Friday, December 26, 2014

UKIP and the National Front

iandsharman.tumblr.com/post/99050734404/ukips-ties-to-the-national-front

Ian has done the work of detailing links between UKIPpers and the National Front. It makes interesting reading. It does not "prove" UKIP is a fascist party. It ought to give people a reason not to take everything they say at face value.

Many people find the EU remote from their needs and interests and UKIP (and back in the day the National Front) like to play on that emotion to get support.

Many people distrust the EU because it represents the interests of the rich. UKIP plays on that too. However it does not mean UKIP won't serve the interests of the rich too. Racism always plays into the hands of the rich - they use it to divide and rule.

Anyone who is waiting for an operation or struggling to find a job might be convinced that the Romanians are to blame. It might be rubbish (in fact it is) but they are an easily identified scapegoat.


The trade unions are seeking to pursue these social issues but they are hamstrung as long as they trust in the Labour traitors. Indeed it begins to a look a bit needy to go back to Labour time and time again like a Labrador when Labour only lets us down again every single time. The working class deserves a lot better but the UKIPpers are just a red herring.


#socialistreviews


 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Tories!

I trust you will all spare a thought for Lady Jenkin this Christmas. While you sit down to your undeserved Christmas fare, think of her tucking in to her festive porridge. Perhaps the butler will stick a sprig of holly in it for the poor dear. I certainly hope she doesn't choke on it, it is the season of goodwill.
Meanwhile her party plans to cut back social expenditure to 1930s levels. And we all remember the 1930s as a jolly time of mass unemployment and starvation. And of course there was that fun charismatic Nigel Hitler. 
We should be eternally grateful to the Tories, God bless them. 

#socialistreviews


 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682




Sunday, December 21, 2014

War. What is it good for?

Anyone would think the Americans had no trouble at all at home when they have had plenty of time to intervene in the country formerly known as Iraq and on Syeia. Unsurprisingly they are actually in a lot of trouble at home because of the blatant racism of the police. And foreign wars are a useful diversion. Ask Margaret Thatcher. 
More lives will be lost. War. What is it good for? Filthy political posturing. 

#socialistreviews


 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682




Saturday, December 13, 2014

What a pickle

Eric Pickles has correctly castigated Devon NHS bosses for threatening to deny treatment to people they consider obese.

However coming from a penny pinching skinflint Tory millionaire any impartial observer might describe this as hypocritical horseshit.

  

Russell Brand

It has been suggested that if "None of the above" appeared on the ballot paper then "None of the above" would form the next government.

Most interestingly Russell Brand said on Question Time that he would not stand for parliament because he didn't want to get sucked in to the corruption. Dave Nellist of TUSC managed to do that and even lived on a skilled worker's wage rather than his parliamentary salary. It certainly brought him closer to his constituents in Coventry so it is doable.
The support for Russell Brand and the horrified abuse he has received for expressing his opinion in a democracy is an indication of just how much the political establishment is distrusted. TUSC should take heart from this!

#socialistreviews


 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Loose morals and poverty

A supporter leapt to the defence of Marie Antoinette Jenkins in the i today. She claimed that "poverty in the UK is often the result of financial mismanagement, loose morals, dependence and greed."

One question. Was it the financial mismanagement of the poor that caused the banking crisis? Was it their greed or for that matter their loose morals?

No.



Democracy on the rack

The president of the USA has finally admitted what the rest of the world has been saying for over a decade. The use of torture by the CIA was not "made up by terrorists", it actually happened. He is also saying it was counterproductive.

Of course the CIA do not do so much in the torturing line these days, they subcontract it and the subcontractors are not subject to any scrutiny at all.

The publication of CIA torture techniques is intended as a warning to any critics of American foreign (or domestic) policy. Disagree with us and this will happen to you!

Obama boasts that only the US admits its mistakes. This glosses over the fact that it takes a very long time and that torturing people does not take place by "mistake". The highest ranking person ever imprisoned over Abu Ghraib torture was a sergeant. (A brigadier general got a slap on the wrist) The Commander in Chief (I think his name was Bush) got away scot free.

And the US cannot be prosecuted over war crimes. That is reserved for regimes they don't like.

So will the real culprits ever face trial for torture techniques, some of which they copied from the Nazis? Don't hold your breath.


#socialistreviews


  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682



Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Let them eat porridge!


When hearing that the poor people were rioting because they had no bread, Marie Antoinette wittily remarked, ""Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" "Why don't they eat cake?" Sycophantic historians have claimed she never said any such thing because it was "an old joke." which it was. This is hardly a reason for her not to repeat it but today's sycophants have to do their best. At the time the sycophants just had to laugh obediently.

