Friday, November 19, 2004

Long time no blog!

OK, OK - I'll start posting again, after showing a distinct lack of discipline over the past month or so. Excuses: PhDing (it's the 'business end' of the year), arthritis, increased hours of daylight, and now (this is a pre-emptive excuse) the beginning of the cricket season.

I haven't been completely lost to the world of blogs, it's just that instead of keeping the home fires burning I've been hanging about like a bad smell in the comments boxes of a couple of British specimens. Recommendations are in order for Lenin's Tomb, Rooksbyism, and 4glengate.

Lenin's Tomb and Rooksbyism are both run by members of Respect, a new British political party, or mini-coalition, fronted by George Galloway and dominated numerically, I suspect, by the Socialist Workers Party. The role of the Left Opposition inside Respect falls to the Communist Party of Great Britain - Provisional Central Committee, the Pommy outfit I feel closest to politically (and aesthetically, too - their paper the Weekly Worker often has prose you can actually enjoy reading).

I had a bit of a debate with Lenin and Rooksby over the pros and cons of Respect under his November the 3rd post (I'm buggered if I know how to link to individual posts on these blogs).
Lenin's blog is a very useful source of information on the increasingly genocidal war in Iraq, as well as other theatres of the War of Terror. Although he writes polemically and sometimes emotively Lenin manages to research his posts far more carefully than his increasingly rabid warblogger opposition. (I'm talking about hardcore S and M sites like the notorious Little Green Footballs, which offers its regulars maimed Iraqi civilians and kinky scenes from Abu Guhraib to jerk off over. Sick stuff, but indicative of the moral climate of pro-war camp, eighteen months into Operation Iraqi Freedom...)

The warbloggers are so rattled that they are reduced to creating a rather feeble parody site, Lenin's Toilet, which is endorsed by our very own one-handed typist, Jordan 'the bombing of Afghanistan was no big deal' Carter. What better recommendation does one need?

Finally, a plug for 4glengate, one of relatively few blogs set up to record the activites and opinions of rank and file trade unionists. Some good reports on there at the moment about the Blairite Agenda for Change in the public service, which unfortunately has just been endorsed by the big Brit union Unison. I've been trying to get Kirsty to visit for ages, so she can grumble in tune with the Poms! With the rise of the blogosphere there is surely the potential for the all sorts of international contact and collaboration between rank and file unionists, independent of the constraints of bureaucracy or snail mail.


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