever since an incident in 1964 at the British Embassy in Washington where someone had cut off a bit of Ringo's hair. A military escort turned up at the group's hotel in the morning, to take them for their meeting. The group were all still in their rooms, and Brian Epstein was still eating breakfast and refused to disturb them, saying "Go back and tell the generals we're not coming." The group gave their performances as scheduled, but meanwhile there was outrage at the way the Beatles had refused to meet the Marcos family, who had brought hundreds of children -- friends of their own children, and relatives of top officials -- to a party to meet the group. Brian Epstein went on TV and tried to smooth things over, but the broadcast was interrupted by static and his message didn't get through to anyone. The next day, the group's security was taken away, as were the cars to take them to the airport. When they got to the airport, the escalators were turned off and the group were beaten up at the arrangement of the airport manager, who said in 1984 "I beat up the Beatles. I really thumped them. First I socked Epstein and he went down... then I socked Lennon and Ringo in the face. I was kicking them. They were pleading like frightened chickens. That's what happens when you insult the First Lady." Even on the plane there were further problems -- Brian Epstein and the group's road manager Mal Evans were both made to get off the plane to sort out supposed financial discrepancies, which led to them worrying that they were going to be arrested or worse -- Evans told the group to tell his wife he loved her as he left the plane. But eventually, they were able to leave, and after a brief layover in India -- which Ringo later said was the first time he felt he'd been somewhere truly foreign, as opposed to places like Germany or the USA which felt basically like home -- they got back to England: [Excerpt: "Ordinary passenger!"] When asked what they were going to do next, George replied “We're going to have a couple of weeks to recuperate before we go and get beaten up by the Americans,” The story of the "we're bigger than Jesus" controversy is one of the most widely misreported events in the lives of the Beatles, which is saying a great deal. One book that I've encountered, and one book only, Steve Turner's Beatles '66, tells the story of what actually happened, and even that book seems to miss some emphases. I've pieced what follows together from Turner's book and from an academic journal article I found which has some more detail. As far as I can tell, every single other book on the Beatles released up to this point bases their account of the story on an inaccurate press statement put out by Brian Epstein, not on the truth. Here's the story as it's generally told. John Lennon gave an interview to his friend, Maureen Cleave of the Evening Standard, during which he made some comments about how it was depressing that Christianity was losing relevance in the eyes of the public, and that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus, speaking casually because he was talking to a friend. That story was run in the Evening Standard more-or-less unnoticed, but then an American teen magazine picked up on the line about the Beatles being bigger than Jesus, reprinted chunks of the interview out of context and without the Beatles' knowledge or permission, as a way to stir up controversy, and there was an outcry, with people burning Beatles records and death threats from the Ku Klux Klan. That's... not exactly what happened. The first thing that you need to understand to know what happened is that Datebook wasn't a typical teen magazine. It *looked* just like a typical teen magazine, certainly, and much of its content was the kind of thing that you would get in Tiger Beat or any of the other magazines aimed at teenage girls -- the September 1966 issue was full of articles like "Life with the Walker Brothers... by their Road Manager", and interviews with the Dave Clark Five -- but it also had a long history of publishing material that was intended to make its readers think about social issues of the time, particularly Civil Rights. Arthur Unger, the magazine's editor and publisher, was a gay man in an interracial relationship, and while the subject of homosexuality was too taboo in the late fifties and sixties for him to have his magazine cover that, he did regularly include articles decrying segregation and calling for the girls reading the magazine to do their part on a personal level to stamp out racism. Datebook had regularly contained articles like one from 1963 talking about how segregation wasn't just a problem in the South, saying "If we are so ‘integrated' why must men in my own city of Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, picket city hall because they are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job? And how come I am still unable to take my dark- complexioned friends to the same roller skating rink or swimming pool that I attend?” One of the writers for the magazine later said “We were much more than an entertainment magazine . . . . We tried to get kids involved in social issues . . . . It was a well-received magazine, recommended by libraries and schools, but during the Civil Rights period we did get pulled off a lot of stands in the South because of our views on integration” Art Unger, the editor and publisher, wasn't the only one pushing this liberal, integrationist, agenda. The managing editor at the time, Danny Fields, was another gay man who wanted to push the magazine even further than Unger, and who would later go on to manage the Stooges and the Ramones, being credited by some as being the single most important figure in punk