10 Points about anarchism in Britain

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Falseflag
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Jun 17 2005 22:08
10 Points about anarchism in Britain

I don't have all resources or references to hand and I forgot my old password- but here you are 10 points from having met anarchists for the first time about 16 months ago. I want anarchism to improve and this is not intended as a dig on anarchists just some general points

1 Advertising is not the monster

Advertising is a convenient bogey used by some anarchists to explain nasty facts away.

Advertising by itself did not smother working-class solidarity and community. Instead the policies of the business class:

"comprehensive development" clearances + roadbuilding, waves of immigration where the working-class were not truly consulted, conscious destruction of domestic manufacturing industry (and thus rise of service industries with smaller workplaces + more expendable staff),

cleverer "management" practices (temporary work agencies), rise of drug-dealing targetting the working-class,

opening-up "the property market" (sale of council homes, the 80s "boom"- which in turn meant mortgages to fund requiring women to work longer with bad consequences for parenting and socialisation) etc etc

and the self-destruction of working-class "left" resistance

(Labour left democratic socialism left without a leg to stand on as Labour governments continued Tory policies and vice-versa Butskellism onwards/

Never really understanding working-class Toryism (Where it came from- why it was strong in the areas that it was, what its aims were what it felt very strongly about- the works)/

Hattonism left without a plan B when the encirclement came/

Non-Labour Left crawling up its own hairy arse)

Why is so much money spent on it? Partly because "it keeps people employed in the capitalist system" legitimate rights to resources (legal money) needs to be recycled while maintaining hierarchies- and partly because brand recognition is important for companies' profits.

Assuming all advertising ceased tomorrow it would not make much of a difference to the underlying social relationships in Britain.

2 Immigration

The majority of immigration does not benefit the working-class of home country or of host country.

Emigrants from poor countries such as Poland, Ghana, South Africa, Moldavia are those have enough money to be able to afford the journey costs and foregone wages/farming time are not "the most desparate people".

Remittances are substantial- but go almost entirely into family accounts of the migrants- thus allowing that particular family or extended family to have higher purchasing power(development by trickle-down capitalist means). What remittances do not do, by and large, is alter the social relationships between classes in the home country (unless they are channelled into communal funds like trade unions/housing co-ops).

A very significant number are doctors, nurses and most recently dentists (trained in state communist-era Poland) crucial for working-class of the home country.

Those who support mass-immigration or open borders tend to use immiseration theory ("capitalism" will be weakened by an angry indigenous population), trickle-down economics (migrants contribute in taxes paid in and increase GDP/ migrants increase purchasing power/effective demand back home).

3 Asylum

Not "All asylum seekers are welcome here". Boris Berezovsky (fraudster, probable murderer given political asylum status by David Blunkett back in 2003 http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/354/10874_.html?) is not welcome here.

Islamicist fundamentalists seeking to recreate khalifates escaping Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt- are not welcome here.

Asylum system is abused for purposes of migration under strict definitions of asylum law just as false marriages into Britain also continue.

It is righ to grant asylum- but governments grant asylum for their own ends whether to present itself as peacemaker and for the benefit of humankind or to use asylum seekers in pressing for specific changes in their home countries or whatever.

Anarchists should not ask central government to be kinder in the asylum process (Since when do governments willingly deviate from their plans unless it is to gain a propaganda coup?).

Instead they should primarily concentrate on the struggle at home against bosses, drug-dealers and politicians.

The "asylum" system based on the denial of "human rights" abroad is an absurdity given the absurdity of politics across the globe dominated by irrationalism, politicians, bosses, Buddhist priests, racketeers or whoever.

Romanian farmer families without petrol for their tractors might well be under greater danger (from lack of money for medicine) or homosexuals in India (in danger of gay-bashing murders) and more "deserving" of asylum compared to opposition group members in Luanda- but are unlikely to be able get asylum.

Arguing for them to "get asylum" is meaningless in a world controlled by gangsters.

Only yesterday this decision by Spain http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/UNHCR/69f9e2e58928b6202e30f160c976a301.htm

Quote:
Spain joins an increasing number of countries where asylum seekers lacking State protection from domestic violence can be recognized as refugees. These include Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, as well as, more recently, Argentina, Romania and now Spain.

highlights the absurdity of the situation. Is it the case that the state protects people from domestic violence in Britain? No- it's not.

