The Ambridge Socialist. Yes! It’s Mrs Titchener

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2015 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

August 2nd CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

Yes! Its Mrs Titchener

While the pressure on Brian to retire continues, Pat and Tony have already done so. They have handed over the farm to Helen and Tom. There is a problem though because after this week’s visit to the Isle of Wight it is now Mrs Titchener… This leaves the way open for Mr Titchener to move in and sell the farm to Justin Eliot for warehousing and pocket the proceeds. Pat and Tony need to see a lawyer pronto

Meanwhile, Brian has seen a lawyer already. Adam has plans for Home Farm and Debbie backs him. However Brian, who has still not retired, is concerned about the financial impact of all this. He has been to speak with a lawyer to reconfigure the structure of the farm. Since Ruairi is now apparently 12 Brian only needs to hold out for another 5 years and he can appoint a successor and eject Adam. In the meantime, he is proposing a 60-40 share arrangement to Adam, so that the risk is spread. Whether Adam will walk instead remains unclear.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, it’s a band of warring relations in law.

Brookfield milking crisis

Pip is off to another acting role shortly and Roooth is still mostly Oop North. David needs someone to cover the milking at Brookfield. But who? Eddie, aside from banging his thumb, is otherwise engaged. So is Ed. Pip has drawn up a job description  for an agency worker but who in their right mind would work in proximity to David Archer without a bodyguard? Cameron’s flexible labour market has a way to go yet. Perhaps if David was to offer treble time things might look different…

A message from the Writer in Residence at The Bull

Readers may recall that Nicholas Lezard was recently voted Writer in Residence at The Bull. Unfortunately a plan to write an analysis of the importance of the vernacular poetry of Bert Fry has had to be put on hold. Comrade Lezard has explained that ‘the ethics of containing and ignoring Kenton’s embittered lunacy is using up all my moral bandwidth at the moment’. We hope Comrade Lezard will be back on glide path soon

In other news

Jolene and Kenton are looking at plans for a refurbished Bull. It will apparently be Gastro but locals will also be catered for. Sounds like The Ambridge Brewdog will be here before long then.

Charlie has discovered that Berrow Farm is making a loss. Titchener is in the frame. He is the only one who knows how the computer works…



EP Thompson’s Freeborn Englishman,Calais & producing your papers

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2015 by kmflett

In the Making of the English Working Class EP Thompson defined the perspective of the Freeborn Englishman:

freedom from absolutism (the constitutional monarchy), freedom from arbitary arrest, trial by jury, equality before the law, the freedom of the home from arbitary entrance and search, some limited liberty of thought, of speech and of conscience, the vicarious participation in liberty..afforded by the right of parliamentary opposition and by elections and election tumults.. as well as freedom to travel, trade, and sell one’s own labour.

His point was not that this (gender specific view- it dated from the early nineteenth century) represented a view from the left or the right particularly but that it did mean deeply held principles that Governments interfered with at their peril.

In the context of Calais the right to travel and sell one’s own labour seems particularly relevant. The Freeborn Englishman expected to be free to do what he wanted, within a relatively minimal framework of law, and expected the same for others too.

Nick Cohen makes something of the same argument in The Observer (2.8). He is right that Cameron’s Britain is heading towards a ‘produce your papers’ society where people must prove to the State that they have a right to be somewhere doing what they are doing. That is not the world of the Freeborn Englishman, something one might have thought the Conservative Party would be at least a qualified defender of. After all Cobbett was a Tory.




Aussie cricketer Mitchell Johnson joins Sideburns of the Year shortlist

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2015 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Aussie cricketer Mitchell Johnson joins Sideburns of the Year shortlist

Press Release 2nd August Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266



The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that after his performance in the Third Test at Edgbaston, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has joined the shortlist for the Sideburns of the Year 2015 with the third National Sideburns Day set for 10th August.

While Johnson is celebrated for his wayward bowling by England cricket fans in reality he is an effective and extremely fast bowler in most circumstances. He consistently takes wickets high up the opposing sides batting order at the start of innings

The event was originally held to mark Bradley Wiggins Olympic victory in 2012

The campaigners say that sideburns, sometimes known as mutton chops, and named after US Civil War General Ambrose Burnside were often worn by Victorian politicians

Bradley Wiggins reinvented the post-1945 tradition of sideburns from Elvis Presley to Noddy Holder and the late Alvin Stardust, turning them into something no self-respecting hipster would be without

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, we think Mitchell Johnson’s sideburns add an aerodynamic element to his bowling but they also make a significant visual impact on batsmen


The Sideburns Shortlist will go to an on-line public poll with the result announced on 10th August

The criteria is that a contender should usually have had identifiable sideburns for at least 30 days in 2015 but should not be wearing a full beard

Sideburns of the Year 2015

Stuart Broad, cricketer

Hugh Jackman, actor

Boris Johnson, publicist

Lemmy, musician

Nicholas Lezard, writer

Will Self, writer

Alexis Tsipras, politician

Duncan Weldon, BBC Newsnight correspondent


Trade Unionists say campaign for free entry to Highgate Cemetery growing

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2015 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Council

Press release August 1st contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Trade Unionists say campaign for free entry to Highgate Cemetery growing


Haringey Trades Council has said that a campaign to allow occasional reduced or free entry to the East Wing of Highgate Cemetery which among other graves has that of Karl Marx is gaining momentum.