Baroness Jenkin didn't get where she is today by being witty and amusing. When she claimed the problem with the working classes was that they went to food banks because they didn't know how to cook, she was trying to show compassionate Conservatism at work. She claimed that she could make porridge for 4 pence and that was quite good enough for the working classes to eat. One wonders what kind of porridge this is. It has no milk, no salt and is unheated because all these things take money. Whatever the thin gruel Lady Muck wants to feed us, God help anyone who asks for more!

This compassionate Conservatism is on a par with IDS claiming he knew all about poverty because he had been unemployed. Like all the unemployed he went to live in daddy's house and the servants brought him three meals a day. I am guessing it wasn't porridge.

In fact the vicious application of harsh benefit rules mean that families have to go to food banks or starve. While Baroness Jenkins lives in luxury, better people than her go without.

So would be guillotine be a bit harsh for Baroness Jenkin and her ilk? She knows better than anyone that you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. #socialistreviews


  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Updated-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682



Monday, December 08, 2014

The role of the hero





The Iron Heel is a classic of Socialist literature.

This book analyses the role of the hero in Jack London's The Iron Heel. The Iron Heel is both an adventure story and a critique of the rapacious nature of the rich. London compares them to a pack of wolves. Try appealing to their better nature! This makes the novel contemporary although it was published in 1906. The role of the hero in the novel poses particular problems for the writer and the book analyses how he tackles them. 

Contents 
Introduction - "All art is propaganda but not all propaganda is art." 
Section 1 - London's presentation of the hero. 
a) London's use of his own experiences.
b) Point of View.
c) London's appeal to his readers.
Section 2 - The wolf and the eagle. London's animal imagery. 
Section 3 - The Superman 
a) The Christian Atheist.
b) Earnest and Avis.
c) The credibility of the hero.


Sunday, December 07, 2014

#makelyinghistory

We deserve better than the canaille of politicians we are landed with. The trade union leaders (even the left ones) are either praying that the Labour traitors don't let us down again or in some cases hoping the Greens will do the job they themselves are holding back from doing.

Those who want a new party of the working class are gathered in the organisation created by Bob Crow - the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

Politics has been discredited by the experience of New Labour's shameful betrayals. A party nominally committed to peace which lied to get a war started is not an advertisement for politicians. The trade unions could make a start by refusing backing to any politician who supports cuts and privatisation - this would include most of the Parliamentary Labour Party for starters.


Friday, December 05, 2014

Protest against privatisation of the NHS

County Hall in Chichester, Friday 6 December. Protesters defy freezing weather to protest against the privatisation of the NHS. The Tories are handing over MSK (musculoskeletal services) to their chums in the private sector. They don't like the plebs protesting about their activities!

The Socialist Party were there. The Green Party were there. It is a shame that working class people feel forced to vote for a middle-class protest group because the Labour Party, which should be leading this fight, is conspicuous by its absence. Those who are old enough can remember when Labour would have been organising this protest not shying away from it!

#socialistreviews 





Tuesday, December 02, 2014

SAVE SUSSEX HOSPITALS!


Demonstrate at meeting of councillors at County Hall, Chichester!
Stop the sale of musculoskeletal services to Bupa!
Friday 5th December 9.30am

Assemble at main entrance!

Bring something noisy.

Let's drum privatisation out of our NHS.

#socialistreviews


http://derekmcmillan.com


Monday, December 01, 2014

Shared Resources on the TES

Weekly report on your shared resource(s):

Views: 153
All time views: 9650
Downloads: 81
All time downloads: 3823

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Miranda Revolution

The Miranda Revolution is a book of light and shade. Although there is humour, there is also a serious side to it. Shelly encouraged the poor to seek a better world with the phrase, “Ye are many, they are few.” The poor know only too well that the rich have the guns and tanks on their side and they know that the parties of the working class have failed in their historic mission. The book is a work of fiction but it suggests one way those problems could be overcome. It is a message of hope.


The Miranda Revolution is suitable for young adults. It contains sex and violence but none of it is graphic. Most of the sexual references illustrate the plight of the street-girls in the Dictatorship.


In this book, three characters from Salt Wars, Wolf-Dietrich, Tilly and Xavier become involved with the battle to overthrow the Dictatorship. It is an adventure story in which the three of them fight evil in their own very different ways.
The Dictatorship described is generic and could apply to a number of countries. The gangsters control the streets and the Dictatorship controls the gangsters.