In fact billions are deserving of asylum from every single country's leaders and the policies they administer- or they soon would be if they began to seriously challenge their power.

4 People acting like selfish bastards in the family

Don't really know what to call this but it's important to me for personal reasons.

But how do anarchists deal with absent fathers that leave after the pregnancy of partners- or absent mothers that leave with children from their partners , or with alcoholic fathers (usually at least) who beat their children?

I don't really have any answers for this one- but it is a serious problem.

5 Anarchism not "building new world in shell of old"

Anarchists, at least from the outside at first, reading their leaflets, seem to be one of 3 things:

A "We don't like X", "We don't want Y" (always calling for the negative of what government proposes- rather than offering practical, immediate alternatives)

B advising only in very general ways about communes (i.e. coming across as idealistic/immature/naive)

C attacking things for no reason (being idiots- hangover from Mayday 2000 Parliament Square/Victoria Street I'm afraid)

Anarchists should be more open about the types of violence that are/ are not permitted- to maintain order in their anarchist society, to attack oppressors etc.

Leaflets by anarchists should not read as if they are pleading for stuff from government or expecting governments can act humanely for anything other than their own benefit.

Immediate alternatives to government (or aspects of it) would be better- no more faraway society hypotheses.

6 Crime

In Britain, crime is probably the most serious day to day "oppression" and sustained attack upon the working-class.

The working-class experiences most terror and pressure from the effects of crime.

If anarchists attack the "arms of the state" that do, although imperfectly, maintain order then they must also attack ("by all means necessary" perhaps) anti-social anti-working-class criminals- patrols, secret ambushes whatever- acting in as accountable a manner to the working-class community as possible.

Just as controlled action against property developers and estate agents is acceptable- so is action against anti-social criminals. The response must be sharp and merciless (just as sharp and merciless as it would be if bosses hired men to beat up pickets or neo-facsists attacked non-British working-class people).

Currently there's little from anarchists that seriously aims to reform constabulary policing from below or act as an alternative to constabulary police.

7 Nations

Anarchism should be entirely compatible with a feeling of joy or pride at an area's (however big or small) past or traditions (We're not robots to derive emotion from only personal achievements).

But this has nothing to do with fighting for government from Holyrood, College Green, Stormont, Cardiff Bay, Penzance, London or Douglas.

8 The effects of professionals and a "middle class outlook" not be ignored.

Yes it is difficult to define- but certain "middle-class" attitudes and an elitist zealousness are no good.

Stuff that is disingenuous, stuff about the police that is twisted to make a political point, praise of pointless actions (summit protests yadda yadda), calling on others (such as a council) to act but masquerading this as revolutionary action/direct action, not properly redistributing wealth/power within your own group, not listening to genuine grievances of working-class people or dismissing instantly their proposed solutions- all the while pretending to care. It REALLYputs people off.

Many can smell a bullshitter a mile off (they may or may not be bullshitters themselves though!)

Anarchism more than any other politics requires anarchists to be 100%-not-bullshitters.

9 Flat taxes for "the good of the environment" are no good.

Whether fines for failure to recycle as trialed in Glamorgan and across Germany or congestion charging it's counterproductive- if anarchists are environmentalists then they must be able to convince people to take action without taxation.

Reform and punishment from above should never be substitutes to collective action.

10 Animals are important only for humans.

Farming and experimentation should be judged on the basis of their worth and use for humans not on the basis of compassion for animals.

Dave Jones
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Jun 17 2005 23:51

I\'ll give you 24 hrs before the liberals lynch you

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cantdocartwheels
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Jun 19 2005 03:41

The anarchist ''movement'' as a whole hasn't been relevant to the working class in Britain since about 1945, and since then the small number of class struggle anarchists have been completely overun by individualists and lifestylers so its hardly surprising that on a lot of points you're correct. Persoanlly I don't see much point in trying to ressurect anarchism which has largely been going no-where for several decades, i'd rather concentrate on winning material gains and just promoting self-organisation broadly. But if you want to try and resuctate the corpse of anarchism, then good luck to you.

