Saturday, 31 October 2015

Danczuk & Keeping Up the Maintenance?


Les May
THE first Mrs Danczuk, Sonia Rossington, has taken to social media to complain that ex-hubby Simon is reluctant to part with his money to contribute to the support of his 13 year old daughter.  Now on balance I am inclined to agree with Simon Danczuk M.P. for Rochdale, who is reported to have said:
'This is a private family matter.....  I do not feel it is appropriate to comment on the issue any further.'
But if you read her comments carefully there's one thing that certainly should not be a private matter, needs to be made public and halted immediately.
At one point she says:
'If I call child maintenance service (She refers here to the Child Support Agency or CSA) to complain, I'm told my case doesn't exist. I apparently have to tell them,  I'm one of the important special cases, that no-one if supposed to know about.  Then I'm put through to a 'special cases team... '
It would appear that we hoi-polloi, a.k.a. the plebs, the proles or the great unwashed, are treated by the C.S.A. differently  than the 'important' people like Mr Danczuk.  This is something which I could not find mentioned on the C.S.A. website.
In a pluralistic and democratic society this cannot be justified and it is time we made a fuss about it and asked how it can be justified. 
An irony in Mr Danczuk's case is that he has made his name claiming that Cyril Smithwas 'protected' by the security services.  Yet all this time it would seem that he too has been protected from our prying eyes.  

Friday, 30 October 2015

Chris Draper & the Anomymity Problem!


Dear ****

Anonymity doesn’t generally deserve a response but as your epistle is polite, if also patronising and ill-informed, I guess there’s a chance you are sincere.

Anonymity should be anathema to anarchists.  The arguments are similar to coming out as gay. Anonymity essentially reinforces societal mechanisms of oppression and undermines solidarity of the oppressed. I’ve been an anarchist for almost fifty years and always 'out' as such and in my own name. I taught in state schools for several decades and was black-listed by two left-wing Labour education authorities as a result but was also influential and well-supported. It strikes me as hypocritical that anyone should claim to be an anarchist seeking revolutionary change in society yet balk at “getting into trouble at work”. 

To claim anarchist lineage for anonymity by citing someone (Maurice Brinton/ Christopher Pallis) who always rejected the label 'Anarchist' merely exemplifies ignorance. 

Although Kropotkin, Goldman, Rocker and countless other anarchists were pursued around the world they rarely resorted to anonymity.  There can be circumstances necessitating secrecy but posting abuse on the web isn’t one of them and neither is editing an anarchist newspaper. Until 'Rob Ray' assumed control of FREEDOM in 2005 none of the previous editors since 1886 had demanded anonymity and I thus joyfully outed him as, in real life, Simon Saunders the 'Morning Star’s' computer games correspondent.

Only in recent years has anonymity become widespread in 'anarchist' circles.  In diminishing personality and accountability and also undermining friendship and co-operation the practice has proved extremely corrosive and is antithetical to anarchism.

For Peace, Love & Anarchy
Christopher Draper, Llandudno 

'history of pseudonyms & anonymous writing...'


Dear Chris [Draper],
Have a look at the new bookfair edition of Freedom if you can.  There are some very interesting articles in it, on topics that are the subject of interesting debates within the anarchist movement.  You can always email the editor to send you a copy, and apparently dear old Brian [Bamford] took one from the stall and gave a 50p donation, so I'm sure he could send you it over once he's finished with it!!

To be honest your critique of anonymity doesn't really hold water.  There is a long history of pseudonyms and anonymous writing in the history of the anarchist movement, for example Maurice Brinton.  In addition there are many valid reasons for wanting to remain anonymous, one being the fact that unfortunately you can still get trouble at work for practising anarchist politics, or come to the attention of the very scary National Domestic Extremism Unit.  The aforementioned Maurice Brinton used a pseudonym because he was a leading neurosurgeon.

I understand that you are on Chris Draper & Freedom!
Anonymous.

Censorship & the 'Unauthorised History'

MANY thanks for the (Chris Draper) 'Unauthorised History' of Freedom, which I much enjoyed and found very informative.  Reflecting back I remember that many of my letters to 'Freedom' (particularly those what were articles - though not hostile) were censored and never saw the light of day, and that Freedom was not interested in publishing any of my books - on Kropotkin, on Anarchists in the Mexican Revolution and on Bakunin.


Brian Morris.

