The Sound of Inevitability

Last week I was round my mum’s house when she got a phone call and when she uttered her friend’s name and then promptly ran out of the room with her worried voice in full effect I knew, deep down, what the call was about.

After she came back into the room and put the phone down I saved her the effort of needing to explain what the call was about.

My mate and I first met at primary school, I’d say about aged 4 and bonded over our interests in BMX bikes and He-Man.

He had Castle Greyskull.  In fact he had all the bestest toys.  I didn’t have toys to contribute to this relationship but I did have the vivid imagination that came with childhood.  We spent most of school in a fairly large group (akin to a 6-person Stand By Me) and a good deal of the weekends and holidays were spent together due to us living close enough for our parents to trust us to go out on our own.

The bond between our families was curiously similar too, during our whole tenure of infant and primary school (up to 11 years old) we were the only kids whose parents had divorced and so both our mothers had bonded over that too, so much so that, come sleep-overs at each others houses; the line “and if you misbehave your mum have given me permission to smack you” was the promise made to each of us every time, not that it was every enacted.

My mate was always the more quiet and introverted one when we were at school or in a group but far more brash and fun-loving when with our mums.  He was the first person to use my mum’s proper name, a fact that at that young age caused a bit of confusion “Who is this person whose name you are repeatedly mentioning?” being my usual internal dialogue.

We made daft tapes together. Me and him presenting radio programmes with silly characters, all of whom would probably have uncontrollable flatulence at some point during their “interviews”.

We went to the same high school, we were in the same form, but as we grew up and got put into different sets based on capabilities, the circle of friends we hung around in changed, we used to hang out and stay over, only they became less and less frequent.

Different colleges, different universities came and went but what was odd is that at least once a year we would bump into each other.  Fate would have it that our paths would cross as each of us making our solitary journeys back to our own homes and that privacy would give us each a chance to chat and catch up, we were in our own world just like when we were kids.

Over this last week my mum began digging out old school photos, unlike myself and my friend, my mum and his mum had remained close.

The funeral was today, my first humanist ceremony and it was packed to the rafters.  My mum was more upset than I was but talking to his mum gave them both some solace. His mum, like me, somehow knew this day would come; it was never going to make it any easier, she had had the misfortune to find him and what gave her comfort was that she could see in his face that he’d taken control, made his peace with himself and a world he was always off-kilter with and was now finally at peace.

He will now become another statistic in the gender and age-range that sees more suicides than any other and while a lot is made about depression and mental health and about talking about things and remaining positive there is always going to be a grim inevitability that surrounds certain people and sadly that is the thing those left behind have to come to terms with.

The way someone dies should never eclipse the way they lived.

 

To the larger world, a statistic he might be but to me he will always be Fiendish Fart-Head.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Brewing Up A Political Storm

Subtitle: You can’t filter out agendas with Isinglass

May you live in interesting times goes the alleged Chinese proverb brought to my attention by the writings of Terry Pratchett and we certainly do in 2016.

I don’t think it remiss to point out that as broad as the spectrum is that drink beer you would probably suggest that the older “CAMRA” set are to the conservative right and the younger “CRAFT” set are to the liberal left and while I’m not one for grouping people along political lines it would seem that many brewers and bloggers in the beer bubble, to their own detriment, probably do so.

The EU referendum vote in the UK on 23rd of June, that ended up with the result being to leave the European Union caused fissions, unsurprisingly many on my twitter time-line were for Remain.

Schisms formed on 8th November with the results of the US presidential election that saw Donald Trump become the elected, prospective 45th president of the USA.

Of course this lead to more fallout from breweries, brewers and bloggers on twitter.

One tweet caught my eye, from an actual brewery account and I’m not going to post it here simply because this is neither about naming and “shaming” (free speech is an absolute, even “hate” speech) nor do I bear any grudge towards the brewery or the brewer (he is a nice chap) or wish to see his business suffer.

