‘Commie’ Mick Dunnings

by sticky

With a view to recent news stories, I thought it would be eye-opening for Mad Hatters regulars to hear some reminiscences from my cousin, Mick Dunnings – known to his family and friends as ‘Commie’, due to his hard-left political persuasion. Until he retired recently, Mick held the post of Branch Secretary at the East Hallamshire Labour Co-operative (People’s Republic of South Yorkshire) and has met some of the most influential ‘movers and shakers’ around today. Mick is known for his strong language, but has agreed to tone it down a bit for this piece. So, without further ado, take it away, Mick!

Thanks, sticky, it’s very kind of you to give us this platform to address the brothers and sisters. When I was first asked to do this, I thought it was The Mad Haters. No, no, I said, I’m not 'Commie' Mick Dunningsdoing owt for Tory scum, then I realised that it was an Alice In Wonderland thing.

It isn’t? Oh well, never mind, I’m sure I’ll pull the rabbit out of the hat.

Anyway, I’m going back a few years now, when ‘Dom’ was still a schoolkid. In them days I was living in Durham, and was an organiser for the local Labour Party.

He burst in on one of our committee meetings one day, all fired up, wanting to join the Labour Party and start a revolution. We were suspicious of him at first, because he went to public school, and had a poncey Tory name.

“Call me Nic! Or, better still, Nick!” he told the meeting: “I’ll do anything it takes, in order to get Mr Kinnock elected as Prime Minister!”

“All reyt, kid, mekkus all a cup o’ tea then” I said.

You know, it’s funny looking back, remembering what a little Trotskyite he was, then seeing how he turned out. The only Red Wall he was interested in in them days was what would be when all them Tory bastards had been lined up in front of it.

“Yeah, Tom Robinson! Whitehall Up Against The Wall!” he used to shout. We thought he was on about Red Robbo at British Leyland at first (a bloody good agitator, if ever there was one) but it turned out he was a left-wing pop singer.

And a ‘gay’ activist.

Well, us working class blokes had difficulty with that sort of thing in them days. Made us all feel a bit uncomfortable, like. But we found out a few years after the Miners’ Strike that some, er, gay lads had come up from London to support our communities in their hour of need. They made a film about it. Reyt good it were, too.

Well, Nick was a bit of a live wire, to say the least.

“I know, let’s bomb the Tory Party conference this year!” he once suggested at a branch meeting.

“Look, Nick, you can’t say things like that. Do you want to get us all arrested?” said Karl Lennon, the treasurer.

“Besides, somebody else already thought of it.”

I remember the day he came skipping in, waving ‘L’-plates in the air.

“Yippee! I’ve passed my driving test!” he declared. God knows how – he was as blind as a bat.

“Hey, I’ve got a great idea – let’s organise a treasure hunt! I can get four in my car. It’ll be great fun!”

We soon kicked that idea in the head: nobody wanted to be driven by blind Nick on a wild goose chase halfway across Durham.

After a while, we were all getting a bit fed up with this snaky little kid. The final straw came when a group of us in the 1917 Committee were planning a visit to Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Glorious Revolution with our Soviet Republic comrades.

“I’ll organise it!” he insisted: “My uncle’s got contacts in the travel industry – I’ll get us a good deal!”

Even then, he was a pushy, manipulative git, and hard to shake off, so we let him get on with it.

I’d never been to the USA before, let alone Idaho. Moscow, Idaho.

That little bastard’s arse got kicked all the way to Barnard Castle and back.

Well, it turns out that Nick wasn’t the only one from them days who ‘changed sides’. Mr Tom Robinson, former gay activist, I have discovered, is now married, with two grown-up children.

Tha couldn’t mekkit up.

MD

* * * * *

Well, thanks for that, Commie Mick – that should get the conspiracy theorists wondering why there’s a place called Moscow in Idaho!

Feel free to drop in on MH any time, and leave some comments!

9 Comments to “‘Commie’ Mick Dunnings”

  1. Great stuff Mick.

    Thanks for that insight into life as a lefty activist back in the day

    This Dominic character seems a bit of a lad. Quite the sort to go on and do something bloody stupid in later life just to get in the public eye.

    I wonder what became of him?

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    • Nick? The last I heard of him, he was hanging around Wakefield, but he’s probably living in London now. I bet he thinks he’s a Big Shot, dragging other idiots into his hare-brained schemes.

      Like

  2. Hey, Mick, that’s a good track you’ve reminded me of:

    Like

  3. I keep forgetting how old y’all are.

    Like

  4. Knobbly Sam said,

    “I wonder what became of him?”

