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Thoughts on the movement, or why we still don't even Corbyn - Joseph Kay and Ed Goddard

Registering to vote in the 2016 Labour leadership election raised £4,588,525.

It’s a lonely world these days for an anti-parliamentary socialist with all politics seeming to have taken a back seat to the current Labour Party shenanigans. While the deluge of establishment groupthink currently arrayed on Corbyn is as disgusting as it is cynical, we're still not pinning any hopes on him in the (now quite likely) event he comes out on top in the next leadership election.

Look, it could well happen that the left may, against all odds, take control of the Labour Party NEC and make the party more member-led. That’s something I would have given very long odds on a year or so ago (but then again, the same is true of Leicester City winning the Prem so maybe 2016 is the year for long odds!).

That said, if you think the Labour Right play dirty, wait til you see the CBI, the City of London and the IMF join in while the media dial up the smears to 11. As sneaky and disingenuous as individuals like Tristram Hunt, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith are, they’re all also largely inept and charmless, as their botched coup and embarrassing public appearances demonstrate. They’re like The Orphans in The Warriors, easily rolled over at the start but not nearly as fearsome as the other opponents on the journey back to Coney Island.

The same will not be true as we draw up to General Election time, and even less so if Corbyn were to win; the likelihood he'd be able to pass reforms that harmed the interests of big business, without massive pressure from a disruptive extra-parliamentary social movement, is very slim… all the slimmer for the fact it won’t be Tom Watson playing ‘Good Cop’ to Chuka Umunna’s ‘Bad Cop’; it will be the Murdochs and other ‘captains of industry’ hamstringing even mild social democratic reform through non-cooperation, sabotage and public smears.

Without such a movement, a Corbyn (or any other social democratic) government would not have a leg to stand on. Yet with such a social movement, the role of such a government becomes different: the role will be to mediate and to limit; to separate ‘responsible’ representatives from ‘unruly’ elements and give carrots to the first while doling out sticks to the latter.

Ultimately, extra-parliamentary forces largely determine parliamentary possibilities so even if you want parliamentary reform, it necessitates building grassroots power and a capacity to take disruptive action - strikes, occupations, demonstrations that block transport hubs etc - that such reform will become realisable. And, of course, when such extra-parliamentary forces are forcing reforms, parliamentarism ceases to appear as a ray of hope and becomes an obstacle.

It’s at this point that the usual response is “can’t we do both?”. “Can’t we build an autonomous grassroots working-class direct action movement AND fight to reform the Labour Party into a left-wing electable vote-winning machine?” And the answer to this is: theoretically, yes. But practically there are only 24 hours in a day, two-thirds of which are usually spent either sleeping or working. What has become clear with the recent coup (if it wasn’t already) is that reforming the Labour Party won’t be as easy as paying £3 to vote Corbyn as leader. It means getting involved in your Constituency Labour Party, pressuring your MP, possibly deselecting them, which, as Novara’s recent guide to deselection makes clear, could potentially involve “years of hard work in branches and constituencies across the country”. Which is fine; as the old cliché goes, ‘they wouldn’t call it a struggle if it was easy’. The point is whether the Labour Party is the best place to expend all that energy in struggle.

From our point of view, there can be no ‘UKIP of the left’; pro- and anti-systemic politics just don’t work in the same way like that. But it is worth thinking about how the extra-parliamentary left in Britain could use similar resources to what's currently being chucked into the Labour Party and, in that sense, it's oddly useful looking at the US extra-parliamentary right, with its vast media infrastructure of talk shows, blogs and ecology of organisations. Sure, they’re financed by millionaire/billionaire capitalists and we’re not (nor should we be). But working-class people collectively pay millions into unions, £4.6 million into the Labour Party in 48 hours and donate thousands of hours of voluntary labour into similar organisations. So the resources are there and it’s worth thinking about how an extra-parliamentary social movement could make use of them.

Money isn’t always a limiting factor but it often helps, certainly with media infrastructure, training, equipment and organising events.

