Monday, December 31, 2007

Those 2008 New Year Resolutions In Full

What he said.

My Drunken Dad: Fast Food Nation - McDonalds is GOOD

Hat tip to Will.

The West Country Telegraph

Andy's in Swindon, but he still knows more about what's going on in Left of Democrat politics in the USA than I ever will*.

In his latest post to the Socialist Unity Blog, Andy gives the low down in the left/right split in the Green Party in the United States. I'm guessing the right faction within the Greens - with their desire for close co-operation with the Democrats - have got it in their collective heads that they never want a repeat of 2000. Apparently, it was Nader who handed the election to George W.

*Thing's balance out though: I know there's only one team in the West Country.

Socialist Standard Gets a Revamp

January 2008 brings with it a revamped and expanded Socialist Standard. Check it out now, 'cos you never know when I will get round to posting the contents on the blog.

Socialist Standard muscles into Viz territory

The Socialist Standard reaches out to its teenage readership.

The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin (Little Brown 2007)

"The barriers were going up. Down George IV Bridge and all along Princes Street, workmen were busy putting them in place. Road repairs and building projects had been put on hold, scaffolding removed so it couldn't be taken apart and used as missiles. Mailboxes had been sealed shut and some shops boarded up. Financial institutions had been warned, staff advised not to wear formal clothing - it would make them easy targets. For a Friday evening, the town was quiet. Police vans cruised the central streets, metal grilles fixed to their windshields. More vans were parked out of sight in unlit side roads. The cops on board wore riot gear and laughed among themselves, swapping stories from previous engagements. A few veterans had seen action during the last wave of miners' strikes. Others tried to match these memories with stories of soccer battles, poll-tax demonstrations, the Newbury Bypass. They exchanged rumors about the expected size of the Italian anarchist contingent".

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A post about Socialism and Sunbeds that does not involve Tommy Sheridan

A comrade writes . . .

"In the July 1932 issue of the Socialist Standard it has the contact address for the Workers Socialist Party listed as 132, East 23rd Street, New York, New York.

I of course Google the address and find out that the former headquarters for our Party is now the 'Beach Bum Tanning' salon.

Capitalism, aint it fucking grand?"

Phil O'Donnell 1972-2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

The New York Times reports on the impact of the murder of Benazir Bhutto on the Pakistani population in Brooklyn.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Little Brown 2007)

"It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you're poor because you're stupid and ugly. And then you start believing that you're stupid and ugly because you're Indian. And because you're Indian you start believing you're destined to be poor. it's an ugly circle and there's nothing you can do about it.

"Poverty doesn't give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor".

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Falling in love with West Bromwich Albion all over again

Eight goal thriller over the Christmas period?

Forget yesterday's Villa/Chelski match, Man Utd versus WBA from 1978 will always stick in the memory.

Cyrille Regis should have got a hat trick, but for two brilliant saves from Gary Bailey; Laurie Cunningham blistering and unstoppable on both wings; the brilliant second goal from West Brom prompting the question, whatever happened to Len Cantello?; and with Stewart Houston, Mickey Thomas, Sammy McIlroy, Steve Coppell, Gordon McQueen and David McCreery in their line up, Man Utd must have been the ugliest football team in history, save for that 14th century village football team from Gloucestershire who were struck down with the bubonic plague after that European away fixture in Sicily.

Love to see the modern day marketing bods at Old Trafford selling that Man Utd first eleven's image rights to the Asian soccer market.

I just wish that Big Ron hadn't spoil it at the end of the clip by his words that brought it home that the seventies were a long time ago.

The Killjoy

Which Dexys Midnight Runners song are you?

Cultural Snow's Tim Footman has the answer.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Who's chairing this meeting?"

I so want this to be true but I know it's probably not:

"According to reports, owner Mike Ashley, who shuns corporate hospitality when attending away matches, joined the rest of the travelling support in singing 'we're shit and we're sick of it'." [From here.]

It could start a trend amongst Premiership Chairmans'. Man City's, Thaksin Shinawatra, singing to opposition fans: "You're going home in a fucking ambulance." Oh wait up, bad example.

Boxed In

Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (26)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 26th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

We now have 1127 friends!

Recent blogs:

  • Modern Technology and Socialism
  • Religion: dying but not yet dead
  • Anthropology and politics
  • This week's top quote:

    At length the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool, and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank, who instantly snuffed his candle out, and put on his hat.

    "You'll want all day to-morrow, I suppose?" said Scrooge.

    "If quite convenient, sir."

    "It's not convenient," said Scrooge, "and it's not fair. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound?"

    The clerk smiled faintly.

    "And yet," said Scrooge, "you don't think me ill-used, when I pay a day's wages for no work."

    The clerk observed that it was only once a year.

    "A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!" said Scrooge, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. "But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning." Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, 1843.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Menshevik Internationalist Misprint

    Damn, if only I'd released it a week earlier, it could have been the Christmas number one.

    Six hours after uploading the final talk in the, Socialist Thinkers Series, ZShare is telling me that the second part of the talk on Martov has been downloaded over 2000 times. Which is kind of strange because 1) It's a 25 year old SPGB talk on Julius Martov . . . and 2) The first part has only been downloaded 28 times.

    Now I know from listening to old Oasis and Smiths singles, that B sides can sometimes be the more interesting of the tracks released but I'm thinking misprint, rather than internet sleeper phenomenon for 2007/08.

    Which is a shame really, 'cos for a nano-second, I could picture the mixed review on the Newsnight Late Show, the front cover of Time magazine, and, of course, the audiobook of the talk, as read by Martin Jarvis.

    Maybe with the next batch of SPGB talks.

    The Wrong Man

    No, that's not right. At a push, he could translate his chat show impression of Tommy Cooper onto celluloid, but playing Hitchcock?

    Hopkins is arguably one of the most irritating actors of his generation.

    Hat tip to The Sharp Side for being the bringer of bad tidings.

    Consigned To The Sin Bin of History

    Funny the weird stuff you stumble across on the net. Via a google search on Julius Martov:

    Hunting The Radical Snark

    Moonbat Central. Gone but not forgotten.

