Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Campaigners say van Gaal’s haircut could be behind Manchester United crisis

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press release 30th August contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners say van Gaal’s Cockatiel haircut could be behind Manchester United crisis
The Beard Liberation Front the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, has said that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s designer ‘cockatiel’ haircut could be behind the crisis at the club.

Manchester United have yet to win a match so far this season and drew 0-0 with Premiership newcomers Burnley on Saturday.

The campaigners say that van Gaal’s hair cut, close to the current on-trend cockatiel, may lack the passion to inspire United players to a better performance.

The BLF notes that van Gaal might do better in the gravitas and inspiration departments if he adapted his cockatiel haircut to a palindrome, which comes with a matching beard

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said of course how the players do on the field is important to how well a side does. However these days sport is also about style and image and it may be that here van Gaal needs to tweak his hairstyle somewhat


The Guardian on Cockatiel or Palindrome


Campaigners urge Ed Miliband to keep holiday beard for autumn

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press release 29th August contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners urge Ed Miliband to keep holiday beard for autumn

The Beard Liberation Front the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, irrational prejudice against the hirsute, has urged Labour leader Ed Miliband to keep a beard he has reportedly grown while in holiday in France this month for the autumn party conference season.

According to LBC journalist and political commentator Iain Dale, Miliband has been wearing a beard while on holiday, much as Jeremy Paxman grew his now famous beard during a break in August 2013.

The campaigners say that a beard could give additional style and gravitas to the Labour leader’s political appeal.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said As yet we have seen no pictures of Ed Miliband’s reported beard but it would be a pity if it disappeared before the House of Commons returns next month


NATO Cardiff: is this what democracy looks like?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2014 by kmflett

Nato Cardiff: is this what democracy looks like?
I live in North London and central Cardiff something that seems to surprise some of my social media followers but is explained by the nature of my job as a union officer and the fact that my partner happens to live in Cardiff…

Next week on 4/5th September there is a Nato Summit meeting, not in Cardiff but at the Celtic Manor hotel outside Newport on the M4.

I’m no fan of Nato. It contains the word ‘treaty’ in its name and history suggests that treaties are an excellent way of starting wars. In addition it appears to be run largely by people who have more than a passing similarity to Dr Strangelove. Of course its opponents are mostly unlovely as well.

Anyway if you are going to have a Nato summit and lots of, at the least, self styled statesmen [& no doubt an occasional woman] are going to attend then Celtic Manor is a good venue. High up above the M4 it is quite easily protected from those who might feel a democratic protest is in order.

At some point someone had the idea that perhaps while Nato was in Newport it would be a good idea for the whole lot to visit Cardiff and have a banquet in the Castle.

The Castle is in the centre of Cardiff, partly ancient and largely nineteenth century folly but an impressive structure nonetheless.

Those who live and work in London are used to events involving world leaders and security disruption for a relatively short period either side of the visit. It is annoying but life goes on.

In Cardiff the world, it seems, goes on rather differently.

A giant steel fence has been erected in the road outside the castle, roads have been blocked off and buses re-routed from 13th August to 17th September. Yes, you read that right. For a two day Nato visit in another location, there needs to be a security clampdown in Cardiff for over a month. Apparently.

This of course is a giant waste of public money. One hopes no more talk will be heard of austerity measures and cuts while this kind of thing goes on.

It also suggests something of a contempt for ordinary people in South Wales. After all compared to central London where security measures come and go quickly, nobody much important is to be found so why not inconvenience them for a month and more?

It would be fair to say that there is much talk on the buses and in the pubs of Cardiff about all this and none of it is positive.

Of course daily life in the City does goes on, but the impression it creates is not a good one.

One hopes that the authorities display similar energy and resources in facilitating the various protests that are planned at the Nato summit over the next week.

In the meantime if you want to know what democracy looks like in Cameron’s Britain take a trip to Cardiff over the next few days. It is not a marvellous, or necessary, sight.


Trade Unionists prepare Haringey welcome for People’s March for the NHS

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2014 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Council
Press Release 29th August
c/o Union Office, St Ann ’s Hospital, St Ann ’s Rd, N15
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266;

Trade unionists prepare Haringey welcome for People’s March for the NHS
Haringey TUC, the local wing of the TUC in North London, has said that it is expecting an enthusiastic welcome for the People’s March for the NHS when it passes through the Borough on Saturday 6th September.

The march, designed to draw attention to the impact of Government policies on the NHS, started in Jarrow on 16th August and finishes with a central London rally on 6th September.

It is expected that the marchers will make their way down Tottenham High Rd to a lunch time stop off at Clissold Park in Stoke Newington around 10.30am next Saturday.

