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What Tory Recovery? Tottenham jobless still higher than in 2008 says Haringey TUC

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Union Council

Press Release 16th April

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266; keith.flett@btinternet.com

 

WHAT TORY RECOVERY? TOTTENHAM JOBLESS  STILL HIGHER THAN IN 2008

Haringey Trades Council, the local wing of the TUC covering North London, has said that despite Government and media claims that the recession is over and ordinary people are starting to feel better off the number of jobless in Tottenham for March 2014 remains the highest in London.

 

There were 5,066 jobseekers in Tottenham last month a rate of 6.5% unemployment.

 

When Lehmanns filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 starting a world economic crisis there were 4,194 jobseekers [5.3%] in Tottenham.

 

The trade unionists say that Tottenham’s continuing place at the top of the London jobless League is as unwanted as Spurs football team’s failure to feature in the top four of the Premiership is

 

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett said Nothing would please us more than to be able to say recovery was coming to Tottenham but it aint happening. What is striking is that the Government’s representatives in Haringey the LibDems normally so keen to big up good economic news have said not a word today about the challenging news of a lack of recovery in Tottenham. A change has got to come, starting with the European Elections on May 22nd

 

 

 

Articles

‘Peak Beard’ a long way off say campaigners

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE 16th April
Contact Keith Flett      07803 167266
 
‘Peak Beard’ a long way off say campaigners
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that research carried out by the University of New South Wales which argues that the numbers of people with beards has peaked and will now decline should not be taken seriously.
 
It appears to mirror exercises carried out by New Labour in the Blair era where voters were allegedly shown photo-fits of candidates with and without beards to see which they preferred. The results of the exercise were apparently inconclusive.

The researchers gathered a number of women and a smaller number of men and judged the attractiveness of beards based on the frequency of being shown images of them. The conclusion was that as beards become more common they also become less attractive and people swing back to being clean shaven.
 
The campaigners say that aside from making heteronormative assumptions about who men with beards might be attractive to, the research is also one dimensional. Many men have beards for reasons entirely unrelated to sexual attraction, sometimes even the most basic one of not being bothered to shave
 
BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, The peak beard research should be treated as nothing more than fun. There is no actual evidence that beards have peaked or are in decline as a fashion statement or anything else. In fact the hipster beard, short hair and a long beard, is spreading across the UK
 
Link to story
 

Articles

‘Peak Beard’ research makes improbable assumptions say campaigners

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE 16th April
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
‘Peak Beard’ research makes improbable assumptions say campaigners
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that research carried out by the University of New South Wales which argues that the numbers of people with beards has peaked and will now decline may be fun but makes too many improbable assumptions to be taken seriously.

The researchers gathered a number of women and a smaller number of men and judged the attractiveness of beards based on the frequency of being shown images of them. The conclusion was that as beards become more common they also become less attractive and people swing back to being clean shaven.

The campaigners say that aside from making heterosexist assumptions about who men with beards might be attractive to, the research is also one dimensional. Many men have beards for reasons entirely unrelated to sexual attraction, sometimes even the most basic one of not being bothered to shave

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, The peak beard research should be treated as nothing more than fun. There is no actual evidence that beards have peaked or are in decline as a fashion statement or anything else

Link to story

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/apr/16/fashion-conscious-men-warned-we-may-have-reached-peak-beard

Articles

Bearded Bishop Brentwood welcomed but too late for Beard of Spring poll

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE 14th April
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
Bearded Bishop Brentwood welcomed but too late for Spring Beard poll

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, has welcomed the news that the Pope on Monday appointed Fr Alan Williams FM as the Bishop of Brentwood but say that his appointment is too late for inclusion on the Beard of Spring 2014 poll which concludes on Friday.

The campaigners say that they are certain that the distinguished Bishop will feature in future

The big issue in the days left for voting is whether current leader Sheffield United footballer John Brayford did enough in his team’s defeat to Hull in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final to take the title or whether challengers such as cosmologist Peter Coles and Editor of the I Paper Olly Duff can catch him

The Beard of Spring winner will be announced on 19th April

The Award, one of four seasonal hirsute accolades that leads to the Beard of the Year in December, celebrates the coming of Spring and the growth of beards new and old.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said The Pope’s decision to appoint a Bearded Bishop in Brentwood underlines the increased importance of the hirsute in public life and adds interest to the outcome of the Beard of Spring poll on Easter Saturday

Details of Bishop of Brentwood appointment
http://dioceseofbrentwood.net/news/ViewPost.aspx?ID=878

Vote Here

Beard of Spring list
Moeen Ali, cricketer
Jake Ball, rugby player
Stuart Broad, cricketer
John Brayford, footballer
Peter Coles, cosmologist
Oliver Duff, Editor, The I Paper
Guy Garvey, Elbow
Nick Higham, journalist
Richard Seymour, Guardian columnist and author
Petroc Trewlaney, broadcaster
Hank Wangford, musician
Bradley Wiggins, sportsman

 

 

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist: The Ambridge Passion Play- who should play Jesus?

