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Thread: Jeremy Corbyn

  1. #901

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    That's Ishmahil Blagrove, a Speaker's Corner institution. I used to go and watch him every Sunday, he's hilarious. He also attracted good quality hecklers on a weekly basis.

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  3. #902
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  4. #903

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    Seems he has literally just retired from SC:

    Last Sunday was my retirement speech at Speakers Corner. After speaking there for over 30 years, it is time to call it a day. It has been the principle source of my education and the place where I obtained my PhD in life.

    I first visited Speakers Corner around 1983 and eventually began speaking in 1986 after being inspired by the inimitable Roy Sawh. As a youth, I was angry and needed an outlet to vent my frustrations against racism and the police brutality that I was experiencing on a near day-to-day basis. My early theme subjects were racism, Black Power and police harassment - before embracing an internationalist perspective. In those days the park was littered with many great speakers covering a multitude of subjects. Away from religion, there were also brilliant hecklers like Lerch (Matthew Palmer, who was the leader of the young Conservatives) and his sidekick Toad. The hecklers acted as quality control as they would slaughter inexperienced speakers. In those days, the park was not dominated by religious speakers as it is today. You were not allowed to swear or to insult the Queen. As a result of breaking those rules, I was arrested and went to Court several times for swearing. My defence was always that the word “Fuck” is an old English word and that I had been arrested by over zealous police officers for speaking English. I was acquitted each time, with one magistrate advising me to become a lawyer.

    It was there that I met Haroon Jadahuan, the editor of the Muslim Chronicle who taught me about publishing. It has been the source of most of my international contacts in both business and politics, where I met the Head of Warner Brothers - who was to be a witness in one of my trials, became friends with the former Pakistani Foreign Minister Nawaz Shah, became acquainted with Sheik Muhammad of Dhubai, was consulted by Dr. Jibril Ibrahim - the then second in command of the Darfur JEM rebels, met the snakes from the Iraqi Interim Council before they ousted Saddam Hussein, where Saudi Embassy officials tried to put me on their payroll, where MI5 agents attempted to recruit me, where George Soros agents approached me and attempted to get me to join his legion of stooges, where other agents attempted to recruit me for the coup in Equatorial Guinea and other wild adventures, where I met David Shayler the ex-MI5 agent who exposed the British intelligence plot to assassinate Gaddafi, it was where I was recruited by the BBC after Alex Holmes, a BBC executive who went on to be the man behind Louis Theroux, commented after seeing a video of me at Speakers Corner - “this man has an encyclopedic knowledge of politics”… Speakers Corner has been the principle conduit for the majority of the wild adventures and weird and zany encounters that I have experienced in life. I owe Speakers Corner a great debt.

    It is more than a place where people stand on soap boxes and exercise their lungs. It is a unique public space where strangers meet and discuss any subject that takes their interest. The real soul of Speakers Corner is not the speakers but the ordinary people who cluster on the ground and engage in conversation. There are people who I have conversed and argued with every week for almost 30 years, some I would even consider friends, and yet I still do not know their names, where they live, or what they do. That anonymity is part of the beauty of Speakers Corner.

    In a world now absorbed by technology, Speakers Corner is one of the few physical spaces where the oral history of the world is related by the people who live it. Speakers Corner was the original Facebook.

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  6. #904
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  7. #905
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    People have been sharing the hell out of this the last couple of days:



    Can anyone say "PR disaster"?
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  8. #906

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7791381.html

    Ishmahil addressing Corbyn today. Makes me feel weirdly proud of the old Speakers Corner crew. Buy also, learning that he'd just retired his post by the Hyde Park lamp made me feel old and slightly melancholy. He was the best orator there by a mile and consequently got the best hecklers. His talks were always electric for different reasons, and the Corner may never be as good again.

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  10. #907
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    Never mind #Grime4Corbyn - here's Flava Flav showing his support! YEAH, BOYEEE!!!!

    corbynflava.jpg
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  12. #908

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    See? It's just like Dissensus on a good day (or night).

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  14. #909
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    Makes me want to go speakers. You think i could hold it down?

  15. #910

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    Yeah, you'd love it. Blagrove just been on Channel 4 news a minute ago.

  16. #911

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    Dunno who will still be down there after Blagrove has gone. Haven't been back for almost 10 years to my regret. The Islamists obviously, the Christians, Heiko Khoo the engaging Marxist will be there still I reckon, Cynical James too, Diane the WI Nazi, The Master (if he is still alive).

    I started going in 2003 and stopped going regularly around about 2007 but would pop in. And it was fucking great, amazing Sunday afternoon entertainment. If a physical fight was breaking out by 5pm, you knew it was a good day. It was never a serious physical fight, though, like here it could get vicious but there was an unspoken code, tender limits. You were there to disagree in a space designed for disagreement. You knew it would never devolve to actual harm. I loved the place for a few years, and like he said, made friends with people whose name I would never know.

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  18. #912

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    And the 'Jews for Jesus' will never relinquish their spot.

  19. #913
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    And the 'Jews for Jesus' will never relinquish their spot.
    Fuck, I remember them flyering my uni back in, hell, must've still been the 20th century!

    Really regretting never going to Speaker's Corner all the time I lived in London, it sounds amazing.
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  20. #914

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    Political institutions always have this weird, extremely particular code.

  21. #915

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    For a few years my Sunday hangover cure was:

    Roll out of bed and head for Speakers Corner by 12.

    Walk across Hyde Park to Brompton Oratory for the Roman Catholic Vespers and Bendediction show (the best free dramaturgy in London) approx 4pm.

    Early dinner in Daquise for Polish food, Old Europe atmosphere and a carafe of House Red after the end of the weird Catholic show with the great music and incense clogging your nostrils.

    I still recommend this as the best Sunday London routine you could design. If you're a drinker.

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