Orwell to be honoured by International Brigades
The International Brigades Memorial Trust is holding a special event to mark the 75th anniversary of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia.
The Len Crome Memorial Lecture, ‘George Orwell: Homage to Catalonia 75 Years On’, will be held on Saturday 2 March 2013 at the Manchester Conference Centre.
Sessions will include discussions on May Day and the British battalion, the reception and impact of Homage to Catalonia, and the other ILP volunteers. Speakers include Dr Richard Baxell, Professor Paul Preston, Dr Tom Buchanan and Chris Hall while Professor Mary Vincent will chair the event.
The conference costs £10, or £25 with refreshments and lunch (concessions available). The deadline for booking is 31 January 2013.
Further information and booking forms from:
Hilary Jones: email@example.com; 0161 224 1747
Dolores Long: firstname.lastname@example.org; 0161 226 2013
The IBMT are also releasing a new CD featuring singer Billy Bragg and actor Maxine Peake to salute the anti-fascist volunteers of the Spanish Civil War.
Bragg performs ‘Jarama Valley’, the famous song of the British battalion, and on ‘Brigadista Reprise’ Peake delivers La Pasionaria’s emotional farewell speech to the International Brigades over a dub backing track by The Urban Roots.
The CD is available exclusively from the IBMT and can be ordered for £5 plus £1.99 p&p. Go to the IBMT merchandise page to order.
For more information go to: http://www.international-brigades.org.uk/
Communications and other Big Issues
The Raymond Williams Foundation is holding a ‘Communications’ residential weekend seminar at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool on 23-25 November.
According to the Foundation, the programme will follow the pattern of recent seminars at Wortley Hall, which were based on ‘pub discussion methodologies’. The main themes for discussion will develop from Raymond Williams’ seminal book Communications.
This event is run in co-operation with the Raymond Williams Society whose annual lecture will be held on Saturday at 2.30pm, entitled ‘Scouse: A Social and Cultural History’. The speaker will be Tony Crowley, Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool.
Admission to the lecture is £3 (£2 unwaged, free for RWS members). The lecture will be followed by a reception, sponsored by Liverpool University Press (LUP).
The rest of the weekend will include:
- an optional ‘research’ project: Women and the Media
- Liverpool themes on Robert Tressell and slavery
- themes on global crises: Occupy, peace movement priorities, and cooperatives and mutuals
- post-Williams technology: Wither the WWW?
The programme above will start at 5pm on Friday 23 November and finish at 12.30pm on Sunday, followed by lunch. There will be optional Sunday afternoon guided visits around Liverpool architecture, the Tressell Trail and the Slavery Museum.
The fee of £80.00 for the weekend (subsidised by educational charities) includes en suite bedroom, all meals except lunch, and all sessions. Non-residents are welcome at a pro rata price.
Booking forms and payments options are available on the Foundation’s website: www.raymondwilliamsfoundation.org.uk
Further information from: tel. 01538 370067; email email@example.com
100 Years of Cambridge Labour Party
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander MP will be the main speak at an event to celebrate the centenary of Cambridge Labour Party on Saturday 17 November.
A branch of the ILP was first formed in Cambridge in 1906, ILP candidate Tom Orrey, a railwayman, contested the Romsey seat in the borough council in 1911, and in 1912 the Cambridge Labour Party was founded by ILP members, Fabians, and union representatives from the railway workers, building trades, printers and shop assistants. The first Labour councillors were elected in 1919 and the town had its first Labour MP, Leslie Symonds, in 1945.
The event in Cambridge Guildhall will also feature Frank Dobson MP, Stan Newens from Labour Heritage, plus the launch of a new history of the local party, called Camaraderie, written by Richard Johnson and Ashley Walsh. There will be a number of talks and an exhibition.
Tickets are £5 (£4 unwaged) on the door or in advance from Cambridge Labour Party, tel 01223 500515. Doors open at 1.30pm.
