Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori

t’s 100 years today since the end of the Somme, the cruelest, most senseless sacrifice of brave men fighting for the old lie:
- Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
- It is good and noble to die for one’s country – is it ballocks! [sic]

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

The medals were awarded to my great uncle’s widow who twenty years later adopted my father. The parish priest Fr Henshaw who held the service at the military funeral in #Rochdale became Bishop Henshaw and my brother and I attended the school named after him. My grandfather was a founding member of #SinnFein and my father was adopted when his mother died. My uncles were abused in the care system. My father, 87 next month is abused by the system almost daily. The #abuse must stop.

Andrew Hutchinson's photo.
Andrew Hutchinson's photo.Andrew Hutchinson's photo.Andrew Hutchinson's photo.
All rights reserved © 2016 Andrew Hutchinson

In Trump We Trust?

America, you naughty country but I love you for coming out. It’s the last gasp of a dying empire – the rise of the demagogue. Well I expect the usual torrent of abuse from all the dummy throwers out there. Yes, I told you so. I ain’t smug he’s won, he’s a nut-job. Hilary beat the best man. No I don’t mean Trump on the popular vote but Bernie Saunders.

But I called it right, just like I called Brexit, just like I called the election, just like I call so many other things. You hear me but you don’t listen because it challenges your paradigm and I become toxic to your hollow success This old handle laughs at all the broken hammers out there, the happy clappy media types, the politicos, the policy wonks, the public serpents.

So while we’re at it let me share a few more home truths with you:

This isn’t a sceptred isle, it’s a septic isle but hey what else should we expect when the country has been run by a family on fucking benefits since 1066. Yes I’ve moved back to my roots to support an eighty seven year old father. I’m in a tower block, one of the seven slags. I’ve had my nose broken for spitting at a drug dealer. Every day, yes every day, I mix with drug users, people who sell their bodies, people who aren’t dumb but are voiceless. I’m on Universal Credit but they’ll either support my business plan or they’ll be told where to shove their benefits. I too am Daniel Blake. But you know what, I love them all. Get over it.

It isn’t the National Health Service it’s the National Sick Service and it’s a disgrace. Nurses do a good job but they are glorified arse wipers, Our education system is broken, it teaches people what to think, not how to think. Get over it.

I salute the sacrifice of the fallen but patriotism is a pile of poo. It’s manipulation by the big man in the big house of the little man who dreams of a house. And if you could resurrect the fallen they would believe they’d died in vain. Get over it.

Anyone who works in banking is morally bankrupt and if you work for gobernment, national or local you’re not in public service, you’re in self service, you’re getting paid. If you want to do public service do voluntary work. Get over it.

Keith Vaz MP was regularly shagging rent boys in the Holiday Inn Leicester at Sunday afternoon sex parties over twenty years ago and the authorities turned a blind eye. Why? Because there is nothing our security services and their puppet masters, the establishment love more than having a little bit of shit on someone and their peccadilloes for leverage. Get over it.

Terrorism is the poor man’s war. War is the rich man’s terrorism. Stuff the Prevention of Terrorism Act – terrorism is an asymmetric strategy in war – it is cause neutral – it is a bloody good weapon. We invented it, read Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Terrorism is instilling a sense of terror and panic, guess whose good at that? HMG. Get over it.

Most muslims are wonderful people but Islam is a twisted religion. Religions do not cause wars – man does. The most efficient factory in the world has two employees, a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog. The dog is there to keep the man off the machinery. Get over it.

My clan are the mavericks, the vagabonds, the mad scientists, the gypsies, the theatre people, the artists, the musicians, the deviants, the gays, the radicals, the outsiders and you – just wake up, stop watching reality TV and start living and reading – read Life After the State, read Straw Dogs, read Human Givens, read Velvet Rage. Get over it.

Am I a dick? Yes but what do you expect? My best friend is a cunt, my neighbour is an arsehole and I hang out with a couple of nuts. Get over it.

