The Best Bond: RIP Sir Sean Connery


And so it starts again, lights going out across out metaphysical universe and the dark closing in, just as it is in our physical Universe of reduction and isolation. One day a beloved footballer, another a film star who created a world around him and a fame that never perished.

Sean Connery, the first James Bond, the best James Bond, demanded the eye whenever and where he was on film. The world will remember him for Ian Fleming’s cold, cruel but above all effective spy, but Connery was both more and less than that. As Connery the man he bore the shame of his belief that it was ok to hit a woman, as long as you only used an open palm. As Connery the actor, he excelled in more that just the elegant yet earthy spy.

For me there was his role as Indiana Jones’ in the third film, in which I will never forget the exact, uncopiable intonation of his voice as he greets his son as, “Junior!”

And there is the story of his small role in Time Bandits, when the producers sent him the script, openly confessing they couldn’t afford him as king Agamemnon but asking him just to read it. And he phoned up, said, “How much can you afford?” and agreed to do it – brilliantly – just because he loved the role.

That’s the manner of the man, the bedrock security in himself. he never lived to see his beloved homeland gain independence but he lived to see it nearer than ever since 1701. Rest in Peace Sir Sean.

Farewell Nobby


It’s no time since we lost Jack Charlton and now Nobby Stiles, the little man in Red, has followed his team-mate into the sunset. The balance has finally tipped: there are fewer now who remain than have gone before and now I fear that the decline will be rapid.

Nobby was ours, not just England’s but Manchester’s and Manchester United’s. Two of our men were among the Boys of Summer in 1966, the Forever Immortals, whose names will stand as long as there is life.

And now there is one. He will once again be feeling the pain of loss, of friend, of team-mate, of colleague. And everyone who holds our club in esteem will feel the same pain.

Get in there, Nobby. They shall not pass, you always nmade sure of that.

Batman: Three Jokers 3


So.

In the end, I was unable to come to the final part of Three Jokers in the state of pure innocence, or ignorance, I would have preferred. But then again, if I had known the complete nothing I wanted, I doubt that I would have been overwhelmed with shock at an ending in which Geoff Johns once again pissed all over Alan Moore’s work. What is wrong with him?

On a purely technical level, the final part, the series as a whole, was a confusing mess, overlong for the story it was aiming to tell, stodgy and stupid. In this I have to exonerate Jason Fabok, who drew everything with a measure of tight control and impressive detail, albeit to an overworked state in which any element of freshness and imagination had been flattened out. The bigger problem with the art is Johns, by asking Fabok to draw so many pages and sequences of pages that slowed the story to a crawl by breaking actions down minutely and silently. In what detail do we need to see three different people using three different methods of travel, over and again, going to a certain place where they they break in from individual directions, by individual methods examined in detail at every step? I’ve eard of compressed story-telling but this was flat as a pancake.

Ok, what’s the story? Joker’s kidnapped Joe Chill. Batman finds unfinished and unsent letters from Chill to Bruce Wayne hidden in his cell, in which Chill shows genuine remorse and tries to apologise for what he did. The Criminal Joker plans to drop Chill into the acids, to build a better Joker but Batman saves the man who killed his parents and goes on to forgive him.

Criminal Joker gets shot through the head by Comedian Joker, leaving us back with one of them, though whether this is original or copycat, we don’t know. meanwhile, everybody fills every non-compressed panel with words that are supposed to indicate deep characterisation – after all, everyone, Bruce, Barbara and Jason, are hurt beyond healing, so what’s the fucking point of shuffling the cards in so limited a fashion – and the whole thing turns out to be immaculately Shakespearean: a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The whole explanation comes from the surviving Joker, who, after demonstrating he knows who everyone is behind their masks en route to Arkham, explains that he conned his two partners into thinking of Joe Chill as the perfect better Joker, for the purpose of getting Batman to forgive him, heal his deepest hurt so that Joker can be the most important thing to him.

Are you listening to this bullshit? Because I’m not. It’s pseudo-psychological bullshit of no value or importance whatsoever, an unbearably convoluted excuse for a story that lied to and cheated its readers by conning them into reading story in which Johns not only provided no answer but rubbed the readers’ faces in the conspicuous way he was never going to give an answer.

