British poet Attila the Stockbroker voting Labour

This 29 January 2017 video from Britain says about itself:

Attila The Stockbroker – 35 years a punk poet

This is a mini-documentary to celebrate my 35 years earning my living as Attila the Stockbroker. It was directed by the very talented Farouq Suleiman and I think it sums me up pretty well. Recorded in some of my favourite places: at home in Southwick, West Sussex, in Shoreham Port, 800 yards from our front door, at Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s Falmer Stadium (that’s what we fought for all those years, that’s what I’ll always call it!) in Harlow, Essex where I started out as Attila, and live at a gig at the lovely The Greys Pub in Brighton. With some vintage footage of me with HAIR and background music by my medieval punk band Barnstormer. Well done, Farouq. Thanks. And, folks, if you like it, and know someone else who might, please share away! We are DIY 🙂

By British punk rock poet Attila the Stockbroker, 22 November 2019:

Election 2019: Why I’m Voting Labour: Attila the Stockbroker

I’M VOTING Labour to end years of despair, poverty and hopelessness for so many.

And not just that, but to end the feelings of helplessness and unease I encounter in those who are themselves doing OK but loathe the inequality they see all around them.

I’m voting Labour to stand against bigotry, xenophobia, division and the lies of four unelected press billionaires.

I’m voting Labour to give people a third of my age the opportunities I had when I was 20, long destroyed by years of Tory policies.

But I’m not just voting. I’m getting out on the road doing 13 gigs between now and the election to raise funds for Labour and the spirits of those fighting for change.

From November 24 to December 12 I’ll be touring Havant, Norwich, Wakefield, Doncaster, Coventry, Hastings, Brighton, Aberystwyth, Pembroke, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Long Eaton and Shoreham.

Come to a gig if you can!

Tour details:; and Twitter: @atilatstokbroka

British poet Attila the Stockbroker on German neonazism

This 28 August 2018 German TV video says about itself:

Nazi protests in German city of Chemnitz turn violent | DW English

Several people were injured when far-right protesters faced off with counter-demonstrators in the aftermath of a fatal stabbing on Sunday.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

Friday, August 31, 2018

On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker

First time as tragedy, second time as farce in Germany

I LOOK with shock and sadness at the pictures of far-right hooligans rioting under the huge bust of Karl Marx in the German city of Chemnitz, having charged through the streets shouting fascist slogans and hunting down people who look foreign in a ghastly echo from history.

All this in response to the stabbing of a Cuban-German – who apparently loathed fascists – by a refugee from Iraq.

It was a squabble between people of various nationalities, weaponised by the far right as they play on the sense of alienation, impoverishment and hopelessness felt not just in Chemnitz but many cities and towns in the former GDR. And all this nearly 30 years after they were — to paraphrase all the cliches of our age — liberated from a brutal and oppressive Stasi regime and joined with their brothers and sisters in a free, united Germany.

So what went wrong?

Karl-Marx-Stadt, as it was known in GDR times, reverted to its original name of Chemnitz and it certainly became easier to get what you wanted out of your mouth as far as freedom of expression goes. And that, of course, was a good thing, a central plank of the campaign by the reformers I met who were active in the ruling party, the SED, during my four tours of the GDR between 1986 and 1989.

But for many — indeed, the majority — once the GDR collapsed it became a lot more difficult to get what you wanted INTO your mouth. That’s what the same reformers were fearful of and their worst fears came true.

It was a story repeated across the whole of East Germany. Factories were deemed “uneconomic” and closed, social enterprises were shut down and cultural centres turned into used car showrooms. People were left jobless, hopeless and sometimes homeless too. An economic disaster.

I visited Karl-Marx-Stadt several times in the mid to late 1980s as part of tours connected to the annual GDR Political Song Festival, in which I was invited to take part several times. It was a thriving industrial city, dubbed “The Saxon Manchester,” and I have returned many times since and seen at first hand the decline as its industrial heritage was ripped apart by the heartless privatisations and closures of the Treuhandanstalt — the privatisation agency which operated post German reunification — and their Western advisers.