However, I do have to admit that I felt 2 was a little bit too hysterical, and while i get what your saying, demanding that polish people ''stay at home to serve their countries'' is a bit wank, i mean if i was offered a job working for three times what i was earning i'd take it, for someone who claims to understand ''working class conservatism'', demanding that people accept lower paid jobs is a bit silly.

Now personally i don't see immigration as some big actvist issue we all need to take some PC stance on, and like you i'm not in favour of all that ''open borders'' type balls, but i don't think we should ignore immigration either, what we should be doing is pointing out that most of those claiming to be opposing immigration ie the conservative/liberal parties, are simply represnting companies and financial institutions whose interest lies in keeping immgrant wages low and business taxation low, and tying the two together.

Immigration benefits the ruling class, it costs less for the ruling class to hire immigrants as nurses, than for them to train up nurses from among our own population. The state, representing these financial interests is in favour of high immigration, and always will be as long as capitalism isn't in complete crisis (at which point immigration becomes neccesary)

No tory/labour government would ever actually cut immigration completely, their anti-immigrant stance is simply to reduce the wages of immigrant workers in certain industries, keep benefits low and divide the working class, much liek their continued ramblings about multi-culturalism, which seesm to be simply a way of dividing the working class.

And most importantly i couldn't give a shit if their not the most ''desperate people'', i mean if all you're interested in is ''desperate people'' try the homeless and other lumpen individuals. Also why are you talking about these people in the abstract? last time i checked they're our workmates. In fact the last place i worked there were about 3 south africans who saved up all year and went home on their holiday and spent loads of money on a big party and a shopping spree (something you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about for some odd reason), but seriously why shouldn't they do that? If somehow i could get a high earning job like say something in engineering, then i'd take the money and spend it, i wouldn't listen to some deranged lefty saying how i should take a low paid job out of solidairty with some imagined idea he has about ''tha workers loike'' that he read in some pointless anarchist leaflet, i mean no offence to you here but seriously balls to that.

ps as for the family stuff well for me family issues are often highly personal and can only be dealt with on a case by case basis, and running in there as politicos trying to create some universal 'theory'' on how it should be dealt with seems unlikely to help anyone.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 19 2005 20:42
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Anarchism should be entirely compatible with a feeling of joy or pride at an area's (however big or small) past or traditions (We're not robots to derive emotion from only personal achievements).

Where do you live? What exactly should people be overjoyed about or proud about with regards the country/area they live in? I think everyone should take an interest in the hsitory of certain countries or regions, but persoanlly i cant think of many events in local history that i could be proud of or even feel any sort of attachment to, i mean i was born in '83 and that was quite an event for the area...not much has happened since though

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Rob Ray
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Jun 19 2005 21:55

Dunno about that, I'd say that outside the major urban centres most people don't tend to move about much. Certainly not round my way (where it's very much the cliche of 'if you ain't lived here more than 20 years you ain't to be trusted' despite new builds all over the shop).

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cantdocartwheels
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Jun 20 2005 23:25
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I can just imagine people uncovering the proud heritage of their sink hole estate or slum lord rented terraces, fuck i mean surely the point is we want to change the world cos our present existance is shite.

yeah maaan, life is just like a constant living hell every second until we will all be set free by the miracle of communism1!!111!!!! roll eyes

what a load of idealist bollocks

revol68 wrote:
the whole idea of taking pride in your area, to be in touch with the "people", sounds more like the rantings of some fucking Bakuninist walking amongst tough friendly selfsufficient Andulasian peasants rather than someone who lives in modern Britain or Europe. At a time when localism is scoffed at by almost everyone of this generation it seems absurd that anarchists of all people should be trying to reinvent it.

Im not saying that people shouldn't look to uncover histories of reistance, just that we should be able to take pride in resistance no matter where it takes place, afterall are lives are lived in rather large geographical spheres.

Take a look at english politics in the last 30, or even the last 100 years, how the fuck have you figured that localism is a bad thing?

Lastly in terms of a future socialist society and all that balls, how the fuck do you think any form of workers council is going to emerge without some degree of localism then? Are you completely mad? How else do you think trade union branches and strike commitees are going to organise without an interfering layer of bureacracy unless its with some degree of localism?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 21 2005 09:14

perhaps revol is writing regarding his local area, i know for a fact that i wouldnt want to preserve any of the 'community spirit' round my area as it consists largely of yuppees, the ultra conservative and twitching curtains.

