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’: