The Case for Corbyn

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Since Theresa the Appeaser, wife of the head of a tax-dodging firm, u-turned on a previous promise and announced a snap election, the consensus has been pretty universal: Labour can’t win.

The reason for this stark prediction is the fact that the Labour party is currently under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. ‘Unelectable’, ‘scruffy’, ‘weak’, ‘boring’ – apart from any, y’know, actual criticism of anything he’s done, he’s been branded with every insult available to Rupert Murdoch. The biggest one being that he’s ‘unelectable’. A bizarre accusation in the context of his years as an MP for Islington North and the two Labour leadership elections he has won with incredible mandates. Looking at the facts, he’s one of the most popular politicians to come along in decades. Labour membership has increased by the thousands under him, his speeches attract huge crowds, not to mention all the adoring memes from his supporters. When tory-lite Labour MP’s tried desperately to stage a coup, even going as far as to change the rules to block hundreds from voting for him, he increased his mandate. That’s unprecedented. And when was the last time someone photoshopped Theresa May on the back of a unicorn?

But the polls! I’ve seen negative reports on Corbyn’s low popularity in the polls constantly since the election was announced. If the last year of political shock and upheaval taught us anything, it’s that polls are not to be trusted, yet the BBC parrots them as if they sought them from an all-powerful soothsayer living on a Himalayan peak. That is when the BBC isn’t providing a platform for N!gel F@rage, an ex-leader of a party with one MP who defected… But I digress. What I haven’t seen reported quite as much is May’s steady decline in ‘The Polls’ and Corbyn’s steady rise. Most likely to do with May’s half-arsed campaigning, turning up in a helicopter to deliver a boring speech mainly involving the words “stable” and “strong” with a few connectives to string them together. Meanwhile, Corbyn is whizzing round every seat in the country, giving media-ignored speeches with great gusto, to cheering crowds. But this is nothing new for him.

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Jezza has consistently been on the right side of history. Working hard, not for the adulation it brings, but because it is the right thing to do. He is a man of principle, a man who means what he says and sticks to the promises he makes. He protested apartheid while Thatcher was calling Nelson Mandela a ‘terrorist’. He advocated peace talks with the IRA years before the Queen was praised for shaking hands with Sinn Fein. When other MPs were spending half their time attending dinners and travelling by Limousine he was wearing CoOp shirts and jumpers knitted by his Mum.  He has the lowest expenses claims of any MP. He voted against the Iraq war. When people in his constituency were unable to pay Thatcher’s poll tax, he risked prison by refusing to pay himself. That’s some Robin Hood gangsta shit.

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All of this is massively at odds with his ‘weak’ and ‘dispassionate’ persona. The right wing media has infamously demonised him for the slightest perceived indiscretion. Not nodding low enough, ‘dancing’ to a war memorial, not wearing a tie… It’s pretty telling in any argument if your opponent attacks you for such silly and superficial things. Murdoch shrieks and points and Corbyn’s beard while multiple Tory MPs are investigated for election fraud. He’s also ‘mates’ with ISIS and the IRA, basically for not advocating indiscriminately bombing them, he’s a dangerous nutcase who will cripple the economy by feeding schoolchildren and providing a wage people can actually afford to live on. You know the indoctrination has worked well when people baulk at the idea of being paid more and having four days off. Don’t think of yourself or your families, workers of Britain, think of your poor millionaire bosses. And what can we expect? For years the working classes have been told not to aim their scorn at the bosses who don’t provide a living wage or stable work conditions, but at their neighbour who claims child tax credit. It’s extremely effective. Paint your multi-billion pound media empire, your Eton-educated MPs, your smug fascist mouthpieces in tweed, as their advocate. An Australian billionaire who controls a good size chunk of all news media? The voice of reason – look! he likes looking at boobs as much as you do! The guy who makes jam, cycles everywhere, and would refuse to pay a tax because you couldn’t afford it? Why he’s an out-of-touch liberal elitist with no idea how the world works!

