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Greasy Pole

Greasy Pole: How Do You Like Your Leaders?

Greasy Pole

It was a crowd scene which absorbed half an inner page of that popular national newspaper. A split-second record of the Wilderness Festival, a musical event near the Oxfordshire village of Charlbury. And whose was that particular face, shimmering and unsmiling and well groomed among the hair and the beards, gazing across to his left at a woman dressed expensively and fashionably absorbed in the performers?


Greasy Pole: Working For Jeremy

Greasy Pole

It was last September that Theresa May spoke out on the matter of her feeling strong and stable in her place at Ten Downing Street: ‘I think the next election will be in 2020. I’m not going to be calling a snap election’. At the time she had a majority in the House of Commons and the Labour opposition under Jeremy Corbyn was in such disarray that it was usual for the more boisterous Tory benches to show how exultantly they despised him in guffaws of ‘More!...More!..’ each time he sat down after speaking. Meanwhile one Labour MP had rated Corbyn’s performance in Prime Ministers Questions as ‘a fucking disaster’ – an opinion which, perhaps similarly worded, was crudely popular on the opposition benches. Except that in May the Prime Minster announced that she had changed her mind so there would be an election on 8 June.

Greasy Pole: Theresa - Strong And Stable

Greasy Pole

We were told that Theresa May decided, flushed with optimism, to hold a general election on June 8 when she was hiking with her husband through Dolgellau, a small market town lying at the base of the Cader Idris range in Snowdonia. Dolgellau was once a woollen town but it was taken over by the automatic looms. Now it relies on tourists, who walk and climb or stay at the hotels there. When May was a small toddler a group of Socialist Party members climbed to the summit of Cader Idris, where one of them who was pregnant stood deeply awestruck by the view. That evening in the hotel there was a lot to be discussed – such as capitalism’s abuse of the world’s beauties, like the political conceits of the system’s rulers to the misery of its people. For May it is rather different now from her relaxed stroll through Dolgellau.

Speaking Out

Greasy Pole: Taking The Rise With Tony

Greasy Pole

It was some years ago when Tony Blair finally surrendered to the ambitions of Gordon Brown so that his abusive deputy could take over as Prime Minister, leaving Blair to devote appropriate attention to matters of raising his promising offspring, fostering his wife’s career as a legal eagle, making piles of money through dealing in expensive houses and presenting his version of recent history in speeches and writing. In the beginning that seemed enough, satisfactory for so long a resident of Number Ten Downing Street. But recently there has been an evident change, encouraging Blair to emerge from those lucrative shadows and give voice to some different intentions, to the extent that the more nervous observers of the political scene began to question whether he might be considering a re-occupation of those House of Commons benches.

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