King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge

It was back in 1986, before the name change. He was still plain old Johnny Rothwell then, a crazy-arsed barbarian from the Farnborough and Aldershot area, head of a gang of outlaw bikers, a death-defying trouble-maker, a rebel and a fighter, known as “King John” at the time, not because he had any aspirations to royalty, but because he was famed for throwing full-moon parties at nearby Odiham Castle, also known as King John’s Castle. He’d had this weird revelation about his true identity – about his once, true and former name, as he describes it – in a run-down … Continue reading King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge

Engaged Spirituality

Russell Brand’s interview with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight was one of the most watched YouTube clips in the UK last year. It’s not surprising. Brand is always entertaining, and to see him go head to head with one of the UK’s heavyweight political pundits had something of the air of an intellectual sparring match about it. Indeed it was billed that way. The BBC’s own YouTube channel calls the interview “Paxman vs. Brand”. So it was the old guard vs. the new, political commentary vs. anarchic comedy, seriousness vs. facetiousness, democracy vs. revolution, politics vs. spirituality. The politics of spirituality: from  Kindred … Continue reading Engaged Spirituality

An Interview With Tony Benn

The following interview was recorded on the 9th October 2000 at Tony Benn’s house in Notting Hill. It was for a book I was planning to write at the time, called The Lords of Misrule about the protest movement, which had recently scored such a high-profile victory by closing down the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999. The interview was published in  Red Pepper and on the LabourNet website. I put in up here today as a tribute to Tony Benn, one of a rare breed, an honest politician, who died on the 14th March 2014. An inspiration to the end. Tony Benn: I’ll … Continue reading An Interview With Tony Benn

Brian Haw: conscience for the world

I went to the Brian Haw memorial gig at the Whitstable Labour Club on Friday (8/11/13). In case you don’t know, Whitstable is raising money to make a bench in celebration of Brian’s connection to the town. Read more here. From The Whitstable Gazette. The editor welcomes letters on any topical subject but reserves the right to edit them. Letters must include your name and address even when emailed and a daytime telephone number. Send letters to: The Editor, Gazette House, 5-8 Boorman Way, Estuary View Business Park, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3SE, email Continue reading Brian Haw: conscience for the world

The Closure of the Whitstable Delivery Office

As you will know by now, the Whitstable delivery office is due to close on the 20th May and the staff and service be relocated to Military Road, Canterbury. It will be a sad day for postal workers and for the town as one more vital facility is closed and shifted over to the city nearly eight miles away. However, the staff are sanguine about it. We put up a good fight, we held the company at bay for over three months and we won some important concessions along the way, with significant help from you, the public, who wholeheartedly … Continue reading The Closure of the Whitstable Delivery Office

Age and protest

I’m 59 years old this year. That’s six years to my retirement. Age creeps up on you. One day you’re trundling along in that indeterminate phase between youth and contented middle age, and the next you are contemplating your pension. That is, if I’m allowed a pension. They will probably have abolished pensions by then, in order to pay more bonuses for bankers. Age does have its compensations, however. I’ve needed glasses to read for many years. More recently I’ve needed glasses all the time. The disadvantage of this is that it means that I’m showing my age. The advantage … Continue reading Age and protest