Author: Kassandra Krossing

Backing singer and player of Pravda (the Organ of Truth) for Socialist R&B band Thee Faction.

DEG GDH Fox’s guide to protecting your home from Tories this Halloween

Like any good Socialist toddler, DEG GDH Fox is keen to help keep Tories (and their offspring) from our doorstep this Halloween. Here he shows off his essential kit for keeping the Conservative spooks at bay:
1. A pumpkin carved with the Thee Faction logo. (He recommends asking a comradely adult to help with this bit.)

2. Some bread products. (When Lenin lead the Great Revolution, no way did he do it before chowing down on a bun or two.)

3. A copy of ‘Singing Down the Government’. (You can get yours here!)

Stay safe and have fun, little comrade.

DEG GDH Fox

Alternative uses for Jubilee bunting

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A few months ago the only houses flying union flags were the local EDL members. Now there can barely be a street in the UK that doesn’t feature a flag which has come to represent right-wing, racist nationalism. My gasts are literally flabbered that so many people can overlook this and fly the flag, having been fooled into thinking that it’s a positive gesture. But that’s the power of the Tory trick.

So, come on Britain. Time to get that union flag bunting down, please. And no need to clog up the landfills with this hazardous garbage. Here are a few suggestions for more neighbourly uses for your bunting.

  1. Use the back of it to write to your local MP, asking them help save your local libraries.
  2. Sew the triangles into a patchwork quilt, and send to your nearest cat shelter for the poor abandoned pussies to sleep on.
  3. Wrap it round your hot water pipe to avoid freezing up this winter.
  4. Cut it up into tiny pieces and leave it out for birds to line their nests with.
  5. Make a flour and water glue, and stick pieces of bunting over a balloon to make papier mache masks. Paint them, put them on your children, and send photos to theefaction85@googlemail.com We’ll put your photos up on the site.

Got any better ideas? Let us know on here, on Facebook, or Twitter #LEFToverbunting and we’ll add the best ones to this list.

Ooo. And come to our gig tomorrow. It’s going to be the BEST ONE YET.

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JUBILEE

Where to stick your Jubilee bunting

Bunting-fever has hit the UK, and looks set to rise over the weekend as legions of brainwashed Britons stumble  into the streets to gorge themselves on cupcakes decorated with the sickly colours of the far-right-appropriated union flag, and join with the hobbled masses in thanking a posh old lady for another 60 years of oppression of their class.
“Thanks for the day off!” read the ‘ironic’ crown-bearing t-shirt of a man on the bus yesterday afternoon – although by the looks of him and his down-trodden family he’d probably be better served with bread than circuses.
But it is typically the working classes, and the poorest of them, who do most of the flag-waving around here. The council estate that Baby Face and I live on is riddled with flags, bunting, and plans for street parties. The SureStart nursery that our son, DEG GDH, attends is holding a Jubilee celebration tomorrow, and my innocent baby is going to endure displays of vicarious patriotism from the low-paid staff, many of whom are from nations the Queen’s husband wouldn’t piss on if they were burning.
And it makes me fume. I want to rip down the bunting and wrap it round the neck of our parasite Queen, and I want my proletarian neighbours to come to their fucking senses and realise that it’s NOT OK to be grateful to the boot that kicks you on a daily basis, just because you’ve been given a day off the kicking. And I want to spend the long weekend in France – they had the right idea in 1789, and they’re still proving themselves to be one of the few right[left]-thinking nations in Europe.

But I shalln’t. I shall take DEG GDH to nursery tomorrow to play with the other babies, and if someone puts a union flag in his hand it will mean no more to him that the Cardiff RFC flag that Baby Face has put in his bedroom. And we shall go to our friend’s Jubilee BBQ at the weekend and eat sausages with them because they are our friends and we love seeing them. And I shall have a day off work on Tuesday, enjoy whatever the British weather throws at me, practice for the DDR of R’n’B on Thursday, and peacefully refuse to allow the fucking Queen to make me any angrier. Because she certainly doesn’t give a shit what I think about her.
Besides. It’s a day off for a sideshow. She’s a relic from a mediaeval age. She’s not capitalism. Most of the rest of the capitalist world has ditched their versions of her. We’ve hung on to her as a source of diversionary entertainment. So we’ll enjoy the day off, ignore the hereditary principle it venerates, and continue to fight the fight that really matters.

Occupy the crib! The top six protest albums for children

Children are revolting, and quite rightly too. Our offspring’s generation will be the first ever that might expect a poorer quality of life than their parents’. Thatcher stole our milk, but Cameron is stealing the whole motherflippin’ cow.

The babies of the revolution need to be armed with the kind of education you aren’t going to find on a Disney sing-a-long-and-buy-the-lunchbox-too CD. They need a soundtrack to the children’s uprising, and it’s going to be a loud one.

