House-keeping and recycling
1. I meant to dedicate this post to the late Tom Lantos, a man who was a committed fighter for the kind of cosmopolitan, democratic approach to international affairs that I am advocating here, while also maintaining a strong sense of social injustice at home. Read appreciations from Contentious Centrist and Jeff Weintraub.
2. And, as a post-script to my brief comments on the fifth anniversary last week of the monster anti-war march, read Jim's take.
3. Kosova's declaration of independence. I don't have anything of my own to contribute, just to share the enthusiasm expressed by my comrades Marko AH, HLNK (and here), Will (and here), Hak Mao, and FiG. A rather different view is presented by Andy at Socialist Unity and, a bit more measured, Splintered Sunrise. (The latter is a blog on my blogroll -the story of that fact can be found here and here-, so it is encumbant on me, at some point soon, to respond in some way to this piece by Marko Attila H.)
4. Another thing that I want to respond to at some point, when I have more time, is this piece at the Cedar Tree Revolution on the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA). I was loosely involved in the IWCA in the late 1990s, due to my heavy involvement in Anti-Fascist Action, which gave birth to the IWCA. There are lots of impressive things about the IWCA, as well as lots of problems with it, although not exactly the problems identified in this post. Closely related: this piece by Dave O on anti-social behaviour and violence in working class communities, which concludes: "if socialists ever want to be taken seriously be the people at the sharp end of this one, we need either to put forward some joined-up social policy thinking or risk leaving the field to the demagogues of all parties. After all, it's not kids in Belgravia or the posh bits of Cheshire and Surrey that are doing the dying."
5. Chinese totalitarianism. There was a very interesting programme on Radio 4 this morning, with John Simpson interviewing various veterans of Tiananmen Square in the year the Chinese dictatorship eases up on foreign press restrictions for the Olypmics. What a disgusting, brutal regime. Read Dave O on boycotting the Olympics.
6. A new blog to me: Twiddly Bits, found via Flesh is Grass. Read her inside take on the LSE student "radicals".
7. Buried in Derek Wall's account of the Palestinian boycott motion at Green Party conference was some shocking news: Mark Steel has left the SWP!! (Presumably not to follow Ahmed Hussain into the Tories.)