Chinese Rap tribute to Karl Marx goes viral in Peoples Republic

By Gao Yinan from (People’s Daily Online)

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A hip-hop song titled “Marx Is a Post-90s,” which was originally written for a television show, has gone viral across Chinese social media. The song was written and produced bypost-80s and post-90s youngsters—China’s millennial generation. Released in March, the song has introduced the late, great icon to a new generation of young people.

A number of netizens have commented that this phenomenon does not seem to fit thestereotype that post-80s and post-90s generations are ideologically pluralistic.Nevertheless, young people tend to have a great spirit for criticism and skepticism, justlike Marx in his youth. Young people’s sense of justice and responsibility, as well as theirdesire for freedom, is reflected in many of Karl Marx’s beliefs.

Some people believe Marxist doctrine is outdated, while others label it as “brainwashing.”However, the song proves that Marx continues to appeal to youth, and will never completely go out of style.

View the video here: http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/0525/c90000-9063036.html

(SU editor: It is shared via the Chinese medium, youKU, if I can work out the Mandarin language menus, I will try to embed it later)

GMB warns of threat to 10000 jobs in Swindon if Britain leaves the EU.

GMB EU INActivists from the GMB trade union in Wiltshire and Swindon today demonstrated their support for remaining in the EU with a rally and leafleting session in Swindon Town Centre.

A formal report by Swindon Borough Council’s Economy and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee predicts that up to 10000 jobs are at risk if Britain leaves the EU

A recent discussion among GMB branch activists in Wiltshire revealed considerable dissatisfaction with the EU: with many feeling that too often the EU seems to be on the side of the big corporations instead of working people. However, the branch activists unanimously voted that they still believe UK workers are better off staying in the EU, not only for economic stability and job security, but also because many of the legal protections that working people enjoy nowadays originate in the EU.

The report from Swindon Borough Council suggest that about 20000 jobs in Swindon are dependent upon trade, and around half of those jobs are dependent upon trade specifically with the EU. It concludes that leaving the European Union (EU) would likely reduce sales and increase costs of trading with Europe causing employers to cut jobs. The report argues that if Britain left the EU, the costs of exporting goods to Europe could rise which is likely to affect the volume of sales. Manufacturing businesses would be most affected, but also wholesale and retail, transport and storage, accommodation and food, banking and finance sectors could also be significantly affected

Swindon Borough Council’s economic plan is built on the idea of expanding employment in advanced engineering and manufacturing, and upon continued strong performance from the automotive sector. These are the very areas at risk if the UK leaves the EU

The question is what is the best decision for jobs and the economy in Swindon. You don’t have to be an enthusiast for the EU to see that leaving would be a tremendous risk for jobs.

Wiltshire and Swindon GMB has no hesitation in recommending our members to vote to remain on 23rd June

Ken Loach’s new movie ‘I Daniel Blake’ wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2016

Ken Loach’s latest film is about the impact of austerity on millions of British citizens and residents whose only crime is that they are poor, unemployed or disabled in the fifth richest economy in the world in the second decade of the 21st century. What Loach describes as the Government’s policy of “conscious cruelty” towards the poor has destroyed lives on a daily basis in this country.

However this is a policy that requires people to administer it, which is why I have never accepted, and do not accept, that people working in Jobcentres, depicted in the scene below, have no choice but to go along with the policy. They do have a choice. They can say no.

Winning in the South: Jez we can.

corbyn reesThe election results from Bristol came in over the weekend, and it is worth reflecting the degree to which they demonstrate significant advance, particularly as Labour does need to win in the South of England.

Simon Woolley has already observed the enormous significance of a mayor of Afro-Caribbean heritage being directly elected in a city whose wealth was built on the crime of slavery, and where racial division has many times cast a long shadow over the city’s history.

The mayoral incumbent, the Independent George Ferguson, was swept aside by a tsunami of support for Labour. Marvin Rees (LAB): 63.5% George Ferguson (Bristol First): 36.5%

Elsewhere, Labour gained ground right across the city, winning seats from every party.

LAB: 37 (+7) CON: 14 (-2) GRN: 11 (-3) LDEM: 8 (-1) UKIP: 0 (-1)

Advances which gave Labour overall control of the council.

