Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guardians of Law and Order

From Ian Bone's blog
Case Study One: Gerald Kaufman MP fraudulently claimed £750 for a Bang and Olufsen television on his parliamentary expenses.

He was not prosecuted but asked to repay the £750

Case Study Two: A young woman with no previous is alleged to have looted a Bang and Olufsen television from a store in Manchester

She was remanded in custody to crown court to get a sentence longer than 6 months


Kaufman could be seen in parliament today demanding ROBUST action against rioters. Robust…..robust..fucking ROBUST….FUCKING ROBUST…..IF I HEAR THAT AGAIN…………………….ROBUST AAAARGGHH!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

order reigns in Tottenham, order reigns in Clapham

“Order prevails in Warsaw!” declared Minister Sebastiani to the Paris Chamber of Deputies in 1831, when after having stormed the suburb of Praga, Paskevich’s marauding troops invaded the Polish capital to begin their butchery of the rebels.

“Order prevails in Berlin!” So proclaims the bourgeois press triumphantly, so proclaim Ebert and Noske, and the officers of the “victorious troops,” who are being cheered by the petty-bourgeois mob in Berlin waving handkerchiefs and shouting “Hurrah!”
Who is not reminded of that drunken celebration by the “law and order” mob in Paris, that Bacchanal of the bourgeoisie celebrated over the corpses of the Communards? That same bourgeoisie who had just shamefully capitulated to the Prussians and abandoned the capital to the invading enemy, taking to their heels like abject cowards. Oh, how the manly courage of those darling sons of the bourgeoisie, of the “golden youth,” and of the officer corps flared back to life against the poorly armed, starving Parisian proletariat and their defenseless women and children. How these courageous sons of Mars, who had buckled before the foreign enemy, raged with bestial cruelty against defenseless people, prisoners, and the fallen.

“Order prevails in Warsaw!” “Order prevails in Paris!” “Order prevails in Berlin!” Every half-century that is what the bulletins from the guardians of “order” proclaim from one center of the world-historic struggle to the next. And the jubilant “victors” fail to notice that any “order” that needs to be regularly maintained through bloody slaughter heads inexorably toward its historic destiny; its own demise.

“Order prevails in Berlin!” You foolish lackeys! Your “order” is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will “rise up again, clashing its weapons,” and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing:

I was, I am, I shall be!

Rosa Luxemburg. Berlin 1919. shortly before she was murdered by victorious reaction

Monday, July 18, 2011

No Class (my arse)

They say that class don't matter,
But that just cannot be,
The jury said they're innocent,
They each had a degree.
No previous bad character,
And references galore,
A soldier and a nurse for friends,
Well who could ask for more?
They say we are all equal,
It's simply just not true,
The way the law applies to me,
Does not apply to you.
We all sat in the courtroom,
Accused of the same crime,
You're getting on with your life,
I'm in here doing time.
I'm angry at the system,
The judges and the law,
That sit in ivory towers,
The rich above the poor.
This is our 'big society',
It isn't worth a cus,
There'll always be one law for them,
Another one for us.

Sean Cregan A5769CE HMP Wormwood Scrubs

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

solidarity is a two way street

from the Norfolk Community Action Group
by Ruahri ó Cléirigh

It’s been an interesting week, watching the media talk up a riot, public servants ‘STRIKING…RALLYING…MARCHING!’

Yet it seems it doesn’t have enough ‘oomph’ anymore for the press. It’s only newsworthy if there’s a ruckus involving ‘latchers on’ from the ‘anarchist movement’…heaven forbid an anarchist might themselves be part of a Labour Party recognised trade union…


Likewise it’s been an interesting and pleasing week watching friends and comrades rising to the challenge in defending the unions and taking the struggle to the streets against the Tory/Liberal ‘coalition’ government…who seem hell bent on destroying our welfare state…much to the derision of the press and unions in equal measure of course…

It’s also been a sad sad week. A week where comrades have been taken from us…

You know solidarity is a great great thing. There’s not enough of it about these days. So it fills me with joy to see it on display.

It is however a two-way street. And it is rarely reciprocated.

Over the last year I’ve spent a lot of my time involved with my organisation in our local ‘Coalition Against The Cuts’. Those on the inside ‘leading the fight’ are a hodge podge bunch, of local and regional union officials, some permanently involved in the usual paper-sale and petitioning for this months big issues, others less politicised but falling into place behind their more ‘senior’ union members. Hidden caucuses, caucuses hidden or within caucuses that are hidden from caucuses…

They use great and meaningful words like ‘worker’ and ‘working-class’. Even…’comrade’…although it’s often followed my a snigger and a red face…

These words however just seem to roll off the tongue.

There’s little passion there. It’s as if they’re acting out a part and the main lines of the script have become their catch phrases.

They talk of ‘fighting’ and ‘uniting the class’…

And this friends is where they start to lose me…when they eagerly discuss booking whole trains to take down to demos held in London which would ‘easily be filled to the carriage’ by a happy throng of ‘the class’…who would be eager to ‘rally to the cause’…

Only it’s all just fantasy…

As is all the talk of ‘the class’…

Class… They don’t belong to my class. Increasingly…they don’t belong to my class…Increasingly they don’t share the same life experiences, of dole, and housing office queue…of the prison…

They work for the state, they increasingly have the degree (that’s not a dig), often work in comfy offices, they have ‘expenses’, and something called’by the mile’… they work a rigidly set working week, hours never to be tampered with or there’ll be hell to pay…most of us don’t…and they have things called pensions…and their idea of conflict with the state…

Many of us too are currently in conflict with the state…and all it’s little branches…it’s offshoots…it’s wheels and centres of enforcement…

They work in the police station, the social services, the job centre, the housing office…’the public services’…the very services that many of these individuals will never ever have to utilise themselves… the very services that many of us have to deal with on a regular basis when we’re unemployed or in need of housing or desperate for work and money…or banged up…

‘NOW JUST HOLD ON!’ I hear you cry…’There’s nothing wrong with having a degree or working for the state and going on strike over pensions!’

You’re absolutely right, there’s not and my hat goes off to them…Likewise I remain steadfast and committed to the principle ‘a grievance to one is a grievance to all, I SHALL NEVER CROSS A PICKET LINE…’

But It would be nice if the solidarity that you and I believe in would be…and here’s that word again’…’reciprocated’.

It would be nice to know that those on the marches and rallies waving their flags shouting ‘support us’ and ‘join us’…that those same people this Monday weren’t going to be throwing us out of our houses, taking or children away, cutting our dole money, putting us in prison, and being the holders of the keys to our cell doors…

Because they will be.

Yes it would be nice if there was…solidarity…

The recent attempts made by the Norfolk Community Action Group within the local coalition to try and bridge this situation fell on deaf ears. So we chose to part company.

Our arguments that if they want ‘popular support’, and yes folks that does mean engaging with the Sun reader and the Daily Mail reader, then they will have to stop solely ‘agitating’ within their unions…an ‘agitation’ that often is nothing more than an email and a flyer on the union notice board or a phone call to the very same people who attended the meeting the week before, the pathological ‘preach to the converted’ who can only be bothered if it affects ‘them and theirs’…and get off their arses and physically start engaging with their local population explaining and arguing why they BELIEVE they are RIGHT to take the actions they are taking, in plain words with the use of plain English, without the use of a pre-script or the handing over of a leaflet that will never ever ever in a million years dear God get read because it’s cold, it’s heartless, it will not engage…

It can not engage.

Because there’s no soul in a leaflet…or a petition…especially when it’s a petition for OUR benefit…and our benefit only…

Yes that means job centre staff walking onto council estates, Yes that means teachers walking onto council estates, Yes that means housing officers walking onto council estates…Yes that means social workers walking onto council estates, Yes that means trade unionist from each and every sector of public services in this ‘country’ of ours walking onto council estates…

And engaging…

Not destroying peoples lives and being the first port of call of the oppressive state…

Only they won’t will they?

They won’t because there is a barrier…

They won’t because there is a barrier of ‘us’ and ‘them’…

They won’t because there is a barrier of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and ‘service provider’ and ‘service user’…

That is…dare I say it…a barrier…of one class against another, even if that ‘class’ can not be easily differentiated. They would if they could though comrades…’differentiate that is…

Long gone are the days of Dave Douglass and the great Hatfield Main branch of the NUM, all the miners, the steel workers, the toilers, the manufacturers, the print workers…

They have been taken over…by the bureaucrat…the degree in trade union studies…and the Tolpuddle Martyrs, more an historical quaintness than a model, example, direction and template of struggle…


Increasingly…not…my… fight…

Unless miraculously new Dave Douglass’ appear and return the trade unions to their rightful place…holding meetings at the bottom of our streets, discussing and showing ‘solidarity’ and helping the unemployed with education and training, and building a real resistance to the aggressive Tory doctrine that has recently returned to plague us…


You know comrades, only 26% of the workforce in Britain today are unionised…and it’s falling daily…

They had better appear soon…before trade unions go the way of the Tolpuddle Martyrs..and become ‘a quaintness’..

