Watch…Under the Rainbow…a new film by two of my favourite filmmakers Agnes Jaoui and Jean Pierre Bacri. They make films for grownups. Under the Rainbow uses the storyline of several fairy tales to point out our weaknesses when it comes to relationships. Agnes plays an actor who runs drama workshops with children and Bacri plays his usual role of cynical and distant older man who cannot relate to women. At the centre of the film are two 20 year olds whose romance is thwarted by an older (wolf-like) character who seduces the young woman. The funniest and most enjoyable parts of the film are those with Agnes and Jean Pierre as he tries to break down her phobia about driving. Highly recommended.See it at
Read..Ignorance ..written by one of my favourite authors Michele Roberts. The story of two girls in France as the Second World War breaks out. The girls may be living in the same village but the lives are dominated by their class. Marie-Angele’s father is a grocer and very much part of the establishment of the village. Jeanne’s mother is a washerwoman, and a Catholic convert and right at the bottom of the social scale. But it is the life of Jeanne and her mother, particularly in their love of cooking, even if they could only dream of some dishes, that shows their love for each other and their rich, if poor, life together. The lives of the girls are turned upside down as the Second World War and the Nazis invade their village. Marie Angele becomes involved with the black market and Jeanne ends up working in a brothel. Michele Roberts shows how war and occupation destroyed peoples’ lives, not just the Jewish children who are betrayed by the catholic nuns, but the certainties of lots of little villages and communities across Europe at this time. Highly recommended. Buy it at
Find out..about Ellen Wilkinson at this talk by biographer Paula Bartley at the PHM on 12 July 1pm. Her book; Ellen Wilkinson; From Red Suffragist to Government Minister is well written and researched and she should be better known!! See my review at
Go see a play….Close the Coalhouse Door at Oldham Coliseum…written by Alan Plater in 1968, with the songs of Alex Glasgow and updated by Lee Hall. A Newcastle family looks back at 140 years of mining history in the northeast, a poignant mixture of stories and songs about the victories and the defeats of ordinary people in extraordinary times. It was based on stories by northeast author Sid Chaplin and I think one of the interesting aspects of it is the story of the relationship between fathers and their sons. It may seem pure nostalgia as we no longer have a coal mining industry in this country but the play does have a lot to say about the past and the real history of this country.
Join the national day of action to Oppose TTIP… The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – in secret – between the European Union and the USA. It would grant corporations the power to sue governments, threatening our public services, environment, food, privacy and democracy.Unison have organised a meeting in Manchester on 9 July from 7pm see Further info on TTIP see
sign the petition at
Remember Peterloo... and join in what was the original route on Sunday 17 August from Barrowfields in Middleton to St.Peter’s Square in Manchester.The organisers have a new banner that was produced by Ed Hall to take on the march and there will be an exhibition at Clayton Hall to mark the event. Further info contact at
Listen to..Radio Solidarity Online...produced by Malc Cowle from his home in Manchester. Get an alternative view of the world though his weekly podcast of news and music about the working class. He also publishes books and gives a share of the profits to the WCML. Support him!! See his website at