Jacob Richardson began his career with Disclaimer and writes on culture, politics and society. Politically he is a democratic socialist and Labour Party supporter. His other interests include cinema, psychoanalysis and professional wrestling.
Articles by Jacob
Beginning life as an Oscar-winning Coen Brothers' film, Fargo was adapted for television by FX and Noah Hawley. Starring Martin Freeman, David Thewlis, and Kirsten Dunst, the darker TV series has shown television to be an artistic medium on par with cinema.
As Robert Mueller convenes a grand jury, it is clear that the Russia investigation is serious: Donald Trump is in serious danger of being forced from the presidency. But if he has been an unconventional president, he might be an equally unconventional former president. Democrats and Republicans need to defeat Trumpism not just President Trump.
There is one man who is being promoted as an unlikely challenger to Trump (or another Republican nominee) in 2020. Like Reagan he is a Hollywood star and like Trump he would be a political outsider with experience in the wrestling world. Dwayne Johnson, known to wrestling fans as The Rock, would make an unlikely president but he has a rags-to-riches backstory and could not be any worse than Trump.
If, as expected, Vince Cable becomes leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's three main party leaders will be the oldest in generations. Jeremy Corbyn may become one of the oldest first time prime ministers but it will be because of his appeal to young voters. Politics is changing and young people are leading that change.
The Babadook, a top-hatted demon from the 2014 film directed by Jennifer Kent, has become an unlikely gay icon, but there could be echoes of more serious Jungian psychology behind this light-hearted adoption of a figure who threatens the narrow minds of the prejudiced.
Even if Theresa May clings onto power, she leads a weakened government with a wafer thin Commons majority dependent on the DUP. Jeremy Corbyn must take the initiative not just to stand up to May as a vindicated opposition leader, but to prove himself as a prime minister-in-waiting.
The Tory campaign has unraveled while Jeremy Corbyn has campaigned enthusiastically. The momentum is with him. Corbyn now needs to solidify his support amongst young people to make what was once unthinkable a real possibility.
Never has there been a greater need for progressives to put aside tribalism and work together to oppose the Tories. The mutual stealing of policies is not an insult but flattery. Labour needs to start being honest: it cannot win alone and needs to prove that an alliance will provide decent government.
Theresa May was supposed to be the “safe pair of hands” who would lead the country through Brexit. Instead she offers chaos and division, a Brexit for UKIP and the hard right. Recently it has been Labour that is offering a rational and humane leadership on Brexit.
Theresa May has been labelled #ChickenMay for avoiding election debates. TV debates provide leaders an opportunity to get their message across unvarnished rather than spun, while being scrutinised by each other, by the press and - most importantly - by the people. Time to step up, Prime Minister.
Alexander Blackman’s supporters were jubilant when the Court of Appeal downgraded his murder conviction to manslaughter. Blackman was a distinguished serviceman, but is still a war criminal. As he is released he can put his chauvinist supporters behind him and show contrition.
With its reactionary politics of the Tory right, Brexit has surpassed the worst fears of the Remain camp. Theresa May’s foreign policy seeks to strengthen ties with nations that vastly deviate from liberal democratic Europe. Brexit is turning out to be a national, and international, humiliation.
As Theresa May triggers Article 50 she will formally start the process that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. How did we get to this point? Jacob Richardson accuses Paul Dacre and the europhobic press.
Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World is unique among dystopian novels in being endorsed as prophetic, in the literal theological sense, by the world’s highest religious authority - with Pope Francis believing that his nightmarish vision was divinely inspired. At its heart it is a cry against rampant materialism.
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn cannot win a general election. His polls ratings are bad and the loss of the Copeland by-election was devastating. His legacy can either be a surging mass movement or a humiliating election defeat to Theresa May's Tories.
Their policies would hurt the most vulnerable but UKIP is now positioning itself as the challenger to Labour in its heartlands. Paul Nuttall is standing in the Stoke-on-Trent by-election and he might pull of a victory. Labour needs to fight them off to secure any future in Brexit Britain.
Arguing that freeing travel and trade would loosen the grip of authoritarianism in Cuba, Barack Obama reached out to Raul Castro. Now Donald Trump's review will strengthen socialist aspects of the revolution. But it also risks reviving the murky spirit of Fidel Castro.
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a masterpiece in political satire and science fiction. Since Donald Trump's inauguration the book has seen a 9,500 percent rise in sales. It might be cliché to label Orwell prophetic, but 1984 does seem eerily prescient in the era of fake news.
