Saturday, April 30, 2005


Salve Compagni di ogni nazione e lingua.

Vi parlo da queste pagine americane, prova tangibile della possibilità di superare confini "etnici" e di dare verità al sentimento internazionalista che ci accomuna.

Volevo spendere qualche parola sulla situazione politica italiana attuale.

Il nostro presidente del consiglio dei ministri, on. Silvio Berlusconi, non smentendo la sua pessima reputazione, ha provveduto a fare il classico "reimpasto di governo." Dopo le gloriose elezioni d'aprile, in cui la coalizione di sinsitra, guidata nel sud dal partito di Rifondazione Comunista, ha stracciato la destra Fascista, e dopo la fuga di alcuni ignavi politici che riportano al nome di UDC, la Destra Italiana, guidata dal liberale Berlusconi ha preferito tirare l'asso dalla manica, ricostituendo un governo che non rappresentà più la scelta degli italiani. Quanto ha fatto dà ragione solo a noi, che siamo convinti della bontà del sistema democratico, ma quello vero, non lo sfacciato oligarchismo mascherato da democrazia che propugnano tanto i governanti Bush, Blair e non ultimo Berlusconi. L'unica opzione possibile è rappresentata dalle elezioni subito, che paradossalmente permetterebbero alla destra di ottenere l'onore delle armi invece della meschinità di cui si stanno coprendo. Compagni, l'ora della nostra rimonta, per l'avvento del momento di transizione che noi chiamiamo Comunismo, si avvicina.

New Translations of Debord

Bill Not Bored ( has announced some interesting progress on a recent project, as follows:
  1. We have translated all of the first volumes of "Guy Debord, Correspondance" (1957-1960, and 1961-1964), neither of which have been in English before. So far we have uploaded the letters to or concerning Ivan Chtcheglov, Socialisme ou Barbarie and the Zengakuren. Scroll to "Letters" on

  2. We are the online publishers of two pirated translated of new books by Cornelius Castoriadis, a co-founder of Socialisme ou Barbarie. Neither has ever been in English translation before. See and

  3. We have begun a series of essays on "Money and Literature." Scroll to the bottom of

  4. We have finally worked out the weaknesses of Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" with respect to Debord's "Society of the Spectacle." See

  5. This Foucault/Debord commentary is an extended footnote to the beginnings of our meditations on "the prison." See "All the World's A Prison" at

  6. We have resumed selling situationist memorabilia. See

  7. For a very good read, see "Dancing in the Streets! Anarchists, IWWs, Surrealists, Situationists & Provos in the 1960s, as recorded in the pages of the 'Rebel Workers' and 'Heatwave'" (Charles H Kerr, 2005)
Best wishes for May Day, etc
Bill Not Bored

Friday, April 29, 2005

Iraqi Labor Leader Hassam Juma: We Will Defend Our Oil

An Iraqi oil workers union has challenged the largest subcontractor operating in Iraq.
Picture from In These Times

Iraqi labor unions have been gaining steady ground since the fall of Sadam Hussien. A blog maintained by Iraqi Union Solidarity can be found here. Much activity has focused on Basra, but militant union activity is taking place all over Iraq. New freedoms are a double edged sword - the direct authoritarian controls of the Bathists are gone, only to be replaced by the brutal chaos of capitalist imperialism at its worst. Nevertheless brave brothers and sisters are taking a stand to protect their interests against rampant corporate greed. An interview with Hassam Juma can be found here.

The following is from a recent Alternet article:
As U.S. and British forces entered Baghdad on April 9, 2003, and the Saddam Hussein regime crumbled, those who had been driven underground by Hussein's rule began to breathe again. From Syria, Britain, Scandinavia and elsewhere, exiled trade union radicals began to make the long journey home.

