Apr 032013
 

GreatDeceptionTHE GREAT DECEPTION. How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the WorkersDonovan Pedelty (ISBN 978-1-873976-00-5),  £2.71, ChristieBooks. PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN341ZS. First published by Prometheus Press, Powys, Wales, in 1997 as The Rape of Socialism. This fully revised ChristieBooks (Kindle eBook) edition published 2013   Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE

UK : £2.71 ; USA : $4.12 ; Germany€3,21 ; France€3,21 ; Spain€3,21 ; Italy : €3,21 ; Japan : ¥ 377 ; Canada : CDN$ 4.07 ; Brazil : R$ 8,09

‘An elegantly argued and searing indictment of the economic and sociological background of the British political system of “representative” democracy in general, and parliamentary socialism in particular. The first hundred pages or so examine the evolution of the British Conservative Party over the past two centuries; the remaining four-fifths of the book focuses on the British Labour Party and how it corrupted the socialist ideal. An important and challenging book that should be read by ANYONE interested in politics, especially those who put their faith in the “Labour Movement”’ — Stuart Christie

A hundred years or so ago socialist thinking, in tune with the rising tide of labour protest, presented a serious challenge to the capitalist hegemony. However much they differed over ultimate objectives and how to reach them, the socialists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were at one in their conviction that possessive, individualistic, capitalism would have to be overcome to establish a just, equitable and sane society. They were equally certain that the huge advance in productive capacity which capitalism had helped to bring about, by proving that poverty could be abolished, had made such a transformation possible, immediately or at least within the near future.

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Aug 132012
 

The British Council and the Edinburgh Writers Conference

On a recent Sunday the Herald had a twenty page full colour supplement in association with the Scottish Tourist Board. Stories from the land that inspired Disney Pixar’s Brave. That’s us. The land “Where Legends Come to Life”. People wonder why we get irritated occasionally. It isn’t to do with the movie itself. I havent even seen it. The storyline involves loveable indigenous aristocrats, which is familiar: the kind of shite favoured by Scottish politicians, cuddly comedians and cuddly actors, cuddly rockstar rebels, millionaire sportstars and, of course, the cuddly ruling elite. This particular movie has a royal daughter hero rather than a royal son, which appeals to some as a blow for female emancipation, apparently.

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Aug 062012
 

Farquhar McHarg, Belleville, Paris, 1976

¡Pistoleros! 1 – 1918

¡Pistoleros! 2 – 1919

Farquhar’s Chronicles (Vols. 1 ; 2 ; 3 )are folk history, bringing the changes that shook the political and social landscape of Spain (and the world) between 1918 and 1977 into the framework of a contemporary adult lifetime. They make a vexatious but fascinating story that explains the spirit and Idea that moved the selfless, generous, occasionally naïve and recklessly idealistic people involved in the bitter social struggles that marked the hectic insurrectionary and utopian aftermath of the great imperialist war of 1914-18.

This third volume of Farquhar McHarg’s journal focuses on the remarkable adventures of the Glaswegian anarchist during the period 1920-24 as a member of the anarchist action groups: Los Justicieros (‘the Avengers’); Crisol (‘Crucible’); Los Solidarios (‘Solidarity’), and the armed clandestine defence cadres of the CNT, the anarcho-syndicalist labour union. Their militants faced extermination from the calculated violence of the security services of a vicious semi-feudal state, and the mercenary killers employed by landed grandees and an equally savage industrial and commercial bourgeoisie.

Pistoleros! 2 – 1920-1924 (to 1977)

Farquhar’s Chronicles also tell a parallel narrative of plot and counterplot, ranging from 1936 to 1976, exploring the background to the murder of Farquhar’s comrade, the notorious anarchist counterfeiter and facilitator Laureano Cerrada Santos, and the subsequent attempts to kill the seventy-six-year-old Farquhar himself. It is a compelling and dramatic tale of the Govan man’s attempt to ferret out the identity of a long-term traitor within the Spanish émigré anarcho-syndicalist organisation, the CNT-MLE (Spanish Libertarian Movement), a confidente known only as ‘The Priest’.

Farquhar McHarg 1925

This story unfolds against the backdrop of machinations by Spanish and other Western spymasters obsessed with the idea that post-Franco Spain might go ‘Red’. To pre-empt this eventuality they deployed deep-penetration agents of influence, traitors at the highest level of the Spanish émigré anarcho-syndicalist movement. By inducing fear and paranoia through acts of treachery, their objective was to demoralise, disrupt and neutralise the effectiveness of that small band of anarchist militants who had fought relentlessly to topple the old regime by aggressive action and who might thwart their plans for a post-Francoist Spain.

