Book 8: Education

The poet becomes a teacher in Liverpool schools but the title refers to broader aspects of education. Hints of his IRA connections emerge again; he is bringing up his youngest daughter and living a seemingly ‘middle-class’ life but he finds time to attend the Imperial Typewriters picket lines.

A friend of the poet’s is jailed for murder and commits suicide in prison. His best friend is almost killed on the building sites due to faulty safety conditions.

His third marriage dissolves and he moves to a Council House with his daughter. Thatcher is toning herself up for battle with the Miners, Chapman murders John Lennon and Alberto Juantorena inspires in the 1976 Olympic Games…

Bernadette Devlin McAlisky is nearly murdered in her home in Ireland and the riots begin in Liverpool; the poet participates fully every night.

The Miner’s Strike begins. The poet, in a new relationship, gives up his home to the striking miners and drives a lorry distributing food and cash throughout the UK for the duration…

Chernobyl erupts, the Herald of Free Enterprise rolls over and sinks, the terrible battles between pickets and the SPG at Warrington when Eddy Shar tries to establish his non-union newspaper sees the poet and his friends beaten severely. The Desert Storm invasion takes place.

The poet is befriended by Eric Heffer and George Melly, he becomes interested in the Jazz scene…

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