Song of the Day 4: Girls Go Ska

Hi, yeah s’me, keeping up the Song of the Day feature like dedication was as word I know the definition of!

No excuses not to, I mean I am of the generation when Roy Castle clasped his trumpet weekly, ready for the signing off of “Record Breakers.” No, it’s not a euthanasim, Google it whippersnappers.

Might also explain my fondness for brass. Brass is class, and a vital element of ska. Yep, four tunes in and I couldn’t resist sharing some ska with you.

It’s a commonly misguided notion that ska is a retrospective cult here in England. It tends to convey a bygone era of Two-Tone records, boots and braces.

Yet today, while said stereotype has a grounding, ska is an international phenomenon, particularly in South America. I did write a piece about this region’s love for ska, and how it’s roots out of Jamaica bare a different tale from our own.

To show you how fresh it can be elsewhere in the world, and it’s not a reminiscence for a
load of overweight balding pensioners as perceived in the UK, here’s all-female bar one Mexican band, Girls Go Ska, who I’m secretly in love with, (so secret they don’t even know themselves….until they use Google translate!) doing an instrumental jam.

Girls and ska; what’s not to like? Have a lovely rest of your day. Very good. Carry on….


  • REVIEW – Gigspanner @ Pound Arts Centre, Corsham – Tuesday 29th November 2022

    A Night Of Extreme Violins

    Andy Fawthrop

    Yes, I know it’s not in Devizes, but it’s pretty darned close.  And it was definitely worth the trip out on a grim Tuesday night when nothing else was happening.  Folk or football?  Well, as Bill Shankly never actually said, this gig was far more important than mere life-or-death on a soccer field.

    Gigspanner, if you don’t know, is now the full-time musical project of ex-Steeleye Span’s violin genius, Peter Knight.  Having gradually become slightly exasperated with the repetitive nature of Steeleye’s musical repertoire, despite the occasional new album, Peter left in order to pursue his own musical interests.  And boy has he done that in spades over the past ten years or so.  His trio, including guitar and technical wizard Roger Flack, and percussionist Sacha Trochet, has become legendary in folk (and other) circles for their ground-breaking exploration of musical forms, pushing the basics of folk way, way beyond previous known limits.

    The Pound Arts Centre was absolutely packed last night, with every ticket having sold some time ago.  They’d managed to squeeze in two extra rows of seats at the front, and so it was that 120 of us welcomed these wonderful musicians to the stage.  Given the depth of applause, I’d guess that most of them were already big fans of the band and knew what was coming up.  And what came up was absolutely superb.  Building on the basic building blocks of a few “traditional” folk songs and tunes (She Moved Through The Fair, The Constant Lovers, The Bows of London and The Hard Times of Old England), the band built these foundations into something quite spectacular.  They moved these pieces far beyond the normal, extemporising and exploring as they went, and produced some spell-binding passages of music.  It was fascinating, it was beautiful, and it was utterly captivating.  Using violin, guitars, pedals, effects, and a range of percussion, the three of them wove some amazing musical patterns.  It’s absolutely unlike stuff you’ll hear anywhere else, and played live on stage right in front of you, it’s completely gob-smackingly good.  But there was even more.  Not content with re-defining what constitutes live “folk” music, there were some new musical journeys based on Peter’s own contemporary song/ tune-writing skills such as Seagull, Butterfly and (a collaboration with the late Terry Pratchett) I Will Wear Midnight.

    And, as ever, there was laconic commentary and dry humour from Peter as he introduced each piece, followed by one of my favourite pieces of live musical “theatre” in a piece they’ve been playing from the earliest days called Louisiana Flack.  In this party piece, and without the aid of a safety net, Peter plays a very fast fiddle piece, whilst Roger takes up a pair of drumsticks and simultaneously taps out a complementary beat/ tune across the neck and fingerboard, hopefully avoiding Peter’s fingers.  Just watching these two consummate musicians pull this trick off is one of those breath-holding moments where you’re not quite sure what you’re seeing.  And it came off superbly, demonstrating the complete level of trust that these two musicians have for each other.  Truly amazing.

