We’re over two months into the life of this blog and things are looking reasonably good. Unlike previous incarnations of our blogs which have tended to suffer from mission creep into areas we really should have stayed away from, The Heckler is very much focused on class struggle and community issues across southern Essex, with a particular focus on Thurrock and Basildon. The content of this blog is aimed at ordinary people in our area who are fed up with the way things are going and are starting to look for a political alternative and some answers. This blog is not written for anarchists or activists although if they want to read what we have to say, they’re always more than welcome.

This and our work on the estates with Basildon & Southend Housing Action and their allies such as the Vange Hill Community Group is part of our strategy of working from the grassroots upwards, building a network of groups and people who want to see radical change. With our local focus, we’re back to doing what we used to do when we were in the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) from 2003 to 2009 but hopefully, doing it a lot better. The only difference is that we will not be standing as candidates in the local elections! In many ways we’ve come full circle, learning a fair few lessons on the way.

The last nine years involvement in anarchism have certainly been an ‘interesting’ experience with a mix of highs and lows… We still regard ourselves as anarchists but as things stand at the moment, we do not see ourselves as part of a broader anarchist movement. We have come to a point where we feel we need to step away with a view to hopefully becoming part of a broader, progressive pro-working class movement. Having said this, we’re still happy to work with genuine class struggle anarchists on joint projects and issues.

We’re entering a very challenging period. The government is in turmoil as different factions fight over what shape Brexit should take. The faction fighting is crippling the negotiations which means the prospect of a no deal Brexit is becoming ever more likely. This would be a step into the unknown with the potential of economic crisis, chaos and dislocation as the EU elite put the boot into this country to deter others from leaving their gang. The Labour party is also in a state of division and turmoil over allegations of anti-Semitism which is hampering their ability to be an effective opposition to a government that looks like it couldn’t organise a p**s up in a brewery. The ruling elite in this country is in a state of chaos.

Potentially, this is the best opportunity there has been to put a radical pro-working class political agenda on the table. However, if we don’t get our act together, the forces of reaction are readying themselves to move in and exploit the growing sense of frustration and anger at a political, economic and social system that’s failing to deliver for an increasing proportion of the population. There’s everything to play for but also, everything to lose. We live in ‘interesting times’.

This is why we have been working to get our project into the best shape we can to deal with the challenges that are coming up. There has been a lot of soul searching and re-evaluation of how we operate during this year and being honest, some of that has been a pretty painful experience. We now think we’re at a point where we’re focused on what needs to be done and are using our resources in the most effective way possible.