Thousands have left in search of a better life, while those who remain are angry. And, as so often these days, their anger is turned not on the capitalist bastards who ruined their lives but on scapegoats — refugees, people even worse off than they are.

Nazis rioting in memory of a man who hated them. How ironic. Solidarity with all those standing up to racism and those fighting for the decent, humanitarian and anti-capitalist politics which are the only answer to the tragedy of Chemnitz. Capitalism has failed those people far more than socialism ever did.

Had a lovely week of gigs at Bannerman’s in Edinburgh as part of the PBH Free Fringe, then charged over to Limerick to do limericks and more at their annual Bring Your Limericks to Limerick Festival. What a lovely, friendly place.

I made my way to the world-famous Treaty Stone and, standing next to it, recited the limerick I wrote for the great Irish socialist leader James Connolly:

“The Catholics think that they’re right
So the Protestants all want a fight.
It’s divide and rule
An imperialist tool
The whole working class should unite.” …

Next Saturday it’s the Wigan Diggers’ Festival, one of the great events of the socialist calendar. My band Barnstormer 1649 are launching our new album there, alongside the fantastic Merry Hell, The Blockheads and many more.

Hope to see you there.

British poet Attila the Stockbroker on Trump, history and music

This 13 July 2018 video from England is called Aerial view of London anti-Trump protest – BBC News.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from England:

Friday, July 20, 2018

On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker

Radical culture can help unite a distressed and divided nation

THIS world is bloody scary right now. That’s why last Friday’s anti-Trump march was so necessary and the massive turnout so important. I’ve been to the old BBC building at Portland Place for two memorable sessions for the John Peel Show in the 1980s, and all kinds of radio appearances since, but I’ve never before seen it as a rallying point for resistance. All the way from there to Trafalgar Square we were huge, colourful, diverse and loud. Well done to all who came.

The home-made placards and banners were ace and the odious Liam Fox’s comments that we protesters were “an embarrassment to ourselves” shows just how much of a lapdog to the unstable idiot Trump and the US far right this Tory government has become. They’re desperate, loathsome charlatans who break pairing arrangements with new mothers to win votes and cling to power — the sooner their pathetic civil war leads to a general election the better.

After the march there was also an anti-Trump gig at the Camden Lock pub in the evening, headlined by the mighty Newtown Neurotics, who provided a storming finale to the day’s events. Well played, lads.

This punk rock music video from England is called Newton Neurotics: “Kick Out the Tories”.

And the next day, of course, it was back again for the counter-demonstration to the “Free Tommy Robinson” march. I couldn’t be at that one because I was playing at the Workhouse festival in Llanfyllin with my band but once again I want to salute everyone who was there and express solidarity with the RMT comrades who were attacked by some of Robinson’s fascist followers.

As someone who was targeted by the far right in the gig wars and street battles against the National Front and British Movement 30-plus years ago, I simply can’t believe that we have to go through all this bollocks again. It’s all down to Trump …, of course, and the fascists now are a bigger threat than they were all those years ago, simply because they have the overt backing of the most powerful man on the planet, the president of the US. Unbelievable.

The biggest joke of all is that some of these violent idiots describe us on the left as “traitors”. Anyone who claims to be working class, as they most certainly do, and attacks trade union leaders is by any definition a traitor. No pasaran.

Happier news — Restoration Tragedy, my new album with my Renaissancecore band Barnstormer 1649, is out now and available from and at the huge amount of gigs we have coming up.

It’s an album about the English revolution of 1649, the Commonwealth, the Diggers, Levellers and Ranters, and the part my home port of Shoreham in West Sussex played in the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. And, of course, one eye is firmly fixed on events in our “distressed and divided” nation today.

It’s 58 minutes long, and it fulfils a lifelong ambition of mine to combine early music and punk in the same kind of way that the Pogues combined Irish music and punk. It literally doesn’t sound like anything else and it features crumhorn, cornamuse, shawm, bombarde, five different recorders, mandocello, mandola, violin, viola, guitar, bass, drums and words.

You can hear a selection of the songs at and there’s a 12-page booklet with lyrics, historical photos and explanations.

