Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Philosophy Football's Victory at Stalingrad Film

Philosophy football celebrates victory at Stalingrad. Music, politics and military history what a combo! Watch the video of the night here: Watch this video Featuring Seumas Milne, Clare Solomon, Matthew Collins with Geoffrey Roberts author of Stalin's General : The Life of Georgy Zhukhov and Susan Richards of OpenDemocracy Russia plus performances by Thee Faction and the Trans-Siberian March Band. Gregg McDonald's film of the Philosophy Football' 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Stalingrad Night combines political commentary, military history with some great live music. A showcase event for a different way of doing politics, mixing ideas with having a good time, learning from the past, looking forward to a better future, and all on a Saturday night out. ¡No pasarán!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Victory at Stalingrad 70th Anniversary Night Out

Saturday 2 February 2013. The 70th Anniversary of the Red Army's Victory at Stalingrad.

"Meet Comrade Feelgood.” Q Magazine.

The blistering hot socialist R&B of Thee Faction will be providing anthems to march, and dance to! A night of musical mayhem and purpose.

“Balkan ska meets Ottoman punk in The Trans-Siberian’s infectious brass blow-out.” Time Out

Co-headliners The Trans-Siberian March Band are a Balkan Brass band with a fearsome blend of two clarinets, two saxophones, three trumpets, two tubas, two trombones,guitar,vocals and two percussionists, they never fail to get audiences dancing.

Opening the night, Seumas Milne columnist on the Guardian and author of The Revenge of History discusses the meaning of Stalingrad with Geoffrey Roberts acclaimed historian of the Eastern Front and author of Stalin's General: The Life of Georgy Zhukov who is joined by Susan Richards, editor of the OpenDemocacy Russia website and author of Lost and Found in Russia. Reporting from today's anti-fascist frontline, Matthew Collins, author of Hate.

At Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road London E1 (5 mins walk from Liverpool Street station) Doors open 6pm, show starts 7pm.

A Philosophy Football night out for a one-party state of ideas and entertainment, in association with the Hope not Hate Campaign.

TICKETS JUST £9.99. From Philosophy Football or call 01273 472 721

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


We know what’s at stake and how great the foe’s power, And what is now coming to pass. The hour of courage has struck on the clock And our courage will hold to the last. The bullets can kill us, but cannot deter; Though our houses will fall, we shall remain. Anna Akhmatova, 1942
13 September, 06.45, 1942 the Nazi onslaught on Stalingrad commenced with a bloody vengeance. The sky turned brown from the dust of fragmented buildings, the ground vibrated because of the power of the explosions. The Fascist army's advance continued but faced the most ferocious resistance imaginable. The horror of fighting the Soviet troops on their favoured terrain, the approaching Russian winter, fast became a reality for Hitler's Generals. While German tanks entered the outskirts of Stalingrad the Soviets dug in preparing to fight for every district, every street, every house. Almost six months later , 2 February 1943 and the defeat of the Nazi forces which had sought to encircle and destroy Stalingrad was complete. Out of each Red Army division sent to defend the city no more than a few hundred soldiers survived, 1.1 million casualties, of which 485,751 lost their lives. For Hitler the defeat at Stalingrad was the beginning of the end. The story of the Red Army's sacrifice had a powerful effect across the world, especially on resistance movements in occupied Europe. The Russians who had taken the brunt of the German onslaught since 1941 were now turning the tide and a year later would be joined by the Allied forces opening up the second front with the D-Day landings landings at Normandy. Philosophy Football's 1942-2012 Stalingrad range marks the battle's 70th Anniversary. Inspired by Anna Akhmatova's poem the designs are based on a medal, a fuselage, a propaganda poster, a book title from the time and the slogan with which the Russian people greeted their eventual victory. " Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten!" Click here for the shirts

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Report from the Gallows

“Look, my play is also approaching its end. That’s something I haven’t yet written. That’s something I don’t yet know. It’s no longer a play. It’s Life. And in life there are no spectators. The curtain goes up. People, I have loved you. Be on your Guard!”- Julius Fučík

Today a wave of anti-communism is being unleashed across Europe. While communists are generally attacked, ridiculed, or simply ignored by the big business controlled mass media, in Eastern Europe communist parties are being banned, leading members arrested, and in some sickening cases governments are celebrating the traitors who joined the SS while partisans, who fought for their countries, are being put on trial for alleged war crimes.

In the Czech Republic, the communist party, which has mass popular support, faces following the same fate as its youth section in being outlawed. The intensification of anti-communism in Europe is sinisterly taking place at the same time when communist parties, particularly in Greece, Portugal, France and Spain, are leading resistance to brutal anti-people austerity measures being implemented by the EU and IMF.

