The Campaign for Terrence Oblong
If you're unfortunate enough to come across the blogs, tweets or facebook postings of 'campaigners' these days it's usually brainless, poorly-written, prejudiced nonsense, an unasked-for stream of incoherent anger. Brexiters, angry because they got Brexit, Covid deniers angry because they got covid, petty racists angry because they've been called a petty racist.
But there's another side to campaigning. Those who try to change things for the better. As a leftie I know my history. Not kings and shit, I really don't have a clue who the hell was king when, or where, let alone why, but I know our real history. You know, the struggle, the fight, us versus them. Peterloo, the Diggers, the Levellers, the poll tax riots, the poll tax riots revisited (I was there for that one), the Rebecca Riots, Captain Swing, the Chartists. When we rose up, took on the man, and usually lost, but that didn't stop us. Get beaten down seven time rise up eight times, that's our history. We got there in the end, the right to vote, pensions, the NHS, education for ALL children (not just the posh ones), the loony-left wish list of our ancestors, they did it, they got the whole bloody shebang. Everything we take for granted was hard fought for. People risked (and lost) their lives, careers, everything.
But in this series of articles I'm not going to talk about politics, I won't mention Thomas Muir, Thomas Paine, let alone Thomas O'Malley. I'm going to talk about the unsung heroes who did something much more important. They campaigned for Terrence Oblong. Or, more specifically, so many of the things I love. Going to see my favourite band, slobbing in front of my favourite TV programme drinking a pint of porter beer, is only possible because of determined individuals who made it possible.
Because porter beer wouldn't exist without them. Indie music wouldn't exist, comedy wouldn't have evolved beyond the saucy seaside postcard mirth of Benny Hill. Without my campaigners, all we'd bloody have is Watney's Red Barrel, Miranda on the telly and Coldplay on the stereo. So this series of articles is my tribute to those who campaigned for a decent pint, a decent laugh and music that's worth having ears on the side of your head for. This is my celebration of the Campaign for Terrence.