There has to be a better way
17 October 2012: Professor Andrew Gamble
Prospects for the Left
The talk will explore the current state of the Left and the prospects for its renewal. It will examine the mixed legacy of New Labour, the advent of the coalition, the politics of the financial crash and the recession, and the opportunities as well as dangers which they bring.
We are very fortunate in being able to open our series with Andrew Gamble, now Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge, after a distinguished career as Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. Andrew is author of a particularly relevant text, The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist crisis and the politics of recession, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
18.30 to 21.30 hours
Hall and Bar
The Burton Street Foundation
57 Burton Street
Sheffield S6 2HH
Assemble at 18:30 for a buffet and informal conversation. The chair, Dave Clarson, Director of the Burton Street Foundation, will start the formal proceedings not later than 19:15 to 19:30. There will be ample time for questions and discussion..
Places can be booked by contacting John Halstead (firstname.lastname@example.org and tel. 0114 2582541), Sheffield Co-operative Party Branch Secretary, or Ken Curran (email@example.com and tel. 0114 2654528), Sheffield Co-operative Party Branch Chair. There is a charge of £7 per head for the buffet.
21 November 2012: Dr Denise Thursfield, University of Hull.
Class, economy and skill: why the state should support young people
The talk will focus on the necessary role of state intervention in providing opportunities for young people. It will discuss the hollowing out of the economy and what this means for the life chances of young working class people.
Denise is a Labour Party member elected to the National Policy Forum. She lives at Castleford and is familiar with mining communities. Her academic work has been concerned with skills and lifelong learning.
20 February 2013: Jon Cruddas MP
Cruddas is Labour MP for Dagenham and was appointed by Ed Miliband to lead on the Labour Party’s policy review.
The School of Democratic Socialism is an initiative of the Yorkshire Co-operative Party formed with national and local Labour party support.
Free Sunday afternoon sessions (assemble 13:30 for 14:00 to 16:15) were held successfully during 2011-12 at the Scotia Works, Leadmill Street and resume on 30 September 2012. Anyone interested in attending should contact John Halstead (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A Future that Works
The TUC is calling for people from across the country to join its national demonstration against the coalition government’s cuts and austerity programme in London on Saturday 20 October.
The march, called ‘A Future that Works’, will follow the same route as last year’s March for the Alternativewhich attracted a quarter of a million people. The TUC are hoping for a similar turn-out this year when Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to join the demonstration.
Protesters are being asked to gather on Victoria Embankment from 11am. The march will set off at 1pm and head to Hyde Park via Westminster Bridge, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly. The rally will be addressed by “a mix of trades unionists and public figures to speak about how austerity isn’t working, the need to invest in jobs and growth and to defend quality public services”.
Many more details, including route maps and travel information, are on the eventwebsite where the TUC explain their reasons for organising the demo:
Austerity isn’t working
Our country faces long-term economic problems. But our political leaders have failed to face up to them.
For the next five years or more, unless policies change the economy will not grow, incomes will not rise, and there will be almost no new jobs.
If the government keeps on with big spending cuts and austerity we face a lost decade. Even on their own terms government policies are failing. To close the deficit we need a healthy growing economy that generates tax income. But austerity has led to a vicious circle of decline.
Instead of just letting the banks go back to business and bonuses as usual, we need policies that promote new and old industries.
This new approach would create jobs, especially for young people.
It would encourage companies to raise average pay, penalise big bonuses and invest in training and new industries. It would crack down on tax evasion by big companies and the super-rich. It would tackle the growing inequality between the super-rich and everyone else.
Rather than deep, rapid spending cuts, we need to reverse our decline and build an economy that works for ordinary families.
We need a future that works.
More details: http://afuturethatworks.org/
How to overcome the north-south divide
The secretary and chair of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation will speak at a public meeting in Chesterfield on May Day to discuss how to tackle the growing north-south divide. Why is unemployment and household poverty significantly higher in the north? Would regional government or a parliament of the north help tackle the problem?
