"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, May 22, 2014

SWP: Outriders for the Establishment


EXTRACT: There is another big problem with the SWP’s overall approach. In the May 6 Socialist Worker we discover that the comrades want to build an “anti-racist core” in the working class.2 In reality though, that does not amount to much more than standing outside Ukip meetings idiotically shouting ‘Racist!’ at those going inside. But it is pretty clear that there is already an “anti-racist core” in the working class - as well as in society as a whole. Yet, if we were to believe the SWP, we would have to draw precisely the opposite conclusion: not only the 30% or so who vote for Ukip in the EU elections will be supporting a “racist” party, but so too will about 99% of the others - Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, No2EU ... A racist landslide, it seems.

Bluntly, the SWP is being tactically, strategically, politically and theoretically stupid. It is placing itself in a position where the mainstream parties, especially the Tories - appreciate the irony if you can - are able to turn around to the SWP and say, ‘Thanks for the good job you are doing for us’ - as outriders for the Westminster establishment. The implication of Stand up to Ukip is that you can vote for any of the ‘respectable’ parties - that is entirely unproblematic. As Stand up to Ukip innocently declares on its website, “people of goodwill” must come together to oppose Ukip “regardless of our differing views on Europe or other political issues” - not much ambiguity there: vote Tory if you have to.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Clarkson: Beyond the Pale

Reactionary to his marrow

EXTRACT: For communists, however, whether Clarkson used the word ‘nigger’ or not is ultimately not the main point, not that we would make light of such things: words do obviously matter. But it would be a mistake to think of him purely as an obscenely highly paid TV celebrity or just another bigot, though both those statements are true. He clearly has a political agenda of sorts. It was surely no accident that he was defended by Farage, the personification of Little England narrow-mindedness, and has a regular column in The Sun: making a united stand against this ‘politically correct’ madness forced upon patriotic Brits by the gay-loving, hoodie-hugging, dope-smoking, metropolitan liberal/lefty elite - who lost us the empire.

This reactionary nostalgia seemed to surface in a Top gear special shown in March and filmed in both Burma and Thailand, the three presenters on a “mission” to build a bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand.6 At the completion of the task, an Asian man is seen walking into shot, to which Clarkson comments: “But there’s a slope on it”. This is a catch-all derogatory term for Asian people, used as a racial slur against Japanese and other Asians in US World War II-era movies and novels - and especially about the Vietnamese by US soldiers during the imperialist war in that country. ‘Slope’ just goes with the whole package of anti-foreigner, male-chauvinist politics that Clarkson almost perfectly embodies.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ukip: Part of the Mainstream Chauvinist Consesus

Nigel Farage: all together against outsiders

EXTRACT: At the end of the day Ukip’s shrill, loud, anti-immigrant message does not fundamentally differ from the mainstream national chauvinist consensus, which combines bourgeois or institutional anti-racism with British nationalism. Ukip just has a more extreme or virulent petty bourgeois version, spiced through with a visceral hatred for the ‘politically correct’, same-sex marrying, metropolitan liberal elite and feckless ‘scroungers’ - whether they be migrants or not.

Equally, there is no reason to disbelieve Ukip when it says it is a “non-racist” party. Nigel Farage genuinely wants Britons, including previous immigrants and their descendants, to unite around the union jack against non-British outsiders - Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, etc. One big happy family. Just like Gordon Brown, Farage wants British jobs for British workers, regardless of whether they are called Smith or Patel - and anyone who does not like that, such as Lampitt or Henwood, will get their marching orders.