Jun 22 2018

ALLAN ARMSTRONG REVIEWS ‘THE RED AND THE GREEN’ BY GERARD CAIRNS

Review of The Red and the Green – Portrait of John Maclean by Gerard Cairns

Gerard Cairns has recently published his informative and challenging new book, The Red and the Green – A Portrait of John Maclean. I have known Gerry since the early 1990s and I would find it hard to call him Gerard, so I will use Gerry for the rest of this review.

The book’s title reveals the two main aspects of Gerry’s assessment of John Maclean. The Red and the Green highlights Gerry’s research into ‘Red’ John and his relationship with the ‘Green’ or Irish community on Clydeside .[1] A Portrait of John Maclean examines Maclean the political activist and family man. It raises questions about how Socialists organise and relate to others, especially their partners and families. When assessing  Maclean, Gerry brings his own personal experience to bear. “This has been a very personal portrait of a man I have researched, studied, lectured on, debated for a long time.” [2] Thus Gerry’s book is viewed through the prism of his own life of political activism. Continue reading “ALLAN ARMSTRONG REVIEWS ‘THE RED AND THE GREEN’ BY GERARD CAIRNS”

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Apr 06 2017

EDINBURGH PEOPLE’S FESTIVAL TO COMMEMORATE ITALIAN PHILSOPHER AND ANTI-FASCIST, ANTONIO GRAMSCI

 

The Edinburgh People’s Festival has secured funding for a major conference commemorating the life and work of the influential Italian philosopher and anti-fascist Antonio Gramsci.
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Mar 29 2017

PADDY BORT – 1954-2017

Allan Armstrong writes about the contribution made by Paddy Bort, who died on February 17th, to our understanding of Scottish and Irish cultural and political links.

 

PADDY BORT – 1954-2017

Eberhard Bort, Germano-Scot and Germano-Irish by choice, “in essence the ultimate European”, and known to most acquaintances in Scotland and Ireland as Paddy, died unexpectedly on February 17th. Steve Byrne, founder member of the folk group, Malinky, and convenor of the Hamish Henderson Archive Trust, wrote what has become Paddy’s much circulated obituary. It begins with the strikingly appropriate words, “A hole the size of Arthur’s Seat is in the Edinburgh folk scene today.”
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Oct 13 2015

JOE HILL – ‘THE MAN WHO NEVER DIED’

JOE HILL  – ‘THE MAN WHO NEVER DIED’

Joe Hill

Joe Hill

featuring

Arthur Johnston, Eileen Penman, George Duff, Forgaitherin’ and Ray Burnett

Thu 5 Nov | 7pm (2hrs)

 

The Carrying Stream Festival

Scottish Storytelling Centre

 

Reception: 0131 556 9579

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR

Tickets from the Storytelling Centre: £10 (£8)

19 November 2015 marks the centenary of the murder of Joe Hill – Swedish-born American labour activist and organiser, songwriter and member of the Wobblies’ (the Industrial Workers of the World). His most famous songs include ‘The Preacher and the Slave’ (containing the new phrase ‘pie in the sky’), ‘The Tramp’, ‘There is Power in the Union’ ‘The Rebel Girl’ and ‘Casey Jones – the Union Scab’.

Hill was convicted of murder in a highly controversial trial. Following an unsuccessful appeal, and despite political debates and international calls for clemency from high-profile figures and workers’ organisations, he was executed in Salt Lake City on 19 November 1915.

After his death, he was memorialised by several folk songs, including ‘I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night’ by Alfred Hayes. His life and death have also inspired a plethora of poems and books.
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