A considered show this month with Phil and Simon. We review the deeply unsettling BBC documentary ‘Targeted - the truth about disability hate crime’. You can watch it on iPlayer. On YouTube, we've posted a video of us discussing the documentary. (links to both below)
Simon recently attended some equality training called Beyond Bias, delivered by Guilaine Kinouani from Race Reflections. Two elements struck him as relevant to disability equality, so we try and see if they apply. First was the concept of intergenerational trauma, and the second, a quote from Audre Lorde (pictured below) ‘There’s no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we don’t live single-issue lives".
Listeners Corner is a bumper one this month, and we finish with Cultural Corner, a new addition to the Show, where we recommend a couple of items you might be interested in. It could be another podcast, a book, a tv show, film, blog or article. Geoff Adams-Spink provides the suggestions.
Targeted - the truth about disability hate crime BBC iPlayer
The Way We Roll YouTube channel
Beyond Bias training from Race Reflections
Audre Lorde No such thing as a single-issue struggle because we don't live single-issue lives
Guilane Kinouani on Twitter
Fall - The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston Hardback link
Fall - The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston Audible audiobook link
Our thanks to Geoff Adams-Spink - Twitter @GAdams_Spink
Welcome to The Way We Roll with Simon Minty and Phil Friend.
Simon Minty 00:16
Hello, and welcome to The Way We Roll with me, Simon, Minty.
Phil Friend 00:20
And me, Phil Friend.
Simon Minty 00:21
Welcome, Mr Friend, two jabs. Phil, we call you
Phil Friend 00:26
Two jabs. Phillypops. Yes, indeed, my arm is recovering.
Simon Minty 00:30
You're immune to this stuff. Oh yeh!
Phil Friend 00:32
I've been immune to all sorts of things for years. But now I've got COVID to add to my list of things, and I'm not going to get
Simon Minty 00:39
very happy that you've been done twice. I'm waiting for mine. Does it make you feel any different?
Phil Friend 00:44
Well, it's a good question that I've been asked that several times now. I think there is. I never, I don't think I felt worried in the sense of getting it and stuff. Because I was keeping, I was being really strict about not going out and things. When I had the jabs, I felt relieved. But I don't, I wasn't feeling worried before. So but you know, I do feel relieved. Obviously, I feel relieved, and I'm less likely to get a serious dose of it. And now or since we last spoke, it's become clear from the science that if you've had the vaccine, you're not likely to spread it either. Which is an even better piece of news. So. So yeah, good stuff. And well, you've not heard anything yet. Presumably?
Simon Minty 01:31
No, because as far as I know, I'm on the ninth because of my age, not related to my impairment. You know, my mother and other people say, Oh, you should be you got respiratory stuff. But no.
Phil Friend 01:46
Let's hope you hear soon because it would be great. And then we could perhaps even do this live.
Simon Minty 01:51
Wow, that'd be amazing and nice. We did still do the zoom calls. And just to clarify, when Phil says he's been careful, he has not left his house for about nine months. He keeps all his windows closed. He wears your masks everywhere. We can't get him out. I just want him to go for a little walk.
Phil Friend 02:08
I'm known for the older listener, and I'm known as Howard Hughes; all the doors are taped up. I'm not allowing anything in no aerosols. No, it's good. And I'm really pleased we've been hypercritical of the government in all sorts of ways over the past year. But this is good news that the vaccine coming out is very good news.
Simon Minty 02:28
And you're kicking off first issue, first topic.