It is by far the best musical album I have ever done — and I’ve done an awful lot in my 38 years as Attila! — and I’m looking forward to all the gigs, starting at the Bell Inn in Bath tomorrow at 1pm and Exeter Cavern tomorrow evening. Full tour schedule at

Enjoy Tolpuddle.

Trump unwelcome, says British poet Attila the Stockbroker

This music video from Britain is called The Clash Live – White Man in Hammersmith Palais HQ. With lyrics subtitles in French.

By British poet Attila the Stockbroker:

Friday, July 6, 2018

On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker

Friday 13 has to be an unlucky day for Trump in London

“IF ADOLF Hitler flew in today
They’d send a limousine anyway…”

It was back in 1977 that Joe Strummer wrote those lines in White Man In Hammersmith Palais, the finest ever song by The Clash. Forty-one years later, it looks as they are going to come true and that’s why this week’s column is one of those few occasions when I ditch my tales of life on the road and concentrate instead on matters of far greater import to us all.

Unless the owners of the limousine have a last-minute change of heart, which sadly won’t happen given that they are Tories with an absolute fetish about “the transatlantic partnership” and believe it must be maintained at all costs, even if that means the end of the human race and the takeover of the planet by luminous orange woodlice with green testicles, the worst president in the history of the United States is coming to London next Friday.

I am fully aware that, given the historic competition, calling Donald Trump “the worst president in the history of the United States” is some statement.

There’s no need to even delve into the distant past to realise its implications. In my lifetime alone there have been Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes, and I’m sure that those of us old enough can all remember what we thought about them and equally sure that those readers not old enough to remember some of them know what they would have thought about them if they had lived through their presidencies.

But Trump is in a different league. When George W Bush called his inauguration address “some weird shit”, we knew we were entering uncharted territory. Imagine, for instance, Andy Warhol using that phrase to describe his thoughts at the opening of an exhibition by a new artist or Karlheinz Stockhausen employing it at the first performance of a musical work by a young and allegedly cutting-edge composer. Yes, exactly.

But the problem is that Trump’s dysfunctional, egomaniac, often downright fascist implosions are not taking place on the fringes of the experimental art world but bang in the middle of the real one we all live and breathe in. And since I am sure that we all want to carry on doing both, it is essential that everyone who currently is physically capable of movement and coherent thought gets their arses onto the streets of London and makes next Friday July 13 a very, very unlucky one indeed for Donald Trump.

It’s the most important mass protest since the one against Blair’s illegal war in Iraq and it needs to at least be twice as big and I hope it will be. Trump is the catalyst and figurehead for the growing far right both here and in the US — hardly surprising when he describes elements of a neonazi rally as “very fine people” and his “election”, albeit with a minority of the popular vote, has given the green light for all kinds of fascists, racists and conspiracy theorists to emerge from the shadows and spread their poison once more.

This is very different from the old days of the 1970s and ’80s when we took to the streets to oppose the likes of the National Front.

The internet has given everything a global dimension. When middle-aged, middle-class US Christian fundamentalists who think football is rugby played backwards by blokes in silly helmets post memes of former EDL leader and Luton hoolie Tommy Robinson holding a cross above the logo “Saint Tommy”, that’s the Trump effect.

It’s not just weird, it’s very dangerous. See you in London next Friday. This column replaces not just reports on some fine gigs — and poet Laura Taylor’s fantastic new collection, which will be reviewed in my next column — but also my thoughts on the World Cup. That’s how important it is.

Poet Attila the Stockbroker on 1917 Russian revolution

This music video says about itself:


ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER´S BARNSTORMER live at “Bahia De Cochinos” in Castrop Rauxel, Germany celebrating 30 years of Attila The Stockbroker! 23.09.2010 Great night, awesome band, nice venue!

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

Happy birthday to the 1917 revolution, and me

Saturday 21st October 2017

SIXTY years ago today I came into this world. I’m very happy to be here and am still trying hard to do everything I can in my own small way to make it a better place.

