Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

The Magazine: volume 2

Issues 10 to 17


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

The Magazine: volume 2

Issues 10 to 17

May 2016 - November 2016


This Volume’s

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Photographs, words and

artwork sourced from ‘found

in the scrapbook of life’, no

intentional copyright

infringement intended,

credited whenever possible,

so, for treading on any toes

... apologies all round!

Sheep ...

from no. 10

(May 2016)

to no. 17

(November 2016)

1

Articles to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

May 2016 – November 2016


2

Without contributors this project has

failed to live up to its original ideal!

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : The Magazine, issues 10 to 17


ANOTHER

OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahde-blah-

Hello,

Welcome to a 20 months worth of Sheep,

from magazine number 3 to 24, in 3

volumes. This is volume 2 and contains

issues 10 to 17 and covers a time period

from May 2016 to November 2016.

All articles and artwork contained in

these flashes were supplied, or found in

newspapers lining the bottom of the canary

cage, and all were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

3

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically!

Without contributors this project is

failing to live up to its original ideal!

a luta continua!

May 2016 – November 2016


20 months’ worth of the magazine (in 3 volumes), started in October 2015

and continued until May 2017 – playful layouts, socialist politics, many

borrowed (most times credited) pieces of interest, social commentary – coupled

with some wonderful original pieces by contributors, twitchy and inventive

artwork ... and probably not enough craziness to really reflect the editor’s

surrealist pillow.

Here is volume 2, issues 10 to 17, covering a period from

May 2016 to November 2016, what a mad time!

Alan Rutherford, editor.


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

The Magazine volume 2

Issues 10 to 17


SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

TEN

MAYDAY


SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: Mayday: Dmitry Moor

Photographs, words and artwork

sourced from ‘found in the scrapbook

of life’, no intentional copyright

infringement intended, credited

whenever possible, so, for treading

on any toes ...

apologies all round!

Opening 03

Dmitry Moor 04

The Crime of War 11

US Elections 21

Chuggers 29

Chaos 37

Quarry Hill 41

An American Tale 46

Chinese ... 55

1

Photograph: Alan Rutherford

Deadline for submitting articles

to be included in the next issue,

will be the 15th day of the

next month, in your dreams!

Articles and all correspondence to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Malick Sidibé 62

Wall Painting 65

Letters 69

MAY DAY 2016


2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 10.

A magazine produced freely to be read

freely. Nobody got paid.

May Day greetings!

3

Photograph: Alan Rutherford

MAY DAY 2016


DMITRY-

MOOR

DMITRY MOOR

BOLSHEVIK


Dmitry Stakhiyevich Moor (real surname was Orlov) was born

on October 22 (on November 3), 1883 into the family of a mining

engineer in Novocherkassk. In 1898 he moved with his parents to

Moscow.

5

Dmitry Moor did not get systematic art education; in 1910

he attended P.I. Kelin’s school studio. Originally he worked at

Mamontov’s Printing House. From 1907 he had his caricatures

published in print media, in particular in the liberal satirical

magazine Budilnik.

During his work in the Moscow magazine Budilnik the young artist

took the pseudonym Moor, since Karl Moor – the main character

of The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller – was akin to the creative

temperament of the artist, so passionate and consecutive in his

vehement aspirations for politically topical art that would extensively

influence the viewers.

MAY DAY 2016


The black-and-white ink drawing, which was often accentuated

with sharp (usually red) colors, became his favourite technique. In

his venomous satires Dmitry Moor conveyed the surrounding social

disintegration and struggle against censorship: mini-comic book

Humorist and Finger (that is Censorship finger), 1911; drawing

the Russian Resorts – treatment by water and iron, – about Lensk

execution, 1912.

6

His posters of the revolution and Civil war period turned to be

milestones of the epoch. The modernist style with its flexible and

strong-willed “power lines” reached the peak of propaganda heat,

which was effective in directing public emotions (in fact the satire itself

here became a part of repressive political censorship). Such was, for

example, the image of an emaciated old peasant appealing for help

(see opposite) in the poster Help! Stuck near church entrances, it

was dramatically convincing people about the justice of taking church

finances under the slogan “help those starving in the Volga Region”.

An essential element of Moor’s creativity was antireligious satire as

such (the drawings created while being the art director of the Atheist

at the Machine magazine, 1923-1928; a series of illustrations to G.

Heine’s poem Debate, 1929). He also contributed for the central

Pravda newspaper and (1920), and the popular satirical Crocodile

magazine (from 1922) and other periodicals, as well as created

film posters.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


7

MAY DAY 2016


In 1928-1932 he was a member of the October association.

During the Great Patriotic War the artist drew posters revealing the

cruelty of Nazi invaders.

By the end of World War II Dmitry Moor created a cycle of epic

illustrations (1944) to the Tale of Igor’s Campaign. They express the

spirit of national romanticism in the “style of triumph”.

From 1922 he was actively engaged in teaching - in the Higher Art

and Technical Studios (aka VKhUTEMAS), Printing Institute and the

Surikov Art Institute.

Dmitry Moor died on October 24, 1946 in Moscow. His

autobiographical report “I am a Bolshevik!” was posthumously

published in 1967.

9

The artist’s works are displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, and V. V.

Mayakovsky Museum.

Opposite:

May Day 1920

Dmitry Moor

MAY DAY 2016


ook ExcERpt


THE CRIME OF WAR

An excerpt – Wilfred Owen’s poem, Dulce et Decorum Est

adapted by Jason Cobley, John Blake, Michael Brent and Greg Powell

from The Graphic Canon, Volume 3, published by Seven Stories Press.

11

September 2013 | coldtype 21

Wildred Owen fought in the field and in the

trenches during World War I, and the poetry he

wrote is widely regarded as the finest to have

sprung from that maelstrom.

MAY DAY 2016


THE POEM

While recuperating from shell-shock (and from having his best friend blown

to pieces right beside him, the young British poet turned-soldier began writing

unflinching, unromantic verse about the realities of war. No visions of grand heroics

here – just brutal reportage of young men sent into a slaughterhouse. (“I have

suffered seventh hell,” he wrote to his mother.) After recovering for a year, during

which he wrote most of his mature poems – including “Dulce et Decorum Est” and

“Anthem For Doomed Youth” – Owen was sent back to the front. While taking part

in an assault on German lines, he was killed exactly one week before the Armistice

that ended the war. He was twenty-five.

12

Only five of his poems were published during his lifetime, the vast majority arriving

posthumously, including “Dulce Et Decorum Est,” written in 1917 but not published

until 1920. Collections of his poems (and several biographies and studies) remain

in print to this day, testifying to the unfortunate timelessness of the subject of war’s

horrors.

Adapter Jason Cobley, artist John Blake, colourist Michael Brent, and letterer Greg

Powell put forth a team effort to provide this gruesome adaptation of Owen’s

unsparing account of watching a comrade die horribly from an asphyxiating gas

(most likely chlorine, which forms hydrochloric acid when coming into contact with

moisture in the lungs and eyes.

Source: Hibberdi, Dominick.

Wilfred Owen: A New Biography. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2003

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


ook ExcERpt

13

MAY DAY 2016


ook ExcERpt

14

22 coldtype | September 2013

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


15

MAY DAY 2016


ook ExcERpt

16

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


ook ExcERpt

September 2013 | coldtype 25

17

MAY DAY 2016


18

book ExcERpt

26 coldtype | September 2013

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


19

September 2013 | coldtype 27

MAY DAY 2016


DMITRY

Eugene Debs speaking to trade unionists as a socialist candidate in 1912 (Pic: Socialist Worker archive)

20

EUGENE DEBS

BOLSHEVIK

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


US ELECTIONS:

BEFORE BERNIE SANDERS

CAME EUGENE DEBS

Bernie Sanders is not the first person to define themselves as a

socialist and make a big electoral impact in the US.

Charlie Kimber looks at Eugene Debs and Upton Sinclair

Eugene Debs, was jailed twice – once for leading a strike, once for speaking

out against imperialist war. He was the most successful socialist to stand for

US president, winning 6 percent of the national vote in 1912 and nearly a

million votes in 1920 when he was in prison.

21

Debs was a revolutionary who used elections to develop a political movement

based on the struggles of working people. After the 1917 Russian Revolution

he declared, “From the top of my head to the soles of my shoes, I am a

Bolshevik.”

Born in 1855 to migrant parents, he left school at 14 and worked on the railways. He

was active in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen union and became an

official. In 1885 he was elected to the Indiana state assembly as a Democrat. Debs’

experience in 1888 of a bitter strike broken by scabbing and repression convinced

him of the need for a union that reached out to “unskilled” workers.

MAY DAY 2016


22

In 1893 he founded the American

Railway Union that was soon involved

in the great Pullman strike against the

company that operated most of the

country’s railroads. It soon became the

biggest strike in US history at the time.

The bosses used hired gunmen to

intimidate strikers (13 were shot dead)

and the government won an injunction

to halt the strike. Debs was convicted of

defying the injunction and jailed for six

months. While inside he avidly consumed

socialist literature, including Karl Marx’s

Capital. Debs said Capital “set the wires

humming in my system”.

He emerged from prison at the age of

40 as a revolutionary, and had broken

forever from the Democrats. He helped to

bring together groups of socialists and in

1900 ran for president, gaining less than

1 percent of the vote.

He didn’t believe that elections would

bring socialism, and later denounced

the “sewer socialists” who compromised

to win local office and bring in minor

reforms. He was also suspicious of

leaders, saying, “I do not want you to

follow me or anyone else. If you are

looking for a Moses to lead you out of

this capitalist wilderness, you will stay

right where you are.

“I would not lead you into the promised

land if I could, because if I led you in,

someone else would lead you out.”

His vision was that, “When I rise it will be

with the ranks, and not from the ranks.”

Debs spent most of his time organising

and supporting struggle. He was one of

the instigators of the militant Industrial

Workers of the World (IWW) union.

But he did think elections, and political

struggle more generally, could boost the

battles in workplaces and localities.

Against those who wanted to just build

unions, Debs argued, “Some say politics

means destruction to labour organisation

but the reverse is the fact.”

Debs refused to make concessions to

racism in order to win votes. He said,

“The man who seeks to arouse prejudice

among workingmen is not their friend.

He who advises the white wage worker to

look down upon the black wage-worker

is the enemy of both.” He would not

speak to segregated audiences.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


He ran again in 1904 (gaining 3 percent

of the vote) and 1908 (3 percent again).

Then came a great upsurge in struggle as

major strikes swept the US from 1909 to

1913. The IWW led local general strikes

in Lawrence and Patterson.

Debs’ 1912 campaign was part of this

movement. He campaigned across the

country, drawing in huge crowds who

would gladly listen to him speak for two

hours. He won 6 percent of the vote, the

highest figure ever for a socialist.

His Socialist Party of America (SPA) had

real roots. US labour historian Melvyn

Dubofsky writes, “By 1914 the party had

elected two members of Congress, and

counted a membership of over 100,000.

At various times between 1910 and

1916 the SPA controlled municipal

governments in Schenectady, New York;

Reading, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee,

Wisconsin; Dayton and Toledo, Ohio;

Granite City, Illinois; Butte, Montana;

Berkeley, California, and numerous other

cities.”

As in every other part of the world, the

First World War divided socialists. Debs

was utterly against the slaughter and

agitated against it. In 1918 he made

a speech against the call-up for the

military and was arrested on ten counts of

sedition. He was sentenced to ten years in

jail.

After conviction he spoke from the

dock. “I am opposing a social order

in which it is possible for one man

who does absolutely nothing that is

useful to amass a fortune of hundreds

of millions of dollars, while millions

of men and women who work all the

days of their lives secure barely enough

for a wretched existence. Years ago I

recognised my kinship with all living

beings, and I made up my mind that I

was not one bit better than the meanest

on earth. I said then, and I say now, that

while there is a lower class, I am in it,

and while there is a criminal element,

I am of it, and while there is a soul in

prison, I am not free.”

From prison he secured nearly a

million votes in the 1920 election, an

extraordinary tribute to his popularity. But

prison broke his health and he died in

1926.

23

MAY DAY 2016


24

The challenge again is to build a

movement and a party that are separate

from what Debs denounced as “the

Republican-Democratic party” which

represents the capitalist class in the class

struggle. As Debs said, “They are the

political wings of the capitalist system and

such differences as arise between them

relate to spoils and not to principles.”

How Upton Sinclair connected with a

radicalising US in 1934

Upton Sinclair was already a famous

socialist writer when he ran to be

California governor in 1934.

His novel, The Jungle, exposed the

appalling and dangerous conditions in the

Chicago meat industry. Later books tore

into Wall Street financiers, the oil industry

and the idle rich.

He supported Debs’ Socialist Party for a

while and was hurled further into activity

by the mass unemployment of the 1930s

depression.

“To me the remedy was obvious,” he

wrote. “The factories were idle and the

workers had no money. Let them be put

to work on the state’s credit and produce

goods for their own use, and set up a

system of exchange by which the goods

could be distributed.”

Sinclair had run for governor of California

as a socialist, and won small votes. His

friends convinced him to run again – as a

Democrat. He launched the End Poverty

in California (EPIC) plan. It called on the

state to put unemployed people to work in

co-operatives dedicated to “production for

use, not for profit”.

It was not an openly socialist campaign

but it was rooted in wide scale

mobilisation and threatened to encroach

on the wealth of the elite.

The year 1934 saw three great strikes in

Minneapolis, San Francisco and Toledo

which electrified the working class. The

US was radicalising. The establishment

was terrified that someone who at least

partially reflected the gathering anticapitalist

fury could be elected. But

Sinclair’s most dangerous opponents were

the Democratic establishment. Fearful of

being labelled as “reds”, they turned on

him. Some did a deal with his opponent

and some funded a liberal Progressive

party to channel votes away from Sinclair.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


Women garment workers on strike in New York in 1910

25

Despite all this Sinclair nearly won,

gaining 37 percent of the vote. Reeling

from the attacks on him, Sinclair learned

the wrong lessons. “The American people

will take socialism, but they won’t take

the label. Our enemies have succeeded

in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use

attacking it by a front attack, it is much

better to out-flank them.”

In fact his campaign had shown the

support for radical ideas, but that the

Democratic party was a dead-end.

Read more

• Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs.

Available from Bookmarks

www.bookmarksbookshop.co.uk

Article from Socialist Worker

MAY DAY 2016


26

In collaboration with José Parlá, Leda Antonia Machado, Havana, Cuba, 2012

Photograph & Artwork: JR

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


27

MAY DAY 2016


4 September 2011

28

‘I could see he was trying to hide,’ explained Geoff. ‘As soon as I made eye

contact he looked around wildly before pretending to be on the phone.’

Geoff then used the tactic of pretending to be approaching someone

else, and switched to the fallen dictator at the last second. ‘Despite all

the atrocities committed by his regime, not even Colonel Gaddafi could

be so rude as to completely ignore me’ reported Geoff. ‘And the script

is carefully scripted to keep you talking even if you are really keen to get

away as he seemed to be.’ Gaddafi tried the classic move of offering a

one-off donation, but this was rebutted by Geoff who explained that he

wasn’t allowed to take cash. Before Gaddafi could escape he was signing

up for monthly payments, which immediately alerted rebel security forces.

Gaddafi had successfully evaded the Libyan rebels, as well as the air

attacks of NATO forces, but it turned out that trying to avoid a charity

canvasser with a clipboard was too much to expect.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


ARSEHOLES

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The secret life

of a CHUGGER

is motivated by

MONEY

not charity

Anonymous

Fundraising is no different from sales, and

the financial rewards can be huge. No

wonder there’s a tacit acceptance of bad

practice if we sign up enough donors

I work for an organisation that specialises in

running door-to-door fundraising campaigns

on behalf of a number of major charities.

My job is to sign up members of the public

to a regular donation, less than the price

of a cup of coffee each week, that could go

towards finding a cure for cancer, stopping

child abuse, or providing clean water for

developing countries.

That’s right. I’m a “chugger”, and I’m

despicable. I’m the one who comes round

late at night and wakes up the baby. I leave

the gate open and let the dog out. I’m pushy,

deceitful and I won’t leave you alone.

I defended chuggers, until one turned up on

my doorstep

29

MAY DAY 2016


30

Fundraising has been widely criticised since

the death of Olive Cooke, who was hounded

by charities. Yet despite the moral backlash,

people on the doorstep are broadly

sympathetic. On the rare occasion that I’m

greeted with hostility or verbal abuse, I try

not to take it personally. You don’t know

what’s going on behind that person’s door.

On the whole, the people I meet are friendly.

Sometimes a bit too friendly. Over the years,

I’ve had hot meals, been given books and

had all the Jaffa Cakes I can eat. I was even

flashed at once and – more than a few times

– propositioned.

The interesting thing about my job is being

allowed, however briefly, into people’s lives.

For a moment, I’m a friend and confidante.

I spoke to a lady recently who was in the

middle of recovering from an operation on

her stomach. She came to the door holding

a carrier bag with a tube that disappeared

up her jumper. Before I knew what was

happening, she lifted it up and showed me

her stomach which was being held in by a

plastic sheet. She was scared of visiting her

friends, she said, because she leaked and she

had to sit on a plastic bag wherever she went.

What’s more, the financial rewards are there

to be had. I have known fundraisers to make

£1,500 a week in bonuses. It’s obscene. But

to put it in perspective, they will have raised

over £15,000 that week (projected over three

years, which is the average amount of time

someone donates). This is one of the most

effective ways there is for charities to raise

the money they need.

However, the job isn’t always easy, and

the £7 hourly basic is scarcely enough to

live on if I’m not earning any bonuses,

especially when I get paid for only five hours

of what can be a nine- or 10-hour day.

The problem is being able to impress your

positivity on people in a job that naturally

elicits rejection. Essentially, fundraising is

no different from sales. It’s all about being

able to build relationships – people sign

up not because they like the charity, but

because they like you. Most fundraising

organisations outwardly disassociate

themselves from sales strategies, but they

operate in the same way as any company

selling something. The business model relies

on acquiring a specific quantity of donors

on behalf of the client, and so fundraising

is necessarily results-focused. And in most

cases, fundraisers are not motivated by the

cause, but by their commission. The main

reason I continue fundraising is because of

the earning potential. These underlying truths

often undermine the ethical integrity of the

clients, the fundraising companies and the

fundraisers themselves.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


I’ve seen aggressive and deceitful fundraisers

at work. I’ve heard every gimmick; it’s OK

to cancel after the first month; this won’t

start for six to eight weeks; this is a one-off

donation; all your donations go to people

in the local area. However, fundraising isn’t

intrinsically aggressive, just as the majority

of fundraisers aren’t intrinsically deceitful

people. There are ways to get people excited

about supporting a cause without deceit.

Unfortunately, we sometimes get lazy, or

desperate, and I understand how easy it is,

in those circumstances, to cross the moral

boundary. We are constantly presented with

moral dilemmas. Can this person afford it?

Does this person understand what they are

signing up to? It’s easy to make the wrong call

or be forceful, especially when we’re having a

bad day. It’s a thin ethical line we tread.

So what are the consequences for deviating

from codes of best practice? It all depends

on the values of the fundraiser. There is

an underlying sense that, if my number of

sign-ups is high enough, bad practice will

be overlooked, not only by the fundraising

bosses, but also by the charities themselves.

This tacit acceptance only reinforces a culture

of unethical fundraising.

As for oversaturation, a lady recently

remarked: “We have people knocking two or

three times a week! Is it because we live on a

council estate?” It is universally acknowledged

that there are areas which are better to work

in than others. It seems counterintuitive to

mine the poorest for donations, but it is from

the most deprived communities that we see

the best response. Fundraisers rub their hands

when they see a council estate. They don’t see

scarcity. They see sign-ups.

We are constantly presented with moral

dilemmas. Can this person afford it? Do they

understand what they're agreeing to?

People here tend to be easier to talk to and

act with readier impulse. And so we go back

to the same areas over and over again. We

even avoid more affluent districts, where

people don’t mind giving but hate being

approached and the responses are, if not

hostile, condescending. Here, we’re never far

off being reported to the police (these areas

aren’t used to seeing fundraisers), which is

time-consuming if we’re stopped and sends

the wrong impression to the neighbours.

City centre apartments are the only exception

to that rule. They’re filled with impressionable

twenty-somethings with plenty of disposable

income. But knocking apartments is a risky

strategy. It’s a race against time before I’m

forcibly removed by the concierge.

31

MAY DAY 2016


There are other occupational hazards

which are more tangible, like sub-zero

temperatures, heatwaves, persistent rain,

blistered feet and hungry dogs. I may not

always be welcome and I have to make

questionable judgments when the pressure

is on, but there’s a shred of vindication I can

cherish in moments of crisis – it’s all for a

good cause (my arse!).

Excuse me mate,

can you spare a minute

or two to help save an

austere government from

ever having to

care?

32

Although I do admire

the efforts of some

individuals who step in to help

others ... thats a human response!

I am most offended by the

greedy nature of corporate

CHARITIES

Tap-tap

tappety-tap

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


I think the State in any civilised society should

be for a provision to the whole population, so that

all are nurtured, supported and cared for, however

a capitalist state shrinks from this obligation.

It fails miserably by negating its responsibility

for those it sees as lame ducks, leaving it to

opportunist ‘charities’ to squabble over this

provision. This leaves us with ‘charities’ taking on

the role of the State, where truly natural human

instincts, that is, caring and sharing, has hardpressed

working people duplicitously exploited

into ‘donating’ away chunks of their earnings

because they do care passionately about the plight

of those less fortunate than themselves ... while

the comfortably wealthy are allowed to sit on

their hands, the fuckers!

33

MAY DAY 2016


34

Broken Promises, 1980, South Bronx, New York

Artwork: John Fekner

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


35

MAY DAY 2016


WHAT IF?

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

CHAOS

THEORY

Chaos theory is an area of mathematics

that studies how small differences in initial

conditions within comples dynamic systems

can result in widely different outcomes.

Chaos theory has been applied to systems

in a ranges of fields, including meteorology,

biology and physics. Although such systems

are deterministic, with no random elements,

the apparently chaotic way that they behave

makes prediction very difficult.

An early pioneer of chaos theory was the

American mathematician and meteorologist

Edward Lorenz. In 1961 Lorenz was using

a computer model to predict the weather.

He started inputting data relating to such

interdependent variables as temperature,

humidity, air pressure and the strength and

direction of the wind. The first time he ran

the programme, he typed in a figure of

.506127 for one of the variables. Then,

when he ran the programme again, he took

a short cut, typing in the rounded down

figure of .506. The weather scenario that

resulted the second time was completely

different from the first. The tiny disparity of

.000127 had had a huge effect.

37

MAY DAY 2016


In 1963 one of Lorenz’s colleagues

remarked that if he was right, ‘one flap of

a seagull’s wings would be enough to alter

the weather forever’. In 1972, in the title of

a paper, Lorenz asked ‘Does the flap of a

butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado

in Texas?’ Thus chaos theory found its

popular name: the butterfly effect. Of

course, the flap of a single butterfly’s wings

does not cause the tornado on its own –

numerous other factors play their part.

But that one flap can be (to change the

metaphor) the straw that breaks the camel’s

back.

Chaos theory can also usefully explain

mood, effect and actions in societies,

possibly even one day correctly predicting

revolutinary situations. So far any

investigation in this area seems only to

provide cause/effect reasons for change

in hindsight, however already history is

able to suggest favourable conditions for

positive or negative change, and once

crucial variables are properly identified,

who knows?

In the meantime ... the struggle

continues!

38

Despite its name, chaos theory is rigorously

mathematical and has helped to elucidate

the hidden order that underlies a host of

apparently random systems – from the

factors precipitating epileptic fits to the

air turbulence that causes drag in moving

vehicles, and from fluctuations in wild

animal populations to the flow of traffic on

congested city streets.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


40

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


SOCIAL

EXPERIMENT

IN LEEDS

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

QUARRY

HILL FLATS

Leeds was infamous for the squalor of

it’s slum housing after World War1.

The insincerity of Homes Fit For Heroes

from local Tory politicians led the Rev

Charles Jenkinson, a friend of the ‘Red

Vicar’ Conrad Noel, to stand as a labour

candidate and produce a paper on slum

clearance.

Things began to change when Jenkinson,

the Vicar of Holbeck, was elected as a

labour member of the council in 1930.

He became chairman of the Housing

Committee in 1933, and by 1935, 14,000

slum dwellings had been demolished, and

by 1937 over 15,000 council houses had

been built, and there were 24 new council

estates.

41

Photograph: Peter Mitchell

Jenkinson introduced a new differential

system of paying rents. Tenants with

sufficient income paid the full rate. Those

who could not afford to pay were given rent

MAY DAY 2016


42

relief; some paid nothing. Over 34,000

people were re-housed between 1933 and

1940. ‘Garden suburbs’ were created on

the outskirts of the town. These were lowdensity

housing estates, where each house

had a garden with hedges and one tree.

The first one was built at Gipton in 1934,

followed by Seacroft, Sandford, Halton

Moor, and Belle Isle. Jenkinson was keen

that houses should match the individual

needs of the tenants. Each estate had a

mixture of 2, 3 4 and 5 bedroom houses,

flats for the elderly and ‘sunshine houses’

for those with special medical needs.

The means test brought in by Labour in

1934 ruthlessly exposed the pressures

on the council tenants. It tore apart

their pretence at a shared sense of

identity and class. Their resistance in the

1934 Leeds rent strike can be seen as

a last ditch attempt to create a shared

class consciousness among a rapidly

disintegrating working class.

Despite the improvement in housing and

living conditions, the residents of the new

estates missed the close-knit communities

of the slums. They missed being near the

pubs, clubs, cinemas, and shops of the

city centre, and resented having to pay for

transport to their place of work

To bring working class housing back to

the city centre the Housing Department

built Quarry Hill Flats. Quarry Hill Flats

were perceived to be one answer and

the Director of Housing R A Livett and C

Jenkinson visited France and Vienna to

inspect workers flats including the massive

Karl Marx Hof a massive block of flats

in Vienna. These flats contained facilities

for tenants, such as laundries, shops,

kindergartens, courtyards, playgrounds

and gardens.

Another delegation including Livett was

sent to look at an estate in Drancy in

France to look at a revolutionary new

construction technique designed by Eugene

Mopin, who was commissioned to come

up with a plan for a structural design for

Quarry Hill flats. The technique comprised

of a steel frame encased in pre-cast

concrete units and were then filled with

concrete. All this was to be made at the

Quarry Hill site in a purpose built factory.

Originally the plan was to have eight

hundred dwellings, but the flats were

increased in height and the dwellings to

nine hundred and thirty eight consisting

of between one and five bedrooms. The

original design included a community

hall able to accommodate five hundred

and twenty people and included a stage.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


Other inclusions were to have been two

swimming pools, one indoors and one

outdoors and also a wading pool. There

were to have been playgrounds and lawns.

The original plan was changed slightly

and the pools were replaced by a bowling

green and tennis courts, but never built.

There was of course a communal laundry

including driers.

Waste disposal also had to be considered

and after Livett had visited France it was

decided to employ the ‘Garchey’ system

of disposal. The waste was stored in a

receptacle under the kitchen sink and

when there was a convenient amount it

was flushed with the water from the sink

and into the waste stack and then onto

a central processing plant where it was

dried and then burnt in an incinerator. The

idea was to use this to heat the swimming

pools but this was never put in place.

The system also had its negative side,

there was fracturing in the stacks and this

caused bad smells and also difficulty in

cleaning problems under sinks. However,

on a positive note, the Karl Marx Hof flats

in Vienna did not have lifts, but Quarry

Hill flats would have eighty-eight lifts each

capable of carrying two passengers and

obviously an improvement on Vienna’s

flats.

At last, in 1938 people started to move

into the flats. Life was so different and

better now for those who had been living

in unsanitary and unacceptable conditions.

These brand new homes had the benefit of

spacious living with areas for the children

to play in. Other benefits were shops, and

also nearby was ‘Tommy’ Tomasso’s shop.

People might also remember Emmet’s fish

and chip shop too.

There was a heavy blow about to be

announced to the tenants in the 1970s. It

was discovered that the steel frame within

the flats was decaying and the decision was

made to demolish them. This happened

in 1978 despite campaigns from tenants

for them to be renovated, but due to social

problems and poor maintenance, the

Quarry Hill Flats were demolished in 1978.

A book by the photographer Peter Mitchell

captures the demolition of this great social

experiment, and by inclusion also tells the

story of the Quarry Hill Flats development,

the book is available from RRB Publishing,

which is a division of RRB Photobooks Ltd.

Bristol, UK

www.rrbphotobooks.com

www.rrbpublishing.com

43

MAY DAY 2016


‘What is so interesting about this book is that it catches the pathos,

almost tragedy, of a failed or crumbled utopian vision’.

Preface by Bernard Crick

44

Quarry Hill Flats was a large housing estate, built on continental lines and

peculiar to Leeds. The largest and most modern of their kind in Europe,

housing around 3,000 people, the Flats were constructed during the 1930s

as part of a ‘great social experiment’ to accommodate an entire urban

community. But soon the daring vision for the future began to crumble –

literally – and by the 1950s the Flats were infamous. During the 1970s

the decision was made to demolish the ‘stone jungle’, and Peter Mitchell

arrived in Leeds in time to record the passing of this great estate.

This is not merely a record of demolition but a tribute to the power of

photography, to those who engineered and built the Flats, to the people

who lived and died in the Flats and to the city of Leeds itself. Using

archive material – much of it private and unpublished – Memento Mori

details the ideas behind the Flats, their construction, and their eventual

demise. Why did it fall? Was it some flaw in the grand design, or a

combination of factors? And what did the inhabitants themselves actually

feel about their surroundings? Memento Mori offers answers to some of

these questions, but poses many more. Peter Mitchell says:

‘I photograph dying buildings and Quarry Hill was terminal by the time I

got to it. Times change and I know there was no point in keeping Quarry

Hill Flats. But what it stood for might have been worth remembering’.

MEMENTO MORI

first published 1990

new edition by RRB Publishers, May 2016

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MEMENTO MORI P e t e r M i t c h e l l

MEMENTO MORI

THE FLATS AT QUARRY HILL, LEEDS

RRB

P e t e r M i t c h e l l


46

IRONICALLY

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

A TRULY

AMERICAN

TALE

The Brief Origins

of May Day

Edited from

article by Eric Chase

Most people living in the United States know

little about the International Workers’ Day

of May Day. In other countries there is an

assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in

state communist countries like Cuba or the

former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t

realize that May Day has its origins there

and that it is as “American” as baseball and

apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-

Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration

of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, in industrial

nations the working class was in constant

struggle to gain the 8-hour work day.

Working conditions were severe and it was

quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days

in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were

commonplace at many work places and

inspired such books as Upton Sinclair’s The

Jungle and Jack London’s The Iron Heel.

As early as the 1860’s, working people

agitated to shorten the workday without a

cut in pay, but it wasn’t until the late 1880’s

that organized labour was able to garner

enough strength to declare the 8-hour

workday. This proclamation was without

consent of employers, yet demanded by

many of the working class.

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48

At this time, socialism was a new and

attractive idea to working people, many

of whom were drawn to its ideology of

working class control over the production

and distribution of all goods and

services. Workers had seen first-hand that

Capitalism benefited only their bosses,

trading workers’ lives for profit. Thousands

of men, women and children were dying

needlessly every year in the workplace,

with life expectancy as low as their early

twenties in some industries, and little hope

but death of rising out of their destitution.

Socialism offered another option.

A variety of socialist organizations sprung

up throughout the later half of the 19th

century and, in the USA, both anarchist

and socialist ideas flourished with

organised labour ... but it is inaccurate

to say that labour unions were “taken

over” by anarchists and socialists, rather

anarchists and socialist made up the

labour unions.

In the USA, at its national convention in

Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation

of Organized Trades and Labor Unions

(which later became the American

Federation of Labor), proclaimed that

“eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s

labor from and after 1 May 1886.”

An estimated quarter million workers in the

Chicago area became directly involved in

the crusade to implement the eight hour

work day, including the Trades and Labor

Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and

local Knights of Labor. There grew a sense

of a greater social revolution beyond the

more immediate gains of shortened hours,

but a drastic change in the economic

structure of capitalism.

In a proclamation printed just before 1 May

1886, one publisher appealed to working

people with this plea:

Workingmen to Arms!

War to the Palace,

Peace to the Cottage,

and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.

The wage system is the only

cause of the World’s misery. It is

supported by the rich classes, and to

destroy it, they must be either made

to work or DIE.

One pound of DYNAMITE is better

than a bushel of BALLOTS!

MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT

HOURS with weapons in your hands

to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds,

police, and militia in proper manner.

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Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared

for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the

railroad strike a decade earlier when police

and soldiers gunned down hundreds of

striking workers. On 1 May 1886, more

than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses

across the United States walked off their

jobs in the first May Day celebration in

history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the

8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on

strike with the anarchists in the forefront of

the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches

and revolutionary ideology of direct

action, anarchists and anarchism became

respected and embraced by the working

people and despised by the capitalists.

The names of many – Albert Parsons,

Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg

– became household words in Chicago and

throughout the country. Parades, bands and

tens of thousands of demonstrators in the

streets exemplified the workers’ strength

and unity, yet didn’t become violent as the

newspapers and authorities predicted.

More and more workers continued to walk

off their jobs until the numbers swelled to

nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was

not until two days later, on 3 May 1886,

that violence broke out at the McCormick

Reaper Works between police and strikers.

For six months, armed Pinkerton agents

and the police harassed and beat lockedout

steelworkers as they picketed. Most of

these workers belonged to the “anarchistdominated”

Metal Workers’ Union. During

a speech near the McCormick plant, some

two hundred demonstrators joined the

steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with

police clubs escalated into rock throwing by

the strikers which the police responded to

with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed

and an unknown number were wounded.

Full of rage, a public meeting was called

by some of the anarchists for the following

day in Haymarket Square to discuss the

police brutality. Due to bad weather and

short notice, only about 3,000 of the tens

of thousands of people showed up from the

day before. This affair included families with

children and the mayor of Chicago himself.

Later, the mayor would testify that the

crowd remained calm and orderly and that

speaker August Spies made “no suggestion

... for immediate use of force or violence

toward any person ...”

As the speech wound down, two detectives

rushed to the main body of police, reporting

that a speaker was using inflammatory

language, inciting the police to march on

the speakers’ wagon. As the police began

to disperse the already thinning crowd, a

49

MAY DAY 2016


50

bomb was thrown into the police ranks.

No one knows who threw the bomb, but

speculations varied from blaming any one

of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur

working for the police.

Enraged, the police fired into the crowd.

The exact number of civilians killed or

wounded was never determined, but an

estimated seven or eight civilians died, and

up to forty were wounded. One officer died

immediately and another seven died in the

following weeks. Later evidence indicated

that only one of the police deaths could

be attributed to the bomb and that all the

other police fatalities had or could have had

been due to their own indiscriminate gun

fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was

never identified, it was the police, not the

anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.

Eight anarchists – Albert Parsons, August

Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe,

Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph

Fischer and Louis Lingg – were arrested

and convicted of murder, though only

three were even present at Haymarket and

those three were in full view of all when

the bombing occurred. The jury in their

trial was comprised of business leaders in

a gross mockery of justice similar to the

Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the

trials of AIM and Black Panther members

in the seventies. The entire world watched

as these eight organizers were convicted,

not for their actions, of which all of were

innocent, but for their political and social

beliefs. On 11 November 1887, after many

failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and

Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg,

in his final protest of the state’s claim of

authority and punishment, took his own life

the night before with an explosive device in

his mouth.

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe

and Schwab, were pardoned six years

later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly

lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice.

Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre,

big business and government conducted

what some say was the very first “Red

Scare” in this country. Spun by mainstream

media, anarchism became synonymous

with bomb throwing and socialism became

un-American. The common image of an

anarchist became a bearded, eastern

European immigrant with a bomb in one

hand and a dagger in the other.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


Today we see tens of thousands of activists

embracing the ideals of the Haymarket

Martyrs and those who established May

Day as an International Workers’ Day.

Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in

66 countries and unofficially celebrated in

many more, but rarely is it recognized in the

country where it began, the USA.

One hundred and thirty years have passed

since that first May Day. In the earlier part of

the 20th century, the US government tried to

curb the celebration and further wipe it from

the public’s memory by establishing “Law

and Order Day” on May 1. We can draw

many parallels between the events of 1886

and today. The struggle continues!

Words stronger than any I could write are

engraved on the Haymarket Monument:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR

SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL

THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE

THROTTLING TODAY.

Truly, history has a lot to teach us

about the roots of our radicalism.

When we remember that people were

shot so we could have the 8-hour day;

if we acknowledge that homes with

families in them were burned to the

ground so we could have Saturday

as part of the weekend; when we

recall 8-year old victims of industrial

accidents who marched in the streets

protesting working conditions and

child labor only to be beat down by

the police and company thugs, we

understand that our current condition

cannot be taken for granted – people

fought for the rights and dignities we

enjoy today, and there is still a lot

more to fight for. The sacrifices of so

many people can not be forgotten or

we’ll end up fighting for those same

gains all over again. This is why we

celebrate May Day.

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MAY DAY 2016


52

Artwork: Vhils

Moscow, Russia

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‘It is Right to Rebel’ song and dance Photograph: Li Zhensheng

REVIEW

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

CHINESE

RESOLUTION

RED-COLOR NEWS SOLDIER

a photobook by

Li Zhensheng

Published by

Phaidon Press : 2003

As an introduction

and review to this book

I have re-keyed The Preface

& an exerpt

‘Red-Color New Soldier’ is the literal

translation of the four Chineses characters

printed on the armband first given to Li

Zhensheng and his rebel group in Beijing

at the end of 1966, eight months after the

launch of the Great Proleterian Cultural

Revolution. There are other, more fluent

translations, but none retains the musicality

of the four character words brought together.

For a long time in the Western world, Mao

Zedong and the Cultural Revolution were

perceived with amazement and fascination;

only very rarely with horror. In the late 1960s

and early 1970s, rioting students around the

world were inspired by the fingure-pointing,

slogan-shouting style of the Red Guards, and

andy Warhol in New York was producing

his renowned silk-screen paintings of Mao,

the ‘Great Helmsman’. Even today, all the

chaos of that period can seem somewhat

romantic and idealistic in comparison with

the contemporary Chinese society we see

and hear about.

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MAY DAY 2016


56

With this in mind, it was necessary to

produce a clearer and more truthful image

of the turmoil that turned China upsidedown

during the Cultural Revolution. Li Zhensheng

was the one person who, through his

exceptional photographic legacy, could

convey this truth on the printed page. A few

guidelines were established up-front with

Li’s agreement: none of the photographs

would be cropped; the images would be

presented in the most accurate chronological

order possible so as to best depict the

historical process; and precise captions

would accompany the images, with facts

verified through additional research and

double-checked against the archives of the

Heilongjiang Daily, where Li worked for

eighteen years.

Over a period of several years, Li delivered

to the offices of Contact Press Images in New

York approximately thirty-thousand small

brown paper envelopes bound together

with rubber bands in groups according

to chronology, location, type of film, or

other criteria that changed over time. Each

envelope contained a single negative inside

a glassine pouch. Some of these had not

been removed since Li had cut them from

their original negative strips and hidden

them away thirty-five years earlier. On each

envelope Li had written detailed captions in

delicate Chinese calligraphy. Communes

and counties, people’s names, official

titles, and specific events were all carefully

noted. Yet as Li’s written account clearly

demonstrates, his memory of the period is

still clear and detailed.

For three years, from 2000 to 2003, a small

group including Li, translator Rong Jiang,

writer Jacques Menasche, and I met nearly

every Sunday to collectively piece together

this history of a largely unknown era. In these

exhausting and, at times, animated sessions,

we pored over a variety of archival and

scholarly documents, conducted interviews,

reviewed images, and even listened to Li sing

revolutionary songs of the time.

During the period of the Cultural Revolution

the whole of China became a theatre in which

the audience was increasingly part of the

play – from the poorest peasant attending a

‘struggle session’ to the ‘class enemy’ forced

to bow at the waist in humiliation; from the

rarely seen leader waving from a jeep to the

denounced and the denouncers; from the

rebels to the counter-revolutionaries, the Red

Guards and the old guard all played their

roles. With armbands and flags, banners and

big character posters, and Little Red Books

turned into props, the stage was dominated

by the inaccessible star, surrounded by

millions of extras, some shouting, some

silenced.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


Photograph: Li Zhensheng

A particularly infamous case in Harbin at

the end of 1968 involved the son of the

former first Party secretary of Heilongjiang.

Preceding the outbreak of the Cultural

Revolution, Ouyang Qin was the most

powerful man in the province and therefore

the number-one target of the Red Guards.

Denounced, he was spared the full wrath of

the guards when Premier Zhou Enlai, with

whom he had been friendly since the 1920s

when they both studied in France, had him

transferred to a military hospital in Beijing

for his protection in the summer of 1966.

His son, however, would be less fortunate.

Ouyang Xiang’s crime was writing an anonymous

letter to the provincial revolutionary

committee professing his father’s total

support of Mao. Deemed by Pan Fusheng a

serious counter-reolutionary case needing

to be cracked, within days Ouyang’s handwriting

was identified, and he was arrested.

On 30 November 1968, a public rally was

held in front of Harbin’s North Plaza Hotel.

Labeled a counter-revolutionary, Ouyang

Xiang was made to wear a placard around

his neck detailing his crime and the date

of his letter. When he tried to shout, ‘Long

live Chairman Mao,’ his mouth was stuffed

with a dirty glove. Several days later he was

pushed out of a third-story window of the

office building where he was being held.

The official report called his death a suicide.

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Thanks to Li, seemingly anonymous faces and

places take on names and identities. Li shows

the surreal events to be all too real. Through

his lens, these people and occurrences from

so far away are made at once personal and

universal, and all too familiar, reminding us of

events in Chile, Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan,

and Iraq. The Cultural Revolution unleashed

the frustration and anger of a new generation

eager to change the world, but the force was

harnessed and used by those in power for a

decidedly different purpose: its own complete

domination. In the late 1960s, student riots

erupted in other cities on other continents, but

they never resulted in the same premeditated

violence initiated by those at the helm of the

Chinese state.

We will be forever grateful to Li for having

risked so much to doggedly preserve the

images in this book at a time when most of his

colleagues agreed to allow their negatives to

be destroyed. Li was a young man in search of

himself, as seen in his many self-portraits in this

volume, who wished to leave behind a trace

of his own existance as well as his dreams of

individuality and a better world. History is indeed

Li Zhensheng’s paramount concern and this

book’s main purpose: to remember and revisit

those haunting and tragic events that were the

Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Robert Pledge

An exerpt ... Li writes:

Three months after our wedding, on 5

April 1968, I photographed an execution

of seven men and one woman. Six –

including the woman and her lover,

who had murdered her husband – were

‘ordinary’ criminals. The other two men

were technicians at the Harbin Electric Meter

Factory who had published a flyer entitled

‘Looking North,’ which the authorities

interpreted as ‘looking northward toward

Soviet revisionism.’ They were condemned

as counter-revolutionaries. One was

named Wu Bingyuan, and when he heard

the sentence, he looked into the sky and

murmured, ‘This world is too dark’; then

he closed his eyes and never in this life

reopened them. All eight were put on the

backs of trucks in pairs, driven through

town, then out to the countryside northwest

of Harbin. There, on the barren grounds of

the Huang Shan Cemetry, they were lined

up, hands tied behind their backs, and

forced to kneel. They were all shot in the

back of the head.

No one asked me to take close-ups of the

bodies, but that’s waht I did, and because

I had only a 35mm wide-angle lens, I had

to get very close, so close I could smell the

fishy smell of blood and brains.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


Wu Bingyuan (eyes closed) with Wang Yongzeng

Photograph: Li Zhensheng

59

For the next six months, I couldn’t get their

faces out of my mind. At that time, Yingxia

and I still hadn’t been provided with an

apartment and lived separately in the dorm.

The toilet was at the end of a long corridor,

and whenever I woke up at night needing

to go to the bathroom, I would walk with

my eyes closed, trying not to bump into the

shoes and small stoves left outside the doors

on both sides of the hallway and trying

not to think of the dead. When I ate in the

cafeteria and they served a local dish like

blood tofu, which was red and gelatinous, I

felt like vomiting.

As I enlarged the photographs of these

executed people in the dim red light of the

darkroom, I quietly spoke to them. I told

them, ‘If your souls are haunted, please

don’t haunt me, too. I’m only tring to help.

I’m making your pictures because I want

to record history. I want people to know

that you were wronged.’ And until this day

– even when I printed the images for this

book in New York – I always say that.

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60

28 Millimétres, Women Are Heroes,

Action dans la Flavela Morro Da Providência,

Linda Marinho De Oliveira,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008

Paper on speakers: Artwork: JR

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MALICK SIDIBÉ

1936-2016

The Malian photographer’s pictures captured

a nation on the move

Toute la famille en moto, 1962.

Photograph: © Malick Sidibé

Courtesy Galerie MAGNIN-A, Paris.

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WRITING

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

WALL

PAINTING

Ivan Vladislavić

On the pavement outside No. 10 Blenheim:

a tall man whose splattered overall and

abstracted demeanour spoke of long

experience in house-painting. He had

spread a strip of plastic at the foot of the

garden wall, beneath our Ndebele mural,

and was stirring a tin of painwith a stick.

The mural must have been two or three

years old by then. He’s touching up the

cracks, I told myself hopefully, although it

was obvious what he was really doing. As I

drew near, he laid the stick across the top of

the tin and went to stand on the other side

of the street. Like a woodsman sizing up a

tree, just before he chopped it down.

65

Artwork: Esther Mahlangu, 2002

I couldn’t watch. I went on to the Gem to

fetch the paper. Coming home, I nearly

made a detour along Albemarle Street to

avoid the scene entirely, but it had to be

faced.

MAY DAY 2016


66

He had started on the left. He was hacking

into the pattern, obliterating it with

extravagent swipes of the roller. Standing

back, from time to time, to admire his

handiwork. As if there was anything to

be seen but an act of vandalism. The

man must be a brute, I thought. It would

be a man, too, the very antithesis of the

woman who had painted the mural. I tried

to remember her, but she had faded in

my memory. I saw a middle-aged woman

with a blanket knotted about her, wearing

neck rings and a beaded headdress – but

this was Esther Mahlangu, the painter of

the BMW, whose photograph had been in

the newspapers many times! In any event,

they were not opposites. She was not an

artist and he was not a vandal. They were

simply people employed by the owners of

a suburban house to perform a task. What

the one had been employed to do, the other

had now been employed to undo.

I was unthinkable that the same person

could have commanded both tasks. The

house had been on the market for some

time, and my theory was that it had

finally changed hands. The new owner

was remaking the place in his own style.

Ndebele murals are an acquired taste,

after all.

Branko had a less charitable interpretation.

They haven’t found a buyer, he said, and its

no bloody wonder. they’re finally taking the

estate agent’s advice: paint it white. It’s a

dictum. Matches every lounge suite.

However, they did not paint it white. They

painted it a lemony yellow with green

trim, a petrol-station colour scheme. It

took a couple of coats: after the first one,

you could still see the African geometry

developing, like a Polaroid image, as the

paint dried.

Having missed the opportunity to document

the birth of the mural through a lack of

foresight, I now lacked the inclination to

document its demise. This would make a

wonderful film, I said to myself. But I did

not call my friends the film-makers. I did

not rush home to fetch a camera. I did not

even take out a pad and pencil like a cub

reporter. I just stood on the other side of

the street and watched for a while, as the

design vanished stroke by stroke, and then I

went home with a heavy heart.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


67

MAY DAY 2016


68

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TEN


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Absolutely damaged but still awake, I say again,

well yes, again, because the letters page is so

much of a hopeless failure ... Words fail me,

what is the use of words when the person you

are saying them to is unable to grasp your, and

their, meaning?

Worryingly, we are still heading down that

irrational road, the one where stupidity reigns,

and where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched

banal myths, hearsay and superstition.

The probability that this shit-faced fudge

of complacency and mad spouters will be

defended to the death before reason can be

accepted again (if ever) is utterly terrifying.

For evidence of this I direct your (giggling still)

attention to Donald Trump and his campaign to

become US President. As Britain’s government is

a happy satellite of US mischief in the world ...

and a blindly loyal follower of US foreign policy,

what will our Cameron/Osborne/Johnson

government do if Trump suceeds and begins his

Term of Ignorance?

69

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I

am absolute in my scepticism about whether

the Euro (pro and sceptic)-business-arses and

their sycophantic political stooges – or the US

presidential circus and their flunkies – will come

up with anything remotely of benefit to anyone

other than the rampantly corrupt ruling class

wankers intent on fucking us all.

MAY DAY 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

ELEVEN

the european union vote:

borarse delivers more

myth-information


Panela (unrefined sugarcane),

1918, cotton label from a series

commissioned for the South

American market. The labels,

each measuring around 6 inches

in height resemble minature

posters, strongly influenced

by the ‘Munich realist school’

designer Ludwig Hohlwein.

Artwork: E. McKnight Kauffer

b

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Opening 03

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: re-worked comic.

Photographs, words and artwork

sourced from ‘found in the scrapbook

of life’, no intentional copyright

infringement intended, credited

whenever possible, so, for treading

on any toes ... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for submitting

articles to be included in the next

issue, it will appear whenever, or

in your dreams!

Articles and all correspondence to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Damn & Borderation 05

Hillsborough 13

Illusions 17

Tewkesbury 22

Abahlali Basemjondolo 43

Rags to Riches 53

Letter to Socialist Worker 57

Exhibition 58

Letters 63

1

June 2016


some sort of

cock-a-doodledo!

2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN

looks more like the

formalisation of an

eggs-a-stentialist

impressionism to me?

Tweaked by: Alan Rutherford


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 11.

A magazine produced freely to be read

freely. All articles and artwork supplied, or

found in newspapers lining the bottom of

the canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

a luta continua!

3

June 2016


4

Sykes & Picot border mischief!

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


DAMN & BORDERATION!

How Isis thrives in a borderless world as it erases lines in the sand drawn

by the west 100 years ago by France and Britain (Sykes-Picot)

ROBERT FISK 12 MAY 2016: The Independent

The peoples of the Middle East have suffered this past century from the

theatre of dictatorships and cardboard institutions created by the west

Early in 2014, Isis released one of its first videos. Largely unseen in

Europe, it had neither the slick, cutting-edge professionalism of its later

execution tapes nor the haunting “nasheed” music that accompanies

most of its propaganda. Instead, a hand-held camera showed a

bulldozer pushing down a rampart of sand that had marked the border

between Iraq and Syria. As the machine destroyed the dirt revetment, the

camera panned down to a handwritten poster lying in the sand. “End of

Sykes-Picot”, it said.

5

Like many hundreds of thousands of Arabs in the Middle East, for whom

Sykes-Picot was an almost cancerous expression, I watched this early Isis

video in Beirut. The bloody repercussions of the borders that the British

and French diplomats, Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, drew in

secret during the First World War – originally giving Syria, Mount Lebanon

and northern Iraq to the French, and Palestine, Transjordan and the rest

June 2016


6

of Iraq to the British – are known to every

Arab, Christian and Muslim and, indeed,

every Jew in the region. They eviscerated

the governorates of the old dying Ottoman

empire and created artificial nations in

which borders, watchtowers and hills of

sand separated tribes, families and peoples.

They were an Anglo-French colonial

production.

The same night that I saw the early Isis

video, I happened to be visiting the

Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt.

“The end of Sykes-Picot!” he roared at

me. “Rubbish,” I snorted. But of course,

I was wrong and Jumblatt was right. He

had spotted at once how Isis captured

symbolically – but with almost breathtaking

speed – what so many Arabs had sought for

almost exactly 100 years: the unravelling

of the fake borders with which the victors of

the First World War – largely the British and

the French – had divided the Arab people. It

was our colonial construction – not just the

frontiers we imposed upon them, but the

administrations and the false democracies

that we fraudulently thrust upon them, the

mandates and trusteeships which allowed

us to rule them – that poisoned their lives.

Colin Powell claimed just such a trusteeship

for Iraq’s oil prior to the illegal Anglo-

American invasion of 2003.

We foisted kings upon the Arabs – we

engineered a 96 per cent referendum in

favour of the Hashemite King Faisal in Iraq

in 1922 – and then provided them with

generals and dictators. The people of Libya,

Syria, Iraq, and Egypt – which had been

invaded by the British in the 19th century –

were subsequently blessed with mendacious

governments, brutal policemen, lying

newspapers and fake elections. Mubarak

even scored Faisal’s epic 96 per cent

election victory all over again. For the

Arabs, “democracy” did not mean freedom

of speech and freedom to elect their own

leaders; it referred to the “democratic”

Western nations that continued to support

the cruel dictators who oppressed them.

Thus the Arab revolutions that consumed

the Middle East in 2011 – forget the “Arab

Spring”, a creature of Hollywood origin –

did not demand democracy. The posters

on the streets of Cairo and Tunis and

Damascus and Yemen called for dignity

and justice, two commodities that we had

definitely not sought for the Arabs. Justice

for the Palestinians – or for the Kurds, or for

that matter for the destroyed Armenians of

1915, or for all the suffering Arab peoples

– was not something that commended itself

to us. But I think we should have gone much

further in our investigation of the titanic

changes of 2011.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


In my own reporting of the uprisings, I attributed

them to increased education and travel by

the Arab communities throughout the Middle

East. While acknowledging the power of social

media and the internet, something deeper was

at work. The Arabs had woken from a deep

sleep. They had refused any longer to be the

“children” of the patriarchal father figure – the

Nassers and the Sadats and the Mubaraks

and the Assads and the Gaddafis and, in

earlier years, the Saddams. They awoke to find

that it was their own governments that were

composed of children, one of whom – Mubarak

– was 83 years old. The Arabs wanted to own

their towns and cities. They wanted to own the

place in which they lived, which comprised

much of the Middle East.

But I think now that I was wrong. In

retrospect, I woefully misunderstood what

these revolutions represented. One clue,

perhaps, lay in the importance of trade union

movements. Where trade unions, with their

transnational socialism and anti-colonial

credentials, were strong – in Egypt and

Tunisia – the revolutionary bloodshed was

far less than in the nations that had either

banned trade unionism altogether – Libya,

for example – or concretised the trade union

movement into the regime, which had long

ago happened in Syria and Yemen. Socialism

crossed borders. Yet even this does not

account for the events of 2011.

What really manifested itself that year, I now

believe, was a much more deeply held Arab

conviction; that the very institutions that we

in the West had built for these people 100

years ago were worthless, that the statehood

which we had later awarded to artificial

nations within equally artificial borders was

meaningless. They were rejecting the whole

construct that we had foisted upon them.

That Egypt regressed back into military

patriarchy – and the subsequent and utterly

predictable Western acqiescence in this

– after a brief period of elected Muslim

Brotherhood government, does not change

this equation. While the revolutions largely

stayed within national boundaries – at least

at the start – the borders began to lose their

meaning.

Hamas in Gaza and the Brotherhood

became one, the Sinai-Gaza frontier

began to crumble. Then the collapse of

Libya rendered Gaddafi’s former borders

open – and thus non-existent. His weapons

– including chemical shells – were sold

to rebels in Egypt and Syria. Tunisia,

which is now supposed to be the darling

of our Western hearts for its adhesion to

“democracy”, is now in danger of implosion

because its own borders with Libya and

Algeria are open to arms transhipments

to Islamist groups. Isis’s grasp of these

frontierless entities means that its own

7

June 2016


8

transnational existence is assured, from

Fallujah in Iraq to the edge of Syrian

Aleppo, from Nigeria to Niger and Chad.

It can thus degrade the economy of each

country it moves through, blowing up a

Russian airliner leaving Sharm el-Sheikh,

attacking the Bardo museum in Tunis

or the beaches of Sousse. There was a

time – when Islamists attacked the Jewish

synagogue on Djerba island in Tunisia in

2002, for example, killing 19 people –

when tourism could continue. But that was

when Libya still existed. In those days, Ben

Ali’s security police were able to control the

internal security of Tunisia; the army was left

weak so that it could not stage a coup. So

today, of course, the near-impotent army of

Tunisia cannot defend its frontiers.

Isis’s understanding of this new

phenomenon preceded our own. But Isis’s

realisation that frontiers were essentially

defenceless in the modern age coincided

with the popular Arab disillusion with their

own invented nations. Most of the millions

of Syrian and Afghan refugees who have

flooded into Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan

and then north into Europe do not intend

to return – ever – to states that have failed

them as surely as they no longer – in the

minds of the refugees – exist. These are

not “failed states” so much as imaginary

nations that no longer have any purpose.

I only began to understand this when,

back in July, covering the Greek economic

crisis, I travelled to the Greek-Macedonian

border with Médecins Sans Frontières. This

was long before the story of Arab refugees

entering Europe had seized the attention

of the EU or the media, although the

Mediterranean drownings had long been a

regular tragedy on television screens. Aylan

Kurdi, the little boy who would be washed

up on a Turkish beach, still had another

two months to live. But in the fields along

the Macedonian border were thousands of

Syrians and Afghans. They were coming

in their hundreds through the cornfields,

an army of tramping paupers who might

have been fleeing the Hundred Years War,

women with their feet burned by exploded

gas cookers, men with bruises over their

bodies from the blows of frontier guards.

Two of them I even knew, brothers from

Aleppo whom I had met two years earlier

in Syria. And when they spoke, I suddenly

realised they were talking of Syria in the

past tense. They talked about “back there”

and “what was home”. They didn’t believe

in Syria any more. They didn’t believe in

frontiers.

Our support for an Israel that has not told

us the location of its eastern border runs

logically alongside our own refusal to

recognise – unless it suits us – the frontiers

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


of the Arab world. It is, after all, we who are

allowed to draw “lines in the sand” or “red

lines”. It is we Europeans who decide where

civilisations begin and end. It is the Prime

Minister of Hungary who decides exactly

where he will draw up his forces to defend

“Christian civilisation”. It is we Westerners

who have the moral probity to decide

whether national sovereignty in the Middle

East should be obeyed or abused.

But when the Arabs themselves decide to

dispense with the whole fandango and seek

their future in “our” lands rather than “their”

lands, this policy breaks down. Indeed, it

is extraordinary how easily we forget that

the greatest frontier-breaker of modern

times was himself a European, who wanted

to destroy the Jews of Europe but who

might well – given his racist remark about

Muslims in Mein Kampf – have continued

his holocaust to include the Arabs. We even

have the nerve to call the murderers of Paris

“fascislamists”, as the great French pseudophilosopher

Bernard-Henri Levy has just

written in the press. Nazis Isis undoubtedly

are – but the moment we utilise the word

“Islam” in this context, we are painting

the swastika across the Middle East. Levy

demands more assistance to “our Kurdish

allies” because the alternative is that “no

boots on their ground means more blood

on ours”.

But that’s what George W Bush and Tony

Blair told us before marching into the

graveyard of Iraq in 2003. We are always

declaring ourselves “at war”. We are told

to be merciless. We must invade “their”

territory to stop them invading ours. But

the days are long gone when we can have

foreign adventures and expect to be safe

at home. New York, Washington, Madrid,

London, Paris all tell us that. Perhaps

if we spoke more of “justice” – courts,

legal process for killers, however morally

repugnant they may be, sentences, prisons,

redemption for those who may retrieve their

lost souls from the Isis midden – we would

be a little safer in our sceptered continent.

There should be justice not just for ourselves

or our enemies, but for the peoples of the

Middle East who have suffered this past

century from the theatre of dictatorships and

cardboard institutions we created for them –

and which have helped Isis to thrive.

9

June 2016


eprise ffs!

Jez

for

Prez

shit... looks like tony

is going to get away

with it ... so much

for justice!

Say no

to a

monarchy

10

Alan Rutherford

IRAQ

2003

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


THAT

CHILCOT

MOMENT

11

June 2016


THE TOPICAL TIMES

FOR THESE TIMES

BOOK OF LIVERPOOL

FOOTBALL

12

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN

KEN GRANT

Unused cover Alan Rutherford


Taken from STUMBLING AND MUMBLING: April 27, 2016

HILLSBOROUGH

THE CLASS CONTEXT

The truth about Hillsborough has of course always been known. What

happened yesterday was that it finally became incontrovertible. I fear,

though, that the context of Hillsborough is in danger of being forgotten

– that context being that the 1980s was an era of moral panic about the

working class.

Back then, football fans were mostly working people. It cost only £2 to

get into a first division game in the mid-80s, and the influx of fashionable

middle-class men talking about “the footie” was a post-Gazza, post-Hornby

phenomenon. Such fans were the object of fear and contempt by the police

and Tory party: Thatcher tried to impose ID cards onto them. Here’s how

When Saturday Comes described the attitude towards fans then:

The police see us as a mass entity, fuelled by drink and a singleminded

resolve to wreak havoc by destroying property and attacking

one another with murderous intent. Containment and damage

limitation is the core of the police strategy. Fans are treated with the

utmost disrespect. We are herded, cajoled, pushed and corralled

into cramped spaces, and expected to submit passively to every new

indignity.

13

However, football fans were not the only object of class-based moral

panic. Thatcher famously described miners as “the enemy within”:

not, note, people with mistaken ideas but an enemy, comparable to

warmongering fascists. And there were panics about “new age travellers”

and “acid house”.

June 2016


14

Now, there is – sad to say – an ugly truth here.

These panics were not wholly unfounded.

Crime was high in the 80s, and football

hooliganism was a genuine problem; Heysel

happened just four years before Hillsborough.

However, a pound of fact became a ton of

moral panic and class hatred.

It’s in this context that we should interpret

the slanders against the Hillsborough

victims by Tories such as Irvine Patnick,

Bernard Ingham and Kelvin Mackenzie.

Their fear and hatred of working people

had reached such feverish heights that they

were prepared to believe them capable of

robbing the dead.

In all these cases, the police were brutal

enforcers of this class-based hatred – and

unlawfully so. After the battle of Stonehenge

in 1985 Wiltshire Police were found guilty of

ABH, false imprisonment and wrongful arrest.

And after Orgreave South Yorkshire Police –

them again – paid £500,000 compensation

for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious

prosecution. As James Doran says:

The British state is not a neutral body

which enforces the rule of law - it is a set

of social relations which uphold the rule

of the capital. Law is a matter of struggle

- ordinary people are automatically

subject to the discipline of the repressive

apparatus of the state.

All this poses a question. Have things really

changed? Of course, the police and Tories

have much better PR than they did then.

But is it really a coincidence that the police

still turn up mob-handed to demos whilst

giving a free ride to corporate crime and

asset stripping? When the cameras are off

and they are behind closed doors, do the

police and Tories retain a vestige of their

1980s attitudes? When Alan Duncan spoke

of those who aren’t rich as “low achievers”,

was that a minority view, or a reminder that

the Tories haven’t really abandoned their

class hatred?

Many younger lefties might have

abandoned class in favour of the politics

of micro-identities. For those of us shaped

by the 80s, however, class matters. And I

suspect this is as true for the Tories as it is

for me.

From the excellent blog:

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.

com/stumbling_and_mumbling/

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


15

June 2016


16

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


ILLUSIONS

of Democracy

23 JUNE

It would seem the UK, still whistling in the

dark ages with a debateably unjust ‘first

past the post’ election system coupled with

an unelected House of Lords with veto

powers ... and a current tory government

elected using fraudulent expenses – are

hardly the standard anyone would use to

measure ‘democracy’?

I cut a long article planned, not wishing to

add to the nonsense, the ridiculous hot air

parading as fact, the coleection of myths

and blatant scaremongering repeated until

we are all blind, in this, the European Union

referendum.

17

Why has parliament relinquished its right

to govern us, its a distraction from real life

surely, for since when have our government

and their paymasters, big business, ever

allowed the citizenry to decide on anything

supposedly this important? It can only be

that either way they don’t give a shit, they

know that whatever ‘we’ decide, they will

still be in the saddle!

June 2016


18

From acres of newsprint here is a balanced

argument to stay...

The daily scare tactics

beggar belief –

they’re not working

Delia Smith in The Guardian

Friday 27 May 2016

One of the best expressions of sheer

frustration that’s stuck with me over the

years came from the comedian Tony

Hancock, who in moments of extreme

disquiet repeated the words oh dear, oh

dear, oh dear. Now the mere mention of the

dreaded referendum and those words are

what spring to mind. Oh dear indeed.

The Guardian view on the Leave campaign:

show some respect for truth

First, why is the entire nation being put

under this unnecessary pressure? We

already get to vote for a democratic system,

where all the big decisions are meant to be

made on our behalf. Instead, faced with this

very grave decision which has such serious

implications, we find ourselves pawns in a

game of dubious political manoeuvring.

The prime minister, seeking to outwit the

troublemakers on the right of his party, has

instead managed to add massive fuel to

their fire. And, in doing so, he has simply

cleared the way for one of their own to seize

the moment. So a leave vote could give you

the prospect of a brand new prime minister

and a remain vote gives you the same old,

same old, and off we go, back to square

one.

Meanwhile we, the long-suffering British

voters, are subjected to what Jon Snow

on Channel 4 News rightly described as

a “positively poisonous” campaign. The

much-maligned European Union, which in

essence is a group of democratic countries

attempting to work alongside each other,

has now become a fierce battleground

in the direct line of fire of some vicious

rhetoric. The most abhorrent and offensive

of all was the EU being compared to,

of all things, Hitler and nazism. Hang

on a minute, isn’t there a crossed wire

here somewhere? Was it not within that

horrendous regime that the very idea of

egotistical, xenophobic and isolationist

sovereignty was originally conceived?

The now daily dose of scare tactics simply

beggars belief, and do you know what? It

so isn’t working. Because at this stage, I’m

sure you agree, we voters are just reduced

to having a laugh. What else can you do

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


when you are told there are 70 million Turks

lining up, like the Zulus in the Stanley Baker

film, coming over the hill, set on seizing our

jobs, our homes, our lives.

But hats off to the TV coverage that

accompanied the story, showing us

what that ancient and wondrous Turkish

civilisation was all about. They found shots

of the most amazing kebabs, laden with

spices and dripping with juices over flaming

charcoal, just so we could understand what

the Turkish threat might mean. What it

achieved in our house was a resounding:

“Bring it on”

Frankly, the current state of politics is pants

in this debate. Politics are there to serve the

people and not the other way round. So,

why don’t we simply short-circuit the daily

threats and angry squabbles, and from

now on engage in some proper grownup,

joined-up thinking, about the real issues?

What each of us is being asked to do is cast

a vote that will affect not just our lives, but

the future of generations to come. Each of

us must reflect quietly and independently

about this vote. What shapes my own vision

of things is this: almost imperceptibly (but

then again, perhaps also staring us in the

face) is that the world, whether we like it or

not, is slowly beginning to become a global

community. And this, while it may or may

not take centuries to achieve, simply has to

be the future.

With the advent of high-speed travel,

communications technology, satellites and

the rest, we are already living in much

closer proximity to one another than we

could previously have imagined. Young

people hop from country to country

exploring, experiencing other cultures,

forming friendships across the globe, and

this gives them a far greater sense than

previous generations of being comfortable

belonging to the much wider human family,

a completely diverse but nonetheless

enriching collection of democratic nations.

The results are plain as day for all to see.

Why have we now achieved so much

in science or in say, space exploration?

Because scientists from groups of nations

work closely together. The same with

advances in medicine and practically any

other field of invention and progress. The

global village is not some romantic dream,

it’s a reality.

No, I’m not a naive optimist and yes, I

know only too well about the bureaucratic

challenges of different nations attempting

to work alongside each other. I may well

be mocked for my views but again, bring

it on! I believe passionately in the human

19

June 2016


20

adventure, and that individual people as

well as individual nations will in time, in

spite of how long it might take, embrace

-solidarity and the global society.

It is our responsibility to help to prepare

the way to a united humanity in the belief

that it can make the world a better place.

Evolution, as history has shown, will not

be knocked off course by a small group of

islands claiming they want “sovereignty”.

So there it is. As you may well have guessed

by now. I am quite definitely in. And I want

to do everything in my power to encourage

you to add your support to our membership

in a group of nations who, for all their

imperfections, are learning how to coexist in

a converging world.

‘I still don't understand

why panamapapers

isn’t in the news still.

This was a picture of

some russianoligarch

who had moleslikeslugs

from my sketchbook on

taxdodgingdouchebags'

NYE WRIGHT

author of ‘Things to do in a Retirement

Home Trailer Park’

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


21

Artwork from Nye Wright’s sketchbook

June 2016


22

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


23

June 2016


24

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


25

Photographs: Alan Rutherford

TEWKESBURY

MAY 2016

June 2016


26

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


27

June 2016


28

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


29

June 2016


30

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


31

June 2016


32

teatime in

tewkesbury

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


33

June 2016


34

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


35

June 2016


36

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


37

June 2016


ET

38

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


CETC

ETC

ETC

39

June 2016


40

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

41

INTENDED AS

A BLOW TO

THE SYSTEM

... SHAKE

& STIR!

June 2016


42

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


Abahlali baseMjondolo

is a movement largely based in shantytowns

built on land occupations in and around the

South African city of Durban. Since 2005 it

has sought to build popular counter-power

through the construction of self-managed

and democratically organized communities

engaged in a collective struggle.

While the movement has not used the

term “commune”, it has, on occasion,

been described by left theorists as seeking

to constitute itself as a set of linked

communes. This assessment has been

based on the movement’s organizational

form. But this struggle, while often

strikingly similar to Raúl Zibechi’s account

of territories in resistance in Latin America,

is very different from how Marx and

Bakunin imagined the struggles of the

future in their reflections on the Paris

Commune. It is primarily framed in terms

of dignity, fundamentally grounded in

the bonds within families and between

neighbors, and often largely waged by

women from and for bits of land in the

interstices of the city.

If Abahlali baseMjondolo (the term

means “residents of the shacks”) is to be

productively connected to the idea of the

commune in terms of a set of political

commitments, it would require – as George

Ciccariello-Maher has argued with regard

to Venezuela – a detachment of the concept

from “a narrow sectarianism” with the

intention to “craft a communism on local

conditions that looks critically, in parallax,

back at the European tradition.”

THE LAND OCCUPATION

In Durban, as in much of the world,

one starting point for this work is that

the passage from the rural to the urban

seldom takes the form of passage, via

expropriation, from the commons to the

factory, from the life of a peasant to the

life of a proletarian. And for many people

born into working-class families long

resident in the city, work – as their parents

and grandparents knew it – is no longer

available.

When urban life is wageless, or when access

to the wage occurs outside of the official

rules governing the wage relation, the land

occupation can enable popular access to

land outside of the state and capital. And

land, even a sliver of land on a steep hill,

between two roads, along a river bank, or

adjacent to a dump, can – along with the

mud, fire and men with guns that come

with shack life – enable spatial proximity to

possibilities for livelihood, education, health

care, recreation and so on.

43

June 2016


44

Across South Africa, urban land has

become a key site of popular contestation

with the state and the liberal property

regime. In Durban the steep terrain also

enables opportunities for new occupations

within the zones of privilege, nodes of

spatially concentrated, racialized power.

