Worker’s Spatula New Year’s Message and Self-Criticism


“Do you think anyone still reads these?”

“Nobody still reads Marx or Lenin anymore either, don’t be so opportunist as to concern yourself with whether or not anyone will read something before writing it.”

“Shut up, someone read the statement.”

“I think it’s my turn, here we go:

Good evening Sydney, and a glorious 2018 to all of our comrades across the world! We, the Central Committee of Worker’s Spatula, the worst nightmare of the Left Communists, the scourge of the modern revisionists, the drinking buddies of the more tolerable Trotskyists, are speaking to you live from the Sydney Opera House, which was built by workers who, during construction, were visited and serenaded by Paul Robeson himself:


Paul Robeson, in addition to being a great class conscious struggler for peace and justice in a world of war and injustice, was an Afro-American, a member of an oppressed nation in the imperialist United States.

The Australian workers, for their part, were principally the descendants of settler-colonist labourers in the British colony of Australia, whose indigenous were the victims of genocide and oppression and who, like the Afro-American people or the indigenous in the United States, still yearn for liberation to this day. Travelling thousands of kilometres, Robeson met with them to seek unity of workers and oppressed peoples.

From the north to the south of the world, universal trends of capitalism-imperialism can be seen again and again in different particularities. Robeson is a symbol of the most universal spirit of our movement, and we salute his journey to sing for the workers here, as we begin our own quest in 2018 across the Global South:

In 2018, Worker’s Spatula will be consciously focusing on the Southern Hemisphere of the planet as much as possible to the exclusion of the Northern Hemisphere. We had initially intended to come up with some theoretical justification for the strength of this shift, something about how most imperialist countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, it’s because we’re just sick to death of having to do our Ramadan fasting during summer.

Naturally, we hope to incorporate our long-standing support for the Aboriginal Australians into our satire; and southern Africa should receive due focus, a region which has come more into the world’s attention following the coup in Zimbabwe; perhaps most importantly, we intend to publish more on South America, for which we expect due thanks from our comrades in the PC(AP).

Finally, dear comrade-readers, we must speak about our self-criticism. In fact, we have made many mistakes, which we always seek to rectify, but chief among them, most grievous of all, is that we have paid altogether too little attention to the sinister heart of the capitalist-imperialist world system. Driven by our need to provide engaging, critical, and diverse coverage around the world, we have neglected the need to direct the harshest and most violent polemics against the head of global imperialism:

We speak of course of Liechtenstein. Truly no more reactionary entity than Liechtenstein exists, and no crime of international imperialism can be named whose blood cannot be found dripping from the cold, filthy, pasty-white, chapped fingertips of the scoundrel and puppy-kicker Prince Hans-Adam II!

No more, comrades! No more! 2018 will not be another year in which Worker’s Spatula, the vanguard of the vanguard of the vanguard of the world revolution, allow Liechtenstein’s countless crimes to go unnoticed! We will provide constant exposure of this parasitic, inhuman pseudo-country’s repulsive and reactionary policies so as to aid the heroic strugglers around the world, particularly those guerrillas in Switzerland, Austria, and in Liechtenstein itself already engaged in direct action aimed at nullifying the existence of Liechtenstein!

Yes comrades, 2018 will be the year when, should the dialectic will it, LIECHTENSTEIN WILL BE WIPED OFF THE MAP, thus weakening global capitalism-imperialism by depriving it of its ‘head’! This is our historic mission, and we call on all our comrades and friends across the world to aid us in this fight!


Workers and oppressed peoples of the world – unite!

“…so what do you usually do with the rest of your evening?”

“Oh I was thinking we could get extremely drunk, and throw a fairly large quantity of shrimp on the barbie, one by one.”

“Isn’t there anything else to do here in Sydney, Australia?”

“No, I’m afraid that’s literally all there is to do here in Australia, the country where all we ever do is drink VB and throw prawns on a hot grill.”

