Only 190 copies left of: The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light

WP Hill

Less than 200 copies of the First Edition of my book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light are still available.

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light is 100 pages of angst, joy, reflection on subjects as diverse as child abuse, cancer, depression, bereavement, love and joy. The full story behind the book can be listened to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2X7t7awo

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light is available for order directly through Paypal.

Please email payment to seagullnic@gmail.com with your name and address details.

For UK orders: Order your copy now for just £3.99 plus £1.85 P&P.

For Europe orders add: £3.70 P&P, Australia: £5.05 P&P and USA: £4.75 P&P with discounts on postage for multiple orders.

You can also order by post: email me at seagullnic@gmail.com for details of how to do this.

Alternatively you can buy the book (postage free) through Ebay at: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222253908846?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

I will personally sign your copy upon request, and your book will be dispatched immediately upon cleared payment.

Meanwhile my second book of songs and poems Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft is set for publication in Spring 2017.

 

Appeal against my expulsion from the Labour Party – an open letter

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

 

Iain McNicol

General Secretary of the Labour Party

Compliance Unit

Labour Central

Kings Manor

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE1 6PA

 

 

Dear Mr McNicol

 

Appeal against Expulsion from the Labour Party

Membership Number: Lxxxxxxx

 

I acknowledge receipt of your email of 7 September 2016, and the copy letter, received this morning. I wish to appeal against my expulsion.

 

PREAMBLE

I was born into a middle class Tory voting household and to my eternal shame joined the Conservative Party at age 16. Three years later I was elected Vice Chairman of the Northern Region of the Federation of Conservative Students. I even helped Margaret Thatcher get elected in 1979.

But, life is a great leveller and educator, as I am sure you will agree.

My education began in the early 1980s as a teacher in the South Yorkshire pit village of Darton. I lived in the village for four years among miners and their families, and many of my charges were destined to also become miners. I witnessed at first hand the devastation of the miners’ strike and the evil reality of Thatcherism.

My education continued in 1988 when I was hospitalised in Cardiff for four months for surgery and treatment of lung cancer. Many of my fellow patients in the ward and at the radiotherapy clinic were former miners from the south Wales valleys and sufferers from pneumoconiosis and consequential lung cancer. I listened at first hand to their stories of life in the pits and the betrayal of their futures and communities by Thatcher and her minions.

Over 10 years I had changed forever from a right wing Tory into a true blood socialist, and in 1989 I joined the Labour Party.

Such conversions are not uncommon. I am sure you remember Conservative minister Shaun Woodward crossing the floor of the Commons to join the Labour Party, where he was welcomed with open arms by our then leader, Tony Blair.

Fellow Tory MPs Peter Temple-Morris, Robert Jackson and Quentin Davies did likewise.

And today, under Jeremy Corbyn we are seeing many more conversions from the Greens, the Lib Dems and others, which I hope are being welcomed with similar enthusiasm.

As I said earlier: life is a great educator.

Over the ensuing years, unemployment, bereavement, homelessness and a career in newspaper journalism hardened my beliefs as a socialist and supporter of the Labour Party.

One of the proudest moments of my life came in 1994 when 41 Labour MPs signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons praising my investigative journalism into the lies then being peddled by the Conservative government. Some of my all-time political heroes signed that EDM: the late and great Tony Benn, the much missed Alan Simpson, Ken Livingstone, Dennis Skinner and ironically Jeremy Corbyn.

These names next to mine remain a personal shield of honour, which will always remain, whatever the outcome of this appeal.

However, in 2003 I left the Labour Party after being disillusioned and betrayed by Tony Blair’s social welfare policies and for leading us into an illegal war in Iraq against the wishes of the British people and the vast majority of Labour Party members.

For the next 12 years I watched and wrote from afar, dismayed by so-called New Labour and the osmosis of party policy between the Tories and Labour. I became unattached to any political party and described myself as a nihilist.

But, Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour Party leader in 2015 reignited a personal belief that things might change and that Labour had rediscovered its soul, cherished under Clem Atlee, Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan and Michael Foot.

Early in July this year I rejoined the Labour Party and on 18 July received my membership card with an accompanying letter which said: “You are the newest member to add your voice, skills and passion to our movement. Labour’s strength comes from its members.”