    Julius Martov and the Anti-Bolshevik Approach To Revolution

    Final talk from the 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series and, aptly enough, the lecture dates from 25 years to the day.

    Socialist meetings on a Boxing Day? Those were the days.

    The sound quality of the recording is not the greatest but, remember, when I did originally introduce these old recordings on the blog, I did introduce them as, The SPGB: the basement tapes. The political quality of the recordings has been immeasurable, and I hope that other comrades in the SPGB tradition will look to upload further talks and debates on the Party website and/or their blogs.

    Martov was an important socialist thinker and activist from the first two decades of the twentieth century, and I hope that readers will also take the time to check out the links below for further information about Martov and the period under discussion.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Martov and the Anti-Bolshevik Approach To Revolution

    FILE NAME: martov part one.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~67.40 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Martov and the Anti-Bolshevik Approach To Revolution

    FILE NAME: martov part two.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~27.24 megabytes

    LENGTH: 29:34

    Further Reading on Julius Martov:

  • Julius Martov on the Marxist Internet Archive
  • Julius Martov page at Spartacus.Net
  • The State and the Socialist Revolution by Julius Martov
  • Review of Martov's 'The State and the Socialist Revolution' (From an issue of the Socialist Standard that dates from 1940.)
  • Martov: a Russian Social-Democrat (A review of Israel Getzler's biography of Julius Martov that first appeared in the November 1967 issue of the Socialist Standard.)
  • The role of the soviets in Russia's bourgeois revolution: the point of view of Julius Martov by Adam Buick (Originally published in the French political journal, Economies et societes, cahiers de l'ISMEA, Paris, serie S, Number 18, April-May 1976 issue.)
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2007

    Pisses All Over The Pogues

    Best Christmas Tune Ever

  • Graham Parker - 'Christmas Is For Mugs' mp3
  • Not being a curmudgeon or a contrarian for the sake of it. The above is my favourite Crimbo song, and knocked the following into the silver medal position after many years of being my song of choice in late December:

  • The Waitresses - 'Christmas Wrapping' mp3
  • Have a good 'yin.

    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Fork You

    Mixing Pop and Politics (3)

    Obscure Factoid of the Day

    Beck's maternal Great Great Grandfather, Abraham Rosenberg, was the first president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.

    Double hat tip to Kara for supplying the Beck pic and for the obscure factoid.

    William Morris's Vision of Socialism

    Penultimate talk from the 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series.

    According to the Socialist Standard of the time, the talk dates from Sunday 12 December 1982, and was held at the Prince Albert pub in Kings Cross, London.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: William Morris's Vision of Socialism

    FILE NAME: 02 william morris Part 1.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~60.58 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: William Morris's Vision of Socialism

    FILE NAME: 03 William Morris Part 2.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~50.57 megabytes

    LENGTH: 54:54

    Further Reading on William Morris:

  • William Morris on the Marxist Internet Archive
  • The William Morris Society
  • William Morris: Life and Times (From the Socialist Standard, 1984)
  • Morris and the Problem of Reform or Revolution (From the Socialist Standard, 1984)
  • Art, Labour & Socialism by William Morris . . . With a Modern Assessment (SPGB pamphlet from 1962.)
  • Back To Back

    Catching my blogging eye on Crimbo Eve:

  • We Could Live To Be 1,000 Years Old But For Capitalism? Sounds like something to do with Doctor Who Is it a blog or is it a website? Doesn't matter: the World Socialist Party of United States webspace carries a review of Aubrey De Grey, “Ending Aging”. No, I hadn't heard of him either before now.
  • Never Apologise, Never Explain Nice to note that 'Freens' of the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Republic is back on the blogging front. Thought we'd lost him.
  • Blast From The Past Paul Anderson's Tribune column from the 21 December tells the story of Labour MP, James Lamond, who died last month and who was a visible and vocal part of that sizeable section of the British Left who continued to be apologists of the Soviet Union right up until the first sledgehammer hit the Berlin Wall in the Winter of 1989.
  • Harvey Pekar, Paul Buhle and a new graphic history of SDS Fascinating post from Louis Proyect that covers Harvey Pekar graphic history of the Students for a Democratic Society, the internecine strife within the (American) Socialist Workers Party in the early seventies and Proyect's remembrance of growing up in the Catskills.
  • Communist Students Blog Well, the parent body, the CPGB/Weekly Worker continue to be a bit sniffy about this blogging lark, but it's interesting to note that the young guns have struck out with a Communist Students blog and if you check the sidebar of the CSB, you'll see links to personal blogs of Communist Students supporters. I've got a soft spot for James Turley's blog, Tragic Life Stories, with its subheading description of "Neither Matgamna Nor Bambery, But International Socialism!" and blogging labels which has 'sectariana' outscoring 'rightwingers' by 14-2. A scoreline like that can only mean one thing: a future season ticket holder to the Left Trainspotters discussion group.
  • American Leadership and War

    Found via John B's Class Warfare blog.

    Be sure to check out the Maps of War website for much more fascinating multimedia, but in the meantime, I'll let John take up the story of this particular map:

    "I posted this on my previous Revolutionary Act blog site, but somehow lost it when changing sites. I found it a helpful tool at the time - wading into arguments between Democrats and Repukes in Yahoo's US political chat rooms and countering the arguments of democrats that the repukes were the real war mongers. This chart of leadership and war clearly shows that both parties are neck deep in workers' blood, with the Democrats, serving as the executive of US capitalism when in power, coming off as the biggest murderers."

    This Blogger Looks Skeptical

    Does late December qualify as the 'funny season'?

    Just asking, 'cos I'm not sure how I feel about the rumours that Celtic are looking to sign James McFadden on loan for the rest of the season.

    Strachan took a player - yep, I'm banging on about him again - who was the leading scorer for his previous club three seasons in a row and who also won the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year during that time, and by virtue of never giving him a decent run in the side has now ensured that the said player has unfairly been saddled him with the tag of 'mercurial'.

