Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Peterborough Beer Festival: Things have changed- is cask fighting back?

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2014 by kmflett

Peterborough Beer Festival: Things Have Changed
Those who read the New Musical Express in the 1980s and 1990s might be familiar with ‘Ive seen the future of rock’pieces.

I was at Peterborough Beer Festival on Wednesday and there is no doubt that if this isn’t the future then definitely things have changed.

For those unfamiliar the festival is held in tents in central Peterborough and is one of the biggest in the UK. It has several hundred cask beers and unlike the Great British Beer Festival which it follows on from it has a long standing tradition of showcasing new breweries and new beers.

So what has changed?

Certainly it was not an embracing of craft keg. But I knew things had changed when my first conversation after I arrived was with a CAMRA volunteer about whether a sour beer on cask was actually sour enough or whether another sour beer might be better.

In short the range of beers and beer styles, all on cask, at Peterborough has changed significantly.

Aside from the sours I enjoyed [thirds of] a lemon and lime double ipa from Arbor[8.2%] an imperial stout from Be(x)ar County, Papa Steve (9%) a rhubarb stout from Imperial and a saison from Nene Valley [7.2%].

If you drink regularly in the London craft beer scene these are the kind of beers you’d expect to find. But these beers feature usually on keg.

Here they were all on cask and in good condition.

I’m not exactly making a cask v keg point here.

Rather I’d say that the practice seems to have become that more interesting and unusual beers are most frequently to be found on keg rather than cask.

Peterborough this year has challenged this by showing that interesting beers, many strong, can be served in cask, done well and be very drinkable.

It is an argument about not cask v keg but a balancing out of the two where there has been something of a preference for keg.

In short whether inadvertently or not Peterborough beer festival has thrown down a gauntlet


Ambridge Socialist Update: Crowds flock to the Left Field at #loxfest

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist
23rd August CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266
The real Borsetshire Echo: 60 years of class struggle in Ambridge

Crowds flock to the Left Field at Loxfest

With the news that the Pet Shop Boys are a late addition to the main stage at the Loxfest, a Loxley Hall in Ambridge, Borsetshire, the Ambridge Socialist Left Field, unreported by mainstream media, is also drawing crowds at the event.

Rumours that Billy Bragg, who is in the US, may play via satellite link on Sunday afternoon continue.

The Left Field was opened on Friday afternoon with Joe Grundy singing his unique Borsetshire version of the Red Flag.

The up and coming Americana band, the Borsetshire Levellers, featuring Jazzer McCreary on milk crates, was a big hit.

Saturday sees Lynda Snell perform her rarely heard renditions of traditional Borsetshire llama songs, which have been compared to Kate Bush in terms of their musicial idiosyncracies.

Also likely to spark interest on Saturday in the Left Field marquee is a talk by David Archer on the roofs of Ambridge.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, obviously the Left Field is an established thing at Glastonbury and this isn’t on the same scale. Even so we are pleased to bring the message of radical music, culture and politics to Loxfest


The Ambridge Socialist announces Left Field at #Loxfest

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist
22nd August CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

The real Borsetshire Echo: 60 years of class struggle in Ambridge

The Left Field at Loxfest

For many years at Glastonbury the radical conscience of the festival has been kept going by the Left Field.

The Ambridge Socialist, as usual unreported by the BBC, has organised Left Field at Loxfest.

Loxfest is a three day festival at Loxley Hall from 22-24 August being covered by BBC Radio Six.

Some of the acts are controversial and the scale of attendance is in doubt. Even so, the Left Field is determined to present the culture of the real Ambridge this weekend

Some highlights are below

Joe Grundy will sing his rendition of the Red Flag
Bert Fry will read poems from the rural proletariat
Jill Archer will speak on Wilhelm Reich and the politics of the Radio 4 orgasm
The Professor will speak on why religion is wrong
Eddie Grundy will sing As Soon As This Pub Closes
David Archer will read his rendition of the Riot Act
Lynda Snell will perform traditional Borsetshire Llama ballards
Pat Archer will speak on organic farming & the threat of neo-liberalism in Borsetshire

A special guest may appear via satellite link at the weekend, well known for his festival appearances over decades.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said Left Field is the real spirit of Loxfest. We are standing for radical Borsetshire the perspective the BBC never mentions


The August Bank Holiday should return to the beginning of the month

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2014 by kmflett

The August Bank Holiday should return to the beginning of the month

With the weather forecast for the August Bank Holiday weekend appearing uncertain there is surely a case to review the date on which it takes place.

Reviewing the date of the holiday is likely to be more popular than trying to change its name to Margaret Thatcher Day, which a small group of Tory MP’s proposed in the House of Commons in 2013.