Phil Friend 02:32
Yeah, I want to kick off with not a subject that's a lot of fun at all. In fact, quite the reverse the BBC, they put out a programme on hate crime affecting disabled people basically keeping it very simple. It portrayed five or six different disabled people of different genders, different types of impairments, different life situations, but all of whom have been subjected to unbelievably, I used that word, unbelievably nasty, vicious, either verbal or physical attacks, and in some cases, both. And I felt absolutely furious at the end of it. And then I got into an email conversation with a friend of mine, who basically put forward a slightly different view, not that in any way, shape or form, was this acceptable. But he kind of asked the question, what is the purpose of these programmes? What are they trying to do? We know that perpetrators are absolute swines, we know that victims, particularly the people we met through the programme, never in any way, shape or form asked for this to happen to them completely innocent victims. And what it didn't do was answer any of the questions about so what you know, what is going to be done about it kind of thing. So I thought his angle was interesting. He's a non-disabled guys a good mate of mine, and we just got into this little exchange about it. He was like me appalled by what he'd seen, but then wanted to know, where does it get us? So that's, that's and I know you've watched it too, haven't you? Simon and there was one of the big, big stories was around a woman who was small restricted growth, who was assaulted, viciously assaulted and had a fractured skull and terrible injuries. And this was routine not the physical injuries weren't routine for her but the routine of going out and feeling unsafe and feeling that everywhere she went, people will either make some cocky, stupid remark, or be you know, very unpleasant to her. And you know, you and I've talked about this before, but yeah, what was your your sense of it? Sorry, I'm going on a bit. It really annoyed me actually.
Simon Minty 04:58
Well, but that goes also your friend who said, Yes, we're all annoyed. But But what now? That's the point. And there is a deep frustration I had at the end of it, which is none of the perpetrators had been brought to justice. And there's a real issue around that. And I'm not saying that's a police issue. Is it a lack of investigation? Is it a lack of ability to prove it, but the fact that this was happening, and no one has been going into serious trouble? I, I watched it. And I thought, oh, back in the 70s, or the 80s, here that's what you sort of felt, could be the level of ignorance. And then you're saying there was one who was talking about issues in in COVID, the blind woman who is in the supermarket queue refused entry from supermarkets because of the guide dog. And so she's and then people taking stuff out of her basket, because she was blind, and they think they could get away with it. I mean, this is scum. I mean, I don't know what the right word is, these people are just downright evil, horrible. There was a woman who lived on some form of estate, I presume, and essentially, that it wouldn't have been all the neighbours, but a chunk of the neighbours were intimidating her. Increasingly, you know, blocking her entrance, blocking her exit, throwing things at the house. It reminded me years ago, I lived in Brecknock Road. I remember one day I woke up and there were eggs thrown and I lived on the first floor, so I was quite high up eggs, were throw at my window. And two things happened. One was Oh, am I gonna clean that? and What was that all about? And then there was this little flash in the back of my head that went is that? Because I'm short, is that because they've seen me is that now the start of intimidation, it didn't happen again. But it was a terrifying moment thinking, I'm going to be victimised here because they've spotted who I am or where I live. The woman with short stature. she'd heard it across the road. I remember this made the press someone who said I dare you to go and kick that midget in the head, you know, so many levels of offensiveness in that, and then some idiot went and did it. And basically she's a sociable, bright, engaging woman. And she said, I've lost the confidence now, if I have to decide before I go out, can I put my she used "wrestling tights" as the description. Am I ready to face this? And how many two three of the people have moved house? Yeah, I've had to move where they live.
Phil Friend 07:37
Yeah. One woman, the woman who went blind, just to put it in context for our listeners that there was a woman who went blind. She was working a reasonably senior level as a housing manager. She lived in tied accommodation as part of her job. She was attacked in the street by people. Her dog was kicked and she had to decided because of that, that she would have to leave because the police said that it looked like she'd been targeted. And they were following her around. So she gave up her job and was rehoused in a different location. So it was it was those stories that got me a bit. You know, it was the fact that people's lifestyles had to be completely changed. Because they've been attacked, and they were the victim, they weren't the the assailant.
Simon Minty 08:27
This is the problem. The woman who had been in a car crash started using a wheelchair, everyone was saying they're faking it, there's this, you're faking it. And this is why I think these, I'm sorry to keep using this word scum and I shouldn't but that's how it feels to me. There's almost like an envy that they're getting money from the state and they're faking it. That's this perverse belief. But she had to leave her house in the middle of the night with the police because they feared for her life. And, and as they were leaving, people started coming out and even getting aggressive with the police, who were escorting her. I'm like, this is our country. This is where we live. And there's people like that.