    Altogether we got two good hour-long sets, which seemed to pass in but a few moments, and an outstanding ten-minute long encore of The Faerie King.  With only occasional lyrics (Peter’s singing voice isn’t why you go to see him), it was one very, very large helping of superbly played and presented music. It might have been based on “folk”, but what we heard would actually defy genre or mere pigeon-holing.  What you need to know is that it was very, very, very good.

    Last night was, as it happened, the last night of the trio’s current UK tour, but it’s not all over.  The never-resting Peter Knight is starting a two-week tour on Saturday with John Spiers, then next year it’ll be back to all the other projects in his life – The Gigspanner Big Band (with Philip Henry and Hannah Martin aka Edgelarks), collaborations with other musicians, Feast of Fiddles, as well as his teaching master-classes, composing and recording.  The man never stops.  No wonder he continues to draw plaudits from the musical press and to win so many music awards.  This man is definitely not, as he self-deprecatingly describes himself, “a fool with a fiddle”.

    Chatting with a clearly delighted band after the gig, they told me how much they loved playing The Pound.  CDs were selling like hot cakes, the audience had been great, and it’s such a lovely, friendly venue. They always get treated like royalty (not you Andrew!), so I’m pretty sure they’ll be pencilling in another date sometime next year.  And if they do, then you owe it to yourself to get a ticket and go – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

    Their future gigs are listed on www.gigspanner.com/ which includes dates in Swindon and Bristol next February.  And there’s lots of info on their other projects, such as Saltlines, too.

    And, finally, just a word about The Pound Arts Centre.  It’s a cracking little venue, now back in full action, with a complete programme of events across drama, film, music, comedy, children’s activities, art exhibitions, workshops, and classes.  It also has an excellent café & bar just off the foyer.  You’ll have to look on their website for future music artists and online ticket information at www.poundarts.org.uk but (for example), they’ve got Jonny Coppin’s Christmas Show, Bowjangles, Sandi Thom, and John Kirkpatrick, all of them before Christmas.  They show modern films and often carry live telecasts of live performances from London venues.  If you’ve not been over there, it’s definitely worth checking out.


  • Devizes Carnival Returning to Traditional Date

    Something I’m personally impartial about, though DOCA’s carnival consultation flagged it as a major issue for many, the recent date changes of carnival is set to be returned to the original date.…..

    Announced this evening, DOCA said, “based on what we’ve heard, we have made the decision to move the Carnival back to the traditional date, the first weekend of September.”

    Confetti Battle and the Colour Rush will remain on a Saturday, DOCA suggesting it’s “been a welcome change overall,” and will be set two weekends prior to Carnival. This will create the “Carnival Fortnight,” as it was before, alongside some fringe events of entertainment in collaboration with local businesses. The International Street Fair will stay in early summer.

    The key dates for next year look at little something like this:

    International Street Fair – 27th & 28th May

    Picnic in the Park – 18th June

    Colour Rush & Confetti Battle – 19th August

    Carnival Parade – 2nd September

    Hummm, summer; I’m there already!


  • Illingworth Celebrate Their 100th Gig!

    Salisbury-based acoustic rock duo John Illingworth Smith and Jolyon Dixon play The High Post Golf Club, between Amesbury and Salisbury this Friday 2nd December, and celebrate that it’s their 100 gig.

    Although the duo had been collaborating musically for over three decades, gigs dried out proir to 2019, and they stopped, as Jolyon vaguely explained, “for one reason or another!”

    He told of how around the Christmas peroid of that year, “John and I were chatting about how we missed doing gigs, wondering if we should maybe get a set together and have go at performing again as a duo.”

    We wasn’t certain if anyone would want to listen,” Jolyon continued, “if we could actually get any gigs at all, or even how to get the songs working with just the two of us playing.” Today it’s still a wonder to us how they manage such a gorgeous sound as a duo, but they do! At Bishop’s Cannings’ CrownFest this summer they stole the stage following two heavy rocks bands, and to see Illingworth stamp their mark on a cover as technical as Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, or The Beatles’ Hey Jude, is something really special.