The August Bank Holiday was set as the first Monday of the month by the 1871 Bank Holidays Act and only changed for an experimental period to the last Monday in 1965. The change was made permanent in 1971 in the Banking and Financial Dealings Act but does not apply to Scotland. It was primarily a result of pressure from the holiday industry who felt that a later holiday would extend the season.

Before legislation in the late 1930s Bank Holidays were the only official paid holidays available to workers and were seen as a significant advance in working class leisure time.

The August Bank Holiday was the most popular of those agreed by the 1871 Act precisely because it was in summer and the weather was likely to be better for a trip out than the Easter holiday.

Railway companies ran excursions and extra trains to seaside destinations.

The nature of holidays, although still strongly influenced by school terms, has changed considerably in the last 40 years with short breaks at home and abroad more popular.

However the weather and certainly the available sunlight hours are potentially better earlier in August.

The weekend of 2-4th August this year was sunny in many areas of the UK, with the weather only changing with the impact of the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha a week later.

Recent discussion of bank holidays has focused on whether the UK should have more, if May Day should be maintained and if there should be an autumn bank holiday. Yet there is something of an historical case now for moving the August Bank Holiday in England and Wales back to its original early August date. The nature of work and of holidays has changed considerably since 1971.


The Ambridge Socialist: ‘good orgasm’ vote

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

20th August

The Ambridge Socialist Good Orgasm guide

Responding to a piece from Ulysses on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House last weekend Patricia Greene [aka Jill Archer] noted ‘good orgasm’. But who is the most likely Ambridge candidate for a ‘good orgasm?

Vote Here:


Prince Harry, Oliver Cromwell & Beer

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2014 by kmflett

Prince Harry, Oliver Cromwell & beer

I was at the Great British Beer Festival last Thursday. Another person, amongst thousands, who was there was, according to the Daily Mail, Prince Harry. It appears he may have drunk some beer and played a pub game or two.

The publicity can do CAMRA and the GBBF little but good. One wonders if real ale will come by Royal Appointment in future.

Of course for ardent Red Republicans like myself there is something of an objection to Royalty….

But the point, which I make from time to time in the columns of What’s Brewing, is that the thing about beer is that it is one of the few things which can genuinely claim to be ‘all in it together’ in terms of who can drink it.

The politics of beer and of the Beerage are a very different matter and I’ve made recent points about the moral economy of beer.

But what about the republican tradition and beer?

If we look back to the English Revolution in 1649 the question is posed whether Cromwell was a beer fan or not.

At that time water was not particularly safe to drink and beer was an alternative so it would’ve been more widely consumed, in that sense, than today.

Cromwell was a Puritan, a radical, somebody today who might be called a religious fundamentalist. That however is a very broad label.

Cromwell certainly did shut down some pubs and frown upon excessive celebrations which involved drinking.
He was however definitely not an early temperance campaigner.

In fact Cromwell came from a Huntingdon brewing family and that itself was the source of some comment to the effect that a brewer could become head of State, including a poem.

So if Prince Harry is reminding us of the links between Royalty and beer, we can also reflect that the alternative republican tradition was also very much in favour of it.

In short while the hard right in both the US and the UK are keen these days to find things that prove, in their view, that the political right and left inhabit different planets, there are in fact, despite many, often fundamental disagreements, things that many can enjoy across the spectrum.

One of those is beer, notwithstanding the, mostly, honourable traditions of temperance and abstinence from alcohol.


Campaigners say purpose & future of Julian Assange’s beard remains uncertain

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press release 18th August contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners say purpose & future of Assange’s beard remains unclear
The Beard Liberation Front the informal network of beard wearers has said that Julian Assange’s beard, on display again today at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, remains as problematic and enigmatic as it was when it received its first public airing back in April 2013.

The campaigners say that Assange remains a controversial figure with a range of people for a range of different reasons and it is difficult to unequivocally state that his beard presents a positive public image, a key BLF criteria.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said some might say that Assange has a classic anti-imperialist beard but the reality is that its length indicates that regular trimming has taken place over the last year and more. It is not really clear what image or style Assange is trying to present and he seems reluctant to clarify the matter


What the BLF said last year
11th April 2013
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, has urged Wikileaks activist Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, to clarify why he has grown a beard.

The campaigners say that Assange has been pictured with a beard on film maker Oliver Stone’s twitter feed, after he visited him in the Embassy last Thursday.

It is unclear whether Assange sees little point in shaving in captivity, if the beard, which is designerish in style, is a fashion statement, or if he is making a more serious statement of hirsute rebellion

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said At the moment Julian Assange’s new facial hair is a beard of uncertainty and he needs to clarify matters urgently


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