Saturday, 12 April 2008

Resuming Normal Service

AVPS is back after a week's hiatus. It got bored with the rubbish Stoke weather and migrated to Blackpool, while your humble contributors got stuck into their PhDs and assorted bolshevik activities. But now it's back and the misery didn't even get us a stick of rock. Is your blog as mean to you as ours is to us?

Luckily we're above such pettiness. Look with wonder upon the changes wrought recently on the blog roll. Added to the list since the last links update are The Norm, A Cloud in Trousers, Brizblog, Citizen Steve, Culture Sluts, Isn't It About Time We Tried Socialism?, Louis Proyect, Newer Labour, Philobiblon and A Modern Libertarian. Seldom is such an attractive roll of honour seen. We really are too good to this ungrateful wretch of a blog.

This week should see posts on the usual mish-mash of comment, sociology, Socialist Party things and sectariana.

While AVPS has been away we were unable to update the books and music selections. When the blog was knocking about on the pleasure beach I had my nose stuck in The Union Makes Us Strong by Tony Lane. Published in 1974 if it was still in print it would be standard reading for all socialists. It's more than just a straight forward history of British trade unions. It examines the conditions and pressures on union officialdom; the leaders and parliamentary representatives, the mid-ranking full-timers and shop stewards. It looks at how the division of labour sets the working class at sectional loggerheads with its fellows and how this is reflected in the organisation of the labour movement. For a book over 30 years old it remains as relevant now as it was when it first rolled off the presses. It's also persuaded me to tackle Ralph Miliband's Parliamentary Socialism after an age of gathering dust on my book shelf.

Music-wise, my pick of the week has to be Portishead's Machine Gun. The album is excellent too. And with the old choon it's back to 1989 and 808 State's seminal Pacific State.

Top blogging, incisive analysis, must-read books and conspicuous displays of the correct music taste. We do spoil this blog ... but you can spoil it too. If you know of any decent left blogs that deserve a wider circulation just let us know via the comments.

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