The Ambridge Socialist: Farmers, will Johnson visit Ambridge?

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2019 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

Reporting on the class struggle in Borsetshire

November 17th#

Tony and Joy: Dream Team

At the Godmother’s birthday celebrations at The Bull, Tony has bonded with Joy and briefed her on the ruling Archers Dynasty in Ambridge no doubt warning her, to take care out there. However it maybe that Tony and Joy are both so boring that a new dream team has arrived.

Farmers: will Johnson visit Ambridge?

A farmer Oop North has appeared on social media criticising Johnson and all of his (lack of) works. The Ambridge Socialist wonders whether Johnson will risk a visit to Ambridge to speak to a more compliant farmer? If he does he can be assured that the Ambridge Socialist will organise the booing for him.

Justin demand a ‘makeover’ of The Bull

Justin has demanded that Lillian promote a makeover of The Bull. The Ambridge Socialist understands that what Elliott has in mind is the opening of Ambridge Wetherspoons which will of course be named after him as a significant local figure.

Russ has a new art exhibition

Russ has opened his latest art exhibition at Lower Loxley, a pre-Xmas affair. The Ambridge Socialist culture correspondent has noted that some basic elements of socialist realist art are lacking.

In Other News

Jill has hurt her wrist

Peggy has avoided a scam

Will is moving house



The Hobsbawm’s cat: update

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2019 by kmflett

More details of the cat which decided to live with Eric and Marlene Hobsbawm, Ticlia has emerged in Marlene’s newly published biography Meet in Buenos Aires:

Marlene Hobsbawm writes of the cat:

She just waltzed into our lives one day and none of us wanted to part with her. We put a notice on a lamp post outside, but nobody claimed her. We decided on the name of Ticlio, after the highest pass in Peru, though when I had taken her to the vet it turned out that she was a female and her permanent name became Ticlia. She was a most handsome tabby cat with four snow-white patches on her nose, chin, neck and paws. She had a good character and was not difficult- although she hated laughter, which was a hoot, and was easily annoyed by recorder playing. She knew Eric was the important one because he made the least fuss over her. Ticlia was loved by us all- she never got lost and was with us for fifteen years.

It is not revealed however whether she joined the Communist Party or read the Morning Star


Prince Andrew & the British tradition of anti-Monarchism

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2019 by kmflett

The British Tradition of anti-Monarchism

The current discussion about what Prince Andrew may or may not have done in his friendship with a convicted sex offender should remind us that the Royal Family have not always been popular.

A tradition of republicanism in Britain, whether defined on the left or the right, is difficult to pin down and mostly very much a minority trend. However sentiments of anti-monarchism have often been popular and sometimes part of the political mainstream.

We need only think back to the death of Princess Diana in 1997 to see all of these trends very much in the modern political mix.

Yet historically Britain- or more strictly given the date, England- can claim to have been first in the anti-monarchy stakes. It was after in Whitehall on 30th January 1649 that King Charles 1st had his head cut off and a Commonwealth under Cromwell was created. It lasted only to the restoration in 1660 and the work of modernisation had several more turning points from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to something which almost was a revolution, the 1832 Great Reform Act.

It is difficult to sustain an argument that a genuine anti-monarchist tradition can be directly traced back to 1649, although if one looks at the efforts to ignore or play down the history of Cromwell and the New Model Army in many places in England- particularly churches and castles-it is obvious that the ruling class have never quite forgotten the significance of that day. Its equivalent in France is a national holiday. Not here.

Anti-monarchism was certainly alive in the early nineteenth century with the Queen Caroline affair and the wider traditions of republicanism was given a huge boost by the revolutions of 1848 across Europe.

It was this that sparked the left Chartist leader George Julian Harney to start his Red Republican journal.

The historian Antony Taylor makes the point that while it is often difficult historically to find a coherent and unified republican tradition the anti-monarchist movement is better defined and more popular.

In the anti-monarchist mind it was not the principle of a monarchy as such that was the problem but the behaviour of individual monarchs, how much they cost, and the whole aristocratic edifice of wealth and privilege that went with them.

In other words it was less an overt programme for political change and more a class movement, seeing the monarchy as a symbol of an unequal and divided society.

The popular critique of monarchy was an extension to the hatred of a society based on patronage and favour, the very real practice of Old Corruption.

As a mobilising political programme this had real strength long after the 1832 Reform Act and arguably up to the reform of the House of Lords in 1911 at the least. A focus on opposition to the aristocracy, including in practice the monarchy, united Fabian socialists and popular Liberals.

Reynolds’s the popular mass circulation radical working-class paper of the second half of the nineteenth century- it sold 350,000 copies a week in the 1870s- had anti-monarchism and stories relating to scandals about the Royals as a cornerstone of both its Editorial policy and its success in attracting a huge readership.

Papers more directly associated with the Labour tradition as the century drew to a close were more audacious and more politically direct still. The Clarion published, and gloried, in lists of aristocrats injured in hunting accidents.

