Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 2010 Socialist Standard

January 2010 Socialist Standard


  • Capitalism and the New Decade
  • Regular Columns

  • Pathfinders Top of the Pop Charts
  • Cooking the Books 1 State monopoly capitalism
  • Cooking the Books 2 Financial alchemy
  • Material World Xenophobia in Russia
  • Greasy Pole The thick of it
  • Pieces Together Another Labour failure; Ten wasted years; The other 1 percent
  • 50 Years Ago Labour's lost chord
  • Main Articles

  • Pitiful Copenhagen Given the competitive nature of capitalism any agreement on trying to deal with climate change was bound to be feeble and inadequate.
  • Climate change: business, as usual What should we have expected from such a large gathering of the world’s elites if it wasn’t this?
  • Masters of War ‘You can fool all of the people some of the time . . . and some of the people all of the time . . . but . . .’
  • Cab-ride to capitalism: servitude by the majority It only takes a cab ride in a city to see which class has the most power and influence in capitalist society.
  • Horror-Scope For Non-Socialists Some forecasts which are much more likely to be fulfilled – for non- Socialists.
  • Real life monopoly Compared to the complexities of capitalism socialism is a simple social system.
  • Ire of the Irate Itinerant Cartoon Strip
  • Book Reviews, & Meetings

  • Book Reviews:The Frock-Coated Communist: the Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels By Tristram Hunt; The Ecological Revolution – making peace with the planet By John Bellamy Foster The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Finance By Peter Stalker; Unravelling Capitalism. A Guide to Marxist Political Economy Joseph Choonara; Zombie Capitalism. Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. By Chris Harman; Engines of Change By Ian J Kerr
  • Socialist Party Meetings: Clapham, Holborn, Manchester & Norwich:
  • Voice From The Back

  • Pollution and Profits; Capitalism in action; The next war?; It must be obvious

    Wow, I'm only 31 days late in posting this. Encourage me to be less tardy next month by clicking on lots of links . . .

    I Like Killing Flies (2004)

    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    Shampoo (1975)

    Must try harder

    Nothing like a false dawn on a freezing Saturday morning:

    Four minutes into your Celtic debut and you score a winning goal and receive a yellow card? (No doubt for the celebration.)

    Morten Rasmussen could be interesting and maybe - just maybe - I'll stop referring to Tony Mowbary as Tony Burns.

    Turns out it was his second game for Celtic. I'd already expunged this travesty from my football memory bank.

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    London to Brighton (2006)

    Hairstyles and historians

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 135

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 135th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1565 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Re-cycling food waste
  • Indian Earthquake: Did it really kill?
  • Money Must Go
  • Coming Events:

    Public Debate between Adam Smith Institute (Eamonn Butler) and the Socialist Party (Richard Headicar).

    Thursday, 4th February, 7.00pm

    Small Hall, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. WC1.

    Film: Capitalism and Other Kids Stuff

    2pm, Saturday 30th January

    The Workshop 53 Earlham Road, Norwich NR2 3AD

    Radical Film Forum,

    Sundays 6pm - 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.

    31st January - Manufacturing Consent (part two)

    Quote for the week:

    "Read the paper - humdrum

    Henley Regatta - page one

    Eat die - ho hum

    Page three - big bum

    Giving a lunatic a loaded gun.

    He walks - others run

    Thirty dead - no fun

    Foreigners feature as figures of fun

    Do something destructive chum

    Sit right down - write a letter to The Sun

    Say... 'Bring back hangin' for everyone'"

    John Cooper Clarke - 'Suspended Sentence'

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004)

    Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

    So sad to read that Howard Zinn died today of a heart attack. He was such a towering figure. His loss will be immense.

    After all these years, this is still one of my favourite political essays:

    Howard Zinn's 'Je Ne Suis Pas Marxiste'


    History Is A Weapon website have been good enough to place Zinn's best known work, 'A People's History Of The United States', online. You can read it here.

    Pass on the link.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Smart People (2008)

    'Klingons to privilege'

    SPGBer Max H. joins in the recent fun of photoshopping that daft 'honest dave' poster:

    SPGBers who like that sort of thing tell me that Cameron has a passing resemblance to a Star Trek character called 'Data'. What do I know. Buck Rogers was my sci-fi fix as a kid.

    More of Max's excellent Cameron posters on his website Capitalist Money Madness. I especially like these two.

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

    Mixing footie with non-market socialism?

    I'm suitably intrigued.

    As much as I'd like to think that my sitemeter sighting has uncovered a hitherto unknown connection between midlands footie and non-market socialism - Romeo Zondervan and Martin Jol sent by Cajo Brendel to the Black Country in the early 80s to form a Council Communist cell, perhaps? - I'm guessing the person googling was looking for this 'William' Morris.

    Maybe they'll pop back to the blog and put us all straight?

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Night Moves (1975)

    Black bloc inquorate

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 134

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 134th of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1563 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Insiders and others
  • Top of the pop charts
  • Haiti - An Unnatural disaster
  • Quote for the week:

    "A philosopher produces ideas, a poet poems, a clergyman sermons, a professor compendia and so on. A criminal produces crimes. If we take a closer look at the connection between this latter branch of production and society as a whole, we shall rid ourselves of many prejudices. The criminal produces not only crimes but also criminal law, and with this also the professor who gives lectures on criminal law and in addition to this the inevitable compendium in which this same professor throws his lectures onto the general market as “commodities”." Marx, Theories of Surplus Value, 1861.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Don't You Forget About Me (2009)

    Knows his onions

    What with me drowning myself in celluloid recently, my eye has been off the blogging ball but Olly's back and he is on form.


    Kudos to H, also, for keeping the end up for us few and scattered abstract-propagandist-ultra-leftist-added-sarcasm-aloe-vera types.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Town Bloody Hall (1979)

    Candide by Voltaire (Barnes and Noble Classics 1759)

    After the earthquake, which had destroyed three-fourths of the city of Lisbon, the sages of that country could think of no means more effectual to preserve the kingdom from utter ruin than to entertain the people with an auto-da-fe, it having been decided by the University of Coimbra, that the burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible preventive of earthquakes.

    In consequence thereof they had seized on a Biscayan for marrying his godmother, and on two Portuguese for taking out the bacon of a larded pullet they were eating; after dinner they came and secured Dr. Pangloss, and his pupil Candide, the one for speaking his mind, and the other for seeming to approve what he had said. They were conducted to separate apartments, extremely cool, where they were never incommoded with the sun. Eight days afterwards they were each dressed in a sanbenito, and their heads were adorned with paper mitres. The mitre and sanbenito worn by Candide were painted with flames reversed and with devils that had neither tails nor claws; but Dr. Pangloss's devils had both tails and claws, and his flames were upright. In these habits they marched in procession, and heard a very pathetic sermon, which was followed by an anthem, accompanied by bagpipes. Candide was flogged to some tune, while the anthem was being sung; the Biscayan and the two men who would not eat bacon were burned, and Pangloss was hanged, which is not a common custom at these solemnities. The same day there was another earthquake, which made most dreadful havoc.

    Candide, amazed, terrified, confounded, astonished, all bloody, and trembling from head to foot, said to himself, "If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others? If I had only been whipped, I could have put up with it, as I did among the Bulgarians; but, not withstanding, oh my dear Pangloss! my beloved master! thou greatest of philosophers! that ever I should live to see thee hanged, without knowing for what! O my dear Anabaptist, thou best of men, that it should be thy fate to be drowned in the very harbor! O Miss Cunegund, you mirror of young ladies! that it should be your fate to have your body ripped open!"

    He was making the best of his way from the place where he had been preached to, whipped, absolved and blessed, when he was accosted by an old woman, who said to him, "Take courage, child, and follow me."

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Big Fan (2009)

    A prayer for the lying

    Via Popbitch, and for Kara:

    >> Celebrity Big Brother <<

    C4 go for the dimmest Baldwin brother

    celtiagirl writes:

    "Stephen Baldwin has been a mentalist for yonks. I met him around the time of The Usual Suspects and he showed me an IRA tattoo he’d had done.

    I asked, 'Did he know anything about the IRA?'

    'Not really', he admitted: but he felt it was probably 'part of my character’s shady past'.

    "So, a permanent tattoo for a fictional character representing a movement he doesn’t understand."

    Kara and myself are mostly communicating through CBB at the moment. It's getting serious. A few of us may have to stage an intervention Friday if and when Sov gets voted out.

    Keep you posted.

    Going home at half time 'cos it's too bastard cold

    Further to this recent post, it turns out my memory isn't too shoddy after all.

