Light in the wheat fields…
July 22, 2017 – 9:19 am | No Comment | by:

“Fuck off you fucking pervs”, the skinny peeing girl screamed at us. “You having a shit?” someone said. Standing up and rearranging her attire, she replied, “No, I’m not fucking having a shit, you fucking pervs, I was fucking pissing”. She was a lovely girl as it turned out, from Blackley. She guided us to the field.

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Light in the wheat fields… by:
July 22, 2017 – 9:19 am | No Comment

Corn_field_rave

Sirens screamed through the darkness, the monotonous synthesised drum beat, lovingly created on an ARP 2600 or the Korg MS 20 or a MiniMoog, pounded silence into abolition. The police sirens were encroaching on the field of love, drugs, dance and music.

The taxi dropped us off at a random crossroads and sped away. We couldn’t see, darkness in the countryside is dark. But we could hear. We walked towards what we thought was the direction of the pulsating music, shaking our very souls. We walked around in circles.

Rescued by a skinny girl squatting down peeing in a ditch, shouting, ‘What the fuck you looking at?” To be honest I thought she was a giant Badger. And I was peering to see if my Badger notion was correct.

“Fuck off you fucking pervs”, the skinny peeing girl screamed at us. “You having a shit?” someone said. Standing up and rearranging her attire, she replied, “No, I’m not fucking having a shit, you fucking pervs, I was fucking pissing”. She was a lovely girl as it turned out, from Blackley. She guided us to the field.

How the fuck we missed this field of hundreds of dancing, twirling masses of youth, God only knows. A Ford Transit van had huge speakers balanced on its roof and the DJ and decks were on a table amidst mud, grass, shrubs and overlooked by a beautiful oak tree. I recognised the leaves, even in my pill-popped drunken stupor.

This was my first ‘rave’. My mate made a call, we jumped in a taxi and met the skinny pissing girl and here we were. The sirens closing in. I was handed a can of something that I assumed was alcoholic, but it could have been the piss of the pissing skinny girl. I didn’t give a shit, I drank it and swallowed love and happiness.

I/we were all consumed by sound, and people and night and beat. My stomach vibrated to the bass, my mind spun to the song and my mouth silently sang, ‘What a wonderful world this could be’. My legs, arms and body moving in a way that I thought was dancing. It didn’t matter, no one cared, this was freedom.

We were packed together, moving methodically, rhythmically and in a great mass of human flesh. If you were stood still you’d be moving by the movement of those around you. As I danced a young woman on my left suddenly grabbed me and snogged me for what felt like an hour. She then pushed me away and carried on dancing. Then the bloke on my right grabbed me and started snogging me, I pushed him away. A little confused because I was more aroused by the bloke snogging me than the young women. And I could tell he was aroused.

I’d been snogged by a young woman, a bloke, I just needed to be snogged by a giant Badger and my evening would have been perfect.

But it wasn’t a giant Badger that grabbed me next, it was a giant copper. The fuckers had arrived in my snogging extravaganza and begun an onslaught of battering love, gentleness and open air dancing. We managed to escape the brutalisers, flooding onto the country roads and surrounding wheat fields. We huddled up to each other, waiting for light.

We saw the skinny pissing girl, she came and sat with us. “There’s a train station nearby”, she told us. We walked there in the dawn light.

I’d lost my jacket, my mate had lost one of his trainers and Billy from Clayton had lost his trousers. He walked from Victoria Station to Clayton in his underpants. It always puzzled me how he lost his trousers but still had his shoes.

You can keep your privates away from me, thank you very much
July 11, 2017 – 8:50 pm | 2 Comments | by:
You can keep your privates away from me, thank you very much

Having never given it a second thought, mainly down to having the NHS and therefore not needing it, private healthcare was something I’d never been intimately acquainted with. That all changed a few years back …

Bevan knows I’m miserable now
July 7, 2017 – 10:01 am | No Comment | by:
Bevan knows I’m miserable now

I still have debts from a decade ago when my wife’s mother had to undergo treatment for cancer in a country that doesn’t have free-to-access health care. My wife spent most of the first two years of our marriage over there nursing her, while my part-time wage, credit cards and personal loans were stretched to pay for treatment.

Now I can go into any company – Make July 5 NHS Day
July 6, 2017 – 7:34 am | No Comment | by:
Now I can go into any company – Make July 5 NHS Day

For the first time every man woman and child in the country could see a doctor and get the help they needed no matter their ability to pay for medical care.

STP me if you think you’ve heard this one before
July 6, 2017 – 7:30 am | No Comment | by:
STP me if you think you’ve heard this one before

We’d had enough of the relentless “private sector good, public sector bad” market-based twaddle that had infused health policy for more than two decades – it was time to stand up and be counted

We were makin’ love by Wednesday…
July 5, 2017 – 7:28 am | No Comment | by:
We were makin’ love by Wednesday…

Today a three-day strike by hospital workers defending their right to acceptable conditions and pay has begun. They are striking against Serco, a multi-billion pound global company that won the contract to supply cleaners, porters and other staff to hospitals in London. Serco’s CEO is Winston Churchill’s grandson. Our solidarity with Serco workers is absolute.

