Silver Lining


After taking a trip down memory lane, I decided to share with you an acoustic performance of “Silver Lining” by Stiff Little Fingers:

And so you can sing along, here are the lyrics:

They tell you not to worry
They say they’re terribly sorry
But that’s the way it has to be
For the likes of you and me

Just be good and know your station
Always look on the bright side
Keep you faith and keep your patience
Your reward is after you’ve died

So don’t be told, don’t be consoled
Things are so bad, you can never make do
And there’s always someone better off than you

They tell you that’s your future
It’s all down to human nature
Simply settle for what you got
That’s destiny and that’s your lot

All of us cannot come first
Yes, what you have is second best
But it might be a good deal worse
Third world peasants get even less

So don’t be told, don’t be consoled
Things are so bad, you can never make do
And there’s always someone better off than you

Do you care that it’s not fair?
Is this the way we have to live?
I know I care and I want an equal share
Even if it mean I have to give

The people who are on top
Say that you should keep your chin up
And they are keen to show you
The unhappy ones below you

But I want no more of that stuff
That’s looking at it upside down
And the world has got money
Enough for us to make it go around

So don’t be told, don’t be consoled
Don’t be ruled and don’t be fooled
Because things are so bad you can never make do
And there’s always someone better off than you
(Burns, Jake / Ogilvie, Gordon Archer)

Those lines “I know I care and I want an equal share / Even if it mean I have to give” were pretty unfashionable in 1981, when the album Go For It was released, during the first few years of Margaret Thatcher’s reign; and they’re damn unfashionable now, when thhe entirety of British politics has taken a lurch to the right. Labour’s a centre-right party now, joining in the Punch & Judy show of bashing immigrants and espousing an in/out referendum on the European Union during the election campaign. If a true left-wing politician doesn’t become Labour leader and drag the party back to its proper place in the scheme of things, a new popular socialist party will have to materialise or British politics will remain a “right is right” scenario. And where “right is right” lives can quickly become a white is right domain – something that certain well-known politicians would have no problem with.

Anyway, that’s enough evil for one day. I found the entire SLF album Inflammable Material on Youtube:

Reminiscent of the days of audio cassette, when you had to fast-forward or rewind semi-blind to find a particular track you might want to play. If you want to have this lumbering video file into mp3, there are several websites that’ll do it for you: I did a Google search “convert youtube to mp3” and got so many results… here are the first 2: and I haven’t tried either yet, but please tell us your horror stories in Comments if things should go wrong!  As I’m a Linux user (yah boo windoze sucks… I got a new laptop last week and it’s got Windows 8.1 on it and I think it’s giving me a glimpse of what Hell will be like for a computer user like me…) Where was I?  Oh yeah, as a Linux (Ubuntu, no less) user, I’ve converted it myself with a program called avconv which seems to have actually come with the operating system (I can’t remember ever installing it); avconv is cool, it’s a terminal/command-line program which will convert one ausio or video file into a different format – eg an mp4 video into an mp3 audio file – really simply… and it was FREE – didn’t cost me a single bale of hemp (respect to Eris) – just liuke the whole of Ubuntu was FREE.  Whereas my new laptop came with Windows on it and almost nothing else… I have had to spend hours installing apps like LibreOffice (a free word-processor/spreadsheet/goddess-only-knows-what-else, kind of like Microsoft Office, only FREE) and VLC (a – you guessed it – FREE audio and video player that lets me play what the hell I want, when the hell I want, regardless if the video’s ripped from a DVD or whatever… WHOA this is not meant to be a Linux vs Windows post so I’ll stop ranting now.  But I WILL be writing a Ubuntu v Windows 8.1 post sometime soon, so go put your ass-hats on if you got em!

What’s the EDL gonna do now?


Last week, co-founders of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll quit the organisation, claiming they no longer wanted to be associated by the Nazi thugs who have joined the EDL. While I find their stated reason to quit being the top boys of the League as disingenuous/an obvious pack of lies, the resignations are interesting in themselves. They are indicative of the signs that the EDL are splintering and losing support. If we ignore the fluke upsurge of interest caused by the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, killed by “Islamist extremists”,  interest in the EDL is waning, with too many mainstream members unhappy with the violence that seems to come with their demos.

Unite Against Fascism is confident that its actions are putting the EDL on the back foot. “The EDL were growing exponentially until they were met by a greater force,” said Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of UAF. “They would come with a few hundred and we would have a few thousand who didn’t want them in their town, and they didn’t know what to do.”

Eric Randolph, writing in the Independent, writes the opinion of a recently retired officer with the National Domestic Extremism Unit, that the English Defence League is likely to splinter into smaller regional units with some supporters shifting to more extreme movements. A terrorist-styled cell structure that will keep most members safe even if other cells are compromised. It’s a tried and tested approach that has helped extremists distance themselves from other cells that might have done something bad.

The same former cop says:

“The EDL may survive as separate regional organisations. Most of its activity was at a local level anyway. But prior to the murder of Lee Rigby, it was already seeing a marked decline. One of the reasons was the personal antipathy of regional leaders towards Tommy Robinson – he was not terribly well liked but was accepted as the best leader because he had a certain amount of charisma and cunning.”

The Domestic Extremism Unit is by no means suggesting that a power struggle within the EDL might lead to terrorist or other attacks on the public. They do admit there’s a slight risk of terrorism by right-wing extremists but add: there is a “risk of terrorism” but that’s  limited to individuals or very small groups that are not terribly sophisticated”.

“There have been about 15-18 arrests of people with terrorist paraphernalia and the wherewithal to put them together. Often they have bought the components, but haven’t actually put them together. They see the race war as a matter of time, and want to be prepared.”

Big brave EDL supporters pick on a young Muslim woman.

Big brave EDL supporters pick on a young Muslim woman.

As for Tommy Robinson, he plans to continue talking about the dangers he thinks go hand in hand with Islamism. “I have a passion to combat Islamist ideology and I want to lead a revolution against that ideology, but I don’t want to lead a revolution against Muslims.”

Of course, some wonder what has brought this change in Robinson.  The EDL have always had a problem with Muslims. I reckon we should keep an eye on Robinson.  Leopards’ spots don’t change overnight.  And of course it will be interesting to see what the EDL do now.


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