Beard Wearers warned: the answer is not blowin’ in the wind

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2017 by kmflett

Contact Keith Flett           07803 167266

23rd February



The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that as high winds batter the UK beard wearers are strongly advised to take special care of their beards.

The campaigners says that while danger to life and limb is the central issue when extreme weather hits, a secondary concern for beard wearers is that exposing the beard to high and blustery winds may blow the beard out of shape and can cause permanent hair and follicle damage in some cases.

The BLF says that the key concern is for those with large organic beards in the style of Brian Blessed or England cricketer Moeen Ali.

It is less likely that designer or hipster beards will suffer significant wind damage

The BLF advises the following precautions:

Keep the beard slightly damp at all times by immersing it in a glass of imperial stout. This will give solidity to the beard hairs and prevent them being blown around.

Use a scarf to protect the beard at all times

Secure the beard with elastic bands, strapping the hairs to the chin

If the beard is blown out of shape use a hair dryer to re-form the hairs in the correct position and then stay indoors for a several hours to allow the hairs and follicles to recover

BLF organiser Keith Flett said, The answer is most definitely not blowin’ in the wind today. We advise the hirsute to take care out there


The Beard Liberation Front announces the St David’s Day Beard of Wales on March 1st


Poll finds 75% think Paul Nuttall’s beard must go

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2017 by kmflett

Poll finds 75% think Paul Nuttall’s beard must go

Beard Liberation Front

Contact: Keith Flett 07803 167266

22nd February


The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said an on-line poll has found that 75% of respondents think Paul Nuttall should lose his newly grown beard.

The poll also found significant numbers who had no specific objection to the beard but felt that by wearing it the UKIP leader was bringing the hirsute into disrepute.

The campaigners say that it is often held that being follicly challenged (i.e bald) or wearing a beard makes a candidate less electable, with the preference being for clean shaven men in suits. The BLF has long campaigned against this, but is also mindful that a minority of beard wearers can bring the hirsute into disrepute.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, of course the on-line poll which was well supported reached beyond those eligible to vote in Thursday’s Stoke By-Election. Even so it is clear that a majority think that Paul Nuttall and the beard should part company.































The Ambridge Socialist poll: which Doris do you prefer

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2017 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist poll
22nd February
Doris and Dan Archer
The storm to hit Britain on Thursday has been named Storm Doris, but Britain already has a very well known Doris, Doris Archer. Doris, married to Dan, was the matriarch of Ambridge’s ruling Archer’s dynasty from 1951 until the characters death (played by Gwen Berryman) in 1980. It is difficult to imagine Doris Archer being prepared to tolerate Storm Doris.


Tony Crosland’s Social Democracy 40 years on: a note

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2017 by kmflett

Tony Crosland’s Social Democracy 40 years on: a note


Tony Crosland died 40 years ago on 19th February 1977. At the time he was Foreign Secretary in a Labour Government. His politics were hardly mine but two decades after his early death it is perhaps worth asking the question how his politics would have fitted in with the right-wing in today’s Labour Party, since that is very much where Crosland marked his ground.

Tony Benn noted in his diary on Crosland’s death that he had been a good friend, had taught him economics and had helped him get a seat in Parliament. That said he also noted his role as a leading revisionist on the left.

Indeed in the most recent edition of Crosland’s most well-known book The Future of Socialism, Dick Leonard, who was his PPS, records that Crosland had thought himself someone who would be seen in the same mould as Bernstein, the arch-revisionist of German social democracy. History does not seem to have born that out since 60 years on the book is hardly recalled.

Crosland’s book, some years in the writing, was published in 1956 as the Russian tanks rolled into Budapest and I was born…

Crosland was a serious thinker and he paid tribute to Marx who he saw as a towering intellectual figure of the nineteenth century. His point was that Marx had little to offer post-1945 socialists in the way of practical politics. From the perspective of 2017 that doesn’t seem as clear as it might have done to some in the years of the post Second World War boom of capitalism in the West.

The cornerstone of Crosland’s revisionism was around public ownership. He was not he stated ideologically opposed to the idea. Rather he felt that in modern capitalism where managers ran things, ownership was less central. His view was that the State could get what it wanted by other means, since it was the most powerful force in society.

For Crosland socialism was about what might be called having a decent quality of life. That is, broadly, equality and decent public services. Certainly at the time he wrote capitalism could afford such things without being pushed too hard or having to sacrifice any profits.

The 2006 edition of the Future of Socialism, carries a forward by Gordon Brown who notes, correctly (even before the crash of 2008) that Crosland was writing in different times but his emphasis on equality and practical politics was to be welcomed.

I’m not sure whether New Labour, Brown aside, saw Crosland as being an intellectual influence and I’m even less clear that the right-wing of today’s Labour Party does (where they have heard of him).