Why three Jokers? Because you poor fuckers would pay to read it, just like I did, but I’m throwing this shite onto eBay in the knowledge that there are people out there dumb enough to buy it, and I’m never reaing anything by Geoff Johns again, not even to find out exactly how much he’s fucked over Alan Moore again.

How this time? By rewriting The Killing Joke. In that, the poor unknown schnuck who wanted to be a stand up comedian had a pregnant wife that he loved, that he fretted anxiously over supporting, except that she was accidentally electrocuted together with their baby, abad day that led to him becoming The Joker and be driven mad.

Not any more. Now he’s a violent abusive husband whose wife is scared of him, so the Police put her in the equivalent of Witness Protection and shipped her off to Alaska and a log cabin, her and her seven year old son, and the electrocution story was nothing more than a story. So The Joker wasn’t some poor guy who just had a shit day, like Bruce Wayne, he was already a psychopath. Just fuck off, Johns, you shit-filled leech.

Oh yeah, and smug, smartarse Batman has known the Joker’s real name from seven days after he first appeared but keeps it quiet to protect his family. How boring.*

Ah, I’m nearly done. Half a series of Strange Adventures, Tom King’s Batman/Catwoman limited series, by this time next year I’ll be out of it. I really cannot stand what comics have become now. They’ve stolen childhood away from the children and all they can write about now is death, despair, devastation and the breaking down of everything. I’ve had enough.

  • I’ve just remembered. The whole premise of Three Jokers was based on Batman discovering from the Mobius Chair that there were three, not one. But the question Batman asked to provoke this revelation was ‘what is the Joker’s real name?’ If he’d known that name from one week after he appeared, why did he ask the question in the first place? And if he’s that bloody smart, how come it took a Chair to reveal to him that there were three?

Lou Grant: s05 e09 – Jazz


I guess if you don’t like Jazz you might have a problem enjoying this next episode of Lou Grant‘s final series, especially as it was paired with a weak B story. i don’t like Jazz. I don’t like weak B stories. There was a bit of a detachment to this episode for me.

That’s not to say it was bad. The spinal story was a sentimental, ‘heart-warming’ affair: whilst looking for a phone to phone in a story, Joe Rossi discovers Cliff Richardson (Ray Brown, and someone’s having a laugh with that name), former bass-player with the legendary Sonny Goodwin Quartet of the Fifties.

Rossi’s a jazz fan (so are Charlie Hume and Art Donovan). He gets the idea for a story, finding the other members, where they are now, why they split up and, as we would all expect, getting the band back together for a one-off gig.

Drummer Johnny Albert’s a recording engineer (Louie Bellson). Piannist Sonny (Joe Williams) is doing well, a singer now. Alto sax player Ron Brickell (Med Flory), the one who struugled with drugs and arrests, has been clean since 1966, manages a convenience store and isn’t interested in a reunion, or music for that matter.

This is all much of a cliche from start to finish. Lou hates the idea, apparently just so he can be a contrarian, refuses to accept the story but somehow relents offscreen. The band reunite without any real reason for ‘Brick’ to overcome his opposition, the gig’s a smash success despite the last minute, predictable, band-argue-backstage-revealing-how-much-they-hate-each-other-but-still-go-on, and everybody’s happy.

Let’s leave them in their euphoria for a minute or two. The B story features reporter Jed Crossley (Tod Sussman). Jed’s been part of a two man team with veteran Gary Banks (Richard Erdman, three previous appearances as two other characters) but Gary’s retiring and Jed’s going solo on a story about Supervisors diverting county money to their personal benefit.

Only Jed’s nervous, indecisive, unable to even start writing the story. He’s out on his own, lacking the balance Gary used to give him. Assigning Billie to help him doesn’t work, he still won’t start the story, or share. Lou won’t take him off the story, not wanting to lose him.

And Jed comes good, pulling off an outrageous con and then becoming Mr Dynamo. Just as much a cliche in its own right.

Let’s go back to the Sonny Goodwin Quartet. Like I said, I don’t like Jazz. We have no natural affinity. But I loved the music so enthusiastically played in Treme, and I try to keep my ears open. The Sonny Goodwin Quartet were the same set-up as the Dave Brubeck Quartet and I like a bit of their stuff. And the guest stars were all genuine, accomplished musicians, the music was cool and easing, with detectable melodies close to the surface. Not for too long, but I can get along with this sort of Jazz. And, given that the two stories in this episode could have been turned out by a word-processor, the music ended up being the best thing about the episode.