In terms of action, it’s all about finding points of leverage:

  • Sisters Uncut have been doing fantastic work around domestic violence and housing. Their recent occupation of an empty council house in Hackney has highlighted cuts to both and created a base for organisation far more quickly than involvement in the Labour Party ever could.
  • Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth have been doing excellent work around housing and building their eviction phone tree. Similar could be said of the recent UCL rent strikers
  • IWW, Solfed and IWGB have all had some decent industrial organising, particularly Solfed amongst hospitality workers in Brighton and the IWGB amongst cleaners and couriers in London (the IWGB have also organised a London Courier Emergency Fund to help ‘self-employed’ couriers when they have accidents and can’t work)
  • There’s also a Black Lives Matter UK group in the works which promises to be very exciting

So what is to be done?

The fact is that outside of a lot of major cities, there isn’t a whole lot of extra-parliamentary direct action organising going on and often it’s the Labour Party/Momentum or nothing. And it’s also obviously a lot easier to get involved or support existing groups than start one from scratch. Given all that, a potential strategy to help isolated groups could look something like this:

1) Build alt-media and social networks; Novara are doing very well at this (despite becoming a bit too Labour-centric for our tastes) as are Media Diversified. The Occupied Times also produce a very high quality print publication. And, er, obviously us at Libcom.org..

2) Utilise contacts built through alt-media networks to organise a loose tour of direct action groups around the country aiming not merely to hold meetings but to seed new direct action groups. Would require organisations to put up a few people willing to travel and talk within a given area, pool resources etc.

3) Focus shouldn’t be on building particular organisations but supporting people to organise in a locally appropriate model: if they want to form an IWW branch/Solfed local/Sisters Uncut chapter, then fine. If they want to organise a non-affiliated Solidarity Network or housing action group, also fine

The same concerted effort over years that would go into the Labour Party could instead be used to grow direct action groups in localities across the country.

Obviously, there aren’t 180,000 people itching to get involved in extra-parliamentary direct action; what’s being sketched out here is how a few million quid and thousands of activist hours could help develop a movement separate from the Labour Party, and lamenting all that’s gone into that party (and scepticism over Corbyn more generally) does not mean passively accepting Tory rule. It just means we prefer barking up the right (tall and difficult to climb) tree than the wrong (accessible, appealing) one.

For more tips on how to get involved/start different kinds of organisation, check out:

But more importantly, check out some of the great groups mentioned in this blog post!

This blog post is a padded out version of a thread on Joseph Kay's twitter.

Posted By

libcom
Jul 22 2016 21:18

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fingers malone
Jul 26 2016 15:42

How can people in stronger areas, or stronger workplaces, support people in weaker areas, or weaker workplaces? Not in supporting people in strikes and action, supporting people in getting something off the ground at all. This is a major problem for organising in today's conditions.

jesuithitsquad
Jul 26 2016 18:03

Chilli's spot on from what I can gather.
In the twitter thread there's a discussion from someone in a small town, and the absence of students is discussed for both its positive and negative aspects.

ETA-- fingers, in that same conversation the small town group had an organiser from the city come out to help them with their first few meetings. So that's one way!

Steven.
Jul 26 2016 18:08

TBH I'm not really sure I agree with what people here seem to mostly be talking about as "organising".

It seems at least that people are talking about organising in terms of it being mostly done by radical groups. In my experience a lot of the actual organisation work of radical groups is entirely pointless, and often more to do with continuing the group's existence rather than building working class power. Most useful "organising work" I think is done informally by hundreds of thousands of workers (employed and unemployed) in their everyday lives, with their colleagues, in informal work groups, community groups, local campaigns etc.

This sort of activity does go on everyday. However it is right that as "radicals", or anarchists or whatever we don't really have a particularly good way of interacting with this in any way other than as individuals. And many people who do this sort of thing unfortunately separate out their view of "politics" from their everyday activity and instead choose to delegate it to some group of politicians rather (often the Labour Party).

Anyway not sure this is a helpful comment but just what comes to mind seeing the discussion so far

petey
Jul 26 2016 18:25
Spikymike wrote:
I don't think criticism by SA (in his more combative style) or earlier by me involves any moral judgement on either the individual authors or the libcom collective presentation of it here aimed at encouraging discussion.

