This is a self-pitying post. If you’re not in to self pitying posts you’d best stop now.
I don’t think I’m better than this but the phrase keeps on popping in to my head.
Six months after losing my job I still can’t find another.
Two and a half years after moving in to a friend’s families’ spare room I still can’t find another place to live.
I was employed at first and couldn’t find anywhere. I’m unemployed now and still can’t find anywhere. Few places take unemployed people and those that do charge the sort of rent few people could afford when they get a job.
Rock and a hard place.
I’m fed up of being skint, I’m fed up of leaning on other people, I’m fed up of sitting here thinking ‘I’m better than this.’
I am better than this, but so are we all.
If a few more folk got off their arses,
The few of us would need less marches,
But on their arses they do sit,
While all around them goes to shit.
So once more we’ll march in their stead,
With hopes that they’ll heed what we’ve said,
And switch of the bleedin’ X Factor,
To pay attention to stuff that matters.
And though that hope might be forlorn,
For some of us it’s how we’re born,
Stand and fiddle as Rome burns?
Nah, bog that, it’s Parliament’s turn.
(I’m not actually inciting the burning of Parliament, even though the closing scene of V For Vendetta is quite amazing. It ain’t the building, it’s the folk inside it who do the damage.)
(And yes, that should be ‘fewer’ marches in the second line but ‘fewer’ didn’t scan.)
The title probably tells you all you need to know.
This one’s called Pandas. It’s not about pandas, though there is a reference to pandas. And MacBeth.
This one’s called Poo. It’s not about poo, though there is a reference to poo. And a loo brush.
It seems like a bit of a rite of passage to write a ‘Why I joined The Green Party’ post on a blog after joining The Green Party. I’d guess it’s a rite of passage on joining other parties too. Not having joined any other parties I’ve never felt the need to write a ‘Why I joined another party’ blog post so I guess we’ll have to stick with the Why I joined The Green Party one.
To be honest, the following could probably be summarised in three words: Labour Party activists. I say this before actually having written the following but I suspect it will end up somewhere along those lines.
Righty, on with the shizz.
I’m a trade union rep, I’m a public sector worker and I’m a socialist. I’m fortunate enough to be a member of a trade union which doesn’t fund the Labour party. This is important to me. The Labour party have consistently failed to support unions, whether it’s through their failure to repeal the most stringent anti-union laws in Europe while they were in power or their failure to support industrial action while in opposition.
Labour are pro-austerity, pro-privatisation and anti-union, yet still they are expecting trade union funding and trade union members’ support. Alas, they get a lot of that support. Personally I wouldn’t support a party who’s main selling point was that they’ll cut my toe off rather than the other lot who’ll take my whole leg.
I won’t support, campaign or vote for a party which wants to remove any of my metaphorical body parts. I’m attached to my legs and my toes, much as I’m attached to the principles of public services being provided by the public sector, welfare existing to support those who need it (even if it means a few blaggers rinse it), workers getting a fair share of the profits they make for their employer and the right to fight back when the piss is being taken
The Labour party has done nothing to indicate that they support any of that yet they are still invited to TUC Conference, trade union rallies etc. Socialists campaign for them. The Morning Star carries articles from people saying ‘We have to reclaim Labour’. We can’t reclaim Labour. Labour isn’t ours to reclaim.
Why didn’t I join a socialist party?
My experience of socialist parties is that they are largely campaigning bodies. I respect that and think they have their place but, as a revolution in Britain is unlikely, I think socialists need to engage with the political system we are landed with. I’m a reformist, not a revolutionary. It’s one area where pragmatism outwits my idealism.
I know the above is simplistic but it does bring me on to the actual reason for this post:
Why I joined The Green Party
Labour have failed us. Every time I see a Labour supporter (or an SWP/SP etc member) going on about the ConDem government I think they’re missing the point. The enemy isn’t the ConDem government, the enemy is neoliberalism. It matters not if the rosette is blue, yellow or red. They are all parts of the same neoliberal hegemony.
I’m under no illusions that The Green Party are a wonderful, anti-neolib panacea. I’ve read enough about their decisions in local government, and the alliances their equivalent parties in Europe make, to know that there are issues but of the relatively mainstream parties they are the only one which, to my knowledge:
- has supported the PCS pledges (link is to the PCS website),
- supports rail nationalisation,
- supports the living wage
- supports fair pensions for all
- opposes privatisation of the NHS (and, as far as I’m aware, other public services)
- supports building council houses.
That is all stuff which I support. That is all stuff which, when I read it, made me think ‘Hang on, that’s me that is!’
Labour are relying on the good faith and dedication of their voters and activists to get them elected without doing anything to support those voters and activists. The Green Party are filling the gap Labour opened.
I joined The Green Party because we need a new left wing party, a party that can actually win seats.
I joined The Green Party because I’m fed up of watching the disaffected Tory right going to UKIP while the disaffected Labour left keeps propping up the neoliberal enemy in the hope that they’ll change,
I joined The Green Party because every neoliberal seat lost to the left, beit a Tory, Lib Dem or Labour seat, is a seat gained by the left.
