Saturday, 8 October 2016

Thoughts on the @narchist London Bookfair

Some thoughts from 'Battlescarred' Nick Heath:
Below we have the distinguished observations of the leader of the 'Anarchist Federation' Mr. Nick Heath on the London anarchist bookfair.  Mr. Heath is immediately recognizable for the remarkable head-gear he dons on such occasions as the London Anarchist Bookfair.  When he turn-up in 2012 at the Manchester & Salford Bookfair he came disguised as Williekerslike complete with a cloth cap.  When the trade unionist, Derek Pattison, confronted Nick outside the venue to that event at the People's History Museum, Mr. Heath hesitated before mounting the staircase questioning Ron Marsden about Derek who was armed with a handful of leaflets.  In the end Heath allowed his girlfriend to ascend the stairs before him, and she deftly took the leaflet from Mr. Pattison in her teeth and spit it out.  What is worrying is that Mr. Heath, apart from being somewhat narrow minded politically, is one of the few anarchists with any intellectual qualities in the 'anarchist' affiliated organisations in London.
Oct 24 2015 14:54

What did you get at the 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair?
Well, today it's the "anarchist Christmas": the bookfair.
So what did everyone get and how was it for people?

Oct 25 2015 18:03

Nothing. Was given latest Black Flag and latest Freedom Bulletin,
which I have yet to read.
Chased that mofo Brian Bamford a few yards up the Bookfair
when he had the nerve to greet me with a shit eating grin.

A more considered e-mail about last year's Bookfair was sent
to me below:
Dear Brian,
Here are some thoughts about the bookfair that I didn’t really feel were
worthy of documenting but which have helped me to understand a couple
of paradoxes that had been on my mind – and which I probably unwisely
promised that I would send you!!
My overall impression of the attendees was negative.  Overall, they
struck me as being self-centred, which I felt was evidenced by the
obvious attention that they had given to their hairstyles and apparel,
some of which was conspicuously co-ordinated.  Obviously, self-centredness
precludes concern for the other.
You might ask ‘What has this inference got to do with anarchism?’ 
Well, if one constructs anarchism solely as being against, the inference
has nothing at all to do with it. However, if one constructs anarchism
as being emancipatory (not perhaps the best word I could choose) the
inference has a lot to do with anarchism because a commitment to
emancipation implies concern for the other.  Moreover, the two previous
constructions of anarchism imply two converse ways of being an anarchist,
in the case of the former, being reactive and in the case of the latter, being
My impression of the attendees and the inference from it that I have drawn
contrast with my appreciation of the bookfair programme.  With the sole
exception of what I regard as its extremely unfortunate front and back
covers, I think that its design is extremely good. In addition, the component
of information about disability is extremely commendable.
This brings me to the issue about the information in the programme about
the meetings. Initially, the subjects of the meetings look impressive. 
However, so too did the subjects of the meetings of the previous bookfairs
that I attended.  The large majority of the subjects give me the impression
of being one-offs or attempted start-ups.  This impression has prompted me
to imagine an anarchist event in which the large majority of the subjects of
the meetings are reports of works-in-progress.  That type of event might be
attended by far fewer attendees and attendees of a very different type.    
Just a couple of thoughts.

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