I waste my energy though. The biggest obstacle to Corbyn becoming prime minister is not the reactionary right wing press. I expect it from them. It’s the actual out-of-touch liberal elite. Imagine joining the party that started the NHS, the party began by trade unionists, the party made to be a socialist voice for the working person, and then throwing a tantrum and leaving when a guy who believes in all of this gets in charge. It’s neoliberal Blairytes who brand Corbyn ‘unelectable’ and paint him as a ridiculous extremist. It’s them who still insist he is weak and completely unelectable even after, despite their mass effort, he held his ground and increased his mandate. And really, any man who can face David Cameron at PMQs and not make a pig joke weeks after that scandal broke must have a will of steel. I stayed up til 2 am making pig jokes on twitter when that news broke… But I digress. Centrist Labour politicians and self-satisfied liberal celebrities roll their eyes in despair at Krazy Korbyn and his allotment antics, patting themselves on the back for being so astute in observing what a fool he is. Really, they’re covering their own asses. All your mates are saying he can’t win, join in so you don’t look a fool. Also, despite outward concern for socially progressive causes, it’s cruel and unregulated capitalism that made their lives so cosy and they’ll be damned if they don’t cling to it while wearing a mask of benevolent concern for the human rights cause du jour. They hate the problems but love the causes. It’s vital to them that Corbyn loses because he’ll topple their ivory towers. Take JK Rowling, for example. Imagine writing a massively popular series of books about teenagers using magic to overthrow oppressive forces, then decrying an old man in beige who wants to feed impoverished children for being way too extreme.

The world of polished politicians towing the centrist line and faking respectability to get in and maintain the status quo for capitalism so it can screw over people in their own country and poison people abroad is over. We can choose what emerges. Right now, what is emerging is even uglier. Trump, Le Pen, pepe the effing frog… we are witnessing a previously unthinkable resurrection of fascism. Actual nazis are walking the streets unpunched and sharing memes about gassing people they deem beneath them. They get a couple of thousand views of youtube and that gets them a right to speak at universities, apparently. I don’t know if you remember but the last time this happened, softcore liberalism didn’t defeat them. It won’t this time. We must put in place an equal and opposite force, not someone who will hold hands with racist tyrants.

I see it from my peers too. The general idea seems to be that people like Corbyn – they think he’s a good man, he’s principled, he’s intelligent, he works hard, they like his policies…..buuuuuut. And it’s a big ‘but’,

“He’s got good ideas, but he’ll never win!”

“I like him, but he just doesn’s seem like a leader…”

“It’s just the way things are, unfortunately. If he doesn’t move to the centre he’ll never get in.”

It’s hugely frustrating. People see that the system is garbage and Jeremy Corbyn might just fix it, but they passively go along with it. They hold socialist principles yet turn down the chance to elect a socialist. They’re intelligent people who see that he’s a good man and a good politician, yet they buy into the rhetoric that he’s a passionless pushover despite all evidence to the contrary. They say ‘but Labour needs a less extreme leader to beat the tories!’ If the only way to beat the tories is by imitating their every cruel policy, then I would rather Labour not be in power and work as an opposing force on the back bench. People hold the power to vote, yet insist there is no way Jeremy Corbyn can be voted in. If you see what’s really going on and you have the power to change it, why are you passively accepting the ever declining status quo while the world descends into fascism? Will you fight this? Or will you perish like a dog? Vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

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I was looking for a job and then I was looking for a job and then I was looking for a job and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now….

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In the grand scheme of things, career-search wise, I’m doing OK. I have a degree, I have experience including an internship, I actually know what I want to do, and I’m not subject to racial discrimination in my job search. However despite my constant searching and applying  on Indeed all I’ve got back in two months is a handful of rejection emails from the few companies who actually bothered to send them. Oh, and a call from a company offering teaching work in China which I absolutely don’t want to do but genuinely considered.

