“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tory Party Conference? I still wake in the night screaming.

The Tory Party Conference will be getting into full swing now. "Another six bottles of claret over here squire. In your own time." I must be one of the very few anarcho bloggers who can claim to have attended a few Tory Party conferences. It all goes back to the five tedious years that I spent as a porter come stagehand at the Brighton Centre. Sure, I got to do backstage security for The Jam but the counter balance to such good times was the mind numbing boredom of the party political conference. The Tories were by far the worst. Looking out across the main hall at a vast sea of outlandish women's hats, "the lady is not for turning", the weird born again Christian who used to stage manage the events. My blood runs cold at the memory. Early one morning I approached the Brighton Centre to find the road  leading to the staff entrance at the rear of the building closed off by tight lipped cops. Making my way to the front I caught up with colleagues and found that half of the facade of the Metropole Hotel was missing. The IRA had gone for broke. Thatchers speech that day and the general air of self righteous hubris that pervaded the building had to be experienced to be believed. I think that at that moment I knew that when it came to Thatcher we were in for the long haul. Even in those days Tory conferences were stage managed to the last detail with no hint of anything resembling debate being allowed to disrupt the smooth flow of what was just a party rally. It was a format soon adopted by Labour and now you could be forgiven for not being able to tell apart the gatherings of the faithful.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Relax, G4S are on the door.

You have to hand it to G4S. No matter how many deportees or prisoners die in their custody, no matter the sometimes Olympian proportion of their management fuck ups, they just keep on coming. Now it seems that the company have landed the security contract for next months annual pilgramage to Mecca, the hajj. All those G4S knuckle draggers mixing it with all those Wahhabi nutters - still, keeps 'em all in one place I suppose.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Don't do it JK.

Even those of us who have never so much as opened a Harry Potter book know about the background and political stance of J K Rowling. The woman might be mind numbingly rich but she is none the less probably what "Her Indoors" refers to as a "good old gal". A recent article in The Staggers suggests that  Rowling could put her huge wealth to good use by becoming a media mogul and financing a left newspaper. A nice idea at first glance but the decline in print media, the huge outburst of leftie infighting that would result and the sad but true reality that most people would stick to the Sun or Mail anyway mean that here is a tears before bedtime project if ever there was one. Six months of declining sales followed by a fucking great row would probably be the sum of it, with little achieved but the career advancement of a few young left leaning Oxbridge educated journos.  Stick to the fiction JK. Never underestimate the power of the novel.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A disappointment on the Greenwich Peninsular.

I have always known about  the Greenwich Peninsular of course. I have rounded Blackwall Point, the Northern tip of the peninsular, countless times in any number of ships and barges. The decaying corpses of pirates once swung in the breeze at Blackwall Point as a warning to seafarers who might be tempted to embark on a career change. Now the O2 dwarfs everything in a grotesque tribute to Blairism. I have never visited The Dome, had never walked ashore on the peninsular at all in fact. I know that it was once desolate marshland, became heavily industrialised only to be abandoned until the double whammy of Millennium and Olympics provided the impetus for "redevelopment", but that was the sum of my knowledge. But a few weeks ago I had reason to be on a bus in the area. From the top deck I noticed a row of old terrace cottages and a pub, The Pilot, seemingly stranded in a landscape of new development. A reminder of the days when the river was more than just an interesting backdrop to luxury flats. I determined to visit The Pilot and combine the visit with a ride on Boris' cable car and set out on the expedition yesterday. The cable car ride was splendid. As we descended I could see the row of cottages in the distance and once landed set of for the pub at a brisk pace. Oh! Bugger! Talk about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and all that. The Pilot was "closed for refurbishment" but judging by the scale of building work going on it looks like something more serious. I fear the worst. The Pilot will doubtless reopen but I suspect will be an establishment of the square plate, swirl of sauce and rocket garnish rather than the decent pint and a jukebox. I should have jumped off the bus when I had the chance.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Space Hijackers for ever!

The £100,000 compensation paid by City Of London cops to the Space Hijackers is good news indeed. These self-styled anarchitects are my kind of politicos. So is the Reverend Billy. We need more talented and amusing protest like this. Compare and contrast with the turgid Left Unity and their will to live sapping lack of talent and amusement.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Nice suit John. Do you think they will ever come back into fashion?

