Wednesday, 25 November 2015

100 best songs of the 1980s.

Inspired by NME's list this week, I thought I'd give it a crack myself.

I set myself the restriction of only allowing myself one song per artist otherwise there might only be five or six groups in it.

Anyway, here they are.

A Perfect Circle – R.E.M

Ace of Spades – Motorhead

All of My Heart – ABC

Atomic – Blondie

Automatic – Pointer Sisters

Back to Life – Soul II Soul

Beat Surrender – Jam

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Blueboy – Orange Juice

Bone Machine – Pixies

Bow Down – Housemartins

Box Elder – Pavement

Bridge to Your Heart – Wax

Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry

Cattle and Cane – Go-Betweens

Destroy The Heart – House of Love

Don’t You Want Me – Human League

Eardrum Buzz – Wire

Electricity – OMD

Embarrassment – Madness

Everyday is Like Sunday – Morrissey

Fairytale of New York – Pogues

Fantasy Island – Tight Fit

Final Day – Young Marble Giants

Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr.

Geno – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Getting Away With It – Electronic

Ghost Town – Specials

Good Life – Inner City

Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant

Greetings to the New Brunette – Billy Bragg

Hilly Fields (1892) – Nick Nicely

I Feel For You – Chaka Khan

IOU – Freeez

Just Making Memories – Black

Just What I Needed – Cars

Kennedy – Wedding Present

Left to My Own Devices – Pet Shop Boys

Let’s Go Crazy – Prince

Life During Wartime – Talking Heads

Like A Prayer – Madonna

Love Like Blood – Killing Joke

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division

Manhattan Skyline – A-ha

Master Blaster – Stevie Wonder

Me, Myself and I – De La Soul

Megablast – Bomb The Bass

Mirror In The Bathroom – Beat

Modern Love – David Bowie

Never Understand – Jesus and Mary Chain

New Sensation – INHS

Our Lips Are Sealed – Fun Boy Three

Pacific State – 808 State

Paid In Full – Eric B and Rakim

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S

Rebel Without A Pause – Public Enemy

Ride On Time – Black Box

Rush Hour – Jane Wiedlin

Sewing The Seeds of Love – Tears for Fears

Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

She Bangs The Drums – Stone Roses

Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt

Situation – Yazoo

Song to the Siren – This Mortal Coil

Sorry for Laughing – Josef K

Sorry Somehow – Husker Du

Straight Outta Compton – NWA

Strange Day – Cure

Talkin All That Jazz – Stetsasonic

Teardrops – Womack and Womack

Teen Age Riot – Sonic Youth

Temptation – Heaven 17

The Boy in the Bubble – Paul Simon

The Classical – The Fall

The Crown – Gary Byrd

The Killing Moon – Echo and the Bunnymen

The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave

The Perfect Kiss – New Order

The Reflex – Duran Duran

The Sensual World – Kate Bush

The Show – Doug E Fresh

The Sun Rising - Beloved

There She Goes – La’s

Trumpton Riots – Half Man Half Biscuit

Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood


Unsatisfied – Replacements

Veronica – Elvis Costello

Vienna – Ultravox

Voodoo Ray – A Guy Called Gerald

Waltz Darling – Malcolm McClaren

Wednesday Week – Undertones

What Difference Does It Make – Smiths

Where the Streets Have No Name – u2

White Lines – Grandmaster Flash

Who’s That Girl – Eurythmics

Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) – Scritti Politti

Wrote For Luck – Happy Mondays

You Made Me Realise – My Bloody Valentine

Friday, 6 November 2015

John Lewis and the Yewtree REM Band

YEWTR.E.M – Nonce on the Moon


Leon Brittan and the missing file yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Jimmy Savile is a paedophile yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Stylophone, Wobbleboard, animal vets,  yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Stuart Hall in a knockout mess yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Let's blame Thatcher, let's blame Heath yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We won’t do the inquest till you’re underneath yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

John Lewis did you hear about this one?
Tell me am I talking too much?
Noel are you going to get the royalties baby
Or do you have too much?

