Democracy (powershutdown) wrote in _manc_activists,


Last month I started a newsletter about progressive issues around Greater Manchester. Starting work on the 3rd issue now, I realised I hadn't taken the obvious step of making a journal for it: thebookofswamp. The info is all on the user page.

It's on one a month and is all posted behind cuts, and I post references for everything in it. So far it's covered such stuff as fast food, sweatshops, supermarkets, climate change, allergies... and the World Cup. Here's a sample:
Manchester is presently patting itself on the back for being hit with the biggest ever IRA bomb ten years ago (and flogging loads of memorabilia crap about it). Meanwhile the media is destroying Ken Loach’s new film about the British “Black and Tan” atrocities in 1920s Ireland - The Wind that Shakes the Barley - for being “anti-British”, finally adopting the lingo they have used for anti-Bush critics for years. There is very little to suggest that what Loach depicts did not happen. Our inability to see a connection between our foreign policy and the frustration and fear which gives rise to extremism will doom us to violence forever. "Maybe if you tell the truth about the past, you might tell the truth about the present." – Ken Loach. See for showings of The Wind that Shakes the Barley.
And another:
Earlier this year, Tesco applied for planning permission to build a hypermarket on over 80,000 square feet of land which is presently a playing field for people and wildlife, on Chester Road in Trafford, just behind Stretford leisure centre. In the 1960s the field was converted from a car park in response to residents calls for recreational space and a reduction in traffic. The area has no need for such a large development, as there are currently 24 supermarket branches located within the catchment area of the proposed site. This is just one point where the proposal would breach planning regulations that have to be met on all out-of-town developments. The majority of local residents oppose the Tesco, because they see it would destroy land, diversity, business in the town centre and jobs. Every study ever conducted on the topic has shown that for each supermarket that opens, a net several hundred jobs are lost. This shouldn’t be surprising – think of how the supermarkets brag about their efficiency, including in employing and timetabling people. Efficiency is something we should all strive for, surely? In this case it’s only good if you’re an executive for a supermarket, or if the only things you value in life are low prices and having everyone working to their absolute physical limit with no social interaction whatsoever. Although they’ve been defeated in the past, supermarkets can employ the best lawyers and spokespeople with ease, so campaigners need to stand up and make a noise if they don’t want Trafford councillors to roll over and beg for mercy. A public inquiry began on 27th June, at which Tescos agents suggested the council officers report be amended when it looked like things were turning against them – one councillor said he had never heard such a rude suggestion in 17 years. The council planning committee has voted that it would refuse the application if it could, but the inquiry has been adjourned until September due to new retail evidence. 2070 signatures opposing the development were handed in. For more information see and go to Local campaigns > NorthWest.
Thanks for having a look! Oh, and you can pick it up in all good places, including The Basement.

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