Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Toast of the week - Mr Pickwick edition

This week, we are raising a glass to Ken Atack of Cherwell District Council, whose bonhomie and benevolence belies his name and provides a minor but refreshing example of seasonal goodwill.

The Occupy protests, in the UK at least, have predictably suffered as a result of the weather - some rather more spectacularly than others: the spirit lives on, however, in the shape of a contender for the Christmas number one single.

A North Oxfordshire folk rock band is hoping to land a Christmas number one with a protest song about Government cuts.

The song 'draws inspiration' from the TUC march last spring, describing anarchists occupying Fortnum and Mason and invading the Ritz, and 'is believed to be the first pop song to make reference to quantitative easing', along with some scurrilous attacks on Cameron and the present government.

Billed as an 'anti-austerity song', it is accompanied by a video filmed at locations which include the Occupy protest outside St Pauls - keep an eye out for the dancing elves at 1.17 - and featuring demonstrators there carrying placards bearing the song's title: 'We're all in this together'.

Given the politically provocative nature of the song, the local news reporter who approached Cllr Atack was clearly hoping for some newsworthy hang-'em-and-flog-'em soundbites and a lively bit of controversy. What he got instead was this:

'Conservative Ken Atack, lead member for financial management on Tory-run Cherwell District Council, said he was more of a Roxy Music and Cream fan.

He said: "I'm sure the song will resonate with many young people and older ones, and if they get on 'Top of the Pops', if that's what it's called, then good for them."


Cllr Atack, we salute your magnanimity; your excellent health!


I can't say the question of what's number one at Christmas matters to me, though it would be good if Subrosa is right.

However, on the basis that real music matters more than manufactured pop bands and we are always ready to respect lyricists with something to say, whatever their point of view (though not, of course, to contribute financially to a cause condoning trespass and criminal damage), here is Leatherat's offering:




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