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Choccy
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Jun 21 2005 10:21

If Revol is talking in reference to our local community he has a point. The area of south Belfast in which we live has the most transient and temporary population in Belfast. Around 90% is private rented accomodation, usually on yearly contracts due to the high student numbers so there is no degree of stable local community.

Falseflag
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Jun 25 2005 20:35
Quote:
The anarchist ''movement'' as a whole hasn't been relevant to the working class in Britain since about 1945

Yeah I'd agree with that.

Quote:
i'd rather concentrate on winning material gains and just promoting self-organisation broadly

Me too.

Quote:
2 was a little bit too hysterical, and while i get what your saying, demanding that polish people ''stay at home to serve their countries'' is a bit wank, i mean if i was offered a job working for three times what i was earning i'd take it, for someone who claims to understand ''working class conservatism'', demanding that people accept lower paid jobs is a bit silly.

It isn't perfect-written I'll grant that, nor I don't claim to under wc conservatism.

I agree there- well-trained Polish dentists, builders, railway maintenance workers will come to Britain where their circumstances allow.

Quote:
Now personally i don't see immigration as some big actvist issue we all need to take some PC stance on, and like you i'm not in favour of all that ''open borders'' type balls, but i don't think we should ignore immigration either

You're right there should be no PC stances- but

what we should be doing is pointing out that most of those claiming to be opposing immigration ie the conservative/liberal parties, are simply represnting companies and financial institutions whose interest lies in keeping immgrant wages low and business taxation low, and tying the two together

Quote:
No tory/labour government would ever actually cut immigration completely

But a Tory govt proposing to block immigration significantly will gain support.

Quote:
And most importantly i couldn't give a shit if their not the most ''desperate people'', i mean if all you're interested in is ''desperate people'' try the homeless and other lumpen individuals.

No I'm interested in everyone except real bastards- I was only really talking about the question whether or not potential migrants actually migrate to Britain is one determined by money+health.

Quote:
Also why are you talking about these people in the abstract? last time i checked they're our workmates.

What do you want me to call them? Antonio my workmate and Joshua my workmate?

Quote:
In fact the last place i worked there were about 3 south africans who saved up all year and went home on their holiday and spent loads of money on a big party and a shopping spree (something you seem to have a bee in your bonnet about for some odd reason), but seriously why shouldn't they do that?

They can do that for sure but lefties/anarchists- shouldn't pretend- as some do do- that this is a positive effect of immigration.

Quote:
If somehow i could get a high earning job like say something in engineering, then i'd take the money and spend it, i wouldn't listen to some deranged lefty saying how i should take a low paid job out of solidairty with some imagined idea he has about ''tha workers loike'' that he read in some pointless anarchist leaflet, i mean no offence to you here but seriously balls to that.

Nowhere did I say that bit in bold though did I?

I mentioned the difference between the effect of an immigrant's remittance back home justto the family and remittance to a union, housing co-operative etc aswell.

The families in Turkey who had a family member as a gastarbeiter in Germany, and then became relatively rich (compared to the rest of their village with strength of exchange rate) very quickly- were called "yeni gormus" meaning "newly spoilt". They weren't popular amongst others.

What about where I worked with hospital porter like me- Sierra Leonean with work permit whose family had a small business empire of cornershops across Freetown and wanted to expand into the non-Krio- speaking parts of the city.

There aren't easy answers basically.

Falseflag
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Jun 25 2005 20:47
revol68 wrote:
the whole idea of taking pride in your area, to be in touch with the "people", sounds more like the rantings of some fucking Bakuninist walking amongst tough friendly selfsufficient Andulasian peasants rather than someone who lives in modern Britain or Europe. At a time when localism is scoffed at by almost everyone of this generation it seems absurd that anarchists of all people should be trying to reinvent it.

I'm not trying to "re-invent localism". I don't think I mentioned localism or reinventing it at all there.

I'll put it this way some people are very attached to where they live while others are attached to just Wales and others to Britain.