The Lump at Afflecks Arcade


A rare screening of the classic 1967 Wednesday Play 
The Lump by Jim Allen 
Saturday  14th November  2015, 2pm. 
Venue: Three Minute Theatre,  Afflecks Arcade, 35-39 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JG. 
Entrance is £3.00  (£2.00 for members of  Equity,  Musicians’ Union and the Writers’ Guild in accordance with PAA License agreement).  Seating is limited and so we strongly  advise booking in advance by emailing : maryquaileclub@gmail.com  
Special guest at the screening, the producer of The Lump, Tony  Garnett
The play is set in the building industry:  An industry which is getting rougher.  Because over it falls the shadow of 'the Lump', a system of work where men are self-employed and on their own.  Bought and sold like cattle on the hoof, they are often behind with their tax, their cards are unstamped, and an accident at work can lead them to the scrap-heap. Tony Garnett, Radio Times, 1967. 
This event has been organised by the Mary Quaile Club.  More information about the event:   http://maryquaileclub.wordpress.com  

Private Eye's Pedantry Corner

Letter sent to Private Eye (No.1404)
Sir,
...Prince Peter Kropotkin was a founder of the anarchist journal Freedom (p10, Eye 1403) but credit should also go to the almost entirely forgotten Charlotte Wilson (1854-1944), the first editor and co-founder.  The wife of a stockbroker and early student at Newnham College Cambridge, she was one of five members of the executive of the recently formed Fabian Society.  But when in 1886 the early Socialist movement proposed setting up a political party, it was opposed by, among others, William Morris and Mrs Wilson.  From then on she devoted herself to Freedom and the anarchist cause, before returning [to] the Fabian fold 20 years later by founding the Fabian Women's Group.
PHILIP VENNING.


To subscribe visit www.subsonline.co.uk 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Freedom Press: Who is to blame?

I think Chris Draper should be congratulated for exposing the frightful mess at Freedom Press.  A board of trustees (Friends of Freedom Press, F.F.P.) found to be asleep on the job, while a bunch of useless tossers, run amok and have turned the building, into an 'anarcho-hang-out'!  If this is how so-called anarchists, run a magazine, then spare us all, from an anarchist society.


However, while Draper seems to blame the 'oiks' and 'morons' of the Freedom collective, for much of this debacle at Freedom Press, this is not where I feel blame ultimately lies.  The fundamental question, is who brought these people on board in the first place? 


The recent Private Eye article, quite rightly referred to a 'somnolent' FFP, but it was the Freedom veteran, Donald Rooum, who seems to have had his hand on the tiller, for much of the time, and who made, most of the appointments.  Donald may well have thought the Rev. Toby Crowe, (definitely not an oik with a name like that), a 'big strong boy', but is this a sufficient qualification, to edit an anarchist magazine?  And Toby, seems to have been one of Rooum's better appointments after the collective, gave Freedom editor, Charlie Crute, the heave-ho, to make way for one of their cronies.

Given that the trustees barely met before Draper gave them a kick up the arse, should anybody be really surprised at what has been going on at Freedom Press.  They're lucky they've got any assets left.
 DP (28th, Oct. 2015) 


Duncan-Smith to police foodbanks. Will charities stand for this?


At a recent meeting of the Tameside Food Bank Forum (T.F.F.), which met last week at the Ashton-under-Lyne volunteer centre, a food bank representative reported that it was his experience that increasingly more people in-work were visiting food banks to obtain free food. People who fall into this category, in Britain, have been dubbed the 'working-poor'.

More than one million people visited the food banks run by the charity 'Trussell Trust', in 2014-2015 to obtain free food. Government benefit sanctions are blamed, in part, for the rise in the numbers of people relying on food banks to feed themselves and their families. 

In some local supermarkets in Tameside, such as 'Morrisons', in Dukinfield, customers have been asked if they would like to make food donations to the food banks to help those in need. Tameside Hospital, is also planning to open an on-site permanent food bank after doctors and nurses became concerned about the significant rise in patients showing signs of malnourishment. The hospital food bank aims to boost nutrition for patients and residents in the area.

Why  some many people should be unable to feed themselves in the UK, now ranked the fourth richest country in the world, is an appalling indictment on British society. Yet since the 1980's, the countries with the most marked increase in income inequality have been the UK and the U.S. which led the world in pro-rich policies. The Cambridge economist, Ha-Joon Chang, in his book 'Economics: the user's guide', writes:

"Markets are routinely rigged in favour of the rich as we have seen in the scandals about misselling of financial products and lies told to regulators. Money gives the super-rich the power to legally or illegally buy up politicians and political offices... We are persuaded to accept what I call the L' Oreal principle - if some people are paid tens of millions of pounds per year, it must be because they are worth it."  

