Watch with Caution



Channel Four’s ‘Confessions of a Copper’, to be shown tonight at 10pm, is being advertised with an image of former Inspector Alan Murray once of the Metropolitan police’s Special Patrol Group, who was identified by Commander Cass in his report 1979 as a suspect for the killing of Blair Peach.

The OED gives several definitions of confession including, “The disclosing of something the knowledge of which by others is considered humiliating or prejudicial to the person confessing; a making known or acknowledging of one’s fault, wrong, crime, weakness, etc”.

Murray has spoken to the press before, and has always maintained his innocence. It will be interesting to see if he does use this occasion to say anything amounting to a confession.

‘CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King’ reviewed



CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King reviewed in Caribbean Beat, September-October 2014

Dave Renton avoids easy hagiography in his examination of the Trinidadian thinker James in his Cricketing Marxist aspect, with results that make for lucid, sympathetic reading. Cricket’s Philosopher King is, in the sum of its parts, a working sociology of the rules (and accompanying uncertainties) governing what is arguable the Caribbean’s most beautiful, historically knotty sport. The biographer judiciously and generously outfits his text with direct quotes from James’ own writings, largely from the famed 1963 Beyond a Boundary. Everything returns, much like a wicket-seeking wind ball, to James’ equalising passion in cricket, in his faith that the game could be the ultimate social leveller. “If Resistance”, opines Renton, “can be found in two batsmen dressed in whites, then truly, joyfully, it must be everywhere.”

Dave Zirin speaks in London (Dec 20)

The good folks at Philosophy Football have organised an event in London on 20 December (details below) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce when soldiers from Germany and Britain stopped shelling one another and played football between the opposing trenches.

They have invited over the US-based sports journalist Dave Zirin who will be speaking in London for the first time since the 2012 London Olympics (above), with Tony Collins, author of Sport In Capitalist Society, Heather Wakefield, of Unison, Nick Davidson the biographer of the anti-fascist football team St Pauli, and Michelle Moore an activist promoting equality in sport.

Zirin is an institution on the left, and someone to which we have no counterpart in Britain. He is the sports correspondent of The Nation. He appears regularly on radio and television. In a political culture where radical ideas are pushed to the margins, and where sport has a public importance far greater than here (in part because it is seen as apolitical), with humour and by the sheer force of his personality Zirin makes an audience for the left.

His books include Brazil’s Dance With The Devil, What’s My Name Fool?A People’s History of Sports in the United StatesBad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love and, with John Wesley Carlos, The John Carlos Story.

The event will be held on Saturday 20 December, 3.30-5.30 at the Rich Mix Arts Centre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA. You can book online here.