rock's development, and being immortalised by the Ramones in their song "Danny Says": [Excerpt: The Ramones, "Danny Says"] So this was not a normal teen magazine, and that's certainly shown by the cover of the September 1966 issue, which as well as talking about the interviews with John Lennon and Paul McCartney inside, also advertised articles on Timothy Leary advising people to turn on, tune in, and drop out; an editorial about how interracial dating must be the next step after desegregation of schools, and a piece on "the ten adults you dig/hate the most" -- apparently the adult most teens dug in 1966 was Jackie Kennedy, the most hated was Barry Goldwater, and President Johnson, Billy Graham, and Martin Luther King appeared in the top ten on both lists. Now, in the early part of the year Maureen Cleave had done a whole series of articles on the Beatles -- double-page spreads on each band member, plus Brian Epstein, visiting them in their own homes (apart from Paul, who she met at a restaurant) and discussing their daily lives, their thoughts, and portraying them as rounded individuals. These articles are actually fascinating, because of something that everyone who met the Beatles in this period pointed out. When interviewed separately, all of them came across as thoughtful individuals, with their own opinions about all sorts of subjects, and their own tastes and senses of humour. But when two or more of them were together -- especially when John and Paul were interviewed together, but even in social situations, they would immediately revert to flip in-jokes and riffing on each other's statements, never revealing anything about themselves as individuals, but just going into Beatle mode -- simultaneously preserving the band's image, closing off outsiders, *and* making sure they didn't do or say anything that would get them mocked by the others. Cleave, as someone who actually took them all seriously, managed to get some very revealing information about all of them. In the article on Ringo, which is the most superficial -- one gets the impression that Cleave found him rather difficult to talk to when compared to the other, more verbally facile, band members -- she talked about how he had a lot of Wild West and military memorabilia, how he was a devoted family man and also devoted to his friends -- he had moved to the suburbs to be close to John and George, who already lived there. The most revealing quote about Ringo's personality was him saying "Of course that's the great thing about being married -- you have a house to sit in and company all the time. And you can still go to clubs, a bonus for being married. I love being a family man." While she looked at the other Beatles' tastes in literature in detail, she'd noted that the only books Ringo owned that weren't just for show were a few science fiction paperbacks, but that as he said "I'm not thick, it's just that I'm not educated. People can use words and I won't know what they mean. I say 'me' instead of 'my'." Ringo also didn't have a drum kit at home, saying he only played when he was on stage or in the studio, and that you couldn't practice on your own, you needed to play with other people. In the article on George, she talked about how he was learning the sitar, and how he was thinking that it might be a good idea to go to India to study the sitar with Ravi Shankar for six months. She also talks about how during the interview, he played the guitar pretty much constantly, playing everything from songs from "Hello Dolly" to pieces by Bach to "the Trumpet Voluntary", by which she presumably means Clarke's "Prince of Denmark's March": [Excerpt: Jeremiah Clarke, "Prince of Denmark's March"] George was also the most outspoken on the subjects of politics, religion, and society, linking the ongoing war in Vietnam with the UK's reverence for the Second World War, saying "I think about it every day and it's wrong. Anything to do with war is wrong. They're all wrapped up in their Nelsons and their Churchills and their Montys -- always talking about war heroes. Look at All Our Yesterdays [a show on ITV that showed twenty-five-year-old newsreels] -- how we killed a few more Huns here and there. Makes me sick. They're the sort who are leaning on their walking sticks and telling us a few years in the army would do us good." He also had very strong words to say about religion, saying "I think religion falls flat on its face. All this 'love thy neighbour' but none of them are doing it. How can anybody get into the position of being Pope and accept all the glory and the money and the Mercedes-Benz and that? I could never be Pope until I'd sold my rich gates and my posh hat. I couldn't sit there with all that money on me and believe I was religious. Why can't we bring all this out in the open? Why is there all this stuff about blasphemy? If Christianity's as good as they say it is, it should stand up to a bit of discussion." Harrison also comes across as a very private person, saying "People keep saying, ‘We made you what you are,' well, I made Mr. Hovis what he is and I don't go round crawling over his gates and smashing up the wall round his house." (Hovis is a British company that makes bread and wholegrain flour). But more than anything else he comes across as an instinctive anti-authoritarian, being angry at bullying teachers, Popes, and Prime Ministers. McCartney's profile has him as the most self-consciously arty -- he talks about the plays of Alfred Jarry and the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio: [Excerpt: Luciano Berio, "Momenti (for magnetic tape)"] Though he was very worried that he might be sounding a little too pretentious, saying “I don't want to sound like Jonathan Miller going on" --