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Humourless Marxist Reviews: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


CW: Spoilers, accusations of “narodnism”

In a brazen cash grab following the massive success of the third and final installment in the Star Wars trilogy, George Lucas has seen fit to produce a sequel entitled “The Last Jedi”. Rumours already abound that this may be the beginning of a new sequel trilogy (which, since the entire thing takes place “a long time ago”, is more properly termed a “prequel”).

Due to overwhelming demand, Worker’s Spatula have dispatched their finest EMEP-affiliated film critics to determine the political character of this new War in the Star.

We are sad to report that contrary to the rumours, this film is not Marxist-Leninist propaganda, which frankly is the least you can ask from your science fiction. Progressive? Perhaps, but with grave organisational shortcomings that, among Marxist-Leninists such as ourselves, we should not shy away from criticising.

Are the forces of the New Order arch-reactionaries, imperialists, and fascists? Without any doubt. Is the struggle of the Resistance against them right? It is right, and the audience is right to identify with it. But can we avoid mentioning the scene where a distress signal was sent out, and no one answered Leia’s call? Should this not have been a sign to our heroes that they had been outmanoeuvred by the enemy? Read the Art of War, Leia.

But Leia’s mistakes as commander are not limited to particular moments of miscalculation or desperation: the general lack of training and discipline is apparent from the reckless decisions her individual troops take. Whether it’s Finn or Joe Pomeranian, the men of the Resistance get to pose themselves as heroes by carrying out great acts of revenge on their foe, but only by continuously taking adventurist risks that are responsible for great losses for their own organisation! No rigorous process of criticism and self-criticism greets these wayward comrades, merely verbal warnings and demotions. How long is the Resistance to last if it takes such a laissez-faire attitude towards discipline, training, and tactics?

Even the women of the resistance, who are notably more sober-minded, have yet to articulate a coherent overall strategy. Nowhere in the film is the overall tactical line of the Resistance mentioned, instead we are treated to Mao Zedong’s quote that “a single spark can start a prairie fire”, repeated over and over again by all the main characters in unison as they stare into the camera for a period of twenty minutes. Maddening.

Rey O’Light travels to the Dagoba system to meet with Luke Skywalker, who obviously represents Enver Hoxha, and stays with him in a mountain bunker where they condemn the failings of the Jedi Council, a clear stand-in for the Soviet Union, in brutally critical terms befitting the post-Cold War reality that we as Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries face. This was the only good scene, and even it was ruined by the rampant idealism we already mentioned in our first review.

But then even she, the supposedly most theoretically advanced figure in the Resistance, doesn’t listen to Enver Skywalker and runs off to face Darth What’s-His-Name in the Death Star or whatever, and kills Emperor Palpatine with him, only so that a new ruling clique led by Darth Who’s-It can emerge! Stop trying to abolish things without abolishing the conditions that led to those things! Anarchism! Narodnism! Adventurism! Wookieism!

All of these critiques are not to say that we do not fully defend the role the Resistance is playing. But the very dangerous objective conditions which these political subjects face require that we soberly take account of the facts. The Resistance can win its space war, and it can win by recognising the leading role of the space proletariat, and engaging in a diversity of space tactics to align all the progressive space forces against the space class enemies whose space exploitation and space oppression are the actual material basis for Captain McBadguy or Darth Kyle or whatever his name is.

The film, to its credit, actually spends a great deal of time portraying the sympathy of the working class to the Resistance, and if our narodnik heroes can unite their military manoeuvres with the organic trends of the proletariat, we are confident that socialism can be achieved in one more film, without having to sit through a half-dozen more of these.

Please George Lucas, stop sending these brave young people on suicide missions. Don’t be DHKP/C. These are human beings whose lives are being thrown out in a galaxy far, far away thanks to your adventurism. Orient the Resistance line towards the proletariat now. Do it for your old friends at the Spatula.

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Venezuela: Myth vs. Reality


CARACAS – For some time now, the eyes of the world have been fixed on Venezuela, following news of unrest and an election which the bourgeois media, particularly in imperialist countries, depict as illegitimate.

