Philip Whiteley's Blog

December 13, 2019

Why Labour failed

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 3:26 pm

Some observations on why Labour failed. Plus some ideas on what they should have done instead.

Failure of analysis – Austerity was caused by taxpayers taking on the cost of the banking collapses. It wasn’t caused by ‘Tory cuts’. This is like blaming the broken glass and mangled metal for the car crash.

Failure of policy-making – Because Labour either failed to analyse properly the cause of austerity, or deliberately misled the public about it (I’ve no idea which of these it was), it was unable to develop a coherent policy response. Instead it kept making a list of spending commitments. Pledging to increase government borrowing during a debt crisis was deeply unconvincing. Working class folk without a college degree could see this, sophisticated progressives could not. Now, there’s an irony.

Absence of strategy – Successful political leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair have a strategy for all aspects of the economy and society. I wasn’t a huge fan of either of theirs, and they were certainly too deferential to the financial services industry, but at least they had a vision and plan. Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn did not. They just had a list of public sector spending commitments. It’s. Not. The. Same.

Banging on about the NHS in a mawkish and dishonest manner – At every general election since 1951 Labour has warned the public that the NHS is not safe in Tory hands. I vividly recall Michael Meacher in 1987 turning to look at the TV camera and make this warning. Five years later Neil Kinnock offered us the embarrassingly mawkish tale of Jennifer’s Ear. Five years after that, after 18 continuous years of Conservative government, we still had the NHS. In 2019 Labour leaflets made the same warning. One of these elections it may actually be true, but clearly when the teacher told the tale of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, future Labour activists were not paying attention.

Refusing to accept the referendum result – In this, the Liberal Democrats were more to blame and at least Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Lavery and Caroline Flint tried to warn their colleagues against condescension towards working class voters who voted Leave, but they were overruled. Just think: if Labour had voted through Theresa May’s deal a year ago, Boris Johnson would not have become Prime Minister, and the Conservatives would not have a big majority. Massive fail. (I voted Remain, by the way, but you can’t pick and choose which elections to respect. Our side won in 1975).

Failure of tone – Many of the tweets by left-leaning commentators have been nasty and accusing towards anyone who voted Conservative, or Leave; the gist being they loved seeing children go hungry or without health care and that they’re all racist. The tone was often venomous and threatening. If the Tories really were all evil, and if Labour’s policies really would have ended austerity, this would almost have been excusable. But they’re not and they wouldn’t. See above.

What should Labour have done instead? – Acknowledged that austerity was caused by banking failures. This should have been easy because it was, after all, the Thatcherite deregulated financial system that partially failed. Labour should have proposed a financial services transaction tax to reimburse taxpayers who bailed out the banks, encouraged long-term capital investment, and promised restraint in public sector spending while rebalancing the economy. If necessary, minor additional tax increases on the wealthiest could have shielded those most vulnerable from the impact of austerity, without scaring away business.

December 12, 2019

The descent of British politics into populism

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 8:44 am

I am writing this early on the morning of 12th December 2019. I was going to wait until tomorrow, when we know the result of the latest General Election, but there is not the remotest possibility of a good outcome today, so perhaps I should pen it now. Plus, I can’t sleep for worrying.

Every major British party and movement is now mostly taken over by shallow populism, which I should, of course, define. It is an approach that places the interests of a party and its closely linked interest groups above that of the general population. The key features are:

  • Feverish spinning of narratives that are mostly or completely false, and always self-serving,
  • Lack of inquiry into the behavioural dynamics of society and the economy,
  • Finger-pointing and demonization of opponents; scapegoating,
  • Generation and manipulation of fear,
  • Short-termist, opportunistic focus.

Most of my readers will be left-leaning, so I imagine that many will, by now, be saying: ‘Not us, surely! Those features only apply to the Brexit Party, and the Conservatives now they’ve been taken over by Boris Johnson.’

No. I mean you, too. The Labour Party has been one of the worst offenders, and the ‘moderates’ have been slightly worse than Momentum, at least on economic issues. The Liberal Democrats were reasonably statesmanlike for a few years but they, too, have now got the populist bug.

