Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Campaigners defend Welsh Secretary after ‘pathetic starter beard’ jibe

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 18th July contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners defend Welsh Secretary after ‘pathetic starter beard’ jibe

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has defended the new Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb’s beard after jibes were made at a meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee of MPs on 16th July.

Veteran organic beard wearer Newport MP Paul Flynn argued that Mr Crabb’s beard was of the ‘pathetic starter’ variety and might not meet a British standard for beards. Mr Flynn did however go on to congratulate Mr Crabb for being the first Tory Cabinet Minister with a beard since 1905.

The campaigners say that when it comes to beards they firmly believe that it is a matter of ‘anything goes’ from the designer and hipster beard to the full organic kind. There is a broad dividing line in the stubble area- anything less than the beard worn by Clint Eastwood in numerous Spaghetti Westerns doesn’t really count.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, Paul Flynn is one of the great organic beards and a regular contender for Parliamentary Beard of the Year, but he is being a little harsh on Stephen Crabb’s beard. As Mr Flynn himself notes the first Conservative beard in Cabinet for over a century is something to be broadly pleased about. It is progress

Link to BBC report


Hirsute urged to follow guidelines to protect beard in hot weather

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2014 by kmflett

Hirsute urged to follow guidelines to protect beard in hot weather

Beard Liberation Front
17th July
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers which campaigns against beardism, has issued advice to the hirsute to take special care of their beards during the current hot spell.

BLF organiser Keith Flett said, There is no need to fully shave off the beard in the UK during hot temperatures. However when in Algiers in 1882 Karl Marx had a full beard trim, as opposed to pruning, and exceptionally this is also permitted until the end of July

The campaign group says that after a lengthy period of moderate weather, a change to hot temperatures can mean that the beard is unused to the conditions and follicles may dry out and wither unless precautions are taken

Guidelines for maintaining the Beard in hot weather
•If the beard is above six inches in length moderate summer trimming may be in order, following the guidelines set by Marx in 1882
•If the beard starts to over heat immersing it in the freezer cabinet of the nearest supermarket will provide an instant remedy
•Hand held fans may also be used to ventilate the beard
•If the beard starts to dry out in the heat and follicles become brittle immersion in a pint of craft beer will moisturise and nourish the beard


Campaigners say Crabb in Cabinet should promote MPs bristling with hipster beards

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press release 17th July contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
Campaigners say Crabb in Cabinet should promote MPs bristling with hipster beards

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that the promotion of Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb to the Cabinet in Mr Cameron’s reshuffle this week has raised the question of why there are so few hirsute politicians.

While the Prime Minister was critical of middle aged white men in his reshuffle he failed to note that they also invariably wear suits and are clean shaven.

Even the LibDems, traditionally the Party of beard wearers, are bereft of facial hair at the most senior levels.

Labour does have a good representation of hirsute MPs but again very few at the top level.

The BLF says that now there is an MP with a beard in a predominantly Tory Cabinet- the first since 1905- it is time for other politicians to embrace a more diverse appearance and throw away the shaving brush

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, hopefully the Election next year will bring the first MP with a hipster beard. At the moment Julian Huppert who sits for Cambridge, and who won the Parliamentary Beard of the Year poll 2013 is the closest we get

Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph on political beard fashions


Haringey trade unionists say good news on jobs must be sustained

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Council
Press Release 16th July
c/o Union Office, St Ann ’s Hospital, St Ann ’s Rd, Tottenham N15

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266;
Trade Unionists say good news on jobs must be sustained
Haringey TUC, the local wing of the TUC in North London has welcomed today’s employment figures which show a reduction of 400 in those claiming JobSeekers Allowance since last month in Tottenham.

The jobless total of 4,410 remains the highest in London, but is also at its lowest since the crash of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 started a worldwide financial crisis.

The trade unionists say the issue now is whether the jobs recovery can lead to sustained economic improvement. While Tuesday’s RPI increase was at 1.9%, the average rise in wages over the last year has dropped to just 0.3%

Haringey TUC has been campaigning to make sure employers in the Borough pay at least the London Living Wage of £8.80 an hour.