S. Artesian wrote:
Do they even reference their website, or any of their 20,000 articles advocating blahblahblah?

Good to have you back Steven. Missed your usual irrelevant commentary.

fingers malone
Jul 26 2016 19:08
jesuithitsquad wrote:
Chilli's spot on from what I can gather.
In the twitter thread there's a discussion from someone in a small town, and the absence of students is discussed for both its positive and negative aspects.

ETA-- fingers, in that same conversation the small town group had an organiser from the city come out to help them with their first few meetings. So that's one way!

Thanks, I had a look at the twitter thread. So looks like in a smaller town it is important to make sure what you are doing is relevant and accessible to a wide range of people, eg people with small children, older people, not rely too much on 'easier' groups to involve such as students and former students.
This would be a good move in big cities too fwiw.

Chilli Sauce
Jul 26 2016 19:48
Steven. wrote:
TBH I'm not really sure I agree with what people here seem to mostly be talking about as "organising".

It seems at least that people are talking about organising in terms of it being mostly done by radical groups. In my experience a lot of the actual organisation work of radical groups is entirely pointless, and often more to do with continuing the group's existence rather than building working class power. Most useful "organising work" I think is done informally by hundreds of thousands of workers (employed and unemployed) in their everyday lives, with their colleagues, in informal work groups, community groups, local campaigns etc.

This sort of activity does go on everyday. However it is right that as "radicals", or anarchists or whatever we don't really have a particularly good way of interacting with this in any way other than as individuals. And many people who do this sort of thing unfortunately separate out their view of "politics" from their everyday activity and instead choose to delegate it to some group of politicians rather (often the Labour Party).

Anyway not sure this is a helpful comment but just what comes to mind seeing the discussion so far

So, I think this is a very fair point and I think that's probably why the conversation was raised specifically in relation to SolNets and radical union branches.

That said, the informal (or more formal trade union organizing) you reference does seem to have a higher concentration in urban areas as well. You don't hear much about workplace or community struggles outside of metropolitan areas, unfortunately.

Noah Fence
Jul 26 2016 20:40

I know that this thread has moved on to something very different now which is fair enough but I'd just like to congratulate those involved on some very artistic and graceful swerving of my position on Tory bashing. Good work comrades!

fingers malone
Jul 26 2016 23:02

Sorry, I just wouldn't have had anything useful to say about it and don't want to argue.

fingers malone
Jul 26 2016 23:06

In terms of seeding new direct action groups, we aren't even necessarily talking about small towns, as far as I know the new cleaners unions don't have any branches anywhere outside London (I'll be happy to find out that I'm wrong about this) and most big cities in the UK don't have a solnet either. So we're not necessarily just talking about Cumbria or Devon, we could be talking about Birmingham.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 01:18

Howdy fingers! I don't want to argue either, I just want everyone to tell me I'm right!!!

No really, it's simple enough, I have a position that is out of whack with a view that is very generally held and, at least it seems to me never ever questioned. I never seem to be able to get a straight answer on Libcom or anywhere else. I believe that is because there is a very common prejudice, maybe picked up by people before they became politically radical. I understand that, it's fair enough but if I'm right it's still prejudice and a prejudice totally contrary to the anarchist desire to make people aware that there is no mileage to be had in participating in liberal democracy and expecting agents of the state to sort out our class conflicts for us.
So I'll ask again, does not being more critical of one side of the extremely narrow spectrum of electable political parties give weight to the lie that taking part in liberal democracy is a valid and effective form of political action? Does it not send out the message that there is a choice of a nicer form of capitalism to be had? Simple enough to answer surely? Once again then - I have no more dislike or distrust of the Tories than I do Labour. I do not believe that all Tories are bad guys anymore than I believe all Labour members are bad guys. There I said it. Shock horror, who is this guy?!!! How dare he expose our political inconsistencies? If people are prejudiced I don't give too much of a shit, I know I'm often guilty too but at least fucking own it and not let it undermine the very basics of the ideology that you subscribe to.

