Friday, January 17, 2014

Food for Thought



Review


 By Ray Jones

Revolutionary Democracy vol XIX no 2 Sept 13
£5 post free from NCP Lit PO Box 73 London SW11 2PQ.

REVOLUTIONARY Democracy is an Indian orientated Marxist journal but it always contains useful coverage of events from around the world, important historical pieces and deep theoretical contributions.
This issue Tahir Asghar provides in interesting update on the situation in Russia with particular reference to the de-industrialisation going on there. Eygpt and Turkey also get coverage.
Nexhimije Hoxha gives a fascinating account of the 20th Congress of the CPSU and an insight into Enver Hoxha’s reaction to it.
Clara Zetkin relates Rosa Luxemburg’s response to the Russian Revolution and the November revolution in Germany. With regards to theory, Ubaldo Buttafava offers a critique of neo-Trotskyist economics and Vitaly Pershin takes a look at Marxist aesthetics and the socialist realism of Geli Korzhev.
In one of the invaluable translations of Stalin common to Rev Dem, this issue includes a blistering 1940s attack by Stalin on “a political” literature and Soviet magazines that bowed to rank rather than talent in a speech to the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks).

Picasso's update

By Adrian Chan-Wyles

ON THE 29th October 2013 the staff of the Picasso’s Coffee Lounge, Union Street, Torquay, refused entry and service to a female wheelchair user on the grounds of her disability, stating that the manager had taken the decision to exclude such people from the café.  There had also been a separate report that states the floor manager was over-heard berating an employee for not “looking like the right kind of person” to work there – and then sacking her, all within earshot of customers. Due to news of these events spreading across the internet, a campaign has begun for all right-minded people to boycott this café in the name of solidarity and socialism. 
Since then Mr Mark Lewis, the Manager of Picasso’s Coffee Lounge, (Torquay), was interviewed by Devon and Cornwall Police and stated that he banned the disabled woman in question because he was of the opinion that she “smelt”, and that he was concerned that her presence in his establishment would put his able bodied customers off their food.  Devon and Cornwall Police are of the opinion that no crime has taken place, and have refused to record this incident as a “hate crime” against a disabled wheelchair user.  Devon and Cornwall Police have been officially criticised in the past for failing to react to crime in the area. 
Obviously, with the police appearing to condone his behaviour, Mr Mark Lewis remains unrepentant about the incident and has written to the victim stating that his expressed opinion that she “smelt”, in no way was connected to the fact that she is a disabled person confined to a wheelchair.  In the meantime, this disabled person remains banned from the establishment in question and has received no assistance from her local MP – Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders – despite numerous letters asking for his help.
 It is important to note that with the ideologically-led cuts to the NHS and Welfare system, (to fund a tax cut for the rich), it has been reported across the UK that Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs have conspired to initiate a policy of “not helping” those of their constituents trapped in an ever downward spiral of poverty, sure in the knowledge that the most vulnerable members of society – that is to say, the victims of their policies – possess no resources to do anything about their behaviour.
As it stands, the medieval Judeo-Christian ignorance that defines disability as a corruption from the Devil, or a punishment from God, continues to operate within UK secular society.  Disabled people are treated as outsiders and their particular personal needs as some form of inconvenience for the able bodied public.  Mr Mark Lewis, infected with this primitive mindset, appears to believe that he can discriminate against a disabled person simply because his prejudice tells him that their different physical presence must equate with an infantile assumption that they “smell”.  His actions protect the ignorant masses from having to psychologically evolve beyond a primitive mind-set that 400 years ago saw old ladies who owned cats burnt to death in the name of God on the village heath.  Mr Mark Lewis has done the progressive cause a world of good by reminding it that through his shocking ignorance there is still much to do to reform UK society in the socialist model.
Religiosity is an ignorant poison that must be eradicated from the human psyche.  It is ironic that the artist Picasso was a life-long communist and ardent supporter of Joseph Stalin.       

Disabled woman barred at seaside cafe



By Adrian Chan-Wyles

ON THE 29th October 2013 the staff of the Picasso’s Coffee Lounge, Union Street, Torquay, refused entry and service to a female wheelchair user on the grounds of her disability, stating that the manager had taken the decision to exclude such people from the café.  There are many similar complaints emerging from Torquay, and it is significant that Torbay has been linked with the fascist British National Party in the media, and in Mark Collins’ book [Hate], which exposes the British right-wing and its connection to the area. 
Compared to what is considered normal in the progressive cities of Britain, this is a shocking event in a civilised society, particularly as no one in the cafe raised a concern, and the manager, despite authorising this blatant act of discrimination, remains unrepentant (and unpunished) despite UK law being very clear on this point.  I understand that the local Police (and Member of Parliament) have been informed, but despite nearly a month going by, no action has been taken.
 This is not surprising, as outside the major cities there is a lack of will-power within less cosmopolitan areas to acknowledge that such discrimination exists, or to do anything about it. The Devon and Cornwall Police were criticised in a 2012 report from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary – which "indicated some cause for concern – specifically the under-recording of crime", and the local Member of Parliament (Adrian Sanders) is a Liberal Democrat who fully supports the current Con-Dem government and the vicious attack it has made on people with disabilities that has seen hate-crime against the disabled rise by 75 per cent in just one year.   
There has also been a separate report that states the floor manager was over-heard berating an employee for not “looking like the right kind of person” to work there – and then sacking her, all within earshot of customers. Due to news of these events spreading across the internet, a campaign has begun for all right-minded people to boycott this café in the name of solidarity and socialism. 

Picasso’s Coffee Lounge,
3 Union Square Shopping Centre Union Street,
Torquay TQ1 3UT
Tel: 01803 212 166

Complaints to the Manager Mr Mark Lewis - enquiries@picassoscoffee.co.uk






Friday, January 03, 2014