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Cardiff Brewfest returns: the changing face of beer in the Welsh Capital

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2016 by kmflett

Cardiff Brewfest returns

golden

I don’t usually attend every day of a beer festival but the return of Cardiff Brewfest, held at the Depot in central Cardiff, did see Megan Davies and myself present on each of the three days it ran up to the August Bank Holiday.

One can only applaud Tiny Rebel and Otley breweries who are behind the event as well as all the breweries and others who made it, for me anyway, a very enjoyable experience.

The organisation can’t really be faulted with a good amount of space, seating and importantly food options as well as the beer.

Cardiff as a beer city is in transition from the relatively low strength pint drinking culture which reflects Wales’s industrial past of heavy industry, towards something, in part, which might be called ‘craft’ beer.

Brewfest had a good mix of cask and keg beer available and a good range of strengths and styles. Having something to attract the breadth of people’s personal drinking preferences is important. Not everyone likes sipping double IPAs and not everyone wants super-hoppy beers.  Both have their place alongside more traditional beer styles, which to be fair, I’ve had a good deal of over the past 40 years or so.

It was good to see both the established Cardiff based breweries there- Crafty Devil and Pipes- both with an excellent range of beer.

Tiny Rebel and Otley also had an impressive line up of cask and keg. I was pleased to see Otley’s imperial stout Odessa back on keg after a long break. More of that elsewhere but at 9.6% I was also glad that the glasses provided allowed for drinking in thirds of a pint (which I did more or less exclusively over the 3 days).

Beyond that there was an excellent range of breweries from around the UK. I was particularly interested to see sours getting drunk which I sense haven’t been too popular in Cardiff to date.

Whether there were enough people or how it worked commercially I cant say, I was there as a drinker.

I would say however that Brewfest should become an established feature of the Cardiff beer scene. It is doing a good deal to help transform how beer is understood and drunk in the City. But if you still prefer a pint of Brains Dark, why not? It’s a great beer when you can find it.

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Ambridge Socialist poll: is Titchener to blame for the performance of the Ambridge cricket team?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

29th August CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

Ambridge Socialist poll: is Titchener to blame for the performance of the Ambridge cricket team?

archers-cricket

The Ambridge cricket team remains in troubled times.

Earlier in the season it was unable to field a full team. PC Harrison Burns stepped in as captain which saw some improvement. However on 28th August the team lost to Wimberton amidst an argument about whether egg and cress or chicken piri piri sandwiches were most suitable at tea.

The Ambridge Socialist however believes that former star player and head of gamesmanship Rob Titchener is behind the crisis in Ambridge cricket.

Cricket is a game played as much in the mind as in the physical sense and Titchener has been needling key players. Indeed on Sunday a chat with Adam seemed to lead to him performing poorly on the field.

We ask: should Titchener be banned from Ambridge CC games?

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist Supplement: E.P Thompson & the moral economy of poaching

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2016 by kmflett

EP Thompson and poaching

eptwhigs

EP Thompson’s Whigs and Hunters is a book primarily about the battle between Government and others, mostly well to do, over who had the right to hunt game, particularly deer, in Royal Forests. The book focused on the 1723 Black Act which made such activity a capital offence.

Thompson made clear however in the Making of the English Working Class that the idea of what was a crime under the criminal law and what the ‘freeborn Englishman’, essentially the working poor, believed to be a crime were rather different.

He noted that some matters officially regarded as crimes were ‘actively condoned by whole communities-coining, poaching, the evasion of taxes (the window tax and tithes) or excise or the press-gang’ (The Liberty Tree).

The priority of offences in rural areas was also indicated by Thompson, quoting  the Lib-Lab MP George Howell(1833-1910):

Methodism was a ‘shocking offence in those days in many villages, especially Dorset and other West Counties. Indeed, next to poaching, it was the gravest of all offences’.

For Thompson this fed into a wider moral economy. This was the principle that the poor should not be ground into the dust and into total poverty. Rather there were social obligations that the wealthy and those who made the law had to make sure that staples like bread were both available and at a reasonable price. These principles rested in common law and were from time to time enforced by magistrates.

Were the Grundy’s ever to appear in Court for poaching one hopes that an enlightened magistrate, having regard to history, would simply admonish them.

Link to the current issue of the Ambridge Socialist

https://kmflett.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/the-ambridge-socialist-83-back-joe-grundy-on-poaching-as-the-right-of-the-poor/

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The Ambridge Socialist: 83% back Joe Grundy on poaching as the right of the poor

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

20 August CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266

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

Poaching: we defend Eddie Grundy

poachers

Eddie Grundy has been in trouble this week with Ambridge’s chief forelock tugger, his son Will. Will organises the shoot for the rich and powerful of Borsetshire and beyond. On Wednesday he found evidence of poachers in one of the feeds he had set up for the game birds. The evidence pointed to his father and, sure enough, visiting the Grundy’s barn Will found two pheasants.