Pride in your area or country or acheivements of its people should not be confused with nationalism in support of the nation-state- or trying to create a new nation-state or join a "better" nation state- as some lefties confuse it.

And you'll have to explain Bakuninism to me- sorry!.

Falseflag
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Jun 25 2005 20:54
Quote:
I can just imagine people uncovering the proud heritage of their sink hole estate or slum lord rented terraces, fuck i mean surely the point is we want to change the world cos our present existance is shite.

Why assume being pride from an area means you want to keep it the same/not change the world?

It's ridiculous to say we- if we choose to- can't do both at the same time.

Quote:
Im not saying that people shouldn't look to uncover histories of reistance, just that we should be able to take pride in resistance no matter where it takes place...

For sure, but people can have a special connection with one particular place or part of the country above all others even if they do move around.

Falseflag
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Jun 25 2005 21:08
xConorx wrote:
If Revol is talking in reference to our local community he has a point. The area of south Belfast in which we live has the most transient and temporary population in Belfast. Around 90% is private rented accomodation, usually on yearly contracts due to the high student numbers so there is no degree of stable local community.

Just for comparison.

Kalabine and me live in the same part of North London.

It has a very high turnover of people- and a very high proportion of housing space is private landlord and sub-letting. But it still has something (in spite of the landlords) which means some people (not all) take to heart the area being *their own* even if they've come from elsewhere.

But that's maybe cos I've lived here close to all my life- perhaps he'll disagree with me entirely (Ha ha!)

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Jun 27 2005 10:49

I don't feel any attachment to the area I live in now but Belfast in general I do really like - I'm pretty sure I'll live here the rest of my life and I've no desire to live elsewhere. Been to other cities all over and Belfast really isn't as bad as you make out, maybe you're on about that shit-hole Larne wink

kalabine
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Jun 27 2005 12:49
Falseflag wrote:

Kalabine and me live in the same part of North London.

It has a very high turnover of people- and a very high proportion of housing space is private landlord and sub-letting. But it still has something (in spite of the landlords) which means some people (not all) take to heart the area being *their own* even if they've come from elsewhere.

But that's maybe cos I've lived here close to all my life- perhaps he'll disagree with me entirely (Ha ha!)

aha thought i recognised the style wink

nope, i agree with most of what you've said including the area, one of the most active members of resident's assoc is an american who is obsessed with local history - i certainly feel at home in the greenlanes area despite only having been here around two years

kalabine
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Jun 27 2005 12:54
revol68 wrote:
the whole idea of taking pride in your area, to be in touch with the "people", sounds more like the rantings of some fucking Bakuninist.

well you got the bakuninist bit right black bloc

kalabine
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Jun 27 2005 13:04

i think falseflag's points are interesting and mostly right - ontop of that i think one mistake of the left and anarchists is not to look at what issues violent struggle capable of bringing about social change has actually sprung from, some are imeadiately progressive yes, but others are progressive but don't appear to be at first because of the liberal and social democratic filter we use to look at things

for instance despite some of the language used by people on both sides the campigns to remove pedophiles from working class communities ae progressive, the campaigns to oppose the building of detention camps in small towns is progressive - the left and anarchism have failed to get involved in those campaigns and influence them, and have instead abondened them to the reactionary and even fascist right, indeed criminally in gosport in hampshire the left marched against the local community in support of the government dispersal centre, which is wrong on several levels

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Bodach gun bhrigh
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Jul 19 2005 12:00

I've been briefly thinking about your stuff about Immigration,

1 Most asylum seekers are from countries with appaling human rights records, and are therefore refugees

2I'll admit losing your doctors, dentists etc is a problem for any third world country, but they've probably been forced out. As it's the intellectuals who most often get singled out for reppression. And have the money to move. And here, most of them are reduced to working illegaly as they're not allowed to work above board. And many are now being forced to live on the streets.

3 What's wrong with coming to a new country to seek a better life? Until they have a more equitable system at home they're continuously going to do so.

4. Britain is responsible for a lot of the dictatorships dotted around the world that abuse human rights. So if we just focus on here, then we'll be forgetting about a lot of people. Getting rid of the system here would probably mean a chance for a more equitable system elsewhere. But the Labour government of the 40's-50's introduced a few measures which benefited people here, while still murdering people everywhere else. The world may be run by gangsters, but they're mostly British/American gangsters, and the life that refugees get here is better than most other places, or would be, if they weren't being locked up.

