Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/28653

Posted on 6 February 2019 at 17:58 GMT

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, photo by Robert Charlesworth

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, photo by Robert Charlesworth   (Click to enlarge)

Celebrating Robert Burns 1759-1796

A revolutionary poet

Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party

For the seventh year running Carlisle Socialist Party held a very successful and enjoyable Alternative Burns Night.

To get 30 people at a socialist cultural event in January in such a small town would be good, but over 60 people, including music lovers and much of the local left, came together for a really great night of songs, poems, music and politics lasting five hours!

Local band "Now and Again" played traditional Scottish and Irish jigs and reels, Nikki from Langholm went through decades of pop and John from Dumfries sang "The socialist ABC".

Members of the audience sang "Green grow the rushes-o", "Parcel of rogues in a nation" or recited "To a mouse" (which is not about Burns making a mouse homeless but about his fear of imminent eviction and destitution) and a poem penned by a survivor of the 1819 Peterloo massacre.

The Barton family performed a miracle of feeding everyone either haggis, neeps and tatties, or two veggie options, or this year also vegan.

It's safe to say that the speech about the life of Burns, the "Immortal Memory" address, was not the orthodox kind. It busted the myths spread after his death in a deliberate character assassination paid for by the Tory Home Secretary.

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, Jan 2019, photo by Robert Charlesworth

Alternative Burns Night, Carlisle, Jan 2019, photo by Robert Charlesworth   (Click to enlarge)

Burns was an active revolutionary democrat who opposed bigotry, racism and slavery, an enemy of the Hanoverian monarchy, a patriot to the people and an internationalist who supported the American and French revolutions. That's why the secret police drove him to his death.

Afterwards a "friend" burned a quarter of his writings and the literary establishment and state first vilified him and later sanitised and sentimentalised him.

For 200 years they suppressed his authorship of revolutionary poems published anonymously attacking the Tory Pitt dictatorship, which was fighting the French Revolution and the "swinish multitude" in France and in Britain.

After hearing this the whole audience sang his anthem of class struggle, ending in:

"For a' that, an a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That man to man, the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that."

As a low paid public-sector worker, Burns used his little money to buy four cannon for the French revolutionaries. We'll use the Fighting Fund money from this night to help fund the Socialist Party.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 6 February 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Carlisle:

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleAlternative Burns Night success

triangleCarlisle: Alternative Burns Night

triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: Election analysis, what now? New tasks for the labour movement

triangleCarlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay

Socialist Party:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Socialist feminism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Why does capitalism keep failing?

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Why support TUSC?

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: The impact of the 1871 Paris Commune

Music:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

triangleCarlisle: Alternative Burns Night

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/1/21

Strike

Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

20/1/21

NHS

On the NHS front line

20/1/21

Women

Socialist Party national women's meeting

20/1/21

Pay

Morrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

20/1/21

PCS

PCS Broad Left Network conference

20/1/21

Black Lives Matter

Police use Covid laws to intimidate BLM protesters

20/1/21

Students

Plymouth rent strike continues

20/1/21

Socialist

Why I joined the Socialist Party

20/1/21

Socialist Students

Refund student rent and fees

20/1/21

Competition

Christmas Crossword Competition

20/1/21

Fire

New Cross Gate fire 40 years ago

20/1/21

Black Lives Matter

Justice for Mohamud Hassan!

20/1/21

Food

Bosses profit out of 'starvation' food parcels

20/1/21

Lockdown

Life in lockdown - being home from school when you're poor is hard

20/1/21

Teachers

Teachers: On the front line, in their own words

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999