Casual Labour, Agency Work & Unemployment

This is the PDF download for the previous 3 part long article on the experience of casual work and unemployment. Copyright free.

Casual Labour

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On the Protests In Bosnia

The following is a post on the current protests in Bosnia written by by a participant. bosnia fire

Sarajevo at the height of the violent protest last Friday. Photo copyright: Jim Marshall.

Since last week, Bosnia and Hercegovina has been gripped by convulsions that many had actually given up hope of ever happening. The epicentre has been in Tuzla, where a disciplined crowd of workers and citizens has forced the resignation of the cantonal government, after a series of very Balkan privatisations saw former public-owned enterprises asset-stripped and workers penniless and hopeless. In the stead of the cantonal government, a citizens’ plenum in the city has issued demands which have been echoed in over thirty towns and municipalities across the country.

These demands focus on the key problems of the Dayton state that is Bosnia and Herzegovina. Regular readers of SCB will be familiar with our criticisms of Dayton with regard to culture, But, of course, this is a tiny microcosm of the malign effects that Dayton has had on society as a whole. This disastrous treaty- formed in the febrile days when the US and the EU were desperate for peace at any cost after over three years of conflict in BiH- certainly stopped guns firing, but had the effect of freezing society in late 1995, and preventing it from moving forward or back. The protests are on one level a linked series of protests against poverty, social injustice and genuine despair about the future. But these three factors are symptoms rather than causes- the cause of all the disatisfaction is the Dayton state itself.


Walking around the burnt-out shells of the two government buildings on Saturday, in the aftermath of last Friday’s violent protest, two things were obvious. Firstly, was the uncertain reaction of Sarajevo’s citizens. Older people, in particular, seemed stunned at the damage; these after all were buildings which had survived the siege of 1992-95 and, which, in some ways, had been part of the symbols of Sarajevo’s determined and steadfast resistance to fascist aggression. For some, the level of violence witnessed, and the damage caused, was too much. But it seemed that most people had mixed feelings. It may have been that they were sad at what had happened to the buildings, but at the same time, buildings can be repaired. The society which brought the angry crowds to surround and set fire to them, can’t be fixed in its present form.

What was also remarkable was just how *targeted* the anger of Friday’s crowds were. There have been various attempts to dismiss those involved as hooligans, drug crazed, mindless vandals and drunken idiots. Such assessments are embarrassingly wide of the mark. The damage to the buildings concerned and to police vehicles was extensive. But, in the same street, a cinema, public library and private shops were undamaged. Some innocent citizens had their cars destroyed at Skenderija, and there were small pieces of opportunism, with two cigarette kiosks being looted and destroyed. But these were very isolated incidents. What was astonishing was the minor damage to other buildings in the immediate vicinity. This was not indiscriminate damage caused by a feckless mob.

bosnia anarchists

Crocodile tears have been shed by the BiH kleptocracy over the fate of the Austro-Hungarian buildings that were attacked, and the fate of some irreversible fire damage to the Archive of BiH, where some irreplacable historical documents were destroyed in the trouble. But then these were the selfsame politicians who have been abidingly indifferent to the fact that valuable state records have been left uncopied and undigitised in a cardboard box for years on end, and who have been starved such important cultural institutions of the necessary funds they need to grow and develop, to help future generations read our present, as informed and evidence-rich history.

The nonsensical drivel offered by the politicians as explanation for these unprecedented protests..ranging from playing the foreigner-card (EU mercenaries are responsible) to the inevitable ethnic card (Četniks), to the “it wasn’t me, honest” card offered by Bakir Izetbegović and the now-resigned PM of Sarajevo Kanton, Suad Zeljković, to the paranoid and evidence-free sentiment that we know who is doing this, we have their phone numbers, we know who is giving the orders, we will get them when the time is rightshows at once just how divorced from reality these people have become, and how much they have bought into the lies that they tell about themselves. It is hard to expect politicians who are paying themselves between ten and twenty thousand euros a month (and that is just the income that has been declared) to understand the plight of ordinary citizens who- if they are doing well and are lucky- earn between four and five hundred euros per month.

van fire

If the handling of the protests by local politicians have been clumsy, it has been more than matched for cack-handedness by those in the international community who have bothered to respond. Valentin Inzko, officially the EU’s high representative but in reality more of an indifferent absentee landlord, briefed a journalist for Austria’s Kurier that the situation was as bad as it had been since the end of the war, and that if it got any worse maybe troops would have to be sent in. Just let that sink in for a minute. EU troops would be called in to reverse the minor and small (to date) gains achieved by the protestors, to re-impose the rule of the kleptocracy with a heavy hand. It’s a signature intervention from the hapless Inzko, who rarely seems to have got beyond the exasperation stage with BiH, and who is rumoured to spend as little time as he can get away with here. Of course his official spokesman fell over himself to row back from that position the following day, as the web-portals and blogs ran the story that Inzko had poured petrol on the flames with his careless and badly thought-out intervention. Regardless of the recantation, Inzko seems to have let the cat out of the bag- that the EU would prefer the status quo to obtain, regardless of the impact on what passes for the standard of living of the average person in BiH, rather than allow ordinary citizens to have legitimate and perfectly reasonable concerns addressed. It is to be hoped that Inzko’s so far disastrous handling of the situation speeds his exit from BiH , where he has been an almost entirely unhelpful presence.

car fire

Similarly, Baroness Catherine Ashton intervened in the discussion of events in Bosnia to opine that:

“The most important thing for Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘s political leaders to ponder is to seriously take on board the needs of the people . Not only for specific topics , but more for the economy in general . Try to find a political way is very important . In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are a handful of political leaders . It’s time to show the leadership that we will support them…”

Hang on…you’ll support the very people who created the situation, whereby ordinary people are driven onto the street and burn their own cities? Really? that’s what you have to offer? Only when the international community realise that the problem lies with BiH’s “politicians”, rather than those opposing them, will any progress be made. But this lesson, so obvious and simple for those of us living here, seems completely beyond the brains paid hundreds of thousands of euros per annum to take decisions on our behalf. If this is the “leadership” on offer from the EU, then it should come as no surprise to Brussels if their “advice” is roundly ignored by the protestors. Go Home. Sit Down. Shut Up. Let Us Decide. We’re Not Interested.

bosnia plod

So, what are the demands of the protestors that are causing such convulsions and headless-chicken antics amongst the political classes both here and in the the EU? Full Communism? Nothing like it. The basic demands that have coalesced amongst the protest groups in the last ten days can be distilled into a few straightforward principles. Firstly, resignation in their entirety of the existing political class. In both Tuzla and Zenica, new governments have been called for, governments made up of experts and technocrats untainted by the Dayton state or by party affiliation. Secondly, the slashing of political salaries and the destruction of the political gravy train, whereby time-served representatives stack their earnings on committees, quangos and company boards. Thirdly, reversal of the shabby privatisations that began the uprising in Tuzla, The re-nationalisation of state property acquired by dubious means, and criminal investigation into those responsible. Fourthly, fresh elections. Fifthly, release of all those arrested as a result of their involvement in demonstrations. These are straightforward, fair and reasonable demands which chime very neatly with the piously expressed “European values”- at least in theory- in practice, less so. Point three in these common demands will cause real anxiety amongst the political classes within and without BiH.

