Chaos and Confusion

So where are we now? Leaving Europe; welcoming another woman as Prime Minister who looks and speaks remarkably like the first one; sifting through the resignations which flutter like hungry birds around the desks of the mighty and the blond clown is back and looking after our foreign affairs. All good there then. And the transport system in Sussex has joined the chaos and the weather is winter.

I do not know what is causing this. And neither do you. So don’t pretend. But it must be the fault of someone so let’s choose. Let’s choose They. “They”  are a new breed of invisible shadowy figures who mutter back that it is not their fault they’re just doing their job. But we know better. It has to be their fault because…..well….it isn’t mine. In case you’re confused (I am) here is the cast of characters:

They……………….A chorus of responsibility. Blind.

Us………………….A chorus of criticism. Large eyes and mouths.

I………………………One of a large number. Unseen. A writer.

Mine………………..A single figure clothed in pure light who does nothing but think fine thoughts.

Alfred Salter was none of these. He laid blame at the feet of those who failed in their responsibilities. He informed people of his policies clearly and with passion. And “They” didn’t like it so he kept on saying it until They listened.

The  gap in this blog has been caused by a number of events and happenings. One of which is the production of Animal Farm which has just finished, performed by an enthusiastic group, some of whom had never set foot on stage before. The first production for Kent Coast Theatre of which I am Artistic Director.

Another was the final downturn from the Arts Council who still fail to support my application (now at number 6!) for the small scale performance of Politic Man. I use the term downturn and not turned down because it does feel like a spiral downwards and is not a newly made bed. So I am looking elsewhere. Three of the funders have agreed to hold the money tight until the end of the year and much of the planning has been done. The Blue Elephant theatre in Camberwell is perusing the play at the moment and hopefully they will invite us in.

Tonight I go to see Jeremy Corbyn and Ben Okri in conversation at the Royal Festival Hall

Ben Okri

and we, the audience, have been invited to send in a question. Mine is this: Dear Jeremy,  Dr Alfred Salter MP for Bermondsey from 1922-45 said “I say boldly that there is no need for any man, woman or child in England to be poor.” Do you agree that there is “no need”? What will you do specifically to alleviate poverty in this country?

I have also written Jeremy a letter, just in case there is no opportunity to chat over a glass of something in the bar. It is a letter telling him not to give in (unlikely it seems) and telling him about his mentor, Dr Alfred, who lived in the last century and how some of my scripted lines sound uncannily like Jeremy’s unscripted ones. (They are; I’ve checked).

ALFREDAS and Joyce

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a man of principle. That is often an uncomfortable and unpopular place to stand. If you wish to stand with me by voting tomorrow for me, be prepared for discomfort.

(Bermondsey Town Hall 1922. Election Eve.)


Labour’s leadership election has been an extraordinary demonstration of grassroots democracy and public participation, which has turned the conventional wisdom about politics on its head.

(Sept 2015. The Guardian)

The House of Commons beckons as being the final resting place for this play. Its cast of characters reads like a history lesson. Winston Churchill; Keir Hardie; Clementine Churchill; George Lansbury; Herbert Morrison; World War 1; World War 11Conscientious Objectors and Alfred, Ada, Thomas and Joyce Salter.

No I, Mine or They here. Just Us.


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