Saturday, July 02, 2011

reflections on J30

Miliband on BBC yesterday

I must admit to heretical thoughts in the lead up to J30, the first concerted national strike action in response to the Condem assault has been the subject to paeons of hyperbole from the left press whose salivating coverage was mirrored by the fake horror of the right wing press at what one might have thought from the coverage was the presage to the establishment of a revolutionary commune.
the truth was that a one day strike by teachers, civil servants and college lecturers involved far less strikers than any of the TUC 'days of action' that peppered the early years of Thatcher's reign, all of which were derided by the Left at the time as tokenistic and ineffectual.
the day to day roles of those who were taking action was also problematic. the PCS, UCU, the NUT and the ATL all benefitted from the rapid expansion of white collar trades unionism in the 1980s, the majority of contact that the working class are likely to have had with their members is almost uniformly negative ; from the engineered failiure of the school system, its indoctrination and petty rules in preparation of a life of regimentation as a wage slave, to the policing of the undeserving poor by the fortnightly humilitation and sly vindictiveness of the Job centre interview. Those on strike on thursday would be back at their desks by friday investigating 'dole scroungers' and arranging the detention and expulsion of asylum seekers; there was little to promote solidarity from the wider working class, and much to permit their demonisation by the Goverment and press.
But that isn't the way it worked out. The ham fisted attempts to accuse the unions of greed in demanding high pensions at the expense of the private sector tax payer faltered as private sector workers recalled the bankers and bosses that stole their pensions and now sit pretty on the ConDem benches.
As Rick Dutton pointed out on facebook-
"I hated most of my teachers when I was a kid, always got shit off the Jobcentre when I went to sign on, regularly took crap from the housing office when I was homeless, have had bad experiences of prison officers, hate the police, despise careerist Trot trade union fact most public servants I've had contact with are c~~~s...but I wouldn't cross their picket line ;)"

Basic solidarity.

the Tower Hamlets ALARM website reports from the London demonstration:
I felt a bit funny marching with lots of teachers, they deserve a good pension and good money, but whenever I’m around teachers all I can remember is getting detention for some pointless reason, sexually repressed RE teachers flying into rage at homework not being done, art teachers thinking their class matters, French teachers convinced they can teach another language to a group of kids that are mostly failing English…the list goes on. But I marched with them, avoiding detention.

Clearly no one was expecting anything more than a few pickets and a fun family march, but the police hadn’t got the message, after a bit of walking and a few speeches a group began to move up Whitehall. A kettle sprang out at the crowd. Police lines formed to the shock of everyone. Snatch Squads (a gaggle of police out to snatch people away from the crowd) circled targeting anyone under 18 who wasn’t white, and then moved on to just grabbing anyone.

Here I saw teachers at their best, not the scum from my childhood, but concerned teachers jumping forward and grabbing back their students from the claws of the police. Teachers willing to confront the crazed uniformed thugs, a real solidarity between the EMA kids of last year and the striking staff off today. Brilliant.

Basic Solidarity.

In fact the only person in the country who appears to have swallowed the ConDem Bollocks is the sad sock puppet that it is rumoured is in charge of the Labour party.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

solidarity with anti fascist prisoners

Six antifascists were recently fitted-up and sent to prison. Because of ongoing legal issues, for the moment we are unable to say more about their case, but a full report will eventually be issued. Suffice to say, they have been well and truly fucked over and deserve our fullest support and solidarity. Please write to them. (One person has asked to be left off lists and therefere no longer appears here). As always, assume your letters are being read by our enemies and ensure you do not compromise your own security or that of others. Also please note that Thomas Blak and Austin Jackson are as yet unsentenced. For advice on writing to prisoners see the Leeds ABC website. La lucha continua!
Andy Baker (21 months)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd

Thomas Blak (Unsentenced)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd

Sean Cregan (21 months)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd

Ravi Gill (21 months)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd

Austen Jackson (Unsentenced)
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
PO Box 757
Du Cane Rd
London W12 OAE

Monday, June 27, 2011

1984 reviewed on amazon

1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four (Penguin Modern Classics)
by George Orwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.78
Availability: In stock
257 of 354 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely misleading, 11 Oct 2009
This review is from: 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Do not buy this book if you're expecting to find out anything at all about 1984, as this writer seems to have been living on a different planet. I was trying to do a bit of research into the influence of New Wave on cross-over dance music in the Mid-Eighties, but I found "1984" a complete waste of time... Jackson's "Thriller"?(the soundtrack of the summer, and the biggest selling album of all-time) - not mentioned; Frankie Goes To Hollywood (their breakthrough year leading to world pop domination) - not a whisper; Style Council? (Not Paul Weller's finest hour, but still an honest nod to the white soul roots of Mod culture) - you'd have thought they didn't exist if you read this book. Nik Kershaw? Ray Parker Junior? Sister Sledge? Nope, nope nope. Instead this man seems to have moped around in his room and at work, watching some kind of depressing news channel (was his remote broken? This isn't explained - but you'd have thought they'd have had MTV on at least one of the channels in his office). Orwell completely fails to capture the uplifting vibe that was the pop explosion of the summer of '84... maybe he lived in Norwood. 0 Stars.
Oh, and don't read "the Road to Wigan Pier" either, as we drove around for ages last August Bank Holiday before asking a traffic warden, who said that the sea was about 30 miles away, by which time it was too late. I don't think Orwell had actually ever been to Wigan. What does he do - just sit in his room making this stuff up for kicks or something? 0 stars also."

"graceless, voracious, crass, always on the take"

Glastonbury is nowadays a dull, corporatised affair, the place where middle aged advertising executives and public sector managers go to pretend that they are still as 'radical' and 'with it' as they were when they were 19 and once smoked a herbal cigarette at Live Aid. Even the (fairly limp) attempt by UKuncut to embarrass U2, was punctured by the festival security, determined to keep EavisWorld a safe place for tax dodgers.
The procession of the Bland was punctured by the discovery at 9 am sunday morning of the body of Christopher Shale, David Cameron's consituency chairman, in a portaloo in the exclusive VIP (ie pay for nothing) section of the site.
Although at the moment, this is not in the same class as other great 'dead tory' moments- Steven Millington is still all time champion on that score- the thought of him briefly surfacing for the third and final time before finally sinking beneath the feotid ocean of human faeces and urine, brings a certain song of joy to the heart.
once again: "Ha Ha Dead Tory!"

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Counterfire: when rape is relative...

Victoria Darbyshire Radio 5 "But rape is rape"
Kenneth Clarke "No it isn't"

There was a great deal of justified anger when the oiliest of an oily bunch, ken clarke suggested that certain catergories of rape should be considered lesser crimes. the outrage he caused brought many more out to join the Slut Walk protests at the start of June.
however as Sofie Buckland has shown on her blog he has an interesting co- thinker amongst the neo trots of the Counterfire site, Lindsey German, who regularly trumpets a bogus authority as "the voice" of a marxist 'true' femininism, and in doing so has promoted the Islamist burka as the epitome of feminist freedom (sic, sick)
Strauss-Kahn v. Assange

Counterfire have published an article by Lindsey German, questioning what it says about the French ‘left’ (or rather, Parti Socialiste) that a man with the reputation of Dominic Strauss-Kahn might be considered an acceptable Presidential candidate.

It takes the allegations made against him very seriously: the “truly shocking story”, with details of the accusations that Strauss-Kahn “physically and brutally” attacked a cleaner in his New York hotel room, is fully relayed.

The article doesn’t say he’s definitely guilty. Rightly: we don’t know yet. But it’s perfectly valid to discuss what the emerging picture of Strauss-Kahn’s behaviour tells us about the French political system and the sweeping under the carpet of vile sexist behaviour towards women in case it damages the cause.

Funny, then, that German is unable to apply the same analysis to the Julian Assange case. Of course, Wikileaks is of the left – German talks at great length on this video about the “great service they have done for us”, meaning the anti-war movement – unlike Parti Socialiste. She likes Wikileaks, thinks it needs defending, and so… participated in the exact same behaviour she’s accusing the French social democrats of here.

I’ve written about the Guardian letter calling for all charges to be dropped against Assange. You might have seen the set of Youtube videos of the Stop the War ‘Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange’ meeting, particularly the one where Tony Benn makes light of rape, suggesting violence is a necessary component for a crime to have taken place. Lindsey German pops up on another, with a toe-curlingly embarrassing attempt to dismiss the rape accusations against Assange just seconds after reiterating her solid feminist credentials; the case, she says, is “not about what happened, and nobody knows what happened in this case, it’s about the politics of ensuring Julian Assange is discredited” (around 8:16).

Could there be any clearer statement of utter contempt for Assange’s alleged victims here? They’re not genuine complainants, they’re stooges of the CIA. We don’t know what happened, but really, we do: nothing. Unlike the Strauss-Kahn case, you won’t find the allegations against Assange on the Counterfire site. As Angus Johnston has pointed out repeatedly, failure to accurately report the allegations has become a central tactic of the Assange Defenders Club. Their followers/listeners/readers don’t need to know the ‘facts’, because the conspiracy is obvious.