Phil Friend 09:04
Even that didn't lead to any charges. This woman was rehoused. She had to give up everything she knew. And just as a little tail end to that woman, there was another house on the same estate which had disabled people in it. And that happened to them as well. It was as if the residents on this estate decided they did not want disabled people living in their area. So they just did everything they could to get rid of them. And I mean, there was some bits of information in the programme. For example, this disabled hate crime doesn't actually exist, there is no offence, yeah, disabled hate crime. And a judge can add if they can show that, you know, the the crime was aggravated by the disability issues, then the judge could take that into account when sentencing that's all very lovely, but if they're not being prosecuted in the first place and never get in front of a judge do they?
Simon Minty 09:55
That goes back there was a person who's an advocate on disability. issues. I think they said he was from Leonard Cheshire. I gradually lost respect for him as it went on. Because he started commentating, I thought, Oh, great, we've got an ally, we've got a support here. But gradually, audiences to him is saying the same that has happened, there was no, I wanted him to say, and I bang this door and a bashed that door. And I've been saying to these people here and as an organisation, we're now campaigning on it. Maybe that is happening. But that was the problem with the programme one, I didn't see the sort of I wanted more police or people in authority to say, this is what we need to do. There was no nuance to the show in that sense. It was a lot of personal terrifying stories, but a lack of what's going to happen now the you know, the producers could argue we wanted to raise the issue. And then it's for others to do but that could have been part of the programme.
Phil Friend 10:52
I agree. And in fact, that was one of the points my friend made. You know what, so what are we supposed to do, then you know, what comes now. And he made the point that none of the social workers were being interviewed, the police weren't interviewed. There was no advocates against hate crime. We know our mate, Steven Brookes, who's been on the hate crime issue for as long as I've known him, real real champion for getting something done about this. And he didn't appear. You know, I really expected to see Steven Brookes pop up in the middle of this programme and give his point of view, but he didn't. So it was a bit you're right actually, there was. It certainly certainly shocked me and made me feel all sorts of things. But what he didn't do was give me a sense of there's progress being made to put this right in some way. I was just left feeling absolutely desperate for the people in in the in the films.
This is The Way We Roll hosted by Simon Minty and Phil Friend.
Phil Friend 11:48
Right, Simon. Now, next topic I think you're gonna take us through is the intergenerational trauma, which sounds very intriguing. Tell us more about that
Simon Minty 11:57
It's slightly more than that? I recently went on I think it was called a racial bias course, the particular trainer is saying I've got problems with unconscious bias, I don't think its relevant or valid. And I'm a bit of a fan of that I have major problems with unconscious bias. However, this was part of a training course that I attended. There were two or three things. I mean, it's a really good course and I enjoyed it, I sometimes felt I was having a very interesting history lesson, rather than an organisational action plan at the end of it that that was one issue. However, two or three things just caught me. And I thought I'm gonna have a chat with Phil about them. And one was a phrase called intergenerational trauma. The concept of this is a cumulative emotional and psychological wounding across generations, which includes the lifespan, which emanates from massive group trauma, that's quite big phrasing the quickest or easiest routes to that might be. This is often cited in terms of Jewish and the Holocaust. So through generations, you knew what happened to your parents, your grandparents, their great grandparents, and that trauma stayed with you. So you feel that even though you didn't experience it, but you feel it. I am interested in this in terms of disability. That obviously on this course, this was more about race and ethnicity. And could you feel you know, what happened to people before you you take part of that identity on? I'm really intrigued in terms of disability. I think the closest we've been talking about disability hate crime, and say you had a form of dwarfism. And you spent most of your life being bullied or had a really tough time or your parents weren't supportive or, or whatever the trauma may have been (a) that stop you having more children or (b) if you have children, who have a form of dwarfism, would you over protect them? Would you worry about them because of what we went through? That's a long intro. What do you think, Phil? Just in a little nutshell, if you haven't got much time.