The first post-Saddam days saw a ferment of labor organizing. A general strike broke out in Basra, after the British troops tried to install a notorious ex-Baath Party leader as mayor. Within a month, the city already had a labor council bringing together many new unions.
A recent article on Iraqi trade unions written by Giuliana Sgrena can be found here

French Socialists Vote 'Non' II

There are continued hopeful signs of a defeat of the European Constitution in France. The people of Europe are realizing that, although a internationalist tendency is desirable, this Constitution does nothing but put chains onto the everyday people of Europe while institutionalizing neo-liberal, pro-war, imperialist policies.
The awakening to reality began on February 4, when 82% of delegates in France's largest trade union confederation, the CGT, voted to endorse the "no". This was a blow to the CGT's own leadership, which had come out for "yes". The rumblings began to be heard in the ranks of the Socialist Party, whose first secretary François Hollande had railroaded through an internal party referendum which narrowly endorsed the Constitution before anyone had had time to read it.

Read more here and here

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Liberal Democrats are still liberals!

I'm sorry, but over the past few weeks, apart from suffering Tory propaganda every time I step outside, I've been observing a rather worrying new trend in my fellow Brits. It seems that after eight years of the Cheshire cat grin, people are getting sick of New Labour. Now this in itself is fair enough: the disturbing nature of this trend is the increasingly widespread perception among voters that the Liberal Democrats are to the left of Labour. This, too, is perhaps a forgivable assumption. The media often rattles on about the Lib Dems being centre-left, and replacing Old Labour.

Unfortunately, while this is forgivable, it's also bollocks.

Let's not forget that the mass media wants two things from the British public: 1) the majority of people (well, active voters) to accept that everything is going swimmingly and 2) for those who see through the charade to be channelled into a nice, safe and ineffectual political cul-de-sac. The Liberal Democrats are that cul-de-sac. Yes, they make a lot of nice promises. Council tax, war, detention without trial, costly nursing, tuition fees? Sure, we'll get rid of those for ya! However, we cannot forget that however socially liberal they are, the Liberal Democrats are capitalists first and foremost. Even worse, they don't have the left-wing members Labour does.

The Liberal Democrats are not to the left of Labour. Not to the average Labour Left activist, councillor or MP. Because sometimes we forget these people are out there. All those members and ex-members who're horrified at what New Labour has done to their Party. The Lib Dems opposed the minimum wage, want to break up the NHS and run it on market rules. They would scrap the New Deal, the Child Trust Fund, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Pension Credit. However much harm Blair and his post-Thatcherite brand of neo-liberalism have done to the labour movement, we should never fall into the sectarian trap of denying the good he has done.

New Labour has poured money back into the public sector, and Brown even looks like he has an affinity for the dreaded "tax and spend" of yore. These aren't left-wing policies, but they help ordinary working people. Another Tory government would scrap this. Yes, it's highly improbable that Howard's savagely populist rhetoric will get the Tories into power, but it's sure as smeg not worth risking it for the Lib Dems. Nothing good could come of a Lib Dem victory, or even an increase in their MPs. The Lib Dems swing from left to right, depending on their audience, and then they forget about any promises as soon as they're in power.

To hammer the point home, consider that in Scotland the Lib Dems even backtracked on their fundamental opposition to tuition fees and the council tax, suddenly deciding to support them. The Liberal Democrats are environmentalists when they can snatch Green votes, but when they're in local government they go right ahead and ignore simple Green policies, such as diverting road-building funds into public transport. For everyone out there supporting them as a the left-wing alternative, think again.

What do you think will happen if New Labour sees their votes flying over to the self-declared "radical centre"? It certainly won't bring the Labour Left back into power, that's for sure.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Copy Left

The Creative Commons and Copy Left set has now been labelled as Communists by everyones' favorite capitalist, Billyboy Gates. Seems that Bill is feeling threatened by the growing surge of knowlege workers who are building tools, content and whatever else to share with their fellow man for mutual benefit. Certainly there is an element of capitialist struggle in all this - I'm certain that the bricks and mortar and finance capitalists would love nothing more than for the "soft-skills" to be devalued - a fiat of extracting surplus labour par excellance.

So Billy is the defender of the free working programmers and content developers of the world, protecting us from further wage degredation? I hope so! Of course the unionization (see this and this and this) history of Microsoft leaves one with doubts (he writes with a smirk).