If you believed they put a nonce on the moon
Nonce on the moon
If you believe in paedo gravity
Then nothing is cool

Prophets lost Watkins for the next thirty years yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Cliff’s talking nicely to the Yorkshire police yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Talbot couldn’t jump off the island in time asp yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Gary Glitter and his life of crime yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

John Lewis did you hear about this one?
Tell me am I talking too much?
Noel are you going to get the royalties baby
Or do you have too much?

If you believed they put a nonce on the moon
Nonce on the moon
If you believe in paedo gravity
Then nothing is cool

Here's a little rumour about Harriet Harman yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a little clip of Jonathan King yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a kids home in the Channel Islands yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Another inquiry just got postponed for the winter yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

John Lewis did you hear about this one?
Tell me am I talking too much?
Noel are you going to get the royalties baby
Or do you have too much?

If you believed they put a nonce on the moon
Nonce on the moon
If you believe in paedo gravity
Then nothing is cool

If you believed they put a nonce on the moon
Nonce on the moon
If you believe in paedo gravity
Then nothing is cool


Saturday, 24 October 2015

A Poem


Here's a poem I wrote about the clocks going back.

An extra hour in bed 

Midwatch for the night nurse, a chance to check
the traces, the heartbeats, the nil-by-mouths.
She moves in the torchlight, soft steps conspire
with the silent hymn of respirators.

Outside, two becomes one. Winter’s first gain.
Clocks are put back and pulses are taken.
A patient gives in, hands in his last breath.
Paperwork demands the time of his death.

Tender mercies of the nurse’s pen. For the alive
and the dead, an extra hour in bed.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Mouth of A Piggy

(to the tune of Survivor's Eye of the Tiger)

Now I’m up, on Downing Street
I’m in charge, knew I’d make it.
No resistance, it’s too easy for me
Just a man and his public school tie.

So many times it happens too fast
You fail to stay Mr Big
Don't lose your grip on those friends of the past
They’ve got pics of your cock in a pig.

It's the mouth of a piggy
It's the Bullingdon Club
Smashing up restaurants – its no biggie.
Give the homeless a fiver
Just to watch them breathe fire
And then we stick cocks in the mouth of a piggy.

Face to cock, meat to meat
Initiation ceremony
You never think of the secrets they keep
For the chance of revenge if they like.

It's the mouth of a piggy
It's the Bullingdon Club
Smashing up restaurants – its no biggie.
Give the homeless a fiver
Just to watch them breathe fire
And then we stick cocks in the mouth of a piggy.

Staying up, friends at the top
Had the cash, joined the Tories
Went to Eton, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his public school tie.

It's the mouth of a piggy
It's the Bullingdon Club
Smashing up restaurants – its no biggie.
Give the homeless a fiver
Just to watch them breathe fire
And then we stick cocks in the mouth of a piggy.

The mouth of a piggy
The mouth of a piggy
The mouth of a piggy
The mouth of a piggy

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Apologies to Billy Joel

Spurred on by Sean Burns, I was inspired to write a national anthem that everyone can get behind. No wishing for theoretical deities to spare monarchs.

Anyway, here it is.

(to the tune of We Didnt Start The Fire)

Harry Corbett, Robin Day, Stuart Broad, Equal pay
Aldermaston, Willie Rushton, Mark E Smith
Paul McCartney, Harold Wilson, Hilda Baker, television
Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cymru am byth

Wetherspoons, Shakespeare, FA Cup, Warm beer
Orwell, Private Eye and "The books at Hay on Wye"
Dylan Thomas, vaccine, Freddie Mercury and Queen
Waterloo, Peterloo, And you wouldn’t let it lie

We didn't just invent the tyre
We were the island nation
That gave you vaccinations
We didn't just invent the tyre
There were other inventions
We’re too polite to mention

Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise, Golden Wonder, Mince Pies
Robbie Burns, David Beckham, Come on Eileen
Get it on, Bang a gong, Seamus Heaney, Ban the Bomb
Reggie Perrin falls, "Camberwick Green"