Time: 1.30 pm
Date: May Day, Monday 7th May
Venue: North East Derbyshire District Council, Saltergate, Chesterfield
Chair: Ken Curran : Chair of Sheffield Co-operative Party
Speakers: Paul Salveson, secretary of Hannah Mitchell Foundation and author of Socialism With A North Accent
Barry Winter, ILP and chair of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation
At the start of the meeting Rosie Smith and Geoffrey Mitchell (Hannah’s grandson) will explain the significance of Hannah Mitchell.
You can read more about Hannah Mitchell and the Foundation here.
Launch of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation
The newly-formed Hannah Mitchell Foundation is holding its public launch in the Banqueting Hall of Bradford City Hall, at 1.15pm on Friday 9 March.
The foundation describes itself as ‘an ethical socialist campaign for regional government in the north’. It’s a centre-left network of people with an interest in democratic regional government named in honour of a northern working class socialist and feminist.
The Halifax MP and the organisation’s president, Linda Riordan, will be the main speaker at the launch, plus the foundation’s chair, Barry Winter, and general secretary, Paul Salveson.
The event is open to everyone but you will need to book in advance so organisers can judge numbers (details below).
In the meantime, the foundation is surveying people’s views on northern devolution while further events are being planned including a reception at the Houses of Parliament in June.
To book a place at the launch email Paul Salveson, email@example.com, or send name, address and organisation, to 90a Radcliffe Road, Golcar, Huddersfield HD7 3EZ.
For more information and details of how to become an individual or corporate member see: www.hannahmitchell.org.uk.
Crisis, Markets and Protest: The ILP annual discussion 2012
Today capitalism is news. Indeed, talk about capitalist crisis and recession is widespread in ways that have not been heard for decades. Comparisons are often being made with the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Yet, it is the forces of the right that continue to dominate politically, even though the system they most strongly espouse is facing severe upheavals. Often discredited, social democratic parties are struggling to get a hearing.
In the UK, the coalition is using the recession to fast-forward radical changes to work and the public sector, including health and education. The crisis is being used as an opportunity to marketise society still further, extending the very processes that led us into recession.
We are also witnessing changes in the public mood: at times hostile to those deemed to be welfare scroungers; at times angry at the greed and insensitivity of bankers when there is growing hardship and unemployment.
New forms of politics and protest are, quite effectively, highlighting many of these injustices. They are pointing the finger at those whose privileges, prosperity and power still prevail despite mounting inequality nationally and globally. They are raising questions of justice, morality and accountability that need to be heard if the crisis is not to be resolved by punishing the poor.
How do we play our part in this process? What can we contribute to a coherent left alternative? Can we make ‘Our Politics’ play a constructive part in these turbulent times?
We invite you to explore these questions at the ILP’s weekend school in Scarborough on Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th May.
The ’round table discussion’ will take place at the Esplanade Hotel. Accommodation costs £25 for Saturday 5th May, and £44 for any additional nights.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a booking form.
The New Gold Rush
Education, health and other public services are being turned into saleable commodities on the global market and lucrative sources of profit for the multinationals, according to Ursula Huws, Professor of Labour and Globalisation at the University of Hertfordshire.
Huws will will speak on ‘The New Gold Rush: Multinationals and the commodification of the public sector’ at the next ‘Dialogues in Politics and Culture’ event organised by the Leeds Taking Soundings group on 21 March.
‘Today we are witnessing the growth of a new “public services industry,” she says. ‘The impact on public sector workers and on all people who use these services will be enormous. Unless challenged, it will mean the re-appropriation of the historical gains in welfare made in the 20th century.’
‘The New Gold Rush: Multinationals and the Commodification of the Public Sector’ is at 6pm on Wednesday 21 March at Broadcasting Place, Room BP102, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN.
No need to book, but contact email@example.com for more details.
A Monument to a Movement
Clarion House in Pendle, Lancashire, is marking its centenary on 11th and 12th August this year and celebrating its survival as a monument to a once thriving part of the Labour movement.
