Victims of the Tories’ hostile environment policies tell Glastonbury of their pain

From the Morning Star: Victims of the Tory Government’s hostile environment spoke at the Glastonbury Festival about the impact of losing their jobs and being separated from their partners.
Windrush scandal victim Michael Braithwaite, who arrived in Britain from Barbados in 1961, worked as a special needs teaching assistant but lost his job after being deemed an illegal immigrant. Speaking at Glastonbury Festival’s Left Field stage, he said: “My reputation as a teaching assistant was in tatters. I was in a bad mental state. I didn’t know who to trust.” Mr Braithwaite was told he needed to apply for a biometric card or face deportation, but was refused one three times.
Mr Braithwaite called for Britain’s colonial history to be taught in schools, a policy Labour would introduce under leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Laura Clarke also told the Hostile Environment — Who’s Responsible? debate of her plight being separated from her Ethiopian husband with whom she has a three-year-old son. The government’s minimum income requirement requires couples to earn at least £18,600 a year combined to be eligible for a family visa. However as a single mother and as a teacher in Ethiopia, they both earn less. She said: “My husband has only spent six months out of those three years with our son because of the government’s immigration rules. The government’s hostile environment is literally telling us and thousands of others that we are too poor to be together.”

“Dear Theresa May” – spoken word video by poet and artist Naomi Minto

'Dear Theresa May'I wrote this poem to perform at the Digbeth Dining Club next week. I edited the video myself too,…

Posted by Naomi Minto on Thursday, November 22, 2018

Follow Naomi on Twitter at

Anonymous artist ‘Wanksy’ draws penises on potholes to make cash-strapped councils fix them

From Bored Panda: After another cyclist friend was injured by potholes, Wanksy, an artist from Greater Manchester, England, decided to act. He used washable paint to draw penises around potholes in his neighbourhood, and suddenly, they were repaired in 48 hours.

“People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it.

“Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed.”

[Read full article on Bored Panda…]

Fake ‘hate-filled’ Daily Mail being handed out for free on Liverpool streets

From the Liverpool Echo: Thousands of copies of a miniature “tribute” newspaper parodying the Daily Mail have been released.

The parody newspaper will be handed out at various locations across Liverpool this week.

Darren Cullen, the man who famously created the Pocket Money Loans installation at Banksy’s Dismaland in 2015, has hand drawn a fun sized version of the UK’s second biggest selling paper.

This will be Darren’s third and final intervention as a commissioned artist for Rapid Response Unit, the experimental newsroom that commissions artists to respond to news and current affairs.

Darren describes his newest piece as “containing all the misogynistic, racist, war-and-fear-mongering you’ve come to love and expect from the Daily Mail” on a miniature scale.

[Read full article on Liverpool Echo website…]

New hip-hop video: #FTG (F**k The Government)

#FTG (F**k The Government) is the new music video by XL, produced by D-Low Beats.

Unsurprisingly enough, the video contains strong language.

XL is an up and coming Hip Hop artist from the north of England. More at

XL – #FTG [Music Visual]HQ Youtube link in the comments

Posted by XL on Saturday, August 4, 2018

[Link to YouTube version…]

American Idiot moves into top 20 in charts ahead of Trump visit

From The London Economic: Green Day’s American Idiot has moved into the top 20 in the UK charts ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the country this week.

The President is set to arrive in London on Thursday and will be welcomed with hostile crowds and a Trump baby blimp in the skies.

But protesters look to have gone one step further by launching a concerted campaign to get American Idiot to the top of the music charts.

Through a combination of purchases and streams, the song has risen to No. 1 on the Amazon sales chart, cracked the iTunes Top 10, and sneaked into the Top 20 singles chart as well.

[Read full article on The London Economic…]

Indie crowdfunder: “The Great NHS Heist” film

The Great NHS Heist Trailer

Coming Soon Our documentary film is close to completion. We need your help to spread the word about the film and more crowdfunding to deliver the best film possible. you#NHS70

Posted by The Great NHS Heist on Friday, June 29, 2018

“I’m Dr Bob Gill, a family doctor and NHS campaigner based in South East London.