Note one very absent thing from that summary of demands- ethnicity. Summarisers who don’t live here quickly reach for the “ethnicity” explanation from problems and divisions in BiH. There is no doubt that the ethnic partition of this land by Dayton in 1995, will take generations to come to unravel. But ethnicity is a side issue, a red herring in these protests. Indeed, the only people invoking ethnicity as a factor in this uprising, are the very politicians whose shabby pack of ethnic divide-and-rule cards has been shown to be lacking everything but the Joker, in the last week.

bos smoke

What we are witnessing in these protests is the disintegration of the Dayton state. the flimsy superstructure put in place by the international community, who have then studiedly looked the other way as their client-politicians exploited it ruthlessly, to build personal fortunes and networks of nepotism and patronage, in the last eighteen years. What no one knows, is what comes next. The Bosnian people are stuck between the hammer of their own governments, that have been steadily beating them in the Dayton period, and the inert anvil of the international community, looking on in exasperated frustration, and demonstrably not having the faintest idea what to do for the best. It is to be hoped that between the lies of local politicians, and the scramble for a quick and expedient solution at the level of the EU, the voice of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian people will prevail the loudest, in the tense and uncertain weeks ahead.

What is at stake here, is the very soul of BiH, its possibility to carve out for itself a much better future through solidarity, human empathy, and hard work. Citizens here don’t want handouts and free this-and.that from the international community, just a chance. The bearers of these ideals are those on the streets at present. if their voice is silenced,if their is movement extinguished, so too will be the prospect of this wonderful country ever bettering its lot in the years to come. And, if that comes to pass, it will be because of the cowardice and cynical expediency of the international community, not the lack of courage and vision of the people who are living here and who are desperate for things to get better, now.

More Useful Links


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Tommy The Movie!

Not on release for 18 months!

And here are the last few remaining EDL fighting each other!


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Far Right Far From Unity

afn bannerCrivvens! Jings! And Help Ma Boab! Not only was there a dismal turnout for the EDL demo in Slough last weekend but an even tinier contingent turned out for the latest attempt to ‘unite the right’ (which appears to be a contradiction in terms). The South East Alliance’s flop was exactly the same as every other attempt  by the far right to unify: a poorly attended failure. The problem is everyone wants to be leader and no one wants to do the hard work so the fascist dregs and rejects of the EDL decided to ‘sort it out!’ and didn’t.

packed meeting

Present in the backroom of some seedy boozer in Essex was a litany of would-be ‘leadership material’ with more initials in their group names than members. The SEA fuhrer, Paul Prodromou, was at the helm of what looked like an Alcoholic’s Anonymous day out and he was joined by Dave Smeeton, the March For England eejit who insists on going to Brighton every year for his annual humiliation and ex EDL ‘leader’ Tony Curtis who came on his own as an ‘independent’ (i.e., no friends). The eejit leader of the splinter group Bristol Defence League came on his own as well. The English Volunteer Force (EVF) sent along their entire membership (2) and they were joined by nonentities from Facebook fascist groups like 1 member of Combined ex-Forces (neither combined nor ex-forces), Patriots Unite and the SW Infidels. Which was all very cosy but illustrated that far from uniting the UK, the meeting only consisted of a small contingent from south of the midlands. No NWI, No SYI, No NEI, very few Scottish or Welsh – probably as the NWI are in prison, the SYI have all fallen out over Snowy’s dodgy dealings and the NEI are interchangeable with the NF. We counted 35 eejits and at least 9 groups. Which leaves 3  and a bit members per group and is distinctly under-impressive. They will now be organising under the United British Patriots banner whilst keeping their ‘own identities.’ How long this lasts is very debatable given the amount of ego problems contained under one roof. They also hung a Help For Heroes flag up amongst their tawdry other rags despite the charity wanting nothing to do with such alcoholic far-right arse-bugles.

This portly gathering of male muffin-tops, delusional patriots and a Walt or 2 guzzled pints of lukewarm lager in plastic glasses as Prodromou tried to maintain a semblance of order. Someone had bought biros and a pad from Poundland to write it all down in and we managed to get hold of their minutes:

11am: Meet & Greet, lager, complimentary mini-Swiss Rolls

11.30: Call to order. Most still at bar.