    But what's really mercurial is that somehow Strachan can waste such a free flowing talent as Riordan these past two years, to the extent that sooner rather than later Riordan will be playing football at Filbert Street the Walkers Stadium, Carrow Street and Ashton Gate week in and week out, and then proceed to seek to sign on loan a player who is having to head north because of his current club manager's inability to give him decent run in the team because, in spite of his obvious free flowing footballing talent, he is seen as too mercurial a player for his workmanlike team.

    Work that one out!

    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Duff Cheer

    If you like timeless pop music, you have to wing your way over to the Power Pop Criminals music blog and check out today's entry from Angelo's Power Pop Advent Calender.

    It only happens to be one of the best albums from the mid-nineties, and I was mug enough to sell my copy to some sneering muso prick for three sheckels at the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill about six years ago.

    Grab the download whilst you can. It will be replaced by another download at the stroke of midnight.


    A wee taster from the album:

  • Stephen Duffy - 'London Girls' mp3
  • Pitching A Tent At Pitchfork

    Now is this season to both make end of year lists and to link to end of year lists. I'm always happier with the latter, and Pitchfork raise a few chuckles and groans with their 20 Worst Album Covers of 2007

    Not being that familar with the artwork of past Ted Nugent albums, I can only guess that he must be having some album cover competition with The Scorpions. And it's also nice to note that Lord Jesus Christ is popular this time of year for reasons other than the fact that his birthday coincides with Christmas.

    But pride of place must go to Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, and their album cover that must be a homage to that K-tel compilation album from the early eighties, 'Raiders of the Lost Charts'. How else were Status Quo going to get namechecked on an uber-hip American music website?

    STT Records

    Finally got round to checking out the Pitchfork Music website for the first time in months, and spotted a couple of links that might interest someone:

  • Even he's banging on about The Wire. We should check it out.Guest List
  • Look who's squatting at number one? Yeah, whatever. Top 100 Albums of the 1980s
  • Solidarity - an inside view

    Just to want to flag up an interesting contribution from Graham Cee Campbell, who was the Glasgow Convener for Solidarity from December 2006 till June 2007, to the Sheridan's Solidarity Falls Apart post on the Socialist Unity Blog.

    Word of warning. There's no dirt, gossip or sticking the political boot into the opposition in the contribution (well maybe a bit of the political boot aimed at CWI members within Solidarity), but I did think it was an interesting read for filling in the gaps in my understanding on what's been going on in Solidarity since the early days of its formation, and Sheridan missing out in retaining his seat in the Scottish Parliament at the 2007 elections.

    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Belfort Bax and the "Ethics of Socialism"

    Down to the final three talks in the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series. Once again, the speaker/lecturer is Steve Coleman, and this time the socialist thinker under discussion is Ernest Belfort Bax.

    Down the years, Bax is someone who has been pretty much written out of the history of the nineteenth century British Socialist Movement.

    Whilst Hyndman is always on hand to take on the role of the Victorian villain for the failure of the Marxist Left in Britain for not fully integrating into the wider Labour Movement, and William Morris gets rediscovered every generation via a new biography and/or a new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Bax, who was a comparable heavyweight figure in the Social Democratic Federation in the 1880s and was a major player - alongside Morris, Aveling and Eleanor Marx - in the Socialist League split from the SDF in 1885, if he is known at all, is best known these days for his virulent anti-feminism in the latter years of his political life, and his capitulation to British chauvinism at the outbreak of the First World War.

    In recent years, Old Skool Trotskyist, Ted Crawford, (Officer Class), has done sterling work in creating a Bax archive on the Marxist Internet Archive which is comparable to many of the better known socialist writers on the website. And more background on Bax is available via Ted's autobiographical sketch on the Marxist Internet Archive website.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Belfort Bax and the "Ethics of Socialism"

    FILE NAME: 02 Belfort Bax and the Ethics of Socialism Part 1.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~59.47 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Belfort Bax and the "Ethics of Socialism"

    FILE NAME: 01 Belfort Bax and the Ethics of Socialism part 2.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~41.88 megabytes

    LENGTH: 56:01

    Further Reading on Ernest Belfort Bax:

  • Bax on the Marxist Internet Archive
  • From the August 2005 issue of the Socialist Standard: Eleanor Marx, Belfort Bax and “the Woman Question”
  • A Dickhead Isn't Just For Christmas. It Can Be For Life

    Well, earlier in the month I wondered what that badge meant, and now I've discovered the back story.

    Hat tip to Hak Mao for pointing me in the right direction.

    Step Forward. It's Your Turn

    Don't ask me how I ended up on the Rolling Stone website, but I did stumble upon Bill Maher's Dickheads of the Year.

    Number 13 is my favourite.

    Scottish SWP's Popular Front Of Especial Spite

    Further to this earlier post on the blog.

    Following the sighting of this article in today's Herald, it looks like their Chief Scottish Political Correspondent, Robbie Dinwoodie, has been refreshing the Socialist Unity Blog page. It's a shame that he couldn't have the netiquette to at least namecheck the blog that provides him with the story.

    Btw, it turns out that in a past life Robbie Dinwoodie was a callow youth in the Edinburgh Branch of the SPGB in the early seventies. To paraphrase that old story about Pete Best, 'Where did it all go right?'

    Friday, December 21, 2007

    Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Critique of Religion

    Another talk in the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series. Once again, the speaker/lecturer is Steve Coleman.

    Don't mind the accompanying picture for the post. Thought I'd indulge myself by using the front cover of Dick Geary's 1987 biography of Kautsky that was published as part of the 'Lives of the Left' series.

    Those were the days . . . when I used to read books.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Critique of Religion

    FILE NAME: 02 Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Critique of Religion.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~46.17 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Critique of Religion

    FILE NAME: 03 Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Critique of Religion Part 2.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~51.61 megabytes

    LENGTH: 56:01

    Further Reading on Karl Kautsky:

  • Kautsky on the Marxist Internet Archive
  • C07

    C stands for clarification. As in clarifying my last post.

    Just meant that if you listen to the Julian Cope track, 'Bill Drummond Said', from his 1984 album, Fried, it appears that the Tamworth Loon was doing C86 two years before the seminal NME cassette of the same name came on the scene.