 

APPEAL

  • Your email/letter of 7 September 2016 refers to my application to become a member of the Labour Party… and that my application has been rejected.

I have been a member of the Labour Party from 1989-2003 and rejoined with letter of acceptance and membership card on 18 July 2016. Indeed, not only am I already a member of the Labour Party, but you also accepted my £25 Poll Tax payment as a supporter on 28 July to allow me to vote in the Leadership election.

Your action is therefore retrospective and it could be viewed that you took my £25 voting fee under false pretences.

  • Your email/letter of 7 September 2016 says: “The Labour Party should be the home of lively debate, of new ideas and of campaigns to change society. However, for fair debate to take place, people must be able to air their views in an atmosphere of respect. They shouldn’t be shouted down, they shouldn’t be intimidated, and they shouldn’t be abused, either in meetings or online.”

I have NEVER in my lifetime shouted down or intimidated anyone. I have also NEVER abused anyone.

As a victim and survivor of childhood sexual abuse and later domestic abuse, which left me minutes from death, I believe the NEC needs to revisit its use of the term “abuse”.

But, if abuse means bullying, I am a long time campaigner against bullying in all its forms.

Indeed, I was the first to alert NEC member Johanna Baxter on 14 July 2016, that the cyber bully who had reduced her to tears was not a member of the Labour Party or follower of Jeremy Corbyn, but was a far right Nazi troll named Claire Khaw, a former member of the BNP.

  • Your email/letter of 7 September 2016 says I am being expelled because “You have made inappropriate comments on social media including a post on 28 June 2016”.

A quick trawl of my own accounts shows that the only comments you might refer to was my blog posting: Hanging from Traitors’ Gate – Progress: Labour’s right wing Militant

I revisited this subject in more detail in another blog posting on 27 July 2016: The right wing incontinence of the Progress plotters

My blogs are always widely shared on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and other social media platforms. These particular blogs are typical of the scores of investigative newspaper reports which won me dozens of awards over a 28 year career in journalism.

They shine a light onto facts about Progress and its members.

If your problem is in the title of the blog piece, maybe lessons in English metaphor and history are required.

A view shared by many is that Progress is as much a right wing entryist party within a party as Militant was in the 1980s.

As for the bulk of the piece, it is written with the same dynamism that former Labour leader Neil Kinnock attacked Militant.

If your problem is with my use of the word Traitor/Traitors, I believe that anyone who has committed the treachery to our leader Jeremy Corbyn and to the 121,751 Labour Party members, 88,449 Registered Supporters and 41,928 Trade Union Affiliated Supporters who voted for him, as observed by the so-called #chickencoup, deserves to be called a Traitor.

I am sure that as a former trade union leader you have used the word traitor or scab to other comrades in times of dispute.

I know that MPs Tom Watson, John McTernan, Luke Akehurst and others have used the word Traitor, and much worse about fellow Labour Party members.

If your problem is about me naming MPs who should face deselection if they fail to ameliorate their treachery, I am doing no more or less than Neil Kinnock did when he named, shamed and threatened with expulsion Derek Hatton, Tony Mulhearn and Lesley Mahmood.

The Labour Party has thrived amid robust and lively debate. To kill or stifle that debate behind claims of bullying or intimidation is to kill the Labour Party and make it into a pink imitation of the Conservatives.

 

CONCLUSION

I vigorously defend my blog post and request that my expulsion is overturned.

I have been increasingly shocked by the actions of the NEC executive board and certain NEC members over the past three months.

This may not help my appeal, but in my opinion the NEC has acted against the membership of the Labour Party and in doing so has damaged the reputation of the party for the foreseeable future.

The top-down NEC dictats bullying the membership can be viewed as Stalinism.

The purge and witch-hunt of members and electors who do not hold a certain beliefs might be seen as McCarthyism.

And the encouragement for members to report other members for un-comradely actions are those of the former East German Stasi.

I never thought I would witness such behaviour from the management of the Labour Party.

 

Please clarify your reasons for my expulsion and confirm when my appeal will be heard.

 

I reserve all rights.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Nic Outterside

Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner share my badge of honour

TO me this means more than any press award I have won, any degree I have worked for and more than any story or book I have ever published.