However, Worker’s Spatula is pleased to announce that we have sent a special correspondent from Buenos Aires to the tropical island nation of Venezuela to see what all the brouhaha is about.

Additionally, hubbub.

While countries as diverse as the United States and the United States’ closest allies continue to repeat rumours of a crackdown, our correspondent could find no evidence of any recent violence of any sort in any of the neighbourhoods of Caracas which he visited. Locals attributed the rumours of unrest to the US-based “International” “Socialist” “Organization”.

“Definitely, the ISO have made up all the stories about clashes between protestors and police. They do it to make themselves look like they have something to say. Like they’re important. Actually there’s nothing happening at all around here,” explained bored Caracan José Marquí González. “I may go see what’s on television.”

Questions about the PSUV and Maduro produced blank stares from most Caracans, until our correspondent was enlightened by local university student Maria Martínez Flores: “The PSUV and Maduro are just stories made up by the PSL so they can feel like they’re in solidarity with something big and important in some better country than their own.

“It’s honestly a bit sad. Impressive that they got most of the world to believe it though.”

The news of the non-existence of the PSUV which Worker’s Spatula readers have been supporting for years stunned our correspondent, who closed out his report with the following editorial statement, the contents of which do not necessarily reflect those of Worker’s Spatula:

We’ve spent quite a few years defending the supposed gains of the Bolivarian Revolution, only to find out that it was all just stories made up by tiny Marxist groups to sell their awful papers. This is even worse than when we found out that there was no refugee crisis from Syria, no war in Syria, and no country called Syria to begin with, because the SWP had made them all up.

What’s next? Are we going to find out that the NPA invented Western Sahara, and the EMEP invented Tunisia?

We may just have to stop basing our entire politics on holding the right positions on international affairs without having any concrete reflection in our own countries’ practical politics.

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Unclear if DSA Declaration of “Irony” as Highest Stage of Capitalism Itself Ironic


NEW YORK/CHICAGO – The DSA have stirred up great controversy in US left circles, still reeling from the discussions of “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” as the “third and higher stage” of communist ideology several decades too late, with their latest declaration that capitalism itself has reached a qualitatively new stage of irony.

“If you consider Marxism primarily from the perspective of alienation, it’s actually quite obvious,” explained Michael Foreman, a Bronx native and DSA member, to our local corespondent. “Capitalism has advanced so far in terms of alienating us all that even our own internal mental processes have a clear dual audience. Commodification is so total that we can only articulate resistance to the profit motive in terms of ironic humour, even to ourselves.

“O shit waddup,” he concluded.

In the past few months, large numbers of young Marxists have joined local branches of the DSA, an organisation dedicated primarily to making the Democratic Party add “vigorous defence of the legacy of Comrade Stalin” to their Party Platform. Consequently, theoretical discussion at various branches of the DSA have become more rigorous than ever before, with the legacies of such US radical martyrs as Malcolm X, Michael Israel, and Bernie Sanders being mainstays of discussions at meetings. We spoke to Alfonso Casal, professional Malört sommelier and anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist, about developments within the DSA in terms of theory and practice.

“Basically, it’s not untrue that our innermost psychological health is being harmed by capitalism, and that capitalism’s tendency to commodify all things has brought us to this point. The disagreement we have with the DSA is mostly over whether this process, which has been quantitatively increasing since capitalism-imperialism became globally hegemonic, has actually reached some new qualitative stage.

“There was far more merit to the discussion, very popular since the 2008 Crisis, of neoliberalism, with its basis in profit-exploitation, as a qualitatively higher stage of capitalism-imperialism. In this vein, it is our view that the DSA themselves represent a new stage of revisionism. We had the classic revisionists like Bernstein or Kautsky, and then we had the ‘modern revisionists’ of the 20th century that our ‘anti-revisionist’ Marxism-Leninism defines itself in opposition to. However, these have descended so far into revisionism that they are no longer central to our discussions as revolutionaries. In the place of CPUSA or the CPB, we are now primarily concerned with the revisionism of the DSA and Momentum.”

