The recent death of Margaret Thatcher – who dominated British politics during my formative years – has inspired a new blog, Life Under Thatcher, in which contributors share memories of how Thatcherism affected their lives.
My personal post can be read here. If you would like to write for this blog, submit via Tumblr or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angry art for troubled times: found on a wall outside the Cobbler’s Thumb pub, New England Street, Brighton. The (anonymous) rhyme dates from the 17th century, protesting against land enclosure and rural dispossession.
Alan Corkish, Alan Morrison, Anne Sexton, Brighton, Caroline Lucas, Cuts, Emergency Verse, George Orwell, Keith Armstrong, Mick Moss, Naomi Foyle, Niall McDevitt, Pen Kease, PJ Harvey, Poetry, Protest
The UK’s general election of May 2010 produced no overall majority, and for the first time since 1945, a coalition was formed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron and Nick Clegg taking the roles of Prime Minister and Deputy. Chancellor George Osborne swiftly proposed the most radical cuts to public services in a generation, in order to repay a national deficit estimated at £7.5 billion, and following the worldwide economic crisis that began in 2007.
Between the coalition’s Emergency Budget, and its Comprehensive Spending Review four months later, a palpable sense of unease brewed among many ordinary people. Autumn saw widespread student marches and occupations, while campaigning groups like UK Uncut staged ‘sit-ins’ at high street stores including Vodafone and Top Shop, in protest at corporate tax evasion.
During this period, the poet and editor, Alan Morrison, collected submissions for a new anthology, Emergency Verse: Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State. As reported in The Guardian, it was released initially as an E-book, and a print edition was subsequently launched at London’s Poetry Library in January 2011. Continue reading
Today is a UK-wide day of protest against the proposed cuts to public libraries. I have been a library user since I was a little girl, and I still visit at least once a week, to borrow books for myself and my children. Libraries educate, and entertain us, and our country will be poorer without them. This is a false economy and as the recession bites, we must protect our public services.
Full coverage of today’s events at The Guardian
Brighton and Hove City Council has put forward proposals to shut Brighton History Centre as part of a bid to save almost £8 million from its overall budget in the next year.
But its users claim the closure, which will save the council £62,000, will be a devastating blow.