VALENTINE'S Day has gone for another year now and what the world needs more of is not just love, but satire.

As the world copes with uncertainties - Brexit and the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House - many of us don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Crying will get us nowhere, but there is some satisfaction in seeing humour pull a punch where it hurts.

Satire brings the blurry political spectrum into focus and it seems the UK’s got a real appetite for it.

The US show Saturday Night Live has seen its ratings boosted.

Here in the UK, Private Eye - in its 55th year - has never had it so good in sales.

Stand-up comedians are enjoying sell-out shows.

Protest songs are returning and theatre companies are presenting some politically-relevant scripts. The spirit of Jonathan Swift lives on.

Off the Ground - one of the recipients of the inaugural Globe's Wirral Arts Ambassadors is adapting a play called The Drunks next month - a modern satire about local politics and how labels may change but little else does.

The striking poster features some of today's movers and shakers - all laughing hysterically.

It is quite scary. There's Nigel Farage, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Boris Yeltsin, Rupert Murdoch and even Piers Morgan all laughing like hyenas.

It is encouraging, too, that Rory Bremner is back on tour - his date next week at Salford's Lowry is already a sell-out.

Rory steered away from mainstream impersonation to concentrate on political parodies and has not enjoyed the success he deserves.

Now his Donald Trump parody is faultless, far better than Alex Baldwin's portrayal on the US TV networks.

I once met Rory at a BBC bash and he unexpectedly stepped out from behind a huge tree shrub saying: "Hello, I’m George Bush."

So welcome back the now very biting Mr B.

The legendary Mel Brooks summed up the public’s need for satire this week: "Comedy should be one of the tools in confronting politics that scares us." 

Happily, politicians are no longer getting the last laugh.


TAKE a bow.

The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton is attracting the big names for one-night shows, proving not all the household names appear across the Mersey.

Leo Sayer is here in May and later this year there's something to shout about with a concert by the legendary Lulu.

I once described her as Scotland's answer to Cilla.

And there’s newly-knighted Sir Ken Dodd doing one of only two dates in May.

All this and the much-respected International Guitar Festival in November.

Today is International Flag Day - so let's wave it for Wirral.


WHILE watching the over-long BAFTA ceremony and endless 'thank you' speeches, I couldn't help thinking that some of the great films don't even get a nomination.

Two that have left their mark on me this year were A Monster Calls about a boy coping with the death of his terminally-ill mother.

Cinema can be a source of strength when we all need it.

And this week I saw Loving, The true story of an inter-racial marriage in the United States in the '60s.

But some real-life love stories touch each and everyone of us in the papers and on TV.


THIS week I was teary-eyed, as I am sure a lot of Globe readers were, and moved by Craig Manning's story of the Bennet family.

Family being the 'key' word.

Cancer sufferers Julie and Mike Bennet died five days apart.

The photo of these special people holding hands will remain with me forever.

What touched me most was the strength and courage of those left behind and how the community and people far afield raised money for the three children.

My whole-hearted admiration goes out to this remarkable family and their wonderful friends.

It would make a very inspirational film one day.

A true love story.


WE need more petitions.

I'll sign any petition to back that.

Some get results while others, at least, let the Government and politicians know what we are all feeling strongly about.

It seems petitions have now been signed about so many diverse subjects from Trump's state visit to whether or not we should abolish the TV license.


A RECENT survey by a mobile phone company detailed those things that would be obsolete by new technology.

It was a sobering survey that robots will take over many everyday chores and that simple appliances like telephone boxes and photo booths will be a thing of the past only of use to film and TV companies.

But the things I want to see the end of are the waiting times forced upon us by the likes of energy companies and delivery firms.

Those who make us take time of work to wait in either from 8am to 12pm or midday to 4pm.

We are one of the most on-line dependent countries in the world ... so why can’t we cut down waiting times? Communicate more.

There's nothing worse than being trapped waiting for something or someone to arrive or being put on hold with a call centre to query an bill.


AND finally ...

Good to see a Festival of Puns celebrated at the Leicester Comedy Festival.

I love puns especially as we approach Easter - the more topical the better what I call Hot Cross Puns.

But one of my favourite pieces of pun-ery comes from the pen of Paul Simon when he came up with his most inspired words when he wrote: "My father was a fisherman - my mama was a fisherman’s friend", from the song Duncan

Peter Grant