    To maintain a pub circuit, Illingworth have mastered the cover scene with a plethora of memorable and sing-along rock classics, but neither are they strangers to creating originals, knocking out two breathtaking albums to date. This is where their relationship with Salisbury’s Tunnel Rat studio producer, Eddie Prestidge, comes in handy.

    Our good friend Eddie encouraged us to give it a try,” Jolyon said, “offered to become our manager and handle the bookings. So, we gladly accepted and sure enough we got our first booking in February 2020, with several more following soon after. Of course, early in March the lockdowns started and we couldn’t go out and play. We were gutted, but, undeterred we used the time to make a new album of original songs and we did gigs whenever the restrictions allowed.”

    Well, this weekend will be our 100th gig, So we would just like to say thank you so so much to all the excellent venues that have booked us, the weddings, parties, festivals, celebrations and absolutely everyone who has come to see us along the way! It’s been an absolute blast getting to this point. We still love doing what we do, and hope to make it to our 200th gig!”

    With the trajectory these guys are flying on, I estimate that’ll be around spring! What more of an apt venue name, then, for their 100th gig than the High Post?! But seriously, these guys could bring joy to punters and provide a cracking night to any pub. I’d wager they could even raise the morale of the Queen Vic in Eastenders given half a chance!

    Congratulations to John, Jolyon and Eddie, and hope to catch you again soon, guys.


  • Weekly Roundup of Events in Wiltshire: 30th November – 6th December 2022

    No point in amending your bad behaviour now, far too late; you’ve got to have been good all year round to get on the good list. So, may as well carry on as usual, as this week sees us in the wintery but festive season. Are you ready, excited? Here’s our rundown of stuff to do this coming week in our local province, walking in the winter Wiltshire….

    Details and Links, and for planning ahead, check our event calendar.


    Last day of November then, tomorrow; Wednesday 30th, acoustic jam at the Southgate, Devizes, and Doric String Quartet at the Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon.


    Starting Thursday 1st December on The Little Green, Devizes and running until Christmas Eve, Sustainable Devizes have the Advent{ure} Reuse Christmas, where you can be part of a living Advent Calendar! Create a scene or event for one evening during advent on a Christmas story or theme, to be displayed/performed for all to enjoy, and so many organisations have contributed to this. More HERE.

    Meanwhile, Sarah McQuaid plays The Pump, Trowbridge, Martin Harley at Chapel Arts, Bath, The Bob Porter Project at The Beehive, Swindon, and UK’s hottest drag act, Holly Stars presents their first solo show Justice for Holly, at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.


    Friday 2nd December, Sour Apple play The Pelican, Devizes, B-Sydes at The Pump, Trowbridge, Train to Skaville at The Three Horseshoes, Bradford on Avon. There’s also an evening of acoustic country with the Alan West Band at Chapel Arts, Bath.

    Every Friday night from now until Christmas is Christmas Party night at the Exchange nightclub in Devizes, doors at 10pm, free entry before 11.

    Shows include Through the Decades with Roy & Buddy at Melksham Assembly Hall, and Stardust: A Musical Journey at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon.

    Pink Mac play The Vic in Swindon, while Bone Chapel take The Beehive.

    Oas-is tribute at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, while L1nkn P4rk tribute at the Tree House, and for want of an originals band in Frome on Friday, the incredible 41 Fords play The Sun Inn.


    Saturday 3rd, and Devizes Lions have their Christmas Fair at the Corn Exchange, from 9am-2pm. The Churchill Arms, West Lavington also have a Christmas Fayre, from 2-5pm. Regular Lego Club at Chippenham Library from 3-4pm. And I’m sure there’s Christmas fairs going off all over the place, but it’s a daunting task keeping up with all of that!

    Onto music, and our Phil Cooper plays The Southgate, Devizes, Alex Roberts is at The Barge on Honey Street. Grant Sharkey plays The Pump, Trowbridge, while Triple JD are at the Old Road Tavern, Chippenham. The Ultimate ABBA Tribute play The Consti Club, Chippenham.

    St Marys, Marlborough host the Marlborough Concert Orchestra Winter Concert, and Barrelhouse on their home-turf at The Lamb. Meanwhile, in Swindon, Oasish & Stereotonics play The Vic.