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett said June’s employment figures for the area underline why the TUC’s ‘Britain needs a pay rise’ campaign is so well timed. Economic recovery won’t be sustained unless the jobs that are created are decently paid ones

He added the impression remains that while the well-off continue to do very nicely many of the rest of us struggle to get by. Aside from being politically wrong that is not sound economics either


Campaigners set to permit beard trimming in hot weather for only 2nd time

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press Release 16th July Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that for only the second time in its history it is permitting supporters to trim their beards as temperatures in parts of the UK are set to rise into the high twenties centigrade in the second half of the week

The campaigners say that there is a precedent in beard history for the move. When Marx travelled to Algeria in 1882 just before the end of his life he asked a barber to shave his iconic beard. It is unclear why Marx took the decision, as the weather was, it appears, not particularly hot at the time

The weather in the UK is usually very different to that in North Africa but the principle of shaving the beard was established.

Routine pruning of the beard is normal for the hirsute because it encourages growth. However trimming aims to reduce the size and density of the beard altogether

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, In hot weather the wearing of facial hair is a balance. It will protect against sunburn but it may also cause the wearer to become over heated. Our advice is to trim follicles judicially, a little at a time on a daily basis until the correct balance is achieved

The campaigners say that the temporary dispensation to trim the beard will remain in force until the end of July 2014 when it will be reviewed.


Campaigners welcome first Tory Cabinet Minister with a beard since 1905

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has welcomed David Cameron’s decision to appoint Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb as Welsh Secretary in the new Cabinet.

Crabb becomes the first Tory Cabinet Minister with a beard since the 4th Earl of Onslow stepped down as President of the Board of Agriculture in March 1905*

The campaigners say that the Tory Party has had a reputation for pogonophobia, reinforced when John Selwyn Gummer was reputedly told by Mrs Thatcher to shave his beard off if he wanted a Cabinet seat. In more recent years there have been a few hirsute Tory MPs such as John Randall who has just signalled his intention to step down as MP for Uxbridge
BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, a beard in the Cabinet is long overdue and no doubt Mr Cameron will be secretly pleased that it is a Tory and not a LibDem beard. Many will hope that it means the Prime Minister is at last coming to understand a ‘no cuts’ message.

*thanks to the Conservative History Group @ConHistGrp


After the World Cup: why sport shows Peak Beard is a long way off

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2014 by kmflett

After the World Cup: why sport shows Peak Beard is a long way off

Earlier in 2014 some Australian researchers, having shown some pictures of men with beards and men without beards to some other people [mostly women] and asking which they preferred declared that we have reached Peak Beard and that beards are in decline.
Numerous media comment followed mostly along the same lines.

You only need to look at the World Cup in Brazil to see that the theory of Peak Beard was some way off reality.

Beards there have been in abundance. Moreover, although this is to a degree speculative since the reasons why footballers have beards- often for luck- are not always verifiable, the facial hair appears a bit more benign that it was in the 1970s when ‘caveman’ organic beards were quite common in football.

Why do footballers wear beards? Occasionally because they have just forgotten to shave. More often because they have decided not to shave for superstitious reasons.

There are two more positive reasons. Firstly as an image thing. The England cricketer Moeen Ali who possibly has the best cricket beard since WG Grace is known as the ‘beard that’s feared’. In an Ashes series against Australia decades ago England captain Mike Brearley grew an organic beard for the same reason. The beard makes an impact on opponents and suggests gravitas and beyond. Think of the moustache of Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson.

The other reason is one of aerodynamics. Facial hair can influence air currents and hence in sports where a ball is involved potentially its direction. This is of course scientifically a bit doubtful but no more so than Peak Beard is.

Not all sports have become hirsute.

Cricket certainly has, and it has moved on from an era when a former England captain Ray Illingworth reputedly sent a player from the field to get a shave, in essence to smarten up.

Yet tennis [Wimbledon had mostly stubble and Andy Murray lost the beard he often has with predictable results], cycling [where there are some beards and the aerodynamic impact of follicles is hotly debated] and golf [there will be few beards at the Open in Hoylake later this week, beyond possibly Jimenez, and if there are expect pogonophobic comments from Peter Alliss] remain mostly clean shaven.

Why is this? I can only advance a thought. It is in more ‘traditional’ sports where old fashioned discipline imposed from above [the blazers and clean shaven look] that beards are rare. In sports like football and cricket where that has broken down a bit, players are more individualistic and beards are part of that.

It is a mixed message if you’re looking for sporting success. The individualistic beard wearer may have flashes of brilliance but be a less than great team player. Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen often has a beard for example.

