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How James Bond violated the rights of British citizens earlier this evening

For just over a year now, the younger of my two Goddaughters has been a student at the Royal College of Music, learning to be a mezzo-soprano. The two of us just shared supper in Chelsea, and while we consumed it she told me something very bizarre and rather sinister, about the chaos that was apparently inflicted, earlier this evening, upon her and her colleagues at the RCM by the latest James Bond film London premiere. This jamboree took place just across the road from the RCM, at the Royal Albert Hall, and it seems that the RCM was commanded to evacuate all its practice rooms that overlooked this premiere activity (quite a lot of which was outside the Royal Albert Hall on those big steps at the back), to stop anyone seeing it, and in particular, presumably, to stop them filming it or photographing it. These RCM practice rooms are in constant use, and alternatives are very hard to come by. Neither the students nor the teachers of the RCM were at all amused by this intrusion into their already stressful and hardworking lives.

How the hell can a mere bunch of movie people insist on barging into other people’s buildings and ordering them around like this? I thought James Bond was all about defending the liberties of British citizens, not violating them. According to GD2, the Royal College of Music did not agree to this arrangement. It was merely informed of it, by Westminster City Council. If the College did consent voluntarily to this arrangement, in exchange for a cash payment, for instance, rather than simply being forced to submit to it, they didn’t tell any of their inmates about that fact.

You can see what the people who inflicted all this upon the RCM were thinking. It was their event. They owned it. Nobody whom they did not invite or control should be allowed to film it. But, I say that if you want total control of the filming or photographing of an event, don’t hold your event in a public place, out in the open air, and then impose your control on places that merely overlook this public place. If you do bizarre things in public, you are fair photographic game, to anyone in the vicinity who chooses to snap you or video you.

GD2 is my only source for this story, and maybe she, or I in reporting what she said to me, have it wrong. I’d welcome comments about this or similar events, corrective if necessary. (I could find nothing about this event, other than about it simply happening, on the www.) But if what GD2 told me is right, and if my recollection of what she told me about it is also right, well, I am not impressed.

This circumstance reminded me of the crap inflicted on London when the Olympic Games came to town.

23 comments to How James Bond violated the rights of British citizens earlier this evening

  • RRS

    That kind of process is really just to lend artificial significance to the insignificant.

  • Mr Ed

    Surely this was simply an offer of a deal, in effect, allow us to rent your rooms for an hour, and shut them, so that we may enjoy our spectacle in peace? Presumably this was to allow the red carpet parade tabloid fodder pictures to be taken by those approved of?

    I wonder if there were any threats about litigation for breaching the intellectual property of the ‘owners’ of the event?

    The late, great Auberon Waugh called James Bond the most repulsive character ever, a model for the jobsworth, throw your weight around bureaucrats who regards their function as supremely important, so vital that anyone in the way may be trampled underfoot. I agree. I’m told that this film is better than Skyfall.

    I saw Skyfall, the worse film I have ever seen, even counting Arachnophobia and Return of the Killer Tomatoes. An unjustified rampage through a Turkish market, a villian who is a snivelling turd, a priest hole in a Scottish castle, an implausible flight to Scotland, a bureaucracy worried about its budget, not the Realm, and a dig at people trafficking, I half expected that one of the women would turn out to be a ladyboy, which, had it happened, might have made up for a plot that seemed to have been written by the BBC at its most in your face PC.

    There is no need for Bond, we have Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf.


  • Mr Ecks

    Commanded to vacate the rooms by who?

    Unless they had the state’s costumed thugs with them then “fuck off” is the appropriate response.

  • TimR

    By whom.

    TimR (stealth grammar nazi)

  • Paul Marks

    This does seem like a bunch of film business leftists acting like “Big Business” always acts in their films.

    Either using force themselves – or getting to the government to do so on their behalf.

    Remember the German man in New Zealand who found his house circled by armed police?

    Libertarians are divided on copyright – but even pro copyright libertarians regard it as a civil tort.

    The man should have got a legal summons informing him he was being sued.

    No arrest, no armed police – and so on.

    As for this specific film.

    The BBC and so on are pushing this film like mad.

    So much for the BBC not advertising commercial products.

    A film is a commercial product and the BBC is pushing it.

    And what is the actual PLOT (STORY) of the film?

    Is it true that the story is some sort of Edward Snowden thing?

    Someone being shown as a hero for publishing stuff that was NOT sent to them?

    As for people who say……

    “Paul you do not understand – the story is not the thing, it is the pleasure of the images and so on…..”.

    Just bleep off.

    If the story is no good (if it is just Hollywoodhead leftist propaganda) I do not care how nice the images are.

  • I’m told that this film is better than Skyfall.

    Skyfall was a Bond film? I thought it was a rather boring tribute to Judy Dench combined with the ending from Home Alone.

  • JohnK

    Mr Ed:

    You are so right about Scaffold, a pile of shite from beginning to end. There are websites devoted to the glaring plotholes in this movie, and yet sycophants such as Mark Kermode would have you believe that Daniel Craig, who looks like a nightclub bouncer to me, is the perffect Bond, and that the sun shines out of Sam Mendes’ arse.

    Meanwhile, if the BBC actually charged for all the free advertising it gave the film, the licence fee debate would be moot. Funny old world isn’t it?