But, again as in much of the world,

dissident elites have often been skeptical

about the political capacities of the

urban poor. The worker or peasant has

often been imagined as the subject of a

“proper” politics, a politics to come in which

industrial production or rural land would be

the key site of struggle.

Abahlali baseMjondolo has, affirming

what it has called “a politics of the poor”,

disobeyed the various custodians of a

“proper politics”, affirmed the value of

an “out of order” politics and taken the

situation, the strivings and the struggles of

its members seriously. It has affirmed the

city as a site of struggle and impoverished

people seeking to occupy, hold and develop

land in the city as subjects of struggle. It has

constructed a political imagination in which

the neighborhood is seen as the primary

site for both organization, through direct

face-to-face deliberation and democratic

decision-making, and the broader practices

that sustain resilience.

A conception of political identity rooted in

residence in a land occupation, whether

established or new, has enabled the

affirmation of a form of politics that

exceeds the central categories through

which impoverished people are more

usually divided. This includes an ethnic

conception of belonging that, in Durban,

has increasingly been asserted by the

ruling party, the African National Congress

(ANC), as well as a national conception of

belonging, undergirded by a paranoid and

vicious xenophobia, asserted by the ruling

party, the state and much of wider society.

The movement has been able to successfully

resist these forms of division and has

consistently taken a multi-ethnic form.

People more ordinarily described as

foreigners rather than comrades have often

held important leadership positions, while

the movement has been able to occupy and

hold land and to sustain impressive popular

support. But there are significant limits to

its reach, it has been subject to serious

repression, and it has not been able to

sustain the political autonomy of its larger

occupations over the long-term.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


A HOMEMADE POLITICS

Abahlali baseMjondolo was formed in 2005

in a group of nearby shack settlements,

all on well-established land occupations,

some reaching back to the 1980s or even

the late 1970s. The people who formed

the movement drew on a rich repertoire

of political experience that included

participation in the ANC, trade unions and

the popular struggles of the 1980s. There

were also familial connections reaching

back to key moments in the history of

popular struggle like the Durban strikes

in 1973, the Mpondo Revolt in 1961,

resistance to evictions in Durban in 1959

and the Bambatha Rebellion in 1906.

The movement was also shaped by practices

and ideas developed in African-initiated

churches and adapted from rural life. From

the beginning ideas about a pre-colonial

world in which personhood was respected

and understood to be attained in relation

to others were significant. But elements

of the new liberal order, like rights-based

conceptions of gender equality, as well as

political traditions that claim descent from

Marx, were also present. These were largely

derived from trade unions and the alliance

between the South African Communist Party

and the ANC.

This new politics was often described as

a “homemade politics” and as a “living

politics”. The idea of a “homemade

politics” carried some sense of bricolage, a

general feature of life in a shack settlement,

and both of these phrases marked a

commitment to a mode of politics that

emerges from everyday life, is fully within

reach of the oppressed, and is fully owned

by the oppressed.

The settlements where the movement was

formed had all been dominated by the

ANC. At the time the ANC, as Idea, was still

entwined with the nation and the struggle

that had bought it into being. As a result the

break from the authority of the party, which

resulted in autonomous elected structures

being set up in each affiliated settlement,

was often understood as a challenge to

local party structures, rather than a rejection

of the party altogether.

It was frequently assumed that the

fundamental problem was that

impoverished people living in shack

settlements had somehow been forgotten

in the new order. It was often thought that

if they, like the industrial working class,

could develop an organizational form to

successfully assert themselves as a particular

category of people, with a particular set of

interests – as the poor – the sympathetic

attention of leading figures in the party, and

elsewhere in society, could be won, and that

45

June 2016


46

recognition and inclusion could be attained.

But there was, from the beginning, also

an evident commitment to attain inclusion

in a manner that altered the nature of

the system in various respects. One was

with regard to how decisions are made.

Reflecting on that moment, S’bu Zikode, a

participant in the early discussions, recalls:

“There was a realization, at the onset, that

it was a mistake to give away our power.”

There was a clear resolve that the right of

people to fully participate in all decisionmaking

relating to themselves and their

communities, a right understood to have

been expropriated by colonialism, needed

to be restored.

The implication of this is that there was a

commitment to dispersing power and to

changing the nature of the relationship

between the state and society. Another

commitment that was present at the outset

was a rejection of the commodification of

land. Again this was often framed in terms

of restoration.

AN AUTONOMOUS POLITICS

The political form of the movement was

constituted around elected structures in each

settlement affiliated to an elected central

structure. Meetings were required to be

open to all and held in the settlements at set

times. They took the form of inclusive and

slow deliberative processes that continued

until consensus was attained. It was a politics

consistently constituted around an open and

face-to-face democracy. The role of elected

leaders was understood to be to facilitate

this kind of decision-making and to adhere

to it. There were also frequent assemblies,

often attended by hundreds of people, and

the smaller meetings would refer important

decisions to these assemblies.

The slow politics that results from the need

to attain consensus before acting sometimes

meant that political opportunities were

missed. But because people – wary of the

frequently crass instrumentalization of

impoverished people by parties, the state

and later NGOs too – knew that they fully

owned this movement, popular support was

sustained.

The early decision to refuse any

participation in party politics or elections

was vital to sustaining unity, and deflecting

constant allegations of external conspiracy.

For some people it was purely a tactical

measure while for others it was a point of

principle. But a clear distinction was drawn

between “party politics” and “people’s

politics”. For Zikode, “we realized that to

be in a political party was to be confined,

as in a coffin.” Despite extraordinary

inducements and pressures the movement

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


sustained its autonomy from political parties

and, later on, NGOs. In both cases the

response from constituted authority was to

resort to colonial tropes and present the

movement as criminals under the control of

malicious external white authority.

While the movement always understood that

its original and fundamental power lay in

self-organized communities, the capacity

to occupy and hold land and the use of

disruption via road blockades, it was never

solely concerned with this sphere of action.

Alliances were also sought with actors

outside the settlements, like journalists,

lawyers, academics and religious leaders.

There were regular interventions in the

wider public sphere, via lawful forms of

mass protest as well as the media, and an

often very effective use of the courts to, in

particular, take contestation over land off

the terrain of violence.

Autonomy was taken seriously within the

movement, but it wasn’t imagined as an

exodus from sites of constituted power. It

was imagined more like Antonio Gramsci’s

idea of the neighborhood council as a

political commitment that would enable

effective collective engagement on other

terrains. People spoke, by way of analogy,

of occupying space in sites of constituted

power, like the media or the university.

THE LONG SHADOW OF THE STATE

The organizational form developed by

Abahlali baseMjondolo enabled a political

space in which the oppressed, albeit it in

this case self-identified as the poor rather

than the working class, could, as Marx said

of the Paris Commune, work out their own

emancipation.

Although this process has, at points, had

to grapple with internal difficulties and

frustrations – such as new entrants bringing

in contradictory projects, families seeking

to turn the risk and commitment of a child

or sibling into a reward, or distortions

consequent to repression – it has often been

undertaken with a strong sense of collective

excitement.

But any affirmation of the commune as a

political strategy rather than a description of

an organizational form has to take careful

account of the fact that, since 1871 and

continuing with more recent experiences in,

say, Oaxaca and Oakland, the declaration

of a commune has seldom resulted in a

sustainable political project. States rarely

tolerate the emergence of even modest

instances of dual power. In Durban the

intersection of the ruling party, which

employs technocratic, Stalinist and ethnic

language to legitimate the centralization of

authority, has used two primary strategies

47

June 2016


48

to regain control over territories in which

a degree of political autonomy has been

asserted.

One of these strategies is the simple

exercise of violence – whether carried out

by the police, private security, local party

structures or assassins. Violence has been

a constant presence during a decade of

struggle. But there have been two periods

of particularly intense repression that have

both, in different ways, had a profound

impact on the movement.

The first was the expulsion of the

movement’s leading members from the

Kennedy Road settlement in 2009, via the

destruction of their homes by armed men

acting under the direction of local party

structures, and with the support of the

police. This was a process that continued

for some months. The second was two

assassinations, and a police murder, in

the Marikana Land Occupation, in 2013,

followed by another assassination in

KwaNdengezi in 2014.

Both periods of intense repression placed

some people under severe stress resulting

in anxiety and paranoia, as well as familial

pressure, and resulted in real strains

in the movement. In 2014, in an act of

desperation when it seemed that murder

was being carried out with impunity, a

collective decision was taken to make a

tactical vote against the ANC, with a view to

raising the costs of repression for the ruling

party, while remaining independent from

any party political affiliation.

The second primary strategy of

containment, frequently related to the

exercise of violence, is the often very

effective attempt to make independent

development on occupied land very

difficult while mediating access to state

development through local party structures.

For as long as the state has the capacity to

demolish homes, an investment in building

a brick and mortar house is not rational.

Shacks, particularly in acutely contested

land occupations, are often designed to be

cheap, perhaps built from pallets salvaged

from a warehouse. They are sometimes

designed to be able to be collapsed when

the demolition squad comes and rebuilt

when they have departed.

When the state concedes the legitimacy of

a land occupation and offers a housing

development there will be significant

opportunities for accumulation via local

party structures, often enmeshed with

local criminal networks, and access to the

housing will be allocated through party

structures. These two factors combine

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


to make it almost impossible to benefit

from development while being outside

the party. In a context in which the party

machinery offers the only viable route

out of impoverishment for many people,

responsibilities to family can begin to

conflict with responsibilities to neighbors

and comrades. This can result in a situation

where some members of the movement go

over to these structures. It can also result in

a situation in which party structures return,

from outside, at gunpoint.

For these reasons it is very difficult to sustain

the political autonomy of a territory once

the state has conceded its legitimacy and

brought it into the ambit of its development

program. Material success – winning

land and housing – becomes political

defeat. This has meant that while Abahlali

baseMjondolo has endured, and grown,

during a decade of struggle in which the

movement has always remained vibrant, the

sites where the struggle is waged with most

intensity have been dynamic.

A MOMENT OF POLITICAL

OPPORTUNITY

If the political form of the commune is

understood as the self-management of

a spatially delimited community under

popular democratic authority, then –

although the term commune has not

been used within the movement – it

could certainly be argued that Abahlali

baseMjondolo has been and, despite the

trauma of serious repression, remains

committed to the construction of a set of

linked communes.

However, if the commune is understood as

a form of politics with explicit commitments

to the radical traditions developed in 19th

century Europe, then things are more

complex. Although the movement’s politics

has evolved over the years it has always

been committed to some principles that

had a productive resonance with standard

European conceptions of socialism and

communism. This is true with regard to

what, using Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar’s

terms, can be described as both its interior

emancipatory horizon and the practical

scope of its day-to-day actions.

But dignity has consistently been a far

more central concept than socialism. The

practical scope of the movement’s work has

overwhelmingly focused on the sphere of

social reproduction rather than the sphere

of industrial production.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

In 2005 many people had thought that, via

a powerful movement, they would secure

land and housing, on their own terms, in a

couple of years. Now there is a strong sense

of the ANC as an outrightly oppressive

49

June 2016


50

force that is understood to have betrayed

the national struggle by entering into a

self-serving set of alliances to sustain the

enduringly colonial structure of society. The

horizon of struggle is much longer, and

often more modest. Progress is understood

to be a matter of resilience and resolve over

the long haul, with most gains taking an

incremental form.

But with a widening split within the ANC,

and trade unions and organized students

breaking from the ANC, there are new

prospects for building alliances and

solidarities outside of the ANC – alliances

that could potentially enable a greater

political reach on the part of what Abahlali

baseMjondolo have termed, with reference

to the self-organization of the oppressed,

“the strong poor”. The splits in the ruling

party have already offered some respite to

the movement and, in one neighborhood,

a tactical local alliance with Communist

Party structures has helped to secure the

– previously unimaginable – arrest of two

ANC councilors for the assassination of an

Abahlali baseMjondolo leader.

If the idea of the commune has a future

here it will have to be appropriated by the

oppressed and rethought from within their

actually existing strivings and struggles. This

would have to include the work of making

sense of a moment of political opportunity

as the collapse of the moral authority of the

ANC spreads from the shantytowns, to the

mines, factories, parliament and university

campuses.

Richard Pithouse

Richard Pithouse teaches politics at the

university currently known as Rhodes

University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

His new book is Writing the Decline:

On the Struggle for South Africa’s

Democracy (Jacana).

From 2003, about Durban’s Cato Manor

township ColdType Modern Classics

present,

‘White Man Walking’ by Denis Beckett

Free to download at www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


DENIS BECKETT

WHITE MAN

WALKING

51

June 2016


52

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


RAGS TO RICHES

BY FEEDING THE

KILLING MACHINE

adapted from Martin MITCHELL

https://martinmitchellsmicrophones.wordpress.com

T45 Noise-Cancelling Microphone (1944)

In 1942 after America entered World War 2, the US military estimated

that only 20% of radio communications in combat were successful.

Failure in the other 80% was mainly due to the voice of the radio

operator being drowned out by the surrounding cacophony of war.

Like no other conflict before, success on the battlefield relied on

communications. Spotting a gap in the market Al Khan and Ed Burrows,

the owners of Electro-Voice, came up with a brilliantly simple, ingenious

and cost effective solution to this problem.

53

Even in 1942 the single button carbon microphone was a piece of old

fashioned tried and tested technology, having been in use in telephones

since the tail end of the previous century. Although the audio quality of

the T45 is little better than it’s telephonic predecessors it is extremely

reliable and very robust. It also has a high output making it ideal for long

distance communication. Even if the microphone gets wet you can simply

dry it out (as per the instructions above) and it will carry on working!

However, the really clever part of this design utilises 2 small holes of

equal size on the front and back of the mic. These allow the surrounding

June 2016


noise to enter the microphone on both sides of the diaphragm. The sound

striking the back of the diaphragm is 180 degrees out of phase with the sound

at the front. This causes a very impressive cancellation of the unwanted noise

whilst the speaker’s voice, which is less than a 1/4 of an inch from the front

opening, dominates the transmission.

In terms of manufacturing costs it would be hard to produce a cheaper

microphone. A carbon button is a very small tin of glorified coal dust

(carbon granules) with a simple diaphragm attached. A bit of wire and

some lightweight plastic fittings and that is it! Pure genius!

54

After some initial military skepticism the product was thoroughly tested

and a first order came through to Khan and Burrows for 100,000 units!

The T45 was soon taken up by all branches of America’s armed forces

and the success rate of combat communications rose to 90%.

Rags to RICHES

Prior to World War 2 Electro-Voice was a small struggling company,

with 20 employees, manufacturing a handful of dynamic and velocity

microphones per week. By the latter part of the war Electro-Voice had

500 employees working in 3 shifts producing more than 2,000 T45

microphones a day! After WW2 it was also adopted by commercial

aviation and remained in service for several decades. The T45 was also

used on the Mercury, Gemini and Skylab space missions.

Over the entire production run more than a million were produced placing

the T45 among the highest selling microphones ever made.

During the war many small firms went out of business due to a shortage

of manpower and materials, but for those involved in the war effort

fortunes were to be made. In 1946 Electro-Voice moved into an

impressive new factory at Buchanan Michigan where they continued to

manufacture innovative and exciting audio products for the next 60 years.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


55

The Electro Voice T45

Noise-cancelling

Microphone

1944

June 2016


capitalism just

does not work, i’ve

just spent all my

wages and i’m not

pissed ...

56

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


Socialist Worker

Letters Page

Dear comrade editor

As a once active member and now long time supporter I note with some

dismay Socialist Worker trotting out the same old ‘EU is a bosses club and

cannot be reformed’ with mention of unelected bureaucrats to ram home your

partisan LEAVE message and ... to all intents and purposes for everyone to see

… share that flatulent argument and a putrid-smelling platform with UKIP and

other assorted bigots.

The EU is a bosses club, this we know, I have no illusions about the EU, but

also have absolutely no illusions in the uk parliament, its voting system, or its

unelected second chamber - the exclusive, up-your-arse house of lords (no

capitals required!). This referendum is a distraction, since when have our government,

and their paymasters (big business) allowed the citizenry to decide on

anything supposedly this important? Either way the vote goes - they don’t give

a shit - they believe ‘they’ will still be in the saddle!

As internationalists we should be promoting joint cross-border worker action

to break down big companies ability to play worker against worker by shifting

work and money about the EU (and the world) for their profit-margins, arguing

for active support of French strikers … this we can do better within the EU. To

break the stranglehold the EU rightwing have on the rights and movement of

migrants/refugees/immigrants, and deliver on Socialist Workers’ ‘They are all

welcome’ message, we should be appealing to cross-border action, not proposing

we side with those who want to skulk in an off-shore walled-up island

patrolled by peak-capped border guards. We need to be in Europe arguing for

no borders.

We should be (and are) for the overthrow of ALL ‘bosses clubs’!

57

Alan Rutherford

ex-Cheltenham SWP

June 2016


EXHIBITION

A NEW CHILDHOOD

PICTURE BOOKS

FROM SOVIET RUSSIA

House of Illustration

London N1C 4BH

Until 11 September

houseofillustration.org

58

Avant garde design,

childrens books from

1920s and 1930s.

The exhibiton takes us from Tsarist

Russia through the revolution and then

wallows in Stalin’s counter-revolution.

Those interested in this period of

illustration can follow it up by

visiting a free archive at

pudl.princeton.edu/collections/

pudl0127

Poster by Galina and Olga

Chichagova

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


59

June 2016


60

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


Jailed in las vegas | Brian terrell

when nuclear power came of age | Brian Parkin

gimme shelter (from the tax man) | nomi Prins

ColdType

Writing Worth reading | photos Worth seeing issue 118

61

DonalD

Trump

Breaking

the bottom

of the barrel

June 2016


62

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER ELEVEN


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Absolutely damaged but still awake, I say again,

well yes, again, because the letters page is so

much of a hopeless failure ... Words fail me,

what is the use of words when the person you

are saying them to is unable to grasp your, and

their, meaning?

Worryingly, we are still heading down that

irrational road, the one where stupidity reigns,

and where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched

banal myths, hearsay and superstition.

The probability that this shit-faced fudge

of complacency and mad spouters will be

defended to the death before reason can be

accepted again (if ever) is utterly terrifying.

For evidence of this I direct your (giggling still)

attention to Donald Trump and his campaign to

become US President. As Britain’s government is

a happy satellite of US mischief in the world ...

and a blindly loyal follower of US foreign policy,

what will our Cameron/Osborne/Johnson

government do if Trump suceeds and begins his

Term of Ignorance?

63

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I

am absolute in my scepticism about whether

the Euro (pro and sceptic)-business-arses and

their sycophantic political stooges – or the US

presidential circus and their flunkies – will come

up with anything remotely of benefit to anyone

other than the rampantly corrupt ruling class

wankers intent on fucking us all.

June 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

TWELVE

IN OR OUT ... THE SUITS

WILL STILL BE TRYING

TO EAT US ALIVE

EU JUNERENDUM


Artwork: Jack Hurley

https://loudribs.wordpress.com

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Opening 03

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: re-worked comic.

Photographs, words and artwork

sourced from ‘found in the scrapbook

of life’, no intentional copyright

infringement intended, credited

whenever possible, so, for treading

on any toes ... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for submitting

articles to be included in the next

issue, it will appear whenever, or

in your dreams!

Articles and all correspondence to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

We Already Own It 05

DRUM 09

Tsotsi Zuma 19

No Ideas ... 23

Futura 25

Letter to Socialist Worker 29

Letters 33

1

mid-June 2016


2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 12.

A magazine produced freely to be read

freely. All articles and artwork supplied, or

found in newspapers lining the bottom of

the canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

a luta continua!

3

Artwork: William Morris

mid-June 2016


NHS

The collective principle

asserts that no society

can legitimately call itself

civilised if a sick person

is denied medical aid

because of lack of means.

4

Illness is neither an

indulgence for which

people have to pay, nor

an offence for which they

should be penalised, but

a misfortune. the cost of

which should be shared by

the community.

Nye Bevan

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


WE ALREADY OWN IT

I recently applied for a job at ‘We Own It’, my position plainly made in

my application letter …

‘I would be very interested in being involved in ‘We Own It’,

as a socialist I agree with the aims of highlighting and possibly

stopping this short-term fix for governments with private

enterprise agendas who are in financial trouble – finding the

continued selling off of public services to the hyenas of the

entrepreneurial cesspit an abhorrence!

5

Please consider me for the ‘communications assistant’ position

…’

Public authorities can offer a very good quality service but, currently that

is at a higher rate than private companies. The reason for this is that

public authorities pay workers the going rate for the job, have to pay

overtime rates and properly abide with employment regulations … and

then, as part of the bureaucratic bodge-nonsense that exists in the public

sector, some officer’s wages are inflated to be comparative with private

sector high-flyers ...

mid-June 2016


Then, the only option that blinkered, narrow-minded public sector

grandees and local authority decision-makers can see in times of budget

cuts is tendering out, or selling off, services to cheap private providers.

Those private services are impersonal, profit driven, fat cats in the driving

seat, using workers who are low paid, intimidated, often forced to be

complicit in rule-bending for the sake of keeping their job, and generally

being denied trade union representation.

6

We Own It should be arguing for public authorities to clip the wings

of their high flyers and to honestly explain to the public the true costs

of services, which in many cases we already own, before considering

anything else. Whatever a service actually costs – paying a proper living

wage, with job security, safety considered, reasonable hours – tell us, the

public, we can take it … Like all social/community costs, if they need to

be paid and are demonstrably fair and open, we have to pay them!

The truth is, up until the second world war, for most of us, the UK’s history

was one of serfdom, wage slave, slums, long hours, children workers,

dangerous conditions, misery and wasted lives … and all that fucking

upstairs downstairs nonsense. After the war a progressive Labour Party

introduced the Welfare State, nationalised things like the mines, the

railways, waterworks, gas and electricity suppliers … all brought into

public ownership … We Owned It!

Since then successive governments, criminally accelerated by Thatcher’s

anti-working class zeal, have, at the bequest of pillagers, privateers and

pirates, chipped away at that magnificent egalitarian statement of ‘for the

good of all’, allowing and encouraging dodgy characters to sow seeds of

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


discontent, dissatisfaction and greed. Their aim to return to the good old

days of cut-throat competition, small boys up chimneys, where the main

beneficiary of any service to the community is the owner/shareholder/

slug … and, most definitely not the user, recipient or the worker … is on

the statute books, it is entrenched as government policy ... unless we can

change it!

‘… as a socialist I agree with the aims of highlighting and possibly

stopping this short-term fix for governments with private enterprise

agendas who are in financial trouble – finding the continued selling

off of public services to the hyenas of the entrepreneurial cesspit an

abhorrence!’

7

THE SUITS ARE WAITING TO EAT US ALIVE!

mid-June 2016


8

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


DRUM

A photo-magazine that had editions all over the African continent, East,

West and South – and whilst perhaps the original management intention

of all Drum publications may have been to exploit the vast black African

reading/viewing market, it soon became apparent that the staff working

on these publications had other ideas – it is the South African Drum that

is especially talked about here.

9

The photographers of the South African Drum have become famous

for their many images of South Africa during the apartheid era, some

were published in Drum, some in the world press and others in books

published abroad to great critical aclaim. They often showed up white

South African society as offensively racist and inhuman by capturing

black peoples lives on film ... their images were a catalyst to the fight for

a more democratic country.

The staff, editors, journalists and photographers, at Drum ran the risk of

imprisonment and worse, their commitment deserves remembering.

Man and Child, Sharpeville, 1959

Photograph: Peter Magubane

mid-June 2016


Writing about his involvement on Drum in Creative Camera, 1984,

Kerry Swift wrote:

10

It is probably fair to say that the lack of recognition for the later Drum

reflects its steady slide to mediocrity after the tumultuous years of

the 1950s and early 1960s when the forces of nationalism in South

Africa were flexing their muscles and testing their ground. The quality

of picture magazines depends heavily on the social milieu they reflect

at given times. Just as Picture Post and Signal found ample subject

during the 1939-45 conflict, so Drum’s ‘golden years’ coincided with

the steady entrenchment of apartheid in South Africa and the black

response to it. It would be a deaf, dumb and blind editor who could not

capture at least some highlights of that primordial conflict in a black

magazine. Anthony Sampson and Tom Hopkinson produced some fine

journalism in the early Drum, being men of quite exceptional talent.

There appears to be a seminal flow to black response in South Africa.

Where one generation of black resisters encountered police bullets at

Sharpeville in 1960, a second generation felt the wrath of the State

after a banzai charge into the cannon’s mouth during the nationwide

riots sparked off in Soweto in June 1976. The first tide of black protest

in the 1950s and the early 1960s provided Drum journalists with

fertile ground for photo-reportage which they exploited with skill and

considerable flair. But when this tide abated, Drum seemed to slip into

a state of creative torpor which accurately reflected the socio-political

fortunes of its readers.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


Drum’s fortunes might have continued to slide had not a second

generation of black South Africans taken to the streets after June 1976.

With this second tide of resistance Drum took on new significance and

the ground was laid for a renaissance in Drum-style journalism. The

incumbent editor at the time was Tony Sutton, a former Daily Express man

whom Drum owner Jim Bailey had recruited in London to service his east

and west African magazines before bringing him south. When Sutton

took over Drum in early 1976, circulation hovered below 50,000 and

Drum was about to go monthly instead of its usual fortnightly frequency.

In short, the magazine was not exactly burning up the tracks.

I first met Tony Sutton when I was drafted in to edit Drum’s sister

magazine with the unlikely title of True Love. Volatile by nature, brash

and pugnacious, Sutton was not a great respecter of management, nor

proprietorial interference. But he had a passionate love for journalism

in general and Drum in particular and possessed an uncanny gift for

design, a gift he put to good use, visually transforming Drum and

stretching its staff and inadequate facilities to their limits.

11

When I crossed over to Drum as news editor, the staff consisted of Sutton

as executive editor, Stan Motjuwadi as editor, Chester Maharaja as staff

photographer and Sipho Jacobs, a clerk seconded from picture filing

to become crime reporter. Occasional input from Jacky Heyns in Cape

Town, the late G R Naidoo in Durban and a motley crew of freelancers

completed the editorial picture. Slowly we began to develop a robust and

aggressive style which, backed by Bailey’s considerable input, began to

show circulation results. Our market was once again on the boil and we

went out to capture it as best we could.

mid-June 2016


Much had changed since the early days of Drum. For one thing, dictates

of modern publishing forced up advertising content beyond the 60%

mark, greatly inhibiting our editorial canvas and leading to running

battles with management. Relationships within the organisation were

often strained and when Sutton was pushed through a glass window

by the advertising manager during one particularly heated exchange in

the passage we all took it as a minor victory – at least we were getting

through to them! But the restriction of editorial pages meant that very few

stories could run for more than three pages.

12

Publishing conditions had also changed substantially. A vast amount of

legislation inhibiting the Press had found its way into the statute books.

Blindfold in a legislative minefield is an accurate description of publishing

conditions and Drum, not having the muscle of the corporate publishing

giants behind it, was particularly vulnerable. The edition of Drum

published after the outbreak of the June 1976 riots, for example, was

banned, possession of the magazine being an offence.

exerpt from Creative Camera, nos. 235/236 July/August 1984

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


Tony Sutton, editor of South Africa’s Drum magazine during the 1976

schoolkids’rebellion, tells how Drum’s coverage of one of the most

momentous events in South Africa’s history earned it a 25-year ban:

Glancing through the pages of Drum magazine 40 years after the events

of June 16, 1976, I’m surprised by how little space we devoted to the

riots in the issue that followed the initial violence. Then I remember that

the magazine had just switched from fortnightly to monthly publishing,

and we were trapped by brutal print deadlines – six weeks from delivery

of pages to the printer to printed magazines – that were geared for

timeless features rather than fast-breaking news. So that month’s

coverage of one of the most momentous events in South Africa’s history

was limited to just four hasty pages, with a front page teaser – “THE

RIOTS: Why They Happened” – pasted across the top-right corner of a

cover image of an unnamed local beauty.

13

Inside that July ’76 issue are reports by co-editor Stan Motjuwadi and

chief reporter Joe Thloloe, accompanied by photographs by Mike

Mzileni, who was soon to be detained without charge as part of a state

crackdown on journalists. Another un-bylined piece, also written by

Motjuwadi, affirms that, “For 25 years Drum has been saying that if

South Africa were to have a revolution of social conscience and recognise

the brotherhood of Man under the fatherhood of God, there could be no

violence and no threat from foreign powers. For our variety of races and

colours is perhaps our greatest asset.”

mid-June 2016


That issue was ignored by the government, which had hammered much

of the black media in the days after the riots. So we – and our lawyers –

were extra careful how we handled the following issue. Our vigilance was

in vain. The state reaction stunned us all: the August 1976, issue of Drum

was considered so inflammatory that the government didn’t just follow

its usual practice of simply banning the issue from sale, but they decreed

that possession of it was a criminal offence – an action usually reserved

for the most extreme political journals (that ban remained in place for

almost 25 years, until Mandela’s release in February, 1990).

14

Yes, Drum’s rhetoric was angry, but it was reasoned, carefully-articulated,

anger, not a wild scream for revenge or bloody insurrection. Motjuwadi

had written, “Every adult South African, black and white should hang

their heads in shame. The whole blood-curdling affair of Hector Peterson,

only 13, riddled with bullets, stinks to high heaven. Every white South

African finger drips with the blood of Hector for ramming Afrikaans down

his throat.”

That paragraph was cited by the censors as one of a plethora of nitpicking

reasons for the banning, as was a photograph of a dead body,

shattered rib-caged exposed, which was declared “offensive to public

morals.” So it was confirmed: under apartheid, mowing down schoolkids

was okay, but publishing photographs of their corpses was a sin!

Ironically, the banning order made no mention of another quote in

the magazine, from a speech by the Afrikaner Chief Justice Rump at a

graduation of white students 56 days before the first shot had been fired

in Soweto on June 16, “… social equality will have to be accepted and

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


mechanisms for self-expression will have to be created. If there are whites

who don’t like this, they had better go and find what they want elsewhere.

In the long run, South Africa has a great future for all of us provided

whites are willing to educate, qualify and recognise the non-whites …

so that they may walk side by side into the dawn that has broken over

Africa, a dawn which in South Africa will not turn again to darkness.”

The vicious state reaction had an immediate, chilling, impact. Freelance

photographer Alf Kumalo had handed me a stunning, but politicallyprovocative,

photograph that no other publication had dared print as

the townships blazed during the fragile days after June 16. I had already

placed this image – showing the bodies of two dead Africans lying in

front of a ‘hippo,’ an armoured combat vehicle extensively used by the

security forces in black townships – as a double-page spread in the early

pages of the September issue.

15

After the banning, I killed the feature, but held on to the photo for several

months, before splashing it across two pages to open Drum’s January,

1977 photographic round-up of the year, under the heading, Year of

The Hippo. Then we held our breath, hoping it would slide past the

government’s unpredictably censorious gaze. Fortunately, it did …

from ColdType, June 2016

Read more, see more photographs … some of this article is an edited

The South African state’s reaction to the next, August, issue amazed

us all: it was judged to be so inflammatory that the government didn’t

just follow its usual practice and ban the issue from sale, but made

possession of it a criminal offence.

mid-June 2016


Read more, see more photographs

… some of this article is an

edited excerpt from an essay in

the catalogue for a photographic

exhibition, Drum 1976-1980: An

Exhibition From the Pages of

Drum Magazine, held at Rhodes

University in 2006 to celebrate the

30th anniversary of the Soweto riots

of 1976.

16

A pdf of the booklet may be

downloaded from: http://coldtype.

net/Assets.06/Essays.06/0606.

DrumBook.pdf

Tony Sutton is editor of ColdType.

He was editor of the South African

magazine Drum from 1976 to

1981.

From Drum, January 1977

Photograph: Alf Kumalo

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


17

mid-June 2016


Of cabbages and kings

18

And whether pigs have wings

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


TSOTSI ZUMA

The employment of cunning and duplicity

in statecraft or in general conduct.

Niccolò Machiavelli

Artwork: Alan Rutherford ... with a nod to Lewis Carroll

Sadly, some uncharitably even say inevitably, the ANC, that bright beacon

of hope for a better South Africa, have failed the electorate by allowing

their president to build up a nest of cronies around him ... but ultimately

now for closing ranks to deviously protect president Zuma against the

charges of corruption and fraud.

Falling into every racist’s dream Zuma, by his actions to ride roughshod

over any legislative attempt to contain his excesses, shows that he does

not give a damn – his behaviour would just seem to vindicate every

racists’ gloating ‘they are not ready to govern’! All of Mandela’s sainted

charm cannot undo this! To survive, if it can, the ANC must come clean,

reorganise ... amandla ngawethu (power to the people!)

The truth here is, power corrupts ... anyone given unchallenged power is

likely to entertain ideas of grandiose pompous idolatory importance ...

ZUMA must go!

19

mid-June 2016


A SQUARE PEGIN THE ROUND

20

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


21

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

mid-June 2016


22

Spinoza and Hume met up in the

vestibule of St Verity the Cheesemaker’s

Blouse, a cuddly priest shouted, ‘Owze

it hanging ... you cheeky monkey?’ –

forced to check each others garb by the

remark, they fell out big time and both

were arrested by the Osophy Police for

flashing their egos.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


There are no ideas in Bristol

only IDEALS

The word ‘idea’ can have a variety of meanings. It can refer to any content

of the mind, or the thought or mental representation of a particular

thing, or a plan or intention to do something, or the characterisation of

something in general terms, that is, a concept or category.

For Plato, reality consisted of immaterial universals that he called forms or

ideas. These were external to the mind, whereas for idealist philosophers,

there is no external reality separate from the ideas that occur within the

mind. Rationalists hold that we are born with certain innate ideas from

which all knowledge can be deduced, whereas empiricists reject innate

ideas, prefering that the mind only acquires ideas through experience of

the external world. Instrumentalists hold that ideas are no more than tools

for dealing with practical problems. from Big Ideas In Brief: Ian Crofton

23

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

‘A cabbage is truthful or not truthful (or both at once).

Therefore by infallible demonstration a cabbage is a liar. For

otherwise it will be both at once, which we know it cannot be,

or else it must be truthful, which we know it is not. QED’

F. H. Bradley disappearing up his own arsehole,

taken from volume 2 of Collected Works of F. H. Bradley,

published by Thoemmes Press, Bristol 1999.

THERE ARE NO IDEAS IN BRISTOL BECAUSE OLD BRISTOLIANS ADD AN ‘L’ TO SOME WORDS

mid-June 2016


24

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


Paul RENNER

1876-1956

Typeface

FUTURA

Paul Renner, like Jan Tschichold, wanted types that suited the modern

age instead of being revivals from an earlier one. In this, his views were

similar to those of the Bauhaus movement, whose ideals he shared and

influenced without ever being a member.

He established the Meisterschule für Deutschlands Buchdrucher

(Advanced School of German Book-printing) in Munich and recruited

fellow type designers Georg Trump and Jan Tschichold to teach there.

Tschichold was removed from his post and interned by the Nazis for

‘subversive typography’ in 1933. Renner himself was dismissed under

similar circumstances that same year.

25

His best known typeface, Futura, is the archetypal geometric sans serif.

The original design had a lower-case of experimental characters but

these were all abandoned before its release by Bauer in 1927. It has

proved the most popular of its type, eclipsing the earlier Erbar, and still

retains its popularity today.

Futura is the main font used in Sheep in the Road

mid-June 2016


26

ANGLO-MYTHOLOGY

of forage proportions

art: Nick Dyer script: Richard Clements lettering: Jim Campbell

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


WORDS AS TURDS

REFERENDUM

INNUENDUM

ONOMATOPOEIA

27

CONSTIPATION

MYTHINFORMATION

DIARRHOEA

mid-June 2016


capitalism just

does not work, i’ve

just spent all my

wages and i’m not

pissed ...

