Henry Normal, co-writer of award-winning TV and film shows such as The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show, The Parole Officer, Coogan’s Run, Paul Calf, and producer of Gavin and Stacey, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge, among many others, has written a festive(ish) poem exclusively for Northern Soul.


I’m against the prescription of placebo en masse

I’m against the misconception that jollity, jubilation and generosity of spirit can be
determined by timetable

I’m against the surrender of all individuality and free will to a contrived agenda

I’m against peer pressure to emulate an idealised role model

I’m against forced obligations to suppress natural variations in temperament

I’m against any corset on the emotions,
emotional fascism and institutionalised social blackmail

I’m against the bland numbness of uniformity

I’m against denying the complexity of the human spirit, the allure of
originality and the unique nature of each human personality

I’m against the false promise that such moments are of universal
significance or in any way representative of some longer set

I’m against the inevitable repercussions of disappointment and feelings of
inadequacy inherently incurred

I’m against the arrogance of those converted to the culture of the calendar
which insists that all must bow to this ritual or be chastised as if in some way


Henry Normal will be at The Lowry in Salford on January 25, 2020. For more information, click here.