Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adam & Paul (2004)

March 2010 Socialist Standard

March 2010 Socialist Standard


  • X-Factor
  • Regular Columns

  • Pathfinders Brave New Epsilons
  • Cooking the Books 1 Empty hope
  • Cooking the Books 2 Living without money
  • Material World CARE: International
  • Greasy Pole "...Less Equal Than Others...”
  • Pieces Together Peace Prize?; Debt Ridden Britain; The Gap Widens; "Caring" Capitalism
  • 50 Years Ago Intermingling
  • Main Articles

  • Tony Blair and the Chilcot inquiry Does it matter whether the Iraq War was legal or illegal?
  • Tilting at windmills with a banjo Pete Seeger is now in his 90th year. His songs have always been better than his politics.
  • What is Real Democracy and How Do We Get It? In a month or so the people of Britain will be asked once again to decide which representatives of the ruling class will rule over them for the next four or five years.
  • Capitalism breeds inequality A recent report shows that the reformist actions of the Labour government have not been able to reverse the inequalities that capitalism generates.
  • Ire of the Irate Itinerant Cartoon Strip
  • Letters, Book Reviews, Meetings & Obituary

  • Letters to the Editors: Inflation and Quantitative Easing
  • Book Reviews: Trotsky: a biography by Robert Service; Money by Eric Lonergan; People First Economics edited by David Ransom & Vanessa Baird
  • Socialist Party Meetings: Clapham, Manchester & Norwich:
  • Obituary: Cyril Evans
  • Voice From The Back

  • Capitalism is worldwide; A Grateful Nation; Class Division; Mother of the Free

    Oh shucks, I'm only 30 days late in posting this. Encourage me to be less tardy next month by clicking on lots of links . . .

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Maradona by Kusturica (2008)

    'I should have saved the 'Melting Mowbray' post title for an occasion like this'

    He's gone.

    Obviously much sooner than I thought. Looks like after last night's hammering, the board couldn't even bring themselves to trust Mowbray getting past Ross County in the cup.

    Now that I think about it, I wonder if their real panic was that, on current patchy form, Mowbray's Celtic were in danger of losing second place - and the potential pot of Champions League gold - to an in-form Dundee Utd or Motherwell?

    Who's going to be in the frame for the vacancy? After paying West Brom two million for Mowbray, I'm guessing they're going to go for the cheap option. Everton and Bolton fans will be relieved.

    Does Charlie Nicholas have his coaching badges yet?

    "The Road to Socialism - Kropotkin, Morris & Marx"

    A transcript of an old talk from one of the speakers which may be of some interest to those interested in the subject of the debate:

  • What Marx should have said to Kropotkin
  • Quite Ugly One Week

    I don't want to dwell on Black Box too much, but have a gander at the top ten British singles the week St Mirren beat Celtic 1-0 at Love Street back in '89

    And some people wonder why I battened down the musical hatches in 1981 and have refused to come back up ever since.

    Quite Ugly One Evening

    Christ, what's Paisley-speak for "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious"?

    Is it black cab time for Mowbray? All eyes will be on April 10th. Ross County get a result and Mowbray will get his cards sooner than later.

    Just for your information, the last time St Mirren beat Celtic in the league - September 9th 1989 - this heap of mind-numbing garbage was number one:

    It took me twenty years to forget that song. For re-lodging that bastard song in my head, Mowbray definitely needs to go.

    Subway 37

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 143

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 143rd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1562 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Living without money
  • Empty Hope
  • Imagine
  • Quote for the week:

    "I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world. " Eugene Debs, 1855 - 1926

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

    I think I've found my new ringtone . . .

    From the closing credits of Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story', Tony Babino belts out what is now my favourite version of The Internationale:

    "Speed it up", indeed.


    Interesting article by Len Wallace about the history of The Internationale that first appeared in the pages of The Industrial Worker back in 2006:

  • The Most Dangerous Song in the World - A Rewrite
  • Thursday, March 18, 2010

    Breaking Glass (1980)

    Alex Chilton

    Cliched I know but what else are you going to listen to on hearing the news that Alex Chilton has died at the criminally young age of 59?

    One of the most beautiful songs ever written.

    Nice post in the Guardian from Michael Hann, remembering Chilton and his impact on modern music.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Timeline (2003)

    'Albert and Doris hadn't been to a branch meeting for a couple of years.'