The stigmatization of benefit claimants, has led to state benefits remaining unclaimed. HMRC estimates that £16 billion of benefits have gone unclaimed. Tax Justice and the trade union the P.C.S, claim that £120 billion of tax is avoided, evaded and uncollected. At a time when the government is cutting tax credits for some people in work, there is a £30 billion surplus in the national insurance fund which has arisen due to benefit cuts.

Chris Mould, Chairman of the Trussell Trust, said recently that cuts in Working Tax Credits were likely to lead to more people being forced to rely on food banks for support. Perhaps this is why Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, recently announced that the DWP want to put their staff into food banks. This measure which should be resisted by charities, is probably designed to allow the DWP to police who is claiming from the food banks, but might also be designed, to discourage people from claiming. How long will be, before the DWP Gestapo is in the parlour, monitoring how much food is on our plates?


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Rev. Ken Leech Obituary

The Rev Ken Leech  
Ken Leech in Whitechapel, east London, where he lived and worked as a ‘community theologian’. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian


KEN Leech, who has died aged 76 of cancer, stood firmly in the proud tradition of radical prophetic priests in the English Catholic, rather than Roman Catholic, tradition – one that comes closest to Latin America’s liberation theology. His commitment to allying prayer with political action led him to create the Centrepoint charity for young homeless people in central London, to work tirelessly on promoting good race relations, and to become an influential writer exploring the relationship between intimacy with God and compassionate political commitment to a more just and peaceful world.
As a curate in London in the 1960s, confronted by homeless young people in Hoxton and Soho, he characteristically put his faith into action by founding Centrepoint, still Britain’s principal charity in this field. Pointedly, and with his ever-present, sardonic sense of humour, he named the charity after the Centrepoint high-rise building that had been standing empty for years on the edge of Soho while people nearby lived on the streets. He spent his nights among his homeless parishioners, many of them drug dealers and prostitutes. Unsentimentally, he studied the youth drug scene in depth and wrote expertly on how to help its victims. No better-than-thou preacher, he had to fight his own demon, alcohol.


For more go to:


http://gu.com/p/4cj2k?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email





Danczuk Accused of 'Crocodile Tears'!


Dear Sir/Madam
I was sorry to read that Councillor Colin Lambert is leaving the council.  Over the past few years a good number of people have either been forced to leave the labour party or have left as a result of being unhappy at the actions of senior members, including the MP for Rochdale.
The long standing disagreements between Colin and Mr. Danczuk cannot be disguised by a few crocodile tears.
In Saturday's Observer Mr. Danczuk's office is accused of spreading 'malicious rumours'A further matter, an 'alleged smear' 'made in an email' has been passed onto police.  Let us hope that they deal with it swiftly for the benefit of all concerned.
It really is time for the more positive and honest politics voted for by a massive majority of Labour members and supporters to assert itself both locally and nationally.
 
Regards
Ex-member of Rochdale Labour Party

Karen Danczuk's Brother on Sex Charges


YESTERDAY Michael Burke, the elder brother of Karen Danczuk, was charged with 11 counts of rape, five of indecent assault and one of attempted rape.  Mr. Burke, 37, works as a security guard and was first arrested in February this year when his sister Karen Danczuk gave an interview claiming she had been sexually abused as a child by a ‘family friend’.  At that time Michael, the father of three, waved his right to anonymity saying:
‘The allegations are false.  I’m just so shock and disgusted by it all.’
Later, he was held again following further claims of ‘new information’ before yet again being released on police bail.  It seems that two other women had come forward to make complaints against him.
Yesterday, when Mr. Burke appeared before magistrates in Bury, his solicitor Zoe Gascoyne said:
‘These are all allegations this defendant denies and will go on trial at the crown court.’
The prosecutor, Shazia Aslam said that there would be no objection to bailing Mr. Burke as he had already been on police bail for the last nine months without incident.
Mrs. Danczuk is a former Labour councillor in Rochdale, who came to fame as ‘Queen of the Selfies’ after posting seemingly endless photographs of herself on Twitter.  Her husband, from whom she is now separated, is the M.P. for Rochdale, Simon Danczuk.  He too is famous in his own right as a campaigner against historic child abuse, with the help of Northern Voices and John Walker, a former editor of the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) he made the headlines when he outed the former Rochdale M.P., Sir Cyril Smith for child abuse in 2012.   Greater Manchester Police have said that one woman and two girls are involved in the current allegations against Mr. Burke.