Phil Friend 14:20
I think my knee jerk reaction, if I had been if I was a small person and had had a tough time, because,
Simon Minty 14:29
Phil Friend 14:30
would be to say, Yes, I would protect my children if they were also small. I think that would be a natural reaction. For me, at least I don't know what others might do. But I think I might well do that. You know, have I've been through this experience, and this is what I've learned from it. In order to protect others, I will behave in these sorts of ways. I can see that as a perfectly valid way of proceeding. Now whether that helps my children ultimately is another Question. But as a parent, and I am a parent, we always want to protect our children, we want the best we can have for our children. So if I can steer them away from painful, nasty things, then I'm going to try and do it
Simon Minty 15:17
to bring you back back. I mean, it's very often I get picked up like that. But that's just the sort of tail end example. But the concept of intergenerational trauma, do you think it applies to disability? So you could you have a child, that next one as a child, and they feel what you felt, and it keeps getting passed down the generations, although the younger ones who've never experienced what the old one did experience? Well,
Phil Friend 15:42
I write, I'm speaking personally, now I had polio as a child, and I went through the experience of being in an iron lung. And I, that was extremely unpleasant as far as I was very young. So I don't remember great bits of it. But I know that there have been others who before me went through that experience. And I've lived a life, most first part of my life largely ignoring my disability, I didn't see it as an issue at all. It's only when I started getting into this discussions we have and meeting people who were campaigning on behalf of rights for disabled people, I began to see this as historic disablism. So I didn't see my special schooling as disabled just yeah, in fact, I, you know, the charity model was well and truly at work for me, I was grateful. Thank you very much. I've got some schooling. Now I look at my schooling is the single biggest lack of care that society ever gave me. They didn't they put me on to basket weaving courses. And what they did for me was to wreck potentially wreck my life, actually, by not offering me the same education everybody else has. Would I pass that on? I'm not sure I would. I'm very clear that disabled people, the history of disability, has got all sorts of let's talk Holocaust, half a million disabled people were killed as part of that progress, pogrom. So the history of disability also has some hugely nasty bits to it. Does that affect my view in passing on, I don't know that it does really
Simon Minty 17:29
tweak it, rather than necessarily your view. I mean, it's slightly hypothetical, because you'd have to have a child who had polio, you would start behaving in a different way, or they would start behaving like you because of data. So it doesn't quite apply. But I think the thing that could happen with disability, particularly if you understand the history of disability, do we start playing roles in society as disabled people? Because that's how it was seen. So are we we probably you and I, and I know other people who are very strong activists or rights based, but we become passive sometimes when we really shouldn't be passive. We're just Oh, thanks. All Sorry about that. And we're like, no one else would do that. But we do play that partly as a disability subservient or because it's easier, or we don't want to come across as chippy. So is the sort of what's happened in the past disabled people then continue, or is it fresh every generation anyway? Again, just a one line answer would be great.
Phil Friend 18:31
I'm thinking about my days as a social worker, visiting day centres where disabled people were. And looking back on that experience, and of their families, and how grateful they were to be there. And their expectation was de centre, their expectation was not jobs. They never expected to work that was completely off the scale. And that was passed on by their parents, their parents who are not disabled, said to their disabled adult child. This is great, isn't it? Coming here packing crackers, every you know, whatever. It's only when I started looking at in a more objective way that I could see handy. It was that wonderful line that we heard all those years ago, from I've forgotten the lady's name, Sue Daniels. I've remembered her name, the soft bigotry of low expectation, this idea that culturally, historically, don't expect much of disabled people because after all, it's enough to get through the day, sort of attitude now I think that's still prevails. It doesn't quite fit with what you're saying. But you know what I mean, there's a culture around disability which has to do with their lovely, plucky people, they're brave and, and all that stuff. And let's just give them you know, have a telephone now and again, you know, give them some money and they'll be okay.
Simon Minty 19:53
And I'm playing with it because you may be wrong, I think, a couple of reflective bits and I will move on to a new phrase I've got as well just to keep this going. The bit we may be missing on that is the word trauma. So it's intergenerational. But the concept of this is trauma, something horrific happened to a previous generation, who are like you. And that then comes through to you, even though you weren't there experiencing it. So that's the we got we got the intergenerational bit, but have we got the trauma bit. The the essence of this is that you start with a disadvantage in life almost because you've got baggage from another generation. So you've got to overcome that inside yourself before you're even allowed to get onto the first rung.