28

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


Artwork: Alan Rutherford

Socialist Worker

Letters Page

Dear comrade editor

As a once active member and now long time supporter I note with some

dismay Socialist Worker trotting out the same old ‘EU is a bosses club and

cannot be reformed’ with mention of unelected bureaucrats to ram home your

partisan LEAVE message and ... to all intents and purposes for everyone to see

… share that flatulent argument and a putrid-smelling platform with UKIP and

other assorted bigots.

The EU is a bosses club, this we know, I have no illusions about the EU, but

also have absolutely no illusions in the uk parliament, its voting system, or its

unelected second chamber - the exclusive, up-your-arse house of lords (no

capitals required!). This referendum is a distraction, since when have our government,

and their paymasters (big business) allowed the citizenry to decide on

anything supposedly this important? Either way the vote goes - they don’t give

a shit - they believe ‘they’ will still be in the saddle!

As internationalists we should be promoting joint cross-border worker action

to break down big companies ability to play worker against worker by shifting

work and money about the EU (and the world) for their profit-margins, arguing

for active support of French strikers … this we can do better within the EU. To

break the stranglehold the EU rightwing have on the rights and movement of

migrants/refugees/immigrants, and deliver on Socialist Workers’ ‘They are all

welcome’ message, we should be appealing to cross-border action, not proposing

we side with those who want to skulk in an off-shore walled-up island

patrolled by peak-capped border guards. We need to be in Europe arguing for

no borders.

We should be (and are) for the overthrow of ALL ‘bosses clubs’!

Alan Rutherford

ex-Cheltenham SWP

29

mid-June 2016


30

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


31

mid-June 2016


32

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Absolutely damaged but still awake, I say again,

well yes, again, because the letters page is so

much of a hopeless failure ... Words fail me,

what is the use of words when the person you

are saying them to is unable to grasp your, and

their, meaning?

Worryingly, we are still heading down that

irrational road, the one where stupidity reigns,

and where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched

banal myths, hearsay and superstition.

The probability that this shit-faced fudge

of complacency and mad spouters will be

defended to the death before reason can be

accepted again (if ever) is utterly terrifying.

For evidence of this I direct your (giggling still)

attention to Donald Trump and his campaign to

become US President. As Britain’s government is

a happy satellite of US mischief in the world ...

and a blindly loyal follower of US foreign policy,

what will our Cameron/Osborne/Johnson

government do if Trump suceeds and begins his

Term of Ignorance?

33

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I

am absolute in my scepticism about whether

the Euro (pro and sceptic)-business-arses and

their sycophantic political stooges – or the US

presidential circus and their flunkies – will come

up with anything remotely of benefit to anyone

other than the rampantly corrupt ruling class

wankers intent on fucking us all.

mid-June 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

13

JULY-AUGUST

2016


SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Opening 03

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: re-worked cartoon.

Photographs, words and artwork

sourced from ‘found in the scrapbook

of life’, no intentional copyright

infringement intended, credited

whenever possible, so, for treading

on any toes ... apologies all round!

Private Finance Iniatives 05

Junior Doctor speaks ... 09

Humber Super Snipe 15

The key ... 23

Negative Credit 25

Letters 37

1

Artwork: Fifth Column

There is no deadline for submitting

articles to be included in the next

issue, it will appear whenever, or

in your dreams!

Articles and all correspondence to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

JULY & AUGUST 2016


2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 13.

Trying to ignore the media circus, lies

and bullshit that parades as news ... misdirecting

our attention, here is a magazine

produced freely to be read freely.

All articles and artwork supplied, or found

in newspapers lining the bottom of the

canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

3

Artwork: Meridith Stern

a luta continua!

JULY & AUGUST 2016


4

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


Artwork: John Phillips

PFI

If you think there is no money for NHS

funding you’d be right – Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) has sucked it dry

The total UK Private Finance Initiatives (PFI)

debt is over £300bn. To put it more simply:

this debt would cover the entire NHS budget

for approximately two and a half years

From the Independent

by Yousef El-Gingihy,

who is the author of

How to Dismantle the NHS

in 10 Easy Steps

published by Zero books

Up and down the UK, Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) are destroying public

services. Introduced by John Major’s

government and expanded by New Labour,

the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) policy

was designed to use private financing to

build and run public sector infrastructure

projects. Private Finance Initiatives (PFI)

consortia consist of bankers, construction

companies and facilities management firms.

The projects work like a mortgage, with

repayments on the work completed made

over decades. There is just one snag: the

interest rates for Private Finance Initiatives

(PFI) agreements are scandalously high.

The NHS has more than 100 Private

Finance Initiatives (PFI) hospitals. The

original cost of these 100 institutions was

around £11.5bn. In the end, they will cost

the public purse nearly £80bn. The total

UK Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) debt is

over £300bn for projects worth only £55bn.

This means that nearly £250bn will be

spent swelling the coffers of Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) groups.

5

JULY & AUGUST 2016


6

Just imagine what could buy for that in a time

of supposed austerity. My rough calculations

suggest it would cover the salaries for all the

nurses, all the consultants and all the GPs

needed to serve the NHS for 10 years – and

you would still have billions left over to train

the next generation or two of surgeons, build

80 state of the art hospitals, and treat tens of

thousands of cancer patients for a year.

To put it more simply: it would cover the

entire NHS budget for approximately two

and a half years.

We are constantly told that there is no

money left; that we cannot afford the NHS

as it is currently run, or to fund high quality

public services. Yet there is plenty of money

for the banks and for Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI). And the UK Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) debt is four times the size of

the budget deficit used to justify austerity. In

other words, austerity is a political choice

rather than a necessity.

Innisfree, a small finance company based

in the City of London, is one of the biggest

players in the Private Finance Initiatives

(PFI) market. One of Innisfree’s flagship

projects is the largest NHS Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) scheme at St Bartholomew’s

and the Royal London hospitals in London.

This could have been publicly financed for

around £1bn; instead, it will end up costing

£7bn by the time repayments are complete

in 2049. The difference of £6bn will go

to PFI consortium Skanska Innisfree and

partners. To put these figures into a more

digestible format, Barts is paying over £2m

a week in interest, which adds up to over

£120m a year, before they see a single

patient.

Innisfree chief executive David Metter was

paid £8.6m in 2010. It’s no surprise that

a majority of NHS hospitals are now in

deficit with Private Finance Initiatives (PFI)

as a major factor. And you thought your

mortgage was bad. Just imagine if they

could spend that money on patient care.

The majority shareholder in Innisfree is

Coutts, the Queen’s bank. Coutts UK, in

turn, is owned by RBS. RBS thus effectively

has a controlling stake in hospitals,

boosting its profits whilst simultaneously

running public services into the ground.

It is worth recalling that the combined

bail-out and losses of RBS since the crash

amount to £95 billion. This is almost

equivalent to the NHS budget for a whole

year, yet it is still extracting profit out of the

NHS.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


£

HSBC also has a controlling stake in many

Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) schemes,

and even owns PFI hospitals outright. HSBC

was caught red-handed laundering money

for Mexican drug cartels, organisations

linked to Al-Qaeda, Russian gangsters and

sanctions busting. Yet HSBC is also profiting

from the dismantling of healthcare.

The Treasury building upgrade is a Private

Finance Initiatives (PFI) scheme, and HMRC

is renting offices from a company registered

in an offshore tax haven thanks to a Private

Finance Initiatives (PFI) scheme. You really

couldn’t make this stuff up. In fact, publicprivate

partnerships have even been

exported globally including to Iraq and

Libya. Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) has

been such a roaring success that George

Osborne was rolling out Private Finance

Initiatives 2, the blockbuster sequel, before

he got the chop.

7

Artwork: Thomas Nast

Some smaller hospitals have already been

able to buy their way out of Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI), and there are multiple

precedents for taking services back into

public hands when the private sector fails.

So it’s time for the Private Finance

Initiatives (PFI) debt to be cancelled

and the introduction of a future policy

of financing public infrastructure

directly.

JULY & AUGUST 2016


8

NHS Solidarity – supported

by doctors, nurses, teachers,

Disabled People Against

Cuts (DPAC) and several

unions – is calling for the

renationalisation of the

NHS. Wake up Britain!

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


As a junior doctor, it mystifies me why

Theresa May didn’t take the opportunity to

sack the incompetent Jeremy Hunt

Junior doctors are traditionally loath to

take strike action and on the centre-right

of politics. Hunt managed to unite them all

against the government. That is no mean

feat

There is no denying the volatility and

unpredictability of British politics over the

past month. It feels like every man and his

dog has resigned, with no one accepting

the challenge of the difficult passage ahead.

For many of us working in the NHS the

silver lining in this very dark and dismal

cloud was the anticipation of removal of

Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary.

9

From the Independent

Never has a Health Secretary been so

incompetent, disliked and uncompromising.

For many, it has felt like he singlehandedly

impaired contract negotiations by his

relentless opposition to any concession. I

am incredibly tired and frustrated with the

government and its inability to listen to its

electorate after trying to deal with him over

the last few months.

JULY & AUGUST 2016


10

Hunt has succeeded in uniting doctors in a

front against the government, a move few

could have predicted considering doctors’

usual reluctance to strike and historical

support for centre-right politics. He has

allowed services to be stretched beyond

breaking point. He has triggered the biggest

exodus of doctors, many of which are

from struggling specialties, and has acted

as a walking advertisement for Australia.

Contributing to a brain drain wasn’t

supposed to be part of his job description.

Even in terms of speaking to patients, our

Health Secretary has been left wanting. In

February of this year, he was criticised by a

meningitis charity for making a “serious error

of judgment” after he seemed to recommend

that parents worried about a rash their

child have should look on the internet and

compare pictures rather than visit a doctor.

It is about time politicians were held

properly accountable for their actions. As

medical professionals, if we are found to

be dangerous or personally difficult, we have

to answer to the General Medical Council,

who will review our registration. Hunt has

been dangerous and difficult. Policies that

harm patients and the medical staff who

treat them have been introduced under his

watch. He has been obstinate during contract

negotiations and is reluctant to listen to or

accept any criticism of his imposed plans.

This is a minister who has been previously

been implemented in the BskyB scandal, he

has demonstrated previous arrogance and

dishonesty. In 2012, he was caught up in

the BSkyB scandal, where many called for

him to resign and the Guardian stated that

“he appears to have blotted his copybook

beyond repair.” It took him just three years to

involve himself in a scandal of even bigger

proportions.

Hunt will go down in history as a person

with astounding abilities to cling onto

power despite reaching record levels of

unpopularity. It was an unprecedented move

when 98 per cent of junior doctors voted

to go on strike last year, one followed by

marches in support that were attended by

record numbers of the general public. The

fact that Theresa May kept him in power

beggars belief. I can only think that she

wants him to sort out the mess he created.

Hunt is working on his legacy; he wants to

be known as the man who changed the NHS

for the better. But if he wants to succeed,

he needs to open his eyes and he is ears

because currently, he is failing. I fear we

needed new blood in the cabinet to achieve

this, and that nothing can save the NHS if

Hunt is allowed to continue. I hope that he

can prove me wrong.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


11

JULY & AUGUST 2016


12

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


A bag of bones, blood,

shit and piss, ever weary

muscles giving it motion at

the whim of a calculating

brain. Criminally wasteful

energy and money

spent in maintenance,

image definition and self

importance. Ever thought

that maybe the actual ‘you’

was elsewhere using some

sort of glorified bluetooth

to control that robotic body

of yours …

13

JULY & AUGUST 2016


14

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


HUMBER SUPER SNIPE:

Did it really happen?

When I was a boy, living down Manor View Road in Hillary I

remember an occasion when all logic and sense left for one day.

This may seem a strange thing to say about 1950s South Africa

where all logic and sense had already abandoned the country long

ago … but, well, I am speaking here of an incident witnessed by a

boy of 8 so, in my memory, it was a crazy day.

Mr Van der Beer, often left his car half way up his drive, doors open

and keys in the ignition when he had been out drinking. It was a

1952 Humber Super Snipe, black and shiny with a running board

that some of the older kids climbed on when Mr Van was not about.

There were not many cars down Manor View Road and Mr Van’s

was the best, seemingly admired by all.

15

Anyway, one Saturday morning a group of us kids found Mr Van’s

car in the road, up on bricks and all four wheels missing. Seemed

to us that Mr Van had not even made it to his driveway and

someone had stolen his wheels … we wondered why whoever had

taken the wheels had not just stolen the car which was open to the

world with keys in ignition.

JULY & AUGUST 2016


16

Over an hour of deliberations we kids had come up with a theory

that the wheels had been taken by some of the black people who

lived in Cato Manor. Cato Manor could be seen from the end of our

road, it was a black township in theory but in reality was a ghettoshacksville

for the black workers of Durban … and all ills in the

white community bordering it could be blamed on them without the

slightest whiff of evidence. A group of us were still hanging around

the car when Mr Van came wandering up the road, his face all red

and looking shocked, his car, all black and shiny but no wheels. He

stomped about a bit, we watched … he was inconsolable.

There must have been about twenty kids now following Mr Van as

he knocked on doors up and down Manor View Road. ‘My wheels

have been stolen by the bleks, get your gun and lets go down to

Cato Manor and get them back’, repeated Mr Van to each man

who answered the door. Eventually there were around 30 armed

men bumping bellies with manly enthusiasm, Mr Van now seemed

concerned at the hornet’s nest he had disturbed and was trying to

calm them down. We kids stood by and watched as an agitated

group of our fathers and neighbours got pumped up by Mr Van’s

new suggestion.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


‘If you guys will help me, maybe we could carry the car to the garage

to get new wheels?’ A lot of muttering followed. The local garage was

about a mile away on Essenwood Road, it wouldn’t be impossible

to do this … and by now the wives had arrived on the scene. The

women made it known they did not want people going down to Cato

Manor with guns, their domestic servants may take umbrage and

leave their employ … so they agreed to the absurd logic of their men

carrying Mr Van’s car to the garage. It all happened quite quickly I

suppose, but even I could see it would be easier to buy the wheels

and bring them to the car, but I was only a kid and the men were all

well into oiling up their muscles, flexing biceps and winking at each

other … and the admiring women.

17

This was going to be a day to remember. The men, now stripped

to the waist, gathered around the car, each taking a position and

looking for a hold on the car’s chassis … Mr Du Plessis, who was

by far the strongest looking, took command with ‘Lift!’ and the car

rose from the blocks.

As they moved off up the road, Mr Van kicked over the blocks, we

noticed he wasn’t part of the carrying team, and could only look on

in open mouthed surprise as he rushed between the rear carrier’s

legs and crawled under the car. Could this day get any weirder?

JULY & AUGUST 2016


18

Us kids ran alongside shouting and pointing at Mr Van as he

crawled, staying under the car. As the men realised there was a

problem they looked to Mr Du Plessis for guidance. Annoyed at

this strange twist, several ploys were enacted to rid the car of its

crawling ‘passenger’, Mr Du nodded his head back down the road

and the men quickly did a back step. Unfortunately Mr Van had

been watching their legs and whichever way Mr Du sent the men

he managed to stay under the car. We kids, and now it seemed

the whole roads’ residents, watched the choreographed moves

in amazement, deceptively the car looked light as a feather as it

floated about 2 feet off the road … we could see Mr Van darting

this way and that, his knees red with blood, his face even redder.

How would this end, the men had become enraged at Mr Van’s

actions and were frustratedly wasting time and their energy in trying

to expel him from his position beneath his car when, after all, they

were trying to do him a favour … the situation just could not go

on. We could only think Mr Van had convinced himself that his

neighbours would soon tire and drop his car, so he was trying to

make it impossible for the men to put it down (with him underneath

and all).

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


Increasingly the car was being danced about the road by the frantic

and wild-eyed sweating men, the troupe being led by Mr Du and

his nodding head swished this way and that, Mr Van now leaving a

bloody trail as he ground his knees into the road. The large group

of onlookers looked on in silence, none volunteered to take over, to

build new blocks to rest the car on … or help drag Mr Van out. A

scene of absolute madness, the only sound being 30 pairs of shoes

soft-shoe-shuffling, the weighty car sailing this way and that. This

went on for what seemed like forever.

To us kids it was the funniest thing we had ever seen, rivalling

any short reel of black and white twenties slapstick comedy that

preceded the main feature at Saturday Morning Kiddies Club at the

Odeon … and then the pop as they dropped the car on Mr Van.

19

Shit, that ‘pop’ man …

Nala Drofrehtur

not afraid to appear backward

JULY & AUGUST 2016


20

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


TRUMP-

CLINTON

& MAY

FACE THE

WORLD

IN FANCY

DRESS

LUNACY

21

JULY & AUGUST 2016


22

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


So .... just when you

thought you may have

found the key to life

on earth; to unlock

the power of the

inner mind; to give

you control of your

destiny ... it turns out

to be a key to more

spam ... schizen!

23

JULY & AUGUST 2016


24

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


NEGATIVE CREDIT,

CULTURALLY …

A while ago I was happy and fortunate to be asked to prepare artwork

for the reprint of an acknowledged photo/art book (a classic some would

say). The reprint of the classic 1990 photobook turned out fine. It was an

interesting project and I did get ‘paid’ for my services, but, as usual when I

like a project (and also when I heard the photographer/author is ‘precious’

about his work), I did push all buttons to overload on my input to ensure

everyone would be happy with the resulting book. Hopefully they are?

25

Here is something I wrote at the start of the process:

“This book deserves to be reprinted. Apart from the photographs, it is

the historical commentary, that makes it a document worthy of greater

dissemination … it is a valuable resource.

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

The publisher wants quality (to please author and publisher’s reputation)

but also wants cheap (to please unit price and make book price a

reasonable £25 or so) … In ideal terms it should be a prestige 4 colour

print job which should have a posh specification of papers to make up for

the fact that it is a facsimile … and it should be priced around £40.

Facsimile … How to achieve a good quality reprint today from a book printed

to so-so quality in 1990, while being constricted by unit cost and being steered

JULY & AUGUST 2016


towards a printer offering a very cheap price. Obvious to me that, if left to

market concerns only, materials and print quality will be suffering in this choice.

26

Compromise: To reprint a photobook printed in 1990, using that book

as a source, is a compromise. In this instance the offset Litho printing in

1990 used a coarser screen of dots to print than today’s offset litho printing

process. Page scans will need some fiddling with to descreen the the book’s

photographs and then to try to keep some of their integrity. For an artist or

photographer to be ‘precious’ about their work, is possibly understandable

in other circumstances (maybe), but when being reprinted using an old book

as source material is ‘foot-stomping’ crazy! To add pressure to this process by

also wanting to keep costs down while wanting quality is one of those ugly and

purely capitalist vices. Compromise is needed from all to achieve a reasonable

product at a price that will be feasible in today’s ‘Amazon’ marketplace.

Compromise: Reprinting a book of colour and black and white photographs

using a book printed in 1990 as source may, with some great effort, fiddling,

magic …, give a reasonable end result, but it is a compromise. To also be

pressuring the manager of the project to use a ‘cheap’ but good printer …

and get the end results to please a ‘precious’ photographer is a nonsense.

Compromise: Its a fucking compromise, I’ll do my best, the printer will do his

best … a compromise will have to be accepted for this project, in its present

constricted configuration, to see the light of day.”

Interestingly, since its publication, the reprint has received some healthy

praise in that it has boosted (and revived) the reputation and standing

of its photographer/author. And well, that’s probably how it should be,

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


ut also the publisher has been applauded … for his visionary role in

being clearsighted enough to believe in (t)his product and this particular

photographer (who he has championed). And also, again, thats probably

how it should be. All healthy stuff, I think.

In the upside-down-world we live in, in any mention of ‘their’ product (in this

case, a book), it is the owners of the means of production (and in this case that

is the ‘publisher’) who are the beneficiaries, getting all the back-slapping and

(maybe) financial rewards. Whereas it is the invisible workers behind the scenes

(artworker, typesetter, proofer, screenmaker, printer, guillotine, finisher, packer

… apologies to all I have missed on this brief list), whose time and sometimes

beyond expected efforts are what have created that fucking gloriously crafted

item in your hands, a beautiful, beautiful book, albeit a reprint.

27

I suppose you could argue ‘well, they have been paid!’ … but even then,

in order to make any profit out of this product/book the ‘behind the scenes

workers’ cannot be paid their true worth (its called capitalism!). It cannot be

denied that without the critical and necessary participation of these slaves

to the rhythm this project would have failed, so it is quite a sleight for them

to be so evenly and haughtily ignored by all in the cultural/arts media …

almost like a ‘fuck-them’ … Those involved in the production of this book

can scour any review of this book vainly looking for any mention of their

skills, their inconsiderable and laboured effort (‘vainly’ used here without

apology, and pointedly adopting its double meaning).

A book is so much more than its contents or the brand stamped on its

spine, get off your perch you arty-farty playthings … credit where credit is

due, and some!

JULY & AUGUST 2016


THE

28

EVOLUTION

CODE

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


29

JULY & AUGUST 2016


30

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


31

JULY & AUGUST 2016


capitalism just

does not work, i’ve

just spent all my

wages and i’m still

not pissed ...

32

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER TWELVE


33

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

JULY & AUGUST 2016


34

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


35

JULY & AUGUST 2016


36

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 13


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Absolutely damaged by the swiftly decaying

state of the nation ... Words fail me, what is the

use of words when the person you are saying

them to is unable to grasp your, and their,

meaning?

Worryingly, we have left even that irrational

road, the one where stupidity reigns, and where

basic facts and knowledge acquired over time

are being replaced by entrenched banal myths,

hearsay and superstition. The shit-faced fudge

of complacency and mad spouters will now be

defended to the death by a renewed Trident.

Reason cannot be relied on in the present or

near future (if ever?) and its utterly terrifying.

Just who are the terrorists? For evidence of

this I direct your (still giggling but increasingly

alarmed) attention to Donald Trump and his

campaign to become US President. As Britain’s

government is a happy lapdog of US mischief in

the world ... and a blindly loyal follower of US

foreign policy, what will our May/TweedleDum/

TweedleDee/Johnson government do if Trump

suceeds and begins his Term of Ignorance?

37

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I am

absolute in my scepticism about whether the

business-arses and their sycophantic political

stooges, Blairites and Tories – or the US

presidential circus and their flunkies – will come

up with anything remotely of benefit to anyone

other than the rampantly corrupt ruling class

wankers intent on fucking us all.

JULY & AUGUST 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

14

digital


SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Syria: Aleppo

A horrific situation, bombs, shelling and chlorine

gas ... a human slaughter that is never supposed

to happen these days. Joining in, or helplessly

observing from an armchair, its hard to say which

is more criminal. Truly, by targetting civilians and

hospitals, our representatives in the whole ghastly

affair are terrorists! The United Nations Peace

Keeping attempts are ignored, the international

umpire cannot even get a brief ceasefire ... blooded

and aroused warmongers masking the size of their

pathetic erections stomp on children in their frenzy, its

the harm that [some] men do.

c

Asad must go!

An anti-Franco cartoon strip, possibly more

accessible and propagandist than the painting

‘Guernica’ (1937), with which it shares its indignation

and some images.

Pablo Picasso

Sueño y mentira de Franco (Paris, 1937)

MID-AUGUST 2016


d

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: re-worked cartoon.

Photographs, words and

artwork sourced from ‘found

in the scrapbook of life’, no

intentional copyright

infringement intended,

credited whenever possible,

so, for treading on any toes

... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for

submitting articles to be

included in the next issue, it

will appear whenever, or in

your dreams!

Articles to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Opening 03

Cultural Thievery 05

Stealing Peace 09

Gutenberg 13

Happy Birthday 14

Blairites still ... 17

Mark Steel article 19

Pirate Party 25

Kiss-kiss 28

Chopsticks 35

Letters 45

1

MID-AUGUST 2016


2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 14, and

welcome Peter Lewis from over the road.

Trying to ignore the media circus, lies

and bullshit that parades as news ... misdirecting

our attention, here is a magazine

produced freely to be read freely.

All articles and artwork supplied, or found

in newspapers lining the bottom of the

canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

3

Artwork: Turgenev by David Johnson

‘we all sit in the mud

.... and reach for

the stars’

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

[1818-1883]

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

Without contributors this project will

fail!

a luta continua!

MID-AUGUST 2016


4

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Cultural THIEVERY

Whilst plagiarism is widely discussed amongst graphic designers and

musicians, cultural appropriation is hardly mentioned. The term is

commonly used to describe the appropriation of cultural elements

without permission, usually elements from a marginalised culture that are

appropriated by a dominant culture.

A well-known example in the USA is the American brand Urban Outfitters

which in 2009 designed a ‘Navajo’ range of items, using patterns

‘inspired’ by Navajo textiles. The Navajo are a Native American tribe in

the USA, and the company did not consult with the tribe beforehand, ask

their permission, or share the profits that were made from the products.

5

Photograph: unknown

Jaclyn Roessel, who grew up learning to weave on a Navajo reservation,

said, ‘I wonder whether they understand that Navajo is even ... a living

culture ... and that there are women today who wear outfits with these

designs on them because they mean something.’

Initially the brand refused to change the name or its products, but after

increased pressure from social media in 2011, Urban Outfitters pulled its

‘Navajo’ products from the shelves.

The appropriation of ‘black’ music stylings like blues and reggae by

mainstream popular white musicians for financial gain is well-known. The

difference between ethno-musicologists like Ry Cooder, Bob Brozman, Taj

MID-AUGUST 2016


Mahal, Damon Albarn and Paul Simon is that Cooder, Brozman, Mahal

and Albarn credit and promote the collaboration ... whereas Simon is a

cultural appropriator with a large ego, he may share songwriting credits

but he is the ‘brand name’ that receives the acclaim and wealth.

This magazine occasionally exploits cultural artwork, it sometimes

plagiarises and steals (sometimes without credit, gulp) ... it does so with

the honest intention to promote and makes no financial gain. Admittedly

Sheep in the Road does sometimes glory in the fact that it has brought

to your notice a talent ... and tries very hard to give that talent credit ...

sometimes we fail, sorry.

6

This piece has been appropriated, sucked, broadened and spat out from

an original piece in ‘The Politics of Design’ by Ruben Pater (it could be

him?)

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


7

MID-AUGUST 2016


8

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Appropriating PEACE

Why are some symbols popular and others not? Type designer Adrian

Frutiger argued this had more to do with strong graphic effect than its

historic references. A famous example is the swastika, a symbol whose

meaning has changed significantly since the 1930s.

The CND peace symbol was designed by British textile designer Gerald

Holtom in 1958 for the British anti-nuclear movement. Its design

was based on the flag signals for the letters N and D (from nuclear

disarmament), and it also symbolised a person in despair. Through its

use in the anti-Vietnam war and ‘ban the bomb’ protests in the 1960s

and 1970s it grew to be one of the most popular symbols ever created.

9

The downward fork shape has a striking simplicity, and Holtom was not

the first one to use it. In the Runic alphabet the symbol means death.

During World War II the Runes were revived by Nazi Germany and used

to, among other things, signify army units. This is how decades before

the peace symbol was designed, it was found on tanks in German tank

devisions for anything but peaceful purposes.

MID-AUGUST 2016


In the 1960s when the CND peace symbol became popular in Europe,

its history came back to bite its bum. Some people objected to its use

because of its Nazi history, but by then it had become too popular. Again

in 1973 the CND peace symbol caused controversy in South Africa when

it was used during anti-Apartheid demonstrations, and was subsequently

banned as a symbol of defiance by the racist Apartheid regime.

10

More recently in 2006 in the USA, two inhabitants of Denver were

forced to remove a CND peace symbol because neighbours found it

anti-Christian. Bizarrely, despite its popular and accepted status, in their

ignorance, or just plain intransigence, they interpreted the downward fork

as a downward cross, a symbol of satanism. No matter how simple and

strong a symbol, its adaption, resemblance, or appropriation can change

its meaning.

Which brings us back to the swastika, an ancient religious symbol,

considered to be an auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and

Jainism that dates back to before the 2nd century BC ... but, because it

was appropriated by the Nazis, it is now stigmatised forever. Despite its

lengthy peaceful use as a symbol of good luck, its association with Nazi

Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust has changed its meaning ...

it was, in a twisted irony, anything but a good luck symbol to six million

Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals ...

This piece has also been appropriated, tricked, added to and trumped

from an original piece in ‘The Politics of Design’ researched by Asja

Keeman (thank you).

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


11

Artwork: Stephen Alcorn

MID-AUGUST 2016


12

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


THANK GOODNESS FOR

GUTENBERG!

When Johannes Gutenberg introduced

moveable type in 1439, a lot of people

got upset. The scribes union, the

church, and even the mayor, his nephew

... called him an eccentric, a lunatic,

even a heretic. He was shunned by his

contemporaries, but eventually, his

dream came true.

13

If it had not, you would not be reading

this ... in fact you might not be reading

at all.

MID-AUGUST 2016


¿Dónde están

los baños?

14

‘Errrr ... can you tell me where the

toilets are?’

Fidel Castro

Happy 90th birthday!

13 August

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


15

MID-AUGUST 2016


16

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME

ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

–ITS OFFICIAL: NEW LABOUR–

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Blairites still fuck with the machine

The debacle over who leads the Labour Party, with its rebellious MPs

(mostly Blairites) looking for an ‘establishment’ Tony-look-alike leader

of dubious ‘electable’ quality, really exposes the whole parliamentary

democracy lark for the farce it is. Political parties say they want members

and supporters, but they don’t want active members, they really want

quiet, docile citizens who pay their fees and leave it to their MPs to bicker

and float about on a fat salary with their exquisitely inflated ‘expenses’

cushions that keeps their feet off the ground and stops their arses being

kicked to hell and back. Once elected, MPs then vote as they please.

Please consider the ‘electable’ aspect. The concern is that, for the Labour Party

to do anything for its supporters, it must win an election to run the country. We

know, and have known for years, that a Labour government elected with some

tantalising radical lefty chit-chat, but which then bit-by-bit becomes essentially

an ‘establishment’ manifesto when in office, is a disappointing anti-climax to

those who voted for them to do something of benefit for the working class ...

Once elected, a Labour goverment’s face to the public is barely distinguishable

from a Tory government ... and their weak feeble excuse that their hands are

tied by financial constraints is a criminal cop-out.

17

Last year, along comes a stalwart labourite, long serving and true to his

socialist ideals, and all hell breaks loose ... he wins a mandate from

members to lead the Labour Party, but fellow Labour MPs refuse to accept

his leadership because he doesn’t look like George Clooney or act like

some sharp suit in the City.

MID-AUGUST 2016


From someone with left leanings, and not a member of the Labour Party,

I can see the value for Britain in supporting Jeremy Corbyn, his ideas are

that breath of fresh air that Parliament tries to stiffle. But one of the latest

slurs aimed at Corbyn is laughable ... to accuse ‘bogeymen’ Trotsky-ist

infiltrators of seeking to influence Labour members, shit, the numbers

of Trotsky followers in this country is miniscule, their influence is barely

a ripple, they honourably carry a banner for revolutionary socialism ...

but for fuck sake, you only have to ask ‘are we on the brink of a socialist

revolution?’ to be faced with the sad truth ... well, shit, no!

18

It is all just another elaborate ‘ruling class’ distraction to misdirect. For

those in power the real concern is obvious, that Corbyn may not be so

easily manipulated by big money interests, that his ideas are contrary to

business as usual ... so, he must be stopped. For us though the way is

clear, he must be supported!

Nala Drofrehtur

(not afraid to appear backward)

NEXT, tongue firmly placed in cheek: what the papers say ...

The following is an [edited] article by Mark Steel

which appeared in The Independent.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Labour MP’s prepared to use

members’ money to ban them from

voting

What a boost this approach would be for British business. Comet would

never have gone bankrupt if anyone buying a washing machine handed

over their money and was then told they wouldn’t be given a washing

machine

It’s marvellous how they manage it, but every week the people running the

Labour Party election perform a stunt even more spectacular than the last.

19

Next week Margaret Hodge will kidnap John McDonnell, which she will

claim is in accordance with the Labour Party Constitution, Rule 457.

(Shadow Chancellor Chained to a Radiator in the Basement Clause (14

B iii).) Peter Mandelson will reveal he has met Vladimir Putin to request

he cuts off the oil supply to Jeremy Corbyn’s office, and Hilary Benn will

announce he has hired a fleet of Tornados to bomb a Momentum branch

meeting in Exeter.

Labour must be bold and ambitious, and never before can an

organisation have illegally banned its own members from

voting in an election it promised them a vote in, then spent the

money it took from those members on appealing to the High

Court to [try and] keep the ban.

MID-AUGUST 2016


The argument of those who brought in the ban was that, although the

new members were promised a vote in Labour elections, they didn’t

mean the next election, but at some unspecified one in the future.

What a boost this method would be if it was adopted by British business.

Comet would never have gone bankrupt if anyone buying a washing

machine handed over their money and was then told they wouldn’t

actually be given a washing machine, but the money they had paid

would be used on appealing to the High Court for the company’s right to

not hand over a washing machine.

20

It would be entertaining if it ran the country like this: Angela Eagle would

announce: “We’ve spent the education budget wisely, on an appeal to the

High Court that no one in Wales should be allowed to eat bananas.”

Because Labour must be modern, and to prove how modern it is, the

plotters are furious at how democratic they are ordered to be by High

Court judges. Maybe this is how it plans to win a General Election – by

appealing to the High Court to only allow someone to vote if they’re

called Kinnock or Eagle.

But these extreme measures are essential because, as Tom Watson

explained, the Labour election has been undermined by “Trotsky entryists

twisting arms of young members”. This explains why Corbyn is expected

to win again, because the 300,000 new members of Labour are

powerless before the arm-twisting might of Britain’s 50 Trotsky entryists.

Now the worry is what other votes they are influencing by arm-twisting.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


We should watch out for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, when Will

Young comes second to Alf Barnshaw, the central committee member

of the Trotsky Entryist group the Revolutionary Movement for Extremely

Violent Workers’ Anger.

The whole strategy of the anti-Corbyn plotters appears to be random fury.

Every vote that goes against them is a result of “bullying”, and one MP,

Conor McGinn, told the press that Corbyn “threatened to call my Dad”.

This suggests their aim to win a general election is to go after the toddler

vote. They are going to campaign for the voting age to be reduced to

three, then issue a manifesto that goes: “It’s not faIr becoos I wozent

doing anyfink and Treeza MAy kAlld my daD just like jErmY and thats wie

I want to b pie minister.”

21

If Corbyn is to be defeated, it should be by debate not by a fix

But they don’t appear to have any desire to work out what might be

taking place. Because, like a married couple who scream at each other

for hours about who left the ironing board in the wrong place, clearly

there is something more to this disagreement than the rows they have

about who sent a nasty message on Twitter.

The anti-Corbyn plotters complain Corbyn’s policies make him

unelectable, so their strategy appears to be to have no policies at all.

They make no effort to explain why the support for Corbyn is an English

version of what has happened across Europe and America. Presumably

they think Bernie Sanders won millions of supporters because he

borrowed Corbyn’s arm-twisting machine, and the SNP won in Scotland

because Nicola Sturgeon threatened to call Ed Miliband’s dad.

MID-AUGUST 2016


And none of them attempt to assess why thousands turn out to hear

Corbyn in town centres. They must be the only people in political history

to see huge crowds coming into the streets to support their party and

think “We’ll ban that lot for a start”.

22

So Owen Smith’s campaign insists he will continue with many of Corbyn’s

radical ideas but do it more competently. If you were cynical you might

wonder how strongly he backs Corbyn’s ideas, when the people backing

Smith most fervently are Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell, and

everyone else who hates everything Corbyn stands for. It is like standing

for the General Synod of the Anglican Church when your campaign

manager is Richard Dawkins.