Inamongst all the thinkpieces calling millenials entitled, or making fun of them for having ‘fake’ sounding jobs involving social media or having ‘digital’ in the name (someone took the time to make an actual sitcom on the topic), few seem to question why so many of us still live with our parents. I know one person my age with the same education level who is in full time work. The rest are doing masters degrees or working menial jobs in the hopes of finding something more fulfilling. My sister graduated in 2012 and found every job she wanted demanded years of experience and every job she applied to as a short term money maker felt she was overqualified and would have no loyalty. I’ve found the same problem, despite the fact I have a three-month journalism internship under my belt. In truth, the hunt for a job feels like a fruitless, crushing dirge.

Dramatic-sounding perhaps, but hear me out. My recent internship (a piece of driftwood just about keeping me afloat in a sea of career hunting) was not my first flirtation with intern-ing. Back in the summer of ’16, towards the end of my degree, I was delighted to get a call from a local company in Hull who were interested in getting me to work as a content writer for 8-12 weeks. Unpaid, of course, I couldn’t possibly expect to get paid now could I? Their promise was 8-12 weeks with a ‘very real chance’ of a job at the end. Twelve weeks is a long time but it would just about cover the rest of my student flat contract and I was almost guaranteed a job at the end. I went along for the interview in high spirits, it was a nice office in the city centre, and the staff seemed laid-back with lots of freedom. I was told that I was the most qualified candidate. I had a second interview, involving a basic competence test, all was well. I got a call from the recruitment agency woman who had called me in the first place saying they were offering me a week-long trial to check I was right for them. A little annoying, considering I was repeatedly told I was the best candidate, and it was an unpaid internship (I was essentially being offered a trial FOR a trial) but it was still amazing to get such an opportunity considering I hadn’t even graduated yet.

So I went in with my coffee and pencil skirt feeling very business-like. I wrote some blog posts, transcribed a few radio bits they did, had to do some ‘business to business’ copy which was about the most soul crushing thing of all time but hey ho. I felt all was going well. However, after going home on the third day the recruitment lady called me again. ‘They don’t know how to go about training you’ she said (they perhaps should have thought of that before they hired an intern). She told me to take the rest of the week off while they worked out what approach to take. With a furrowed brow I agreed, but told her I felt fine with how things were going.

Two weeks later, I had heard nothing. I emailed the recruitment agency woman asking her if, when I did come back, I would be coming back to an actual job or I would still be expected to work 12 weeks on zero pay. She told me it was the latter. ‘They’re only a small company, so they can’t offer pay at the moment’. I was tempted to point out that this was at odds with how often I had been assured of their rapid growth as a business, and to ask if everyone else who worked their was lucky enough to actually get paid. I replied that I had to decline coming back at all, that 12 weeks of no pay would essentially leave me homeless for a while. She understood. Oh, by the way, that ‘job’ was at a company running a search engine FOR JOBS.

I’m happy to report the second internship went far better. It only required one interview, I was able to work from home, I was paid £70 a week, given one-to-one training, and had to the opportunity to do cool stuff like interview comedians and write previews for art exhibitions. I came out the other side with solid skills and a sturdy addition to my CV. One month later, I still have nothing. Trawling through Indeed.com every day is a Groundhog-day like affair. Content writer, marketing, social media executive and so on and so on. Most are offering more internships, usually only pointing out halfway through the job description that they won’t actually pay you. Particularly with any kind of creative endeavor. They offer ‘experience’ and ‘exposure’, but such things do not put tofu on the table. Those that will pay are rare, and mostly require a candidate with 5 years of experience in the exact same job, preferably at the same company, and a relocation to London.

When you find one that seems imperfect, but you actually have a chance of getting, it sends you to a 10-page application form that needs filling out. You have a CV with all the same information the form is asking for handily put on one page, but they still want you to fill out the form. Call me a lazy, entitled millenial, but when it’s the fifth job application of the day and you don’t particularly want it in the first place, the impulse to give up on page 4 of the application is very strong.

Also while these companies ask a lot of their candidates, the effort is not reciprocated. Job descriptions are often quite badly written out, some with glaring spelling mistakes. Plus, they are often written so cryptically, so ridden with vague business jargon, that it is impossible to tell what the company does and what they want you to do. Take this for example:

“The role of Digital Marketing Executive will be to implement the content marketing strategy for this prestigious business, devising creative campaigns which will help to increase awareness, brand and drive sales and play a key role in driving the next phase of growth.”

