A Very English Revolution



Joe Barker a journalist receives a message from a long forgotten girlfriend. When Joe replies he discovers Jenny has been killed in a tragic accident. He returns to Manchester to attend the funeral, where he finds Jenny’s younger sister Sarah and a mystery connecting a thirty year old body to the rise of a new pressure group reasserting the Christian faith on an apathetic nation. Convinced that Jenny’s death may not have been an accident Joe and Sarah question why someone might not want the story told.

Across the Pennines in Leeds, a bi-election opens an opportunity for Lucy Sayers, a radical new-look nationalist candidate to win a seat in parliament. Rachel Lancaster, a legal researcher skilled in exposing corruption in local institutions, is suspicious of how far Sayers is prepared to go, to win.

A terrifying incident tears open the social and political fabric of multi-cultural Leeds. The dramatic fallout plummet’s Joe and Rachel into the firing line, now the only ones who can see the real story and stop the unthinkable from happening.

A thrilling fictional story of murder, betrayal, and corruption in its own right but also a stark warning of how the realities of the immigration debate, could plunge the UK into a dangerous revolution.


Why did you start writing?

I read a lot and always had a question about the process of producing stories and ideas and thought I would have a go. Starting writing is the only way to find out if you can do it, but I have to say that it took months of work before I had written anything I thought worthy of sharing within anyone else. If I’d still thought it rubbish I would never have continued. Writing is an extraordinary way to play with ideas and characters and take yourself to places you would never go. Computer fantasy games can do something similar but with your own writing, you get to make the rules. Still not sure I can call myself a writer, but I guess somehow I fit that definition.

Why write this book?

Firstly I wanted to write a crime thriller, it is the genre I read the most, but knew I had neither time for extensive research or anyone to ask for those annoying bits of detail that authors fill their books with. My thought in my mind all along was that the reader only has to believe its true, no body cares if it is or not. I set off therefore on a story I could convince myself of, and then hoped the reader would come along for the ride.

Why Leeds?

Why not? The themes of the book fit perfectly into 21st Century Leeds, although universal, the balance of the arguments wouldn’t fit anywhere else.

Why mix Politics and religion?  

The immigration debate is not just about jobs but about the changing culture in the UK. The increase in religious apathy in middle England against the rise of imported religions means that the balance is shifting and encouraging extremism to fill vacuums. On the Christian side, the increase of American culture into Britain has the potential to include the fundamentalist Christian right in America.

Is this about Islamic Extremism and therefore predictable?

This book does not cover this area, only hints at it. The real motivation of the Asian character in this book is alienation, straightforward racism and lack of opportunity.

Are the Nationalists the bad guys?

Yes and No. The bad guys in this book are from the extreme right but the book plays out the immigration debate from all sides extremely honestly. The bad guys are proved to be all about their delusions of power and the dark side of nationalism provides the vehicle for achieving this.

Why female characters?

Nationalism is a debate dominated by machismo and neo-Nazi symbolism, the use of women is to counter that image and present it in a radical new light. It is the same with the thriller format. Trying to use women in traditional male roles presents a whole different atmosphere in the story.

Is any of it true?

It is all complete fiction, as is every character and organisation used in the book.

Favourite Quotes from the book

‘Which one am I? Fascist or Racist? Do you understand the difference? …people can sling these labels on me and my colleagues all day because it doesn’t matter… it’s easier to put labels on us than it is to deal with what we have to say.’
Lucy Sayers, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Britain for British Party

‘You give people too much credit for thinking about stuff like this and if you ask me, you might win over a few liberals, but you’ll lose more hardcore support. If they want flowers and pretty pictures they’ll vote for the Vicars Tea Party at the fucking conservative club’
David Bleasby, BFB board member

‘He had a wife which she supposed was why the secrecy was required, as being gay wasn’t exactly encouraged in the church these days but it was hardly breaking news either.’
Rachel Lancaster, legal researcher, investigating a secret liaison

Lucy Sayers looked at John Pilkington with the sure knowledge that she knew he was a lying bastard… He was intelligent right enough and he could certainly play the part but Lucy felt she knew a guy when she looked him in the eyes. Lucy only saw one thing in John Pilkington’s eyes and that was pure porn.
Lucy Sayers, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Britain for British Party

‘What does that mean? You’re getting married tomorrow? Or you’ve been out, shagged a couple of times and now you don’t know where you stand?’
Rachel Lancaster, on pussy-footing around.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m not agreeing with him, I’m just making a point. If you’re going to be part of a religion, well it’s kind of all or nothing. To me, if you believe in something, you can’t believe in it for just one hour a week or Sunday morning when you’re sat in the pew. It’s all day, everyday. That’s what this guy is saying. Allowing people to hear different messages whether it’s alternative histories, teaching of other faiths or hardcore science. It all undermines the message of that faith.’
Alan Farmer, Rachel Lancaster’s boyfriend.

‘Well use what little charm you have and apologise. Buy her a fucking ring for all I care but get back in that house and find out what she’s up to. That woman is fucking dangerous and I want to know everything she does.’
Lucy Sayers on Rachel Lancaster

Abuse of power, murder, violence, politics and religion, it had been done before, so why couldn’t it be done again here in Leeds.
Alex Thompson – Journalist – West Yorkshire Courier