"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ukip: Dangers of Nationalism


EXTRACT: But the plain fact of the matter is that Ukip’s increasingly loud anti-immigrant message, when all is said and done, does not differ in any essential way from mainstream national chauvinism - any more than Gillian Duffy’s “flocking” comments were that much different from Gordon Brown’s own “British jobs for British workers”, as he put it in his 2007 address to the GMB union. Which in turn was not that far removed from Margaret Thatcher’s notorious January 1978 World in action interview, where she talked about how the British people are “afraid” that the country might be “swamped by people with a different culture” - thus undercutting electoral support for the then resurgent National Front. Over the years we have witnessed a grotesque Dutch auction of bourgeois politicians outbidding each other in demanding stricter and stricter controls over immigration.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lib Dems: Desperate to Avoid Wipe-out

Nick Clegg: mania long gone

EXTRACT: Faced with such discontent within the ranks, Nick Clegg is desperate to hold the line - the coalition government is here to stay right up to the day of the election - and beyond that as well, if the votes fall in the right way. A message hammered home on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on September 15, Clegg arguing that the creation of another coalition government in 2015 was the only way to achieve “balanced politics” and a “sustainable recovery”. During the interview, though naturally he never explicitly said so, it became fairly clear that a second term in partnership with David Cameron was his favoured option - dismaying many on the left of the Lib Dems. Labour would “wreck the economy”, Clegg claimed, and the Tories would provide the “wrong kind of recovery”. So Clegg and Cameron, like partners in crime, are in this together right to the bitter end ... and maybe beyond.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lobbying Laws: Crude Attack on the Unions


EXTRACT: Even worse in some respects, though this aspect of the bill has had far less coverage in the mainstream media, any organisation that spends more than £5,000 on political campaigning (or £2,000 in Scotland and Wales) must register with the electoral commission - if not, then they could possibly be closed down. Made de facto illegal. Naturally, registering with the commission will impose a series of bureaucratic rules and regulations on groups, placing anti-democratic obstacles in the way of campaigning and political work in general. Remember, this is the very same body that in 1995 ruled that the CPGB and the Socialist Party in England and Wales were unable to stand under their own names - the electoral commission having awarded the entire franchise for ‘Communist Party’ over to the dozy social democrats of the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain and ‘Socialist Party’ to the propagandist SPGB. SPEW ended up with the ‘Socialist Alternative’ moniker.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Syrian Crisis: Miliband Well Placed to Benefit

EXTRACT:  More worryingly some in the STWC - eg, Kate Hudson - are claiming responsibility for breaking the “bloody links” between Britain and US imperialism. This is delusional. France might now be called America’s “oldest ally. But, be warned, the UK is still credited with being America’s “closest ally”. And because the mass anti-war sentiment is politically unorganised it is ripe for the picking. Nigel Farage and Ukip noticeably opposed a Syrian intervention. However, the chances are that it will be Miliband who will gain the most.

The Labour leadership certainly feared another mass anti-war movement. But, given the STWC at a very low ebb, and the general weakness of the left, it will be relatively easy for Labour to appropriate anti-war sentiments for its own advantage - quite grotesque when you remember that it has been consistently pro-imperialist from its very inception. Labour can enjoy, for the time being anyway, presenting itself as the ‘anti-war’ party, now that the Lib Dems can no longer claim that mantle.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

We can work it out

EXTRACT: This theme - what party model? - was revisited by comrade Mike Macnair in his fascinating talk (at least for this journalist) on ‘Lukács, Korsch, et al: philosophers of Leninism or ultra-left?’ - focusing mainly on Georg Lukács. The latter is significant because his short work, Lenin: a study in the unity of his thought, and History and class consciousness have essentially operated as organisational text books for the British far left. Alex Callinicos (‘Stalinicos’) and John Rees have repeatedly praised the “master-work”, History and class consciousness, predicated on Lukács’s theories of reification and the vanguard party. Some have wondered whether Callinicos and Rees have done their homework properly. But in the forthright opinion of comrade Macnair, they correctly interpret Lukács’s theory of reification, the vanguard party, etc as a blueprint for a monolithic, militarised organisation - negating the real history of pre-civil war Bolshevism.

Similarly, comrade Moshé Machover in his informative ‘Do we need a Marxist party? Do we need a Leninist party?’ session, remarked that the far left is built upon an invented or phantom ‘Leninism’ constructed after the civil war by the burgeoning Soviet bureaucracy - then loyally regurgitated by the Trotskyites. Inevitably, as comrade Machover commented, instead of a mass party we have a mass of Trotskyite sects - that “multiply like amoebas”, refusing to accept that the post-1921 model does not work. A state of pitiful denial.