Long beard styles pictures Long beard styles 2015 Long beard styles 2014 Long beard styles 2013 Long beard styles 2012 Long beard styling tips Long beard types Long goatee beard styles Long face beard styles Long hair beard styles Long beard styles Best l. Will Self: Why do so many young men have beards?

I return to beards again – and gladly. I got on the Tube the other day and there were what would’ve been two perfectly inconspicuous young men – skinny jeans, long-sleeved T-shirts, basketball boots, iPhones, side-parted hair – were it not for the vast and indeed anfractuous beards they both sported, beards the likes of which haven’t been seen in public life since Lord Salisbury’s second government. However, I looked at the guileless eyes of the young men and concluded that this wasn’t an ironic reference to the Cleveland Street scandal at all but presumably related to that most pernicious and pervasive of modern mass follies: fashion. Long beard styles.

Indeed, having had the initial pair thrust scratchily in my face, the beards kept coming thick and thicker. You know the ones: these are not beards of the sort worn by those slightly older gay men styled “bears”; nor are they bikers’ beards designed to capture the slipstream of the chopped hog in front; nor again are they hippy beards, long-lasting hangovers of some other loveless summer. No, these are full-blown, late-Victorian and Edwardian beards, complete with curling and often waxed mustachios.

What’s disconcerting about them is that they bear no discernible relation to the faces they have taken root in, or to the sartorial efforts of those who affect them. In this respect the beard they most obviously resemble is the “beard of bees” in the Magners cider advert; and in common with that bombinating illusion, these beards are both intended to flog something, and are – despite their apparent heft – evanescent things, ever on the point of flying away.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the finest opening in English literature (to date) is from Roald Dahl’s The Twits: “What a lot of hairy-faced men there are about nowadays. When a man grows hair all over his face it is impossible to tell what he really looks like. Perhaps that’s why he does it. He’d rather you didn’t know.” What men traditionally don’t wish you to know about their faces are that they have an irresolute chin or that it’s Jimmy-Hill hypertrophied, or, like David Cameron’s that it’s paedomorphically dimpled. Alternatively they wish to mask a deformity, or a war wound, or a port wine stain – any of these can excuse a beard although by no means justify it. I myself suffer from a sort of reverse-Dahlism: I would grow a beard, were it not for the fact that if I do it’s entirely grey and makes me look about 800 years old. But these barbellates-nouvelles are quite different; what they have to hide is, counterintuitively, nothing at all.

If you could bring one of these young men down in the public highway, and, gripping him firmly between your knees take a pair of electric clippers to his face, you’d soon discover that shorn of its fleece his face would be void of Charles Manson’s murderous psychopathology, or Ted Kaczynski’s deranged long view, let alone Dave Lee Travis’s questionable taste in... music. No, these jejune middle-class chaps are the sort who get up in the morning, look in the shaving mirror, and seeing a tabula rasa for a face, get the foggy, fourth-hand notion that a bit of hairy scribbling will make them look “creative”.

What most perplexes me about the new beards is that judging by their length and girth they must have taken a considerable time to grow – and yet I haven’t seen a single fledgling, only yearlings. It occurred to me, as I struggled through the urban jungle swiping the chin-borne lianas out of my way that perhaps the new beards were like pigeons in this respect – and I shared this insight with Keith, who works in the Vintage House where I buy my cigars: “What a lot of hairyfaced young men there are about nowadays,” I said as I came through the door, and that’s all it took: for the next ten minutes we ranted like a pair of old geezers about these young whippersnappers with their retro facial hair.

Keith’s view was that the beards were only the gateway drug, leading on to such dreadful solecisms as the button-up cardigan worn as a fashion item. (I kept quiet at this point, having one of these cardies myself, although maybe Keith would excuse it in a valetudinarian.)

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Traditionally the view is that to be cleanshaven has always been a puritanical thing – but I’m not convinced that this remains the case. After all, Keith and I are as old and hip as it gets, while what we object to in these beards is not their outward form – but their manifest insincerity. Ah, well, hair today...

In November 2017, Joseph Hughes, a private renter in a shared house in Haringey, north London, got an email from his local Momentum branch. The email invited him to a series of meetings to shortlist local Labour councillors ahead of the 2018 elections. It also informed him that two councillors on the shortlist supported the Haringey Development Vehicle, a controversial development plan.