    Albeit, Copey could both sing and write a decent tune, but you know what I mean.

    Before there was C86, there was a fried Julian Cope

    And yet Nicky Wire and others never give him a namecheck.

  • Julian Cope - 'Bill Drummond Said' mp3
  • All work and no play makes Ronaldinho a dull boy

    *Champions League Draw Just In*

    Celtic will be going out to Barcelona this year.

    Glad that's one sorted for another year.

    Football and the Ultra-Left (1904)

    Mártires de Chicago

    Solidarity at Christmas

  • Via the Socialist Unity Blog, comes the news that The Scottish Steering Committee of the Socialist Workers Party have decided to do a rewrite of 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'. New proposed title for the caledonian version of the 1930s classic self-help book? 'Chib Them Before They Chib You'
  • Via the Glasgow Herald - and the left blogosphere - comes the news that Solidarity only elected representative, Glasgow City Council member, Ruth Black, has defected from Solidarity to join the Labour Party. Being a person of the deepest political integrity, Councillor Black will be resigning her seat, and fighting the subsequent by-election as the Labour Party candidate (but only after first putting herself forward for selection as the Labour Party candidate, of course*).
  • But it's not all bad news for the Solidarity camp, George Lucas has directed a YouTube video defending Tommy Sheridan against Darth Murdoch and the recent perjury charges.
  • *I'm lying.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Plekhanov and the Materialist Conception of History

    From further investigation - cheers RD - it looks like I've already buggered up the chronology of the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series so, with that in mind, I'll just plump for the Steve Coleman talk on Georgi Plekhanov as the next one to be uploaded.

    From listening again to the Plekhanov talk, I'm guessing that it was the first in the series, followed by the Dietzgen talk already posted, and then the talk on Karl Kautsky:

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Plekhanov and the Materialist Conception of History

    FILE NAME: 03 pleknanov 1.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~60.57 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Plekhanov and the Materialist Conception of History

    FILE NAME: 04 plekanov part 2.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~34.20 megabytes

    LENGTH: 37:07

    Further Reading on Plekhanov:

  • Plekhanov on the Marxist Internet Archive
  • Broken Socialist Scene

    Links are being a bit weird at the moment. Thought I was going to have to delete the link to the first part of The Historical Place of the SPGB, as it didn't appear to be working 40 minutes ago but I just clicked on it a few minutes ago and it seems to be working again. I'm glad, 'cos the first part of the talk has now been downloaded/listened to 140 plus times* on ZShare, and it would have annoyed the hell out of me if I had to start over again.

    Turns out that the link to the Mastering Marxian Economics article from the SPGB page on MySpace was also broken. It's since been fixed.

    *Granted, I know that a few people have downloaded the talk more than once or twice.

    How I Learned To Love Luke Haines

    *Christmas Special*

    Pop over to The Vinyl District music blog, and pick up gratis *samples* of some of the best pop music from the 1990s. Five tracks from the Auteurs classic 1994 album, 'Now I'm A Cowboy', have been made available for your delectation.

    Poor old Luke Haines. If the bloke had had the face and the hair to go with his musical chops, Damon Albarn would still be working in the Rucksack Dept of Millets to this day.

    Pony Up

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (25)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 25th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1112 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Towards Post-Industrial Capitalism?
  • Mastering Marxian Economics
  • Dial 118 for Murder
  • This week's top quote:

    "Scientific socialism considers our views dependent upon our material needs, and our political standpoint dependent upon the economic position of the class we belong to. Moreover, this conception corresponds with the aspirations of the masses whose needs are in the first place material, while the ruling class must necessarily base itself on the deductive principle, on the preconceived unscientific notion that the spiritual salvation and the mental training of the masses are to precede the solution of the social question."Joseph Dietzgen, Scientific Socialism, 1873

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Pic via these nice right of centre chaps.

    Pope or Papa?

    A bit of a problem with regards to the uploading of the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series. I would like to upload the lectures in chronological order but I don't have the Socialist Standards from 1982 immediately to hand, so I don't know which talk is next in the series.

    So, your starter for ten. Who came first: the 'Pope of Marxism' or the 'Father of Russian Marxism'?

    Well, Karl Kautsky did found Die Neue Zeit in 1883, but that was also the same year that Georgi Plekhanov co-founded the Emancipation of Labour group alongside Vera Zasulich, Pavel Axelrod and some other bloke whose name nobody ever remembers.

    German Social Democracy versus Russian Social Democrats? Stuttgart versus Geneva?

    Does Kautsky outrank Plekhanov 'cos he was born a couple of years before the latter? Does Kautsky get the nod 'cos the SPGB translated and published part of his 'Erfurter Programme' in its early years? Maybe Plekhanov gets the nod 'cos he was one of the first Russian Social Democrats to call into question Lenin's lurch into Jacobinism (of course, Lev Bronstein spotted these tendencies early on also).

    But, wait up, what was that insult political criticism - amongst many others - that FDTW Dave used to level at the SPGB when he was still a Party member? Something about us being "static Kautskyians"? Stuart, cross your self-imposed blogging picket line and remind me what that line was. It was definitely far wittier and more biting than I remember it. And as I read in an old WSM Forum contribution that you referred to the SPGB as "the bastard child of Engels, Kautsky, Hyndman and De Leon", that seems to tip the balance towards the Mr K, but I think I should sleep on it for the time being.

    Watch this space.

    . . erm, if you want.

    . . . you might as well. Socialist Unity Blog has turned the comments off and, as I mentioned before, the FDTW collective has gone on strike until the New Year.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Tangerine Robbo

    Depressing to read in tomorrow's Guardian that Celtic are looking to sign Barry Robson in the New Year.

    One of the more heartening developments about this year's SPL has been the strong early showing of Motherwell and Dundee Utd, and it pisses me off that once more Celtic and R*ngers will cherry pick the better performers in the SPL to be little more than squad members for the next twelve months, until the signed player either gets shunted back to the club they came from or, the more likely scenario, is sold onto some middling Championship League club in England, who just happen to have a Scottish manager that particular month.

