Political Education, Reports

Biannual Political Education Report for Walton CLP (2017/2018) – March 2018

Theatre Trip in October 2017: Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir

Our first Political Education event was a trip to the theatre to see Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir and their new show The Trump Depression Hotline. The performance took place on 23 October 2017 at Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University. This amazing group of activists based in New York have been working both inside the theatre auditorium and outside on the streets across the world since the early 2000s. True to their performance making strategy, they got involved in our local campaigning issues. They visited Unite the Union where Dave Kelly informed them about the ISS sick pay policy for the service staff at Liverpool Royal Hospital. Walton CLP together with Liverpool Hope students took to the streets at the Clayton Square in the morning and paid a visit to the Royal after the show in the evening, singing and dancing ‘We will not be privatised’.

Reading Forum in December 2017 and January 2018: Pies & Politics

Pies & Politics, our second Political Education event, took place on 7 December 2017 at Homebaked. This reading forum asked members to introduce themselves through sharing their favourite excerpts from what they’ve read in the past. We talked about what books made us into the political beings we are today. The event also engaged in collective devising for the Political Education curriculum for the CLP in 2018.

Our list of books:

  • Selected Poems by Tony Harrison
  • Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? by Mark Fisher
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
  • The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara
  • Hillsborough – The Truth by Phil Scraton
  • Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin
  • Rape of the Fair Country by Alexander Cordell
  • The Making of the English Working Class by E. P. Thompson
  • The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power by Alex Nunns
  • DIY Survival by C6
  • Striking a Light: The Bryant and May Matchwomen and their Place in History by Louise Raw
  • Out of the Ghetto: My Youth in the East End, Communism and Fascism, 1913-39 by Joe Jacobs
  • Capital: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx
  • The Iron Heel by Jack London
  • Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida by John D. Caputo
  • Revolutionary Women pamphlet by Anarchist Federation
  • Dare to be Different: Women in Trade Unions, Past and Present by Bernadette Hyland and Michel Herbert
  • The Rise of the Labour Party 1893-1931 pamphlet by Gordon Phillips
  • How to Start a Revolution by Lucy-Anne Holmes

On 29 January 2018 Riverside CLP held their own Pies & Politics event at the Onion Deli at 124 Aigburth Road.

This is the list of books from that meeting:

  • Mrs Brown is a Man and a Brother: Women in Merseyside’s Political Organisations 1890-1920 by Krista Cowman
  • The Plot Against the NHS by Stewart Player and Colin Leys
  • A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  • The Cleft by Doris Lessing
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  • Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch
  • Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for Our Future by Raoul Martinez
  • The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones
  • Brother in the Land by Robert Swindells
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
  • Rules for Radicals by Saul D Alinsky
  • The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class by Selina Todd
  • The Unofficial Jeremy Corbyn Annual 2018
  • DIY Survival by C6
  • No Master High or Low: Libertarian Education and Schooling in Britain, 1890-1990 by John Shotton
  • Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin
  • J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception by Michael Hudson

For an up to date reading list of books recommended by Walton CLP members (and to make any suggestions yourself), please see the blog post here.

Gallery Visit in February 2018: Can art change the world?

walker labour 1Photo: Andrea Ku

On Saturday 10 February we visited Walker Art Gallery for a tour of two exhibitions and a discussion. We explored two exhibitions: the Singh Twins and Lubaina Himid, 2017 Turner Prize winner. Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins explores the history of Indian textiles, Empire, enslavement and luxury consumerism, and the contemporary relevance of these issues in the world today. Lubaina Himid: Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money features works selected by Lubaina from the Arts Council Collection, along with 20 figures from her major installation, Naming the Money.

Our MP Dan Carden joined us for this gallery visit. Following the tour, and with the help of our internationally renowned local artist Jayne Lawless, we considered connections between art and politics. We engaged in a discussion about the works, but also the role of art in the transformation of our society. Can art change the world? What kind of art has the power of social transformation?

Photo: Patricia Levey-Bennett               Photo: Alan Gibbons

Demystifying Local Government training session in March 2018

On 5 March 2018 at Unite the Union building, as a part of the political education training session, we delved into the mysteries of local government and Labour Party structures. Our guest speakers Alison Spencer-Scragg, Chair of Labour North West & Regional Political Officer for Unite the Union, and Matthew Garlick, LCF Panel Co-ordinator, helped us understand how local government and Labour structures work. Mike Finn, Political Analyst and Lena Šimić, Walton CLP Political Education Officer, facilitated a workshop, ‘You in the Labour Party Structures’, and a follow-up discussion/suggestions on future training. The full report on this well-attended session can be accessed here.

Future training sessions will include:
1. Session on Labour Party Structure (with visual aids)
2. How to become a councillor/role of councillors, including the CLP/Council relationship
3. How to write motions
4. Grassroots politics and alternative models of running a council
5. Labour Party socials

Upcoming events for your diary:

3 April 2018 – Discussion on Labour Party policies with Dan Carden, MP
10 April 2018 – Intersectionality Panel: Celebrating Identities and Differences, with Equalities and Women’s Forums
18 April 2018 – Grassroots politics and alternatives
Summer event – Walton CLP: The Unknown, deadline for expressions of interest 15 May 2018
If you would like to suggest a topic or an idea for Political Education event please email
Lena Šimić, Walton CLP Political Education Officer on lenasimic[at]hotmail.com

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