Hughes had never been to any local event or meeting before, despite renting in London for 13 years. He decided that “as a borderline gen Y-er/older millennial” his apolitical stance no longer cut it. “Going against a life of nurtured cynicism and isolation from any community I've rented,” he said in an email. “I'm trying to force myself to get involved, meet other Labour members, and be part of the local party democracy.”

Hughes’s first meetings turned out to make national news. The councillors who opposed the HDV were deselected, with the Evening Standard and Times reporting on a “purge” of Labour moderates, with one ejected councillor calling HDV a “Trojan horse”. Yet while events in Haringey tell us something about internal Labour politics, those that think it is all about Momentum are missing the point.

Haringey, where I live, is a north London borough that sits above Camden, Islington and Hackney. Its 11 square miles contains a population comparable to cities like Swansea or Derby. It includes graceful Edwardian red brick town houses (now often discreetly subdivided behind their stained glass doors), the busy, multicultural neighbourhood around Finsbury Park, and, in the east, some of the poorest wards in the country.

The Haringey Development Vehicle sounds like an innocuous piece of local authority jargon, but it contains an explosive proposition. It is a partnership between the council and a private developer, Lendlease. The council provides the land, which includes housing estates containing thousands of socially rented homes. The developer gets to build on it, with new homes and a new town centre for one part of the borough promised over the next 20 years. Both share in the proceeds.

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Unease about this scheme has been building since late 2016 when Emma Youle of local paper Ham & High reported on a £2bn council privatisation. The reaction of the community has been chronicled by Aditya Chakrabortty for the Guardian, and the posters attached to the trees I pass as I walk home.

It starts with the developer, Lendlease. Before I lived in Haringey, I lived in Elephant and Castle, just minutes from the vast, dark emptiness of the former Heygate Estate. In 2002, the council promised that 100 per cent of council homes would be replaced. By 2011, the proportion of affordable housing was down to just 25 per cent. In 2013, the council evicted remaining tenants and offered owners sums as low as £80,000 to sell out. By the time I left the area, in 2015, the luxury towers were rising and apartments were already being marketed in Singapore. Just 74 out of the 2,500 new homes will be affordable. The private developer responsible? Lendlease.

Second, while the first people to notice the HDV included veterans of the hard left, they also included the Haringey council’s own Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel. A report published in January 2017 declared: “What the Council, and by extension its tenants and residents, gain from the proposed HDV is far less clear than what it and they stand to lose.” Local residents participated in marches. In July, shortly after the Grenfell Tower fire, the north London Labour MPs David Lammy and Catherine West wrote to the council urging it to pause the HDV and “reflect further on whether entering into a public-private partnership is the correct decision”.

By the time Hughes got the Momentum email, he had already been aware of the HDV scheme for several months. He went to the local Labour party meeting trying to keep an open mind. “I wanted to be wrong about the HDV as my thoughts based on everything I'd read were 'well, this is a nightmare' and wanted some other views,” he says. The meeting turned out to be extremely boring and civil. “If someone came out less than impressive ideas, these were met with polite silence and the chair kept it moving.” Hughes observed that the attendees seemed older and whiter than the diverse, youthful population he saw on the streets.

The second meeting, by contrast, was tense. The members were there to vote whether Labour party councillors should be automatically reselected, and the branch voted that two who had supported the HDV should not be. According to Hughes, the majority of those present welcomed the result. To his disappointment, none of the councillors supporting HDV explained their stance.

“The most depressing two minutes was when one person implied the majority in the room were there under the mysterious employ of Momentum, and someone in return rudely called them a Blairite,” he said. “A quiet knowing groan was let out by most of the room. At this point the excellent chair injected humour and the meeting ticked on for an otherwise respectful two hours.”

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Criticism of Momentum has veered between fears of a platform for hard left veterans, some with deeply unappetising views, and the contrasting assertion that members are “clicktivists” who will not get off the sofa for the Labour party.

Although Hughes had been prompted to attend by Momentum, he found the idea that the vote had been orchestrated by it funny. “I found myself laughing at the idea that we were all following orders,” he said of the member’s outburst. “I also sympathised with them: I'm guessing there were many new faces and it must be bewildering.

“On reflection I, surely like many of the people there, had only been there because of Momentum. As well as getting previously non-political people to join Labour they are evidently very good at getting Labour members out of their homes and into Labour meetings.”

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