Monday, October 08, 2007

Is Vic There?

I've no idea if it signifies anything but in recent days the trusty sitemeter has revealed that a number of people have been finding the blog via google searches for individual SPGB/WSM members both past and present.

Could this mean that there's long lost relatives out there in search of that curmudgeonly old uncle who was sort of OK in his own idiosyncratic way until he got a few drinks in him at the family Christmas dinner, and then he'd insist on thrusting a dog-eared pamphlet into your palms instead of that spacehopper you'd set you're heart on? Or maybe it's an ex-member taking a trip down Fetter's Lane* in search of the Old Soul Rebels? Probably neither; it'll be a crumpled PhD student pissed off that he's - notice that it's always a bloke who does PhD on groups in the "thin red line" sector? - having to do some heavy duty primary sources research on the SPGB because no bastard's updated the Wiki page for the SPGB recently, and he can't remember who he lent his copy of 'The Monument' to.

No fear. A random act of kindness on my part is at hand. For easy one access visit to the blog, here's the pages you're after:

  • Vic Vanni
  • Harry Morrison (Harmo)
  • Richard Headicar
  • Steve Coleman and Issac Rab
  • It's not like I need the hits or the page views. It's amazing what the judicious placing of one picture will do to increase the rate of traffic that your blog will receive. A particuarly apt picture for this willo-the-wisp post.

    *An in-joke for all you SPGB spotters out there.


    Kevin Williamson said...

    I remember an old bearded guy from the SPGB who used to stand up on a soap box on Princes Street and preach class war and Marxism Jack London style. This would be back in the mid-late 1980s. He was the last of Edinburgh's soap box socialists. The ancient arts, eh?

    ajohnstone said...

    That would no doubt be Jimmy Moir with his colourful Doric [ should that be dulcet ] tones , and still a staunch proponent for Socialism and would be still on that soapbox if The Mound was once more suitable to outdoor meetings .
    For the time being he can be caught at

    or at

    Darren said...


    Probably a bit before your time, but from speaking to older comrades, it appears the SPGB had quite a high degree of visibility in Edinburgh in the early seventies. Especially speaking around the Mound.


    Toronto isn't that far away from Brooklyn.

    Brian Smith said...

    I was once standing beside Jimmy Moir's platform at the Mound, around 1970. An old woman scolded him. She said that he had no idea what trials someone like her had with poverty. Jimmy came down and joked with her, but I think I was the only person there who saw him slip a fiver in her coat pocket.

    Jimmy also had the eccentric habit of calling the S.N.P. the 'Sorry No Pies Party' ...

    Darren said...

    Hello Brian,

    Jimmy is still about - I met him last year when I was in Scotland to visit family - and is currently secretary of the SPGB's Edinburgh Branch.

    He blogs over at Patience and Perseverance if you want to get in contact with him.

    Were you a member of the old Edinburgh Branch? I've heard it was really active in and around the city in the late 60s and early 70s.