LAB: 37 CON: 14 GRN: 11 LDEM: 8

Bristol is a city with a distinctive political and social micro-climate, often non-conformist and individualist. The idiosyncratic George Ferguson fitted like a glove with the self-image and aspirations of the wealthier parts of the city.

But Ferguson’s administration has seemed deaf and blind to the needs of less affluent Bristolians. The landslide victory for Labour is therefore partially an assertion of class into politics, but at the same time the breadth of its success shows that the party has succeeded in reaching out beyond the core vote. This has been done be emphasizing that social justice and good governance go hand in hand.

While the press has focused upon divisions, whether real or imagined, between Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn; this substantial success in Bristol has clearly been associated with the Labour leader, showing that while we still have a long way to go before 2020, if the party unites behind Corbyh, we can win.

Sadiq Khan’s election as London Mayor is a boost for the campaign to oust Corbyn

Sadiq Khan’s election as Mayor of London is symbolically significant and important for obvious reasons; even more so considering the Islamphobic smear campaign prepared and unleashed against him, orchestrated not by the far right but the Tory establishment and Tory press.

However, just as those who credited Barack Obama’s election to the White House in 2008/09 as evidence of a post racial America coming to pass, so it will be with those who allow themselves to believe that a Muslim’s election to London Mayor heralds anything other than another day at the office where Britain’s Muslim community is concerned. The first black president of the United States was placed under a de facto siege by congressional Republicans and their media acolytes, while all around him blacks in America, especially young black males, continued to be regarded and treated as the enemy within by out of control police departments.

Then, too, we have the huge gap between the promise of Obama’s presidency, the one outlined in the soaring rhetoric that laced his campaign speeches, and the reality two terms on, specifically with regard to Obama’s policy, leading to an even sharper polarization of East and West, his failure to make an inch of progress on the Israel-Palestinian question, and his administration’s role in destabilising the wider region.

Sadiq Khan, I predict, will follow much the same trajectory as Obama. On the one hand his mayoralty will be mercilessly attacked in the pages and news bulletins of the Tory press and broadcast media, which will take every opportunity to keep alive the calumny of extremism levelled against him by Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith, who conducted one of the most vicous political campaigns this country has seen in many a year with the support of David Cameron. On the other hand, the new Labour Mayor leaves no doubt that he will be more Catholic than the Pope in using his platform as Mayor to rail against those Muslims who dare step off the accepted plantation of political engagement, while being engaged as a member of Labour Friends of Israel – in truth Labour Friends of Apartheid.

For those reasons, married to the way he has attacked Corbyn’s leadership in no uncertain terms over the past few months, I cannot agree with those who consider that Khan’s election will help solidify Corbyn. On the contrary, Sadiq Khan’s election comes as a threat to him given that the office of London Mayor is the perfect platform from which to contradict, oppose and undermine the most progressive and left wing leader the Labour Party has had since the Second World War. Here the old saw proves its worth: while in the House of Commons Corbyn’s opponents are arrayed opposite him him, his enemies are sitting behind and even alongside him.

Sadiq Khan’s election as Mayor of London was not a victory for Labour it was a victory for the Labour Right, which remains committed to supplanting a leader they view as an impostor on the way to returning the party to its ‘rightful owners’. It must be said that despite Corbyn’s mandate they have managed to do more damage than they should have up been able to up to this point. And the reason is the lack of a willingness to fight that has thus far been the modus operandi. Here, the establishment of an inquiry into antisemitism within Labour cannot be considered anything other than abject surrender to the nostrums of what is tantamount to McCarthyism redux.

Where Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party is concerned, Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall not merely as the leader of one of the world’s major cities. He also arrives as the most likely to wield the knife when the inevitable challenge to Corbyn is mounted from within.

As Shakespeare writes in Macbeth, ‘there’s daggers in men’s smiles.’

 

Competition time

rosettes

I was going to post the following image on FB/twitter yesterday saying that in my house, not all the rosettes are for the Labour Party, but that red is the colour of winners.

Who can see what it was in the image that made me decide not to post it up on election day?

The strange case of the SNP and Donald Trump

By Ian Drummond

There was an old Soviet joke that the future remains certain but the past is always changing. And while the future for Scotland’s own dominant party the SNP must always be independence, it seems not only the present path towards it but even the past, of the party and even the reasons for which it says it wants separation, are a set of ever changing goalposts. Who now would want to be in Alex Salmond’s “arc of prosperity” between Iceland and “Celtic tiger” Ireland, with their neoliberal success stories? And whatever happened to “once in a generation”, or the strange claim that separatism was all about doing the left wing Scottish Labour Party a favour?

