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Socialist Monologues Anyone?

Owen Woodson 27 Sep 12 - 06:31 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Sep 12 - 06:49 AM
Owen Woodson 27 Sep 12 - 07:26 AM
bobad 27 Sep 12 - 08:06 AM
IanC 27 Sep 12 - 08:16 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Sep 12 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,matt milton 27 Sep 12 - 09:15 AM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,999 27 Sep 12 - 10:30 AM
Anne Neilson 27 Sep 12 - 10:58 AM
Bettynh 27 Sep 12 - 12:45 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Sep 12 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,sturgeon 27 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM
ossonflags 28 Sep 12 - 06:57 AM
Musket 28 Sep 12 - 01:27 PM
Joe_F 28 Sep 12 - 06:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 12 - 06:25 PM
Owen Woodson 01 Oct 12 - 06:13 AM
Scabby Douglas 01 Oct 12 - 06:49 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Oct 12 - 10:52 AM
Bettynh 01 Oct 12 - 01:10 PM
Owen Woodson 03 Oct 12 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,warren fahey 03 Oct 12 - 05:46 PM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 12 - 10:09 PM
Owen Woodson 04 Oct 12 - 05:41 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 12 - 06:27 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 12 - 10:19 AM
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Subject: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 06:31 AM

It's that time of the year again when I lose my voice and can't sing for months on end. To make things worse, I belong to a radical folkclub and consider song a significant political weapon, but I have to cease contributing until I get my voice back.

It's been suggested to me that, in the interim and to keep the game alive, I try and croak my way through a few socialist monologues. The only trouble is I don't know any, and my extensive library has thrown up SBA.

If anyone out there can help, I'll be most grateful.

The subject matter doesn't have to be confined just to matters left wing of course. Anything to do with the environment, pacifism, anti-racism, republicanism etc, would probably do just fine.

Many anticipatory thanks.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 06:49 AM

Take medical advice first. I have heard it said that speaking is harder on the voice than singing.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 07:26 AM

Thanks for thinking of that one Richard. However, the problem is cattarrh, which simply makes me sound as though I'm singing through a pile of old sweaty socks. Often I can talk fine. I just can't hit the musical notes.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: bobad
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 08:06 AM

Black Cross (Hezekiah Jones)

I don't know if this may be too "American" for your audience but to me the message is universal and, unfortunately, still pertinent (maybe more so) today.

The poem was written by an uncle of the actor Paul Newman. It was adapted and recorded by Lord Buckley. Bob Dylan performed and recorded his version of it 1962.

Newman's original and Lord Buckley's version: http://reocities.com/sunsetstrip/lounge/8450/Buckleyroutines/Lord_Buckley/Black_Cross40.html

Dylan's version lyrics:http://www.bobdylanroots.com/blkcross.html

Dylan's recital:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicfqEyOHvc


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: IanC
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 08:16 AM

Some of the Marriott Edgar monologues, like The Magna Carta, while not overtly socialist, may nevertheless fit the bill.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 08:54 AM

No thank you


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 09:15 AM

dunno about socialist monologues, but Utah Philips had some beautiful, funny, moving and thought-provoking anarchist monologues.


And as we all know, anarchism makes much more sense than socialism :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5Ro4rTvDcw


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM

I'd second Matt's suggestion that you look at the monologues of U.Utah Phillips. Some of his Loafer's Glory radio programs have interesting monologues.

Search for other monologue threads


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:30 AM

Herewith is a link to a performance that was given by Hal Holbrook in a show he called Mark Twain Tonight. It is 'socialist' at heart and possibly something you'd care to consider. (More importantly, I hope you have received medical care and direction regarding your voice, OW.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_rTMNnxwSE

That takes a little over seven minutes to watch.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:58 AM

How about this, from a book called "Radical Renfrew" edited by Scot poet Tom Leonard?

It's by Alexander McLachlan, who was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire in 1818. Having worked in a cotton factory before being apprenticed to a tailor, he eventually emigrated to Canada in 1840. He was not successful as a farmer, relying more on tailoring, writing and lecturing before his sons were able to work the farm for him. He eventually became a Canadian government lecturer and emigration agent for emigration from Scotland to Canada. He died in Orangeville in 1896.


YOUNG CANADA (or, Jack's as Good's his Master)

I love this land of forest grand,
The land where labour's free;
Let others run away from home,
Be this the land for me!
Where no one moils and strains and toils
That snobs may thrive the faster,
But all are free as men should be,
And Jack's as good's his master!

Where none are slaves that lordly knaves
May idle all the year;
For rank and caste are of the past --
They'll never flourish here!
And Jew or Turk, if he'll but work,
Need never fear disaster;
He reaps the crop he sowed in hope,
For Jack's as good's his master.