Shergar, George Best, Michael Rodd’s Screen Test
Billy Connolly, Simon Cowell, Charles Dickens, Isle of Man
Corbyn, Schnorbitz, Spice Girls, Smash Hits
Fatboy Slim, "Gordons Gin", some of the crowd are on the pitch

We didn't make The Wire
And we have no Arnie
But we made Dad’s Army
We didn't make The Wire
But it had our stars in
Which makes it kind of our win

Little Chef, Crackerjack, Tommy Cooper, heart attack
Cricket, BBC,” A slice of cake and a cuppa tea
Chicken tikka, NHS, Harold Shipman, Fred West
Shit weather, fox hunts, tax dodging rich cunts

Andy Pandy, "Gok Wan", Pontypandy, Fireman Sam
Hula hoops, Bisto, Sunday evening bingo
M4, Cheddar Cheese, Steptoe and shit degrees
Double deckers, Tenko, Teletext and Tesco

We’ve got the Mull of Kintyre
It’s a bit of Scotland
That was in that song and
We call a state a shire
And our pants are trousers
And ladies shirts are blouses

NHS, Wordsworth, Countdown, Life on Earth
Lennon, Bowie, Paddington station
"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania
Bullseye, Five Live, Pogo Patterson
John Peel, Gay pride, British politician lied
Vernon Kay, Brian May, what else do I have to say

We rather like a choir
In the mines especially
And places like Llanelli
We like a crooked spire
But we don’t do church much
We tend to Sunday brunch now

Birth control, Green Cross Code, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Milk milk, Lemonade, Round the corner chocolate’s made
Britpop, Chipshop, Bad attempts at hip hop
Bannister’s four minute mile, Savile is a paedophile
Alton Towers, Glastonbury, Vic Reeves, Rich Tea
Richard Keys, refugees, Mars, Twix, knobbly knees
Lewis Collins, Martin Shaw, Food banks for the starving poor
Respect for those who died in war, I can't take it anymore

We didn't just invent the tyre
We were the island nation
That gave you vaccinations
We didn't just invent the tyre
There were other inventions
We’re too polite to mention

Sunday, 13 September 2015


(for SM)

World’s Smallest University Reunion

Between 1989 and 1993 I occasionally attended Trinity College Carmarthen. In return for using student grants as a means to fund a hedonistic and chaotic lifestyle, the college failed my degree. I read a lot of books. It wasn't what they wanted. They failed a few of us. I made some wonderful friends there. We’ve talked for years about meeting up again. A plan was recently hatched on social media. 7 or 8 of us were to rent a cottage nearby and go visit the old haunts and catch up. In the fortnight beforehand everybody cancelled. Suddenly remembered anniversaries, recently diagnosed illnesses. Finances. Kids. A long way to go. 
Except me and The Monk. This is what happened next.

“Sometimes I can't believe it
I'm movin' past the feeling
Sometimes I can't believe it
I'm movin' past the feeling again”
Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs”

70 miles to Carmarthen. 70 miles in the latest of the Monk’s cars, a Nissan Almeria that’s known happier millennia than this. I’ve packed an overnight bag with sensible shoes and old cassettes. The Monk has rigged the car's cassette player to play music from his phone. There’s leads that shouldn’t be there. It’ll be fine. The perfect vehicle for two badly out of shape middle aged men to travel back in time to when they were badly out of shape young men. 

Nostalgia is a terribly addictive exercise, a distraction from the worries of the present. But it’s a comfort too, a happy place to go to in times of darkness. Our journey needs sound tracking, I push a button on the Monk’s phone and we get the Arcade Fire’s Suburbs album. It’s almost too perfect – songs that combine a sense of nostalgia with regret and fear. As the car passes the industrial stench of Port Talbot, a childish excitement takes over us both. The Arcade Fire’s Wasted Hours is the song that kicks in as Carmarthen finally emerges into view, our Shangri-La, our Oz, our Narnia.

