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

Watch.. Ilo Ilo,(Cornerhouse) a film set in 1997 in Singapore. The Lim family employ a Filipino maid, Teresa, to look after their son, and whilst the family (and society generally) are obsessed with money she provides their son with much needed love and attention. The film is set in a period when the financial crisis has hit the country and this is reflected in the growing fears of unemployment and poverty. At one point a neighbour commits suicide while the father loses his job but feels unable to be honest with his wife and son. It is the maid who observes the real life going on, inside and outside the family, and whilst she is sympathetic to their concerns none of them show any interest in the fact she has had to leave her country and earn money to send home to look after her young son. Highly recommended.

Read….Mrs Woolf and the Servants, written by Alison Light…a fascinating and sometimes hilarious account of why it is not so good to have servants. This is much more than the story of one woman’s domestic battles, it is the hidden history of domestic service in this country. Many poor girls and young women were sent to work as servants from an early age, 11 years old, many women were forced into servantdom because they had no other choices, although a few did better themselves through the process and gained an education and skills. Alison’s book is well written and an insight into the way in which society has changed, particularly for working class women. Buy it from

Celebrate May Day…on the march A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR COMMUNITIEs..organised by the local trade unions to oppose the austerity agenda. It starts in Salford, where else, which has been at the heart of opposition to cuts in public services and opposition to fracking. Further details see

Join the campaign… to get rid of BNP Nick Griffin at the Euro elections. A meeting organised by NUJ Manchester and Salford at 7pm, Tuesday May 6th, Friends’ Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS. Speakers from the NUJ, Nick Griffin Must Go campaign, Unite Against Fascism. Along with other trade unions, the NUJ is committed to opposing the fascist BNP which currently has an elected North West Member of the European Parliament. Further info see

Go seeThe Bubbler by Cathy Crabb…one of the best plays written as a response to the riots of 2011 Neil Bell is mesmerising as embittered Cash Generator boss Peter, with his opinionated battle of wills with easy-going everyman bartender, Paul, fought out over the morals and motives of absent regular, Tony Rabonni – a kind and creative soul who, much to Peter’s disgust, appears to be an all-round great guy. One of the best plays I have seen for a longtime and its great it is getting out to all these venues around the North West. Unmissable.
Further details see

RememberConscientious Objectors from the First World War; A Different Kind of Hero. CND have organised an event with the No Glory Campaign, local historians who seek to challenge the dominant myths of the First World War. Join them to celebrate their stories and their significance to our region. Bring poems and songs on May 15th 5pm – 6pm on Fennell Street, between the Cathedral and the river – a potential site for the new Peace Gardens. Take part in the preparations at Nexus Café on Dale Street, behind and underneath Methodist Central Hall, on May 14th 5.15pm – 6.30 pm. Craft skills and stories of COs needed. Please text them if you want to be part of this activity on 07796078310

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. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in anti-cuts, book review, drama, feminism, films, human rights, labour history, Manchester, May Day, novels, peace campaigns, political women, Salford, trade unions, Uncategorized, women, young people and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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