Still the Enemy Within at a very appropriate setting, the Moston Miners. I was involved with the Miners Strike so it brought back some good and not so good memories. It reminded me of going on a delegation to Northern Ireland with a group of miners’ wives who got hassled by the authorities as we docked in Belfast but who instantly understood the political situation and the discrimination and oppression facing the Republican community. It also reminded me of how, when I worked at Bolton council, my fellow Unison members ignored me when I collected for the Miners during my lunchtime. My only real criticism is that the film has not dealt with some of these issues and in particular the lessons we need(ed) to learn from the strike. Highly recommended.
….some locally made films at the The Harpurhey and North Manchester Handmade Film Festival. It was founded in 2013 as a way to bring people together to tell their own stories in their own communities. The festival is being led by local film-makers Richard Searle, Kay Phillips and Rose Hodson in partnership with community venues such as the Manchester Communication Academy and Moston Small Cinema at the Miners Comunity Arts and Music Centre. Further info see
Go to a play….
about the people who refused to fight in the First World War and the community they were part of. England Arise tells the story of Arthur Gardiner, a dyers’ labourer from Huddersfield, who refused to fight in the First World War because of his political beliefs. The writers have used his verbatim account of his defence before the Military Service Tribunal in 1916 in the play to demonstrate his bravery and the centrality of his socialist politics to his refusal to fight. Not a story we have heard about in this year’s depiction of the First World War. Further info at
Find out about.….
what is happening in Kobane and the Kurdish struggle. I came across this interesting post about the present situation in that area. It’s written by Roza Salih, who is Vice President Diversity & Advocacy at University of Strathclyde Students’ Association in Glasgow and NUS Scotland’s International Students’ Officer see
To End All Wars A Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War by Adam Hochschild. We are living through dark times and it is not surprising that a government that is intent on rolling back the welfare state has also tried to sell a patriotic and nostalgic view of the First World War. It is what governments do, particularly as they can probably sense the growing unhappiness and anger of the population. Adam’s book is an important reminder of how, even in the really bad times when it seemed like everyone (including progressive organisations such as the trade unions, some suffragettes and socialists) supported the First World War, people such as Keir Hardie and Sylvia Pankhurst and many not so well known individuals and groups did everything they could to try and turn the tide against the war. Adam is speaking in Derby on 22 October further details see Buy it at
Sign a petition
…if you have been horrified by the amount of time that the terrestrial channels have given over to UKIP. Some are calling the BBC, UKIP TV! All the channels have proposed that UKIP should be included with the three main parties in the coverage of the general election. They plan to exclude the Green Party who have had an MP (and MEPs) for several years. It is unbelievable! Oppose this by signing the petition at
about the anti-austerity protests in Ireland and listen to Paul Murphy, just elected as an anti-austerity TD, as he exposes a government that is imposing more cuts including higher water charges on a population that has had six years of austerity. A brilliant speech and it is inspiring to see the fight back in Ireland. See