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Bibles, Bayonets and Bacilli

  The Socialist, in his war upon capitalism and its defenders, soon discovers that religion is an important bulwark of the enemy. In the preface to the S.P.G.B. pamphlet “Socialism and Religion” attention is drawn to a Non-conformist boast regarding the commercial value of “missions to the heathen."

 Further testimony as to the merits or demerits of missionary enterprise is furnished from time to time by explorers, government officials, and such like interesting personalities.

 Thus Col. Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister, addressing the Canadian Club of New York (11th Nov.), said that “Britain and her colonies will stand together in the upbuilding of humanity the world over," and told how some of the upbuilding is done. He declared that "in all his travels he has observed that the missionary with his bible and the bayonet went hand in hand in the promotion of civilisation."

Pathfinders: Desperate Deal in Davos

Not many people can be unaware that there is an antibiotic crisis looming, caused by big pharma moving out of antibiotic research into more profitable fields of enquiry, like hair restoring or erectile dysfunction.  Ask most people why this is happening and they will probably tell you it's because drug companies are run by greedy psychopathic bastards who couldn't care less about public health.

Back in October 2012 this column pointed to the fact that, for a number of very good reasons, drug companies simply couldn't make any money out of antibiotic research and that this amounted to the human race being failed by its own market system.

Confirmation of this has been provided by pharmaceutical companies themselves. At the recent Economic Forum in Davos, 85 drug companies signed a joint declaration promising to invest in antibiotic research if governments would agree to develop 'transformational commercial models' (BBC Online, 21 January).

The Scene of the Crime (2): 'No Mean City'

A series of articles recalling famous books about working-class conditions in particular areas of Britain, and viewing those areas today.

During the thirties, a Gorbals bakery worker and a journalist by the names of McArthur and H. Kingsley Long wrote a novel describing the Glasgow slum area — the Gorbals — as it appeared to them in the 20's and 30's.

Basically, it is the story of a slum hooligan named Johnnie Stark, nicknamed Razor King, and of the gangland violences which were regular features of Glasgow life at that period. The gangs in Glasgow were not organized for criminal purposes and were hooligans trying to overcome the boredom and monotony of a sordid existence. Most lived in squalor — ten and eleven to a room — most were unemployed.

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