Phil Friend 20:34
I can see why that why that conversation could go on. I think where I'm feeling the trauma is probably in the medical context of that, whereby you had operations without anybody referring to you. They were done. They caused you months of pain. In some cases, years of pain, some people it never made any difference whatsoever. In my particular case, I had 789 operations, where I spent six months at a time in hospital. So my education stopped. That had a big impact on me, the idea of having operations where you just you know, so if I had a disabled child, what would my attitude be to the medical profession,
Simon Minty 21:20
but also add on? Would your child inherit that from you? Do you see what I mean?
Phil Friend 21:27
That's the bit that I'm having the most trouble with?
Simon Minty 21:30
I mean, what if you left little notes under their pillow every night? Let it seep through? I just had a little recording, so it eventually got to them?
Phil Friend 21:38
Yes. And you left scalpels lying around the kitchen table? I mean, I don't know that is such an interesting,
Simon Minty 21:48
it's a great concept. I mean, it's not a great concept. But I think it's an interesting bit and how you might apply it or not,
Phil Friend 21:54
I suppose the differences may be when you look at the Jewish and, you know, the Jewish experience of the Holocaust and so on. It happened to so many people at once, in a very short period of time, didn't it? I mean, I'm talking a decade or something. And many of them went through the same kinds of experience, many of course were killed. And then so that isn't the same as the trauma in quotes, trauma being experienced by collectively the nearest we get to that is perhaps special school, institutional life, that kind of thing. But it's not the same as what the Jews I don't know. I know we're not trying to compare the two but you know what, I mean, the essence of it.
Simon Minty 22:43
Don't forget Jewish people that fled and survived, but they have carried guilt because they survived. I remember when I was at university, I met a German guy. So what is this late 90s and he was mid 30s. And he carried guilt for his countrys behaviour and I said How would you feel that because you you weren't even born, but he went yeah, but I carry it it's my country it was that's what we did. It's terrible. We'd love to hear from you it's intergenerational trauma is the concept does it apply we just one other line they came up with this is from a spokesperson called Audrey Lord, I've pronounced that wrong. AUDRE and then new word LODDE she was a rights campaigner. She said there's no such thing as a single issue struggle because we don't live single issue lives. My little quick reflection on that is when people go Could you do diversity training? Oh, no, no, I do disability. And they go but you could no I don't I I specialise in disability so I bang on about single issue. But she's saying we don't live that. So you can't we can't just be solely disability. It's everything.
Phil Friend 23:56
Yeah, cuz you're a man too. You're a white man, aren't you and you're a straight white man. So there's all those issues.
Simon Minty 24:04
It's quite a lot of advantages those ones.
Phil Friend 24:07
Nearly all of them. Yeah. Nearly all of them. I I just think it's um it's a sort of thing that people write papers about. Isn't it this and hear I am special school boy trying to get my head around it.
Simon Minty 24:20
I gave you three days notice I expect you to say by now 10,000 words.
Phil Friend 24:20
But certainly say it's intriguing. It's an interesting idea.
Simon Minty 24:20
I, if you took it across maybe now I'm thinking, don't worry about the sort of protected characteristics of, you know, our gender or orientation, all those other things, if we did it as we're complex, so we care about this and we care about that. We might have a disability but our politics are this way, or we're fanatical about sport or rehab disabled Paralympians who don't care about disability rights. I'm generalizing here. So is this the idea that you're just a one trick pony? isn't right, there's too many other complexities that will come into your life?
Phil Friend 24:20
Well, I do think on that, you know, you and I, certainly, I started as a disability, you know, awareness trainer, that's what I did. And it was in, you know, five, six years into that, that we began to think Hang on a minute, men, men are disabled women, you know, does that make a difference? And of course, it does, of course, it makes a difference. And people like Jenny Morris, who were writing about pride against prejudice, you know, women's experiences of disability did a lot to help. Certainly the early work that I was involved in, it informed informed me about how that felt. So then we started talking diversity, we started disability equality, rather than awareness. So there is much to be you know, I think there's a lot in that, that we aren't a single issue. You know, I was brought up in a certain way by certain family, I had a certain class and that influenced a lot of things, but then I spent many years in, in hospitals and schools, so that influenced me in a very different way to somebody who didn't go through all that but still have polio, like me, you know, so fascinating.