'Letting it all hang out...' at Freedom


The letter below is a cute response to a report in the last edition of Private Eye No. 1403 about the goings on at the Freedom Press office and bookshop in Angel Alley, next to the Whitechapel Art Gallery in east London.
Freedom Liberties

Sir,

As a subscriber to Private Eye and an occupier of the building mentioned.   I was surprised at the unresearched article “Letting it all hang out...” (Street of Shame Eye 1403).

The Freedom building includes many active organisations, including mine, the Advisory Service for Squatters.  Between us we have kept the building going despite problems like the fascist firebombing two years ago.  Freedom is still published online and occasionally in in print, and the decision to change was taken after long and open discussion.

Your informant has clearly not bee near the building for many years, and bears a grudge.  The apoparent importance of the value of the building suggests monetary motivation.  You should not allow yourself to be used to print abuse.

We are not expecting “impromptu performance-art” in Angel Alley, but there are joint plans with the art gallery and local homeless hostel to improve the alley with furniture building, a library and plant growing.  Maybe you can send David Ziggy Greene to cover the opening.

We will not be stopping plugging your website on our website (www.squatter.org.uk).

MYK ZEITLIN

 

Support Chris Draper & Private Eye!

I write in support of Chris Draper’s article in  PRIVATE  EYE


In the past I have been very critical of 'washing our dirty linen in public'.  While we enjoy arguing with each other in the pub showing such diversion too openly decreases our credibility.  An example is an  unkind obituary Brian wrote.  To save you the details Bruising Bamford’s battle with Salad Cream Sally did no one any good.  It only enhanced a view that Anarchism equals chaos. 
But the people now running our book shop and its building have left us no alternative to supporting Chris’ exposure.  By 'us' I mean the widely scattered people, holding a large range of Anarchist views, values and visions.  Living far from London has placed us at a great disadvantage.  How dare these usurpers claim to be  'speaking for the movement'

Some 20 years ago Historian, organiser and Anarcho- communist,  Peter Cadogan, said that 'the Anarchist  movement is an animated corpse'.  To-day the corpse is no longer animated. 
Our chances for unified action have been damaged by a handful of visionless authoritarians.  Their dogma is stuck  the 19th century with language reflecting all the inwardness of small, self comforting groups.    
martin  s..gilbert (Oct. 2015) 

LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT ...


The article below was published on page 10 of the last edition of Private Eye:

 SINCE it was founded in 1886 by the Russian geographer Peter Kropotkin, the anarchist journal Freedom has included among its contributors and supporters George Orwell, Alex Comfort, Augustus John, Herbert Read, Benjamin Britten, and Cliff Harper.  For almost 50 years it has owned its own building, next to the Whitechapel Art Gallery in east London. 

However, after the death in 2001 of Vernon “Vero” Richards, who had presided since the days of the Spanish civil war, it was run into the ground:  first  under the editorship of Toby Crowe, who was more hardline Marxist  than anarchist and eventually packed it in to become an Anglican vicar; then under a young thruster called Simon Saunders, whose consuming passion is for computer games. 

Last October the paper closed down altogether, with a final edition that bizarrely boasted:  'Never mind, Kropotkin might have started it but we fucking finished it!' 

The build at Whitechapel High St, recently valued at £1.1m, is now occupied by a bunch of scribblers, activists and Class War enthusiasts who style it an 'anarcho-hang-out' and call themselves the Freedom Collective – though one veteran Freedom supporter tells the Eye it's less a collective than 'a bunch of oiks and morons' whose anarchism seems to consist largely of swearing a lot.  One denizen rejoices in the moniker Gawain 'the Cunt' Williams. 

Needless to say, there was much jubilation at Class War's '#fuckparade' assault  last month on a nearby hipster cafe selling breakfast cereal. 'The Cereal Killer cafe is a legitimate target,' the Freedom Collective's website declared.  'Yes hipster businesses aren't the actual problem  - capitalism and landlords are – but it is certainly a good thing that these people are made to feel unwelcome.' 

But will the oiks themselves be made unwelcome soon?  The building owned by a formerly constituted company, Friends of Freedom Press Ltd, and under its articles of association its board is obliged to sell if the magazine ceases regular publication, and to use the proceeds for other editorial ventures. 

The hitherto somnolent board of FFP Ltd – mostly old-style anarchists – will meet in London on 21 October to initiate formal eviction procedures.  Meanwhile, despite having spectacularly failed to publish a newspaper, the occupants of the anarcho hang-out refuse to recognise the board's authority and claim ownership of the building 'on behalf of the movement'. 

Regular visitors to Whitechapel Art Gallery can anticipate some lively impromptu performance-art next door in Angel Alley in the coming months. 
And, naturally, a lot of swearing.  

Eileen Kershaw Denounces Simon Danczuk


by Brian Bamford 

It is now almost a year since I first interviewed Eileen Kershaw, at that time she expressed some misgivings about Simon Danczuk and his wife Karen.  But generally she clearly thought Mr Danczuk's book 'Smile for the Camera' was well written in a literary sense. 
Yet, Eileen Kershaw did say, correctly as it turned out, that she didn't believe Mr. Danczuk had written the book himself, and she did, even then, express some doubts about some details in the contents of the book.  But now she writes that 'much of the content is questionable'.   It is when she writes below in her letter to the Rochdale Observer that 'the real aim of writing such a tome seems to be financial', that Eileen Kershaw hits the jackpot. 

It was my idea to produce a book on Cyril Smith, which I suggested to a former editor of RAP, John Walker, in 2012.  We needed a publisher and John took the view that if we were going to do a biography on Cyril Smith, it would be a good idea to get the MP for Rochdale to introduce it.   
John Walker then approached Simon Danczuk MP with the idea, and Simon who was drinking in the House of Commons bar at the time, became increasingly more animated.   Later when
John came up to Rochdale and met Matthew Baker, who was then Mr. Danczuk's aide, it became clear that Simon was mainly interested in making money out of producing a book about Cyril Smith; Simon even suggested he wanted to make a docu-drama about Cyril.  After he left Danczuk, John Walker came to see me and over a paella a la valenciana, he told me that Simon was one of the most 'greedy' men that he had ever met:  interested only in making money. 

Amen. 
Eileen Kershaw's letter to the Rochdale Observer (28th, Oct. 2015):

Our MP is a Disgrace

I WISH I could see anything vaguely amusing or laughable about Jeremy Corbyn's efforts as our new leader which conforms to the image of him being portrayed by the more shallow-minded politicians. 

What is more important than honesty, intelligence, loyalty and total commitment to improving the lot of the general public, particularly the vulnerable? 

Simon Danczuk is a disgrace to denigrate Jeremy Corbyn, who is simply sticking to his principles in the face of people like Mr Danczuk. 

Mr Corbyn is in no way betraying anyone or anything by what he is doing. 

This town has been badly let down and has become a national disgrace in the past four years, due in most parts to the antics of our MP and his ex-wife, herself a former councillor. 

Simon Danczuk's attempt at defending her inappropriate behaviour made him party to the offence and convinced many people that he cared as little about the Labour party, the borough council and the people they were elected to represent as she did. 

His exposure of the antics of Cyril Smith was laudable, but questionable on two main issues – much of the content is questionable and the real aim of writing such a tome seems to be financial. 

Is his relationship with the Tory Daily Mail another way of making money? 

Now we have Rochdale councillors who have learned little or nothing about this proud borough and its history. 

Roll on the next election when we will win, hopefully, and get an MP who cares about Rochdale and its good people of all races, religions and political persuasions who have been humiliated by recent events. 

It would also help if the Regional Executive kept out of the selection and let Rochdale choose its own MP. 

Eileen Kershaw.

 

Monday, 26 October 2015

London Anarchist Bookfair

MANY, many THANKS to ALL who helped make the 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair a success - the stallholders & meeting organisers; the many volunteer helpers beforehand & on the day; the online & on the street propagandists; and of course all of you who came with an interest in anarchist ideas & practices.
Our perception - based on programmes dished out & donations received - is that this was the best attended Bookfair for many a year. Thank You! But the Bookfair is worth nothing ...if not a part of a vibrant, creative & active anarchist movement fighting for a new world against tyranny, capital & the state. So let's do it.
The Bookfair Collective will shortly meet to review the event, and it's volunteer members will then return to their many other projects for a while, before planning starts for 2016. This FB page is highly likely to go into hibernation for a while.
In the meantime the Bookfair Collective welcomes any comments, critiques & constructive criticism + enquiries about getting involved - send them directly to the email address which will be monitored, at mail@anarchistbookfair.org.uk
In solidarity. We'll see you on the streets.

Colin Lambert Brand's Labour 'Bullies'!