Just like DSK’s chums in the French political system, German springs to the defence of someone she is politically invested in defending, regardless of the ongoing struggle for rape allegations to be taken seriously; if we like them, if we appreciate their politics, if they’re on our side, they’re innocent and their accusers are lying for political reasons. Is German’s dismissal of the Assange allegations any different from Jean-Marie Le Guen’s desperate assertion that a conspiracy to bring down Strauss-Kahn is behind his arrest? Not really. You couldn’t slide a cigarette paper between their responses. German is on the side of taking rape seriously here because Strauss-Kahn heads the IMF and PS are a centre-left party, not America-kicking, conspiracy-busting internet cowboys.

The hypocrisy here is just another sad indictment of the state of the British left when it comes to feminism. This article was a nice opportunity to look a bit radical, to say something about gender and sex to keep those feminist credentials updated, but it fails miserably. Quite aside from the Assange issue, the article goes on to a generally pathetic attempt at feminist analysis, displaying all the hallmarks of today’s popular feminism picked up and turned round into something ‘socialist’; the impulse to zeitgeist (“the present political culture has turned a new page in its attitudes to women and sex”, the “culture of the new rich”), the anti-capitalism of idiots (casually linking “conspicuous consumption”, the sale of sex, women as “sex objects” and sexual assault in a way that’d make an anti-porn rad fem proud), the portrayal of a Big Bad Patriarchy (Berlusconi, check. Sarkozy, check. “politicians, bankers, industrialists and media tycoons”, check) over sober analysis of power, class interest and political expediency – there’s nothing here that couldn’t be answered by calling for more women politicians and a nice social democratic government to rein in the excesses of consumer culture.

It’s just so insufficient, as if wheeling out a few tropes of popular feminism, chucking in a few anti-capitalist stock phrases and name-checking some bad guys makes up for failing to stick to socialist feminist principles when it actually matters. It matters when it’s difficult. On Assange, German and her group Counterfire fell at the first hurdle, headlong into the mire of conspiracy and denial. The same cesspit fuels the defence of Strauss-Kahn, of all these rich powerful men this article rails hard against – the conspiracy rumours, the denial, the victim-blaming allow them to get away with rape and sexual assault. Forgive me if I remain somewhat sceptical of the commitment to feminism of a group who appear perfectly happy to throw this mud around when it suits them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

angry Brigade communique #1

from the AMP. download PDF here print and paste widely.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

OK, deep breath

these six posts which make up the first part of Captain bollox's magnum opus. The second part(entitled the ideology of the british left) I think still needs tidying up, and I will post it soon. Don't be scared off by the length it is worth persevering with.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Long Live the Spanish Revolution!

The democratic Revolutions that swept across the Middle East and North Africa were a response to the economic crisis, and the inability of the dictatorial elites of those countries to be able to respond to that crisis, and their determination to make the poorest of their society endure the pain of that crisis.
Ever since the protests began the question has been when and how will they spread to the West, where democracy might be the norm, but in fact means a five yearly 'choice' between one group of privately educated neo liberals and another, slightly posher group of neo conservatives.
Now the Spanish people have taken to the streets demanding direct, real democracy and not the sham of the parliamentary farce. In Madrid, Barcalona, Valencia Seville and Bilbao, as well as numerous smaller cities, the youth, sacrificed to a lifetime of unemployement by the austerity programme of the government, are demanding a place in the sun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Worker Dandyism

I might be too scruffy for this, but I dream of tweed and plus fours, I am a dandy trapped in a slobs clothes. I heartily endorse this, and agree that the revolution may not necessarily be televised but that is no reason for it not to be well dressed

The Worker-Dandyist Manifesto

1. The Working Class is paramount. Our Dandyism is subordinate to our class. Dandyism outside of the class is of no interest to us. Dandyism without class-consciousness is of no interest to us.
2. We are committed to total social change with the ultimate aim of absolute democracy. There is no blueprint for the New Society so we needn’t get into any pigeon-holing or championing of dead Russians just yet. Suffice to say, we are not vanguardists; we are of the seething, but smartly dressed, masses.
3. Proletarian revolution is not, as enemies of the class insist, about universally lowering living standards to the level we plebs are currently forced to live at. It is about raising our living standards to the highest levels achievable. We refuse to abandon the good things in life to those chinless dolts who have done nothing to assist in their production. We reject the stale crumbs flicked from the rich man’s table. We demand the entire bakery and one day we will take the entire bakery. What’s more; we will take the rich man’s table and ram it up his foetid posterior, one splintered leg at a time.
4. We define our Dandyism, in essence, as simply making as much of an effort as possible with the limited resources available. An effort in sartorial flair and individuality, an effort in civility, social responsibility and courtesy, and an effort in communal culture, welfare and hedonism. Our definition of Dandyism will most certainly conflict with the pompous elitists’ definition of Dandyism. Of course, we embrace and encourage popinjays, peacocks and coxcombs but we shall dispense with the conceitedness associated with such terms in favour of community and kindness.
5. The Worker-Dandy opposes sweatshop labour, child labour and forced labour. If you paid £5 for a new skirt then someone, somewhere has been paid, at most, pennies to manufacture it. The Worker-Dandy will never knowingly contribute to such exploitation.There are many ways and means of dressing well. Slavery is not one of them.
6. The Dandy will seek out what he or she regards as the very best in music, art and film. We will not allow ourselves to be bottle-fed shit by talentless, creatively bankrupt moguls. We are not affected one jot by any artificially created charts, polls or ratings and are equally unmoved by profit-driven advertising. Information is what we require to make choices, or, failing that, a coin.
7. We regard Worker-Dandyism as just one method of achieving greater happiness, friendship and social cohesion within the class. Dandyism is not for everyone and may be regarded as superficial by many. We agree: outward appearance is intrinsically superficial but, in the case of Worker-Dandyism, is the icing on the cake. Dandyism may also be thought of as silly. True enough, it is. Humans without humour are no fun to be around and fun is, after all, humanity’s raison d’être.
8. We reject religion and supernaturalism just as a growing child rejects Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy: as nothing but infantile fantasies passed from generation to generation and, in the case of organised religion, with the sole purpose of converting the class to fatalistic defeatism and apathy thus avoiding revolutionary desires. People are born atheists, they are converted to simpletons.
At worst, religion is a force for unmitigated evil directed by a hierarchy of deep-dyed degenerates with no regard for life, human or otherwise.
9. Worker-Dandyism is rational and therefore vehemently opposed to quackery. Pseudo-science is a leech that feeds on humanity both economically and physically. Reflexology, homeopathy, magnet therapy, etc., are all bunk. Snake-oil salesmen have always exploited the gullibility and desperation of the sick for financial ends and, while people are free to dispose of their earnings as they please, when people are discouraged from seeking proven medical treatment in favour of junk remedies we regard this as tantamount to criminal assault.
10. We are Anti-Fashion. Fashion, being a man-made, capitalist construct, is irrelevant. We do not change our tastes from month to month and do not need to change our wardrobe from season to season -excepting the demands of climate and weather. We appreciate that clothing design evolves through the ages but quality, style and function are, to a Worker-Dandy and, indeed, to anyone with an ounce of sense, what matters. Wear what you like, not what the High Street dictates.
11. Alcohol, when consumed imaginatively, responsibly and regularly, can act as a stimulus to hedonism, carnality and revolt. It should, therefore, be embraced with gusto.
12. The Worker-Dandyist International has no leaders, no structure and no organisation. We simply encourage YOU to declare yourself a Worker-Dandy, live by the spirit of this manifesto and encourage others to do so.

Brenda visits Dublin

the Irish and british media and goverments have been constantly informing us that the people of Ireland welcome the Windsor woman's visit
Here we see the masses who turned up to welcome the Queen

later a joyous crowd offered to take the Royal couple for a traditional Dublin supper
(ham sarnies anyone?)

Tomorrow Madge will be visiting Croke Park (yes THAT Croke Park!)
which I am sure will go down really well!

Honestly who thought that this was going to be a good idea?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nil out of two ain't bad

having been a bit previous with Maggie, it seems that my report of the demise of Class War was also a little premature;
Ian Bone reports from his blog:
The Class War Federation has long ceased to have any meaningful political or organisational existence. However the merchandise in hooded tops and shirts has thrived,the finances kept in good order, the website maintained and the occasional paper appearing, plus recent outings in London and Birmingham for the very fine CW banner…………all achieved by ten or so people round the country…….and a load more who though inactive identified with CW. About ten days ago a statement apppeared on the CW site and Wikipedia announcing the end of the CWF. I have no idea who put this out. There also apeared on the website blog a racist reply to someone enquiring about merchandise.This was placed via the admin page by someone not authorised to use it or somehow hacked the password and was clearly of malicious intent. It has now been removed. So I thought it was time to say something.

