Archive for October, 2004


Hmmm, currently at best mate’s just got home after 1st day of conference and then we all went down the pub en masse. Good stuff on the whole, tomorrow is constitution.

Was on the bus and Ex rang twice at like 10.30pm, needless to say I was a bit concerned and answered the second time. Very surreal conversation she asks me where I am and I say that I’m on the bus, she says “You ain’t on the fucking bus”, I tell her I fucking am on the fucking bus and where else the fuck does she think I fucking am to which she says it sounded like a canteen…..

?????????

Ok I’ll admit I’ve had a couple including a number of beers and then teaching the barman how to make a Cuba Libre “You touch that Bacardi I’m going to kick your arse!” And then a rather amusing interlude involving a walk to the bus stop, a bifta and a no doubt very old but most entertaining joke which someone told me very recently but I can’t remember who

Man comes home to his wife one night with a duck under his arm, he walks in and says “There you are there’s the pig I’ve been sleeping with recently”
His wife replies “That’s a duck”
The man says “I was talking to the duck!”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, that’s very bloody funny, I laughed so much I missed the bus! (Dear oh dear Frank Carson is alive and well eh, ho ho ho, … you here all week?!!)

I digress, anyway I ask the Ex on the phone why she thinks if I were holed up in a canteen at 10.30 at night (!) why I would somehow choose to extrapolate myself from that obvious mire by saying I was on the bus? And what about the periodic ding of the bell?
She says she wasn’t calling to get in an argument it was just about trust and me being where I said I was.
I said why, did she not believe me when I said I was going to the conference? She said no, I said so why has she rang me now does she think I will now tell the truth if I’m not where I said I was going to be? She says well she’ll have to trust me when I say where I am. I say but you didn’t trust me you said I wasn’t on the fucking bus!
I then said what fucking business was it of hers anyway to which she replied that the current arrangement wouldn’t be able to continue anyway if I had for example found anyone else.

??????????

No, no amount of London Pride and Havana Club and anything else accounted for the nature of that one. So I see now evidently it’s well whilst you’re in the financial crap with no social life etc. you can be round here and see the kids etc. but if you start to think about getting a life then no more Ms Nice Ex.!

Is it just me and the slightly non altogether with it state I’m in or does that all sound rather odd?!

Anyway, for those interested in the conference itself I’ll be putting some info on in the next day or 2 it has been good so far and tomorrow we have another full day. I am thinking seriously about making my maiden speech at a political meeting. I have a speech that I wrote during one of the debates today, I just don’t know if I have the bottle to get up there in front of the 350 odd people. If I do I’ll let you know, otherwise I’ll just hang my head in shame and embarrassment!

On an unrelated note I met the most beautiful Turkish woman I have ever seen, she was lovely, and she was with her partner. Sometimes life just likes to play these little games with you.

Now if you’ll excuse me the clocks go back in an hour or so and I intend to make the most of the extra hours sleep since this time last year I was doped up to the eyeballs on ibuprofen and cocodemol and in the middle of 62 hour non-sleep marathon on account of horrendous dental pain.

Song Of The Day – The Isley Brothers ~ Who’s That Lady?

Original Comments:


haywood made this comment,
lol, good post young mate, I’m drunk as a skunk right now! expext ninja haywood pics soon…
comment added :: 31st October 2004, 06:22 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Haha, sounds like you had a very busy night. Thanks, Haywood, for the heads up. 🙂
I don’t think I’ve heard that joke before, and can just see you MISSING the bus because of it. (?) 🙂

Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 31st October 2004, 23:23 GMT+01
Lizard Breath made this comment,
sorry about the nag-ex. that totally sucks. hope the conference continues to go well and that you “dream of large women.”
btw, I can totally empathize on the dental pain – what is it when them and ultra sharp hooks dug into your gums that makes these asshats all ‘chatty’ ? geez.

lizard.

comment added :: 1st November 2004, 05:03 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
hope they give you a good lunch!!! 🙂
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: 1st November 2004, 12:30 GMT+01

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Once upon a time there were 2 men who lived together in a house. Both men had their own bedroom and neither man liked the colour of the walls therein which was the same for both of them so they decided to paint them, but they could not agree on the best way to do so, so each resolved to only paint his own room.

The first man observed that as the original colour was so strong he would not be able to paint the room the colour he really wanted over it so he decided to choose a slightly less offensive shade of the original colour. He painted his room and tried to convince himself that the colour was different when all he was really thinking was that it was far too similar to the original one. the shade whilst slightly different was not as strong as the original colour and over time it seemed to be gobbled up by it.

The second man realised that the original colour was very strong and it would indeed be difficult to overshadow it but he decided to go for a colour in the middle between the colour he had on the wall and the colour he would ideally have liked and he painted the walls with this 3rd colour. The influence of the original colour was still plain to see when the man had finished but the colour he ended up with whilst not his original first choice was at least a little different from the original to be distinctive.