Last year we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the victorious struggle against fascism that our grandfathers fought. The Nazis, openly supported by sections of the capitalist class, arrested those who would stand up to prevent their plans for genocide, the trade unionists and socialists. But the Nazis were most vicious in their elimination of their greatest foes-communists.

One of the greatest heroes who stood up for freedom was the Czech communist Julius Fučík. Julius was born into a working class family in Prague at the turn of the twentieth century. He grew a keen interest in politics and literature, something that got him into trouble as he was arrested many times by the Czechoslovakian Secret Police in the 1930s. Julius traveled to Nazi Germany and the USSR and wrote extensively about the dangers of fascism and the huge advances in human progress being made in the Soviet Union.

The Czech government banned in the Communist Party in 1938, but this didn’t stop Julius joining the army in an attempt to protect his nation. The cowardly governments of the capitalist countries of Europe were keen to appease Hitler and communists increasingly found themselves being banned and having to operate underground.
After the Nazis had taken control of Czechoslovakia Julius continued carrying out communist party work and in 1942 he was arrested in a raid. He was imprisoned, interrogated, tortured and eventually taken to Berlin where he was executed in 1943.
Report from the Gallows (or Notes from the Gallows) was written about this experience. He managed to write the entire book on cigarette paper that was smuggled out of prison by sympathetic guards. These were collected together after the war by his wife Gusta Fučíková-who had also been arrested but liberated from a concentration camp in 1945. Gusta retrieved the cigarette papers from the various places in which they had been hidden and published Report from the Gallows in 1947.

The book is often very difficult to read in its graphic description of the horrors of Nazi prisons. If you read this book alone at night you find yourself there with Julius alone in his cell. You can hear the echoing screams of the other prisoners. Yet the book is even harder to put down as Julius’s continuing ability to consider a brighter future for humanity stands in direct contrast to his brutally depressing environment. Julius stands tall and defiant in face of all the evils of fascism. You can see Julius sat in his cell audaciously scribbling notes on cigarette papers. In short the book is inspirational in its depiction of the tenacity of humanity to shine through and overcome tyranny.

If Julius’s book was simply a piecemeal account of courageousness written secretly in a Nazi prison it would be a compelling read yet it's legendary status was attained by Julius's talent. Report from the Gallows is a work of art forged by a genius word smith, thoroughly planned and written down on meticulously numbered cigarette papers-rescued from oblivion only as a result of all those who gave their lives to liberate occupied Europe.

Julius’s account has been hailed by some of the world’s best writers. Pablo Neruda, Chilean communist and winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature, stated that “We live at a time which in literature will be known tomorrow as the ‘Fučík period’, a period of simple courage.” The foreword of the English language edition of Report from the Gallows is written by winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Literature James Aldridge who challenges all who pick up the book:

“Read this book, you Communists, you Socialists, you Tories. Then go out and walk the wonderful real pavements and ask yourself what philosophy of life it was that kept this man’s belief in himself and in other men.”

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Vote communist on May the 5th!

In one weeks time there will be several important elections. There are English local elections, elections to the Welsh and Scottish assemblies and the referendum on AV.

A strong communist vote would deliver a message to this Tory government that working people are not prepared to let the idle rich grow even fatter at the expense of everyone else. As outlined by communist candidate in Glasgow Anniesland here:

As we have seen in Greece, Portugal, Spain and France powerful communist parties can make a huge impact. In Britain we lack such a consistent fighter for socialism. While the communist party is growing, it needs your support on May the 5th.

Here is a list of communist candidates, it is incomplete and it would be helpful if anyone could provide any more known candidates.

English Local Elections;

Mohinder Farma - Unity for Peace and Socialism-Mayor of Leicester
Avtar Singh, Unity for Peace and Socialism- Coleman ward, Leicester
Ashvin Vyas, Unity for Peace and Socialism. Coleman ward, Leicester
John Metcalfe, Communist party Morton ward, Carlisle
Martin Levy, Communist Party, Newcastle Walker
Gerrard Sables, Communist Party, Barnstaple Central/North Devon District Council

Scottish Assembly elections;

Marc Livingstone, Communist Party, Glasgow Anniesland

Welsh Assembly elections;

NORTH WALES Regional List;

Glyn Davies, Communist Party
Trevor Jones, Communist Party
Rhian Cartwright, Communist Party
Graham Morgan, Communist Party

MID & WEST WALES Regional List;

Catrin Ashton, Communist Party
Rick Newnham, Communist Party
Barbara Thomas, Communist Party
Clive Eliassen, Communist Party


Robert Griffiths, Communist Party
Gwen Griffiths, Communist Party
Fran Rawlings, Communist Party
Clive Griffiths, Communist Party


Tommy Roberts, Communist Party
Roy Evans, Communist Party
Julian Jones, Communist Party
Angharad Khan-Raja, Communist Party


John Morrissey, Communist Party
Laura Picand, Communist Party
David Brown, Communist Party
Dan Cole, Communist Party

Friday, 15 April 2011

Vote Communist!

