‘Now We Have Your Attention’ makes sense of what is happening in British politics by taking a radically different perspective: the people’s. From a warehouse in Manchester to a pub in Essex, from the outskirts of Glasgow to a racecourse in Durham, Jack Shenker uncovers the root causes of our current crisis and the future direction of British politics through the lives of ordinary individuals. Taking us deep into communities hollowed out by austerity and decades of economic disadvantage, among a generation crippled by precarious work and unaffordable housing, he shows where the chaos at Westminster ultimately springs from – and how disillusionment with it is fuelling a passionate engagement with politics of a completely different kind: local, personal, effective and utterly fearless.

Joining a `McStrike’ protest on a roundabout in Cambridge and a gathering of the London Renters’ Union in the aftermath … More

Next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Guy Standing’s latest book, ‘Plunder of the Commons’, We are losing the commons. Austerity and neoliberal policies have depleted our shared wealth; our national utilities have been sold off to foreign conglomerates, social housing is almost non-existent, our parks are cordoned off for private events and our national art galleries are sponsored by banks and oil companies. This plunder deprives us all of our common rights, recognized as far back as the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest of 1217, to share fairly and equitably in our public wealth.

Next Book Club, 6pm. Monday, 7th October in the shop. New members welcome. Book available in store and online.  

We are losing the commons. Austerity and neoliberal policies have depleted our shared wealth; our national utilities have been sold off to foreign conglomerates, social housing is almost non-existent, our parks are cordoned off for private events and our national art galleries are sponsored by banks and oil companies. This plunder deprives us all of our common rights, recognized as far back as the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest of 1217, to share fairly and equitably in our public wealth.

Guy Standing leads us through a new appraisal of the commons, stemming from the medieval concept of common land reserved … More

“Everyone has their price. It’s just not always monetary. Mine is though. 20 quid.” Single mum. `Stain on society’. Caught in a poverty trap. It’s a luxury to afford morals and if you’re Cash Carraway, you do what you can to survive. Skint Estate is the hard-hitting, blunt, dignified and brutally revealing debut memoir about impoverishment, loneliness and violence in austerity Britain – set against a grim landscape of sink estates, police cells, refuges and peepshows – skilfully woven into a manifesto for change. Alone, pregnant and living in a women’s refuge, Cash Carraway couldn’t vote in the 2010 general election that ushered austerity into Britain. Her voice had been silenced. Years later, she watched Grenfell burn from a women’s refuge around the corner. What had changed? The vulnerable were still at the bottom of the heap, unheard.

Without a stable home, without a steady income, without family support – how do you survive? In Skint Estate, Cash … More

Book launch of ‘Plunder of the Commons’ with Guy Standing at The Printworks. Thursday 12th September. £2 OTD. We are losing the commons. Austerity and neoliberal policies have depleted our shared wealth; our national utilities have been sold off to foreign conglomerates, social housing is almost non-existent, our parks are cordoned off for private events and our national art galleries are sponsored by banks and oil companies. This plunder deprives us all of our common rights, recognized as far back as the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest of 1217, to share fairly and equitably in our public wealth.

Guy Standing leads us through a new appraisal of the commons, stemming from the medieval concept of common land reserved … More

Spring is the third instalment of Ali Smith’s Brexit-inflected “seasonal quartet”. The first, Autumn, appeared in October 2016, a mere four months after the referendum; Spring’s publication date is the day before the UK was originally due to leave the EU. Each novel introduces a new set of characters, but all three portray a present-day Britain suffering from austerity, bureaucracy, climate change, capitalism, technology and xenophobia. All three also travel backwards and forwards throughout the 20th century, creating a patchwork of individual and cultural memory and forgetfulness that sets linear time against cyclical time.

Autumn and Winter shared a certain optimism familiar from Smith’s earlier works: a belief that humans can change, that love … More

Born OTD in 1923, the late great Harry Leslie Smith. Harry was an English writer and political commentator. He grew up in poverty in Yorkshire, served in the Royal Air Force in World War II, & emigrated to Canada in 1953. After retiring, Smith wrote his memoirs, and about the social history of Great Britain in the 20th century.

A survivor of the Great Depression, a Second World War veteran, a lifelong Labour supporter and a proud Yorkshire man, … More

Governments today in both Europe & the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts―austerity―to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means & now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, & adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer.

That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices … More

Costas Lapavitsas contends that the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries.

These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the … More