Fleur
Jul 27 2016 01:55

Hands up. Owning this one. I'm completely and totally prejudiced against posh twats and coincidentally enough a large proportion of posh twats are also tories.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 02:03

Well fair enough Fleur. So do you think my broader point about getting stuck into one side more than another is valid? Or am I talking shit?

Fleur
Jul 27 2016 02:32

Given that I support neither the tory or labour party I don't really care however as far as I'm concerned having lived through the rigid shit show which is the English class system I can't fail to be hostile to the privileged, arrogant, entitled, yea unto the middle ages English ruling classes and I find the recently moneyed parvenus who want to join a class which will never actually accept them equally objectionable. Given that the tory party is the party which particularly attracts these cockwombles, it follows that I have a general disgust of them. I do very much judge people by the company they keep.

I also have a deep seated dislike for people who drop fast food wrappers and sundry other litter on the floor and and I don't really trust people who don't like dogs, so I'm a veritable cornucopia of petty prejudices.

And that is the extent to which I am willing to argue about it. Right now I have a dog to walk and most likely feel aggrieved about people not picking up their own mess in the park.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 02:37

Omg, you mean people shit in the park in Canada? Well, at least Tories don't do that although I believe they have a penchant for glass topped coffee tables!

Auld-bod
Jul 27 2016 10:37

Noah Fence Jul 27 2016

I’ve avoided commenting on your points as my objectivity and subjectivity become a bit blurred.

‘So I'll ask again, does not being more critical of one side of the extremely narrow spectrum of electable political parties give weight to the lie that taking part in liberal democracy is a valid and effective form of political action? Does it not send out the message that there is a choice of a nicer form of capitalism to be had? Simple enough to answer surely? ’

To the first sentence the answer is yes. There is an implication that the Labour Party is generally speaking more progressive than the Conservative Party. In fact there is little or no difference. To the second sentence the answer is also yes. And I think this is true. I would prefer to live in the UK than Russia, China, and many other countries. If there was no difference in capitalisms, why are the refugees not camped outside of Russia?

Everyone has a different experience of capitalism and one of mine was to see my workplace decimated by Thatcherism. This resulted in the deaths of several of my friends. I stupidly joined the Labour Party under Michael Foot to try and get her off our backs. The result was of course that little shit Blair. So more fool me. The point is, it never crossed my mind to join the Conservative Party. While I worked in industry my workmates were ‘leftists’, the few anarchists/syndicalists I’ve met in this context worked as union militants. On the shop floor we were all on the same side. Strangely enough, in the Labour Party I knew a number of people who understood the nature of ‘class war’ better than some anarchists I’ve met. So Noah I think you are right and wrong.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 13:08

Aha! Well, it's better than being just plain wrong.
You know my age so you know that Thatcher hit the scene not that long before I started taking an interest in politics. She was the hub of my growing awareness but from day one I always felt like bringing the different sides into an anarchist position was inappropriate. This was evidenced by the arguments I would have with the main lyric writer in my daft anarcho punk band who was constantly referencing Thatcher.
I've never gone with the posh = bad thing either. In my work I deal with both ends of the spectrum - clients we're working for who are multi millionaires or even billionaires, old aristocratic types in crumbling piles, celebrities, even a close relative of a high ranking Royal and Churchills granddaughter who in spite of her age insisted on helping us carry our tools into her house. All these people, despite my objection to their status, have to be treated with civility by myself or I lose my job. Mostly, this is easy as they are equally civil and respectful of me. Compare that to the constant racism and misogyny of many of the other tradesmen on site whom I also have to get on with and I know most of the time where the more convivial conversations are going to occur. Don't get me wrong, I know who I'm in solidarity with and I know who my class enemy is but the point is that the wealthy are born and raised in their particular cultural section of society, as are working class people. Both are products of there environment. To hate someone because of their plummy accent which they have no control over any more than you do your Scottish one or I do my London working class one is just silly and childish yet hear arguments that come pretty close to a posh voice is evidence of a cold heart and vicious mind all the time, sometimes implied and sometimes explicit. Or if someone went to Eton they are unquestionably scum. The fact that half of them would have been forced to do so by their parents is never considered. I simply refuse to slag off one bunch of capitalists more than another. In their position they are all my class enemy, as people they are mostly just dickheads like myself who are OK in some respects and shitpots in others. I know many people will scarcely believe their eyes at some of what I've written here but I don't give a fuck. I'll have my experience and they'll have theirs. Obviously there are Tories, toffs and other members of the ruling class that I find unacceptable as people and I which a hideous curse on them but then I feel that way about members of the working class, especially the racist, sexist homophobes that I have worked with day in, day out for decades. I would hope that in the event of a revolution most members of the ruling class soul see sense and join us eventually as they are essentially decent people just like everyone else. They are the same species as us after all. That said, I know that privilege and power do things to people and if they have to be eliminated to remove their threat then so be it.
My family of parents, aunts uncles and cousins has always been pretty much split down the middle - aspirational working class Tories and left of Labour demsocs. I know both sides of this directly and neither side are bad people, just political fucking idiots.

