Articles

The Ambridge Socialist: Titchener in the frame?

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2015 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

May 24th CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

Titchener in the frame?

With the appearance of Berrow Farm operative Stefan the net may be closing in on Rob Titchener. Stefan has whistleblown about information he has on the blocking of the culvert which Charlie became trapped in on the night of the Great Flood of Ambridge. It appears that this was done by someone under the directive of Titchener. Charlie has launched an inquiry and excluded Titchener from it.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, on the face of it Titchener is bang to rights. Except for the fact that on May 7th the Tories won the Election. He may expect promotion not dismissal. Stefan on the other hand will need to see if he has the £1200 for an Employment Tribunal case.

The Ambridge Socialist poll: will Titchener get off?

Ambridge Proletarian Wedding may lead to rise of Grundy Dynasty

Ambridge has regular weddings, although it should be emphasised that there is not much evidence of in-breeding. Most of these weddings are however for the well to do inhabitants of the village.

It is quite rare for there to be a proletarian wedding such as that between Emma Carter and Ed Grundy which is took place on Friday at St Stephens Church. The reception was at Bridge Farm.

It is even rarer for proletarian weddings in Ambridge to go well and we can expect the BBC to be searching out negative angles, although it avoided this on the day.

Readers of the Ambridge Socialist will recall that there was an argument over who should be Ed’s Best Man. His brother, gun wielding psycho gamekeeper Will, who used to be married to Emma declined, several times, but relented at the last moment. He even left his gun outside of the Church.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said we wish the happy couple well and hope that in time the Grundy Dynasty will replace the Archers as the ruling order in Ambridge

Nancy Banks Smith’s view in The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/may/19/a-month-in-ambridge-nancy-banks-smith-the-archers-grundy-wedding

Articles

Campaigners warn on Eurovision pogonophobia

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2015 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

 

PRESS RELEASE

23rd May

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

CAMPAIGNERS WARN ON EUROVISION POGONOPHOBIA

wurst

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has expressed concerns that pogonophobia may play a role in Saturday’s Eurovision contest.

The winner in 2014 Conchita Wurst had a magnificent beard and went on to win the Beard of the Year poll in December 2014 on the highest vote ever.

Yet Wurst’s beard was not popular with all, with follicly challenged Russian leader Vladimir Putin amongst others expressing disapproval.

The campaigners say the fear is that in 2015 informal pressure will be brought to ensure that another hirsute singer does not win.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, the test will be whether any Eurovision entry with hirsute performers makes into the top five. We’re ready to call out pogonophobia if not

 

 

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist Wedding Special: Wedding to see a new Grundy Dynasty

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2015 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

May 22nd CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

marriage

Ambridge Proletarian Wedding may lead to rise of Grundy Dynasty

Ambridge has regular weddings, although it should be emphasised that there is not much evidence of in-breeding. Most of these weddings are however for the well to do inhabitants of the village.

It is quite rare for there to be a proletarian wedding such as that between Emma Carter and Ed Grundy which is taking place this Friday at St Stephens Church. The reception is at Bridge Farm.

It is even rarer for proletarian weddings in Ambridge to go well and we can expect the BBC to be searching out negative angles

Readers of the Ambridge Socialist will recall that there has already been argument over who should be Ed’s Best Man. His brother, gun wielding psycho gamekeeper Will, who used to be married to Emma, has declined. Several times.

However after the BBC had a word, he has agreed to do it and he wont take his gun into Church either. Probably

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said we wish the happy couple well and hope that in time the Grundy Dynasty will replace the Archers as the ruling order in Ambridge

Will Emma and Ed start a Grundy Dynasty to replace the Archers?

Nancy Banks Smith’s view in The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/may/19/a-month-in-ambridge-nancy-banks-smith-the-archers-grundy-wedding

Articles

Anti-Austerity protests set to come to Haringey on 23rd May

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2015 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Union Council

Press Release 18th May

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

ANTI-AUSTERITY PROTESTS SET TO COME TO HARINGEY

Haringey Trades Union Council has said that it is asking local trade unionists to support an anti-austerity protest set for Wood Green on Saturday May 23rd.

