The Socialist

The Socialist 13 February 2019

Universal Credit out - Tories out

The Socialist issue 1029

Corbyn must launch struggle to kick out Blairites and fight for socialist policies


Universal Credit out - Tories out!

Mass pressure wins light sentence for 'Stansted 15'

To end climate change we need to fight for socialist change!

Marx memorial attack shows socialist ideas are on the rise

Them & us


France: striking workers confront Macron as historic gilets jaunes movement approaches "Act XIV"


Ten years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'


Victory to Birmingham bin workers

Heroic RMT guards beat back Northern rail in fight against dangerous driver-only operation

Fight for a socialist-led PCS - fight to win the national pay campaign

Glasgow: nationalise the threatened 'Caley' railway depot

Leicester college workers refuse to accept cut in terms and conditions

Enfield: striking against academisation - fighting for a no-cuts budget

Workplace and union news in brief


Southampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

Newham: women's refuge funds halved - Labour must use the 500m reserves

Arrest Brigadier Fernando - defend the right to protest

Why I joined: "why is their life so different from mine?"

New pamphlet: 1919 - Red Flag over the Clyde

Celebrating Robert Burns 1759-1796

'Shac' campaign fights for housing

300 turn out for Corbyn in Nottingham marginal

Liverpool: 200 march to commemorate Robert Tressell

'Spot' conference opposes authoritarianism in Turkey


'Green Book' film: a timely reminder of racism in the USA

'Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor': comedy and tragedy judiciously mixed

The Socialist inbox

 
 
 
 
 

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Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, photo by Robert Charlesworth

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, photo by Robert Charlesworth   (Click to enlarge)

Celebrating Robert Burns 1759-1796

A revolutionary poet

Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party

For the seventh year running Carlisle Socialist Party held a very successful and enjoyable Alternative Burns Night.

To get 30 people at a socialist cultural event in January in such a small town would be good, but over 60 people, including music lovers and much of the local left, came together for a really great night of songs, poems, music and politics lasting five hours!

Local band "Now and Again" played traditional Scottish and Irish jigs and reels, Nikki from Langholm went through decades of pop and John from Dumfries sang "The socialist ABC".

Members of the audience sang "Green grow the rushes-o", "Parcel of rogues in a nation" or recited "To a mouse" (which is not about Burns making a mouse homeless but about his fear of imminent eviction and destitution) and a poem penned by a survivor of the 1819 Peterloo massacre.

The Barton family performed a miracle of feeding everyone either haggis, neeps and tatties, or two veggie options, or this year also vegan.

It's safe to say that the speech about the life of Burns, the "Immortal Memory" address, was not the orthodox kind. It busted the myths spread after his death in a deliberate character assassination paid for by the Tory Home Secretary.

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, Jan 2019, photo by Robert Charlesworth

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, Jan 2019, photo by Robert Charlesworth   (Click to enlarge)

Burns was an active revolutionary democrat who opposed bigotry, racism and slavery, an enemy of the Hanoverian monarchy, a patriot to the people and an internationalist who supported the American and French revolutions. That's why the secret police drove him to his death.

Afterwards a "friend" burned a quarter of his writings and the literary establishment and state first vilified him and later sanitised and sentimentalised him.

For 200 years they suppressed his authorship of revolutionary poems published anonymously attacking the Tory Pitt dictatorship, which was fighting the French Revolution and the "swinish multitude" in France and in Britain.

After hearing this the whole audience sang his anthem of class struggle, ending in:

"For a' that, an a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That man to man, the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that."

As a low paid public-sector worker, Burns used his little money to buy four cannon for the French revolutionaries. We'll use the Fighting Fund money from this night to help fund the Socialist Party.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 6 February 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.


In this issue


What we think

Corbyn must launch struggle to kick out Blairites and fight for socialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit out - Tories out!

Mass pressure wins light sentence for 'Stansted 15'

To end climate change we need to fight for socialist change!

Marx memorial attack shows socialist ideas are on the rise

Them & us


International socialist news and analysis

France: striking workers confront Macron as historic gilets jaunes movement approaches "Act XIV"


Socialist Party feature

Ten years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'


Workplace news and analysis

Victory to Birmingham bin workers

Heroic RMT guards beat back Northern rail in fight against dangerous driver-only operation

Fight for a socialist-led PCS - fight to win the national pay campaign

Glasgow: nationalise the threatened 'Caley' railway depot

Leicester college workers refuse to accept cut in terms and conditions

Enfield: striking against academisation - fighting for a no-cuts budget

Workplace and union news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

Newham: women's refuge funds halved - Labour must use the 500m reserves

Arrest Brigadier Fernando - defend the right to protest

Why I joined: "why is their life so different from mine?"

New pamphlet: 1919 - Red Flag over the Clyde

Celebrating Robert Burns 1759-1796

'Shac' campaign fights for housing

300 turn out for Corbyn in Nottingham marginal

Liverpool: 200 march to commemorate Robert Tressell

'Spot' conference opposes authoritarianism in Turkey


Opinion

'Green Book' film: a timely reminder of racism in the USA

'Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor': comedy and tragedy judiciously mixed

The Socialist inbox


 

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