There are five of us in LondonCW and two of us – me and Jane Nicholl – will be leaving after the weekend. I’m going to the ALARM meeting on Sunday and if it turns out any good – and they’ll have us – we’ll probably throw in our lot with them. What others do elsewhere is down to them. I have no more right than anyone else to declare CW dead and would not want to…’s death has been declared before and I suspect the revivalist tendency wil surface again. If so and they continue in the original spirit of CW I’ll wish them well but my energies will be going elsewhere. I think the CW merchandising arm will probably continue in good health. And I post this in the true spirit of CW by someone who still best exemplifies the true spirit of CW – Patrick MaCroidain:’ Class War will never be gone not even if it only had one member, it would still cause havoc.’

Monday, May 09, 2011

Class War is not Dead!

Though it appears that Thatchers worm-addled, rotted corpse is still twitching enough to keep her out of the grave (for now), news has reached me that Class War has been wound up:
The following statement was issued by Class War on 3rd May 2011.

The Class War Federation is no more.

Given our inability to continue to function at an organisational level and the huge amount of debt that the organisation finds it self in we have no choice but to formally dissolve the group.

Given that we only have 5 paid up members it is the decision of the five of us to end our association and in doing so end the project known as Class War

I am somewhat depressed by this news; it is clear that with the departure of many of us who were a part of London CW a few years ago to pastures new, the responsibility of maintaining the paper and the group in London fell onto the shoulders of others; the weight of such has, it seems, proved beyond them.

Class War however is not dead, the class war continues.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

theres a rumour that was spread around town...

There are whispers that Thatcher has finally died
even if these prove once again to be premature..

Friday, May 06, 2011

Sunday, May 01, 2011

on AV

the political commentators all seem to be in agreement that ordinary people find AV too complex to understand and this is the reason that there appears to be little interest in next weeks referendum, and that the opinion polls which have shown a decided majority against changing the voting method reflect our collective stupidity and inbuilt conservativism.
seems bollocks to me.
AV is not hard to understand, and that is the reason that most people want little to do with it.
It has nothing to do with fairer votes and everything to do with ensuring a permament Lib dem presence in Govt.
for me the choice is simple- If you want to make Nick Clegg cry: Vote no

You know it makes sense

Thursday, April 28, 2011

a blank cheque

I won't be at Mayday this year, not because I am under bail conditions or about to have my door kicked in ( i hope), but because I am completely skint. Reports are sketchy but it appears that the numbers arrested today runs into the hundreds; amongst those rounded up in the pre-nuptual clampdown are Patrick Macroidan, Chris Knight, Camilla and Charlie Veitch. Alfie Meadows, the lad whose skull was smashed by a police truncheon at the pre christmas anti fees demos has been charged with "violent Disorder", although it is not clear whether this offence was commited before or after the pig put him into a coma!
Across the country social centres, squats and private homes have been raided. Anybody with a history of activism is in danger of being picked up.
Last week the BBC (who seem to be ignoring the clampdown completely, so enamoured are they in the happy perfect couple) reported that a spokeswoman for the police announced that Cameron had given them a blank cheque. Now we know what she meant.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Every little hurts...

Last week the son of friend was sacked by Tescos after twice collapsing at work and needing paramedical assistance. On the day that the Company boasted of record profits he was handed his cards for 'repeated sickness'.
There are seven Tescos In Reading,Two on the Oxford Road, and the company has just been refused permission to build another (though it will appeal and with the condem new rules on planning will almost certainly get permision). Elsewhere local opposition to Tescos total disregard to local communities and wishes has taken off in big style.
Last night the long running campaign to the attempts to build a Tescos in Stokes Row Bristol exploded when the Police attempted to shut down the squat that had been acting as a centre for campaigners. locals flocked to the sound of sirens and low flying helicopters.
Tesco has been trying to move in to stokes croft for over 2 years and has been unable to because of huge protests. They have had to move builders in under police escort and have 24 hour roof top private security. Last weekend Tesco opened and there have been non stop protests all week.

When I arrived the police would only tell me that I could not enter stokes croft for my “health and safety” and that it was to do with Tesco. Asking around there were various different explanations. Most people said that the police were raiding protesters houses throughout stokes croft. We could see across the police line approximately 10 riot vans and a riot squad entering the famous “Telepathic heights”. A house, like a lot in the area painted from head to toe in murals. One mural on the side of the block reads “No Tesco in Stokes Croft” in huge letters. Stokes croft is known in Bristol as the cultural quarters and spansonly a few thousand square feet of concentrated cultural activity not dissimilar to Camden in central London.

At something like 10PM a huge crowd landed on the front of stokes croft drawn by the lowflying helicopter with spotlight and the army of police emerging from 12+ riot vans dressed for combat. Pretty soon tension peaked as no explanation would be given for the roadblocks and there was intimidation on both sides.

I was on the junction of stokes croft high street when the police charged what was only at that point a croud (of about 100 but which quickly grew) down Ashley road pretty much all the way to the end of it over the course of a couple of hours. Due to the absolute confusion a number of people had emerged from their houses only to shortly find they were the wrong side of a road block and got roped in to what became a three hour running battle through pretty much all of the back streets coming off Ashley road croft and in to St Pauls, numerous burning barracades were errected and a huge amount of people were battered and bloodied by police for attempting to approach police lines to get home of find friends. By this point there was devastation everywhere. All junctions were blocked by overturned glass bottle dumpsters and makeshift neighbourhood roadblocks blocks.

Eventually what seemed like the entire residence of stokes croft emerged and pushed the police back on to stokes croft high street. For a long time there was a deadlock, people stood around and shared rumours about the reason behind the army of police that had arrived unnanounced and were terrorising the neighbourhood.

There was total confusion and stokes croft (street) was mostly cordoned off, the police started making arrests and then all hell broke loose. Missiles began coming down from telepathic heights, the starting point of the problem and police braugh out dogs to clear people from the street, quite a few got bitten. Meanwhile a lot of police vans had their tyres let out. At that point the dogs retreated and the convoy of about 10 vans that were surrounded drove at speed through the crowd clipping a large number of people on their way out. Both Tesco and telepathic heights were abandoned by the police.

At this point I decided to go home since now the police had retreated all hell was being unleashed on Tescos and hundreds of pieces of police riot gear were being handed out from the abandoned vehicles, since then the police returned and there’s been more running battles and people flooding down my street.

from bristol Indymedia

Friday, April 08, 2011

no further comment necessary...

at work today i saw this for sale:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Marxism and Anarchism

Paul has directed our attention toward the 'theoretical journal' of the SWP; International Socialism, which has, amazingly published a article in defence of Anarchism by Lucien Van Der Walt, co-author of the newly published Black Flame: the Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism
This is a very useful piece and considerably better than the woeful article in this weeks Socialist worker advertised as 'the first part of an examination of the politics of Anarchism and autonomism'.
I have heard a number of reports from those who were in positions to know that numerous SWP activists joined with Black Bloccers in direct action in both Oxford street and at fortnums, and that at trafalgar square were, horror of horrors!, persuaded to burn their papers in order to keep protesters warm. Such acts of independance may well have caused some consternation amongst the party leadership still attempting to find a course after the failure of Respect and the split with the counterfire group.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

a minor redesign

When one has nothing interesting to say, its always a good idea to have a fiddle with the controls on blogger without having any idea what each one does...
Actually I am quite pleased with the outcome.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

table for two?

from the admirable Anarchist media project.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

undercover anarchist- Silver Bullet

For all our comrades who are keeping their heads down at the moment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some Thoughts On The Stop The War Coalition’s “10 Reasons To Say No To Western Intervention In Libya”.

By Stan Cullen Grant
taken with thanks from the excellent Norfolk unaligned community action website
Some thoughts for discussion by Stan on yesterdays statement by the Stop The War Coalition on international involvement in Libya. The ‘left’ in the UK once again deem themselves to know what’s best for the people in foreign lands. There’s something slightly ‘imperialist’ about that isn’t there?
While we would never support international intervention that would likely be used for hidden agenda, we also would never stoop so low as to treat the oppressed of any nation to a lecture on whats best for them while they are screaming out for assistance.
Marching against military intervention while Free Libyans are fighting for their lives is nothing short of disgraceful, but we’ve come to expect that from the British ‘left’. They should be thrown out with the rest of last centuries trash.

1. Intervention will violate Libya’s sovereignty. This is not just a legalistic point – although the importance of observing international law should not be discounted if the big powers in the world are not to be given the green light run amok. As soon as NATO starts to intervene, the Libyan people will start to lose control of their own country and future.
The rebels are in the process of trying to establish a more democratic form of government-Libya’s ‘soverignty’ is already in question. If the rebels have a right to sovereignty and have requested aid through an apparatus of provisional government their soverignty is NOT being violated.