You can polish a turd…
July 3, 2017 – 7:30 am | No Comment | by:
You can polish a turd…

They later discovered that the kind elderly man, with time on his hands, had lay in his bed and very carefully sucked all the chocolate off his maltesers.

“We’re going to save it you bells…”
June 30, 2017 – 7:35 am | No Comment | by:
“We’re going to save it you bells…”

It took my first holiday abroad on my own with my mates to try and get my head round why I’d need travel insurance, I think the conversation went “why did we need that as it’s free isn’t it?” The concept that it wasn’t free just didn’t make sense at all.

TaterhashtagMakeJuly5NHSday…
June 30, 2017 – 7:27 am | No Comment | by:
TaterhashtagMakeJuly5NHSday…

She’ll be 70 next year. The fact that 70 is still considered very young has got to be smashingly symbolic of cradle to the grave-ism if we manage to get a movement going in the next twelve months that culminates in a Manchester party in 2018.

Time to take a chance
June 7, 2017 – 11:30 pm | No Comment | by:
Time to take a chance

Author Selina Todd, who wrote critically acclaimed The People: The Rise and Fall of The Working Class, tells AFL why she’s voting Labour…

Fear, love and hope will rage…
June 7, 2017 – 8:32 pm | No Comment | by:
Fear, love and hope will rage…

For the first time since the first time, I will be voting for a manifesto I actually believe in. Since Jeremy Corbyn won the first leadership election, he has galvanised many on the left. And he has done it with basic social democratic ideas and policies that aren’t even ‘radical’ in the grander scheme of things.

Don’t draw a cock
June 7, 2017 – 12:50 pm | No Comment | by:
Don’t draw a cock

Every time I get in the voting booth I get the urge to draw a cock on the ballot paper. It’s worse this time cos a family member has appointed me as a proxy. It’s double temptation to draw a cock.

Making America Grate Again (lessons to be learned)
June 7, 2017 – 12:48 pm | No Comment | by:
Making America Grate Again (lessons to be learned)

It was now, with alarming ease, that people who’d never before mentioned race to us felt comfortable in the company of relative outsiders to spout their new-found, or more likely long-held but until now supressed views about the perceived danger they faced from Islam and the burden of paying the medical bills of lazy, unemployed African Americans and Latinos. Far from being the joke figure he was to us, Trump was being openly celebrated by many I met in Atlanta as a leader who would deal with these “problems”. These sorts of conversations were not difficult to get into on that visit. Foreign policy never came up though.

Pass the brillo pad…
June 7, 2017 – 8:25 am | No Comment | by:
Pass the brillo pad…

And what will follow? More of the bloody same. More people using food banks, more people dying because they have had their benefits stopped, a hard brexit that will make the whole country worse off, a tax haven for the very rich, people finding that, in real terms they are facing pay cuts and less workers rights.

The beautiful cack-handed ibex
June 6, 2017 – 8:07 pm | No Comment | by:
The beautiful cack-handed ibex

What a beautiful world it wants to bring into being for the many; what sturdy collective endeavour it encourages us all to work towards.

Thursday Night Fever
June 6, 2017 – 8:05 pm | No Comment | by:
Thursday Night Fever

Sometimes I have imaginary arguments while walking to work in which I come up with amazing ripostes to win the argument in no uncertain terms. Occasionally this is muttered out loud instead of inside my head and I get caught unawares by someone silently overtaking me, and I have to hope they think I’m using one of those bluetooth earpieces, so rather than being a lunatic I’m just a twat.

The best thing since black pudding
June 6, 2017 – 10:19 am | No Comment | by:
The best thing since black pudding

I’m immensely proud of my upbringing in Manchester in the 90s and the communities which shaped me that have been forgotten. The people who work hard and look after each other have been badly let down by the politicians of all persuasions who were supposed to look after them.

Man flu
June 6, 2017 – 7:35 am | No Comment | by:
Man flu

By Joe Hill’s mardyarse ghost
Man Flu. Who was it that conjured up that beauty? It seems to depict that a bloke with flu is being a right mard arse.
So there I was wallowing in …

Thick as mince
June 6, 2017 – 7:29 am | No Comment | by:
Thick as mince

I’ve been genuinely excited by Labour’s general election campaign but, at the same time, as that Tory lead in the polls narrows I’m trying to resist the temptation to go full on 1992 “we’re gonna win the league” about it all. That’d be daft because you just know that by 10.01pm on Thursday night we could very well all be sad faced emoji again.

I’m dreaming
June 5, 2017 – 12:28 pm | No Comment | by:
I’m dreaming

Over the past six weeks every time Corbyn has opened his mouth he has spoken for me and my family; not the bankers who got us into this mess in the first place; not for the establishment; not for the rich; not to the parliamentary Labour Party!

Let’s have some Grime blaring out of 10 Downing Street…
June 5, 2017 – 7:32 am | No Comment | by:
Let’s have some Grime blaring out of 10 Downing Street…

It’s because they’re a bunch of working class-hating, tax-avoiding, arms-dealing, benefits-slashing, Sure Start-closing, NHS-privatising, nuclear weapons-loving, fox hunting-supporting, zero hour contract-enabling, big business tax-cutting, expenses-claiming, grammar school-resurrecting, food bank-denying, Trump-fellating, Murdoch-schmoozing, pig’s head-fucking, mustard coloured pants-wearing bastards.