  • Gareth

    Perhaps Westminster Council was leaned on in order to avoid scenes like this Youtube video from the 2012 Skyfall premiere:

    Royal College of Music students @ Skyfall premiere, london

    How terrible. To think that people might stand at their windows to watch an event taking place just outside.

  • Alisa

    Daniel Craig is the perfect Bond, Skyfall was crap because the story was crap. Paul is right on that point: a movie is always first and foremost about The Story.

  • Watchman

    Sod it – I liked Skyfall, despite the silly story. Then again I saw most of the Bonds from the 70s and early 80s recently (thankyou ITV multiples…) and I didn’t exactly notice sensible stories there either…

    On the main matter, is not the entrance to the Albert Hall next to a public highway. I am pretty certain I am not forbidden from overlooking (or filming or photographing) a public highway, for all the police wish to differ. So if the RCM was commanded to do something, unless compliance is in a contract (lease, freehold or the like), it was under no obligation, it would have no reason to do so. As RCM is hardly a victim (it is effectively a univeristy, and part of the governing structure of institutions) I can’t see them giving in to a silly demand, so logic says this was a decision that was taken (and not communicated – this is effectively a university as I said before, so not communicating decisions goes with the territory) either for financial gain or for some other perceived benefit (community relations perhaps – that covers most evils…).

  • CaptDMO

    So nobody has considered it the shutting down of assault/recon platforms overlooking a crowd of high profile targets of opportunity?
    Because London has no reason to fear easily duped “arts” students, and faculty, being duped into
    allowing “access” to certain undesirables KNOWN to incite terror against dense crowds unlikely to include dedicated followers of The Religion of Peace?
    Especially with “built in” documentation/publicity!
    Oh sure, the “party” below is a nice way to “get back to “normalcy”.
    “Unauthorized photos”…because of copyright concerns? Rally? REALLY?
    How about concerns for recon of security detail, and logistics of “crowd” control,
    But one can’t just SAY that, without “justifying” the next propaganda slaughter by “The Offended’, now can one?

  • The state must protect it’s most effective forms of propaganda, though with political correctness creeping in to all the films, they are going to destroy the brand.

  • Fred the Fourth

    “Skyfall” is a fine example of what (back in my CAD engineering days) we used to call DAD: Drug Aided Design.
    Or, as I still have plenty of occasions to remark these days about stupid stuff folks do: “Clearly, they have access to MUCH BETTER DRUGS than we do.”

  • llamas

    Well, has anyone found out what actually happened at the RCM? (Happy days . . . . )

    Was it

    a) Lawless thugs from the movie production company ordered the practice rooms vacated, or

    b) the production company paid the RCM a handsome honorarium to vacate their practice rooms for the day or

    c) summink else?

    Until this is made more clear, most of this outrage is based on the garbled account of a single teenager. Facts, please.



  • William O. B'Livion

    How the hell can a mere bunch of movie people insist on barging into other people’s buildings and ordering them around like this?

    Because there’s a shitload of star fuckers in our respective societies that will bend over and lube themselves up for the movie industry, or any sports franchise that comes along.

    Mr. Ecks suggestion is a bit more polite than they deserve.

    Are the buildings in question tall enough that the busybodies would bounce if tossed off, or just slightly injured?

  • JohnK


    I can imagine that a woman might have a different view of Daniel Craig than a man, but trust me, put him in a black nylon bomber jacket and he really is a nightclub bouncer.

    I do however think he’d have been very good in Robert Shaw’s role as the SPECTRE assassin in “From Russia with Love”, as a thug who can’t quite impersonate an MI6 agent properly. Very much a red wine with fish sort of man.

  • Mr Ed

    I heard a two line review of the film today as an aside in a business meeting. Basically, it has a story to tell with Bond as a character rather than being an action movie.

    Sounds dreadful. At least I didn’t have to pay to watch Skyfall, I shall not risk any time or money on this film.

  • Alisa

    I can imagine that a woman might have a different view of Daniel Craig than a man

    No, you didn’t! 😀

    put him in a black nylon bomber jacket and he really is a nightclub bouncer.

    Well duh, he’s a thug in the service of a gang of thugs. Craig is the perfect Bond.

  • JohnK

    I think Bond is meant to be a gentleman thug; he had a degree in Oriental Languages and was a Royal Navy officer. Craig is more of a thuggish thug, in my opinion at least.

  • Alisa

    You may well be correct.

  • Greytop

    Reality has always played second fiddle to the pretend, which is why our media dotes on the vapid (and often ill-considered) opinions of people who play in the dressing up box.

    So when an pretender who pretends to be cool and sophisticated because other people have put words in his mouth, turns up for an occasion when pretentious people sit silently in a darkened room in order to be tricked into believing that a series of rapidly flickering still images is movement, then it makes sense that everyone else has to stop what they are doing.

  • James Hargrave

    ‘a model for the jobsworth, throw your weight around bureaucrats who regards their function as supremely important, so vital that anyone in the way may be trampled underfoot’

    Ah, you mean ‘Human Resources “professionals”‘, many of whom would make Fritz Sauckel blush.

  • I liked Skyfall. And I do think as Watchman said a lot of those old skool onds were to quote a dreadful line from Roger Moore, “Titiful”.