I’ve earned my living as a radical poet and musician for 36 years, doing something I love and would do as a hobby if it wasn’t my job. I have had the opportunity to share my opinions with thousands, and to make a tiny contribution to some of the great political battles of the last 40 years. That makes me very lucky. I’m especially happy to be here since two years ago I had the sort of medical news which made me think I might not. So another big thank you to the NHS and to my wonderful wife Robina. Tonight there will be a very loud and undoubtedly messy celebration at my harbourside local in Shoreham and I hope that the Seagulls will have given me an early present of three points at West Ham last night. But I’m not counting on that!

And then it’s back to the gigs and the campaigns — a fundraiser for Brightlingsea Labour Party next Thursday, another one in Frome a week later, a spot at the Do Not Go Gentle Literature Festival in Swansea on November 3 and at the Liberating Arts Festival in Exeter the next day, Rochester and Plymouth coming up soon and loads more before the end of 2017. All details at

Of course, the most important birthday at the moment is the centenary of the Russian Revolution and I’ve been amused at some of the confusion on the left about celebrating this.

For me, it truly was 10 days that shook the world, ushering in a new era for mankind, one of hope, justice, progress and enlightenment for all, not just a privileged few.

I’m absolutely no apologist for the likes of Stalin or

non-communist according to himself interviewed on Yugoslav TV and to anti-communists Reagan and Thatcher who supported him. The only ‘communist’ thing about Pol Pot was that the Chinese government, run by the Chinese communist party, supported him. The Chinese government later apologized for their support for the bloody Pol Pot regime. Reagan and Thatcher never did.

Pol Pot and the unspeakable brutality which happened at their hands was absolutely not, as some on the right would say, the inevitable result of that rightful uprising of 1917 against poverty and oppression, any more than the big business-bankrolled rise of Hitler was the inevitable result of the industrial revolution or the Spanish Inquisition the result of the teachings of the early church.

That revolution didn’t just make life better for millions of workers whose lives it touched directly, it showed the callous, bare-faced exploiters in the capitalist world the power of organised labour, put the fear of God or, rather, Lenin into them and made them ready to make concessions and inspired a whole generation of the poor to challenge their self-appointed “masters” and change their conditions for the better.

And it is no coincidence that since Gorbachov’s badly needed reforms were hijacked in the USSR and the baby of socialism thrown out with the bathwater of bureaucracy, the power of global labour has decreased massively and that of global capital grown.

The disgusting and ever-widening extremes of wealth and poverty we now see in this country would never have come to pass if there was a visible, viable and humanitarian alternative currently in existence. There isn’t right now, but there could be — that’s what history teaches us.

I saw the core of that alternative myself first-hand during four years touring the GDR and many hours talking and working with the people fighting for real democratic change there, as opposed to takeover by the West, joblessness, poverty and exploitation. And I see it in so many of the activists I meet at my gigs. We should be inspired by our past — not, as some have sadly done, make excuses for it. Or, as a few others do, boldly declare that everything was perfect. It most certainly wasn’t.

So happy birthday to the 1917 socialist revolution. And me.

At the beginning of this year, on January 3, a statement published on the WSWS noted: “A specter is haunting world capitalism: the specter of the Russian revolution.” Confirmation of that assessment came in the Australian Senate on October 18, when Senator Cory Bernardi, head of the Australian Conservatives since he split from the governing Liberal Party earlier in the year, and one of the most extreme right-wingers in the parliament, rose to his feet to move a resolution rejecting any celebration of the Russian Revolution: here.

A Russian federal investigation, opened in 2015 into the killing of the Tsarist family by the Soviet government in 1918, will now take up the veracity of a fascistic and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory which presents the execution as a “ritual killing.” For almost a century, this argument has been the stock-in-trade of the anti-Semitic far-right and fascist forces throughout Europe, which have presented the Russian Revolution as the outcome of a “Jewish conspiracy”: here.

Donald Trump, Attila the Stockbroker poems

This satiric video says about itself:

Belgium welcomes Trump in his own words

2 February 2017

After the Netherlands’ video, Belgium wanted to present itself to Donald Trump as well, so here we go.

Watch other European countries’ videos here.

