Tolpuddle Martyr’s Museum (27.8.2017)

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Tolpuddle Martyr’s Museum

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Do Not Support Anti-Working Class Uber

Uber drivers protest against working conditions outside the company's office in Santa Monica

Smooth FM are currently putting-out adverts for the taxi form ‘Uber’. This firm exploits its workers to the maximum with zero hours contracts and no unions, etc. The workers even have to provide their own vehicles to use as taxis – whilst Uber refuses to acknowledge its workers as ‘employees’. What is ironic about these adverts that portray no workers’ rights as ‘freedom’, is that the voice-over artists are all members of Equity (the acting union), who are fully protected by union rights, employment law, and royalty acquisition, etc. These ‘actors’ – whilst fully benefiting from Socialist unionism – are assisting the fascist Uber firm in its misleading of the general public, and the disempowering of the working class. A lack of union rights is effectively a state of slavery and in no way can it be defined as being ‘free’. Choosing when and when not to work is no substitute for possessing proper working rights.

Paul Robeson (Поль Робсон): A Full Human-Being in the USSR!

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“In (Soviet) Russia, I felt for the first time like a full human being – no colour prejudice like in Mississippi – no colour prejudice like in Washington. It was the first time I felt like a human being!” – Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson at Russian Embassy Party

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The Sangha Kommune (僧伽公社) Defined

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Ch’an Master Caotang siad:

There is nothing special to leadership – essentially it is a matter of controlling the evils of biased information and autocracy. Do not just go by whatever is said to you first – then the obsequities of petty people seeking favour will not be able to confuse you.

After all, the feelings of a group of people are not one, and objective reason is hard to see. You should investigate something to see its benefit or harm, examine whether it is appropriate and suitable or not; then after that you may carry it out.

True Record of Sushan (Song Dynasty)

The Chinese Buddhist monastic community is referred to as a ‘Sangha’ (Sanskrit for ‘spiritual community’), whereby men and women form a voluntary association premised upon following a strict set of rules known as the ‘Vinaya Discipline’. Within this community, there is ‘equality’ between all members, with the leaders being those who have followed these rules for the longest times. This is because such people are thought to have more experience at adhering to the Vinaya Discipline (which includes celibacy and vegetarianism), and are therefore able to effectively advise all others through the difficult times they my face in their practice. As those with little experience have less to share, they are not considered leaders whilst more experienced practitioners live in the vicinity. Of course, this is a relative matter depending upon the size of population of a community, and the length of time it has existed, and the quality of the masters (male or female) that have led it. Those who cannot keep the Vinaya Discipline (of over 200 rules) generally choose to leave on their own accord, with those who confess breaking the major rules being asked to leave and expelled from the monastic community (due to the bad example they set). However, the term ‘Sangha’ is often more loosely applied to the devout or dedicated lay community, the members of which follow at least 5, 8 or 10 vows as a life routine, and who regularly visit the local temple and volunteer their time in worthwhile social or charitable activities. In this manner, the monastic Sangha teach and guide the lay Sangha, and the lay Sangha applies the Buddha’s teachings of compassion, loving kindness and wise action to the outside the temple, and thereby expand the Buddha-Dharma beyond the temple. As the Buddha originally taught that there is no ‘difference’ in enlightened essence between the monastic and lay community, the monastics do not consider themselves ‘superior’ and the lay community does not consider itself ‘inferior’ to one another. The principle of ‘Sangha, therefore, denotes a sacred space defined and maintained through the principles of psychological and physical self-discipline and learning, premised upon a general attitude of mutual respect. The Sangha, in both essence and function, is a model for a ‘commune’ operating through the vigorous principles of  equality’, ‘discipline’ and ‘wisdom’. These are the principles embodied within this blog – regardless of the scope of its subject matter.

