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

WatchThe Mill (Channel 4) a series created by left wing writer John Fay and set at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire charting the rise of radical politics. Not the usual its grim up north programme but a series that has real, complex working class characters and one of the most interesting aspects of north west history as its subject. Set in the 1830s it charts the rise of the demands of the majority (but male) population for the vote and better working conditions. Last week we saw how difficult it was to organise the factory slaves, that is what they were, to go to the Chartist demonstration at Kersal Moor in Salford in 1838. They would lose a day’s pay and have to walk many miles from Styal to Salford. Many of them did: 200,000 people turned up to demand not just the vote but a change in the political system. It is a powerful series because at the heart of it are strong characters: Esther Price, the factory girl who wants more than just being a slave in the factory or to a man. Daniel, a clever man, chief engineer in the mill, who organises the trade union and challenges the boss over his right to rule the lives of the factory workers inside and outside work. It is not a dour series but is funny, irreverent and yet challenges every stereotype about working class people. Highly recommended.

Read the Salford Star…about to come out in print but you will have to move to Salford to get a copy. I recently interviewed founders Stephen Kingston and Steve Speed see

Go on a march…on 17 August in memory of the Peterloo Massacre a group of people are marching from Middleton, starting at Barrowfields at 8.45am. Middleton was the home of poet and activist at Peterloo Sam Bamford. It will end at Peter’s Square in Manchester where 18 people were killed by the local yeomanry in 1819 at a meeting which called for the vote. There is also a feeder march from Bolton for details see
Read this interesting article about the women at Peterloo see

More on Gaza…. lots of activities to join in from the daily picket of Kedem, the Israeli Cosmetics Product Shop in King Street which continues daily 12 to 6. Manchester Palestine Action Meeting on Wednesday 13th August,7-9pm, a meeting for people currently involved in actions to learn more about Gaza and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaigns. Friends Meeting House, Mount Street Manchester. Further info see
He is one of our best known singer/songwriters and here he is with a song for Gaza; Leon Rosselson see

Sign the petition….. Please sign Louise Raw’s petition to get UK parliament recalled on Gaza.
as she says I KNOW, it’s a shame to interupt those poor MPs hols, but…see

Remember…working class poet Joe Smythe who would have been 80 this year. Filmmaker John Crumpton has on his blog reminded us of a man who should be better known as a poet. Joe worked as a railway guard and wrote about life on the railways as well as much more. He published six poetry books through Commonword, which was a worker’s writers co-op, that encouraged working class people to meet and share their poetry and give them the opportunity to get it published. Read more about Joe at

Support Stafford Hospital…faced with the closure of its A&E, maternity and intensive care supporters are camping out with over 30 tents and 100 people to build support to stop the closure of an important local hospital. For more info see For those of us involved with the Greater Manchester KONP we watch knowing it is going to be our hospitals next so why not join us

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

  1. Mark says:

    I love The Mill

  2. Steven says:

    Dear Lipstick Socialist, Please excuse my naivety. I fully support the right of people to demonstrate outside Israeli government premises/ other large public spaces, but why are you supporting the PSC campaign against Kedem Cosmetics? This is a British business run by a Jewish British/Israeli person selling Israeli products from the Dead Sea ( not the occupied West Bank). There are lots of Jewish owned shops selling Israeli products. Why not blockade them and drive them out of business as well? I know for sure they are very reactionary and even send money to prop up the Israeli government. There is one in particular that sells Israeli -made religious prayer books run by someone with dual British/ Israeli nationality. No one could possibly feel this was anti – semitic……….. As a member of the British Jewish community, with a Left wing pedigree , who would like to see a change in Israeli government policy, I cannot see how this action will influence them in any way. It is a easy and nasty target and with death threats to Jewish staff working there and damage to the property, I cannot see how this can help to persuade the Manchester Jewish community here, to support the campaign against the Israeli government and to work towards a democratic Middle East. With one million Tibetans killed by China ( Is this true?), I am wondering if a similar campaign towards Chinese products might be more effective in influencing China more than the Kedem Cosmetics “blockade” might affect Israeli actions. I know a local Pharmacy, ( it might be owned by this very nice Muslim man, I met once, I am not sure but …..), that sells herbal medicine from China. I and a few hundred other people I know, could be available to mount a similar campaign. What do you think?? Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2014 08:38:38 +0000 To:

    • Dear Steven thanks for your interesting comments. I suggest you get along to the next PSC meeting, not sure where you live, and discuss this with the comrades. If you are not happy about the Kedan protest there are regular demos and marches throughout the northwest that you could take part in. Or contribute to the Gaza fund. My philsophy is; doing something is the only option! Soldarity!

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