Maybe these Creative Commons folks will begin to realize that Bill is in fact correct: because in fact their mission is in line with socialist (and anarchist for that matter) ideals. Read more on the copy left topic here and here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Visit from Condie?

I guess I am not sure how I should feel about this visitor to our blog (as recorded by NedStat).

9.22 April10:13Department of State, Washington, D.C., United States

Perhaps next time our visitor can leave a comment for us describing her interest.

Dance of the Underclass

I picked up this CD recently. I was mainly after a nice acoustical version of The Internationale I'd heard snippets of on some other blogs and websites. Turns out it was by Alistair Hulett. So I found this CD and it is really great. All the songs are political (Marxist) in nature. The music is pretty traditional Gaelic (Irish/Scottish) and the vocals are good but very folk - this is not the Dropkick Murphies or Flogging Molly

The song list includes (1-4 stars based on my personal and arbitrary tastes :) ):
  • Among Proddy Dogs & Papes - A tribute to Scottish identity in opposition to Power, and a bit of an homage to William Wallace (still don't know what a proddy dog or pape is tho)
  • Yuppietown - Yuppies moving in and forcing out working class people
  • After the Smoke Cleared - Nice personalization of Marx's theory of primative accumulation
  • Destitution Road - Trail of Tears for Scotts
  • He Fades Away - Too sad for my likin'
  • Suicide Town - Cool song about a grim little town
  • No Half Measures - About an alcoholic father, poignant
  • Farewell to Wiskey - Traditional Gaelic song about, you guessed it, an alcoholic
  • The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away - Excellent working class song, focuses on Australian solidarity
  • The Plains of Maralinga - About the tragedy of bomb tests in Australia and the killing of aboriginals
  • Dictatorship of Capital - Good song challenging the basic assumptions of the average non-socialist
  • The Internationale - Awesome version, basically the original Pottier text, with the middle verse a bit different (see below).
In Hulett's Internationale the middle verse is as follows:
No more deluded by reaction
On tyrants only we'll make war
The soldiers too will take strike action
They'll break the ranks and fight no more
and if those cannibals keep trying
To sacrifice us to their pride
They soon shall hear the bullets flying
We'll shoot the generals on our own side
Very powerful words, and quite appropriate in our own time of perpetual war. Truly we are being sacrified and the ruling classes are cannibals literally devouring our flesh and dignity, and sucking our very life-blood.

So this CD was hard to find but I finally did get it here a very friendly and prompt shop.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Dishevelled Hippies vs. Capitalism

The Green Party of England and Wales, that genuine citadel of ageing hippies, middle-class radicals and moderate socialists, have once again legitimised their image as the "nice party" of British politics.

Their recently published manifesto, while carefully avoiding the words "socialism" or "working-class" like the plague, is a triumph of reformist socialism. Old Labourites will be proud. In an age when the Big Three parties unashamedly endorse the politics of populism and opportunism, where business finances elections and the mass media sets the debate, it's nice to know that some people haven't abandoned their principles for a few extra votes.

Committed to such forgotten concepts as compassion and justice, their traditional "soft Left" policies are a warm reminder that socialism doesn't have to consist of Trots in turbans to attract popular appeal. The Greens, in all their reformist glory, probably accomplish more in their grassroots, cooperative platform than all the various hard Left sects, cults and fronts put together.

Of course, an electoral platform by itself isn't the answer. The Greens are, at best, Old Labour reborn for the 21st Century. But they do serve one, incredibly valuable use: they have recaptured the moral high ground from liberalism. Avoiding confrontational politics, their general attitude is eerily reminiscent of the average primary school: look after those who struggle, share your toys, respect the views of others, always be responsible, and don't be greedy.

Whatever the downside of their policies, the Greens’ support for inclusive, community-based politics and grassroots democracy may be just the tool to get people active in politics again.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Well Attired Socialists Unite!

