Mark Andrews on Saturday: Postcode yobbery and rebels without a point
Read your Saturday column from Mark Andrews.
The Vue cinema chain has decided to resume its screening of the movie Blue Story, after a showing at Birmingham’s Star City complex led to a full-scale riot.
It is probably unfair to attach too much blame for the violence on the film.
Are we seriously to believe those involved in the carnage would have kept their knives and machetes safely in their pockets, and filed out of the cinema in an orderly fashion, had the script been a little more understated?
That said, it doesn’t sound like a very nice movie, a tale about gratuitous gang violence between two former friends who live in different postcode areas.
What is interesting, though, is that it has been funded by the BBC. The same BBC which seems to have given up on producing mainstream television comedy or drama, and insists funding cuts prevent it giving free TV licences to the over-75s.
Yet somehow, it can still find the money to fund a violent niche film whose main target audience appears to regard a ruck with the Old Bill as pre-requisite to a good night out.
Besides, if people are really bent on getting involved in gang violence, can't they find something better to fight over than a postcode?
We did not have a nationwide postcode system until the 1970s, so we are hardly talking about something steeped in history or deeply ingrained in our culture.
And something tells me that the sort of people who indulge in this type of warfare tend not to write many letters.
There was a very revealing documentary on Sky News this week, which took viewers behind the scenes of the Extinction Rebellion protests which have been brought the capital to a standstill.
As expected, there was not a single constructive suggestion about how to reduce the impact we have on the environment, less still examples of people actually demonstrating this.
On the other hand, there was a lot of T-shirt printing, meditation classes and vague talk about something called ‘climate justice’. This is not an environmental protest, it’s a hippy commune.
I think my favourite moment was when a guy called Roman – obviously – revealed how he organised the mayhem using ‘disposable phones’. I never knew such a thing existed, but it doesn't sound very environmentally friendly.
Look, I might not have the green hair or nose ring, but I have never ‘disposed’ of a mobile phone. If I pay £30 or more for something, I expect it to last a few years. And when it does bite the dust, surely the green thing would be to recycle the components, not chuck it in the bin.
Now, I’m all in favour of cutting out waste, improving recycling, and looking for more sustainable ways to meet our energy needs. But I can’t see how these virtue-signalling crusties have contributed one iota to the cause. All they have done is caused a lot of traffic congestion, put people's lives at risk, and got everyone’s backs up.