Farquhar McHarg 1959

Farquhar McHarg 1976

These puppetmasters also sought to extend and consolidate their proxy control over the influential anarcho-syndicalist organisation inside and outside of Spain during the ‘disease-prone’ transition period to democracy’ (communism being defined as a ‘disease of transition’). It was the height of the Cold War and, with Spain’s dictator dead, the West’s geopolitical agenda-setters needed to ensure NATO hegemony over the Mediterranean, and the continuity of the Francoist agenda (and elite) at a time when they believed Spanish society would be particularly susceptible to a social breakdown as it underwent modernisation.

PHOTO ALBUMS Vol. 1: 1918 a ; 1918 b ; 1918 c

PHOTO ALBUMS Vol. 2: 1919 a ; 1919 b

PHOTO ALBUMS Vol. 3: 1920-24 a ; 1920-24 b ; 1920-24 c

 

Dec 092011
 

Pistoleros! 3: 1920-24 (Jacket design by Pierre Ellis)

Farquhar’s Chronicles are folk history (Catalan -ISSUU and PDF; SpanishISSUU and PDF), bringing the changes that shook the political and social landscape of Spain (and the world) between 1918 and 1977 into the framework of a contemporary adult lifetime. They make a vexatious but fascinating story that explains the spirit and Idea that moved the selfless, generous, occasionally naïve and recklessly idealistic people involved in the bitter social struggles that marked the hectic insurrectionary and utopian aftermath of the great imperialist war of 1914-18.

This third volume of Farquhar McHarg’s journal focuses on the remarkable adventures of the Glaswegian anarchist during the period 1920-24 as a member of the anarchist action groups: Los Justicieros (‘the Avengers’); Crisol (‘Crucible’); Los Solidarios (‘Solidarity’), and the armed clandestine defence cadres of the CNT, the anarcho-syndicalist labour union. Their militants faced extermination from the calculated violence of the security services of a vicious semi-feudal state, and the mercenary killers employed by landed grandees and an equally savage industrial and commercial bourgeoisie.

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Oct 022011
 

See ChristieBooks Films
Geordie anarchist-marxist miner and author of the extraordinary autobiographical trilogy ‘Stardust and Coaldust’ (‘Geordies – Wa Mental’; ‘The Wheel’s Still in Spin’; ‘Ghost Dancers’) Dave Douglass lives for a week with Chief Scout Lord Rowallan and tries to educate and enlighten him – unsuccessfully, of course, but a fascinating and very funny lifestyle documentary’ . .

Oct 022011
 

See ChristieBooks Films
In the early part of 1978, following a series of Special Branch-led raids, Iris Mills, Ronan Bennett, Vince Stevenson, Trevor Dawton, Dafydd Ladd and Stewart Carr were charged with conspiring, with ‘Persons Unknown’, to cause explosions. When the trial opened at the Old Bailey in September 1979 Dafydd Ladd jumped bail and did not surrender for three years, when he received a nine-year sentence on separate charges. Stewart Carr pleaded guilty to everything the police put to him and received a 9-year sentenced. All the others were acquitted. After the not- guilty verdict the judge, Alan King-Hamilton QC, read out Stewart Carr’s ‘confession’ (when they could no longer be challenged in open court!) and berated the jury for, in his view, delivering the wrong verdict.

Oct 022011
 

See ChristieBooks Films
An ‘anniversary’ account of the ‘Stoke Newington Eight’ (‘Angry Brigade’) trial with some interesting and insightful interviews with Gordon Carr, Ian MacDonald QC and Scotland Yard Special Branch Sergeant Roy Cremer. There are also a few interviews that are most definitely not . . . It is interesting to note that in both the ‘Angry Brigade’ (1970-71) and the later ‘Persons Unkown’ (1978-80) cases it was the recruitment/ involvement of politicised petty criminals that led, initially, to the police finding both the leads and evidence they needed to pursue successful prosecutions. It’s an old, old story . . .

Oct 022011
 


Granada TV’s ‘World in Action’ 25-minute autopsy of the ‘Stoke Newington Eight’ trial, broadcast in the immediate aftermath of the acquittals and convictions in December 1972 . . .

Jun 142011
 

Review of ‘Homage to Caledonia‘ by Daniel Gray and ‘An Anarchist’s Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald‘ by Chris Dolan (Scottish Review of Books, Vol 5, No. 1, 2009). PDF or ISSUU

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