Secular Human over at "A Socialist World is Possible!" states the following:
"Marxism means not only keeping pace with the changes in reality and keeping in step with the people but also being and thinking ahead of the people. So we do not need the benign blessing of the media, or anyone else for that matter, to enter the 21st century and that too adorned in the fashionable attires chosen by congenital anti-communists."
Fashionable self-assured Socialists marching towards a better tomorrow - what could be better!? I shamelessly admit that I myself am something of a slave to fashion, or as Alphonse might say, a dandy. It is also entirely possible that I just misunderstood the last line of the above, but no matter, I shall detourn and use the text for my own enjoyable ends.

The entire post is here: A Spectre - IV

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Fantasy r'formism

Bill over at Reasons to Be Impossible takes us on a productive though experiment today. What are your favorite fantasy reforms for your government to enact? Check out Bill's list at Reasons to be Impossible: Fantasy r'formism.

I had some comments for a few but would also like to add a modification to Bill's 1) War referendum - which would be simply that the state be disallowed from ever engaging in war at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Left Unity and Other Practical Jokes

PCS, meet the Internet. The Internet, meet PCS, the Public and Commercial Services trade union. One of the most militant unions in responding to the government's neo-liberal attacks on the public sector, PCS is notable as much for its comical value as its belligerant, take-no-sh*t attitude. Their leader, Mark Serwotka, is a prominent supporter of the RESPECT Coalition and was one of the new generation of left-wing trade union leaders.

But PCS is by no means united.

You've got the Moderates, who'd rather quit than strike; the Democrats, who'd do the same but be terribly apologetic; Left Unity, which doesn't give a damn about left unity; the Socialist Caucus, an exact replica except they hate the Socialist Party; the Secret Left, who pretend not to be infected by revolutionitis; 4 The Members who want to solve political sectarianism with honest individual sectarianism. There are too many to list.

Now this post might sound a little negative, but quite frankly I take comfort in knowing all of this. Whether it's my British trait of glorifying mediocrity or not, I can't be certain. But when you consider that PCS has been at the forefront of those trade unions opposing the government's cuts, all the while having to deal with these groups, how can they not win in the end?

See, now there's optimism and positive thinking for you.

James Connolly

James Connolly is a true hero of the working people. He was born in Scotland in 1868, but spent much of his life in Ireland (corrected thanks to a comment by John). He educated himself and became one of the most influential Marxists in history. He was a militant workers leader, leading the Irish Transport and General Worker's Union (ITGWU) in many clashes with the establishment.

In one of his many speechs, Connolly declared:
"Perhaps they will see that the landlord who grinds his peasants on a Connemara estate, and the landlord who rack-rents them in a Cowgate slum, are brethren in fact and deed. Perhaps they will realise that the Irish worker who starves in an Irish cabin and the Scots worker who is poisoned in an Edinburgh garret are brothers with one hope and destiny."
Connolly founded a workers' defence force, the Irish Citizens' Army (ICA), in response to endless agrression by the police and bosses. This was the first workers' Red Army in Europe and was a public militia.

The infamous Easter Rising took place on Monday 24, 1916 in Dublin, Ireland. Here Connolly led elements of the ICA in resistance against forces of the British Army and their backers. The army used artillery in their savage urban attack against the citizens and their homes. In the end, Connolly and many other martyrs fell. Connolly was shot at the firing range, strapped to a chair because he was unable to stand.

Black 47Connolly did not die in vain - his bravery inspires us still to stand up for what we know is right and just. The band Black 47 has an excellent song about the Easter Rising which I find particularly inspirational and I encourage folks to check it out.

(Note portions of this post summarized from an article by Ted Grant and Alan Woods, 2001)

Here are the lyrics:
Marchin' down O'Connell Street with the Starry Plough on high,
There goes the Citizen Army with their fists raised in the sky;
Leading them is a mighty man with a mad rage in his eye,

"My name is James Connolly - I didn't come here to die -
But to fight for the rights of the working man,
And the small farmer too;
Protect the proletariat from the bosses and their screws;
So hold on to your rifles, boys, and don't give up your dream
Of a Republic for the workin' class, economic liberty."

