16 August 2009

Mark Thomas – Manifesto

After a couple of years away (since his show about Arms, entitled As Used On Nelson Mandela) Mark is back on tour and it couldn't be more political than this. The premise of his show is that he is travelling the country for policy ideas that can form the basis of the Public's Manifesto. From his Edinburgh shows he will take all the winning (democratically voted on) and present them to a cross-part group of MSPs at the Pleasance to see if they will be taken up by the Scottish Government.

It's a hugely enjoyable and informative hour and a half that is a bit more diverse that his previous shows which have tended to focus on just one subject. Some of the ideas that didn't make it in my show include “everyone must live within cycling distance to work” and “concentrate on one set of roadworks at a time” (transport was a very big issue for residents in Edinburgh for some reason). The winning idea was to fine supermarkets, especially Tesco, for every gram of excess package they produce.

Mark does tell of some non-manifesto related stories that are rewarding. Apparently when having your fingerprints taken there is no law requiring you so sign your name as well, the police simply ask you nicely to. Also when stopped by a police office under Stop And Search they have to have a good reason for doing so that gets documented in the CIT report.  It takes a lot of work out of being up to date with the fight against abuse of power and the ludicrous ID cards.  Political, Engrossing and Motivating – 8 out of 10 or four communist stars.