    Westwards leading and it’s a Boot Hill All Stars pilgrimage to The Three Horseshoes, Bradford-on-Avon, Oye Santana at Chapel Arts, Bath, while DJ Dave Pearce presents Dance Anthems at the Cheese & Grain, Frome, and Billy in the Lowground take The Tree House.


    Sunday 4th, Seend Community Centre has a Christmas Concert in aid of Alzheimer’s Support, and the Wessex Concert Orchestra play a Winter Concert at Devizes Town Hall.

    Trowbridge Philharmonic Choir at Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon, and an ultimate Christmas party for the little ones at Meca, Swindon called Calling all Elves.

    It’s not a massive weekend for live music, the build up to the festive period, but if in Bath on Sunday, it must be an afternoon session at The Electric Bar, where you’ll find Concrete Prairie live in session.

    And that’s all folks, have a good weekend. Please do send me some details of your Christmas events, and especially New Year’s Eve, which is looking unusually bare on our calendar this year.


  • Mighty Mighty; The Scribes Storm the Muck!

    Another fantabulous evening at Devizes’ tropical holiday resort, The Muck and Dunder rum bar, where Bristol’s boom bap trio I’ve been hailing since day dot, The Scribes, came, saw, matchlessly interacted with the audience, and tore the place down with a riotous show of incredible skill and talent; secretly, it was foreseeable months ago……

    Again, straw hats off to the Muck, just like previous evenings with the Allergies, Jimmy Needles and recently the BBC Introducing showcase, it’s the like we don’t usually see in our humble market town. Something I’ve been excited about before even leaking the scoop, hyping up here till the cows come home, and still, it exceeded my expectations. It did so with one most important element; Devizes showed their respect loud and proud, attending in full force for this sell-out show, and made me honoured to illustrate what I’d hitherto promised to frontman Ill Literate, and even his dad, Literate senior(!); this is our hometown, it punches well above its weight in knowing how to party.

    For if there are others of this calibre currently on the UK hip hop scene, I’m unaware of them. The Scribes, I find no quarrel in dubbing “our Tribe Called Quest,” for the similar way they can lyrically interchange and bounce off each other, extend their presence further afield from the niche. They’re about spreading their love of hip hop and rap, using an exuberant and carefree east coast old school ethos, blended with contemporary rap techniques, blessing new audiences with what they’ve got, and aside their addictive and inimitable style, they’re having a heap of fun doing it. Just don’t do like I did, and try to capture a snap of them, they move about like Michael McIntyre on fast-forward!

    Tunes played out were tricky to pinpoint, not while jigging and balancing my pina colada! Undoubtedly, they dipped into the vitrine of their latest EP, a forthcoming second in the series of the Totem Trilogy, and I did pick out my dub-inspired favourite, Mighty Mighty. Yet in rap no tune is ever precisely replicated, making an improv live show different every time. What was a highlight of the miscellany was the Doug E Fresh moments of drafting in the single-most amazing beatboxer this side of Barnard Star, which if you’ve never seen the like of in good ol’ Devizes before, it’s equally unlikely you’ve seen the like of anywhere before, if you catch my drift?! What? I’ve had rum!

    With the upmost respect for the influence Mel Bush left on Devizes, the legendary promoter who bought Thin Lizzy to the Corn Exchange, I find it fascinating the same year he did, 1973, across the ocean in a Bronx block-party, Kool Herc isolated percussion “breaks” by switching between two turntables via a mixer, to prolong the beat of the track. Yet to many here, what he fashioned that night is still regarded as new-fangled!

    Albeit progress out of the ghettos of New York for hip hop was sluggish, at best not arriving on our shores until a decade later, hip hop culture is no new thing. So, while this legacy for electric blues and prog-rock is still felt today, through the likes of Jon Amor, who plays the Southgate this afternoon, Innes Sibun and whenever Robin Davey returns, and this marks a blessing on our music scene which I fully appreciate, rum bar The Muck and Dunder aim for diversity, for daring to present dance, club, and hip hop, perhaps reaching out to the twenty and thirty-somethings wanting more than a standard nightclub. And for this, providing they’ll accommodate my aging sorry existence, I cannot thank them enough!

