"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)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Latest Issue of the Weekly Worker #806


Develop Marxist theory and defend Leon Trotsky the revolutionary from anti-communist attacks! 


Unusually, there is no article by me this week. But I thought I would take a much-deserved little break, as I don't want to burn-out or get Executive Stress.

But regardless, go cock-a-doodle-doo with the latest 'Weekly Worker' anyway. On the menu this week: Hillel Ticktin defends Leon Trotsky from anti-communist attacks, developing Marxist theory, Marxist unity not Left bureaucratic centralism, Iran's nuclear programme, Hands Off the People of Iran's "week of action", Greek fightback, Gordon Brown's foul temper and more good stuff:
Read Here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"House on the Hill" (Kevin Coyne, 1973)


"Well I'm going to the house upon the hill,
The place where they give you pills
The rooms are always chilled,
They're never cosy

Where they give three suits a year
And at Christmas time a bottle of beer
And at Easter time the mayor comes round,
He's always smiling

Where the old ladies sit by the garden wall
And they never hear the bluebird call
Never notice the leaves that fall cause they're all crazy

Where the red bus stands by the great big gate
The red bus that's always late,
You know why it's always late
Cause it's always empty


Funny, funny, funny, funny, oh so funny that's it's making me cry
Funny, funny, funny, funny, oh so funny Lord, sometimes I wish I could die.

Now this pagan life is getting me down, my brow is filled with a furl and a frown
My eyelids lower as low as can be but I'm not sleeping.

I wander round that Brixton Square with the bottles strewn everywhere
Under tables and under chairs and they're all broken
Where the big red face of the man on the beat Says Hey, have you had something to eat?
Thrusts out his yellow teeth, they're all for biting

Where I don't have a cent and I don't know how I'll pay the rent
I think I'll turn bent and make some money


So if you know a way I can go from out of this show you know
You could give me a golden glow but you're not trying
You'd never lift a regular hand, you call me a lazy man
Who on earth will ever understand I'm really trying

So I'm going to the house upon the hill, the place where they give you pills
And where the doctors they don't kill cause they're so friendly

Where the red bus stands by the great big gate
The red bus and it's always late, you know why it's always late

Because it's always empty"


Live Version on the BBC 1973

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Leisure Society?



EXTRACT: "Under the rule of the working class, as opposed to that of the capitalist class, we could do away with unemployment virtually at a stroke - by offering everyone useful work in nationalised industries and workplaces. At the same time we would abolish such unnecessary and parasitical sectors such as advertising, insurance, speculative banking, etc. In that way, we can certainly get average working hours down to 21 hours - no wild-eyed Shangri-La, as the likes of the Adam Smith Institute would have us believe, but an eminently practical project that can be delivered right here on earth. We fight not just for the right of workers to have the time to think, to do politics, absolutely vital though that is - but also for the right to daydream, to be lazy, just as the privileged intellectual strata has done since the dawn of class society. By such means, the working class as a whole ceases to be a slave class and can become the ruling class."
Read More

Friday, February 12, 2010

CPGB's 'new' Draft Programme




 OPENING SECTION - 'OUR EPOCH':


"The present epoch is characterised by the revolutionary transition from capitalism to communism. The main contradiction is between a malfunctioning capitalism and an overdue communism.
Capitalism creates the abundant material wealth necessary for universal human freedom. Capitalism also creates its gravedigger, the working class. As imperialism, finance and monopoly capital superseded the period of mature capitalism in the late 19th century, it showed that the capitalist system was in decline and attempting to put off socialism by one means or the other.
The October 1917 revolution in Russia marked the beginning of the present epoch. Socialism was transformed from the realm of theory to that of practice. However, the workers’ state in backward Russia was left in asphyxiating isolation. Social democracy betrayed the goal of socialism for the sake of gaining substantive reforms within capitalism. A whole raft of reforms were in fact conceded. The capitalist class was determined that there should be no more Octobers.
Meanwhile, imperialism sponsored civil war, armies of intervention and economic boycott to strangle socialism in its cradle. Hence in Russia there was poverty not abundance. Soviet society had to be militarised if it was to survive. Workers could not exercise democratic control over society. Indeed, as a collectivity the working class decomposed. Under such conditions bureaucratic deformation was bound to occur. However, in the mid-1920s ‘socialism in one country’ became official policy in the Soviet Union. The symbolic link with the world revolution was broken. In the late 1920s Stalin oversaw a counterrevolution within the revolution. The re-enslaving of workers, the re-enserfing of peasants, monocracy, terror, the gulag and social madness followed. Any possibility of corrective reform closed. The eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 definitively confirms that there is no national road to communism."

Support the 'Right to Die'


EXTRACT: "Clearly then, majority public opinion is firmly against the current suicide laws in this country. In fact, you can say with reasonable confidence that most people are positively for ‘assisted suicide’ - that is, support the ‘right to die’. We in the CPGB fully share this healthy, pro-human sentiment, having absolutely no moral objections or problems with suicide: with someone wanting to end their life, especially if they have been subjected to a long and cruel process of humiliating - maybe even dehumanising - physical and mental suffering. Obviously, this is not “Nazism” - as often stupidly, and hysterically, claimed by many ‘pro-lifers’ and religious fanatics, Rather, it is a recognition that the quality of life - dignity - is just as important as its quantity, or duration. Everyone should have the greatest possible degree of conscious choice when it comes to the manner of their dying, as Terry Pratchett correctly says, just as they should have control over their own life process".
READ MORE: Right to a Dignified Life - Right to a Dignified Death

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"I Feel So Good" (Richard Thompson)


"I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
I feel so good I'm going to take someone apart tonight
They put me in jail for my deviant ways
Two years seven months and sixteen days
Now I'm back on the street in a purple haze

And I feel so good, and I feel so good
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

I feel so good I'm going to make somebody's day tonight
I feel so good I'm going to make somebody pay tonight
I'm old enough to sin but I'm too young to vote
Society's been dragging on the tail of my coat
Now I've got a suitcase full of fifty pound notes
And a half-naked woman with her tongue down my throat

And I feel so good, and I feel so good
Oh I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

They made me pay for the things I've done
Now it's my turn to have all the fun
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

And I feel so good, I feel so good
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
Oh Oh Oh
I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
Hm break somebody's heart
Break somebody's heart
Hm break somebody's heart
Oh break somebody's heart"
I Feel So Good (Electric)
I Feel So Good (Acoustic)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Us and Them Britain


EXTRACT: "During the past few decades we have all lived through a gruelling ideological offensive against the very idea of equality or ‘redistributory politics’ - even if they did have the sheer cynical gall to sanctimoniously pontificate about their commitment to ‘equality of opportunity’ (ie, to the continuance of gross inequality). For the Thatcherites, Blairites and Brownites - and no doubt their successors - it was glorious to get rich, with the promotion of economic self-interest and selfishness becoming virtual government policy. Indeed, did not Peter Mandelson - speaking on behalf of the Blair team and the entire New Labour project - famously declare that “we are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”? ‘Have no fear’ was the online message from the doyens of Cool Britannia: if you are a dynamic go-getter you will rise to the top - even if it means someone else will have to sink to the bottom. But they almost certainly deserved their fate anyway, for being lazy and not half as dynamic as you are". READ MORE:
Us and Them Britain