Thing was, they (he) called for the assassination of Trump.  Now, whatever your feelings and political leanings are, two things struck me about that:

  1. Calling for the death of someone, in jest requiring a very broad context, is not right (choose other hyperboles)
  2. Using a business account to do so is stupid.

Then again many brewers & business owners in general, have personal accounts from which to let forth their own thoughts and despite all the caveats they may have in their biographies sometimes it can be guilt by association.

What is also striking is the lack of people who called out the brewery on this tweet and also subsequent tweets about boycotting specific countries.

We can probably, fairly postulate that many people didn’t even see the “assassination tweet” but to those that did see it and did not pass comment on it, you really do need to look inside yourselves and question that whatever morals and integrity you bleat about so often, is it that honestly what you actually practice.

 

“We use selective annihilation of mayors and government officials, for example, to destroy the presence of the state and create a vacuum. Then we fill that vacuum.”

 

Thanks for reading.

Independent Salford Beer Festival 2016 – A Review

wp_20161022_005

 

A review of the 2016 Independent Salford Beer Festival (ISBF2016, ISBF16) – which is the third and apparently the final one.

If you need some background reading (or just to increase my blog views), see the past two year’s reviewed below:

Review of 2014 (1st Festival)

Review of 2015 (2nd Festival)

Normally I’d start with a nice shot of the glassware – but I’ve not washed up them up yet, plus I think it would fit in better with the wrap-up post I aim to do about this gathering as a whole, so the above will have to do for now.

A small review by @StereoSurrealis can be found here

THE review, by THE man himself and with nicer pictures can be found here (uber craftists be damned).

It was at a meet the brewer with Weird Beard (at Heaton Hops) that I became aware of the organisers intentions for 2016’s beer festival, at a point where it wasn’t the final one it was going to be the first not only with brewers outside of the better Northern part of England but with Keg beers too (Evil Keg Filth as its known).

Skip forward many months later and Jim Beam Barrel Aged Double Perle makes its first appearance in Manchester.

wp_20161020_007

In fact if the point hadn’t been hammered home enough, ALL the beers at this festival were either debuting or were specially brewed for the festival and were not going to be available anywhere else.

Four or five of your pounds sterling got you into the sessions which ran from Thursday 20th October to Saturday 22nd October at St Sebastian’s Community Centre, Salford (Pendleton), 10 minutes walk from the church.

wp_20161022_006

All beers were no more than £6 a pint and we are talking festival prices and 10% beers, something even my dad eventually came around too.

Food available was turkey (optional stuffing) barms (baps, teacakes, etc.), vegetarian chilli (with good spice level), lamb hot pot (with beetroot, always beetroot).

wp_20161020_006

 

Or if you are my dad…

wp_20161022_003

A 50/50 split of chilli and hot pot (lobby, stew, scouse, etc.) with the addition of (and many thanks to the staff for searching for it) English mustard.

Talking of my dad’s taste buds Chilli Relish were there again with their home-grown, home-made sauces and chutneys. Plenty of tears were observed as some fool-hardys tried the 2 million Scoville sauce.  Not my dad though, he had one bead of sweat, complained that the front part of his tongue was numb and then appeared to have some 60’s LSD flashback for about a quarter of an hour.

tenor

 

People came from far and wide…

wp_20161021_004 wp_20161021_003 wp_20161022_001

…even a bird of prey.

There was music too “curated” by Duke and the Darlings

Non-alcoholic drinks were provided by @SteepSodaCo which after a heavy session on Thursday were very much welcomed to kick-start the big weekend.

wp_20161021_002

The beers though were what most were here for, well that and an amazing time

I’m adding the beers here for posterity and because there were far too many to single out as many were excellent.

