Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exit Music by Ian Rankin (Orion Books 2007)

'No one's about to poison me, Rebus. Sergei and me, we see things the same way. Few years from now, Scotland's going to be independent - not a shred of doubt about that. Sitting on thirty years' worth of North Sea oil and God alone knows how much more in the Atlantic. Worst-case scenario, we do a deal with Westminster and end up with eighty or ninety per cent of the cut.' Cafferty gave a slow shrug. 'And then we'll goand spend the money on our usual leisure pursuits - booze, drugs and gambling. Put a supercasino in every city, and watch the profits stack up . . .'
'Another of your silent invasions, eh?'
'Soviets always did think there'd be revolution in Scotland. Won't matter to you, though, will it? You'll be out of the game for good.' Cafferty gave a little wave of the hand and turned his back.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Socialist Party of Great Britain's Got Talent

In London? Come Saturday evening will you be at a despairing loose end with the football season over for another year?

Don't fret. Celtic Liverpool will be back next year to do a bottle job come the Springtime and, in the meantime, you can hustle along to the following Euro-election hustings meetings that will be featuring Socialist Party speakers:

On Monday 1 June there'll be two, organised by local trade unions:

(1) Council Chamber, Stratford Town Hall, 29 The Broadway, E15 at 6.30 pm. Pat Deutz will represent us.

(2) Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Road, East Finchley, N2 at 6.30. Bill Martin or Adam Buick will represent us.

On Tuesday 2 June at 6pm Danny Lambert will represent us at a meeting organised by the Public & Commercial Services Union in Committe Room 14 in the House of Commons. Don't know if any "ordinary" members will be allowed entry but if you try don't forget to bring a nose-peg with you.

On Wednesday 3 June at Harrow Baptist Church, College Road, HA1 (nearest tube: Harrow on the Hill). Our representative will be Adam Buick.

Be sure to also check out Vaux Populi, the SPGB election blog.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Kiss of Death (1977)

Be brief with your case

The blogger formerly known as Possibilist Bill guest posts over at Dave's Part on why - and why you should not - vote for the SPGB in London in the coming Euro-Election.

Dave prefaces Bill's post with that old David Widgery Russian Revolution quip, and Bill finishes his post with my favourite William Morris quote.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two thoughts in two days

Adam and the Ants - 'Stand and Deliver Leaflets'

Still the funniest EVER joke about the SPGB. Maybe you had to be there . . . in the SPGB, I mean.

I'll be at the laundromat if you need me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just a thought

If Willo Flood had still been at Dundee Utd - as opposed to taking Riordan's old place on the Celtic bench - would they have made a better fist of it against R*ngers today?

Saying that, Celtic could have played an extra hour of injury time and they still wouldn't have scored against Hearts today. They were bastard woeful.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (98)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 98th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

We now have 1490 friends!

Recent blogs:

  • The Worker
  • The Capitalist
  • The Oceans: New Dumping Grounds for Capitalism
  • Quote for the week:

    "Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be." Rita Rudner, Comedian and writer.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Wiki quote of the day

    Via the wiki page of Mike Denness:

    In Australia, Denness once received an envelope that had been sent with the address "Mike Denness, cricketer". The letter inside read, "Should this reach you, the post office clearly thinks more of your ability than I do."

    Monday, May 18, 2009

    The Big Fix by Roger L. Simon (Warner Books 1973)

    "Mr. Seymour Bittleman - you should pardon the expression - has made a ridiculous misinterpretation of history," she told the boys as they climbed onto her lap. "After seventy years of struggle, he now announces that Kautsky was correct at the Second International . . . Vey es Mir! . . . Don't you remember what Trotsky wrote in 'A Letter to Party Meetings,' that the Kautskian line leads to nothing but revisionism and Social Democracy?!"
    "The rabbi of Kotzk said: Everything in the world can be imitated except truth. For truth that is imitated is no longer truth." Bittelman grinned and stabbed a piece of coldfish with his fork.
    "Now what the hell does that mean?" She tugged at her babushka and made a face somewhere between Ethel Merman and La Pasionaria.
    "The rabbi of Ger said: I often hear men say they want to throw up the world. But I ask you, is the world yours to throw up?"
    "Shut up, Bittleman. I don't want you polluting these children's minds with your cheap religious talk. Next thing you know you'll be putting on a prayer shawl and quoting Hillel."
    She turned away from him with a wave and I opened the lunch in front of us. Bittelman snickered and tucked a tiny napkin into his white shirt already stained with fish oil.

