11 Days Remaining

Saturday 6th
posted by Morning Star in Arts

On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker

THERESA MAY’S speech last Wednesday marked a new low, bashing EU “foreigners” and screaming: “Let me fight for Britain.”

Where have I heard that before, I wonder? Ah, I remember – shouted by brain-dead boneheads in Skrewdriver T-shirts as they tried, and failed, to smash up our gigs in the 1980s.

It was one of the most pathetically opportunistic speeches I have ever heard, coming as it did from a Remain campaigner — Zimmer-frame xenophobia, designed to tickle what is left of the erogenous zones of Sun/Mail/ Express-reading geriatrics. I’m not being ageist, I’m 59.

Go to hell, May and take your pinched-faced, mean-spirited poison-pensioner fan club with you.

Mayday celebrations last week. First to Barnsley, a town I like so much I want to be twinned with it and the Mayday Festival of Solidarity organised by the indefatigable Joe Solo and Tony Wright.

Robb Johnson, Calum Baird and Blyth Power were fantastic. But the standout performer for me was Lilith Ai, whom I’d never even heard of before. Musically somewhere between Skunk Anansie and Suede — certainly she had a Bernard Butleresque guitarist — and lyrically dynamite.

I’ve got her Riot song stuck in my brain. I think we’re going to hear a lot more of her.

Then to Wellingborough in Northamptonshire for an absolutely ace May 1 gig and, in the county of shoemaking, a new pair of Doc Martens from the Doc Shop there the day after.

And now, a eulogy to Chris Hughton. I asked my mate Paul, formerly a militant comrade-atarms in our 20-year battle to save Brighton & Hove Albion, now press officer at the club, if I could interview our inspirational manager for the Morning Star.

The question was put and Chris said no, he didn’t want to appear “too political.” (So, on that basis, doing an interview with the Daily Mail isn’t “political,” Chris?)

I do understand the pressures of top level management in modern corporate football but I was disappointed. I remember reading his columns in the radical left paper News Line many years ago and know for a fact that he is still a man of the left.

Even so, it’s incredibly fitting that Chris is the manager who has overseen the final triumph — promotion to the Premier League — at the end of our incredible 20-year journey from the gutter to the stars.

I’m so proud he’s at our club. The story of the last twenty years at BHAFC is one of solidarity between the fans and the board as we made our long journey back.

But Chris has introduced us to something else —solidarity in the manager’s office and on the pitch.

He speaks passionately about the need for more BAME managers in the game because at the moment there are just two.

And, in an age of ludicrous salaries and pampered, arrogant prima donna football “stars,” Chris has forged a team of equals with an all-for-one mentality which has served us incredibly well this season and will do so even more in the daunting Premier League season to come.

The finest example of this was when the much-loved father of our inspirational winger Anthony Knockaert died suddenly a few months ago. Devastated, the player went back to France to mourn with his family and, with Chris’s encouragement and blessing, almost the entire first-team squad travelled to France for the funeral.

Knockaert spoke movingly about how much this meant to him and helped him. And he recently won not just the player of the season award at Brighton but the equivalent award for the whole division.

Promoted, and with a clever and reflective socialist manager, I’m a happy Brighton fan right now.

Hopefully, we can finish things off by winning the league at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Gigs coming up: Sunday at The Cut Theatre in Halesworth, Suffolk and next Saturday a fundraiser for this very newspaper in London.

  • Attila is appearing with the band Madame So and comic Simon Munnery at a fundraiser for the Morning Star from 7pm- late on Saturday May 13 at the Constitution pub, 42 St Pancras Way, Camden, London NW1. Tickets are £10 waged/£5 unwaged on the door or in advance by phone: (020) 8510-0815.