A close political colleague of Robert Tressell, author of the now-world-famous “Ragged Trousered Philanthropists”, Cobb became the inspirational leader of the Social Democratic Federation. Cobb deliberately set himself up as a public muckraker to uncover the truth behind allegations of corrupt local practice. He was renowned as a mob orator of exceptional talent and audacity. As his political flame burned brighter, so the outrage against him spread. He was never immune from police surveillance and harassment. The story follows his long running, often hilarious battles with the town’s authorities as they unsuccessfully fought to contain his growing influence over ‘Mugsborough’s’ working class. Some of Cobb’s most witty speeches are recorded; his letters to the local press, always sharply humorous, are also included. Cobb was the archetypal political rebel. The local vendetta against him never slackened. He was bankrupted, constantly dragged before the Borough Bench, imprisoned and sued for libel in the High Court. The book highlights Alf Cobb’s irrepressible spirit and inspired humour that saw him through years of poverty and political oppression. Hastings has seen no one like him since.
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