Can anyone tell me what the even heck that means?

So where does this seemingly incredibly unsustainable system lead? Ultimately, it means only the children of the rich can get jobs. If you can’t find an internship you can do from home like I was lucky enough to get, you have to hope Mum and Dad are willing to pay your rent. After several such internships, you may finally get a full time job that pays, congratulations! Better yet, a close relative of yours works at the company, instant stability!

This market ultimately has to collapse in on itself. Denying  many young people the chance to support themselves for the convenience of businesses who are somehow disgusted at the thought of paying a living wage simply isn’t sustainable. It isn’t just Wetherspoons that takes advantage, but cozy white-collar office jobs. It’s a symptom of late stage, unregulated capitalism. Everything to appease the bosses, even if it means literally not paying a wage. Recently, a screenshot of an unpaid job at a London anti-slavery charity went viral. It’s gotten so bad that even my classically conservative grandma is shocked and appalled at the state of things. Colliding with other problems like the eye-watering rent prices in most cities and the accumulating student debt of those doing masters degrees to stave off the daunting search for a job, something has to give. And when it does give, I just hope it’s not the workers who bear the worst of it.

Bloody Hell

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NOTILE TE BASTARDES CORBORUNDORUM

It didn’t even take one day.

It wasn’t even noon before the pound sterling fell faster than Han Solo off the starkiller base bridge (sorry).

A matter of hours before Fuckface Farage admitted he should never have promised £350 million a week to the NHS since he can’t actually fucken do it.

No time at all before the UK lost its place as the world’s 5th largest economy.

I hadn’t even had my morning cup of tea before Pig Boy Cameron resigned, leaving the potential for an even worse (and unelected) haunted cabbage patch doll to take his place.

At this point, what’s keeping me optimistic is the hope that everything continues on this slide into chaos at such a rate that the public demands a return to the EU and Farage and his ilk are banished to Pluto.

But it’s not just this clusterfuck that has me turning from an optimistic young person to a jaded, disappointed twentysomething. To be honest, looking at what my country is doing is becoming harder and harder in recent years. I see no compassion, I see spite, bigotry, smugness and small-mindedness.

Take, for example, the microcosm of this kind of attitude displayed at Euro2016. Seeing Irish fans, whom I am claiming as my people thanks to my lineage, has made me smile. Seeing English fans has made me despair. Violent, bigoted, and arrogant – they’ve made us look small and stupid. Just look at this clip of English fans taunting refugee children and throwing coins at them. This is happening in TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN.

The situation with refugees and and the reaction to it in general has made me feel physically sick at many different points. A certain inflammatory columnist (who shall remain unnamed to bypass the mini orgasm she no doubt has every time some talks about her) calling them ‘cockroaches’ was like a nightmare. Watching footage of Nazi rallies and propaganda films about the Aryan race in history, I shook my head and wondered how so many human beings could become so cold, so hate filled towards their brothers and sisters. Seeing that, and facebook comments on far right pages calling for them to all be shot and rejoicing as innocent children drowned, I realised the modern country I live in has every potential to fall into that precipice. And it physically hurts. How anyone can see the drowned bodies of people desperate to flee war and persecution washed up on a beach and think “good! now I wont have to deal with them as neighbours!” is beyond me. How anyone can throw things at children starving in tents behind chain link fences is baffling. No, not baffling, heartbreaking. It breaks my heart. And I feel utterly helpless.

Utter helplessness in the face of terrible things is one of the ugliest and most harrowing feelings in the world. Whether it’s watching disease take your loved ones, or watching poison enter the collective consciousness of your country.

I now live in a country where hate groups invade Mosques and harass people at prayer, where they attack Muslim women wearing headscarves in the street, where they talk about the people who gave us advanced medicine and our numerical system as “scum”. It’s like I’ve gone to a desolate, cold planet 70 light years away, I’m looking through a telescope, and I can see a distorted but sickeningly recognisable version of the kind of hateful atmosphere that lead to the holocaust. We think that it’s impossible, that we could never let it happen again. We’re wrong.

