Remembering Adrian Mitchell, the socialist poet laureate

John Scott Ten years have gone by since the death of Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008), for much of his life a sort of unofficial socialist poet laureate, today most widely known as the lyricist of the song “Victor Jara” recorded by Arlo Guthrie – a homage to the martyred Chilean left wing writer and music...CONTINUE READING

1968, a year of wonders

John Scott The scene on which the sun rose in 1968 was one which, in the years since World War Two, had shown a remarkable recovery. Not a return to the 1930s, but a seemingly stable environment of rising living standards, a mixed economy, expanded opportunity, a welfare state and a liberal cultural...CONTINUE READING

Rock is dead, long live rock

John Scott Old enough to have sat in the Kings’ Road Chelsea at the fag end of the ’60s and observed the passing parade of rock stars (“Hi Mick! Hi Keith!”) and members of the nobility and landed gentry making la passeggiata in their hugely expensive hippie outfits, and noting a decade later David Jo...CONTINUE READING

The space out merchants

John Scott Onetime Canadian PM Jean Chretien got himself into hot water several years back. Believing himself off-mike at a political dinner, he remarked to the person next to him that what was standard practice in the US Congress would be jailable conduct in most other Western countries. When his re...CONTINUE READING

Sci-fi not so fictional in our abusive capitalist world

John Scott A common theme of paranoid, visionary science fiction writer Philip K. Dick was the manipulation of reality by the powerful to suppress any undesirable tendencies toward self-emancipation by the masses, through drugs ( The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and A Scanner Darkly ), gambling...CONTINUE READING