Watch…Pool of London(DVD ) made in 1951 by esteemed director Basil Dearden. It is set in the London docklands and filmed in black and white. It is the story of the people we rarely see in films or on television; men who work on ships, women working in pubs, theatres and offices.We follow two merchant seamen, Dan who is white and involved in petty crime and his friend Johnny, supposed to be Jamaican but the actor Earl Cameron uses his American accent. One of the interesting aspects of the film is the way it addresses the racism that Johnny experiences and how his friend and other people in the film step in to support him. But the filmmakers cannot get away from the attitudes of cinemagoers in Britain in the 1950s so although Johnny goes out with a white woman he is not allowed to kiss or touch her as they discover London together. I love the way in which we see London as it was then and the black and white just adds to a romantic and atmospheric view of the city. It is also great seeing the dock area as a working port as well as the pub life, the variety theatre and the lives of the men on the ship. Highly recommended.
Get a copy of…Chartist Newsletter. I have not come across this publication before but I was really interested in another view of the conflict in the Ukraine particularly one concerning the workers there which rarely gets any publicity. In this issue you can read an interview with of Sergey Yunak: Head, Western Donbas Miners Union, Dnipropetrovsk see
There is something about the name Bernadette.. Bernadette Devlin McAliskey was a heroine of my fathers and she is an inspiration to me. She is a woman who got on the barricades to defend her community against British soldiers in Ireland in the 70s, she was elected to the British Parliament at the age of 20 and tried to challenge the British establishment about their role in Ireland and in 1972 over the killings at Bloody Sunday. Bernadette was almost killed for her views and her political activity. In my view it is only when we recognise and value activists in the working class community that we will see change in society. Watch these two interviews she did recently with chunkymark in his taxi. In 20 minutes she makes more important comments than any book produced in the last 30 years see parts 1 and 2
Sign a petition…if you are a woman..Feminist organisation Global Womens Strike say; We call on women’s groups and organisations, prominent feminists, and all women everywhere, of all faiths and secular, to stand with the women and children of Gaza and demand an immediate end to this Israeli slaughter of the innocents. It is time to hear from the women outside of Gaza. Further info see
Find out the latest on workfare…read this summary by Tameside Unemployed Workers Alliance and how a judge has ruled that working for free is lawful but taking benefits away is not. Love the Ben Hur clip! See
Find out about how….People Make their Own History run by activist and historian ( a winning combination) Mark Krantz. From Peterloo to Stop the War in 10 sessions from 23 September at the Peoples History Museum. Further info see