Edit: for clarity, in my second question I was being uk specific which I guess Auld Bod, if looked at with that in mind you would agree with me too?

Auld-bod
Jul 27 2016 14:21

I agree with you that human beings come in all shapes and sizes, and good the bad and the ugly.
Explaining to an English workmate why I wasn’t any form of nationalist, I gave the example of a working class Scot, who was held in absolute contempt by his Scots acquaintances because he’d been discovered late one night in a Glasgow cemetery, attempting to bury his young boy, because he was one mean bastard.

I lived a pretty sheltered life as a youth. Nobody in my council estate (a desert with windows) had much money. Indeed I honestly thought the Conservative Party car sticker, a union jack in the shape of an arrow, was a sign designating a doctor’s car.

The first person I remember meeting who was well heeled, stopped his car to give me and my friend Robin a lift. We were fifteen and hitching and camping round Scotland. Trying to get up to Nairn with its silver sand, we’d left it too late in the day to pitch our tent. Anyway, his fellow put us up for the night in his holiday house next to a small private loch. He was there to open the house, as his family was coming up the next day by train to Inverness. Next morning he gave us breakfast and then dropped us on the Nairn road. He was a generous fellow, even though his life style appeared to us to be other worldly.

To me the class war is not about good versus evil, it is due to capitalism creating and perpetuating a fracture between human beings based on property rights and the exploitation and degradation of our fellow humans. This fracture acts like tectonic plates and will rub together causing friction until capitalism is ended.

EDIT
Noah, just spotted your edit.

Your second question if based specifically on the UK is less clear cut than if viewed internationally.

The role of the Labour Party in the post war years was to placate the working class by instituting reforms (making Soviet state capitalism less appealing by buying off the organised working class). In that sense in the short term it was ‘nicer’, though when the opportunity arises the ruling class can and will claw back any gains. So ‘nicer’ capitalism is largely mythical.

Fleur
Jul 27 2016 14:31

Noblesse oblige. Don't fucking fall for it.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 14:44
Fleur wrote:
Noblesse oblige. Don't fucking fall for it.

I don't understand what you mean there. Can you fill me in?

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 14:54
Quote:
To me the class war is not about good versus evil, it is due to capitalism creating and perpetuating a fracture between human beings based on property rights and the exploitation and degradation of our fellow humans. This fracture acts like tectonic plates and will rub together causing friction until capitalism is ended.

Totally agree. This is why I hate the positions people find themselves in rather than the people themselves. There's some degree of crossover of course and I'm sure many of the ruling class cynically do all that they can to increase their privilege and power. And then there's cops...
I'm not a Tory apologist, most of the ones I'm aware off seem to be lacking any redeeming g features. It seems just as clear to me though that there are many Labour apologists around.
I think that the best we can really hope to do is try to be aware of our prejudices and try not to let them affect our rational thoughts and even more importantly, our actions.