But perhaps the most egregious of all airbrushed pasts is that which passed between the, for now, still Teflon SNP and the most hated man of the moment, Donald Trump. Trump may often seem more like a comic book character than a real life politician, and his relations with the SNP have definitely been retconned as thoroughly as his fictional fellow billionaires Lex Luthor and Batman.

To hear them talk now, you’d think the SNP were in the vanguard of proud Scotia, sending Trump homeward to think again. Its true that they eventually fell out over his extreme tilting at offshore windmills anywhere near his Aberdeenshire golfcourse. But this belated stand for their own building project looks less impressive when contrasted with the stand they didn’t take for the people affected by Trump’s vanity project, in fact the stand they took against them. Which not only let Trump in, but in its shameless pandering was probably what gave him the idea he could dictate energy policy as well in the first place.

While Jack McConnel’s New Labour administration in its last days did make Trump a Business Ambassador for Scotland and also back the very early stages of his golf plan, a fact the SNP now like to hide their own government’s actions behind, it was the recently elected SNP government that not only courted and vocally supported him, but even inserted themselves into local planning issues on his behalf. When Aberdeenshire Council rejected his plans to build on land that included some of the most unique sand dunes in Europe and was an environmentally protected site, it was the Scottish Government that overruled them and gave Trump the green light. They rationalised that the promised investment and jobs outweighed the environmental concerns, but almost a decade later the economic benefits have never materialised.

Having run roughshod over the Scottish environment, Trump then ran roughshod over the Scottish people and embarked on a campaign to drive out undesirable locals. Farmer Michael Forbes became the symbol of local resistance as Trump pulled out all the stops to kick him off his land and knock down his house on the basis that it was would be an eyesore for the kind of top 1% clientele he wanted for his luxury golfcourse. The fact it was on Forbes’ own land and not Trump’s didn’t matter, from Trump’s perspective it being in the line of view was cause enough for a compulsory purchase order and even, in 2011, to fence off a piece of land to which Forbes had the title deeds. Trump called the pretty average farmhouse a “slum”, while his son Donald Jr oozed contempt for Forbes and his ordinary lifestyle, seemingly oblivious to how he looked, in the revealing film You’ve Been Trumped.

Eventually Forbes was popularly elected Glenfidditch Whiskey’s Top Scot in honour of his struggle against Trump to keep his land. Donald Jr grudged him even that, musing that Andy Murray was surely a much more important Scot! And Alex Salmond, Forbes’ constituency MP and MSP as well as First Minister, still refused to apologise for taking Trump’s side in the attempt to railroad one of his own constituents.

This despite the fact that by then, in 2012, the windfarm clash was brewing, and Donald Jr was later to try and do his own rewriting of history casting Salmond as an “enemy” from 2009 onwards, when he says his father declined a request to back the release of Abdel-Basset al-Megrahi in return for no windfarms at the golfcourse. And while the SNP now claim “no one could have known” what kind of racist, even proto-fascist, figure Trump would become when they were dealing with him, by 2012 Trump had already entered the political arena with his vile and absurd “birther” campaign against Obama, yet Salmond was still siding with him against Forbes.

In fact his whole attitude and actions towards the ordinary people of Aberdeenshire conclusively puts the lie to Trump’s then image as a harmless, relatable funnyman of American reality TV culture. Let alone, and much more so, to his new persona as a crusading man of the people. In fact he stands exposed as one of the most nakedly contemptuous opponents of the little guy in the whole 1%. While his greed and avarice may be unremarkable for someone in his position, and his flaunting of his wealth in his hotels, casinos and TV show is often done in a way that’s more entertaining than alienating, his visceral dislike for the poor or even averagely-off for not being rich stands exposed by his actions and recorded attitudes in Scotland. The people of America should take note.

However his place as one of the most unacceptable faces of the super-rich should not make his association with the SNP any more surprising. In fact the SNP’s relations with and courting of such people is more reminiscent of Tony Blair than anything to do with real Labour or the current Labour Party leadership. It was the homophobic billionaire Brian Soutar who largely bankrolled the SNP and the official Yes campaign. He had experience of referendums, you see, as the man who privately ran his own as part of his campaign against the abolition of Thatcher’s vile homophobic Section 28.

