Ali B?

marcus-bylineIn the Independent today the new chief executive of Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett, finally acknowledges the environmental movement is too white and too middle-class and needs to engage more fully with the UK’s ethnic and working class populations. Alice Bell, campaigns co-ordinator at 10:10, agrees:

But will Alice and Craig walk the walk?
A few weeks ago this was the question I was asking myself (can you walk the walk, Marcus?). Yes, several years ago I changed my name from Martin Price to Marcus Toynboyalé as a gesture of solidarity with African peoples (see However, the exotic nature of my new name was leading many working-class people, interested in the issues we deal with at LFG, to question my origins. It was making them wary – unengageable – in exactly the way Craig and Alice describe above.
Then it came to me: footballers with exotic names don’t get this treatment. Why? The answer is tattoos. Tattoos cut across cultures, uniting everyone. I needed a tattoo and got myself off to the parlour…
So, Alice and Craig, time for a tat – and not just a butterfly on your ankle or some such middle-class nod to working class ink-work, but a proper full on limb job? I think the answer is yes. And if you’re put off by the thought of tattoo parlours in general, bear this in mind: my tattooist was a fan of Bruckner, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Rondo Veneziano and Feist.
Do it!

Be in the spin… an inky invitation to sign online petitions and figure in the spin of online odometers frequently used by campaigning groups.

UPDATE 3/12/15

Good news and bad news. The good news is Alice has taken our advice and got a tattoo. The bad news is – it’s not a proper ‘full on limb job’ as we suggested, but a modest ‘middle-class nod to working class ink-work’ as we feared:


Come on Alice! Get your back and coccyx area done!

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