“Over the last few years I have become aware of creeping privatisation in our National Health Service. There has been a concerted effort by consecutive governments to convert our NHS to a profit driven private health insurance system.

“In 2014 I co-produced a film, ‘Sell Off – The Abolition of your NHS’ which explained the dismantling of our health service. It has been shown at screenings around the country and been well received by audiences, judging by the feedback at over 50 such events I have attended in the last 18 months for Question and Answer sessions.

“I’ve had many requests to make another film. Our new project “THE GREAT NHS HEIST” will make clear what is going on and how the final betrayal will play out unless we act to stop the heist of our NHS.

“We will explore the measures being taken to drive us to an American-style health system and what is in store for us in a for-profit system.

“Our film can be made, with your support. We won’t have money for stock footage or fancy music but if we can raise enough to get to all our interviewees and cover our equipment costs then we will be able to tell this important story. All the people involved are putting in their time and expertise voluntarily.”

[Donate to crowdfunder now…]

Creative subjects being squeezed, say schools

From BBC News: Creative arts subjects are being cut back in many secondary schools in England, a BBC survey suggests.

More than 1,200 schools responded – over 40% of secondary schools.

Of the schools that responded, nine in every 10 said they had cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject.

[Read full article on BBC News website…]

Documenting the everyday faces of austerity Britain

From Huck: Invisible Britain: Portraits is an upcoming ethnographic photography book featuring people from across the UK who’ve suffered at the hands of austerity politics, cuts to public services, unemployment and de-industrialisation.

The collection of images, edited by Paul Sng and co-curated by Chloe Juno and Laura Dicken, work together to evoke a powerful sense of resistance and stoicism in the face of adversity.

Accompanying each portrait is the story of the subject told in their own words – a detail which Sng saw as vital. “One of the things I wanted to make sure of was that each individual was able to speak for themselves,” he tells Huck. “Myself or the photographer would ask some questions about the state of the country but then also we’d look a bit deeper into their own situation. The main guiding point of it was to show that there is hope out there, and that people that are often very capable of organising on a grassroots level to deal with things that maybe politicians are unable or refuse to get involved in.”

Sng’s 2017 documentary Dispossession: The Great Housing Swindle covers similar ground as it speaks to residents across the UK about the worrying shortage of social housing. But Sng says the idea for Invisible Britain: Portraits came in the run-up to the 2015 general election. He was shooting a documentary following Nottingham band Sleaford Mods on a tour of the UK, visiting some of the most neglected and forgotten pockets of the country. In each location, they spoke to local communities and residents about how austerity had impacted their lives and how, if at all, they could resist these forces.

[Read full article with sample photos on Huck website…] [Donate to crowdfunder…]

“Poor Man’s Show”: New anti-Tory song by Millie Manders

Webcam performance of “Poor Man’s Show”, a new song about #ToryBritain by Millie Manders.

I’ve been getting increasingly annoyed recently with the privatisation of our NHS, the mistreatment of the homeless and vulnerable and the cuts to police, schooling and everything else that we mere mortals need. Our government sucks.So here’s a new song.It’s called Poor Man’s Show. ❤️

Posted by Millie Manders and The Shutup on Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tory MP unclear on the concept of dystopia

From Boing Boing: The Getting to the Future First: How Britain can lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution report was created by Alan Mak, Conservative Member of Parliament for Havant, and it’s a laughable compendium of trickle-down nonsense proposing that if all dividends from automation flow to capital, somehow everyone in the world will share in the benefits.

It hilariously characterises the Corbyn left — an incubator for utopian visions of “fully automated luxury Communism” — as technophobic luddites. This from a party whose policies promote the primacy of finance over the real economy, austerity over education and training, and mass internet surveillance and censorship, while dismantling the world-leading Government Data Service.

But really, the scene-stealer is that cover art. Man, oh man.

[Read full column on Boing Boing…]

British new writing in an age of austerity

Aleks Sierz writes in The Theatre Times: Laura Wade’s Posh opens a month before the General Election and is still being performed in its immediate aftermath. Its main characters are part of the Riot Club, which is based on the real-life exclusive all-male dining clubs of Oxbridge, such as the Bullingdon Club (former members include Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, and London Mayor Boris Johnson). Posh features 10 young men, educated at public school and members of an elite undergraduate dining club, who believe that they have a right to rule. The rich and privileged—like Cameron and his government—represent a small and undemocratic elite class. Like a metaphor for the nation, this old class turns out to be inefficient, ineffective and cowardly. In its exploration of class and social advantage, Posh is a key cultural moment that accurately takes the temperature of the times. Behind its jokes and barbs, there’s a noticeable anger.

[Read full article on The Theatre Times website…]

“Sons and Daughters”: Captain SKA’s Xmas follow-up single to “Liar Liar”

If you enjoyed the GE17 anti-Tory song “Liar Liar” making #4 on the UK singles chart, Captain SKA will be launching a new single on December 15th, just in time for the Christmas chart. All proceeds to food banks and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Sons and Daughters

Anti-Theresa May song joins race for Christmas No.1. Here's the teaser for the new Captain SKA Christmas single! Available for download on December 15. Remember that BBC Radio 1 refused to play #LiarLiar due to "Election Rules"? Nothing to stop them this time..right?? We might even give Simon Cowell a run for his money!! You know what to do!! #ToriesOutForXmas

Posted by The People's Assembly Against Austerity on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Arts hit with £14m local funding cuts in 2016/17

From The Stage: Local authority funding for national portfolio organisations has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

[Read full article on The Stage website…]

Talking point: “6 problems with the modern schooling system”

The school system is out of date, preparing children for a 19th Century world, not a 21st Century one. That’s the premise of this 5-minute video, watched over 6 million times on Facebook.

How would you like to see the next progressive government overhaul our schools?

6 Problems With Modern Schooling System

6 Problems With Modern Schooling System.Share your thoughts and comments below.(via @

Posted by Great Big Minds on Monday, November 13, 2017

Impact of austerity leaves schoolchildren at risk of missing out on music

From SWLondoner: Following the austerity measures implemented by the coalition government, funding for the arts was curtailed, and access to music education has become increasingly difficult.

The 2010 comprehensive spending review announced a 30% cut the Arts Council England budget. These cuts placed significant strain on our cultural organisations, including theatres, orchestras, music venues and art galleries.

Our most prestigious institutions, including the National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Royal opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, are set to lose £2.5million of Arts Council funding per year between them.

Yet the impacts are more widespread; with cuts to local council budgets, less money is being spent on grassroots music education.

While 85% of parents state that music education is beneficial for their children, 70% say that the cost is prohibitive.

The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain stated that 70% of its members were privately educated, which underlines that access remains an ongoing challenge.

[Read full article on SWLondoner…]

Theatre review: The Austerity Playbook

From British Theatre Guide: Basically, this is a jazz musical about austerity and its effect on a North East city. It’s the brainchild of three North East academics.

The four specific characters—case studies almost—are the librarian (Rebecca Mann), her beloved library facing the threat of closure, the leader of the council (Donna Combe), battling against the inevitable cuts, Killian MacCardle (the refugee) facing increasing hostility from an angry populace and Rebekah Harvey as the police community services officer, also on the receiving end of the cutbacks. The only real interaction between the characters is love blossoming between the last two. Otherwise, as I say, they are case studies and viewed mainly separately.

We begin in 2012, when chancellor Osborne first introduced the austerity measures whose negative effects are as strong today as they were then. Partly naturalistic, partly stylised, the piece (without a set) uses masks, wigs, cardboard puppets, scribbled messages on paper, all fairly economical devices as if to emphasise what this is really about. At the start, audience members are invited to write their own protest slogans on blank sheets, though strangely nothing more is made of this.

The audience are also asked to clap hands and chant the kind of slogans used in protest marches.

[Read full review on British Theatre Guide…]

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