The Dictator's consort, Miranda, is drawn into the revolution by realising one of the street-girls is her daughter. A religious movement which has been a safety valve of value to the Dictator is transformed by Miranda's visions through the 'mirror of eternity'.
Half of the money I receive from this book will go to OXFAM.


Arrested defending $15!




Kshama Sawant Arrested Defending SeaTac Workers' Right to $15 Wage 


In November 2013 in SeaTac, a suburb of Seattle, a majority of voters passed Proposition 1 establishing a minimum wage of $15/hour for airport related workers.  Alaska Airlines and other corporations have strongly resisted implementing the democratic decision of the voters. Socialist Alternative Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued this statement after she was arrested yesterday defending SeaTac airport workers' right to a $15/hour minimum wage.
 

"It was the courage of SeaTac workers and their victory at the ballot that made $15/hour possible in Seattle. I'm proud to stand with them today against Alaska Airlines' attempted robbery. First, Alaska Airlines said the City of SeaTac doesn't have the right to enforce $15/hour for airport workers; only the Port does. Now Alaska Airlines is leading the charge on a federal lawsuit claiming the Port has no authority to raise wages. Which is it? What's clear is they'd rather spend millions trying to overturn democracy than pay low-wage workers what they've earned."
 
See coverage from over 35 media outlets! 

 

The fight for $15 continues! Donate $15 to support the fight for $15! 

 

 

 





Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Using Flash Fiction with learners

I am a retired teacher. I work as a volunteer, along with my wife, Angela, with a functional English Class in Worthing in Sussex.

I have started using Every Day Fiction with the class. I have posted links to specific stories or to a menu of stories on Moodle and added a forum for learners to write their comments.

Moodle is a magical open-source digital learning environment. Students can work on it in class. There is time to read a story and write about it in one lesson along with all the other things we have to do. Using Moodle means that the more motivated students can also do it at home. 

I made a start with the Halloween stories and they were very popular.

The students are mainly adults who don't read a great deal and some stories are going to be easier for them than others. The fact that stories have tags is very useful to guide them to stories they are likely to like.


I hope some of them will get hooked on Everyday Fiction.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Band Aid 30


Bob Geldof spoke for the nation when he told Chris Evans to shut up when the vacuous presenter was waffling brainlessly over Band Aid 30 on Radio 2 this morning. Band Aid 30 is aimed at raising money to help the victims of ebola. The abiding image used by Bob Geldof is of a mother who cannot hold a suffering child because ebola could kill her in turn.

It is typical of the media that they have sought to turn it into a ridiculous dispute between Adele and Bob Geldof.  The idea of Band Aid - that celebs should use their fame for a good purpose is a million miles away from the trivial concerns of the gutter press.

The single only costs 90p but you can donate by text: Text AID to 70060 to give £5. By 

And the government, well they are far too busy exporting bombs and drones to bother with ebola. Yet the ebola virus is just a plane ride away from Great Britain.

It’s Christmas time – and there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time – we let in light – and banish shade
And in our world of plenty – we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer – pray for the other ones
At Christmas time – it’s hard but while you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window – and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you – and there’s death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there – are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you

No peace and joy this Christmas in West Africa
The only hope they’ll have is being alive
Where to comfort is to fear
Where to touch is to be scared
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Here’s to you
Raise a glass to everyone
And here’s to them
And all their years to come
Let them know it’s Christmas after all

Feed the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feel the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Heal the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jeremy Hunt's deception

In a typical piece of deception, the government is urging people with "trivial" illnesses not to go to the doctor or to A and E. The plain fact is that often the only way people can get treatment urgently is to go to A and E because the waiting lists for minor surgery are so long it could easily become major surgery by the time you get to the front of the queue. This does not apply to the rich who always join the queue at the front anyway.

Hunt has announced an injection of cash to deal with the anticipated oncoming crisis in winter. However, the BMA has said that the funding is not new money.

Quoted in "The i" newspaper, Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council said "This announcement is merely a sticking plaster. It masks the fact that a funding gap of thirty billion pounds is opening up in the NHS and does not go far enough to address the underlying reasons why the system is under such extreme pressure."

The NHS is not safe in the hands of any of the politicians. We have to fight for it if we want a National Health Service worthy of the name and not just a meaningless "brand".





http://www.amazon.co.uk/Socialist-Reviews-Derek-McMillan-ebook/dp/B00C9G7682

http://www.amazon.co.uk/death-agony-capitalism-Leon-Trotsky-ebook/dp/B007L5LGC8/



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http://derekmcmillan.com