Demo opposes Bush's Imperial Dystopia
Saturdays demonstration in London is being hailed as a great success - one of the biggest turnouts any of us can remember. Certainly the march was huge, anywhere between 250, 000 and 400, 000. The start was delayed by around 2 hours, due to the sheer numbers of people gathering on the embankment. In fact the Scottish contingent began to think we wouldn't have time to march, before we had to return home, and we took a short cut to join the march nearer the front. At Hyde Park I missed most of the speakers, and as we left around 5pm to get our train home, the crowd was still streaming in.
Around 400 came down on the Edinburgh transport alone, more from Glasgow. The turnout was fairly diverse, in our contingent there were all ages present, and demonstrators ranged from railway workers to members of the clergy. One couple had travelled down from Ullapool in the Highlands. On the way back they reported that Ullapool had its own demo and 300 turned out, one fifth of the town population!
Politically I think the demonstration has actually succeeded in putting Blair under pressure whilst the Labour Party conference is on. It will also give impetus to the anti-war movement who will have a new confidence. Public opinion is still with the anti-war lobby, but this will come under pressure if fighting begins involving British troops.
The US ruling class are engaging on an imperialist project that threatens the entire planet. A state of permanent war, of armed globalisation.
In the new paper Socialist Resistance, Phil Hearse (taking up some of the arguments of Claude Serfati) argues this point.
"Brzezinski' version of course does not simply counterpose political and diplomatic mechanisms to military ones. Military dominance has a crucial role to play. It is however a question of balance. Cheney, Wolfowitz and Perle have thrown the Grand Chessboard version into the dustbin and proclaimed a new militarist activism amounting to a doctrine of permanent war, with no natural limits - including on the use of nuclear weapons."
The US will also increasingly rely on reactionary islamic regimes, such as that in Saudi Arabia, to suppress the (also reactionary) political islamic movements that will be enormously strengthened in the middle east if there is any attack on Iraq.
A dangerous strategy and one that could leave the entire region destabilised.
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:: Sunday, September 29, 2002 ::
Don't Attack Iraq!
For more pictures see http://www.scottishsocialistparty.info/
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:: Thursday, September 26, 2002 ::
Know Your Place! Shut Your Face!
Propaganda posters for the 21st Century.
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:: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 ::
Guardian Unlimited Sport | Special reports | The revolution will be televised (on Sky Sports)
"Steven Wells thought golf was a hotbed of fascism until Che Guevara intervened. Now he'll be sitting in front of the box in his plus-fours and cheering for Europe in the name of international socialism"
I still hate golf.
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Australian anti-war band Ginger Tom have free MP3's for download. Check out the site above.
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:: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 ::
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Socialists propose water shake-up
The SSP adds to its reform of the council tax with new proposals for fairer water charges.
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:: Monday, September 23, 2002 ::
The Blogsphere Ecosystem
This is a weird project to see who links to who's blog, and some other permutations on that theme. Perspective is here. This could be interesting if it deepens. With time it could spider the whole web, google style and get much more accurate results.
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:: Friday, September 20, 2002 ::
Duncans of Scotland - Independence Bar
Now I've seen everything.
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:: Thursday, September 19, 2002 ::
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Debt scheme 'dog's breakfast'
The executive seek to replace warrant sales with...warrant sales.
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Senior SNP activists defect to Sheridan
SNP members are in revolt against personality-bypass Swinneys moves to the right.
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:: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 ::
Frontline 8 now on the web. Trade Unions, One Year of the 'War on Terrorism', The SWP, , Science, and leftist blogging. And more!
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:: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 ::
The rumour is that this new BBC Scotland soap opera, set in Glasgow, has a fictitious SSP activist as one of its main characters.
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:: Monday, September 16, 2002 ::
Sylvia Pankhurst in Ethiopia
On Saturday I went to a talk by Professor Richard Pankhurst, son of legendary suffragette and communist Sylvia Pankhurst. Professor Pankhurst works at the department of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa University. He was visiting Edinburgh both to talk about his mothers work in Ethiopia and to continue his agitation for the return of certain artefacts that were looted from the Ethiopian people by the British Empire.
Sylvia Pankhurst was a leader of the suffragette movement, which fought for votes for women. She was also a pioneering member of the communist movement in Britain, firstly through the Workers Socialist Federation and later as a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. She was never happy in the CPGB and instead left to ally herself with other dissidents such as John Maclean in Scotland. She was very critical of Stalinism.
Professor Pankhurst explained how his mother had become involved with Ethiopia. As a visitor to Italy prior to Mussolini's seizure of power she became aware of the growing threat of fascism. The blackshirts did seize power and Mussolini followed an expansionist policy, invading Ethiopia. The League of Nations implemented only limited sanctions in reply to this. The British were more worried about their own colonial influence in the region.
In solidarity Sylvia launched the New Times and Ethiopia News an anti-fascist weekly which soon reached a circulation of 10,000 throughout Europe and Africa. It took up the cause of Spain as well as that of Ethiopia. Copies were smuggled into Ethiopia and Professor Pankhurst spoke of being shown one by a veteran Ethiopian anti-fascist. Sylvia exposed the role of British imperialism and their inaction against fascism.