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

The Ambridge Passion Play: Who should be Jesus?

Chris has reluctantly agreed to be Jesus in the Ambridge Easter Passion Play. This essentially involves having a beard and being nailed topless to a cross. The Ambridge Socialist believes that in the spirit of neo-liberalism sweeping the village the role should be open to all comers. Our suggestions are:

David Archer [well known beard wearer]
Chris Carter [if his beard is real not fictional]
Jazzer McCreary [rebel without a cause. Yet]
Rob Titchener [false beard can be supplied, nail him up]

Vote here (or add your own suggestion)

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist: Will Grundy- Squirrel Murderer

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2014 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist
13th April CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266
The real Borsetshire Echo: 60 years of class struggle in Ambridge

Brian Aldridge purged
Fresh from his humiliation after he gave in to terrorism over a new kitchen at Home Farm, Brian Aldridge has found himself purged as Chair of Borsetshire Land and replaced by former ally Annabelle Schribner this week. The motor for this was the venture capitalist company who have acquired a controlling stake in BL. As their representative Justin Elliot made clear at an EGM of Borsetshire Land on Wednesday morning the company had been guilty of not ‘exploiting its assets sufficiently’. There was talk of wind turbines and importing waste to convert using BL facilities.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said it looks like neo-liberalism is set to come to Ambridge. It seems unlikely that in future there will be jobs for forelock tugger Will or Rob the Philanderer. These roles can be done much more cheaply by contract labour

Will Grundy: squirrel murderer
There has never been any question that Will Grundy likes murdering things and he has the guns to prove it. Taking a lead from David Archer however at the moment he is set on disposing of wild life. He spent some of the week setting traps for squirrels who he described as ‘rats with fluffy tails’

The Ambridge Passion Play: Who should be Jesus?
Chris has reluctantly agreed to be Jesus in the Ambridge Easter Passion Play. This essentially involves having a beard and being nailed topless to a cross. The Ambridge Socialist believes that in the spirit of neo-liberalism sweeping the village the role should be open to all comers. Our suggestions are:

David Archer [well known beard wearer]
Chris Carter [if his beard is real not fictional]
Rob Titchener [false beard can be supplied, nail him up]

Articles

Key day as Sheffield United player John Brayford looks to double: FA cup final & Beard of Spring

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE 13th April
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
Key day as Sheffield United player John Brayford looks to do the double: FA Cup final & Beard of Spring

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, has said that Sheffield United footballer John Brayford could be set for an impressive double as he plays in today’s FA Cup semi-final against Hull.

His iconic beard is currently leading the Beard of Spring poll and it could also be a key element in Sheffield United’s attempt to beat Hull in today’s FA Cup semi-final

The Beard of Spring poll is now open and the winner will be announced on 19th April

The Award, one of four seasonal hirsute accolades that leads to the Beard of the Year in December, celebrates the coming of Spring and the growth of beards new and old.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said It is not just how John Brayford does on the pitch against Hull today it’s the impact that his beard makes that is key, both to Sheffield United’s final chances & his own chances of winning
Beard of Spring

Vote Here

Beard of Spring list
Moeen Ali, cricketer
Jake Ball, rugby player
Stuart Broad, cricketer
John Brayford, footballer
Peter Coles, cosmologist
Oliver Duff, Editor, The I Paper
Guy Garvey, Elbow
Nick Higham, journalist
Richard Seymour, Guardian columnist and author
Petroc Trewlaney, broadcaster
Hank Wangford, musician
Bradley Wiggins, sportsman

Articles

Sheffield United player John Brayford looks to do the double: FA Cup & Beard of Spring

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE 12th April
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Sheffield United player John Brayford looks to do the double: FA Cup & Beard of Spring

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers that campaigns against beardism, has said that Sheffield United footballer John Brayford could be set for an impressive double over the next few days.

