Thursday, December 29, 2016

Liberal England in 2016: Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 have already appeared.


One of the less remarked deaths of the year was that of the poet Geoffrey Hill, author of the wonderful Mercian Hymns.

Aided by a passage from an Auberon Waugh novel. I argued that Boris Johnson had gone too far:
He is no Little Englander: he was born in New York to a father who made his living by working in international organisations. Some sources claim he is still a US citizen. 
But, by gambling he could court the Leavers, whose views he must surely despise, lose the referendum and gain in the long run, he has spoilt all this for himself and for the nation.
Simon Calvert from NO2NP contributed a guest post on the controversial scheme that would give every Scottish child a state guardian.

I concluded that Nobody knows anything about British politics any more.

Over the year I developed a taste for the railway film that Edward "Chib" Thorp, the railway-loving undertaker of Leigh on Sea, shot in the 1960s. The picture above comes from his film of Woodford Halse in its last days as a railway town.

There were calls for the Spencer Davis Group to reunite for a gig in Birmingham.

I praised Pokemon Go and wrote an article for Liberator on the Chilcot report.


I visited Tickencote church in Rutland - you can see its extraordinary chancel arch in the photo above.

I also got to Teigh church, far away on the other side of the county, and learnt about the vicar who was interned during the war as a Nazi fifth columnist.

Meanwhile in Derbyshire I visited the village ground at Darley Dale in Derbyshire, where the Sunday League was once won on television. ("Richards and Gordon Greenidge had hit the ball over the trees and into a field across the road, I was told,")

I explained why Corbyn's revolution in the Labour Party will obey the logic of all revolutions and devour itself in the hunt for traitors.

Jonathan Meades explained that the future had taken place briefly in 1969.


In an exclusive Liberal England poll, J.K. Rowling was voted the greatest J.K. of them all (beating J.K. Lever and J.K. Galbraith).

I warned by fellow Guardian readers that project fear would not win the grammar school debate either.

Jonny Keeley, lead singer of the band Fight the Bear, held Bishop's Castle for the Liberal Democrats.

Arts Fresco was held in Market Harborough and Musical Ruth was the star. As I wrote:
Despite our differences, I hope we can agree that there is nothing - absolutely nothing - as funny as a man dressed as a nun driving a motorised piano.
The 50th anniversary of Joe Orton's play Loot was marked by an event the New Walk museum and art gallery in Leicester.

I asked when small boys stopped refighting World War II at playtime.

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