2. Intervention can only prolong, not end the civil war. “No-fly zones” will not be able to halt the conflict and will lead to more bloodshed, not less.The civil war will only be perpetuated in so far as it will not be ended by a swift and brutal massacre of rebel forces but a consolidation of their power, which will take longer than exterminating them and it seems more pertinent to assess the scale of violence rather than its length.

3. Intervention will lead to escalation. Because the measures being advocated today cannot bring an end to the civil war, the next demand will be for a full-scale armed presence in Libya, as in Iraq – and meeting the same continuing resistance. That way lies decades of conflict.
The rebels have repeatedly expressed their opposition to the deployment of ground forces, and only by violating their wishes will their soverignty be violated. Perhaps the STWC should send a delegate to Benghazi and give them advice?

4. This is not Spain in 1936, when non-intervention meant helping the fascist side which, if victorious in the conflict, would only encourage the instigators of a wider war – as it did. Here, the powers clamouring for military action are the ones already fighting a wider war across the Middle East and looking to preserve their power even as they lose their autocratic allies. Respecting Libya’s sovereignty is the cause of peace, not is enemy.
Whilst Gadaffii’s rump state has access to superior technology and more resources non-intevention will aid his regime. (Or is that precisely what the British Left want? If so come out and say it.)

5. It is more like Iraq in the 1990s, after the First Gulf War. Then, the US, Britain and France imposed no-fly zones which did not lead to peace – the two parties in protected Iraqi Kurdistan fought a bitter civil war under the protection of the no-fly zone – and did prepare the ground for the invasion of 2003. Intervention may partition Libya and institutionalise conflict for decades.

To replace oppression with conflict is an attempt to liberate oneself. Do the STWC know better than the people of Libya what is good for them? Sounds like old school colonialism…

6. Or it is more like the situation in Kosovo and Bosnia. NATO interference has not lead to peace, reconciliation or genuine freedom in the Balkans, just to endless corrupt occupations.
To oppose one action under the assumption that it will inevitably lead to another assumes too much, especially as there is merit to the former, independent of the later.

7. Yes, it is about oil. Why the talk of intervening in Libya, but not the Congo, for example? Ask BP.
Ofcourse its about oil and futhering corporate and national interests, but to the rebels its also about averting their impending deaths.
As one Benghazian put it on Al Jazeera
“Thankfully we have the oil so the West will come to our aid but we pity our brothers in the Middle East who have none…”

8. It is also about pressure on Egyptian revolution – the biggest threat to imperial interests in the region. A NATO garrison next door would be a base for pressure at least, and intervention at worst, if Egyptian freedom flowers to the point where it challenges western interests in the region.
The spread of revolution across the Middle East and North Africa must surely pose a greater threat to western hegemony than one ‘successful’ revolution alone.

9. The hypocrisy gives the game away. When the people of Bahrain rose against their US-backed monarchy and were cut down in the streets, there was no talk of action, even though the US sixth fleet is based there and could doubtless have imposed a solution in short order. As top US republican Senator Lindsey Graham observed last month “there are regimes we want to change, and those we don’t”. NATO will only ever intervene to strangle genuine social revolution, never to support it.
It is indeed hypocritical but to allow people to die for the sake of consistency seems somewhat inhumane, unless the people of Libya are nothing other than faceless individuals playing out a caricature in history…

10. Military aggression in Libya – to give it the righty name – will be used to revive the blood-soaked policy of ‘liberal interventionism’. That beast cannot be allowed to rise from the graves of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A lot of people will die if this does not happen, and if the left wing opposes UN intereference but understands the need for Libya to be liberated where exactly are the ‘International Brigades’ running to their assistance?

this is not the demo I was looking for...

Saturday morning I finished my night shift and caught the bus into the town to join the anti EDL protest.
When I arrived at the meeting point I discovered that, due to the cancellation of the birmingham demo, instead of the 20-30 turn out of Berkshire Division which were expected, some two hundred or so EDLers from all over the South had come to the town.
The 30 or so local activists gathered in the park suddenly seemed somewhat less than adequate! (the grey beards, walking frames and wheelchairs also did not shout 'fighting wedge' either).
Feeeling tired and jaded, I heard a conversation out of the corner of my ear:
"Is there a football match today?" "I do not Know" I turned and said, "We are away this weekend, to Barnsley."
and old fellow, with a long somewhat eccentric grey beard looked at me and said"'We'? who is 'we'?" I replied: "Reading are playing Barnsley this afternoon. at football"
he sniffed and said "anyone who plays football is always 'Them' to me, everyone who supports football is 'They' to me"
As I pondered this, four riot vans parked up outside the court and a pig strolled over.
"we wish to facilitate your 'right to protest'"
the crowd were falling over themselves to be voluntarily kettled even before he had walked away, in their haste voting even before the vote was called.
I decided that this was not the demo I was looking for.
I went home.
And watched the football.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big Butts and little buts (gratuitous rap video levered into a post on Anti Imperialism)

Now that the UN have eventually finished the internable to and thro' horsetrading (that made me wonder whether a 'no fly zone' would be established before, or after, Gaddaffi had turned Benghazi into a Charnel house), the left can heave a collective sigh of relief.
Having for a brief period been in the the uncomfortable position of having to been seen supporting real life revolutions, as opposed to the endless repetitions of the Russian Revolution that usually infest their fevered brows, the UN resolution has allowed the left to return to its usual position; Raising the cankered, blood drenched banner of 'anti Imperialism' above their heads the comrades rally to defence of Tyrants and repression.
But things ain't what they used to be. with the noble exception of mad maoists and the last remnant of the WRP ( who prove that they at least hold to the true values of British business- once bought and paid for, they stay stalwart) very few are declaring their support for Gaddaffi outright.
Instead we have the Butters

"Of course we support the right of the Libyan People but the intervention of Imperialism Changes the situation Blah Blah Blood for oil Blah blah "
the same old bull shit to defend the indefencable, to justify the betrayal of the Libyan revolution, just as in the past the left has betrayed the Kurds and the Marsh arabs in Iraq, the Tibetans and the Chinese democrats, the Bosnians and the Kosovans etc. etc.
Whatever the dangers of intervention may bring, the truth is that without it the rebels in Beghazi were doomed, with the bulk of Gaddaffi's trained forces, and mercenary troops staying loyal to the regime, they were being slowly forced back and were calling increasingly desperately for western support. In reply the left seemed content to lecture them on how they should be doing it and condemn them for not being willing to die heroically.
Every left wing account of the Spanish Civil war begins with a condemnation of the
democracies- Britain and France- for their failiure to come to aid of Republican Spain. This was when both nations had real empires! by the logic of todays left, they should not only have condemned republican spain, but, if the aid had come, they would have become supporters of Franco!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smiley Culture- Yet another dies at the hands of the police

Rest in Peace.
whats the betting that no copper is ever held to account for this?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Marinus van der Lubbe: nazi terror and stalinist slander

In honour of Marinus Van Der Lubbe, anti fascist.
This article from last weeks Weekly Worker deserves to be more widely read:
Lies that refuse to be buried
On the anniversary of the 1933 Reichstag fire, Bob Potter looks back at the trial of Marinus van der Lubbe and Georgi Dimitrov

Watching a history programme on TV’s digital channels can be both irritating and frustrating. For me, a repeat broadcast of films, comments and discussion related to the Reichstag fire trial proved a case in point. Stalinist misrepresentations, manufactured at the time, continue to be presented as ‘possible options’ ...

In the early evening of February 27 1933, less than a month after Hitler’s appointment as German chancellor, the debating chamber of the Reichstag burst into flames - an event destined to find a prominent place in world history. There was no great mystery about the fire: soon after the blaze was spotted, firemen and police entered the building and promptly arrested a young man attempting to escape. He was searched and found in possession of three items - a pocket-knife, a wallet and a passport. “Why did you do it?” he was asked. “As a protest,” replied the Dutch bricklayer, Marinus van der Lubbe, who gave the arresting officers a coherent account of his actions during that night - purchasing firelighters in a local store, several unsuccessful attempts to start fires in four public buildings, succeeding only when he broke a window and entered the deserted Reichstag.

Here are extracts from van der Lubbe’s statement to the police of March 3 1933:

“In Holland I read that the National Socialists had come to power in Germany. I have always followed German politics with keen interest ... when Hitler took over I expected much enthusiasm for him, but also much tension ... I myself am a leftist and was a member of the Communist Party until 1929. What I did not like about the party is the way they lord it over the workers, instead of letting the workers decide for themselves ... The masses themselves must decide what they ought to do and what they ought not to do.

“In Germany a national coalition has now been formed, and I think it holds two dangers: (1) it oppresses the workers, and (2) ... it is bound to lead to war. I watched on for a few days and then I decided to go to Germany and see for myself .... I started in Düsseldorf, where I spoke to workers in the street. I did the same thing in other towns. In Berlin, I also studied the pamphlets of the various parties and then went to the welfare offices in Lichtenberg, Wedding and Neukölln. I also went to the labour exchange ... I found out that, whereas the national coalition has complete freedom in Germany, the workers have not.