It’s already happening. To Roma people in Eastern Europe. To indigenous people across the planet. To Syrians. We are the same species as people who did these things, who still do these things, we are perfectly capable.

Margaret Atwood once said that people would remark that the dystopian, misogynist society in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ could never happen. She would reply that of course it could.

It’s our duty to constantly fight this kind of hate. Hatred is a powerful force. To quote Hannibal “you are capable of righteous violence because you are compassionate.” We don’t need righteous violence, but righteous force. If people invade Mosques, we should form blockades to keep them out. If people throw things at refugees, we should stand in the line of fire and throw them back. We must treat this as a war, not an invasion.

But we haven’t found our force. We tried facts. This referendum should never have happened, but Cameron needed to cover his porcine ass so here we are. The Remain campaign had a simple message; this is a bad idea. Leave had smarmy, smug, puffed-up rhetoric about ‘taking our country back’ and ‘finding our place’, we just had hundreds of respected financial institutes telling us leaving would be A REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEA.

Apparently, meaningless but sexy sounding rhetoric wins. My flatmate walked past a car on election day emblazoned with the Ukip logo and blasting “land of hope and glory”. You can practically hear the stamping hooves of heroic crusaders on horseback, asserting their superiority over everyone else. It seems the majority of this bratty little island preferred to stick to that fantasy and cover their ears when those goddamn experts with their fancy book-learnin’ tried to tell them not to cut off their nose to spite their Polish neighbour.

We saw something uglier than ignorance too. MP Jo Cox was assassinated by a man who gave his name in court as ‘death to traitors, freedom for Britain’. A man mainstream newspapers described as a ‘timid gardener’ rather than a terrorist and a murderer, which he absolutely is, presumably because he spoke English and was white.

The Brexit campaign then flew a plane over her memorial urging people to vote leave.

So here we are. Our currency is in freefall, Brexit campaigners are backing out of every overblown ‘promise’ they made about NHS funding and restricting immigration. Young people overwhelmingly voted to stay, but we were smothered by older generations voting against our future. Our next PM will be unelected, Scotland will no doubt leave (and I will applaud them) and doors will be closed to us forever.

So well done, Britain, you small-minded, xenophobic, racist, arrogant, pissy little island. You’ve fucked everything up.

Someone gave you a gun and you shot yourself in the foot.

Myself, and the rest of my generation, have lost whatever flimsy patriotism we had, and the irony is it will be more difficult than ever for us to leave the country.

 

 

 

Bullscript – the movie blueprint

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Unlike a lot of people, especially in my generation, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do in life. My ambition is to write scripts for movies. Good scripts. I took a joint honours in creative writing and film studies with the ultimate scheme of becoming the architect of what comes out of actor’s mouths. Dialogue, from my point of view, is an art form that requires a perfect balance of naturalism and poetry. When it’s good it turns a movie into a cult classic, it makes you sit back and wish you had the brains and the wit to talk like that all the time. “I’m a mushroom cloud laying motherfucker motherfucker!”

It can sometimes feel like not everyone shares my view of the art of scripting. I’ve heard scripts being described as ‘blueprints’ more than once. Blueprints, I understand, take incredible skill to produce if you’re building a house. In the context of cinema it seems to be a way of reducing the importance of the script.

On an episode of Futurama in which Zoidberg produces a movie for his ageing has-been film star uncle the gang attend an Oscars ceremony. When asked how far along it is Bender replies “they’re on to the minor technical awards. They’re just about to do writing”.The depressing thing is a writer came up with this joke. More disheartening is when I left the cinema after watching Dracula Untold (Draculeficent) with my flatmates. They all decided it was good. I decided it was good with a few asterisks, most notably the slightly cheesy, by-the-numbers dialogue. My flatmate said she never really noticed “things like that” and asked me as a film student do I pick up on the finer details. This was a bummer, given that these finer details were my strongest passion in life.