S. Artesian
Jul 27 2016 15:29

The difference is-- the posh think they are entitled by birth, by "nature," by "upbringing;" They believe that all of their "birth" their "nature" their "upbringing" -- their property and bank accounts-- are entitled-- that their prejudice amounts to enlightenment; that their ignorance is erudition.

So yeah, it makes them, and their equivalents over here, targets, and justifiably so, of parody, mockery, and hatred. It's that combination of privilege, arrogance, and ignorance that makes them the object of scorn.

Fuck 'em. Hate 'em. Nothing wrong with that.

Say what you want about Corbyn, and I will, or Sanders, or even Bill Clinton, none of those think he is entitled to rule based on the circumstances of birth and property. That is not an endorsement of any of those three, BTW, but it's really hard to mock Corbyn or Sanders for being a coddled, irresponsible, self-important fuck who thinks other less fortunate people are so much detritus, and it's quite accurate, and entertaining to mock Johnson, Cameron, et al for being coddled, irrresponsible, spoiled brats.

Fleur
Jul 27 2016 15:47

Noblesse oblige - will explain later. Rlly busy right now.

Auld-bod
Jul 27 2016 16:01

Thought this a pretty good explanation:

‘Noblesse oblige literally translates to “nobility obligates.” It implies that with wealth, power and prestige come social responsibilities; it is a moral obligation to act with honor, kindliness and generosity.
The term is often used sarcastically, implying that one is a hypocrite by doing a service because one has to, or by being condescending while doing it. My mother used to refer to that kind of attitude as being a “Lady Bountiful,” doing good deeds because you’re special, to make yourself feel better and make others feel bad at the same time.’

https://maryachor.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/the-real-meaning-of-noblesse-...

Meaning I was being silly thinking I was not being patronised by the rich chappie, who lodged me for the night. Perhaps she is right.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 16:14
S. Artesian wrote:
The difference is-- the posh think they are entitled by birth, by "nature," by "upbringing;" They believe that all of their "birth" their "nature" their "upbringing" -- their property and bank accounts-- are entitled-- that their prejudice amounts to enlightenment; that their ignorance is erudition.

So yeah, it makes them, and their equivalents over here, targets, and justifiably so, of parody, mockery, and hatred. It's that combination of privilege, arrogance, and ignorance that makes them the object of scorn.

Fuck 'em. Hate 'em. Nothing wrong with that.

Say what you want about Corbyn, and I will, or Sanders, or even Bill Clinton, none of those think he is entitled to rule based on the circumstances of birth and property. That is not an endorsement of any of those three, BTW, but it's really hard to mock Corbyn or Sanders for being a coddled, irresponsible, self-important fuck who thinks other less fortunate people are so much detritus, and it's quite accurate, and entertaining to mock Johnson, Cameron, et al for being coddled, irrresponsible, spoiled brats.

I don't deny what you have said about the posh can be true. Of course it is. It's equally true that many of my co-workers think that this is their country by entitlement and nature and look down upon my non British co-workers as less than them. Both attitudes make me fucking sick. The arguments I hear from anarchists and leftists are always one sided, including yours. How about if we had been born to wealth and privilege? Would we be debating this on a communist website? I doubt it but we'd still be the same essential person, just crafted into another shape by our circumstances. Or are they a different species from us like David Ickes shape shifting fucking lizards?
If we're gonna generalise, I mean why not, it seems a pretty popular sport around here, who do you think by far are the biggest asshole clients I ever get to meet? By a long fucking stretch its working class people that have somehow or another found a way to get rich. They ignore, ridicule, demand and generally throw their weight around and make it clear that they think they own you. Explain that if you will.
This pervasive view of things is so lopsided it embarrasses me to be associated with it.
In the Libcom introductory guides and elsewhere their ate explanation of capitalism and class that get it spot on. The guide to capitalism explicitly says that the way things are aren't really even the fault of bosses or politicians, it's just the mechanics of capitalism. I guess some people round here ought to be harrranging the admins to get that shit off the site, eh?

jef costello
Jul 27 2016 16:18

It drives me up the wall when they laud some rich person for throwing a few quid at a charity while cutting jobs, worsening conditions, putting people on zero-hour contracts etc.
And I have a visceral reaction when I hear one of those posh, entitled scumbags talking.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 16:32
jef costello wrote:
It drives me up the wall when they laud some rich person for throwing a few quid at a charity while cutting jobs, worsening conditions, putting people on zero-hour contracts etc.
And I have a visceral reaction when I hear one of those posh, entitled scumbags talking.