Never underestimate the power of fashion and for that matter never underestimate the speed at which today's must have shoes, kitchen or ideology will have to be ditched when the trend takes a turn in the other direction. Be it the English upper class and their swift denial of ever having the hots for Adolf Hitler or all those ex hippies cutting hair and binning flairs when punk hit town, nothing is more Judas like than yesterday's trendy caught on the back foot. But what goes around comes around - again. Well, sometimes. During the great suburban expansion of the 20's and 30's the developers and speculative builders may not have had a huge understanding of the Arts and Crafts Movement but they knew a winner when they saw it and recognised that mock beams, leaded windows and anything that smacked of the rustic was the way to go when it came to impressing the new commuting classes. Mile after mile of semi-detached Tudorbethan spread like some terrible plague. For any piece of hard standing only one material was deemed quaint and rustic enough, crazy paving. These days, when it comes to front paths and off road parking, nothing is so unfashionable as crazy paving. Thousands of square miles of new block paving have replaced the old surface that could be created by one man, a heap of old paving slabs and a sledge hammer. We're hanging on to ours. It's bound to come back into fashion.

Friday, 13 September 2013

For Workers Power.

I have been reading For Workers Power, the selected writings of Maurice Brinton (Chris Pallis) These old Solidarity articles and pamphlets, originally published during the 60's and 70's, have stood the test of time and The Irrational In Politics, for example remains as relevant today as ever while The Bolsheviks And Workers' Control should perhaps be required reading for all Left Unity foot soldiers.
But for all it's many good points, Solidarity was never able to break into mainstream consciousness. It remained a small group who talked a lot of good sense but were only able to address a relative handful of left militants. Then as now, the majority of ordinary folk preferred shopping to politics. Perhaps they have a point.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The real Goldfinger.

Yesterday I visited a building that I have been meaning to take a look at for some time. 2 Willow Road, Hampstead was the family home of modernist designer and architect Erno Goldfinger and is now cared for by the National Trust and open to the public. When Goldfinger announced his plans to knock down a row of derelict cottages on Willow Road and erect a "concrete" house on the site there was considerable local opposition. Among the protesters was Ian Fleming who detested Goldfinger and his house. Goldfinger was modern, foreign, Jewish, intellectual and left-wing while Fleming of course was none of those things. The creator of James Bond would later, some say from sheer spite, name one of his most dastardly villains after the architect. From all accounts Goldfinger was not the easiest man to get along with, and neither was Fleming.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The lady in black.

The so called "religions of The Book" have much in common, and none of it is partticulary progresive.
British lefties make apologies for Islam and whine about the "right" of women to be hidden behind the burqa. The Burka Avenger is more my cup of tea.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Radical Dorking? Some mistake surely.

Because Dorking lies at the heart of the Surrey Hills, the closest place for myself and Her Indoors to go for a tramp in the country, we tend to visit the little town fairly frequently. I can't really put my finger on the reason but I quite like the place. I think that "old fashioned" might be the best way of describing the town that, as far as I'm aware, is most famous for being home to a very handsome variety of poultry. We usually arrive after a long walk, look round the shops, marvel at the Oddfellows Hall and the existence of a large Labour Party HQ in this Tory heartland, drop in for a pint and get the bus home. But the other day we called into the small local museum and what an eye opener. I had no idea what a radical past Dorking had. Home of any number of radical dissenters and a Parliamentarian stronghold during the Civil War, many Dorking residents were well to the left of Cromwell. Later the town would provide safe haven for the Fifth Monarchy man Christopher Feake.
By the early decades of the 19th century the level of poverty among the labouring classes in the countryside surrounding Dorking became intolerable and 1830 was to see full scale riots as unemployed labourers descended on the town. The now quiet and respectable main street rang to the cry, "Bread or Blood" and the status quo was only restored when a platoon of cavalry was dispatched from the nearest garrison.
No doubt the majority of the gentry living in the big houses on the outskirts of Dorking held staunchly conservative views on society and politics. No so Frederick and Emmerline Pethwick-Lawrence. Emmerline was a principle members of the Women's Social And Political Union and their home near Dorking served as a recuperation centre for suffragettes who had endured forced feeding in prison. Later both Fredrick and Emmerline would be charged and found guilty of conspiracy to cause criminal damage and would themselves suffer forced feeding. There is an interesting piece on these life-long political activists on the Spartacus Education website.
Dorking was also home to the journalist John Langdon-Davis who wrote Behind The Spanish Barricades after his return from the civil war. Later he would join with fellow anti-facist Tom Winteringham in the early days of the Home Guard when this organisation was far more of a people's militia than we might think from watching Dad's Army. 
But if the town had a radical past is there a radical Dorking today with anarcho-syndicalists on the council estate and the local WI a hotbed of militancy? I would like to think so.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Where to the EDL now?