I asked some forward-thinking friends what music they might buy for their Conservative friends’ children.

Roy Bailey: Why Does it Have to Be Me? http://www.roybailey.net

Chosen by Tom Mycock – SWP activist, and frontman of storming sub-ska band The Splitters, who is expecting his own little revolutionary in the near future. “Some nonsense songs, some funny, some very moving. I remember my parents had a tape of it in the car and looking back I credit it with making a substantial contribution to my political development, especially the song Everything Possible which encapsulates the hope and optimism every child deserves. Roy is a lifelong Socialist who has been singing politically committed music since the 1960s.” This album was recorded for Bailey’s children and their peers in the 1980s – and he’s now recording albums for his grandchildren and their peers.

The Beatles (White Album) (EMI)

Gavin Martin, the Daily Mirror’s music critic and organiser of Talking Musical Revolutions, suggests seeking out a comprehensive ‘Best of the Beatles’ CD for your crib-bound comrade. “They have three songs called Revolution and their music is immediately elating to kids – and mind expanding too. The Beatles music at its essence is all about spiritual/mental love and aesthetic excellence. Yeah I know Concunts will link arms and sing Hey Jude, but we gotta have faith in new generation to set the Fabs in the Prism of Revolt.” The White Album also includes a song about a monkey – and all good children love a monkey.

Woody Guthrie: Nursery Days (Smithsonian Folkways)

On the birth of our son, we were given this CD by Simon Jones, editor of Third Way magazine. Woody Guthrie is known for his political folk music and guitar bearing the words ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’. Simon tells me, “I guess it’s no surprise that Woody ended up writing so many songs for children — he had 8 of his own. I like that, although he couldn’t ever separate himself from his poilitics, the songs are so unembarrassed and fleshy — full of farty shouty licky kids whose independence and cheekiness are things he wants them to retain. He doesn’t want them to be bullied or sold an identity. It’s just so joyful too. A guy with a horrific backstory who knows all about dust bowl poverty, but with children’s songs that are endlessly optimistic. That’s to say that his sense of revolution wasn’t just in identifying capitalist culprits, but in turning desperation into hope.”
This CD is a delightful collection of chirpy, catchy songs about playing nice with all the other kids, sharing your toys, and having fun. I love this, and so does my baby. I can’t wait for him to be old enough to understand the lyrics he’s starting to copy me singing.

Grace Petrie: Tell Me a Story and Feel Better  (www.gracepetrie.com)

Chosen by comedian Josie Long with an emphatic “Grace Petrie Grace Petrie Grace Petrie! She’s the real deal, a proper protest singer and a gifted pop song writer!” The Leicester-born indie-folkster began writing what The Guardian is now describing as ‘protest music’ after the 2010 election enraged her to write a song called Farewell to Welfare. These two albums are available from her website as a very comradely-priced £10 bundle and, while not strictly aimed at children, her sweet melodies and catchy lyrics are bound to be a hit with little ones as well as big ones.

They Might Be Giants: Here Comes Science (www.theymightbegiants.com)

Neil Scott – Scottish Socialist, blogger, and teacher tells me: “music is a brilliant way to teach children, and a social justice message is one that children are really receptive to because they have a really sharp sense of justice. They Might Be Giants have some brilliant kids songs and albums, and have been known to be quite political, though they are firmly, I fear, in the capitalist camp. They were the first group to set up an online store, which was purely to increase their profits – though I suppose you could say they were ensuring they got the full reward for their labour!” Entrepreneurs they may be, but the knowledge they’re arming our children with is a powerful weapon in the anti-capitalist revolution, so we can forgive them the shopping cart. Here Comes Science offers quirky tunes and lyrical genius such as ‘Photosynthesis does not involve a camera, or a synthesiser, although that’s interesting too’.

Kimya Dawson: Alphabutt (www.kimyadawson.com)

This one’s my choice, and I loved this long before I had a baby. Best known as the female half of the Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson recorded this brilliant children’s album, seemingly, in a garage full of children with instruments. The result is a collection of ridiculously catchy songs which combine toilet humour with an education in being a loving, sharing, playful citizen. This record really does hit all the spots: ‘I Like Bears’ makes my baby giggle; ‘Smoothie’ makes me get all teary with memories of pregnancy; ‘We’re All Animals’ makes the whole family cuddle in a bit closer (especially the cats); and ‘Sunbeams and Some Beans’ ends the album on an overtly anti-capitalist message which fills us with hope. This is the CD we buy all of our friends when they have babies – especially the Conservative ones.

Introducing: Brass Kapital

There are loads of brilliant reasons to be coming along to our next gig at the DDR of RnB at the Half Moon in Putney on the 27th of October

  • We’ll be playing with the hugely talented Andy Lewis and his band of luminaries.
  • We’ll also be joined by rebel rousers Country Dirt, lead by the inimitable Marianne Hyatt.
  • We’ll be joined onstage by a roof-blowing all-woman three-piece horn section, known as BRASS KAPITAL!

Not heard of Brass Kapital? Unsurprising. These brassy female comrades are new to the world of Socialist RnB, having learned to play their instruments from scratch, bound by their collective conscience to help the Revolution. Practising day and night, breaking only to sleep an hour at a time, and to drink more vodka, the trio have reached a harmonious synchronicity seldom seen in the Western world, and a visceral heft only ever seen on the left.

They rock. Here’s the line up:

Emma – SaxEmma

Originally from Bedford, Emma enjoys reading, writing, and leading zombie apocalypses (and revolutions) through the medium of sax.

Mel – Trumpet

South-Londoner Mel is an administrative worker by day, and by night fights against mediocre music (and capitalism) with her mighty trumpet.

Lucy – Trombone

A mysterious female tromboner from North London, legend has it that she only ever leaves the house after dark, in order to secure further vodka supplies for the collective.

Don’t miss out on the debut of these brassy revolutionaries. Register your attendance here! >> https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=236108546424637

The X-Factor welcomes a gay Amos and Andy

There are lots of problems I could have with the X Factor. At best, it’s a wake for the death of the music industry, where acts thrive so long as Simon Cowell can make a few quid out of them, regardless of their talents. At worst, it’s a freakshow giving the nation permission to join in the humiliation of the weak and talentless who’ve bought into the capitalist myth of celebrity. But, I’m afraid, it’s also top drawer Saturday night entertainment: I get to shout at the telly; fantasise about feeding the lovely Gary Barlow up nice and plump again; and occasionally hear some lovely singing while Babyface and I eat dinner. Ace.

And generally I don’t feel too guilty about doing so. The end result of the show is generally a happy one for all concerned, and it gives me something to talk about with tories. But last night I felt more soiled than usual by the show, after seeing Kendro. The ultracamp teenagers were introduced with the pantomime of ‘picking out a random act in the queue’ (followed by pre-recorded footage of the pair getting ready beforehand), set to music used by last year’s token gay duo, Diva Fever, giving any hard-of-thinking viewers a slap in the face hint that we should support these boys because they’re already well on their way to the final.

They bounced onto the stage with an image and attitude which screamed ‘We’re gay – isn’t that just a hoot!’, and pouted while they reapplied lipstick, just in case anyone had failed to notice their sexuality. With this gesture that transported us back to 1970s sitcoms, they had the Manchester audience wrapped round their self-consciously limp fingers straight away: if there’s one thing homophobia has taught us it’s that men in drag is hilarious, and that gay men are perfectly acceptable, so long as the their sexual preference is their defining characteristic.

I can’t blame these two kids though. They’re growing up in a country with a long tradition of cauterising the perceived threat of homosexuality with humour. Ooo, you are awful, but I like you …I’m free … I’m the only gay in the village … I’m a lady! With this high camp performance, gay men desexualise themselves with faux feminity, and become complicit in the heterosexual oppression.

Straight men can rest assured that a gay man isn’t going to sneak up on him unannounced so long as he’s clearly marked apart with a pink sparkly armband. But a gay man who dresses and behaves just like any other man? Now there’s a worry. Backs against the walls, boys.

This at the end of the week where straight-thinking Britons congratulate themselves for relaxing the ban on gay men donating blood: so long as they have not had sex with another man in the past 12 months. “A step in the right direction”, say the gay rights group Stonewall. However, I don’t see a ban on blood donation from women who like it up the bum, or straight men who don’t use condoms.

Kendro, unsurprisingly, sang like cats fighting over a dead rat. Nonetheless, Louis’ Irish eyes were smiling euro signs as he planned their one-hit; Kelly Rowland clicked her fingers, rippled her hair, and called them ‘girlfriends’; and Tulisa from NDubz (joke: what do you call a girl with two cunts?), also gave the thumbs up of professional fag-haggery.

But our boy Barlow made me want to set aside an extra pudding for him as he put his once pudgy foot down, puffed up his skinny chest (his sexy moobs now empty fur flaps – I’d imagine), and told Kendro they were ‘exactly what this show doesn’t need’. Unfortunately, our Gary’s display of conscience was to no avail, and the pair have gone through to boot camp. Or fluffy stiletto mule camp, perhaps.

Gary Marxlow

To add to my regular disappointment with bourgeois society, just as I was starting to wonder what my new hero would look like if he fattened up and grew a nice big Marxist beard, I turn to ITV2 where Gary Barlow shatters my illusion by answering the question ‘How do you write your songs?’ with the most cynical words any musician could utter: ‘I sit down and imagine what they’d play on Match of the Day when a goal is scored’.

I should hope that were Billy Brentford asked the same question, his answer would be: ‘I stand up and imagine what the proletariat would sing in the moments before the Revolution’.

Protect us from the hooded youth

Youth

The destruction across my home of London town over the past few days has broken my heart. The streets I grew up around, and where I’ve always felt so safe, were turned into scenes from a bad zombie film. The department store where I first met Father Christmas was smashed, burned and plundered for the sheer hell of it. My home suddenly seemed insufficiently secure to protect my baby. I am angry as hell at these rioters for making me feel like this about the place I love so much. They’ve shown the very worst extreme of individualist greed, engendered by capitalism, that Babyface discussed far more eloquently yesterday.

They’ve broken our trust in our homes and our neighbours. And, in doing so, they’ve taken the public eye off the issue of what really happened to Mark Duggan, and created a swell of public sympathy for the Met.

But angry as I am with the rioters, my new mother anger hormones are getting worked up even more by the reaction of the average unthinking, knee-jerking, Facebook-ranting punter: calling for the army; calling for a locking-up-and-throwing-away-the-key; calling for more police; calling for ‘tougher measures’; or calling for any other vague and un-thought-through plan to solve a problem they don’t understand.

And I’m hearing a lot of names for these rioters: ‘scum’, ‘chavs’, ‘yobs’, ‘thugs’ etc. All terms which mark these people out as being a different breed to us. Perhaps they’ve always been there, lurking in caves between underground stations, feeding on rats, and biding their time before emerging into the streets to quench their thirst for ‘criminality’. Put like this, it becomes easier to fire a water cannon at them, shoot them with a rubber bullet, or carry any of the more barbaric actions suggested by contributors to the Daily Mail’s website comments section.

Because they’re not like us. They look remarkably like the people who, last week, sat next to us on the bus, queued with us in the supermarket, or worked alongside us in the office. But they’re now different. Throw the book/truncheon/bullet at ‘em. Far easier to do so than to engage with these people, and try and work out why they did this. And it’s certainly a lot easier to do so than to consider whether we might have anything to do with these people feeling like a sub-species.

The rioters who betray their neighbours with violence are, of course, spewed from the same flawed machine that produces the armchair critics who betray their neighbours with dehumanisation.

I certainly don’t have the answers (beyond knowing that only Marxism-Leninism can set you free) and, like everyone else, I’m just praying that it’s over now and we can sweep up, move on, and learn some lessons. What I am taking from this is the crucial importance that I raise my child to feel included in society. To respect and love his neighbours. To know that we are all in this together. And not to call people names.

DEG GDH Fox - the hooded youth

DEG GDH Fox - the hooded youth

Happy Birthday Babyface

Cake decorations, balloons, confetti and other imperialist titbits available from Ocado - the least capitalist of supermarkets.

Today is Babyface’s birthday, so we’re celebrating with some ultimate chocolate cake, balloons, and Mavis Staples on the stereo. Revolutionary stuff.

Birthdays are sometimes bourgeois, but not on this particular occasion.

Baking for Two

Carrot Muffins

Babyface’s mother – Mommaface – was kind enough to give me some lovely new baking equipment as a present, so I’ve put it to good use here with muffins and a cake based on my Gender Inclusive Carrot Cake.

The cake was in the oven for 50 minutes, but the muffins take just 35 minutes – which just happens to be the length of our newly-released LP, At Ebbw Vale. Tasty.

Marxist Muffins

Muffins are the ideal on-the-go fast food for today’s busy Marxist. I’ve made these using blueberries – the hardest working berry. Apparently, blueberries have been said to be beneficial in the prevention of cancer, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, heart disease, urinary infections, depression, and Capitalism. They also taste damn good.

With thanks to the guild for the generous birthday presents which contributed to these muffiny delights: KitchenAid blender and muffin tray in non-sexist pink from Babyface, and gender-inclusive ladybird kitchen timer from Billy Brentford. Thank you, brothers!

Ingredients

  • 4 oz sugar
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 free-range organic eggs (size medium, so they don’t hurt the hens’ little bottoms)
  • 4 oz wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • plenty of blueberries, fresh or frozen

These quantities make around 10 muffins.

  • Cream the butter and sugar together then slowly add the eggs. Mix for three minutes.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, stir to combine, then refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. These muffins, like the Revolution, are worth waiting for.
  • Place a spoonful of muffin mixture into each muffin case, filling each to just over half way.
  • Press at least eight blueberries into each muffin, then bake at 200oC for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.
  • Share.