I have exactly the same reaction. Apart from your last sentence. I'd way rather have a posh accent than my own considering I sound like Janet Street Porter with the amp turned up to 11.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 16:57

Auld Bod, 'a lady bountiful'. That's a classic, I wish I could have known your mum.

I think that guy was just being himself. He had something that would cost him nothing to give so he gave it. No big deal and I wouldn't kiss his arse for it though. I'm sure you know what you think.

I have to ask - when you were in Nairn did you make a feast of the local oatcakes?!!!

factvalue
Jul 27 2016 17:21

http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-honiton-hot-pennies-ceremony-1979/

With respect to the opening blog article and Noah's subplot, yesterday the town near me came to a standstill for the customary yearly celebration of 'Hot Pennies' day, which stems back to the time that local upper classes and gentry used to enjoy the view as the peasants burnt themselves trying to pick up red hot pennies which they'd throw out of windows in the centre town. This from the blurb for the event:

Quote:
Honiton Hot Pennies Ceremony dates back to the 13th Century, when Honiton was granted a Royal Charter, the ceremony remained unbroken for several hundred years, and to this day has always taken place on the first Tuesday after July 19th.

The proceedings begin at 12 noon from the Old Pannier Market, with The Town Cryer (accompanied by The Mayor and local dignitaries) hoisting up a garlanded pole with a gloved hand at the top, proclaiming that “No man Honiton Hot Pennies Ceremonymay be arrested so long as this glove is up.” This was done to ensure that everyone would come to Honiton for the fair which followed the ceremony, without fear of being arrested for their debts; they would otherwise have stayed away.

The first pennies are thrown from the balcony of the former Assembly Rooms above The Old Pannier Market and then a procession follows the garlanded pole to a number of Public Houses from which “hot pennies” are thrown to hoards of scrabbling children. The pole is kept on show for the remainder of “fair week” at the last Public House.

The reason behind the pennies being thrown hot, was that the affluent people who threw out the pennies took great delight in seeing the peasants burn their fingers whilst collecting them.

Nowadays the pennies are merely warm!

This is a better expression of all the hatred and frustration I feel trapped in this society than any comment I could make about it. A successful economic, ethical and cultural transformation will only be possible after many, many years of the preparation it will take to at least neutralise the mass of the population and turn them from the active enemies they would be, certainly round here, into passive sympathisers.

Having said that, I personally fucking hate the rich, old or new. Hating the rich is not like hating, for example intellectual workers (which is also a pastime in these parts), it wouldn't harm the revolution's re-organisation of society or something. But yeah Noah, if an aristocrat and a blairite were having a street brawl, I'd want them both to end up in intensive care with equal enthusiasm.

Noah Fence
Jul 27 2016 17:30

Holy shit, that's unbelievable! I'm sure we would agree that if we saw some rich bag of shit tossing red hot pennies to the poor a concerted effort would be made to batter his cunt in.

factvalue
Jul 27 2016 18:25
Noah Fence wrote:
Holy shit, that's unbelievable! I'm sure we would agree that if we saw some rich bag of shit tossing red hot pennies to the poor a concerted effort would be made to batter his cunt in.

No doubt, but let's not forget the obvious, namely that the rich are very well aware that this is a war and that they're winning, even if most of our class is sleepwalking. So hating them isn't at all illogical or counter-revolutionary, only part of the indispensable ethical outrage required to eventually win.

But yeah, hating Tories more than those other fucking creeps who's role is to co-opt resistance by pretending that they can attenuate capitalism through their use of the very state machinery that capitalism itself created to extend its control over society, makes no fucking sense at all.