We’ll be screening All The President’s Men, the acclaimed film about the exposure of the Watergate scandal that brought down US president Richard Nixon in 1974. Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, it’s a tale that resonates 44 years after the film’s initial release – particularly with recent events in Washington.
With politicians’ growing intolerance of media scrutiny – globally, nationally and locally – and as a website that tries to keep you up to date with what our elected representatives are up to, it seems like a good time to show the story of how Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward exposed wrongdoing at the White House. It’s also good to meet our readers!
Admission is free – although as we have to cover some costs, we will be passing around a bucket for donations to help cover them. Any excess will be used to help the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival put on its fifth event this September.
The Charlton Champion, was originally going to screen the film as part of last year’s festival, but venue changes meant we couldn’t do it. So we decided to do it now instead, to get us all out on a bleak January night.
We start at 7.45pm on Thursday 30 January, upstairs at The White Swan, 22 The Village SE7 8UD. Door open at 7pm. We hope to see you then.
Over 100 social media users criticised Greenwich Council last night after it announced it had fined The Mirror Shop on Woolwich Road for “obstructing the highway” with its merchandise.
The shop has become a local landmark over the past three decades for its colourful displays outside the store on the east Greenwich/Charlton border, brightening up the bleak and dangerous Angerstein roundabout, where two cyclists have been killed in the past 11 years.
While little has been done to improve safety at the roundabout, council officers targeted the shop’s owner, Clive Berry, for displaying the items, which include mirrors, superhero figurines and animal sculptures.
A press release issued by the council on Monday stated that Berry had been ordered to pay a total of £872 in fines and legal costs. It did not name the court or say when the conviction took place. It quoted Jackie Smith, the cabinet member for community safety, as saying: “The council has a legal duty to maintain the safety and usability of highways in the borough. By obstructing the pavement and chaining his merchandise to the railings, Mr Clive Berry was endangering pedestrians and moving traffic.
“Though we tried to engage with Mr Berry to get him to stop blocking the highway with his goods, he refused. I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder that no one is above the law in Royal Greenwich [sic] and the council will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the rules.”
A photo supplied by the council shows model dogs on the central reservation, with figures attached to wheelie bins that are tied to railings.
But the press release appears to have backfired on the council, with users of Twitter and Facebook responding to question why it pursued The Mirror Shop when the public realm around the roundabout remains dangerous and dilapidated.
One Twitter user, Stacey Ayeh, wrote: “This is a unnecessary waste of time. That Shop should be promoted by the council for bringing joy to the otherwise nondescript road. Also rather misleading to claim they ‘obstruct the highway’.”
Mark Johnson-Brown, the manager of the nearby Mycenae House community centre, wrote: “This leaves me feeling rather deflated. Always liked its quirkiness and one of the things I valued about living locally. think Ill go and buy a mirror from them.”
Another commenter said: “The irony of the [council] prosecuting this shop when how many have been killed at the roundabout is maddening. Goodness me. Fuck all has been done about a deathtrap, but the mirror man is fair game. Joke.”
The backlash was no less vicious on Facebook, where nearly 100 people had responded by the small hours of this morning. Jennifer McCullough wrote: “My goodness. What complete rot. Nothing has ever been blocked. I’m so pleased that Greenwich Council feels so proud of itself that it resorts to puffing its chest so publicly. I’m sure there’s a homeless person or two you can pick on next. Another easy victim. Grow up and start looking for people who commit genuine crimes.”
Sam Stedman commented: “Absolute joke! This shop has been there forever! The road it’s on is vile and dirty and this shop brightens it up. We always smile going past. I remember pointing the different ornaments out to my parents on the way past now my children do too. Spend your time doing jobs that actually NEED doing! Ridiculous! Think hundreds of us need to start writing in complaining about every fault we see on the roads and health and serious safety issues you ignore from now on. This is not health and safety they never block anything. It’s a small business in our community that a lot of us treasure.”
Others said that Berry had apparently been able to trade unhindered for many years – and said that the council should be concentrating on people who park on pavements and in cycle lanes.