A couple of hundred EDL supporters had gathered in Queen Elizabeth Street close to Tower Bridge. By the time that the marchers were making their way across the bridge the leading  boats in the Great River Race were going under the bridge. Perhaps the bemused looking tourists thought that the EDL were also a part of the Mayor's River Festival, or in some way connected to the Beefeaters at The Tower. All those St Georges flags. It would be an easy mistake to make. But the EDL should invest in some chainmail if they really want to carry it off. Over in Altab Ali Park anti-fascists of various persuasions must have outnumbered the EDL by ten to one. A bearded cleric was telling us that we are all brothers and sisters . All descended from Adam and Eve apparently. I'm sure that he meant well. I forget what Lindsey German said - so no change there. At one stage I walked up Brick Lane to get a salt beef roll from the Begal Shop. Up there the young trendies carried on with their shopping and posing oblivious to the political drama being played out a couple of hundred yards to the south. It was ever thus. Back at Aldgate Station Tommy Robinson was still making his speech at a quarter to three. It was turning out to be a long day and all the way from Bermondsey to Whitechapel the police presence was huge. I imagine that Tommy's boys and (a few) girls will be totally poleaxed by now. In the morning they can nurse their hangovers and have a long hard think about what, if anything, the future holds for their organisation.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Met lose Criado-Perez evidence.

I don't care that much about the design of banknotes or the gender of the luminaries who's faces adorn the notes. Truth be told, I don't much care for metropolitan elite media "feminists" like Caroline Criado-Perez either but you have to respect the way women like her are standing up to the sad creeps who's preferred form of sexual gratification is the graphic online rape threat. Now it turns out that, in time honoured fashion, the Met have "lost" the evidence collected by Criado-Perez. If Plod can get away with treating a high profile, sharp elbowed, middle-class woman like her in such an offhand manner what are the chances of an ordinary working-class woman who is the victim of online threats?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Walkie Talkie melts cars STOP

New skyscraper on Fenchurch Street act as giant magnifying glass STOP Reflecting sunlight and melting cars in nearby street STOP Temperature of 92.6 C recorded STOP Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf issue joint statement, "We are looking into the matter" STOP Suggest invest in black paint STOP

Monday, 2 September 2013

Jamie Oliver at Big Feastival. Exclusive pics.

Thank fuck I was nowhere near Kingham, Oxfordshire at the weekend. This poor benighted place is not only contaminated with Cameron, Clarkson and the Ginger Bitch but is also home to the Big Feastival.  This brainwave of Alex (Cheesy Bits) James and his mate Jamie Oliver has been described as a festival of music, food and pushchairs and apparently attracts more posh totty, celeb retards and inbred public school wankers than you can shake a stick at. Here's a shot of Jamie Oliver caught backstage during an unguarded moment.

Autumn on the plot.

Well that's it, it's officially autumn. The days are getting noticeably shorter and although September and October can give us some beautiful weather, there will be an early morning chill to remind us of the time of year. The growing season is drawing to a close and us allotmenteers are contemplating lifting the rest of the spuds and beetroot, having a last weed round the brassicas, leeks and parsnips that will stand for most of the winter and putting the plot to bed for the year. This year I used seaweed fertiliser for the first time and results have been very good. It could be that the seaweed is particularly suited to our light sandy soil or of course it could be just coincidence or a combination of other factors, but this has been the best season since taking the plot over some six years ago.