Monthly Archives: August 2015

Young Conservatives

Silver spoon and bottle fed
The Daily Mail is always read
By young conservatives born to win
Another world you’re living in
Just like your parents and theirs before
You and your children won’t go to war
The front line ain’t the place for you
You still believe your blood is blue

The British empires sons and daughters
Who flirt with SDP supporters
Share nightmares about Tony Benn
The militants on News At Ten
You’re born to rule or so you say
Church of England all the way
The book that features Adam and Eve
These are the things that you believe

Love and respect for King and Queen
National service at seventeen
Mary Whitehouse morals too
A Barbara Cartland novel view
These are the things that you support
The working class they must be taught
How lucky they are to be free
To live in your democracy

With a free press and radio
But we’re four million on the dole
Just like the days before the war
The Tory party still stands for
Mass unemployment and poverty
A them and us society
With no free press to speak the truth
Only the voice of the Tory youth
The House of Lords the dead and old
The wealth the power the land they hold
The red the white the Tory blue
The young conservatives I hate you

Garry Johnson

Garry Johnson’s poem was written in 1983 and has been read at several Stand Up and Spit gigs. The recording of it from the Son Of Oi album has played too. It is one of the most popular of the original ranting poems with the young audience today. They often comment that it might have been written yesterday.


I wrote Young Conservatives because I hate both Conservatives and `Young Conservatives` fresh out of public schools and Oxbridge who have the cheek to look down on their `elders and betters`: the heroic working class parents who work all hours to provide for there children.

What right have Conservatives or `young conservatives` to look down their noses or to tell them how to think or what to do?
I have always been a man of the left, but never thought of myself as a `leftie`. I prefer the title of working class liberal with middle class manners.

Like The Kray Twins I never swear in front of women and children – but would break the habit of a lifetime if I ever met the Queen or Samantha Cameron.
Unlike Reg & Ron I have not murdered anyone – but if I met IDS or George Osbourne down a dark alley I might be tempted.

I have in spirit always been a Labour supporter rather then a voter. I could not bring myself to vote for Blair, Brown. Burnham but Jeremy Corbyn has changed all that.
When Jezza`s elected leader I will both vote and campaign for Labour.

Young Conservatives was as the title says an `attack` on young conservatives but it was also an attack on the `Red Tories` who`ve been in charge of Labour since Kinnock through to Milliband.
I`ve never understand why or how people like Blair, Mandelson, Thornberry, Brown, Kendall and the Labour Establishment have claimed to talk for working class people. Never understood how they got away with it. Quite rightly Black people have Black leaders, Gays have Gay spokesman, Jewish people have Jewish leaders and the Scottish people have Nicola Sturgeon. Well I want a genuine man of the people to represent me and that man is Jeremy Corbyn. I wish he didnt have a beard and look like a social worker.
But that is the Mod in me. That is fashion, not political mod.
I am more left-wing then any champagne socialist in Notting Hill.
My wish is that when Corbyn is elected `red tories` like Mandelson, David Milliband, Thornberry, Blair and all the other `champagne socialists` leave the party.

I would love Corbyn to produce a manifesto that promises to abolish The House Of Lords and the Royal Family. A manifesto that promised to put Blair on trial as a war criminal.
I have the same feelings today as when I wrote `Young Conservatives’.
Back then I hated Thatcher and all her mob and today I hate Cameron and his cronies. Young conservatives, old conservatives and New Labour are all pretty much the same. The main thing they have in common is that they all dislike and mistrust the Working Class.

Garry Johnson


Frankie Paul

Frankie ‘Dancehall’ Paul at the top of his game from Sounds, November 10th, 1984.
His ‘Pass the Tu Sheng Peng’ and ‘Worries in the Dance’ are killer choons.


The Murder of Liddle Towers

The killing of members of the public by the police is nothing new. On 16th January 1976, Chester-le-Street man Liddle Towers was arrested by PC Goodner for being drunk and disorderly outside the key Club.
He was released the following morning and told a friend “They gave us a bloody good kicking outside the Key Club, but that was naught to what I got when I got inside”.
He died on February 9th due to the injuries he’d received from the beating.
There was an inquest a verdict of justifiable homicide was returned.

