It is clear that the two years he spent at the California Institute of the Arts between the age of 27-29 was the formative period in his life as a professional photographer. Apart from picking up almost a dozen 'favourite' American photographers he also benefited from the tuition of Ann Callis and having graduated in 1978 he said : 'After the comfort of the Jo Ann Callis classroom, my task was, naturally, to work out the next question : what to do with my new enthusiasm?' In his case his answer was found in London and his work architecture and he confessed : 'I am attracted to both sides of photography and architecture: where science and art overlay each other'.'Consider a large camera in a small room with furniture and just a few sheets of transparency film. Under the darkcloth, a dim image beckons on the ground glass, upside down and backwards. From where is it best to feel the space of the interior or the weight of the superstructure? Back then, you needed lots of kit, a spotmeter and, thank you, Edwin Land, help in Polaroid form'. He thought that he had been prepared for his work in the 21st century and had received 'adequate training for digital photography which offers a new universe' and was gratified that : 'Fortunately, there remains a thrill in figuring out a new picture to lob into the world’s archives that conveys the architecture and gives an idea of the physical experience. A composition that somehow works, regardless of the ‘rules’'.
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Britain is no longer a country for and says "Farewell" to the much loved 'Prince of Architectural Photographers', Dennis Gilbert
Saturday, 12 June 2021
In Britain, awash with rogues and liars in high places, step forward an old politician called David Davis, 'Champion of the World’s Poor' and unafraid to speak truth to power
David is no stranger to poverty himself, having been born David Brown, the son of his single mother, Betty, three years after the end of the Second World War and in York, two days before Christmas in 1948. Young David was initially brought up by his maternal grandparents there. After his mother married Ronald Davis, David adopted his name the family name and David met his real father, a Welshman, only once, after his mother's death. David later described the family flat in as a "a terrible little slum". Later, after his half-sister was born, the family moved into council accommodation on the brand new Aboyne Estate in Tooting, South-West London and his stepfather worked at Battersea Power Station, where he was a shop steward. David himself later told an audience at the Royal Festival Hall in 2002, on a platform he shared with the left-wing Labour Party politician, Tony Benn, that he had been a "wild kid"."It is almost 50 years since I won admission to grammar school, yet I remember it as though it were yesterday. It was a day that changed my life massively, for the better. Bec Grammar School in Tooting, South London, took this young kid from the wrong side of the tracks, with scuffed shoes, tousled hair, shirt hanging out of his trousers, and gave him chances he had never dared to dream of". "I was by no means the only working-class youngster, or son of a single mother, in my grammar school. Many of my classmates were very tough. It was a community with few angels and no saints".
David did not go on to university since his 'A' level results were not good enough and left school and got a job as an insurance clerk at the age of 18 in 1966. Subsequently, he joined the Territorial Army's 21 SAS Regiment where he served as a reserve at weekends in order to earn money to pay to retake his 'A' Levels and successfully gained a place at the University of Warwick where he gained a joint degree in Molecular and Computer Science at the age of 23 in 1971.
Now sitting as a Conservative back bench Member of Parliament David has said that the proposed foreign aid cuts are immoral and unlawful and ministers tried to push them through without a vote in the Commons because they knew they would lose. He has cited legal advice given to Tory backbenchers by Ken Macdonald in which he denounced the planned cuts and said : “The Government, if it wanted to do this, should have brought it to the House of Commons and said : "This is in our manifesto, but the duress we’re facing now means we have to do this and so ask the House to approve it. It didn’t. The reason it didn’t, was because the majority of the House doesn’t agree with it. That’s what we’re going see today if we get the vote. And I’m afraid that that’s frankly, in my judgment, a morally poor position for the Government”.