 

It is understood that protesters will gather outside Wood Green Library at midday to protest about the new Government’s plans for deep cuts in services and jobs.

 

The trade unionists says that while Mr Cameron has claimed he has a ‘mandate’ for Tory plans to introduce a 50% minimum turn-out and majority ‘yes’ vote for a legal strike ballot underline that the current Parliamentary electoral system is widely seen to lack something in terms of full legitimacy. The Tories got 36% of those who did actually vote on May 7th, and much less of the total electorate.

 

The Trades Council says that while no protest is spontaneous the anti-austerity demonstrations seen since May 7th in places such as Bristol, Cardiff and Sheffield have featured mostly people who are not the ‘usual suspects’ to be found at such events.

 

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett said, such protests by their nature are unpredictable. However while covering South Wales in my job as a national union officer over the last couple of weeks I have attended the Cardiff protests and been struck by the large numbers and by the comparative youth of many present. It looks like a new generation, post May 7th, starting to make their point of view heard. That can only be a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Articles

Lords Test: Battle of the Beards- Moeen v McCullum

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2015 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE

20th May

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

LORDS TEST: BATTLE OF THE BEARDS-MOEEN V MCCULLUM

moeenmccullum

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with the First Test of the summer underway at Lords on 21st May there is set to be a battle of the beards between England batsman and spin bowler Moeen Ali and Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum.

Moeen has a full on organic beard while McCullum has a more hipsterish style commonly seen in parts of London such as Shoreditch and Dalston.

However the campaigners say that it is not just about the style of the beard but the impact that it makes in each day’s play and in the match overall.

The BLF is running a poll to check support for the beards of Moeen and McCullum

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, A Battle of the Beards at a Lords Test is completely in the spirit of the game. Think WG Grace.

 

 

Articles

May 7th in historical context: not all doomed

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2015 by kmflett

May 7th and after: not all doomed

The result of the May 7th Election was not good news, particularly for those who are hit by the bedroom tax, benefit cuts and zero hours contracts.

There is a debate about how bad the news was. Some echo Private Fraser in Dad’s Army whose often expressed view covering many situations was to utter ‘we’re doomed, all doomed’.

That is going too far certainly not least because while Elections are an important way of changing things, organising, petitioning, demonstrating and taking industrial action can also have a significant impact.

Indeed since the Election large anti-austerity protests in London, Bristol, Cardiff and elsewhere have underlined that electoral legitimacy- claimed by the Tories- only goes so far in what many see as a broken political system.

This was the point made by the father of the now former Labour leader, Ralph Miliband in his book Parliamentary Socialism. Namely that Labour was obsessed about the first of those words but not unfortunately about the second.

In addition there are those, particularly supporters of what was once ‘New Labour’ who are determined to paint Labour’s performance on 7th May as bleakly as possible so that can shift the party way off to the right. We have heard a lot from them in the media over the last week.

Historically speaking the matter is more complex.

Seats won determine Parliamentary majorities while the number of votes cast is a crude but interesting measure of basis class politics.

In the 1959 Election which Labour lost it got 12.2 million votes. That defeat led to a period of soul searching about Labour’s direction. On May 7th Labour got just 9.3 million votes.

It is possible to argue that Labour is in long term decline, but that is equally likely to be true of the Tories. They got 11.3 million votes this time yet as recently as 1983 they totalled 13 million

Taken together both parties got less than 70% of the vote in 2015. Other parties such as the SNP, Greens and UKIP took significant shares of the poll as well.

Another argument is that Labour’s result was its worst since 1983.

1983 saw Michael Foot as Labour leader and a Manifesto that was dubbed ‘the longest suicide note in history’. Time moves on and much of it, for example on not having nuclear weapons, and controlling banks, would find much support now.