CASK
Abbeydale, Sheffield – Japanese Citrus Pale – Yuzu Pale DH Sorachi & Lemongrass – 4.5%
AllGates, Wigan – Blackstar – Marshmallow Porter – 4.8%
Atom Beers, Hull – Critical Temperature (Habanero Edition) – Rye Pale Ale Coffee Porter – 6.5%
Bad Seed, Malton – Session I.P.A. – Session I.P.A. – 4.0%
Beer Nouveau, Manchester – E.S.B. – Best Bitter – 5.5%
Black Jack, Manchester – Ahtenum Lager – Lager – 5.0%
Brass Castle, Malton – Rubicon – Red Rye Ale – 4.8%
Brewsmith, Ramsbottom – Session I.P.A. – Session I.P.A. – 4.8%
Bridestone’s, Hebden Bridge – Off Yer Fruit! – Fruit Aged Session I.P.A. – 4.4%
Carbon Smith, Manchester – Salted Caramel Milk Stout – Salted Caramel Milk Stout – 5.1%
Cheshire Brewhouse, Congleton – Caribbean Crossroads – Rum Cask Aged B.I.P.A. – 6.5%
Cloudwater, Manchester – I.P.A. Nelson Sauvin – I.P.A. – 6.5%
Cwrw Ial, Llanarmon yn I̢l РZawn РAmerican Lemon Wheat Р4.2%
Emmanuales, Sheffield – The Deer Pants for Porter – Smoked Porter – 5.0%
Five-Oh, Prestwich – T.B.C. – T.B.C. – T.B.C.%
Five Towns, Wakefield – Secret Life of Arabica – Imperial Stout – 8.0%
Five Towns, Wakefield – Beauty and the Beast – Citrus D.I.P.A. – 9.0%
Howard Town, Glossop – Ten – Belgian-Style Quad – 10.0%
Lost Industry, Sheffield – Peanut Butter Milk Stout – Milk Stout – 4.4%
Mallinsons, Huddersfield – Hop Shaker – Nelson Pale Ale – 3.8%
Marble Brewery, Manchester – U.S. Extra Porter – Citra Dry Hop Porter – 5.9%
Neptune, Maghull – Black Percula – Chocolate Orange Stout – 4.5%
North Riding, Scarborough – Dandelion & Burdock Porter – Porter – 4.5%
Offbeat, Crewe – C Smackdown – Hoppy Pale Ale – 4.0%
Pictish, Rochdale – Pekko – Pekko (Single Hop) Pale – 4.2%
Quantum, Stockport – Pale Extra Ale – Strong Pale Ale – 6.0%
Rammy Craft, Ramsbottom – Whinberry Mild – Mild – 6.1%
Rat Brewery, Huddersfield – Grapes of Rate – Barrel Aged Barley Wine – 10.0%
Revolutions, Castleford – Psycho Candy – Belgian Centennial I.P.A. – 7.0%
Rivington, Rivington – The Make – New Zealand D.I.P.A. – 8.3%
Serious, Rochdale – Ginger Saison – Saison – 6.9%
Squawk, Manchester – Oat Pale – Dry-Seven-Hopped Pale – 4.9%
Thirst Class Ale, Stockport – Kiss My Ace – Sorachi Pale Ale – 4.0%
Tickety Brew, Stockport – Kiwi Saison – Saison – 4.3%
Torrside, New Mills – American Barley Wine – Barley Wine – 10.0%
Track, Manchester – Troika – UA / AUS / NZ Pale – 5.2%
KEG COLLABORATIONS
Bad Seed, Malton vs. Track, Manchester – Pacific Juice Monster – Pale Ale – 5.0%
Bexar County, Peterborough vs. Offbeat, Crewe – Thin Line Between Genius & Insanity – Kombucha Soured Milk Neopolitan Ale – 3.2%
Black Jack, Manchester vs. Brass Castle, Malton – Lemon Spritz – Hazy Lemon Ale – 5.0%
Five Towns, Wakefield vs. Squawk, Manchester – Mango and Sumac El Dorado – Farmhouse I.P.A. – 5.8%
Mallinsons, Huddersfield vs. Runaway, Manchester – Redcurrant Saison – Saison – 6.5%
North Riding, Scarborough vs. Thirst Class, Stockport – War of the Raspberries – Imperial Raspberry Oatmeal Stout – 6.7%
EVIL KEG FILTH
Atom Beers, Hull – Phobos & Demos – Rye Pale Ale – 7.0%
Bexar County, Peterborough – Cold Pressed Ale – Coffee Infused Pale Ale – 5.1%
Elusive Brewing, Finchampstead – Love Action – Cranberry & Vanilla Stout – 5.8%
Mourne Mountains, Warrenpoint – Mourne Mist – Pilsner – 4.5%
Northern Alchemy, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Moroccan Spiced Mild – Mild – 3.4%
Otherton Ales, Crewe – Passepartout (Brett Aged) – Bretted D.I.P.A. – 7.4%
Weird Beard, London – Double Perle (Jim Beam) – Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout – 8.2%