To explain what went wrong, we have to go back. A decade ago, all British citizens were victims of a monumental white collar crime. Its cost was probably north of £1 trillion; it had reached £850bn even in the early phase of the crisis. The impact of the scandal is still with us, but its cause has disappeared from public discourse, replaced by populist messages. It was in the period 2008-2010 that the British taxpayer took on the huge cost of speculation and fraud by rogue elements of the banking industry. It was a partial collapse of a supposedly self-regulating market system put in place by the Thatcher administration. Although supported by a dogma of the market, over the years, the investment banking industry had lobbied for effective protection from full market disciplines, and tacit state guarantees. It had become, in effect, an oligarchy, as this brilliant expose by former IMF economist Paul Johnson explained in 2009 (this focused mainly on the USA, but the same dynamics affected the UK).

One would think, given that the Thatcherite financial system had undergone a partial collapse, requiring state bailout, that Labour would seize the opportunity to critique what went wrong, and present a coherent and radical alternative. What Labour did instead was quite extraordinary to a normal citizen, and only makes sense if you live in a political world, guided by populist instincts. I vividly remember the Labour conference of 2010, a few months after its defeat at the general election after 13 years in power. Ed Miliband, newly elected leader, and Neil Kinnock, a former leader, were chortling with glee in TV interviews at the predicament that the young Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition found itself in. ‘We’ve got our party back!’ grinned Kinnock, displaying not a whisper of conscience about what was, at the time, a quite major social and economic crisis, with an impact being felt in every household.

What was going on?

The explanation, it turned out, was that Labour had realized that the coalition was going to have to take some difficult decisions, and was going to revel in this. The deficit was huge, the public debt had doubled in the course of just a few months, the British state was borrowing £1 out of every £4 that it was spending; the situation was unsustainable. Cutting too fast risked depression, failing to act risked a hard default. There were no easy options.

Instead of being gripped by a sense of crisis, Labour were going to exploit it by pretending that the impact of the banking bailouts – austerity, as it came to be known – was a political choice by the Conservatives. They were embarking on a campaign against ‘Tory cuts’. I was dismayed: a once-in-a-century opportunity for genuine reform, rebalancing of the economy, ensuring that capital serves the interest of society, rather than the other way around under Thatcherism, was being thrown away.

A decade after the crisis, and Labour’s narrative of ‘austerity’ is dominant. A coherent alternative is as far away from political discourse as possible. I have spent some time on the left and I think I understand why it is that they have reacted in this way. It is linked to a faith in public spending, more specifically a belief in the continual increase in public spending, as an inherent good in itself, irrespective of borrowing, of taxation levels or  whether there is a social or economic benefit in the spend. It is a purity test on the left: refuse to believe in this and you won’t get a column in The Guardian or any position of influence. In the early years of the past decade, left-leaning economists decided to pretend that the economic crisis caused by the banking scandal was really a cyclical recession and that the government should use cheap borrowing rates to ‘invest’. Belief in the magic money tree began to take hold. Today, millions of my fellow citizens will be voting Labour in the sincere belief that their policies will end austerity, when there is a very real risk that they will make it worse.

The other item of superstitious faith on the left is the NHS. At every general election since 1951, Labour has claimed that voting Conservative meant risking the future of the NHS. It was only after the third or fourth general election campaign that I followed that I realized that they were just making this stuff up. Even now, in 2019, they are trying it on again.

What of the Conservatives? Well, for a few years, they could hardly believe their luck. Labour, instead of critiquing the Thatcherite financial system that had failed, let them off the hook. Most voters could see that the debt situation made Labour’s spending ambitions quite absurd, so the Conservatives could play the fiscally responsible card and be the grown-up party. They were further helped by Labour’s lurch to the left, as Momentum, the aggressively radical leftist movement, took over the institution. In terms of economic analysis, Momentum’s is actually the least wrong, because at least they pay token attention to the role of the banks. But sadly they too believe in the magic money tree, and their spending commitments dwarf even those of Ed Miliband. Their peculiar obsession with, and scapegoating of, Israel on Middle East policy has resulted in a disturbing crisis of antisemitism.

