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Showing posts from 2015

Changing Narratives of Asylum: Media, Legislation, and Refugee Support - conference

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum is set to host a free conference on the theme of the changing narratives around seeking asylum.

The conference will take place at the Forum on Friday 8th January 2016, from 9.45am to 5pm, situated at:

The Sycamore Centre
33a Hungerhill Road

Keynote speakers attending are Aidan White (Director of Ethical Journalism Network) and Dr. Helen O'Nions (Nottingham Law School, NTU).

Tickets are free but limited. Those wishing to participate should register their interest at

Further information on the event can be accessed on the Forum's website here.

They can also be found on Facebook here.

News International Wapping Dispute - The Exhibition

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives will play host to an upcoming exhibition on News International and the Wapping Dispute. Please click on the flyer images below for a larger view.

Spokesman Book's title Bad News: The Wapping Dispute, by John Lang and Graham Dodkins, is available from the Trade Union Classics section of our website.

Jeremy Corbyn: Internationalist at Work

Another featured article from the latest issue of The Spokesman comes from the 2011 edition of J. A. Hobson's Imperialism. Jeremy Corbyn penned the book's foreword, which we reprint here under the title 'Internationalist at Work'.
As a separate point of interest, we also include this comparative image of the logo of publication The Week, circa 1960s, and Corbyn's recent campaign logo. Cut from the same cloth? 

Internationalist at Work
J. A. Hobson wrote his great tome at a different age. His thoughts were dominated by the zenith of the British Empire and the Boer War. The outcome of the war demonstrated Britain’s then ability in sustaining global reach, since Elizabethan times, but also its extreme vulnerability. At home the poor physique of working class soldiers led to Haldane’s investigation into working class health and living conditions. The difficulty in containing the rebellious Boers, and the huge opposition to the war, encouraged further doubts about the whol…

Cranks and Kites in the latest Spokesman

Issue 130 of The Spokesman, 'One Belt, One Road', is now available. Among the books reviewed in this issue are two titles on pacifism and conscientious objection: The World is My Country, by Emily Johns and Gabriel Carlyle, and Refusing to Kill, by Oliver Haslam and PPU Publications Group. 

Cranks and Kites

Two peace-oriented publishers; two different approaches to presenting the lives of conscientious objectors and opponents of the First World War. The World is My Country calls itself a ‘celebration’, whereas Refusing to Kill is a more sombre appraisal, and pulls no punches. Read together, they prove there is room to remember both the anguish and the triumphs of this extremely diverse group.
Refusing to Kill is primarily intended for use by teachers and students, as the layout and language indicate. It outlines the various forms of conscientious objection, such as non-combatant COs, who would drill and train but not serve; those who submitted to alternative labour; and absolutis…

Screening of 'Reds', 25 October, Regent Street Cinema

Reds, showing Sunday 25 October, 14:00, Regent Street Cinema

'Celebrating acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Trevor Griffiths’ 80th birthday this year, Warren Beatty’s epic, Academy Award winning drama of the Russian Revolution (which Griffiths wrote) is showing where it needs to – on the big screen. Co-starring Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman among many others, it’s a remarkable achievement.'

Visit Regent Street Cinema's page here, for more information on the event, and to book tickets.

Copies of Trevor Griffiths' published works will be on sale at the screening, and can also be found on the website of Spokesman Books at the following address:

CSSGJ Seminar: 'Working into Poverty?' - Lucia Pradella (26 October)

[click to enlarge poster]
The next CSSGJ seminar will be held on Monday 26 October, 4-5.30pm in B7 The Hemsley, University Park. Dr Lucia Pradella from King’s College London will present on ‘Working into Poverty? The international political economy of the working poor in Europe’.

All are welcome!

Unmasking Austerity Reviewed in Red Pepper

Unmasking Austerity: Opposition and Alternatives in Europe and North America by Dexter Whitfield, Spokesman Books Reviewed by Edward Dingwall for Red Pepper

The historical currents in which Dexter Whitfield wrote this book came before a flood: before the UK election, the Greek escalation, the redoibled attacks on the already-battered sections of society. But also before the movement found a man for the moment in Jeremy Corbyn.

Part economic expose of austerity's origins, aprt instruction to a potentially renewed labout movement from myriad campaigns around the world - if the prose is sometimes dry, it is at least clear, sharp and short on inessential rhetoric. The analysis and ambition are credible, the examples are instructive, the scope is global and the observations astute. Were we to persue Corbyn-style participatory policy-making, Whitfield's is certainly a valuable voice ... (Read more)

A copy of the paperback or eBook can be bought from Spokesman Books


TUC march in Manchester #TakeBackMcr

At the ‘No to austerity, Yes to workers’ rights’ rally in Manchester on Sunday 4th October, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady told marchers that the Trade Union Bill is proof that the government is not on the side of working people.  She said:

“I am incredibly proud to be here in Manchester today – the city where the trade union movement was born.

Today tens of thousands of us –public servants, private sector workers, families, students –have come together to send a clear message to the government - no to austerity, yes to workers’ rights.

Trade unions are facing one of the most challenging times in our history. The trade union bill is a fundamental attack on the right to strike. It is, in the words of Liberty and Amnesty International, a major assault on civil liberties in the UK.

Strike action is always a last resort – nobody wants to lose a day’s pay. But let’s not forget that without it we wouldn’t have equal pay or an eight hour day.

Without the right to strike steelworkers at Tat…

Sergio Duarte: International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Ambassador Duarte kindly sent the Russell Foundation his thoughts on a notable date.
26 September 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons SERGIO DUARTE Former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Sculpture depicting St. George slaying the dragon. The dragon is created from fragments of Soviet SS-20 and United States Pershing nuclear missiles. Credit: UN Photo/Milton Grant
Debate on nuclear disarmament is starting again at the United Nations in New York. A number of activities marked the International Day of Peace on 21 September, and more are scheduled for the forthcoming International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, on Monday 26 September 2015.

High-level discussions at the 2016 Session of the General Assembly will focus on the one of the most pressing global issues of our time: how to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. A proposal to establish an Open Ended Work Group to that effect, made in May at the 2015 Review Confere…

China and Mr Russell

'Viewing Fish at Flower Pool': A souvenir of Russell's visit to the Western Lake, Hangzhou
Bertrand Russell is hugely influential in China, and has been for almost a century. He is recommended reading for high school and university students. The General Manager of The Commercial Press, which has published Russell in translation in China since his nine-month visit in 1920-21, quotes him in speeches. Russell’s statement towards the end of his life, ‘What I have lived for', seems to have made a powerful and lasting impact.

Russell's story in China is closely interwoven with that of The Commercial Press, which is itself an institution of some durability in the ups and downs of China’s recent history. 

The Commercial Press Head Office, built in the 1950s, is on Wangfujing Street in the centre of Beijing.
Apparently, one of the founders of Commercial Press suggested that Russell be invited to China, and CP put up a considerable sum to pay for the visit. In 2015, their genero…

Ambassador Duarte on Iran Agreement

Sergio Duarte held the post of United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs from 2007-2012. He has shared with us his document Reflections on the Iran Agreement, which we blog here.

Reflections on the Iran Agreement
Sergio Duarte 
Ambassador, former United Nations High Representative for Disarment Affairs

Despite the alarmist claims from some quarters that the agreement achieved between Iran and the P5+1 is fatally flawed, the majority of the international community and public opinion worldwide received it favorably and with renewed hope. The JCPOA was hailed as a positive step as it underscores the resolve of the parties concerned to allay suspicions about the nature of the Iranian nuclear program and enhances the existing instruments of international law regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Strict adherence to its provisions by all Parties concerned will help prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and contribute to greater confidence and stability in …

Rally for Corbyn, Nottingham - 20th August

Nottingham’s Albert Hall hosts the hotly-anticipated Rally for Corbyn on Thursday, 20th August at 7pm. Doors open 6pm.

Alongside Jeremy Corbyn MP, speakers will be Richard Murphy, Manuel Cortes, Annmarie Kilcline, Tony Kearns, Nadia Whittome and Umaar Kazmi, with chair Cheryl Butler. Due to the high level of interest in this event, an early arrival is advised.
Online event pages for the rally can be found on Corbyn’s campaign website ( and on Facebook (
Venue address:
Albert Hall North Circus Street Nottingham NG1 5AA
Spokesman Books invites readers to revisit J. A. Hobson’s Imperialism (2011 edition), for which Corbyn penned a foreword. The following thoughts are taken from his contribution:

Reading Hobson’s works now, at the end of the first decade of the twenty first century, and acknowledging all that has happened in the huge sweep of imperial and post colonial history, he deserves…