Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Friends of Freedom Press: Life & Death?

WHEN in 1979 the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) exposed the abuse of boys by Cyril Smith at Cambridge House in Rochdale the only national publication to take the story up was Private Eye.  It was then widely known among national journalists and media outlets that Cyril Smith had abused his powers, but apart from Private Eye there was silence in the rest of the media.  Similarly, when Chris Draper did his forensic study entitled 'Who Killed Freedom: an unauthorised history'  on the NV Blog earlier this year, except for some rather corny anonymous comments there was a strange silence among the official anarchist media.  Ironically again it has been left to Private Eye to follow up and report on the goings on at Freedom Press in Angel Alley, next to Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London.   

The Freedom Website has significantly not commented on Chris Draper's diagnosis and has not covered any of serious developments regarding the meetings of the Friends of Freedom (FFP), the trustees and owners of the Freedom building, that have taken place as a consequence.  The current issue of Private Eye reports that FFP 'will meet in London' today to take some action to remedy the situation at Freedom.   

The crisis at Freedom, I suspect, is really the tip of an iceberg in not only the so-called anarchist movement, but on the British left in general.  The inability to debate and discuss difficult and inconvenient facts is widespread.  For example the historian, David Goodway, wrote a very shallow historical postscript after the demise of Freedom newspaper last year.  It all suggests an intellectual and moral bankruptcy on the British political left. 

Friends of Freedom, like the solicitor, Richard Parry, the historian, David Goodway, and the others in attendance, must today at 2 o'Clock begin to address the practical questions of what to do about the unruly Freedom Collective that closed down the newspaper last year and are discrediting anarchist politics. 


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

or... not.

bammy said...

Is this the best the Freedom Collective can do?

Aiaayaus Mississipius (not a real real name) said...

Freedom still don't seem to have been evicted Bammy, and just brought out a new book and paper. It's almost as though you've been talking bollocks, isn't it. Will you have the humility to apologise?

Bammy said...

The last edition of Private Eye reported that:
'The hitherto somnolent board of FFP Ltd – mostly old-style anarchists – will meet in London on 21 October to initiate formal eviction procedures.'
Because I am only a Secondary Modern School boy and a blacklist electrician, I had to look up the word 'somnolent', which I see means 'half asleep' according to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary. Perhaps the 'old-style anarchists' on the board of FFP which includes the solicitor, Richard Parry, and the distinguished historian, David Goodway, haven't yet woken up. What do you think?

Juan Kerr said...

Brian, what a sad little world you inhabit. Such bitterness and introspection.
You need help, all this negativity must be damaging your twilight years.
Or is that the reason? Regret? Missed opportunities to make a real difference in the world? Literary failure masked by aggression via a vanity publication of a couple of hundred fanzines and a blog that few read or take seriously.

Have a word with yourself comrade.

salad cream days said...

Private Eye has their favorites but these can change.
The friendly phone calls and pally emails with titbits of gossip make good copy but only if they are true.

If the information is dodgy. If the informants begin to act like swivel eyed obsessives with their own agenda then this will show in time. Private Eye will lose faith in their sources. Chewed up and spat out.

The calls and emails will be ignored. The rush to the newsagents to pick up the latest copy of the Eye will be in vain. Then the chuntering will start. Derek will say that Private Eye was shit anyway. Les will offer some pompous words of comfort. Chris will take up knitting. Even Barry will want to distance himself.