The men discussed their outcomes together the second man told the first man that although he had not acheived the colour scheme he wanted the next time he could afford to buy paint he would be able to choose the colour he favoured and stand a good chance of gradually acheiving the colour scheme he desired, whereas the first man had to admit that the strategy he had chosen meant that he had really still ended up with the same colour and would therefore have the same problem next time he could afford to paint.

It is a pity neither man ever heard of paint stripper!

Song Of The Day – Travis ~ Walking In The Sun

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
Or primer. 🙂
Kristie

[Redbaron responds – Yes, I agree my first attempt at allegory was not without it’s practical flaws but for someone who never did fiction I was kind of chuffed with it in a fledgling embryo sort of way!]

comment added :: 27th October 2004, 19:39 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Huh. This wouldn’t happen to be a personal experience for you, would it? 🙂
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 28th October 2004, 00:20 GMT+01
Bob Red made this comment,
or does it carry political undertones, with regards to how certain parties choose to run this country with the “strong colour that no one could paint over” being the complete fuck up caused by tory rule.
Maybe the paint stripper would be someone comming along with some radical scheme whereby everyone in england was relocated for a few years, the whole place was flattened and re-built, and we were allowed back in to live happily ever after..
but thats enough of the fairy tales.
or maybe im stating the obvious…

Red

Visit me @ http://bobred.blog-city.com

comment added :: 28th October 2004, 10:57 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
While they were arguing over paint color, someone else came in and just hung wallpaper. ;^)
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 29th October 2004, 06:18 GMT+01
Rina made this comment,
You like Travis! Rock on! My only prollem with them is so much of the record sounds the same. Tragic, really. I don’t own it, but I borrowed it from a friend. Love Track 8 — what’sit?
Visit me @ http://sugarbowl.blog-city.com

comment added :: 29th October 2004, 23:32 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
You just saved me a trip to B & Q.
John

comment added :: 30th October 2004, 16:41 GMT+01

_39596083_peel_bbc_story203.jpg
John Peel 1939 – 2004

You can find the BBC story here

To those outside the UK who do not know who John Peel was I will say the following.

John Peel was the epitomy of the alternative establishment DJ. Practically every person who has grown up in the UK during the last 30 years will have a memory of listening to John Peel on Radio 1. Many who do not know John Peel’s show will know ‘The Peel Sessions’ series of recordings. John Peel was directly responsible for so many bands making it who would not otherwise have got a look in in the convention obsessed music business. The Undertones, Joy Division, The Fall are but 3 who’s success is directly attributable to John Peel. John Peel’s gravelly tones and laconic style were unique. He moved into Radio 4 6 years ago for a quirky Saturday morning show called Home Truths which was John Peel sharing personal ideosyncracies and interviewing other people about theirs, no-one else could have really carried that off with the humour and authenticity that he did.

I was not an avid listener of the Radio 1 show because I just rarely listened to the Radio on Friday nights but I must have listened to it a fair few times over the years. The selection of music was eclectic to say the least, there was simply no-one else on national radio in this country who could draw all the musical styles together. The music that I listened to and that shaped my teenage years have his hallmark all over it and for that, John Peel, and the person that I became as a result, I thank you.

Song Of The Day – The Undertones ~ Teenage Kicks

Original Comments:


MrDan made this comment,
Where else would you hear a death metal track followed by reggae? He was one of a kind.
MrDan

Visit me @ http://alien.blog-city.com

comment added :: 27th October 2004, 02:21 GMT+01
Mary Blu made this comment,
“Where else would you hear a death metal track followed by reggae?”
At one of the local skating rinks here! 🙂

Visit me @ http://mindtravels.blog-city.com/

comment added :: 27th October 2004, 05:50 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
I’d actually never heard of him until now. Amazing what I’ve never heard of that I hear or discover while reading your blog, mate. Kudos to you.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Well journey over to Moog and/or Skunx for some more Peel sadness]

comment added :: 28th October 2004, 00:17 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
i’ve been reading about this man in the news, in people’s blogs for the past 2 days..so the name really rings a bell…
rayts

comment added :: 28th October 2004, 03:34 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I’ve barely read a blog here or abroad in the last week or so that hasn’t mentioned Peely’s passing.
A humble genius, the perfect uncle, a rolemodel for rebels everywhere.

Respect due.

TCM

comment added :: 30th October 2004, 15:43 GMT+01

Now I have to say based on the quantity of my recent output, much of it here albeit not yet published, based on some form of introspection I am beginning to wonder if there is a distinction between self-awareness and self-obsession.

The subject in hand relates to the fact that one of the many dreams I had last night involved death, not altogether in a nasty way it was just there, [ha cheese you didn’t succeed this time!] regular readers will know that Mr Death and the Baron have an uneasy understanding, as long as I don’t think about him he won’t stalk my every move giving me near death experiences and the like, but if I do then I’m fair game and he can shit me up a treat for an undefined period of time!