Watch the Communist Party's election broadcast here

Communists in Wales are to stand 20 candidates in the forthcoming elections to the Wales Assembly on 5 May. This bold initiative, will also gain the Communist Party space on television from which it is so often excluded. But elections cost money and that is where you can make a difference.

The Welsh Communist Party is for the second time contesting seats across the whole of Wales (the first time was in 2007) on 5 May 2011, standing 20 candidates in the five regions. 

In so doing, the Communist Party will qualify for TV and radio election broadcasts; an excellent opportunity to argue the case for a socialist response to this capitalist crisis to tens of thousands of people in Wales.

The Communist Party is also planning to hold meetings across the length and breadth of Wales and produce and distribute thousands of leaflets, stickers and posters.

All of these political commitments will cost money, money the Party doesn’t yet have, e.g. £2500.00 (Broadcast production); £2500.00 (Candidate deposits); £500.00 (20,000 leaflets).

The Communist Party is therefore calling on all its members and friends to make a contribution, large or small, to ensure that we can carry out our political work and ensure that we continue to develop as the main party of the Left in Wales.
The target is to raise £3000.00 plus from members and supporters which, along with £2500.00 from Party reserves, will fund this election contest.

If you wish to contribute to the Welsh Communist Party’s election appeal and enclose a cheque (made payable to ‘WCCPB’) for:
£100.00 / £50.00 / £20.00 / £10.00 Other £……..… (delete as applicable)
Please send your contribution to the address below:
Y Blaid Gomiwnyddol Communist Party, Blwch Post/PO Box 69, Pontypridd CF37 9AB

The Welsh Communist Party is again contesting every region in the National Assembly of Wales elections, as it did in 2007, to ensure that the usual fare of “cabbages and kings” dished up by the main parties will not go unchallenged.

20 communist candidates contesting the five regional lists are calling for people across Wales to cast their 2nd vote Welsh communist. You can read their manifesto here

Friday, 1 April 2011

March for the alternative, the alternative is socialism!

Between 500,000 and 750,000 trade unionists, anti-cuts campaigners, communists and socialists joined the huge TUC-organised march for the alternative on Saturday 26th March in central London. Those marching expressed their anger at the brutal assault on the living standards of working class families. The Tory led government are handing out tax cuts to big business monopolies, while working families are suffering lower pay, job cuts and loss of local services. While the capitalist class are increasing their wealth to record levels, the level of personal debt has soared pushing up the number of homes that are being repossessed. Pensions have been extended and reduced meaning older workers will have to work longer for less and younger workers will be denied a job. Access to education is being restricted to those who afford it, with tuition fees for university trebled and EMA cut, education seems to be returning to be a privilege of the upper classes. Once again Gas and electric companies recently published record profits that run parallel to their price rises well above the rate of inflation.

Once more ordinary working families are expected to foot the bill. We are expected to subsidise the luxurious lifestyles of the idle rich and be lucky to live our lives worried about the next bill, the next the ‘ragged trousered philanthropists’ of Robert Tressell.

This is not acceptable and hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated this on Saturday. People came from all over the country, many came in wheel chairs or pushing prams. Fire fighters marched in uniform, 35,000 people held on to copies of the Morning Star, the background echoed with the sound of whistles, chanting, singing as well as bagpipe, steel drum and traditional brass bands. The biggest number of union flags and banners seen on one demo for 20 gave those marching the sense that the labour movement is still here, is growing in strength and will not take this cuts sitting down.

Members of the Young Communist League joined the biggest communist contingent seen in Britain for 30 years complete with local branch banners, flags and a bhangra band. This reflects the communist party’s growing support and confident. YCLers came from around the country to attend the demonstration, a group of YCLers from Glasgow branch travelled on a coach through the night to be there on the day.

There is no alternative nice version of capitalism. This is the crisis of capitalism, of over production and over accumulation, inherent to capitalism. There is no escape through making deals with the big business monopolies. We cannot accommodate the interests of a class whose interests are the direct opposite of ours. As one Young Communist League banner exclaimed:

‘For Class Unity, Against Class Collaboration

March for the alternative, The Alternative is SOCIALISM!’