    For me, you see, I loved it since a nipper; the cuts of Grandmaster Flash, the moves of the Rock Steady Crew, the subway graffiti, and right through to Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys, so I believe I’m conversant on the subject to assess the Scribes are the freshest on the block, and I’m glad we showed them what we’re worth in Devizes. Because, here’s my final point, and I feel it’s the most important one, at least in destroying an ill-conceived misconception about the genre which The Scribes highlight with bells on. And that is, the pretentiousness, the bling, guns, and chip on the shoulder stereotype is a product of commercialisation, and is more often than not, an unwelcomed division.

    The Scribes circumnavigated the good ship Muck & Dunder prior to the hoedown, chatting enthusiastically with all. To talk with Ill Literate is to find a kindly fellow with definite goals, a positive agenda, and ardent in the direction he needs to take this. Take his recent solo EP, The Shipwreck as a prime example; here’s a rap record on the level of concept album, akin to prog-rock, with a conscious narrative flowing throughout. This isn’t just rapping to make a noise, this is dedicated writing and production, though on a night like last night at the Muck, it’s also about appeasing the crowd, which they did, sublimely. I walked home in the pissing rain, smiling all the way.


  • Dr John Otway Rocks Trowbridge’s Pump

    By Lorraine Briggs

    The last time Otway played Trowbridge was in July 2003 at the Village Pump Festival, he returned last night to a gig to raise funds for the same festival in 2023; and what a show it was! Earlier this year Otway played his 5,000th gig at the Empire Shepherds Bush; and his wealth of experience was evident as he masterfully took the audience on a journey of music and laughter……

    Recently awarded a doctorate in music, Dr John healed the sell-out audiences’ woes with his madcap antics and deceptively clever lyrics; delighting loyal fans and virgins alike.

    As per his live album, ‘The Set Remains the Same,’ there were few changes to either of the two sets except a dedication of ‘Louisa on a Horse’ to his long-term friend and fellow performer Wilko Johnson, who sadly passed away earlier this week.  During this number Otway’s exuberant performance caused the pliable stage to wobble and an amp to tilt forward.  Whilst this was duly saved by Deadly the Roadie before any real damage was done; I smiled to myself that Wilko had also given it a nudge and was chuckling with us.

    One of the best parts for me about Otway’s solo shows are the expressions on the audiences’ faces, especially those who are new to the party, as he progresses through the first set with the immortal words “Well if you thought that was stupid, wait until the next song!” and closes it with “You’ll probably need a drink after this, I know that I will!”  From a 12 string guitar that’s hinged in the middle to a human drum machine, Otway certainly knows how to hold the attention of the crowd.

    The second set was just as fun, the crowd joined in with the heckling to ‘House of the Rising Sun’ with gusto, and contrastingly Deadly’s lack lustre disco dancing to Otway’s top ten hit ‘Bunsen Burner’ went down a storm.  All good things must come to an end and inevitably it did; finishing with two encores ‘Cheryl’ and ‘Head Butts,’ encouraged by a zealous audience.

    For future gigs at The Pump, click HERE.


  • DOCA Step into Christmas!

    As sparkly as Elton John at his most sparkliest, Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts pulled the tinsel out of bag for the annual Winter Festival yesterday evening, leaving no niggles for a ‘review’ here, as such, just saying, and besides, if you live in or around Devizes, you were likely there anyway!

    Edited out of my chat with one half of the new management team, Annabel, a few months ago, was the part where I described partaking in a lantern parade of yore, when the nippers were nippier and I was lesser of grey hair. It was met with a torrential storm, after we’d walked from St Johns, the lantern collection point, to the starting blocks at the Wharf. After a lengthly wait, while professional lantern makers gasconaded and kids became tiresome already, we marched on, around the entire town, arriving in the Market Place like war-torn soldiers. We carried freezing slain underarm, tired toddlers unable to stay concious and victims of gale forces gallantry still waving a bare stick in the air, of where a lantern once stood, only because it was frozen to their hand!

