Proud as punch to announce I’ve been handed the Gerrard Winstanley Gold Spade Award 2018 for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Socialism’.
This is an incredible honour, especially given the list of previous winners, which is basically Tony Benn, much-missed hero to the movement; the peerless Maxine Peake, who can never do anything wrong in my eyes; and two legends of the screen in Jimmy McGovern and the incredible Ken Loach. To see my name added to that list is a little surreal, but maybe it’s a victory for Socialism that a washing machine engineer with a maraca stuffed in his shoe gets to stand on that same stage.
Either that or if I pinch myself hard enough I’ll wake up.
I’ll receive the award on Saturday September 8th at Wigan Diggers Festival, and it would be great to see some of you there to cheer me on. I’m singing too, on a cracking bill which includes Commoners Choir, Attila the Stockbroker’s band Barnstormer 1649, the rousing anthems of local heroes Merry Hell, and The Blockheads will finish the night in style. It would be amazing to share the moment with comrades whose love and support and solidarity fire me up every single day and make me try ever harder, so if you can make it, it would be brilliant to see you.
Please be aware though, our brothers and sisters in the RMT are striking on Northern Rail that day, so much as I would love to see you, on no account cross a picket line to do that. LET’S KEEP THE GUARD ON OUR TRAINS AND THE PASSENGERS SAFE!!!
Wigan Diggers Festival is one of THE days of the year, with the finest of music, fringe events and stalls and is well worth the trip.