Archive for February, 2008

Dead Socialist Watch, #313

February 29th, 2008

[The DSW is unfazed by 29 February.]

Dorothy Jewson, socialist and feminist; from the Jewson sawmill family, Dorothy became a socialist while studying classics at Girton College, Cambridge. After a short spell as a teacher, she returned to Norwich to be active in the WSPU and she published The Destitute of Norwich and how they Live: a Report into the Administration of out Relief (1912), and during the First World War she managed a training centre for unemployed girls. She became an organizer for the National Federation of Women Workers in London in 1916, and was elected Labour MP for Norwich in 1923 — her maiden speech was on the extension of voting rights to younger women — though was defeated in 1924, 1929 and 1931. She served on lots of committees in the 1920s and 1930s, for the ILP as well as on the county council, and was a partisan of family allowances and easier access to birth control. A pacifist, in later years she joined the Quakers. Born in Norwich 17 August 1884, died, also in Norwich, 29 February 1964.

“But the truth is that the birth of Kosovo is also a profound testament of the failure of the nation state form in Europe to accommodate ethnic diversity.”

February 28th, 2008

My old friend Pratap Bhanu Mehta, in the Indian Express, over here.

(The Michael Mann article he mentions is over here.)


February 27th, 2008

We have a TV at home, which isn’t switched on very often. I watch the Tour de France in July on Eurosport, Doctor Who in the late Spring on BBC1, football matches when there’s a World Cup or European Championship on, the Eurovision Song Contest each year in May, the Six Nations and other rugby internationals, a general election every four years or so, and I used to watch Test Match cricket until that disappeared off to Sky Sports, which we don’t get. And that’s about it. Now I read that the BBC on Saturday put on a surprising number of programmes that I do want to watch, and as a result is apologising to the viewing public at large. Bah!

(As it happens I wasn’t at home to watch, anyway, and missed most of it, except for the second half of Ireland v Scotland in a pub in St Andrews.)

P.S. Oh, and I watched the finals of both Strictly Come Dancing and the X-Factor just before Christmas. So that’s a little bit more TV to add to the annual viewing cycle.

The United States (According to Country Music Lyrics)

February 27th, 2008


[from, thanks NB]

Monday Marseillaise Blogging (Special Tuesday Edition)

February 26th, 2008

Here’s the French football team and the better part of a hundred thousand fans singing the Marseillaise before the start of the 1998 World Cup Final. (Starts at 5 minutes in; jump forwards to 5.48 or so for Jacques Chirac in full-throated song.)

Iraqi Employees: fine words, shabby deeds

February 26th, 2008

The indefatigable Dan Hardie writes:

Do you like reading fine words? Here is the Prime Minister on the subject of Iraqi ex-employees of the British Government, speaking in the House of Commons on October 9th, 2007:

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the work of our civilian and locally employed staff in Iraq, many of whom have worked in extremely difficult circumstances, exposing themselves and their families to danger. I am pleased therefore to announce today a new policy which more fully recognises the contribution made by our local Iraqi staff, who work for our armed forces and civilian missions in what we know are uniquely difficult circumstances.”

Fine words. What about deeds?

“The bear loves, licks, and forms her young; but bears are not philosophers.”

February 26th, 2008

Edmund Burke on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in the Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791).