Sunday, 12 August 2007

Trip to Manchester

I love leftist exaggeration. Some stirring examples being discussed on Leftist Trainspotters and Urban 75 as I speak.

I was heartened to see the tradition is still alive and well, if this Saturday's demo in defence of asylum seekers in Manchester was anything to go by.

We went up Manchester for the day to spend some much needed quality time with one another. I got ripped off at Drucker's in the Arndale Centre (£17 for a chicken and bacon wrap, a toasted cheese sandwich, a coffee, a coke, a slice of apple pie and chocolate cake with cream!), were pleased to see the utterly vile public urinals have been removed, and was thankful for some proper August weather for a change!

As we were wandering about we happened upon a small demo by asylum seeker campaigners and various others. I was disappointed to see most of the Manc left were absent. It looked as if the Revolutionary Communist Group had a national mobilisation for the event (they had about 10 comrades there), and I spied John Nicholson of Greater Manchester Socialist Alliance fame and a woman who looked like Sheila Rowbotham at a distance, but probably wasn't. I signed some nice old bloke's CND petition against Trident renewal, but sadly the RCG left me alone. Perhaps I looked too bourgeois for them, being white, male, and of working class stock.

Then came the piece de resistance. Once the demo had filed into Albert Square and the speakers assumed their position on John Bright's statue, the speaker thanked the two hundred or so who made it to the demonstration that day. Being a spotterly type, I couldn't help but count the attendees. There was 60. But knowing how these things work, 200 will become the accepted figure. Expect to see it touted in the next Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and go down in the annals of labour movement lore.

But this guy was an amateur when you compare him with "one of the leaders of the biggest mass movement in British history", brother John Rees of the SWP. This was filmed at this year's Marxism. I'll let him speak for himself (the top stuff's about 2 minutes in)


Frank Partisan said...

Asylum for who, for what? I missed something.

Leftwing Criminologist said...

so blair going was nothing to do with the worst local election results in labour's history, the mass protests against attacks on the nhs or anything else, sure the protests against the lebannon war played a part (but it wasn't 100,000 strong). and they wonder why nobody likes the swp??

Jim Denham said...

Why, exactly, havew you displayed a video of that ignorant, anti-working class clown? I presume it's *not* because you agree with a single word he said? And by a "single word" I include "and" and "the".

Duncan said...

I think it's called a 'joke' Jim, Phil's posted it up to make fun of the ridiculous exaggerations by Mr Rees.

Quite funny it was as well.

Anonymous said...

"We single drove the worst PM this country has ever seen from office, no matter what the history book will write we did it"

WTF! did "WE" just decide that one that we'd has enogth?

BTW "If we stay in Afganastan nad Iraq, the same thing that happened to your prediceser will happen to you" errr... So if he stays in Iraq and Afganistan he'll marry cherie and convert to catholism?

Jim Denham said...

Sorry, Duncam: that asshole gets me so angry I lose my sense of humour.

Louisefeminista said...

There's a Drucker's in Bromley and it does crap coffee so I sympathise with you for being ripped off...

Ah, Sheila Rowbotham... I remember meeting her at a conference some years ago and having a brief chat with her in the women's toilets standing by the basins (ok,no wisecracks).

The discussion was mainly about how badly signposted the conference venue was.

I came over all star struck and wanted to say something like, "Wow, I have read all your bks and your're a feminist hero for me...wished I bought them with me you coulda signed them"

But that sounded lame so kept my gob shut ,nodded my head instead and carried on all tongue tied.

Phil said...

In my leftist train spotting youth, I remember feeling something similar when I sat very near to Dave Nellist in a Socialist Alliance conference in November 1997. I doubly embarrassed myself eight years afterwards by doing the drunken "I really love you thing" at Socialism 2005.

Oh dear ...

Madam Miaow said...

"Whatever the papers say, whatever the history books write ... We did it, and nobody else did that."

Holy cow! They just get worse.

Anonymous said...

Think Phil's point is right- that exaggeration, self-importance and wishful thinking won't help us on the left. Rather they hinder us.

I was on the demo. There were around 60, 70 or so, may be swelling at the most to 80. It was a demo against all deportations initiated by FRFI and later supported by Bolton NUT.

We mobilised round the Ndombasi family. I think it was worth doing because it got some publicity. However, the turn out was pitiful- very few left there at all apart from FRFI and for the future am determined to call and organise demos on a wider basis.

Still some useful coverage here

Jason, Bolton NUT, member of Permanent Revolution