His iconic beard is currently leading the Beard of Spring poll and it could also be a key element in Sheffield United’s attempt to beat Hull in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final

The Beard of Spring poll is now open and the winner will be announced on 19th April

The Award, one of four seasonal hirsute accolades that leads to the Beard of the Year in December, celebrates the coming of Spring and the growth of beards new and old.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said There is no question that John Brayford’s performance against Hull on Sunday will also be the key to whether he ends up as Beard of Spring winner on Easter Saturday as well

Vote Here

Beard of Spring list
Moeen Ali, cricketer
Jake Ball, rugby player
Stuart Broad, cricketer
John Brayford, footballer
Peter Coles, cosmologist
Oliver Duff, Editor, The I Paper
Guy Garvey, Elbow
Nick Higham, journalist
Richard Seymour, Guardian columnist and author
Petroc Trewlaney, broadcaster
Hank Wangford, musician
Bradley Wiggins, sportsman

Articles

Maria Miller, MPs expenses and Annual Parliaments

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2014 by kmflett

Maria Miller, MPs expenses and Annual Parliaments
The resignation of Maria Miller has once again focused issues of MPs expenses and, more broadly, how it is that elected representatives can be held accountable for what they get up to.

The original template can be in the 1838 People’s Charter, in many ways one of the foundation stones of British democratic practice.
The Six Points were:

1. A vote for every man twenty one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime.
2. The ballot —To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
3. No property qualification for members of Parliament—thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.
4. Payment of members, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the country.
5. Equal constituencies securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors,–instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of larger ones.
6. Annual Parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelvemonth; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.

From: http://www.chartists.net/The-six-points.htm

The Six Points are of course hardly perfect and that is not just with the benefit of historical hindsight.

Hindsight suggests that the exclusion of votes for women was inexcusable but in the context of 1838 it was a strategic not an in principle matter. The Chartists felt that getting adult male suffrage would be tough enough and an important first step to further extensions of the vote. It depends how you want to read British history but there is a good argument that they had a point.

However the criticism at the time was that the demands of the Six Points were too moderate, and indeed came largely from the less militant sections of the movement, which in the late 1830s [though not later] were to be found in London.

The Grand National Holiday [general strike] of August 1839 and the Newport Rising, a narrowly failed attempt at armed revolution in November 1839, suggest strongly that other strategies were available for winning the vote than the People’s Charter.
However the basic democratic demands of the Charter, around the franchise and secret ballot did find a strong political echo.
So strong in fact that all the Six Points became law during the Victorian period with the exception of the demand for Annual Parliaments.

The call for more regularly elected MPs long survived the demise of Chartism around 1860. The Social Democratic Federation was pursuing demands for Parliaments to be elected every two or three years in the 1880s and they continued to be part of the political landscape of radicalism and labour until around World War One.

What caused the demand to disappear is less certain. One might speculate that the proclamation of the Labour Party constitution in 1918 represented some kind of settlement in terms of what ideas were now ‘in’ and which were not, but the point suggests further research.

Even so I still think annually elected Parliaments are well worth considering.

Most other institutions from large Companies to trade unions held elections on an annual basis for most positions. It is recognised as an important part of democratic accountability

The argument against of course is based around the cost of holding annual elections and the upheaval of doing so meaning that politics would focus very much on the short term.

However costs can be controlled, if need by law, and it is not particularly clear that annual elections for Parliament would really make it any more short term in its perspectives and policy making than it already is in most cases.

Given the debates of the later Victorian period perhaps a Parliament elected once every two or three years would be something to look at initially. An alternative would be to have multi-member Parliamentary seats and elect a proportion of MPs every year.

Perhaps it might not work well, but are there many claiming that the existing system of Parliamentary democracy is doing the most effective job possible?

Articles

Campaigners say Paxman will face criticism at Edinburgh Festival one-man ‘beard show’

In Uncategorized on April 11, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
PRESS RELEASE
11th April
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
CAMPAIGNERS SAY PAXMAN WILL FACE CRITICISM AT EDINBURGH FESTIVAL ‘BEARD SHOW’

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman will face friendly criticism at a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival in August.

The BBC has reported that Paxman, currently clean shaven, will discuss beards and pogonophobia amongst other things.

The BLF says its supporters will be present to demand answers from Mr Paxman about why precisely he shaved off his iconic beard

BLF organiser Keith Flett, The suspicion remains that Mr Paxman, who is normally robust in dealing with criticism, shaved off his beard because of a whispering campaign from high level pogonophobes at New Broadcasting House. His Edinburgh Festival show provides an excellent chance for him to come clean about it

The Beard Liberation Front announces the Beard of Spring on April 19th

Link to BBC story on the Paxman show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26968913

 

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