5. Admittedly, the government does let people in who they shouldn't, like failed dictators. But, the present asylum policies mostly hit normal refugees. The government would still let in failed dictators if there was a total ban on incomers. An open borders policy would benefit mostly ordinary people. Surely there's just a tad of racism in the present government's policies?

Hm, I'm not sure I have all the info, but hey

RedCelt
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Jul 20 2005 09:49

While I think you make some good points, I'd take issue with acouple of things:

Anarchism should be entirely compatible with a feeling of joy or pride at an area's (however big or small) past or traditions (We're not robots to derive emotion from only personal achievements).

I'd say that surely depends on where you live. If it's a reactionary backwater it's difficult to feel much affection. Then again there is no reason why local pride is a bad thing - but it's conditional for me.

10 Animals are important only for humans.

Farming and experimentation should be judged on the basis of their worth and use for humans not on the basis of compassion for animals.

I disagree. Surely it's the belief that the environment and animals are there as a resource for man that have got us into the situation we face now. Capitalists have been acting with that attitude for along time. Humanity is feeling the rebound now.

red n black star

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Volin
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Jul 20 2005 12:19
RedCelt wrote:
Surely it's the belief that the environment and animals are there as a resource for man that have got us into the situation we face now. Capitalists have been acting with that attitude for along time. Humanity is feeling the rebound now

red n black star

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 20 2005 13:55

Hi

What situation do you mean? I like the current situation better than the previous one.

Love

Chris

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Jul 20 2005 14:17
Volin wrote:
RedCelt wrote:
Surely it's the belief that the environment and animals are there as a resource for man that have got us into the situation we face now. Capitalists have been acting with that attitude for along time. Humanity is feeling the rebound now

red n black star

I concur: (although everything should be

judged on a case-by -case basis) I find animal experimentation

to be as sick as racism and just as pointless.

Presumably if you're a Council Commie you'd have to be proud

of your locality,otherwise you wouldn't think it feasable?

Also, the whole asylum/immigration thing is just an excuse keep our wages down for the benefit of a minority (sorry if that sounded

anti-immigrant, I happen to be,more-or-less,in favour of an open

border policy as long as asylum seekers aren't all squeezed into

poor areas thus creating friction)

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 20 2005 15:01

Hi

Anarchoneilist wrote:
I find animal experimentation to be as sick as racism and just as pointless.

I find animal experimentation to be enjoyable, the same cannot be said about racism which is not "fun".

Love

Chris

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 20 2005 15:27

Hi

I'd just like to apologise for my antagonistic tone. I hope none of you kind hearted cow lovers were offended, please forgive me.

This is a variation on the “altruism” style discussions that raise their heads every so often, shall we pick this up on a different thread?

Lots of love and sincere apologies

Chris

RedCelt
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Jul 21 2005 11:34
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

What situation do you mean? I like the current situation better than the previous one.

Love

Chris

I was just refering to the state of the environment generally.

No offence was taken.

red n black star

RedCelt
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Jul 21 2005 11:46

Presumably if you're a Council Commie you'd have to be proud

of your locality,otherwise you wouldn't think it feasable?

I'd make the distinction really between what your locality is and what it could become. You might not like the present state it is in but you would see it's potential and want to change it for the better.

Also, the whole asylum/immigration thing is just an excuse keep our wages down for the benefit of a minority (sorry if that sounded

anti-immigrant, I happen to be,more-or-less,in favour of an open

border policy as long as asylum seekers aren't all squeezed into

poor areas thus creating friction)

I agree. Capitalism exploits immigrants at the same time as using the added competition to pressurise the working class and drive wages and conditions down. The movement of people is not in itself a bad thing but the concentration of yet more people into already struggling areas does cause friction. That's the fault of the ruling class in the countries where immigrants have come from and the ruling class here, not the immigrants themselves.

red n black star

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Jul 23 2005 23:16

Immigration might not benefit the working classes, but it benefits the immigrants, and should we deny people better lives because they don't meet our standards of poverty, even when they're likely to be shot?