People don’t just go to university for degrees, they go to learn about themselves and discover something they might like. Certainly that was the truth in my case, though I only see that now.

Driving over Pont Lesneven and up through Johnstown. Remembering our old friend Geof (pronounced Joff). Joff was the manager of the Student Union bar, a huge fat man with a walrus moustache and a curmudgeonly reputation. But he was kind and loyal to regular customers who could handle their drink and so it was one Easter, that hearing we were in dire straits and at a loose end, Joff offered us work helping him landscape his garden.

We managed three days between us. The Monk smashed his face in falling from a rockery onto as yet uninvited rocks. I carried a cement mixer to the top of a hill. The wrong hill as it turned out. We looked at the hard earth we were supposed to dig away. We came to the conclusion that we were about as cut out for manual labour as we were for any other sort of work and were rewarded for our brief, fruitless efforts with 20 quid each and some lagers and sandwiches. Joff was a good man, far too old to be running a student bar and dealing with pricks like us. We had presumed him dead by now. We pass his house and think about calling in just in case but we decide that he’s either dead, moved or won’t remember us. Joff is dead. We’ve decided. We drive on up the hill towards the college.

Tim and Kim are definitely dead. We know this for sure. Tim had a heart attack visiting his father in a hospice. Kim had cancer. They will have to wait for college reunions. 

Towns can grow fat like people. The streets you remember bisecting fields are now just veins for sprawling estates of identikit houses. We go past the college because we want to visit the street where we once lived, the first home my son ever knew. A lump in my throat needs no explanation. The street looks the same as it did in 1993. But the children who played on the green aren’t there, probably taking their own kids to swimming lessons and bowling alleys. This grass is where my son took his first faltering steps. It’s not the same grass of course, but everything beneath the surface has remained the same. You were too young to put down roots so you threw some seed around and waited for time to catch up.

The view from here is astonishing, the hills stretch away towards the Cambrian Mountains, like a set of landmarks yet to be accomplished. Graduation, marriage, mortgages. Paperwork and bills. The great unknown at the horizon.

More time travelling. Drive down to the Monk’s old house. Which looks exactly as he left it. Some fresh garden furniture are the only clues to our failing in time travel. Walk around the old streets. Ghosts on every corner. Passers by look familiar because we want them to. Half the town has been swallowed by shopping centres that have transformed it from the ugly beautiful sprawl of disreputable pubs and independent stores to a retail experience just like any other.

What town planners don’t consider is the effect on people’s sense of themselves as it relates to place. The town we’d come to once had its own secret topography, a maze of emotional landmarks and psychic folly.
Let’s not drink alcohol until we can book into the hotel and park the car. Wise words from the Monk. Still only noon too. I want alcohol so bad it hurts. This town is a stranger to me. I’m not handling it well.

There used to be dozens of cafes and bakers in the town centre. Now there is a Greggs. A Greggs I am queuing inside because people prefer queues in chain stores to prompt service from someone whose grandad opened a shop in 1905. I ask for Hot Shit With Pastry. The Monk opts for Chicken Thing.

Eventually the hotel lets us in. It’s got wi-fi. Which seems wrong. I didn’t even know what the internet was when I was last here. Social media addict that I am, I notice my Facebook status from the place and time where I usually live has had some likes. I want Carmarthen to be the college town of 1990. I don’t want my mobile phone. I want my youth back. I want alcohol. I want Geof, Tim and Kim and everybody else I ever knew in this town to appear right now.

Looking back, it seems crazy that so many of us were running away from something. You don’t choose to take a degree as far away from the hubbub of things without good reason. Over the years the trust that comes with finding friendship stripped away the psychic borders we had each of us put up. We were survivors of mental, physical, emotional abuse. We had issues with sexuality, gender, diet. We didn’t believe in ourselves or anything much. We hid behind jokes, films and music. We formed a bond and created a language that only true friends can communicate in.

Carmarthen was an ugly town, but our eyes beheld something that people trapped there couldn't see, wouldn't see. This was the place where we lost our virginities, fell in love, had our hearts broken, discovered the things we cared about and the things we didn't. All the pubs that closed held memories, not all of them good. A vanished phone box where you gave up the name of your baby son to grandparents younger than you are now. The bench where you were first dumped. A room where a man tried to. Ah, the past.

When love is gone, where does it go?

We visit the Blue Boar. The bar staff used to live upstairs and, on one famed occasion, chucked the keys down to us so we could let ourselves in. A precious fragment of time gifted us forever.

Today a dozen or so old fellas are cheering on the Irish rugby team against England. Here is a place of disaffection.

I decide to order a Guinness.

An old fella asks us for a light.

“I don't smoke myself. Just cigars,” he says “and a few cigarettes.”

The non smoker goes outside for his non smoking fix. Me and the Monk are laughing, it's a good omen, our first proper encounter with a Carmarthen character.

To the Mansel. More rugby. A friendly but clearly nuts barmaid finishes her shift, introduces herself and leaves. More pints. They're going down too easily. My thirst is that of a 20 year old again. We spy a sign promising karaoke later. More laughter.

In one pub, a young lad comes over to talk to us. I worry immediately that he’s going to ask for cash, offer us drugs or a fight. But no, he’s young, pissed and friendly.

“Are you from round here?”

“Used to be, we went to Trinity years ago.”

“And you’ve come back? Why?”

“Just wanted to see the old places again. This pub included,”

“I would do anything to leave this town, its shit. I’ll probably join the army or something. I might get killed. At least I wouldn’t have died here.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, mate, or the town. Plenty of worse places on Earth.”

The kid points at refugees on the telly. “If only they knew eh?” and with this he smiles, shakes our hands and leaves.

We go to the Coracle chippy and take our tea to the park where I used to push my son on the swings. Some kids are playing basketball, or a version of it in which the idea is never to get the ball in the hoop. We're eating a local delicacy – a batch. A batch is a hollowed out bread roll, filled with chips and gravy and topped off with a slipper of meat product optimistically called a King Rib. My taste buds get the Proustian rush.

No sooner had the warm meat mixed with the chips touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself....

When love is gone, where does it go?

A summer’s day, 1992. I’m crawling backwards away from my year old son. This is the funniest thing Daddy ever did. The basketball court is where that patch of grass, that impossibly green square of legend, once stood. Each missed throw by the disgustingly young kids is a kick to my stomach.

I close my eyes as I screw up the greasy newspaper. This is no time for tears.

The futuristic bleep of a text message brings me back to the here and now. Sean, an old college friend who still lives nearby wants to meet up for a drink. This news livens us up.

Sean turns up. He can’t stay long as his wife is ill. We chat away about old friends, who’s still in contact with who. Richard teaches in Sakhalin Island. Joe teaches in Minnesota. Stump runs a school in Dubai. We learn that everyone is teaching. Sean leaves his big news till last.

Geof is dead.


Yes, couple of years back. He’d been very ill.

Geof is dead. He really is dead. Tears sting the eyes. 

I raise a glass.

To Geof. And to Tim. And to Kim. To all the old friends and forgotten friendships. All reunions get smaller. It is to be hoped that, though the numbers at reunions dwindle with time, they may be replenished in the hereafter. 
Handshakes and hugs punctuate the night. Sean, glad of his own escape, makes his way back towards the now.

What now?”

Let's get fucking wrecked.”

Back to the Mansel. The karaoke is in full swing. A group of kids who probably weren't even in school the last time I drank in this town are smashing Jaegerbombs and singing Killers songs. Their youth is enviable. We grab a seat in a dingy corner and set ourselves to the task of oblivion.

We need to do this more often.”

Yep,,,yep....” I agree, the drink is robbing me of conversational skills.

We last came in 1998. If we leave it another 17 years we'll be sixty...sixty two. Well I won't be, I'll be dead surely.”