Stay cool, cats.

Person of Interest: s05 e09 – Sotto Voce


Victim or Perpatrator? One last time…

Where do I begin?

Firstly, I’m not going to start delving into the storyline of this episode in my usual depth. It was taut, it was complex, it brought everyone into play in separate missions that, before the end, tied into a single story, and it ended on a note of poignancy made all the more plangent by my knowledge of what is to happen in the next episode.

In essence, this was a Number of the Week episode, a good, old-fashioned, more or less self-contained episode, with next-to-no involvement from Samaritan. Reese, operating as Detective Riley for practically the whole episode, is following the number, Terry Eastern (Neal Huff), a locksmith breaking into an investment firm to plant a bomb. Reese defuses it, takes the terrified Terry back to the precinct, learning that Terry’s been coerced into this by the kidnap and threatened murder of his wife. The true culprit is the mysterious criminal, the Voice (s03 e15 – Last Call). Do we know what Voce means in Italian?

The Voice has planted bombs all over the precinct. Reese/Riley’s trying to protect Terry and find the Voice. Fusco won’t help. They’re not partners anymore. he’s helping get a lot of gang members into the holding cells, whilst an unregistered gun found on frightened taxi-driver Amir Saddiq (Rupak Ginn) links back to two of his unsolved murders. Not just two: four, and more. Saddiq is a professional hitman. He works for the Voice. He knows who the Voice is.

Finch is trying to track the Voice. He has back-up, Carl Elias, determined to take a hand despite the risk to him. He has lost his two friends, he will not lose another. He leads Harold to the Voice’s bombmaker, coerces locations out of him. They’re all in the Eighth Precinct, stretching resources, drawing Police from the station. Where Terry has been frightened into unlocking all the cells, letting the gang out to barricade themselves and the remaining cops inside.

I haven’t mentioned Root yet, nor Shaw. Shaw’s in Mexico, heading for the border. Root’s in the Subway with a Number of her own, supplied by the Machine directly, a radio engineer working to extend the bandwidth for Samaritan’s coded radio messages. But someone shoots him, and the goons. Root follows, into the Park. More shootings. She comes face to face and gun to gun with the assassin. It is Shaw.

But Shaw won’t go back with her, to the Subway, to the rest. She’s been put through over 7,000 simulations, her sense of reality is indeed broken, she is unsafe. At any moment, she might turn and kill everyone. Better she quarantine herself, continue her mission to kill Samaritan, one agent at a time.

Everyone? Everyone but Root. Root she could never kill. She would put the gun to her own head instead. Shaw puts the gun to her own head. Root swears this is real and not a simulation. Shaw won’t listen. So Root does the most simple and obvious thing, the one twist Samaritan’s simulations could not imagine: she puts her gun to her head. If Shaw pulls the trigger, Root will pull the trigger. A simple paradox. Shaw can’t kill Root. She can’t end the scenario by killing herself which kills Root. Impasse.

The pieces fall together. Reese/Riley and Fusco fight side by side in the precinct. Finch traces the signal to the Precinct, discovers Terry’s ‘wife’ is an actress. Yes, that’s right, Terry Eastern is the Voice. He kills Saddiq and walks away. In the street, he’s confronted by Finch who warns him this will end. Terry can’t kill Harold because Elias has got a gun on him too. A truce. The Voices drives away. I saw it coming, each and every time. ‘I think that’s far enough, don’t you?’ Elias says, and presses the detonator in his hand. Over Finch’s shock, he protests mildly that Harold must have known he would do something like that. Subconsciously, Harold has summoned this. Harold’s inner darkness has undermined his rigid surface code.

It can’t go on like this. We are getting very near to the edge, the tipping point. Reese, who saw Fusco take a bullet for him despite their differences, tells Fusco the story. The full story, all the truth, a private enlightenment. And there’s one last appointment, under the bridge, staring across the city, the point where burnt-out derelict John Reese first met extremely private software developer Harold Finch, there is a reunion, Root bringing back an almost bashful Sameen Shaw. The gang reunited. The Five Musketeers back together again, in sunshine and shy silence. One Last Golden Afternoon before…

If only it could all end here, in this moment of peace and warmth, this projection of hope. But there are four episodes more. The point of One Last Golden Afternoon is that it is the last. The end starts here.