    As revealed by this list it was Mark Goodson who played for Hemel Town FC back in the day. Other names from that list transporting me back into a fug of early eighties football nostalgia include Tony Horsfall; Dave Edwards; Steve Hoar (a drinking mate of my Dad); Steve Wilson (a workmate of my Dad); Mick Vipond; and Hugh Boycott-Brown (with a name like that, should have been a backbench Tory MP. I seem to remember him as a free scoring centre forward.)

    Last post was entitled Tony Horsfall's black and white army. For some reason, in my mind's eye, I primarily remember Hemel playing in white shirts and black shorts but they must have mostly played in their usual red strip when I used to watch them. So why can't I remember it? Maybe all my memories of Hemel playing have been crystallised into one particular match where they happened to be wearing their change strip of black and white?

    It's amazing the stuff you think of when you're sleep deprived by a 15 month force of nature.

    Tony Horsfall's black and white army

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 133

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 133rd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1565 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Cab ride to capitalism
  • Masters of War
  • Pitiful Copenhagen
  • Coming Events:

    Who Won the Sixties?

    Monday 25 January, 8.30pm

    Unicorn, Church Street,

    Manchester City Centre

    Revolution from below

    Speaker: Gwynn Thomas

    Tuesday 26th January, 7.30pm

    Socialist Party Head Office,

    52 Clapham High St, SW4

    Capitalism or socialism?

    Public Debate between Adam Smith Institute (Eamonn Butler) and the Socialist Party (Richard Headicar).

    Thursday, 4th February, 7.00pm

    Small Hall, Conway Hall,

    Red Lion Square, London. WC1.

    Film: Capitalism and Other Kids Stuff

    2pm, Saturday 30th January

    The Workshop 53 Earlham Road,

    Norwich NR2 3AD

    Radical Film Forum,

    Sundays 6pm - 52 Clapham High Street,

    London SW4 7UN.

    17th January - Manufacturing Consent (part one)

    31st January - Manufacturing Consent (part two)

    Quote for the week:

    "You have the right to free Speech

    As long as

    You're not dumb enough to actually try it"

    The Clash, Know Your Rights, 1982.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    88 Minutes (2007)

    Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane (1996)

    He stared at me for a long time. Eventually, I sat down on the top step, opened my three bills, and leafed through my latest issue of Spin, read some of an article on Machinery Hall.

    "You listen to Machinery Hall, Kev?" I said eventually.

    Kevin stared and breathed through his nostrils.

    "Good band," I said. "You should pick up their CD."

    Kevin didn't look like he'd be dropping by Tower Records after our chat.

    "Sure, they're a little derivative, but who isn't these days?"

    Kevin didn't look like he knew what derivative meant.

    For ten minutes, he stood there without saying a word, his eyes never leaving me, and they were dull murky eyes, as lively as swamp water. I guessed this was the morning Kevin. The night Kevin was the one with the charged-up eyes, the ones that seemed to pulse with homicide. The morning Kevin looked catatonic.

    "So, Kev, I'm guessing here, but I'd say you're not a big alternative music fan."

    Kevin lit a cigarette.

    "I didn't used to be, but then my partner pretty much convinced me that there was more out there than the Stones and Springsteen. A lot of it is corporate bullshit, and a lot is overrated, don't get me wrong. I mean, explain Morrissey. But then you get a Kurt Cobain or a Trent Reznor, and you say, 'These guys are the real deal,' and it's all enough to give you hope. Or maybe I'm wrong. By the way, Kev, how did you feel about Kurt's death? Did you think we lost the voice of our generation or did that happen when Frankie Goes to Hollywood broke up?"

    Thursday, January 07, 2010

    The Front (1976)

    Vauxhall Road Populi

    St Albans City had Dean Austin and Iain Dowie as young 'uns, and the sadly departed Berkhamsted Town had superstar DJ Nigel Callaghan mixing the tail end of his football career with his time on the decks, but could this bloke be the most famous footballer ever to play for Hemel Hempstead Town?:

    Step forward one Danny Granville, formerly of Chelsea, Leeds Utd, Man City and Crystal Palace (amongst many others). The bloke played in a cup winners cup final!