After the punters voted the winner of Beer of the Festival was @ElusiveBrew with their excellent Love Action – yes, its not Five Towns this time, yes its a Southern brewery that won and yes its a keg beer that did indeed win.

Full marks (no pun) to @RunawayBrewery and @Mallinsons for providing a keg and cask version of their collaboration and for doing a talk.

wp_20161020_002 wp_20161020_004

Turns out in the talk everyone preferred the keg but the voting public preferred the cask (as did I, which I’d been saying to anyone who’d listen since the Thursday when I compared both).

There was a talk by Connor (“fresh” from fatherhood and a disappointing season by Bradford Bulls) about Manchester Beer Week, though less about the plans for 2017 and more about how people found 2016; with brewers, bloggers and drinkers all having a say.  Who need communicators?  All points were made honestly and clearer and were taken and given with respect.  Two side of the same coin really, you can’t please everyone but you can give it a damn good try.

Some more people found out who I am and of course the regulars entertained themselves.  Many offers were made to take up the reigns so it happens again in 2017 but that is something for other to decide and the personal aspect of the past 3 years of this festival I will talk about next.

Basically if you weren’t there you missed out but don’t be fearful of that, at least not from a beer perspective because as great as the brews were it is the people who drive it.

So to all staff, builders, brewers, volunteers and attendees, you all know who you are, well done.

 

Thanks for reading.

Identity, Offence and a Hitler Clock…

140ji6

 

This is my Hitler clock…

WP_20160625_024

Much like Nazism, it doesn’t work but is certainly striking to look at.  It was made by a French man so I think we can forget about puns about German efficiency…that comes later in this piece.

Of course if you are offended by this because you think it glorifies our little toothbrush-moustached Austrian (by birth) dictator then that is your business, I’m of the opinion it mocks him.

Then again some people are offended by the Swastika without appreciating it’s history and significance to others completely devoid of any relation to the Nazis.

 

I never knew either of my granddads but was always fascinated by the story of one of them and its relation to personal identity.

Walter was from Bohemia and he was fluent in 4 languages; German, English, French and Czech.

Bohemia (where the Rhapsody is from) is currently in the Czech Republic (formed 1993, or as Sporcle now insists its referred to as, Czechia), though during my grandfather’s birth it was part of Germany (making him German by birth) but then, from 1918, part of Czechoslovakia following the carving up of Europe after the First World War.  It was then part of the Sudetenland that was annexed back to Germany in 1938.

 

Then the Second World War happened.

 

Apart from being in the midst of the Nazi Empire my grandfather and his family also had the rotten luck of being Jewish.

 

Papers, please.

WP_20160627_001 WP_20160627_002

 

Being of some standing and right before they were stripped of all their possessions, they were at least given the chance to get away with their lives, provided they could prove that someone (I assume in a then neutral country) was willing to support them and prove that they could, hence the document below.

WP_20160627_004

 

How and when my granddad left Bohemia I don’t know, I’ve heard via Italy but it isn’t really important other than the fact that rather than getting to America he wound up in England and joined the British Army.

Fun Fact: he helped teach media-baron in-waiting Robert Maxwell how to speak English (apparently Maxwell had a very good ear).

 

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazism or Hitler approaches 1″.

– Mike Godwin, 1990 (Godwin’s Law).

The above “law” doesn’t just apply on-line, it is a go-to comparison of the mentally lazy who not only report & comment on the news but also those that lead countries.

We are currently living in a world where people are obsessed with defining themselves; be it gender, race, religion, sexuality, political leanings, class, nationality, diet, weight, height, general appearance, the list is as endless as the list of people ready to get offended at the slightest utterance of anything that seemingly disparages any of these things.

It is a world obsessed with itself, a world of narcissism. People so desperate to identify as something end up creating divisions in their own minds, thinking themselves open-minded, they really are as narrow-minded as those they think they are the antithesis of.

 

 

What you drink probably makes you Hitler too.

 

Hitler is/was, sadly, neither the be all or the end all of all that is or has been evil in the world.  These modern despots and murderous terrorists are so much of a world away from the person with an opinion or a comment you disagree with and the choice language that may come with it, that it is a sign of how laughable things have become that this distinction even needs to be made.

 

My grandfather was lucky in a way, reaching the UK and being able to start a family and have a relatively normal life up until his death.

Emma and Amalie lives however ended in Auschwitz, their names now in the list the adorns the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.

 

For the record, my other grandfather was, at the very least, a descendant of an Orangeman, but that is probably another story.

 

Thanks for reading.

If Beer Was…

JAWS

jaws

 

 

 

Beer in the shape of a Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) descends on the small, seaside town of Amity bringing confusion and panic to the locals.

jaws-movie-drunk-girl-opening-scene-chrissie-watkins

 

The local chief of police, Brody, does not know what to make of this new arrival, after years of complacency all of this just crept up on him.  He is aware that this force of nature can be harnessed but at the same time is also a massive threat to his way of life and to the status quo.

jaws_088pyxurz

 

Unsure of how to tackle this new foe he enlists the help of two men.  The first is the salt-of-the-earth Quint.

jaws-2

 

Quint has been dealing with the tribulations brought on by sharks for decades.  Battle-hardened, wistful and with a lifetime of experience he can sometimes come across as a little insane and immovably stuck in his ways.

hqdefault

Obsessed with taming sharks only by the use of barrels.

jaws_112pyxurz

 

Quint could possibly be accused being a bit too casual about sharks.

jawsmemoriesfrommarthasvineyard2

 

The second man to come to Chief Brody’s aid is the quiet and university educated Hooper.

funny-faces-richard-dreyfuss-jaws

 

Possessing a wealth of knowledge gleamed mainly from books Hooper is a man who is initially intimidated by Quint and is therefore prone to antagonistic behaviour.

richard-dreyfus-jaws-1975

 

 

Which can sometimes be excused given how the locals of Amity seem blissfully unaware that different types of shark exist.  In trying to explain he realises he really isn’t going to convince everyone that he knows more than most regular, as he would call them, bozos.

hqdefault

 

And later, when he find just how irrational Quint sometimes behaves, never listening to reason and ploughing on regardless.

robert-shaw-jaws-9

 

However Quint and Hooper do bond slightly when they realise that they each have something to bring to the table given their past dealings with sharks.

500full

 

Brody, the outcast between the yin-yang of Hooper and Quint’s knowledge of sharks seems more concerned about gas and always wanting things to be bigger.

 

 

For the sake of everything, these three men come together to try and get a grip on the shark and after some effective use of barrels it appears the three men may be victorious.  But the exertion of it all is too much and via a stray gas cylinder, Quint meets his fate in the jaws of the shark.

jaws-3

 

Hooper, after one trick too many also appears to succumb leaving only Chief Brody left to do battle, which he eventually succeeds at, using another gas cylinder.

things-that-make-you-go-kaboom-20080213013200283

 

As Brody surveys the scene of victory, of a shark tamed, he is startled then relived to see Hooper did in fact survive, and as they lament the passing of Quint they had back to the shore.

But as the credits roll it is not the two survivors but the rough and ready Quint, with his history evoking stories that linger in the memory.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

A word about the sequels:

Jaws 2: Something original always has inferior follow ups.

Jaws 3-D: The painful exploitation of that latest techniques and styles that quickly outstays its welcome.

Jaws, The Revenge: Horrible cash-in that only swells the coffers of a small few.

Brewing For A Beauty & A Beast

wp_20160924_002

 

This is the second Five Towns collaboration for the 2016 Independent Salford Beer Festival, the first one (The Secret Life Of Arabica) can be found here

I was supposed to help with that one, having suffered through being clean sober and getting to bed early on Friday 19th February I was woken, not by my alarm, set for 4am, but by a phone-call from Jim at 5am wondering where I was.  Having enjoyed my time at Five Towns for Art Decade – the 1st collaboration for the 2015 festival it pained me to miss out but the time had passed and it just wasn’t meant to be.  I drowned my sorrows on the Saturday night having cursed my alarm clock the whole day, then I went to bed.

My alarm clock went off at 4am Sunday morning.

Said alarm clock now makes up land-fill somewhere.

 

wp_20160924_001

Luckily a second collaboration was planned and I wasn’t going to miss it this time.  Memories of Leigh (Centurions, rugby league) losing to Bradford as we drove home after the Art Decade brew day were minimised by it being such a great day.  2016, with Leigh already promoted to Super League a couple of week prior meant that this brew day saw September out in style.

wp_20160924_004

Standard brewery hose porn.

Mash On…

wp_20160924_006wp_20160924_010

Not porridge, you don’t eat porridge on brew days in Wakefield you eat:

wp_20160924_009 wp_20160924_021

 

Bacon, sausage and egg barms from across the road, followed by a chippy dinner from next door.

 

Sparge…

1baiue

 

 

The bittering hops were Centennial, the aroma from further hop addition of Centennial and Kazbek (Mohawk style).

wp_20160924_015

wp_20160924_012

Given that this man spent a good 5 minutes inhaling ever hop addition with a satisfied glaze over his eyes…which was not due to the early start, long day (and night in his case) and 12 cups of coffee…it is amazing any timings were kept, like Gollum and the ring.

 

wp_20160924_016Adjuncts to this beer in the boil were Kaffir Lime Leaves, dried orange peel and soured orange peel.  An addition of dried lemon peel will be added at the fermenting stage, along with copious amounts of fresh oranges, lemons and limes.

 

wp_20160924_020

From porridge to curry.

 

Yeast is US05 if you are interested and after all that it should give us an IPA of about 8.5-9%

2016 is the year of many deaths of popular musicians, namely David Bowie and the name of the beer “Beauty & the Beast,” is the title of the opening track off his 1977 album “Heroes.”

There is some suggestion that this could be black & tanned with the aforementioned Secret Life…and given that that beer is named after the closing song on the same album it would be a fitting tribute and also to the final Independent Salford Beer Festival.

A review of the inaugural (2014) event

A review of the 2015 event

 

Is The Labour Party Finished in Manchester?

I was going to put “The North” but I’m sticking with my local area for rather obvious reasons.

I’m not exactly a massive fan of the system we call democracy in the UK as it currently stands, I’m more a fan of proportional representation (PR) than first passed the post (FPP) but then again as has been shown with the recent referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union, because the vote didn’t go the way of the “enlightened” then it clear indicates that some people shouldn’t even be allowed to vote, let alone the if PR was the system of voting in the UK, then UKIP would indeed have far more parliamentary representation than either the Lib Dems or the Greens.