Certainly historically anti-monarchism has been a significant feature of the British political landscape and Prince Andrew may, rightly, spark a revival


Boris Johnson & cats: the truth

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2019 by kmflett

While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is known to have a cat El Gato, the truth about Boris Johnson and cats has yet to be an Election issue.

In perhaps the definitive book about Johnson, Sonia Purnell’s Just Boris, she notes that when he moved to Islington in 2004 with his wife Marina Wheeler he refused to have a cat.

She writes ‘Boris believes that cats in particular, are a ‘sure index of unsatisfied human cravings’.

Exactly what that means we might speculate but it clearly means that Johnson is an Ailurophobic.

Can such a man be fit to share 10 Downing St with Larry the cat?


London Living Wage & craft beer

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2019 by kmflett

Its been Living Wage week, when the new annual rates for the Living Wage are announced.

It is for London £10.75 an hour (the minimum wage is £7.70)

I think it would still be quite a struggle to live in London on that (but I inhabit a very different employment strata) but it does at least address the issue of low pay.

When Johnson was Mayor of London he was in favour of paying the LIving Wage, although obviously he did absolutely nothing about making sure it happened.

A particular focus as I enjoy drinking craft beer are the large number of craft beer breweries in London.

People are sometimes rather taken aback when they learn of the hours, pay and working conditions in some of these breweries, which promote an image of themselves as modern and progressive while being distinctly Dickensian when it comes to their workers.

But numbers do pay the living wage and that deserves to be publicised and promoted.

Earlier this week I dropped by the Pembury Tavern in Hackney which is owned by the Five Points brewery over the road. Both are Living Wage employers and the pub has had a week of promoting the beers of other breweries who do the same.

There is something decent about enjoying a beer from a brewery where you know those who have produced it are also decently paid.

Let’s hope more breweries take the hint.


Can Strictly’s Rylan Clark-Neal shave Jeremy Corbyn for lead position on Beard of the Year poll?

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2019 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

16th November

contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Can Strictly’s Rylan Clark-Neal shave Jeremy Corbyn for lead position on Beard of the Year poll

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that the process of determining the Beard of the Year 2019 will take the next step on Friday 22nd November when the shortlist for the coveted Award is published

The on-line poll to determine the twelve finalists is now open and will close on November 21st

The final poll opens on November 22nd with the winner announced on December 28th.

This year for the first time the position taken in the vote for the shortlist will determine the order in which names appear on the final vote.

At the moment co-host of Strictly’s It Takes Two, Rylan Clark Neal is shaving Jeremy Corbyn for the place at the top of the Beard of the Year 2019 poll.

The criteria for Beard of the Year is as follows:

The Award is NOT about people who grow beards in their bedrooms and post pictures of them on the internet

The Award IS about people with consistent beards in the public eye who promote a positive image of the hirsute

TV doctor Xand Van Tulleken and cosmologist Peter Coles currently at Maynooth University in Ireland shared the Award.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, before the Election on 12th December Jeremy Corbyn has another vote to win. Can he take top place on the Beard of the Year poll?

Beard of the Year longlist

Jurgen Klopp, football manager

Ben Stokes, cricketer

Philip Wilton, Tottenham cheese maker

Stig Abell, Editor, Times Literary Supplement

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader

Noam Chomsky, academic & activist

Ben Bellamy, Winner, Beard of Autumn 2019

Lenny Henry, comedian

Paul Mason, Winner, Scary Beard of Halloween 2019

Benjamin Zephaniah, poet

Michael Rosen, author & broadcaster

George Clooney, actor

Billy Connolly, performer

Idris Elba, actor

Prince Harry, Royal

Billy Bragg, musician

Rylan Clark-Neal, Strictly, It Takes Two

Bob Harris, broadcaster

Raheem Sterling, footballer

Alexei Sayle, comedian

Lowkey, rapper

Harry Kane, footballer


Beard Liberation Front calls for Labour Manifesto to commit to a Beard Friendly Britain

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2019 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Media Release

16th November

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Beard Liberation Front calls for Labour Manifesto to commit to a Beard Friendly Britain

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has called on the Labour Party to commit in its 2019 Election Manifesto to promoting a Beard Friendly Britain

The BLF is not standing candidates at the Election but is urging parties to pick up on its theme of a more beard friendly and tolerant country.

The campaigners say that with Labour looking to elect the first Prime Minister with a beard since 1902, it makes sense for the Manifesto to also commit the Party to making Britain a more Beard Friendly country.

Examples of measures that Labour could commit to in its Manifesto include a Beard Equality Act which would outlaw discrimination against the hirsute. Such legislation already exists in some US States so it is not as outlandish as Tory pogonophobes will no doubt claim

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, this is a once in a generation chance for a major political party to promote a more diverse and tolerant country by including in its Manifesto policies for a Beard Friendly Britain.

The Beard Liberation Front 2019 Election Manifesto will be issued early next week, following a policy review this weekend