Asked how he perceived a coming struggle with the DSA, Casal responded: “It’s very difficult to say. Just as defectors from the CPUSA played an important role in the struggle with modern revisionism decades ago, I predict contradictions within the DSA will lead to new formations, some of whom will have ideas close to our own.

“Pretty IRONIC, don’t you think?” winked Casal, who, before an explanation could be sought, pulled out an air horn and blew it into the air multiple times. “Capitalism, more like CRAPitalism, AMIRITE?”

The ISO, despite being mentioned much further down the page than they would ever read on a website as “Stalinist” as this one, also had their own analysis of the DSA’s growth and development. We sat down with one of their representatives at Fanxi’s Famous Foods in Manhattan:

“The DSA are reformists, which presents a clear risk of Stalinist growth within their ranks. On the other hand, they call themselves democratic socialists, and we Trotskyists are the real democratic socialists, since we have always militantly defended democracy for the working class, so perhaps we’ll be able to recruit some of them or take them over from within.

“It’s difficult to say, because we always had trouble telling which of their public declarations were ironic, and their latest declaration hardly does anything to clear up that confusion.”

At time of press, the ROL.

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Point/Counterpoint: Iranian Elections


Point: We Must Support Rouhani as the Communist Candidate for Iran

by Worker’s Spatula Representative

Iran is a complicated place, with multiple nations living within its borders, a severely repressed trade unionist movement with roots going back decades, and extremely difficult contradictions with regard to women’s issues. There is no easy answer to the many problems that face Iran, from secularism to socialism, and we must make tactical compromises.

Under the current conditions, it seems that the Rouhani presidency can still play a progressive role. While there can be no substitute for a movement of the streets for Iranian comrades on the ground, they too would reluctantly agree that Rouhani represents the most progressive force possible at his level of “big” politics.

As one of the founders of the Worker’s Spatula Centre for Shariati Studies, I have long had a keen interest in Iran and its politics. As a supporter of the ICMLPO (Unity and Struggle), I am deeply interested in contradictions in the international arena. That’s why, in spite of my many criticisms of Mr. Rouhani, I have nothing but the strongest support for his plan to heal old wounds between our movement and the regime by promoting Hamid Reza Chitgar’s daughter as his choice for the next Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the death of Khamenei.

In spite of the Iranian regime’s many flaws, and many compromises with imperialism which possessed an opportunistic rather than tactical character, there is still hope for Iran, even within reformist elements of the regime. Rouhani’s recent interview in which he described Ebrahim Raisi as “a proponent of the revisionist Three Worlds Theory” represents such a hope.

Vote Rouhani in the upcoming Iranian elections, the only candidate who has read Alain Badiou!

Counterpoint: Vote Rouhani to Stem the Tide of Counter-Revolution!

by Twitter Left Representative

Iran is not a complicated country, with so-called “multiple nations” (as all true Marxist-Leninists know, this is an impossibility, as there can only be one Iranian nation), or so-called “contradictions”. It is quite simply this: the most heroic, self-sacrificing anti-imperialist state in the world!

Iran is the greatest, and anyone who criticises Iran for any reason is probably a Trot. Not only do the masses of Iranians wholly support their regime, which is almost as socialist as Syria or China, but the downtrodden peoples in all neighbouring countries, whether Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan, all agree that Iran has always rushed to their defence in times of need.

Since Iran is good, and not bad, any challenge to the established order in Iran is plainly a plot by US imperialism, and must be fiercely opposed. Therefore, anyone who votes for, or encourages a vote for, or stands as a candidate against the legitimate President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an objective agent of US imperialism, and a wrecker who deserves no fate gentler than immediate execution.