Red Cross jeeps pulling up at hospitals where patients are dying on trolleys in corridors and being treated in the makeshift surgeries of tents and staff rooms, as understaffing is so chronic, is unworthy of a developed nation and major economy. Who, or what, is to blame for this systemic collapse?
The monarchy embodies millennia of cultural and political history, with the monarch merely being a symbolic, impartial figurehead. But there is also a radical history which has guided the evolution of the monarchy towards its politically diluted status.
Little will change under a strategy defined by inaction, and on other key issues, Hammond’s silence was deafening. This Autumn Statement indicates that the Tories, entrenching inequality with economic stagnation and socially-divisive policies, remain resolved about scapegoating the poor and most vulnerable to compensate for their own failure.
In contrast to Theresa May, when it came to welcoming Trump’s election, Angela Merkel was unequivocal in setting out Germany’s terms for cooperation. But the platform of principles from which Merkel criticises Trump are not just those of Germany but Europe.
The self-described socialist and progressive filmmaker Michael Moore is one of the most influential leftist political commentators in the United States. So Moore’s prediction, that Donald Trump will win the presidential election, does not make pleasant listening for most of his viewers.
We may find the bombast of demagogues farcical, but as Duterte proves, there is nothing amusing about those with single-minded strategy for gaining power that turns out successful. We are learning this the hard way in a Europe with a resurgence of chauvinistic nationalism and, in America, Donald Trump
Louis Theroux befriended Savile for his When Louis Met… series. But to Theroux, there was something about Savile that instinctively disturbed him. The documentary maker deserves credit for getting closest to unmasking Savile in his lifetime, his new documentary explores his own sense of guilt and our complicity.
Corbyn may have reinforced his mandate, but his re-election will not win a general election. His first test is to reunify the party to properly oppose the Tories. To seem like a PM-in-waiting and reverse his dire polling numbers, Corbyn must also develop a credible manifesto on issues that matter to the public.
The Shining is perhaps the most mysterious and experimental of all of Kubrick’s works, so no wonder it has been subject to decades of fervent speculation by fans and professional critics alike, at worst manifesting in absurdity like the Moon landing theory.
What if Britain misses out on the economic, diplomatic, scientific and cultural benefits of an EU that overcomes its tribulations and thrives as a dynamic transnational entity? Then how appealing will rejoining be as an alternative to handling Clarkson’s proverbial excrement?
2015 documentary Best of Enemies focuses on the rivalry between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr as they debated during the 1968 presidential election. Intellectual equals but polar opposites, they influenced and predicted the evolution of American society in all of its complexity.
Readers of Private Eye will be familiar with illustrator David Ziggy Greene’s comic strips. Save Our Souls, founded and edited by Greene, combines journalism and artwork to become a mirror that forces us to reflect on our common humanity.
Channel 4, is promoting the Paralympic Games with the tagline “We’re the superhumans". But the ugly truth cannot be ignored: disabled people face not only the obstacles caused directly by their disabilities, but also those caused by the hostility and apathy towards them as people.
The New York City of the 21st century is vastly removed from the often romanticised one of the 70s, which gave birth to punk. Today it is a far more sanitised, gentrified, tourist-friendly metropolis: but still one of the epicentres of American and global society. Therefore it has served as a venue for nationwide, and international, political unrest.
Corbyn is a poorly polling leader and there is overwhelming antagonism against him from the PLP. How many Labour MPs would be more sympathetic to the policies and values he stands for, if they were represented by a more convincing figurehead? Clive Lewis could seize the torch of the Corbyn movement.
Romance and sexuality are much more complex and variable experiences than any one-dimensional label. This is just as relevant to a 90-year-old widow marrying his male companion and indigenous peoples restoring their cultural identities, as it is to any Western genderfluid or pansexual millennial.
We have all the tools to build and engage in culture more interesting and accessible than ever before, which is indisputably positive. Artists should continue uploading, streaming, experimenting, cutting-up and parodying enthusiastically.
One of the key aspects of pro wrestling is gimmicks, the term for pro-wrestlers’ characters, used to project a façade to audiences. We generally describe something as gimmicky. Gimmicky also refers to the disingenuous and devious, however. Like Donald Trump.
The tenth series of The X-Files,released this year, has received somewhat mixed reviews from critics. This is perhaps because it would always struggle to live up to the acclaim of the original series. Returning to the story fourteen years later, the X-Files unit reforms and the roles of the double act have switched.