And in the wake of the Madeleine McCann phone hacking revelations, while the rest of the British political class shunned Rupert Murdoch, some bravely taking a lead like Ed Milliband and others forced to for a time like David Cameron, Salmond struck up a new and golden phase of his own relationship with Murdoch. For a time it looked as if the serial patriot was certain to come out for a Yes vote and in the end his papers only pulled back because it was clear Yes were very unlikely to win. But he still managed to vent his vendetta against Britain in general and Ed Milliband’s Labour in particular with the Sun backing the SNP in Scotland, with Nicola Sturgeon portrayed as Princess Leia, even as the same paper in England backed the Tories “to keep out the SNP”. And in this election, in the week that the Sun refused to acknowledge the Hillsborough verdict on its front page, it did find space on the front page for another endorsement of the SNP, this time with Nicola as Captain Kirk!

And if it’s no surprise then that Salmond and Trump fell in with each other, it’s also no surprise and no particular credit to either of them that they eventually fell out. Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter famously quipped that her father and Winston Churchill got on so badly because they were too alike, and the similarities between Trump and Salmond, Trumpism and the SNP, are actually uncanny. Both Trump and Salmond have a barnstorming barnum style of political campaigning that can actually be very attractive and effective when compared to the robotic, managerial style that mainstream politicians on both sides of the isle and on both sides of the pond have taken in recent decades. Both, to their credit, opposed the Iraq war at the time and can now claim prescience over the likes of Hillary and Blairite New Labour (with which the SNP like to conflate Labour as a whole).

And both channel legitimate anger at a political system that doesn’t even attempt to work for ordinary people into a politics of false hope, misplaced blame and division. Build a wall, or create a border. And always make the southern neighbour pay! The rage, ugly passions and extreme nationalism on show at the Trump rallies is actually very similar to the dark underbelly of the vibrant and civic Yes campaign that many of us who took a different view came to be more acquainted with than we’d have liked during the referendum. And while the fraudulent, as well as extreme right wing, nature of the Trump campaign should be obvious, a victory for Yes, while not a far-right vote in the same way, also could not possibly have delivered what it promised. In fact it could have led to austerity max as the oil price plummeted and the Sterling zone gave a Tory England the same power over a fragile startup economy as Germany has over Greece.

The correct response to the SNP and to Trump is also parallel. It is not to put people back in the box of politics as usual and pretend that the alienation and pent up frustrations that have been released are illegitimate figments of the imagination, but to direct the anger at its real source in a broken political establishment and economic model rather than at scapegoats, while bringing working and ordinary people together rather than driving them apart.

And such a fine sounding thing isn’t just an idle dream either, but eminently pragmatically possible. Bernie Sanders running as a proud socialist in the USA is way ahead of Trump in the polls, and if he were the Democrat nominee all projections are that he’d crush the billionaire blowhard in a landslide. Hillary Clinton, who stands for the establishment capture of progressive politics that in this country was represented by Blair and killed Labour for a time allowing the SNP their opening, is still projected to beat Trump but more narrowly. Not only is Clinton scandal ridden, with any further scandal threatening to hand the White House to Trump by default, her brand of establishment, pro-war politics has no chance of winning over anyone considering a protest vote for Trump, while Bernie’s campaign eloquently makes the pragmatic case for socialist, real Labour politics as the antidote to the far right and political delusion of all kinds.

That’s why also in Scotland real Labour, Corbyn Labour, is required if we are to keep our country together as we not that long ago voted to do. The Tories say they stand for the 55% and claim to be a better opposition to the SNP, but in fact their percentage is the 24% of the electorate who voted for this vile and inept government, elected in much of England on what a right wing supporter in the neocon Standpoint magazine admiringly called a “nasty anti-Scottish campaign”. Thankfully only a rogue poll put the Tories in second place, as nothing could be worse than the polarisation of Scottish politics for the next five years between separatism and support for the likes of the bedroom tax.

But Labour must also take note of the pragmatic case for Corbynism that Scotland more than anywhere else makes. Be Sanders, not Clinton, and we can overcome the Scottish friends of Soutar, Murdoch, and Trump.