12.30: Meeting finally called to order

12.45: CxF excused for ‘disorderly trousers’

1pm Lunch: more complimentary mini-Swiss Rolls & lukewarm lager (and poor quality gak in the ladies toilet)

3pm: meeting finally called back to order (several members ‘missing in action’ sleeping it off in the carpark)

3.05: Meeting called to a close

3.30: full scale battle between themselves in the car park over who is the ‘real leader’

3.45: police raid premises & enquire after ‘designated driver’

3.55: ‘designated driver’ found comatose in ladies toilet

4pm: publican closes meeting, plod forces them out and Prodromou is seen weeping

4.10: meeting declared an enormous success’ on Twitter.

4.15: no one notices.


Paul Pitt tries to attack a woman but hits his idiot son in the face!

What is clear from this meeting is that there is a major schism between the rump EDL and the extremists as well as a clear North/South divide – which will create future problems like the EDL had. We are supposed to believe that this disparate bunch of potential sex offenders, snot gobblers and trouser foulers are the far right’s ‘top boys’ who will be leading the masses into Brighton at the end of April. They will no doubt be joined by the more local EDL supporters for their ritual embarrassment. Despite the last few years having their marches delayed, rerouted, attacked, being outnumbered and getting a good kicking, it is now a question of pride. They know it will be smaller this year, they also know that opposition will be large but they also know that they will be completely surrounded by plod for their own protection. We also know that Sussex plod is fed up of having to fork out for overtime and hand wads to other police forces as they simply cannot control the streets on the day and they would clearly like to ban it – thus saving face for them and the MfE! It was also clear last year that plod were turning a wee bit of a blind one towards muscular anti-fascist opposition on the day and we took very few arrests despite it getting a bit tasty on the seafront.


What will be interesting is  how many EDL will defect now that ‘Sir Tommy’ has deserted them and the whole thing is in tatters. We know that many divisions have left and many individual members are very bitter over their lack of support from the EDL and the long prison sentences doled out following their Walsall debacle. Needless to say that anti-fascists in the South East of England are getting very well-prepared. See you on the day! 

PS: this is the Stop The MfE Website with handouts and more information:


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RIP Tommy Robinson!

afn banner

‘Rumours of his death are greatly appreciated.’ Mark Twain.

Crivvens! Jings! And Help Ma Boab! It is with no great sadness that we mourn the passing of ‘Tommy Robinson’ and the death of his political career. It ended ignominiously, not with a great trial for freedom of speech that would ensure his martyrdom amongst the last few of his deluded followers, but a grubby fraud conviction that exposed him as little more than a spiv and, according to the beak, a fixer and not a very good one at that. Fraudster Tommy is no stranger to prison and, in fact, is a career criminal. Although his inner clan tried to pass off his dismal record as political, facts showed that, apart from breaking bail conditions a couple of times when he really had little choice (Tower Hamlets 1, the van), his criminal history is one of violence, swindling and being an eejit.

Tommy was first jailed for assault: as he was attacking the fragrant Miss Jenna Vowles nee Mrs Robinson, an off-duty policeman intervened, it kicked off and Tommy ended up serving a 12 month sentence for assault. Tommy was convicted of football hooliganism on the day he appeared on Newsnight, which the programme’s researchers utterly failed to point out to Paxman; he was nicked in Switzerland where he had gone to protest to FIFA about poppies but ended up in jail there; and he was done for headbutting someone at the disastrous Blackburn demo. He was done for breaching bail conditions at Tower Hamlets when he turned up dressed as a rabbit as well as on his totally bogus ‘Chawity Wawk!’ at Aldgate (what is it with that tube station? The EDL just can’t get past it). He was later arrested for not surrendering his passport to police and was amongst 50 of his foolish brethren when they all got nicked in that van fiasco after being grassed up by a certain EDL member (name available on request!). Tommy was held in prison whilst the others were let go at midnight in their underpants and paper forensic suits looking very stupid indeed. Tommy was then done for using a false passport to gain entry into the USA for which he received a sentence where he allegedly underwent a ‘moment of clarity’ and ‘realised’ that the EDL was full of far right eejits. He should have kept tabs on the ‘Malatesta’ blog cos we’ve been pointing that out for over 4 years now!