The result is their campaign amounts to a series of unconnected

exasperated attempts to force him to stand down, by all resigning or

appealing to a High Court for the right to rig the vote, making them look

like Wile E Coyote chasing the Road Runner.

Next week, at a Corbyn rally, Stephen Kinnock will hide above him

waiting to drop an ACME piano, but the balcony he is on will collapse

and he will land on Laura Kuenssberg.

Then Tom Watson will try to shoot him through a hole in a tree, but the

gun will bend back through another hole and he will shoot himself in

the face, so he will issue a statement that this proves Corbyn must stand

down – he simply isn’t competent.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


23

MID-AUGUST 2016


24

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Iceland’s Pirate Party may form next

government, according to polls

From Alexandra Sims in The Independent

Iceland’s radical Pirate Party, calling for a 35-hour working week, direct

democracy and total drug decriminalisation, has a strong likelihood of

forming the country’s next government, according to polls, which the

party has dominated since last year.

The anti-establishment party, founded by a group of activists, poets and

hackers in 2012, won three of 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament, the

Alþingi, at the last election in April 2013.

25

Iceland’s Pirate Party secures more funding than all its rivals

Support for the party has grown to such an extent some analysts are

now confident the party could return to the Alþingi with between 18 and

20 MPs giving them a favourable number of seats to help form the next

government, Iceland Monitor reports.

In June, the Social Science Research Institute of the University of Iceland

found the party was the largest in the country, leading polls at 29.9

per cent, with the centre-right Independence Party, which forms part of

Iceland’s coalition government with the Progressive Party, at 22.7 per

cent.

MID-AUGUST 2016


The Pirate Party is backed by almost half of Iceland’s voters in a poll

taken following the Panama Papers scandal made links the Iceland’s

Prime Minister. Birgitta Jonsdottir, a former Wikileaks spokeswoman and

founding Pirate Party MP, told the Guardian: “It’s gradually dawning on

us, what’s happening.

“It’s strange and very exciting. But we are well prepared now. This is

about change driven not by fear but by courage and hope. We are

popular, not populist.”

26

She said the party is prepared to form a coalition government with any

partner that will pledge to its agenda of “fundamental system change”.

The Independence Party has said it will not subscribe to this.

“We will be doing things differently,” Ms Jonsdottir added.

Iceland’s general election had been scheduled to take place in April

2017, however following political unrest over PM Sigmundur David

Gunnlaugsson’s connections to the Panama Papers it is now due to take

place in October, with 29th being the likely date.

Mr Gunnlaugsson temporarily stepped down from his role as Prime

Minister in April and has been replaced by Sigmundur Ingi Johannsson,

formally the country’s agriculture and fisheries minister.

The Pirate Party were polling at up to 43 per cent in the days following

the leak, while Mr Gunnlaugsson’s Progressives, the dominant party in

the current coalition, slumped to single digits.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Eva Heida Önnudóttir, a political scientist at the University of Iceland said

she could “very easily see” the party winning 20 to 25 per cent of the

vote.

The radical party told the Reykjavik Grapevine last year, the group wants

to see banks completely separate their investment and commercial arms.

They have also advocated a new form of direct democracy to “build

bridges between the general public and those they trust to serve them”.

The Pirate Party is also calling for asylum for US whistle-blower Edward

Snowden and are encouraging young people to vote via Pokemon Go;

investigating the idea of turning polling stations into Pokéstops, the

Grapevine reports.

27

grrrrrrrrr ....

MID-AUGUST 2016


28

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


29

MID-AUGUST 2016


KISS-

The previous image is the infamous 1979 painting of Soviet leader

Leonid Brezhnev kissing the East German president, Erich Honecker.

30

Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

It was the inspiration for the image of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump

engaged in a passionate embrace, see overleaf. The work of local artist

Mindaugas Bonanu, it went viral on social media after it was unveiled in

May, and has since become a popular backdrop for selfies.

It was apparently too much for some in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius,

and the mural alluding to the close ‘right-wing-bomb-them-all-think-set’

of the Russian president and the US presidential candidate, daubed on

the wall of the BBQ restaurant Keulė Rukė, was covered over with white

paint the other night.

Restaurant owner Dominykas Čečkauskas said that the censorship was

more than “simple vandalism” but “a terrorising attack on freedom of

speech in Lithuania”.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


KISS

“The purpose of the attack was to remind us, the people of the free

world, that there are still active advocates of authoritarianism in our

society,” he said on Keulė Rukė’s Facebook page. “We saw similarities

between the two heroes [Trump and Putin]. ... They both have an ego that

is too big, and it is funny that they get along well,” Čečkauskas previously

told the Baltic News Service.

31

It’s not yet clear who was responsible for the attack but it comes at a

time of escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a military ally of

Lithuania.

Čečkauskas has promised to reinstall the artwork which he describes as

“a world famous symbol of liberty and defiance”.

Verdict on mural: JOB DONE!

MID-AUGUST 2016


32

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33

MID-AUGUST 2016


34

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


Chinese invest in the UK

Everything from prime London real estate to football clubs has been

bought up by investors from the people’s republic. China is a big spender

in the UK, where it has invested more than in Germany, France and Italy

combined in recent years.

Investors have sunk around $38bn (£29bn) into everything from prime

London real estate to banks and football clubs according to figures from

the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

35

Alongside the low-key property deals, Chinese companies have also

struck deals to buy a string of household names over the past few years.

Shanghai-based Bright Foods owns 60% of Weetabix after it paid £720m

to get its teeth into the cereal company in May 2012, while Hony Capital

paid £900m for restaurant chain Pizza Express in July 2014.

Some of the UK’s retail powerhouses are also under Chinese ownership,

including the famous Hamleys toy shop on Regent Street, sold to footwear

firm C.banner international for £100m in October last year.

The House of Fraser department store chain is Chinese-owned, after

Nanjing Cenbest paid £480m for an 89% stake in September 2014.

MID-AUGUST 2016


Dr Tony Xia bought Aston Villa for an undisclosed sum thought to be

around £52m in June, saying he wanted to restore the relegated club to

its former glory and make it the “best known football club in the world”.

Villa’s near neighbours West Bromwich Albion are on the verge of being

sold to an investment group led by Chinese entrepreneur Guochuan Lai,

while fellow Midlands club Wolverhampton Wanderers was bought by

investment group Fosun International for around £45m last month.

36

Chinese investors’ sporting ambitions also extend to golf, with the

Wentworth club sold to Reignwood for £135m in September 2014, while

Dalian Wanda Group paid £320m for 92% of Sunseeker Yachts in June

2013.

Sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation is also a big

investor in the UK. Its holdings include a £450m 10% stake in Heathrow

Holdings, the firm behind the UK’s hub airport, bought in November

2012.

So, while politicians encourage us to think Brexit is taking control of ‘our

country’ ... bankers, big business, financiers and fat cats are selling

Britain by the pound. I suggest you start practicing those chopsticks if you

haven’t already ...

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


37

MID-AUGUST 2016


38

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


39

MID-AUGUST 2016


40

Use this virtual keyboard,

write an article and send it in ...

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


and remember,

capitalism does not

work, i’ve just spent

all my wages and i’m

still not pissed ...

41

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

MID-AUGUST 2016


42

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


43

MID-AUGUST 2016


44

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Absolutely damaged by the swiftly decaying

state of the nation ... Words fail me, what is the

use of words when the person you are saying

them to is unable to grasp your, and their,

meaning?

Worryingly, we have left even that irrational

road, the one where stupidity reigns, and

now follow a path where basic facts and

knowledge acquired over time are being

replaced by entrenched banal myths, hearsay

and superstition. The shit-faced fudge of

complacency and mad spouters will now be

defended to the death by a renewed Trident.

Reason cannot be relied on in the present or

near future (if ever?) and its utterly terrifying.

Just who are the terrorists? For evidence of

this I direct your (still giggling but increasingly

alarmed) attention to Donald Trump and his

campaign to become US President. As Britain’s

government is a happy lapdog of US mischief in

the world ... and a blindly loyal follower of US

foreign policy, what will our May/TweedleDum/

TweedleDee/Johnson government do if Trump

suceeds and begins his Term of Ignorance?

45

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I am

absolute in my scepticism about whether the

business-arses and their sycophantic political

stooges, Blairites and Tories – or the US

presidential circus and their flunkies – will come

up with anything remotely of benefit to anyone

other than the rampantly corrupt ruling class

wankers intent on fucking us all.

MID-AUGUST 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

15


SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


c

SEPTEMBER 2016


d

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Opening 03

Corporate ... 09

Non-mother Theresa May as non-saint ‘mother teresa’ Artwork: Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover: re-worked cartoon.

Photographs, words and

artwork sourced from ‘found

in the scrapbook of life’, no

intentional copyright

infringement intended,

credited whenever possible,

so, for treading on any toes

... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for

submitting articles to be

included in the next issue, it

will appear whenever, or in

your dreams!

Articles to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Government policy 18

How did we ...? 21

Clueless 23

Britain on lookout 27

Britain’s secret wars 35

Dead sheep 59

Letters 71

1

SEPTEMBER 2016


2

RODCHENKO & STEPANOVA

CONSTRUCTIVISTS

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Art which has no part in life

will be filed away in the

archaeological museum of

antiquity.

Down with Art, the shining

patches on the talentless life

of a wealthy man.

Down with Art, the precious

gem in the dirty dark life of a

poor man.

Down with Art, the means to

escape from the life which is

not worth living!

Alexander Rodchenko

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 15, and

welcome, again, Peter Lewis from over the

road.

Still trying to ignore the media circus, lies

and bullshit that parades as news ... misdirecting

our attention, here is a magazine

produced freely to be read freely.

All articles and artwork supplied, or found

in newspapers lining the bottom of the

canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

Without contributors this project is

failing to live up to its original ideal!

a luta continua!

3

SEPTEMBER 2016


4

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


CORPORATE TOTALITARIANISM

Aldous Huxley (and Goering) nail it

Quotes brought to our attention by Philip Roddis

‘By means of ever more effective methods of mindmanipulation,

the democracies will change their nature;

the quaint old forms – elections, parliaments, Supreme

Courts and all the rest – will remain. The underlying

substance will be a new kind of totalitarianism. All the

traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain

exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy

and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast

and editorial. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its

highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thoughtmanufacturers

and mind-manipulators will quietly run

the show as they see fit.’

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

5

As the west sleepwalks into nuclear confrontation over Syria

with a Russia our leaders have pushed into a corner – using

all their corporate backed might to paint black white, up down

and evil common sense – Huxley’s words could have been

freshly coined just this morning.

SEPTEMBER 2016


And more brutally Herman Goering’s words at the Nuremberg

trials:

6

‘Why of course the people don’t want war. That is

understood…But after all it is the leaders of the

country who determine the policy and it is always a

simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is

a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament,

or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the

people can always be brought to the bidding of

the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell

them they are being attacked, and denounce the

peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the

country to danger. It works the same in any country.​’

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


Artwork: Alan Rutherford

We’d like to

teach das weld

to sing in

perfect

harmony

7

SEPTEMBER 2016


8

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


GREAT ZIMBABWE

Adapted form ‘Lost cities #9: racism and ruins – the plundering of Great

Zimbabwe’ which appeared in The Guardian

In the 19th century, European visitors to this abandoned medieval city

refused to believe that indigenous Africans could have built such an

extensive network of monuments. Such ignorance was disastrous for the

remains of Great Zimbabwe

In the early 16th century, rumours of a mysterious fortress with

gargantuan walls, abandoned in the African jungle, spread around

Europe. Surrounded by goldmines and sitting on a 900-metre-high

hill, the city was thought to represent the summit of a unique African

civilisation which had traded with distant Asian countries, including China

and Persia.

9

A Portuguese sea captain, Viçente Pegado, was one of the first foreigners

to encounter the site, in 1531. He wrote: “Among the goldmines of the

inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers [is a] fortress built

of stones of marvellous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining

them … This edifice is almost surrounded by hills, upon which are others

resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absence of mortar, and

one of them is a tower more than 12 fathoms high.”

SEPTEMBER 2016


Great Zimbabwe was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries

over 722 hectares in the southern part of modern Zimbabwe. The whole

site is weaved with a centuries-old drainage system which still works,

funnelling water outside the houses and enclosures down into the valleys.

At its peak, an estimated 18,000 people lived in the capital of the

Kingdom of Zimbabwe. Only 200 to 300 members of the elite classes

are thought to have actually stayed inside its massive stone buildings,

watched over at night by guards standing on the walls, while the majority

lived some distance away.

10

Today, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe are a shell of the abandoned city

that Captain Pegado came across – due in no small part to the frenzied

plundering of the site at the turn of the 20th century by European

treasure-hunters, in search of artefacts that were eventually sent to

museums throughout Europe, America and South Africa.

It was said that Great Zimbabwe was an African replica of the Queen of

Sheba’s palace in Jerusalem. The idea was promoted by the German explorer

Karl Mauch, who visited in 1871 and refused to believe that indigenous

Africans could have built such an extensive network of monuments.

“I do not think that I am far wrong if I suppose that the ruin on the hill is

a copy of Solomon’s Temple on Mount Moriah,” Mauch declared, “and

the building in the plain a copy of the palace where the Queen of Sheba

lived during her visit to Solomon.” He further stated that only a “civilised

nation must once have lived there” – his racist implication unmistakeable.

Other European writers, also believing that Africans did not have the

capacity to build anything of the significance of Great Zimbabwe,

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


suggested it was built by Portuguese travellers, Arabs, Chinese or

Persians. Another theory was that the site could have been the work of a

southern African tribe of ancient Jewish heritage, the Lemba.


Adding to the mystery, the indigenous people living around the site were

said to believe it was the work of demons, or aliens, on account of its

impressive size and the perfection of its workmanship.

In 1905, however, the British archaeologist David Randall-MacIver concluded

the ruins were medieval, and built by one or more of the local African Bantu

peoples. His findings were confirmed by another British archaeologist,

Gertrude Caton-Thompson, in 1929, and this remains the consensus today. In

the language of the builders’ descendents, the Shona people who live in the

region today, Zimbabwe means “big stone houses” or “venerated houses”.

11

The city’s buildings were made of impressive granite walls, embellished

with turrets, towers, decorations and elegantly sculpted stairways. The

most notable of the buildings, an enclosure 250 metres in circumference

and 9.75 metres high, was crafted with 900,000 pieces of professionally

sliced granite blocks, laid on each other without any binders. Its perimeter

columns were decorated with soapstone sculptures of a silhouetted bird

with human lips and five-fingered feet.

More than 4,000 gold and 500 copper mines were found around the

site, and it was suggested that for three centuries, 40% of the world’s

total mined gold came from the area, compounding to an estimated 600

tonnes of gold. Thousands of necklaces made of gold lamé have been

discovered among the ruins.

SEPTEMBER 2016


Great Zimbabwe’s prosperity came from its position on the route between

the gold producing regions of the area and ports on the Mozambique

coast; over time it became the heart of an extensive commercial and

trading network. The main trading items ranged from gold, ivory, copper

and tin to cattle and cowrie shells. Imported items discovered in the ruins

have included glassware from Syria, a minted coin from Kilwa, and

assorted Persian and Chinese ceramics.

12

The period of prosperity at Great Zimbabwe continued until the mid-15th

century, when the city’s trading activity started to decline and its people

began to migrate elsewhere. The most common hypothesis to explain

the abandonment of the site is a shortage of food, pastures and natural

resources in Great Zimbabwe and its immediate surroundings. But the

precise cause remains unclear.

Great Zimbabwe is a fusion of manmade and natural beauty; a complex

of 12 groups of buildings spread over 80 stunning hectares of the

Mutirikwi valley. In the words of the Zimbabwean archaeologist and

art historian Peter Garlake, the site displays “an architecture that was

unparalleled elsewhere in Africa or beyond”.

The ruins are divided into three main architectural zones: the Hill

Complex, the Great Enclosure and the Valley Complex. The oldest, the

Hill Complex, was occupied from the ninth to the 13th centuries. Believed

to have been the spiritual and religious centre of the city, its ruins extend

some 100 metres by 45 metres.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


13

SEPTEMBER 2016


14

Notable features of the Hill Complex included a huge boulder in a shape

similar to that of the Zimbabwe Bird, from where the king presided over

every important ritual, such as the judgment of criminals, the appeasing

of ancestors and sacrifices to rainmaker gods. The sacrifices happened

over a raised platform below the king’s seat, where oxen were burned.

If the smoke went straight up, the ancestors were appeased. If it was

crooked, they were unhappy and another sacrifice must be made.

South of the Hill Complex lies the Great Enclosure, occupied from the

13th to the 15th centuries: a spectacular circular monument made of cut

granite blocks. Its outer wall, five metres thick, extends some 250 metres

and has a maximum height of 11 metres, making it the largest ancient

structure in Africa south of the Sahara.

The most fascinating thing about the Great Enclosure walls is the absence

of sharp angles; from the air they are said to resemble a “giant grey

bracelet”. A narrow passage just inside the walls leads to a conical

tower, the use of which has been the subject of much speculation – from

symbolic grain bin to phallic symbol.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


The last part of the ruins is the Valley Complex: a series of living

ensembles made up of daga (earth and mud-brick) houses, scattered

throughout the valley and occupied from the 14th to 16th centuries.

Here lived about 2,000 goldsmiths and equally numerous potters,

weavers, blacksmiths and stonemasons – who would heat large granite

rocks in a fire before tossing water on the red-hot rock. The shock of cold

water cracked the granite along fracture planes into brick-shaped pieces

that could be stacked without the need for mortar to secure them. Millions

upon millions of these pieces were produced in the plains below and

hauled up the hill, as the city constantly expanded.

The function of its massive, non-supportive walls have various

interpretations: some believe they were martial and defensive, or that

they were a symbolic show of authority, designed to preserve the privacy

of royal families and set them apart from commoners.

15

Unfortunately, the ruins have been damaged over the last two centuries

– not least due to the British journalist Richard Nicklin Hall, who in

1902 was appointed curator of Great Zimbabwe by the British South

Africa Company for the purposes “not [of] scientific research, but the

preservation of the building.”

Hall destroyed a significant part of the site, claiming he was removing

the “filth and decadence of the Kaffir [ie African] occupation”. In his

search for signs that the city had been created by white builders, layers of

archeological deposits up to four metres deep were lost.

SEPTEMBER 2016


Reconstruction attempts by Zimbabwe nationalists since 1980 have

caused further damage – as have some of the roughly 20,000 tourists

who visit the site every year, climbing the walls for thrills and to find

souvenirs.

Political and ideological battles have also been fought over the ruins. In

1890, the British mining magnate and coloniser Cecil Rhodes financed

archeologist James Theodore Bent, who was sent to South Rhodesia by

the British Association of Science with instructions to “prove” the Great

Zimbabwe civilisation was not built by local Africans.

16

The government of Ian Smith, prime minister of Southern Rhodesia

(modern Zimbabwe) until 1979, continued the colonial falsification of the

city’s origins in official guide books, which showed images of Africans

bowing down to the foreigners who had allegedly built Great Zimbabwe.

In 1980, Robert Mugabe became prime minister, and the country was

renamed “Zimbabwe”, in honour of the Great Zimbabwe civilisation,

and its famous soapstone bird carvings were depicted in the new

Zimbabwean flag.

Yet much is still to be known about the ancient capital city. With no

primary written documents discovered there or elsewhere, Great

Zimbabwe’s history is derived from archaeological evidence found on the

site, plus the oral history of the local Shona-speaking people, particularly

regarding spiritual beliefs and building traditions.

Designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1986, the preservation of

Great Zimbabwe – led by the National Museums and Monuments of

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


Zimbabwe organisation – is now challenged by uncontrolled growth of

vegetation, which threatens the stability of its dry stone walls. The spread

of lantana, an invasive flowering shrub introduced to Zimbabwe in the

early 20th century, has put added of strain on the preservation work.

“Great Zimbabwe’s significance – not only in Zimbabwe’s history, but

Africa’s as a whole – is immense,” says Clinton Dale Mutambo, founder

of the marketing company Esaja in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. “How

a powerful African empire built a kingdom that covered vast swaths of

southern Africa is a source of pride for Zimbabweans – and something

that colonial governments tried for a long time to undermine by linking

this wondrous kingdom to the Phoenicians.”

17

There is much to be said for the claim that Great Zimbabwe was built by

ancestors of the Lemba tribe. DNA testing finds this tribe have semetic

origins, meaning thousands of years ago they came originally from the

eastern Mediterranian. However, by the time Great Zimbabwe was built,

in medieval times, the Lemba had become decidely African, having so

thoroughly intermixed with Bantu Africans over many hundreds of years

that, among other African traits, the Lemba have dark skin and speak a

Bantu language.

So, despite all attempts to prove unknown whites built Great Zimbabwe, it

was black Africans.

SEPTEMBER 2016


GOVERNMENT POLICY

18

IN THE UK ...

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


19

Artwork: Peter Kuper

QED!

SEPTEMBER 2016


20

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


HOW DID WE GET

INTO THIS MESS?: POLITICS,

EQUALITY, NATURE

Plug for George Monbiot’s book

‘Without countervailing voices, naming and challenging power, political

freedom withers and dies. Without countervailing voices, a better world

can never materialise. Without countervailing voices, wells will still be

dug and bridges will still be built, but only for the few. Food will still be

grown, but it will not reach the mouths of the poor. New medicines will

be developed, but they will be inaccessible to many of those in need.’

George Monbiot is one of the most vocal, and eloquent, critics of the

current consensus. How Did We Get into this Mess?, based on his

powerful journalism, assesses the state we are now in: the devastation

of the natural world, the crisis of inequality, the corporate takeover of

nature, our obsessions with growth and profit and the decline of the

political debate over what to do. While his diagnosis of the problems in

front of us is clear-sighted and reasonable, he also develops solutions

to challenge the politics of fear. How do we stand up to the powerful

when they seem to have all the weapons? What can we do to prepare

our children for an uncertain future? Controversial, clear but always

rigorously argued, How Did We Get into this Mess? makes a persuasive

case for change in our everyday lives, our politics and economics, the

ways we treat each other and the natural world. Wake up!

21

SEPTEMBER 2016


22

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


CLUELESS

Heading for the knackers yard on Animal Farm and trying to make sense

of how the immoral, but sadly generally accepted ’four legs good, two

legs better’ motto still flies from humanity’s masthead.

When you look around, in a crowd … or at a world through the selective

lens of the media, or maybe through the fog of anothers’ myopic

worldview, you may glimpse reality. Sometimes, because it corresponds

to our preferences and prejudices, we will unquestionably accept these

nuggets and flashes, and then assemble them in some recognisable

order to make sense of their obvious disorder. Our worldview is the

product of all kinds of information within our grasp, tainted and

corrupted as some of it surely is, we may still reach conclusions which

inform our actions … or inaction.

23

Artwork: unknown

Unconsciously simplifying our acquired worldview to fit one of the

variously sanctioned streams of official hogwash we will present our face

to the world, sometimes going along with a contrariness because of a

‘democratic’ ideal that we may even know will not apply to all. For, unless

you own or control parts of the media, or have managed to build up a

following of like-minded morphs, our views will be insignificant … an

irrelevance … the big questions just seem to be, are we ‘for or against’,

and there is no place for ‘what about?’ troublemakers.

SEPTEMBER 2016


An increasingly obvious truism is that most human beings of this world

will follow, obey and suck up to choice self-important chest puffers, selfpromoting

bluffers, guffers and huffers … for theirs is, and probably

always has been, truly, the kingdom of heaven!

24

Pity those worthy few who will not go along with the sheep … trying not

to promote, or champion, another un-checked bully to leader status in

any sphere … and who, despite an avalanche of status quo opinion,

would still favourably consider an egalitarian alternative … well, for them

and their pathetic utterances the weighty scorn, vitriol and abuse of an

establishment of conspiring greedy fuckers and their sycophantic fawners

is especially reserved.

It should be obvious by now that waiting for a lefty ‘chest-puffer’ to

come along with a mesmerising message that will spur forth a truly

fairer society capable of spreading worldwide is a nonsense. Also,

the possibility that all minions of the world will realise they have been

duped in concert, and that their poverty of choice and ambition is

being so restricted by, and in favour of, a few greedy, duplicitous and

unchallenged usurpers, that they will, en masse, agree to fight the fight

… is a fantasy of, and in, our time (although not ruled out).

A duty to future generations is speaking out against injustice, not selfishly

taking advantage of dodgy inheritance rules to provide a materialistic

legacy for only your offspring to swagger the swag. If you are one of

those egalitarian types, it may be that by placing yourself at the centre of

your understanding of this world of shite, and then undermining, however

you can, the flimsy foundations of our ‘get-rich-quick-and-fuck-the-rest’

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


egime is a way of fulfilling that duty. Being aware of, arguing for and

supporting ‘caring’ collective activity is positively marking time, unfurling

your banner to take a stand is keeping a flame of insurrection alive …

a lutta continua … Personally, I will leave this sack of skin, bones, shit

and piss knowing a collective in the future will wrestle the capitalist beast

to submission and bring about the really egalitarian society that is most

assuredly coming.

Nala Drofrehtur

[not afraid to appear backward in print]

25

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

SEPTEMBER 2016


26

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


BRITAIN ALWAYS ON

THE LOOKOUT FOR A

SKIRMISH OR TWO

Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world

Exclusive: Two-thirds of UK weapons have been sold to

Middle Eastern countries since 2010

27

from Jon Stone, in The Independent

Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world, official

government figures show – with most of the weapons fuelling deadly

conflicts in the Middle East.

Artwork: G.M. Payne

Since 2010 Britain has also sold arms to 39 of the 51 countries ranked

“not free” on the Freedom House “Freedom in the world” report, and 22

of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s own human rights watch list.

A full two-thirds of UK weapons over this period were sold to Middle

Eastern countries, where instability has fed into increased risk of terror

threats to Britain and across the West.

SEPTEMBER 2016


Meanwhile statistics collated by UK Trade and Investment, a government

body that promotes British exports abroad, show the UK has sold more

arms than Russia, China, or France on average over the last 10 years.

Only the United States is a bigger exporter.

“The UK is one of the world’s most successful defence exporters,

averaging second place in the global rankings on a rolling ten-year

basis, making it Europe’s leading defence exporter in the period,” the

body boasted in a report released this summer.

28

Ministers, who must sign-off all arms export licences, say the current

system is robust and that they have revoked permission to export defence

equipment in the past – for example in Russia and Ukraine.

But the Government has also ignored calls to stop selling weapons to

repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by

UN bodies of potentially committing war crimes in its military operation in

Yemen against Houthi rebels.

Both the European Parliament and the House of commons International

Development Committee have called for exports to the autocracy to stop,

but the Government says it has not seen evidence of Saudi war crimes.

The saudi-led coalition has bombed multiple international hospitals run

by the charity Médicins Sans Frontières, as well as schools and wedding

parties. Food factories have also been hit, as Yemen faces severe food

shortages. Human rights groups say there is evidence civilian targets are

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


29

BY DISMISSING CONCERNS OF

ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA

MAY GLEEFULLY TAKES ON

WARMONGER ROLE AND DONS THE

BUTCHERS APRON FOR MORE BUSINESS

SEPTEMBER 2016


deliberately hit. The coalition has opened investigations into a number

of incidents and has repeatedly claimed in statements that the coalition

‘is committed to full respect for international humanitarian law in the

conduct of our operations in Yemen’.

A joint analysis conducted by the Independent and Campaign Against

the Arms Trade found £10bn in arms licences were issued 2010-2015 to

regimes designated ‘unfree’ by Freedom House, including China, Oman,

Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates.

30

Meanwhile £7.9bn worth of arms were sold to countries on the ‘human

rights priority countries’ list, which is maintained by the Foreign Office and

includes countries judged by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to have

‘the worst, or greatest number of, human rights violations’.

Customers on this list included Saudi Arabia, which was sold bombs,

missiles, and fighter jets, Israel, which was sold drone components and

targeting equipment, and Bahrain, which was sold machine guns.

Assault rifles and pistols were sent to the Maldives, while Turkmenistan was

sold guns and ammunition.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade warned that the

dependence of British exporters on unsavory regimes could make

the UK less likely to intervene against human rights violators.

“These terrible figures expose the hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy.

The government is always telling us that it acts to promote human rights

Artwork: G.M. Payne

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


31

SEPTEMBER 2016


and democracy, but it is arming and supporting some of the most repressive

regimes in the world. The impact of UK arms sales is clear in Yemen, where

British fighter jets and bombs have been central to the Saudi-led destruction,”

he told The Independent.

“These regimes aren’t just buying weapons, they’re also buying political

support and legitimacy. How likely is the UK to act against human rights

violations in these countries when it is also profiting from them?

32

“There is no such thing as arms control in a war zone and there is no way of

knowing how these weapons will be used. The fact that so many weapons

were sold to Russia and Libya is a reminder that the shelf-life of weapons is

often longer than the governments and situations they were sold to.”

A Government spokesperson said its approach to arms export control was

“sufficiently tough”.

“The Government takes its arms export control responsibilities very seriously

and operates one of the most robust regimes in the world. We rigorously

examine every brokering application on a pre-licensing case-by-case basis

against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

“Export licensing requires us to consider how the equipment will be used by

the end-user and risks around human rights abuses are a key part of our

assessment. We consider this approach to be sufficiently tough but where

there is evidence of a need for further action we have the powers to do so

under existing legislation”.

Artwork: Paul Tompsett

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


Cradle of Islam

33

SEPTEMBER 2016


34

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


BRITAIN’S SECRET WARS

For more than 100 years, Britain has been perpetually at

war. Some conflicts, such as the Falklands, have become

central to our national narrative, but others, including

the brutal suppression of rebels in Oman, have been

deliberately hidden

by Ian Cobain

Taken from The Guardian

35

Artwork: unknown

In the months after the surrender of Japan on 14 August 1945, the British

people were ready to believe that war was behind them. The newspapers

were full of stories about possible home rule for India, and dockers going

on strike in London, Liverpool and Hull. It is questionable how many

readers of the Manchester Guardian on 6 December 1945 saw, let alone

read, a short item that was tucked away at the foot of page six, nestled

between a reader’s letter about the Nuremberg war crimes trials and a

leading article about the foundation of the United Nations.

Under the headline “British in Indo-China” appeared a copy of a letter

that had also been sent to Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary. “It appears

that we are collaborating with Japanese and French forces against the

nationalist forces of Viêt Minh,” the letter read. “For what purpose is this

SEPTEMBER 2016


collaboration? Why are we not disarming the Japanese? We desire the

definition of government policy regarding the presence of British troops

in Indo-China.” The letter was signed by the “British other ranks” of the

signal section of an infantry brigade based in Saigon.

36

It was highly unusual – notwithstanding the egalitarian spirit of those

postwar days – to see a group of low-ranking British troops so publicly

demanding that the foreign secretary explain his government’s policies.

But what was truly extraordinary was the disclosure that British troops

were fighting in the former French colony against the local population,

and that they were doing so alongside their former enemies: the

Japanese army and the Vichy French.

Few members of the public were aware that the British government

had been so anxious to see the French recover control of their prewar

colonial possession that the entire 20th Infantry Division of the British

Indian Army had been airlifted into the country the previous August,

with orders to suppress the Vietnamese people’s attempts to form their

own government. There were almost 26,000 men with 2,500 vehicles,

including armoured cars. Three British artillery regiments had also been

dispatched, the RAF had flown in with 14 Spitfires and 34 Mosquito

fighter-bombers, and there was a 140-strong contingent from the Royal

Navy.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15

On landing, the British had rearmed the Vichy troops with new .303

British rifles. Shortly afterwards, surrendered Japanese troops had also

been rearmed and compelled to fight the Vietnamese – some under the

command of British officers.

Artwork: unknown


37

SEPTEMBER 2016


38

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


The British were operating in accordance with an order that they should

show a ruthless disregard for civilians, who, consequently, were killed and

maimed in large numbers. “There is no front in these operations,” the

order said. “We may find it difficult to distinguish friend from foe. Always

use the maximum force available to ensure wiping out any hostilities we

may meet. If one uses too much force, no harm is done. If one uses too

small a force, and it has to be extricated, we will suffer casualties and

encourage the enemy.”

Many of the troops who were expected to act on such orders were

appalled. One of the signatories to the letter to Bevin was Dick

Hartmann, a 31-year-old soldier from Manchester. Hartmann later

recalled: “We saw homes being burned and hundreds of the local

population being kept in compounds. We saw many ambulances, open

at the back, carrying mainly – actually, totally – women and children, who

were in bandages. I remember it very vividly. All the women and children

who lived there would stand outside their homes, all dressed in black,

and just grimly stare at us, really with … hatred.”

39

Back in the UK, parliament and the public knew next to nothing about

this war, the manner in which it was being waged, or Britain’s role in it.

And it appears that the cabinet and the War Office wished their state of

ignorance be preserved.

At the Allies’ south-east Asia headquarters in Ceylon, however, and at the

War Office in London, British commanders and senior defence officials

were enraged by the letter. Hartmann and his comrades were warned

that a brigadier was coming to see them.

Artwork: unknown

SEPTEMBER 2016


“He just came in one morning and gave us a haranguing about the evils

of our ways. He said a few years before we would have been shot, but

unfortunately he couldn’t do that now.” Hartmann was worried. But some

of his comrades had many years of jungle combat behind them and

were unimpressed by the brigadier and his bluster. They told him, bluntly,

that they believed Britain’s cause in the country to be unjust, and that he

should make himself scarce. The brigadier turned on his heel, and did

just that.

40

But there were no more letters from Saigon, there was little press

attention, and almost no comments were made in the Commons. Despite

the size of its military commitment to Indochina, this was to be a British

military operation that would be kept out of sight, and largely out of

mind. And it would not be the last such campaign.

Almost 70 years later, in September 2014, David Cameron, the British

prime minister, gave a statement in which he prepared the country for the

resumption of military action in Iraq, this time against Islamic State forces.

“We are a peaceful people,” Cameron said, standing in front of two union

jack flags. “We do not seek out confrontation, but we need to understand

we cannot ignore this threat to our security … we cannot just walk on by if

we are to keep this country safe. We have to confront this menace.”

Nobody doubted that the prime minister was under pressure to act

after Islamic State had filmed the brutal murder of a British aid worker

and threatened the slaughter of a second. Moreover, nobody disputed

his assertion that the British are “a peaceful people” who do not seek

confrontation.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


In fact, between 1918 and 1939, British forces were fighting in Iraq,

Sudan, Ireland, Palestine and Aden. In the years after the second

world war, British servicemen were fighting in Eritrea, Palestine, French

Indochina, Dutch East Indies, Malaya, Egypt, China and Oman. Between

1949 and 1970, the British initiated 34 foreign military interventions.

Later came the Falklands, Iraq – four times – Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra

Leone, Afghanistan, Libya and, of course, Operation Banner, the British

army’s 38-year deployment to Northern Ireland.

For more than a hundred years, not a single year has passed when

Britain’s armed forces have not been engaged in military operations

somewhere in the world. The British are unique in this respect: the same

could not be said of the Americans, the Russians, the French or any other

nation.Only the British are perpetually at war.

41

One reason that this is rarely acknowledged could be that in the years

following the second world war, and before the period of national selfdoubt

that was provoked in 1956 by the Suez crisis, Britain engaged in

so many end-of-empire scraps that military activity came to be regarded

by the British public as the norm, and therefore unremarkable. Another is

that since 1945, British forces have engaged in a series of small wars that

were under-reported and now all but forgotten, or which were obscured,

even as they were being fought, by more dramatic events elsewhere.

A great deal is known about some conflicts, such as the 1982 Falklands war

and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Britain’s role in the two world wars has

become in many ways central to the national narrative. But other conflicts are

remembered only dimly or have always remained largely hidden.

SEPTEMBER 2016


One strategically vital war, waged by Britain for more than a decade,

was fought for most of that time in complete secrecy. In January 1972,

readers of the Observer opened their newspaper to see a report

headlined “UK fighting secret Gulf war?” On the same day, the Sunday

Times ran a very similar article, asking: “Is Dhofar Britain’s hush-hush

war?” British troops, the newspapers revealed, were engaged in the war

that the sultan of Oman was fighting against guerrillas in the mountains

of Dhofar in the south of the country.

42

Four years earlier, the devaluation crisis had forced Harold Wilson’s

government to pledge that British forces would be withdrawn from all

points east of Suez by December 1971 – the only exemption being a

small force that was to remain in Hong Kong. Now the Observer article

was demanding to know: “Has Britain really withdrawn all her forces

from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula? Or is the British

government, like the Americans in Laos, waging a secret war without the

full knowledge of parliament and public?” The Observer located one of

the insurgency’s leaders, who told its reporter that the war had begun

with an “explosion” in the country on 9 June 1965, triggered by what he

described as poor local governance and “the oppression of the British”.

By the time the Observer and Sunday Times were publishing their first,

tentative reports, Britain had been at war in Oman for six-and-a-half

years.

Situated on the south-west corner of the Arabian peninsula, the Sultanate

of Oman is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the north, and by

Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the west and south-west. The country also sits

alongside the Strait of Hormuz, the 33-mile wide waterway through which

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


oil from the Persian Gulf makes its way to market. In the 1960s, more

than 60% of the western world’s crude oil came from the Gulf, a giant

tanker passing through the Hormuz bottleneck every 10 minutes. As the

oil flowed, local economies flourished and became important markets for

exported British goods: London became even more anxious to protect its

interests in the region and the local rulers who supported them.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Britain maintained control of

successive sultans of Oman to prevent any other colonial power gaining

a foothold in the region. It achieved this through a simple means: money.

In the mid-1960s, the country’s tyrannical ruler, Sultan Said bin Taimur

received more than half his income directly from London. Only from

1967, when Omani oil was pumped from the ground for the first time,

did the country begin to generate most of its own income.

43

Even then, Britain exercised enormous control over the sultan. His

defence secretary and chief of intelligence were British army officers,

his chief adviser was a former British diplomat, and all but one of his

government ministers were British. The British commander of the Sultan

of Oman’s armed forces met daily with the British defence attache, and

weekly with the British ambassador. The sultan had no formal relationship

with any government other than that of the UK.

Officially, the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was an independent state.

In truth, it was a de facto British colony

SEPTEMBER 2016


The official British position was that the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman

was a fully sovereign and independent state. In truth, it was a de facto

British colony. As such, successive British governments were responsible

for the woeful political, social and economic conditions that the sultan’s

subjects endured, and which both created and fuelled the popular revolt.

44

In the mid-1960s, Oman had one hospital. Its infant mortality rate

was 75% and life expectancy was around 55 years. There were just

three primary schools – which the sultan frequently threatened to close

– and no secondary schools. The result of this was that just 5% of the

population could read and write. There were no telephones or any other

infrastructure, other than a series of ancient water channels. The sultan

banned any object that he considered decadent, which meant that

Omanis were prevented from possessing radios, from riding bicycles,

from playing football, from wearing sunglasses, shoes or trousers, and

from using electric pumps in their wells.

Those who offended against the sultan’s laws could expect savage

punishment. There were public executions. Conditions in his prisons –

where Pakistani guards received their orders from British warders – were

said to be horrendous, with large numbers of inmates shackled together

in darkened cells, without proper food or medical attention.

The people of Oman despised and feared both their sultan and the

British who kept him in place and colluded with his policy of nondevelopment.

Unsurprisingly, the sultan often had to call upon the British

to provide the military force required to protect him from his own people.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


During the 1950s there were a number of uprisings in the north of the

country, which were put down by British forces. Both the SAS and the

RAF were critical to the success of these counter-insurgency operations.

Between July and December 1958, for example, the RAF flew 1,635

sorties, dropping 1,094 tons of bombs and firing 900 rockets at the

insurgents, their mountain-top villages and irrigation works. This was

more than twice the weight of bombs that the Luftwaffe dropped on

Coventry in November 1940.

In 1966, a new rebellion broke out in the south of the country, among

the people of Dhofar province. The following year, after surviving an

assassination attempt, the sultan and his Dhofari wife retired to his

palace on the coast at Salalah. He was so rarely sighted that many of his

subjects became convinced that he must have died, and that the British

were concealing that from them.

45

For the new Labour government, the close relationship with the client

sultanate presented an ideological problem. The Labour party had

been elected in 1964 on a manifesto that included a pledge to wage a

new “war on want” in the developing world, and to fight for “freedom

and racial equality” at the United Nations general assembly. It would

cause the most excruciating humiliation were it to become known more

widely, at home and abroad, that Oman was the last country on earth

where slavery remained legal. The sultan owned around 500 slaves.

An estimated 150 of them were women, whom he kept at his palace at

Salalah; a number of his male slaves were said to have been physically

deformed by the cruelties they had suffered.

SEPTEMBER 2016


After the rebellions of the 1950s, the Sultan of Oman’s armed forces

were reorganised, with British advice, training, equipment and funds.

More Omanis were recruited into the ranks, but all of the officers were

British. Some were “seconded officers” while others were so-called

contract officers, or mercenaries – men who had previously served in

Oman with the British Army and who had chosen to return to earn

handsome rewards.

46

Initially, the rebels they faced in Dhofar were Arab nationalists. However,

to the west of Dhofar lay Aden, from which the British were forced to

withdraw at the end of 1967, in the face of increasingly violent rebellions.

British rule had been replaced by a Marxist state, the People’s Democratic

Republic of Yemen, which received aid from both China and Russia.

By early 1968, a Dhofari nationalist insurgency was developing into a

Chinese-backed revolutionary movement with pan-Arabian ambitions. To

the British officers, however, the foe was always simply the adoo – Arabic

for enemy. By the end of 1969, the adoo had captured the coastal town

of Raysut, and by early the following year they controlled most of the high

plains and were within mortaring distance of the RAF base at Salalah.

Any enemy corpses we recovered were propped up in the souk as a

salutary lesson to would-be freedom fighters

Anonymous British officer

The new oil fields on the desert between Dhofar and the capital, Muscat,

were beginning to look vulnerable. Some in London were developing a

fearful Middle Eastern domino theory, in which they envisaged the Strait

of Hormuz falling under communist control.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


The British response was merciless. “We burnt down rebel villages and

shot their goats and cows,” one officer wrote. “Any enemy corpses we

recovered were propped up in the Salalah souk as a salutary lesson to

any would-be freedom fighters.” Another officer explained that unlike

in Northern Ireland, where soldiers were anxious to avoid killing or

wounding non-combatants, he believed that in Dhofar there were no

innocents, only adoo: “The only people in this area – there are no

civilians – are all enemy. Therefore you can get on with doing the job,

mortaring the area and returning small arms fire without worrying about

hurting innocent people.”

In their determination to put down a popular rebellion against the cruelty

and neglect of a despot who was propped up and financed by Britain,

British-led forces poisoned wells, torched villages, destroyed crops and

shot livestock. During the interrogation of rebels they developed their

torture techniques, experimenting with noise. Areas populated by civilians

were turned into free-fire zones. Little wonder that Britain wanted to fight

this war in total secrecy.

47

There was no need to resort to the Official Secrets Acts or the D-notice

system in order to conceal the Dhofar war, and the ruthless manner in

which it was being fought, from the outside world. Two simple expedients

were employed: no journalists were permitted into the country, and

nobody in government mentioned the war. When Wilson published

his account of the Labour government of 1964-70, for example, he

mentioned the war that the US was fighting in Vietnam almost 250 times.

His own government’s war in Oman was not mentioned once.

SEPTEMBER 2016


While the Wilson government had every reason to be sensitive about

the military support it was providing to a slave-owning despot, whose

rule might charitably be described as medieval, there were additional

reasons for the all-embracing secrecy. This was an era in which the

developing world and the United Nations had rejected colonialism, and

Arab nationalism had been growing in strength for decades. It was vital,

therefore, for the credibility of the UK in the Middle East, that its hand in

Oman should remain largely hidden.

48

John Akehurst, the commander of the Sultan’s Armed Forces from 1972,

suggests a further reason for the British government not wishing to draw

attention to its war in Dhofar: “They were perhaps nervous that we were

going to lose it.”

Certainly, by the summer of 1970, Britain’s secret war was going so badly

that desperate measures were called for. On 26 July, the Foreign Office in

London announced that Sultan Said bin Taimur had been deposed by his

29-year-old son, Qaboos bin Said, in a palace coup. In fact, the coup was a

very British affair. It had been planned in London by MI6 and by civil servants

at the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office, and given the go-ahead

after the election that brought Edward Heath into Downing Street.

The new sultan immediately abolished slavery, improved the country’s

irrigation infrastructure and began to spend his oil revenues on his armed

forces. Troops from the SAS arrived, first as the sultan’s bodyguards, and

then in squadron strength to fight the adoo. Eventually, the tide turned,

journalists were permitted into the country, and by the summer of 1976

the war was won.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


Strategically, the Dhofar war was one of the most important conflicts

of the 20th century, as the victors could expect to control the Strait of

Hormuz and the flow of oil. Thousands died, the British won and the

west’s lights stayed on. Today, the war is still studied at the Joint Services

Command and Staff College in Britain. But because of the way in which

information about the long campaign was so successfully suppressed at

the time that it was being waged, it has been all but blanked out of the

nation’s memory. Like the British wars in Eritrea, Indochina, the Dutch

East Indies and Borneo, it is remembered in Britain only by those men

who fought it, and their families.

Some aspects of Britain’s role in the coup and the war remain among

the deep secrets of the British state. Wilson’s correspondence on Oman,

for example, and that of his successor Heath, are to remain closed to

historians and the public until 2021. In 2005, a Foreign Office memo

was briefly made public that describes the way in which the old sultan’s

own defence secretary, Colonel Hugh Oldman, had taken the lead role

in planning the coup that deposed Oman’s ruler, in order to safeguard

British access to the country’s oil and military bases. The document was

then hurriedly withdrawn – its release, the Foreign Office said, had been

an unfortunate error.

49

Judging from the last decade and a half, there is little sign that the

British state is about to lose its appetite for war. The first conflict of the

new century in which the UK became involved was the post-9/11 assault

against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

SEPTEMBER 2016


This war enjoyed early success, but stuttered and soured after the UK’s

mission expanded to Helmand in the south of the country. The war

dragged on, costing an estimated 95,000 lives over 13 years, including

those of 453 British servicemen and women, and brought little discernible

benefit to the people of Afghanistan. The 21st century’s second war – the

2003 invasion of Iraq – was possibly the UK’s greatest foreign policy

disaster since Suez. Casualty estimates vary widely, from 150,000 dead

to more than a million. What cannot be disputed is that 179 of the dead

were British. More than a decade later, Iraq remains in chaos.

50

The post-9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought in the full

glare of the media and came to haunt the politicians who had initiated

them. Despite this, Britain continued to invest in war – politically,

technically and financially – as a means of projecting power and

securing influence among key allies, and also, it seemed at times, in an

attempt to impose order and a degree of familiarity upon a chaotic and

unpredictable world.

But could this be done in secret? Surely, in the age of global media, 24-

hour rolling news, social media, and the troops’ own ability to record

and instantly share images of conflict, it would be impossible for a

British government to go to war and conceal its actions, in the way that

Britain’s war in Dhofar was hidden from the public for six-and-a-half

years? Tony Jeapes, who commanded the first SAS squadron that was

covertly deployed to Oman, considered this question, and concluded that

while such secrecy was “an ideal state of affairs”, it would probably be

impossible to repeat.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


In the years since the Dhofar war, the UK’s special forces have been

gradually expanded, and since 1996, all its members have been obliged

to sign a confidentiality agreement. This has reinforced the discretion with

which members of elite units within the military traditionally perform their

duties, and it has rarely been broken.

Meanwhile, the evolution of successive generations of unmanned

aerial vehicles, or drones, has presented military planners with greater

opportunities to mount operations that could remain unknown, other than

to those who are ordering, planning and executing them, and to those on

the receiving end.

The reliance of modern societies on the internet and the increasing

frequency with which states probe and attack each other’s cyber defences

have led some analysts to talk of a hybrid warfare, much of which is

shrouded in deniability. The result is that the line between war and peace

is increasingly blurred.

51

In the years after 9/11, hints began to emerge, in the footnotes of

the budget statements of the Ministry of Defence, and from scraps of

evidence salvaged from the coastal villages of Somalia, the mountains

of Yemen and the cities of Libya, that the British were once again waging

war in secret. It appeared that a lethal trinity of special forces, drones and

local proxies was being brought to bear in a way that would spare the

British public the disagreeable details of the nature of modern war, and

relieve parliament of the need to debate the wisdom of waging it.

SEPTEMBER 2016


In July 2007, less than a week after succeeding Tony Blair as prime

minister, Gordon Brown had announced a series of sweeping

constitutional changes that he said would make the British government

“a better servant of the people”. One measure – clearly a response to the

deeply unpopular war in Iraq and the calamitous and costly expedition

into Helmand – was to give members of parliament the final say on

declarations of war.

Six years later, in August 2013, parliament exercised its new right when

MPs rejected a government motion that would have authorised military

intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war.

52

Ministers of the coalition government were appalled by the vote – it was said

to be the first against a British prime minister’s foreign policy since 1782 –

and argued that it not only blocked the deployment of British troops, it also

prevented the UK from providing any military assistance whatsoever.

“It is clear to me,” Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons,

“that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does

not want to see British military action. I get that and the government will

act accordingly.”

But those words – “act accordingly” – were not quite what they seemed.

In July 2015, the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, gave MPs an update

on the renewed military operations in Iraq – the campaign that Cameron

had announced while standing before two union jack flags and declaring

the British to be “a peaceful people”. The RAF, he said, had carried out

300 air strikes in Iraq, there were 900 UK personnel engaged, and the

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


operation had cost £45m in the previous 12 months. He reassured his

audience that “our position remains that we would return to the House for

approval before conducting air strikes in Syria”.

Before making this statement, Fallon was said to have been unsettled

by talk in Washington political circles that the UK’s refusal to act in Syria

could be seen only as a sign of British decrepitude. His statement was

deeply misleading: for at least 18 months, RAF pilots who were said to

have been “embedded” with the US and Canadian military had been

carrying out airstrikes against targets in Syria. Others had been flying

combat missions with the French military over Mali. They were said to be

under the command of these foreign forces, but they were clearly a British

contribution to a war that MPs had decided the country should avoid.

53

Two weeks later the truth was out, and Fallon was back on his feet in the

Commons, explaining himself to angry MPs.

“Embedded” service personnel were nothing new, he declared; they

comply with UK law, but “have to comply with the rules of engagement

of the host nation”. He had not publicised what had been happening

because these pilots had been assisting with other countries’ operations.

Moreover, he made clear that the failure to publicise what was happening

should be regarded as “standard practice”.

In December 2015, MPs voted that overt military action against

Islamic State forces should finally proceed. The government was given

parliamentary approval for military operations that had already been

covertly under way for two years.

SEPTEMBER 2016


In the Gulf, meanwhile, it was disclosed that British military personnel

were sitting in the control rooms from which the Saudi Arabian air force

was guiding its bombers on to targets across Yemen. The British were

helping their Saudi counterparts key in the codes that would help them

select and attack their targets. The Saudis were not only flying Britishbuilt

aircraft and dropping British-made bombs, they were dropping

vast numbers of them. Over a three-month period in 2015, the value of

exports of British-made bombs and missiles had increased by 11,000%,

from £9m to £1bn.

54

This bombing campaign has been heavily criticised by rights groups

for causing thousands of civilian deaths. In parliament, the British

government has had little to say about this, other than to insist that it

“obeys the norms of humanitarian law”.

Once again, the government appeared to be quietly pulling the country

into a Middle Eastern conflict without any parliamentary oversight or

approval. And covert, undeclared and unreported warfare could be seen

to be not merely a possibility, but the reality of many of the UK’s military

operations.

This piece is an edited extract from Ian Cobain’s study of official secrecy

in the UK, The History Thieves (Granta, £20). To order a copy for £16, go

to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over

£10, online orders only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15

Artwork: still unknown


55

SEPTEMBER 2016


56

wonder

what they

are laughing

about?

Artwork: John Tenniel

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


57

TORY CARE BEARS

SEPTEMBER 2016


58

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


Artwork: Alan Rutherford

DEAD SHEEP

Jonathan Maitland’s play about

Tory treachery and Maggie the temptress: how 80s politics

inspired a script for Brexit Britain

My play Dead Sheep, about Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe,

already included a prime minister’s downfall, a machinating wife and an

ambitious blond maverick. Reworking it since the referendum has been a

writer’s dream

When I asked the BBC’s former chief political correspondent John

Sergeant for advice about my play Dead Sheep in 2014 he told me

colourfully but gently that I was wasting my time. John, a former

colleague, had a point. Who’d be interested in a play about Geoffrey

Howe and Margaret Thatcher, especially as Thatcher’s story had already

been explored in dramas like The Iron Lady, The Long Walk to Finchley

and The Audience?

But I felt those productions had missed a trick, for understandable

dramatic reasons, in treating Howe as a jealous, pompous, bitpart

player. I had always thought there was much more to him. His

relationship with Thatcher was also the most effective way, I believed,

to examine the flaws and qualities of the woman who moulded modern

Britain.

59

SEPTEMBER 2016


Howe was Thatcher’s chancellor and foreign secretary. People thought he

was a comically bad public speaker, hence the play’s title: “Being attacked

by Geoffrey Howe,” said Labour’s Denis Healey, “is like being savaged

by a dead sheep.” But when Howe and Thatcher fell out over Europe, he

made one of the greatest political speeches of all time. It destroyed her.

He was supported by his wife, Elspeth, a formidable woman who loathed

Thatcher. And vice versa: an observer called them “wasps in a jam jar”.

So I ignored John. If I don’t write it, I thought, one day someone else will.

60

There was another wind at my back. The more I researched, the more

struck I became by the parallels. In the 1980s, when the play is set,

the Tories were divided over Europe. In April 2015, when Dead Sheep

premiered at London’s Park theatre, the song remained the same. Then

as now, it was about sovereignty, identity and economics.

That gave me opportunities. Hence a scene in which a louche,

Eurosceptic Alan Clark berates Geoffrey over his support for the EU.

Geoffrey warns Alan the Tory party could split in two over the issue.

“What?” sneers Clark. “A breakaway party for Eurosceptics? Don’t be

ridiculous.” Not a screamer on the page perhaps but on stage it got

laughs every night.

We were offered a three-month national tour after the run at the Park

and, after a succession of failures (I’ve had more TV ideas turned down

than Alan Partridge) I felt lucky for once. Then, in June this year, the cards

fell totally in the play’s favour.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


As a remainer I was shocked and upset when Britain voted for Brexit. But

then, being a selfish, opportunistic bastard, it dawned on me that the

political cloud had a silver lining. Dead Sheep may have been relevant

in 2015 but in 2016 it was uncannily so. A Tory PM makes a fatal

miscalculation over Europe? Tick. The PM is betrayed by an ally? Tick. A

Tory wife machinates exquisitely at the heart of it? Tick. There’s more. In

Dead Sheep a blond, charismatic, maverick Tory wants to be PM. Sound

familiar?

The play needed plenty of post-referendum tweaks. Ian Gow, Geoffrey’s

friend, now says in the play that leaving Europe would be impossible:

“Too complicated, for a start. Undoing all those laws. Like the political

equivalent of reversing a vasectomy.” It’s been a writer’s dream:

reworking a script with the benefit of hindsight to make the echoes

louder. Thatcher now quotes Churchill about Britain being “of Europe,

but not part of it. Interested but not absorbed.” And she showboats more:

“History will prove me right one day, Geoffrey. The majority of the people

are with me on this.”

61

The Guardian’s Michael Billington commended the original production

but felt it should have shown Thatcher’s sexual side (as admired by

Alan Clark in his Diaries). On reflection I agreed. Now, Margaret (Steve

Nallon, who previously impersonated her on Spitting Image) flirts with

her blunt press secretary Bernard Ingham, a Yorkshireman, in a way that

is – I hope – entertaining and instructive. “Did you see the way President

Mitterrand looked at me, Bernard? He likes women, you know.” Bernard

turns puce as Margaret moves close and coos: “I am a woman, you

know.”

SEPTEMBER 2016


This whole process has made me realise something I never fully

appreciated: drama’s advantage over current affairs. As a longtime TV

and radio reporter I’ve made countless shows that claimed to give “the

full story” but didn’t. Drama, I’ve discovered (rather late in the day) fills

the human gaps in the story and so completes the picture.

There’s one piquant quote that hasn’t made it into the new version.

“History doesn’t repeat itself,” it is said. “It rhymes.” You’re telling me.

Dead Sheep is at Westcliff Palace theatre, Southend, on 12

September and on a UK tour until 28 November

62

We asked the man in the street, ‘Do you think history repeats

itself?’

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


well, YEAH,

but its more of a

continuation of soaring

inequality, arms trading,

union bashing, increased

racism ... and now,

fucking grammar schools

again!

63

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

SEPTEMBER 2016


64

THE MINERS STRIKE

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


THE POLICE STRIKE?

65

SEPTEMBER 2016


66

Crickey ... a virtual keyboard,

use it at your own peril

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


YEAH,

capitalism certainly does

not work for most people

... they know its just a

get-rich-quick scam for

the selfish

67

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

SEPTEMBER 2016


68

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


69

SEPTEMBER 2016


Artwork: still unknown

70

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 15


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Same old same old!

Absolutely damaged by the swiftly decaying state of

the nation ... Words fail me, what is the use of words

when the person you are saying them to is unable to

grasp your, and their, meaning?

Worryingly, we have left even that irrational road,

the one where stupidity reigns, and now follow a

path where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched banal

myths, hearsay and superstition. The shit-faced

fudge of complacency and mad spouters will now

be defended to the death by a renewed Trident.

Reason cannot be relied on in the present or near

future (if ever?) and its utterly terrifying. Just who

are the terrorists? For evidence of this I direct your

(still giggling but increasingly alarmed) attention

to Donald Trump and his campaign to become US

President. As Britain’s government is a happy lapdog

of US mischief in the world ... and a blindly loyal

follower of US foreign policy, what will our May

government do if Trump suceeds and begins his

Term of Ignorance?

71

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I am

absolute in my scepticism about whether the

business-arses and their sycophantic political

stooges, Blairites and Tories – or the US presidential

circus and their flunkies – will come up with anything

remotely of benefit to anyone other than the

rampantly corrupt ruling class wankers intent on

fucking us all.

SEPTEMBER 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

16


SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


c

October 2016


d

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Opening 03

Cable Street 05

Artwork: Andreas Achenbach, Rough Seas ahead mateys!

Cover & frontispiece:

Cable Street mural.

Photographs, words and

artwork sourced from ‘found

in the scrapbook of life’, no

intentional copyright

infringement intended,

credited whenever possible,

so, for treading on any toes

... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for

submitting articles to be

included in the next issue, it

will appear whenever, or in

your dreams!

Articles to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Universal Suffrage 13

Ignore Naysayers 23

Anti-Semitic? 26

Save the Flowers 35

Seydou Keïta 39

Township/Rearick 44

Ignoramuses 49

Letters 63

1

October 2016


2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

OKTOBER 1917

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 16, and

welcome, again, Peter Lewis from over the

road.

Still trying to ignore the media circus, lies

and bullshit that parades as news ... misdirecting

our attention, here is a magazine

produced freely to be read freely.

3

The end may

justify the means

as long as there

is something that

justifies the end

All articles and artwork supplied, or found

in newspapers lining the bottom of the

canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear sporadically and occasionally

rather than monthly.

Leon Trotsky

Without contributors this project is

failing to live up to its original ideal!

a luta continua!

October 2016


Artwork: Alan Rutherford

FASCIST MOSLEY THWARTED


‘An antidote to the far right’s poison’​​

THE BATTLE FOR

CABLE STREET’S MURAL

Eighty years on from the day anti-fascists clashed with Oswald

Mosley’s blackshirts in the Jewish East End of London, David

Rosenberg tells the story of the long struggle to protect the giant

artwork and its enduring message of solidarity

‘It was frightening,’ says Rene. ‘They slung my brother in a Black Maria. My

mum was waiting up for him and he didn’t come home. He was in a police

cell. My dad came home covered in blood.’

5

Sally chips in: ‘They knocked my brother out. The police were going by on

horseback and hit him with a truncheon. He was only 12.’

Beattie remembers ‘lots of scuffles’ and ‘a lorry turned over’. Her friend,

Ginnie, was pushed through a shop window.

In a Jewish day centre in London’s East End, three elderly women are

recalling the 1936 Battle of Cable Street. That summer, East End Jews

were under siege from Oswald Mosley’s fascists. Blackshirted street corner

speakers railed against the Jews, ‘rats and vermin from the gutters of

Whitechapel’, blaming them for every social ill.

October 2016


‘My father worked from six in the morning until 10 at night,’ says Sally, ‘but

he’d have kids shouting at him, ‘Go home Jew!’’ Beattie learned to answer

back: ‘When they said, ‘Go home Jew!’, I said, ‘I am home’.’

Oswald Mosley intended to march his blackshirts – pictured on parade in

Royal Mint Street, London, a few days before the battle – through the East

End’s Jewish district.

6

It was late September 1936. Posters declared: ‘Mosley speaks in East

London. Four great meetings. Four marching columns.’ He was threatening

to march thousands of blackshirts right through the area’s Jewish district,

on Sunday, 4 October. Nearly 100,000 East Enders, Jews and non-Jews,

petitioned home secretary John Simon to ban the march. He refused, and

sent 7,000 police to protect the blackshirts’ free passage.

On the day, though, anti-fascists vastly outnumbered both Mosley’s forces

and the police, and blocked Mosley’s path. When the police tried to clear

a route further south through Cable Street, they met determined resistance.

Irish dockers and railway workers came from the far end of the street to

help the Jews build barricades. Paving stones were ripped up, bricks flew,

and angry Jewish women threw bottles, kitchen utensils and the contents

of chamber pots on to the police from the tenements. The police retreated

and ordered Mosley to turn round and go home.

This October, the three women will tell their stories publicly during a

weekend of activities celebrating the 80th anniversary of the battle. Another

veteran, 101-year-old Max Levitas, will speak at a rally, alongside Labour

leader Jeremy Corbyn, local MP Rushanara Ali, and TUC general secretary

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


Frances O’Grady. Every five years, since 1986, Cable Street veterans

have passed on their experiences at such events, but their numbers are

dwindling.

Fortunately, the events of that day have been captured for subsequent

generations in a breathtaking, politically charged mural on the side of

the former St George’s town hall in Cable Street. It depicts the battle at its

height: banners waving, bottles and tools flying through the air, mounted

police with truncheons drawn. But this mural has its own anniversary this

year, and its own dramatic story to tell.

Forty years ago, in the town hall basement, the work was commissioned

and the first sketches made; it was finally unveiled seven years later. During

that period, East Enders were being terrorised by a new generation of

fascists whose targets included the mural itself.

7

Longstanding Cable Street residents Dan Jones and Roger Mills were part

of the basement group. ‘The idea of a mural lasting any amount of time is

ridiculous, but it has been preserved and looked after,’ says Jones, grateful

that this extraordinary landmark has survived the rapid gentrification that

has swept aside communities, cultural memories and sites of struggle.

The mural embodies physical resistance and owes its existence to a

collective act of cultural resistance. In 1974, Thames Television unveiled its

Arts Council-backed Eyesights project. Professional artists would descend

on Tower Hamlets and inspire residents through posters on advertising

hoardings. The basement group, completely bypassed, nicknamed the

scheme ‘eyesores’ and fought for alternative, locally inspired projects,

October 2016


including the mural. But people considered the proposal ‘very ambitious’,

says Mills, ‘and it was put on the backburner’.

Jones pursued it, though, and invited artist Dave Binnington to the

basement. Binnington had produced vivid and striking work under

London’s Westway flyover, inspired by the Mexican mural artists David

Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. He read voraciously about the battle, and

both he and Mills interviewed veterans to collect firsthand information.

Binnington projected a slide of an early design on to the town hall wall. He

recruited another artist, Paul Butler, to produce a series of predella panels

across the lower section, narrating the battle.

8

A mural project committee leafleted locals, inviting them to contribute

poems, drawings and memories and offering them the chance to appear

in the mural. ‘Just as the crowd in 1936 was made up of local people,’ the

leaflet stated, ‘so shall the mural be an image of people living here now.’

Many faces in the mural were taken from newspaper photos of the battle,

but the more ethnically diverse group behind a banner on the lower left

represents Cable Street’s 1970s residents. By then, few Jews lived there.

The Irish remained, but the new fast growing community was Bangladeshi.

Like earlier Jewish immigrants they worked in the rag trade around Brick

Lane and Cannon Street Road, which crosses Cable Street. Like the Jews,

they too were targeted by racists and fascists. The National Front stepped

comfortably into Mosley’s boots.

Bangladeshi Nooruddin Ahmed, who came to the East End in his teens,

recalls the febrile atmosphere: ‘Most of Tower Hamlets was a no-go area

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


for Bengalis,’ he says. Brick Lane and Cannon Street Road were ‘the sole

places where Bengalis felt relatively comfortable’.

Julie Begum conjures up the fear. ‘You went to school, you went home, you

didn’t hang around. You did your shopping, and you hoped that you were

not going to be attacked on your way there or back.’

Britain’s first Bengali MP, Rushanara Ali, settled in the East End with her

parents in the early 1980s. As a child, she recalls, ‘we weren’t allowed

to go out and play unsupervised, even right outside, because there was

a lot of racism.’ In the evening she stood at the window with her mother

watching for her father to get home safely from work.

On 4 May 1978, Altab Ali, a 25 year old Bengali machinist, was walking

home from work when he was attacked and stabbed to death by a racist

gang near Whitechapel Road. There were local elections that day. The NF

were contesting 41 seats in Tower Hamlets.

9

In 1982, the incomplete mural was daubed with six-foot high racist

slogans. Binnington was devastated and abandoned the project. Two

other artists, Des Rochfort and Ray Walker, helped Butler reimagine

and complete the mural. It may look like one dynamic, convulsive, and

coherent image, but it was created in sections by three individuals, each

with their unique style.

Ten years after the unveiling, as Butler was restoring the weatherbeaten

mural, the fascists returned: the British National Party had won a local

council seat. Its emboldened supporters paint-bombed the mural and

October 2016


threatened Butler. ‘I had my tyres slashed and white paint poured all over

my car,’ he says. ‘We had to have a police guard. You felt very vulnerable

up the scaffolding. You could be shaken off it like an apple on a tree.’

10

Butler’s further restoration experience in 2011 was less fraught. Local

teachers brought students – most of Bengali and Somali heritage – to

see the mural and question Butler and Mills. Butler enthuses about how

strongly these young people identified with the narrative. Last year, Rachel

Burns, a Jewish teacher whose grandparents inhabited the volatile East

End of the 1930s, worked on a project centred on the mural, involving

four schools, with Jewish and Muslim schools working together. The

students, she says, ‘realised it was not only about racism but also about

solidarity’.

Rushanara Ali was 12 when she first visited the mural with her history

teacher, but its potency stayed with her. As a student at Oxford, she wrote

her first article for the student magazine about the mural. Though it

depicts the struggles of Jewish immigrants, she is emphatic that it ‘belongs

to everybody. It is part of us, part of our community’s local heritage.’

Jones, whose Jewish mother was an anti-fascist activist in the 1930s,

remembers proudly that the mural project was championed by two of

Tower Hamlets’ first Asian councillors.

Cable Street forms the boundary of Ali’s constituency. The south side,

including the mural, is the territory of Jim Fitzpatrick MP. He marvels at

the power of art to communicate ‘to people who might not be interested

in reading history’ its central message: that ‘collective political action,

bringing people together, is the antidote against the far right’s poison’.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


Back at the day centre, Beattie describes the battle as if it happened last

week: ‘When I walked out my flat on Goulston Street I could not believe

how many people were there. They were chanting, ‘They shall not pass!’’

They did not pass.

‘We showed them what we were made of,’ says Rene. ‘With people like

Beattie, we got the better of them.’

11

October 2016


12

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


MEN OF ENGLAND

[& WOMEN]

Men of England, wherefore plough

For the lords who lay ye low?

Wherefore weave with toil and care

The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed and clothe and save

From the cradle to the grave

Those ungrateful drones who would

Drain your sweat – nay, drink your blood?

Wherefore, Bees of England, forge

Many a weapon, chain, and scourge,

That these stingless drones may spoil

The forced produce of your toil?

Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,

Shelter, food, love’s gentle balm?

Or what is it ye buy so dear

With your pain and with your fear?

The seed ye sow, another reaps;

The wealth ye find, another keeps;

The robes ye weave, another wears;

The arms ye forge, another bears.

Sow seed – but let no tyrant reap:

Find wealth – let no imposter heap:

Weave robes – let not the idle wear:

Forge arms – in your defence to bear.

Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells –

In hall ye deck another dwells.

Why shake the chains ye wrought? Ye see

The steel ye tempered glance on ye.

With plough and spade and hoe and loom

Trace your grave and build your tomb

And weave your winding-sheet – till fair

England be your Sepulchre.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

& THE STRUGGLE

FOR UNIVERSAL

SUFFRAGE

13

October 2016


14

During the early years of the 19th century, when Rochdale was thriving as

a textile manufacturing centre, all was not peace and harmony. At this time

the inhabitants of the town and surrounding area could be divided into three

groups or classes. There were the members of the upper-class, the wealthy

land owners, the Tory gentry, who were members of the Anglican Church.

These people had the ability to wield real power through their connections

in the church, the magistrature, and by casting a vote in elections. The

middle-class, the nouveau-riche entrepreneurs who were ambitious, selfmade

men, saw themselves as the engines of this economic boom but

completely disenfranchised since they were unable to vote in elections. Many

of the members of this group belonged to one or other of the diverse nonconformist

churches that had sprung up in the area, Politically, they were

Whigs and later Liberals and they were determined to wrestle power away

from the traditional ruling class. At the bottom of the heap economically and

politically were the working-class who made up 96% or the population of

Rochdale.

The industrialization of the textile industry led first to the concentration of

formerly rural people into Rochdale. The population exploded and by 1841

there were 68,000 people in a town that just 20 years earlier had 23,000.

Living conditions in the overcrowded, squalid and increasingly polluted town

were dreadful. As mechanization increased and prices for cloth fluctuated,

the wages paid to factory workers and the prices paid to independent

handweaves spiraled ever downwards. As local medical practitioners at the

time commented ‘the labouring classes in the Borough of Rochdale ... are

now suffering great and increasing privations. That they are unable in great

numbers to obtain wholesome food in sufficient quantities to keep them in

health; and that they are predisposed to disease and rendered unable to

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


esist its attacks.....In this respect the population amongst whom we practice

are in a much worse state now than they were five or six years ago.’

It was in this climate that Rochdale as a town developed, and the drama

played out in the meeting halls and on the streets of the town over several

decades. Driven by a thirst for wealth and power the middle-class clashed

on ideologal grounds with the ruling upper-class Tories. Meanwhile, the

working-class fought to stave off starvation and learned how to organize

their considerable numbers against the overwhelming power of the rich and

powerful who controlled every aspect of their lives.

The political battle that ensued at the beginning of the 19th century was

no simple struggle. The often competing goals of the various classes were

inevitably intertwined. I will endeavour to unravel them but apologize in

advance for any oversimplification.

15

In 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon’s army was defeated and the

Twenty Years War came to an end. Having won the war, England faced

a serious problem at home. In fact, the country teetered on the brink of

revolution. Even before the war there had been unrest in the country . It was

in every respect a period of repression in which the condition of the poor

had steadily deteriorated. Exploited in factories by the new capitalists and on

the land by the old aristocracy, the frustrations of the poor often manifested

themselves in violence, notably bread riots in Rochdale. In 1791 a riot was

put down by the militia, on the order of magistrate Thomas Drake, resulting

in two deaths. Falling wages precipitated attacks on weavers’ cottages, and

in one incident in 1808, an angry crowd liberated several men, who had

been arrested, and burned down the ‘lock-up’ on Rope Street. In reaction to

October 2016


the unrest Rochdale became a barracks town giving it a permanent military

presence ready at a moments notice to put down any riots.

The move to reform the existing parliamentary system dominated the political

mood of the country. A party of reform minded men, equipped with blankets

to keep them warm on overnight stops, set off from Manchester on March

24, 1817 to present a petition to the Prince Regent in what became known

as the March of the Blanketeers.

16

The same year a large political reform meeting was held on Cronkeyshaw

Common outside Rochdale. 35,000 men and women marched through

Rochdale to the Common, and amongst the crowd at the meeting was

Samuel Bamford, a reformer/radical from Middleton.

The Peterloo Massacre

Two years later Bamford led a party of Middleton people to an assembly on

open ground near St. Peter’s Church in Manchester, where they hoped to

hear Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt speak.

‘They wore their Sunday suits and clean neckties; and by the side of fustian

and corduroy walked the coloured prints and stuffs of wives and sweethearts,

who went as for a gala-day, to break the dull monotony of their lives, and

to serve as a guarantee of peaceable intention. Such at least was the main

body, marshalled in Middleton by stalwart, stout-hearted Samuel Bamford,

which passed in marching order, five abreast down Newton Lane, through

Oldham Street, skirted the Infirmary Gardens, and proceeded along Moseley

Street. each leader with a sprig of peaceful laurel in his hat.’

Peterloo: the 15th Hussars rode, with sabers drawn, into the crowd ...

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


17

October 2016


Among the throng on St. Peter’s Field it was reported that some banners

were seen saying ‘Bread or Blood’, ‘Liberty or Death’ and ‘Equal

Representation or Death’. Hunt had barely made it onto the stage when

the 15th Hussars, dispatched by magistrate the Rev. Hay, later the Vicar

of Rochdale, rode, with sabers drawn, into the crowd . Eleven people

were killed and 400 injured in what became known as the Peterloo

Massacre.

18

The government of the day finally addressed the parliamentary reform

issue in 1832, by passing the Parliamentary Reform Act. Unfortunately,

for the majority of the people in Rochdale and around the country

nothing changed. The Act abolished ‘Rotten Boroughs’ and gave their

seats to new towns including Rochdale. It extended the franchise but only

on the basis of wealth to £10 householders in boroughs and £50 tenants

in the counties. In Rochdale this meant that 687 out of a population of

28,000 could now vote.

Rightly or wrongly, the mass of the working-class saw the right to vote

as a chance to influence government policy (something that continues

to be almost impossible, even with universal sufferage) and to improve

their miserable lot. A national movement known as Chartism grew up

to address this working-class discontent. It derived its name from the six

point charter that set out the demands of the organization, demands

which some were prepared to back with force if necessary:

1. Universal (male) sufferage.

2. Annual Parliaments.

3. Vote by (secret) ballot.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


4. Abolition of property qualifications for M. P.’s.

5. Payment of M. P.’s.

6. Equal Electoral Districts.

Chartist Demonstration

In Rochdale one of the prominent figures in the Chartist movement was

Thomas Livsey. Livsey was a local lad, the son of a blacksmith, who was

educated until the age of 15 in Rochdale. Livsey also worked locally

on such issues as shortening working hours in the mills, restricting

child labour and fighting the Poor Laws that introduced the despised

workhouses. Livsey was an affective interlocutor between the middle-class

and the working-class and a strong advocate for the latter. He was also

involved in the development of the local Co-operative movement.

19

The struggle for acceptance of the Charter raised passions and for a

while there were real concerns that it could lead to an armed insurrection.

Plans to organize a period of sustained protest across the country in

1839 collapsed in disarray. By 1842 when the Charter was still a dream,

it began to be apparent to a lot of people that the way forward for

working-class people lay not in electoral reform but in self-improvement,

a decision which in Rochdale led to Co-operation.

The middle-class fought for parliamentary reform because they wanted

to have access to the power that the Tory gentry had by right. The only

way to achieve the change they wanted was to create a ground swell

of discontent and to do this they needed to enlist the support of the

working-class. The working-class joined the frey in a desperate attempt

to give some strength to their demands for improved living and working

October 2016


conditions. Throughout this whole period, life and work in Rochdale was

characterized by riots and strikes over food shortages, pay and working

conditions.

From Manchesterhistory.net

20

The Right to Vote

1832 Great Reform Act. Before this time only landowners could vote for

MPs to sit in the House of Commons. This meant 1 in 7 men could vote.

(440,000 people) After 1832 the male urban middle classes gain the

vote, and so the electorate increases to 1 in 5 men (650,000 people).

1867 Second Reform Act. This extends the vote to the skilled urban male

working class. The electorate increases to 1 in 3 men.

1884 Third Reform Act. The vote is now given to working class men in

the countryside. The electorate is now 2 out of 3 men.

1918 Representation of the People Act. Almost all men over 21 years

old, and women over 30 years old now have the vote.

1928 Effectively all women and men over 21 now have the vote.

So scandalously, women had to fight on for their right to vote

until, because some Suffragettes supported the War, over 30s

got the vote in 1918 ... but others had to wait for equality until

finally all citizens over 21 had the vote in 1928.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


21

October 2016


22

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


IGNORE THE PATRONISING

NAYSAYERS, LABOUR MEMBERS

CAN DRIVE A REVOLUTION

David Wearing

Rather than trying to appeal to voters’ more base instincts, the party can

thrive by mobilising its supporters to spread its message

‘Labour members can win the right to be heard by taking up a multitude

of local causes in communities up and down the country.’ Jeremy Corbyn

said, addressing a crowd in Ramsgate, Kent.

23

While there is much that the Labour leadership can do to help ensure

national electoral success once Jeremy Corbyn is crowned for the second

time, the most important factor is not in the hands of the Westminster

villagers. It is the hundreds of thousands of people that make up the new

mass membership of the party that can have the biggest impact. It is they,

more than anyone, who now have the means to change the country. And

they can get started on it straight away.

May has never won an election as prime minister. We must ensure she

never does

October 2016


The political and cultural theorist Jeremy Gilbert identifies two competing

approaches as to how Labour should address the question of electability:

marketing and movement-building. The marketing approach treats the

electorate as consumers with fixed preferences, where the ideal politician is

a polished salesperson armed with a perfectly calibrated retail policy offer.

The movement-building approach treats public opinion as a changeable

landscape, where elections are won not only by competent politicians but

by social forces mobilised in support of a transformative agenda.

24

As Gilbert notes, the problem with the marketing approach is that it

cannot explain how socio-political change happens. Imagine if Sylvia

Pankhurst or Rosa Parks had said that ‘we have to accept where people

are’ on women’s rights, or ‘we understand the public’s legitimate

concerns’ on desegregation. The legacy of those figures, and thousands

of activists like them, is a standing rebuke to the oft-repeated, ahistorical

nonsense that Labour can achieve nothing with protest, but only by first

winning power. In reality, the power to enact serious change can only

be won by first preparing the ground through patient and committed

grassroots action.

The other problem with the marketing approach is that it encourages the

erasure of moral red lines. If majority opinion blames immigrants and

people on social security for the country’s problems, then Labour must

appeal to these voter-consumer preferences. Consciences can always be

soothed with some feeble rhetoric about how it is, in some tortured sense,

progressive to collude in the politics of scapegoating. The marketing

approach precludes not only a transformative agenda, but sometimes

even basic levels of human decency.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


The alternative is to treat people as adults who can be engaged in

conversation and potentially persuaded of a different point of view. And

the emergence of a social movement means that the task of persuasion

can be taken up, not by a remote elite, but by your friends, family,

neighbours and colleagues. In workplaces, round dinner tables, in

pubs and cafes, every lying tabloid front-page can now be met with a

counterargument from a familiar and trusted voice.

Labour members can win the right to be heard by taking up a multitude

of local causes in communities up and down the country. And often,

attitudes can shift through the experience of these collective struggles. In

the late 1960s, London dockers marched in support of Nigel Farage’s

hero, Enoch Powell. But by 1976, some of those same dockers were

supporting the famous Grunwick strike, where a largely female,

immigrant workforce, together with union allies from the ‘white working

class’, put up a formidable fight against their common opponents.

Empowering the best aspects of British society is always a more

constructive path than pandering and genuflecting to the worst.

25

Labour as a mobilised mass movement can be a space where the

marginalised and the voiceless gain political agency, and build social

bonds with the rest of society. The single mothers organising childcare

so that more people can participate in Momentum meetings is just one

example of how this can work. A thousand local initiatives like this can

counteract social atomisation and division, and help foster the ethos

of kindness and mutual obligation that is the foundation of any serious

leftwing politics.

October 2016


For now, the Labour membership’s potential to organise as an active

social movement has yet to be realised, which is unsurprising given the

exclusionary, aggressive and patronising attitude they have been greeted

with by the party establishment. But those members should not allow

themselves to be demoralised by what’s happening in Westminster.

Instead, they can take the initiative themselves, and set about shifting

the ground on which future general elections will be fought and won. In

time, their children and grandchildren will look back on that work with

gratitude, as they enjoy life in the better, happier country that it helped to

create.

26

Cover of Sheep in the Road from one year ago

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


27

October 2016


SOCIALISTS SHOULD DEFEND THE RIGHT

OF THE OPPRESSED TO RESIST THE

VIOLENCE OF THE OPPRESSOR

We should show our solidarity by rallying around the call made by Palestinians

themselves for an international campaign to boycott, divest and sanction Israel,

just as apartheid South Africa faced a similar campaign decades ago.


BUT, ARE WE ANTI-SEMITIC?

1. If you think ‘Israel’, ‘Zionists’ and ‘Jews’ are interchangeable terms,

you may well be anti-semitic.

2. If you think a Jewish conspiracy controls the media/international

finance/politics/the BBC, you are anti-semitic. There is no conspiracy. I’m

well-connected in the Jewish community so I’d definitely be invited and

I’ve heard nothing.

3. If you use the term ‘Rothschild’ to imply ‘Jews’, you are definitely an

anti-semite. And congratulations on using the exact same words as the

Nazis and those who incited the Tsarist pogroms, etc.

4. If you try and hide your belief in a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ by using the

term ‘Zionist conspiracy’, you’re fooling no-one. Unless you genuinely

believe the Israeli government is behind everything, its clear you’re

including other Jews in your ‘conspiracy’.

5. If your only defence is ‘Jews aren’t a race so I’m not racist’ or ‘Jews

aren’t the only semites so I’m not an anti-semite’, or if you see antisemitism

as somehow less important than other forms of racism, then

you’re most likely an anti-semite.

6. If you think every Jew needs to condemn Israel in every tweet,

comment, etc, then you may be an anti-semite (see point 1).

6. Supporting the desire of Palestinians for legitimate self-determination,

human rights and their own state, and condemning Israeli government

policies does not make someone anti-semitic. But see points 1–6.

29

A test from David Schneider

October 2016


OK, so you have convinced yourself you are not anti-semitic. But the

Labout Party has been jumping through hoops held up by people like

Jonathan Sacerdoti, of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, who said,

referring to Jackie Walker, a Jewish woman who was vice-chair of

Momentum until recently: ‘If the Labour Party has truly readmitted a

member who publicly subscribes to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of

Jews financing and causing the slave trade, their ongoing inquiry into

anti-Semitism can barely be taken seriously.’

30

He added that for the Labour Party to readmit people who spread

‘malicious myths’ about Jews ‘tells us that anti-Semitism in the Labour

Party is becoming institutional’.

In a Facebook post about the trans-Atlantic slave trade before her

suspension, Jackie Walker, the vice-chair of the left-wing Labour Partylinked

movement, wrote: ‘I’m sure you know, millions more Africans

were killed in the African Holocaust and their oppression continues

today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews...and many Jews

(my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade

which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the

Caribbean’.

Following the lifting of her suspension the activist, who is also vice-chair

of Thanet Labour party, wrote a blog post for Labour Briefing saying

she had not said sorry. She added: ‘I will never apologise for being an

Internationalist, for holding all life as precious, for not valorising one

genocide, one holocaust, over any other’. ‘And if you ask if I think anti-

Semitism is a major problem in the Labour Party, I would give almost

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


the same response as the one I was suspended for – ‘No’ but with one

amendment: anti-Semitism is not a major problem, the suspension

process is.’

Ms Walker accused the media of taking her comments out of context to

‘support their own slapdash, anti-Labour, anti the present leadership,

rhetoric’. She said there was a McCarthyite campaign – referring to

the anti-Communist witchhunt in the US in the 1950s – against the left

within Thanet Labour and suggested that the right wing of the party and

the media were collaborating with ‘Israeli propagandists’ to smear the

left. Ms Walker said: ‘The fear in my CLP [constituency Labour Party] is

palpable; McCarthyism lives and with the same purpose – the destruction

of the left’.

31

Following the uproar, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced he would

launch an inquiry into anti-Semitism within the party. He said the party

was ‘anti-racist’ and had a long history of fighting against all forms of it.

Now then, from The Independent, here is a real bit of twisted

history ...

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been criticised for sharing an

‘awful, warped piece of propaganda’ after it published a satirical video

about the history of the Jewish people.

Titled ‘Welcome to the Home of the Jewish People,’ the three-and-a-half

minute long video depics Jacob, Rachel and their child, enjoying life in

the ‘Land of Israel’.

October 2016


‘No matter who came knocking at the door, the Jews stayed put in their

home-sweet-home, the Land of Israel, for 3,000 years,’ the post on the Israel

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facebook page reads.

However, the couple are interrupted by a knock at the door from ‘two

hipsters with well-groomed beards’ who speak in an ‘ancient assyrian

language’. After the Asyrrians take over the living room, Jacob and Rachel

move to their bedroom. ‘So it’s now 750BC. In about 2,750 years, we’ll

have some quiet here,’ Jacob jokes.

32

The family are then interrupted again by a procession of visitors who claim

the house as their own, including Greeks, Romans, Arabs, crusaders,

Mamluks and Turks from the Ottoman Empire.

There is then another knock on the door as the British arrive, claiming the

house in the name of the British Empire. The British then give them back their

house ‘in the name of the League of Nations’.

The couple celebrate the news, and Jacob says: ‘Finally, a state of our own,

the Land of Israel.’

However, they are interrupted by a Palestinian couple knocking on the door,

who peer inside the house before the video ends.

The video has been denounced as racist, historically inaccurate and insulting.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


‘What an awful, warped piece of propaganda,’ one person commented

underneath the video. ‘A complete and total erasure of Palestinians. Do you

really think people are this stupid?’

One commentor said: ‘Our foreign minister pushing the narrative of

ignorance ... The truth is the Jews were a minority for most of the last

thousand years in Israel, arabs lived here for a pretty long time, and

geopolitics is not as simple as [defence minister Avigdor] Liberman would

like it to be.’

Another wrote: ‘Except that, you know, after the couple got their home

back they started taking other flats in the building and claiming it was

always theirs.’

33

The Independent says it has contacted the Israel Ministry of Foreign

Affairs for comment. I suspect, as they don’t need to explain their actions

to anyone, none will be forthcoming ...

October 2016


THE NHS IS THE

FLOWER OF THE

WELFARE STATE

JEREMY FRONT-BOTTOM’S FARTS

KILL FLOWERS


SAVE THE FLOWERS!

‘These are the lyrics of a song, CLOSE THE DOOR, by Pokey

LaFarge. It’s what we will have soon as the NHS is destroyed

and then privatised’, wrote Ian.

Close the Door, close the door, don’t let the doctor come in

Close the door and lock it tight

I’ve got no money for the doctor tonight

35

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

Three weeks I spent in the hospital

It left me with a stack of bills sky high

I’ll never be able to pay them I know

I wish I would have stayed there and died

La dee da dee da, la dee da dee dum…

Tell me why, please, tell me why

We must pay for the things that we need

While a doctor gets richer off me each day

I barely have the money to eat

So I’ll never go to the doctor no more

October 2016


No matter how sick I get

No doctor will ever get my dough

‘Cause I work too damn hard for that

La dee da dee da, la dee da dee dum…

36

Oh, the doctor he sticks his needle in

He says just to take some blood

What he claimed it was not red but green

And boys he took all that he could

1st verse

La dee da dee da, la dee da dee dum…

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


Artwork: Alan Hardman

HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE,

best sung by Ry Cooder, lyrics by Alfred Reed

Well, the doctor comes around with his face all bright

And he says, ‘In a little while you’ll be all right’

All he gives is a humbug pill, dose of dope and a great big bill

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Well there once was a time when every thing was cheap

But now prices nearly puts a man to sleep

When we get our grocery bill, we just feel like making our will

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?

Prohibitions good if it’s conducted right

There’s no sense in shooting a man ‘til he shows flight

Officers kill without a cause then they complain about the

funny laws

Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live?

37

October 2016


SEYDOU KEÏTA

P H O T O G R A P H E R

Back in May, in issue 10 of ‘Sheep in the Road’, we spotlighted Malian

photographer Malick Sidibé, here is another, also from Bamako, Seydou

Keïta. Keïta’s use of repeat pattern backdrops for his portraits are widely

acknowledged, not only as a record of Malian society (1940-1960) but also

as art.

From the introduction to this book, ‘What was Seydou Keïta seeking when

his subjects walked into his studio in Bamako, Mali? Clearly he saw the

extraordinary beauty and stunning graphics of the women’s clothing – the

extravagant shapes of the sleeves and the billowing sumptuousness of the

skirts. He recognised the stately power of the queenly turbans that so many of

the women wore, lending them a commanding air. His men were dashing,

and Keïta tailored his images to emphasize the pleasing contours of an

oversizzed jacket or a short pant leg. He fashioned these pictures by layering

pattern on pattern. He understood how overlapping geometric expanses could

electrify a picture. Keïta was Matisse’s soul mate, evoking the pleasurable

charge of Matisse’s flattened panes of vibrant colour with his interlocking

black and white patterns. His eyes were open to all the seductive powers of

ornamentation and adornment. Many of his subjects were achingly beautiful

in their African splendour. He was large-hearted, bestowing on his sitters a

honed sense of how to make each as becoming as they could be. The aplomb

with which they present themselves and yet the utter ordinariness of the

storefront photograph creates a heightened mix of formality and intimacy that

is beguiling.’ [writes Kathy Ryan]

39

October 2016


40

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


41

October 2016


42

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


TOWNSHIP: LIFE AFTER SO


UTH AFRICAN APARTHEID

Anne Rearick: photographer


46

In the two decades since

the end of apartheid

South Africans have

held onto the hope

that housing, jobs and

education will become

available to all. Yet,

townships often remain

places where survival,

not quality of life, define

daily life.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


48

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


SHARP BARBS DULLED BY

IGNORAMUSES & PARLIAMENT

Back in the early 1970s, when getting some picture framing done, the

picture framer was chit-chatting and name dropping and I remember

him mentioning Gerald Nabarro. It seems Gerald was a very vain

man who not only had all the numberplates of his collection of cars

personalised to NAB 1, NAB 2, etc (8 in all) … but also had all cartoons

of him expensively framed, whether anti or pro, he just loved to be in the

limelight, no matter if he were portrayed as a right-wing bigot.

49

This kind of vanity, a blind thick-skinned subscription to a thought/act/

image without even the slightest understanding/acceptance/realisation

of its critical message is being increasingly employed by the ‘worthy

arty-farty’ crowd of Banksy applauders. As an instance, the Cheltenham

Banksy, ‘our Banksy’ as a bunch of so-called art-lovers have called it

in the local media, depicted sinister spies listening in around an actual

phonebox in Cheltenham. Cheltenham is home to super spy listening

post, GCHQ … so the political message about the wrongness of this

surveillance activity is beautifully made obvious ... job well done!

The graffiti was then vandalised (hopefully by Banksy), its message

received, its work done, lets move on … but such a hoo-hah erupted in

Cheltenham, ‘how could anyone vandalise ‘our Banksy’, estimated to be

worth a million quid, a tourist attraction even’. This kind of absorption

October 2016


of all of Banksy’s anti-establishment graffiti into the mainstream is a

seemingly successful attempt by the [art] establishment to nullify the

message and commodify this rebellious flame … fuckers! And maybe

Banksy needs to re-think his stretegy of exposing the lies and doublestandards

of the establishment?

50

Here is another truth of ‘Banksy’s message’ writ loud in a grotesque

parody of the initial graffiti’s, Shami Chakrabarti and Jeremy Corbyn

were the loudest critics of the Snooper’s Charter – but now they’re in

power (?), they’ve gone ‘establishment’ quiet. Theresa May’s first attempt

to spy on us began in 2012. Four years on, it looks as though she has

finally ground Parliament into submission. No wonder alert and informed

voters are so cynical of Parliament’s sitting gangsters.

From the Independent, Mike Harris writes:

If you’re concerned there will be no opposition to Brexit, or that the

Tories will abandon the Human Rights Act, or we face a militarised police

by stealth, then frankly you should be very worried indeed. Britain is

now a one party state and the people you expected to stand up for our

fundamental liberties are absent on duty.

In the coming fortnight, the illiberal Investigatory Powers Bill will pass

through Parliament, making it easier for the British Government to spy on

citizens entirely innocent of any crime.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


51

October 2016


The bill will allow the Government to hand UK tech firms top-secret

notices to hack their customers; the police will be able to look at your

internet browsing history, and your personal data will be tied together so

the state can find out if you’ve attended a protest, who your friends are,

and where you live. The most authoritarian piece of spying legislation any

democratic government has ever proposed has sped through Parliament

with only a whimper of opposition.

52

What makes this all the more incredible is that some of the most

prominent and respected voices for liberty will abstain from voting this

draconian legislation down. The Investigatory Powers Bill, a Snooper’s

Charter, is the canary in the coal mine for our diseased democracy.

Shami Chakrabarti spent 13 years as Britain’s most prominent

human rights defender. Just six months ago, she told the media that

the Government ‘must return to the drawing board’ with its illiberal

Investigatory Powers Bill, because to do anything else would show

‘dangerous contempt for parliament, democracy and our country’s

security’.

Jeremy Corbyn, in his column for the Morning Star, denounced the

extension of state surveillance rushed through parliament two years

ago, describing it as a ‘travesty of parliamentary democracy’ and

praising Liberty (then run by Shami Chakrabarti) for lobbying MPs

to oppose it. Diane Abbott agreed, writing in June this year that

this ‘Snoopers’ Charter will target minorities – and do nothing to make us

safer’.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


Abbott added: ‘My own privacy has been violated because of the political

whims of unknown state officials, when they decided to monitor my

emails, calls, texts, browsing history for years.’ Jeremy Corbyn was also

put under surveillance, as was his fellow Labour politician Baroness

Doreen Lawrence, who was spied on by the Metropolitan Police as

she grieved for her son who had lost his life in a racist attack. Shami

Chakrabarti is now the shadow Attorney General, the law officer for

Her Majesty’s Opposition. The two politicians who had been spied on,

Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott, are now the Leader of Her Majesty’s

Opposition and shadow Home Secretary, respectively.

You would think that given three of the most high-profile figures to

oppose state snooping were now at the very top of the Labour Party,

the opposition would be tearing the Government apart. Not quite.

Instead, it was announced yesterday that Labour would neither be tabling

major amendments to the legislation in the House of Lords to make it fit

for purpose, but – worse – nor would the party be voting against the new

powers contained in the bill.

53

Chakrabarti is Labour’s law officer. Just months ago, the human rights

group she ran argued that the ‘proposed new law breaches our human

rights’. If this is the case, how on earth can she stay quiet while Labour

abstains? Theresa May is about to get away with the largest expansion of

state surveillance powers in peacetime, and no one can quite explain why

Labour politicians who have been spied upon still sit on the fence.

Across the Western world, faith in politicians from across the political

spectrum is ebbing away. Instead, populists such as Donald Trump tell us

October 2016


the elites are lying and that politicians say one thing and do another. Yet

when politicians who do genuinely oppose intrusive surveillance powers

stay quiet in the face of draconian legislation, it feeds conspiracy theories

that democracy is a fix.

If social democrats are too frightened to stand up for what they believe

in, then why bother voting for them? Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected by

Labour members who wanted to see the party change direction. It’s

hard to see how giving the Tories a free pass to give the state unjustified

powers is part of that mandate.

54

Labour has just weeks to get this legislation right. Chakrabarti, Corbyn

and Abbott can with no good reason abstain – they must work with the

Liberal Democrats, the SNP and independent members of the House of

Lords to make amendments to remove some of the worst elements of

this bill; from police access to our web browsing history through to the

request filter (which is like a powerful search engine, except it can trawl

through the data of innocent citizens). If they fail, it will embolden the

Mayist Tories to continue their permanent revolution against liberty and

liberals.

Theresa May’s first attempt at the Snooper’s Charter began in 2012.

Four years on, it looks as though she has finally ground parliament into

submission. If she wins this battle unopposed, you wonder which other

freedoms we shall lose.

Mike Harris is the founder and director of 89up and the former head of

advocacy at Index on Censorship

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


WAR HEADS

55

UK PARLIAMENT+USA+ISRAEL+SAUDI

ARABIA V IRAQ AFGHANISTAN IRAN

LYBIA YEMEN SYRIA RUSSIA

October 2016


56

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


57

October 2016


58

Crickey ... a virtual keyboard,

use it at your own peril

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


YEAH, beware,

capitalism and war go

together like a slug and

a lettuce ... and there are

some arseholes tossing

the salad, ffs!

59

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

October 2016


60

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


61

October 2016


Artwork: still unknown

62

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Same old same old!

Absolutely damaged by the swiftly decaying state of

the world ... Words fail me, what is the use of words

when the person you are saying them to is unable to

grasp your, and their, meaning?

Worryingly, we have left even that irrational road,

the one where stupidity reigns, and now follow a

path where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched banal

myths, hearsay and superstition. The shit-faced

fudge of complacency and mad spouters will now be

defended to the death by the threat of nuclear war.

Reason cannot be relied on in the present or near

future (if ever?) and its utterly terrifying. Just who

are the terrorists? For evidence of this I direct your

(still giggling but increasingly alarmed) attention

to Donald Trump and his campaign to become US

President. As Britain’s government is a happy lapdog

of US mischief in the world ... and a blindly loyal

follower of US foreign policy, what will our May

government do if Trump suceeds and begins his

Term of Ignorance?

63

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I am

absolute in my scepticism about whether the

business-arses and their sycophantic political

stooges, Blairites and Tories – or the US presidential

circus and their flunkies – will come up with anything

remotely of benefit to anyone other than the

rampantly corrupt ruling class wankers intent on

fucking us all.

October 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6


HAND OVER FIST PRESS

SHEEP

IN THE ROAD

17

WAR


money money money


you can’t take it with you


d

Sheep in the Road editor receives Airbrusher Award at WAFFLERS Conference, but by sharing

stage with arch-Trotskyite he squanders chance to become a Labour Party member ...

schizzen!

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


The

CONTENTS

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Edit & Design:

Alan Rutherford

Page 16, Socialist Extrapolator, 22 October 2016

Published online by

www.handoverfistpress.com

Cover & frontispiece: Knight,

Miser & Merchant from

‘The Dance of Death’: Hans

Holbein, 1524-5.

Photographs, words and

artwork sourced from ‘found

in the scrapbook of life’, no

intentional copyright

infringement intended,

credited whenever possible,

so, for treading on any toes

... apologies all round!

There is no deadline for

submitting articles to be

included in the next issue, it

will appear whenever, or in

your dreams!

Articles to:

alanrutherford1@mac.com

Opening 03

Injustice 05

Justice? 13

Badges 18

Basic Income? 35

West Africa Notes 41

Labour 51

Norman Conquest 52

Democracy 57

Revolution review 61

Cup in hand 65

White poppies 69

Letters 77

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2

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


OPENING

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Graffiti by FAILE, a collective comprising Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller: New York

Blah-blahblah-blahblah-

The end may

justify the means

as long as there

is something that

justifies the end

Leon Trotsky

Hello,

Welcome to magazine number 17, and

welcome, again, Peter Lewis from over the

road.

Still trying to ignore the media circus, lies

and bullshit that parades as news ... misdirecting

our attention, here is a magazine

produced freely to be read freely.

All articles and artwork supplied, or found

in newspapers lining the bottom of the

canary cage, were gratefully received

and developed with love, enthusiasm and

sympathy here at Hand Over Fist Press.

Nobody got paid. Perhaps that is the

problem? Anyway, ‘Sheep in the Road’ will

now appear very sporadically.

Without contributors this project has

failed to live up to its original ideal!

Probably the last issue for a while ... in the

meantime, a luta continua!

3

NOVEMBER 2016


ALBERT WOODFOX

HERMAN WALLACE


INJUSTICE: ANGOLA THREE

From article by Billie Mizell (SEVEN magazine, April 2007)

and other sources

Angola Prison began life as a plantation in Louisiana and its name comes

from the former African homeland of the slaves who were forced to work

its fertile land. Two hundred years later, little has changed there. Three

quarters of Angola’s inmates are black and most of them work from dawn

to dusk in the soybean, cotton and wheat fields, performing backbreaking

labour under a sweltering sun. Around 85% of the inmates who enter

Angola will die there.

5

Artwork: Rigo 23

The civil rights movement was late coming to the old plantation, but it

finally slipped past the razor wire and iron gates in the early 1970s through

two African-American prisoners: Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace.

Arriving on unrelated armed robbery convictions and both sentenced on

questionable evidence by all-white juries, they came to the prison having

already earned reputations as political activists.

Woodfox and Wallace were escorted into an institution once dubbed

‘the bloodiest prison in America’ by Peter Fenelon Collier’s investigative

publication ‘Collier’s Weekly’. Inside its walls, violence was so

commonplace that inmates slept with lunch trays or Bibles strapped to their

chests in case they were stabbed as they slept. Due to a serious shortage

of guards, ‘trusty’ inmates were permitted to carry guns and guard other

prisoners. Murders were nearly a daily occurance.

NOVEMBER 2016


Woodfox and Wallace immediately began peacefully organising their

fellow inmates against the racial segregation, sexual slavery, rampant

violence and systematic brutality, which were rife inside a prison that was

soon to be under federal investigation for its abhorrent conditions. Their

protest methods included hunger strikes and escorting weaker inmates

through the prison yard as a means of protection.

6

Shortly after the pair’s arrival, a white prison guard was found stabbed to

death in one of the black inmate buildings. Woodfox and Wallace were

immediately identified as suspects despite no witnesses or any physical

evidence to link them to the crime. In 1972, the men were convicted of

the guard’s murder by all-white juries and sentenced to life in prison. The

Angola administration determined that they would spend the sentence in

solitude and it was more than four decades before their release, they are

the longest known survivors of solitary confinement in the history of the US.

In the years that have followed, a mountain of evidence has been turned

up to indicate that not only were Woodfox and Wallace not guilty, but they

were set up by Angols’s administration, probably because of their known

affiliation with the Black Panther Party. The party was founded in 1966

by Huey Newton and Bobbly Seale. It followed Malcolm X’s belief in the

international unity of the working classes across colour and gender.

The bloody fingerprints found at the scene of the crime failed to find a

match with either Woodfox or Wallace. The authorities, however, did not

run them against anyone else despite having the prints of every Angola

inmate and employee on file.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


After Woodfox and Wallace were already in solitary confinement,

eyewitnesses started popping up. Each testified with a wildly different story,

and it has recently been verified through prison documentation that each

was handsomely rewarded for their statements with cigarettes, cushy jobs

and pardons. Every living eyewitness has now recanted their testimony and

provided an affidavit saying they were pressured to lie.

Two days after the prison guard’s murder, a man with a reputation with

activism and a friend of Woodfox and Wallace, Robert King Wilkerson,

arrived at Angola. He was immediately placed under suspicion for the

killing even though he could not have participated in it and sent to his own

solitary cell.

A year later, he was charged with the murder of a fellow inmate despite

no physical evidence and the repeated confessions of another inmate

who insisted he had acted alone. A Louisiana state judge ordered that

Wilkerson be shackled and his mouth covered with duct tape during his

trial. He was also convicted of murder by an all-white jury and sentenced to

life imprisonment.

7

Wilkerson’s conviction was overturned in 2001, and after spending almost

30 years in solitary confinement he walked out of Angola into a throng of

supporters who had gathered around the gates of the remote prison.

Addressing them, he said simply: ‘I may be free from Angola, but Angola

will never be free from me.’ It was his vow to work on behalf of the release

of his friends. It is a vow that he has kept and it has earned him a bevy of

human rights honours.

NOVEMBER 2016


8 ROBERT KING WILKERSON

THE ANGOLA THREE

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


The state of Louisiana has gone to great lengths to silence these men,

but they have yet to be broken. In addition to surviving four decades of

solitary confinement, Wallace and Woodfox have a support network that

includes the American Civil Liberties Union, a dame of the British Empire,

exonerated political prisoners, a rock star and support organisations in five

US cities along with half a dozen foreign countries.

In 2006 many of these supporters travelled to Louisiana to attend the

evidentiary hearing granted by a Louisiana court on Wallace’s case.

The hearing was held in an administration building at Angola as it was

determined unsafe to have it held in the courthouse.

It was the first time in the institution’s history that a post-conviction criminal

proceeding was held behind the penitentiary’s gates. Supporters had been

assured that they would be allowed to attend the hearing as it would be open

to the public, just as it would have been had it been held in a courtroom.

9

Artwork: Rigo 23

However, armed police teams at the prison’s entrance greeted those

gathering for the hearing. Attack teams on the foofs of nearby buildings

kept guns and video cameras trained on the group of supporters until

the assembly received the news that the hearing had concluded and they

began their long journeys back to their homes all over the world.

The authorities attempt to make Wallace appear a threat did not work

this time. On 7 November 2006, after 34 years of solitary confinement, a

Louisiana state court commissioner recommended to overturn Wallace’s

1972 conviction. Wallace believed he had his ‘foot on the stairway to

freedom’.

NOVEMBER 2016


However, with the complexities of appeal and counter-appeal and the

determination of strong opponents of the inmates’ release it wasn’t until 1

October 2013 before Wallace was released. Louisiana’s Attorney General,

James Caldwell, had stated that he opposed releasing the two men ‘with

every fibre of my being,’ and added, rather unconvincingly, that they have

never been held in solitary confinement but are in ‘protective cell units

known as CCR [Closed Cell Restricted]’. The warden of Angola and Hunt

prisons, Burl Cain, repeatedly suggested that Woodfox and Wallace had to

be held in solitary because they subscribed to ‘Black Pantherism’.

10

Tragically, when eventually released from prison on 1 October 2013,

71-year-old Herman Wallace, who had advanced liver cancer, was reindicted

in ugly vengeful righteousness on 3 October 2013. He died on 4

October 2013, before he could be re-arrested – so, in theory, he died a

free, but destroyed, man.

Meanwhile Woodfox was still running the gauntlet of US injustice. On 20

November 2014, Woodfox had his conviction overturned by the US Court

of Appeals. The three-judge panel found unanimously that the selection of

the grand-jury foreperson in the 1993 trial formed part of a discriminatory

pattern in that area of Louisiana. Concluding that it amounted to a

violation of the US Constitution, the judges struck down Woodfox’s

conviction. The state of Louisiana refused to release him, however, and his

guards refused to unshackle him or release him from solitary confinement.

