‘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

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

Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding & often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools & five secondaries, living in B&Bs & council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma. Twenty years later, Kerry’s life is unrecognisable. She’s a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world. She has a secure home, a loving partner & access to art, music, film & books. But she often finds herself looking over her shoulder, caught somehow between two worlds.

Lowborn is Kerry’s exploration of where she came from. She revisits the towns she grew up in to try to … More

Born OTD in 1925, British pilot, politician, writer, & diarist, Tony Benn. Benn’s forward in Hastings’ much-loved writer, Robert Tressell’s novel, ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ reads: “..I have given this book to many, many people in the course of my life & all the recipents have been inspired by it as I have been. Every generation has to fight the same battles again and again, an every time it is the confidence of the campaigners that determines the speed of their success.”

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian … More

Next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Nicholas Shaxson’s ‘Treasure Islands’. Monday, 11th March 6pm at the shop. New members welcomed. A thrilling ride inside the world of tax havens and corporate masterminds While the United States experiences recession and economic stagnation and European countries face bankruptcy, experts struggle to make sense of the crisis. Nicholas Shaxson, a former correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist, argues that tax havens are a central cause of all these disasters.

In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in … More

Born OTD in 1802, Victor Hugo. Hugo was at the forefront of the Romantic literary movement & many of his works have inspired music, both during his lifetime & after his death, including the musicals Notre-Dame de Paris & Les Misérables. He produced more than 4,000 drawings in his lifetime, & campaigned for social causes such as the abolition of capital punishment. Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo’s views changed as the decades passed, & he became a passionate supporter of republicanism; his work touches upon most of the political & social issues & the artistic trends of his time. Hugo began planning a major novel about social misery & injustice as early as the 1830s, but a full 17 years were needed for Les Misérables to be realised and finally published in 1862.

Victor Hugo’s tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put … 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

First published OTD in 1848, The Communist Manifesto. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth (2018), at a time of deep mistrust in The Establishment, The Communist Manifesto is both a timely reminder of the politics of hope and a thought-provoking guide to the most influential work of political theory ever published.

Much of what Marx and Engels’ proposed – a state education system, a progressive income tax, the nationalisation of banks … More

We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn’t be this way. Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization – from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy – was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.

This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From … More