FANTASTIC result on Thursday. A combination of Corbyn’s wonderful leadership and the passion and commitment of thousands of activists has changed the political agenda in this country for good.
At the moment my life feels a bit like the Bayeux Tapestry — one long canvas.
Locally, we took Brighton Kemptown by 11,000, Hove by 18,000 and our wonderful local Labour candidate Sophie Cook (Google her, her story is amazing — among many other things she’s the first trans woman to work in the Premier League) increased the vote by 11,000 in our nearby constituency, East Worthing and Shoreham.
Manifesto commitments such as making the rich pay their fair share of tax, putting utilities and railways back in public ownership and abolishing tuition fees, and the general concept that the welfare of the many counts for more than the privilege of the few, have resonated massively with huge sections of the population. Well done Jeremy!
In between all the campaigning, last weekend saw our 22nd Glastonwick Beer, Music, Poetry and More Beer Festival at Coombes Farm in West Sussex, where we combined 22 spiky, independent musical and spokenword performers, sourced by me, with over 70 beers from small independent breweries, many brewed specially for our festival, sourced by beer guru Alex Hall. We had a wonderful time.
The weather was fantastic for all three days and the beer selection superb.
My favourite was definitely Some Like It Hot from the Old Tree Brewery, infested with loads of lovely chilli.
Astonishingly, some others were not so keen.
Thanks to everyone who helped, everyone who played and everyone who came. My personal highlight was singing Jilted John’s The Birthday Kiss from his fantastic album True Love Stories with JJ’s creator Graham Fellows — and realising I knew the words better than he did!
Same time, same place, folks, June 1-3, 2018.
Whatever happened last Thursday, yesterday I was in the doghouse. And that is not a comment on my marital state — everything is lovely.
I was in The Doghouse in Nottingham, another fine local independent music venue desperately needing local support to avoid closure. Please support them if you love music and live nearby.
Today I am indulging in one of my favourite pastimes — scaring folkies. In a good way. I can’t sing and I play thrash mandola but have been invited to quite a few folk festivals all over the country this year after a wonderful reception at Folk East near Ipswich last summer.
I’m on stage later today at the Gate to Southwell Folk Festival in Nottinghamshire. If anyone’s dozing off there, they won’t be soon.
And tomorrow I’m in my old stomping ground of Harlow, where I lived for most of the 1980s, doing a live performance on Adam Smith’s Black Wax local community radio show.
I’ll be performing poems from my latest collection Undaunted, plus a few older poems and songs, talking about my time in Harlow and lamenting the loss of The Square, the wonderful independent venue which for 35 years was the creative hub of the town and is so much missed today.