My review of “Workers’ Playtime”, edited by Doug Nicholls

lipstick socialist

workers playtime

In this new book Workers’ Play Time  seven scripts written about the struggle for workers and trade union rights are published.  The editor Doug Nicholls reminds us of the importance of culture to the struggle for trade union freedom. “Cultural work is central to and an essential part of our struggle; if you ignore it, you blunt your campaign, deaden your organisation, dull your education programme.”

Reading the plays is a history lesson in itself. From Neil Duffield’s play, Bolton Rising, set in 1812 during  the Luddite rising to Jane McNulty’s Dare to Be Free,  which links the  early C20th  and the struggle for cafe workers rights  to the C21st  and fast food workers.

Unlike most of mainstream theatre,  the plays remind us  of the importance of the ordinary person’s desire for justice, and how this really fuels political activity and change in society.

One of the most…

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Another ‘church and king’ mob?

Is this an all male cult? To be charitable it looks like a ‘political allotment’ for bored middle aged blokes to swerve their families at weekends when there’s no football on.

Patriotism is a one way street, anyone struggling to understand why the disadvantaged would identify with their oppressors might find this interesting:

now available as a new pamphlet from WS.

The second appearance of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) on the streets of London on Saturday 7th October is causing a fair amount of head scratching on our end of the political spectrum as people are working towards an understanding of where they’re coming from. The FLA march, numbered in the tens of thousands, was called in response to recent terror attacks in Britain. It took place when there was a break in the Premier League and Championship fixtures to accommodate the qualifying matches for the next World Cup, although Leagues One and Two and all of non league football went ahead as normal on the day.

Unlike the EDL in 2010, the two FLA marches that have been called so far have been completely devoid of national flags – all that has been seen have been club crests and insignia and wreaths in memory of those killed by terror…

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On the libertarian left, the Labour Party, and your mate who got to go on Newsnight once

Cautiously pessimistic

Plan C recently published an article, which is apparently meant to be the first in a series of different perspectives, on the Labour Party, Momentum and so on. It’s clearly an individual perspective and not meant to be speaking for the group, and they stress that it should not be read as implying “uncritical support for the Labour party, Momentum, or any such organisation”. I’ll do my best to read it in those terms, but even so there are some troubling aspects to the text, especially the closing note on media/celebrity figures. To go through it point-by-point:

1) Is just an observation that there’s a lot of crossover between the Momentum-backed The World Transformed event (which is given the rather unfortunately abbreviation TWT) and the Labour Party conference itself, which is not particularly surprising. If there’s anything to quibble with here, it’s with what goes unsaid more than anything…

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Shut down ripper museum 14th October. Cable Street is ours!

From Anarchists of London:

Jack The Ripper Museum still open – still glorifying violence against women.

Still making money from mug tourists.


SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2.00PM 12 Cable Street London E1

Please publicise.

New Town Utopia

From the New Town Utopia events Facebook page –

We’re please to announce that NEW TOWN UTOPIA is now finished. After 4 years, we’re now ready to share this film about Basildon, the power of art and the state of the nation.

It’s got brutalism, poetry, puppets and Jim Broadbent – what more could you want?

Our first public screening is going to be a special Local Premiere in Basildon (of course), taking place in partnership with the East End Film Festival. It’s happening on Saturday 21st October at The Towngate Theatre in Basildon Town Centre @ 7.45pm.

It would be great to see you there, we’ll also have some live poetry from Basildon artists. You can book tickets here:

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Early October round-up for workplace news and other social struggles

s4 and s5 Mental Capacity Act – No blame, total control ‘care’ only ?


blame bigstock-Arrow-Signs-13878395

Despite the unworkability/illegality of capacity assessments and the draconian, no rights nature of the Mental Capacity Act.

And the secrecy and lack of independent representation of the ‘incapacitated’ in the Court of Protection, the executive appears intent with its latest Law Commission Report on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, renamed Liberty Protection Safeguards, to merely tinker with and enforce the present MCA practice, to aid ever more efficient private care and speedier pathways.

It also appears that without ‘incapacity’, care providers are reluctant to provide care, as they wish to avail themselves of the protection from liability the Mental Capacity Act s5 affords them.

And control the service provided by making all decisions in a person’s best interests as allowed in s4.

s 5  states;

Acts in connection with care or treatment
(1)If a person (“D”) does an act in connection with the care or treatment of another person (“P”)…

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