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The term ‘Kommune’ is taken from the German word for ‘Commune’, and is directly related to the principles of Scientific Socialism, as formulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Indeed, within German language editions of the works of Marx and Engels, the term ‘Kommune’ is often encountered. This type of ‘Kommune’ is also a voluntary association, albeit distinctly ‘modern’ in origination, and designed to serve the Revolutionary needs of the Proletariat – or the mass of peasants forced to work in the industrialised factories produced by the oppressive capitalist system. Working 12 to 16 hours a day, strictly by the clock, whilst being dictated to by brutal managers and the movement and operation of monotonous machines, these peasants were transformed into self-disciplined and highly exploited automatons of industry, waiting for the right historical epoch to free themselves from their endless toil for little reward. Just as the collective mind is ‘dulled’ by endless hours of repetitive toil, it is ‘freed’, ‘activated’ and ‘expanded’ when encountering the strictures of Scientific Socialism, and a non-resisting ‘false consciousness’ is replace by a resisting ‘true consciousness’. Generally, when the mind is freed from the straitjacket of oppression, the body soon follows, even though it is equally true that if the body is freed by a Revolution caused by others, then the mind soon follows! In these post-modem times, proletariat ‘true consciousness’ is much more amorphous in manifestation, particularly as factory work becomes ever less prevalent in the West. Although the modes of capitalist exploitation change with the epoch, the nature of capitalist exploitation (and class distinction) remains exactly the same. Striving for the establishment of a ‘Kommunistic’ society remains the duty of all right-minded working class people across the globe, with the Marxist principle of ‘Internationalism’ replacing nationalism and racism, etc. The point is that the ‘true consciousness’ of the working class is premised entirely upon non-hatred for one another, as this hatred has been imported into the working class by the very capitalists that exploit them! By rejecting capitalism, the working class is rejecting the greed, hatred and delusion that underlies all capitalist thought and action. This working class mission is no less ‘sacred’ than its Buddhist counter-part, and shares exactly the same essence. The author of this blog strives to agitate for the peaceful achievement of both inner and outer Revolution amongst by any means necessary (to quote Malcolm X).

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Having defined two interpretations of ‘Kommune’, it is important to also emphasis the pivotal notion of ‘education’ and the training of the human mind to discern a relevant ‘truth’ in any given situation or circumstance. Learning in a classroom, through a book, encounter groups, political meetings, protest marches, meditation sessions, or the internet, are all crucial aspects of ‘refining’ the memory and ‘honing’ the intellect. The thought processes (and emotionality) must be ‘calmed’ for the sake of ‘wise’ action and non-action when young, so that avoidable errors and mistakes are reduced to the minimum, and progressive activity increased to the maximum (to selflessly benefit humanity).  This is not always easy, and the ability to recognise non-efficient thought-patterns and behaviours should also be cultivated as a means toward achieving self-forgiveness, and the forgiveness of others. The important point is that the mind should be kept in a positive frame of operation, so that the body can be used for various types of ‘enlightened’ political, cultural and social action. The physical body must be clearly (and cleanly) directed by the mind (the seat of volition), and kept physically fit through appropriate activities. This psycho-physical training sets the stage for the refined individual to understand the frequency and quality of inner and outer energy, and immediately understand the best action (if any) to take, or instantly ‘know’ when others are ‘lying’, or presenting ‘untruth’ as ‘truth’. This ability can be further used to generate ‘correct’ work that counters the lies of a society motivated entirely by greed, racism and an indifference to the suffering of humanity and other life forms. Therefore, this ‘Sangha Kommune’ blog is a work in progress that covers a bewildering array of topics, opinions, and research data. By taking a step back away from its content – the general reader will begin to understand the underlying (and motivating) paradigm. This is essentially a ‘Kommunist’ zone where all beings are automatically ‘freed’ at the point of contact. The need for money is already ‘transcended’, and the energy frequency of the Sangha Kommune should be used by all to achieve a state of permanent ‘freedom’ in all circumstances. This is a space of permanent Cyber Kommunism, and ongoing Revolutionary activity in the form of ‘exposing’ and ‘dissolving’ the bourgeois system and its redundant mode of capitalist organisation.

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Ch’an Wuzu said:

The Ch’an community is a place for the moulding of Sages and ordinary people, and for nurturing and developing potential ability. It is a source of teaching,. Even though many people are living together, gathering in kind, they are guided and made equal. Each has a transmission from the teacher.

Now in many places they do not strive to maintain the standards of the Sages of the past. Biased feelings of like and dislike are many, with people bending others to what they personally think is right. How should later students take an example?

Records of Equanimity (Song Dynasty)

Russia: The February Revolution (1917) – Give us Bread! Down with War!