    Granted at 34 he's at the tail end of his career, but he's always played at left back and, for some reason or other, it's one of those positions on a football pitch where a footballer's career is just naturally prolonged for a few extra years. Maldini playing at left back for AC Milan in his fortieth year; Andreas Brehme still making those overlapping runs of his from the left back position for FC Kaiserslautern at the age of 37; and now, in his 35th year, Danny Granville turning it on for Hemel against the likes of Bedford Town and Bashley. It's too late this year, but maybe, finally, a decent FA Cup run next year?

    This post isn't a pisstake, btw. I reserve the jokes for the posts that touch on politics. I'm childishly impressed that The Tudors actually have a bona fide ex-pro on their books. It's a bit of a step up from when I used to watch them and Mark Goodson (I bet I've got the surname wrong) was the regular full back playing every other week at Vauxhall Road. A solid enough player despite his frail appearance, who I seem to remember had a rasping shot. It's just unfortunate that he looked like the love child of Howard Devoto and David Bradley. He wasn't going to get any Gillette Mach3 adverts any time soon.

    More on Granville at Hemel here. If the link doesn't take you directly to his bio, then scroll down and you can't miss it. He's the bloke striking the ball with his left foot.

    Cheers to Getty for fair use of the image. If I ever visit California, I'll be sure to put an extra quarter in the collection box at the Getty Museum by way of recompense.

    What the world's been waiting for . . .

    . . . or rather, what my world's been waiting for.

    This little gem of a website could keep my 365Watch New Year's Resolution on track for longer than any of us anticipated. The heads up on future films to be streamed will hopefully mean that I will no longer be faffing about for half an hour every day wondering what film to watch.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    The Merry Frinks (1934)

    SMH, people . . . SMH.

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 132

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 132nd of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1559 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Labour and the reform of capitalism
  • Government or democracy?
  • Who's going to clean the sewers?

    Radical Film Forum,

    Sundays 6pm - 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.

    17th January - Manufacturing Consent (part one)

    31st January - Manufacturing Consent (part two)


    Debate with Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute

    Thursday, 4th February, 7pm

    Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1

    Quote for the week:

    "Politicians hide themselves away. They only started the war. Why should they go out into a fight?... They leave that all to the poor." Black Sabbath, War Pigs, 1970.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain

    Berger's had his chips

    Sad news on BBC Sports about Czech International Patrik Berger retiring from football at the age of 36 because of a recurring injury.

    I know he's best known for his time at Liverpool and for being part of the great Czech team of the mid to late nineties but I'll always remember him for this wonder goal for Portsmouth against Charlton Athletic in 2004:

    The look on Dean Kiely's face after the fact is absolutely priceless. I'd totally forgotten that Portsmouth ended up losing that game 2-1. A wonder goal like that should by rights be a winning goal . . . and against a better team than Charlton, now that I think about it.

    There's a good YouTube compilation of his time at Liverpool here, and a wonder goal of a different sort from Berger here from when he was playing for Aston Villa.

    I've always wondered why he didn't get the plaudits his flair and skill so richly deserved. I guess being a member of a Liverpool team that always flattered to deceive in the nineties didn't help, but I also think it's partly explained by the fact that he's such an ugly bastard. We live in shallow times people, and if you're a sportsman who doesn't have the bone structure for the Gillette Mach3 adverts, then you can just forget about it.

    Sunday, January 03, 2010

    Run Fatboy Run (2007)

    Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now: My Difficult 80s by Andrew Collins (Ebury Press 2004)

    Ben Elton is my big favourite at the moment. He's my guiding light. My moral compass. He's mobilised all the instinctive humanitarian, left-wing feelings that have brewing up in me since leaving home and given voice to the way I feel deep down inside. I've never before been this laid bare with guilt - but good guilt, useful social guilt, practical guilt; not abstract, debilitating girlfriend -induced guilt about having a happy family or parking inconsiderately. In the space of just a few weekly stand-up routines in that crap suit, Ben has succeeded in making me feel guilty about a much broader range of stuff.

    Ben Elton speaks directly to me, he speaks directly to all of us, from his pulpit on Saturday Live. I've never seen the halls coffee bar as packed as it is now is every Saturday night at ten. Standing room only. The committee don't bother hiring a video in any more and the poor old Prince Albert empties at 9.45. One week he's exposing the folly of trying to get a double seat on a train and speaking of the repressed British character, the next he's damning Benny Hill for chasing women round the park when in fact street lighting is inadequate and women are too scared to walk through parks. On occasions we've all found ourselves clapping the TV. Saturday Live makes me glad I'm back I'm back in the halls.