On the BBC Radio 4 'Today' Programme this week, he said :
"In my judgement, you've got massive cuts in clean water, which kills more children world-wide than almost anything else, dirty water does - 80% cut there - ten million people lose their access. You've got cuts in funding for food - people starving - quarter of a million people. Again thousands will die - large numbers of them children. Across the board, this cut, which is virtually unique in the G World and is unique in the G7. No other country is cutting its aid in this way. It's going to have devastating consequences across the world. Bear in mind I'm, historically, a critic of aid spending, but doing it this way is so harmful".
David's contribution to the debate on the proposed cuts to foreign aid on June 8th this week :
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
Britain, where those guilty of malfeasance in public office are not brought to task, was no country for a Windrush Generation Jamaican called Rupert Everett
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman which provides an independent complaint handling service for grievances that have not been resolved by British Government departments. The Report concluded that the immigration enforcement officials should not have told Rupert that he was in Britain illegally, and missed opportunities to put things right. It stated : 'It is particularly sad that the last years of Everett’s life were characterised by a distressing struggle to validate his right to remain in a country he had the right to live in. The injustice to him caused by the maladministration we have identified was extremely serious'.“We haven’t had an explanation or an apology. It wasn’t one person that messed up, it was five departments”.
Those five department were :
* the North-West Immigration Enforcement Department
* the unit responsible for Withdrawing Driving Licences
* the department responsible for issuing Biometric Cards
* the Nationality Department and the Complaints Section“The Home Office showed a complete lack of care about him as an individual”.
Fiona said : “My father was looking forward to spending more time with his family. Instead, he was told that he was going to be thrown out of this country. He changed from being an outgoing family man to becoming depressed and isolating himself from his family. I am pleased that the Ombudsman’s investigation has found that my father was treated appallingly by the Home Office, but am desolated that he is not alive to read the report”.
A Home Office spokesperson said : “The victims of the Windrush scandal faced appalling treatment and we are determined to right these wrongs. We are considering the Ombudsman’s findings and offer our sincere condolences to Mr Everett’s loved ones for their loss”.
A 'condolence' is not an 'apology'.
Belinda Everett, Rupert's daughter said :
"When they stripped him of his driver's licence that was it. He liked going around and driving himself to different places. My dad was of a pension age so this was a time he was supposed to be enjoying life and they stripped him completely bare. You might have just put him in a prison and locked the door".
The ITV News item about Rupert's case entitled : 'Manchester dad affected by the Windrush scandal wrongly threatened and pursued by the Home Office damning report finds' and with interviews with Rupert's daughters, Rob Behrens and Sukhdeep Singh.
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Britain is a country where, despite the easing of its Pandemic lockdown, countless Home Alone Old Men, remain locked in a state of chronic loneliness
Deborah Alsina, the Chief Executive of Independent Age said : “For people who told us loneliness was not just a product of lockdowns and shielding, but a symptom of their every day life before the pandemic, the easing of restrictions is not a silver bullet”.“The extremely damaging side-effects of lockdown – long periods of isolation, a loss of routine and social interaction – have caused significant mental health as well as physical health deterioration for people with dementia, many of them just ‘giving up’ on life, fading away. Many people we’ve spoken to are concerned that their isolation and loneliness will continue as restrictions ease because the support services they used previously have either shut down or are yet to be reinstated”.
A further survey by 'Age UK' found that, compared with before the pandemic, one in three respondents said they had 'less energy', one in four were 'unable to walk as far' as before, and one in five felt 'less steady on their feet'. In addition, one in five found it 'harder to remember things' and more than one in four felt 'less confident about spending time with family'. Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director said : “This pandemic has hit the fast-forward button on ageing for millions of older people. According to our research, as many as a third of all older people really are struggling”.“I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve heard older people tell us that they don’t want to live any more because they feel so invisible and alone. As we move into this new recovery and reintegration phase, 66% of our scheme members say they don’t yet feel ready to leave the four walls of their homes and 70% report a decline in their physical health acting as a barrier to getting out and about”.“Volunteers report that many of the senior citizens they speak to are now too afraid to go back out into their towns and villages, as they are genuinely afraid to mix again in public. They have huge anxiety about this despite government guidelines changing”.