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The stony road from social democracy to nationalism


An interesting piece on the SNP and its history of flirting with being ‘Tartan Tories’, especially given the videos of Mhairi Black ‘s speech flying around social media.

Originally posted on Sometimes, it's just a cigar:

As a fully paid up member of the political classes, moving seamlessly from university to professional politics without ever passing through real life, Mhairi Black would probably recognise the name of Karl Kautsky. The disputes between Kautsky and Lenin over the role of nationalism and national interests versus internationalism are a staple of any left wing education. For a professional politician like Mhairi (she can hardly complain about the professional politician jibe – she used it against Douglas Alexander) such questions, of how it can be socialist to demand much higher levels of government subsidy for the hard working people of Berwickshire as opposed to the hard working people of Berwick upon Tweed (because of the Barnett formula) in the name of nationalism should be meat and drink.

You can’t have missed the chorus of Twitter love for Ms Black. Effortlessly, she has claimed for her party the mantle of…

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Committing suicide.

(Note: This won’t be shared on social media sites that the person in question frequents – I won’t make them feel any less safe than they probably feel at the moment. Also: Trigger Warning for Suicide)

I’m tired, hungover and the adrenaline rush has subsided. I’ve washed off the blood in the shower, am now at work and holding off a full blown panic attack. In short I’m a mess. And so will this post be no doubt. The reason? My friend just tried to kill themselves.

I know it’s selfish to worry just about me, but I know he’s safe and being watched over. So until I get home, I have to look after myself. What happened is a uniquely triggering event for me, beyond the normal mess that I’m sure many would be in at this time. Because I’ve been on both ends many times. One of them involved me turning up as a teenager to identify the body of someone I loved because there was nobody else.

So I understand the thoughts that go through your mind when you are in that state. People say they don’t understand those who commit suicide and call it selfish. Or they treat it as glamorous –  a shrine to the dearly departed who is now worth more dead than they ever were alive. Both methods are bullshit. There’s only one real way I’ve found to deal with it and that’s through making people more understanding of it. And the best way to do that? Humour.

It’s the reason I joke about suicide with my friends. Why I make light of it. It’s my own personal Room 101 – turning a horrific thing into one that can be laughed at, because the enormity of it otherwise would be overwhelming – too much for people. It doesn’t normalise it, but it at least means people aren’t ask likely to abandon their loved ones when it happens.

I don’t have any answers. I don’t think there are any. But there’s still the selfish part of my mind that asks “Why me? Why again?”

And another voice, small and nagging, that asks “Why not join in?”

Labour faces a dilemma: which way do we turn?


Its a thought that the Left always struggles with; do you push for the most progressive change all the time and take ages to get there (whilst many others suffer), or do you accept an easier path because it is viable and may lead to better things in the future?

That clash is at the heart of the current Labour leadership contest, but I haven’t seen it articulated as well as it is in this blog post.

Originally posted on Politics and Insights :


I’ve remained quite detached from the Labour leadership debates. I’ve seen an awful lot of infighting that saddens me, much of it has been fueled by what is now standardised mainstream media misinformation, misquotes and generally fiendish mischief-making. I’ve purposefully avoided getting caught in the crossfire.

Most of you already know my position on the matter – that whilst I think Jeremy Corbyn reflects my own values and principles most closely and has my support, I will continue to campaign from within the Labour Party for progressive change, regardless of who is leading. I will also continue to campaign to raise public awareness as best I can at a broader level, regarding key social issues.

I’ve said elsewhere that I have never regarded a Labour government as the end of our fight for progressive and positive change, but rather, as the only viable starting point.

I can respect other…

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The 90’s are Over Kevin Smith

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It’s kind of true. His best years are behind him, but he has a niche American fanbase from his podcasting empire that has sustained him past the point of irrelevance.

Originally posted on Nerditis:


“Clerks” was a highly successful 1994 film, made on a shoestring and loved by millions of people who could identify with the life of a low pad shop worker. It was and still is well loved and it recently made it into Empire’s  best movies of all time list. That’s all well and good however that’s probably where it should have ended. However it hasn’t ended as we now have two new movies (Mallrats 2 and Clerks 3) to further cash in on nostalgia.

It’s not that the other films in the universe were bad at all, I tolerate the view-askewniverse however what I don’t like is Clerks 2. Made years after the original and five years after the end of the view-askewniverse, Clerks 2 had many failings. It should have been ok because Rosario Dawson can fix anything but unfortunately she couldn’t save this soggy wreck. So many in…

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Work in Progress


Have you ever had that moment in life where you have perfect clarity? Where ideas flow out of you and you seem to channel something more than yourself?

Having had a few, normally following a time where I have been in the moment, but also aware of that, what has followed has been a mad dash to grab a pen and paper to write the idea down. In those moments you can’t not do it – your mind seems to scream at you if you try to ignore it, as if by doing so you are ignoring a message from the universe itself. Though I’m an atheist myself, the times I’ve had them I class as deeply spiritual – you can see why people genuinely think they are receiving messages from above.

Those times, those frantic scrabbling times, are the easy bits. Though it is exhausting, it’s nowhere near as exhausting as trying to hammer out stuff you aren’t particularly enthused about, or that you can feel are just on the edge of getting better, but that lack that last killer touch.

Which is why I have many drafts. Pieces that I work on and tinker with as inspiration strikes, or that will never see the light of day, but that remain to remind me of a time or place. Someday I may even have no drafts at all. But then that doesn’t strike me as being what life is about.

Or not my life anyway.



A very interesting read. I don’t agree with all of the thoughts, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valid as an argument.

Originally posted on FISTFELT:

I’m getting sort of bored with the theme of this blog. It’s not useful to me anymore, and I’ve moved on for the most part.

Mostly though? I’m basically over identity politics. As an anarchist, they don’t interest me, especially of the single-issue variety. Fuck that. I’m ace/aro-spec, I’m trans-spec, I’m neurodivergent, mentally ill, white-passing, and chronically broke. And discussions of any of those things by liberals (which, lets face it, constitute 90%+ of the dialogue) don’t serve me anymore.

I don’t want the “right” to enlist in the military. I don’t want the “right” to get more government benefits. I don’t want the “right” to get arrested without incident. I don’t want the “right” to be able to pay off my student loan debts without going hungry.

I don’t want “rights” at all.

Rights are things given out by governments who lengthen the leash and hope that you forget…

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New Homes.

Home is where the hearts are hidden, or something like that.

This is just a quick post letting you know where I’ve been typing the past few months now The Cult Den is six feet deep and its body parts are being eaten by some very eager worms.

I’m doing quite a bit of work over at Blunt Instruments, where I’m a founder alongside Zoe Butcher and Chris Orr. It’s my new home and I’m quite proud of the place.

I’m on the book beat over at Nerdly and will do occasional film reviews, two of which are in progress as I type this.

Then there’s Don’t Paint Like This, a collaboration with Anna-Marie Redding which will be a joint outlet for creative writing that doesn’t fall under this blogs remit. Expect mostly painting and gaming.

As always, you can find me on Geek-o-rama, where I cover comics and occasionally try to write something more conventional that pseudo intellectual musings on stuff written for teenagers or fifty year old men. I also occasionally do stuff for Nerditis, which is chugging along nicely under a banner of covering models and filthy, filthy smut.

So whilst I finish getting the new home I’m living in ready, there should be plenty of written content to keep people happy at either these links, or this humble blog.


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