Simon Minty 24:20
And we will put a link up to the trainer, the company. As I said, Sometimes you'll read the pre coursework I felt was like an academic essay. This wasn't you know, think about some experiences you've had where you think bloody hell the half of me loves that. But the other half me says, Don't forget, we want to make this useful, practical, all that kind of stuff.
This is the way we roll hosted by Simon Minty and Phil Friend his listeners corner time.
Phil Friend 24:34
My favourite bit of the show, favourite bit of the show,
Simon Minty 24:36
quite a few of you have got in contact. Cleo is a person I met on a career development course. She said our podcasts and very good. she admires my drive and resilience I don't know if that was about just keep making the podcast or or working with Phil or maybe somebody
Phil Friend 24:56
Oh! so it was just you that's resilient. Right Cleo. Have I ho her email address (laughter)
Simon Minty 25:03
When I wrote this, I was thinking is she talking about both of us. No, I re-read it three times she talked about my drive and resilience.
Phil Friend 25:09
I think you've got a fan. You've got a fan Simon.
Simon Minty 25:13
My favourite bit was this particular group we've met on the career development course are still in contact two or three years later. And I love that you had that from the people you met.
Phil Friend 25:21
Yeah I did I'm just being jealous that's all it is .
Simon Minty 25:27
A great friend of mine, who I adore Laura, she's been listening. And she said she'd binged on them. You know, you do a binge on Netflix. So yeah, she's been used the way we roll podcast, I feel for you Laura. But she said she's learned a lot. She's relatively new to some of the disability history, disability, politics, disability identity. And we have given a very accessible, enjoyable way for her to get her head around that. That's great.
Phil Friend 25:59
I think Laura could pay us back by writing the paper on it. Could'nt she perhaps that last item.
Simon Minty 26:04
She's currently a student.
Phil Friend 26:05
So you guys got loads of time.
Simon Minty 26:07
Thank you very much Laura. Appreciate that. Look forward to it. No, rush. John Hague. He wrote, The more important thing for you listener is that it was a bit at the end. But he basically says long time and since you both did we both do this workshop?
Phil Friend 26:21
Yes. We both did London Probation Service. I remember John very well,
Simon Minty 26:25
Senior managers. Why is it gone from me? He still enjoys listening to our podcast. My apologies, John, at what he did says, I used to get sent an email. If you are a listener, and you're not on our mailing list, when we send the show out, we send a little email out with the link and telling you about the show. That is all that we send out. There's nothing else. So if you want to be part of that mailing list, so you get notified. Just drop us a line.
Phil Friend 26:50
Yeah, we'll we'll add you to our list. But it's good to reconnect with John. Now, a couple from me. One is an old mate of mine that I met when I was on my world cruise. Back in 2011. His name is Ian Hardwick. And he sent me a WhatsApp message saying, just listening to your show, loving every minute of his cetera and he listens to lots of them actually, non disabled chap, but we're working on that. And I did try and run him over while we were on the ship. I pinned his leg to a wall. That's where my chair got. Remember Nikki Fox said how her chair got out of control the same thing happened to me. And Ian pointed that out to me saying, "Nikki Fox reminded me that you did the same to me." So lovely to have Ian on board
Simon Minty 27:36
Was that the booze or was the ship tilting or
Phil Friend 27:38
No it was not booze it was the chair got stuck the joystick just like Nicky described it got jammed into position I just went forward and couldn't stop and poor old Ian was standing by a wall in the dining room it was very caused chaos as you can imagine. Yeah, nice and Jess Bool who I should say our old friend Graham Bool sadly no longer with us Graham a disabled photographer, his daughter who happens to be my granddaughter, I mean goddaughter rather, and she said
Simon Minty 28:12
Big news to Jess.
Phil Friend 28:15
But she very kindly dropped a note and said I'm really enjoying the shows and so on. So that was good to hear from her too.
Simon Minty 28:20
I am friends with Jess through social media and I have a it's a weird one because we're both one step removed from you and Graham but I have an affinity with her because of you and Graham which I always like.
Phil Friend 28:31
Yeah, no Graham's was a lovely guy actually. I still miss him to this day.
Simon Minty 28:36
Keep it coming up.