    Okay, please allow slight exaggeration for artistic licence, but it was a trek even for the able-bodied. If the route these days is far more suitable, just a loop around the Market Place via Long Street and returning along the High Street, it was about the only change made, opting for all the custom aspects of the occasion; should keep the traditionalists content!

    Except Devizes Town Council seemed to not warrant inviting Father Christmas to make for the high ground to make the light switch, as is tradition and a grand element of excitement for the little people, which was a shame. Otherwise, everything was in place for a wonderful time, this mild November evening.

    The few art installations were aside the usual routes, so not trying the event to be akin to street festival, it was left to Devizes Town Band to entertain, under the memorial, which they did, kicking off with Hark the Herald Angel Sing; yep, definitely in the Christmassy mood now!

    Devizes Young Farmers parked their tractors, adorned with fairy lights and tinsel, ahead of their Tinsel Run on Sunday 18th, a newer event by comparison, but over the last couple of years, fast also becoming a tradition. I’m unsure if they’ll keep all those lights on and flashing until the 18th, while working the fields, or if they take them all off again until the big day.

    From the bustling Shambles to the Market Place crowds gathered, a variety of stalls, a great selection of tucker, and a busy craft fair in the Corn Exchange, coupled with the ever-fantastic lantern parade, which, once gathered the tree lights go on and the finale of fireworks commence. It’s the working method Devizes has seen in the season with for decades, and it made no sense to alter it; if it’s not broken…… congratulations again, DOCA, a super evening was had.


  • Devizes First Ever Life-Size Advent Calender

    For the first time, Devizes will have its own life-size interactive Advent Calendar starting from the 1st of December. Devizes Adventure is a community event to bring our town together as we approach Christmas….

    Each night throughout Advent, Devizes Adventure will be on the Little Green, where the calendar’s doors will open for one hour to reveal a different festive and fun display each day.

    With 24 days of Advent there are 24 different groups involved, including local schools, charities, arts organisations, churches, families, and The British Lion pub! The ‘Christmas Stories’ theme chosen for this year’s Adventure allows each of the groups to give their own creative take on the Christmas stories we all know and love.

    Each night will be a unique creative event – some nights the Devizes Adventure doors will open to live music, on other nights it may be storytelling, drama, a creative workshop with things to make and take home, or a fantastic display.

    If you pick up a Devizes Adventure flyer at the event, or bring the one delivered to your home, and have it stamped each night you attend, those who come along to the most will be entered into a draw to win a gift just in time for Christmas.

    The idea – inspired by the hugely successful Brighton beach hut advent calendar – is the brainchild of a group of volunteers.

    Rev. Richard Saint of St James’s Church, one of the organisers, said: “It’s intended to be a really fantastic, creative event – by the community for the community – and a lovely way to bring people together on the journey to Christmas. It’s definitely one for every age, and especially for children, who’ll love each new life-size Advent display and collecting the stamps.”

    Devizes Adventure will open its doors from 5:30-6:30pm each night on the Little Green from December 1st until the doors finally close at 6:30pm on December 24th.


    List of Participating Groups



    1st – Bishops Cannings School

    2nd – Sustainable Devizes

    3rd – Devizes 6th Scout Group

    4th – Christingle

    5th – Featherbrook Connect Group

    6th – Wiltshire Police

    7th – 10:10 Youth Group

    8th – Oliver’s Connect Group

    9th – Lighthouse Youth Group

    10th – The Journey Group

    11th – Remembering & Thanksgiving

    12th – Sibson’s Connect Group

    13th – DOCA

    14th – Trinity School

    15th – Big Sound! Community Choir

    16th – The MacDonald Family

    17th – Southbroom St James School

    18th – Home for Good

    19th – St Andrew’s Church

    20th – Hope for Justice

    21st – Sheep Street Baptist Church

    22nd – Jones’ Connect Group

    23rd – The British Lion

    24th – St James Church


  • Unemployment is a Choice, Says Wiltshire PCC Phillip Wilkinson

    You’ve got to love social media for its provision into the ethics of those in positions of power. It’s beggar’s belief why no-one in the White House office monitered Trump’s flutters on Twitter, let alone attempted to stop him.

    Similarly, while this thread on the Facebook page of Wiltshire Police Crime Comissioner, Phillip Wilkinson, begun on the rightful topic of tackling knife crime, it quickly became a little frosted window into the psyche and ethos of our PCC, who, to a response suggesting rising crime rates and employment satisfaction are related, stated “people need to work to earn a wage which over 5 million have decided not to do.”

    With a tendency to say what he sees on his official Facebook page, Phillip Wilkinson might fair well on TV’s Catchphrase, but in a position of power such as PCC, is this really a responsible reply to a simple notion? That’s not to suggest I believe everyone currently out of work is striving to regain employment, and will be the first to agree there’s a debatable number bucking the system (like many politicians evidently are too, only far worse), but if current unemployment numbers sit at 5.3 million, just where did Wilko pull the statistic that 96% of them made a premeditated choice to be out of work?

    One has to ponder if this is an extremely bad choice of wording on his part, or if he really believes the vast majority of unemployed choose to be unemployed, for the latter option sounding most probable is, quite honestly, a grossly misinformed, shameful and thoroughly irresponsible attitude.

    I find myself wondering if he has the foggiest notion just how frustrating and demoralising being out of work is, for the majority out of work, if he’s stopped to contemplate how damaging his comment is, and if, admist his pomposity, he really gives a hoot.

    Fact is, a massive majority out of work are not so because of a concious decision not to, rather cannot work due to mental or physical illness, redundancy or being laid off, or social situations such as single parents without skills or experience to obtain a salary able to cover childcare costs. Anyone with any basic understanding of how real life works already knows this, you’d have thought?!

    There’s even a great number of them unable to gain employment after being mentally or physically injured serving in the forces, which he so proudly parades his own record in; whatever happened to the “nemo resideo” ethos of solidarity in the armed forces?

    But more concerning is it’s a fact surely garnished with bittersweet hypocrisy that the very political party Phillip Wilkinson aligns to are responsible for such poor conditions and economic decline rendering the situation far worse than it need be. Shut the front door in the face of shallowness!

    Someone draw a map of logic for the chap, and manoeuvre some tanks of reason across it in a manner he might comprehend; dole, job seeker’s allowance, tax credits, whatever the latest name a government office human resources team spent serveral conferences deciding to call it, is a safety net, because no one’s job is 100% safe. Anyone can find themselves out of work, from their factory closing to their business in negative equity, and everyone who worked paid for that safety net, it is our money, we put in to build it.

    Still, it’s the negative stereotyping and arrogant attitudes of odious individuals like this which projects the concept one should feel honoured for the ability to take any of this back, one should feel ashamed to have to sign on, and this turns the coggs of a vicious circle in the demoralising the very being of unemployment.

    Far from me lobbing a random opinion for the sake of mocking a tory, I’ve felt it myself, been there. I’m speaking from experience and with an open heart. What the Wiltshire PCC expresses here is openly and unashamedly prejudice against the unwell, the sick and disabled, not least the poor or homeless, and coming from a man responsible for our policing, it’s also throughly concerning.

    To Mr Wilkinson I ask if he realises people retain their morals when not working, their emotions too, and doesn’t abuse his position to highlight his wonky and, frankly, disgusting opinions.

  • Devizine Podcast Pilot!

    Okay, so, everyone is doing a podcast these days, and I’m a sucker which finds it impossible to go against the grain. Here’s my pathetic attempt at comedy, interspliced with some great, mostly locally sourced tunes…… enjoy as best you can, there’s no guilt in not listening, because if you don’t, you’re the sensible one!

    Do not fear, it’s under an hour and half, anymore and I worry for your sanity. But, if I’m honest, I’m a smidgen worried how this is going to go down, being new to all this, so any feedback I might even yet take heed of! Please note, though, this is adult show, with adult material, which some listeners may find offensive.

    Any more than one piece of positive feedback and I might be persuaded to make it monthly thing, already got a number of local Christmassy songs for a seasonal special next time; you have been warned!

    As I said in it, I’d really like a jingle, if some musical friends have the time to record a quick ditty and send it in, that’d be awesome. Something which really clarifies just how crap it is, would be nice!


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