    You can't really blame Robson for being tempted by the possibility of a decent wedge so late in his career, but when one thinks how Riordan's career has stalled these last two years, you just wish sometimes that the likes of Strachan and Walter Smith would just do well to leave matters the fuck alone. Promising careers go awol, promising teams outside of the dance of the ugly sisters go southwards tablewise in the second half of the season and, come May, another year has passed since the 1984/85 season.

    Motherwell for the title.

    Need More Sleep

    Is it just or me, or is there a similarity between this recent image . . .

    . . . and this famous painting from the history of American art.

    I need some caffeine.

    The Unspawny Get

    Following a brief discussion with Mailstrom's Alan J a few posts back, I made reference to Tommy Sheridan being one of life's "spawny gets" but, from further investigation, I note that there is little or no reference to the term "spawny get" on the net, save a few passing references to Viz, this blog and the urban dictionary.

    So, mindful of giving something back to the english language, I thought I would give an example of someone who is anything but spawny, in the hope that it will better explain who or what a spawny get is.

    Step forward Blackburn's Paraguayan striker, Roque Santa Cruz.

    Last Saturday, Blackburn went 3-0 down inside forty minutes to Wigan at the JJB Stadium only for Cruz to score a pretty nifty hat trick in the space of sixteen minutes to bring the scoreline back to 3-3. What happened next? Wigan struck two late goals and Blackburn went down 5-3 to a team whose forwards up until that point couldn't hit a cow's arse with Mike Harding's banjo.

    OK, bad result for the once high flying Blackburn, but let's accentuate the positive: after a strong start to his Blackburn career Santa Cruz goals had dried up in recent months, so three well taken goals pointed to better things for both him and the team.

    Fast forward to tonight, and Blackburn are playing a second string Arsenal side (Randall in midfield? Who the hell is Randall? Tony? Derek? No, Mark.) in the quarter final of the Carling Cup at Ewood Park.

    Being a second string Arsenal side, naturally enough they go into a 2-0 lead inside half an hour, and one of Blackburn's better chances of getting some silverware is going the same way as Ricky Gervais's career after the Extras' finale. Cometh the hour - okay, the forty-second minute - cometh the man, and Santa Cruz pulls back one back for Blackburn. Cometh *cough* the hour, Santa Cruz equalises and Blackburn's season is back on track. What happens next? Arsenal's Denilson gets sent off in injury time, but the ten man Arsenal edge it 3-2 in extra time. Arsenal go through to the semi final of a tournament they aren't that arsed about, and Blackburn suddenly become incredibly nervous about their forthcoming FA Cup third round fixture at home to Coventry on the 5th January. (Especially as Coventry have a bit of form this season in turning over Premiership sides in Lancashire Hotspots.)

    So, to recap, in the space of four days, Roque Santa Cruz has scored five goals in two games. Both times bringing Blackburn back into games they've thrown away in the first half, only for them on both occasions to go on and lose the games when it would have been easier for them to go on and win. That's the best example I can think of, of an 'unspawny get'.

    Oh, and Santa Cruz is an ugly bastard to boot. The poor bloke can't get the breaks in life.

    "It's OK, Roque. With some corrective plastic surgery, we can make you look like a real footballer".

    You should play it now, and you should play it loud

    I can't get this song out of my head:

  • Sons and Daughters - 'Flags' mp3
  • And that's a good thing.

    Tommy Sheridan and the Blogs

    I'll be surprised if it stems the gossip tide, but it's interesting to note that Andy over at Socialist Unity Blog and Scottish Patient Kev have both switched off and/or have temporarily removed back commentary to the Sheridan versus the News of the World case on their respective blogs.

    People from both sides of the divide just want to rant and rave about this little local difficulty.

    More Dietzgen

    Further to the recent post on the blog of Steve Coleman speaking on the subject of 'Joseph Dieztgen and Dialectical Thought' - and the accompanying assorted Dietzgen links - fellows WSPer, Morgan M., has posted me a link to another article on Dietzgen that appeared in the August 1918 issue of the Western Clarion*:

  • 'Proletarian Logic' by Rab**

  • *The Western Clarion was the paper of the Socialist Party of Canada, and dates from 1904 onwards. After 1918, it's history gets a bit sketchy as the Canadian Government banned its publication of its outspoken opposition to the war: "But there remained always a small and hardy group who carried on the theoretical work of the Party; and its official organ "The Western Clarion," forever in dutch with the authorities, continued to reach its readers. Banned, it became "The Emancipator"; banned again, it became "The Red Flag"; there was never a time when those interested could not receive the journal "Published in the Interest of the Working Class Alone."" [From here.]

    ** 'Rab' was the pen name of Isaac Rabinowich, a founder member of the WSPUS. See pic accompanying this post.

    A Break From The Norm


    One throwaway-line-link from Normblog for the 'Leave Karl Marx Alone' post, and the sitemeter has a serious workout, and I once again realise that there are a handful of blogs out there which carry a hell of a lot of weight.

    Back to the blogging backwoods.

    PS - Hat tip to Will Rubbish for bringing it to Normski's attention via the Drink Sots blog.

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    An Oppressed Minority and other tales

    A few links from the unofficial Socialist Standard MySpace page:

  • Jack Common and Working Class Writing (from the October 1991 Socialist Standard)
  • Mislead Teachers Misleading Students (from the Nov-Dec 2007 issue of The People)
  • Believe It Or Not (from the Dec 11th 2007 | NEW YORK )
  • Joseph Dietzgen and Dialectical Thought 17/10/82

    Another talk from the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series and, again, the speaker is Steve Coleman:

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Dietzgen and Dialectical Thought

    FILE NAME: 01 Steve Coleman Dietzgen Part One.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~53.24 megabytes


    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Dietzgen and Dialectical Thought

    FILE NAME: 01 Dietzgen Part Two.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~48.46 megabytes

    LENGTH: 52:36

    Further Reading on Dietzgen:

  • Jospeh Dietzgen page on the Marxist Internet Archive website
  • 'Joseph Dietzgen - The Workers Philosopher' by Adam Buick, which originally appeared in the journal, Radical Philosophy (1975).
  • Centenary Of Joseph Dieztgen by Frank Roberts, which originally appeared in the OBU Bulletin (1928).
  • 'Cosmic Dialectics, The Libertarian Philosophy of Joseph Dietzgen' by Larry Gambone

    SPGB Keef is on the telly!