That said while in 2015 Labour ended on 232 seats, in 1983 it got 209 and after Neil Kinnock took charge in 1987 it achieved 229. In 1983 Labour got 8.4 million votes.

So bad as May 7th was for Labour it was not another 1983.

It is interesting to note that Labour lost just 3 deposits, underlining that of the major parties it retains the most widespread core support

It will be debated whether Labour can recover and if so in what form, or whether other left political formulations will develop, as Labour itself over took Lib-Labism a century ago.

The argument of neo-Blairites that Labour needs to be centrist (that is closer to the Tories) hardly fits the clear anti-austerity mood in Scotland. Nor does the idea that Labour didn’t appeal to those who are prospering or at least aiming to even in an austerity economy fit. Labour did well in London (it could have done even better) which is certainly the most prosperous part of the UK.

The refrain that Labour needs to distance itself from the trade unions, which occurs from time to time is back. Those who support that need to ask themselves where they think funding and activists are going to come from if that happens. Given it was the unions that founded Labour in the first place though, union members and activists might well ponder whether there are more effective ways of organising and funding political representation. It is a debate that should be had, and it should be had in the labour movement not the Murdoch media.

But the obsession of rich right-wing media owners with Labour’s and the wider lefts future, or lack of it as they would hope, should not allow our gaze to wander off the Tories.

When Blair won his first Election in 1997, the Tories achieved just 165 Parliamentary seats. Less than 20 years on they have formed a Government with a small majority. Yet the Tories are a party with an ageing membership, activist base and core support. David Cameron’s attempt to grapple with this, his so called ‘modern conservatism’ has long since gone out of the window.

Finally we should say something about one group that is doomed at least in the format it has pursued over the last 10 years or so- the LibDems. Since they failed to split when Clegg backed the Tories, as they did in the 1930s when Liberals joined the National Government, the electorate has done the job for them. They now probably have a generation at least to ponder whether they are anything but history.

 

 

Articles

Flower Show: Going to Chelsea now costs up to £99

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2015 by kmflett

The Socialist Gardener

Press Release                       18th May contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

FLOWER SHOW: GOING TO CHELSEA NOW COSTS UP TO £99

weeds

The Socialist Gardener, the occasional organ of socialist gardeners, has urged people to avoid the Chelsea Flower Show, describing it as tending too much towards a celebration of gardening for the wealthy rather than developing interest in matters horticultural.

This is reflected in a significant hike for ticket prices this year.

 ‘Ordinary’ people- members of the public- are only allowed in for the final three days of the Show and even here these are likely to be mostly the more well to do. All Day tickets now cost £99 a head on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday up from £58 in 2014 . People who employ gardeners or who engage designers to landscape their gardens are probably more likely to attend than those who garden for themselves.

The irony is that RHS membership not only brings the cost of entry to Chelsea to more manageable levels but also gives entry to other gardens around the country that do focus on  more plebeian gardening activities.

While the Flower Show raises money for charity and showcases some important developments in horticulture, the campaigners say that it remains to a significant degree part of the London social season for the haves rather than the have nots

Editor of the Socialist Gardener Keith Flett said, ‘The RHS does useful work around the UK but at Chelsea gardening can be a way for those who still have any money after 5 years of austerity to show off. Meanwhile public parks are being neglected and spending on them drastically cut back. It’s time for a move towards people’s gardening. We say tax the rich gardeners and use the money for parks and allotments.

The 2015 Manifesto for a Socialist Garden

  • We demand that the Government shows it is really a ‘one nation’ administration and launches a massive programme of investment in public parks and provision for allotments so that all may enjoy the pleasure of gardens and gardening
  • We believe in the right to roam over the gardens of the rich
  • We support the nationalisation of the land and the creation of public parks and gardens as a matter of priority
  • We believe that real gardeners should eschew the use of garden centres. If you need a new plant, simply liberate it from the garden of a wealthy neighbour.
  • We support the hop family as the ultimate in grass roots garden plants
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