The Nelson ILP Clarion Society is the sole survivor of the early socialist Clarion movement that existed to propagate views for a fairer, more humane society.
Over time hundreds of Clarion Houses around the country have closed or become private buildings. In 2011 the last remnants of the Clarion at Chevin End above Menston was legally wound up.
But a dedicated group have kept the Nelson Clarion on Jinny Lane, Newchurch in Pendle open and serving refreshments every Sunday so passing ramblers and cyclists can meet with local socialists and relax in a setting that still openly supports socialist views.
There are many costs involved in keeping this unique ‘monument to a movement’ in good repair, but it is too important a part of our Labour history to lose.
All are invited to help celebrate 100 years of the Clarion on 11th and 12th August 2012 and if anyone can persuade their trade union or trades council to make a contribution that would be really appreciated.
More information from the Clarion website: www.clarionhouse.org.uk
They Did Not Pass
The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street will be celebrated on Sunday 2 October with a commemorative march and rally, and numerous other events organised by Cable Street 75 and supported by more than 40 organisations.
Assemble: 11.30am at Aldgate East (Junction of Braham Street and Leman Street)
Rally: 1pm at St George in the East Gardens, Canon Street, off Cable Street (http://g.co/maps/mnppe)
The march and rally is just one of several events taking place on 2 October. Others include:
- Protest and Survive – a photography and poster exhibition
- Grand Union Orchestra of East London (www.grandunionyouth.org.uk)
- Book launch – five new publications about the Battle of Cable Street
- ‘They Shall Not Pass’ – an evening of celebration and entertainment at Wilton’s Music Hall, including Billy Bragg, Michael Rosen, Shappi Khorsandi and The Men They Couldn’t Hang (www.battleofcablestreet.org.uk)
Hope not Hate have also produced a special Cable Street pamphlet, sponsored by Unison, to mark the 75th anniversary. The 28-page full-colour magazine includes maps, rare photos and stories from the day.
£4 (including p&p) from www.hopenothate.org.uk/shop/cablest or by sending cheque or postal order for £4 to:
Searchlight Educational Trust
PO Box 67502
London NW3 9RE.
Colne Valley Labour Party 120th Anniversary Celebrations
Thursday 21 July, 7.30pm
The Watershed (behind Monsoon)
Lord David Clark, author of Colne Valley: radicalism to socialism and MP for Colne Valley 1970-1974
- launch of souvenir booklet Looking Back, Looking Forward: Colne Valley Socialism 1891-2011
- socialist songs from the East Lancashire Clarion Choir
- guest appearances by historical socialist figures including Victor Grayson and Jessie Smith
- start of the Colne Valley Labour Party quilt
- pre-meeting historical walk and talk around Slaithwaite – meet 6.30pm at Watershed
- sale of books and Colne Valley Labour Party centenary plates and mugs.
Please bring your mementoes: photos, newspaper cuttings, badges.
Suggested donation: £2 on the door. All proceeds to constituency funds.
More info from Paul Salveson on 07795 008691 or firstname.lastname@example.org
120th Anniversary Birthday Garden Party
Sunday 24 July, 1pm to 4.30pm
90a Radcliffe Road
- Tolstoyan Treasure Trail
- co-operative capers and games
- solidaristic sandwiches
- Marxist meringues
- socialistic steam trains on a garden railway
- special guests, including the ghost of Victor Grayson
- stirring music
Suggested donation: £5 adults; accompanied children free – includes food and drink. All proceeds to constituency funds.
How to get there: Bank Top is nearer Slaithwaite than Golcar; about a 15 minute walk from the railway station (parking is limited). Bank Top is beyond the trees, past the garages and terraces, and on the left (if you are coming from Slaithwaite). Look out for the red flags!