“Now, what the workers’ organisations are doing is not likely to rouse the workers to the struggle for freedom ... that is the reason why I asked the workers to demonstrate. But all I was told was to take the matter to the party ... But I heard that a Communist Party demonstration was disbanded by the leaders on the approach of the police, and that the people listened to these leaders instead of carrying out their own resolutions. I realised then that the workers will do nothing by themselves, that they will do nothing against a system which grants freedom to one side and metes out oppression to the other. In my opinion something absolutely had to be done in protest against this system.

“Since the workers would do nothing, I had to do something by myself. I considered arson a suitable method ... something that belonged to the system itself: official buildings - the welfare office for example, for that is a building in which the workers come together; or the city hall, because it is a building belonging to the system; and further the palace, because it lies in the centre of the city, and if it goes up, the huge flames can be seen from far away ... When these three fires failed to come off - that is to say, when my protest did not come off - I decided on the Reichstag as the centre of the whole system ... As to the question whether I acted alone, I declare emphatically that this was the case. No-one at all helped me, nor did I meet a single person in the Reichstag.”

The chief police investigator, detective-inspector Dr Walter Zirpins, added his own observations to the final report:

“He is endowed with a great deal of (admittedly very one-sided) intelligence and, appearances to the contrary, he is a very bright fellow. His grasp of the German language is so good that he can follow even finer shades of meanings, though his own speech is slurred. Thus he could not only follow the examination but remember entire sentences and repeat them word for word. Especially during the discussion of his motives he kept correcting those phrases which, he thought, did not fully reflect his real meaning ... in short he had no need of an interpreter.”

The prisoner willingly accompanied the police officers back to the Reichstag to re-enact his earlier visit, leading them all the way. His ‘journey’ at the crime scene was monitored by stopwatch, leaving his companions convinced he was telling the truth in every detail. (Van der Lubbe told police his ‘detailed memory’ developed consequential to his very poor eyesight - worthy of mention, as he was deprived of his glasses for early court sessions!).

Nazi stooge?
Although his account made good sense to the investigators, his insistence on ‘acting alone’ throughout suited neither Nazis nor communists. Foreign reporters present at the burning building when Hitler arrived were convinced the fuhrer had been caught completely by surprise: he immediately declared his “suspicion” it was the “opening phase” of a planned communist uprising; Ernst Torgler, leader of the KPD in the Reichstag, and three Bulgarian communists were promptly arrested (Georgi Dimitrov, chief European representative of the Comintern being amongst them, although the Nazis were unaware of his international role).

The arrested communists insisted the fire had been instigated and orchestrated by the Nazis themselves, to justify police raids on the offices of opposition parties, along with wider excesses by their brown-shirted thugs, aimed at anti-fascist groupings and trades union; and prompt repressive legislation (the ‘enabling acts’ - the first promulgated the day following the fire). It was inevitable the German Communist Party would view the Dutch bricklayer as a “Nazi stooge”. In those ‘third period’ days, any leftist not within the Stalinist orbit was a ‘social fascist’, objectively a Nazi ally. The Stalinist press consoled their readers with glib assurances that Hitlerism was no more than the “death rattle of expiring capitalism” - soon the victorious working class would sweep away excrescences under the leadership of the ‘vanguard of the proletariat’ - the KPD - so laying the foundations for the future socialist society.

Today, probably the majority of people believe van der Lubbe was a congenital delinquent in the service of the Nazis. All attempts to describe the real van der Lubbe come up against two books published, at the time, by Comintern propagandists, based in Paris: The brown book of the Hitler terror and the burning of the Reichstag (1933) and The second brown book of the Hitler terror (1934) - both ‘proving’ the Reichstag was ignited by the Nazis, a version made ‘credible’ by fabricated evidence to transform van der Lubbe into an occasional ‘speaker at Nazi meetings’, a degenerate homosexual or simply a Nazi stooge. The anonymous author of these texts was Otto Katz, a full time Comintern official based in Paris - ironically, 20 years later he was to be hanged in Prague as one of the accused in the Slánský trial.[1]

Within a few weeks, the first book appeared in 17 languages with millions of copies in worldwide circulation - becoming the bible of the anti-fascist crusade. Details of relevant behind-the-scenes activities in the books’ creation are described in Arthur Koestler’s autobiographical The invisible writing (1954). Koestler worked for Willi Münzenberg, who had escaped from Germany on the night of the fire and set up office in Paris as western propaganda chief of the Comintern. As a record of the trial events, Koestler’s book has little value, presenting only the official ‘party line’, which the author admits comprises “ a unique feat in the history of propaganda ... producing international committees, congresses and movements as a conjurer produces rabbits out of his hat ... Münzenberg organised the Reichstag counter-trial, the public hearings in Paris and London in 1933 ... We had no direct proof, no access to witnesses, only underground communications with Germany ... We had to rely on guesswork, on bluffing and on intuitive knowledge of the methods and minds of our opposite numbers in totalitarian conspiracy.”

It is time these Stalinist falsifications are buried once and for all. Much of what follows is culled from the work of Fritz Tobias, who in 1946 joined the Hanover Denazification Court and later the German State Denazification Commission. He carried out a thorough examination of all existing evidence relating to the fire and subsequent trial, held in Leipzig, September-December 1933. There was little ‘new’ evidence: rather a re-examination of all the material that had been available. In the summer of 1956, Tobias was asked by the Federal Information Office to publish his findings; cautiously he agreed to send extracts to Der Spiegel. The howls of rage that followed their publication were the consequence of the recent proximity of the Hitler regime - the Stalinist version of the Reichstag fire had become the generally accepted ‘official’ history - the Nazis had fired the building! People were less interested in learning the truth than their fear these later ‘findings’ might be perceived as an attempt to ‘whitewash the Nazis’. The English edition of Tobias’s book, The Reichstag fire (1964), was introduced by AJP Taylor, who apologised for having been duped by the Stalinist lies.

An active revolutionary from his teenage years, a member of the Young Communist League, Marinus van der Lubbe soon proved his ability to influence others. A studious youth, he was well known at the Leyden public library, where he first studied Marx’s Capital, although his hatred of capitalism was based less on Marxist science than on youthful enthusiasm and utopian dreams. Although a childish prank had severely damaged both his eyes (from which he never fully recovered his eyesight - he was awarded a small disability pension), he was of good physique, and started work on building sites.

Well known by the local police as chair of the local Communist Youth, he rented an empty storeroom, baptising it ‘Lenin House’; it became the meeting place for the Communist Youth, and he busied himself there writing leaflets, and editing factory and school pamphlets, increasingly centred on the unemployed movement; he became well known at the head of processions through the streets of Leyden.

His break with the Dutch Communist Party was inevitable. His independent attitude and spontaneous identification with broad self-activity of the working class made it increasingly difficult for him to accept the discipline of the sectarian Stalinist party; he drifted into associations with ‘left deviationists’ (Left Workers Opposition) and finally the Party of International Communists (or Rade Communists). With only a handful of members in Holland, these ‘council communists’ and their supporters solidly defended van der Lubbe when the Leipzig trial got under way, publishing the Red Book, which demolished the slanders of his being a Nazi agent. Marinus perceived Hitler’s triumph as a possible “tinder point” for revolution. While the communist press consoled readers with glib assurances that Hitlerism was merely the “death rattle” of expiring capitalism, van der Lubbe hoped the situation might be quite different in Germany. Following heated meetings with friends and comrades about revolutionary possibilities bound to happen across the border, he set out on foot for Berlin.

He spent his first night in a men’s hostel; the following day saw a concert organised by the Social Democrats closed down by the police without explanation - yes, his arrival in the German capital soon disillusioned him. Nowhere any resolution to fight against the brown ‘mercenaries of capitalism’. He visited labour exchanges, welfare offices, mingled with the locals, suggested protest marches (which he had found so successful back home). Nobody was interested in his suggestions; indeed he was treated with suspicion or as a ‘foreign’ busybody. He quickly realised there was no hope of any ‘mass revolutionary action’.

The final straw was his attending a communist mass meeting at the Sportpalast, addressed by communist deputy Wilhelm Pieck. Van der Lubbe prepared notes, hoping for the opportunity to express a point of view, but the meeting was closed by the police as soon as it started - again, no protest or resistance on the part of the audience! The great Communist Party of Germany had gone into voluntary liquidation! Completely disgusted, van der Lubbe returned to his hostel, seething with impotent rage and unable to fall asleep for a long time. One can readily imagine his distress, irritation and frustration. It became apparent to him, if anything was going to happen, he would have to initiate it himself. He decided to set a number of public buildings on fire, hoping that once the intimidated masses saw these strongholds of capitalism going up in flames, they might, even at this late hour, shake off their lethargy.