These three poems by English poet Attila the Stockbroker are about United States President Donald Trump:


Thatcher met Bush senior.
Blair met Bush no-hoper.
But May has drawn the short straw.
She just met Bush groper.


As the last Trump
exploded from the febrile rectum
of the loathsome demagogue
enveloping all before him
in a stinking fog of bigotry and hatred
he turned to the cameras
and spoke.
‘My fellow Americans:
During my election campaign
I made you some promises.
I am following through
on those promises.
Here are three of them.
I promised to build a wall.
To ban Muslims.
To end free healthcare.
I am keeping those promises.
I repeat:
I am following through.
All over America.’


Theresa The Appeaser
Met the lady garden squeezer
Her brain was in the freezer
She treated him like Caesar
He’s a really nasty geezer
So tell Queen Liz, if he sees her,
“Grab his knob with a tweezer
And revoke his sodding visa!”

Satiric poem on British Blairites by Attila the Stockbroker

This British poetry video says about itself:

14 January 2009

Attila the Stockbroker performs Russians in the DHSS, Asylum Seeking Daleks and Attila The Stockbroker Cleans Up the City live at the Cherry Red Records 30th Anniversary Party at Dingwalls London.

The text of the first poem, from 1983, Russians in the DHSS, is:


It first was a rumour dismissed as a lie
But then came the evidence none could deny:
A double page spread in the Sunday Express
The Russians are running the DHSS!

The scroungers and misfits have done it at last
The die of destruction is finally cast
The glue-sniffing Trotskyists’ final excess:
The Russians are running the DHSS!

It must be the truth ‘cos it’s there in the news
A plot by the Kremlin, financed by the Jews
And set up by Scargill, has met with success –
The Russians are running the DHSS!

So go down to your Jobcentre – I bet you’ll see
Albanian students get handouts for free
And drug-crazed punk rockers cavort and caress
In the interview booths in the DHSS…

They go to Majorca on taxpayers’ money
Hey, you there, stop laughing –I don’t think it’s funny
And scroungers and tramps eat smoked salmon and cress
Now the Russians are running the DHSS!

We’ll catch that rat Scargill with our red rat catcher
We’ll send him to dinner with Margaret Thatcher
And we’ll make him stay there until he’ll confess
That he put the Reds in the DHSS!

Then we’ll hang ‘em and flog ‘em and hang ‘em again
And hang ‘em and flog ‘em and more of the same
We’ll GAS all the dole queues and clear up the mess:
Get rid of the Reds – AND the DHSS!

By British poet Attila the Stockbroker:

An end to tribalism – and dead Russians at the helm

Saturday 10th September 2016

Attila’s rushed off his feet with rallies in support of Jeremy Corbyn

BURSTON School Strike Rally last Sunday was a different and special gig.

Hundreds of us packed onto a little village green near Diss in the wilds of Norfolk on a more or less sunny Sunday afternoon, commemorating and celebrating the brave stand of a community who set up their own school after local radical teachers were sacked by the squirearchy a century ago.

It’s an obvious fact that most of our political gatherings take place in towns and cities and, Tolpuddle apart, the countryside’s contribution to our radical history tends to get overlooked.

Wandering round the little school at Burston I learned a lot. An inspiring day, with a storming speech from Jeremy Corbyn, a brilliant set from Steve White and the Protest Family, another from Banner Theatre — and, yes, I had a great time on stage as well.

In a far more real sense than Cameron could ever imagine, these days we are all in this together and our rallies and campaigns prove it. One of Jeremy’s greatest achievements is giving the notoriously squabble-and-split-prone British left a common sense of purpose.

The Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea are well and truly cohabiting — and the Popular People’s Front are cuddling up as well.

Good to see and it has to go further — part of our new thinking has to be an end to all kinds of political tribalism.

I totally support Clive Lewis MP’s idea of a progressive alliance across the left so that there is only one candidate against the Tories in each constituency. Given our ludicrous electoral system it’s the way to get them out — I want to get rid of them by any means necessary.

And, controversially maybe, I think that if the Liberal Democrats ever want anyone to think of them as anything else than a bunch of abject Tory collaborators, they need to be in there too. Once Jeremy has won we must reach out, build bridges and do whatever it takes to win power!