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The victory of the February bourgeois-democratic revolution (February 23 – March 3, 1917). The occasion for the February Revolution was the following events. In Petrograd in the second half of February, due to transportation difficulties, the supply of bread deteriorated. Queues in the shops for bread continuously grew. Lack of bread, speculation, rising prices caused dissatisfaction with the workers. On February 18, workers of one of the shops of the Putilov plant demanded a bonus to the salary. The Directorate refused, dismissed the workers who started the strike, and announced the closure of certain shops for an indefinite period of time. But the dismissed were supported by the workers of other enterprises. On February 23 (March 8, according to the new calendar), rallies and meetings dedicated to the International Women’s Day were held at the factories of Petrograd. Workers’ demonstrations began spontaneously under the slogans “Bread!”. In the evening slogans appeared “Down with the war!”, “Down with the autocracy!”. This was already a political demonstration, and it marked the beginning of the revolution.

Победа Февральской буржуазно – демократической революции (23 февраля – 3 марта 1917 г.). Поводом к Февральской революции послужили следующие события. В Петрограде во второй половине февраля из-за транспортных трудностей ухудшилось снабжение хлебом. Очереди в магазинах за хлебом непрерывно росли. Нехватка хлеба, спекуляции, рост цен вызывали недовольство рабочих. 18 февраля рабочие одного из цехов Путиловского завода потребовали надбавки к зарплате. Дирекция отказала, уволила рабочих, начавших забастовку, и объявила о закрытии некоторых цехов на неопределенное время. Но уволенные были поддержаны рабочими других предприятий.
23 февраля (8 марта по новому стилю) на предприятиях Петрограда проходили митинги и собрания, посвященные Международному женскому дню. Стихийно начались рабочие демонстрации под лозунгами “Хлеба!”. Вечером появились лозунги “Долой войну!”, “Долой самодержавие!”. Это была уже политическая демонстрация, она и положила начало революции.

Lenin: American Mind Control Indeed

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Youtube can be a great place to ‘learn’ and expand one’s knowledge, appreciation and awareness. Of course, Youtube also contains a corresponding downside of myth and delusion, and since its take-over by Google, inappropriate adverts now pop-up even during relaxation videos, sombre occasions, and even children’s TV. There are many good ad reliable leftwing videos just as there are many terrible and odious rightwing videos, but I have chosen the video below for critique, as in typical Trotskyite rightwing fashion, it presents the falsehood that Soviet Communism was no different to fascism or capitalism. It incorrectly states that Lenin advocated the adoption of capitalist ‘Taylorism’ in the USSR (implying that Lenin was a hypocrite), when in fact Lenin advocated the exact opposite:

Lenin actually said that increased productivity (the objective of Taylorism) can only be achieved ‘outside’ of capitalism by an emancipated workforce that is in control of its own working environment. Taylorism stated that the workforce must be completely controlled and entrapped in the working procedure from start to finish, and to achieve this, they must have no rights or self-determination. This is rightwing, US predatory capitalism at its absolute despotic. This is what Lenin actually said:

The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government” (Original Version)

‘Of course, employment of the labour and guidance of the bourgeois intellectuals in combination with proper control by the democratic organisations of the working people and the Soviets, will create a number of new problems, but these problems will be quite solvable. No difficulties can stop us from solving these problems, as we have no other way out towards a higher organization of production under the present situation.

I shall go further. Big capitalism has created systems of work organization, which, under the prevailing conditions of exploitation of the masses, represent the harshest form of enslavement by which the minority, the propertied classes, wring out of the working people surplus amounts of labour, strength, blood and nerves. At the same time they are the last word in the scientific organization of production, and as such, have to be adopted by the Socialist Soviet Republic and readjusted to serve the interests of our accounting and control over production on the one hand, and raising the productivity of labour, on the other. For instance, the famous Taylor system, which is so widespread in America, is famous precisely because it is the last word in reckless capitalist exploitation. One can understand why this system met with such an intense hatred and protest on the part of the workers. At the same time, we must not for a moment   forget that the Taylor system represents the tremendous progress of science, which systematically analyses the process of production and points the way towards an immense increase in the efficiency of human labour. The scientific researches which the introduction of the Taylor system started in America, notably that of motion study, as the Americans call it, yielded important data allowing the working population to be trained in incomparably higher methods of labour in general and of work organisation in particular.