To those who even dream of discussing what the effect of any change to the government in Iran might mean for the position of Supreme Leader following the latter’s death, know this: If the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran chooses to die at any point, this too represents an act of collusion with US imperialism. I call on Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei to resolutely stand against the US imperialist plot of ageing and death, and instead live on forever, in hiding, much like Muhammad al-Mahdi.

In conclusion: Vote Rouhani for stability in the face of the Kurdish and Baloch ethno-nationalist plots of objective agents of US imperialism, like Worker’s Spatula.

Erkan Baş Speech Briefly Interrupted by Splitters


İSTANBUL/STEMBOL – As Erkan Baş, the leader of the Communist Party of Turkey (also known as HTKP), took to the stage at the International Workers’ Day celebration in Bakırköy (Kurdish: Gundê Bekir), a group of neo-Trotskyite splitters from the TKP calling themselves “KP” began jeering at TÖPG’s favourite Brezhnevite, doubtless driven by jealousy of Erkan Baş’s formidable moustache.

“This is truly unacceptable,” explained leader of the KP pack and occasional reader of Nazım Hikmet poetry Emre Tokatçı to an EMEP-affiliated* Worker’s Spatula correspondent in attendance. “We only came because we thought we were going to be the centre of attention. If anyone is going to mention any other communists in Turkey, we’re going home.”

Following the completion of this sentence, all assembled KP members indeed began marching home, to the comfort of the Nazım Hikmet Kültür Merkezi in Ali Suavi Sk. (AKA Sanatçılar Sokağı) in Kadıköy.

For our foreign readers, the NHKM is a magical place where nobody ever mentions Kurds or popular fronts or any other such right deviationist nonsense.

By sheer coincidence, this move to abandon the International Workers’ Day celebration also meant that KP avoided any confrontation with the fascist Turkish police whatsoever.

The KP’s sister party in Greece, KKE, responded immediately with a statement condemning the entire Turkish left for “failing to defend KP, at a time when the sharpest and clearest contradiction in Turkish society is the defence of Kemal Okuyan”.

The Turkish Ministry of the Interior has issued a statement encouraging all young communists who insist on wasting their time with “that nonsense” to side with KP against all rivals (whether HTKP, TKP 1920, or KP-İÖ, if they still exist). The Turkish Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has issued a statement encouraging all foreigners to simply ignore the whole affair, and indeed, anything that is not printed in an official AKP-approved press release.

*ESP and Devrimci Parti were mostly embedded in the fight for Taksim.

DSA Celebrate Loyalty Day


CHICAGO – Following news that Donald “Chelsea” Trump had “proclaimed” May 1st to be “Loyalty Day”, History majors and long-time labour activists across the imperialist United States of Amerikkka have taken the occasion to remind everyone that “Loyalty Day” is a long-time reactionary tradition of the imperialist bourgeoisie in that country, and as such Trump has actually done nothing that any of his predecessors have not done to overshadow and delegitimise annual celebrations of the Marxist-Leninist holiday.

Reassured of the legitimacy of “Loyalty Day” in the eyes of the Democratic Party, the DSA, a small Stalinist entryist group within the larger Democratic Party plan to take to the streets to celebrate “Loyalty Day” in the loudest and most loyal way possible.

“I’m so glad to live in America, with its socialist police force, and not in anti-democratic Venezuela!” explained local white Chicago resident and DSA member Sean McGruder, as he handed out flyers inviting other members of the labour aristocracy to the DSA’s May 1st celebration. “God bless America!”

“May 1st is as American as July 4th or Labo[u]r Day,” concurred his friend Michael Del Franco, “We’re loyal to the US constitution, which is the real revolutionary tool of the working class to achieve political power.”

Not all were convinced by the DSA’s rhetoric, however. Local professor and known spoilsport Alfonso Casal said some things about “McCarthyism” and “wer hat uns verraten” to an assembled crowd of decidedly un-democratic socialists:

“I would call the DSA reformists, but they’d probably correct me and say that they aren’t interested in reforms, but democratic reforms. I would charge the DSA with the murder of Rosa Luxemburg, but they would probably respond by pointing out that Rosa Luxemburg was murdered by a democratically-elected government.”

