Friday, July 29, 2016

Peas Bounce Off The Walls Of Marathon 50 Years Ago


I have just received an email from my brother on the other side of the world containing a scan of an old press cutting which must date back fifty years. The young chap who is clinging the microphone like some semi-adolescent crooner is indeed myself, an age and a half ago. The rather stout chap to my left was Clifford Ward the Secretary and Agent of Halifax Labour Party and his research had led him top believe that an ancient public speaking pitch existed in the town centre (Halifax's equivalent of Speakers' Corner) which had been forgotten about for generations. It happened to be in the middle of a car park in Bull Green. The Young Socialists decided to exercise their right to speak to the citizens of the town so the police were called in to erect no parking signs and we set up our soapbox. As the newspaper reports, we organised speakers from all over Yorkshire and attempted to bring about the revolution by boring the people into submission. 

I always recall Lenin once writing about the Russian revolution and saying, "Socialism bounced off the peasants like peas off a wall". It was a bit like that in Halifax fifty years ago. But we gathered around and listened to ourselves. And we lay down rich memories that could be excavated half a century later.

2 comments:

  1. I am reminded of a favorite song/poem by the activist/singer
    Gil Scott-Heron called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"

    You will not be able to stay home, brother.
    You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
    You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
    skip out for beer during commercials,
    Because the revolution will not be televised.

    The revolution will not be televised.
    The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
    In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
    The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
    blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
    Mitchell, General Abrams and Mendel Rivers to eat
    hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

    The revolution will not be televised.
    The revolution will not be brought to you by the
    Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
    Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
    The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
    The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
    The revolution will not make you look five pounds
    thinner, the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

    There's more but you get the idea.

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  2. Oh how interesting. The Chef and I know the people behind the TV show The Revolution Will Be Televised. Slightly. They were at school with the family ski instructor.
    Also interesting. I know a guy called Clifford and he stands just like your Clifford. Perhaps it's a name thing?

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