Friendly Societies Against The Big Society

The National Health Service founded in 1948 was inspired by a self-help system which Aneurin Bevan had participated in as a young man. After working as a coal miner in South Wales, he served on the hospital committee of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society which ran hospitals and convalescent homes for miners as well as employing family doctors and even providing benefits for the dependants of the members. Later as a Labour MP for Ebbw Vale he took up the idea which was familiar to him and, as […]

Kenya, at last?

So (finally) the UK government has been legally forced to pay £19.9 million compensation to 5,228 victims of torture, rape, sexual abuse and maiming by British colonial forces during the ‘Mau Mau’ rebellion in Keyna in the 1950s. The compensation works out be a pitiful ‘£3,000 per victim and applies only to the living survivors of the abuses that took place’. The pure number of victims suggests that the argument normally trotted out by the British state in these situations, that is, ‘a bad […]

Werqin’ 9 to 5

Article: Werqin’ 9 to 5: cursory notes on antiwork politics from Dolly Parton to Shangela Laquifa Commet: Coincidentally, I have been reading Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the last days of the working class (J. Cowie 2010) which looks at the changes in labour relations that occurred between the 1960s and 1980s (i.e. the assault on the 'Keynesian' social contract by the US working class, the rightward shift of sections of the white working class in the late 70s, and the struggles over ethnicity […]

The Strange Paradox of ‘Ding Dong’:”political correctness gone mad”

Last night I bought a copy of the Daily Mail (for the first time in my life) as I am into surrealism in a big way. I just had to do it. There several headlines which took my fancy: "BBC 'Witch' Song Insult to Maggie" (front page) "....and now even a police sergeant tweets meassages of hate" (front page) "I hope Thatcher's death was degrading and painful, tweets sick Scotland Yard sergeant" (page 7) ...and unbelievably on their website headlines: "'They danced in the streets when Hitler died […]

Why Blackadder Goes Forth could have been a lot funnier

Black Adder Goes Fourth
Tommy Atkins' hidden tactics to avoid combat on the Western Front in WW1 or why ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ could have been a lot funnier (and more subversive)… A young Army, but the finest we have ever marshalled; improvised at the sound of the cannonade, every man a volunteer, inspired not only by love of country but by a widespread conviction that human freedom was challenged by military and Imperial tyranny, they grudged no sacrifice however unfruitful and shrank from no ordeal however […]

Thatcher’s Cold

Vasquez: All right, we got seven canisters of CN-20. I say we roll them in there and nerve gas the corpse just to make sure. Hicks: That's worth a try, but we don't know if it's gonna affect her. Ripley: I say we fire the corpse into low earth orbit and nuke it. It's the only way to be sure. Hudson: Fuckin' A! Burke: Hold on a second. Thatcher's history has a substantial dollar value attached to it. Ripley: They can bill me. Burke: Okay. This is an emotional moment for all of us. I know that. […]

Unfinished Business

Thomas Venner and the Fifth Monarchists Insurrection (6th January 1661) Some members of BRHG, 'The James Nayler Brigade' travelled to London on Sunday to support our comrade 5th Monarchists and Muggletonians. Armed with hatchets and a pike (which we had buried some years ago in readiness for the reimposition of the satanic monarchy) we helped storm the Guild Hall and St. Paul's in celebration of the 5th Monarchist rising against the return of the King on 6th january 1661. One of the leaders of […]