When war broke out she agitated for recognition of the Ethiopian resistance as an ally against the fascist axis. For example, the BBC had a regular programme featuring the national anthems of the allies. They refused to play the Ethiopian anthem arguing firstly that the Ethiopians had not signed the international treaty on anthems, and then that they were not formally part of the allied forces. But thanks to Sylvia's efforts they were forced to relent.
The final part of the discussion looked at the efforts to return Ethiopian relics to their home country. The discussion was held in a church (St. John's Episcopalian) that had itself returned a sacred relic to Ethiopia. The relic, a tablet with an image of the Arc of the Covenant, was returned to an ecstatic welcome in Addis Ababa. Now the return of a drum held at Edinburgh Castle is demanded.
Overall a fascinating talk and an insight into the rôle of Britain in allowing fascist aggression in Africa. Handouts from the Ethiopian Embassy were less encouraging, full of anti-Eritrean propaganda and articles on the privatisation of the phone network in Ethiopia. And as a friend of mine commented, when millions of children go to bed hungry, should we really be so concerned about the whereabouts of some old bits of wood? Of course these objects have a symbolic value...just look at Scotlands own "stone of destiny" saga.
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:: Friday, September 13, 2002 ::
How some of the best critical cartoonists in the US marked September 11th
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:: Thursday, September 12, 2002 ::
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Earth's new 'moon' is space junk
Attention Posadistas. Cruithne is a bit of an Apollo mission Saturn rocket.
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Cruithne, Earths "second moon"
Something is orbiting the earth that is not the Moon. It has been named Cruithne.
The Cruithne were the first Celts to come to the British isles around 800-500 BC, the Cruithne in what is now Scotland were known as the picts.
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:: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 ::
NIPC Information Bulletin 02-007
This FBI bulletin lists protesters against the World Bank, "a loose alliance of left wing groups" as one of the threats to (US) national security on the anniversary of 9-11.
That's what you get for being anti-war.
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:: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 ::
The Scotsman - Politics - Independent aim of new party
An "internet entrepreneur" has launched a new pro-independence party.
Mr Rowan said his aim was to attract the votes of Scots who believed in independence but were wary of the SNP’s left-wing agenda. He hopes to stand candidates in next year’s elections but that will depend on how quickly he manages to increase the size of his party which has just been created and has only eight members at the moment.
The SNP has a left-wing agenda? Wait till he gets a load of us, as one Joker once said.
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:: Monday, September 09, 2002 ::
Mullan wins Golden Lion in Venice
SSP member Peter Mullan wins a film prize for his latest work The Magdalene Sisters, about abuse within a Catholic Convent. The film has been denounced by the Vatican, but there have been a series of disturbing revelations about this kind of abuse within institutions run by the Catholic Church, in Scotland and around the world. One was exposed by Father Steve Gilhooley, an Edinburgh priest. He wrote a book "The Pajama Parade" detailing his experiences and in return received condemnation and death threats.
One sample at a right-wing Catholic site talks of "the likes of Fathers Andrew Monaghan and Steve Gilhooley - media priests whose crass and open rebellion against the Church makes one shudder to think what awaits them and their episcopal patron at Judgement. "
Religious fundamentalism is hardly exclusive to Islam, as if you didn't know.
Oh, and Steve Gilhooley joined the SSP as well!
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:: Sunday, September 08, 2002 ::
Tony Blair says he will back war against Iraq, "whatever the cost". The cost could be his government, which is probably his main worry.
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:: Friday, September 06, 2002 ::
Edinburgh Festival Fireworks
As a change from the usual relentless propaganda, here is a pretty picture of the fireworks that ended the Edinburgh Festival. There was also a near-riot on my bus trip home, but that's another story.
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:: Thursday, September 05, 2002 ::
Independent - Mo's revenge: How a snub to Labour has opened door to an old campaigner
"A monkey became the elected mayor in Hartlepool, "Robocop" Ray Mallon won in Middlesbrough, and, astonishingly, a Tory in working-class Tyneside. But for New Labour there now comes even more of a nightmare – a socialist might win in Hackney."
Paul Foot showing strongly for the Socialist Alliance in Hackney, London.
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:: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 ::
the dot-communist: the diary of the delusional economy
"Living the Hi-Tech Industry Downturn Lifestyle"
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:: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 ::
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tory support drops says poll
The Tories won't comment!
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Tories, Sheridan on course for equal number of MSPs
The Herald poll puts the SSP at an impressive 8% on the list vote for the third month running. The tories have slipped meaning we are just 1% behind the party of Thatcher, and would have as many MSP's as them. The SNP's move to the right under charisma-bypass Swinney has seen them continue to fall behind Labour.
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:: Monday, September 02, 2002 ::
Sunday Herald - Homeward Bound
Some perspective on the Scottish Parliament so far from the Sunday Herald.
It may be adopting something of a Kent Your Faither approach, but it seems the ranks of MSPs lack characters. Tommy Sheridan stands almost alone in this respect, up there on his socialist moral high ground.
This paper also thinks Scotland should take a leaf out of Norway's book. Oiling the desire for identity
While the Thatcher government took a hacksaw to Scottish industry and the welfare state, Norway ploughed its oil revenue into native industries and a vast public welfare system. In two decades, Norway -- like Scotland, a numerically small north-European periphery -- seemed to be transformed from a pauper among nations to one of the most prosperous societies in the world.
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