The final police report, submitted to the court by detective-inspector Zirpins, encapsulated everything about van der Lubbe’s individual actions on the evening of February 27 1933:

“There is no doubt that van der Lubbe committed the crime entirely by himself. This conclusion follows from the investigations, the objective facts and the precise answers of the suspect ... the scene of the crime and his activities there were described by van der Lubbe right from the start (ie, before the official reconstruction of the crime on the spot) in such detail - seats of fire, damage caused, trails left and paths taken - as only the incendiary himself could have supplied. Had he not been there himself, he could not possibly have described and later demonstrated on the spot all these facts and especially the smaller fires which he had lit at random. The reconstruction of the crime proved that all the details he gave were absolutely correct.”

Both Moscow communists and Nazi publicists presented the main defendant as a congenital idiot, a juvenile delinquent, a pathological vagrant, a pathological liar, incorrigible boaster and homosexual call-boy in the service of Nazis/communists. Here is Koestler’s version:

“Lubbe was a horrifying apparition, half man, half beast. Saliva was dribbling from his mouth, and mucus from his nostrils down on to the floor. From time to time his counsel wiped his face with a paper handkerchief. When standing, Lubbe’s hands were dangling down and his head bent on his chest like a chimpanzee’s. When sitting, his head hung between his knees like a broken puppet’s.”

Koestler was not present at the hearings he described - van der Lubbe had spent seven months in heavy, painful chains, impeding the blood circulation and leaving visible sores on his feet. Indeed his general appearance caused a tremendous stir among observers, especially towards the end of the trial. While police witnesses described Marinus as mentally alert and quick to respond, now he appeared completely broken and dull-witted.

Contrary to the assertion of Koestler and others, there is no reason to believe he had been drugged; had he yielded to Nazi pressure to ‘confess’ to being part of a ‘communist plot’, his gaolers might well have drugged him to keep his mouth shut in public. A much more likely explanation is that after many months of consistently repeating the same simple truth, he eventually gave up in despair when he realised the presiding judge was far less interested in facts than in his own pet theory. Unlike the other defendants, with the world Stalinist movement supporting them, Marinus remained isolated and alone, unaware even of the tiny (if growing) band of supporters, largely in Holland. (There is evidence that from the beginning of the trial, Dimitrov knew a secret agreement had been concluded between the Soviet state security GPU and the Gestapo, according to which, whatever the outcome of the trial, he would reach Moscow in safety.) Alone in the dock, without a single friend or colleague, is it is not possible van der Lubbe finally cracked from exhaustion and suffered a total nervous breakdown? Perhaps it is possible to pinpoint the final breaking point? On the 43rd day of the trial, van der Lubbe stood up and asked if he might ask a question. He was told he could - here is a portion of the transcripts:

Van der Lubbe: “I should like to know when the verdict will be pronounced and executed.”

President: “I can’t tell you that yet. It all depends on you, on your naming your accomplices.”

Van der Lubbe: “But that has all been cleared up. I fired the Reichstag by myself, and there must be a verdict. The thing has gone on for eight months and I cannot agree with all this at all.”

President: “Tell us then who your accomplices were.”

Van der Lubbe: My fellow defendants have all admitted they had nothing to do with the fire, were not even in the Reichstag, and did not fire it.”

President: “I have told you repeatedly that the court cannot accept your statement that you were alone. You simply must tell us with whom you did it and who helped you.”

Van der Lubbe: “I can only repeat that I set fire to the Reichstag all by myself. After all, it has been shown during this trial that Dimitrov and the others were not there. They are in the trial, that is quite true, but they were not in the Reichstag. The court does not believe me, but it’s true all the same.”

President: “You have confessed to the crime and there is therefore no argument on that point. But it remains a fact that other persons have been accused and that the court must now decide whether or not these people are guilty. It would help us greatly if you now admit with whom you committed the crime.”

Van der Lubbe: “I can only admit that I started the fire by myself; for the rest I cannot agree with what this court is trying to do. I now demand a verdict. What you are doing is a betrayal of humanity, of the police, and of the Communist and National Socialist Party. All I ask for is a verdict.”

Here, by contrast, are extracts from Dimitrov’s address to the open court:

“Van der Lubbe has by no means told the truth in this court and he remains persistently silent. Although he did have accomplices, this fact does not decide the fate of the other accused ... While the representative of political insanity sits today in the dock, the representative of provocation has disappeared! Whilst this fool, van der Lubbe, was carrying out his clumsy attempts at arson in the corridors and cloakrooms, were not other unknown persons preparing the conflagration in the sessions chamber ...”.

At this point van der Lubbe began to laugh silently. His whole body was shaken with spasms of laughter. Dimitrov continued, pointing at van der Lubbe as he spoke: “What is van der Lubbe? A communist? Inconceivable! An anarchist? No! He is a declassed worker, a rebellious member of the scum of society ... he is the misused tool of fascism ... he should be condemned to death for having worked against the proletariat ... the Reichstag fire had nothing whatever to do with any activity of the German Communist Party - not only nothing to do with an insurrection, but nothing to do with a strike, a demonstration or anything of that nature ... the Reichstag fire was not regarded by anyone - I exclude criminals and the mentally deranged - as the signal for insurrection.”

What a revealing comparison! The Dutchman courageously persisted throughout the proceedings in absolving his co-defendants, while the Bulgarian communist referred to the Hollander as “belonging to the class of criminals” and “mentally deranged”. For revolutionaries, Dimitrov and his fellows deserve to be remembered in infamy for his unbridled slanders directed at a comrade who had sought to stimulate the kinds of action that could have become the opening shots of resistance to the Nazi tide enveloping them - acts that might have aroused the German people to accept the challenge.

Dimitrov and his three associates were adjudged ‘not guilty’ - Marinus van der Lubbe was sentenced to death ... despite appeals and countless petitions from all over the world, the executioner, in top hat and tails, called for him on January 10 1934. Van der Lubbe was calm and peaceful, no tears, no belated confession. He was decapitated - executed by virtue of a special law, made retrospective for his case; his capital crime was not to have set fire to the Reichstag, but to have had accomplices in doing so!

Most Marxists appreciate that protest actions such as van der Lubbe’s only have meaningful revolutionary significance when integrated with a prevailing political consciousness; as part of a mass movement, a personal act can be of the greatest significance. Van der Lubbe’s tragedy was that, as opposed to his actions at home, in Germany he stood alone, far removed from any ‘movement’.

Revolutionaries should make a point of reading the Fritz Tobias book - a full analysis of the documentary evidence that not only vindicates Marinus van der Lubbe from the slanders thrown at him by his co-accused and the world’s Moscow communists, but also reveals the equally despicable manner by which the Nazis attempted to force van der Lubbe to implicate his cowardly co-accused, and who executed him because of his refusal to do so.


1.Rudolf Slánský, general secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and 13 others (11 of them Jews) were convicted of participating in “Trotskyite-Titoist-Zionist activities in the service of American imperialism” in December 1952. Eleven were executed after having confessed in court and requested to be sentenced to death

Thursday, February 24, 2011

there is nothing between us but a river of blood

the Bizarre Socialist unity Blog is at it again; from defending the Butchers of Tianamen Square and delighting in the murderous antics of Islamists, to ignoring repression and maligning human rights campaigners who dare to criticise any so-called 'anti-imperialist' dictatorship, and even wallowing in the bigotry of all and every religious bigot on Earth (except, of course Jews!), that arch crony of Galloway and apologist for dictators and thugs the world over, Andy Newman has been driven to distraction by a few Anarchists heckling and chucking the odd egg at Brendan Barber during a trot infested 'anti cuts' meeting, and has launched a witchhunting attack on anarchists who refuse to kowtow slavishly to the 'leaders' of the Tuc and 'bland labour.

The comments that follow his blog are racing into meltdown as all the bile of the stalinotrots against anarchists comes pouring out. Swappies and counterfirers, respecters and labourists all finding at last a point to unite over- hatred of Anarchism!
Long I have argued against the old lie that somehow despite our differences we are on the same side, taking different paths to the same essential promised land, that leninists are comrades too, if misguided.
They are not. They are our implacable enemies, who whenever they gain even the slightest taste of power turn their guns immediately upon those who refuse to put the struggle for liberty and human dignity under the iron grip of their party dictatorship.

addendum: In the midst of this witchhunting language against anarchists Newman includes details of how one may sign up as a steward with the TUC, clearly in order to 'deal' with us 'enemies of the working class'; it will be nice to know that alongside the pigs attempting to attack demonstrators will be the orange vested wannabe Stasi. Trotskyists are cops in waiting

James has done a sterling job of painstakingly attempting to reply to each of the nasty lies in the post point by point his comments are below

Well no doubt your take this down for being long. But I’ll reply on behave of the anarchist movement- I have no authority to do so, except myself.

I’m an enemy of the Labour party and Brendan Barber anyone who conflates that to being an enemy of the labour movement is the real enemy of the labour movement.