Our aristocracy of toil
Have made us what you see,
The nobles of the forge and soil,
With ne'er a pedigree.
It makes one feel himself a man,
His very blood leaps faster,
Where wit or worth's preferred to birth
And Jack's as good's his master.

Here's to the land of forests grand,
The land where labour's free;
Let others roam away from home,
Be this the land for me!
For here 'tis plain the heart and brain,
The very soul grow vaster,
Where men are free as they should be,
And Jack's as good's his master.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Bettynh
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 12:45 PM

It's the Economy, Stupid

Song credits:
words and music by John McCutcheon
Written after reading Wendell Berry's fabulous novel, Jayber Crow.

It's the economy, stupid
A victory sign
A mantra
An explanation
A reminder
A warning
An omen
An onus
A threat
It's the economy, stupid

Farmers' wives bring eggs
Chickens
Whole milk
Fresh butter
To the local market
To the store
Come in with groceries
And leave with groceries and money

Small farmers raise crops
For local markets
Up at dawn
Home at dusk
More in fallow
Than under the plow
Dark loam
Rich with earthworms
Defying erosion
Anchoring forest borders
Home for
Game
Shelter
Shade
Now virginity is no longer fashionable
Even in our forests
We will harvest another crop
Of walnut
Cherry, oak
If we only live
Another hundred years.
Man was the last piece
Of creation
And has been playing catch up
Ever since.

Farming is a balance
Of muscle
Daylight
And conservation
Machinery
Becomes the muscle now
Allowing us to work
Into the night.
We plant our debts
Fencerow to fencerow
Swallowing
Every bitter dram
Of expert advice
Until
…drunk with dreams
of fortune
equity
leverage
growth…

We grow
What we cannot use
Purchase
What we used to raise
Spend
What we used to save
Sell
What we used to treasure
Mock
What we used to revere
Hate
What we used to love
It's the economy, stupid

Understand…
I am not a nostalgist
I am a most pragmatic man
I look at what naturally occurs
In the living world…
And see diversity
Not specialization.
I look at
Hometown banks
Restaurants
Hardware stores
Where your name
Is your credit
And decisions are rendered
By people who know you
Where you are more than
The five banks
And the four airlines
And the three newspaper chains
And the two big box stores
And the one-and-a-half political parties
And the one retort:
It's the economy stupid

And the standards
That demand that
Every teacher teaches
Every student
Exactly the same thing
And, like these students
I have to ask "why?"
Why?
It's the economy, stupid

Now those educated
Appraised students
Ride their buses
From their consolidated schools
Back to their small towns and farms
And cannot wait
To drive their cars away
On that highway of diamonds
Into the consolidated cities
Where they look back
In shame
And wonder
Stranded
Between what they know
And what they've been sold
It's the economy, stupid

The economy that looks
For the maximum return
For the quick turnaround
For the short term gain
For the unearned income
For the Big Lotto
It's the economy, stupid

And the economy
Is impatient
It has a short attention span
It is easily bored
It is hungry
It is late for its next appointment
It puts you on hold
It does not return your call
It's the economy, stupid

The economy
Has you working two jobs
It is mandatory overtime
It is expensive sneakers
Made by sweating children
It is cheap food
Picked by landless hands
It is good paying jobs
Disappearing from American towns
And reappearing
Nowhere
It is your closed up main street
And it is your boarded up mill
And it is your condo-minimized factory
And it is your cookie cutter mall
And it is not accountable
It is not America
It's the economy, stupid

The economy now has no borders
Or horizons
Or faces
Or hands
The economy has only one rule:
More.

And the economy lies.
The economy tells us it is about Freedom.
The economy is about Dependence.
Not on land
Or animals
Or weather
Or neighbors
But
On machinery
And fuel
And credit.
Most farmers
Have borrowed their way
Right out of farming.
And
No government loan
No government program
Will change
That cycle.
Because the government
Is powerless now, see…
It's the economy, stupid

And the government is the economy's
Biggest cheerleader.
It plays by the same rules:
The quick fix
The stronger army
The bigger bomb
The dependence on machinery
To do work
That can only effectively be done
By humans.
It consolidates
When diversity is required.

It's about economy
It's about small towns with
Banks
And baseball teams
A general store
Churches
Family cemeteries
A schoolhouse
A lumberyard
A radio station
A newspaper
A roadhouse
A funeral home
A filling station
Open space
Open opportunity
Open eyes
Open hearts
Choice
Recourse
Response
Responsibility
It's about economy

Craigston, Carriacou, Grenada February 2001

©2001 John McCutcheon/Appalsongs (ASCAP)


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:28 PM

Bearing in mind, Owen, that you are in the UK - how about Neil Kinnock's closing speech before he last lost to the Milk snatcher? It was a fine piece of oratory and time has shown how true it was.

