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William Blake Frontispiece Jerusalem websized

      I will not cease from mental fight

     Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

     Till we have built Jerusalem

     In England's green and pleasant land.

     - William Blake

 

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  • Films for Corbyn

    Films for Corbyn

    Andrew Warburton interviews one of the organisers of screenings of some socialist films at the islington Mill, Salford. One proof of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to inspire grassroots action among Labour Read More
  • Jesus and Marx

    Jesus and Marx

    Through exploring points of contact between Jesus of Nazareth, Karl Marx, and Lenin, Roland Boer finds new and richer layers of shared meanings betwen the Bible and communism, and between theology Read More
  • More of a marathon than a sprint

    More of a marathon than a sprint

    Mark Perryman offers an exhaustive reading selection for a sizzling summer of sport. Exhaustive? Exhausting more like! The never-ending summer of sport from Euro 2016, the British Grand Prix, English rugby Read More
  • On The New Parliamentary Rump In The Absence of Mandatory Reselection

    On The New Parliamentary Rump In The Absence of Mandatory Reselection

    On The New Parliamentary RumpIn The Absence of Mandatory Reselectionafter John Milton by Kevin Higgins Because you have shrugged off all sentiment,like a convention of businessmen, each in turn,successfully losing Read More
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Friday, 19 August 2016 15:58

Films for Corbyn

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Andrew Warburton interviews one of the organisers of screenings of some socialist films at the islington Mill, Salford. One proof of Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to inspire grassroots action among Labour members and in the community as a whole is the ever-expanding list of cultural projects and activities bearing the name ‘… for Corbyn’. First, we had ‘Poets for Corbyn’ (a collection of poems released by Pendant Publishing in August 2015). Then we had ‘Dance for Corbyn’, a mixture of speakers and DJ sets in London, and soon there will be ‘Rock for Corbyn’, a night of live music in Warrington.…
On The New Parliamentary RumpIn The Absence of Mandatory Reselectionafter John Milton by Kevin Higgins Because you have shrugged off all sentiment,like a convention of businessmen, each in turn,successfully losing his boxer shortsat an after party that will, in due course,be put in the accounts under ‘miscellaneous’;he who is of sufficient wallet, and ugliness,to purchase for himself exclusive accessto a slightly soiled Jerry Hall, now raisesyou up in his pages, and on TV screensthat answer to him, as the sort ofLancashire lass or professional Welsh accentwho’s happy to continue to rule on behalfof those who must rule, evenif the other…
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 18:05

Iraq Libya Syria Brexit

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Iraq Libya Syria Brexit by Nigel Mellor Bring up, bring up the guilty menWho fooled us all alongWithout a plan if things went rightOr a plan if things went wrong.
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 07:14

More of a marathon than a sprint

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Mark Perryman offers an exhaustive reading selection for a sizzling summer of sport. Exhaustive? Exhausting more like! The never-ending summer of sport from Euro 2016, the British Grand Prix, English rugby down under, Test Match cricket, Le Tour, Wimbledon fortnight , Rio 2016 and then before you know it the football season has started. It was ever thus, the sport has just got bigger that’s all, if not always better. To help navigate our way through the cause and effect of the highs and the lows, there’s no better place to start than John Leonard’s Fair Game, an easy-to-read history of…
Wednesday, 03 August 2016 10:28

Fighting for Crumbs: Art Against Austerity

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                                                          FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS – WHO SAYS PROTEST ART IS DEAD?                           'IT'S KINDA LIKE THE AFTER EFFECTS OF AUSTERITY, AND NOW PEOPLE ARE LIKE LITERALLY FIGHTING FOR CRUMBS" - CORINNE DEAKIN, 2016 John Ledger, a local artist, was keen to contribute to The Redshed's (AKA the Wakefield Labour Club’s) 50th anniversary celebrations and has coordinated a day of events…
A woman sits on a fold-up chair, with a sign – 'Hello, can you stop for a talk?' – inviting passersby to stop for a chat about nuclear proliferation. An elderly woman stands on her own with a sign 'No to nuclear war' round her neck. A sandalled foot sticks out from under a police van, whilst a polieceman leans on the van, smiling uneasily at the camera. A man stands with a paper bag on his head, covered in instructions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. CND Rally, Hyde Park, London, 1981. Copyright Edward…
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 15:20

As Soon As This Pub Closes

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Keith Flett starts a new series on drink, pubs and politics. My title comes from a song in the play Close the Coalhouse Door, written by Alex Glasgow and Henry Livings and perhaps sums up the awkward relationship between drink, pubs, the left and the wider labour movement. The singer of the song, in the pub, talks about all the things he plans to change in the world, but as the drinking goes on, the song concludes with the line ‘I think I’m going to be sick’. Hopefully not too many readers of this piece drink in such quantities to…
James Crossley analyses Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns, unearthing their twin discourses of a materialist explanation of American capitalism and an expression of a revolutionary Christianity. Even if someone has somehow not seen Sergio Leone’s Westerns, the poncho-wearing, cigar-smoking, gun-toting, stubble-growing image of its breakout star, Clint Eastwood, as well as the distinctive Ennio Morricone soundtracks, may still provoke some kind of recognition. For those unfamiliar with Leone’s Westerns, the films include the Dollars Trilogy—A Fistful of Dollars (1964; US release: 1967), For a Few Dollars More (1965; US release: 1967) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966; US…
Thursday, 16 June 2016 20:18