Then came Europe, and the referendum. On the morning of 24th June 2016, the pattern of Leave voting was clear; the heaviest votes against staying in the EU were in Labour-voting deprived areas. I was dismayed, but sympathetic. Working class people felt left behind, grievances over immigration and pressure on public services became germane. Instead of responding to these concerns, many Liberal Democrats and Remain-supporting Labour activists became high-octane populists, denouncing any Leave supporter as stupid, racist and wrong. This culminated in the Lib Dems’ policy decision in summer 2019 to ignore the result of the referendum completely. This was on the basis that the Leave campaign had lied, but actually both sides lied, as I reported at the time.

The Lib Dems’ conversion to a single-issue populist movement, a mirror image of the Brexit Party, was complete. They seem unable to realise that their campaign plays into the hands of Nigel Farage. This, in turn, has had a toxic effect on the Conservatives, who feel they have to become the Brexit Party Lite simply in order to stay in business.

The Scottish Nationalists, who believe that all Europeans make wonderful close economic and political partners, except for the English, are perhaps the most populist of all. Given how awful the English parties have become, however, the SNP’s narratives will have resonance. They will probably be the biggest winners from today’s election.

What should have been the response to financial crisis and austerity? Honesty and patience, I would argue, backed by a transaction tax, sometimes known as a Tobin tax, in which the financial industry paid back every penny that the taxpayer donated to them while reforming themselves, accompanied by a steady and progressive rebalancing of the economy. But the opportunity, I’m afraid, has passed.

I was tempted to end on a pessimistic note, but there are reasons to be hopeful. The British constitution peacefully resisted attempts by Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament in August; the tone of debate did improve for a while after, and the More United campaign, in honour of the late Jo Cox MP, emphasizes reaching across boundaries of party and faith. Things are bad, but they are not bound to get worse.

(I’m going to vote for the Yorkshire Party, perhaps the only balanced and pragmatic party left. It’s not campaigning for independence, by the way ….)

May 3, 2019

The environment trumps everything

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 4:26 am

I don’t post often on politics, because the conventional options either bore me or scare me and are always unequal to the problems we face, and not even framed in a way that is relevant (in my opinion….). Sometimes I’m confident of my ground. This is one issue: the backlash against Greta Thunberg’s plea for urgent action to protect the environment reveals a quite extraordinary misunderstanding of economics by a lot of old opinionated people.

There is this long-standing belief in conventional economics that people and the environment are just sub-categories of something called ‘the economy’. Hence we have the term ‘human resources’, a wildly inaccurate metaphor that has failed in theory and in practice. What Greta’s pointing out is that conventional economics is wrong; the economy is no more than a by-product of decisions that humans make about each other and the environment.

Consider the following operating assumptions of the dismal science:

  • Ecological destruction is good for economic efficiency,
  • The onus of proof when presenting scientific evidence should lie on people who oppose pollution, not those who produce it,
  • If we plunder and poison the planet irreparably, another one will come along to provide us with what we need.

None of these are valid, or even nearly true or sane, yet they have been the fiercely held beliefs of professors of economics and the business schools for decades. Fortunately, Greta has some surprisingly powerful allies (disappointingly few, but extremely powerful). They include the heads of central banks, the former CEO of Unilever, the board and executive management of the petrochemical giant Shell, who have decided to plant millions of trees across Europe to counter climate change.

In the meantime, could people with zero intellectual curiosity about what ‘the economy’ actually consists of – I was going to say ‘shut up’, but as someone who believes in free speech, I won’t recommend that – instead, please: ‘Start to learn’. Greta doesn’t get everything right, but she gets this: the economy is a sub-category of the environment, not the other way around.

February 28, 2019

Read all about my book! It’s great, honest!

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 8:02 pm

I hope you noticed the ironic tone, and the satire implicit in this generic headline to an online post. You don’t have to travel far into the social media metropolis these days before coming across an author peddling their wares, getting excited about their launch date. Sometimes, I wonder if there are more authors than there are readers; if we do reach that state, we’re in trouble as a society.

My excuse is that writing really is the only skill in which I’ve been sufficiently proficient to earn a living. I’ve been a professional writer for 30 years, in one form or other, starting as a reporter on Printing World, back in the days of hot metal. I absolutely loved that job; I would look forward to going to work every morning, was impatient to get back of a Sunday evening. I learned a lot, too.

So, yes, I write books. Quite a lot of them. When I’m not writing my own books, I’m helping others write theirs. It’s what I do, and what I have to do, just the same as an accountant gets the VAT paid on time and an airline pilot lands safely on the correct strip of tarmac.

