Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Flett cheese: the historical politics of skimmed milk

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2018 by kmflett

Flett cheese: the politics of skimmed milk

Its one of those things that happens in historical research.

I was looking at why two cheesemongers rode with the Manchester Yeomanry at Peterloo on August 16th 1819 and I came across something called Flet or Flett cheese (the terms appear interchangeable).

I like cheese but as with beer I leave the making of it to others.

Details of the origins of Flett cheese remain relatively obscure. However it was certainly made in the late seventeenth and into the eighteenth centuries. Essentially it is cheese made from skimmed milk. A modern example of it is Single Gloucester, a great cheese although made only partially with skimmed milk. Historically it was made in Suffolk.

The idea several centuries ago was to skim the milk and use the rest for more profitable butter. The resulting cheese was hard (like cheddar) and appeared to be regarded as inedible. That is suitable for consumption by the poor who could afford nothing else.

The origin of the term Flet or Flett seems to be the process that took place to skim the milk. The unreformed House of Commons intervened to regulate the practice, successfully or not I have yet to discover.

Research in progress..



After Labour Live can Jeremy Corbyn retain his Hirsute Personality of the Year title?

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Press release June 17th

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

After Labour Live can Jeremy Corbyn retain his Hirsute Personality of the Year title?

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with Beard Week set to bristle off to a start on 25th June it has launched the annual search for Hirsute Personality of the Year.

Jeremy Corbyn won the accolade for the second time in 2017 and now faces a challenge to retain the title.

This year’s shortlist sees England World Cup football captain Harry Kane go face to face with England cricket captain Joe Root, with England manager Gareth Southgate also on the poll

The shortlist comprises well known beard wearers, focusing not just on their place in the public eye but the gravitas and impact their beard adds to their public image and appearance.

Unlike the Beard of the Year in December, those on the short-list don’t need to have a full-time beard. Rather they need to have been in the public eye while hirsute. Neither is the contest about who has the ‘best’ beard.

The winner of the on-line poll which closes at midday on 24th June will be announced at the beginning of Beard Week 2018 on June 25th. Other Awards that feature during the week, designed to promote a positive image of beards, are the Beard Friendly Sandwich of the Year, Hirsute Broadcaster of the Year and the Beard Friendly Employer of the Year.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett the big issue is whether Labour Live will boost Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of retaining his title or whether an England win against Tunisia will see Harry Kane shave him

Hirsute Personality 2018

Nominations list

Brian Blessed, actor

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Labour Party

Nick Dwyer, Creative Director, Beavertown Brewery

Harry Kane, England World Cup team captain

Gary Lineker, Football commentator

Joe Root, England cricket captain

Michael Rosen, broadcaster

Gareth Southgate, England football manager

Philip Wilton, cheesemaker


The Ambridge Socialist. Kate crisis: Brian Aldridge must do goat yoga to make amends

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2018 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist

65 Years of the class struggle in Ambridge

June 17th

Kate crisis: Aldridge must have daily goat yoga sessions to make amends

On the news that Brian is selling land immediately adjacent to her Yurt enclosure Kate  walked out and is staying in Borchester Travelodge (tax deductible) though the BBC later claimed it was the Kent cost. She later returned and said she wanted to sell her share in the business. Brian explained that thanks to a contract he had earlier devised this was not actually possible as such. There are now two ways forward:

1] Kate visits a lawyer

2] Aldridge signals his intention to sign up for daily goat yoga sessions.

Freddie hasn’t been arrested: yet

Russ (love me I’m a liberal) has finally carried out his threat to invite police on campus at Borchester College to search for drugs. Mr very slightly big Ellis has been searched but all police found were some old Archers scripts which it is thought he may have been smoking. This however is not yet illegal. Freddie was not apprehended and remains free to co-operate in further business activities with Ellis

Alistair: ACAS required

Borsetshires must tedious non-couple have started sessions with a mediator to work out the details of their divorce. Given Alistair approach this looks to be something that will require the services of ACAS.

In Other News

Roooth is having a birthday celebration at Home Farm organised by Jenny Dahling. Daveed is concerned it will be insufficiently proletarian.

Peppa Pig (who isn’t really a pig, do keep up) is worth ££££


Tiny Rebel, KeyKeg & CAMRA

In Uncategorized on June 17, 2018 by kmflett

Tiny Rebel, Keykeg & CAMRA

The world of beer writing sometimes struggles to recognise the existence of South Wales so you might be forgiven for missing an interesting story that appeared during the week involving the award winning Tiny Rebel brewery, CAMRA and the Great British Beer Festival

As ever James Beeson of the Morning Advertiser did have the story though:

Beeson later noted on social media that it was the most read story of the week in the paper

Tiny Rebel had tweeted that they were pulling out of the GBBF this year and not hence running a brewery bar or a beer tasting as planned.

The brewery wanted to promote some new beers on KeyKeg and CAMRA while happy to facilitate KeyKeg presented in line with CAMRA policy argued that the organisational exigencies of putting on an event at Olympia meant that only limited KeyKeg lines would be available but cask ones would be.

Neither side clearly want the issue around the GBBF to escalate into wider dispute which is sensible on both sides (not a word that applies that often in the beer world currently).

It does however raise some interesting thoughts if CAMRA feels able to live with a brewery that won the Champion Beer of Britain with Cwtch as recently as 2015 and is a significant producer of cask beer not appearing at the GBBF in 2018 because agreement cant be reached on how the brewery wants to present its beer (something which it was prepared to pay the festival for a stand to do)*

However there is another point made by CAMRA that is a little more concerning. Namely that festival organisers felt that keykeg had been ‘unreliable’ in recent years. KeyKeg of course has only been available as a format in recent years so one view of that statement might be that CAMRA is wary of this new-fangled KeyKeg thing not least perhaps because the second half of the word is ‘keg’.

The recent CAMRA conference which took decisions on revitalisation was not as progressive as I would have liked but it did take important decisions and move the organisation forward. As the above indicates however it remains work in progress.

Moreover the absence of one of the UK’s best known ‘modern’ breweries from the GBBF, while hardly a game changer in 2018 in itself, may be an indication that the relevance of the Festival as currently configured is waning. As Tiny Rebel also tweeted they will be doing plenty of other things in London this summer

*thanks to Megan Davies for reminding me of the importance of this point.


Ahead of National Beard Week, search for the Beard of the World Cup underway

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

16th June

Ahead of National Beard Week, search for the Beard of the World Cup underway

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that ahead of the annual National Beard Week that starts on 25th June, the campaigners have started a search for the beard of the football World Cup.

It is very early days but Australian captain Mile Jedinak, who plays for Aston Villa, has attracted much attention for his beard in the team’s opening match in which he scored though ended up on the losing side.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett, Beard Week is the only annual celebration of hirsute where we highlight the positive impact beards have in society. The World Cup will have a role in it this year

National Beard Week 2018

Monday 25th June: Hirsute Personality of the Year: the beard wearer who has made the positive public impact during the year. 2017 winner- Jeremy Corbyn MP

Tuesday 26th June: Beard Friendly Sandwich of the Year: the sandwich that goes in the mouth not the beard.

Wednesday 27th June: Hirsute Broadcaster of the Year: the broadcaster whose beard has had the most public impact

Thursday 28th June: Pogonophobe of the Year: the most notorious beard hater of the year

Friday 29th June: Beard Friendly Employer of the Year: the field grows wider each year

Saturday 30th June: Beard of Summer 2018: the third of the four quarterly seasonal Awards


The Rolling Stones in 1968

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2018 by kmflett

The Rolling Stones in 1968

Playing Cardiff 55 years after their first appearance in the Welsh capital on Friday night the Rolling Stones started with Jagger/Richards Street Fighting Man. A reminder of events a mere 50 years ago.

The song appeared on Beggars Banquet but was not released as a UK single in 1968. It was released in the US in August 1968 in the week of the Democratic Convention in Chicago where forces of the old left met the new left- violently. Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night refers.

Jagger said of Street Fighting Man:

Yeah, it was a direct inspiration, because by contrast, London was very quiet … It was a very strange time in France. But not only in France but also in America, because of the Vietnam War and these endless disruptions … I thought it was a very good thing at the time. There was all this violence going on. I mean, they almost toppled the government in France; de Gaulle went into this complete funk, as he had in the past, and he went and sort of locked himself in his house in the country. And so the government was almost inactive. And the French riot police were amazing.

Jagger had been on the March 1968 demonstration at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square against the Vietnam War. The song is reputed to be about Tariq Ali whose book about 1968 and after has just been updated and republished.

Jagger was however a very successful musician 50 years ago. In March 1968  he purchased the country house Stargroves, near Newbury in Berkshire, and  an apartment on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea.

Not much call for street fighting there.

The song however remains a fine summer song for street activism.



When did Bob Dylan reach ‘Peak Beard’?

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

15th June

Ahead of National Beard Week which starts on 25th June, the Beard Liberation Front has launched a search for when Bob Dylan reached ‘Peak Beard’.

The inspiration came after author and broadcaster Michael Rosen tweeted about when his knowledge of Dylan might become cultural capital. Rosen is on the poll for Hirsute Personality 2018 and you can vote for him here:

Dylan’s hirsute period stretches roughly from 1967 to 1992. Before 1967 he was invariably clean shaven and in recent years he has mostly appeared with a stylish moustache rather than a full beard.

The BLF has tracked Dylan’s beard through album covers but when he reached ‘Peak Beard’, that is his facial hair combined dialectically with his music remains a key question.

John Wesley Harding 1967

Nashville Skyline 1969

New Morning 1970

Desire 1979

Infidels 1983

Empire Burlesque 1985

Good As I Been to You 1992