Friday, 1 August 2008

CRACH WAR at the EISTEDDFOD

Working class people used to be the salt of the earth, now we're the scum of the earth. We need to rebuild old traditions of solidarity and start reclaiming our communities back from the profiteers and privateers. Enough IS Enough!

Nothing shows the contempt that the 4 main parties in Wales have for us more than their silence over a 35% rise in our gas bills at a time when British Gas is raking in record profits. What do the Labour Left in Wales have to say about this? What are Plaid saying? What are the LibDems saying? Nothing. What can one say about these jokers? Each is as bad as the other. Each is worse than the other.

The 4 capitalist parties don't have the bottle to rock against the rich. They could be calling for a wonderful windfall tax on the energy companies profits. They could demand the Brown raise corporation tax (not likely from Plaid who want to cut corporation tax even more than Thatcher did!), they could start campaigning for the government to put a cap on how much the corporations can increase bills.

But they are not doing it. Working people are gonna have to get organised themselves. As Che said, words are beautiful - but action is even better.

This week, Welsh speakers in the LEFT Alternative have produced hundreds of leaflets calling for an end to the great gas rip-off to dish out at the Eisteddfod. Nobody in the Welsh political establishment is calling for the gas and electricity companies to be re-nationalised, so we're gonna shout it from the rooftops! Wales has some righteous traditions of good old fashioned socialism and right-on working class militancy. It's time!

The LEFT Alternative defends the Welsh language, not out of nationalism but out of respect for international culture. International culture to us does not mean the 'culture' of Murdoch, Mcdonalds and Market Values, but of those who believe another world not only possible; but necessary. We believe our children should have access to the Mabinogion, Shakespeare, Salman Rushdie, Caradoc Evans, Dylan Thomas, Bapsi Sidhwa, Chinua Achebe and many others - and in whatever language they want! Such a stance also includes fighting for the rights of those who speak other languages such as refugees and asylum seekers and their children so that they have access to education and other facilities in their own languages.

We believe the money is there to provide this, but the government wastes billions on a war opposed by millions. Our movements, whether they be for language rights, or against war and injustice have begun to provide the basis for a real alternative to the status quo. But our views are far too often marginalized and disregarded by the mainstream political parties. We want to be a megaphone for the millions who are opposed to war, racism, privatisation inequality and the destruction of the planet. We hope to create a new fighting coalition of the working class.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The obvious solution is piano wires and lamp-posts. Get to it.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

We believe our children should have access to:

The Mabinogion, hey!

But Caradoc Evans and Dylan Thomas?

Both hated their Welsh working class origins and took the piss out of Wales, the Welsh language and the Welsh working class - do you really want to hold such pillocks up as heroes of Welsh literature?

Anonymous said...

"Remember the procession of the old-young men
From dole queue to corner and back again,
From the pinched, packed streets to the peak of slag
In the bite of the winters with shovel and bag,
With a drooping fag and a turned up collar,
Stamping for the cold at the ill lit corner
Dragging through the squalor with their hearts like lead
Staring at the hunger and the shut pit-head
Nothing in their pockets, nothing home to eat,
Lagging from the slag heap to the pinched, packed street.
Remember the procession of the old-young men.
It shall never happen again"

(Dylan Thomas on the economic depression that tore apart lives and communities in Wales in the 30s a time when contemporaries like the nationalist hero Saunders Lewis were flirting with fascism and the radical right.)

Hi Alwyn,

We don't have a "party line" on what literature, music, art, culture has value (thank god!) that's up to people to decide themselves.

But I have to challenge you.

Dylan Thomas was a socialist, an internationalist, and a great poet to boot, whose literary readings in America inspired the Beat Generation, in fact, Dylan Thomas described himself as a Welshman, odd if he despised his origins. He famously declaimed, "One: I am a Welshman; two: I am a drunkard; three: I am a lover of the human race, especially of women", he had a very healthy sceptism of the land where he was born leading him to remark, "I am sick of all this Celtic claptrap about Wales. My Wales! Land of My Fathers! As far as I am concerned my fathers can keep it." in disgust at the provincialism and parochialism that surrounded him, and the attacks of Welsh language writers on he and other Anglo-Welsh writers.

The attacks on certain modernist writers for their internationalism and refusal to celebrate their nation as the greatest nation on earth recurs again and again in the first half of the twentieth century. James Joyce, who supported Irish liberation 100% was hated because he denounced the narrow-mindedness and political bankruptcy of the nationalist establishment.

In actuality, Dylan Thomas's writing turns again and again to Wales and the Welsh landscape, and spent much of his life in Wales.

Caradoc Evans is a fine writer who inspired James Joyce among other. He confronted the Welsh religious establishment with their own complacency and smugness by placing the pieties of non-conformist Christianity side-by-side with the brutal realities of poverty, meanness and hypocrisy from his own personal experience of that world. Instead of the typical sentimentalised nostalgic portrayals of rural Wales, he showed a violent world of class conflict and repressive, opressive families presided over by hypocritical Ministers.

Yeah, he was unpopular, so was Lenny Bruce in 50s America for ripping the lid off his society and shining a light on what was really goin' on.

Anyway, that's just my own personal opinion.

Take it easy (But take it!)

Adam Johannes

Morgan Hen (Morgan the Old) said...

To misquote dear old Lenin!

Literature has no fatherland!

Adam! Thanks for your comment on my own blog. I believe the Wesleys were in Georgia (USA) for a while.