Most people would say, so what? They would not be missed and while it is certainly an offence, Eddie Grundy made a good defence of the traditional rights of commoners to take a small number of birds as a sort of Ambridge moral economy.

That didn’t go down well with Will, obviously, or with Clarrie who at least officially tends towards the conservative.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, we back Eddie Grundy. He did no real harm and more importantly stood up for a vision of the rural economy that suggests the rich shouldn’t have it all

83% back Joe Grundy on poaching as the right of the poor

In this week’s Ambridge Socialist poll 56% backed Joe Grundy’s defence of poaching as a traditional right of the rural poor. A further 28% believed such activity amounted only to foraging. 17% believed that poaching is wrong. It is thought this is the view of the Rob Titchener is Innocent Ok campaign.

In Other News

Justin Elliot has appointed Titchener as Estate Manage for Damara. Titchener is in the process of entrapping a new victim, Charlotte, as a nanny for Henry. The Ambridge Socialist has e-mailed her some of our recent issues.

 

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Campaigners say warm weather promises early start to conker season

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2016 by kmflett

pCampaign for Real Conkers

Against bans on conker playing

Press Release August 27th Contact Keith Flett, 07803 167266

Campaigners say warm weather promises early start to conker season

conkers

The Campaign for Real Conkers, the group that opposes bans on conker playing, has said that warm summer weather means one of the earliest starts ever a conker season this year. Traditionally the season gets underway on August Bank Holiday Monday but it is usually several weeks into September before sufficient conkers have fallen to allow games to start.

In 2016 trees in many areas have excellent conker crops and recent winds have seen handfuls fall already.

The campaign believes that conkers is a game that is free to all play and should also be free of rules and regulations whether imposed in contests or petty bureaucrats who argue wrongly that playing conkers is in some way dangerous.

Campaign organiser Keith Flett said, 2016 looks like being a bumper year for conkers and a further chance for the traditional game to fight back against screen based attractions.

The Campaign for Real Conkers promotes free for all conker playing across the UK an alternative event to the World Conker Championships on Sunday October 9th where it encourages people to have a go at playing conkers without the need for rules, regulations and teams.

Where We Stand

The CFRC believes that conkers is one of the few sports that can be played for free. All that is required is a conker and some string.

It is opposed to championships, rules, regulations and commercial sponsorship.

It seeks to encourage young people to play conkers. It should not be the preserve purely of those of mature years

Articles

A brief guide to the Letter to the Editor in the age of social media

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2016 by kmflett

A Guide to Letter Writing in the age of social media

letters

In the age of social media (which obviously I’m fully alert to, partly because it’s my job) is there still space for old fashioned letter writing and letters to the editor?

Certainly there is. The letter for publication (let alone the letter for other reasons which I also touch in below) remains an important part of effective communication.

The range of outlets is now less but the letters pages of publications where they exist remain standard bearers for reasoned discussion and disagreement, unlike below the line comments. Moderators do their best but letters’ editors are more effective.

As someone who honed my letter writing skills, such as they are, writing standard-ish letters in what was then a civil service department [long since privatised] I can offer a brief guide to letter writing:

1 Don’t write a letter at all if speaking someone face to face is possible. If it isn’t consider telephoning them and then summarising anything significant in a subsequent letter, or if you prefer e-mail.

2 Keep letters brief and to the point. Try not to make too many different points in one letter. If need be send separate letters.

3 The English language is a living one so a certain amount of flexibility with grammar and spelling may be OK. However basic spelling errors or rambling and never ending paragraphs aren’t

4 Letters are, mostly, of the moment. Respond as quickly as possible unless it really is a long term matter [for example, pensions]

5 Humour is not appropriate in official letters [because not everyone has a sense of humour..] but may help in personal ones

6 These days letters do not need to be physically written [my hand writing is illegible] although a hand written note can add a personal touch not available via e-mail

7 Don’t use management speak or academic phrases unless you happen to be writing in a specific context where they are accepted and understood. If your letter can’t be understood it is not doing the job it should do. Probably…

8 A tweet in particular may be a substitute for a short letter but the tweet is of the moment, a letter while ephemeral still has a longer potential viewing/reading life.

9 A Facebook post will reach the audience of your choice but thanks to algorithms, unpredictably so

10 Above all, if you don’t write letters to the editor, give it a go. Particularly if (unlike me) you are not an old white bloke in a jacket & trousers.

 

Articles

The Ambridge Socialist poll: poaching- a crime or the moral economy of the rural poor

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2016 by kmflett

26th August contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

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

Poaching: a crime or the moral economy of the rural poor?

pheasant

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?

 Poll closes Midnight on 27th August
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