Socialist Party reaffirms support for CWI’s historic ideas

On Sunday 21 July over 200 delegates at a special conference of the Socialist Party in England and Wales voted overwhelmingly, 83.2% to 16.8%, (173-35), to sponsor an international conference to reconstitute the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI – the international organisation of which the Socialist Party is part).

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A graphic depiction of Peterloo

Peterloo: witnesses to a massacre

By Polyp, Eva Schlunke and Robert Poole

Published by New Internationalist, 2019, £11.99

Reviewed by Kevin Parslow

When peaceful protesters were slain in St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, on 16 August 1819, the first media reports were articles in The Times and then the radical Manchester Observer, which gave the massacre its name, ‘Peter-loo’ – to echo the battle of Waterloo. Major Dyneley of the 15th Hussars Regiment dubbed it the ‘battle of Manchester’. Later accounts were accompanied by illustrations, notably those of cartoonist George Cruikshank. He illustrated The Political House that Jack Built, by satirist William Hone, and depicted the Manchester and Salford Yeomanry’s brutal assault on the crowd.

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Class and gender war story

Common Cause

By Kate Hunter

Published by Fledgling Press, 2019, £9.99

Reviewed by Heather Rawling

Set during the first world war, Common Cause continues the story of Iza, a skilled compositor in Edinburgh (see Women in the Workplace 1910, a review of The Caseroom, in Socialism Today 218, May 2018). Kate Hunter has placed the story around real events and trade union struggles with her in-depth knowledge of the print industry. As with her first novel, there are graphic descriptions of working-class life – the poverty, overcrowding and disease, as well as the feeling of community and common cause. The characters are sketchy as the author prioritises recounting the events.

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