Friday, 23 October 2009


............ said Nick Griffin of the BNP in the controversial Question Time programme last night.

Oh yes, I'm thinking, you probably pretty much are.

But there's a problem.

Pouring venom on you, shouting you down, censoring you, and using anger and hatred as the weapons against you make your critics look as much, or maybe even more guilty of the hatred and bigotry of which they accuse you.

And that's what happened. Understandable, very understandable. But, in an open public arena, unfortunate.

It would have taken a statesmanlike leader to have calmly given you the space to hang yourself as a closed minded, nasty and brutish fear monger. It would have taken a real leader to have properly acknowledged the real human fears and injustices upon which you prey, and better still to be constructing and executing policies that address them and the dangers inherent in them, so that you have no political ground to hold. Sadly, there wasn't one present.

Watching someone getting publicly reviled, no mattter how odious they are, is a brutal and freakish form of entertainment with the danger that the object of revulsion actually becomes a figure capable of attracting sympathy.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Saturday, 17 October 2009


A politburo memo:

Dull down.
And work the idealist trick,
Sedating with false unity.
Use class as enemy.
Cite equality, against the radiant individual facts.
Dumb down.
And rewrite history.
Make problems, so they feel you're solving them.
Stay monochrome. It's so much easier understood.
Move mass to keep your power.
And on this slate, they shall write nothing,
Leaving you to sketch your dawn -
Your new, precious dawn.
Red rising hood?
Or slate, slate grey?

Some dawn.
Some new false bloody dawn

Sunday, 11 October 2009


Sweating against a deadline, the copywriter was up all night teasing and tweaking the phrase. At dawn, word-sick, he sat, head in hands.

"The future's bright....."

No, no. They'll never buy that.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


It started with a girl at a party. Offering me one, she looked at me with big Pocahontas eyes. How could I refuse?
It continued with a Saturday job at a newsagents and tobacconists. Bert, the owner, and, as time went on, firm friend, was a devout communist. Weekly, he’d dip into his pocket in response to the appeals on the front page of the Morning Star, seeking donations for its own survival. When, therefore, I filched through the brands of available fagware, he had little response to my defence that it was redistributing wealth.
At 17, it was Sobranies. I looked a real prick, posing with pink ones, and coughing my way through the black russians.
Not much later it was Gitanes unfiltered, inspired by my poet friend who was on the Chatterton trail, living in a damp cellar with a nutritional intake that consisted only of the evil French smokes, and unbelievably strong coffee. Pursuing the Gitanes lifestyle we went together to Paris, sharing a small apartment in the 8th Arrondissement, dreaming (at least on his part) of being Verlaine and Rimbaud. We got ourselves arrested for having a Gitanes and coffee picnic at the top of the then unfinished La Defense buildings. We broke easily into the building site, ascended for ages, then sat dangerously, with our legs dangling over the skyscraper edge to enjoy the unparalleled views of the City, wreathed in mists of tabac brun .
At university I went through an Old Tory phase. I squandered a great deal of money on brogues, tweed jackets and corduroy trousers. To complete the picture I bought a pipe. At the time, to me and my fellow members of the Idiotic Old Tory set, this seemed like a good idea. At the tobacconists, when asked with which brand I would like to stuff my briar, I remembered that my Dad had smoked Erinmore Mix. Equipped with this I set off to an enjoy an evening of fine smoking. I’d never had my Dad down as a hard man. But two bowls of Erinmore was more than enough to convince me he had hidden depths, as my student bedroom span round at alarming speed, and on about the thirtieth revolution I managed to dive onto my bed and stay there, ill, for about three days. Thus ended a chapter of the pipe dream.


Me and Ged planted this tree. It will grow huge and old, outliving us both. And now, its first fruit.



Friday, 9 October 2009


Ashford, Kent, Pall Mall, Marlborough, Richmond, Windsor, Afton, Mayfair.

Just why are so many fag brands named after British places?



Sunday, 4 October 2009


Don't just do something. Sit there!

Friday, 2 October 2009


.................... the lights of a vehicle. A long way off. Moving about. Why? He’s doing something out there. But what?