    I'm loathe to post too many YouTube videos on the page at anyone time, so I'll just have to post a link to today's must-see video.

    I'll let the 5P music blog pick up the story of the clip:

    Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live

    "On this date in 1977, Elvis Costello and The Attractions made their first appearance on Saturday Night Live. They were a late replacement for Sex Pistols who could not get visas to get into the country (Johnny because of a drug charge, Steve because of his criminal record and Paul and Sid on general principle).

    Their first number went off without a hitch. They played "Watching The Detectives". For their second number, they were scheduled to play "Less Than Zero". They wanted to play "Radio Radio" but it was considered anti-media so SNL said no to that choice. Approximately 8 seconds into "Less Than Zero", Elvis stops the song and his band and apologizes to the live audience for playing "Less Than Zero". The band goes right into "Radio Radio". Elvis Costello was banned from performing on the show ever again. Well...that's an awfully long time. The ban was lifted and he appeared again in 1989.

    Here's how it went..."

  • Elvis Costello and The Attractions - Radio Radio live
  • "Don't mention the class war."

    . . . unless you are a Republican Presidential candidate.

    Marx and Coca-Cola kicks off on Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson invoking their workerist credentials against Mitt Romney. Christ, it reads like a branch meeting of the old Millies.

    Later in the same post, he does a Stacey London on the Government Ministers in Chavez's Government. Christ, it reads like an old profile of Degsy.

    "We should have won . . . "

    . . . but you didn't. And Brewster wasn't even playing.

    Motherwell for the league.

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Whatever Happend To Jock Tamson?

    Tommy Sheridan's been charged.

    Snappy Kat hasn't got much time for Tommy's current predicament, and whilst Socialist Unity Blog has turned off its comments option for things relating to Tommy, the image accompanying a post on the blog, of what looks like Tommy sucking on a lemon, tells all you need to know about where Andy stands on the issue.

    Tell you one thing, though. Whatever happens . . . even if he gets the jail; with Solidarity and the SSP going further down the political plughole as collateral damage, Tommy will eventually land on his feet.

    That type always do.

    Leave Karl Marx Alone!!

    Hat tip to a commentator on the WSPUS MySpace page . . . and inspired by this viral video sensation from 2007.

    Historical Place of the Socialist Party

    A repost because MySpace bulletins are playing up:

    Hello All,

    An audio recording of a meeting from the early eighties which gives excellent background to the political tradition of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Standard:

  • First Part: The Historical Place of the SPGB
  • Second Part: The Historical Place of the SPGB
  • Feel free to repost or forward on.

    Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Under The Flag

    Socialist Party Meeting: Neighbours (1952)

    The Socialist Party of Great Britain will be hosting a special screening of the classic 1952 short film, 'Neighbours' by Norman McLaren. The film will be followed by a talk on the socialist attitude to war.

    Date: Sunday, 16 December 2007 from 19:00 to 21:00

    Speaker: Gwynn Thomas

    Location: Socialist Party Head Office

    52 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7UN

    Nearest tube:
    Clapham North

    Nearest rail: Clapham High Street

    For more information about the Socialist Party:



    Friday, December 14, 2007


    In these times.

    Friday's Playlist #26

    An ongoing series:

  • (59) Soft Cell, 'What?' (Non-stop Ecstatic Dancing)
  • (34) Duran Duran, 'Save A Prayer' (Rio)
  • (22) Depeche Mode, 'Leave In Silence' (A Broken Frame)
  • (21) Ultravox, 'Reap The Wild Wind' (Quartet)
  • (17) ABC, 'All Of My Heart' (Lexicon Of Love)
  • (16) Simple Minds, 'Glittering Prize' (New Gold Dream, 81,82,83)
  • (13) Carly Simon, 'Why'
  • (8) Mari Wilson, 'Just What I Always Wanted' (Show People)
  • (7) Evelyn Champagne King, ''Love Come Down' (Get Loose)
  • (6) Shalamar, 'There It Is' (Friends)
  • I wasn't going to do a playlist this week. Too much listening to Fad Gadget, Diesel Park West and Billy Childish adds up to a limited choice for a playlist, but what with Steve Coleman's 10/10/82 talk falling into my lap late last night, I thought I would conjure up a playlist from the charts from that particular week.
    I can't say with any authority that SPGB members back in '82 were listening to the songs selected, but I know that I was.
    If you fiddle about with the boombox at the top of the post, you can listen to them today. Cheers.

    Bronterre O’Brien and Working Class Radicalism 10/10/82

    Back To The SPGB Basement Tapes

    As promised, another old SPGB talk/lecture spirited from the vaults.

    The following talk on the Chartist leader, James Bronterre O'Brien - split into three audio files for some reason - was, I think, the first lecture in a seven part series of talks which were grouped together under the title of, 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made', and dates from early October' 82. (A time when Musical Youth was number one; Luther Blissett was the most prolific striker in English football; and I was coasting headfirst into my worst ever School Report Card*).

    Once again, the SPGB speaker is Steve Coleman - who gave all the talks in the lecture series - which suggests that I've got some sort of political man-crush on the bloke that knocks Will's love-blog to Christopher Hitchens into the bleachers**, but probably owes more to the fact that once upon a time I was a labour history nut, and that was Coleman's field of expertise.

    On the subject of O'Brien himself, I can't pretend to know a hell of a lot about him beyond what I've read in the past in the general histories of Chartism. He was always there or there about in the books about that tumultous period, but obviously the likes of Fergus O'Connor, Ernest Jones and Julian Harney always seemed to take top billing in such narratives.

    What I do find interesting about O'Brien is that from what I remember of Stan Shipley's 'Club Life and Socialism in Mid-Victorian London', he had a dedicated group of supporters/followers who carried the mantle of his politics and legacy long after the slow political death of Chartism in the early 1850s, and this group of radicalised workers were one of the few groups who tried to sustain any sort of genuine independent working class politics during the difficult times of the 1850/60s.