COUNCILLOR Colin Lambert, who was leader of the Rochdale Council from 2010-2014, will not stand for re-election at the next local elections.  He claims he took the decision to drop out after he became aware of the 'skulduggery and deliberate misrepresentation' within local politics - shockingly he is referring to figures within his own local Rochdale Labour party who have been conducting a vendetta.
Last week, Councillor Lambert told the Rochdale Observer
'I will continue my 40 years membership of the Labour Party, however I will neither represent nor campaign for the individuals who are representing Labour on Rochdale Council.' 
When asked what he knew  of this alleged treachery, Councillor Lambert said: 'I now have a statement which names Labour councillors who were leaking confidential and commercially sensitive papers.'  
Asked what evidence he has of this, Councillor Lambert said:  
'I now have a statement which names Labour councillors who were leaking confidential and commercially sensitive papers.  Individuals smeared myself and others by feeding stories to the media which they knew to be untrue.' 
Since Simon Danczuk came to Rochdale to campaign to become an M.P., politics within the Rochdale Labour Party has seemingly degenerated to a surprising degree.  The atmosphere among Labour Party supporters is now decidedly sour throughout the town.  

Earlier today, Jennifer Williams in the Manchester Evening News wrote: 
'Labour rebel Simon Danczuk could get kicked out of his seat by party members, a senior Jeremy Corbyn ally has suggested – after he threatened to run against the new leader next spring.' 
Much dissatisfaction with Mr. Danczuk stems from what some see as his uncomradely  comments in paid articles he writes for what some see as the reactionary Daily Mail and the Mail of Sunday.   Today, Ken Livingstone, a long-term supporter of the Labour leader, has said Labour MPs who consistently make trouble could find themselves booted out. 
Meanwhile, Mr Danczuk described Ken Livingstone as a 'Stalinist', and said that he had only been practising the 'New Politics' that Jeremy Corbyn was encouraging.  And he added:  'So Ken taking such an authoritarian approach to this is sad really.'  
Ken Livingstone should remember that it was Simon Danczuk's now estranged wife Karen Danczuk, who over a year ago, so skillfully mocked Ed Milliband in a selfie eating a bacon butty.  Perhaps we should all look out, for Simon Danczuk has a reputation as a bit of a Giant Killer on the quiet.





Simon Danczuk: Paul Dacre’s Hired Scribe


IF there's one thing you can say about Simon Danczuk it's that he's full of his own importance as can be seen from his latest article for the Mail on Sunday, whose editor in chief is Paul Dacre.  So when John McDonnell responded to Danczuk's latest attempts to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn by dismissing them as, 'Simon being Simon', he showed an astute awareness of just how Danczuk manipulates the media to enhance his reputation and his bank balance.

McDonnell is reported to have said that 'moderate' Labour MPs must come to terms with the party’s new direction, but that left-wing activists would not be allowed to force them out.

He also said, ‘We are opposing any threat to individual MPs.  We are not in favour of reselection.  The democratic processes in the Labour position will take place in the normal way.  There is no way we will allow MPs to be deselected in that way.  We will work together on this.’

This sort of conciliatory attitude by McDonnell and seemingly by Corbyn, may not be what Simon is really looking for.  Last week I heard the idea being floated that what Simon wants is to provoke party members into calling for him to be expelled for bringing the Labour party into disrepute so that he can play the martyr toddle off and join the Tories.

At the time I thought it was a bit far fetched, but now I'm not so sure.







Sunday, 25 October 2015

Working Class Movement Library Events


Invisible Histories talks at the LibraryOur Invisible histories talks series continues as follows:
Working Class Movement Library
51 The Crescent,
Salford, M5 4WX
United Kingdom
Wednesday 28 October 2pm Tim Dunbar Guernica
Artist Tim Dunbar will give a talk alongside his exhibition Guernica in Manchester re-representation, a drawing project that is based on an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the exhibition of Picasso’s Guernica in a car showroom in Manchester in the first two weeks of February in 1939.

Wednesday 11 November 2pm Michael Herbert Doctor Who and the Communist:
the writing career and politics of Malcolm Hulke
Malcolm Hulke (1924-1979) was a successful writer for radio, television and the cinema from the 1950s to the late 1970s.  His work included episodes for  Armchair Theatre and The Avengers and 54 episodes for Doctor Who, broadcast between 1967 and 1974, for which he is best remembered. Malcolm was also socialist, belonging for a time to the Communist Party of Great Britain, and was very involved with Unity Theatre.
The talk will be given by Michael Herbert who has been watching Doctor Who since 1963, aged 8, and is the author of a pamphlet about Malcolm Hulke, Doctor Who and the Communist,  published earlier this year by Five Leaves Press.

