In a cunning flanking move, The Guardian responds to my post yesterday by publishing a letter from my Old Labour dad today. How can I sustain my free-thinking, post-Thatcherite, Left libertarian, public-private agnostic, open source-advocating online persona when my rellies are wandering around wearing metaphorical “Save Clause Four” T-shirts?:

Maybe I’m naive, but what kind of socialist buys shares (Blunkett faces new conflict of interest claims, November 1)?
Greg Counsell
Tamworth, Staffs

Why can’t he just dance badly at wedding discos like other people’s dads? I suppose I’ve got it easier than Hilary Benn; my father can spot a murdering fascist bastard when he sees one.

In other news, Blunkett has just left his ministerial portfolio to spend more time with his share portfolio.

(I note also there are three other letters from the north Midlands on the same page, including another one from Tamworth. Two of these reminisce warmly about Manchester. Remember: there’s one question to ask of Professional Northerners Down South: “If it’s so good Oop North, why don’t you live there any more?”)


  1. Posted 02Nov05 at 13:03 | Permalink

    Just idly reading the paper over lunch I decided to blog on PG Senior becoming the thinking person’s Keith Flett.

    Cross referencing I discovered you had already done it.

    But I went and did it anyway.

    Liked yesterday’s Grundy post.

  2. Posted 02Nov05 at 15:27 | Permalink

    Talking of letters hailing from the same region, I noticed while idly perusing the Mail on Sunday over the weekend (as one does) that they featured no fewer than three letters hailing from the South Coast, all by people appending ‘(Mrs)’ to their name – and all expressing sentiments along the lines of “bring back the birch” (the actual headline of one of the letters).

    These are the people you now move amongst, Damien – be afraid, be very afraid.

  3. Posted 02Nov05 at 17:57 | Permalink

    …and you might as well be equally afraid of people who can’t spell ‘Damian’, a crime for which I think Mrs Whatsername of Lancing has already proposed the perfect remedy.

  4. Posted 02Nov05 at 20:51 | Permalink

    “I have, which will surprise you, been speculating — partly in American funds, but more especially in English stocks, which are springing up like mushrooms this year (in furtherance of every imaginable and unimaginable joint stock enterprise), and forced up to quite an unreasonable level and then, for the most part, collapse. In this way, I have made over £400 and now that the complexity of the political situation affords greater scope, I shall begin all over again. It’s a type of operation that makes small demands on one’s time, and it’s worth while running some risk in order to relieve the enemy of his money.”

    Karl Marx to Lion Philips, 1864. Quoted in Francis Wheen, Karl Marx, p268. Wheen notes that “some scholars have assumed that Marx simply invented the story” but concedes that “it may be true.”

  5. Posted 02Nov05 at 21:00 | Permalink

    If it’s so good Oop North, why don’t you live there any more?

    Well I won’t be travelling South of Northumberland/Cumbria if I can possibly avoid it, so you won’t have to put up with my grumbling.

  6. Dave F
    Posted 03Nov05 at 10:12 | Permalink

    Greed is good — Karl Gekko.

  7. Posted 03Nov05 at 11:27 | Permalink

    There is a misapprehension in these comments.

    “The North” is the old historic counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

    The English counties geographically further North (i.e, Cumberland, Northumberland) are not part of “the North”. They are culturally classed as “the South”, (the South of Scotland).

    This is what I learned over many conversations with my Yorkshire and Cumbrian friends. Okay, at the time, the Cumbrian was heavily outnumbered, but I think the point has a face validity.

  8. PooterGeek Snr
    Posted 03Nov05 at 22:00 | Permalink

    The other Tamworth contributor, Brian Moss, is actually from Kingsbury in North Warwickshire, a village some 6 miles from Tamworth which has the postal address of “Nr Tamworth, Staffs”, and where I spent some 27 years teaching in the local Comp. Brian, who, like me, is a retired teacher, is now Chairman of the Governors there. Over the years he has had almost as many letters published in the Guardian as Keith Flett. In the early days of e-mails he, as a district councillor, used to make use of the facilities available at the local council offices, thus stealing a march on other letter writers and getting into print the following day.
    Though we are quite well acquainted, I can assure you there has been no collusion between us. A couple of weeks ago ago we both had letters published on the subject of Turkey’s entry to the EEC, but not even a ‘phone call took place either before or afterwards.
    Unlike Mr Blunkett, I will disclose all the relevant facts and admit that on my retirement some 12 years ago, Brian, as Kingsbury correspondent for the local rag (Tamworth Herald), did write a rather undeserved eulogy of my achievements which was published alongside an equally flattering photo of myself in that esteemed journal.

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