Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do They Mean Us? #16

Bloggers block can mean only one thing . . . a dash of cut and paste to conjure up another post in the 'Do They Mean Us?' series:

“At the Barras market in Glasgow about 25 years ago open air political meetings were not uncommon, and the best were conducted by a fiery brand of working-class revolutionaries called the Socialist Party of Great Britain. Founded about a hundred years ago (and still going, I’m glad to say) and proudly hostile to all other allegedly socialist or communist political parties, they had several fine speakers and in those less apathetic days could always raise a fair crowd of the starvelings whom they hoped to rouse from their slumber.

Scorn for their hearers’ meek acceptance of poverty and satire upon the quality of goods and services supplied to the workers were prominent in their arguments, as when the speaker would draw our attention to an evil-looking greasyspoon caff and recite parts of the horrible menu, concluding with Stomach pump free of charge. Once, when challenged by a wee bauchle with scarce a backside to his trousers on the grounds that ‘under socialism we widnae be individuals’, the agitator on the soapbox paused from his remarks on the rival attraction of ‘Jehovah’s Jazzband’ (a Salvation Army ensemble) just down the street, fixed him with a baleful eye, and loosed a withering tirade about how the questioner was obviously a proud specimen of individuality, with your individual Giro and your individual manky shirt and your individual football scarf and your individual council flat and your individual Scotch pie for your individual dinner . . .

It went on for ages, a tour de force of flyting”. [Kenneth Wright, Glasgow Herald, 13 February 2001.]

Being on the receiving end of the withering wit of Glasgow Branch comrades on many an occasion, I've narrowed the suspected speaker down to a shortlist of ten of the wizened old scrotes.

Special Note: I scoured the internet high and low but I couldn't find a picture of the Barras circa 1976, so I decided to throw post authenticity out of the window by posting a still from Bill Forsyth's 'That Sinking Feeling' to accompany the post. Trust me, Glasgow 1980 was not that different from Glasgow 1976. The Smiles Better Sunshine Gimp was a lifetime away.


Reidski said...

Love it - and, as for That Sinking Feeling .... what a total classic! Must look out for it on DVD as I don't think JJ has ever seen it!

Reidski said...

Just watched that clip - "60 times 90, that's over a 100 quid!" Brilliant!

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Darren said...

A blog series about the history and/or misheard-story of the SPGB, and a spammer turns up in the comments box plugging Ed Hardy?

Surely s/he meant E. Hardy?

Expect future spam about the NYC law firm, Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald, when they really mean this bloke and spam in the comments box for Kohl's department store when they really meant to refer to this old-skool SPGB scholar.