The songs of Ewan MacColl

Blood and Roses – the songs of Ewan MacColl comes to Salford’s Lowry Theatre on Wednesday 4 November at 8pm.  First performed in Glasgow to commemorate 100 years since his birth, Blood and Roses is curated by his sons Neill and Calum MacColl and features other family members, Peggy Seeger, Martin and Eliza Carthy and other special guests.  More details at http://www.thelowry.com/event/the-songs-of-ewan-maccoll

Saturday, 24 October 2015

FABLES FOR ANARCHISTS


IN a north west market town there was a large underused public building.  It was referred to as 'the joke shop' because it was once an unemployment / benefits office.  It adjoined a large parking area which was much needed in that town centre.  A community minibus was parked there, available to local groups.  This vehicle was surrounded by many 'no-parking-clamping-warning' signs, far more than were needed.  They remained in place, threatening people after the minibus had been moved elsewhere but only a small part of the parking area was needed by the employees of the building.  Local anarchists then began gradually to remove the signs.  'Freed spaces' were soon used by shop workers and their customers.  They were so well used that months later the anarchists concerned had nowhere to park in the town centre.

Moral:-  If you do the right thing and others follow do not expect any kind of credit or recognition. 

Selfish motorists then began blocking the entrance to the building to the inconvenience of people whom it employed.   A large army of Police traffic cones then appeared, prohibiting parking over a much larger area than was needed.   A local anarchist then began to gradually dispose of the Police cones, which were soon replaced with others.

But week-end visitors, when the building was closed, followed the example of their unknown benefactor and also dumped the cop-cones.  Eventually, the cop-cones only covered the area needed to give access to the building’s employees.  A happy truce. 

Moral:   Be satisfied that others have followed your examples, credit should go to the group or community who do the right thing.  One day they may see the value of anarchism and our forms of action. 

Mier  ben  Label July ’15 

Chris Draper & Freedom!

CHRIS Draper's forensic analysis of the demise of the Freedom newspaper is excellently researched and demonstrates the culpability of the Freedom Collective.   It deserves to be widely read throughout the libertarian movement.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Mexico & the Day of the Dead




INSTITUTO
CERVANTES 

MÁNCHESTER 
PRÓXIMAS ACTIVIDADES

CULTURALES 
I
UPCOMING CULTURAL
ACTIVITIES

MAN-MEX at Manchester's Instituto Cervantes
Celebre un Halloween
diferente uniéndose
a nosotros en la
conferencia
y posterior fiesta
del 'Día de Muertos'.
Descubrirá la
tradición mexicana
y a la vez se
divertirá mucho.
Además, estamos
encantados de acoger
'Auto Exilio', una
exhibición de arte
del talentoso
artista mexicano
Raúl Loya.
Celebrate a different
Halloween eve by
joining us in the Day
of  Dead lecture and
after party.
You'll discover
the Mexican
tradition as
well as have
great fun. Besides,
we are so pleased 
to hold 'Self Exile',
an art exhibition
by the talented
Mexican artist
Raul Loya. 
30/10/2015
Viernes/Friday, 18:30-20:30
Free entry (RSVP)

Conferencia y posterior
fiesta:
Día de Muertos
El Instituto Cervantes
y la Sociedad Mexicana
de Mánchester organizan
una velada muy especial
para celebrar esta
festividad mexicana,
declarada Patrimonio
Cultural de la
Humanidad por
la UNESCO. (+)
Lecture+After
Party: Day of
the Dead
Instituto Cervantes
and Manchester
Mexican Society
organise a very
special evening
so as to celebrate
this Mexican
holiday, acknowleged
Cultural Heritage of
Humanity by UNESCO. (+) 
15/10/2015 - 15/12/2015
Lunes-Viernes/
Monday-Friday,
10:00-18:00
Free entry

Exhibición de
arte: 'Auto
Exilio', de
Raúl Loya
"Con mi pintura
busco analizar
mi tiempo histórico,
dar mi punto de
vista acerca de la
realidad en la que
estoy inmerso",
asegura el
artista mexicano 
Raúl Loya en su
manifiesto(+) 
Art Exhibition:
'Self Exile' by
Raul Loya 
“With my paintings
I seek to analyze my
historical time.
I expose my point
of view on the
reality in which I
am involved in",
claims Mexican
artist Raul Loya
in his statement. (+) 

Missed Bins in Greater Manchester

THE troubled Bradley Fold Waste Depot in Bury was not able to 'collate their figures to respond' to a Freedom of Information request to Bury Council for the figures showing the number of complaints in the borough about missed bin collections.  Last Wednesday the Manchester Evening News ran a report which showed that there had been 'more than 10,000 complaints over missed wheelie bin collections received by councils in Greater Manchester this year' so far.