Then Jem yelled out "Oh Citizens, this system is a curse,
An English boss is a monster, an Irish one even worse;
They'll never lock us out again and here's the reason why,
My name is James Connolly, I didn't come here to die....."

And now we're in the GPO with the bullets whizzin' by,
With Pearse and Sean McDermott biddin' each other goodbye;
Up steps our citizen leader and roars out to the sky,
"My name is James Connolly, I didn't come here to die...

Oh Lily, I don't want to die, we've got so much to live for
And I know we're all goin' out to get slaughtered, but I just can't take any more;
Just the sight of one more child screamin' from hunger in a Dublin slum,
Or his mother slavin' 14 hours a day for the scum,
Who exploit her and take her youth and throw it on a factory floor.

Oh Lily, I just can't take any more,
They've locked us out, they've banned our unions,
they even treat their animals better than us;
No! It's far better to die like a man on your feet,
than to live forever like some slave on your knees, Lilly;

But don't let them wrap any green flag around me,
And for God's sake, don't let them bury me in some field full of harps and shamrocks;
And whatever you do, don't let them make a martyr out of me!
No! Rather raise the Starry Plough on high, sing a song of freedom;
Here's to you, Lily, the rights of man and international revolution!"

We fought them to a standstill while the flames lit up the sky
'Til a bullet pierced our leader and we gave up the fight
They shot him in Kilmainham jail but they'll never stop his cry
My name is James Connolly, I didn't come here to die...."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ideas for Freedom

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty is holding a "weekend of free and open socialist discussion" on the 9th and 10th June in north London called Ideas for Freedom. Costs are low and it looks like an interesting event if you're in the area this Summer.

"This year it will take place shortly after the British general election and immediately following major demonstrations against the G8 in Scotland at the start of July.
We will debate the condition of the British far left, its responses to Blair, and the prospects for renewed working class struggle in Britain, with a particular focus on the trade unions."

You might also want to
check out other AWL events. Jesus, listen to me - trying to sell it like a bloody capitalist!

Why Socialism?

"[The] crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals."

- Albert Einstein, 1949
These words were written over 50 years ago by the greatest scientist and the most intelligent man who ever lived. He came to the conclusion that socialism was the form of social organization that would bring about a world of peace and cooperation. See what else Dr. Einstein had to say by following the link below:

Albert Einstein - Why Socialism? (1949)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Labour without labour?

In the past, Socialists supported Labour candidates for one of two reasons: 1) they misunderstood the red-tinged capitalism of the Labour Party or 2) they understood that the labour movement was intrinsically linked to the Party. Even though the Party leadership has always been at heart reactionary, prepared to progress only so far, there were always avenues within CLPs and affiliated groups through which working-class people could influence policy and organise on a large scale.

This is no longer true.

On paper, trade unions still reserve influence in the LP, but in practise the Blairite leadership is fundamentally isolated from the labour movement and the traditional Socialist wings within the Labour Party. It's an ongoing struggle, and one that the Left is currently losing, as can be seen from the massive decrease in both membership of and grassroots activity within the Labour Party.

This begs the question, where now for the trade unions?

RESPECT, a result of middle-class radicalisation and Muslim hostility towards the war in Iraq, will inevitably fail not because of the opportunism of their politics, but because thus far they have been unable to form any substantial lasting relationship with those unions now disaffiliated to New Labour. If and when they can achieve this, they may begin to make progress.

From this, we can see that the labour movement will be fundamental to pursuing a Socialist agenda in the UK. A while ago, various unions surprised the media by electing confrontational, left wing leaders, and the government has been forced to re-think many neo-liberal plans in the face of trade union opposition. But the link between New Labour and the unions survives.

After all the attacks on the public sector, union member dues are still being used to finance the Labour Party. Depending on your views on the Labour Party and its future, this could be justified or not. But either way, we must consider what the future of a labour movement wholly separated from the Labour Party could be.

It's something British Socialists should think very seriously about. The oft reported call for a "mass workers' party" is redundant in Britain without the mass support of organised labour.