You might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned environmental issues yet. Environmental issues are important to me, and the Greens’ environmental policies could help us out of recession, but that isn’t why I joined the Greens. I joined the Greens because they’re the best chance we have of taking seats from neoliberals.
I’d like to think disaffected Labour activists will join me.
I won’t be attending World Pride tomorrow as I would rather not support events which accept sponsorship from (in other words, advertise) companies which use subsidiaries/suppliers who threaten trade unionists with death (namely, Coca Cola).
As a trade unionist I think it would be inappropriate for me to do so. When it comes to a trade off between workers’ rights and LGBT rights (which Saturday unfortunately does) my priorities lie with the former. I’m dismayed that the TUC and many of Britain’s trade unions (including my own) are willing to promote and support an event which counts among its sponsors Coke and companies like Tesco, who aren’t well known for sharing their wealth with their workers or their suppliers.
I am saddened that this year’s Pride has had to be cut back but personally I’d rather see a much smaller day with morals intact and the political message writ large.
Having said all that I hope all those who do attend have a cracking time. Pride’s important, both as a celebration of how far we’ve come and, more importantly, as a message to those who can’t have prides that things can get better.
Poseidon Adventure (TV 2005) (Rotten Tomatoes) is truly one of the most remarkable films ever made, so remarkable Andria Fag Hag and I felt compelled to live tweet a review during a Sunday afternoon viewing. These are the tweets. There’s a lot of farting.
Rarely has the art of smell the fart acting been so copiously deployed. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Clive Mantle, Rutger Hauer, Bryan Brown and Steve Guttenberg? Crikey. This is proper classy. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Ye gods, enough of the character development, hurry up and capsize the fucker. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Clive mate, I know you’re doing your best with the acting thing but really it’s a waste of time. #poseidonadventure #movies24
So far we’ve had smell the fart, follow through, pissing standing up and even a bit of wank acting. Quality. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Who do you send the mayday email to? The coastguard? The navy? No, a random old school friend, obviously. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Wow! Double wank under the blanket acting! This is just immense. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Sublime follow through acting from Clive Mantle there. #poseidonadventure #movies24
A finer example of combined smell the fart acting and sneakily pissing standing up acting I have never seen. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Good god, Steve Guttenberg’s turning in to William Shatner. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Aha! They waited until no-one else was around before they started acting proper! Shame about the actual lines. #poseidonadventure #movies24
‘I get on peoples’ nerves sometimes’. Well yes. You’re the kid in an American disaster movie. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Is it me or does Movies 24 have the most depressing adverts on telly? #poseidonadventure #movies24
There’s a hell of a lot of Kurt Russelling going on in that dinghy. #poseidonadventure #movies24
I am reliably informed that in the book the kid cops it. I fear this version will feature no such happy ending. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Awww. Steve ‘The Wank’ Guttenberg’s under the blanket wanking acting partner’s about to cop it. Tragedy! #poseidonadventure #movies24
You can tell when somebody’s about to die in this. It’s when they start acting. #poseidonadventure #movies24
Crikey, the farts have got so bad they’re all doing the Full Shatner. #poseidonadventure #movies24
And so it ends. I’m not sure how I can go on without it in my life. #poseidonadventure #movies24
I love your subscriptions,
I love your dedication,
I appreciate your efforts,
Helping the weakest in our nation,
I love the Labour badge that you wear,
I love that you fight on despite despair,
That I’m not listening and really don’t care,
Your commitment to the party gives me cheer,
Because your commitment will get us back in power,
The rosettes you wear will bring us our hour,
And when we stab you in the back we’ll do it with pride,
Because we know you’ll stay by our side.
With love, Ed Miliband.
On Sunday 27th* November I will be drunkenly playing on the internet in anticipation of Wednesday.
In anticipation of Wednesday. That’s not something one could normally say. Wednesdays are really a mild cheddar of a day, not the distressing cloud of ‘I left the cheese out of the fridge after making drunken cheese on toast on Saturday and now it’s all hard and stuff’ dismay of a Monday but not the ‘Goats cheese? Really? How splendid!’ glory of a Friday. Wednesdays are finding mild cheddar in the fridge and knowing your beans on toast will have the cheesy exuberance on which they rely.
No. Next Wednesday is a special Wednesday. It is a Wednesday hoist aloft by an importance which, to be fair, a Wednesday isn’t usually due.
If you don’t why next Wednesday’s special you probably don’t want next Wednesday to be special. If that’s the case you can fuck off on a fuckstick made of fuck.
For everybody else, there will be some live internet songs and meanderings from myself and The Repercussions on Sunday ‘twixt 14.00 and 17.00.
You can tune in here: http://
You can also say you’re attending the Facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=152088584892681
There will be swearing. The C word is likely to be used. I hate to use the word Conservative but sometimes the cunts make it necessary.
This evening’s London Evening Standard, published before St Paul’s voted to suspend legal action against the Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX) protest, carried this sentence on its front page:
‘Tent City’ could mar Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee’
Mar? I can think of few better ways to mark the Olympics than a protest against the worst excesses of capitalism. › Continue reading