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 141

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 141st of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1565 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • An inconvenient future
  • Eat shit and die!
  • Capitalism breeds inequality
  • Coming Events, all open to the public:

    Sunday Evening Film Programme

    6pm at 52 Clapham High St, SW4, London

    14 March - Comrades (part 2)

    Norwich Radical Film Forum

    2pm at The Workshop, 53 Earlham Road, Norwich NR1 3SP

    20 March - Zeitgeist III

    The Origins of the Socialist Party’s Declaration of Principles.

    22 March, 8.30pm,

    Unicorn, Church Street, Manchester City Centre.

    The Road to Socialism - Kropotkin, Morris and Marx,

    Forum with Brian Morris (Author of “Kropotkin: The Politics Of Community” and “Bakunin: The Philosophy Of Freedom”) and Adam Buick (Co-Author of “Marxian Economics and Globalization” and “State Capitalism:The Wages System under New Management”).

    Saturday, 27 March, 4.00pm,

    52 Clapham High St, London SW4.

    Future Visions - The Socialist Party Summer School

    23rd - 25th July, Fircroft College, Birmingham.

    Quote for the week:

    "Under private property ... Each tries to establish over the other an alien power, so as thereby to find satisfaction of his own selfish need. The increase in the quantity of objects is therefore accompanied by an extension of the realm of the alien powers to which man is subjected, and every new product represents a new potentiality of mutual swindling and mutual plundering." Marx, Human Requirements and Division of Labour, 1844.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Monday, March 08, 2010

    Behind the Rent Strike (1974)

    Whatever happened to the dislikely lads?

    They must have finally remembered their password. It's back up and gurning:


    Counterfire? That was the website that was set up by the dissidents in the SWP late last year when Rees, German and co were fighting a rearguard action for the life, soul and a seat on the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party.

    The website was taken down under instruction from the SWP CC because it was viewed as factional activity by the Left Platform. (Turns out they were right.)

    Now that the 60 or so members of the LP have either decamped or been expelled from the SWP, the website's out the blocks and picking up speed. With 60 plus members - amongst that number there's some very talented individuals - they're already bigger than the likes of the Weekly Worker; Workers Power and Permanent Revolution and not much smaller than the likes of AWL or Socialist Resistance, so they (and their snazzy website) are definitely ones to watch in the British Left Blogosphere.

    If I was going to use a football analogy, I'd say that they probably see themselves as the FC United of the Trotskyist Left at the moment. For their sake, I wouldn't want to stretch that analogy too far, though, because after a strong start FC United are currently stalled in mid-table mediocrity in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. (Aren't I being overly generous on a Monday morning for the latest rehash of Generals Without Armies? I must be on a sugar rush.)

    Amongst other things, they're offering the rest of us 'Leninism in the 21st century' as part of their introduction to Counterfire. I suggest they handpick their four burliest members and install them on the door of the blog. The comments looking to push their way in uninvited won't be pretty and will be looking to cause trouble.

    Hat tip to MP over at Leftist Trainspotters.

    Saturday, March 06, 2010

    The Choirboys (1977)

    . . . with chips and gravy

    I'm thinking of you and the things you do to me

    That makes me love you, now I'm living in ecstasy

    Hey, it's you and the things you do to me

    That makes me love you, now I'm living in ecstasy

    How the hell did I forgot this culinary delight? I must have ate enough of them down the years that I'd be sweating the gravy out of my pores on a hot New York afternoon.

    Just googled. I can't find them anywhere in New York. Not even at Tea and Sympathy. There's an online store trying to sell them for nearly five dollars! The whole point about Fray Bentos pies were that they were both cheap and nutritious.

    I'll need to go find me Brooklyn's Uruguayan community and befriend someone under false pretences.

    Hat tip to someone on Urban 75 for providing me with the instant foodie flashback.

    Lest we forget:


    Poor bastards. Burnley, I mean.

    I'm not sure if the results below qualify as a 6-pointer or a 12-pointer, but my inkling that both Coyle managed clubs would be relegated this season looks like its way off beam. Thing is; you know that if Bolton were to get relegated that they're one of those clubs who would bounce back into the Premiership at some point.

    Burnley? Well, they'll always have . . . damn, I can't find the wiki link for the 1959/60 season.

    Christ, that away record is a car crash. They can't complain.

    Wednesday, March 03, 2010

    Big Trouble (2002)

    "No, we're not the bastard TUSC!"

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 140

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 140th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1562 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • The Price of Everything
  • Thicker than water?
  • Ethics
  • Quote for the week:

    "The founders [of the United Nations] sought to replace a world at war with a world of civilized order. They hoped that a world of relentless conflict would give way to a new era, one where freedom from violence prevailed…. But the awful truth is that the use of violence for political gain has become more, not less, widespread in the last decade." Ronald Reagan, 26 Sept 1983.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain