Monday, January 05, 2009

Manchester Branch - So much to answer for

Via the SPGB's discussion forum comes the questions from the quiz at the 2008 Manchester Branch Social:


1. 'Look around the mountains, in the mud and rain,/ You'll find the scattered crosses, some that have no name./ Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone,/ The boys beneath them slumber on.'

Which song?

2. What is the origin of the word 'boycott'?

3. Which Party member had a picture of Marx on his wall and told Special Branch it was Johannes Brahms?

4. With which industrial dispute is the song 'Which Side Are You On?' associated?


5. From which novel is the following exchange taken?

'... you sound just like my old man.'
'Is he a socialist?' Reid asked. He sounded incredulous. 'Lifelong SPGB member,' I said.

'SPGB? Oh, brilliant!' Reid said.

'What's the SPGB?' Myra asked.

6. Who killed Hattie Carroll, and when?


7. Which current Party branch (excluding Central Branch) is the longest-surviving?

(a) under the same name

(b) allowing for changes of name

8. What is 2807 Karl Marx?

9. Who or what is the Spartak Moscow football club named after?

I've been out the mix too long. Off the top of my head - and without resorting to google - I think I know two four of the answers.

They're promising the answers tomorrow, and I'll post them in the comments box alongside my excuses.

6 comments:

Darren said...

Hazarding a guess to smoke out the real answers:

> 1. 'Look around the mountains, in the mud and rain,/ You'll find the
> scattered crosses, some that have no name./ Heartbreak and toil and
> suffering gone,/ The boys beneath them slumber on.'
> Which song?

Damn, I'm terrible with lyrics. It reads like one of those finger in the ear folk protest songs that the Party seems to love for some reason. Is it Half Man Half Biscuit covering the Barron Knights?

> 2. What is the origin of the word 'boycott'?

Captain Boycott . . . 19th century land struggles in Ireland . . . back to those finger in the ear folk protest songs.

> 3. Which Party member had a picture of Marx on his wall and told
> Special Branch it was Johannes Brahms?

SPGB . . . Special Branch . . . portraits of Karl Marx on the wall. Have I entered an alternative universe where branch meetings are quorate and The La's released a second album?

I'll hazard a guess at the late great Eddie Grant. Sounds like his wicked sense of humour.

> 4. With which industrial dispute is the song 'Which Side Are You On?'
> associated?

Strikes in the West Virginian coalfields. I love Dick Gaughan's version of this song.

> 5. From which novel is the following exchange taken?
> '... you sound just like my old man.'
> 'Is he a socialist?' Reid asked. He sounded incredulous.
> 'Lifelong SPGB member,' I said.
> 'SPGB? Oh, brilliant!' Reid said.
> 'What's the SPGB?' Myra asked

One of Ken MacLeod's novels. Star Fraction?

> 6. Who killed Hattie Carroll, and when?

Know of the song. Don't know the story behind the song.

> 7. Which current Party branch (excluding Central Branch) is the
> longest-surviving?
> (a) under the same name
> (b) allowing for changes of name

Continuously without interruption? Otherwise it's a trick question.

in answer to part a, I would say Glasgow Branch but I understand that it split into two branches in the 1940s over the knotty doctrinal question of Partick Thistle or Third Lanark?

with regards to b, going by the vintage copies of Socialist Standards and Party pamphlets that they would have on their literature table at business meetings, I'm guessing Enfield and Haringey Branch.

> 8. What is 2807 Karl Marx?

The third android in the original draft of George Lucas's Star Wars script. George wanted the Oscar, so he cut it from the final script. (Sadly, he lost out to Woody Allen.)

> 9. Who or what is the Spartak Moscow football club named after?

Christ. I should know this. The embarrassment and the shame. Spartak? Named after Spartacus or the Spartacists in Germany? I can't remember if Spartak was the army or the navy team in Moscow. Probably neither.

Christ, that quiz was nearly as hard as the membership questionnaire. Nearly, but not quite.

Darren said...

The real answers via PB of Manchester Branch:

1. 'Look around the mountains, in the mud and rain,/ You'll find the
scattered crosses, some that have no name./ Heartbreak and toil and
suffering gone,/ The boys beneath them slumber on.'
Which song?
[D-Day Dodgers]

2. What is the origin of the word 'boycott'?
[From Captain Charles Boycott, an English land agent in 1880s Ireland
who was ostracised by the local community]


3. Which Party member had a picture of Marx on his wall and told
Special Branch it was Johannes Brahms?
[Alec Hart - see the Standard for March 2004]

4. With which industrial dispute is the song 'Which Side Are You On?'
associated?
[Coal strike in Harlan County, Kentucky, 1931. As the song says; 'They
say in Harlan County/ There are no neutrals there/ You'll either be a
union man/ Or a thug for J.H. Blair' (Blair being the local sheriff)]


5. From which novel is the following exchange taken?
'... you sound just like my old man.'
'Is he a socialist?' Reid asked. He sounded incredulous.
'Lifelong SPGB member,' I said.
'SPGB? Oh, brilliant!' Reid said.
'What's the SPGB?' Myra asked.
[Ken Macleod: The Stone Canal]

6. Who killed Hattie Carroll, and when?
[William Zantzinger, 1963. The reason for asking for the date was to
emphasise that the song by Bob Dylan is based on real events: see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lonesome_Death_of_Hattie_Carroll ]


7. Which current Party branch (excluding Central Branch) is the
longest-surviving?
(a) under the same name
(b) allowing for changes of name
[I meant longest-surviving without interruption. (a) Glasgow, founded
1941. (b) Enfield & Haringey, founded 1940 as Palmers Green, later Wood
Green then Haringey. Also noteworthy is West London, founded 1941 as
Chiswick, later Ealing. This is calculated from a list of Branches
drawn up a few years ago by Keith Scholey, but I'd be interested to
know of any alternative answers.]


8. What is 2807 Karl Marx?
[An asteroid, discovered in 1969]

9. Who or what is the Spartak Moscow football club named after?
[Spartacus. However, it is not, as far as I am aware, true that
supporters urge their team on by standing up and shouting 'I'm
Spartacus!']


4/10 is not too bad. Do I get half a point for knowing it was a Ken Macleod novel?

Brigada Flores Magon said...

Number 1 is 'The D-Day Dodgers' by Hamish Henderson. Dates to ca. 1944, sung to 'Lili Marlene'.

Darren said...

It's a bit embarrassing to admit but for some reason I always mix Matt McGinn and Hamish Henderson up.

Don't ask me why. I have no idea why.

Brigada Flores Magon said...

No matter, they were both great value and gave a voice to those who didn't have one. Both produced good songs anent John MacLean, too, by the way.

Darren said...

It's probably the MacLean connection.

Love the song, 'The John MacLean March'. I first heard the McCluskey Brothers version on their 'Aware of All' album.