At the moment visitors aged 18 or over have to pay a £4 charge. However representations have been made by some delegates to the South and East Region TUC that free entry should be allowed particularly to view Marx’s grave on the dates of his birth and death and on May Day.

The trade unionists say that while it is well understood that running and maintaining the cemetery is a costly business, that there is a wider public interest in allowing free entry on occasion

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett said, we are not about worshipping at Marx’s grave but its presence in Highgate Cemetery does mark his long association with London and north London in particular.  In these austere times £4 can be a lot of money to pay and allowing free entry, perhaps with a request for a donation if possible, would be a welcome move

Link to Highgate Cemetery


Campaigners say Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award 2015 expected to be a close shave

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2015 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 1st August

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266



The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that there is unprecedented interest in the Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award as five times winner Islington North Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has received the most Constituency nominations in the Labour leadership election

Corbyn was the winner of the original award in 2001 and while his beard may be a little more restrained these days, it has been a consistent presence on the Parliamentary backbenches for over 30 years.

In 2014 Corbyn got 46% of the vote beating Respect MP George Galloway (18%) by several beard lengths in an on-line poll, open to all.

Several hundred people cast votes in the 2014 on-line poll and to prevent any attempts at gerrymandering people were only allowed to vote once.

The Award goes to the MP or Peer whose hirsuteness has made the most Parliamentary impact in the public eye during the year underlining that beards are an increasingly powerful force in Parliament even with a largely clean shaven Government.

The 2015 Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award poll will open on 27th November with the publication of the 2015 shortlist with the winner announced on 11th December 2015

BLF organiser Keith Flett said, Jeremy Corbyn has told The Independent that there may be better beards in the Commons at the moment and with the unprecedented interest in the Award we expect the result to be a close shave later this year


Winners of the Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award

2001 Jeremy Corbyn

2002 Charles Clarke

2003 Robin Cook

2004 Frank Dobson

2005 David Blunkett

2006 George Galloway

2007 Jeremy Corbyn

2008 John Thurso


2009 Tom Watson

2010 Gerry Adams

2011 Jeremy Corbyn

2012 Jeremy Corbyn/John Randall

2013 Julian Huppert


Parliamentary Beard of 2014 Short List


Jeremy Corbyn [Labour, Islington North]


Stephen Crabb {Conservative, Preseli)


Frank Dobson [Labour, Holborn]


Paul Flynn [Labour, Newport West]


George Galloway [Respect, Bradford West]


Dai Havard [Labour, Merthyr]


Julian Huppert [LibDem, Cambridge]


John Randall [Conservative, Uxbridge & South Ruislip]


John Thurso [LibDem, Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross]


John Trickett [Labour, Hemsworth]


Does Labour risk a 1981 split?

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2015 by kmflett


According to an interview with Andy Burnham in The Guardian on 1st August Labour risks a 1981 split because some supporters of Jeremy Corbyn (but most definitely not Corbyn himself or his campaign team) are being nasty about other challengers for the Labour leadership.

Mr Burnham might care to recall the ancient thought about sticks, stones and being called names. What is happening is just the rough and tumble of politics though quite rightly Corbyn prefers a more comradely way of doing things. It really is best to preserve the energy for attacking the real Tories who are currently in Office.

Even so the SDP split as Dr David Owen reminded on Newsnight last week was not about name calling but about important policy issues such as Europe and NATO and nuclear defence. In other words whether one thought the SDP splitters were principled (I didnt) there were matters of principle involved that do not actually present themselves now

Its worth remembering that a bottom line reason for Labour’s 1983 poll defeat was not really any policies that then Labour leader Michael Foot may or may not have had but the 1981 SDP split from Labour. The SDP ran an alliance with the Liberals as the Social and Liberal Democrats for a bit and then in 1988 became the Liberal Democrats.

So how did that go? You may recall that the Liberal Democrats spent the last 5 years propping up Cameron and Co and ended up on 7th May 2015 with 8 seats. Such electoral disaster is beyond anything Jeremy Corbyn could ever achieve even based on the assessments of his detractors


Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely style icon of the summer of beards

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2015 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

press release                                               31st July


Contact keith flett                                            07803 167266





photo- Guardian, Getty Images

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn is set to be an unlikely style icon for summer 2015.

The campaigners say that the Corbyn look- open neck shirt, shoulder bag and controlled organic beard is setting the fashion with the exception of one group of people. Those Westminster male politicians who believe that someone can only be electorally popular if they wear a suit and shave twice a day are confounded by the Islington North MP’s support.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, the Corbyn look, best described as ‘hirsute informal’ is the big style hit of summer. Suits, ties and razors are being put away across the country as people pick up on the latest trend, the summer of beards



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