The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Socialism

Saturday, 26th September 2015

The OED’s earliest attestation of the word unelectable is a 1932 biography of the socialist George Bernard Shaw. The passage in question is about left-wing Shaw’s election as Vestryman and Borough Councillor of St Pancras:

In 1897, his friends Robert and “Lion” (Mrs.) Phillimore, then members of the St. Pancras Vestry administering the local government of quarter of a million Londoners, made a deal with their anti-Progressive opponents whereby certain nominees of theirs were elected without protest, the number of candidates being by agreement no greater than the number of vacant seats. In no other way could Shaw have secured election; for he boasts with truth that he is a hopelessly unelectable person under any existing democratic franchise.

This is succour for all of us who voted for the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Vest(ry)man and MP for neighbouring Islington North. All that needs to happen for him to become prime minister in 2020 is for there to be no other candidates.

Sunday, 13th September 2015

Clenched-fist salute, n.

Pronunciation: /klɛnʃt fɪst səˈluːt/
Etymology: clenched adj. + fist n. + salute n.

A raised-arm salute with fist clenched, denoting socialist solidarity, black power, or (Telecomm. advts., offensive) ‘4G at no extra cost’.

Thursday, 7th May 2015

1906, Trotsky: Permanent Revolution

1924, Stalin: Socialism in one Country

2015, Sturgeon: Socialism in 59/650 of one Country

Monday, 27th April 2015

I keep coming across the phrase Anglo-Saxon Capitalism, and looking it up find that it is an established political term. It denotes

A system of capitalism characterized by extensive market coordination by economic actors and relatively neutral patterns of governmental market regulation aimed at maintaining property right institutions without privileging particular social actors. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics)

I believe the phrase to be a slur against my communally minded ancestors. David Starkey began his Monarchy series by saying of the Anglo-Saxons,

This was a community without sharp social distinctions, and a people without kings. […] Nothing [in the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village] suggests that anyone was much more important than anyone else. We’re a long way, here, from the exalted autocracy of the Roman Empire, with its huge gap between rich and poor. Instead, the folk of West Stow […] seem to have been, essentially, an egalitarian people…

As an Anglo-Saxon socialist, I feel deeply offended by the term Anglo-Saxon Capitalism, and therefore believe that it should be consigned to the ashcan of politically incorrect history, along with the likes of Eskimo, chairman, and you’re going to feel a little prick.

Wednesday, 10th December 2014

A conservative with a small ‘c’ is ‘someone who is conservative in outlook but does not necessarily vote for or support a Conservative party’ (ODE). Does the New Labour dispensation mean that it makes sense to refer to a left-winger as a labour brigader, labourist or labourite with a small ‘l’?

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