While, as noted, I was never on the same political page as Crosland, Dick Leonard notes that one of the last things Crosland did before his death was to oppose the scale of Healey’s planned IMF cuts. Crosland argued that the economy needed to grow and this would generate money to deal with debt. Healey’s austerity won the day and I sense its popular still with many right-wing Labour MPs.



Veteran MP Paul Flynn leads St David’s Day Beard of Wales poll after Trump debate

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Press release, 21st February

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Veteran MP Paul Flynn leads St David’s Day Beard of Wales poll after Trump debate


The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that veteran Welsh Labour MP Paul Flynn has shot into the lead in the St David’s Day Beard of Wales 2017 poll after leading on opposition to Donald Trump’s State Visit to the UK in a Westminster Hall debate on Monday.

Mr Flynn has polled well in the past but this is the first time he has held the lead

The poll aims to determine the St David’s Day Beard of Wales, the Welsh beard that offers the most positive national image.

The campaigners say that Images of St David suggest that the Welsh Saint himself may have had an organic beard

Welsh rugby prop Adam Jones won the Award in 2013, voted for by BLF supporters, just shaving former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Another rugby player Leigh Halfpenny won in 2014. In 2015 the Award went to Thee Faction musician Chris Fox and in 2016 footballer Joe Ledley

It is only the fifth time the Award has been given following the traditional UK Beard of the Year at the end December each year and the BLF says it is a mark of Wales as a modern nation on St David’s Day that beards are now playing an increasingly significant role in national life.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said Paul Flynn’s resolute opposition to President Trump’s State Visit is not only something that clearly has big support in Wales but also shows how beards can add political gravitas to important Westminster debates

Beard of Wales 2017 Nominations

Jake Ball, rugby player

Illtud Llyr Dunsford, Charcutier

Paul Flynn-Parliamentarian

Chris Fox- musician

Richard Harrington, Y Gwyll actor

Tom Jones- musician

Joe Ledley, footballer

Gruff Rhys- musician


Issues of London radical leadership then & now

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2017 by kmflett


Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt

The Stop Trump rally in Parliament Square on 20th February had a good turn-out of supporters of the London Socialist Historians Group. That’s not unusual. Such protests are the raw stuff of socialist history and casting an historical eye on matters never hurts.

Discussion turned to radical leadership, particularly in London, the Great Wen. As some may know the opposition to Donald Trump in the UK although mostly united is not quite fully so. The post-1945 left has something of a history of this. On one anti-Vietnam War demonstration in the late 1960s the Socialist Labour League turned up to hand out a leaflet ‘why we are not marching’. Whether the issue really was a genuine political difference or just an attempt to build a particular political brand is another matter.

We then turned our thoughts to one of the great early nineteenth century radical leaders, Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt. Hunt was jailed for his speech at Peterloo in Manchester in August 1819 (where numbers of protesters for the vote were killed or injured by the army) so his radical leadership was not in doubt. But it was very much ‘his’.

Here is what EP Thompson wrote of London radical leadership in the 1820s:

The Radicalism of Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds bore a direct relationship to the structure of each community. It is less easy to indicate an authentic London Radicalism driving from its industrial structure or community patterns. Everyone who aspired to Radical leadership or influence had a London following..

There is a sense of impermanence about the London leadership. Prominent national personalities, orators, wire-pullers, journalists or tavern demagogues succeeded each other in favour and often engaged in bitter  internecine polemics in full public view.

(Making of the English Working Class, 1963)

Still we concluded that was before the time when the labour movement was subject to democratic structures and controls which have been a feature since the Chartists appeared in the late 1830s. Henry Hunt could be excused. Anyone who fancies copying him today might be looked upon less favourably- unless they want to re-start the organic brewery Hunt ran in Bristol in the early nineteenth century anyway.


Campaigners say UKIP’s Paul Nuttall must come clean on beard claims

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front

Media release 20th February

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Campaigners say UKIP’s Paul Nuttall must come clean on beard claims


The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that it is time for Paul Nuttall to come clean on stories that are circulating on social media that the UKIP leader is a former winner of the Beard of the Year. It is not clear if Nuttall has personally made the claim or it is coming from his supporters.

The BLF has called on Nuttall to make a statement to make clear that the claims are nothing to do with him but he has failed to respond

Beard of the Year is announced at the end of December each year after a poll from a shortlist of contenders. Previous winners include former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The BLF has made an official statement on the issue. It reads, ‘as the organisers of the annual Beard of the Year Award since 2000 we want to make it clear that Paul Nuttall has never been a contender for the honour, has not appeared on any shortlist and has never won the Award.’

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, with the Election due on Thursday it is more than time that Paul Nuttall came clean about fake stories that he is a former Beard of the Year winner. One of the great pogonophobic tropes is that the hirsute are hiding something under their beard. In Mr Nuttall’s case his silence suggests it could be true.