Wednesday, January 29, 2014


THURSDAY 20th February

Socialist Party Public Meeting:

Brighton and Hove Council Budget 2014:

Brighton and Hove’s Green administration intend following up last year’s attack on the city’s bin workers’ wages with further cuts in the council’s 2014-15 budget. If successful, this would mean that this administration, elected on a mandate to ‘resist austerity’, has cut £50 million from jobs and services in the city in three years.
Primary responsibility for cuts in local government services lies with the Con-Dem government’s austerity programme. The proposal by the Greens to increase council tax by 4.75%, however, is no defence in the face of this attack.
This tax increase would raise £2.75 million more than December's draft budget. But that budget proposed £22.56 million in spending cuts threatening the jobs of 100-150 council workers.
The Socialist Party calls for second question in the referendum: asking the electorate in Brighton if they would rather the council defied the government and refused to implement the cuts, instead of choosing between tax increases and slightly smaller cuts or cuts alone.

All Welcome 8.PM Phoenix Centre

Sawant responds to Obama

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger: We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger is best remembered for popularising "We shall overcome" and for his role in anti-fascist and anti-capitalist action.
He performed with Woody Guthrie in the 1950s and marched with Occupy Wall Street protesters in his 90s, leaning on two canes. He wrote or co-wrote If I Had a Hammer, Turn, Turn, TurnWhere Have All the Flowers Gone and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.

He renounced Stalinism in 1951 but that did not stop the McCarthy witch-hunters from attacking him. They knew perfectly well that the Communist Party were not the main enemy. The working class and all those who fight for them were.

The establishment have sought to make Seeger "safe" by heaping him with praise now that he is safely dead. They hated him like poison when he was fighting against them.

I hope you take to time to relisten to some of his work. He is an inspiration to young and old. Anyone who wants a role model for a resilient lifelong fighter need look no further.

We shall overcome.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Agitate Educate Organize - American Labor Posters

"All art is propaganda but not all propaganda is art." Agitate Educate Organize - American Labor Posters is an excellent collection of some of the best union posters. They put across a straightforward message in vivid ways and they have the power to counter the lies of the mass media. .

The unions and the working class have been "decisively defeated" many times. Everyone from Benito Mussolini to Margaret Thatcher claimed to have destroyed the unions. The unions are still here. We will never give up.

Get your local library to get a copy. And hurry before the Right wing destroy all the libraries!

Click here for the book

  See also

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Iron Heel

If you believe Socialism can be achieved without the  opposition of the capitalist class it is a salutary experience to read "The Iron Heel". Socialists have always regarded "The Iron Heel" as an antidote to  social collaborationism. The capitalist class is holding back the development of society. Jack London accused them of having failed in their stewardship of society's resources.

The fact they have exhausted their historical role does not mean (as some Socialists believed) that they would simply fade away from the stage of history. On the contrary they would use their power to protect their wealth. The twentieth century and the present one are full of examples. The Iron Heel was not written as a prophecy but as a warning. The warning has full force today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Expropriate the One Percent!

Just 1 percent of the world's population controls nearly half of the planet's wealth, according to a new study published by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting. The study says this tiny slice of humanity controls $110 trillion, or 65 times the total wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion people.
The report also points out the incredible statistic that the world's 85 richest people own as much as the poorest 50 percent of humanity. Curiously the tabloid press chose to lead on a story about Coronation Street when this news was released.
70 percent of the world's people live in a country where income inequality has increased in the past three decades. Governments have been making "hard choices." But it turns out they were not all that hard for the millionaires.
In the USA the gap between rich and poor has grown at a faster rate than any other developed country.

And why Oxfam? Oxfam is remembered as a safe charitable concern collecting money for the poor while the rich get comfortably richer. Why the difference? One reason has got to be the complete failure of the political elite to address this issue. The Labour Party used to have equality at the heart of its professed philosophy. Now it is indistinguishable from the Conservative Party.
The reason given by the Labour leadership and their apologists is that "Socialists cannot win elections." That is the reason Socialists all over the world have hailed the victory of Kshama Sawant in Seattle. A Socialist campaign can win in the heart of the United States. Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, fighting for the working class, fighting against poverty is likely to be more effective than writing to your MP! In my case Oxfam suggested I ask what millionaire Peter Bottomley is doing to address inequality of wealth. I look forward to his answer but I am not holding my breath :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snowden defends democracy

Obama's pathetic attempts to make cosmetic changes to the spying on US citizens and foreign nationals which Edward Snowden has brought to light will not convince anybody.