As a film fan I always considered the script to be the most important aspect of a movie. The acting cam close second, the editing, locations, directing and cinematography were like side dishes that if they impressed could take a film from mundane to exemplary in my estimations. The scripts is what matters though. No script, no movie. Bad script, watching the movie occasionally sucking air through your teeth and shouting CLANG! Is it only confirmed movie fans who notice these things? The general cinema going populace being underestimated is what often leads to bad moviemaking. As long as it makes money who cares if people were gigglesnorting during what was supposed to be the romantic climax!

As a former drama student I know what a bad script did. A bad script meant your acting was bad. Your direction was bad. No one knew how to say a certain godawful line to make it sound good. Meryl Streep would act like Danny Dyer given a bad script. They still happen though. All the gratuitous nudity and CGI dragons can’t save a clanger of a line. It the least expensive way to ensure a good outcome. I shouldn’t complain however, every cheesy exchange I see on screen only assures me I have at least enough talent to get into the biz so often called ‘show’. I could even get a job making half baked scripts a lot better.On the other hand the image of the bitter, grizzled writer who faces constant rejection and belittlement is all too common, hence the Futurama joke. And me when my article for online student media thingy The Tab got rejected. That’s water under the bridge though. They’ll see one day!

So where’s all this heading? I recently began lectures in my Writing For The Screen module. Going from writing for fun in school to writing for grades at uni is always a change. You go from a cheering section of enthusiastic English teachers who are just so glad you turned up for extracurricular poetry that they’re delighted in whatever crap you spin to a published professor who’s read every trope of inexperienced writing in the book and will give you praise only if he really digs it. So I sat facing a man who has worked in Hollywood asking in a patronising, world weary tone if we wanted to write ‘sparkling’ dialogue? I found myself weekly nodding. He told us to cut down our floral language, get out of the directors business, ‘kill our darlings’. So there miss dreamalot, write some half decent dialogue and don’t expect to get a Chanel dress for the premiere and have Ryan Gosling’s arm around your waist and Kevin Spacey pointing at you like “this girl’s a genius!”. Then he gave us a script to annotate. The very brilliant In Bruges by Martin Mcdonagh. It was, in a word, sparkling. It was witty, original and hinted at profundity which I can tell you does appear in that movie. It’s a gem. So the Hollywood dismissal of the writer is avoidable. You can write a glittering script that stays with the viewer,whoever they are. You just have to get good at it.

The Gun in the Tearoom (short film)

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INT. TEAROOM – DAY

Four people, around 19/20 years old, sit round a table. The room is empty save for an old lady with her back to the rest of the room in the corner. At the table we are focused on there are two girls; Cam and Gina, and two boys; Trav and Mike. They are talking loudly.

GINA

Okay, okay, so what you’re telling me is there’s no way a woman can reach the skill level needed to play premier league football?

TRAV

(shrugs)

Well…yeah. Have you seen girls play football? They’re rubbish!

Mike laughs, but is quickly given a dirty look by Gina.

GINA

(Leaning forward, staring Trav down. He is clearly scared but composes himself)

You are honestly telling me… that a girl, no matter her skill, cannot be as good as any man is at football?

TRAV

(pauses)

Well…yeah. Look, I watched a couple of women’s football matches on the telly and they all couldn’t play!

GINA

(Pause)

Well, let me give you a solid example. My friend Carly…

TRAV

Who?

GINA

She’s a friend of mine you don’t know! I have a life outside you lot! Anyway she is a black belt in karate. Now that means she passed all the required gradings. She’s also been successful in a bunch of regional competitions. Now karate isn’t segregated by gender at all. She learns in the same way the male students do, and when she competes she holds her own against fully grown men three times her size. Now of course, karate isn’t football but you can’t deny they both require a fairly similar level of speed, strength and endurance. And like I said, she’s not a big girl, but she still manages. If it’s a question of speed, strength and endurance and women falling short in these categories I can’t agree with you on that.

There is a pause.