The Infinite Jukebox: Edwina Biglet and The Miglets’ ‘Thing’


You’ll have to be of my generation to even believe that a record like this from a band with a name like that ever existed, because who in their right minds under the age of thirty would fall for the idea that this wasn’t a complete spoof. But it’s not. I even had a copy of it once.
The thing about ‘Thing’ is that it’s not meant to be taken seriously (ya don’t say?). It was the creation of writer and producer Jonathan Hodge, though the first time I heard it on Radio 1, they were suggesting it wasn’t him behind the record but Jonathan King (King was in a phase of recording one-off singles under different pseudonyms, most of which charted, sometimes quite highly, one of which was The Piglets, so the suspicion seemed justified).
For what’s absolutely a novelty song, based in sound, there’s a surprisingly strict song structure based on a three verse pattern repeated three times throughout the song, with the coda being a final repetition of the first pattern verse leading directly into an outro that fades.
Firstly, Edwina (real name Vanessa) sings about having a Thing that goes (electronic noise) and asks if you wouldn’t like one as well? In the same artificially naive voice she promotes its value: it’s smaller than most, it can come through the post, that sort of thing.
Then, to a slower tempo, a silly male voice putting on an accent describes the merits of his, e.g. he keeps it clean in the washing machine, and hangs them up to dry in the bathroom.
Then a male-led chorus gives us yet more details of this polymorphous object, he’s got one that’s red, but his friend’s got a green one instead, the one he’s got is round and cuddly and sits there on the end of his bed…
You’re getting the picture.
Of course, not everyone is as enthusiastic as Edwina and her pals. Daddy doesn’t understand, Mommy says that they should be banned, she says they’re no good, there really should be laws against them, stop them getting out of hand. But what can you expect from the Out-of-Touch Generation?
Between the second and third verse sets, a voice hurriedly counts down 5-4-3-2-1 into an instrumental break, and as I said, ‘Edwina’ sings a final four lines before we shoot off into the coda.
Apparently, there are people who suspect the ‘Thing’ to involve some sexual connotation but come on, get real! The whole thing is nonsense, the pure, uncut thing. It’s electronic foolery, the synthesizer as whoopee cushion or joy buzzer noise and as such it’s a weird little gem, but to pretend it means anything but a collection of silly qualities that have no objective meaning is to miss the point by the orbit of Jupiter.
It was fluff and fun and I love it still. Jonathan King could never have come up with anything remotely so inventive or so sweet and we could have done with many such oddities to keep us from having to take so much of the Seventies so seriously.

Sunday Watch: Country Matters – Craven Arms


Firstly, apologies are in order for lateness. It is not a good start for a new feature to present it hours later than it may be expected, but unfortunately, this has not been a good week, and part of that not good week was needing to leave shift a few hours early one night and repaying the time. Which, to my disgruntlement, had to be this morning, from 10.00am – 12.30pm.

How many among you remember ITV’s Country Matters, or indeed have even heard of it? Once upon a time, and that time was 1972/3, it was an immensely popular, if short-lived, series, the kind of event TV that would have people staying at home to watch it rather than meeting friends.

The series ran to 13 episodes, a first series of six, a second series of seven, an anthology series based on short stories by A E Coppard and H R Bates, set in the 1910s and 1920s. They were beautifully staged and shot, on location in beautiful rural settings, set to the gentle pace of the countryside in that early part of the Twentieth Century, and yet the stories themselves were naturalistic, and often grim in the subjects they espoused, with a sensual and earthy sensibility. It also featured the cream of Britain’s actors and actresses, many of whom went on to long and highly-regarded careers.

It was a classic of its time, and one episode in particular, ‘The Four Beauties’, the last of the series, has remained fresh in my mind ever since.

It was the urge to see this again that led me to star looking for a Country Matters DVD and to the shock discovery that it has never been released on DVD in the UK. For that matter, the series doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry and imdb doesn’t have a full run of information on every episode.

Luckily, I discovered that the series had been put out on DVD in Canada of all places, albeit in a double-DVD set that contains only eight episodes – and of course this doesn’t include ‘The Four Beauties’. Earlier this year, I got it through eBay, and now comes the time to watch it.

