This is where we put our longer, more speculative pieces. This is us thinking out loud and quite possibly, inadvertently dropping a few clangers along the way! On that basis, constructive criticism and comradely debate are always welcome.
The emerging political divide
We’ve done our level best to analyse the COVID-19 crisis with an open mind. If you take a look back at the posts we’ve written about the crisis since it started to hit in early March, it’s pretty clear that our thinking has evolved since that early point. In a dynamic, fast moving situation, having a rigid mindset and refusing to alter that will undermine any serious attempt to understand what’s happening, let alone devise the strategy and tactics needed to deal with what you’re facing.
A sort of a warning…
We’ve had week after week of wall to wall coverage of the COVID-19 crisis in the media. The question is, how many people are still paying attention to it and how many, for the sake of their sanity, are choosing to switch off from it? If this ever ends, it would be an interesting exercise to conduct research on what effect this barrage of coverage has had on people’s mental health. It would also be interesting to see how much this relentless coverage has further undermined people’s already shrinking faith in the media.
Some thoughts on the COVID-19 future we’re facing
This piece is being written as we come to the end of the fourth week of living under the emergency measures the government has brought in to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Anyone who thinks that after another three weeks of lockdown, we can slowly start returning to some kind of normality hasn’t read the situation in any depth. There’s talk of many social distancing measures carrying on until the end of June. A number of commentators are saying that some social distancing measures may have to remain in operation until an effective vaccine can be developed. That could mean our lives remaining in a weird kind of limbo for up to two years while we wait for this.
Valuing our parks
Looking back through the Heckler, it’s occurred to us we’ve written a fair bit about parks. On the one hand, we’ve covered the threats to our parks and open spaces from councils who don’t seem to value them and on the other hand, we’ve celebrated those residents who do value them and will fight any threat to them tooth and nail.
The COVID-19 crisis and the loss of freedom
This piece was written at the end of the first week of an initial three week lockdown imposed by the UK government in a bid to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.. A lockdown that could well end up being extended if the authorities deem it necessary to do so. A lockdown in which the state has granted itself extensive powers to ease or tighten restrictions and extend as it sees fit. A lockdown that for many people in the country is probably the most drastic measure disruptive to normal life since the end of WW2.
Just what do we mean by ‘identity politics’?
The term identity politics has become a bit of a lightning rod in the anarchist/radical movement, with some saying it should be a central part of what we do while others say it’s a distraction from class struggle. Looking back through some of the previous posts I’ve made on here, you could be forgiven for thinking that I’m firmly in the latter camp. It’s true that class struggle politics does inform a lot of my activity but I’m starting to seriously question what it is I’m supposed to be defining this against when it comes to political priorities.
Cultural identity, class and change
Is cultural identity fixed or is it something that’s always evolving, adapting and changing? There are elements on the right and in particular, the far right, who see cultural identity as something that’s more or less fixed and only evolves slowly.
‘Legitimate concerns?’ Yes, they are legitimate!
There are some supposedly radical / anarchist commentators who seem to be able to manage the feat of ascribing racist motives to concerns expressed by working class people about the way their neighbourhoods and communities are changing as a result of the impersonal forces of late capitalism.
Difficult definitions – ‘white working class’ and ‘white privilege’
This piece is written by someone who is a) working class and b) happens to be white but who emphatically rejects being described as ‘white working class’. What follows is an exploration of why I find use of the term a problem while acknowledging the historical advantages the native working class in Britain have been able to enjoy as a result of being allowed just enough access to the spoils of empire to be brought off from revolutionary radicalism.
The debate that won’t go away
Working Class Anarchism versus Middle Class ‘Identity Politics’
There’s a perception that anarchism has little to offer working class people. What we’re trying to do is to develop a way of getting anarchist ideas across to people in a jargon free way that they can relate to and start to act upon.
Rebuilding solidarity at the grassroots
Throwing out some ideas on how to rebuild community solidarity at the grassroots on the estates and in our neighbourhoods…
Is the state of the environment a concern for working class people?
There are some misconceptions floating around implying that working class people are not concerned about issues such as environmental degradation and climate change. What I want to do with this piece is challenge those misconceptions…
There’s a palpable sense that the world is changing at a rapid pace and that things are spinning out of control. Are we in a state of collapse? Will this state of collapse ultimately lead to a revolution?
Building the base for radical change
This is an honest look at our approach to working at the grassroots on the estates.