The Hale and the Hanged Topic -The Exiles, 1967

The Jolly Beggar – Enoch Kent, unaccompanied

The Fair Flower of Northumberland – Gordon McCulloch, acc. fiddle, whistle, guitar

Reels: The Comer House; The Sally Gardens – Jim Lyons, accordion, with fiddle, banjo, guitar

The Laird o’ The Windy Wa’ – Gordon McCulloch, acc. fiddle

Dainty Davie – Enoch Kent, acc. mandola and mouth-organ

Le Reel du Pendu (The Hanged Man’s Reel) – Bobby Campbell fiddle, with guitar and banjo

Queen Eleanor’s Confession – Gordon McCulloch, acc. Fiddle

The Plooman Laddie – Enoch Kent, acc. fiddle, mouth-organ, whistle

The Shoals of Herring – Gordon McCulloch and Bobby Campbell, acc. banjo and guitar

Airs: The Coolin; I Walked Up To Her, Slip-Jig. Rocky Road to Dublin; Reel. The Wee Weaver – Bobby Campbell, fiddle

The Battle of Harlaw – Enoch Kent, accompanied fiddle

I Will Lay Ye Doon, Love – Enoch Kent and Gordon McCulloch acc. fiddle

Plaxty Davies – Tim Lyons, accordion, with banjo and Mandoline

Enoch Kent: voice, guitar, whistle; Gordon McCulloch: voice, guitar, banjo, mouth-organ; Bobby Campbell: voice, fiddle, mandoline, mandola, guitar; Tim Lyons: button accordion
Recorded by Bill Leader

This is the second Exiles album. The group comprised three outstanding singers and instrumentalists from Glasgow, Enoch Kent, Gordon McCulloch and (the late) Bobby Campbell, who left their native land to find work in the South (Enoch Kent has since accepted exile in ever remoter regions, moving on to Canada). On this record, they were joined by another exile, from Ireland this time, in Tim Lyons, an excellent button-accordion player whom the English must count as,yet another of the treasures we have plundered from the land of Granuaile.

STEFANO DELLE CHIAE – Portrait of a ‘Black Terrorist’ by Stuart Christie. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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Stefano Delle Chiaie. Portrait of a ‘Black Terrorist’ by Stuart Christie. First published 1984.

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On 2 August 1980 a bomb hidden in a suitcase exploded at Bologna railway station in Italy, claiming the lives of 85 innocent people and injuring over 200. The outrage at Bologna was just one more episode in what has become known as the ‘Strategy of Tension’ – a campaign of terror, infiltration, provocation murder (including that of anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli) that stretches back to the beginning of the 1960s and has its roots in the Cold War. But what exactly are the aims of this seemingly senseless campaign, and who are the people behind it?

Of the five people named as suspects by the Italian judge investigating the outrage at Bologna, one stands out from all the rest: Stefano Delle Chiaie. Master organiser of neo-fascist terror, or someone who has been deliberately set up as such by other more shadowy figures, the name of Delle Chiaie is inextricably linked with just about every major right-wing scandal and terrorist outrage to have rocked Italy during the past two decades. The history of Delle Chiaie is the history of Nazism in our world today. Through it we see neo-fascist terrorist organisations in their true role: that of “plausibly deniable” agents of an inner oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality.


Duck Soup — The Marx Brothers (1933) (see Films)

The Marx Brothers‘ greatest and funniest masterpiece — the classic comedy Duck Soup (1933) — a brilliant satire and lampooning of blundering dictatorial leaders, Fascism and authoritarian government. Audiences were taken aback by the film’s political disrespect, buffoonery and cynicism at a time of political and economic crisis, with Roosevelt’s struggle against Depression in the US and the rise of fascism in Europe. (The irrepressible comedians in this quintessential anarchic satire simply but irreverently attack the pomposity of small-time governmental leaders (Firefly as President), the absurdity of government itself (the Cabinet meeting scene), governmental diplomacy (the Trentino-Firefly scenes), an arbitrary legal system (Chicolini’s trial), and war fought over petty matters (the mobilization and war scenes). Much of the comedy makes the obvious statement that war is indeed nonsensical and meaninglessly destructive, especially since the word ‘upstart’ was the insult word (Ambassador Trentino called Firefly an ‘upstart’) that led to war between the two countries. This quote by Groucho, was especially detested: “And remember while you’re out there risking life and limb through shot and shell, we’ll be in here thinking what a sucker you are.”)


‘I know where you live, pal!’ — Lt Colonel Hector Varela, the ‘Butcher of Patagonia’ (PDF)

Lt Colonel Hector Varela, ‘the butcher of Patagonia’, is brought to justice by Gustav Wilkens (1886-1923)

In Patagonia, in 1920, anarchist activists led an uprising of agricultural labourers which was viciously repressed by the army under the command of Lt. Colonel Héctor Varela who sent more than 1500 strikers and ordinary workers to the firing squads. The remoteness of the region and poor communication prevented the full story from becoming known in Buenos Aires until much later. When the details of Varela’s methods became known, the anarchist press launched a campaign against the “killer of Patagonia” which culminated in the assassination of Varela by a Tolstoyan-anarchist, Kurt Wilkens

On the 25January 1923 Lt Colonel Héctor Benigno Varela left his apartment at 7 in the morning. Outside, waiting for him with a bomb and a revolver, was Kurt Wilkens, a hitherto pacifist anarchist. Wilkens explained his reasons for killing Varela in a letter dated 21 May 1923:

No fue venganza; yo no vi en Varela al insignificante oficial. No, él era todo en la Patagonia: gobierno, juez, verdugo y sepulturero. Intenté herir en él al ídolo desnudo de un sistema criminal. ¡Pero la venganza es indigna de un anarquista! El mañana, nuestro mañana, no afirma rencillas, ni crímenes, ni mentiras; afirma vida, amor, ciencias; trabajemos para apresurar ese día.

He will not kill anyone again. I have avenged my brothers.”

Condemned to life imprisonment, Wilkens was shot in his cell, while sleeping, on June 16, 1923, by the rightwing nationalist, Perez Millan,  who was killed in turn on November 9 1925, by the Russian anarchist German Boris Vladimirovitch. PDF

Francisco MORENO GÓMEZ, Lagunas en la memoria y en la historia del maquis (PDF)

DOSSIER: GENERACIONES Y MEMORIA DE LA REPRESIÓN FRANQUISTA: UN BALANCE DE LOS MOVIMIENTOS POR LA MEMORIA 2. ¿Política de exterminio? El debate acerca de la ideología, estrategias. HISPANIA NOVA, Revista de Historia Contemporánea (No 6 – 2006)

The study of the historical phenomenon of the guerrilla against Franco, as well as different aspects of the Spanish civil war, has been affected until today by a misunderstood instruction of oblivion, tacit or expressed, with a consequence of academic marginality. However, the Spanish maquis was the equivalent of the antifascist European movements of resistance, with the only difference that in Europe the maquis won and in Spain they were defeated. The political aim was the same: to restore the democratic system. However, in Spain, as it was a history of the defeated,the interpretation and the rare studies of this phenomenon have been deformed and falsified, mainly because the specific archives still belong to the repressors’ heirs.