The negative aspect of Taylorism was that it was applied in conditions of capitalist slavery and served as a means of squeezing double and triple the amount of labour out of the workers at the old rates of pay regardless of whether the hired workers were capable of giving this double and triple amount of labour in the same number of working hours without detriment to the human organism. The Socialist Soviet Republic is faced with a task which can be briefly formulated thus: we must introduce the Taylor system and scientific American efficiency of labour throughout Russia by combining this system with a reduction in working time, with the application of new methods of production and work organisation undetrimental to the labour power of the working population. On the contrary, the Taylor system, properly controlled and intelligently applied by the working people themselves, will serve as a reliable means of further greatly reducing the obligatory working day for the entire working population, will serve as an effective means of dealing, in a fairly short space of time, with a task that could roughly be expressed as follows: six hours of physical work daily for every adult citizen and four hours of work in running the state.

The adoption of such a system would call for very many new skills and new organisational bodies. Without doubt, this will create for us many difficulties, and the posing of such a task will even evoke perplexity if not resistance among certain sections of the working people themselves. We may be sure, however, that the progressive elements among the working class will understand the need for such a transition, and that the appalling extent of the economic chaos witnessed in the towns and villages by millions of men returning from the front who had been torn away from it all and now saw the full extent of the ravages caused by the war-all this, without doubt, has prepared the ground for shaping public opinion in this direction, and we may be sure that the transition which we have roughly outlined above will be accepted as a practical task by all elements among the working classes who have now consciously sided with the Soviet government.’

Lenin required the Soviet Union to progress through the industrialisation of the peasantry into a proletariat workforce and productivity was the obvious way ahead as a means to implement this process. Taylorism was capitalistic, but it demonstrated a method of increasing the productive output of an oppressed workforce. Lenin ‘rejected’ capitalist Taylorism because of its oppressive nature, but nevertheless was of the opinion that a liberated workforce could produce so much more because it was ‘free’ and engaging in what amounted to voluntary work for the betterment of humanity. Therefore, Lenin did not accept or endorse capitalistic ‘Taylorism’ as this anti-Soviet documentary suggests, and neither did Lenin’s decision lead to the counter-revolutionary actions of bourgeois-infected workforce at Kronstadt. Of course, Noam Chomsky, as a Trotskyite, will not miss any opportunity to denigrate the Soviet Union.

 

Long May Our Crimson Flag Inspire…!

My Father’s Old Waving Chair…

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In the garden of our family home in Torquay, my father’s old chair slowly returns to its own inherent nature.  This is where my father used to sit to replenish his spiritual energy between bouts of intense waving anywhere on the road between Paignton and Torquay. When I discussed this chair with him recently, he said do not worry about it – nature takes care of its own.  Now the old chair has a new beauty all of its own, outside that of human utility.  This chair was once a tree (or a group of trees), and now slowly merging back into the nature from which it came.  This is how my father sees himself today.  He is three-quarters conscious light now, and only one-quarter physicality.  He says that like his chair, he is returning to the primordial light from which he came.  No sadness and no joy, things are just happening as they should.  My father’s primary message is ‘do not be afraid’ of the cycles of nature, they exist to guides us from one state to another.

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The Nonsense That Passes as Buddhism in the West