The Monk is ill. Not terminally. Just ill. Just another big fella with cholestrol for blood and a broken heart trying to pump it around the wreckage around him. I'm smaller, but not much. 
Dont say that, man.”

It could all have gone downhill here but for a visit from an angel.

A malnourished Des Lynam lookalike grabs a seat next to us. His face lit by the luminous words of Dancing Queen. He mouths along with every song. Bowie. Rihanna. Buble. His face is lost in rapture, whatever joy me and the Monk were looking for, this man has found it already. 
I sing Wonderful World. Steve sings Freedom by Wham. Des Lynam sings You'll Never Walk Alone. A sad looking middle aged man sings a Tom Waits song in a voice higher than expected. The kids love us all. Hugs and selfies. More drinks. More drinks. And sleep. And drunken dreams.

You don't leave a town, it leaves you. I was smuggled out one Sunday afternoon in the back of a van with the few things I owned. There were no windows. I slid around with old books and records and a locket of my son's hair as we wended our way past unseen reminders of a town I thought I'd never leave. 

Sometimes I think I'm still making that journey, crashing around in the dark with memories and Pixies tapes.

Today, I'm in the passenger seat of a hungover car, negotiating badly a one way system that wants us to leave. We laugh about Des Lynam, we think about Sean, we think about all the fights, drinks, drugs and conversations we had in this town. The sun shines. Billy Ocean comes on the radio.

Carmarthen disappears abruptly in the wing mirror, the houses all gone under the sea, the dancers under the hill.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Seventeen Thoughts On Corbyn, Labour and Opposition

1: This election campaign won’t end with the counting of the votes. We now have a clear split in the Labour party and ironically, it is the self-proclaimed modernisers and progressives who wish to maintain the status quo. 

2: Andy Burnham cannot unite the party. Neither can Yvette Cooper. They are too associated with the failure of the past 2 General Election campaigns.   

3: Liz Kendall should be in a different party.  

4: The reaction of the Labour “big beasts” to the startling Corbyn phenomenon has borne a startling resemblance to the famous Kubler-Ross model of grief management. We have had the denial. In many ways the decision to let Corbyn stand embodies that denial – an arrogant, patronising nod to those in the party who felt there was nothing to divide the other candidates. Then, as it became clear that this was a movement that wasn’t going to just go away, we move into anger.  Coups were openly threatened in the papers. The bargaining is already beginning. Burnham has started to say vaguely socialist things. Depression will follow. Acceptance, I’m not so sure. 

5: The Tories won less than a quarter of the vote.  A quarter of the public didn’t vote at all. That there is as blatant a rejection of our current politics as you could wish to see and still, Yvette and Andy and Liz and Alan and all those tired old losers maintain that only more of the same can see a return to power for Labour. It’s like watching your straw house blow down and insisting that only another straw house will keep the wolf from the door. 

6: When Blair won in 1997, it had precious little to do with a move to the right. Any Labour leader would have won that election but a young, confident, visionary one romped it. That he turned out to be disastrously wrong about so many things is water under the bridge, but his victory in 1997 was a rejection of the right and his decreasing returns in 2001 and 2005 was as much a rejection of him and that rightward movement as anything else.  

7: This is not a right wing country. It has a right wing media. It has somehow ended up with a right wing government but all over the country, not just on social media, there are millions like me who wonder how it is we are in this mess. Despite the best efforts of large swathes of the media, the UKIP bubble burst and burst spectacularly in May.  I don’t know anyone who harbours a hatred for the poor or disabled. And yet this is the government we have chosen. And Her Majesty’s Opposition are worse. They have decided that the best way to win the electorate’s trust is not to appeal to the electorate’s better nature, but to collude in the myth of aspiration, blame and fear mongering.  