    Another gem . . .

    . . . via the good folk at Urban 75.

    March 14th seems so long ago.

    Ruffled Benitez

    Inspired . . . and I don't even have that much of a problem with either Benitez or Liverpool.

    Once again, Fergie wins the minds games and Man Utd wins the title.

    Sammy Lee as Uncle Albert is just brilliant. Made my day seeing that. Those Surrey Reds can be creative when they put their minds to it.

    Hat tip to the good people at Urban 75.

    24 Carat Winker

    Lafferty hears that Drogba might be leaving Chelski, and decides to submit an audition tape.

    Yes, and R*ngers are now odds on to win the title.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Oi For England (1982)

    Love your enemies . . . a clock with a big face

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (97)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 97th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1484 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Greatness - perceived and real
  • Crassness
  • Beggar's belief
  • Advanced notice:

    The Socialist Party of Great Britain holds its annual Summer School 26 - 28 June 2009 at Harbourne Hall, Birmingham. Members and friends from across Britain and beyond will gather to exchange ideas and experiences in all aspects of socialist activity and thought. The theme this year is "Revolution: The Theories, The Past, The Future".

    Quote for the week:

    "If a working class Englishman saw a bloke drive past in a Rolls-Royce, he'd say to himself "Come the social revolution and we'll take that away from you, mate". Whereas if his American counterpart saw a bloke drive past in a Cadillac he'd say "One day I'm going to own one of those". To my way of thinking the first attitude is wrong. The latter is right." Kerry Packer, Australian billionaire.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009

    Cometh the hour, cometh the high bee?

    I've no need to hastily construct a Temporary Autonomous Hibernian fan zone; I'll always have the highest regard for Derek Riordan. Even if it is the case that I can never pronounce his name properly.

    'Tonight, Matthew, I will be diving that way'.

    Is it too much to hope that Riordan does the business tonight?

    It's all well and good(ish) winning dodgy penalties against the jam tarts, and then winding up the home support after cooly slotting home said pen but think of the pleasure of sticking it to both R*ngers and Gordon Strachan in the space of one match?

    As Hibs are 0/3 against R*ngers this season, this is written more in hope than judgement but if Hibs don't get a result tonight - and by result, I mean three points - I can't see Celtic winning a fourth consecutive title.

    Actually, what am I thinking? Riordan will probably get the winner against R*ngers tonight and then score two against Celtic on Sunday. It's probably what Celtic deserve this year.

    This stream of rambling consciousness has been brought to you via 10 chewed down fingernails and a seen better days Brooklyn sofa.

    '(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Socialist Understanding?'

    The Socialist Party is standing a full list of 8 candidates in the London Region in the coming elections to the European Parliament on 4 June.

    Two meetings have been arranged so far.

    SUNDAY 17 MAY at 6.00pm


    Speakers: Tristan Miller and Danny Lambert (candidates)

    at 52 Clapham High Street, SW4 (nearest tube: Clapham North). All welcome. Refreshments available.

    TUESDAY 19 MAY at 8,00pm


    Speakers: Adam Buick and Simon Wigley (candidates)

    Committee Room, Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace W4 (nearest tube: Chiswick Park)

    You can follow the progress of the campaign via our election blog, Vaux Populi.

    Our election manifesto can be read at the following link.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Summer of Sam (1999)

    The Borough by Michael Cannon (Serpent's Tail 1995)

    I came here by accident. It took me a while to realise that the Borough was unique, even for Glasgow. It is poor, and yet it lives cheek-by-jowl with the wealthiest districts which ring the University precincts. This is a strange symbiosis. The University surmounts the hill, its Gothic pile silhouetted by day and floodlight by night. The spire is a landmark for miles. Many of the academics live within walking distance. Small mews flats off cobbled lanes now fetch exorbitant prices. People with more money than sense pay for the prestige of living where a horse was once stalled. This is the city's Bohemia. Across the Kelvin immense town houses, built for the tobacco barons when Glasgow was still the second city of the empire, have been converted into student residences.

    "It may be shit to you, but it's bread and butter for me."

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (96)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 96th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1486 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Anarchism and Marxism
  • What is Capitalism?
  • What is Socialism?
  • Quote for the week:

    "In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all." Marx & Engels, Communist Manifesto, 1848.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    The Flood by Ian Rankin (Orion 1986)

    He examined the faces along the edge of the bus, studying their reflections in the glass. The sun streamed in, and the tiny openings of the windows caused the passengers to broil. One old man looked on to the countryside as if surprised by it. His head shook like a clockwork toy. Sandy thought to himself that this man must have seen a lot of things - the war, the hunger of the Twenties and Thirties, death, decay, a quickly changing world. What good had it done him? He looked as if he might die at any moment, not having comprehended half of what he had seen in his life. Waste. That was the keyword. Perhaps Sandy would write a story about it all when he returned home. It seemed an important enough thing to write about. He wrote a lot of stories and poems in his room.

    Thursday, May 07, 2009


    Via On A Raised Beach blog:

    Glasgow May Day School (Saturday 9 May 1.00pm till 5.00pm)

    May Dayschool 2009

    Saturday 9 May 1.00pm till 5.00pm

    Banks:Who needs them?

    Community Central Hall 304 Maryhill Road Glasgow

    Capitalism in Crisis:

    1.00 - 2.15pm 2009: The Year of Economic Crisis.

    Speaker Brian Gardner

    Glasgow Branch.

    This year has seen the collapse of banks, of building societies and the closure of factories and retail outlets. As millions of workers throughout the world face the re-possessions of their homes and the grow-ing fear of unemployment we ask why the economic bubble has burst. We look at the various "solutions" that are offered to alleviate the problems and analyse what can be learned from previous eco-nomic slumps. Previously abandoned by political econo-mists the old ideas of Keynes have made a startling come-back to the extent that many politicians are now espousing his ideas as a solution to the present economic woes. We look at the problem from a Marxist viewpoint and con-sider whether these ideas have value in today’s context.

    2.15 - 3.30pm The Environment in Meltdown?

    Speaker, John Cumming

    Glasgow Branch

    How serious is the threat to the global environment? Is the melting of the polar ice pack a product of global warming caused by natural causes or the over production of carbon gases? Is the growing water shortage as serious as depicted and is there any possible solution? Is man-made pollution the cause of the threat to the world's oceans and the possible destruction of the marine food chain? All these inter-related pollution problems are examined from a socialist analysis and some of the proposed solutions are examined.

    3.30 - 3.45pm Tea break

    3.45 - 5pm Can Socialism Solve the problems?

    Speaker Paul Bennett

    Manchester Branch

    Modern society has produced immense social problems. We have millions of people existing on less than a $1 a day in-side a system that could produce enough food, clothing and shelter to satisfy all human needs. We have magnificent ad-vances in human knowledge but seem incapable of solving problems like world hunger, poverty and war. Wealth today takes the form of commodities - articles produced for sale with a view to making a profit. The Socialist Party is unique in that its only aim is world socialism - a society where everything is produced solely to satisfy need not make a profit. How would this new society based on common ownership operate? Could it solve the problems of capitalism?

    Looking forward to seeing you all there.

    For more information about the Glasgow Branch of the Socialist Party, please visit their Branch Website.

    Running gags

    Chelski in the Champions League . . . an uproarious joke that just keeps on giving and giving.

    Hat tip to a kind soul over at Urban 75.

    Monday, May 04, 2009

    The Workers' Turnip

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain (95)

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 95th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1483 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Overlords and underlings
  • Capitalism versus nature
  • Oscar Wilde and socialism
  • Quote for the week:

    I be so tired when I spit, all my words slur together

    Got so many calluses my hands are like leather

    Watching MTV in your big-ass chair

    Trying out slang words while you're combing your hair

    "Your productivity is whack, bring that box here fo-sheezy [for sure]

    Go get some coffee player, punch out before your leave"

    Got your feet up on the desk nodding off to sleep

    While I lift, push, pull, dig, sweat, and sweep

    I could work hard all my life and in the end still suffer

    Because the world is controlled by you lazy muthafuckas

    The Coup, Lazy Muthafucka, Party Music, 2001.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Arranged (2007)

    Who Review #1904 - Shiny Angry People

    Via the New York Times, an excellent slideshow of May Day demonstrations from around the world. (Sorry, no photo-ops from Clerkenwell Green.)

    PS - Is it just me or does Berlin's black bloc come across as a shower of wankers?

    Saturday, May 02, 2009

    Fated . . . It's like something out of a Nora Ephron movie

    That answer about the laundry? I could have written it myself. It's like we were meant to be together.

    Just don't look at the answer to her final question.