    Before I forget, an old quote from O'Brien that I dug out once upon a time:

    “Lift up your democratic heads, my friends! Look proud and be merry. I was at a meeting on Tuesday night which does one's heart good to think on. I have been present at all sorts of political meetings, Whig, Tory and Radical, but never was it my good fortune to witness so brilliant a display of democracy as that which shone forth at the Crown and Anchor on Tuesday night. I often despaired of Radicalism before; I will never despair again after what I witnessed on that occasion.” London Mercury, 4th March 1837

    Christsake, doesn't matter if it's 1837, 1977 or 2007, it looks like us lefties will always fall victim to the 'After The Pub Shuts' syndrome. I'll have a Vodka and Red Bull, thanks.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Bronterre O’Brien and Working Class Radicalism

    FILE NAME: part 1.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~44.70 megabytes

    LENGTH: 48:31

    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Bronterre O’Brien and Working Class Radicalism

    FILE NAME: part 2.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~15.17 megabytes

    LENGTH: 16:28

    Third Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: Bronterre O’Brien and Working Class Radicalism

    FILE NAME: part 3.mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~20.97 megabyte

    LENGTH: 22:46

    More lectures in the same series to follow*** when I'm in need of a blog-filler to mask the bloggers block.

    *If memory serves me right, out of nine subjects taken: five C minuses; two Cs; one B minus; one C plus; and one A plus. Happy days.

    **"bleachers"? Can't stand baseball, but its terminology has invaded my vocabulary for some reason.

    ***Featuring such oddballs as Kautsky, Dietzgen, Bax and Plekhanov amongst others.

    Back To The Fireside Favourites

    Real Socialism: The Real 24th Weekly Bulletin of the SPGB MySpace Page

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 24th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1073 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • The politics of climate change
  • A challenge to Leninism
  • Is common ownership against human nature?
  • This week's top quote:

    "You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit or it is nowhere." Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed, 1974

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    12/12/07: Jean-Claude Darcheville versus himself. Only one winner . . .

    What YouTube was put on this earth for.

    Apologies for the clip being so grainy. I'm petitioning the British Film Institute for a grant so that the 36 seconds of comedy gold can be cleaned up and restored to its original pristine glory. And I'm also looking to get Jean-Claude Darcheville nominated for next year's Cesars - the French equivalent of the Oscars - in the category of Best Supporting Actor in a comedic role.

    As Red Faced As A R*ngers Striker

    Did you spot the deliberate mistake, dear reader? Send me to the minor leagues for my sins.

    Cornish Pasties to Robert for spotting the error; a Brooklyn Pasting to Piers for stinging me.

    Somebody Else

    Re: The Last Post

    Billy Who? Billy Childish. Anybody who can piss off Jack White of the White Stripes is AOK with me.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Ode to Billy Childish

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (24)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 24th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1033 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Reformism or Socialism?
  • Saving Earth or saving Profits
  • The BNP: a product of reformism's failure
  • This week's top quote:

    "Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. These are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it." Karl Marx, The Grundrisse, 1857

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    "And the winner of miss of the season?"

    Step up Jean-Claude Darcheville, and collect your two awards:

    Washington Storm Warning

    From the same people who brought you George Bush doing his faithful rendition of U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' comes Bush doing a Ska'd up version of REM's classic 'It's the end of the world as we know it'

    Grumpy Old Men

    Still got the worst case of bloggers block imaginable.

    I find it hard to believe that I've run out of bad jokes. I'll be falling back on posting multiple YouTube clips next. I just wish I had the blogging bottle to press the delete button, but I know I'd only end up regretting it ten minutes after sending the blog into oblivion.

    Thankfully the unofficial Socialist Standard page on MySpace is still ticking over. Amazingly good day for the page yesterday via a will-o'-the-wisp post on Ron Paul and Noam Chomsky.

    Give the people what they want.

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Mixing Pop and Politics (2)

    Obscure Factoid of the Day

    Remember that episode from the second series of 'Extras' where Ricky Gervais visits a celebrity bar, and is humiliated by David Bowie? You know . . . that scene.

    Turns out that in that scene where Bowie is playing the piano, he is in fact miming to an SPGBer playing the piano. I won't out the SPGB member concerned as he is not as politically active as he once was, but last century he was a Parliamentary candidate for the SPGB on two separate occasions and even stood for the Party in European Elections one time.

    I defy you to find a more irrelevant and obscure bullshit political factoid on the net in the next month of Sundays.

    Harry the Leftist Trainspotter

    Just cottoned onto the fact that the 'trainspotter in an anorak' piccie that I used to accompany the last post is Harry Enfield in one of his various 'comedic guises'. I shouldn't let that blogging moment pass without mentioning once again Harry's tenuous connection to the SPGB:

    " . . . And was there any truth in the rumour that when Harry Enfield was a student at York University, his supervising politics tutor, the late John Crump got him to write a dissertation on the SPGB?" [From this old post.]

    But what about Harry nowadays? Last time I saw him was when I first arrived in the States and he was fronting a Burger King commercial. Nearly choked on my Big Mac when I spotted him.

    Reasons To Be Impossibilist: The Historical Place Of The SPGB

    One for the political anoraks out there.

    As hinted at in a previous post, via ZShare, I've uploaded an SPGB talk/lecture that dates from the early eighties (I've never been able to find the exact date or location of the talk, but I'm guessing the talk was organised by the old Islington Branch of the SPGB and that it dates from 81/82.)

    The talk is entitled 'The Historical Place of the SPGB', and the speaker was Steve Coleman who, for many years, was an excellent speaker and writer for the SPGB but who dropped out of the Party about 6 or 7 years ago. He actually did his PhD on the early history of the SPGB, so I'm guessing that part of the talk is based on the research undertaken for his doctorate.

    What with mentions of the Scottish District Council of the SDF, the Shoreditch Conference, Percy Freiburg and the impossibilist current within the Finsbury Park branch of the SDF, the talk is rather specialised and maybe not everybody's cup of tea but I hope some readers will give it a chance as they may find it of interest.

