Charley Speakes

Quietly shouting in a world of noise – exposing a nerve.


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The home of all the posts. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the topics.

If you don’t want to feel old, don’t do this.

Listen!  Is the band you used to love from 20 or 30 years ago coming to a place near you?  Tickets are available?  My advice is to give it a miss and buy another of their albums. In the last couple of years I have seen some of my absolute favourite bands from the 80s and 90s.  In every case they have been bloody spectacular, singing their songs for more than thirty years have in every single case made them better, more expert, easier with the deal and totally fabulous.

In each case they look a little older, but they have really looked after themselves. On the whole they have new band members, full of energy and playing with flair and style. Except for one of them they have played smaller venues, but one was in a stadium.  I won't mention who they are, I'm sure I'd get in trouble, and this isn't to insult anyone.

Throughout the days leading up to all these concerts, their old songs were pulled out, memories flashed by, a little hankering for days gone by, memories flashing past of those loved and lost. Of people and places I've moved on from. Times of utter joy and a few times of utter misery. Little flashes of dances, parties and exotic holidays.

You get dressed up, you make your way to the venue, have a drink with your friends or who ever you are going with, possibly a few reminiscing memories get mentioned. You file into the hall. You wait, the lights go down, the artist comes on stage, the audience gives an enthusiastic welcome.

And you look around, and see a sea of grey hair. T shirts pulled over paunchy tummies, jeans too tight for anyone over 40 – specially 60. And then the dancing starts, and personally, a very uncomfortable feeling of 'this is just weird' comes over. You are reminded that 30 years ago everyone here was young and beautiful and vibrant and rocking the house down, and today they have heard a calling from somewhere deep within and are trying to answer that call with what feels like a very sad, slightly stiff mirroring of what they feel they used to be.

And that's it really, you are in the biggest reminder that in this hall is death on it's way. Here is a visual reminder of what age does, and the sagging chins and thickened waists remind you that you are not immune. That 30 years ago there would have been loads of people who have passed on to another universe now not here this time. That there are people here who are facing arthritis and chronic ailments and we are none of us getting younger, that this is the best any of us are going to look. That 30 years ago, we thought we were immortal and were amused by dad dancing, and now that is actually us.

So, what am I saying? just that it is sad, and unless you are in the best place you have ever been in your life, you might like to give it a second thought. I have spent today (the day after) feeling absofuckinglutely ancient.


How do you solve a problem like Maria?How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?How do you find the word that means Maria?A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!Read more_ The Sou

Is Britain Getting More Dangerous? Or How to Make Money From Fear.

20 years ago next year Princess Diana died. Two billion people watched her funeral. When the news broke people were in the streets hugging and crying, a friend had died.  A friend they had never met. The odd thing was, we all had a weird feeling that we knew her. Maybe not so weird, every single day we saw her face. Every. Single. Day.  I know for me I saw her face (in the paper and read about her or saw her on the TV) more than I did my own family. Every day since 1980 when she first appeared on the public scene we heard and saw stories and news about her.  That must do something to the psyche. Imprinting an image on your brain every day for 17 years, why wouldn’t your brain tell you that you know that person?

Although Sky news started its 24 hr news channel in 1989, very few people were subscribing. The BBC 24 hour news started in 1997.  Most likely people actually started watching these channels more in the early 2000s.

So back in 1997 Princess Diana’s death was announced as breaking news on the television, by interrupting a normal broadcast. Announced on the radio and then the following day in the daily paper. And the reaction of the British public was extraordinary. The news was announced and then silent until the next bulletin, news slot or newspaper edition.

Fast forward to today:

Continue reading “Is Britain Getting More Dangerous? Or How to Make Money From Fear.”

Just Saying!

Anti-Corbyn plots & the myth of the un-electable left

Superb analysis showing what so many of us actually believe – that Jeremy Corbyn is electable just not wanted by the establishment.

Road To Somewhere Else

By Daniel Margrain


Corbyn speaking at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival and Rally in 2015


In 1978, the Australian social scientist, Alex Carey, pointed out that the twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: “the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” The corporations that now dominate much of the domestic and global economies recognize the need to manipulate the public through media propaganda by manufacturing their consent in order to defend their interests against the forces of democracy. This is largely achieved as a result of coordinated mass campaigns that combine sophisticated public relations techniques.

The result is the media underplay, or even ignore, the economic and ideological motivations that drive the social policy decisions and strategies of governments’. Sharon Beder outlines the reasoning behind the coordinated political…

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Is this the Destruction of the Labour Party

The definition of wisdom is having experience, one presumes by learning from it.

Therefore it would probably be fair to say the Labour Party has no wisdom to call upon.  How else could this ridiculous coup or ‘chicken coup’ as it is now being called, be explained, as they certainly are not learning by experience.

Just two short weeks ago, this country voted to take us out of a union we have been in for 43 years.  The resulting decision has rent the country in two, pitting families, colleagues and friends against each other.  The result has left the Conservative party without a leader. The two main protagonists of the Brexit vote have resigned (or run away depending on one’s point of view).

What has appeared to become clear since the result was announced is that almost no person actually thought this would happen.  Some say it was caused by immigration, some wanted the country to have its sovereignty back, but many have said they voted this way because they have been forgotten. They don’t get listened to. They aren’t in the Westminster bubble, they aren’t on Murdoch’s payroll, they have paid the price for austerity, they have more than their fair share of immigration affecting their local economy, but the base answer is they just aren’t listened to by those in power.

Continue reading “Is this the Destruction of the Labour Party”


Just Saying-2

The Hounding of Jeremy Corbyn

24th June; David Cameron came out of No. 10 and with a tear in his eye resigned as Prime Minister.

Since then the UK has gone into an extraordinary vortex of fire and brimstone meltdown. The man at the forefront of the leave campaign Boris Johnson has fallen on his sword in the realisation that all the lies he proffered are impossible to fulfil. A bunch of frankly unpleasant, untrustworthy, unlikeable individuals have come out wanting David’s job. No matter whether they have caused unending hardship for foreign students trying to study here (May), have claimed that homosexuality is ‘curable’ Continue reading “The Hounding of Jeremy Corbyn”

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