Saturday, 20 January 2018

Working Class Heroes with nothing to do

Spikymike on libcom
Jan 16 2018 18:15
Not unsurprisingly this split in the AF has attracted some unwanted interest from other of the tiny groups claiming their place in the anarchist and communist milieu - from some confused sympathy for the 'Communist Anarchism' element by members of the SPGB to outright hostility towards both sides of the split and plain nastiness from the sectarians of the 'Northern Voices' outcasts, well known for their regular misinformation and lies directed at other anarchists. Not much sign here of cooperatively tapping in to any 'collective knowledge'.

INEVITABLY Christopher Draper's witty account of the decline and fall of the rather pretentiously labelled 'Anarchist Federation',  has stirred-up some chat room types who once spent their lives seeking out left-wing 'talking shops' in pub rooms.  Michael Ballard, who on libcom uses the pseudonym 'Spikymike'  and has lived in south Manchester for years, originates from the London-set and is one such figure.  He seems to have moved to the Midlands as a student and later settled down into  a career at Manchester City Council, ultimately rising through the incremental scales to ultimately reach the heights of Housing Manager.

Mr Ballard was very much a white-collar worker who fetishize the working class from afar.  He solemnly pontificates upon what he pretentiously describes as 'the anarchist and communist milieu'.  Milieu according to one dictionary means 'the physical or social setting in which something occurs or develops'.  

Yet just now it's easy to see that something has 'occur[ed] and develop[ed]', with everything falling apart and with the Anarchist London Bookfair organisers throwing up their hands despair rather than risk another disaster like last year with the feminist constituency and the Trans community disputing with each other over the who has the right to use of the 'Ladies' toilets.

Mr. Ballard, who although now retired was always anxious to protect his status as a housing manager, has never been at the centre of any action in Greater Manchester.  Though, he talks here of the 'anarchist milieu', he has never described himself as an 'anarchist' and he usually hangs around meetings pontificating on the actions of others:  like the Manchester electricians fighting the blacklist who he challenged for their lack of consciousness of the 'class struggle' as a bit of a boss himself he knows all about 'class struggle'.  Normally, these people represent an interesting 'type' who want to preserve their double life, often have very little to do with themselves, and on a recent thread Ballard has described himself as 'a loner' reduced to putting comments on libcom.

Yet, the fall out which followed with Nick Heath's 'Anarchist Fed.' splitting up, was a natural consequence of the slippage in Mr. Heath's strangle-hold on the federation, after several provincial sections took unilateral action supporting the trans-sexuals faction by signing open letters, and denouncing the feminists and the bookfair organisers.   


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