Phil Friend 28:37
So I think yes, that's our listeners corner. Very good. Where would they they can write to us at Mintyand [email protected] That's our email address
Simon Minty 28:47
That is brilliant. And we can get you on our mailing list and also we're on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, yada yada yada.
Phil Friend 28:53
Before we leave it if you've got something you think we should talk about, why don't you tell us that as well?
Simon Minty 28:58
Or keep it to yourself? We've got enough going on.
This is The Way We Roll hosted by Simon Minty and Phil Friend.
Phil Friend 29:04
Now then we have a real treat Simon and I in the back room have had lots of conversations about this show and how we can improve it and make it different and all that kind of stuff. Haven't we Simon
Simon Minty 29:16
Phil Friend 29:17
And we brought back an old buddy because he's brilliant, and he makes us look very amateurish when it comes to broadcasting because he's a pro been doing it for years. Of course the remarkable Geoff Adams- Spink. And what we've asked Geoff to do is to dig up some kind of stories, books, poems, whatever some and we're calling this the Cultural Corner. Yes, it's got a little feel to it. Hello Geoff. Welcome.
Geoff Adams-Spink 29:46
I have to say I slightly object to being marginlised to a corner but there we go your podcast.
Simon Minty 29:53
Nobody puts baby in the corner.
Phil Friend 29:56
But it is the most important corner Geoff
Geoff Adams-Spink 29:58
Ah Ha very good!
Phil Friend 30:01
You are not being asked to go to the naughty corner. This is the Cultural Corner, what we've asked you to do, Geoff is to kind of dig up some interesting stuff for us that we could loosely call cultural. And so let's kick off what have you got? What's your first thing that you want to share with us?
Geoff Adams-Spink 30:16
Well, the first thing I want to share with you was a very, very pleasant surprise that I had on Sunday evening. Sunday evening is normally when Adam Buxton publishes his podcast, but he said he was taking a break between Christmas and Easter. But lo and behold, my phone pinged on Sunday night and said, hey, there's a new episode of the Adam Buxton podcast. Now, the reason I like this podcast is because it takes me completely away from the doom scrolling, the daily, you know, grind of COVID, and Trump and all of the all of the things that can make us anxious and upset and takes us somewhere else, to a conversation with somebody that you may not know of, but who's quite interesting. And in this case, it was the comedian, Stuart Lee, who I hadn't really come across before, but he sounds like an incredibly interesting guy, very knowledgeable about things like indie music. And I think the reason Adam decided to publish his podcast out of the blue as it were, is because Stuart Lee is launching a film or has launched a film by the time you listen to this, on Sky Arts, about a Birmingham indie band called Robert Lloyd and the Nightingales. And, again, not necessarily my subject of choice, but I was so taken with the conversation, and I was so taken with the trailer for this documentary that he's made that I'm definitely gonna pick that up on, catch up.
Simon Minty 31:47
Thank you, Geoff . I am a big fan of Adam Buxton to a huge fan of Stuart Lee as well. He's the comedian's comedian. He's awesome. It sounds a great recommendation.
Phil Friend 31:57
Yeah, it does. Actually like you, Simon. I'm a big fan. Stuart Lee particularly. I've listened to Adam Buxton a few times he did Paul McCartney recently didn't meet Geoff. He interviewed him. And so he has some A listed people on his show, there's no doubt about that.
Geoff Adams-Spink 32:11
He gets some good people and people whose music or other work, I haven't yet, you know, discovered, like, I don't know, Jeff Goldbloom. Or George, the poet. I mean, people who are not necessarily on my radar, but people who are really interesting.
Simon Minty 32:27
I always think he's very quirky. And he makes all his own jingles. But he also makes you feel part of the show. And it's it's a really well produced show, but very natural,
Phil Friend 32:36
didn't start with him taking his dog for a walk and sort of generally, because he went for the Rambler. Yeah, Rambler Chats
Geoff Adams-Spink 32:43
So you start with a walk with the dog, talks about the weather gear, sets up, the interview tells you who's coming up. And then you have the the main body of the podcast, and then he comes back at the end and says, Well, that was that and, you know, links to this and links to that, and it's still a rainy day, I'm gonna get my dog back home and goodbye, listeners. And he does it very well, very professionally.