The introspection that this particular occasion triggered was one of ‘what’s left’? I mean the legacy of what you leave behind. I mean most material possesions aren’t worth shit in that scheme of things not in a personal way they could belong to anyone and after you’ve gone they probably will. All our memories are gone although we sort of live on in the memories of the others with whom we have come into contact, a stay of execution before being fully expunged from the great scheme of things. So what is left that relates to you when you break it down? Well not a lot really, for those of us who have children we can at least say in that respect that we have left an impact on the world but I would like to think that my kids will be making an impact on the world for what they themselves are doing not simply the fact that they were left here by me. One of the things I want most to avoid is that trap of living vicariously through your kids, I can’t think of anything worse. This is why my kids will be locked up until they are 34 that was my daughter cannot go courting and neither of them can be channeled into me trying to make them what I always wanted to be. Ok I concede it is a drastic solution but an effective one I think you’ll agree. I mean they’ll only be under house arrest it’s not as if I’d put them in the cellar or anything barbaric!

So, in many ways, this is what it breaks down to – writing, something intimate and unique, something that no-one else can do for you, that may perish in the instant it takes to hit delete or for a computer to crash or for the papers to be thrown away or something that may survive for years, decades perhaps, even generations, a little piece of authenticity, of immortality, something to show those who come after us that we were hereif only for a short while. It may never be read, it may never be intended to be, it may be unearthed by a relative in generations to come with the glee that accompanies the discovery of the hitherto unbeknownst.

Of course a crucial question here is does it matter whether you leave anything behind? Well, not in the scheme of things no, in fact one could say that the more shite left behind the less space there is for anyone else and therefore it isn’t especially unselfish. However humans like to be up their own importance, I mean the whole God thing is an extension of that, humans believeing that surely they are so important that their existence here has to have a higher purpose. Interesting then that I don’t believe in God but do feel the need to leave my grubby little mark, like a kid really, just an ‘I woz ‘ere’ somewhere for someone to come across and wonder who I was and what I did. Yes, it is ego, naturally, but then this is part of what drives us, it;s the self-advancement. What I want to do is not to suggest that I am in any way better than anyone else, far from it, I just want people to know who I am. I’d love like a distant descendant of mine to just uncover some stuff on me and dig around to find out who I was, that kind of thing interests me and I’m interested how it might happen in years to come. “Hey Mum I found this old metal thing knocking about” “That’s an old family heirloom, it’s called an 80GB Hard Drive they used them for data years ago before they had chip implants.” “Cool, what’s on it?” “That has all the writings of your Great Great Great Great Grandfather, he was mad you know.” Etc.

Song Of The Day – Red Hot Chilli Peppers ~ Universally Speaking

Original Comments:


Rachel made this comment,
Good entry. I find that although we want to save everything to pass down, by the time someone comes along that would find or recognize what it is that is so old, it doesn’t mean much. And although it might be an ‘antique’ that doesn’t mean anything to the person who’s family it once meant so much to.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 26th October 2004, 01:53 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Basically, I don’t worry about that. Maybe it’s a man thing, because I’ve only ever heard it from men. That’s not to say that I don’t have fantasies of my writing being found and becoming the basis of a new religion some millennia down the line, but it doesn’t bother me that that’s unlikely in the extreme. :o)
Kristie [kristiesgu@gmail.com]

[Redbaron responds – That’s an interesting point, I’d be very interested to see what the gender corrolation was to something like that. Whilst I do like the idea of being the next Karl Marx I am realistic enough to know that isn’t going to happen. I would however like to be discovered later by a descendant if it could be useful to them, I think the idea of bringing interest and pleasure after you’ve gone is a nice one.]

comment added :: 26th October 2004, 19:01 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
yeah, i agree with kristie, it’s quite possibly a male thing. in fact, i’ve noticed that men are far more keen on having children often only because then they’ll have someone who’ll carry on their name and so they’ll be leaving some sort of a mark or legacy.
it would be really cool if someone appreciated what we wrote, said or did in our life, once we’re long gone, but to be honest, if i’m dead, i wouldn’t really know or care, would i?

i’d still die, unsure about whether i’d be appreciated after i’ve hit the bucket. honestly, i’d rather get the appreciation in my lifetime.

sarah [sarah.a@gmail.com]

[Redbaron responds – Of course you’re quite right, once you’ve gone that’s it so it doesn’t really matter, it’s only speculative but it interests me, perhpas as a man I don’t really know. Appreciation in one’s lifetime would obviously be nice, but rare.

