Dear Mr. Cullimore off of The Housemartins

Re: Me and the Farmer

I hope that you will forgive my stating that your working environment sounds far from ''a good place to be''.

It is surely a testament to your character that you and the farmer ''get on fine'' in spite of the wholly unacceptable conditions that you are forced to work under. To make matters worse, it appears that the odious overseer (''won’t he let you go? Probably no'') will not even afford you the courtesy of handing in your notice.

From an external standpoint, the fact that he allows you to toil through tempestuous atmospheric conditions whilst drinking bottles of wine is probably one of the worst examples of Health and Safety flouting since The Wurzels boast of drinking cider (they drinks it all of the day) whilst captaining a colossal rotating machete-like death-trap.

You openly state, Sir, that if you pull your weight he’ll treat you well but if you are late he’ll give you hell. This aggressive attitude is in complete contempt of normal disiplinary procedure whereby a tardy worker should be given a verbal followed by a written warning, should their timekeeping not improve. It ought be also noted that as he works his workers round the clock, non-punctuality cannot apply to those working a 24 hour shift and that fatigue-related promptitude-spurning upon their next on-site attendance is perfectly understandable.

Finally the ''happy crook'' (presumably a reference to gleeful Self Assessment income omissions) has opted not to humanely stun fleeced mammals and round them up with respect but instead has chopped down sheep and bullied flocks, perhaps through the controversial police strong-arm tactic of kettling.

As an aside I find it difficult to fathom how both the Messiah and The Almighty hate the farmer every day and through and through respectively. That said, I did once witness one of their Earthly representatives, an Ecclesial minister in a Renault 5, repeatedly bibbing a slow moving Massey Ferguson that he was caught behind on a narrow B road whlst yelling through his wound down window that he’d never make Mass at this rate.

All in all, in seems as though this slapdash agriculturalist is having a ''field day'' at your expense and that even a ''Happy Hour'' is sorely lacking under the whiphand of this 'villien' of the piece. ''You Better Be Doubtful" if you "Think for a Minute" that conditions are to improve, Mr. Cullimore. "We're Not Going Back" should henceforth be the rallying cry of yourself and your fellow 'hands'.




Derek Philpott



Dear Mr Philpott,

Thanks for your letter. It was very long and rather winding but I got to the end - thanks to a rather stiff cup of tea and half a packet of low fat Rich Tea biscuits. It certainly gave me a lot to think about as I went about my ex-popstar chores this morning, giving my lawn its weekly trim and strim, tuning my collection of fruit shaped ukuleles and signing several copies of old Housemartins CD’s, just in case. After all, you never know when they might come back into vogue. CD’s that is. Not the band. Like double glazed conservatories and comfy cardies, they never went out of style. At least, not in this corner of Styleville. But I digress. 

Point is, before I get round to answering your queries about the lyrics, I feel there is something I ought to point out. And it is this. Derek, my dear chum, I fear you’re asking all the right questions in all the wrong places. You sound like a seeker after truth, like myself. And it appears to me that you may have misunderstood the role that pop music and pop stars play in modern culture. In some ways, they are, as you appear to think, leaders of light, role models to a generation, providers of hope and bringers of musical merriment to the masses. In other ways, probably a lot more ways sadly, they are also just people who discovered early on in life that a really good way to pick up girls, or boys, was to start playing a musical instrument, learn three or four chords and hope that everyone was so impressed with your hipster highness that they forgot to ask questions about your personal hygiene, IQ or pension prospects.

In short, if you’re looking to construct a philosophy of life that will carry you through tough times and maybe even answer some of the unanswerable questions that the universe asks of us all, then I would suggest



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