Bomb-Damaged London & Its Bomb-Damaged Kids

Saw Hue & Cry t’other night on the tellybox for the first time since I was a nipper. This recently digitally restored kid-oriented Ealing Comedy presents as its climax a London-wide mobilisation of boys (and a few tom-boys) for a ‘big adventure’ – beating up baddies that the police had failed to nab, or even notice. I always loved that kind of film – in which kids show-up the groan-ups, and also give them a good hiding. Officially the first Ealing comedy, it was directed […]

You’re the Top! You’re Mussolini!

Mark Simpson on the oddly passionate adulation the ‘Roman Genius’ Benito Mussolini inspired – and still inspires to this day. (Independent on Sunday, 29 June 2003) ‘I grabbed her on the stairs, threw her into a corner behind a door and made her mine,’ wrote Mussolini recalling one of his teenage ‘wooings’. ‘She got up weeping and humiliated and through her tears she insulted me. She said that I had robbed her of her honour. It is not impossible. But, I ask you, of what […]