Living With The Enemy (1999 – Dave Douglass)

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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’ . .

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The Cuntocracy or How well is David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ going these days?

Why not call the present political system a ‘cuntocracy’? It is most certainly not a democracy—at least not the type any one would want.  We need a new name for not just what our leaders do to us because of greed and stupidity.  We need an accurate irrefutable term for all of society’s organisation as an undesirable but innate feature of the effects of the power hungry.  We need a term who’s very existence will drive the science of self-understanding in a way that returns power to the ordinary people—giving them a voice and a simple way to talk back to those who pose as leaders but take us nowhere.  If people in power object: it’s working.

But what are our base assumptions? Well, there is probably only one ‘law’ that we could say social science ‘discovered,’ and this seems to have been axiomatically engendered by sheer flippancy. This was Lord Acton’s statement (in a letter to a Bishop) that all power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. No one has thought to extrapolate our one law further to establish its social determinants. You are simply not allowed to.  We can adapt Acton’s Law into: all power tends to create cunts and absolute power creates total cunts.  If power and cuntishness are thus implacably entwined we can say that they would form a metaphysical pathos.  An inescapable trap of becoming a cunt awaits the power hungry: fate and vanishing freedom, confusion or loss of values, emotional colouring whether they are aware or not.  If you really believe that you rather than all the others should be in control the result is pessimism and fatalism towards all else, including analysis of the situation.  This trap gives rise to a functional rationality to keep the illusion going: the cuntocracy.  Max Weber’s concept of the inescapable ‘Iron Shell of Bureaucracy,’ or Marx’s ‘Barbarism’ as the incurable ‘leper of civilisation’ point to its social psychology.[1] PDF

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Geordies — Wa Mental! Read by David John Douglass (audio – mp3)

DAVE DOUGLASS was a miner for forty years. Here, the author reads extracts from the first volume of his trilogy Stardust and Coaldust, the story of the radicalisation of a young, working class ‘Geordie’ in the Britain of the 1950s and 1960s . . . Dave Douglass is available for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, funerals, bar mitzvahs, saint days, stadium tours, book festivals, miners’ welfares and May Day celebrations — but he definitely draws the line at masonics …

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Geordies – Wa Mental – 1

Geordies – Wa Mental – 2

Geordies – Wa Mental – 3

Geordies – Wa Mental – 4

Geordies – Wa Mental – 5

Geordies – Wa Mental – 6

Geordies – Wa Mental – 7

Geordies – Wa Mental – 8

FILMS: COAL NOT DOLE! The Miners’ Videotapes (1984) ; STRIKE! When Britain Went To War — The 1984-85 Miners’ Strike ; Dave Douglass reads from his book, Ghost Dancers, at the Radical Independent Bookfair in Glasgow (May 2010)  ; Stardust and Coaldust ; LIVING WITH THE  ENEMY

BOOKS: Geordies — Wa Mental; The Wheel’s Still In Spin and Ghost Dancers are all available from Central Books

A MUGSBOROUGH REBEL: Alf Cobb and the Struggle for Justice in Hastings by Mike Matthews £1.50 eBook see eBookshelf

A Mugsborough Rebel – Alf Cobb

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The new 2011 edition of A Mugsborough Rebel: Alf Cobb and the Struggle for Justice in Hastings by Mike Matthews is especially welcome, as this year is the centenary of the death of Robert Tressell, author of the famous socialist classic The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Tressell’s semi-factual novel, set in the run-down seaside resort of Hastings in the early 1900s, had a major influence on many leaders and activists of the British Labour movement throughout much of the 20th century.

While writing his story, Tressell was inspired by Cobb, a draper’s traveller from the East End of London who had moved to Hastings in 1900. This was about a year before Tressell also came to live in the town that he was to rename as Mugsborough. Cobb soon became the articulate figurehead of the radical socialist movement in Hastings, as secretary of the local Social Democratic Party. Tressell’s biographer, Fred Ball, said Cobb’s “uncompromising, sardonic and fearless style” helped fire Tressell’s outspoken prose in his powerful description of the miseries of everyday life in working class Britain.

Mike’s book tells how Cobb shook the Hastings establishment out of its lethargy, transforming the borough‘s politics in the first decade and a half of the 20th century. Cobb set out to unmask the injustice and corruption so prevalent in Mugsborough, a relentless task that gained him massive notoriety, and helped influence Tressell’s political perceptions and viewpoint on life in a watering place then undergoing alarming decline.

Cobb’s muck-raking exposed widespread “muddle, mismanagement and monstrous scandals” in the town hall. His courageous prosecution of the mayor and Hastings Corporation in 1910 caused fear and loathing of him among the wealthy classes, and generated vindictiveness from councillors “caught with their fingers in the till”. Cobb’s passionate speeches, often recorded in word-for-word detail in the local newspapers, are quoted extensively by Mike.

A Mugsborough Rebel: Alf Cobb paints a vivid portrait of a fascinating and influential man at a decisive moment in the history of both a typical provincial town and the British socialist movement of the 20th century. Steve Peak

Dave Douglass reads from Ghost Dancers (RIB, Glasgow) … click Films link above

 
Dave Douglass reading from his new book “Ghost Dancers

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Dave Douglass reads from his book, Ghost Dancers, at the Radical Independent Bookfair in Glasgow (May 2010). Ghost Dancers is the final volume in Dave Douglass’s mining trilogy Stardust and Coaldust, published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the end of the miners strike. A first-person, insiders view of, probably, the last generation of miners and their union. David Douglass is a long-standing and well-known member of the National Union of Mineworkers in the Durham and Doncaster coalfields. He was a coalminer for 40-plus years and a branch official of the Union for 25 years, as well as a member of its Yorkshire Executive during its most testing and dynamic period. He remains a full member of the NUM and is still active in the internal affairs of the Union, as well as being one of its more public and well-known representatives and a published author and historian of the coal communities.Vol. 1: Geordies Wa Mental; Vol. 2: The Wheel’s Still in Spin; Vol. 3: Ghost Dancers (ChristieBooks)

Radical Independent Bookfair