Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Press Cuttings. (1905)

From the March 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

After hearing a deputation of unemployed the Paddington Borough Council hastily but unanimously decided to convene a special meeting of the works committee to consider the question and, as the unemployed were still gathered outside the town hall, the town clerk went outside and announced the decision. Further, the mayor’s son, who is also a councillor, promised to give every unemployed man present a good dinner. Upon that the assembled men drifted away.—Daily Express.

Your social reformer may explain this away as he likes, but seeing that crime is largely due to poverty and want in the case of the first offender, and that the frequent reappearance of the “habitual criminal” is to some extent evidence of the failure of our most expensive machinery for the punishment and diminution of crime, the English taxpayer is naturally alarmed when he finds that even the great prosperity which the Government Departments depict can be accompanied by a great and increasing amount of crime.—Capitalist Press.

SPGB Meetings. (1905)

Party News from the March 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard

Voice From The Back: Candid Clinton (2004)

The Voice From The Back Column from the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

Candid Clinton

It is not often that Bill Clinton tells the truth, so when such a rare event occurs it is only right that we record it. “The former American President addressing a packed hall at the World Economic Forum, pleaded for much more to be done urgently to ensure that the globalisation process benefitted all the world’s population, rich and poor . . . Emphasising that the gains of globalisation must be spread more widely across the globe to defuse opposition, Mr Clinton noted that one billion people went to bed hungry every night, 1.5 billion had no clean water and half the world’s population lived on less than $2 (£1.09) a day . . . But he protested ‘We do not have the system the world needs to respond to the self-evident problems in a comprehensive, organised way’” Times (22 January). Of course we don’t. The only system to deal with these problems is world socialism – capitalism, by its very nature cannot.

Wasted lives

Capitalism is a very wasteful society. It destroys food, to keep up prices whilst people starve. It spends vast amounts of effort in devising new and more efficient ways to destroy property and people in wars. It also stops millions of people producing wealth as these figures show. “The number of jobless people worldwide has reached a record of almost 186 million, while hundreds of millions more are employed but make so little money they can barely survive, according to the United Nations labor agency . . . The number of people out of work in 2003 reached 185.9 million, or 6.2 percent of the total labor force. In 2002 the figure was 185.4 million, although this represented 6.3 percent because the world’s population was smaller. In 2001 the number was 160 million, or 5.9 percent” Tampa Bay Tribune (23 January). Just another load of statistics perhaps but it represents the reality of capitalism, a system that stops men and women from producing wealth. Think of what kind of society we are going to have when these 186 million are allowed to start producing. The potential of a socialist society is enormous.

Heavenly help lines

Capitalism is a system that produces global problems. It also produces so-called answers to these problems on a world-wide basis. From Nashville, New Orleans and Hong Kong come the latest examples of spiritual answers to material problems – all at a price of course. “Concierge or credit card company can’t assist? Try divine intervention. Nashville: ‘Everybody has an angel,’ says Noelle Rose, who claims she can put you in touch with yours. Her clients range from the terminally ill to folks just searching for answers. Sessions in person or over the phone start from $60. New Orleans: Sally Ann Glassman, the city’’s best known voodoo high priestess, says she cured herself of breast cancer last month. She promises to heal you of your discomforts – spiritual, physical, psychological and social – startimg at $100 a treatment. Hong Kong: A favourite of local celebrities and socialites, ponytailed Peter So Man-Fung is a fengshui master who has a propensity to appear in local movies and at hip nightclubs. He’ll arrange your furniture for about $320 a session” Time (26 January). Socialists don’t have the answer to psychological problems but we do have a lot of ideas about social problems. If you contact us by phone or email we will try our best to deal with your questions. It will cost you nothing. After all we want a world without money.

Growing old disgracefully

“More than 2.5 million pensioners are going back to work because they cannot survive on their retirement income, new research has revealed . . . Many pensioners contemplate desperate measures to boost their income in retirement. Nearly a quarter of a million said they would commit or consider committing a crime – twice as many as the year before” Times (5 February). What a society we live in – it’s turning Gran and Grandad into Bonnie and Clyde!

