Articles

Test Match Special’s Charles Dagnall looks to shave opponents to win Beard of Winter poll

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE 19th January

Contact Keith Flett      07803 167266

Test Match Special’s Charles Dagnall looks to shave opponents to win Beard of Winter poll

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with voting underway for the Beard of Winter 2018 poll, so far the competition is bristling between Newsnight presenter James O’Brien, cricket and NFL commentator Charles Dagnall and Prince Harry.

The BLF says that while Dagnall never quite reached the cricketing heights of fellow commentator Jonathan Agnew, he has had the prudence to grow a gravitas adding beard in his post-playing career.

The Beard of Winter is the first of four seasonal awards that lead to the Beard of the Year Award in December 2018.

It focuses both on fuller organic beards, suitable for winter weather but also on beards that have made an early New Year impact in the public eye.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, beards are a great Test Match Special tradition but can Charles Dagnall shave opponents to win Beard of Winter?

The poll closes on Monday January 29th

Beard of Winter shortlist

Prince Harry, Royal personage

Charles Dagnall, sports commentator

Daniel Vane, brewer

Mark Gatiss, actor & writer

Joe Thornton, ice-hockey player

Andy McDonald, politician

Theo Walcott, footballer

Ed Sheeran, musician

Riccardo Acerbi, actor & new Captain Birds Eye

Sean Dyche, football manager

Peter Coles, cosmologist

 

 

 

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Articles

Prince Harry’s beard is popular in Cardiff but can he win Beard of Winter?

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE 18th January

Contact Keith Flett     07803 167266

Prince Harry’s beard is popular in Cardiff but can he win Beard of Winter?

BBC

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that Prince Harry’s beard received popular acclaim when he visited Cardiff on Thursday with partner Meghan but it is unclear if it will be enough to win the coveted Beard of Winter title.

The Beard of Winter is the first of four seasonal awards that lead to the Beard of the Year Award in December 2018. Broadcaster James O’Brien currently leads the vote

It focuses both on fuller organic beards, suitable for winter weather but also on beards that have made an early New Year impact in the public eye.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, Prince Harry came within a whisker of beating Jeremy Corbyn for Beard of the Year in December but Newsnight’s James O’Brien may prove a stiffer test.

The poll closes on Monday January 29th

Beard of Winter shortlist

Prince Harry, Royal personage

Charles Dagnall, sports commentator

Daniel Vane, brewer

Mark Gatiss, actor & writer

Joe Thornton, ice-hockey player

Andy McDonald, politician

Theo Walcott, footballer

Ed Sheeran, musician

Riccardo Acerbi, actor & new Captain Birds Eye

Sean Dyche, football manager

James O’Brien, broadcaster

Peter Coles, cosmologist

Notes

The Beard Liberation Front is reviewing the status of the Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award to Ben Bradley MP after comments he made in 2012 were reported in the media

 

 

Articles

Building statues in Parliament Square: why not Sylvia Pankhurst?

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2018 by kmflett

The battle for statues (assuming that one thinks statues are a good idea, aside from being suitable items for being kicked over when society changes course) has recently focused on a demand (a reasonable one in my view) that there should be more statues of significant female figures and less of old men.

One debate is about a new statue in Parliament Square. There has been a lobby for one of Margaret Thatcher (not backed by the Thatcher family) but it appears that the decision is now between two suffragists Emmeline Pankhurst (who backed World War One and became a Tory) and Millicent Fawcett (who didn’t back World War One but continued campaigning for the vote during it).

Details are here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42731272

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millicent_Fawcett

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmeline_Pankhurst

Why not however a statue of Sylvia Pankhurst the leading suffragist who took her stand on the left?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Pankhurst

Articles

22nd Cambridge Winter Ales festival: a third way?

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2018 by kmflett

22nd Cambridge Winter Ales beer festival: a third way?

It’s only mid-January and I’ve already managed a beer festival and a CAMRA one at that. Before unfortunate events (i.e the venue burnt down) the first beer festival of the year was Battersea in early February. It was a rather traditional event, shall we say.

I’m a regular attender at the Cambridge Beer Festival on Jesus Green in May and have been for decades but only occasionally make it to the Winter Ales one, even though there have been 22.

The venue is central, the University Social Club with good seating, albeit perhaps rather a lot of stairs for those of us with slightly bad knees. The attendance ranges from old CAMRA types (i.e people like me) to students which makes for a good mix.

Anyway its really about the beer. Unlike the summer festival its all cask with no keykeg. However that doesn’t mean that its like some CAMRA winter festivals where you struggle to find a beer much over 5%, or a style much beyond golden and brown.

Here were to be found a good range of unfined beers (hence vegan), several imperial stouts ( a blueberry one from Wild Weather at 8% and a raspberry one at 8.5% from Ashover)  as well as a number of smoked dark beers, some IPAs and (perhaps my favourite) a Winter Warmer from Elgoods, a traditional barley wine at 7.5%.

Prices were very reasonable indeed. £2.00 a third for the imperial stouts and the Elgoods was £2.70 a half, £1.80 a third. It encourages sampling in small measures.

