Saturday, May 10, 2008

Do They Mean Us? #14

"The Labour Party, Trades Council and the STUC . . . were largely responsible for securing the biggest postwar demonstration in Glasgow till then, at the start of the 1960s. Incidentally, that was the demonstration that produced the slogan to end all sectarian slogans. Just as we were turning round the corner of Sauchiehall Street two grim stalwarts of the Socialist Party of Great Britain were standing heralding the march with a huge banner and slogan which read: ‘This demonstration is useless – You must first destroy capitalism.” [Janet and Norman Buchan, “The Campaign in Scotland”, in The CND Story, edited by Hohn Minnion and Philip Bolsover, 1983, p. 53.]

Dusting down an old series as a stop gap for the blog. Truth is that bloggers block has kicked in as I am too busy wishing that I was at this Conference 3470 miles away. *Sigh*.

I originally read the quote cut and pasted above years ago in an old copy of the Socialist Standard. It's definitely SPGB old skool. How could it not be? What with the incident involving the original 'Cold Water Brigade, Glasgow Branch, and dating from the height of the first wave of the nuclear disarmament, it reinforces all the preconceptions held against us by the 'Do something NOW?' brigade, and also makes our (few) political friends wince in partial recognition.

Part of me would love to pretend that we're not really like this - or that we've mellowed down the years - but sometimes you have to put your hands up to the fact that it's best to be blunt about such matters. Over forty years later and there's three of us doing a stall at the recent Brooklyn Peace Fair, and what's our opening line to the people hovering by our stall?:

"If you want to get rid of war, you have to get rid of capitalism."

The haircuts and the clobber may have changed down the years, but the patter's just the same.

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