Articles

Traingate: Campaigners say Corbyn shaves Branson in the battle of beards

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Media release 24th August

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Traingate: Campaigners say Corbyn shaves Branson in the battle of beards

bransonbudget-2016-jeremy-corbyn

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that in the Traingate battle of the beards between Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Virgin boss Richard Branson there can be only one winner and it is not Mr Branson.

While Branson is one of the most well-known hirsute businessmen in the UK, Corbyn is six times winner of the Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award. Branson has never won an Award for his beard.

As importantly Branson has been tangentially associated with at least one instance of pogonophobic behaviour. In 2004 a Virgin West Coast Trains employee Mohsin Mohmed took the Company to an Employment Tribunal alleging he had been unfairly dismissed. One issue was that a Virgin manager had ordered Mr Mohmed not have to a beard of more than 4 inches in length.

While the Tribunal case was lost by Mr Mohmed who was dismissed for poor performance, the requirement to trim his beard was admitted.

The campaigners say that it is unlikely Branson had direct knowledge of the case but it does suggest that companies he owns may not be particularly beard friendly.

By contrast Corbyn is known to be a champion of the cause of the hirsute in Parliament

Beard Liberation Front organiser Keith Flett said, if we look at the wider issues behind Traingate Corbyn shaves Branson every time

Articles

Labour politics in August before Labour leadership contests

In Uncategorized on August 23, 2016 by kmflett

bennhol

Tuesday 16th August 1977 ‘Little bit of sunshine. Went shopping. The rabbit died’ Tony Benn Diaries

Articles

Campaigner’s back Welsh First Minister’s beard as ‘gravitas adding’

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Media release 22nd August

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigner’s back Welsh First Minister’s beard as ‘gravitas adding’

carwyn

Carwyn Jones before and after beard growth

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has backed the new beard of Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones as adding gravitas and additional beard power to proceedings in the Welsh Assembly at Cardiff Bay.

The campaigners say that with some limited exceptions such as Paul Flynn MP Welsh politics has been too clean shaven for too long and that Carwyn Jones’ beard represents a belated but very welcome recognition of the importance of beard power in politics

Beard Liberation Front organiser Keith Flett said, Carwyn’s beard is not yet at peak and we’d urge him to consider going the full Brian Blessed over the next few weeks

 

Articles

Campaigners express concern over pogonophobia in #thearchers

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

22nd August

Contact Keith Flett    07803 167266

CAMPAIGNERS EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER POGONOPHOBIA IN THE ARCHERS

grundy2

The Borsetshire branch of the Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, led by its long time President Joe Grundy, has expressed concerns about pogonophobia in the BBC’s reporting of events from Ambridge.

Last Thursday the BBC reported A-Level results in Ambridge including those of Josh Archer who got two Bs and a C.

There was a discussion between Josh and his father David, current leader of the Archers’ Dynasty, about whether he would take up his place at Felpersham University. Josh told David he had decided to defer his place for a year.

During the exchange the BBC reported the following dialogue:

David Archer ‘grow a beard and go travelling with a back pack..’

Josh Archer ‘me, grow a beard? I wish

It is understood that the local BLF branch is considering a protest if further instances of pogonophobic reporting take place.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, of course local branches of the BLF are autonomous but we fully support Joe Grundy in his concerns here.

Thanks to Hazel Potter

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist poll: is Joe Grundy right on poaching?

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist Poll

22nd August CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

Poaching. Is Joe Grundy right: the land is a common treasury for all?

grundy

Joe Grundy has been reminiscing about his life on the land part of which covered the entirely reasonable point that the land is for all and not just for the wealthy. This is of course includes the odd spot of poaching which bourgeois law deems to be illegal. Clarrie was at pains to point this out and to warn him not to pass on his thoughts on traditional country ways to young George. While Eddie Grundy took the point, sort of, Joe did not.

Of course as the Archers’ website points out much modern poaching is carried out not by poor rural dwellers like the Grundys but by criminal gangs who are happy to use violence against those who get in their way. This is different both in terms of scale and intent to what Joe Grundy was reminiscing about.

Was Joe right that the land should be a common Treasury for all?

Articles

Martin Jacques sounds last orders for New Labour

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2016 by kmflett

Martin Jacques sounds last orders for New Labour

mt

The former Editor of Marxism Today and in more recent times theorist on China Martin Jacques has written an interesting comment piece in The Observer (21.8). In it he sounds the last orders bell for both neo-liberalism and New Labour.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics?CMP=twt_gu

He writes a line that will have most spin doctors and simplifiers heading for a rest. Talking of what is called political ‘populism’ he notes that ‘it can be progressive or reactionary but more usually both’. It is the kind of nuance that doesn’t go down well in what passes for much political discussion today. Reality is complex, messy and not straightforward. Who knew?

Jacques is probably still best known as Editor of Marxism Today in its New Times period when he provided much of the theoretical justification for what became New Labour. I appeared quite regularly in its pages, I’m prepared to admit, but not because I was agreeing with them.

Many of those associated with the MT project have long since made clear that New Labour didn’t really turn out as they had thought it would.

Jacques Observer piece takes this further.

He argues that a key issue now across the world is rising inequality and that when in Office New Labour did little to turn that around. That means that a party that is certainly in part designed to protect and where possible advance the interests of the poorest in society is divorced from them politically.

He also looks at the rise of support for Trump and Sanders in the US and while arguing that New Labour is finished does not as many social media obsessives do fixate on Labour. He underlines that the Tories too are in crisis after Brexit.

Jacques argues that we are seeing a return of class and particularly the working class to politics but that this only weakly relates to left politics. Perhaps so but that is far too vague. What is the relation and how might it be strengthened to head off the right is the key point. Certainly not on Jacques analysis by pursuing the old New Labour or Neo-Liberal agendas.

I’m not sure either that Jacques is right to compare the present period to the 1930s, although it is of course a frame of reference that comes to my mind too (I’m 60). Comparing historical periods is fraught with problems and needs to be done with care.

But all that being said Jacques piece suggests directions of thought that are too little discussed. Perhaps he should revive Marxism Today.

Articles

Wiggins wins Beard of the Olympics Gold for Britain

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Media release 21st August

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Wiggins wins Beard of the Olympics Gold for Britain

bradley

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that Great Britain has won the ultimate Olympic accolade: Beard of the Olympics.

Sir Bradley Wiggins shaved the competition with 65% of the poll to win the Olympic Gold for best beard in Rio. Namibian road racer Dan Craven and GB badminton player Chris Langridge came second and third.

The Olympics has seen some famously hirsute medal winners including Mark Spritz in 1972 and Daley Thompson in 1984.

In Rio the beard has been a major feature.

The campaigners say that the beard not only adds gravitas to athlete’s performances but can also give an aerodynamic advantage.

Beard Liberation Front organiser Keith Flett said, GB have excelled in Rio and the Beard of the Olympics Gold is a crowning glory

The Competitors

Dan Craven, Namibia, road race

Rhys Howden, Australia, water polo

Chris Langridge, GB, badminton

William Satch, GB, rower

Bruno Schmidt, Brazil, beach volleyball

Louis Smith, GB, gymnast

Katsuyuki Tanamura, Japan, swimmer

Michael Tinsley, USA, hurdler

Sir Bradley Wiggins- GB, cyclist

 

 

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