A great many in the county of Manchester voted to Leave, 7 of the 10 boroughs in fact.  Because the referendum was reduced by some to Leave = right-wing, Remain = left-wing it came as quite a shock that supposedly a left-wing party, Labour heartlands would vote in massive numbers to Leave.  So much so that this somehow fell on the head of Jeremy Corbyn (to be fair the man has been against the EU most of his political career) and so now the Labour Party is tearing itself apart with a leadership election.

As the fallout between Corbyn and ABCs (anybody but Corbyn) continues in the Labour party, it is the face of Tony Blair that always looms large and this 3 consecutive victories (achieved regardless of numerous invasion follies) that are brought up as to why Corbyn isn’t a suitable leader and/or Prime Minister.

Watching spin doctor Alistair Campbell (ever so briefly) on Question Time banging on about how they won over Tory voters highlights what went wrong and what continues to go wrong.  Yes, you need to win over some of these voters but sadly they did it at the expense of their core working class vote.

Its a bit like the mob in the Christopher Nolan Batman film “The Dark Knight,” they had a problem with not having a grip on power any more (Note: any MP using the term “in power” should be viewed with suspicion) so turn to a force they did not fully understand, this brought some initial quick gains but they undercut themselves in the long-term.

Of course that analogy can be applied today, Jeremy Corbyn is no great cure-all but at least he isn’t a Liberal Democrat, a party akin to John Daggett, teaming up with the Tory’s Bane and then looking on in horror as to what destruction they have enabled while they themselves also end up destroyed.

Damn, if only I had a political analogy involving Ra’s al Ghul.

Locally the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), all Labour except 1, a Conservative of the Trafford Borough (which voted 57.7% to Remain).

My borough council, Wigan, voted 63.9% to Leave the EU, it is made up of 65 Labour seats, the other 10 split between local independents and the Conservatives.

Manchester City Council has 95 Labour party representatives and 1 Lib Dem (60.4% Remain).

I’ve blogged about local issues before locally in Atherton and around the borough as Wigan Labour systematically remove popular and necessary public assets for private profiteering.

About the loss of Manchester’s heritage as Manchester City Labour purge history from Manchester’s streets and most recently the evisceration of another historic part of Manchester so Gary Neville can build his own versions of Barad-dûr and Orthanc.

Of course should Labour lose seats not just in Greater Manchester but in its heartlands around the UK, then all the blame by those same MPs will be lain at the feet of Corbyn and the cyclical mess will continue, people will just get more disillusioned with politics and MPs will continue to feather the nests and prime themselves for big paying consultancy jobs when they are eventually gotten rid of, all this while conveniently forgetting about how Labour has been wiped out in Scotland by exactly the same behaviour.

On a national scale, the worst thing about all of this is that you have a new level of patronisation, especially when every Tory and anti-Corbyn entity try to sound magnanimous by uttering “we need a strong opposition to us/the current government in check and better,” and as every TV channel and news services continues to do special programmes about the end of Labour.  These programmes are solely from a political/media point of view and have absolutely nothing to do with actual support within the general public, highlighting the growing gap and level of contempt that both the media and the current crop of politicians have for us plebs.

Many in the media use the term Populism in a negative way, safe way to explain an apparent rise in “right-wing” (Trump, UKIP, Leave winning the EU referendum, etc).  As you can see from the link description the term populism can be ascribed to any side of the political divide and this is the problem, and if you’ve sat at home blaming “stupid people” and “racists” for everything that has gone on in the UK recently than you are just as culpable as those who blame “immigrants” and “Europe” – it is a political malaise but hopefully the tide is turning to something more positive and hopeful.

Thanks for reading.

Petition against Neville’s Vanity Towers

P.S.

As I always feel a blog should have one picture and to show that I’m not actually right-wing myself, I post my latest results from Political Compass

polcomp2016