A democracy would give Snowden a congressional medal of honour and put the NSA traitors on trial. The US is not a democracy. Its spies flout the constitution every day of the week. And they justify themselves because everybody they spy on "might be a terrorist". How long will that childish lie work?

Our homegrown MI5 wouldn't dream of doing any such things of course. They would get the American spooks to do it for them!

"I would love to put a bullet in his head," one Pentagon official told BuzzFeed. The NSA leaker is enemy number one among those inside the oddly named "intelligence" world.

And let's not forget that their lies helped Bush and Blair commit mass murder in Iraq.

A party of the working class would give the people a hope of justice. Democracy has been described as a society in which "The People Distrust the State." Politicians are our servants not our masters.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Amazon Reviews

Today I have been mostly writing reviews for where people have been kind enough to buy Salt Wars :)

 Click here It includes a review of Peter Taaffe's Rise of Militant which is on sale in India now.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Conservative Party Fraud

To arrest a Conservative for fraud is a bit like arresting a duck for quacking. The Kings Science Academy in Bradford is backed by Conservative vice chairman Alan Lewis and was visited and praised by David Cameron in 2012.

The Kings Science Academy is at the centre of allegations of "serious failings" in its financial management. Sajid Raza, the Tory genius who set up the school, has now been arrested. We have to add that he is innocent until proven guilty. So is every other Tory :) If one Tory goes to prison for fraud what about the rest of them?

It is one of three high-profile free schools to be at the centre of a controversy, with the Discovery New School in West Sussex being ordered to shut due to poor standards and the future of the Al Madinah Free School in Derby in doubt following two scathing Ofsted inspections.

Somebody is making a complete Gove-up of the education system.

Who could it possibly be?

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Rowing Machine

Many thanks to all the people who have commented on this story. I am
very pleased to have "broken into" Everyday Fiction. It could be the
thin end of the wedge or a flash in the pan. The cliches just keep on

The link is

I am awfully proud!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Fwd: Every Day Fiction - Story of the day: THE ROWING MACHINE • by Derek McMillan

Everyday fiction sends out the best in flash fiction. (Well I would say that!) Today they chose my story 'The Rowing Machine

Every Day Fiction - Story of the day: THE ROWING MACHINE • by Derek McMillan

THE ROWING MACHINE • by Derek McMillan

Posted: 06 Jan 2014 12:05 AM PST

"I'm not using it to tow penguins to the moon," was all Dave ever said about the contraption he was making in the shed. He was not a talkative chap, Dave.

He worked as a surly shop-assistant in McTavish's fish shop. Old man McTavish liked his shop-assistants surly. "Folk come here to buy fish, not to pass the time of day. And you wouldn't want to pass the time of day with those half-wits anyway." was his considered opinion on the matter.

So time went by and Dave got on with constructing his contraption. People noticed parts arriving at the cottage, electronic parts, metal parts and most intriguing specialist latex parts. He was buying the best, it was assumed in the village, that a surly shop-assistant's salary could buy.

Dave had lived in Homely Cottage ever since his parents had died. I remember asking old Phil, who was acknowledged to be the village expert on everything, about Dave's parents.

"Well, they married for love, as people do. Then they settled down to forty-seven years of rowing with each other. Neighbours couldn't help hearing their rows. Now, as you know, village folk are fond of knowing everybody's business at the best of times but people passing in the street could pick up Dave's dad's opinion of Dave's mum and vice versa.

"I always assumed that Dave is so good at the surliness because of his upbringing but he's become significantly surlier since he has been in Homely Cottage all on his own."

After the completion and installation of the contraption in Homely Cottage, Dave became marginally less surly. I must emphasise the "marginally" because Dave still seemed the surliest man in the village.

Dave had a great habit of talking to himself which was fortunate because nobody else was interested in talking to him. The fifteenth time he met you with abuse or a stony silence you tended to get the message. People didn't think anything about the voices coming from Homely Cottage although they did notice that they seemed to be raised in anger more often of late.

Some joker had the wheeze of putting a cuddly toy penguin outside Dave's door. This caused some hilarity because his denial of any penguin involvement in his contraption was well-known. Unfortunately Dave tripped over the little plaything and turned the street blue with his invective against the person or persons unknown who deposited the penguin…

I don't know if this would be a good time to admit that I was the culprit. No, perhaps not.

The upshot of this was that his Aunt Edith came to stay with Dave because his broken ankle was preventing him from his accustomed activities.

While she was there, she accidentally — well, perhaps not all that accidentally — turned on Dave's contraption.

"That was a bloody stupid thing to do," said a voice from the contraption.

