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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 April 2014

Reviews and comments

Red Poetry

Dave Gorton reviews Andrew Walton's Little Red Poetry

Poetry is often seen as the property of the ruling class. Yet, literature would be much less rich without for instance, Shelley's calls to arms in the 19th century, Sassoon's war poems, Brecht's socialism, or the sheer imagery and force of poets such as Norman MacCaig and Seamus Heaney.

Leicester Socialist Party member Andrew Walton recently published his own short collection Little Red Poetry which he says argues for socialism.

It includes poems on issues such as the bedroom tax, an EDL march in Leicester and Unite, Falkirk and the need for a new workers' party.

Most readers of the Socialist will share his views but Drew describes his anger in a different way than most of us would in, say, writing a leaflet. Take Triple Dip:

Something is wrong, when the future of millions

Is described as if we were fruit in a yoghurt,

Or sticks of chocolate in an ice-cream pot.

Read and enjoy!

X-ray's vision

Minority communities make countless invaluable contributions to the character of modern Britain but the Somali community is yet to receive due credit for producing one of punk rock's brightest stars - Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex.

Poly was born Marianne Elliot-Said in 1957 to a British mother and Somali father. Like many men from Southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa, Poly's father arrived courtesy of Britain's Merchant Navy.

Poly experienced her punk epiphany in 1976 watching the Sex Pistols. She formed her own band, teaming up with saxophonist Lora Logic to create one of punk's most original acts.

Singles such as "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" became some of the Punk/New Wave genre's most recognisable anthems.

Unappreciated additions to British culture are brought by immigration to film, fashion, food, poetry, the performance arts.

When Poet Benjamin Zephaniah was offered an OBE he turned it down saying: "I get angry when I hear that word 'empire'; it reminds me of slavery, of thousands of years of brutality, of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised".

But the decidedly multiracial UK Slam Poetry scene is thriving, though it has not yet attracted significant attention.

Daniel Johnson

Problem solved

Tests conducted by the capitalist OECD comparing students internationally show that school students in England came a healthy 11th out of 42 European, American and Asian countries on problem solving.

One OECD test told school students to buy the cheapest available train ticket from a machine, but a fault meant no eligible discount fares were available. 'Successful' students were those who realised they must buy a full fare ticket! Who designed that test - a privatised rail firm?

Of course, young people in Britain are used to solving problems - such as finding a job with reasonable wages and getting affordable accommodation.

Young people also learn quickly. We encourage everyone to use their problem-solving minds to join the fight for a socialist society that recognises and uses talents for the benefit of us all.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 9 April 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

House of Thieves

Housing emergency

Break with pro-cuts Labour now

System change to save the environment

Hillsborough tragedy - the final chapter?

OECD report: A system in crisis

Them & Us

Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: national union support needed

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) elections

Build on the fighting militant traditions of the RMT

Probation workers unite to fight off no-justice vultures

Visteon: Ford makes offer

Sparks fight on!

Homes and Communities Agency strike

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Swansea: National Front thwarted!

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition progress update

Doncaster: March commemorates miners' strike

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Obituary: Pat James 1930 - 2014

Help with the Socialist sales campaign

Support the Socialist with a May Day greeting

Reviews and readers' comments

Book review: Silent Accomplice

Reviews and comments


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