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Leading folliclists start to shave opponents in Beard of Autumn poll

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front press release
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
15th October

Leading folliclists start to shave opponents in Beard of Autumn poll

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with just days left to vote for the Beard of Autumn 2017 a group of leading folliclists is starting to shave opponents.

England footballer Harry Kane currently has a narrow lead over broadcaster James O’Brien with cricketer Moeen Ali third and leading beer writer and Good Beer Guide Editor Roger Protz fourth.

The Beard of Autumn poll closes at midday on 19th October with the winner announced on 20th October. It is the last of four quarterly seasonal contests which lead to the Beard of the Year in December.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, the leading folliclists are splitting hairs at the top of the poll but with 4 days left to vote the contest remains open.

Shortlist
Moeen Ali, cricketer
Evan Davis, Newsnight presenter
Dave Grohl, musician
Prince Harry, Royal personage
Harry Kane, footballer
Joe Ledley, footballer
James O’Brien, broadcaster
Jeremy Paxman, author
Roger Protz, beer writer
Nick Robinson, broadcaster
Michael Rosen, author & broadcaster

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The Ambridge Socialist. Robert Snell & the forces of reaction

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2017 by kmflett

The Ambridge Socialist
65 Years of the class struggle in Borsetshire

October 15th

Robert Snell & the forces of reaction

A vacancy has arisen on the Parish Council and in the apparent absence of any candidate Robert Snell has been lent on to be co-opted. However even in Ambridge the forces of democracy are at work. Emma Grundy has also put her name forward. The Clerk to the Parish Council Professor Jim has informally intervened to advise Emma that the forces of reaction on the Council are likely to be minded to co-opt Snell. However she need only collect 10 names to force the matter to an election. Duly done.

Industrial action at the dairy brings results
With Clarrie and Susan expected to manage the production of Tom’s disgusting fermented products along with the normal yoghurt and ice-cream but without a wage increase, there was a only one way forward. A go slow soon produced a crisis and a rise in the hourly rate for the job.

Justin refuses to sleep in the single bed
Following the escape of Lillian’s dog Ruby, its capture by Matt and a situation which almost called for ACAS between Matt and Justin in the Bull, Justin has claimed credit for finding the dog and made it clear that he is sleeping in the ‘master’ bed. Leadership in action.

In other news
Alastair is writing his confession about why he killed the horse
Lillian has been at the races with Matt (Cheltenham that is)
Adam has been playing cricket with Henry
David Archer has a new book out

 

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London Socialist Historians autumn seminars 2017. Mon 16th Oct, John Rees, The Leveller Revolution

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2017 by kmflett

London Socialist Historians seminars

Autumn term 2017. Monday 16th October 5.3opm John Rees on The Leveller Revolution

John Rees socialist activist and campaigner, historian and beard wearer speaks on his recent book from Verso

All seminars take place at 5.30pm in Room 304 Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, WC1 (fully accessible)

Entry is free without a ticket

Monday October 16th John Rees, The Leveller Revolution
Monday October 30th Merilyn Moos, Neglected histories of the diverse victims of Nazism.
Monday November 13th Christian Hogsbjerg, ‘Every Cook Can Govern’: C.L.R James and the Russian Revolution’
Monday November 27th John Newsinger, From Revolution to Labourism?: Orwell and the Left’
Monday December 11th Dave Hill, A History of London’s Housing Crisis

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Michael Rosen and the historians

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2017 by kmflett

Michael Rosen and the historians

Michael Rosen is known as a poet, author, broadcaster and of course socialist activist. He also has a beard and supports Arsenal.

His new memoir, So They Call You Pisher!, is out from Verso and is of course fascinating reading. At the London launch Rosen noted that much material had been edited out before publication and it would indeed be interesting to see the author’s cut of the book as it were.
One thing that Rosen is perhaps not particularly associated with is socialist history.

In the book Rosen recalls being taught English history at school by Giraldus Hughes. Covering the English Civil War he notes that the teacher recommended a ‘writer we might like to read.. called Christopher Hill’.

Studying history at Alexandra Park Comprehensive school in the early 1970s I had exactly the same experience. I was recommended to read Hill by the Deputy Headmistress (a member of the Communist Party) who had correctly taken my youthful beard to indicate left-wing views.

Rosen bought Hill’s Century of Revolution and was given by his father Harold some Left Book Club editions from the 1930s including A L Morton’s The People’s History of England and Petergorsky’s volume on the left in the Civil War.

Left Book Club editions, relatively easy to find second hand when I was young, are I think now something of a rarity, although some like Morton’s book have been re-published.

Rosen notes ‘one serious puzzle: how was the Milton who Hill talked about, the same Milton who wrote Comus?.