Again however this is only a thought, to be taken about as seriously as Peak Beard.
One thing is clear we are going to see a lot more beards, both organic and hipster, in sport in the period to come


The Routemaster at 60

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2014 by kmflett

The Routemaster at 60
I am not a bus anorak. I have never felt the need to jot down numbers of buses in notebooks or anything like that.

Even so as a Londoner I use buses every day when I am in the Capital [which is more often than not] so I have some interest as a user.

Thanks to my partner Megan for making me get off a one person operated 259 bus and look at the bus rally in Finsbury Park which marked 60 years of the Routemaster.

According to Wikipedia, which may or may not be accurate, the first Routemaster was built in September 1954 and the last in 1968. The link to facts or otherwise of all things Routemaster is here:

There are two heritage Routemaster routes still operating in central London [reduced to one later this month] and I occasionally hop on one if it is going my way.

I am certainly a fan of the Routemaster and in particular of the 73 route which ran originally from way out West [Hammersmith and beyond] via Victoria to Tottenham Garage. These days thanks to Boris and TFL it goes no further than the Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington which is not perhaps exactly the end of the world.

Of course while the Routemaster was reliable and relatively speedy as it was conductor crewed, the modern world has overtaken it somewhat.

Firstly it is not low floor and so not accessible. That is absolutely not sustainable in 2014. I was not a fan of the original solution to this issue- the bendy bus- while Boris’s new Routemasters which are increasingly seen on London’s streets are simply not the design classic the 1954 bus was. Plus they cost a lot more in real terms and I’m not sure they work all that well. Much like Boris himself.

Secondly there are now more environmentally buses around and that is also an inescapable and important reality of modern life.

Even so the Routemaster was and is a design classic, a London icon in a way that anything designed by the current TFL and approved by Boris Johnson is very unlikely to be.

The Routemaster’s longevity and sustainability, despite the downsides noted above, is a tribute to when London Transport was a genuine public service run for passengers by decently paid crews who took pride in being public servants. Those were the days etc.


The Ambridge Socialist: Its the Supersh*t Highway: how can it be stopped?

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2014 by kmflett

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

It’s the Super Sh*t Highway. How can it be stopped?
At last the reason for Plan B has been revealed. It is to be a Super Sh*t Highway transporting muck from other farms to a second Diabolical Converter at Berrow Farm.

The issue is now posed as to how it should be stopped>

David Archer has a quite word with local MP Bufton Tufton
Local residents write to the Borsetshire Echo
A Save Ambridge demonstration at the next meeting of Borchester Land
Direct Action: an occupation of the next meeting of Borchester Land
An indefinite General Strike

Nothing to do with me
The ruling class of Ambridge is in denial this week. First Brian, while still on the BL Board has denied that the new Diabolical Converter is anything to do with him, and anyway, what’s wrong with it as its green energy. Meanwhile the Professor, a minority shareholder in Jaxx has been clear that he was powerless to stop it being taken over

The Parents come for dinner: read it here first
On Friday 18th July Rob Titchener’s alleged parents will be in Ambridge for dinner with Rob the Philanderer, Helen, Pat and possibly Tony. What do they know? Will the BBC report what they know? Rest assured, the Ambridge Socialist will

In Other News
Susan Carter likes Charlie
Jaxx has been taken over and Fallon has been sacked. We say: strike now
Jennifer’s new kitchen is at last operational but Brian hasn’t a clue how to make some toast
Roy has rescued Elizabeth [& Shula] from a horse….


England Cricket Team Beard Index: Trent Bridge Day 5 Update

In Uncategorized on July 12, 2014 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front
Press release 13th July contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

England Cricket Team Beard Index Update: Trent Bridge Final Day
The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has issued its third Beard Index of the England v India Test series for the England team.

Hirsute England players have only recently been a significant factor in the team’s performance but the campaigners say that facial hair on the pitch can have several, sometimes combined, impacts:

1] Beards can add gravitas and presence. Moeen is known as ‘the beard that’s feared’
2] Beards can influence aerodynamics both with bat and ball as a movement of the facial hair can cause subtle changes to air currents

Beard Index [combining factors 1 & 2] out of 10

Broad 9
Moeen 7
Plunkett 5
Prior 4
Bell 3

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, Stuart Broad’s beard is making a big impact in the First Test but so far it is not a decisive one and Moeen remains an outstanding example of hirsute cricket


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