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Richard Hunn (1949-2006), whilst on one of his annual visits to the UK (from his home in Kyoto, Japan), once commented to me that in the West, the shops are full of book-covers featuring smiling lamas grinning like Cheshire cats!  He said that in the East Buddhism is simply not misrepresented in this manner, because it is taken very seriously as a method of self-development.  You do not mock the medicine that makes you better by taking the p*ss out of its packaging.  He went on to say that true self-cultivation involves a tremendous amount of suffering – that is if the practitioner is serious about purifying his or her mind by using this distinctly ‘Eastern’ method.  Whereas in the West the subjects of modern psychology and psychiatry are interested in the ‘measurable’ and ‘quantifying’ content of the brain/mind that manifests through speech and behaviour, the Buddhism of the East by-passes this altogether.  Why is this the case? – because the Buddha did not, and does not ‘care’ about the intricacies of the content of your mind as he has already declared it to be ‘delusional’ and ‘suffering’ inducing.  The Buddha does not want to talk through your delusional conditioning because he sees this as just more delusion.  The point of the Buddha’s teaching is not that it makes you ‘happy’ in a one-sided sense, but rather that it enables you – as a practitioner – to take control of the machinations of your own mind, and transcend the polarity of the two major aspects of human suffering, namely shallow ‘happiness’ (smiling lama) and profound suffering (my suffering is really important and self-consuming).  Buddhism in its real essence is in no way a ‘comforter’ of humanity in the sense that a religion, a good film, or a bag of decent chips are to the average ego.  Buddhism is the a priori undermining of everything the ego holds dear, and this is why probably around 90% of what passes as ‘Buddhism’ in the West is not Buddhism at all, but merely the sophisticated ‘modern’ ego’ doing what it does best – mimicking happiness and reality.

Red Flag over Torbay – When the Dust Settles

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‘If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people.’

Karl Marx: Letter to His Father (1837)

This article is dedicated to the good people of Torbay who planned, organised, and made possible the Anti-Austerity March that happened on Saturday the 18th of July, 2015. It has been estimated that around 200 – 300 took part in the march, but at times the numbers seemed larger than this. The march began at 11am in Brixham harbour and when my family arrived at around 10:15am – there was only two other people. We waited unsure about what was going to happen, but slowly the numbers began to build. Around 95 set off on the 6 mile hike to Preston Green (in Paignton) along suburban and country roads shouting anti-austerity slogans, beating drums, blowing whistles and waving flags. Locals stood in quiet amazement wondering what was going on – as cars went by often tooting their horns in support. Considering the weight of rightwing oppression that hangs over the area, the abuse was minimal and usually limited to obscenities shouted through open car windows, and occasionally negative comments from pedestrians. It seemed odd that the local Devon and Cornwall police – although sanctioning the march – did not see fit to provide officers to escort the group, close roads, and direct traffic. The presence of police, if nothing else, generally deters hostile reactions from locals who might otherwise take exception to protests that question their cherished rightwing attitudes and opinions. A fellow marcher stated to me that this situation might have been due to the latest rounds of cut-backs applied to the police by the government. In other words, the local police simply lacked the resources.

The weather was hot and humid – around 25 degrees and hotter at times (although not long after the march had ended, Torquay experienced a down-pour) – but every man, woman, child and accompanying dog managed to traverse the long and winding roads, pathways, meadows and steep inclines, etc. It was amazing to see all these different and dedicated people carrying this feet of endurance, motivated as they were by the compassion they felt for the plight of their fellow human beings. One often chanted slogan was ‘Austerity Kills!’ and it certainly does. Since 2010 and the LibDem – Tory Coalition (and the subsequent re-election of the Tories this year), through the sudden and dramatic abolishing of benefits, social services, and the National Health Service (NHS), it is estimated that round 10,000 people with disabilities have died, and many, many more vulnerable people in other categories such as the elderly, the young, the ill, and the injured, etc. The final death-toll for this far-rightwing ideological insanity could be well in the 100,000’s! While hundreds of thousands have marched through the major city centres of the UK, in the notoriously conservative shire things are very different. In these rightwing enclaves, a minority of conservatives hold the majority of the wealth and local commercial and political power, whilst the majority of the people area (i.e. the workers), have to exist on meagre State benefits, remain in low-paid work, be subjected to undiagnosed or untreated illnesses, have their children taken into care by corrupt social workers, and have little or no formal education. All whilst being confronted by an aggressive and uncaring Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which has a tried and tested policy of demeaning people to control them. Of course, this is nothing new and Torbay is not unique – but it is a far-cry from the more progressive centres of human interaction in the UK. The minority of middle and upper class in the UK controls the majority that comprise the working class. The working class make everything, develop everything, enable everything, and produce everything – and yet they own nothing but their labour which they must sell to the lowest bidder. Workers are nothing but paid slaves that produce the luxuries that the middle class (and their allies) demand for little or no reward.