#Leicester #Brexit #ChicagoCubs #Trump #2016 #FeelTheChange

All rights reserved © 2016 Andrew Hutchinson

Rumours of my death were greatly exaggerated

“Its been a long time”, said the actress to the bishop. It’s also been a long time since I posted on here. A real breaking bad journey, more to follow … …

The first requirement of your ccriticalfriend is that I should be readily understandable and relatable. Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. So I think of what I want to say, then say it as simply as possible. It helps if I keep in mind George Orwell’s six elementary rules (“Politics and the English Language”, 1946):

  1. Never use a Metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do (see Short words).
  3. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out (see Unnecessary words).
  4. Never use the Passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a Jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous (see Iconoclasm).

See you soon … …

Lesson Learnt?

You cannot serve two masters – Be true to yourself BUT if you take the money you have to play by the rules. I do not mind what anyone’s political views are. Indeed I only learn and grow by mixing with people whose outlook differs from my own. The fact that you get angry means that you care. There is nothing wrong with offending anyone but abuse isn’t acceptable.Otherwise sensible people and friends have thrown around the word ‘racist’, as if were candy, during the election campaign without realising the tremendous disservice they do to those who genuinely fight racism.

By being employed in an ‘impartial’ role as Deputy Political Editor on BBC R4′s Today programme you forfeit the right to publicly share your vitriol. If my reporting of Mini Kempton-Stewart’s twitter comments contributed to her departure from the BBC this morning, so be it. She is an excellent journalist, who is now free to be herself without Auntie Beeb’s apron strings. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde – Be yourself – everyone else is taken.
bbc today
For the record the real threat to the establishment isn’t UKIP but those who question democracy itself – for what is it if it isn’t two foxes and a chicken voting on what to have for lunch?

Love the Lanes

Saturday 20th July will see the ‘Love the Lanes Festival’ in Leicester. For years the Lanes have been cherished and celebrated, just a bit too quietly for liking of some! It’s time to give them the adoration that they deserve, a party fit for a king! Not forgetting that one has been buried under a local car park for over five hundred and twenty years (though there wasn’t much need for car parks five hundred and twenty eight years ago, so it probably seemed as good a place as any). Well if you want to see the Lanes buzzing as you have never seen them before; shops, stalls, cafes and hairdressers all spilling out on to the streets, with workshops and demonstrations, live music, comedy, art installations, fashion shows and performances from the schools of Burlesque and Lindy Hoppers to name just a few get down there on Saturday – and it’s all for a good cause – Sue Ryder provide incredible care for people with life-changing illness. Whether it’s bringing comfort to someone’s final days or enabling them to make the most of their life, they are there for people and their loved ones.

The Globe will be the venue for the Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival event. There is a strong line-up featured, including Matt Hollins, Luke Benson and the Demon Belles Burlesque Show. An afternoon of comedy commencing at noon and concluding at 5-30pm will be hosted by Bobby Nitro, the alter-ego of yours truly. In something of a marathon session, likely to include a dozen five minute stand-up sets, as I link the afternoon’s performers

First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin

jhq germanyNo I’m sorry it’s not Leonard Cohen this time but it did seem a very apt title for the name of this post.   Entitled simply as ‘Money – Its Role in Post Conflict Reconstruction’ I’m scheduled to make a presentation to senior British and German army officers in Germany. The proposed presentation will have a number of inter-related segments:


The Challenge

  • First hand accounts of the economic conditions in post-war Germany
  • The black market
  • Light fingers
  • The need for currency reform

Understanding Money

  • A brief history of money, its role and purpose
  • The relationship between money and conflict

Money from a German Perspective

  • Reichsmark to Rentenmark
  • Hyperinflation
  • Economic stability

The Wider Post-war Economic Context

  • Bretton Woods
  • Marshall Plan
  • Truman Doctrine
  • Creation of the World Bank and IMF

Economic Stabilty in Germany

  • Business as usual
  • Currency reform

Legacy – Economic Miracle

  • The fact and the fiction
  • Reparations
  • Debt jubilee and the Greek Question

Footprints - Current Challenges

  • The post-war model
  • Globalisation
  • The axis of evil
  • Financial crisis

The presentation will be creative, challenging, factual and educational, providing an historical context for the decisions made between 1945-49, exploring their legacy and their footprints in the challenges faced today. The use of humour will hopefully enable me to plead ‘artistic licence’ and avoid a rendition flight to GTMO as some controversial topics will be explored. With canapés at the British Embassy in Berlin to follow I’m quite looking forward to Operation Ferrero Roche.

All rights reserved © 2013 Andrew Hutchinson