    I also hope the sound quality is good enough. The recording was ripped from a cassette, and though the sound quality of the contributions from the audience at these early eighties SPGB meetings were always below par, the main speaker was always audible enough. (Insert conspiracy theory here.)

    The audio file is split into two parts. As this is an experiment at my end, let me know if there were any glitches in downloading the mp3 files. I've got some other talks from the same period, and if this upload works without any hitch I'll upload the other talks when I get the inclination.

    First Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: The Historical Place of the SPGB

    FILE NAME: 01 Historical Place (Part 1).mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~58.31 megabytes

    LENGTH: 1:03:13

    Second Part

    DOWNLOAD LINK: The Historical Place of the SPGB

    FILE NAME: 02 Historical Place (Part 2).mp3

    FILE SIZE: ~51.39 megabytes

    LENGTH: 55:42

    The SPGB: the basement tapes

    Coming Soon . . . (maybe)

    Got a few old - and I mean old - SPGB talks from the early eighties on CD, and I'm thinking of uploading a few of them on either Zshare or Rapidshare. I'd love to claim that they are exclusives, but sadly not. Most of the talks are already in the public domain, and any fellow SPGB anoraks hanging around the blog have no doubt heard the talks before.

    I'll see what I can do.

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Class War's Ian Bone on the Jonathan Ross Show

    A historical curio via Urban 75 and YouTube.

    Ian Bone interviewed by Jonathan Ross around about 91/92. (I'm guessing the date because Major and Kinnock are mentioned at some point during the interview.)

    Friday's Playlist #25

    An ongoing series:

  • Hub Moore and the Great Outdoors, 'Walk Away' (True Fiction Pictures: Music From The Films Of Hal Hartley)
  • Norman Blake and John Burnside, 'Girl' (Ballads of the Book)
  • The Detroit Cobras, 'Slipping Around' (Baby)
  • The Waterboys, 'This Is The Sea' (This Is The Sea)
  • King Creosote, 'Cowardly Custard' (Bombshell)
  • Gene Clark, 'For A Spanish Guitar' (White Light)
  • The Headboys, 'The Shape Of Things To Come' (The Headboys)
  • The Bluebells, 'The Patriot Game' (Sisters)
  • MGMT, ''Time To Pretend' (Oracular Spectacular)
  • Alan Gill, 'Letter To Brezhnev Theme' (Letter To Brezhnev Soundtrack)
  • Thursday, December 06, 2007

    60 Pages and 1488 Replies In: Comedy Gold

    The Decade That My Ears Forgot

    Any Major Dude With Half A Heart music blog has posted another Intro Quiz on his blog.

    This time, the decade under scrutiny is the 90s - for any SPGB comrades looking in, that'll be the 1990s - and it's the same deal as the last time I mentioned the quiz on the blog: "20 intros to songs . . . all 5-7 seconds in length.".

    See how many you can get. I was lucky to get 10/20. It just wasn't my decade for music.

    Wrap Some Tinsel Around Your Skinny Tie . . .

    . . . it's a power pop advent calender.

    OK, I'm six days late in mentioning it, but with my bloggers block you should be grateful.

    Not So Famous Last Lines Revisited

    He was out by about two and a half years.

    Listen To Your Old 78s

    The consistently excellent Rho-Xs music blog has three albums from '78 available for 'sampling'. Unfortunately, neither of of my two favourite albums from that year - 'Parallel Lines' and 'All Mod Cons' - make the final cut, but the albums chosen are worth investigating.

    Devo have always left me cold - the studied whackiness can be off putting - but from time to time, I'll hear some music on tv or on the radio, think it's rather good then bite my lip when I discover that it's an old Devo track.

    Which sorts of leads me into saying that the XTC album profiled, 'White Music', was never one of my favourite albums from one of my favourite groups for the self-same reason that I've never really got Devo. The music's too jerky and synthetic, and if I was a member of the XTC fanclub, I'd get kicked out for stating that I'm happy that keyboardist, Barry Andrews, went onto pastures new. Maybe XTC did settle back into more conventional new wave poppy songwriting style after his departure, but they were the better group because of it.

    Oh, and there's a couple of Kate Bush albums from '78 featured as well in the post.

    Feeding The Seven GreenGalloway Visitors

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Odd One Out

    Beyond Photoshop: The Socialist Standard Cover is For Real

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (23)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 23rd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @MySpace.

    We now have 1033 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Reformism or Socialism?
  • Saving Earth or saving Profits
  • The BNP: a product of reformism's failure
  • This week's top quote:

    "Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. These are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it." Karl Marx, The Grundrisse, 1857

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Not All Shall Have Prizes

    Jimmy Greaves goes up in my estimation by about 750%:

    ""What's the point of giving us all medals now? It's really not necessary.

    "In 1966 we knew you'd only get a medal if you played. Those were the rules. I've never been bitter."

    From here.

    The adverts are on . . .

    . . . which means that the Celtic/Milan game is over. Celtic lose 1-0 but go through to the last 16 of the Champions League because Benfica beat Shakhtar 2-1 in Donetsk.

    Whatever. Celtic were lacklustre and disappointing. Back to . . .

    Recorded For Blogging Posterity

    Brown has a decent shot on target.

    Nakamura's Gone Missing

    Celtic has a free kick just outside the box, but McGeady's shot is easily saved by the Milan goalkeeper.

    Scottish born ESPN commnetator, Derek Rae, mentions that what Celtic needed is someone with " . . the guile of Andy Ritchie." I wonder if he's referring to this Andy Ritchie or this one?

    Hope it's the former.

    The Curse of the Commentators

    Tommy Smyth and Derek Rae speculate on whether or not this game is a stitch up between Celtic and AC Milan, and on cue Inzaghi scores to go past Gerd Muller's European cups competitions record. (Thirty seconds later a wiki-geek has updated Filippo Inzaghi page to note this fact.)

    I'm embarrassed to mentioned 'Der Bomber' and and the extra from General Hospital in the same sentence, but not as shamefaced as I am for earlier mentioning that the makeshift Celtic defence have been immense. They are currently hiding out in a Chambers Dictionary under the word 'shambles'.