As for the children thing that’s definitely a very serious point. I can safely prove it isn’t what drove me but I can’t deny there is a small sense of self-importance that I will at least live on in the memory of my kids when I’m no longer here. Of course in our patriarchal society it will be men who feel that whole name thing etc., I wonder if any anthropologist has studied how this differs in matriarchal societies.]

comment added :: 27th October 2004, 13:17 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
If we want to discuss the gender differences, I would add also that I think, generally, women are far more attuned to natural cycles. For women, I think, life is a series of spirals…things start and end constantly. Whereas for men, who don’t live with these natural cycles within their own bodies, life is a line, or rather, a line segment, finite. When you understand the life-death-life cycle on a cellular level, maybe the death part seems less frightening…it is the way of things. Just a thought.
Kristie

[Redbaron responds – If you have any way of making death frightening I’ll pay you good money!!! Scares the b’Jesus out of me!]

comment added :: 27th October 2004, 19:33 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
kristie, that’s an awesome observation! very true.
you never fail to amaze me:)!!

sarah [sarah.a@gmail.com]

comment added :: 28th October 2004, 15:50 GMT+01

It is a concept that interests me, I don’t know if the reason I want to feel I have one so much is that I rarely feel I’ve ever had one or whether it is just something that is part of me. I don’t mean a house obviously I have been lucky enough so far to be in relatively modest but nonetheless always adequate surroundings. When I go to the place I call home, it doesn’t feel like home, or at least what I imagine home should feel like. There are actually only 2 places that have ever felt like home the first was Chelsea where I was born and lived for 6 years and the second was a house in a village outside Oxford where I lived although I was more often away at school. Nowadays I’m too scared to go back to Chelsea to even look at it as it is a very different place now to what it was then in the early 70s, I have little enough memories of it as it is to go back I feel sometimes would just taint them and make me wonder if they were real or not. The 10 years between leaving Chelsea and being in Oxford were spent at various points across London none of which I really built up a proper affinity with. Equally London is really too big -you can’t call London home it’s a congealed sprawl of excrement that people happen to live in, home it is definitely not. There are areas within it where I feel familiarity places I hung around in for some years like Lewisham but I was there at the weekend and that’s changed a lot too in the 5 or so years since I’ve been away. There are areas where I never lived where I have a strange tie like Paddington where my Dad grew up, he and I went walking around there after my Grandma died and it was clearly a home like feeling for him, bringing back memories and revisiting haunts and stuff. It was moving and interesting and I felt it was kind of part of me by virtue of it being part of my Dad but it was a secondary thing rather than primary.

That being said, London is part of me and always will be. I will be at least 50 years old before I could have lived anywhere longer than I lived in London and although I hate it there are still more ties to me in London than there are anywhere else and I don’t have many ties anywhere full stop. I could live the rest of my life the other side of the world and my accent and birthplace and childhood would still be tied to London. Does that make it home? Or does that mean that because I can’t call London home I am destined to be without one.

Does home mean the same for different people, do most people have somewhere that they feel is home or not? Are those of us who don’t feel anywhere as home just drifters or is it a time related thing, spend more than X years somewhere and it will feel like home. Is home to do with the bricks and mortar of a house or is it more ethereal and to do with the memories surrounding an area? I always thought the ideal place for me was a small cottage very near the sea, somewhere in Cornwall I thought. But sometimes I wonder if that wouldn’t be too nice, too low-key not stirring enough if you like, the one thing London does do is stir up emotion, it just isn’t good emotion but it does make me write a lot, usually fairly billious! Perhaps that’s just the way I am destined to be after all, familiarity breeds contempt.

Song Of The Day – The Clash ~ London Calling

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
I lived in London for 30 years and in the suburbs for another 26. I’ve now lived on the Kent coast for 9 years but still slip up when asked where I live. I often reply London. I miss the buzz.
John

[Redbaron responds – Did you mean buzz or you miss the Fuzz?! If it was the buzz you are after I’d rather have a wasps nest outside the house! Actually that’s not true I hate wasps they get stuck in my hair and sting me – bastards.]

comment added :: 25th October 2004, 17:55 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
We moved around a lot when I was younger. The longest I ever lived in one place was 7 years in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I attended high school and college. We just past 6 years in Tucson, Arizona, the first place I ever chose to live for myself, and I’m actually quite looking forward to hitting 7 years–passing that milestone. This feels like a hometown to me, because the life I’ve created here is far fuller than any before. Did a tour in ’96 of a few of my old home towns with the Mr., and they seemed so small, so distant in memory even though I was standing in the middle of them.
Kristie [kristiesgu@gmail.com]

comment added :: 25th October 2004, 20:27 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
You’re lucky that you feel so at home in any place, even if it’s not so specific. I’m hoping for the day that I can leave where I am right now, for I don’t think there’s anything here for me. There’s nothing keeping me here.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 26th October 2004, 01:41 GMT+01

OK I’m going to say it and be done – I need to purge it!

Now the ESF is barely over and I know I am not alone in the sense of hope and belief that we can make something of the current popular political will. Consequently to see the start of some of the sectarianism rearing its ugly head already makes me a leetle pissed off. I understand old habits die hard and I have encountered it before that parties have this in-built hatred of one another but it seems to be passed on from generation to generation without any real evaluation or questioning. I would like to say one thing clearly now I AM FUCKING SICK OF IT, sick to the back teeth, sick to the pit of my stomach. In this country everyone hates the SWP and the SWP hate everyone else. They all bicker about things done in the past yet half of them don’t seem to have a clue what the others stand for. The differences are tiny if you were to compare them with their differences to say the Labour Party and yet some would rather support the Labour party than each other.