TRAV

Look I’m sure your friend is excellent at jui jitsu or whatever but I’ve seen women playing football, which is what we are talking about, and they sucked!

CAM

Ok, this is boring now. (Drinks tea, slurps loudly, gets a few dirty looks)Do rock paper scissors for it.

(they do, Gina loses)

GINA

This aint over.

CAM

Now…you are probably wondering why I said we should meet.

GINA

I’m guessing the raid?

CAM

Precisely. I called you here cos I’m gonna do a revelation

TRAV

One of your famous revelations?

CAM

It is going to rock your tiny world, Trav.

They all pause, expectant. She looks around, reaches into a backpack on the floor and pulls out a handgun, placing it on the table. They all shift back with a jolt, Mike scrambles out of his seat. The old woman in the corner looks over and tuts.

CAM

ta-da.

MIKE

Cam! Jesus! Is it loaded!

CAM

No, Mike, it isn’t loaded – wait, how do you tell if it’s loaded without firing it? (she waves it about by Trav’s head, hitting him on the temple with it accidentally.)

MIKE

(Jumps back)

JESUS!

GINA

(Open mouthed, hypnotically focussed on the gun)

She’s not gonna fire the gun, shut up Mike. You should probably sit down.

He slowly sits, horrified. We see a shot of the old lady in the corner of the room casually drinking tea as though the place is quiet.

GINA

(Takes a deep breath and composes herself, Trav follows suit)

OK. Cam, where did you get the gun?

CAM

My uncle had it. Turns out he’s a conspiracy nut and got it so the the illuminati won’t get him , or something. I just took it. I reckoned he can’t accuse me of taking it without admitting he owned it and with his history they would lock him up straight away!

MIKE

We should not be talking about this Cam, we’ll get kicked out! No… no, we’ll get put in prison. I am not going to prison for any of you! I don’t like any of you enough!

TRAV

Then why are you bothering with the raid at all! We could get put away for that!

MIKE

Because I want my money back as much as any of you, but I am definitely not going away for having a duel in a tearoom! What are you planning, that we break into the place with a gun?

TRAV

It’s not a duel.

MIKE

What?

TRAV

A duel is where here are two guns with two people pointing them at each other; this is one gun lying on a table in an almost empty tearoom.

GINA

Well, this is as good a time as any.

(She pulls out a bigger gun and places it next to Cams’, who sulks slightly at having been outranked.)

MIKE

JESUS!

TRAV

Oh, for crying out loud! where did you get that?

GINA

Cam and I are cousins. Uncle Steve is twice as crazy as initially thought.

MIKE

So what are you planning, here, we break in with GUNS now? As in plural?!

GINA

Well… this way it doesn’t matter if we have to do it during the day, they still have to give us the money!

Cam laughs

MIKE

Can we at least discuss this somewhere else? There is another customer in earshot!

CAM

Oh please, she’s harmless! She won’t even remember this; she asked to borrow a shilling off me when we arrived!

GINA

My Grandma’s like that, trust me she’s no threat to us

CAM

Oh yeah, how is your grandma?

GINA

She’s doing well, thanks Cam! I got her one of those old lady wheely suitcase things, she loves it!

CAM

I can’t wait to be old enough to own one of those!

TRAV

Not important! Gina, Cam, why do you think we need guns, let’s start there.

GINA

Look, this in England, guns are the last thing people expect and the last thing they’re prepared for, as long as we’re extra careful not to get caught we’ll be in and out without any trouble.

CAM

She’s right, we know none of us are any good at fighting – that’s how we got into this mess.

(Gina flashes Trav a dirty look, he looks down)

CAM

This way we have full co-operation. And tell me the truth, you’ve never wanted to fire guns? Pick it up.

(Mike looks at the gun and slowly picks it up as though it might burn him. He cocks it, and smiles a tiny bit.)

MIKE

Huh…

TRAV

(stands up)

Ok… this is getting out of hand. He’s got a… look in his eye!

GINA

A look? What are you talking about?!

TRAV

You look at him and tell that’s not a look we should be worried about!