Greenwich Council has been asked for a response. The Charlton Champion will update this story when one arrives.
Saturday saw West Bromwich Albion back in SE7 for the second time in a week. KEVIN NOLAN reports from the first Championship game at The Valley since new owners East Street Investments completed their takeover.
Nursing a strong sense of entitlement, West Bromwich Albion returned to the Midlands clutching the point which, along with Leeds United’s home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, moved them back on top of the Championship. They departed convinced they had somehow been robbed of all three.
The Baggies had been marginally the better team. They had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and had managed more attempts on goal. Slaven Bilic’s experienced side also dominated a couple of other important statistics; they committed 14 fouls to 10 by Charlton, while picking up six of the eight yellow cards issued by referee Jarred Gillet. Recipient himself of one of those cautions, Hal Robson-Kanu pointed out plaintively that Charlton “had been very physical throughout.” They certainly absorbed some crude buffeting. Occasionally gave a little bit back, more power to their elbows..
Bilic was not similarly deluded. His tribute to the still sorely depleted Addicks was generous. “Charlton fought and competed and ran until the end. They never gave up. But we had many chances to score the third. That was disappointing.” It was not Bilic’s place to add that Charlton’s crucial result was achieved with the assistance of three recent academy graduates; so consider this a salute to fledglings Ben Dempsey, Josh Davison and Alfie Doughty, who stood up to be counted as Albion dished out the rough stuff.
Roared on by a bumper crowd – their second largest of the season – Charlton might have grabbed a first minute lead if Conor Gallagher had returned Sam Johnstone’s errant clearance with slightly more accuracy. The young loanee’s low shot whistled inches the wrong side of a post. At the other end, Dillon Phillips was forced down low to his left to scramble Kenneth Zohore’s bouncing header to safety. It was the Danish forward’s enterprise which won the Baggies an early lead.
Alertly closing Tom Lockyer down as the defender spurned the opportunity to clear his lines in favour of playing out from the back, Zohore anticipated his move back towards goal and neatly relieved him of possession on the right touchline. Bearing down on a wrongfooted defence, the rangy striker’s first effort was bravely charged down by Deji Oshilaja but he made no mistake as the rebound sat up kindly for him.
Away end antics
Heads dropped only briefly because the Addicks were level again six minutes later. Their recovery was begun by impressive league debutant Andre Green, whose persistence earned a corner on the left. The setpiece was delayed as those scamps behind the away goal refused to return the ball. How we chuckled as they larked about and how the hilarity increased as Gallagher’s short corner routine with Doughty improved the angle for a soaring cross which Naby Sarr effortlessly headed down for Davison to calmly nod in his first senior goal from five yards. By now they were in stitches in the Jimmy Seed stand. Bless ’em, the little rascals. They certainly know how to have fun.
A minute after the break, they were chortling again as their heroes regained the lead. In space to the right, Matt Phillips supplied a hard-driven low centre which Robson-Kanu, getting the better of Lockyer at the near post, flicked home off Sarr. For the fourth time in their two-game, eight-goal league saga, the ex-Throstles led the battling Addicks. And yet again, they proved unable to retain their lead.
No own goal
Albion’s excessive testosterone was almost inevitably their undoing. A crude push in the back of substitute Jonny Williams – one of three returning patients from long-term injury – conceded a free kick which Gallagher fed out to Doughty, who crossed from the left touchline. Timing his leap perfectly to outjump Kyle Bartley, Lockyer powered an unstoppable header past Johnstone, with assistance from the right post. Any nonsense about the keeper being debited with an own goal should be treated as pedantic piffle. Lockyer emulated Davison in notching his first goal for the Addicks because no keeper was about to save that header.
We can also dismiss all that meaningless debate concerning what you “deserve” from a football game. You deserve nothing. What you GET is what the final scoreline gives you. It’s the only statistic that matters. There’s nothing else to discuss. If you fail to grasp that concept, you’re doomed to frequent disappointment. It’s football, not a morality play.