Monday, April 28, 2008

Next Month's Socialist Standard

Going by the front cover of next month's Socialist Standard, it looks like it's going to be a cracker. But I would say that, wouldn't I? Shit, sorry, that line is more '63 than '68. (Ask your Gran what I'm alluding to.)

Believe or not, from what I can gather from comrades of a certain vintage, the SPGB wasn't as buttoned down in the late sixties as you might have first presumed. SPGB members were getting articles published in the underground magazine, OZ, some did the 'teach in' bit, and it was even rumoured that a member in the provinces knew all the words to Strawberry Alarm Clock's 'Incense and Peppermints'.

Of course, they didn't always get it right. Reproduced below is a few SPGB slogans, chants and situationst type graffiti scribblings from the late sixties that sadly didn't catch on. Maybe in 2068?

  • 'What do we want? Everything? When do we want it? When everyone musters under the Party's banner.'
  • 'Get out of your head and into your branch meeting.'
  • 'If you're going to San Francisco Clapham High Street, be sure to bring back some bound volumes for the branch.'
  • 'The personal is political . . . and I'm laying an action detrimental on your arse.'
  • 'Power to the parliamentary majority.'
  • 'Under the pavement lies a bevvied up Glasgow Branch member.'
  • 'Be realistic, demand only six Socialist Standards to sell next month.'
  • 'Run, comrade, the branch treasurer is behind you!'
  • 'Those who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring to that Conference Resolution from 1907 have to submit an item for discussion for the next Autumn Delegate Meeting.'
  • To talk with the taste of a corpse in one's mouth means that we really should change pubs for future branch meetings.'
  • 'Turn on, tune in, fall asleep during an EC meeting.'
  • 'You can no longer sleep quietly once the delegate from South London branch gets onto the subject of the aristocracy of labour.'
  • 'I've looked under chairs. I've looked under tables. I tried to find the key to the literature room. They call me The Seeker. I've been searching low and high. I won't get to get what I'm after until the Head Office Organiser gets back from the Manor Arms.'
  • 'Before writing, learn to think. Before thinking, do you want to write next month's Socialist Standard editorial?'
  • 'Are you a consumer or a participant? Do you want to buy the Socialist Standard or sell it?'
  • Comrades, 5 hours of sleep a day is indispensable: we need longer EC meetings.'
  • 'We don’t want to be the watchdogs or servants of capitalism, but please do sign me up for the Standing Orders Committee.'
  • 'Form dream committees. Let's try again to come up with a Party logo.'
  • 'When the last sociologist has been hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat, the Central Organiser will have to wind up Lancaster Branch.'
  • 'Politics is in the streets. Let's head back to Head Office for a cup of tea and a natter.'
  • Where have all the good jokes gone?'
  • 'Take revolution seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.'
  • Oh wait up, the last one was a genuine piece of graffiti from Paris in '68. Pseudo-revolutionary middle class bollocks.

    Further Reading:

  • From the Bureau of Public Secrets - MAY 1968 GRAFFITI
  • From the December 1969 issue of the Socialist Standard - Hippies: An abortion of Socialist Understanding

    Kara said...

    I already miss the old template. Please change it back.

    Darren said...

    The template is suffering from a mid-blog crisis.

    It will be wearing leather trousers and gelling its hair next.