The 250th anniversary year of Scottish poet Robert Burns’s birth has seen even more events and merry-making than usual.
The turncoats and renegades, like "the poor", are always with us, shadows the Socialist Movement leaves behind as it goes on its way, as Jim Connell noted over a hundred years ago. Jim Connell, who wrote "The Red Flag", was an Irish Fenian, member of the first Marxist organisation in Britain, the Social Democratic Federation, of the Independent Labour Party and of the Labour Party. He died in 1928. He may have had in mind here John Burns, the Marxist 1889 London docks strike leader and later, after 1906, Liberal Government Minister.
THESE ARE THE CLASS WAR DEAD
Stop in your tracks, you passer-by,
Uncover your doubting head;
The workingmen are on their way
To bury their murdered dead.
Parables For Socialists 20
THIS IS DYSTOPIA, LADY!
What world is this, sir?
This is Dystopia, lady!
World of hallucogenic sights
And waking nightmares;
The migrant-lean long-tailed pilgrim rat
Retreats down, down, down, down
Inside the ship, down from deck to deck
Before the lifting, excavating gang,
A poem about the capitalist crisis. Joshua is 12 and lives in Cambridge
As I walked out one Autumn day,
I saw a banker and did say;
“How fare you my noble man
The Pen/Sword Prophecy
In about twenty seconds, the future of rap music beckons
And you'll be wondering whether the world's changed since you played this record.
Who fears to praise Red Seventeen?
Who quails at Lenin’s name?
When liars jeer at Trotsky's fate
Who adds his, “Theirs the blame”?
Cain-Stalin’s slave, or bourgeois brave
(Tune: “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?”)
Toiling along in light from morn ‘til night,
Wearin’ away your all for the Parasite;