How things were; how they should have been

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“It was a solemn moment at Millennium House (as the main square of the Canary Wharf complex had been renamed when roofed over after the Second Great insurrection of 1998). The delegate from the Seattle Convention of the Western Republics, Citizen Prairie Gates, had just finished speaking of the historical links between the American Revolution and the new Republican Federation of North East European Islands. ‘We in Amerika, in honouring the spirit of Tom Paine, send greetings to the descendants of Citizen Connolly, Citizen Larkin and Citizen Pankhurst. We remember the British cotton workers who supported the struggle against slavery and we salute the inventors of regicide, hunger strikes, civil disobdience, and the reggae-punk fusion.’…”

“In fact, the Harold Wilson-King Charles National Government’s final collapse was not in revulsion at the hated Lord Hattersley’s brutal repression (rioters had their hands cut off by privatised surgeons. The real damage was done by the Swuppies, an elite cadre of disgruntled City dealers who had joined the SWP and spent their time sabotaging what was left of the international stock market by making loans and siphoning payments into workers’ groups. Curiously the Swuppies, while intensely loyal to the general line of SWP philosopher Tony Cliff, also claimed loyalty to the cosmic re-embodiment of the Levellers…”

David Widgery again (from ‘World turned upside down’, published in the Guardian in November 1991)

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