8: I keep hearing that this is like 1983 all over again. The Telegraph think their aim of getting thousands of Tories to join Labour to vote Corbyn in is the wizardest of wheezes.  They think Corbyn is another Michael Foot. That getting him in to the Labour hot seat guarantees a Tory reign of at least 20 years. But it’s bluster. The sight of thousands of people across the country queuing to hear him speak is worrying them. They don’t like it. People don’t turn out like this to see Cameron. They never did, they never will. Popularity worries them, scares them. What if people like what Corbyn has to say? 

9: Corbyn has at least gone out and said what his economic policy is and how it would work. It’s been backed by credible economists and largely influenced by a prominent expert on taxation in the UK. This isn’t back of a stamp stuff. And all you’ll hear is well, Amazon will just take their business elsewhere if we don’t pay them to come here. Or well if the minimum wage is £10 an hour, then thousands of businesses will have to shut. I don’t see how either would materialise.  We are giving money to tax avoiders to ensure they stay here and pay no tax. Let’s replace two words in that last sentence. We are giving heroin to drug addicts to ensure they stay here and never come off heroin. Okay, a clumsy analogy. But tax avoidance and drug addiction are similar in the sense that they disproportionately affect the poor, and render its host incapable of functioning properly. The Treasury is a junkie. One look at Osborne would tell you that much. 

10: Who is it exactly the Labour Party are supposed to represent now? The poor, the vulnerable, the unemployed – they have lost their traditional champion. And this, despite being elected time after time in the constituencies where these champions are needed most. Labour have become all they once feigned to despise. A dynastic members club giving helping hands to the sons of former stalwarts, step forward young Kinnock, unlucky young Straw. All of them jumping on the gravy train and staining themselves with its brown envelope. Look at Harriet Harman and her Peppa Pig eyes. She wants to get fat on directorships and chips. And Corbyn's going to ruin everything. 

11: Andy Burnham tried to introduce ID Cards. Flowerpot Man faced prick.

12: Labour are a broad church. Most political organisations are. Those of us on the left have been told time and time again that the world has changed, we are the dinosaurs, we lost the argument and that we must compromise. Now, the shoe is on the other foot and all those careerist MPs don’t like it. People who saw that being Tory meant carrying some sort of pariah status and joined a Labour party they saw moving towards its own ruthless take on Thatcherism. There are thousands of people joining the party each week and most of them because of Corbyn. Fuck all those John Spellars and Tristram Hunts. They would run a mile if they came within 500 feet of a dropped aitch. Things are changing. Good. 

13: The SNP have proved that, north of the border, a grass roots movement can yield massive changes to the political landscape. It's highly unlikely that a Labour party could do so in England but unless people try, they will never know. There are alliances to be made with the SNP, with Plaid and the Greens – foreign alliances too so that the Amazons of this world are made to pay their taxes wherever they set up.  

14: Nationalised railways, scrapped Trident, concerted efforts to pursue tax avoiders. These are policies popular with the public, massively popular, but Labour cant see the point of chasing votes by giving people what they want. Not as long as being Tories with UB40 on their iPods is still an option.  And then they wonder why Corbyn is packing out venues and Liz Kendall couldn't get a lift busy. 

15: The fight wont be fair. The press will tell you Corbyn killed Diana, that he high fived Bin Laden at a 9/11 themed disco funded by snuff movie sales. They will distract you with royal babies and gossip and football. They don’t want to discuss the facts, they never have. 

16: I voted Labour in May. Not because I was inspired by Ed Miliband but because I would have done anything to keep those Tory shithouses out of power. Now, I wonder what was the point. A Labour party that would have matched every cruel and spiteful cut Cameron made. I wanted that to win? Fuck that. I want a government that looks at the unemployed and says "What can we do to give these people a sense of purpose?" not "We should threaten these lazy people with starvation if they don’t work for free at one of my party's key donors." I want a government unafraid to stand up to big business, unafraid to confront bigotry and poverty. I want my NHS back. I want a Labour Party at the forefront of a proper investigation into the historical child abuse at Westminster AND Rotherham AND anywhere else it happens. Most of all I want a leader that I can look at on telly and not think "He's one of them." 

17: He's not one of them, is he? And I think that's what worries the others most.