Most of the stronger beers, certainly in respect of type if not the specific beer, you’d normally expect to see in a pub on keg and priced considerably higher.

Full marks to Cambridge CAMRA then for making such beers available on cask and at decent prices. Perhaps it’s a third way between ‘boring brown beer’ and super expensive craft…

Its on until Saturday so if you’re in the environs why not visit (pay on the door)

https://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com/

 

Articles

Broadcaster James O’Brien joins Beard of Winter shortlist after The Sun attacks him

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

PRESS RELEASE 17th January

Contact Keith Flett     07803 167266

Broadcaster James O’Brien joins Beard of Winter shortlist after The Sun attacks him

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that LBC and Newsnight broadcaster James O’Brien has joined the Beard of Winter 2018 shortlist after he was attacked in The Sun ‘newspaper’ on 17th January.

Under a picture of the hirsute Mr O’Brien The Sun said ‘How can the BBC still feign political impartiality with this professional leftie propagandist presenting Newsnight?’

The Beard of Winter is the first of four seasonal awards that lead to the Beard of the Year Award in December 2018.

It focuses both on fuller organic beards, suitable for winter weather but also on beards that have made an early New Year impact in the public eye.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, James O’Brien often polls well in beard votes when he appears on shortlists but an attack by The Sun is a badge of hirsute honour that could see him victorious this time.

The poll closes on Monday January 29th

Beard of Winter shortlist

Prince Harry, Royal personage

Charles Dagnall, sports commentator

Daniel Vane, brewer

Mark Gatiss, actor & writer

Joe Thornton, ice-hockey player

Andy McDonald, politician

Theo Walcott, footballer

Ed Sheeran, musician

Riccardo Acerbi, actor & new Captain Birds Eye

Sean Dyche, football manager

James O’Brien, broadcaster

Peter Coles, theoretical cosmologist

Notes

The Beard Liberation Front is reviewing the status of the Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award to Ben Bradley MP after comments he made in 2012 were reported in the media

 

 

Articles

Stepping down as an officer of Haringey TUC after 30 years, but, no home but the struggle

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2018 by kmflett

Stepping down as an officer of Haringey TUC after 30 years but, no home but the struggle

 

On Tuesday night at the January meeting of Haringey TUC I stepped down as Secretary. I have been chair (when the late Terry Burton was Secretary) https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/08/terry-burton-obituary and then Secretary (with Simon Hester as chair) for three decades.

The role involves a lot of bureaucratic shovelling (in the old days of paperwork now of e-mails) and being locally the public face of the TUC. Glorious it is not, essential to keep the labour movement going at grassroots level it is and of course many others helped over the years.

I’ve been doing it for three decades and now at 61 (I have not retired just in case you were wondering) I find I have more than enough to do as a trade union officer with the merged Prospect/BECTU trade union.

Over time you do start to feel that perhaps a bit more energy could be devoted to other things (I don’t mean drinking beer and the Beard Liberation Front runs along quite happily) in particular perhaps the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London which I’ve been convening for 25 years this year.

http://londonsocialisthistorians.blogspot.co.uk/

But of course in the words of Edward Upward there really is no home but the struggle so I’ve accepted a role as Honorary Vice President of Haringey TUC. You’ll still see me at meetings and demos mumbling into my beard as usual. I hope to play a small part in making sure that Haringey is a Borough for the many not the few, as it should always be.

However in the words of EP Thompson’s 1811 Spitalfields silk weaver:

My loom’s entirely out of square,

My rolls now worm-eaten are;

My clamps and treadles they are broke,

My battons, they won’t strike a stroke,

My porry’s covered with dust,

My shears and pickers eat rust;

My reed and harness are worn out,

My wheel won’t turn a quill about;

My shuttle’s broke, my glass is run,

My droplee’s shot-my cane is done!

 

Articles

Snow warning issued to the hirsute

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2018 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

December 10th

Contact Keith Flett      07803 167266

Level 1 Snow warning issued to the hirsute

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has issued a Level 1 snow warning to beard wearers after snow fell in Scotland and the North of Ireland with the forecast potential for it to extend further south.

The BLF says that while a beard can initially protect the face from snow it is also essential to keep the beard protected from snow penetration.

The best way to do this may simply be to remain indoors and away from all possible contact with snow.

However if venturing out in the snow, the following guidelines are advised-

1] Protect the entire beard with a scarf or roll neck jumper. If the snow is a heavy a snood may be advisable

2] Sweep any drifting snow from the beard on a regular basis. Do not allow snow to accumulate in the beard

3] If the beard becomes chilled or frozen due to icy weather it is essential to thaw it out slowly. Immersion in a glass of imperial stout will help this process

4] Dry the beard slowly in a warm room and check for any damaged hairs and follicles

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said snow in the beard can cause serious damage to hairs and follicles and the hirsute are urged to make sure they are protected before venturing out in snowy weather. If snow does accumulate in the beard following the BLF guidelines can prevent serious damage.

Notes

The Beard Liberation Front announces the Beard of Winter 2018 on 31st January

https://kmflett.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/prince-harry-faces-captain-birds-eye-in-beard-of-winter-poll/