Fancy dress for any period between 1891 and 2011 is encouraged but not essential. Prizes for the best/worst dressed socialist
RSVP to Paul Salveson and Hester Dunlop, Bank Top, 90a Radcliffe Road, Golcar, Huddersfield HD7 4EZ. email@example.com
Celebrating Clarion House
All ILP members, friends and supporters are invited to a special presentation to volunteers at Nelson’s Clarion House on Saturday 24th July marking nearly a century of association between the ramblers’ tea shop run by members of the Nelson ILP Land Society and the national ILP.
Members of the ILP’s national administrative council will present Clarion volunteers with a framed copy of the ILP 21st Anniversary Certificate (itself a representation of the founding conference of the ILP in 1893), confirming the ILP’s continued support for those whose hard work and commitment keeps the Clarion House functioning as a hostelry for visitors to the Lancashire town and Pendle Way.
2.30pm, Sunday 24 July 2011
Read more about Clarion House: www.clarionhouse.org.uk
Let the ILP know if you’re thinking of attending: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07799 502 937
International Brigade Memorial Trust
Manchester Town Hall
Saturday July 16th
The International Brigade Memorial Trust was formed in 2002 from the veterans of the International Brigade Association, the Friends of the I.B.A., representatives of the Marx Memorial Library, and historians specialising in the Spanish Civil War. Its aims are:
“To educate the public in the history of the men and women who fought in the International Brigades and in the medical and other support services in the Spanish Civil War. In particular, by preserving and cataloguing valuable historical material relating hereto and by making such material available to the public.”
“To foster good citizenship by remembering those who have fallen in the Spanish Civil War by preserving, maintaining and assisting in the construction of war memorials.”
2pm: Walk round Radical Manchester with Michael Herbert, ‘Red Flag Walks’
For more information contact: Dolores 0161 224 2013 or Hilary 0161 224 1747
Combatting the Coalition, Constructing an Alternative
The 2011 ILP Weekend School
Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 May 2011
On the agenda:
- the politics of the Conservative-led government and the growing opposition to their cuts
- the challenges facing the Labour leadership
- rebuilding the party’s internal democracy
- the ILP’s political perspective.
Discussion, debate, deliberation.
Put the date in your diaries and plan a weekend by the sea.
Accommodation: special rate for Saturday night: £25.00
(additional nights at £43)
The Esplanade Hotel
Tel. 01723 360382
The State of the State
The role and nature of the state has become a central feature of British political argument – should it be an ‘EasyJet state’ or a ‘John Lewis state’? Should the state give way for the arrival of the ‘big society’, or forms of mutualism or associationalism?
The discussion group Leeds Taking Soundings is hosting a meeting on the state of the state with Michael Kenny, professor of politics at the University of Sheffield. Kenny’s recent article on the big society can be found on the Open Democracy website.
The State of the State
6pm Wednesday 23 February 2011
Old Broadcasting House
Leeds Met University
Further details: email@example.com
March for the Alternative: 26 March 2011
The TUC is organising a national march against the cuts on March 26th 2011.
Initial artwork for leaflets and posters for the event can be found in the resources section on the TUC website: www.tuc.org.uk/theme/index.cfm?theme=alltogether
TUC regions will be helping co-ordinate transport, but they will also use this website for more details so keep checking. They will be posting much more about the march in days and weeks to come.
Labour, the coalition and the ILP perspective
The 2011 ILP Weekend School
Save the date:
7/8 May 2011
Note the venue:
The Esplanade Hotel
Tel. 01723 360382
Discussion, debate, deliberation.
Put the date in your diaries and plan a weekend by the sea.
More details to follow, including information on how to book your place.
Why Inequality Matters
A lecture by Professor Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level,
in memory of Richard Brown (Dept of Sociology, Durham University 1966-1993).
Monday 8th November 2010
St John’s College (http://goo.gl/maps/wnDg)
6:30pm – FREE
Drinks and nibbles will be provided.
The Spirit Level: Why equality is better for everyone, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, was published in hardback by Penguin in March 2009 and paperback in February 2010.