Bury, Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale councils had said 'they couldn't collate their figures to respond'.  Manchester City Council shows the worst level of complaints with 3,169 complaints this year, compared with 2,560 last year.


The Manchester Even News says:  'the situation seems to be getting worse as according to the figures, just 8,033 reports were submitted for the whole of last year.'  It's only late October up to now.


The trade union, the Bury Unite Commercial Branch, has been warning for the last two years that the position will deteriorate owing to the decision by councils like Bury and now Rochdale etc, to reduce the number of rounds and regular collections.


Sources close to the councils in Greater Manchester tell us that because of the reduced collections that there is more side waste being left of the streets and of course more fly tipping. 



Greater Manchester Trades Councils condemn 'Devo Manc'

Monday 26th October - Manchester Town Hall - From 8.00am onwards
Lobby of Communities & Local Government Parliamentary Select Committee in Manchester 
'DEVO MANC' campaigners condemn Parliamentary Select Committee's proposals to provide 2.8 million people with just one hour to "share their thoughts and experiences", and for the Committee to "gather evidence" from them, on the extensive devolution deal announced between the Government and Greater Manchester Combined Authority almost a year ago, and which now includes the NHS.
The campaigners, who are seeking a wider public debate, consultation, and scrutiny of the controversial Devo Manc devolution deal, and who are wanting a Greater Manchester wide referendum on any new governance arrangement before it is implemented, say the one hour time allocation for the entire 2.8 million population of Greater Manchester to give evidence to their 'Devolution Bill Inquiry', makes "a complete mockery of democracy" and continues in the same vein as the 'Devo Manc' agreement between The Chancellor and Greater Manchester's 10 local Council leaders, in that "it shows nothing but contempt for the public" throughout the entire exercise.
Speaking on behalf of the cross party and trades union supported Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign for democratic devolution, Greater Manchester TUC President Stephen Hall said:
'That the Parliamentary Select Committee, meeting at Manchester Town Hall on Monday 26th October from 8.50pm until noon, will only be providing an hour for the public of Greater Manchester Public to 'provide evidence' and 'share their thoughts', which the publicity for it says is 'crucial' to inform the Committee's inquiries, is quite simply outrageous, and beggars belief. Surely, if the Select Committee was even slightly serious, they could at the very least extend their proceedings to an afternoon session to allow more submissions from the general public, and from civic and community groups including the trades unions?
'Though this would still not do the Greater Manchester devolution issue or the wider public the justice they deserve, such a step would at least allow more people and organisations from Greater Manchester to submit evidence, and for their views on the issue to be heard by the committee, rather than just the small 'Bubble' of locally based professional politicians, local Government bureaucrats and 'business leaders' who are likely to be the only ones who will get any kind of hearing.
'As it stands the Parliamentary Select Committee meeting in Manchester appears to us as nothing other than a poorly contrived and disguised cosmetic exercise, to make it look like that the people of Greater Manchester have some kind of input into this whole shoddy, undemocratic so-called devolution process, when the reality is the very opposite. It is also part farcical in that almost a year on, most of our local MPs and Councillors don't even know the precise details of the proposed new set up, especially in relation to the NHS and social care, other than in general, it won't involve either them or the very people of the English regions it is alleged to empower.
'As the public session of the event is already fully booked up, the reality is, other than for a no doubt pre-selected few, who might get to say something for more than five minutes, the rest of the people of Greater Manchester will again get no say whatsoever.
"From that point of view, given how few people are likely to be involved in the proceedings from the Greater Manchester area, and the likely huge cost of the Select Committee, and its accompanying entourage, coming to and holding its meeting in Manchester, one has to wonder why they didn't just agree to buy those few people rail tickets to travel to London and hold their meeting in Parliament instead, as it would surely cost a lot less to the public purse, and likely have all the same people participating in the proceedings anyway. In fact why they are bothering to have a meeting at all? It is no far off a complete charade as it stands!
'We believe as a very minimum, that in order for the Parliamentary Select Committee to do its work in what most of us might consider a serious way, that as well as extending its sitting on the 26th at Manchester Town Hall to include an afternoon session to receive further submissions from the public, they should also make a tour of all ten local authority areas in Greater Manchester, and extend their timing there to also include further sessions in the afternoon to which local civic and community groups, local charities, the unions, political parties, and business organisations, as well as the wider public, might be especially invited to submit evidence, and their views on what the so-called 'Northern Powerhouse' and 'devolution' means for them. 
Failing that, one has to wonder why they even bothering with the pretence of even asking what local people's views are.'


Stephen Hall,  President, Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils