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Oh all right, let’s talk about that mural then

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

The largely-fictitious ‘anti-Semitism-in-Labour’ controversy is clearly never going to be allowed to die. I have no doubt more examples will be brought to public attention in the final days before the Local Elections in May, and most accusations will stem from heavily-distorted information, just as Mike Sivier can testify from what happened a year ago.

In case anyone is just back from a five-day holiday to Mars, the present storm of outrage is about a notorious mural on Brick Lane in London.


The artist who painted the mural is an American called Kalen Ockerman – alias ‘Mear One’. The mural is widely-held to be anti-Semitic in intent.

Back in 2012, there was a discussion on social media about having the mural removed. Jeremy Corbyn left a comment on the discussion thread defending its presence on freedom-of-speech grounds. This comment has ‘mysteriously’ been dragged into the cross-examination of…

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Birth day returns in poetry and pictures

There you are, so suddenly out of air, out of the longer grass, your ears black rods, sharp as shards of glass, and darkened with black bars, isotopes exposed. You are off and running again, and Oscar has seen you, going after you, just as Sophie went after you, racing for dear life, across the years, across the field, across my helpless vision. It is the full moon again, climbing the sky, light fading, and my black dog is running, running, running. Screams do not bring him back. They echo emptily into empty air. I see Sophie by the roadside, lying quiet, at peace, so still, tongue hanging from her mouth to tell me she is dead.

Oscar did not die today. He stopped before he reached the road. No hole in the hedge for him, no gateway to eternity, no way out of time today, as lunar hare ran on into the bright full moon. Perhaps if you had stopped to stare me, out as you did that day in December 2013, then you would have taken Oscar too. But you did not look, you only ran, leading my dog astray, but not too far away.Sophie's last picture and the forest of despairwrapped up warm contemplating eternity Sophie's robinon the last walk coming at you no traveller returns rest in peacethrow me a stick

Awesome artwork in Venice

a treasure locked away in an empty church

Tintoretto in San Paulo

We did not look at much of the art work on this trip. This was one special adventure to find a Tintoretto

Looking down from the Rialto

Looking down from the Rialto we watched as the gondoliers continue to plie their trade

Such a romantic spot. I had warned Gabrielle that the smell of the grand canal when seated just above its surface makes a ride in a gondola less than idyllic. It looks wonderful watching the tourists pass beneath the bridge in the star light, or at least the lights along the banks of the canal. At £80 an hour we decided not to ride during this visit.

Night time at the Rialto

The Rialto is at the heart of the city and makes a very fine spectacle even in darkness. We had passed beneath it on the vaporetto when we arrived. Now we approached on foot through the narrow alleyways and canal-side paths that zig zag or meander their way hither and thither. Every now and then a sign on the side of a house says “Per Rialto”, which means we never quite get lost for long.

Surreal sunset

Gabrielle is shy to be photographed. I think she looks lovely against the background of the lagoon as the light slips away

Honeymoon in Venice

Gabrielle and I moved in together at the end of July 2010. Within a few days we were on holiday in Italy.

I am adding a series of images of our stay in Venice first of all.  This was our welcome to Venice at our fabulous room in the Hotel Danieli, perhaps the finest hotel in Venice, right on the waterfront next to the Doge’s Palace.

Champagne and Chocolates sat on the side table before the window.   In spite of any tiredness we brought with us at the end of a long journey out of the mountains, we were rapidly transformed  into another world of love and luxury.