Yet it’s never routine, and I still love my work, 30 years on.

This blog post is to announce that I’ve written another book, the third novel, and today I reached the crowdfunding target which means it will definitely be published. The Rooms We Never Enter is a spin-off of the second novel, Marching on Together, and it’s a romcom that’s been described as ‘funny and sweet with a wonderful ending’. That’s a biased verdict, because it’s by my editor, Katy Guest at Unbound. But it’s also credible because she used to be literary editor at the Independent on Sunday. So she, like, knows about books and stuff – more than I do, anyway.

So, do place an order for The Rooms We Never Enter. And read it. It’s really great, honest. There is more information here: https://unbound.com/books/rooms-we-never-enter/

January 23, 2019

A dash of magical realism

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 1:31 pm

I’ve been back to school: learning screenplay. There isn’t a long-term plan to become a scriptwriter, more a case of stretching myself and learning about a slightly different world. My tutor, Julia Berg (https://www.jbergfilms.com/bio) is inspirational. As well as giving advice on strong storylines, compelling dialogue and organizing the pitch, she offers to put the work of us, her delegates, to producers in the industry – a process about which I possess not one clue.

She sees potential in The Rooms We Never Enter; the premise is strong and topical, while she likes the dialogue. So, deep breath, I will give it a go.

There has been an indirect benefit for me of attending the courses: ideas from the other delegates – not just on screenplay but for the book itself. A theme in The Rooms We Never Enter is the concept of the ‘Rooms’ that the lead characters know about, that they dream about, and that they dare not or cannot enter: metaphorical and real. Some of my colleagues on the course suggested enhancing this theme, with fresh sections about Karen’s recurring dream of the mysterious upstairs rooms, suggesting a magical realism element in which her daughter Bronte intuits some of these and paints them.

I hope that I possess the skills to convert this promising idea into convincing story-telling. I am impatient to pen the new sections, but I guess I should wait until the crowdfunding goal is reached and I prepare the final draft for Unbound.

The following is the short version of the pitch (known as a logline in the screenplay world, and the ten-second sell in book publishing) that Julia helped me draft:

One of the wealthiest people in Britain falls in love with a single mum on a minimum wage. This romcom, with a touch of magical realism, explores the fears of the wealthy and the dreams of the poor.

Ultimately, hopefully, I land a TV rights deal. That would be magical – yet also real.

  • A link to the crowdfunding page for The Rooms We Never Enter is:

https://unbound.com/books/rooms-we-never-enter/

November 2, 2018

Last lap

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 12:40 pm

The following is the text of my latest Update on the crowdfunded third novel The Rooms We Never Enter:

Mid-autumn, and we’ve topped the 60% mark, with 58 people pledging to help see The Rooms We Never Enter in print. I thought it would be timely to pen an update. First of all, it was inspiring to meet other Unbound authors at the event at Nottingham Waterstones last month (and to receive a couple of extra generous pledges in the days afterwards). The calibre of authors exceeds even my high expectations. I’m in with an eminent crowd, and the socializing was terrific.

In August, I reported an initial meeting with a Leeds-based literary events organisation about a Pledge Party, to support the book. This was complicated slightly because you’re not supposed to fulfil a pledge before publication, so I could not have a pledge as an entry fee. In any event, with promises that have been made to me, I’m fairly confident that I will reach target over the next few weeks anyway, so plans are now turning to a launch party, in the spring of next year.

Thank you to my 58 amazing supporters. More news soon!

To pledge to the project, go to: https://unbound.com/books/rooms-we-never-enter/

October 3, 2018

Autumn tour blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 1:01 pm

OK, it’s not quite a tour, two dates, maybe three; not enough for a t-shirt. But my involvement with the Margate Bookie last weekend, and appearance at a panel at Saturday’s Unbound mini-festival at Nottingham Waterstones, is a good start to the autumn. And I’m hoping to confirm a date in mid-November in Leeds, once the venue is confirmed.

Last weekend I took part in the Margate Bookie, including the amazing shrines walk I blogged about in August. The walk around the literary shrines – dedicated to work of four selected authors, including myself – took place on Saturday morning. I appeared in themed costume – WW1 officer’s cap and Leeds United shirt, fitting the war memorial and football fan themes of Marching on Together. The curator, Elspeth Penfold, has penned this blog with images.

