Poet Tim Wells to stand as Class War candidate at general election

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A poet and magazine editor is standing as a candidate at the 2015 general election. Tim Wells, editor of Rising magazine, will be standing on behalf of the anarchist group Class War in the Labour stronghold of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, where Diane Abbott will be defending a 14,461 majority. 

Wells said: “I was asked to by Ian Bone, a comrade of old, and an old comrade. I thought 'why not?'. If I'm going to write poems and sit in the pub complaining about toffs I should also do something.”

Class War wants a mansion tax, the closure of public schools and Oxbridge, the nationalisation of industry and “the removal of privateers like Atos from our welfare system”, Wells said.

He added: “I started out many years ago as a ranting poet and the freedom of speech in today’s vibrant poetry scene is still something I find exciting. Even when the poetry is pants.

“Most of us have had a lifetime of disadvantage. Poetry gigs are noticeably more political these days. I don't think there's any unity of action amongst poets, nor that there really should be, but it's good to see ideas being explored and people questioning their social position. Whilst voices are important it's actions that make change.”

In 2010 journalist Suzanne Moore stood against Abbott as an independent candidate and finished sixth, forfeiting her deposit. Wells added: “Hackney certainly has a militant tradition. Stoke Newington has a long history of non-conformism, feminism and radicalism, encompassing people from Mary Wollstonecraft to the Angry Brigade.”


◄ Seamus Heaney's tribute to Edward Thomas in new war anthology

Wanted: new northern voices to feature on BBC's The Verb ►


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John F Keane

Thu 31st Oct 2013 16:34

I once read a text about innovation and national achievement. One piece of research it referenced argued that eras of great national achievement are often presaged by an explosion of heroic literature, which indirectly inspires subsequent achievements. Many American rocket scientists involved in the Apollo missions claimed that sci fi writers like Heinlein and Asimov directly inspired them to take up science or engineering as a career, for example. So literature might well have an impact on the world, after all.

Perhaps Auden really meant that the twee, upper middle class poetry he churned out had no effect on anything...

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M.C. Newberry

Mon 28th Oct 2013 16:42

Poetry may not "make anything happen" but who will
ever know its underlying influence on any given
mindset and the decisions it makes?
It was said General Wolfe - victor of Quebec -
stated he would rather have written Gray's "Elegy"
than accomplished his own famous deed.

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John Coopey

Sun 27th Oct 2013 20:19

Poets on the move. This should bring the system down

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John F Keane

Sat 26th Oct 2013 13:30

Let's hope this guy wins, at least he represents an authentic leftist perspective. Why on earth a working class person would ever vote for Diane Abbot baffles me. Didn't she send her kids to private school? Long live the revolution, lol...

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Laura Taylor

Sat 26th Oct 2013 13:02


Auden was talking out of his arse - poetry creates a sense of solidarity, and that has consequences that makes things happen. No poem ever walked into Parliament and changed laws, that's not how it works.

I'm made up to read this article - nice one Greg!

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John F Keane

Fri 25th Oct 2013 20:23

Don't single out poetry - electoral politics doesn't change anything, either.

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Gig Administrator

Fri 25th Oct 2013 14:22


Nice piece: even if Auden were correct that poetry 'makes nothing happen' perhaps a poetry editor will have the knack.


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