He then moved on to read Eric Hobsbawm’s The Age of Revolution which not only ranges across European history but illuminates by references to culture (and where he could football though I’m not sure Eric was an Arsenal fan).

At first Rosen reports he wasn’t sure about such a wide ranging approach but the politics of culture grasped him and he ‘stopped being uncomfortable with it. I wanted more. Much more’.

The book also contains a fascinating vignette of the early period of History Workshop in Oxford, where Rosen was at college.
Rosen was clearly far from happy with the stultified air and archaic content of some of the lectures he attended at Oxford but found History Workshop to be an exciting new development in the months before the May events in Paris in 1968.

Rosen notes that some felt senior figures broadly associated with the movement such as E P Thompson, Christopher Hill and Eric Hobsbawm were ‘infected’ by Stalinism, although this was not his view. However he also notes Raphael Samuel, who ran the Workshop at Ruskin, had a base of working-class, trade union focused, students who were doing interesting research.

Rosen writes that ‘conferences were packed with hundreds of people, crowded into the halls and corridors, listening, talking, arguing and writing.. this I thought was one of the most exciting things happening, and I wanted to be part of it’.

These passages in Rosen’s memoir are interesting for a first-hand account of how socialist history was discovered and ‘done’ on the 1960s, but interesting too because they pose a question for today. How are young people now being involved and educated in socialist history, if they are?

This is an expanded post from a piece that appears in the Autumn 2017 issue of the London Socialist Historians newsletter:

http://londonsocialisthistorians.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/lshg-newsletter-62-autumn-2017-now.html

The Autumn 2017 socialist history seminar series starts on Monday 16th October with John Rees on the Leveller Revolution. 5.30pm, Room 304, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet St, WC1. Free without ticket

Articles

Competition bristling for Beard of Autumn poll

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2017 by kmflett

Beard Liberation Front press release
Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266
14th October

Competition bristling in Beard of Autumn Poll

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that with just days left to vote for the Beard of Autumn 2017 competition is bristling.

Broadcaster James O’Brien currently leads from England footballer Harry Kane with cricketer Moeen Ali and Prince Harry tied for third place.

The Beard of Autumn poll closes at midday on 19th October with the winner announced on 20th October. It is the last of four quarterly seasonal contests which lead to the Beard of the Year in December.

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, interest in the Beard of Autumn always hots up once it becomes clear who the leading folliclists are so we expect the top positions to change quite a bit before the close of the poll.

Shortlist
Moeen Ali, cricketer
Evan Davis, Newsnight presenter
Dave Grohl, musician
Prince Harry, Royal personage
Harry Kane, footballer
Joe Ledley, footballer
James O’Brien, broadcaster
Jeremy Paxman, author
Roger Protz, beer writer
Nick Robinson, broadcaster
Michael Rosen, author & broadcaster

Articles

Four Day Test Matches: the bottom line

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2017 by kmflett

Four Day Test Matches: the bottom line

There has been considerable media coverage of the ICC’s decision to trial 4 day Test Matches:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/13/icc-test-world-championship-four-day-trial

The 5 day Test is inconvenient to the bottom line (that is profit and loss) because if the Test doesn’t last 5 days many of the costs remain 5 day ones and broadcasters, Sky in particular, are left with gaps in their schedule.

The debate about ending 5-day Tests one feels is motored primarily by the bottom line and not by a measured consideration on the impact of the change on the longer form of the game.

It may well be true that in the modern world, and in particular in the modern world of work, many struggle to find time (and often money) to attend a Test (hence the day-night experiment, unfortunately it also became clear that people who work have to go to bed at a reasonable time and so are not keen on being at a Test in the later evening).

However there must be enough people from school children to the retired who do have time in the summer to get to a Test even allowing for the above.

Be all this as it may, the core of the ICC announcement is NOT actually about four day tests (which they plan to trial for new Test playing nations) but about a two year Test match championship starting after the 2019 World Cup.

This one takes it is an alternative attempt to increase attendance at Tests across the cricket playing globe. I cant say the idea particularly enthuses me, since I tend to think that in any Test the key contest is between the two teams rather than where the outcome leaves them in a league table, but we shall see.

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25 years today since Heseltine announced destruction of UK mining industry

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2017 by kmflett

It is 25 years today, 13th October 1992, since Michael Heseltine then a Tory Minister announced the closure of 31 out of the remaining 50 deep coal mines in the UK.

These days there are alternatives to coal as an energy source but the issue then was the impact on jobs and local communities that the closures would have. Needless to say these matters were not at the forefront of the Tories minds.

The announcement sparked a massive wave of protest led by Arthur Scargill, who was transformed over night from the militant who led the 1984-5 miners strike against pit closures, to something of a national hero, someone standing up against the Tories destruction of British industry.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/13/newsid_2532000/2532765.stm