    Well, I guess it’s hands-up time – I once had the dubious pleasure of encountering this er… young gentleman… The fact that I was subject to the officious secrets act of the day at the time is now immaterial and of no import, whence the following vomitariae repugnens…

    In those days I was an alternative warfare instructor at Wath upon Dearn Technical College, on a Scargill Scholarship, having left school at 15 with no A-levels but a dam sound antichrist agenda and the balls, gob, sufficiently limited intelligence and null-education to go with it; my parents having been irish immigrants who listened to the Clancy Brothers on borrowed LP’s brought clandestinely home in my old-man’s ex-army knapsack in which he carried his sandwiches to the enamel factory, and played on a Dansette deck bought on the never-never from Halfords; said Cultural Evenings taking place in our Front Room with curtains drawn and lights off in case any of our black-and-tan not to say cromwellite-leaning neighbours would of been listening in and denounced us to the local constabulary, we being the only catholic family in a street of 20 red-brick sooty damp houses à la nauseating mining community called home we were brought up to be proud of…

    (which factors, as a pertinent non-aside, also doubtless contributed greatly to precluding my learning of the uillean pipes, my only substantive regret in life BTW…)

    Anywhere, where was I ? (this aging is a terrible thing…) (especially when conflated by alcoholism, nihilism etc. and parentheses add nauseism…)…

    Bugger. Well, following an unglorious carreer-start as a national assistance board visiting officer in the gloomier quarters off the Old Kent Road, I fled home to Yorks with my tax return, and signed on the dole, only to be sent – after a mere three days of glorious paid leave – for interview to a local technical institute where I was offered LSR (Last-chance Social Reinsertion) in the form of a scholarship to the Barnsley HQ of the National Union of Mineworkers. Several tedious years later, having sufficiently established my bolshy credientials not least by hugely impressing a visiting Stasi technical commission with my knowledge of East German prropaganda techniques, my scholarship was happily extended into a short-service (25-yr) zero-hours contract at Upper Wath, teaching Apolitical Subversion to the cream of the masses.

    My students were scraped from the highest echelons of the lowest classes, their studies (= my not-inconsiderable ”Pay Expenses and Other Emoluments” including a relatively new (red) Ford Angular) financed from a black fund fronted by the back end of the NUM’s secret ”facilities-planning and diverse outsourced rump” budget.

    In the crawlspace below the Engels Memorial Wing – a solid red-brick annexe built in the Clay Cross vernacular style – I led a team of multipurpose educators responsible for inculcating techniques such as sabotage, underground printing, counterfeiting, psychological operations and the then-unheard-of technique of bitmine coining. (I am (parenthetically) proud unequivially to state that this was the first-ever use of the term ”underground” in the sense of underground, as opposed to not-musical, speleological or train-related, as can be verified in several well known contemporaneous offline resources of the day etc.).

    If my memory serves me right, the student in question joined us in late ’86, aged about 15 – a good age for a normal offspring to be thrown onto the pitheap of life in order to get on with the sodding business of staying alive – or for caviar charlatans to be embarking on ”higher education”, meaning, setting about acquiring the skills and authority to ensure that they obtain (and more importantly, retain…) a higher position in life than poor dim downtrodden have-not bastards-ex-gregis of socially inferior class…).

    I understood that he had graduated in my direction thanks to some shady mechanism involving nepotism-cum-connivancing associated with his private schooling whereby he had spent several summer camps on the Baltic riviera, financed by the international sponsorship programme of the German Democratic Republic’s trades-union federation (FDGB) which at the time operated actively on behalf of the commy secret police, on the one hand sponsoring impoverished UK striking miners’ kids, and on the other hand actively searching to recruit would-be shit-stirrers and agents-provocateurs for use When the Time Came…

    According to Stasi records, ”Cunting (sic) engaged in nummerous activities on these courses ranging from See-canoeing to rifle-shooting to language labs. He appears to have being an einthusiastik student of East German and Russian, expressing a dip desire to become a Sniper, claiming in this respect to have been Kapitän of his private-school’s air rifle Sheissung range setup in schoolhouse Lavatories”.

    However, what I remember even more than his registration file was the fact that within three days of joining our freshers year (Marx-86 Intake), he had seemingly already decided upon the subject of his final year thesis, viz. ”Robespierre and the art of Tactical Movement” (such impetuosity being all the more remarkable on account of the fact that my own (Ibo) post-grad assistant had taken a mere five years to identify a thesis subject only to be refused a grant by thatcher).

    Otherwise, my new upstart’s Barnsley career proved to be somewhat lackluster: he was soon dropped from the sniping course after Cameron, the instructor took exception to his fetish of wearing a career psy-ops patch. Likewise, he failed the advanced driving course by inadvertently ending up at a farm in Durham rather than a barn in Dover, inexplicably adding an unheard-of sixty miles to the route and narrowly escaping arrest for pissing in a watercourse in front of a passing childrens’ communion-party Sunday picnic outing.

    From then on his desire to learn waned considerably, it being obvious that he himself considered he had nothing to learn. The last I saw of him was at his dismissal parade, where his eye-patch was unceremoniously ripped off and the paymaster handed him a free railway pass to the conservative party conference.

    The rest of the little faggot’s career as a nightclub cashier is already well documented elsewhere.
    (Yawn).
    Dominic Mckenzie Cummings
    anagrams to
    Minimized Suck Commencing

    P.S. In the event of questions regarding this article, let it be known that i will only answer things that come from Gmail accounts from people who I know who they are…
    Best regards to everybod,
    Ircum Da Sun,
    Sao Paolo

    Like

  5. Excellent.

    I shall create youknowwhoiam@gmail.com as soon as I’ve finished this coffee.

    Like

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