Our Keep Corbyn election tour, featuring a host of radical performers, is now in full swing and continues until the leadership election is over — full details are at

Last Monday we absolutely rocked Cardiff, despite a clash with the Wales v Moldova [football] fixture, this Sunday we’re in Manchester and next Tuesday at the Dome in my home town of Brighton.

I’ll tell you how much I support Jeremy. Mark Serwotka of the PCS was supposed to be hosting the gig but he’s in hospital — a big get well soon to a very nice bloke and committed socialist — so I have agreed to compere the gig.

This means that for the first time in my adult life I’ll be in Brighton when the Seagulls are playing and not at the match. Apart from for my wife Robina, of course, greater love hath no man than this.

I’ll finish with an updated rewrite of one of my earliest poems as Attila, now as then taking the piss out of the reactionary garbage spewed out by the right-wing press.

Twenty-four years ago it was called Russians in the DHSS. Now it’s called…

Trot Zombie Takeover Apocalypse!

It first was a rumour dismissed as a lie
But then came the evidence none could deny…
Tom Watson revealed it on the BBC —
Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

The plotters and entrists have done it at last
The die of destruction is finally cast…
We don’t think for ourselves, we’re controlled by TROTSKY!
Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

He seems quite unfazed by the fact that he’s dead
With an ice pick stuck jauntily into his head

He says “Leon the Zombie supports Jeremy…”
Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

It must be the truth ’cos it’s there in the news:
Despite being Jewish, he tells us “Hate Jews
And throw bricks through windows.”
Oh no! Woe is me! Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

With his crap goatee beard and his poncy pince-nez
He tells thousands of young Corbyn fans “You obey
My Transitional Programme, or you’ll get no tea…”
Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

But Jeremy’s got a coalition that’s broad.
Does the media not know we’ve got STALIN on board?
And there’s old Ra Ra Rasputin too, so that’s three
Dead Russians a-running the Labour Party!

An end to this madness! Please, Owen Smith now!
Oh give me blue suit, give me serious brow!
Give me same old same old, and a nice cup of tea…
Dead Russians are running the Labour Party!

British poet Attila the Stockbroker’s diary

This music video says about itself:

16 July 2014

ARGIES en Live à Vive Le Punk 2014 – Bacardi – Callac (22) – BZH – France.

By British poet Attila the Stockbroker:

Foster out, Argies in, long live punk

Saturday 30th July 2016

Attila the Stockbroker’s diary

Philip Green is the face of capitalism. He’s not the unacceptable or acceptable face — he’s just the face. That’s what capitalism does.

The banking collapse and this BHS fiasco are the high-profile tip of an everyday iceberg: an iceberg of profiteering, of sackings and zero-hours contracts, of the never-ending global search for cheaper labour, of an ideology which sees the relentless accumulation of wealth at any price as a human endeavour to be lauded and honoured, indeed one which is hard-wired into us.

I reject the libel perpetrated by the right that our species is fated by our biology to be comprised of heartless, selfish scumbags. Virtually none of the people I know are like that and I suspect that those reading this would agree that most of the people they know aren’t either.

The vast majority of people believe in community, in social justice, in “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay” as my mum used to put it.

I totally accept that a few people are greedy, evil bastards. They shouldn’t get knighthoods. They should get jail sentences. And Green should be at the front of the queue for a very long one. Stick that in your manifesto, Jeremy. It’d be very popular.

And talking of Jeremy, Labour PLP “coup” organisers saying that the current 27 per cent poll rating is Corbyn’s fault is ludicrous. Bit like a bunch of drunks smashing up a peaceful gig and then blaming the promoter.

It’s absolutely right that Foster’s High Court challenge failed — the Labour Party shouldn’t be like a football club, where money buys control. With the huge membership comes a substantial income, so they don’t need money men anyway. Let’s get stuck in and get Jeremy re-elected!

This weekend I’m performing at Gail’s lovely Something Else A Bit North festival at Hales Bike & Board Park near Chester — I’m bringing my bike and helmet and I’m planning to cycle for miles round the trails, but I won’t be doing any tricks on the ramps, sorry.