Jesus and Marx

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Through exploring points of contact between Jesus of Nazareth, Karl Marx, and Lenin, Roland Boer finds new and richer layers of shared meanings betwen the Bible and communism, and between theology and politics. I am by no means the first to compare Jesus of Nazareth and Karl Marx. Actually, I am somewhat wary of such comparisons, not because I do not think there are some striking intersections or likenesses, but because those who undertake such comparisons tend to assume that Jesus is the source and Marx the borrower. This trap is an easy one, since Jesus of Nazareth existed some 1800…
Professor Kim Reynolds introduces radical children's literature, and says the time has come when children can become radical writers as well as radical readers.  Many people think of writing for children and young people as little more than a training ground for readers; something you pass through on the way to real literature. There are certainly children’s and Young Adult books that just entertain readers, but the best books are those that linger in the mind and grow with readers through life. Because it is one of the first ways in which we encounter stories and begin to explore other people,…
Paul Foley presents a history and analysis of the cultural impact of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. As commemorations for the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising continue throughout Ireland, there have been many discussions on the impact of the rebellion on the political landscape in both Britain and the Irish Republic. Although the initial response to the armed uprising from the civilian population was one of indifference, it quickly turned to anger and hostility towards the volunteers. Once Britain subjected the rebellion’s leadership to secret trials and began executing them, this hostility was then re-directed towards the oppressor.…
Monday, 01 August 2016 20:39

El Sueno Existe - The Dream Lives On

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This is the poster for the small Victor Jara commemoration festival, Friday evening and all day /evening 19th / 20th August Machynlleth, Wales. There's camping nearby or B&B in town, all details on the festival website, www.elsuenoexiste.com
Sunday, 31 July 2016 19:56

Hands Off Rosa Luxemburg

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Hands Off Rosa Luxemburg by Peter Raynard Red Rosa was carved from timberin a Poland that was not her own.She was not ‘mistaken, mistaken, mistaken’,dear Lenin. Your eagle of the working classeshawked a different path never landingon another’s arm. She was Spartacus,who kept moving to hear her chains,advancement through struggle, the true manifesto. She could smell the stinking corpse of Germanywhen people held their nose. Called the workersto revolt as gravediggers of the state, to lay downtheir tools and take arms not against a commonclass in some Great War they didn’t own. Rising up she took the butt of a…
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 09:56

After the Big Vote

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After The Big VoteIntellectual Begins To Decompose by Kevin Higgins You sit minding that cupas if it contained, post-Brexit,the last frothy coffee in all of Brighton.You’ve the look ofa pretend Elvis Costello,or the rejected fourth memberof Bananarama. Your claim to notorietythat one of the Sex Pistolsonce failed to cross the roadto avoid you. Your opinionswhat it said in allyesterday’s editorials. Your new secret hatethe ghastly Adidas tracksuits of Gateshead,the sweatpants of Merthyr Tydfil,for daring to go against your wishes. Your sneer is a threatened Dobermanwith the charming personality removed.Scientists are currently tryingto bottle your lime-green bileand make it available on…
Thursday, 14 July 2016 12:13

Don't Burn the Books

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A scorching hot list of summer political reading selected by Mark Perryman. A year ago as Labour sought to recover from the May General Election defeat, halls were starting to fill up for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign rallies. But even as the halls got bigger and the queues round the block longer, few would ever imagined that this would result in the Left for once being on the winning side. The overwhelming majority of Labour MPs never accepted the vote. They bided their time, and chose the moment for their coup in a way to cause maximum damage. Richard Seymour’s…
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 20:29

Durham Miners' Gala July 2016

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:23

A Regressive Centrist Speaks Electability

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A Regressive Centrist Speaks Electability by Kevin Higgins “Imagine if a huge new influx of Labour members gave a mandate to a progressive, centrist leader who could win an election.” - Caitlin Moran Our plans for youwill be enthusiastically endorsedby the popular musical groupColdplay, and some comedian once considerededgy. To make you like us even more every August thirty first, we’ll re-enactthe crash that killed Diana, Princess of Wales.Our leader’s reaction to camerawill be so perfectit’ll bring a tear to your jerk. We’ll employ a team of pale thin advisorsto ascertain what our opponents hate –beggars, Latvians, adolescents… –be against…
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 13:37

Euro 2016: A Free Kick for Nationalism

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Tony Collins outlines the historical background to the recent European Cup debacle. It’s summer. It’s an even-numbered year. So it must be time for another festival of media angst about the fortunes of the England national football team. After yet another failure in Euro 2016, the bi-annual handwringing over England’s lack of success in one of football’s major tournaments is again underway. And this year it is given added importance by the nostalgia generated by the fiftieth anniversary of England winning the World Cup in July 1966. But whether it’s the overt nationalism of the ‘Two World Wars and One World Cup’…
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  • The efforts of toil have given the human hand the high degree of perfection required to conjure into being the pictures of a Raphael, the statues of a Thorwaldsen, the music of a Paganini
    Freidrich Engels The Dialectics of Nature
  • Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods. Realist writing, of which history offers many widely varying examples, is likewise conditioned by the question of how, when and for what class it is made use of.
    Bertholt Brecht Playwright and Poet (1898-1956)
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