After being released from priz for the passport thing, Tommy ‘spectacularly’ backed out of the EDL by hopping over to the equally questionable Quilliam Foundation who it seems were keen on using him to secure funding. Tommy had been trying to get out of the EDL for some time and tried to get ‘political’ by joining British Freedom, the fluffy fascist spin-off from the BNP, who ended up sacking him as a liability in light of his upcoming legal woes. They eventually collapsed because someone forgot to pay their electoral fees and because Tommy had promised and failed to deliver the EDL vote.

Tommy and his coterie of sycophants at EDL HQ were never slow to reach for the begging bowl: from the start of the EDL it was clear that he was making a lot of money from merchandise that is still unaccounted for which was pointed out by several former members. Each time Tommy was nicked the appeal was made for legal funds which, again, were unaccounted for, as were various donations for walky-talkies and other such paraphernalia. Tommy’s choice of designer clothes, sunglasses and expensive motors were frequently commented on by both supporters and opponents and for all his ‘man of the people’ bollocks, Mr Yaxley-Hyphen was also revealed to be a nasty little Thatcherite who owned a tanning salon as well as several properties. Hardly the working class hero, more like a Tory in Tacchini.

langston 1

Tommy’s connection with a certain Alan Lake/Ayling was exposed by anti-fascists and it became clear that Tommy’s ‘street army’ was being manipulated by behind the scenes players who had a keen interest on keeping the Israeli flags flying. Ayling promptly disappeared after being sacked from some job or other but not before Tommy had taken public speaking classes.

That Tommy was a spiv and clearly out to milk the EDL’s epididymis became quickly apparent, as did his flagrant egomania: his courting by slack media-ites who were out for an easy story or daytime radio slags who needed to fill up airtime was embarrassing. Whilst his supporters may have lauded him on demo days, Tommy’s media appearances ranged from the depressing (Newsnight) to the stupid and careless (the ‘Breivik’ comment documentary). His angry wasp in a bottle style did not stand up to sterner and more informed critics: Tommy couldn’t resist a request to appear in the media even if it was to debate the Koran with Islamic experts and he ended up looking like a proper twat. His public speaking career hit an all time low when he turned up for a demo in Bristol but was so blootered he had to go and sleep it off in the van. He also made a massive blunder at Walthamstow 1 by running away when faced with 1,000s of anti-fascists whilst his supporters ended up being kettled for about 10 hours and had to wee in public. Mucho fallouts occurred.

fuzzyTommy off his face 

The last few EDL demos were woeful to say the least and Tommy hardly turned up for any of them: their disastrous performance at Walsall in 2012 saw dozens of them jailed for naughtiness recently; the multiple splits, arguments and fall outs, inevitably over ‘egos, status and backstabbing’ saw many leaving angry and disappointed; the split between the Infidels and EDL damaged them after the Blackburn fiasco; and Mrs Tommy kicking him out all weighed in on him as did the judge at the fraud trial who gave him 18 months.


EDL: ‘Slough of Despond’

The EDL first ‘national demo’ of 2014 was at Slough which was piss-poor: 130 tops turned up whilst 4 times as many anti-fascists mobilised. But despite this the EDL still announced an overtly optimistic list of demos which will be exponentially smaller until the EDL disappears up its own absence. The only real worry anti-fascists face this year is whether to go down to Brighton and confront the March for England’s yearly rendezvous with 100s of plod whilst a massive show of opposition goes on around them.


So, farewell then, Tommy Robinson. The EDL project, at 1 point growing alarmingly,  was beset by financial and personal problems and ultimately sunk by incompetence; Tommy spent increasing amounts of time in jail, oh, sorry – working in Saudi Arabia as he tells his kids (‘so why no suntan Dad?’ ‘Cos the shop’s with the receivers, err,  I mean …’); he is discredited by his former right wing followers and all of the left; his marriage has failed because of his egomania (family first, eh, Tommy?); and the Quilliam move was shown as a calculation to invite leniency for the fraud case which didn’t work out or as Tommy claimed ‘it’s a stitch up.’ What is yet to be uncovered is the EXACT amount of money that was made by the EDL, the question of why they never paid ANY tax on it and why the authorities have yet to investigate it, and just how much was Tommy compromised by plod. Be seeing you!