If Andy had wanted to have a decent critique of the Anarchists at Goldsmiths, I’d have started by poring cold water on the use of WRP slogan of calling for a general strike at the moment. It’s silly fantasy stuff. Or maybe he could could have tried defending the legalism of the trade unions- good job that such legalism isn’t respected in the middle east or Wisconsin. Some folk may think that the workers movement should be as sedate as a country club or nice cucumber sandwiches at Labour central office or number 10, I think that is a load of bourgeois values that should be dumped into the dustbin of history. Seems like you want TUC to a bunch of cops for ‘middle England’ respectability. Respectability will get you nowhere when the rich can be making money. As the torrent of individualist abuse on the comments prove the anarchists at was political and how does a little fracas at a meeting weaken the campaign? Tying your self to legalism and respectability is what fundamentally weakens any campaign against the establishment. But then again, the labour party are part of the establishment and so Brendan Barber and far too many in the trade union movement want to join him at that table or better called trough.

As to the infantile comments.
Point 2. OK lets talk substance abuse. We could talk about how about 50% of local trade union officials seem to be alcoholic gin soaked billy no mates, who use their position to hide from work and their ‘co-workers’ that their meant to represent. It just seems to be about having an office so they can recover before going back to their binge drinking. We could talk about the disgraceful behaviour at a friends union conference when drunken delegates abuse the catering staff. Anyway in my town we always left the glue sniffing to the lumpen proletariat and members of the SWP. Though the SWP have moved on to being just alcoholics now.

Point 3- Throwing stuff and booing is as near as a debate as is allowed at such rallies. Such speeches are no different than the bullshit of a stage managed rally the Americans get stereo typed for, but this country is no different except for less dancing girls. It showed commendable politics that they showed respect to the survivor of Hiroshima. As far as remember the feelings of the 150K audience was- why are these boring bastards droning on. Someone pushed in front of you at a bugger van (at least they weren’t veggies)- get over it, that is nothing to the rudeness and condescension that people like you talk at the public.

Point 4- is that disgraced Porter of the NUS talking? Lol- the misbehaviour was the greatest thing about that demo- it’s not like they where as cool as the French or Greeks, they know how to protest- the meek inherent nothing.

The Jarrow March was rightfully condemned by the CPGB at the time as cap in hand nonsense that achieved fuck all. A real march was the sort that burnt Luton town hall to the ground. That sentence he wrote says everything about the loyalist disingenuous rewriting of history that the labour party is all about.

Point 7- Neil Kinnock there is a real enemy of the Labour movement and the working class- now doing very well as part of the establishment gravy train. The miners had the right idea- except hanging may be too good for him.
So this prick has read a book about the Durruti Column, what a wanker. I could go on about the nonsense I’ve faced when selling class war from certain trots or how certain trots didn’t want to discuss there parties position on religious schools etc when I was on the anti state popes visit to London march, no doubt that will be counted as anarchist harassment as well.

Point 8. Some prick who doesn’t like people smoking and/or drinking. Your tea totalism is no threat to the state Mr Daily Mail. Where’s your great counter organisation of revolutionary over throw, lol.
You’d go down with out even a scuffle.

Point 9. No debate allowed. This poster wants to violently impose no debate as well. Copper of the movement, go buy yourself a brown shirt.

Point 10. Where is this ‘broad based movement’. You seem to want us to just follow the TUC like where their dumb soldiers (being lead to the slaughter). I want a movement like the anti poll tax campaign and miner support groups. As do all the ‘anarchists’ I know.

Point 12. Shall we have a look at the class background of the Labour Party- like Ed for starters. I think we should. Most of your sort stink of BO in my experience.

Point 14. As point 12. I can tell you Class War was when I was a member far less middle class than the Labour party or any other Left group. We could discuss the history of under cover cops in the trade union movement , it is thought that something like 1/3 of the NUM central committee was reporting to police during the miners strike.

Point 17- all ready covered- meek shit. How the labour Party always wants to disarm resistance.

Point 18- just to confirm that what they are mainly doing in Luton. I’ll give the GMB tops have tried doing a little outside that box, but the local official are bloody spineless useless non entities. The local PCS official has been good and one of the rail unions official has at least tried to some extent – that’s out of a town of 250,000.

point 20. Where is your credible alternative policy? Labour implementing 2/3 of the cuts the Tories propose? I have an alternative policy, it’s called socialism and full employment.

Point 21. What are you on? You ain’t going to do any fighting ever! And I bet you never have. Your a support of the Labour Party the loyal opposition that believes in caving in to the bosses law. What a craven two faced bastard.

Point 22- Very weak and not what you said at the time. Also point 14 called people coppers.

Point 26- My God! Something sensible. I could debate the finer points.

Point 28- we’re quite aware of your attitude- that’s why you won’t even be waking up in the morning come the revolution.

Point 29. Another labour Party dick. Notice how the Labour Party supports don’t even want to mention the history of the poll Tax, the miners strike, 1926 and militant marches against unemployment.

Point 30- clearly doesn’t understand what a flash mob is.

Point 31. I was a member of CW from about 93 to about 2007. I can say he’s talking shit for that period. How about some evidence- that wasn’t even credible hearsay. I do know a certain Union official in Norwich behaving like a nark and some evidence of a trot doing so in Luton. The whole relationship of Luton UAF and the police is very unhealthy. I do not know Ian very well but this sounds complete bollocks.

Point 32. Coalition of resistance is Counter-Fire not the SWP. Nice to see such well informed contributors to this blog. Lol.

Point 38. A ‘work makes you free’ merchant writes. Off to the Gulag comrades.

Point 40. Well it’s a rather self fulling definition of the importance of the TUC. Most union members are badly organised if at all, not surprising when the union tells you that membership is all about legal cover and cheap insurance. If the unions where organised they wouldn’t have need 6 months to organise a demonstration.

The last sentence is a moderately good point. But I’d think that’s one of those at Goldsmiths main criticisms. To a certain extent I agree with the unions that we should have been keeping our power dry and use the time to organise. I can say that Anarchists have been doing far more work , proportionally towards using that time to get organised and put over the message. The only ’socialist’ group who seems to have put any real effort in has been Counter Fire the rest have just been posing round the edges.

Point 41. Vote Labour- haha- that really saved us from the depression. It was a Communist front ( and all the better for that) that is usually called leadership which is something you don’t really offer.

Point 42- great point – I wish I was as concise. So do most others.

Point 44. Your point? South Africa- it is meet the new boss same as the old boss- unless your one of the tops. Which may tell where your coming from.

I always hate going to London specially when I’m going to droned at my some boring bastards. Maybe you should organise some legal and TV cover against the police if you feel people are afraid.

Point 45. I agree partly. I don’t think the unions are stopping the class fighting back. But there structure has disarmed the people .

Point 48. I agree- it’s a bit of a misnomer of a title. Unless you think socialist unity is about shooting anarchists, druggies and the work shy come the counter revolution.

Point 51. Aunt sally.

Point 52. labour mythologising again- Just repeating just makes you more wrong but does clearly show your role in trying to rewrite a pro loyalist history of Britain which is just make believe bullshit.

Point 52- What a patronising dick. That wasn’t a ‘working class’ view point. That was the view point of a labour party supporting pub bore.

Point 55- The Greeks have a real Communist Party- lucky sods! Not the meek yellow trud that claims to be in that tradition in this country.

Point 57/59. 2 million??- lol. Seems point 59 and most of those from the it’s ilk seem to believe in the propaganda value of a non deed.

Point 63. Socialists? Social workers with Gulags?
Point 67. She stood against independent workers control and for the control of the loyal opposition. Like most of the posters hear who miss call themselves socialist. Your party has just been in power for 13 years- and they where horrible. That’s being very over polite.

Point 70. What have the TUC done against the Bankers, I know what the Labour Party did- it gave them a bundle of cash hot of the presses. Anarchists have been active in the campaigns against the Banks and Tax avoidance of the rich something which I Think Bone’s blog often referees to. Your talking out the back of your head.

Point 72. I agree. Of course it’s a little more complex but still true. My old man was a leading trade unionist and half the time plus, he was sorting out the poor management of the bosses and doing their job for them. I guess you could say he was making the world a more human place but it certainly wasn’t revolutionary.

Point 74/77. Unity mongering is just another way of saying shut up your not allowed to criticise the ‘leadership’. Leadership just seems to mean who can get on the BBC and has bundles of cash. Both show that speakers at meetings they like are not about debate or even argument but for a few sound bites on TV and we are no more than non-payed extras.

Point 78. Now has a problem with white boys- fuck off you pinko social worker.

Point 80- let’s look nice for the BBC & daily Mail- get real- twat.

Point 79/83. Think that was some other tit from the EdL not Robinson. Coming from supporters of UAF who have offered to the liberal police against racism – I guess that’s where the Edl learned such talk. It’s the likes of these two posters who are offering to smash a real left of the street- but first they want to silence dissenting voices by not letting them speak and then they moan when they get heckled and call for a Stalinist policing of left criticism.
Yeah we’ve seen your sort before- wasn’t pretty was it and still isn’t with your sort of guy in charge in Libya.

I am sure that comrades may wish to discuss some of the finer points of cmde Newman's opinion in person, If they should see him at the march 26th demo