CAM

You just need to chill out, you can’t be like this on the day!

TRAV

Oh… shove it, Cam, you’ve been treating this like a damm tarantino since we started! Gina never should have let someone like you in on this!

CAM

(walks up to him, narrows eyes)

Oh and what’s that supposed to mean?

TRAV

It means you’re unstable! We can’t risk someone with a criminal record coming with us and for some reason Gina won’t get rid of you.

GINA

(Stands up)

Cam has experience Trav, and besides, she knows too much about it now.

TRAV

She’s too risky, Gina, and now she has a gun! Actually, now thanks to you she has two guns within reaching distance and it’s only a matter of time before she flies into one of her famous tempers!

CAM

(Grabs his shirt)

You shut your mouth Trav or I’ll guarantee it!

GINA

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Cam, Cam? Calm down ok… you promised me you’d work with him. We are this close, Cam, we don’t need this.

(Cam lets go)

GINA

OK, are we OK!

TRAV

(spitting the words)

If the bitch doesn’t go mental again…

(Cam darts to the table and grabs the gun lying there, and points it inches from Travs’ face)

GINA

Cam, no!!

CAM

You gonna say that again? Hm? You gonna say that right…now. You love this don’t you? Being right! Too bad this time you were right about me.

(Another Gun appears by her head. We see Mike is holding it)

MIKE

Cam… please put him down – and then I’ll put this down and then…

CAM

Then what, me and him are best friends forever?

GINA

Cam, you LISTEN TO ME!!

CAM

You can shut up too! ‘Mum’!

GINA

Oh, now you’re starting on me?

(CAM looks at GINA, turns gun on her)

CAM

Yeah why not actually, you’ve been pissing me off too!

(GINA slams fist on table in frustration, generally acts like a child just caught in hide and seek)

CAM

You and your big words, you’re no smarter than me y’know they just make you sound desperate!

MIKE

CAM! (rest of group seemed shocked at him raising his voice)

CAM

What?! (she instinctively turns to face him. Now they both have guns pointing at each other. They pause like this)

MIKE

I will if you will.

VOICE

All of you need to calm down!

(They look over slowly. The old lady in the corner is stood facing them)

OLD LADY

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a sorry display! Not to say I haven’t seen this before… beginners. Think a weapon can solve their problems. Turn them into big people. I’ve seen a man take down a whole organisation with a bloodstained fist, you know how? He knew he could do it! That’s what you need, all of you! You won’t get anywhere with an attitude, like a nest of baby birds fighting for food, no matter how many bullets you have.

(She walks up to Mike)

OLD LADY

You know better than anyone you can’t face up to squeezing the trigger, you may as well be pointing a toothbrush at her. Now put it back on the table.

(He obeys. She walks over to Cam, speaking inches from her face)

OLD LADY

I’ve seen your type before. Whatever your planning, no one benefits from a trigger happy hothead. If he’s being a loudmouth, if she keeps acting like your mother, It doesn’t matter. Acting like this is a damm spaghetti western won’t fix things. You know what to do.

(She puts the gun down slowly. )

OLD LADY

I think you could work well. Maybe even take on bigger people. But you all need to get over yourselves.

(She puts money down on her table and leaves slowly. There is a pause.)

GINA

OK. So no guns.

THE END.

Captain’s Blog (all my titles will be puns)

Standard

I now have a blog because people keep telling me to blog.

I am in my second year of study at the University of Hull on a Film and Creative Writing course. Expect film and pop culture nonsense, existential freakouts and feminist rantings.

I’m a vegetarian, a Morrissey devotee and I like my men how I like my coffee – Irish.

My name is Gaelic, pronounced like Kir-a and I have given up correcting some people on the pronunciation. I’ve had see-air-a, claire, cara, clara, chiara…

I don’t do selfies because cameras confuse and intimidate me and my face produces the same effect on them. In case you’re wondering I look a bit like Lorde with bad hair.

I may post actual writing including short stories, poems and scripts so just roll with it.

See ya around

Ciara x