PS: congratulations to Dave ‘Made In Britian’ Bolton for getting twatted by your own side a 3rd time at Slough!

PPS:Oh, and what happened here then?



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2013: Highlights & Lowlifes!


Crivvens! Jings! And Help Ma Boab! It’s the end of the year when Nelson Mandela died, Nigella was outed as a coke fiend, and Tommy Robinson abandoned his ailing EDL! And to make matter worse for the far right  – ‘neither racist nor violent – but both!’ – a load of EDL got sent down for the Walsall debacle so they will be enjoying an Xmas dinner of Halal turkey twizzlers wondering where it all went wrong. We have had quite a year as well. In February, we went down to Brighton for the launch of ‘Physical Resistance: 100 Years of Antifascism’ (Zero Books), the posthumously released book by Dave Hann, one of the authors of ‘No Retreat’ (Milo Press), which was a roaring success and a great night out for everyone. Both books are recommended reading.

We finished our own book, ‘Militant Anti-Fascism’ which documents anti-fascist struggle in Europe from the 1890s – 1945 and in the UK from 1920s to the present day. This will be out next year published by AK Press. We have also made lots of new friends from around the UK this year and have had some ‘tired and emotional’ outings with them.

The year started off very badly for Tommy Robinson who was sent down for using a false passport to get into the USA. Silly lad Tommy bought it on himself by boasting about it on the internet which many of the EDL tend to do: they have a barney with someone, big themselves up in the digital pub backroom that is Facebook and then get nicked for it. The EDL tried to pass Tommy’s sentence off as ‘political’ but as with his other convictions for assault, hooliganism and breaking bail conditions it was nothing of the sort. Tommy Robinson is a career criminal who has made a fortune ripping of his gullible followers on the far right. And he has made a lot of untaxed money that is yet to be accounted for. The EDL struggled on by assembling an enormous 20 odd at Cambridge which was piss poor and, to make matters worse, they ended up fighting each other which anti-fascists gleefully filmed and posted all over the place.

The EDL then turned up in Manchester where they managed to gather about 400. There was a futile attempt to ‘unite the right’ which started off badly with two factions fighting each other on Victoria Station and ended with the usual drunken threats of retribution and very public fall-outs. We made plenty of new friends and had a hazy night with Hope Not Hate and the EDL News lot which we barely survived.


The March For England – ‘we’re not EDL, honest! Except we are’ – turned up again in ever decreasing numbers in Brighton and they got a slap. This was one of the few times that militants actually came face to face with the fascists and the far right were found severely wanting. Many were caught in the lanes and on the seafront and given a proper kicking from the 100s of black blockers and other militants who turned out. The EDL and all their little grupuscules have never had anything like a result against anti-fascists despite their hollow boasting. Of course in a chastened fit of pique the MFE threatened to return to Brighton later that year but didn’t dare show up.


Biggest disaster for the EDL was in Walsall where plod effectively kettled them in a side street well away from the anti-fascists which the EDL liked not one bit and after some goading by the speakers kicked off with plod which led to many heads being broken and Christmas’s ruined. The EDL decided to try and enter Tower Hamlets again as they had failed to do it last time. This proved to be a further humiliation as plod put them in a mobile kettle from Tower Bridge to Aldgate whilst 100s of anti-fascists of all stripes turned up at Altab Ali park to defend the East End. The EDL did not pass but at least 2 groups of militant anti-fascists were kettled and arrested en masse in one of the only downers for us this year. Support the campaign by our friends at London Anti-Fascists!

The EDL had been fading fast but managed a brief resurrection off the back of the Lee Rigby murder. We went for a look round the Woolwich demo and found the small group of EDL unsurprisingly kettled in a Wetherspoons. The next few demos were better attended but then it all fizzled out again as the other far right grupuscules faced the usual factionalism, fallings out and further division. We saw most of the tiny North West Infidels sent down for assault on a dad and 2 teenagers and a handful of new groups pop up and disappear without trace.

Of course the big story of the year was Robinson very publicly quitting the EDL because of ‘too many nazis’ and getting in with the Quilliam Foundation (who coincidentally had just received a large amount of funding). This was a shock to all and effectively ended the EDL who boldly struggled on in ever decreasing demos that were ignored not only by the media but many anti-fascists who recognise a dead dog when they see one. To end the year we saw 30 EDL getting sent down for over 60 years for the riot at Walsall which they had filmed and then put it on Youtube  basically providing plod with even better evidence than their own. E-E-Eejits. Our friends at London Anti-Fascists see this as blatant political policing and we can only agree.

This was heavy manners in the court room and basically a warning to the EDL that it is over and that if they want to kick off again they can expect jail. Of course, this also will be applied to militant anti-fascists as does any hefty legislation but we leave 2013 with the EDL effectively over, Tommy Robinson facing jail again over non-political mortgage fraud charges and many of the Infidels and EDL in jail. Anti-fascists can see this as a very good year with several successful mass mobilisations and a bit of hand-to-hand on the Brighton seafront. So happy holiday to all our friends new and old and see you in the new year!

PS: if you haven’t got this already, stick it on your xmas reading list. Probably the 2nd best book to be written about militant anti-fascism!


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Notes From The Shopfloor 5: The Will At Work

‘Work, work, proletarians, to increase social wealth and your individual poverty; work, work, in order that becoming poorer, you may have more reason to work and become miserable. Such is the inexorable law of capitalist production.’ Paul Lafargue, The Right To Be Lazy (written in prison, 1883). never work

Work is annoying for a great many reasons, the main one being its necessity. In this capitalist society we need food, shelter and utilities which cost money so unless we are inheritors of considerable wealth, a decent windfall or sheer luck, we sell our labour power to employers in return for a wage. This swiftly passes through our hands and pockets to landlords (both kinds), large corporations, local government, banks and other parasites.

With casual work we know there are things that we would much rather be doing and it is this conflict of necessity over desire that conflicts with the will. With casual work, there is always what we should be doing and what we could be doing. For the casual worker the frustration is doubled: not only are we financially dependent on casual work, it is not even work we want to do. Most casuals work the short-term job because the job they would rather be doing is not available so it is inevitable that some get bored and give up or find something that they would rather do than this.

It is our will, our inner drive, that represents what we ‘really’ want to do, that is what we consider our ‘real self.’ The successes and failures of realising our will, with the many socio-economic factors militating against it, are represented in our minds, bodies, language, relationship and material circumstances. The successful ‘businessman’ looks like a successful ‘businessman’ because he is surrounded by all the indicators of the accumulation of wealth. Casual workers look like casual workers because they are skint. The distance we feel between the ‘real self’ and the actuality of being a disappointed casual worker is a further alienation but from ourselves.

The nature of work has obviously changed with full time, part time, permanent or temporary workers, sub-contractors, casuals, agency workers, zero hours contracts, the increase in unpaid ‘internships’ and people being forced into crap jobs by the DSS or by ATOS who are charged with the reification of genuine disability and need into abstract quotas and percentages. We can polish our CVs, write endless applications, prepare for unfulfilling interviews, or read books like ‘Dress Your Way To A Job!’ The will is frustrated by knowing what we want to do and not being able to do it, either because the jobs are simply not there, our skills are outmoded or we are not being realistic. There is what we want and what we get and this is a further alienation from ourselves.

But all this is effectively at an end now as the short term contract proved to be shorter than expected after I damaged my hand throwing parcels into dumpsters (2 badly bruised knuckle, strained extensor muscle). There is obviously no sick pay and it was my fault  so it’s back to the DSS which is going to be fun just before Christmas! Happy Holidays To All! 

fuck work

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