This coming Saturday, 6 October, I’ll be at Waterstones Nottingham, taking part in a one-day litfest with fellow Unbound authors. I’ll be on a comedy panel – that is, a panel of authors talking about the craft of comedy, not necessarily a panel that will be caught up in some farcical misunderstanding. Though you never know …

Details on this link.

September 11, 2018

Three books

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 7:42 pm

Which books influenced your latest work? You could frame the question a different way: which books didn’t? Every book we read enriches our vocabulary and deepens our learning. Only a few of the greats have had a momentous personal impact, transforming my world view: The Plague, 100 Years of Solitude, Don Quijote, Jennings Goes to School.

The way in which the books we’ve read shape our understanding of our solitary, finite existence is the theme of my memoir which perhaps, one day, may be completed. From the Introduction, I write:

Reading is a physical activity, not just a mental one. We like the touch and smell of a paper book, and if we use an e-reader and we love the book we will probably purchase the hardback version too, just to have, and to hold. We are more than the sum of the books we have read, but we are not the same as we would have been had we not read them; not even nearly the same; scarcely fully human.

In a truly inspired idea, my fellow Unbound author Mark Bowsher invited authors to name three books that most influenced their latest opus. For The Rooms We Never Enter, this required some thought; the idea for the story originated from real life, not the world of literature, as most of my ideas do. Inevitably, of course, the examples of earlier works steered the sub-conscious towards some of the themes, situations and characters. Of the three that came to mind as most relevant, it struck me that two would be regarded as ‘popular’ fiction, and the other as more literary. I always find this distinction arbitrary, and at times irritating. One of the gifts of some popular novelists who have written accessible, entertaining books is the ability to bring a character so vividly to life you feel you’ve actually met them – two examples I often cite are Reggie Perrin and Bridget Jones. It’s an ability that some literary authors lack.

So my three were: Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby, Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding, and The Kiss of the Spiderwoman by Manuel Puig. Mark’s done a fantastic job to unearth the vivid covers of the originals. To read more, click on this link!

And to pledge to The Rooms We Never Enter, click on this link!

 

August 20, 2018

A shrine to the concept of faith. And books

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 10:50 am

If there is a single theme that has haunted me, and my work, it is that of the dominant narrative; the story that takes hold in a community, or nation; the influence it has, and the reasons why a viewpoint became dominant.

The influence of a narrative is often the subject of discussion and debate; the reasons for its popularity, less so. In our secular world, it is common to believe that accepted views are informed solely by the facts of the matter, and the available evidence. Yet again and again in my adult life, I have come across individuals who pride themselves on being rational, sceptical and evidence-based, who assert judgement as though it were fact and either get the evidence base wrong or, more commonly, selectively cite from parts of it to support an ideological conviction.

Take the question of human rights. Many folk point to accords and international agreements that support them, tacitly assuming that the concept was invented by lawyers. Yet the history of the development of human rights is longer, more fascinating and more spiritual. The abolition of slavery came about as a result of a committed campaign by evangelical Christians, motivated by what they understood as the Holy Spirit. This historical evidence is overlooked in the dominant narratives of today’s secular society.

I like to call myself these days an agnostic Christian, or a lapsed atheist. I have difficulty with organised religion, but my observation is that humans are spiritual beings. Values matter. Without values, without a concept of the spiritual and the sacred, we would still have slavery. Also important are rituals, shrines, worship and prayer; they are more than just evolutionary devices (almost all texts on evolution contain a substantial amount of hypothesis and belief – very few of the findings or assumptions are testable in a rigorous scientific manner).

Belief, I have come to realize, is inescapable. So is mythology and the worship of saints. Atheist socialists, for example, worship a whole pantheon of martyrs and saints. Just this weekend I saw someone wearing a Salvador Allende t-shirt; just the iconic face with horn-rimmed spectacles and prominent chin. No words were needed.

