Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Philip Glenister - "Shut Up You 70s Hyping Twit!"

Or would Jack Regan have said "shart up!" No matter. Stood in WH Smith's in Cambridge yesterday, I had the grave misfortune to riffle through Things Ain't What They Used To Be - a book by Philip Glenister - apparently if you're going on a nostalgia trip you couldn't ask for a better guide.

Well, perhaps not if he was writing about the 1990s or something, but Mr Glenister's knowledge of the '70s and '80s is (completely in tune with the production team on Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes) somewhat muddled - and he has, you guessed it, an alarming tendency to hype the '70s. They become GASP - almost 60s! Jason King - "a dandy for the 1970s" says Mr G - but didn't he originate in the 1960s series Department S? Were we all using fancy burbling coffee machines in the UK in the 1950s? No. But Mr Glenister infers that we were.

Yes, it's good to get steamed up about Thatcher - but why don't you make your voice known in modern day politics, Mr Glenister? After all, New Labour is far from Old Labour, far from Socialist - what about the scandal of nursing and care staff forced to sign secrecy clauses? If they speak up about the HUGE cutbacks imposed by UK Government organisations like Supporting People and the Primary Care Trusts, they get the sack. What about looking into something like that, which is so typical of the sleight of hand politics happening under New Labour?

But no, Mr Glenister, that's too much like hard work, isn't it? Finding out what's going on today and going into battle? Better to sound off about the 1980s, eh? And if the governing party has "Labour" in its title, then all's well - regardless of the fact that the party bears no resemblance to Old Labour and are creating a country which make the 1980s look like happy valley?

Sadly Mr Glenister's book is a load of cobblers. He rants on politically at times like it's 1982 or 1984 and at other times doesn't know 1967 from 1973 or 1978 from 1983.

His politics are out of touch, lost in the '80s, dead and gone left wing. Completely irrelevant to the modern day. And pop culturally he seems to believe "I Love The 1970s", which hugely raided the 1960s and 1980s. And what about Life On Mars itself, set in 1973, and featuring a two-tone red trimphone which was not available until 1982? Ridiculous. More here.

Buy the book if you're a Glenister fan. But remember it's a personal view and if it's an accurate and objective view of the '70s and '80s you want, avoid.


  1. A mate of mine had the book and I read it. Stupid. Glenister sees the 70s through rose coloured glasses and doesn't like the 80s. It's a self indulgent mess. God knows what he's ego's like.

    And I wonder about the tendency to foam about the mouth regarding the long ago deeds of Thatcher, whilst making out ruling politicians now are great. Gordon Brown is not accountable to his own constituents in Scotland for 75% of the legislation his government passes - because Scotland has ITS OWN parliament and he recently swiped over £2bn from the NHS in England, leaving the Scots and Welsh services intact. Health spending was ALREADY proportionally LOWER in England!

    Something bizarre and evil is happening in modern day UK politics, but Glenister simply can't be fucked to look, can he?

    The fat and oh so comfortable one could have a modern day ball if he wanted to, exposing modern day political evils. But the man's just a prat. And a prig. Like so many others these days.

  2. Glenister writes far more about the 70s in this book (or, in reality, a large percentage of the time the 60s) than the 80s. It's like he just tacked the 80s on because of "Ashes To Ashes" and to make a bit of extra dosh from sales.

    He's a self-congratulating, self-deluding luvvie who thinks that everything from male aftershave to the foundation for the Internet started in the 70s (WRONG - WHO'S BEEN READING WIKIPEDIA THEN??!!).

    And "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes" were not accurate either. For instance, Pac-man wasn't in the UK in 1981 - but Pac-Man mugs were featured in A To A!!!

    Very poor work.


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