I’ve just been reading China Mieville’s October, his account of 1917 in Petrograd, and wondering about what it might mean to attempt a socialist transformation of British society in the face of the inevitable oppostion. Assuming Corbyn would face a concerted effort to derail or destroy a Left government, what should we do to avert that? I think we all realise that we need, not just an election followed by a Labour Government that ‘gets on with governing’ old style, but a supportive mass movement outside parliament. That’s easier to say (or write) than do, though. Such things aren’t grown … Continue reading
It seems fitting that at this time a new series of Twin Peaks is appearing on our screens. David Lynch’s most well known production about a small town in the North of the United States, traumatised by the slow revelation of its dark underbelly. It begins with the murder of a local homecoming queen. An act that on the surface appears totally out of place amid the scenes of bucolic small town life. A darkness that could only have been visited upon the community from outside. Eventually the surface is broken to reveal that what appeared wholesome, functional and everyday … Continue reading
In the run up to the UK General Election, I interviewed self-professed ‘anti-economist’ Steve Keen on the state of the British economy, the chances of a Labour victory and the future of politics after Brexit. This is the first of a two part interview. WHITE: As the UK goes to vote, the economy is the key question and the recent past will likely shape how people may vote. How would you describe the state of the UK economy? KEEN: It’s recovered partially from the financial crisis, but because none of the people in authority know what actually caused the financial … Continue reading
Are we getting there? In the years following the independence of the 13 colonies from Britain, voting rights for women and native Americans were only extended very gradually (1920 and 1924 respectively). For African Americans the picture is complicated by the different laws in the states, even after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many non white Americans weren’t actually able to exercise their right to vote in the segregated south well into the middle of the 20th century. Even today, extensive gerrymandering and selective use of felony disbarments as well as ID voting conditions continue to be used to exclude black citizens from … Continue reading
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Medieval bones. A Postcard from the Volcano Children picking up our bones Will never know that these were once As quick as foxes on the hill; And that in autumn, when the grapes Made sharp air sharper by their smell These had a being, breathing frost; And least will guess that with our bones We left much more, left what still is The look of things, left what we felt At what we saw. The spring clouds blow Above the shuttered mansion-house, Beyond our gate and the windy sky Cries out a literate despair. We knew for long the mansion’s … Continue reading