In Margate next month, as part of the literary festival, some local artists are to create a series of shrines in honour of the work of four selected authors. The work uses the concept of ‘Ofrendas’, Spanish for ‘Offerings’ and is the idea of local artist Elspeth Penfold and the group Thread and Word. It draws inspiration from Dee Heddon’s Walking Libraries concept, and the book Home Altars of New Mexico by Dana Salvo. The installation consists of mini-shrines to the work of different authors; Elspeth will lead a tour of the shrines, positioned around Margate, and has worked with filmmaker Anna Bowman to create a film of such a tour, to be screened at the Foyle Room in the Turner Gallery Margate between 10.30am and 11.15 on Saturday 29 September. The full tour then starts at 11.30.

I am honoured to be one of the authors selected, along with others who will be speaking at the festival: Elise Valmorbida, Jess Kidd and Owen Lowery. Most appropriately, the work of mine to be featured, Marching on Together, contains some dialogue discussing the concept of secular saints. One of the characters, Terry, observes:

“It’s a natural human tendency to describe folk as saints or villains, even if the reality is somewhere in between. It’s like, we can’t cope with too many facts. It’s just not as satisfying to say “Well, he were good in some ways, but difficult in others, blah blah. Makes you sound indecisive or disloyal.”

For more on the Ofrendas project, go to this link. To the artist Elspeth Penfold, I express my gratitude at being selected. How did I come to be chosen? I’m going to thank the Holy Spirit.

May 8, 2018

The quest for humble pride

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 8:15 am

There’s a curious balance to make as a writer; indeed in life, generally. Few people like a show-off, someone who is always promoting himself (it is normally the alpha male). On the other hand, it is an error to shrink too far, to fail to assert oneself when you have something valid to say.

Like most writers I oscillate between the two: between thinking I am brilliant and thinking I’m a fraud; between worrying that I promote myself too much, and beating myself up for not raising my profile more.

This week, I have the proud announcement that at the weekend at a literary festival, I shared a stage with a legendary writer, a truly great author, comparable to Dickens or Tolstoy. According to the feedback I have received, my nerves were not visible, I made few verbal fluffs and I generally acquitted myself well.

On the long journey home, the first item on my ‘to do’ list would naturally be to tell the world about this achievement. Yet still, I felt reticence, mingled with fear. How would I tell people? Would they think that I am comparing my work to that of Louis de Bernieres? Would people think ‘Wow, Philip, tell us more!’? Or would they think: ‘Oh there goes Philip, banging on about his books again, this time with a bit of name-dropping.’?

I’ve come to the conclusion that, probably, I will receive both reactions, and that that’s OK. There’s a sort of happy medium between narcissism and self abnegation, and it’s something I call humble pride, which involves being relaxed about not everyone loving what you do. It’s having the confidence to say: ‘This is my view. This is what I’ve created. I wish to share it. I think you’ll like it. If you don’t, that’s fine, though please don’t be too rude or personal if you don’t.’

Recently I was interviewed for Cali Bird’s wonderful Gentle Creative blog, and one of the questions was about dealing with rejection. This is one area where I would claim to be the best qualified author to comment. At this stage of my career, 30 years a self-taught writer, I’m probably the world leader in rejections received. What I’ve learned is a couple of things: firstly, it’s remarkable how few acceptances you need to have a satisfactory career; secondly, if people don’t like your work, hell it’s a democracy, they’re entitled to say so! I don’t like Harry Potter books or the music of The Human League. I don’t suppose JK Rowling or Phil Oakey would lose a moment’s sleep at this discovery.

It’s good to be rejected. It’s even better to get a bad review. It shows you’re trying, and that someone’s noticed you. On Saturday evening, I had around 25 people listening to my readings, laughing at the right parts, sometimes murmuring with approval. It felt deeply rewarding. I hope it leads to my third novel The Rooms We Never Enter getting published, through the crowdfunding appeal.

Now, I can start planning the next talk and signing, at Waterstones Leeds, on the evening of Thursday 14th June. Details on this link.

I just have to close this blog with a few notes of thanks:

  • To my fellow performers, actress Lucy Freeman, musicians Nick Browning and my big brother Andy. Great performance, plus we had the author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin joining in on a Kaiser Chiefs number #bestculturalmashupever
  • To the wonderful and brilliant Andreas Loizou and Gemma Pettman of the Margate Bookie, for their faith in me and their unfailing support.
  • To Eric and Dee for doing the video – I will post links in due course.
  • To Louis, of course, for his grace and generosity.

www.pjwhiteley.com

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