I would look very silly, I would hurt myself and Robina would tell me off.

The ace poet Laura Taylor is compering the event — she is currently touring with her new collection Kaleidoscope, it’s brilliant, warm and real and she’s a great performer and an ideal addition to any poetry event. Read her work and contact her via

Then next weekend it’s the punk highlight of the year — Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, when 5,000 punks will take over the Winter Gardens for a four-day celebration of our fantastic, diverse subculture.

For the more sensitive-eared among you it’s worth pointing out that punk’s not just three chords and shouting, folks — there’s an art exhibition, a literary stage and acoustic and spoken word performances — I’m in there, obviously.

Among the hosts of treats on offer I am really looking forward to Jilted John’s first performance in decades — he’s not just about “Gordon is a Moron,” his album True Love Stories is an absolute classic.

And, before that, next Wednesday sees an absolute storming gig at my local, the Duke of Wellington in Shoreham, featuring The Argies from Buenos Aires — the Argentinian Clash — brilliant Latin political punk and a Latin acoustic set to warm things up.

I’ve invited them to play on their way to Rebellion — and on their way back to the ferry and the continuation of their massive tour of mainland Europe. They’re at the Lighthouse in Deal on Sunday August 7. Catch them if you can, folks.

Currently planning more gigs in support of Jeremy’s re-election campaign — and I’m on my way to the Edinburgh Festival soon for the first time in 20 years, talking about my autobiography Arguments Yard at the Book Festival and doing six shows as part of PBH’s Free Fringe. More details in my next column.

Poet Attila the Stockbroker on threatened British steel

This music video from Britain is called Attila The Stockbroker- I Won’t Run Away.

By British poet Attila the Stockbroker:

I’d sooner bail out a steelworker than a banker

Saturday 2nd March 2016

On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker

MY OLDEST school friend John lives in Corby, Northamptonshire, and has spent his working life at British Steel and its successor Corus.

The current crisis at Tata Steel in Port Talbot brings stark memories for me of what happened to Corby, a town built on steel, after the works shut down in 1980.

I remember visiting John and his family and seeing whole streets deserted, boarded up in a new town built to house steelworkers, mainly from Scotland and invited south in the early post-war years, left desolate and half-empty as many returned home after being made redundant.

In Port Talbot it’s different. It’s their home and they have nowhere else to go. I regularly drive past that seething, glowing metropolis, one of the few remaining monuments to Britain’s past as the workshop of the world on my way to gigs in Wales. It towers above the coastline and is clearly visible from the other side of the Bristol Channel.

It must not be allowed to die.

A civilised society does not permit its great industries to be undercut and their associated communities destroyed by external companies whose work conditions for their employees are far inferior, making their products cheaper.

It is especially nauseating to see generations of Tories from Thatcher onwards, people who drape themselves in the Union Jack at the slightest opportunity, systematically presiding over the destruction of domestic manufacturing. It remains to be seen how the bastards will deal with the present crisis, but all possible pressure must be put upon them.

We need steel. I’d rather pay an extra bit of tax to keep Port Talbot open, waiting for the day when it, along with the railways, the post office, utilities and our beloved NHS, can be renationalised by a Labour government. People and communities matter. I’ve seen at first hand what happened to Corby and what the closure of the mines did to those communities.

I’d rather bail out one Welsh steelworker than a whole wine bar full of bankers, that’s for sure.

The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Lahore highlighted once again the recurring comments that European atrocities receive far more media coverage and public sympathy than those further afield.

For me the Brussels attack really hit home since I had returned from gigs as bassist with our Brussels-based band Contingent just two days previously and watched with relief as my friends there confirmed they were safe.

Appalling to see the public show of solidarity at the Place de la Bourse marred by a fascist march. It was one group of fascists protesting at acts committed by another, as far as I am concerned.

These fanatics are the true enemies of the faith they claim to espouse, since all that will happen as a result of their actions is more Islamophobia, more polarisation, more racist attacks. As a ghastly death cult of course they welcome all this.

Solidarity with the ordinary Muslims in Belgium and elsewhere — and with those ex-Muslims who are demanding the right that those of us nominally brought up as Christians take for granted, that of choosing to reject religion in all its forms.

My wife is a Christian, I’m not. We love and respect each other. It’s no big deal. Would that this could be the case everywhere, in all faiths, all communities.

A remarkably sober column this week, reflecting what is happening in our world. Strength and solidarity to you all. I’m off to Amsterdam and Germany next week for the latest leg of my autobiography tour.

Poem on British government austerity

This music video from Britain says about itself:

Attila The Stockbroker – Airstrip One (Official Video, 1984)

29 September 2013

Attila the Stockbroker (born John Baine, 21 October 1957, Southwick, Sussex, England) is a punk poet, and a folk punk musician and songwriter. He performs solo and as the leader of the band Barnstormer. He describes himself as a “sharp tongued, high energy social surrealist poet and songwriter.” He has performed over 2,700 concerts, published six books of poems, and released 30+ recordings (CDs, LPs and singles).

The title Airstrip One is from George Orwell‘s dystopian novel 1984. The lyrics are here.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

A Dickens of a budget for rich and poor

Saturday 19th March 2016

On the road with Attila the Stockbroker

Osborne says: “Sod you, Oliver
You can’t have any more.
I’ve got sweeteners for the rich
And a sweet tax for the poor.
Workhouses in the pipeline:
Academies for now.”
The BBC smiles nicely:
Murdoch’s sychophants kowtow.

I’ve just finished re-reading Dickens’s Hard Times, which brilliantly satirises the Victorian bosses’ brutal philosophy of utilitarianism, which reduces human beings to mere economic cogs on subsistence wages, educated just enough to keep employers’ profits rolling in, with the disabled, sick and unemployed left to fend for themselves.

Make no mistake about it — this government’s ultimate dream would be for those days to return.

If you think this is hyperbole, consider the recent vote to reduce sickness benefit. Three of our local MPs here in West Sussex, Tim Loughton, Peter Bottomley and Nick Gibb — all vice-presidents of the local mental health charity Mind — supported the £30 cut in disability allowance, which will obviously adversely affect people with mental health problems.

That is sinking to depths which even Thatcher wouldn’t have dared to plumb.

Should I have the misfortune to be in the same room as any of these puke-inducing individuals in the near future, I shall inform them of this opinion. At very close range.

Osborne’s Budget reinforces the message that to those who have, more shall be given, to those who have not, tough.

A ludicrous electoral system enables the Tories to claim a “mandate” with 24 per cent of the electorate and do what they please, having done everything they can to try to disenfranchise sections of the population opposed to their loathsome ideology.

And they and their supporters are quite open about it now. Not fair? Undemocratic? So what?

Sun executive Trevor Kavanagh admits on live television that Rupert Murdoch will tell them what line to take about the EU referendum. In other words, the personal opinion of an Australian resident of the US will determine the stance of Britain’s biggest-selling “newspaper” on one of the most important issues to face our country for a generation. Once again, the charade of “freedom of the press” is there for all to see.

But we are fighting back, led by Jeremy Corbyn and a revitalised and radical Labour Party, literally laughing in the faces of those who try to smear and discredit him and us and the gullible fools who believe them.

Brilliant gig at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls last Sunday night alongside Charlotte Church, Jeremy Hardy, Michael Rosen and many more on the south London leg of the JC4PM tour. It is going all over the country, a great opportunity to meet up, have fun and celebrate our solidarity. Check it out!

Writing this on my way to Brussels for a weekend as bass player with Contingent, my old Belgian punk band muckers. Doing my customary pub crawl from the Eurostar terminus at Midi station to Muriel’s flat in Schaerbeek where we rehearse, then we have festivals in Paris and Rennes tomorrow and Saturday.

A gig in Paris has special significance right now. Fuck you, Blair, Sarkozy et al. Destabilising peaceful Middle Eastern countries at the cost of tens of thousands of lives, reducing them to lawless charnel houses which export thousands of hopeless, homeless refugees — and a handful of music-loathing fundamentalist fanatics who gun down innocent gig goers.

Vive la musique!