A warm Haringey welcome is expected for the marchers on the day from trade unionists, community activists and the general public

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett The NHS has been a big issue In the Borough for some time and there is concern about pressure on services and cuts as well as, of course, the plans for St Anns Hospital. The marchers will undoubtedly speak for Haringey as they go through Tottenham next Saturday

Details of the march


Boris for Uxbridge… but what of the town’s radical past?

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2014 by kmflett

Boris for Uxbridge, but what of the town’s radical past?
Notwithstanding potential distractions in Clacton,Boris Johnson has announced his intention to be a contender for the Tory General Election candidacy in Uxbridge.

The current Tory MP Sir John Randall is stepping down having been in place since 1997. Sir John is one of the very few hirsute Tory MPs and in that sense at least will be missed.

If Johnson gets the selection, his election as MP is, voters preferences on the day next May notwithstanding, very likely.

Even so Uxbridge has a radical past of some distinction.

I’m not an expert on it- there are links below to pieces by someone who certainly is, but my area of eighteenth and nineteenth century labour history is certainly not without mention of Uxbridge, then some miles outside of London proper.

Probably the most famous Mayor of London, John Wilkes, contested one of the Middlesex Parliamentary seats in the second half of the eighteenth century- and the constituency then covered Uxbridge. Unlike Boris, Wilkes was a genuine radical who stood up for liberty [though not working class rights..] and went to jail for his troubles. His statue stands in New Fetter Lane in central London.

In the nineteenth century Uxbridge was a centre of late, post-1848 Chartism, and, in the 1860s, the Reform League.
John Bedford Leno was a printer and later an actor who formed a Chartist branch in the town and with Gerald Massey ran briefly a well known Chartist paper, the Spirit of Freedom.

There were certainly left-wing Chartists in Uxbridge in the mid-nineteenth century. The Red Republican, the paper edited by George Julian Harney a co-thinker of Marx and Engels received an early donation in June 1850 from ‘Uxbridge democrats’. The donation of 10 shillings was sizeable.

Twentieth century Uxbridge has a rich labour history.

The appearance of the Independent Labour Party came quite late, in 1911, but the town was involved in the 1926 General Strike and there was a Communist Party branch which sustained itself certainly until the 1956 crisis and perhaps afterwards.

Links to excellent pieces on this period are here:

Don’t expect Boris Johnson to know about or mention of this but it is worth remembering that Uxbridge is not just about Tories


Hirsute baker Iain Watters forced off Great British Bake Off by pogonophobia

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 27th August contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Hirsute baker Iain Watters forced off Great British Bake Off by pogonophobia

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that hirsute baker Iain Watters has been forced off the current series of Great British Bake Off by pogonophobia.

In the episode broadcast on 27th August Iain was making a Baked Alaska. However organisers have subsequently admitted that temperatures on the day the programme was recorded were around 30C.

Iain’s Baked Alaska did not turn out well and he binned it and walked off the show.

The BLF says that the GBBO should have made special allowances for the impact of the heat on Iain’s beard and provided him with a cooling fan. That would have allowed him to take a more balanced approach to producing the Baked Alaska

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, it looks like the pogonophobes, led by a section of Daily Mail readers have won and forced Iain and his magnificent beard off Bake Off


Campaigners say warm summer brings early start to conker season

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2014 by kmflett

Campaign For Real Conkers
Against bans on conker playing
Press Release 26th August Contact Keith Flett, 07803 167266

Campaigners say warm summer brings early start to conker season
The Campaign For Real Conkers, the group that opposes bans on conker playing, has said that the warm summer weather means one of the earliest starts ever a conker season this year. Traditionally the season gets underway on the August Bank Holiday Monday but it is usually several weeks into September before sufficient conkers have fallen to allow games to start.

In 2014 trees in many areas have excellent conker crops and recent winds have seen some starting to fall already.

The campaign believes that conkers is a game that is free to all play and should also be free of rules and regulations whether imposed in contests or petty bureaucrats who argue wrongly that playing conkers is in some way dangerous.

Campaign organiser Keith Flett said, 2014 looks like being a bumper year for conkers and a real chance for the traditional game to fight back against screen based attractions.

• The Campaign for Real Conkers promotes free for all conker playing across the UK an alternative event to the World Conker Championships on October 12th where it encourages people to have a go at playing conkers without the need for rules, regulations and teams.

Notes for Editors
• The CFRC believes that conkers is one of the few sports that can be played for free. All that is required is a conker and some string.
• It is opposed to championships, rules, regulations and commercial sponsorship.
• It seeks to encourage young people to play conkers. It should not be the preserve purely of those of mature years


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