"You're a fine one to talk. If I had a pound for every stupid thing you've done I would be rich," said a different voice.

The exchange became more and more heated and it became apparent that parts of the contraption were capable of landing blows on other parts of it, which then apparently cried out with pain when it did so.

So at last we found out the secret of Dave's machine. Missing his parents, he had constructed a rowing machine.

Derek McMillan is the author of Salt Wars which was published on Kindle in December 2013. It is a fantasy inspired by Salzburg and its Prince-Archbishop Wolf-Dietrich von Raitenau. It is also available in German and French. You can "try before you buy" on Kindle so why not have a look? Derek is a retired teacher and his editor is his wife, Angela McMillan.

Podcast EDF151: The Grim Rufus • by Peter Wood • read by Folly Blaine

Posted: 06 Jan 2014 12:00 AM PST

Listen to "The Grim Rufus" by Peter Wood, read by Folly Blaine:

Peter Wood is an attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lives with his surly cat and patient wife. He has had stories published in Daily Science Fiction, Bull Spec, Stupefying Stories and Every Day Fiction. His favorite type of story to write is southern fried science fiction and fantasy. Last year he and his wife ran out of gas on the road between Sanford and Raleigh. As he waited for his brother-in-law to drive down from Raleigh with some gasoline, Pete started to wonder…

Folly Blaine is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.

"The Grim Rufus" by Peter Wood was originally published on October 29, 2013.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Everyday Fiction

The website everyday fiction provides readers with a short story every day, as the name implies. They are the most helpful website for writers, offering constructive criticism in the same way Alfiedog does. And today they are publishing my story "The Rowing Machine" which speaks for itself. They have very good taste obviously :)



Sunday, January 05, 2014

Triple lock or double cross

Cameron's promise to keep the 'triple lock' on state pensions has two problems. 1) it is as much use as anypolitician's  'cast iron promise' such as Clegg's hollow promise over university tuition fees. . 2) This government has launched an unprecedented attack on pensioners and anyone who receives benefits of any kind  

I would trust them as much as any confidence tricksters. The Labour traitors are demonstrably no better. Most of the worst Tory policies were trialled by New Labour. A plague on both their houses. We need a new party of the working class. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Gove wants to glorify war

Michael Gove has chosen the Daily Mail to launch his defence of the indefensible slaughter of the first world war. Gove is probably alone in thinking "Blackadder" was intended as a documentary about the war rather than a comedy.

The senseless slaughter of a generation by generals and politicians was extremely lucrative for the arms dealers. No serious historian believes that the British Imperial General Staff were fighting for freedom and democracy. At the same time as they bleated about "gallant little Belgium" they were quite happy to see the indigenous peoples of India and South Africa oppressed by their white "superiors".

Gove thinks that enough time has passed and he can rewrite history. He must not be allowed to succeed. An astonishing 400000 died because of the criminal incompetence of Field Marshall Haig. If Gove succeeds in rehabilitating this upper-class twit then truly "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength!"

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

BBC lies about Bulgarian and Romanian migrants

The BBC news on New Year's Day looked like a party political broadcast for UKIP or for that matter for the BNP. The disgusting hatred against Bulgarians and Romanians ignored one simple and easily verified fact.

There are over 5 million Brits working abroad. So a policy of "British jobs for British workers" could saddle us with a further 5 million unemployed as others respond with "Spanish jobs for Spanish workers" or "Argentine jobs for Argentine workers" etc etc.

Much has been made of the "pressure on services". What is not mentioned is that a quarter of all doctors and half of all nurses were born outside the UK. The health and welfare services would collapse if the UKIP "send them back" policy were carried out.

Yet again we have a government which has made a mess of the economy and the right look around for a convenient scapegoat. The economic crisis, they assert,  is not the fault of the government and the banks it is all mysteriously caused by Romania and Bulgaria. And the BBC think we are stupid enough to believe such nonsense.

The BBC has given up the whole idea of journalistic integrity in favour of kissing the backsides of the Tories and the scumbags of the far right. Is this in our best interests? I wonder if it is in theirs :)

Linux rocks!

More evidence if evidence were needed.
Due to the procrastination of BT we have been forced to invest in a one month rolling contract with 3 for a dongle.

Will Windows work with this dongle? Au contraire all it gives me is a load of messages saying "The BT broadband isn't working" which is not news.

Switch to Linux via knoppix and the problem just goes away.

BT: Fail 

Windows: Epic Fail 

Linux: game set and match 

Happy new year to all my readers. I am looking forward to the two lunar eclipses due this year and who knows the eclipse of Michael Gove and all his works too - I hope and pray :)