Simon Minty 33:07
What else you got there, Geoff
Geoff Adams-Spink 33:08
Number two is a new book by John Preston called Fall. And it's about the former media mogul, Robert Maxwell. Why should we be bothered about Robert Maxwell? Who's been dead for? I don't know, 30 years, I guess, now, near on. And I think the reason is because, again, you know, he was one of those people who was a bit of a dabbler, a bit of a con man a bit of a, shall we say he was economical with the truth and he was very uneconomical with other people's money, especially his own employees pension funds. I think what interests me about Robert Maxwell is that there are so many parallels between him and Donald Trump, especially the sort of narcissistic element that you know, he wanted to be the centre of everything. He even when he took over the Mirror, had new carpets made with his initials woven into the woven into the carpet, a big letter M. And, you know, he was a very interesting guy. He was a spy for the British, you know, he, he rose to the rank of captain, he was a he was a Czech, Czechoslovakian national until the outbreak of the Second World War. And he almost swindled Rupert Murdoch out of a million Australian dollars. He was a very colourful character and a very, very dishonest one as well.
Phil Friend 34:38
And who wrote the book, Geoff?
Geoff Adams-Spink 34:40
John Preston has written the book it's going to be, I'll give you links to both the audio book and the hardcover and ebook version of this. And it's going to be the book of the week on Radio Four as well. So if you don't want to buy it, you can get it for free by listening to Radio Four. I just think it's very interesting. To see how these people operate up close because it's, it's a sort of documentation of megalomania and utter descent into, you know, sort of drowning in his own hype. In the end.
Phil Friend 35:15
I love your reference to him drowning in his own whatever because he also drowned and he fell off his boat or he was pushed or something. Even his death was mysterious.
Geoff Adams-Spink 35:24
His death is mysterious and a bit like the Princess of Wales and JFK, we will never probably know the real truth, people suspected Mossad. I mean, as well as being a media mogul, you know, he was suspected of being a spy, everybody who definitely was a spy for the UK, but he was suspected of being a spy for the Russians. He was suspected of working for Mossad and perhaps, you know, fell out with them over something. But he also interesting minny facts here. He also had a bit of a sort of thing about urinating from a great height. And one of the theories I mean, he used apparently do it from the top of the Mirror Group building in London, you know, in front of invited guests, and one of the theories is that he was relieving himself over the side of the Lady Guillaine his his ostentatious yacht, and lost his footing and fell over the rail.
Phil Friend 36:24
Simon Minty 36:25
just a carpet thing. Is it definitely M for Maxwell not M for Mirror, do we know that it was definitely his own name?.
Geoff Adams-Spink 36:33
It was definitely his own name. That was that comes for courtesy of Julia Langdon, the the first woman editor of the Mirror who he appointed.
Simon Minty 36:42
He there's not there's very few redeeming things that you hear about him. However, these people are fascinating. I mean, there's something about them that you cannot I cannot believe people behave this way. Okay, thank you.
Geoff Adams-Spink 36:56
Interestingly, also that, you know, he was a Labour MP. And he very quickly cottoned on to the idea that he couldn't really affect much change as an MP. So he kind of completely switched horses and thought, right. I think the only way I can really wield power is to influence a lot of people by owning a tabloid newspaper.
Simon Minty 37:15
Phil Friend 37:17
People have followed his example. Have they not?
Simon Minty 37:19
As you said, Geoff, we will put both the links in the show, thank you so much for bringing a little bit of a sort of gear change and some interest and thank you. I really appreciate the time and the effort.
Phil Friend 37:32
Yeah, been good. Thank you so much, Geoff.
Geoff Adams-Spink 37:33
Phil Friend 37:34
Well, that was a lot of fun and good to have Geoff back on the show, Simon.
Simon Minty 37:38
Yeah, I agree. Geoff sends us text messages every now and again with this sort of cultural pick. So it's nice to have him actually talking about them.
Phil Friend 37:45
Yeah, it is like old times. Anyway, take it easy and I'll see you very soon.
Simon Minty 37:51
Hope to hear from your listeners. Thanks very much for listening. Bye.
This is The Way We Roll presented by Simon Minty and Phil Friend. You can email us at [email protected] or just search for Minty and Friend on social media. We're on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.