For our part, the US wing of Worker’s Spatula will also be celebrating Loyalty Day. What follows is a statement endorsed by all our US correspondents, editors, and rabble-rousers:

We’ve never felt so loyal. Loyal to our accelerationist president. Loyal to a decreasing rate of profit, loyal to the increasing immiseration of the workers, which signals the gradual re-proletarianisation of the oppressor settler-colonialist Yankee nation’s labour aristocracy, and/or the coming rising up of the oppressed Afro-American people.

We predict a revolution in the US by the end of Trump’s second term.

After all, there’s no chance of the Democrats winning in 2020 if they put Jeb Bush up as their candidate again.

AMLU Caught in Theological Debate with Worker’s Spatula


NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY – AMLU youth at Rutgers University found themselves embroiled in an hours-long debate which quickly devolved into a discussion of Islamic theology with a Worker’s Spatula cadre tonight, causing the latter to question his faith in Hz. Ali and the former to question their faith in the rationality of material reality.

The German Worker’s Spatula cadre, recently kicked out of Turkey for alleged links to a proscribed “terrorist organisation” (in true Turkish fashion, the “terrorist organisation” in question was not even the one to which the cadre could realistically be linked), has been crashing on the couch of a US anarchist friend until he can determine which semi-colonial country he will be organising in next. To pass the time, he has been hanging out at various New Jersey universities talking to the heirs to the legacy of MJ Olgin about various theoretical, historical, and practical questions.

What started as a debate about national and class questions in the Black Belt South was quickly derailed, as is only natural, by a discussion about which Islamic sects most closely resemble which Marxist sects.

“Obviously Marxism is Islam because Marxism is true and real, like Islam,” began our German comrade, to nods of agreement from the New Jerseyite youth. “And as an Abrahamic faith, Marxism needs an Abraham.”

“Hegel, obviously,” responded a smirking young woman leaning against the wall in Brower Commons. “And Marx is Moses, come on, this is baby stuff.”

“Agreed,” said our Teutonic hero. “And obviously, Lenin is Jesus.”

“Because he is God in human form.”

“That, and because the Christians known as Trots accept him, but reject the final prophet, Stalin.”

With all present nodding in agreement, it seemed unity was close indeed. However, as is always the case with anti-revisionists, division would soon re-emerge.

“And then obviously, Mao is Ali. Because Shi’ism is a perversion of orthodox Islam,” offered a bearded young man in desperate need of a haircut.

“Excuse you?” asked our stunned exile, beginning a long shouting match that would continue outside Brower Commons for several hours after the group was kicked out because “We’re closed, can’t you fucking commies argue somewhere else?”

Arguments from both sides were impassioned, with the AMLU arguing that Hoxhaite fealty to the example of Hz. Stalin mirrored Sunni rejection of “Ja’fari Thought”, and that Maoist iconography mirrored Shi’a iconography. For our correspondent’s part, it was held that the acceptance of Sunnism as representative of “orthodox” Islam was predicated on popularity in a similar way to Maoism’s greater fame relative to that of the shining Marxist-Leninist path of Enver Hoxha.

Additionally, “everyone knows Abu Bakr supported the Three Worlds Theory.”

At time of press, no resolution had been found to the argument. All AMLU members had reportedly returned to their dorms, while the Worker’s Spatula representative was on Google frantically searching for Sunni mosques in the area at which to debate the finer details of the Sino-Albanian split.

HDK Parties Courting Fired Academic


ANKARA – Fırat Önder, a left-wing academic recently fired unceremoniously from his position at Ankara University for his opposition to the Turkish state’s war on the Kurdish people, has been without any faint hope of another job since his passport was cancelled by AKP edict. However, he has not wanted for friends in these trying times.