As it’s late, and I have tasks to perform, I’ve allowed myself only one episode today, the series 1 opener, ‘Craven Arms’ based on an A E Coppard story set not many years after the First World War. Unless it’s to indicate that the story was set in Shropshire, I have no explanation of the title.

The episode is a four-hander, with only one minor speaking part and silent extras, or rather it’s about three couples, with one partner common to all relationships. This is painter and teacher David Masterson, played by an exceedingly young ian McKellen.

Masterson teaches a weekly art class, amongst which attendees are the sisters Kate and Ianthe Forrest (Prunella Ransome and Susan Penhaligon, pre-Bouquet of Barbed Wire), who have no appreciable art talent, and Julia Tern (Marilyn Taylerson), who is very talented but who, despite Masterson’s fascination with her, remains detached and distant.

In contrast, the bubbly and uncomplicated Ianthe has no objections whatsoever to being kissed in the woods on an outdoor sketching walk (observed and passed by with silent amusement by Julia), but Masterson’s more involved relationship is with Kate, who is in love with him and is not averse to being kissed in the cloakroom after class, but whose attitudes, beliefs and morals are directly opposite to those of Masterson.

For an episode of only 46 minutes, ‘Craven Arms’ covers an amazing amount of ground, most of it in relation to Masterson and Kate. he is against marrioage, against caging, wants to be free to do what he wants, which is to get Kate into bed, which she is happy to promise to do just as soon as they are married, but ntil then her virtue is unassailable.

In a sense, it’s a simple story: which one will get their way? But the episode’s gift is to make the shifting relationship more complex than just that. Julia, initially, produces a head-sketch of Masterson that makes him appear to be noble and god-like to an extent that embarrasses him, yet when she comes to tell him she is leaving to go to London and Art School, she also makes plain her absolute indifference to him.

Ianthe, after getting pissed off at the attentions Masterson pays to her older sister, forgives him and the show implies that she enjoys a roll in the hay with him (there is a shortage of young men around after the slaughter of the trenches).

But Kate is the resistor, and this produces some odd effects. Both the original story and the tv adaptation were written in more male-dominated times than our own, so the episode gives Masterson free reign to spout his childish demands to do what he wants (i.e., remove Kate’s blouse and bloomers), and more than ample space to whine that she won’t let him get his end away.

In this, he comes over exceedingly weak and decidedly petulant, forever complaining and insulting her for the crime of not dropping them.

I’m afraid this leads to a somewhat confusing ending. Kate goes away for several months. Masterson sends her a final insulting letter ending things permanently, to which she replies with ignorance of several of the things he’s accused her of. Then, months later, they meet again, at a museum of Kate’s choice where Masterson immeditely throws a fit about everything being dead (no comment!) and reciotes her the opening of a play he once started which is no more than a defence of his position, whilst prtomoting his weakness.

She’s come back to make things up to him, he might just get her lily-white body if we understand things rightly, but during this recitation her face goes steadily sadder and disapproving. Only then he rushes her out, wants to buy her a present, a ring, an engagement ring, freeze-frame on his laughing face. I ewonder if there’s a book of Coppard’s short stories in the Library.

Until that point, I was utterly absorbed. The writing was good, the filming excellent, the direction unobtrusive and the cast perfect. It didn’t hurt that all three woman, even in full court blouses, ankle length dresses and hats and coats were evidently lovely, but the last thirty seconds took an unexpected and confusing turn.

I’ll probably mix and match series so don’t necessarily expect more Country Matters next Sunday, when we’ll be back in the proper slot. But the series is what memory and reputation made of it, and I shall enjoy my next visit to the country.

Lou Grant: s05 e08 – Friends


The fair Noelle

This episode started very fuzzily, as if it didn’t really know what it was or how to introduce its story, but once it had started to roll, it became increasingly powerful and, for its two principal characters, painful.

The two principals were Joe Rossi and Art Donovan, each at the centre of a separate syory, with no overlap, each of which in their differing manners revolved upon the subject of friendship.

We were introduced first to Rossi, early morning jogging with his old cleege friend – practically his only friend – Burton Cary (Larry Breeding). Cary’s a former lawyer turned politician, runing for election as County Supervisor. Cary’s a good guy, caring, thoughtful, progressive, on the right side of all the issues. Joe respects Cary’s principles as well as liking him: his election will be A Good Thing especially as his opponent, Ralph Shillitoe (Paul Kent) is a right wing creep on everything.

As a friend, Joe disqualifies himself from reporting on Cary’s campaign. As a friend, he’s close to the campaign, meeting and asking out Cary’s junior aide, Noelle Kilmer (Jennifer Holmes). But the fair Noelle is already seeing someone from the Sheriff’s Depertment, though she hopes she and Joe can still be friends.

We can see what’s coming in this story, even if we don’t know what form it will take.

Meantime, Art is struggling with his twin roles of Assistant City Editor and Environmental Editor, especially as Charlie Hume is pressurising him to get a piece on Acid Rain ready for Sunday. At the same time, columnist Jerry Hollister (Logan Ramsey) is hunting round for a piece for his next column. Art gives him a theme that puts the two in opposition. When Art needs a clip when he’s on deadline, Hollister has it and won’t give it up so Art goes and gets it.

Next thing is, Hollister arrives with an arm in a sling, claiming Art hit him, shoved him, sprained his wrist and gave him a bad time, causing his blood pressure to shoot through the roof. He’s going to sue Art Donovan – and the Trib.

It’s a try-on, a nuisance suit. Mrs Pynchon won’t wear it for a moment, sue and be damned. But in the meantime, Art is to be removed – temporarily, of course – as Environmental Editor. A gesture, a sop, a bone. And a kick in the teeth for Art who has put so much into building up the Trib’s environmental coverage.

Art’s version of the story was that he grabbed Hollister by the collar, saw the clip he needed and let Hollister go. But no-one else was there, though Mrs Pynchon, passing by, heard raised voices and threats. Which one is telling the truth? No-one knows. No-one will know. But Art is punished. And what’s more he learns the object lesson that no-one, not one of his friends, believes his story. Everybody thinks he could have done it.

Friendship, eh?

But back at Joe’s story, Cary’s campaign hits a big stroke of luck as Shillitoe, an ex-Disc Jockey, is arrested for poseession of cocaine. And then the chargesare dropped on the tecnnicality of an illegal Search by the Sheriff’s Department.

Who hate Shillitoe because he wants to cut their budget. Who’ve recently seized a shipment of cocaine cut with baby laxative. To the exact formula as the 7 oz. found at Shillitoe’s home. Which is 7 oz. light. Which was found there by the officer going out with the fair Noelle. An officer under investigation. And he hasn’t got the brains and she’s too junior. And she’ll do anything to see Cary elected.

So Joe confronts Cary on their morning job, and he admits to knowing about it. It’s Politics. You’ve got to play hardball in the real world. After all, it won’t come out if Joe acts as a friend instead of a reporter. Cary’s his closest friend.

It’s an awful decision to have to take but Joe takes it, weighing up the good that Cary can and will do against the good he has to be if he’s to be granted the powers of a County Supervisor. He gives the story to Tyler to write up. And invites Art to jog with him the next morning…

The Children of Aberfan


Today was the 54th Anniversary of the day the children died at Aberfan. I was ten years old, too young to follow the news, too young to take an interest in what was around me. Certain things stick in the mind though, because I heard so much about them. One such was Aberfan.

Today, if money were not so venerated as to be held greater than human lives, a hundred and more men and women would be entering their Sixties. They would have lives and loves and successes and failures, good times, bad times. men and women would have been born who are in this world only ghosts, possibilities denied. What would any of those never born have done? What achievements were withheld from us because money meant more than human lives?

Who amongst us have lived lesser lives, seen duller, more awful times because the man or woman they would have met, fallen in love with and married wasn’t there at that crucial moment to meet them for the first time?

We all of us only ever lead contingent lives, dependent upon the world and the people around us, who change our lives and fates in every moment, by decisions that create ripples. I have often joked that if a long-demolished newsagents in Openshaw, in 1966, had placed a different DC Comic in their window one Friday afternoon in March, I would have never met the woman I married. But it’s true, as it is for everybody.

The children of Aberfan never had that chance. They, like the kid in Neil Young’s ‘Rocking in the Free World’, never got to go to school, never got to fall in love, never got to be cool. We remember things like armistice Day and VE Day every year, and rightly so. But we should remember with equal vigour the stains on our reputation and dedicate ourselves with all our vigour to ensuring that we will not allow such things to happen again.

That is how we pay our proper respect to the children of Aberfan.