I got Mark Steel's Reasons to be Cheerful for my birthday this year. I found it to be a very interesting, informative, and funny look into recent British history from a socialist perspective, and I found several quotes in it that I hope to use as starting points for various rants in the future. I'll post a more complete review later, but for the moment I just wanted to mention a small part the book. Early on in Reasons to be Cheerful, Mark talks about his involvement in anti National Front activities:
"Thousands became adept in the art of removing NF stickers. After a while, you could reach out and yank one off a post box without even breaking your stride. But what a bastard if one was well stuck down. How many people at that time were later for work because their route had taken them past a particularly stubborn sticker? Because once you'd started,to leave it even half intact was an admission of defeat. So you'd stand for five minutes, scratching alternately with a key and a two-pence piece. Eventually you could resume your journey, having reduced this sticker to four torn white corners and no middle. 'That,' you would say to yourself, 'is a Nazi-free post box.'"
Last night I stopped by Quick-Chek with some friends, and ran into some other folks we collectively knew. Mid conversation, I noticed a payphone nearby had some stickers on it from the National Alliance, which is a far right/white nationalist group, saying "Bring the Troops Home and Put them on the Border," or some quite similar anti-immigrant slogan. Recalling what I had recently read, I quickly tore the stickers off, and proceeded to scratch at their remnants, all the while muttering to my friends about fascists in town. A rather small incident in the grand scheme of things, but I can walk by that payphone with the confidence that it is now a Nazi-free payphone.