Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Hirsute urge: give up shaving for Lent

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE            10th February

Contact Keith Flett      07803 167266


Embedded image permalink

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with Lent starting on 10th February it is the ideal opportunity for people to give up shaving

The BLF says that a beard grown between now and March 24th, Easter, can add significantly to the diversity of British life.

The Lent beard is a long religious tradition which in recent times has crossed over into secular fashion as well.

The BLF is not religious though it respects those who grow Lent beards for that reason. However the pre-Easter beard also has a place in British folk custom, with the facial hair representing the new growth of Spring to come.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said it is the best time of year to grow a beard as Spring blossoms so do beards. It is time to revolt into style and grow an organic beard for Lent. I personally will not be shaving during Lent, or pruning my beard in that period

Notes for Editors

On February 14th the BLF announces My Hairy Valentine, the sexiest beard

On March 1st the Beard of Wales 2015 is announced


Haringey trade unionists bring solidarity to junior doctors

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2016 by kmflett

Haringey Trades Union Council

Press Release 10th February

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266;


Embedded image permalink

Ceri Williams

Haringey Trades Union Council brought solidarity to striking junior doctors, members of the BMA, at St Ann’s hospital in Tottenham today. They were joined by community campaigners and by a local café owner who brought pickets hot drinks

 Action like that taken by junior doctors might become more difficult under the Government’s Trade Union Bill currently in Parliament and Haringey TUC, together with Tottenham Labour Party and Tottenham MP David Lammy are holding a rally against the Bill as part of the TUC’s Heart Unions Week. It will meet by the market stalls in Tottenham High Rd N17 at 11am on Saturday

The trade unionists say that the junior doctors are taking action as a last resort not only to protect their own working conditions but also to protect an NHS that works to serve ordinary people

Haringey TUC Secretary Keith Flett said, no one likes taking strike action and perhaps particularly dedicated professionals like junior doctors but when faced with the intransigence of a Health Secretary like Jeremy Hunt, they have no choice. Hopefully the public support for today’s action will lead to an agreement that will protect the NHS, even if it does spell the end of his career.







Fire festival underlines potential for craft beer

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2016 by kmflett

Firefest underlines potential for craft beer


An industrial estate on the outskirts of Caerphilly your idea of a good night out on a wet Saturday in February? No, mine neither.

But preconceptions are meant to be challenged and so with partner Megan I made my way last Saturday to the annual Fire Festival at Celt Brewery in Caerphilly.

It probably helps for those of a certain age that there is a Premier Inn within easy walking distance (yet again unaccountably there was no sign of Lenny Henry) so there is no need to worry about how to get home (though coaches are laid on) or needing to arrive or leave at specific times.

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that Caerphilly is not exactly a name that springs to mind when craft beer is mentioned (or cheese either sadly. Proper Caerphilly is still made but not in the town that gave it its name).

Of course Celt have gone some way to challenging that both by producing a standard range of very drinkable beers (for example Silures their session ipa is good and widely available)- an important basis for any decent brewery- but also by brewing a range of other beers including sours and fruit beers.

Those beers may not always come off, or be to my taste, but they are certainly always worth a try and sometimes very good indeed.

The Fire Festival coincides with a Pagan calendar celebration of the first signs of the coming of Spring. Given that storm Imogen followed on, I’m not quite sure, that this was right, but the idea is a good one anyway.

So the warehouse and adjacent space at Celt were given over to brewing demonstrations, talks, a fire-eater  and what the judiciary sometimes refer to as repetitive beats. It was busy and not just with beard wearers from North London like myself. There is clearly a lot of local interest (and it was bigged up on local radio) and that is an important bottom line.

There was of course beer and interesting and well-chosen it was. Breweries included Northern Monk, Chorlton, Crafty Devil, Waen and Wiper and True. It was mostly keg with some cask beer (fair enough for a one night event) and it was served in halves.

It was also a good mixture of the strong and the session in terms of strength unlike the forthcoming commercial beerfest I noted advertising ‘more 6% plus beers than ever before’, as if simply drinking to oblivion was the order of the day.

South Wales is still overwhelmingly a pint drinking culture so the serving measure and range of strengths were important thing in themselves.

And there was of course food both from the excellent, hirsute, Charcutier (the chorizo hotpot was excellent) and the increasingly well regarded Dusty Knuckle Pizza.

Frankly if this event was held in Hackney you’d see coverage of it in the national media. As it is, word has to be spread in other ways and formats. Perhaps that is no bad thing.



Heart Unions with David Lammy, Tottenham Labour & Haringey TUC 13th Feb 11am

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2016 by kmflett

MP will be joining & the Haringey TUC on Sat morning to show our support to Trade Unions

This week (8-14) has been badged as ‘Heart Unions’ week by the TUC in a campaigning effort to oppose the Government’s Trade Union Bill, which is being debated again in the House of Lords this week.

A leaked Government letter has revealed that the Tories are having significant second thoughts on the Bill (but not anywhere near enough of them) so campaigning against it is very much worth while.

This Saturday 13th February join David Lammy MP, Tottenham Labour Party and Haringey TUC to show local support for trade unions and the work they do to support and defend working people.

We’ll be outside Santander in Tottenham High Rd (by the market stalls,near Bruce Grove BR) from 11am.

Bring yourself, bring a placard, bring a banner.

Defend our Unions


Superbowl is all about beards: but which side has the best beards?

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2016 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE  7th February

Contact Keith Flett      07803 167266

Superbowl is all about beards says Beard Liberation Front


The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with the 2016 Superbowl final set to take place beards or lack of them could again play an important role in the outcome.