Three months in Spain
The British Battalion at Madrigueras and Jarama
Saturday 7 August, 2pm
People’s History Museum
Manchester M3 3ER
Historian Dr. Richard Baxell lectures on the day-to-day experiences of the British and Irish volunteers in The Spanish Civil War, during the early part of 1937.
The lecture will include audio and video clips from some of the interviews with Brigaders and will cover the formation of the battalion, its baptism of fire at Jarama and its subsequent recovery and rebuilding before returning to action at the Battle of Brunete in July 1937.
As Baxell says: ‘The period of training – let alone combat – must have been an immense culture shock to the members of the battalion, almost all of whom spoke no Spanish and had rarely travelled, even within Britain. Factor in an unfamiliar diet, woefully insufficient and often sub-standard weaponry and a general lack of appropriate military experience and you begin to understand the scale of the appalling task facing the British Battalion in their first experience of combat.’
Richard Baxell, with Jim Jump and Angela Jackson, compiled the ANTIFASCISTAS exhibition for the International Brigade Memorial Trust (see below). He is also the author of British Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, the history of the British Battalion in the International Brigades.
More details of Richard’s work can be found at www.richardbaxell.info
In addition, Civil War songs will be performed by Manchester group The Maddonnas.
For more details of the event contact: Dolores Long: 0161 226 2013 or Hilary Jones: 0161 224 1747
To book a place, please telephone the People’s History Museum on 0161 838 9190 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Antifascistas is the exhibition commissoned by the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) on the British and Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and will be at the People’s History Museum from 6-31st August.
ILP Weekend 2010
After the election, what next for the left?
ILP Round Table Seminar
Esplanade Hotel, Scarborough
Saturday 5th – 6th June 2010
Admission free – but advance registration necessary
Session 1: Saturday 5 June 2.30 – 5.30pm
Reflecting on the election: Introductory talk and round table discussion
- What is our assessment of the results?
- What are the challenges facing the Labour Party post-election?
- And where does it leave the left project in general?
Session 2: Sunday 6 June 9.30am- 1.00pm
Implications for the ILP and the left: Introductory talk, towards an ILP perspective and round table discussion
- Where does the election leave the ILP?
- How do we reformulate our political views?
- What forms of political activity does it imply for the left?
Attendance is free but registration is necessary.
Accommodation is available at the Esplanade Hotel and can be booked via the ILP. The cost, for bed and breakfast, is £30 for the Saturday night. There are a limited number of places at the hotel, so please book early.
Coffee and biscuits will be served during each session. Lunchtime snacks can be purchased at the hotel bar and evening meals can be booked at the hotel restaurant.
Closing date for booking : Friday 14 May
Booking and further information
1 Exeter Close
Co Durham DH3 4LJ
Compass Conference 2010
The Robin Cook Memorial Conference
A New Hope
Saturday 12 June 2010
Institute of Education, London
Ideas, campaigns and coalitions needed to create a progressive consensus for the 21st century
Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass; Jon Cruddas MP; Polly Toynbee, The Guardian; Mehdi Hassan, New Statesman; John Harris, The Guardian; Jon Trickett MP; Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight; Fiona Millar; and many more
Click here for more information.
The Soundings discussion group in Leeds has been hosting a series of public meetings on a range of topics from rebranding the Tories to climate change.
For details of forthcoming meetings go to www.takingsoundingsleeds.blogspot.com/
ILP Weekend 2009
Crunch Times: Politics And The Crisis
ILP Round Table Seminar
Esplanade Hotel, Scarborough
13th-14th June 2009
For information on the ILP’s 2010 weekend seminar please email: email@example.com
or phone: 07799 502937
Spanish Civil War Commemoration
A celebration of the ILP volunteers
Saturday 30 May 2009, 2.00pm • Working Class Movement Library, Salford
No Turning Back
The 2009 Robin Cook Memorial Conference
Saturday 13 June 2009 • Institute of Education, London
Organised by Compass. More details
Politics after crash
The fifth Soundings annual event
Saturday 20 June 2009 • 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3
Organised by Soundings. More details