A normal family

“Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Ann, told Reuters on Wednesday that her best friends were her horses and rejected the media portrayal of her as the wild child of the House of Windsor. ‘My family is probably just like your family, but everybody makes it into something different. They have a dream of what we are,’ Zara, 22, said in an interview . . . ‘I play polo and most people in my family ride, but it is not like ‘Right, let’s all go out for a hack then, gang,` she said” Yahoo News (11 February). How normal a life you lead when your grandmother is the richest woman in Britain is debatable, but one thing is sure, her Gran won’t be contemplating doing a bank job.

Beggar and billionaires

According to a recent UN report India is “home to more hungry people than anywhere in the world”. But this hunger does not apply to the Indian capitalist class as the following news from Lucknow shows. “The world has never seen anything like it. A billionaire lavished £30 million on the wedding of his two sons – and still had the change to pay for the nuptials of 101 other couples in one of the grandest Valentine’s Day gestures ever seen. As befits a latter-day maharajah, Subrata Roy also dipped into his family’s £3.7 billion fortune to feed 140,000 beggars all over India” Sunday Times (15 February).

The Miners’ Strike (2004)

From the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard
Twenty years ago this month began one of the most disastrous strikes in the history of the working class in Britain. Not only were the aims of the strike not achieved but the strikers’ union was split and reduced to an ineffective rump. It wasn’t even a case of living to fight another day.
It used to be said that workers can learn as much from an unsuccessful strike as from a successful one. So what, then, were the main lessons of the 1984/5 miners’ strike?

That in the end the logic of capitalism will always win out. The declared aim of the strike was to keep open pits which by capitalism’s standards were “uneconomic”, i.e. were not making the going rate of profit (some were not actually unprofitable in the sense of not making a profit, but the profit wasn’t big enough compared with what could have been obtained if the capital had been invested elsewhere). A government can keep an “uneconomic” activity going for strategic reasons that benefit the capitalist class as a whole, such as security of supply, and the coal industry had in fact been maintained at previous levels for this reason  while coal was a strategic home energy source for electricity stations to power industry. But, by the 1980s, North Sea oil and gas was being developed as an alternative and cheaper home source of energy and the government had decided that the time had come to stop subsidising the coal industry. In the absence of strategic security-of-supply considerations, no government can afford to tax the capitalist class to pay keep unprofitable production units open, but will be obliged by international competitive pressures to apply the capitalist rule of “no profit, no production” and close them down.

That no strike can stop a government determined to have its way. Both sides  the government and the NUM leadership  were aware that the issue of keeping the pits open was going to be a trial of strength. We now know that the government had planned for the show-down well before it occurred, so that it took place on their terms and at a time convenient to them. It was no co-incidence that the government, via the notorious hatchet-man MacGregor they had appointed to run the NCB, provoked the strike at the end of winter when stockpiles had been built up and when the demand for coal would be less.

The NUM leadership openly declared that the aim of the strike was to try to force the government to change its policy (to in effect continue subsidising the coal industry). The NUM President, Arthur Scargill, even unwisely suggested that the aim was to bring about a change of government (as if a Labour government would have behaved any differently, in fact had behaved any differently in the mid-60s when they closed more pits than Thatcher and MacGregor were planning). This provided the government with a weapon to use in the propaganda war to win popular support.

But the government had other weapons in its arsenal, particularly its control of the police force, which was used to contain and ultimately break the strike. Once they had realised that the government was not going to change its mind, the best thing for the NUM to have done would have been to taken the government’s superior strength into account and settle on the best terms possible in the circumstances , such as big redundancy payments and perhaps keeping open some of the pits that were making some profit even if less than the going rate.

This would not have been cowardice or betrayal, but a recognition of the harsh fact that under capitalism the workers are a subordinate class with only limited powers to affect the course of events, certainly far less than those of governments, an unequal distribution of power that is at the very basis of capitalism. Trade union activity, including strikes, is necessary as long as capitalism lasts but it can’t work wonders. Strikes are essentially a trial of strength, testing the situation; once it has become clear  what the respective strengths of the two sides are as can happen fairly rapidly, though not always  then both sides know where they stand and a settlement can be negated on that basis. Once it had become clear in the miners’ strike that the government was not going to concede and was in fact in the far stronger position, there was no point in going on with the strike.

Don’t follow leaders
The leadership of the NUM, and in particular Scargill (a former member of the Communist Party who had only left it because they backed someone else rather than him in an election for a union post) and the Vice-President, Mick McGahey (a member of the Communist Party), held the view that union activity consisted in an active minority “giving a lead” to the normally passive majority in the expectation that they would follow.

In other words, they didn’t trust the membership. This led to another grave mistake in the NUM’s strategy: the refusal to hold a ballot before launching the strike. This was doubly stupid. First, because it provided the government with another propaganda weapon. Second, because a ballot would probably have given a majority for a strike anyway. But consulting the membership and allowing them to have the final say as to whether or not to launch it was not part of the mindset of Scargill and the others: they were leaders and they were going to lead. Ultimately, they led the miners to unnecessary hardship and disaster in a strike that went on for much longer than it need have done.

Calling a national strike without a national strike ballot was contrary to the NUM’s rules. It was therefore at least understandable that some miners and union officials should not feel bound by an unconstitutional decision. Thus in Nottingham the majority of miners continued working. The Scargill leadership’s response was to sent in pickets to, if it came to it, try to coerce the Nottingham miners into striking. Of course to have any chance of being effective a strike has to be a solid as possible, but coercing workers who could argue a democratic case for not striking at that moment was bound to be counter-productive. Maybe the leaders of the Nottingham miners weren’t being sincere and were just using the lack of a ballot as a pretext (most Nottingham pits were profitable), but Scargill’s tactics here ultimately led to the break-up of the NUM.

Socialists, as class-conscious workers ourselves, are on the side of our fellow workers involved in industrial disputes with employers, but this does not mean that this is unconditional. Strikes should not be aimed at other groups of workers and should always be run democratically with control remaining in the hands of those making the sacrifice of going on strike; paid union officials should be their servants not their masters or leaders. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all decisions have to be taken by secret ballot; decisions could also be taken by democratically-mandated delegates. But whatever the decision-making procedure adopted it should be democratic.

Were these lessons learned? Not by Scargill for one, who went on to set up his own party  the SLP  with the same leadership-based policies and tactics as the former Communist Party. Many miners, and others too, did, however, learn the hard way that the government is a class government, or, as Marx and Engels put it, “the executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”, and that the function of the police is not to give traffic directions or help old ladies across the road but to enforce the will of the government.

But few drew the conclusion that, if the exploitation and oppression of the working class is to be ended, we need to win control of the machinery of government so as to at least ensure that it is not used against us. In other words, the way forward lies in political action. Industrial action, though necessary from time to time, is essentially only defensive and has severe limitations due to the subordinate position of workers under capitalism. What is needed is political action to usher in a classless society of common ownership and democratic control where production will be for use and not for profit.
Adam Buick

The Socialist Party’s analysis of the miners’ strike The Strike Weapon: Lessons of the Miners’ Strike, published in 1985 can be downloaded here from the internet .

One (capitalist) world (2004)

From the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

Globalisation - the increased integration of the world economy — reveals itself in various ways. One is the prominence of multinational companies, with goods being produced in various parts of the world, often by companies mainly based in Europe or the US. Supra-national organisations such as the World Trade Organisation and the North American Free Trade Association are other reflections of these developments.

Jobs being switched to other countries, where labour is cheaper and/or more pliant, is a further aspect. One result is a world where a few obscenely rich individuals are wealthier than the poorest countries. Along with all this, though not necessarily an intrinsic part of it, are extensions of privatisation and the undermining of state welfare, both part of what is often referred to as the neo-liberal or Washington consensus.

Improvements in transport and communications are sometimes seen as the driving force behind these changes. Clearly, if contact with another country implies time-consuming travel, expensive phone calls and use of an unreliable postal service, then it will be difficult for a multinational company to function. But faster plane travel, e-mail and faxes make it all so much easier. Such factors, though, are best seen as facilitating globalisation rather than causing it. For the simple fact is that capitalism has always looked for markets, materials and cheap labour wherever it can find them. When the Korean company Samsung decides, as it did recently, to transfer a factory making microwave ovens and computer monitors from Teesside to Slovakia, it is motivated by the prospects of lower wages (£1 an hour, compared to the princely £5.70 paid in Billingham). And many ready meals sold in UK supermarkets contain chicken from Thailand or Brazil, where intensive factory farming has driven costs down (but has greatly increased the problems of controlling disease).

The spread of global products and brands is sometimes summarised by the term “McWorld” - a world built on the model of McDonalds, with bland goods, poorly-paid jobs and big profits for a favoured few. Multinational companies often rely on sweatshops, with child labour, temporary jobs, dangerous working conditions and no trade unions but massive profits. At the Formosa factory in El Salvador, for instance, workers have reported how they slaved for twelve hours a day on backless wooden benches, with only one daily visit to the toilet allowed, making clothes for Nike and Adidas. The biggest corporations can dictate to governments and other organisations: for example, the World Health Organisation has been blocked from taking action on obesity because of lobbying from American sugar
producers. But again, there is nothing new about governments and other world bodies doing what capitalists want. Backed up by the threat or reality of US armed force, Western capitalism can usually dictate its own terms for access to oil, cheap labour and so on.

The extension of the cash nexus to practically every aspect of life is a further instance - what Naomi Klein calls the loss of “unmarketed space”. In Bolivia the municipal water supply was privatised, and the new owners ever made it illegal to collect rainwater in roof tanks! In this case, mass protests were able to reverse the privatisation with its drastic increase in costs. When even prisons are run for a profit, it seems that nothing is beyond the evil embrace of capitalism.

World trade came into existence with capitalism, bringing products such as cotton and tobacco to Europe. But the growth of industrial capitalism led to an enormous increase in connections between different parts of the planet as raw materials were sourced from every direction and wars were fought to open up markets in places like China and Korea. Yet companies remained primarily nationally-oriented. Perhaps the first multinational appeared when the US company Singer set up a sewing-machine factory in Glasgow in 1867. By 1914, only 12,000 people in Britain were employed by US companies. So it was the 20th century that was the true era of globalisation, as expansion abroad revealed itself as the best option for companies that had difficulty in increasing their domestic market share.

There had previously been plenty of investment by individuals and institutions in overseas companies, known as foreign portfolio investment (FPI). But the 20th century saw this largely displaced by foreign direct investment (FDI), whereby a company based in one country owner and controlled factories and subsidiaries in another. FDI implies a far greater impact on the economy and population of the “receiving” country, with decisions being taken by people beyond the influence of that country's government.The last couple of decades, though, have seen a comeback of FPI, but this time with a bigger influence given the emphasis on short-term profits and on switching production from one country to another as wage levels and other production costs rise and fall. FPI is often driven by mergers and takeovers, which are designed to cut cost: and have no relation to the needs of workers or consumers.

Some people are wholly in favour of globalisation, Jack Straw for one:
“Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, there is no longer a coherent alternative ideology on offer. We could take the advice of the Stop the World campaigners, retreat into our national economies and close our markets. But this would put at risk the real benefits that globalisation, and global capitalism, have brought to millions.” (Guardian, 10 September 2001)
(No doubt the workers of El Salvador could enlighten Straw on the "benefits” of global capitalism.) Even most supporters of globalisation agree that some changes need to be made in global governance, though they accept the general idea. Ranged against them is the world-wide anti-globalisation movement, or "movement of movements". It is common, and not just among socialists, to complain that it is clearer what this movement is against than what it is for.This is sometimes seen as a good thing, on the grounds that it prevents too early a consensus on one single solution when so many are in the air. But in fact this movement has many incompatible goals.

For instance. Walden Bello, of the group Focus on the Global South, advocates deglobalisation (probably the kind of thing Straw was opposing above):
"We are not talking about withdrawing from the international economy. We are speaking about reorienting our economies away from the emphasis on production for export and towards production for the local market."
But production for the local market is still production for profit, and what Bello is suggesting is just a less-centralised verslon of capitalism.

