Archive for August, 2006

DSW, #45

August 31st, 2006

Ferdinand Lassalle, German socialist and romantic hero: born Breslau, 11 April 1825, killed in a duel near Geneva, 31 August 1864.

“But while Marx is honoured as a great thinker, Lassalle is adored as a great leader. His striking figure and meteoric career have made a deep impression upon the hearts and minds of the organized masses; his romantic, though foolish, end, his human failings, even his egoism endear him to them. They have enshrined his memory in poetry and song, while it appears to be as impossible for them to be lyrical over Marx as it is to set Das Kapital to music.” — W. Stephen Sanders, The Socialist Movement in Germany, Fabian Society Tract #169, February 1913, p.9.

Dead Socialist Watch, #221

August 31st, 2006

Norman Kirk, New Zealand Labour Prime Minister, born Waimate, 6 July 1923, died Wellington, 1 August 1974.

Laurent-Fabius-Watch: La Rentrée S’Annonce Chaude

August 31st, 2006

Nothing on Tim Collins recently, but the Stoa’s indefatigable Laurent Fabius correspondent writes:

Yes, there are only three months left before we find out whether Chris’ one-time dining companion Laurent Fabius will do battle with Nicolas Sarkozy for Western Europe’s most powerful elected post! A feverish autumn of political in-fighting is expected to follow as Fabius attempts to face down rival contenders Ségolène Royal, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Jack Lang and (possibly) Lionel Jospin and François Hollande for the Socialist Party’s candidature for President of the Republic. (Well, it’s already seen Jospin in tears at the party’s recent summer school in La Rochelle.) Nominations close on 3 October; the first round of voting is on 16 November and the second on 23 November; the winner will be officially ratified on 2 December. May the best éléphant win…

In the meantime, Laurent-Fabius-Watch wishes its man a happy 60th birthday. Will passing this milestone give him the necessary gravitas to be a présidentiable? (Let’s not forget that in 2002 the first, second and third placed candidates were aged 69, 73 and 64 respectively). Or will he fall victim to rampant ageism? Find out more in the L’Express interview which marked the occasion. What’s more, you can also hear – and see – Fabius talk about the impact May ’68 had on his generation, in a special birthday interview for BBC World available online.

I like ‘présidentiable‘. It’s almost as good as papabille.

Good Joke

August 30th, 2006

Over at Dave Osler‘s blog:

“Ralph Miliband devoted his life to making the theoretical case for the proposition that Labour has nothing to offer the working class. David Miliband has devoted his life to proving it.”

Dead Socialist Watch, #220

August 30th, 2006

Lindsay Anderson, filmmaker, born in Bangalore, India (see two posts below), 17 April 1923, died in Périgueux, France, 30 August 1994.

Sponsorship Opportunities, #2

August 30th, 2006

Fellow blogger Nick Barlow is walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the Brain Research Trust by way of a memorial tribute to his brother Simon, who died far too young. He’s made it through Scotland relatively unscathed and is heading South. Masochist that he is, he’s planning to add hundreds of miles to his route by following the Devon and Cornwall coastal path all the way around, when he could just nip down the A30. So good luck to him, and you can sponsor him over here. Won’t take a moment.

Sponsorship Opportunities, #1

August 30th, 2006

My brother-in-law Paddy has gone off to live in India for a year to teach Trigonometry Through Dance (or something like that) to poor kids in Bangalore. You can read all about his trip over at and you can also help him raise money for the Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange through his fundraising page here. What a good idea, I hear you cry in unison as you reach for your credit cards.

Dead Proto-Socialist, #166

August 29th, 2006

John Lilburne (or here), Leveller, born 1615, died 29 August 1657. Various Leveller texts available here.

Widders + Goat

August 28th, 2006

Don’t miss the photo of Ann Widdecombe plus goat over at the WiddyWeb.

DSW, #44

August 28th, 2006

E. P. Thompson, socialist historian, founder of the first New Left, author of, among many others, The Making of the English Working Class. Born 3 February 1924; died 28 August 1993.

UPDATE [29.8.2006]: Old friend and new blogger J. Carter Wood has more on EPT over at Obscene Desserts.

Umpire Hair, Ha Ha Ha

August 27th, 2006

Presumably the only thing that could make the cricket saga funnier than it is already would be the disclosure that Darrell Hair had placed a large bet on the recent Test Match being finished inside four days.

Wokler, RIP

August 27th, 2006

Rousseau scholar Robert Wokler died last month. Josh Cherniss obituarized him for the Guardian just a few days ago, and he also pointed me to, from where you can download a copy of his splendid D.Phil thesis, “Rousseau on Society, Politics, Music and Language: An Historical Interpretation of His Early Writings”.