Fascism and anti-fascism
Mind the gap, New Labour! Something about the EDL doesn’t add up. A socialist view of the BNP threat (and, if you read that, please read Duncan's comment on it). Back to 1980, when things were simpler: Skinheads - the cult of trouble.
Francis walks the Thames with Iain Sinclair. Freedom for Brixton! Victory in the battle of Lewisham Bridge (background here). Blackheath has survived the climate camp. Where I'll be tomorrow night, and where I went out in the late 1990s.
Noam Chomsky, Kosova and genocidal causality.
Ruling class watch
Hiring a cleaner is like buying a porn mag - or why the liberal elite like illegal migrants to clean up for them. Remembering the real Alan Clark: a Tory toff with a taste for Hitler.
Working class watch
I recently linked to Walter Benn Michaels' criticism of the Runnymede Trust's Who Cares About the White Working Class? In the latest issue of LRB, the editor, Kjartan Páll Sveinsson, has a rather week reply (scroll to the bottom), which I post here for the sake of completeness. I think a better defence can be made. (For other pro-Michaels views, see Just Left and Unambiguously Ambidextrous. For a related theme, reached via here, see Michael Lind.)
Iz/Pal, Middle East
More on the TUC targeted boycott: AWL, Benny Weinthal and Eric Lee, Gene, OneVoice, Jewish Labor Committee, Hugo Rifkind. Meretz UK on the Goldstone report. James Baldwin on Richard Falk on Richard Goldstone (well, not exactly, but the James Baldwin quote is totally spot on). Gershon Baskin on the right of return. Ahmed Badawi on Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state. Fred Halliday on the Libyan kleptocracy.
I was planning no Iran links, because you can get them from Kellie, Jams or Entdinglichung, except this one from Adam Holland on Juan Cole's belated but welcome change of heart about the Iranian president. (This, for reference, is the longest post I ever wrote about Professor Cole.) And this one from Michael Ledeen, on Groucho Marx and the death spiral of the Iranian dictatorship. And on Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial: Stroppy/Coatesy. And Stuart Applebaum speaking at the Stand for Freedom in Iran rally.. Listening again to the 1970s Iranian funk linked to here, I couldn't help but think maybe the Shah wasn't so evil after all, certainly compared to what came afterwards...
TNC's blog round-up post which includes stuff by me, but also some good stuff too.
First up, Matiyahu's "Struggla", social justice reggae or unauthentic Zionist minstrelsy? Follow the discussion at Kasama. I join in at no.42.
The version of Leonard Cohen singing his classic "Chelsea Hotel", at the bottom of this post, live in Israel in 1972, is truly sublime. The shaky amateur YouTube, from Valencia last week, with the great man singing "Bird on a Wire", then collapsing from food poisoning, is rather disturbing.
At almost the opposite end of the musical spectrum, I enjoyed the second of the two mp3s here, East London's Dizzee Rascal singing "We can't tek no more", produced by the great Shy FX, whose masterpiece is, of course, UK Apachi's "Original Nuttah", one of the best songs ever. I once saw Apache UK with Shy FX in some municipal festival in a dusty field in South Bermondsey, at the begining of the golden age of the original UK junglists, and it changed my life forever. Listen to Dizzee endorsing "Original Nuttah" here. I was a bit shocked to see that UK Apachi, aka Abdul Wahab Lafta, does not have a wikipedia page. Someone, go write one! I've been thinking a lot recently about Prevent and Engage and about Britishness - but, really, just watch this and that's all you need to know. (This paragraph dedicated to Courtney - where are you geezer?)
Finally, and in another stark contrast, I'm still on a Sufi music tip, and last week's video seemed to go down well, so here is Niyaz, a US-based band fronted by Persian exile Azam Ali. Thanks to Jams for introducing me to Niyaz. (I was going to embed this, but realised Jams did it ages ago.)