The Red Sox have been famous for wearing beards but the two teams in this year’s game, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos a bit less so.

Beards in various forms are central to Superbowl culture. Panthers Linebacker Ben Jacobs grows a beard believing it brings luck and typically shaves it after the game.

In a late January games the Denver Beer Co bet their beards against Boston brewery Sam Adams over an NFL game and won, keeping their follicles.

The Broncos meanwhile market a beanie hat complete with beards

The campaigners say that the role of beards in Superbowl is not well understood as it is not obvious how they can directly influence play. However not only is a beard totemic- designed to both impress and distract the opposing side, it may also be a lucky emblem.

Organiser Keith Flett said We expect beards to be a big influence in the Super bowl final, and we confess to be being a good deal more knowledgeable about facial hair than about some of the finer points of the game.

The Beard Liberation Front announces My Hairy Valentine, the sexiest beard on 14th February




Ambridge Socialist poll: should Theresa May intervene on Titchener domestic abuse case?

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2016 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist 7th February

CONTACT KEITH FLETT 07803 167266 the real Borsetshire Echo: 65 years of class struggle in Ambridge

Campaigners call on Theresa May to intervene in Titchener abuse case


The Ambridge Socialist has called for Home Secretary Theresa May to intervene in the case of Ambridge resident Rob Titchener who has exhibited controlling behaviours towards his partner Helen.

The campaigners say that Borsetshire Police have failed to act under recent Domestic Abuse legislation. According to a BBC report this includes:

It could.. involve stopping someone from socialising.. dictating what they wear.

Ambridge Socialist Editor Keith Flett said, The Borsetshire Police only need to listen to The Archers to get evidence of Titchener’s behaviour yet they have failed to act. It is time for Theresa May to intervene and ask them to investigate if a crime has been committed

Just Giving page on Helen Titchener


In defence of Wetherspoons against Jay Rayner (up to a point)

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2016 by kmflett

In Defence of Wetherspoons (Again)


Jay Rayner’s Observer column on 7th February notes an FT survey that shows that Wetherspoons are now the largest purveyors of curries in the UK (on Thursdays, a tenner for a curry, side & drink). He points out that this is not a recommendation.

Indeed, here I am with the great beard wearer (former Beard of the Year). If I plan to go out for a curry, Wetherspoons will not be on my list of potential places.

Even so there are as I noted as long ago as 2012 things to be said in defence of Wetherspoons.

You can argue with some justification that they squeeze profit margins of smaller breweries (quid pro quo the beers get a wider market) by selling beers cheaply and they do the same to other pubs.

In attempting to say anything in defence of Wetherspoons and Tim Martin (he of the mullet hair style and UKIP-ish views on some things such as the EU) of course I am biased.

Along with Spurs and BBC television, Wetherspoons is one of Haringey’s greatest exports to the world. The original pub in conjunction with the long written out of history Andrew Marler opened in the late 1970s in Colney Hatch Lane in Muswell Hill. I was an early customer drinking beers such as Sam Smiths, Arkells and Greene King that had never made it to North London before.

Wetherspoons expanded and Haringey is littered with ex-Wetherspoons pubs, most not now actually pubs.

They have recently sold several other of their outlets in the Borough including the Gatehouse in Highgate, (where I doubt they could compete with other pubs) the Devonshire in Crouch End and the very long standing White Lion of Mortimer in Stroud Green

Even so the formula as it has evolved over several years is a successful one and the new Spoons at the top of Muswell Hill is proof of the point. It is a well situated and well-designed pub and yes I have both had a beer and eaten in there.

Cask beer is invariably sold- initially in a period when it was not so common as the force of the [old] keg tide was still something to be reckoned with and avoided. Food was also sold- all day [or initially in the period before pubs were open all day, during opening hours]. It may seem odd to younger readers but this was revolutionary.

Of course as Jay Rayner suggests the food is not great but it is usually perfectly edible and reasonably priced. More-over Spoons goes out of its way to publicise things like salt and fat content in its food and encourage, for those so minded, some effort at healthier eating.

More revolutionary aspects included historically no music, no TVs and no games machines. On the last two Wetherspoons has since relented to a degree.

The result however was that the pubs were and mostly still are welcoming to those who did not really feel that the traditional boozer was for them. That is to say [it’s a long list] women, ethnic minorities, lesbians and gays, lefties. At their best Wetherspoons felt like real and well-populated community pubs

Prices are invariably cheap, cheap enough for most [not all] of the most hard up in society to afford at least the occasional pint. That presents some issues of course (see above)


As I travel the country I occasionally find that the Wetherspoons is the best pub in a particular location and it is a genuinely good pub. But actually I don’t drink in Wetherspoons  a great deal anymore, festivals aside.

The beer quality, while usually OK, very rarely matches the excellence one can find in the best of the new independent free houses. I don’t drink a great deal (usually a couple of pints on a weekday night, often in halves) so I endeavour to make sure that what I do drink is worth drinking.

The beer range in Spoons can be disappointing, though to be fair Wetherspoons still making a point of selling local beers and in some locations has started selling some local craft keg beers as well.

The big issue with Wetherspoons continues to be I think the failure to move on.

Capitalism- market society- is a dynamic system that continually changes. Yet Wetherspoons have a very similar model to the one they had 10 or 20 years ago. Yes it works and it gets customers.

But while a visit to a Wetherspoons in many areas would have been a must now there are often better pubs that Tim Martin is not even trying to compete with.

Much more could be said but a summary continues to be that there are worse things than Wetherspoons. There are also better things.


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