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Eva Goodman

The Unsung Centenary

In July we were asked to celebrate two anniversaries: 400 years ago the Spanish fleet did not land in Britain and 300 years ago William of Orange did. The Protestant Orange Order of Northern Ireland used the latter opportunity to parade their bigotry, but neither occasion made much difference to workers. Certainly the claim that William was responsible for parliamentary democracy today is risible when a 40 per cent vote produces a 100 majority in the House of Commons and Members of Parliament behave like unruly children.

The BBC celebrated the centenary of the birth of the crime writer Raymond Chandler, but it fell to my local primary school, in their end of term play, to remind us of a centenary which marked a much more important milestone in working-class, and especially women workers' history. The Match Girls dealt with the co-ordinated action by unskilled workers which led to the formation of the first non-craft union.

Holiday Postscript

Long before Christianity a festive break during the dark, cold winter months helped people to get through the most trying time of the year. To replace celebration of the winter solstice, early Christians decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on 25 December; historically incorrect, but necessary to combat the appeal of the heathen jollifications.

Whatever the excuse, the holiday is over. We have had our parties—probably eaten and drunk a bit too much, certainly spent more money than we meant or could afford and, thankfully, waved goodbye to relatives and friends whom we genuinely welcomed at the start of the holidays. Listening to the radio on New Year's Day, one particular thought came uppermost. Money—"vast profits" to quote the narrator in Woman's Hour—are made, particularly during the season of "Peace and Goodwill"—from belligerence.

Obituary: Eva Goodman

Eva Goodman (1927-2013)

One of the most long-standing members of the Socialist Party has died at the age of 85. Eva Goodman became a member in 1947 at a time of intense activity for the Party, especially in the London area, when indoor rallies and outdoor platforms were common and attracted large numbers of people. Eva threw herself wholeheartedly into this activity, cycling to and between venues. She grew to be a commanding presence at conferences and meetings over the years, knowing exactly what she wanted to say and saying it without standing on ceremony, with clarity and humour and, above all, in a way that compelled the attention of her listeners.

Another World is Possible

Last year the New Internationalist asked its readers for “their own vision of a better world”. Under the titles of “Give Us Your Dreams” and “Another World Is Possible” shortened versions of twelve of the replies were published in the January-February issue of the magazine which supports the broad “anti-globalisation/anti-capitalist” movement. Three of these came from members of the World Socialist Movement.

Since the proportion of socialists amongst the “anti-capitalists” is nowhere near 25 percent (if only it were) this can be interpreted as a sign of a lack of vision, or interest in “grand schemes” for a better world, amongst those who are involved in the movement. They have yet to take on board our view that it is not enough just to be “anti”, but that to get anywhere you have to have a clear idea of where you want to go.

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