The World Social Forum or WSF (recently held in Mumbai) has become one of the main meeting points of the anti-globalisation protesters. A record of the discussions at the 2002 gathering in Brazil has been published as Another World is Possible, edited by William Fisher and Thomas Ponniah (the above passage from Bello is taken from this source).The editors present one of the poles of disagreement as being revolution vs. reform, with the revolutionaries wanting to do away with organisations like the International Monetary Fund and the reformers wanting to negotiate with them and transform them. But. as this example suggests, all that is really involved here is different versions of reforming capitalism, with nothing revolutionary at stake at all.

However. Another World is Possible should not be simply dismissed. It is free of any nonsense about the USSR or “national liberation movements", which might have disfigured such a collection not so long ago. More positively, there is an emphasis on democracy and on rejecting leaders, and many references to putting people before profit. For instance, a summary of one strand of the discussions in Brazil states:
“The Utopians point out the necessity of understanding that society can no longer be founded on profit and competition, but should be based on the values of equality, equity and social justice.The desired globalization is a human one: profit can no longer be prioritized over human needs.”
It is not clear how widely supported such sentiments are within the WSF. or how many dismiss them as "utopian”. But as a vision of the future this is far more encouraging and inspiring than the blinkered view of Jack Straw.

Socialism will also be a world system, but this does not mean it will involve gigantic centralised organisations. Production will no doubt involve both locally- and remotely-sourced materials, as appropriate, but there will be no incentive to go for the “cheapest" option. Putting the bottom line at the top of priorities is not the way to a healthy and happy world. 
Paul Bennett

No thank you, Mr Galloway (2004)

From the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

Dear Mr. Galloway,

We received an invitation (addressed to our former General Secretary) to join your Unity Coalition.

This invitation was considered at a meeting of our Executive Committee on 7th February 2004. The following resolution was passed:

That the secretary write to George Galloway to decline his request for support as he does not agree with our Object and Declaration of Principles; and that we challenge his organisation to debate on the case for socialism.

The very title of your old website – http://www.blairout.com – indicates the extent of your agenda: the removal of a specific politician from office and, presumably, his replacement with yourself or one of your allies. Whereas, our object is very specifically:

The establishment of a system of society based on the common and democratic ownership and control of the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth by and in the interests of the whole community.

Your website gives a list of demands around which you intend to campaign along with the removal of Tony Blair. These are:

To withdraw troops from Iraq and to let the people of Iraq decide their own future; Halting the privatisation of essential public services; Defeating the Euro and the proposed European constitution; Protecting and enhancing our environment; The restoration of trade union rights; For equality, tolerance and a multi-cultural society.

We are unable to support this list of demands. None of them addresses the essential problem of our society – the ownership of the means of production by a tiny number of capitalists and the enforced exploitation of the working class through the wages system. So long as the essential resources for living are controlled by their owners – whether as western style private capitalists or monopolist state bureaucrats, like that of the Soviet State-Gangster Capitalism you so venerated – the strife and anguish of the class struggle will remain.

The job of Socialists is to bring the class struggle to an end, not to try and accommodate themselves with this system, or with the likes of George Monbiot and their schemes to make the market system work better with international financial controls and dreams of petty national autonomy.

Liberation for Iraq within a world divided into state of property would merely mean liberation for the owners of Iraq, not its beleaguered workers, who would continue to be exploited.

Halting privatisations would merely mean having to pay capitalists interest on the bonds they sell to the government rather than directly for their services.

Defeating the Euro would merely leave workers using money with The Queen’s head on rather than without.

Protecting the environment in the context of the profit drive means an eternal struggle against the basic impulses of the companies whose taxes you’d need to pay for the nationalised services.

Restoring trades union rights, however welcome, would still leave us struggling against our employers and still prey to organised labour’s Achilles’ heel of unemployment.

As for tolerance, as Tom Paine wrote, tolerance is for Popes: it implies someone with the power or right to ‘tolerate’. Socialists seek a society of universal equality – the world over – based upon the free association of producers working collaboratively to produce for each according to their needs as individuals, not as interest groups. For us, the whole community means the whole community.