It is simply a Motion in the House of Commons signed jointly by five of my political heroes.

It stays with me and now as the Blairite knives are turned on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it becomes even more precious.

It goes back 22 years to when I was working as an unknown reporter on a weekly local newspaper in south west Scotland.

A year earlier in 1993 I began investigating a report into high levels of radiation in the local waters of the Solway Firth.

This in turn led to a huge investigation into the test firing of depleted uranium (DU) artillery shells (the same used by Allied forces in both Gulf Wars) at a nearby MoD proving ground and a link with  local clusters of childhood cancer.

The full story can be read here: Suppression of the Truth: Depleted Uranium – The Deadly Killer.

Then suddenly, and without any warning, in the late Spring of 1994 I was given two press awards for my newspaper investigations – the first was a Judges’ Special Award for Investigative Journalism.

I was gobsmacked!

But a second shock was in store… I was informed that 41 MPs had signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons praising my investigation (and that of a dear and late colleague at the Sunday Mail) into the link between DU shell firing and the serious risks to health – including cancer.

The EDM read: “That this House congratulates Nic Outterside, chief reporter of the Galloway Gazette, for his special award of the year ‘for his investigative journalism and individual tenacity’, and Angus Macleod of the Sunday Mail, for his ‘talent for disclosing stories in an aggressive and attacking writing style’ in winning the journalist and reporter of the year award in the Scottish Press Awards made on 26th April; notes that both reporters revealed the hidden dangers of depleted uranium shell tests at Ministry of Defence test ranges, and unveiled the links between vapourised depleted uranium dust and the Gulf War or Desert Storm syndrome; believes these Scottish reporters have properly publicised a problem of national and international importance as recognised by investigations in the United States Congress and the United Nations Compensation Committee; and reiterates its call for an urgent public inquiry.”

Some of my all-time political heroes signed that EDM: the late and great Tony Benn MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, the much missed Alan Simpson MP, Ken Livingstone MP and the Beast of Bolsover Dennis Skinner MP.

These names next to mine remain a personal badge of honour. Now 22 years on, they are a vindication of our shared hatred of warfare, nuclear weapons and the military establishment.

Blogging Success

I STARTED blogging at www.seagullnic.wordpress.com in late September 2013 as a form of therapy and catharsis following my nervous breakdown earlier that year.

During the ensuing two-and-a-half years I have blogged about everything under the sun, including a navel-gazing exposure of my life, politics, opinion, poems and songs. I have also reloaded a score of pieces from my years in newspaper journalism, written extensively about my villains and heroes and published the first 12 chapters of my new children’s novel.

Today I reached a milestone when I posted my 400th Blog piece.

So, I thought I would do a little statistical research.

At this point, my blogs have received 67,634 hits with 419 comments and 159 regular followers.

Topping the popularity stakes is my piece The Crippled Estate of BBC Spin https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/the-crippled-estate-of-bbc-spin/ which currently has a stunning 24,396 hits.

Three other blog posts The Labour Party Tops Half a Million Members Under Corbyn https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/labour-party-tops-half-a-million-members-under-corbyn/ The Enemy Within – 28 Labour MPs Who Oppose Mr Corbyn https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/the-enemy-within-the-28-labour-mps-who-oppose-mr-corbyn/ and The Loaded Language of the British Press https://seagullnic.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/the-loaded-language-of-the-british-press/ have, at the time of writing, received 5,721, 2,461 and 1,225 hits respectively.

About 85% of my readers are from the UK, while a further 6% are from the USA and there is a sizeable audience in Canada, Australia, Pakistan, France and Spain. My blog has been read in every country in the world, with the exception of Paraguay, Greenland, Kazakhstan and a few countries in central Africa!

Just wow!

Thank you all for reading my blogs and thank you so much for your wonderful support.

The writing journey continues.

 

Sound and Vision

WHILE recording an investigative news piece for Bristol Broadcasting Community Radio last week I realised just how many of these type of pieces I have taken part in over the past 25 years.

From weekly newspaper updates for BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Wales to the crazy days of 2004 when as a national Fans United organiser I seemed to be Live on BBC Radio 2, Radio 5 Live, Sky TV and various regional stations almost every day.

There are too many to count.

But, I am guessing there must be over 100 radio and TV clips of my voice out there somewhere.