Socialist Party views on New Labour and trade unions.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

British Fascist Out On Bail

Nick Griffin, Chairman of the neo-fascist British National Party, has been let out on bail, after been hauled before Leeds magistrates due to four charges of incitement to racial hatred. Griffin, along with BNP founder John Tyndall and activist Mark Collett were all charged following a police investigation sparked by a BBC undercover documentary of the party's racist underbelly.

Their arrest was welcomed by various organisations opposed to the controversial party, including Unite Against Fascism. Hopefully these moves, as well as the ineffective, anti-working class actions by BNP local councillors, will provide reason enough for voters disaffected with the mainstream parties to see through the false guise of respectability used by this neo-Nazi group.

In the run-up to the May 5th General Election, many are also hoping to oppose the BNP receiving a airtime to run their party election broadcast, starving them of media exposure.

However, while this is good news for Socialists and anti-fascists across Britain, support for the BNP is primarily the fault of ignorant, exploitative electoral programmes set out by Labour and the Tories. Only through public awareness and flexible government policy to meet the concerns of the electorate can these fascists be sent back to the political wilderness.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Italian Communist Party Victory

The center-left coalition led by the Italian Communist Party has won 16 of 20 regional elections. It seems clear that the corrupt neo-liberal Berlusconi is in his last days as president. The Red tide is continuing to rise!

Berlusconi suffers major defeat in Italian regional elections

Continued Progress for the Socialist Left

The Socialist Left Party is surging in Norway. Combined with Labour, and the Agrarians, the "Red-Green" alliance has more than 50% support from the electorate.

The Latest Poll: Continued progress for the Socialist Left [The Norway Post]

Book Meme

Hello. Thank you to Alphonse for forwarding this. Now I feel obliged to jump on the Book Meme bandwagon. I'm not sure that I am quite clever enough for this, however I'll give it a try.

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Reading this question makes me want to choose a book that won't get burned. But I'll go in the opposite direction and choose something that was probably subject to many book burnings over time, namely J K Huysmans Against Nature, mainly because I, too, want a gem encrusted tortise. Des Essientes certainly qualifies as idol worthy in my book.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Many. Ziggy Stardust comes to mind.

The last book you bought is:

Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission written in the 1975 by Micheal Crozier as a sort of summary of the problems facing "democracies" and a series of remedies.This book strikes my as the antithesis to the Anarchists Cookbook; certainly the title The Capitalists Cookbook would be a much more appropriate title than "Crisis in Democracy."

The last book you read:

The last book I finished was the Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan.

What are you currently reading?

Bigot Hall by Steve Aylett. Totally hillarious and brilliant. One of his best.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Firstly I don't believe in desert(ed) islands. But in the spirit of the question:

The Three Imposters by Arthur Machen
The Science Fiction of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
Slaughtermatic by Steve Aylett
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus

I would probably take the same books with me to an island like GITMO, too.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

Laura because she is my wife
Anna because she is my friend
Target Audience because he's my blog-mate

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Election Announced: Does Anyone Care?

It's Springtime in Britain. The buses continue to ignore their time-tables, the weather refuses to get better, plumbers remain under the delusion that refitting a shower should set them up financially for life, the government's been shown up by a TV cook over school-meals, our regressive Council Tax is easting away at the wages of the low-paid, Labour and the Tories are chasing The Daily Mail voters and the hang 'em 'n' flog 'em brigade, the Army continues to occupy a foreign country under false pretences, and it's time for another General Election in good ol' Blighty.

Widely speculated for several weeks, Blair has finally announced a new election scheduled for May 5th. The question is, does is actually matter? In 2001, despite winning a second term of office with another whopping majority, New Labour looked on as millions of voters abstained. The EU elections saw the lowest voter turnout since 1918. After eight years of neo-liberal privatisation and "social partnership", few now believe New Labour offer a progressive alternative to the Tories - and thanks to First-Past-The-Post, the so-called "mass workers' party", of which we hear so much from the opportunists of the Left, will never materialise.