That is, we hold that:
That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind, without distinction of race or sex.
That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
Which necessarily excludes working with ‘faith groups’ whether Christian or Islamic whose antiquated views serve only to divide the working class, and conceal their real causes of their social subordination behind ‘identity’ and ‘culture’ supposedly shared across classes.

The effect of your Coalition’s campaign will be to help continue this mystification and confusion of the workers as to their own interests, as well the sullying of the name of Socialism by including it as part of your RESPECT acronym. Socialism is not milk-and-water reform, it is not a vague concern for ethics compatible with every opposition campaign or grouping within capitalist society. Without the clear aim of establishing the common and democratic ownership of the means of production and living, RESPECT will merely repeat the folly of Labour, in finding itself needing to run capitalism against the interests of the workers.

Thus, we reiterate our principle that:
… as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.

Consequently, we decline to join you in your campaign for self-aggrandisement at the expense of the working class; challenge you and your organisation to justify itself against the socialist case; and commit ourselves to openly campaigning for Socialism and against RESPECT in any up-coming elections.

The World for the Workers,

Bill Martin, Assistant Secretary.
15 February 2004.

New pamphlet: Are We Prisoners of Our Genes? (2004)

Party News from the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

Just Out

A new pamphlet in book form (50 pages) refuting the arguments of the biological and genetic determinists that a socialist society could not work “because it’s against human nature”. Shows how recent advances in the science of genetics have confirmed that humans are “genetically programmed” to be able to adopt a wide range of learned behaviours; that behavioural versatility and flexibility is a key feature of human biological nature; and that humans could therefore live in a peaceful, non-hierarchical, co-operative society of common ownership and democratic control.

Price £4 or, by post, £4.75. Six copies by post £ 19. Cheques should be made payable to “The Socialist Party of Great Britain” and sent to: 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.

London centenary event (2004)

Party News from the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

This is the Socialist Party's centennial year. A number of events to mark this have been planned for the coming months: meetings in Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham as well as in London, production of a video, publication of a book of selected articles from the Socialist Standard, and special issues of the Socialist Standard in June and September.

A political and social event has been fixed for Saturday 12 June at Regent's College, Regent's Park, in central London (nearest tube: Baker Street).This will be an evening event, from 6pm to midnight, with a buffet meal and background music. There will be a cash bar. Other events are planned for the same weekend, including an outdoor meeting in Hyde Park.

It will be an occasion for members, sympathisers and ex-members from all over the country and from abroad to meet, talk and mark the SPGB's hundred years of political activity for socialism.We expect a big turn-out.

To cover the cost of the meal and the music, we are suggesting a contribution of £20 but hope that those
who can afford it will contribute more so as to cover the cost of those who might not be able to pay the full amount.

If you would like to attend this event please use the form below. Any money sent now will be acknowledged and the tickets forwarded in due course.

Cheques should be made payable to "The Socialist Party of Great Britain" and sent to the Centenary Committee, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN.

Blogger's Note:
  • The Socialism or Your Money Back book, marking the centenary of the SPGB and the Socialist Standard.
  • The June 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard, which marked the hundredth anniversary of the SPGB and was a special issue focusing on the history of the Party.
  • The September 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard, which marked the hundredth anniversary of the Socialist Standard and was a special issue focusing on the history of the Socialist Standard.
  • An audio recording of the centenary meeting, featuring Bill Martin and Dick Donnelly.

Corrections (2004)

From the March 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard

Unfortunately the book reviews in our February issue contained a couple of mistakes. In the review of Mark Curtis's Web of Deceit, the second paragraph should have contained the sentence,“In Kosovo in 1999, NATO bombing killed around 8,000 and precipitated 'ethnic cleansing' (which the bombing supposedly halted, but the chronology shows this to be wrong”— the published version omitted the bit before the brackets. And in the review of Tell Me Lies, the word “bloodbath” was left out of the statement by Andrew Marr that Baghdad was captured “without a bloodbath”.

Also, in the January [issue], we published a picture of Darwin stating that it was Anton Pannekoek. Pannekoek did write a good pamphlet on Darwinism (available from us) but he wasn’t actually Darwin.