    The St Genevieve Day Massacre?

    OK, this is the set up. Since they got beat 1-0 by Seville in early December, R*ngers league form has been as follows:

  • 12th Dec R*ngers 3-0 St Johnstone
  • 15th Dec Dundee Utd 0-3 R*ngers
  • 19th Dec R*ngers 6-1 Motherwell
  • 27th Dec Hibs 1-4 R*ngers
  • 30th Dec R*ngers 7-1 Dundee Utd
  • That's 5 victories on the bounce, with 23 goals scored and only three conceded. They're leading the SPL by seven points having played one game more than Celtic but also have a goal difference advantage of +16. And stats like that mean something in the SPL.

    They're that rampant at the moment that even Kenny Miller is scoring goals. I repeat: KENNY MILLER is scoring goals. He was as surprised as the rest of us and needed to rest his studs on Darren Dods shins, thus missing out on today's match.

    Oh yeah, about today's match. Despite Celtic going into today's match on the back of that great escape from Vienna and recent form of 5 wins and 1 draw in their last six home games, it doesn't look good for us. A defence that is currently auditioning for Danny Baker's next football blooper dvd, and Boruc with aspirations to take on the starring role in a film of this footballing legend of yesteryear all adds up to what couild be known in future years as the St Genevieve Day Massacre.

    And yet? And yet I haven't been as excited about an auld firm game in a long, long time. Like a Socialist Standard front cover it could be a thing of brilliance or an absolute disaster. I'll be smiling whatever happens. The only thing that could have made today better is if it had been played at Ibrox.

    Mid-Manhattan, here I come.

    The 1989 quote of the day

    Maybe 'mikeovswinton' was onto something about Billy Connolly's political past if this old quote from today's Observer is anything to go by:

    ON HIS SUBSEQUENT FRIENDSHIP WITH PRINCESS ANNE 'I'm not going to throw away the hand of friendship to suit 100 Trotskyites in Glasgow' (1989)

    Referring to the Peasants of Leon as Trotskyites rather than as Trotskyists is usually a giveaway that Uncle Joe was once a family friend but radical politics was always a bit different in Glasgow.

    I don't have the quote immediately to hand but I do remember reading about the late SPGBer, Alec Shaw, who would apparently rip into the 'Communist Blatherskites and Trotskyite Gobshites' - I'm paraphrasing (slightly) - from the Party platform in Glasgow in the 40s and 50s.

    And by all accounts, that debate between Solidarity's Ken Weller and the IS's Paul Foot in '68 did get rather acrimonious. You'd be surprised by how many people can still hold onto the grudges long after they drop the politics.

    Anyway, check out Connolly's 'Did I Say That?' column. If nothing else, it's a good timeline for showing how Connolly lost his comedy mojo a long, long time ago.

    "You and Whose Army?"

    It's said that everyone in the world has a double but I'm guessing that Radiohead's Thom Yorke never thought that his spitting image would be a British Army sniper in a picture accompanying an article in today's News of the World.

    You may have to squint to see the uncanny likeness.

    'Squint'? That's not me having a snipe at Thom, btw.

    Friday, January 01, 2010

    Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981)

    'Riot, Revolt and Rebellion in the pre-Modern World'

    I've yet to watch this video of Gwynn Thomas speaking on the subject of 'Riot, Revolt and Rebellion in the pre-Modern World' from this year's SPGB Summer School, but as someone from Stockholm has just stumbled across the blog after typing 'youtube spgb' into the google search engine, it would be a bit piss-poor of me if I didn't post this video up pronto whilst my tea is steeping:

    Enjoy Johannes. You can see the other parts of the talk at the following link.

    Hat tip to Rob W and Dave C for making and sharing the video of the talk.

    Blood and sand

    Absolutely amazing old clip from Ukraine's Got Talent. (I thought I'd be the 10,923,845 viewer of the clip on YouTube before mentioning it on the blog.)

    'Sand artist', Kseniya Simonova, tells the story of 'The Great Patriotic War with 'sand animation'. Watch it all the way through. It's worth repeated viewing.

    Tony Hart was unavailable for comment but James Donaghy picked up on the performance four months ago on the Guardian website.

    Talent triumphed as Kseniya won Ukraine's Got Talent (there's no truth in the rumour that Olg Vernik came third in the final with his simultaneous impersonation of 13 Workers' Internationals), and she has no plans to tour with Susan Boyle but she is chewing over the offer of designing the next Chameleons album cover . . . if they ever reform . . . and if the tittle tattle I make up on this blog ever comes true.