The case was raised in parliament.

South Shields punk band the Angelic Upstarts released a record in 1978 highlighting the case and the record became a rallying point against police brutality. The record originally came out on the Dead label. The record, and it’s B side ‘Police Oppression’ became a classic punk single and is a passionate call for justice.

Mensi: “Liddle Towers was our protest single. It was the story of a boxing coach who was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He was examined by a doctor and was perfectly healthy. Then in the morning was discovered dead and had injuries which the police surgeon described as being similar to that of a person who had been in a serious 70 miles-an-hour head-on collision. His injuries were absolutely horrific. He was basically kicked to death.
“We done a couple of shows and got the money together and we pressed 500 singles, and then Small Wonder/Rough Trade re-released it, and it got to number one in the indie charts. With no radio play. Apart from John Peel, nobody else played it, and it was actually banned off any sort of play list in the northeast. Fair play I say.”

photo_liddle_lyrics_smash hits

from Smash Hits

The Sex Pistols producer Dave Goodman was outraged by the case and released a single, ‘Justifiable Homicide’ in July 1978. Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook also play on the record.

The Tom Robinson Band dedicated their 1979 album, TRB Two to Mrs Mary Towers, the mother of Liddle Towers. The song Blue Murder on the album goes: ‘Well they kicked him far and they kicked him wide / He was kicked outdoors, he was kicked inside / Kicked in the front and the back and the side / It really was a hell of a fight… / He screamed blue murder in the cell that night / But he must have been wrong cos they all deny it / Gateshead station – police and quiet/ Liddley-die… / Lie lie lie diddley lie /Die die die Liddley die’.

John Betjeman – Banana Blush

Despite being something of a duffer Betjeman was a fan of Coronation Street, the Ogdens in particular. He visited the set and met Bernard Youens who played Stanley Ogden. Michael Parkinson, Russell Harty and Sir John Betjeman formed the British League for Hilda Ogden, with Laurence Olivier as it’s president.


The New Musical Express in April 1974 ran an interview with Sir John Betjeman. Not much on the rock ‘n’ roll stakes was Betjeman but interviewer Andrew Tyler admitted he was as drunk as a boiled owl by the time he staggered out of Betjeman’s house.

Betjeman was just about to release his first LP, at the age of 67. It was released on the Charisma label, home to the likes of Monty Python, Van der Graaf Generator and Vivian Stanshall, and was called Banana Blush.

The idea for Banana Blush came from producer Hugh Murphy, who would later work on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. Murphy paired up Betjeman with composer Jim Parker. Initially, the poet laureate was sceptical about the project, protesting that he possessed the kind of singing voice that could bring up bodies from the murky depths of the Thames. “Just imagine you’re Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady,” he was told.

Betjeman was never the most reliable critic when it came to his own work. Upon completion, he dismissed Banana Blush as a “vulgar pop song record, a serious lapse in taste”.

It opens with Indoor Games Near Newbury, the clippity-clop of frisky tea-room jazz as the backdrop to Betjeman’s flashback, here concerning young, unconsummated love played out in a dark cupboard during a kids’ Christmas party. A love “that lay too deep for kissing”. To a temperate music hall knees-up The Flight from Bootle tells of a Liverpool lady mislaying her virtue in a seedy Piccadilly Circus hotel.

Since the album Morrissey has referenced Betjeman’s 1937 poem Slough on Everyday Is Like Sunday and chose Child Ill for his 2004 NME compilation Songs to Save Your Life. Nick Cave, Suggs and British Sea Power have all cited Betjeman as an inspiration, whereas dance producer Andrew Weatherall has covered his music. Jarvis Cocker is known to play selections from Banana Blush on his BBC 6 Music show.

Betjeman never expected his work to endure. As early as 1961 he confidently remarked: “I will be completely forgotten in five years from now.”