Faced with a Labour Party intent on "healing the rift" between British liberalism and the labour movement, voters are now seemingly left in a most unappetising position, where an abstention may be the most progressive option available. However, there is good news for Socialists in the UK, however unlikely it may seem. The "Loony Left" lives on, several years now after Blair declared the class war dead and buried. Constituency Labour Party branches continue to propose Socialist candidates, and they are being elected, despite the spin New Labour woos the business community with. Hope lies within our ability, the ability of the British Left, to reclaim the traditional aims and goals of the labour movement and its representatives.

Opposition to the war in Iraq fuelled popular frustration with the distinct lack of progress under the current government. Trade Unions are beginning to stick up for themselves, electing left-wing leaders and taking a more political role. The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the Socialist Campaign Group, the Labour Left Briefing, Save the Labour Party, Labour Reform - all of these groups and more, not to mention legions of left-wing members, are working hard to bring the Labour Party back to the labour movement. The Labour Party is too ingrained in our culture to replace it with opportunist groups like the RESPECT Coalition.

Progress is being made, but it takes time and effort to make it happen. Sure, Labour isn't glamorous, it will always be a struggle against the traditional Labour elite, but Labour governments politicise the population, increase living standards and offer the working-classes representation. We mustn’t glorify Labour's past; it has many flaws. But we mustn't forget what we owe to it, and we can't forget how far it can take us. There is a struggle going on at the moment, but it isn't between the middle-class pro-business parties the media shows us, it's inside the British labour movement, and it's for the soul of our Labour Party.

If you think New Labour are just as bad as the Tories, you've never lived under a Conservative government. Support the Labour Party, but support it on your terms. Join the Party to change the Party. You have to participate to make a difference! Let's get left-wing Labour Councillors and left-wing Labour MPs elected, let's make sure those pesky backbenchers are ready to defy Blair and represent our interests in Parliament come May 5th.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Workers Independent News

So I've stumbled across another Left radio network - huzzah! This one has a focus on labor issues. Listen online now and check out the site to learn how to get your local station to carry their programming. Here's the link:


Monday, April 04, 2005

The Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio

OK, so I'm a convert. I've heard some Air America Radio shows in the past and they basically struck me as lamer versions of The Daily Show with John Stewart. This is not to say that I do not appreciate John and the gang and their crazy hijinx - but they are hardly the militant Left.

But lo and behold Randi Rhodes. This chick rocks the cashbah! Tonight I watched HBO's documentary "Left of the Dial" which is sort of a version of the Air America story. Very good stuff, and a lot of focus on Randi and her program aptly called "The Randi Rhodes Show."

In any case I encourage everyone to check her show out, and also watch the documentary if you can. It is also worth noting that Air America Radio is the fastest growing radio program network in the history of radio, capturing over 400,000 listeners in 1 month with basically one affilate (in NYC). After a little over 1 year, the station has over 53 affiliates and beats all the conservative shows in most major markets. Amazing? Maybe, but it shouldn't be.

Truely this shows that there are deep rifts in Capital right now. Otherwise this programming would not be allowed to exist. It serves the purpose of some segment of capital, a powerful segment that is at war with the neocon agenda, but be certain that it is NOT against neoliberal economics. It is interesting to note that Chuck D's show has recently been cancelled. I guess with over 50 affilates Air America doesn't need the black listeners anymore, at least not the radical ones.

So what am I saying? Listen to it for sure, but with a grain of salt. The nice thing about O'Reilly and that lot is you know where he is coming from but damn, it is bloody nice to hear someone on air saying stuff you agree with!

Listen Live to Air America (RealPlayer)

HOME: The Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio

Saturday, April 02, 2005

French to Vote ‘Non’ on New EU Constitution

France's socialist left is on the verge of sinking the ultra-business-friendly EU Constitution.

“All that counts is the word ‘no’ and what it means: rejection of a world which arouses far more anxiety than hope. One may judge the gesture unreasonable, but it is at least comprehensible that people who feel they have no way of influencing the course of events … should seize hold of the only lever available to them.” says economist Henri Guaino.

Europe’s future in doubt as co-ordinated campaign urges French to vote ‘non’ on new EU constitution - [Sunday Herald]