Browsing through Flickr, I found this photo by Keren Wormwell – who I have always presumed (possibly correctly) as being the partner in crime of Chris Wormwell, who has featured previously on the blog.


That’s a tin mine in Cornwall. Cornwall has many similarities with the Isle of Man in both landscape and culture. In fact, there’s a broad swath of similar areas running up from Brittany, through Cornwall, West Wales, Ireland and up into the Scottish islands. Perhaps united by their Celtic roots, and sharing similar language and lifestyles, if you were dropped in one or other of them, you’d have to do some detective work to find out exactly where you were.

Mining is another thing that joins Cornwall and the Isle of Man. Except in Cornwall it was tin and copper, and in the Isle of Man, it was lead. But the remains are dotted all across the landscapes of both. Here’s the chimney at Ballacorkish mine, a photo I was reminded of by Keren’s:


The mine chimneys were used to pull air through the mine. A fire was lit at the bottom of the shaft (under the chimney) and the hot air rising up the chimney drew air in from the horizontal tunnel (called an adit), keeping the miners suitably oxygenated. Later mines used steam engines, which also utilised chimneys.

But still, my point is this: every mine chimney in Cornwall is circular. Every one on the Isle of Man is square. You’d think that there would be one common, best way of building chimneys. It seems strange that the Manx and Cornish builders would do things so very differently. Maybe it had something to do with the quality of the building materials available.

Do try to keep up

Have you read Fikile Mbalula’s speech from the Economic Freedom in our Lifetime lecture last night?

If not, why not? You are lagging behind. Do try to keep up.

Speaking on the subject of the (proposed?) nationalisation of the mining industry and, in this excerpt, specifically on those who are against such a plan, he said:

It is of paramount importance that revolutionaries should soberly engage the ANC Youth League. This engagement should be based on answering the fundamental question:
“To what extent does the slogan ‘economic freedom in our lifetime’ link strategically to the slogan for ‘freedom in our lifetime’?”

These questions are of pivotal importance because if the entire mass democratic movement fails in its conviction to see a symbiotic link between the two slogans in this era of the National Democratic Revolution, and rather settle for isolating one at the expense of the other, this will, to my mind, be equal to an intellectual and ideological disservice on the side of the movement as a whole.

However, we are fully aware of a tendency that attempted to dislodge the content of the National Democratic Revolution by among other things, dismissing race as less important a social category in contemplating any social progress.

At the same time, we were aware of the ultra-leftist tendencies that were aimed at uplifting pseudo-Marxist predispositions at the expense of the revolutionary recognition of the symbiotic link between national liberation and social emancipation; born out of the acknowledgement of the inter-play between the national oppression and class exploitation; in the context of the National Democratic Revolution.

Yeah. What he said. You’d better believe it.
And extra points for getting the all important “tendency” in there.

Basically, for those of you at the back, I think that he’s having a bit of a pop at Blade Nzimande – “that bloke from the SA Communist Party”  – who, as we’ve seen before, isn’t adverse to a little bit of hyperverbosity (aimed right back at Fikile’s chums) himself.

It seems that when it comes to insulting one’s allies through the means of speeches or statements filled with ridiculously extreme,  hyphen-laden, politically-related adjectives, the members of the tripartite alliance have got it sorted.