    New old music for the New Year

    Not enough of you click on the links of the music blogs placed under the Thank You For The Music banner, so a very quick intro to a few of the blogs listed:

  • Walk Out To Winter - The name of the blog is a giveway. A music blog recently established which is a hymn to singles dating from - but not exclusive to - the period 1978 to 1983. If your musical tastes are for early goth, post-punk and the burgeoning indie scene from that time then this a blog you have to bookmark. I'm guessing the blogger is basically going through their record collection. High Fidelity for the Zig Zag magazine generation.
  • Consolation Prizes - CP overlaps a bit with WOTW but moves on a few more years and is more rooted in C86 indie pop. The sub-heading marks itself down as dedicated to "guitar pop/indiepop/neo-acoustic/wimp pop/powerpop punk/new wave/post-punk/pre-punk" and, like WOTW again, focuses primarily on singles. A lot of material isn't to my taste but a lot of the bands are new to me. This blog is very much a wee brother to the long established music blog, Take The Pills, which comes out of Brazil, and earned extra brownie points for introducing me to this superb Martin Newell single from 1980 that I hadn't previously come across before.
  • Moody Places - And it's three in a row for excellent 7" music blogs. I say 7" but Moody Places operating out of Belfast is firmly rooted in the period of the CD single and the multi formatting rip off that we all came to learn to hate in the early 90s. Very much the indie pop kid but his musical tastes are much too eclectic to simply be pigeon-holed as a Brit Pop music blogger. One of the few music bloggers out there who shares my affection for the criminally underrated Diesel Park West. Also check out his sister blog, Grand Passion, which throws up cover version compilations arranged around a particular theme, season or year and can be either 'interesting', left-field or execrable . . . and sometimes all three within the same track if it involves either the Wonder Stuff, Kingmaker or Jesus Jones.
  • The Post-Punk Progressive Pop Party - Also known as 5P round my way and old favourite that's been mentioned many a time on the blog previously. Still the best place to go on the music blog circle if you're trying to locate dates of releases, record sleeves or *cough* mp3s from the 1978-1984 period. The perfect companion to Simon Reynolds post-punk primer, Rip It Up and Start Again.
  • Jangle Pop Boutique - Arguably the most obscure of the music blogs mentioned, Jangle Pop Boutique comes from the same mystery music blogger who brought us the excellent Best Kept Secrets blog. Another love letter to obscure jangle pop from the mid-80s period. Bands so obscure that Andy Strickland didn't even namecheck most of them in the sadly defunct Record Mirror back in the day (Though Strickland's Caretaker Race does get a mention on the blog.) With obscure band after obscure band featured on the blog it highlights from that time what was almost a throwback to the punk period with the recurring scenario of four blokes with the same fringe shambling together for the duration of a couple of singles and a feature on a indie compilation record -print run of 500 - only to drift apart in the direction they originally came from. Most of these blokes now have receding hairlines and are now either working in IT or teaching Maths in educational establishments well placed in the school league tables year on year. Take a chance on a music blog who's most famous featured bands are McCarthy, The Close Lobsters and The Boy Hairdressers.
  • Happy hunting, and feel free to also check out this old post from the blog which very much goes over the same old ground with the same jokes, phraseology and writing everything in threes.

    I'm an old blogging dog and I have no new tricks.

    Disclaimer Time

    This post was written in haste, with no recourse to revision, re-reading or reflection. The typos, spelling mistakes and alliterations are part and parcel of the post and in keeping with the spirit of the music under discussion. Now I'll shamble off in the direction of the kitchen for a cup of tea.

    Bulletins over broadway

    Weekly Bulletin of The Socialist Party of Great Britain 131

    Dear Friends,

    Welcome to the 131st of our weekly bulletins to keep you informed of changes at Socialist Party of Great Britain @ MySpace.

    We now have 1560 friends!

    Recent blogs:

  • Marx on terrorism and censorship
  • Is Britain Going Fascist?
  • Did Jesus ever live?
  • Quote for the week:

    "My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. .... With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell." Marx, Afterword to the Second German Edition of Capital, 1873.

    Continuing luck with your MySpace adventures!

    Robert and Piers

    Socialist Party of Great Britain