I mean speaking to some people who feel disenfranchised, like for instance the former Lady Mayor that I spoke to. One of the things she said was about the alternative to the Labour party, she was at a meeting once and it was a sort of alternative left thing – she said she was the only one not selling a different paper and that put her off, what happened was she then voted tactically rather than with her conscience. Now that to my mind is a perfect illustration of what is going wrong -of what we are doing to people who believe the same as us. Sure those of us who really like politics like to put our own point of view forward. But equally there are many who are either not interested in politics or don’t have the time or the wherewithal and it is our duty to think of them too -after all being left-wing is about wanting a system that works for the good of the collective not the individual. Many millions of people disagree with US foreign policy, they disagree with this latent capitalism, they disagree with governmental and corporate imperialism and yet they blithely vote for the parties and the politicians who practice precisely that. Why? Because they think the alternative is populated by left-wing lunatics who spend all their time bickering amongst themselves and want either to kill the rich or to turn things into a stalinist totalitarian state. Now leaving aside my view on the rich I think I can safely say that this is all the smokescreen that has been built up over years of propaganda in the West. Whilst we continue to argue amongst ourselves we allow things to just keep going as if we were as good as ignoring the problem.

To any of you party-affiliated sectarian lefties out there I mean it when I say I am by hook or by crook going to build a better world for my kids before I die and if you get in the way I’m going to string you up by the fucking goolies and history will prove me right for it. You want more examples of the consequences look at Germany in the 1930s – it was in no small part down to the failure of the Communists and Socialists to work together that allowed the NSdAP to acheive electoral success. It is due to a lack of coherent opposition to the modernising in the Labour Party throughout the 1980s and 90s that led to it now being a wholly unrepresentative party. Unity shows strength and it reinforces it. If we take the war as an example -no-one surely can have expected us to actually stop the war in Iraq, I certainly didn’t -but I do believe we have at worst stalled any actions against Iran or Syria by the US or the UK, of course there is always Israel but they don’t listen to anyone they’ll just butcher whoever they can get away with. The other key point with the large scale anti-war protests is that according to a University of Cairo professor the muslim world saw that there were millions who were fundamentally opposed to the ‘clash of civilisations’ bollocks there was not a polarised christian West against the muslim East and that sham has apparently been shattered, hopefully for good.

What baffles me is our politics in general is about ameliorating the circumstances of the many putting aside the few and yet we seem unable to put this into practise at even the most fundamental of levels. The anti-war movement has thrown together people who previously would not have worked together and forced them to do so and in the process evaluate how they feel about one another and yet when it comes to putting forward a political force to represent the people on the streets the Greens think it’s not green enough, the Communists think it’s dominated by the SWP and so not red enough, the SWP think that if the certain groups are going to get involved then it won’t amount to anything because those groups are lunatics. Then there’s people like me who watch all this fiasco from the sidelines thinking ‘hang on, we all know who the enemy is and the system that exacts control over us, we all know that it needs to be brought down.’ The vast majority of us believe that it needs to be brought down by some degree of force whether a more passive persuasive force or an active more hands-on one is open to debate – I believe that the failure of the first one leads to the second one anyway so it seems clear. As for the SWP -I am not an SWP member but I find it baffling that people will turn up at an event where the SWP are at the forefront of the organising committee and claim to be surprised at the SWP involvement. The SWP is one of the largest parties on the genuine left in this country with one of the largest user bases and consequently financial resources. I would therefore find it more astonishing if the SWP were not at the forefront of such activities and for anyone to believe that this constitutes a stich up is living in cloud cuckoo land. As an individual I don’t have the resources to set up meetings and print information on a grand scale whereas like-minded groups like the SWP do. If you think that Respect is likely to be dominated by SWP politics then turn up say your piece and listen to the politics.

I am deeply concerned in that I know many people who think that the system cannot be changed and they think and act within the confines of that system, if we on the left do not show these people that it can be changed and that we are willing to do so then how can we expect them to believe it. We run the risk of losing the greatest impetus for social change that I have seen in my lifetime, if it is not seized I fear it could be a long time before such an opportunity comes along again. Capitalism’s greatest strength is its ability to encompass and engulf everything for its own ends regardless of the boundaries imposed by anyone. If we constrain ourselves to remain within these boundaries we will slowly allow ourselves to be eaten up bit by bit. We all know the Pastor Niemoeller quote and it will come to pass again. You don’t believe me? Look at the US – how many people now think that the only way to exact change is to vote for John Kerry? The man whose advisors are already questioning Bush on why he isn’t dealing with the ‘nuclear threat’ of Iran. How many of us on the left outside the US genuinely believe that were Kerry to be elected that anything would change in terms of US foreign policy? Would the people behind the scenes change? Would the corporations have any less influence?

I once heard an American political analyst say “Every revolution is impossible until it happens and then it’s inevitable.” By revolution I do not necessarily mean rioting in the streets and heads being cut off leaders but rather people breaking out of those confines of thought as to what is and isn’t possible in the modern world. Another world is possible but the capitalists have no reason to want that other world and they will not allow its construction easily.

Song Of The Day – Smashmouth ~ Walking On The Sun

Original Comments:


Rachel made this comment,
(i’ve heard of that song too, go figure.)
i agree with you on the politics. i mean, i think everyone who is against george bush is not looking at exactly who john kerry is, everyone just wants to get bush OUT! right now, that’s the main thing. it’s great how you want to make a better world for your kids. i’d love to do something that would make a difference, even if it’s just change the mind of a few miss-lead republicans.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 03:02 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Just like all the Yankees fans were yelling, “Who’s your daddy?” tonight to the Red Sox when the Yankees thought that they still had a chance to win this game, Bush and his supporters will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” from me and everyone else if Kerry wins the election!
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 05:49 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I’m not quite sure what brought all that on… basically, I agree with you about sectarianism: but isn’t one of the main conclusions from the ESF that sectarianism is being squashed at the minute? I thought it was extremely positive to see all manner of different organisations working together so well (and I don’t think it’s right to say the SWP “hate everyone else”; life is too short to get into small-group political bunfighting, if nothing else). The real die-hards still managed to stuff things up on two occasions, but I think that just indicated their isolation.
James M [jmeadway@fastmail.fm]

[Redbaron responds – Hi James yes to a large extent you are quite right and my summation of the ESF was overwhelmingly positive there were only a couple of instances as you said, but relating to reports on Indymedia about the demo and the arrests and such like I sawe some of the in-fighting coming to the fore and a rant on it has been brewing for a while hence it needed to out. I guess I am just over-sensitive that we have a big chance at the moment to really do something and I don’t want to see it wasted.]

comment added :: 21st October 2004, 11:54 GMT+01
Lizard Breath made this comment,
don’t worry, lizard isn’t dead – simply hybernating. missing you all terribly. keep up the writing, ranting and raving – it’s awesome.
lizard.

comment added :: 22nd October 2004, 21:19 GMT+01

Friday 15th

Life generally throws up certain things for everyone, things that you’ll remember for years, perhaps for life. Today I had potentially 2 of mine. Firstly I went to Aleida Guevarra’s talk. I was pleased in a politically starstruck way just to see Che Guevarra’s daughter, she was not how I expected her to look, I expected I guess a thick set dark woman but she was mid-height stocky and jocular looking in a hispanic way. She spoke through an interpreter and gave some ideas of Che from the inside. The talk was interesting but the crucial point for me was that she spoke of how Che had had to give up Cuba and his life and family etc. for what he felt he had to do and he went to Bolivia where he was killed. Her description of him saying goodbye to his 1 month old son when he left Cuba nearly moved me to tears. It made me feel a sense of personal solidarity with the man knowing that my kids suffer for the political activist decisions I make and I hope that one day they will be able to understand like Aleida does. I do hope I’ll be alive tho’ when they do!

The second was the talk on the Media. I took my seat and saw John Pilger standing in a small group in front of the stage, lots of people in the hall but not a lot around him, so I thought well now is the chance to thank the man -so I did, I shook his hand and said that I had just wanted to thank him for Hidden Agendas a special book, a mind-boggling book. He said “Oh good, well, yes, thanks a lot” He was warm and friendly, I got the feeling he would have stayed and chatted but they were starting to usher people onto the stage and there were a couple of autograph hunters behind me and who was I to deny them the same moment I had had. I know it’s stupid but shaking the great man’s hand meant a lot to me – it was after all his book that resulted in me deciding to politically stand up to be counted, my political contacts and activism stem from his book and programs and a forum that used to be on his web site. His talk was emotive, empassioned and excellent, he got a standing ovation and he deserved it.

Sadly I hadn’t taken my camera up to the Ally Pally so I wasn’t able to utilise it which was a shame because there were a couple of good pics that I missed out on -and I don’t mean a cheesy picture of me holding the camera standing next to John Pilger and smiling inanely!

Sat 16th

First miracle of today was after having got back last night at 11.50pm knackered I still managed to get up and get to Ally Pally for a 9am seminar -ok I was 10 mins late but let’s not split hairs the seminar didn’t start until 9.30 in the end -see even the German left are late!!! I really went for the full seminar experience going to every session German, French, Italian even Polish and Turkish altho’ I hadn’t a fecking clue what those bits were but they were part of a session and I couldn’t find any translation sets. And that was part of the fun the myriad assortment of languages just added much to the ambience of the whole place. I love it, there’s stacks of people to talk to from all over the place, smells of world cuisine and people chattering in different languages everywhere. There are colours loads of flags and colours mostly red but there’s a fair bit of green as well! The prevailing thing that is coming out of these meetings is the recognition of the fact that we all need to unite across Europe and the world our strength lies in in the fact that the established parties like the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire in France and Rifondazione Comunista in Italy can help those of us just starting like Respect and Wahlalternative Arbeit und Soziale Gerechtigkeit in Germany.

The Respect fringe meeting in the evening was great -it was packed and there were a load of French and Italian comrades and we had a speech from the LCR chap Olivier Besancenot -he was excellent, very good speaker -he’s a presidential candidate in France I wish him well. Gennaro Migliore from the Italian Rifondazione was also there and he’s been with us before, a good bloke and seems to be turning into a serious staunch ally of the British movement. It was nice to have a German perspective from Suzanne Kim from the WASG because we get precious little info from that side and it is important because of Germany’s current economic and workplace upheavals. From the ‘home’ team we had one of the strongest team of left-wing orators that could be assembled. George Galloway and John Rees from Respect and Tommy Sheridan from the Scottish Socialist Party all of whom are good old fashioned firebrand socialist preachers. There was singing and chanting and flag waving it was what you wanted a political meeting to be about. At the end the whole hall whilst filtering out of the door launched into the Internationale which just seemed to give this feeling of everyone going away feeling buoyed up and hopeful that we can do this.

Sun 17th

I managed to just miss the train today but I got up to Ally Pally about 20 mins late, the seminar on the media didn’t start until nearly 10 which was a bollocks because with the demo in Central London assembling at 1pm it left it a bit late so I sadly had to slope off before the end. I managed to get myself a Communisti Italiani flag for the march and a couple of badges for what has now clearly become my ‘demo jacket’. People started to assemble in Russell Sq. well before midday so there were plenty of people to chat to, I spoke to the former Lady Mayor of Nottingham for a bit who is disolutioned with Labour but not really knowing whether a viable alternative exists. She mentioned quite strongly that the sectarianism and in-fighting on the far-left often put her off and I agreed entirely. After our conversation she said she would consider voting Respect next time around. I said I hoped she would at least give us some serious thought. The whole split thing bugs me I mean whilst it is perhaps not representative as I do not live in France or Italy but I hear far less about the sort of franctionalisation there than is going on here. The Communist Party here used to be strong, not electorally but it had power through the Trade Unions to influence Labour policy. There are many who believe one day it may again but I think this is a rather ostrich styl;e view of politics. So now you have the CPB (Communist Party of Britain); the CPGB (Communist Party of Great Britain); the CPB (M-L) (Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)); the CPGB (M-L) yeah you get the picture! I also saw a banner for The New Communist Party Central Committee on the march, I didn’t have the heart to ask them if they were the new CPB or new CPGB (M-L) etc. etc. It’s estimated that between 50,000 (police estimate) and 100,000 (Morning Star Estimate) went on the march, it was lively if more musical noise than political. It was good tho’ to have such a broad coalition of people there. Suffice to say the mainstream media hardly gives us a mention.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the ESF enormously it was a meeting of cosmopolitan politics with languages and music and solidarity and thoroughly justified the £30 I spent for the whole event. I think it was good for us all to have a moral booster and a sense that we are not alone this is a big movement, natiowide, Europe-wide and global and therein can lie either our strength or our weakness. I think we must try to focus on the things we have in common rather than look for the differences to stand alone. It is all very well to boost morale but there has to be substance in the middle -we could meet every year and pat each other on the backs and say what good comrades we all are but it would do nothing to tear down the inequitous system that we all to man, woman and child opposed. Anyway my lasting impression is good enough that I’d like to go to the next one which is in Athens (I may try to get on the interpreters list for the German, it’s a volunteer service but they do pay travel expenses.) On a slightly more disquieting note I did feel a bit old at times, which was bizarre because I suspect I was in the younger half of the delegates but I seem only to judge myself against like 20 something year olds for whom of course I am old. I must sort this age concern thing out. Oh and there was this girl right (bout 25ish) I damn near lost the power of speech, she registered me and gave me my wristband, she was looooooovely! I decided to leave her alone and not inflict a drooling fat old twat on her!! So to sum up if you want to know whether I’d recommend it I’d say if you’re to the left of centre and you like discussing political or social things or current affairs and such like then you’d love it. I think the 5000 odd who slept in the Milennium Dome had a blast as well despite having to sleep on the floor and endure cold showers. Who’s up for crashing in the Accropolis in 2005?!

I have photos and stuff which I will put up in the next couple of days just in case anyone was interested.

Song Of The Day – Red Army Choir ~ The Internationale

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
Multiple parties…that are actually a going concern. I dream of such options. Glad you had a nice time, Baron.
Kristie

comment added :: 18th October 2004, 21:13 GMT+01

Some of you may remember a while ago I spoke about how when one of my entries included the name Kylie in the title I noticed a hit spike, I never really put it to the test but in light of what Haywood has been suggesting as a result of Google hits on the Leftist I thought it would be interesting to put it to the test.

I have decided to do a week or so in small blog form, little snippets as it were because whilst I am still writing stuff I am finding it tricky to keep concentration for long periods so attempts at long entries have been somewhat disjointed, I have decided to save them for another day, I am building quite the blog dossier now – I can now assert that I can have a blog entry ready in 45 minutes tho’ I strongly suggest you corroborate this before going to the UN!

Song Of The Day – Echobelly ~ Dark Therapy

Original Comments:


MrDan made this comment,
I got a hit spike when I entitled an entry “I like coffee, I like tea”. People all over the world google for that phrase every day. Weird!
MrDan

Visit me @ http://alien.blog-city.com

comment added :: 12th October 2004, 16:29 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
There seems to be a lot of agonizing over blog entries out there.
You mean I’m not just supposed to pull it out of my ass each day?

Kristie [kristiesgu@gmail.com]

[Redbaron responds – Well, I don’t want it to seem too anal, it was just that when I innocently entitled one of my blog entries ‘Kylie and Me’ or something I got about 3 times as many hits as usual so anyway I just decided now to test the theory. It’s that male obsession would stupid logic and statistics thing or is that the fact that I’m a quarter German?!]

comment added :: 12th October 2004, 23:15 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
hahaha! kristie, that’s exactly what i do. i over analyse my life, figure i might as well write out my thoughts, and am done with an entry in less than 20 minutes (thus the incoherent rambling, terrible grammar and badly constructed sentences – the good thing is that i can blame it all on english being a second language).
sarah

comment added :: 13th October 2004, 14:18 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
I got a hit spike when i put ‘sex’ in one of the titles. A guy I know told me he was looking up porn on google and my blog came up.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 14th October 2004, 02:47 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
I get spikes when I take a day off. ;^P
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 15th October 2004, 02:47 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I like that you answer my “pull it out of my ass comment” with “I don’t want to be too anal….”
Really, for that alone, you rock. And I’m laughing.

Ve ah Deutsche. Ve ah very gut mit der organisation.

I’m 1/8 German myself.

Kristie

comment added :: 15th October 2004, 03:55 GMT+01
Mary Blu made this comment,
I had more hits then I could count when I titled an entry Politics, Sex and Religion. But then I can’t count more then 10!
Visit me @ http://mindtravels.blog-city.com/

comment added :: 16th October 2004, 02:54 GMT+01
Bob Red made this comment,
i dont know… putting kylie in the title… having one ready to go in 45 minutes sounds to me like youre sexing it up a bit there Mr B!!
Visit me @ http://bobred.blog-city.com

comment added :: 16th October 2004, 20:16 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
mmmm…spikes…..i got alot of traffic once when i mentioned liverpool….dunno if it was a spike though….
Visit me @ http://jealoustwin.blog-city.com/

comment added :: 17th October 2004, 15:19 GMT+01

“Another World is Possible” declares the slogan. The ESF is taking place and this time it’s in olde Londone Towne so one feels that it is important to pop along. Anyone else going? If you are about anywhere near either the Ally Pally or Bloomsbury and fancy coming along go to their website here and learn more/register. I haven’t been to one before but I know a few people who went out to Firenze last year and it was all they talked about for weeks. There are stacks of seminars and stuff and usually you get a brain overload but it’s a great chance to meet up with other red-green people from all over the place. Just think you too could meet The Baron in person! No, don’t let that put you off there’ll be many good people there too, John Pilger, Che Guevara’s daughter etc. etc. Seriously, go, you know you want to -a weekend full of politics and perhaps the odd drink! Splendid.

This will be the 3rd of my weekend sojourns to London, the next one is for the Respect National Convention where a few hundred of us are going to lock ourselves in a room and come up with some policies. That’s the plan, what’s actually going to happen is we’re going to fight for the first day then get pissed in the evening and then shit ourselves on the Sun. that we haven’t got enough time to formulate a coherent manifesto. Should be a grin. And in 50 years time if I’m still going I can chat to my Grandchildren who are studying Modern History and say -“Yeah your old Grandad was at that Convention, changed politics that did” and they’ll all sit there thinking “Oh bollocks the old goat isn’t going to start off on another of his ‘we changed the world in the 00s we did’ speeches!

Song Of The Day – Tears For Fears ~ Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Original Comments:


Rachel made this comment,
that’s the first song you’ve ever mentioned that i’ve actually heard of.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 14th October 2004, 02:39 GMT+01

Nice going the Boys in Green, 0-0 against La France is good stuff, one is most chuffed. You can read the match report here if you’re so inclined. Ireland games are practically the only ones I’ll actually sit thru 90 mins of and usually they put me thru the ringer but this time I was well impressed. For those not into soccor, bear in mind France were the World and European chanpions 4 years ago so a draw in Paris is grand. Barracuda, I hope a good bit of celebration was had by all in Paris and the craic was good. Roll on Wed.

Song Of The Day – The Pogues ~ Sally MacLennane

Original Comments:


Pimme made this comment,
Sometimes keeping the other team at bay is almost as good as scoring.
Visit me @ http://pimme.blog-city.com

comment added :: 10th October 2004, 02:15 GMT+01
baracuda made this comment,
Once I fix my PC at home, I’ll write a full report on my adventures in Paree.
It was a good match, decent result, although we could have beaten them.

Visit me @ http://myveryownblog.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – From what I hear we did have them quite on the back foot. Pity we didn’t play like that against the Faroes.]

comment added :: 18th October 2004, 11:57 GMT+01