Or write and read your own.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: GUEST,sturgeon
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM

Have a look here - http://www.monologues.co.uk/index2.htm.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: ossonflags
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 06:57 AM

Have you tried Potters pastilles[ The red Ones} for your Cattarh Owen?


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Musket
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 01:27 PM

I used to be a socialist with a chip upon my shoulder,
I used to be a socialist but now I'm getting older.

Bugger me. Imagine having a shave, lacing your shoes, checking your wallet, wandering down to the folk club expecting a night of beer and entertainment;

Then Bridge gets up and repeats a Kinnochio speech!

It'd be up there with Rolf Harris singing Stairway to Heaven.... I reckon I'd check my wallet a second time cos I would need more than a few beers.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 06:03 PM

The Bum of the Rods and the Bum of the Plush
by Fry Pan Jack

The bum on the rods is hunted down
As the enemy of mankind
The other is driven around to his club
Is feted, wined and dined.
And they who curse the bum on the rods
As the essence of all that is bad,
Will greet the other with a winning smile,
And extend the hand so glad.

The bum on the rods is a social flea
Who gets an occasional bite,
The bum on the plush is a social leech,
Blood sucking day and night.
The bum on the rods is a load so light
That his weight we scarcely feel,
But it takes the labor of dozen of men
To furnish the other a meal.

As long as you sanction the bum on the plush
The other will always be there,
But rid yourself of the bum on the plush
And the other will disappear.
Then make an intelligent, organized kick.
Get rid of the weights that crush.
Don't worry about the bum on the rods,
Get rid of the bum on the flush.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 06:25 PM

You might like this - Young Colin

About accepting diversity, which is a pretty core socialist value.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 06:13 AM

Many thanks to everyone who responded to this thread, except for the complete idiot who showed the level of witlessness even he can sink to by saying "No thank you".

Still, at least he was polite for once and that in itself is a great leap forward.

Anyway, there's plenty there to get me started. I particularly liked the one about The Bum on The Rods.

ossonflags. Where do you get the Potters pastilles? I've tried several pharmacies up to now with no luck. I'm already on Potters chest mixture, which is quite effective, and very tasty. But being able to suck on a pastille just before I go on could be very useful indeed.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 06:49 AM

Owen,

If you play guitar and can manage a "talking blues".. you might consider this recent confection of mine:

Rage Talking Blues


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 10:52 AM

How about Gil Scott-Heron's poem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"?

Commentary & background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Televised

The lyrics: http://www.gilscottheron.com/lyrevol.html

Several versions on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+revolution+will+not+be+televised

Other poems by him might be relevant.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Bettynh
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 01:10 PM

If you can manage a chant, another from U Utah Phillips:


I Will Not Obey
The new ruling party is holding the aces;
The rest of the cards are all missing faces.
I'm sorry, I can't know you today.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

Give us your sons and give us your daughters;
No one is safe or immune from the slaughter.
How indifference makes them rage.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

National Guard or freedom fighters,
All houses belong to cigarette lighters.
But who hides in the smoke?
What can one say?
I will not obey.

Better perhaps to perish outside
Of the bunkers where our generals hide.
I turn away and spit.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

Give us the minds of your children to learn
The substance of books we have not yet burned.
But can they read the sky for rain?
What can one say?
I will not obey.

Soon all tyrants will feel our impatience;
We choose to create our own combinations.
I was always willing to agree.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

The essence of contract is agreement,
Not coercion or obedience.
And agreement is sacred.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

There are so few wars of people's liberation,
For the people have so seldom risen,
Only the armed faction. Listen:
The armed faction lies.
They recreate the state through their action.
When the people rise
It is not they
But the state
Which dies.

I sing this song for the prisoners' release,
Most of all now for the new state police.
You see, the guns have changed hands, again.
What can one say?
I will not obey.

[Found at http://www.jeddy.org/moi/utah.txt with capitalization, punctuation and line breaks revised.]


performed on youtube


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 05:42 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions folks. Keep them coming.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: GUEST,warren fahey
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 05:46 PM

There was a late 19th early 20th century tradition called 'stump speeches' where socialist thought was addressed in a comic monolgue. They appear to be widespread in Australia as I have collected several. I am certain they would apply to the UK too. If you go to my Australian Folklore Unit site www.warrenfahey.com and search Joe Watson you will find two such stump speeches 'Rafferty & Cafferty' is my favourite.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 12 - 10:09 PM

Hardly surprising that our Transpond friends have not contributed to this thread - Sadly far too many Americans cant separate Socialism from Totalitarian Communism !


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 05:41 AM

Thanks Warren. I'll certainly check that one out. I couldn't figure out why Rafferty and Cafferty rang bells with me. Then I remembered. Bush Traditions. Larrikin LP 007.

Leadfingers. It's not just Americans. Far too many people on this side of the puddle can't understand that socialism means nothing more or less than democratic ownership and control of the means of production, and distribution of the goods produced thereby to satisfy human needs rather than profit.

If people could at least understand that it doesn't mean Stalin and it doesn't mean Mao and it doesn't mean Russian tanks on your front lawn every time you seek a smidgeon or two of freedom, then we still might not convince people. But we could at least have a fruitful debate.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 06:27 AM

Not a monologue but a translation of a Brecht poem.
It used to work stunningly in feature evenings - Weela, Weela Wila - Marie Farrer - The Cruel mother.
Jim Carroll

CONCERNING THE INFANTICIDE, MARIE FARRER
by Bertolt Brecht

Marie Farrer, born in April,
No marks, a minor, rachitic, both parents dead,
Allegedly up to now without police record,
Committed infanticide, it is said,
As follows: in her second month, she says,
With the aid of a barmaid, she did her best
To get rid of her child with two douches,
Allegedly painful but without success.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

She then paid out, she says, what was agreed
And continued to lace herself up tight.
She also drank liquor with pepper mixed in it
Which purged her but did not cure her plight.
Her body distressed her as she washed the dishes,
It was swollen now quite visibly.
She herself says, for she was still a child,
She prayed to Mary most earnestly.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Her prayers, it seemed, helped her not at all.
She longed for help.
Her trouble made her falter and faint at early Mass.
Often drops of sweat
Broke out in anguish as she knelt at the altar.
Yet until her time came upon her
She still kept secret her condition.
For no one would believe such a thing could happen,
That she, so unenticing, had yielded to temptation.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

And, on that day, she says, when it was dawn,
As she washed the stairs, it seemed a nail
Was driven into her belly.
She was wrung with pain.
But still she secretly endured her travail.
All day long while hanging out the laundry,
She wracked her brains until she got it through her head
She had to bear the child, and her heart was heavy.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
It was very late when she went to bed.
She was sent for again as soon as she lay down.
Snow had fallen and she had to go downstairs.
It went on till eleven. It was a long day.
Only at night did she have time to bear.
And so, she says, she gave birth to a son.
The son she bore was just like all the others.
She was unlike the others but for this
There is no reason to despise this mother,
You to, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

With her last strength, she says, because
Her room had now grown icy cold, she then
Dragged herself to the latrine and there
Gave birth as best she could (not knowing when)
But toward morning. She says she was already
Quite distracted and could barely hold
The child for snow came into the latrine
And her fingers were half numb with cold.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Between the latrine and her room, she says,
Not earlier, the child began to cry until
It drove her mad so that, she says,
She did not cease to beat it with her fists
Blindly for some time till it was still.
And then she took the body to her bed
And kept it with her there all through the night.
When morning came she hid it in the shed.
But you, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.

Marie Farrer, born in April,
An unmarried mother, convicted, died in
The Meissen penitentiary.
She brings home to you all men's sin.
You, who bear pleasantly between clean sheets
And give the name "blessed" to your womb's weight,
Must not damn the weakness of the outcast,
For her sin was black but her pain was great.
Therefore, I beg you, check your wrath and scorn,
For man needs help from every creature born.
For man needs help from every creature born.


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Subject: RE: Socialist Monologues Anyone?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 10:19 AM

This works quite well as a short monologue
Jim Carroll

THE 'DON'T SHOOT' LEAFLET        1912
The year 1912 brought the first national miners' strike and a further London dock strike against the victimization of trade unionists. And it was against this back ground that five people, among them Tom Mann and two others prosecuted as the printers, were sentenced to prison terms of up to nine months for circulating a leaflet appealing to the soldiers during the Liverpool strike, after two men had been shot dead.

DON'T SHOOT!
Men! Comrades! Brothers! You are in the army. So are we. You, in the army of Destruction. We, in the Industrial or army of Construction.
We work at mine, mill, forge, factory, or dock, etc., producing and transporting all the goods, clothing stuffs, etc., which make it possible for people to live.
You are Workingmen's Sons.
When we go on Strike to better Our lot, which is the lot also of your Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters, you are called upon by your Officers to murder us. Don't do it.
Don't you know that when you are out of the Colours, and become a 'Civvy' again, that You, like us, may be on strike, and You, like us, liable to be murdered by other soldiers.
Boys, Don't Do It.
'Thou shalt not kill,' says the Book.
Don't forget that!
It does not say, 'unless you have a uniform on'.
No! Murder is Murder . . .
Think things out and refuse any longer to murder your Kindred. Help us to win back Britain for the British and the World for the Workers.


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