Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

Watch...The Invisible Woman (2013/general release). A real Victorian drama telling the story of Charles Dickens and his relationship with actress Nelly Ternan. They met when he was 45 and she was 18. He was already married with ten children and in this film we see the image of the great writer and social commentator undermined by his treatment of Catherine, his wife. Ralph Fiennes portrays Dickens as a complex character trapped by the morals of his age. But it is the women who are really the victims, both Catherine and Nelly, who have no independent lives or incomes and are dependent on Dickens. Felicity Jones, who plays Nelly, gives an outstanding performance of a young woman who is bewitched by Dickens. She receives little discouragement from her mother who recognises that by going with Dickens her daughter faces social ostracism but will enjoy a much securer life than being an actress. It is also worth reading Claire Tomalin’s book on Charles Dickens see

Support..Honest Coffee. Fed up of fat cat corporations who sell you coffee but pay little in UK taxes? A new workers co-op is starting in Manchester which aims to set up a coffee shop which will use the profits to support community projects. Its launch meeting is Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Further details see

Be inspired by... the past to fight privatisation of our hospitals…“Occupational Hazards” is produced by anarchist group Past Tense. They have recently published a dossier on some of the history of occupying hospitals in the UK, with some longer accounts of a couple of occupations, and shorter summaries of some twenty others. They hope: “this dossier can be something of a contribution to discussions about what control workers and ‘users’ can have over the NHS, how occupations could defend services that we have now, and what possibility there might be of extending that control… ‘Occupational
Hazards’ is not a finished product, more of an opening of a conversation.”
Buy it from: Past Tense c/o 56a Info Shop 56 Crampton Street, London
SE17 3AE Cost £5 plus £1.50 P&P or from the publications page at the website at and join the local campaign Gtr. Manchester KONP see

Not history lite...Manchester in Fiction…explore Manchester through novels past and present, from Howard Spring and Elizabeth Gaskell to modern writers such as Livi Michael. Saturday 22 March 11.00-12.30pm, led by radical historian Michael Herbert. Booking essential. Further details see

Go on a bus tour…during the Manchester Histories Festival and visit some of the gems of the northwest. On Sunday 23 March Chetham’s Library, Manchester Jewish Museum, Museum of Transport Greater Manchester, the Pankhurst Centre, Victoria Baths and the Working Class Movement Library (WCML) are all opening up to the public for free. Plus visitors can also hop aboard a free heritage bus to easily travel between venues. You can listen to Jennifer Reid sing ballads dating back 300 years, theatre group Lipservice will be performing a play about a meeting between Elizabeth Gaskell and Mrs. Pankhurst as well as songs from the Bailey Sisters at the WCML plus much more! Full details at

See what a real politician looks like…watch Clare Daly, Socialist Party TD (Ireland), as she puts the boot in to the Irish Government and Obama on his visit to Ireland. She says; “Is this person going for the hypocrite of the century award?” Daly asked of Obama. “Because we have to call things by their right names, and the reality is that by any serious examination, this man is a war criminal.” For the full speech see

Enjoy…an evening of words and song by Surrey based non-conformist folk band the Free Radicals. Listen to their musical presentation of Peterloo tracing the stories of the people who were there on 16 August 1819. It’s on at the Royal Exchange on Friday 21 March and its free! Further info see

Remember…Tony Benn…in the 90s many Irish people were arrested on dubious “terrorist” charges which later proved to be miscarriages of justice Tony was one of the few MP’s who, after being told that a prisoner was not getting their rights’ would ring up the prison governor and insist that the prisoner should be listened to. He will be missed…
See the Artist Taxidriver’s heartfelt eulogy..at

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About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. I am a member of the Manchester and Salford National Union of Journalists.If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in anti-cuts, Communism, drama, education, feminism, films, human rights, Ireland, labour history, Manchester, music, NHS, Palestine, political women, Salford, Socialism, Socialist Feminism, trade unions, Uncategorized, women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house

  1. lankychap says:

    Hi – could you send this to my main email account instead please? ian.mchugh@btinternet.com – then I will get to read it in time to go to some of what you are recommending!   ian

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