On 12 February 2015, Woodfox was re-indicted.

On 8 June 2015, U.S. District Judge James Brady ordered the release of

Woodfox and overturned the second conviction for the killing of the guard.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


The order also barred a third trial from taking place, shockingly four days

later, a federal appeals court overturned Brady’s decision and ordered

that Woodfox would remain in prison until the matter was resolved.

Albert Woodfox was eventually released on 19 February 2016, after the

prosecution agreed to drop the push for a retrial and accept his plea of no

contest to lesser charges of burglary and manslaughter.

The cases of the Angola Three have gained increased interest over the

last few years. Since his release, Robert King Wilkerson has worked to

build international recognition for the Angola 3. He has spoken before

the parliaments of the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Indonesia, Brazil

and United Kingdom about the case, and about political prisoners in the

United States. King Wilkerson was received as a guest and dignitary by the

African National Congress in South Africa, and has spoken with Desmond

Tutu. Amnesty International has added them to their watch list of ‘political

prisoners’/’prisoners of conscience’.

11

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JUSTICE: MAYBE?

Justice is long overdue for the widows of South African

mineworkers. It is vital the court of appeal upholds a ruling

that makes South Africa’s gold mining industry accountable to

women whose husbands died from silicosis

From an article by Dean Peacock and Emily Nagisa Keehn

The authors are respectively current and former members of

Sonke Gender Justice

For decades, women in rural South Africa have shouldered the burden of

caring for mineworkers who return home with silicosis contracted in South

Africa’s gold mines. These women do the back-breaking and emotionally

taxing work of caring for men who are dying slow and painful deaths, their

lungs irreparably scarred by the silica dust they breathe in underground.

13

Testimony from women in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province reveals

the brutal toll silicosis has taken on families. ‘My husband was the sole

breadwinner,’ recalled one woman. ‘If we had money, he had sent it.

During his last days, he lost his strength and his chest closed up. It was

difficult for him to cover himself with blankets, so I would cover him up.

He could not go outside to relieve himself, so he would do it right there in

the bed. I would have to throw it away. On his last day his chest closed up

completely. I am left with almost nothing.’

NOVEMBER 2016


From village to village, such stories were a recurring refrain. ‘I used to carry

[my husband] around,’ said another woman. ‘I used to go from house to

house asking for food, we had children going to school. At times I would

get piece jobs so we could eat.’

Eventually, this woman’s husband became unable to breathe. He died

before he could even get in a car to go to hospital.

14

These conditions are the predictable outcome of deliberate mining policies

started in the 1880s, when gold was first discovered. Gold mining houses

colluded with British colonial governments to put in place a range of taxes

and legislation that forced black men to leave their land to work in the

mines.

Once there, these men were forced to do dangerous jobs. Their work

exposed them to malnutrition, tuberculosis and dangerous levels of silica

dust. Many developed silicosis, which scars the lungs, makes breathing

difficult, increases vulnerability to tuberculosis and can ultimately cause

asphyxiation.

Black women, on the other hand, were required to remain in rural areas,

where they carried out the work of raising workers and, often, caring for

them when they later returned home desperately ill.

This exploitation remained entrenched for most of the 20th century. The

mining industry corrupted the medical examination boards ostensibly in

charge of mineworkers’ health. The boards then underreported cases of

silicosis, decreasing workers’ eligibility for compensation. Together with

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


the apartheid government, the industry set up a distinct and difficult to use

compensation scheme. One study by Deloitte found that less than 1.5% of

claims had been paid out to eligible miners.

The consequences of this arrangement were predictable. A 2009 report

revealed that almost all miners interviewed in the former republic of

Transkei, the largest provider of mining labour, had symptoms of respiratory

illness. None were formally employed. About 92% said they went without

food or experienced hunger on a monthly basis.

South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution has allowed human rights lawyers

and mineworkers to begin to hold mines accountable.

In 2011, South Africa’s constitutional court issued a landmark ruling

allowing Thembekile Mankayi, who had contracted silicosis working

underground, to sue AngloGold Ashanti for full loss of wages, damages

and medical expenses, regardless of what was already available to him

under the miner-specific compensation scheme.

15

Human rights lawyers subsequently petitioned the courts to allow a class

action lawsuit; potentially, hundreds of thousands of miners would join

together to sue for as much as 20-40bn rand (roughly £1.2bn-£2.3bn).

Two South African non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – the

Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an Aids activist group, and Sonke

Gender Justice, a gender equality organisation – applied to join the case

as amici curiae (impartial advisers to the court), introducing evidence on

the social costs of silicosis.

NOVEMBER 2016


TAC drew attention to the relationship between silicosis and tuberculosis

(TB). Sonke offered evidence on the gendered impact of silicosis,

particularly the financial, emotional and physical burden borne by women

and girls who care for sick mineworkers when they return home, often

foregoing their own income and education. The amici argued for the

authorisation of the class action, and the transmission of claims to widows

and dependents.

16

A century of damage caused by the South African gold mining industry

requires remedy ... so refreshingly on a positive note, and despite

opposition by the mining houses, the court admitted them as amici.

Sonke’s affidavit on the gendered impact of silicosis was also admitted into

the proceedings.

In May this year, the Johannesburg high court granted its historic ruling.

It amended existing common law to allow general damages to be

transmitted to the widows and dependents of miners who died in the early

stages of litigation. Prior to this ruling, if plaintiffs died before pleadings

had closed their claims would become void.

The ruling sets an important precedent that affirms women’s rights and the

imperative to remedy the gendered harms imposed by the mining industry.

However, predictably, in an industry that puts profits before people’s lives, a

morally reprehensible and disgraceful action by the mining companies has

them appealing the decision (fuckers!).

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


As the case unfolds, it is critical to remember what is at stake.

More than a century of damage caused by the South African

gold mining industry requires urgent remedy. The mining

companies must pay long overdue compensation to the workers,

widows, children, and communities they have impoverished.

Dean Peacock is executive director of Sonke Gender Justice. Emily Nagisa

Keehn, formerly Sonke’s manager for policy development and advocacy, is

an associate director of the academic programme at Harvard Law School’s

human rights programme. A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any

non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national

or international level.

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NOVEMBER 2016


REBELIOUS

BADGES

1978-1986

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23

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DISCUSSION

A BASIC INCOME?

Some Reasons to Support a Basic/Universal Income

A Basic Income will help us rethink how and why we work, it can help you do

other work and reconsider old choices: It will enable you to retrain, safe in

the knowledge that you’ll have enough money to maintain a decent standard

of living while you do. It will therefore help each of us to decide what it is we

truly want to do.

35

A Basic Income will release Trade Unions from defending ‘dead’ trades, it will

free them to argue against such uglies in the world, like dangerous trades,

exploitation of migrant workers, time-wasting jobs that can be replaced

by new technology, armaments factories, and wasteful follies like Trident’s

replacement, and so forth.

A Basic Income will contribute to better working conditions as with the insurance

of having unconditional basic income as a safety net, workers can challenge

their employers if they find their conditions of work unfair or degrading.

A Basic Income will downsize bureaucracy because a basic income scheme

is one of the most simple tax / benefits models, it will reduce all the

bureaucracy surrounding the welfare state thus making it less complex and

costly, while being fairer and more emancipatory.

NOVEMBER 2016


A Basic income will make benefit fraud obsolete, it will vanish as a possibility

because no one needs to commit fraud to get a basic income: it is granted

automatically. Moreover, an unconditional basic income will fix the threshold

and poverty trap effects induced by the current means-tested schemes.

A Basic income will help reducing inequalities because it is also a means for

sharing out the wealth produced by a society to all people thereby reducing

the growing inequalities across the world.

36

It will provide a more secure and substantial safety net for all people. Most

existing means-tested anti-poverty schemes exclude people because of their

complexity, or because people don’t even know how to apply or whether

they qualify. With a basic income, people currently excluded from benefit

allowances will automatically have their rights guaranteed.

A Basic Income will contribute to less working hours and better distribution

of jobs, people will have the option to reduce their working hours without

sacrificing their income. They will therefore be able to spend more time

doing other things they find meaningful. At the macroeconomic level, this will

induce a better distribution of jobs because people reducing their hours will

increase the jobs opportunities for those currently excluded from the labor

market.

A Basic Income will reward unpaid contributions to society. A huge number

of unpaid activities are currently not recognized as economic contributions.

Yet, our economy increasingly relies on these free contributions (think about

wikipedia as well as the work parents do). A Basic Income would recognise

and reward theses activities.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


A Basic Income will strengthen our Democracy as with a minimum level of

security guaranteed to all citizens and less time in work or worrying about

work, innovation in political, social, economic and technological terms would

be a more lively part of everyday life and its concerns.

A Basic Income is a fair redistribution of technological advancement and,

thanks to massive advancements in our technological and productive

capacities, the world of work is changing. Yet most of our wealth and

technology is as a consequence of our ‘standing on the shoulders of

giants’: We are wealthier not as a result of our own efforts and merits but

those of our ancestors. Basic income is a way to civilize and redistribute the

advantages of that on-going advancement.

A Basic Income will end extreme financial poverty. Because we now live in a

world where we have the means (and one hopes, the will) to end the kinds

of suffering we see as a supposedly constant feature of our surroundings, a

Basic income is a way to join together the means and the will.

37

Interfered with, and Edited from Basic Income UK

And from Courtenay Inchbald (whoever he is?): ‘The basic income will be

at the expense of the tax-payer, i.e. rich people, and it will be very costly, so

it is important to ensure that the culture created by a basic income policy is

positive to the rich as well as the poor and makes the rich willing to pay more

tax rather than to leave. [‘fuck them!’ Ed.] Basic income is the simple element

that allows the best parts of socialism and capitalism to be combined. It allows

government to concentrate on making its territory a place where everyone, rich

and poor, wants to live and where poor citizens can afford to live.’

NOVEMBER 2016


38

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


NO

CLEAN

39

FOR MILLIONS

WATER

IN THIS CRAZY

UPSIDE

WORLD ...

WHAT THE

FUCK!

DOWN

NOVEMBER 2016


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SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


WEST AFRICA NOTES

WHILE THE WEST LOOKS THE

OTHER WAY

1. CRUEL SEA: ANOTHER MIGRANT-REFUGEE SAGA

From an article by Saeed Taji Farouky, 2007 [and still happening]

The photographer, Juan Medina, based in the Canary Islands, has been

documenting one of the world’s busiest and deadliest illegal immigration

routes. Up to 1,000 immigrants a week leave Africa’s west coast hoping

to reach the Canary Islands and EU territiry. Hundreds are detained

every week in Spanish centres and dozens more drown in unseaworthy,

overcrowded boats.

41

Medina’s images tell of a man who has been following this story for

years. His most striking photographs avoid the obvious dramatic

moments – the pile of dead, anonymous bodies on an otherwise pristine

beach – that have become symbolic of this endlessly repeating tragedy.

Instead, his impact lies in looking at what happens when the world of

the illegal immigrant collides with the world of the coast guard, the Red

Cross worker or the tourist. In one image, a crowd of tourists, camped on

one of the island’s famous beaches stares, motionless, at a pair of dead

bodies. In another image, a group of tourists – ageing and naked except

for swimming trunks – carries the body of an immigrant on a stretcher.

NOVEMBER 2016


Another photograph shows a family cowering on the boardwalk as a

pair of disorientated recent arrivals, still dripping wet, stumble along the

pavement. One of the most disturbing images though shows the hands

of a cemetry worker hammering a plaque inot place on a concrete coffin.

The plaque simply reads. ‘Immigrant No. 3’.

It is true that some of Medina’s images are little more than piles of dead

bodies on the Canary Islands’ rocky shore. But the photographs that

really define his style are more biting confrontations, which seem to

ask the viewer, ‘What would you do in this situation?’ They make their

audience wonder what role we might unwittingly play in this mass exodus.

42

Medina looks closely at what happens when the immigrants are caught

and ‘processed’. He asks questions about who handles them – the

military or an aid agency – and if they are taken to mainland Spain or a

holding centre in West Africa and how they are treated.

The route from Mauritania’s coast to the Canary Islands is a relatively

new one (in 2007, ed.) for illegal African migration. The traditional

passage has been to cross the narrow Straits of Gibraltar between

Tangier and the coastal cities of southern Spain. However, as security

steadily increases along that border much of Africa’s illegal traffic has

moved to the Mauritanian coast.

Many of Medina’s images illustrate the number of deadly obstacles

plaguing the trip. there are bodies strewn against the sharp volcanic

rocks that define the Canary Islands’ coastline and migrants struggling to

escape their capsized and overcrowded boats.

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43

NOVEMBER 2016


In trying to understand the migrants determination despite the obvious

dangers, just what would compel someone to risk his/her life for an

uncertain, and often unrealistic, future? Some will be convinced by the

mythology of success and riches to be had in Europe, bravado stories

from those who have managed to ‘disappear’ in Europe’s ghettos trickle

back – but many others will live or die making this hazardous journey,

hoping to escape intolerance, poverty and war ... even slavery!

44

2. A MAURITANIAN MORATORIUM?

From an article by Kate Hodal, 2016

Two brothers who say they were regularly beaten and forced to work as

child slaves in Mauritania have taken their case to a regional African

child rights body, where they are testifying against their abuser and the

Mauritanian government.

The move has been heralded by human rights groups as hugely

significant for the abolitionist movement in the west African republic,

where modern-day slavery is more prevalent than anywhere else in the

world.

Said Ould Salem, now 16, and his brother Yarg, 13, became slaves at

birth to the wealthy El Hassine family due to a highly rigid caste system

and the practice, entrenched over the course of centuries, of passing

down slave status from mother to child.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


45

Considered the property of the El Hassine family, the boys were working

full days by the age of five, running errands and cleaning the house

until they were able to perform harder tasks such as manual labour and

shepherding camel.

‘We weren’t allowed to eat the same food as the rest of the family, or eat

at the same time as them, or sleep in the same rooms, or wear the same

clothes,’ said Said speaking from Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital.

NOVEMBER 2016


‘We were not equal to the rest of the family, that was made obvious. They

would beat us for any reason, sometimes we didn’t even know the reason.’

The brothers managed to escape five years ago, aged just eight and 11,

with the help of an aunt and a local anti-slavery group. A few months

after their escape, the criminal court of Nouakchott found Ahmed Ould El

Hassine guilty of holding them captive and denying them education.

46

In the first – and only – successful prosecution under Mauritania’s

2007 anti-slavery legislation, El Hassine was sentenced to two years’

imprisonment and ordered to pay $4,700 (£3,866) in compensation.

Although the boys’ lawyer appealed the sentence, arguing it was far too

lenient, the supreme court released El Hassine on bail a few months later,

in clear breach of the verdict.

Five years on, with the help of lawyers and activists, the boys have taken

their case to the regional court of the African Committee of Experts on

the Rights and Welfare of the Child, a body of the African Union. Rights

groups representing the brothers are arguing that Mauritania has failed

to prosecute those responsible for enslaving them effectively. They point

out that the boys have been denied an education and physically abused,

in breach of Mauritania’s obligations under the African charter on

children’s rights and welfare.

Minority Rights Group International (MRG), which along with Mauritanian

human rights group SOS Esclaves is acting on behalf of the brothers, said

it was a good sign the regional court had declared the case admissible

nine months after it was opened.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


‘We can now hope that these two boys will finally receive the justice they

deserve, following a complete failure of the justice system in Mauritania

to protect them and to challenge the current system of impunity favouring

slave owners,’ said Ruth Barry, MRG’s legal officer.

Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981, the last country in the world to

do so, and only made it a crime in 2007. Yet rights groups claim slavery

is hugely pervasive, with chattel slavery alone accounting for roughly

800,000 people out of a population of 3.5 million.

Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of members of one family can be

beholden to another, anti-slavery activists in Mauritania claim, treated as

the property of their masters and forced to work for years without pay or

a single day off.

47

Slaves tend to be predominantly Haratine – descendants of black ethnic

groups who have historically been enslaved by the Moor and Berber

majority – with male slaves herding cattle or working on farms. Women

usually carry out domestic tasks around the house, including raising the

children of the families to whom they are enslaved. Forced marriage is

common – as is physical abuse and rape – and any child born of such a

marriage becomes another slave, by default.

Despite current legislation criminalising slavery, laws are rarely enforced,

said Sarah Mathewson, Africa programme manager at Anti-Slavery

International, which helped take the original case to the Mauritanian court

in 2011. A regional court ruling in favour of the boys is likely to have a

significant impact on Nouakchott’s current approach to slavery, she added.

NOVEMBER 2016


‘The president still continues to deny the existence of slavery, saying that

it’s only the ‘legacy’ of slavery that exists. Police refuse to investigate,

judges throw cases out, or they often change the charges so it’s not a

slavery charge, but ‘exploitation of a minor’ or ‘non-payment of wages’.

There’s blanket denial at every stage,’ Mathewson said.

‘If we get a favourable decision against the Mauritanian government,

although it would be non-binding, they can still put a huge amount of

pressure on the Mauritanian government to do whatever they say has to

happen – it’s another avenue to put pressure on them to act.’

48

The regional court hearing has already hurried Mauritania into action.

The country has agreed a date next week for the brothers’ appeal against

the lenient 2011 sentence.

As for Said and Yarg, who are both in secondary school and respectively

dream of becoming a human rights defender and a lawyer, the possibility

of closure brings them great hope.

‘We are very happy the case is back in court and look forward to a good

result,’ said Said.

‘We’ve been waiting a long time, and our lives are very different. We are

proud because we are free. We feel like we are people now.’

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


49

NOVEMBER 2016


50

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


LABOUR

Artwork: Laura Knight – Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring

The English economist David Ricardo (1772-1823) developed what is

known as the ‘labour theory of value’. This holds that the exchange-value

of a good or service is determined solely by the amount of labour involved

in its production. Karl Marx developed this idea, arguing that the capitalist

pays his workers less than the value their labour has added to the goods,

and that the ‘surplus labour’, after all costs are accounted for [including the

capitalist’s fat salary and provision for future development] ... yes yes, this

‘surplus labour value’, that he obtains for free, creates – the capitalist’s

profit ... which he trousers with a smile.

The word ‘labour’ denotes both the workforce as a whole, especially wageearning

employees, and any paid-for service supplied by workers in the

production of wealth. In a totally unregulated labour market, according to

the laws of supply and demand, workers must compete against each other

by offering to work more for less pay. As a defence, and to counter this,

workers formed trade unions, which engage in collective bargaining with

employers in an attempt to ensure equal pay for equal work.

‘Equal pay for equal work’ hmmm ... despite the Equal Pay Act 45 years

ago, women still earn less than men in Britain today. Overall, women can

expect to earn significantly less than men over their entire careers as a

result of ... differences in caring responsibilities; clustering in low skilled

and low paid work, the qualifications and skills women acquire; and just

outright discrimination.

During World War II

women showed they were equal to men

by successfully taking over workplaces

while the men were away ...

51

NOVEMBER 2016


52

THE NORMAN CONQUEST 2016

Deceit, Myths and Lies are the new

currency of a political discourse where

the simplicity of the small man defeats

his social betters for the worse. Brexit,

Trump, what next wee man?

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


53

NOVEMBER 2016


TRUMP

54

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


never mind ...

every president

rewards us so

55

NOVEMBER 2016


ight, the people

have spoken, we’re

going to take back

our country

oh dear

56

well, errm

might have a problem,

the country is now

owned by russian

oligarchs, arab sheikhs,

chinese communists,

american shit-kickers,

indian fraudsters ...

gulp!

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


...

If you think the High Court is interfering in DEMOCRACY, then

you don’t understand how Britain works [gulp]

If our own Government can be so woefully ignorant of British

history, perhaps it is time to adopt a written constitution to

serve as a reminder [for goodness sake!]

Geoffrey Robertson QC

The Lord Chief Justice of England has stopped the UK’s Prime Minister

from trying to overturn the result of the Civil War. That war, from 1642

to 1646 and which left one in 10 Englishmen dead in muddy fields,

established the sovereignty of Parliament, which Theresa May’s Attorney

General sought to circumvent by using an arcane power called the royal

prerogative to trigger Article 50.

57

Artwork: Hans Holbein – adapted

As he should have known, this power cannot be used to repeal an existing

law; the 1972 statute by which Parliament took us into the common market

can only be repealed by Parliament itself. [why wasn’t this mentioned before?]

If the Government can be so woefully ignorant of our constitutional history,

perhaps it is time to adopt a written constitution to serve as a reminder.

The Attorney General was forced in court to concede that the EU

referendum was merely advisory – it placed no obligation whatever on the

Government to accept and act upon the very close result in which only 37

per cent of eligible voters wanted to leave, against 35 per cent of remainers

and 28 per cent who did not bother to vote (perhaps because they believed,

as opinion polls had indicated, that remain would carry the day).

Now that they have seen the economic and social damage that the

NOVEMBER 2016


eferendum result has wrought, even before negotiations for exit have

begun, MPs and peers must be given the opportunity to vote against any

notice under Article 50, or else vote for a second referendum – perhaps

one that, like most referendums in sensible democracies, is binding only

if carried by a two-thirds majority.

58

Some Brexiteers angrily proclaim that the judges decision that Article

50 should be referred to Parliament for ratification, is to defy the will

of the people, in a democracy? Despite the fact that they would be

defying the will of only 37 per cent of the people, it has to be pointed out

that these objectors do not know the true meaning of democracy. Our

forebears have not fought and died for government by opinion poll, but

for a representative democracy. That means, as the great conservative

philosopher Edmund Burke pointed out in his Letter to the Electors of Bristol

(one of the crucial documents in our unwritten constitution), that as their

MP, he had a duty to do everything he could for them, but when it came

to a vote in Parliament his duty as their MP was to vote as his conscience

dictated, for what he believed to be the best interests of the nation.

Stop complaining about the legal challenge to Brexit – it’s democracy

So the simple fact is that, whatever the views of their constituents, our

MPs are fully entitled to reject the bill that the Government will now have

to bring forward to begin the process of departing from Europe. (The

Government may, of course, appeal to the Supreme Court, although it is

unlikely to succeed).

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


Thursday, 3 November’s judgment was unforeseen – other than by a

few lawyers familiar with the conventions and traditions of our ‘unwritten

constitution’, a form of nudge-and-wink governance we have the

distinction of sharing in the world only with Saudi Arabia.

It is the latest and perhaps the best example of why we really need to

write our political bible, so that everyone from school children to the

Attorney General can study and understand it. It could include (most

constitutions do) a bill of rights which would be genuinely British, for

example protecting the right to trial by jury. This would fulfil an election

promise recently repeated by the Lord Chancellor.

It is anomalous that the nation of Milton, Shakespeare, Bentham and Mill

cannot put into words the way in which its government must work.

No doubt it would take time to agree a draft, which would have to be

amended by a constitutional convention and then submitted (how ironic)

to a referendum. But it would be worth the effort for the educational value

of helping people to understand, and actually take pride in how our

rights were won.

59

These rights include the power of our courts to stop the

executive (ministers and their civil servants) from using

the royal prerogative to subvert our right to live in a

representative democracy where Parliament is sovereign.

from The Independent

CIVIL

WAR?

NOVEMBER 2016


60

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

IN PICTURES

Sally Campbell spoke to artist Tim Sanders and historian John Newsinger

about creating a graphic representation of Russia 1917

Two and a half years ago Tim Sanders, regular cartoonist for Socialist

Worker, approached Bookmarks the socialist publisher with a proposal

for a graphic history of the Russian Revolution. This month the result,

1917: Russia’s Red Year, will hit the shelves.

61

‘For the first time in my life I thought about something before it was too

late,’ says Tim. ‘I figured either the centenary will be pretty much ignored

by mainstream media or there’ll be tonnes and tonnes of books saying

what a terrible thing the revolution was and thank god the workers didn’t

take control – all the usual stuff.

‘So I thought I’d try to make a tiny little contribution to a counter-current

and the best way for me to do it would be to draw pictures.’

Bookmarks put Tim in touch with socialist historian – and graphic novel

fan – John Newsinger, who eagerly agreed to work on the script.

Rather than a straight retelling of the history, says John, ‘we wanted to

show how the events of 1917 impacted on two ordinary Russians, a man

and a woman. We created Peter and Natalia.

NOVEMBER 2016


‘We wanted to put on display the self-activity of the working class. From

that point of view we looked at the taking over of the factory, the taking

over of the posh restaurant, the mansion, regulating food prices – that this

was what was driving the revolutionary process.’

There has been an explosion in graphic fiction over the past couple of

decades, though it is a new departure for Bookmarks – and for Tim and

John. How did they feel this project could fit into the wider trend?

62

‘A lot of graphic fiction is radical in the broader sense,’ says John. ‘Much

of the stuff that Pat Mills has done over the years, for example, has been

incredibly radical.’

Pat Mills is one of the most prominent British comics writers and editors,

creator of the 2000AD comics and of the Charley’s War series of graphic

novels about the First World War. He has written a foreword for Russia’s

Red Year, which he describes as ‘a gem of a book that celebrates the

people’s victory over their oppressors. It’s exciting, informative, emotional,

funny, beautifully painted and so relevant to our own times. It’s a work of

truth.’

As John makes clear, ‘At a time when the ideas of the revolution are going

to be hotly contested, we felt it would be a good idea to put a particular

interpretation of these events forward in a graphic form that could reach

an audience that might otherwise not read anything about the Russian

Revolution.’

The process of working on the book was challenging for both authors.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


Tim talks about how much he learned about the graphic novel form:

‘Comic books are very much like films; it’s all angles and close ups and

long shots and building atmospheres. It takes some getting used to reading

them – you can’t read a graphic book at all like you read a novel.’

For John, the joy was in the research: ‘There’s a scene with a Jewish

geezer drowning in the canal and the only way he can get the onlooking

police to rescue him is to shout ‘Down with the Tsar!’ so they’ll arrest him.

Apparently that really was a joke of the time. Coming across stuff like that

in the first-hand accounts was a revelation.’

The authors hope the graphic novel will connect to new audiences, as

well as providing a fresh view for those who already know the history.

They chose to focus just on the year 1917 so that they could best express

the hope and potential of the revolution.

63

‘A lot of people I know are slightly sceptical about the project,’ says Tim,

‘like ‘why do you want to write about that?’ That reflects the dominant

opinion at the moment. I have learnt that we have an enormous

challenge in convincing people that revolution is a good idea because it’s

a big risk, as the story shows. ‘Ultimately the ending isn’t very happy, but

potentially and briefly it was a beacon to the world and still is.

‘We’re trying to connect people with the successful part of the revolution –

the part which was a beacon.’

1917: Russia’s Red Year is published this month by Bookmarks, £14.99

https://bookmarksbookshop.co.uk

NOVEMBER 2016


A cartoon after the Jallianwala massacre

of Indian civilians at Amritsar

by British troops on

13 April 1919.

Captioned

‘Progress to Liberty - Amritsar style’.

Cartoonist: David Low

Published: The Star, 16 Dec 1919

64

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


CUP IN HAND

Theresa May has some cheek going cap in hand to India, an ex-British

colony, for a post-Brexit deal

The Government’s position seems to involve the hope that India will sign

a cushy deal with us, while we crack down on Indians in Britain who’ve

outstayed their frosty welcome

Words borrowed from Harriet Williamson and Mirza Waheed

Theresa May is visiting India this week cup in hand, to ask for a

favourable post-Brexit trade deal. There’s arrogance in May’s return to

Britain’s former colony, expectant that India will come up with the goods,

but ultimately, the move shows how much the tables have turned.

Many people, particularly in my grandparents’ generation, still view

British imperialism and empire with a dewy-eyed longing. The reality is,

of course, that British rule in India caused the deaths of millions of people

through administrative failure and imperialist cruelty. Numerous famines,

outbreaks of cholera, the arbitrary and rushed drawing of the border

between India and the newly-created Pakistan, mass-displacement, and

the destruction of India’s cottage industries left the country impoverished

and unstable.

65

NOVEMBER 2016


The lethal legacy Britain presented to the Indian sub-continent as it

staggered away in 1947, begrudgingly conceding independence to India

and Pakistan, has left the 2 countries on a war-footing with each other

ever since.

In the past few weeks, the two nuclear states have, between them, killed

two dozen civilians and injured scores of others in exchanges of artillery

fire across the disputed border – known as the ‘line of control’ – that

divides Kashmir into parts controlled by India and Pakistan.

66

The latest flare-up in the long-running war of attrition between the

two countries comes on the heels of a bloody summer of protest and

repression in Kashmir that has now been erased from memory by the

banging of war drums in Delhi and Islamabad. Since July, when the

killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising

across the Kashmir valley, the Indian state has responded with singular

ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been

the breaking up of demonstrations with ‘non-lethal’ pellet ammunition,

which has resulted in a mass-blinding of hundreds of Kashmiri civilians.

In four months, 17,000 adults and children have been injured, nearly

five thousand have been arrested, and an entire population spent the

summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir.

Imperialism set India up as both Britain’s workhouse and convenient

marketplace, and when India finally gained independence, it was

reduced to one of the world’s poorest economies. For Britain to

come begging now that we’ve made such a mess of things with our

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


yet-undefined Brexit, opposed by 48.1 per cent of the electorate, is

laughable.

Although a number of the more vehemently right-wing newspapers

chose to focus on May’s ‘hardball’ stance on immigration during her

visit, they didn’t pick up on the incongruity of the Prime Minister haggling

over ‘Indians with no right to remain in the UK’ whilst hankering after a

lucrative trade deal.

At a tech summit in Delhi, May was pressured by business leaders

including Sir James Dyson and Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra beer,

to welcome more skilled Indian workers and students to Britain. The

Government’s current position seems to involve the hope that India will

still sign a cushy deal with us, while we crack down on Indians in Britain

who’ve outstayed their frosty welcome.

67

The political conversation in Britain has, despite the influence of Corbyn,

shifted perceptibly to the right. May knows that to keep the would-be-

Ukippers and Brexit-devotees onside, she must act ‘tough on those

foreign people’ despite surely recognising that she cannot turn back the

clock on globalization.

The isolationist, shut-the-door sentiments that brought us Brexit are not

going to serve Britain well when it comes to making international trade

agreements, and to belief otherwise is a self-important indulgence

that we can no longer afford. We live, for better or worse, in an

interconnected world, and the issue of migration cannot be wiped off the

table during trade discussions.

NOVEMBER 2016


India wants access to the UK labour market for skilled workers, and the

UK government wants to pander to the narrative that immigrants are

an unnecessary scourge on our increasingly less green and pleasant

land. On the basis of this impasse, a free trade agreement seems like a

childish fantasy.

I wouldn’t blame India for putting up two fingers to Theresa

May and Britain.

From Independent and Guardian

68

MAYBE

MORE CHEEK

THAN A BABOON’S

ARSE

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


THE WHITE POPPY

White Poppies are worn in the run-up to Remembrance Day every year

by thousands of people in the UK and beyond. White Poppies have been

worn in this way for over eighty years. They are distributed by the Peace

Pledge Union (PPU).

There are three elements to the meaning of White Poppies: they represent

remembrance for all victims of war, a commitment to peace and a

challenge to attempts to glamourise or celebrate war.

White Poppies recall all victims of all wars, including victims of wars that

are still being fought. This includes people of all nationalities. It includes

both civilians and members of armed forces. Today, over 90% of people

killed in warfare are civilians.

69

In wearing White Poppies, we remember all those killed in war, all those

wounded in body or mind, the millions who have been made sick or

homeless by war and the families and communities torn apart. We also

remember those killed or imprisoned for refusing to fight and for resisting

war.

We differ from the Royal British Legion, who produce Red Poppies. The

Legion says that Red Poppies are to remember only British armed forces

and those who fought alongside them.

NOVEMBER 2016


We want to remember British military dead, but they are not the only

victims of war. We also remember, for example, civilians killed in the

bombings of London, Coventry and Belfast, and in the bombings of

Dresden, Hiroshima, Baghdad and Kabul.

White Poppies symbolise the conviction that there are better ways to

resolve conflict than through the use of violence. They embody values

that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason. Nearly 100

years after the end of the ‘war to end all wars’ we still have a long way

to go to put an end to a social institution that even in the last decade has

contributed to the killing of millions.

70

From economic reliance on arms sales to renewing and updating

all types of weapons, the UK government contributes significantly to

international instability. The outcome of recent military adventures

highlights their ineffectiveness and grim consequences.

The best way to respect the victims of war is to work to prevent war in

the present and future. Violence only begets more violence. We need

to tackle the underlying causes of warfare, such as poverty, inequality

and competition over resources. A temporary absence of violence is not

enough. Peace is much deeper and broader than that, requiring major

social changes to allow us to live more co-operatively.

A message originally associated with Remembrance Day, after the

first world war, was ‘NEVER AGAIN’. This message slipped away. In

response, White Poppies were developed in 1933 by the Co-operative

Women’s Guild to affirm the message of ‘NO MORE WAR’.

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


Many of the activities around Remembrance Day are detached from any

meaningful attempt to learn the lessons of war. Arms companies allow

their staff to pause work for the two minutes’ silence. Politicians who

plough billions into nuclear weapons lay wreaths at the cenotaph. Arms

dealers sponsor Remembrance events even while their work makes war

more likely.

In 2014 for example, the British Legion Young Professionals’ ball

was sponsored by Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s largest arms

companies. Lockheed Martin plays a major role in manufacturing the

Trident nuclear weapons system. Each Trident missile is capable of

killing far more people than the 888,000 people represented by the Red

Poppies that were displayed at the Tower of London at the time.

71

Working for peace is the natural consequence of remembering the

victims of war. If, for example, we were remembering the victims of

road accidents, we might well do so by working to prevent further road

accidents. This logic, which would apply in other areas of life, is rejected

by those who seek to misuse Remembrance Day to promote militarist

values that only make war more likely.

from http://www.ppu.org.uk

NOVEMBER 2016


72

Crickey ... a virtual keyboard,

use it at your own peril

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 14


hey, beware,

capitalism, war, brexit and

trump go together like slugs

and lettuce ... and there are

some arseholes tossing off in

this salad, ffs!

73

Artwork: Alan Rutherford

NOVEMBER 2016


74

Writing

worth reading

Photos

worth seeing

http://www.coldtype.net

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


75

NOVEMBER 2016


Artwork: still unknown

76

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 17


WAFFLE

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

LETTERS

Dear Editor ...

Same old same old!

Absolutely damaged by the swiftly decaying state of

the world ... Words fail me, what is the use of words

when the person you are saying them to is unable to

grasp your, and their, meaning? [is this the only letter

we have? ... (‘yes’, ed.)]

Worryingly, we have left even that irrational road,

the one where stupidity reigns, and now follow a

path where basic facts and knowledge acquired

over time are being replaced by entrenched banal

myths, hearsay and superstition. The shit-faced

fudge of complacency and mad spouters will now be

defended to the death by the threat of nuclear war.

Reason cannot be relied on in the present or near

future (if ever?) and its utterly terrifying. Just who

are the terrorists? For evidence of this I direct your

(still giggling but increasingly alarmed) attention to

President Donald Trump and his campaign to trumptrump-trumpety-trump

all over the world. As Britain’s

government is a happy lapdog of US mischief in the

world ... and a blindly loyal follower of US foreign

policy, what will our May government do now as

Trump begins his Term of Ignorance?

77

Whilst I remain optimistic about the future I am

absolute in my scepticism about whether the

business-arses and their sycophantic political

stooges, Blairites and Tories – or the US circus

and their trumping flunkies – will come up with

anything remotely of benefit to anyone other than

the rampantly corrupt ruling class wankers intent on

fucking us all.

NOVEMBER 2016


HAND OVER

FIST PRESS

2 0 1 6

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