This morning, TÖPG cadres reportedly showed up at the former History professor’s apartment door with a bouquet of flowers to ask him if he wanted to consider going out for a date sometime: “Any day you’re free, we can go to the park and distribute propaganda, or we can talk about dialectics. Whatever you want, abi,” said the young man clutching the yellow roses close to his equally yellow TÖPG vest.

Önder’s newfound popularity is not limited to TÖPG, the only element of the Turkish left whose cadre read as much Hegel as the Germans. Nearly every HDK party or group has come to him, hoping to win him over to their line. We sat down with Önder in his apartment in Çankaya to discuss his situation.

“It started with the letters of support from my students,” explained Önder to our correspondent over tea in his apartment, as SYKP cadre outside his window knocked on it, waving around pamphlets. “A Kurdish student who lost her little brother in the attack on Sûr told me that I was in her prayers. It breaks my heart to think about that.”

“I guess my students really liked me, because before long, they started getting involved in the campaigns for academics who have been fired. One of them joined Partizan and kept ‘bumping into me’ in the street. Now it’s like I’m in some Turkish film from the ’70s, where instead of being courted by men representing different social classes, I’m being courted by a bunch of 20-year-old revolutionaries who started reading Marx because of me.”

Attempts at courtship have varied in their scrupulousness: “Halkevleri approached me the other night at a bar. It was a man about my age and three much younger women whom he seemed to be offering as some sort of socialist concubines. I told them to fuck off, and they asked me, ‘what are you gay or something?’.

“Then there was DSİP. They said they would ring Callinicos for money for myself and other fired academics if I would help them attack EMEP and ESP.”

When asked if he thought he was going to get organised in the end, Önder nodded eagerly and said “Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m going to start working with Devrimci Parti, but they need to get me a few pairs of their trainers to sweeten the deal. I’m not going to give myself away so quickly and look cheap.”


Worker’s Spatula Credit Cards Maxed Out


ANKARA – “You’re no longer in good standing.”

“What?” asked our shocked correspondent. “Why?”

“You know why. That money was for the conference,” explained the stern, leather jacket-wearing woman standing across from him.

“I did spend it on the conference! Didn’t the conference happen?”

“It did, but these receipts don’t add up. And even if they did, you took far more money than you needed to. You need to come up with the missing money, and fast.”

As his superior exited the room, our correspondent picked up his mobile and frantically dialled headquarters.

“Comrade, you’ve got to help me. I spent 1000 lira on bream and EMEP found out.”

“No can do, comrade. My account is empty and my cards are maxed out.”

“What? How?”

“Bream, mostly. I had to go to Malta to organise the local bream fishers, and also purchase all their bream, and try out several new and inventive bream recipes.”

“We’re prisoners to our bream addiction,” sighed our correspondent. “I’m skypeing [REDACTED].”

“They’re in Kosovo!” warned headquarters, just as they were being hung up on.

“Kosovo, eh?” said our correspondent, lighting his Stalin-pipe and puffing at it thoughtfully. “At least there’s no bream there.”

“Greetings comrade,” said our intrepid Balkan correspondent. “What’s wrong, you look down?”

“Money troubles. Is there any chance I could borrow 1000 lira to get out of a tight spot?”

“How much is that in Euro? 10? 100?”

“Not yet, I’m afraid. It’s still a bit over 250.”

“Allahu jedini! I’m a bit tight at present.”

“Why, trip to Kosovo set you back?”

“Well, it’s more why I’m here. It’s a good-will mission, I came by train. I have to bring the impoverished Kosovar children much-needed…”

“Bream, I know.”

“Yeah. You might consider asking our extremely wealthy editor-in-chief.”

“He’s gone.”


“Yeah, he’s in Qendîl.”

“The only thing I can think to do then is this: I will stay here in Kosovo, embed myself among the local population, run for political office on a platform of inter-communal peacemaking and international solidarity, earn the trust of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Bektashi Order in Kosovo, appropriate funds given by the faithful, and divert them to your bank account.”

“Can you do that in the next 48 hours?”

“Sure thing!”