…when I made it up at first
By Peter Mohan
We’ve all been there, haven’t we, one of those nights, down the pub, few swallies, meet some people, good people, right characters, high on conversation, usual kind of thing. The revolt of the proletariat against the blood-soaked masters of capital, the strategic dialectics of anti-imperialist struggle, whether we should play three at the back in Europe and let the full backs push forward.
And at closing time you want to keep it going, don’t you, keep the night flowing, so it’s all back to mine, let’s go, up the road, not far, more beer, whisky too, wee smoke, nae bother.
Small flat. Few chairs, two sofas, couple of cushions, books on the shelves, posters on the wall, sit on yer arse, make yourself at home.
Chomsky, stick some music on.
Trotsky, stop pissing in that plant pot.
Naw, Germaine Greer there’s nae cheese on toast.
And yes, St Francis of Assisi, of course you can skin up. Just don’t burn the couch, yeah?
There will be no hooliganism, there will be no vandalism, there will be no bevvying.
See you, Jimmy Reid.
Red Brigades, the Green Brigade, Black Panthers, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, James Connolly, Billy Connolly, they’re all here, in the living room, glasses clinking, voices raised, shaking their heads, standing up and sitting down, theoretically coherent, progressive in tone and straight to the point.
I am here as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot.
I know, John MacLean. Now sit down and have a drink.
Let the sunshine of socialism break free upon our land.
You’re right, Keir Hardie. But please get down from there.
Man is a product of history, not of nature.
We know, Gramsci. Now try encouraging counter-hegemonic thought by rolling another joint, yeah?
Football is nothing without fans.
Amen to that, Jock Stein.
We talked all night about transnational capital, state protection of private power in markets dominated by technology, telecommunication, automation, pharmaceuticals and the military. About industrial unrest, factory occupations, rent strikes, mass demonstrations, armed resistance, insurrection, guerrilla warfare, political assassinations, controlled revolutionary actions leading to the overthrow of the bourgeois mode of production and ushering in the dictatorship of the proletariat and collective ownership of the means of production in a glorious dawn of peace and tranquillity, Celtic as European champions, the lot. A workers’ paradise, an anarchist utopian dreamscape. That’s my independent Scotland right there.
That’s what Jesus said too, isn’t it? Rich man, heaven, camel, eye of a needle. Money lenders and temple too. An armchair socialist, anarcho-syndicalist, dialectical materialist and definitely a Celtic fan.
Johnny Cash, Captain Beefheart, Samuel Beckett, Elmore Leonard, Mahatma Gandhi. Most good people support Celtic.
Muhammad Ali, Michelangelo, Eminem.
And that’s just the Ms.
Don’t start me on the Ps.
Pablo Picasso, Penelope Pitstop, Peter Purves.
What do you think?
Vlad the Impaler also supported Rangers, and Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, the Shah of Iran, Cliff Richard, Margaret Thatcher. Apparently, she got the jail in Greenock one night for taking her tap aff at the Celtic supporters’ club and shaking her union jack nipple tassles.
I know, I could hardly believe it myself when I made it up at first.
Feminism must involve consciousness of capitalism.
You’re right, Angela Davis. But we need to stop letting in stupid goals away from home in Europe.
Anarchism looks forward to the direct appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers.
Fair point, Chomsky boy. But if we keep playing with just one upfront we need to use the extra man in midfield.
Universal love and benevolence shall prevail.
Cheers, Robert Owen. When’s the last train to New Lanark?
Wee Karl Marx is still sitting on the sofa, head down, beard blazing, nodding furiously.
In the social production of their life men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will.
Christ, wee man. It’s been a long night. One more for the road, yeah?
The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.
Here, how about redistributing that joint.
It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but their social being that determines their consciousness.
Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument.
Come on tae fuck, Karl.
Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.
From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Excellent. Here, take a puff of this wee man.
The next morning Che Guevara is crashed out under the table, Nelson Mandela asleep under a pile of coats in the bath, Tony Benn sharing a bong with Emily Pankhurst in the kitchen, discussing how you only really notice how good the captain is when he’s not there, how he links up play, dominates the midfield and is an under-rated passer of the ball.
Hugo Chavez runs to the bathroom to throw up, Malcolm X is lying face down in the fireplace with one eyebrow shaved off.
Right. Who wants tea and who wants coffee?
Got any camomile?
Fuck off, Jean Paul Sartre.
Manny Shinwell helps me clear up the empty cans, Steve Biko and Maxim Gorky are arguing about playing three at the back.
Peter lives and works in Glasgow. He is the author of Cheers, Govanhill, a semi-fictional blog about inner-city weirdness from Glasgow’s unruliest neighbourhood. The narrator laddie, Boy David, explains where to buy brontosaurus cutlets, how New York stole all its ideas from Govanhill and what gentrification means for the filthy habits of the west of Scotland dead men. https://cheersgovanhill.home.blog