Workers of the World Unite

This is one of the most famous slogans of all time, from a book that has long been demonised, ‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Friederich Marx and Karl Engels of 1848, the so-called hungry forties when Europe was on full of revolution, famines and strife.

It became the motto of the USSR, was part of their coat of arms, and on their currency and newspapers.

A variation, ‘Workers of all lands unite’ is on Marx’s tombstone in London. It is often chanted at strikes and protests.

It was recently included in an unlikely speech at the Tory conference, by the extremely posh and out of touch chancellor, George Osborne:

“Get shares and become owners of the company you work for – owners, workers, and the taxman; all in it together. Workers of the world unite.”

This was part of his plan for workers to get shares in their company they work for in return for abandoning their rights to compensation for unfair dismissal and much more.

The week before, Labour leader Ed Milliband hijacked a 19th century Tory notion, that of one nation, which is also used by a group of the most extreme right wingers.

I am starting to wonder if there is any real difference between the parties, as they scramble over each other for swinging voters.

Maybe we should abandon parties altogether and just vote for whoever seems the least stupid, or the least dishonest. In France some years ago, they voted for a cat on a local council. The cat didn’t do much , but at least it didn’t cause trouble.

Here’s some Lindisfarne, We Can Swing Together.

Or maybe we should follow the lead of Iceland and just put women in charge.

This is Stephen Stillls and Graham Nash  with ‘ ‘Change Partners’:


9 thoughts on “Workers of the World Unite

  1. I kinda like the idea of no parties. Just vote for people who seem to suit your agenda best. Although, Italy’s parliament is supposed to never get anything done, for that reason. My son thinks a beneficent tyrant is probably the answer. If only it could be a cat!


    • I like the notion of no parties, but ultimately there has to be someone to make decisions. We are not all equal, some people seem to be happy to be sheep which is fine, but doesnn’t help when things need to be done. There is so much money wasted on people dithering sometimes I just want to shout at them. which is embarassing when they are in the newspaper. cheers.


  2. “… in return for abandoning their rights to compensation for unfair dismissal and much more.” – are you KIDDING me?? There should be no in return for – it should just be a benefit opportunity while working for that company. That is unreal.

    I actually didn’t quite know the history of that quote, & appreciated your rundown. It only brings to mind a piece of graffiti I read of in a book: ‘Lesbians of the World, Untie’. Unforgettable, too.


  3. In the ancient Celtic story of Bran the Blessed he said: “let them who be chief be a bridge to their people.” I consider this an excellent ideal for all leaders.


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