Someone once said I had a face for radio… and it’s interesting, to me alone, how the early nerves disappeared somewhere along the way.

So I decided to gather together a few clips for posterity and my kids to laugh at in years to come:

Radio Five Live: Fans United to Save Wrexham FC Jan / March 2005

https://youtu.be/_piFAdrQCkE

https://youtu.be/o3JjxxwrLlw

BBC Radio Bristol: Editor Overcomes Child Abuse to Publish First Book of Poetry Nov 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2X7t7awo

Russia Today TV: Nov 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU_4qJHIasc&list=UUbGif2gxFLxGDxG9CeA_fvg

BBC Radio Bristol: The Death of Regional Journalism

http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/78059

BBC Radio Bristol: Masonic Conspiracy and the Deselection of Bill Hodgson

http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/84880

YouTube: Ice Bucket Challenge for Gaza: Aug 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9LvQf04jR4

 

Only 300 copies left of: The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light

WP Hill

ONLY 300 copies of the First Edition of my book The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light are still available.

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light is 100 pages of angst, joy, reflection on subjects as diverse as child abuse, cancer, depression, bereavement, love and joy. The full story behind the book can be listened to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2N2X7t7awo

The Hill – Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light is available for order directly through Paypal with full details at: www.writeahead.co.uk

Order your copy now for just £3.99 plus £1.80 P&P (Europe: £3.70 P&P, Australia: £5.05 P&P and USA: £4.75 P&P with discounts on postage for multiple orders).

There are also options to order by post with full details on the website.

Alternatively you can buy the book (postage free) through Ebay at: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Hill-Songs-and-Poems-of-Darkness-and-Light-by-Nic-Outterside-/221998468992?hash=item33b023cf80:g:1lwAAOSw5dNWnM8o

I will personally sign your copy upon request, and your book will be dispatched immediately upon cleared payment.

Meanwhile my second book Another Hill – Songs and Poems of Love and Theft is set for publication in April this year.

 

Former newspaper editor to release second book following unexpected success of debut title

A FORMER newspaper editor, who left journalism to start his own publishing company, is preparing to publish his second book of songs and poems.

Multi award winning writer and editor Nic Outterside quit his job as editor of North Wales’ flagship weekly The Denbighshire Free Press following a nervous breakdown in June 2013.

Nic – who now lives in Wolverhampton – launched his own publishing and company and began the slow road to recovery under the watchful eyes of his doctor and the support of his family. Part of the suggested therapy was for him to begin writing and talking about the life experiences which had led to his breakdown.

Nic started a blog www.seagullnic.wordpress.com two years ago and began to chronicle his life in a series of long and often harrowing stories.

From childhood sexual abuse, through cancer, bereavement, bankruptcy, divorce, repossession of my home, the loss of two of my children and an assault which almost took my life, I guess there was a lot to write about,” says Nic. “And in hindsight I had held the breakdown at bay for far too long.”

“I also used the blog as a conduit for my own creative writing, current affairs opinion pieces and the odd bits of poetry,” he explains. “Then after about 20,000 blog hits and 100 regular followers I was amazed to find that the poetry was receiving all the positive feedback. Family members, random friends and complete strangers suggested I should publish the poems “properly” as a book.

“But from my own experience in publishing I knew that most book publishers will not touch new poets with a cattle prod! So I decided to publish the book myself.

“My first book The Hill- Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light was a huge success, and last winter started work on the follow-up.

“Now, Just Another Hill is almost finished and I plan publication in November. Like the first book, it will be 100 more pages of angst, joy, reflection and opinion, warts and all.”

The Hill: Songs and Poems of Darkness and Light in paperback, is still available priced at just £3.99 with £1.80 for UK post and packing. To obtain a copy go to www.writeahead.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. Nic is an award-winning editor and writer who has worked with top sportspeople, politicians, musicians, business leaders and small businesses. Among more than a dozen awards to his name are North of England Daily Journalist of the Year, Scottish Daily Journalist of the Year, Scottish Weekly Journalist of the Year and a special national award for investigative journalism. He was twice editor of Weekly Newspaper of the Year.
  2. For further information about writeahead or Nic’s books please contact: 077 83183102 or email: nicoutterside@writeahead.co.uk