Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Spoilt for choice

This coming Saturday looks interesting. Here in Nottingham you can attend Nottingham Forest versus Leicester FC (only 1,000 tickets left) or go ice-skating in the Market Square, or pick up a present at the German Christmas Market. Cathy Grindrod is launching her excellent new Shoestring Press poetry collection, The Sky Head On at Bromley House Library. Meanwhile, elsewhere in town, the English Defence League will be showcasing the worst of England in protesting against Muslims, seig heils optional. There will of course be counter protests.

It is hard to imagine that poetry is a major debating point among the English Defence League. But on the other hand, I've only just hastily returned an unsolicited manuscript about the glories of Englishness compared to say, the beastly Scots, the unspeakable Welsh and the dreadful Europeans, which was in poetic form. It is always a good idea to look at a publisher's list before sending in material.

Not that there is anything new in groups like the English Defence League. Turning to the last posting here, Roland Camberton's Scamp, published in 1950, has a character picking up a leaflet from the fictional Association of Freemen and Yeomen of England "Britons! In times of old your forefathers knew how to draw the sword for liberty. It was they who carried the flag to the furthest corners of the globe... Alien influences dominate our native land".

No doubt there was a Pictish Defence League, demonstrating against alien Romans coming across here, stealing their woad...

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