The masses of people who live on housing estates of Torbay are hidden away from the view of the tourists on the seafront, and live in abject poverty. As they have no voice – they appear not to exist. This non-existence is designed to keep a stock of potential workers handy should the need arise – whilst simultaneously preventing them from gaining an education and accessing adequate employment and political power. Although there are obviously more workers in Torbay than the bourgeoisie (i.e. middle class), they appear not to exist because they lack any means to access the bourgeois system. Protests such as marches, are designed to make what was previously invisible and out of sight, become visible and in plain view. The dialectical forces of history create new opportunities for change – but generally speaking – change is prevented by an oppressive system which uses law and law enforcement to prevent any challenges to its hegemony. Historical materialism – as formulated Marx – states that everything that exists in the present is the product of causes and effects from the past, and that as such, existential events can be analysed and understood in their historical origin, and guided by current thoughts and trends of action. A revolution is the turning of oppressive conditions into mutually beneficial circumstances despite the oppressive presence of the State and all its apparent power. Political hegemony always projects absolute power even when a regime (or class) is morally bankrupt. Sometimes at the right point in history, entire monoliths of oppression can fall. What has fallen in Torbay (through the Anti-Austerity march) is the decades old assumption by the authorities, that the local people they think they control will remain ‘quiet’ whilst being systemically abused by an uncaring system.

After arriving in Preston Green, there were a number of speeches given by the various organisers and charities backing the protest, the piper that had accompanied the marchers into Paignton, led them back onto the road leading into Torquay proper (a route just over two miles). The piper turned-back at the Paignton-Torquay demarcation sign. When the marchers where tired as they entered Paignton – this lone piper lifted their spirits with ‘Scotland the Brave’, and when they left, he gave them strength to finish the 8.29 mile route! The march ended at Speakers’ Corner – where many people spoke about why they thought they were marching, explained the bad experiences they are experiencing under austerity, and to thank everyone involved in the planning and execution of the event. Torquay may be the only rightwing borough in the UK (that has a Tory MP), that has dared to stand-up to Tory austerity. However, the eventual end of austerity will not mark the end of capitalism, class oppression, racism, discrimination, injustice, or inequality. Austerity is merely a symptom of class oppression and sustained class privilege – it does not come out of thin air and has a definite and discernible root in traceable historical events. Simply fighting austerity because it is ‘nasty’ is not enough. Defeating austerity now – but not uprooting the capitalism that has created it – simply condemns future generations to suffer under its dubious auspices. It is a bourgeois-left error that turns austerity into a ‘single issue’ divorced from the capitalist system that creates it, and the injustices that sustain it As fascism is simply enhanced (and unbridled) capitalism – fascism has no answer to austerity. Indeed, fascists use the fact that there is little apparent resources to attack those competing to receive them. This is after the fascists have deliberately withheld money, food, work, and medical supplies from the masses – actions that create the artificial conditions for austerity in the first place. Capitalism is the real cause of austerity and the creator of all social injustice – and fascism is nothing but its lapdog. The Torbay March was only really about the bourgeois concern that perhaps ‘austerity’ has gone too far – and not about the working class concern that capitalism is fundamentally unjust. Of course, although this maybe the over-arching justification for the March by its middle class organisers – many of the ordinary individuals who marched, did so with their own agendas and political motives in mind. We carried the Red Flag of International Working Class (and Communist Movement), whilst the Green Party carried their banners, as did the Unions and numerous individuals – each making important statements about the sufferings of others. The local TV cut-out all images of our Red Flag – but ironically the BBC did focus on my partner (Gee) as she crossed the road pushing our daughter – there was an anti-cuts placard on the pushchair. The racist Herald Express (a local newspaper owned by the Daily Mail) did a ‘hate piece’ on the Red Flag and encouraged all the local racists and UKIP supporters to post obscene and generally unsavoury comments about our presence. This is to be expected as one way the bourgeois authorities control Torbay (and elsewhere), is through the encouragement of the principle of divide and conquer. If we are all busy fighting one another about the colour of the outer layer of our body, then they think we will never pause for thought and perceive that it is in fact the classes above us that are causing all our suffering and grief! This is all aided and abetted by the local church which, incidentally, did not support or take part in the protest. We flew the Red Flag over Torbay and gave the workers hope – this was our achievement as a family on the day.

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