With most of us being required to practice social distancing and / or self-isolate, I thought now would be as good-a-time as any to launch Red Reads and Watches – a newsletter from your Alyn & Deeside Political Education Officer recommending some articles / books that you can read, and some films / TV series to watch. Let’s make the most of being mandated by the government to sit around indoors, it doesn’t happen often!
If you have any recommendations that you would like included, please just let me know for future. This time, our CLP Youth Officer, Alasdair Ibbotson has kindly put forward a recommendation for each category.
|THE PLATFORM (2020) | NETFLIX|
|This film has recently dropped onto Netflix (I watched it last night) and it couldn't have come at a better time given the scenes of people fighting in supermarkets over toilet roll and hoarding food, leaving the shelves empty for those less fortunate. The film isn't subtle with its message about the insatiable greed and selfishness of human society (and it is rated 18 with a little gore)|
|MOON (2009) | SONY MOVIES (FREEVIEW CHANNEL 32) MONDAY 23RD MARCH, 9PM|
|Set in the near future, Moon follows a solitary astronaut tasked with mining the moon for helium-13 which is then fired back to Earth to be used for energy-generation. This is a 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired futuristic look into the lengths that both humans, and corporations, will go to in order to save themselves. Its airing on Monday night (tonight) at 9pm on Sony Movies, Freeview channel number 32.|
|THREADS (1984) | BBC ARCHIVES ONLINE FREE|
|ALASDAIR RECOMMENDS: A BBC film for television from 1984, this drama follows a young couple in Sheffield in the build-up to and aftermath of nuclear war. Perhaps not the uplifting thing you want in self isolation, but look at it another way: it could be a lot worse! Very topical as we consider how useful Trident is at defending us against the real threats we face, when NHS funding is reduced to pay for it. 9/10.|
|FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM | AARON BASTANI | VERSO BOOKS|
|Bastani's book is a manifesto for the future - putting some theory behind the ideas put forward by those who support fully automated luxury communism. It's a highly ambitious book with a huge dose of optimism about humanity's future and the policies required to take us there (even including mining asteroids for energy, just like in the film Moon, recommended above). The book is on sale currently with Verso Books, so you can pick up the eBook with an 80% discount at just £2.60 here. "We will see more of the world than ever before, eat varieties of food we have never heard of, and lead lives equivalent - if we so wish - to those of today's billionaires. Luxury will pervade everything as society based on waged work becomes as much a relic as the feudal past."|
|THE POOR HAD NO LAWYERS: WHO OWNS SCOTLAND AND HOW THEY GOT IT | ANDY WIGHTMAN | BIRLINN|
|ALASDAIR RECOMMENDS: Land ownership in Britain is more concentrated in the hands of the wealthy few than in almost any other developed country, and Scotland even more so than England and Wales. Land Reform may sound dull, but Andy Wightman's book is gripping, and discusses how the common-law system of land ownership evolved the way it has. A fantastic insight into why land is important, who has it, and where we go from here. Also, a great introduction into why Scottish politics is so different from South of the border. 9/10|
|LANDLORDS ARE SOCIAL PARASITES. THEY'RE THE LAST PEOPLE WE SHOULD BE HONOURING | RHIK SAMADDER | THE GUARDIAN|
|This is from 2018 but it is particularly apt given some of the stories we've been reading about some landlords and their awful treatment of tenants during the coronavirus outbreak. "No pets, no posters, no parties. That's their mantra. No repairs. Don't wear down the carpet. Just sit on a damp mattress and cough up cash. All so they can keep expanding, squatting over lives like feudal incubi. The notion of houses as investment opportunities of any sort has been a cancer. Here's a radical idea: buy a home if you can, then live in it, and do something else with your time. Something that isn't about exploiting the less privileged."|
|SOCIALIZE LAB MEAT | JAN DUTKIEWICZ | JACOBIN|
|The Coronavirus outbreak has ignited global debate regarding our consumption habits and animal agriculture. Whilst many on the right have used this as an excuse to launch thinly-veiled racist attacks on the Chinese for eating snakes and bats, it should be prompting all of us to reflect on our eating habits. This article takes a look at the new laboratory meat industries popping up all over the world and how it is vitally important that the state wins the battle to control such industry on behalf of the people. "We need practical, public investment in new technology to make the benefits of a more just society - from energy generation to green housing to improved medical care - more readily available to every member of society. Lab-grown hamburgers for all wouldn't be a bad start."|
|THE CLIMATE CRISIS IS OUR THIRD WORLD WAR. IT NEEDS A BOLD RESPONSE | JOSEPH STIGLITZ | THE GUARDIAN|
|ALASDAIR RECOMMENDS: If the last few weeks have shown us anything, it's that there is money there when we need it. The Tories who claimed just 4 months ago that we can't afford to prevent the climate crisis have now realised that the money taps can and must be turned on when lives depend on it. The big question is, having come through a crisis which came up on us from nowhere, will we apply the same logic to the bigger threat we've known about for years? They say we can't afford a Green Industrial Revolution; we say we can't afford not to have one. 8/10|
Thank you for reading and hopefully you will find some of these recommendations interesting or entertaining during your social distancing days. If you have any suggestions that you’d like to be included in the future, just let me know. Also feel free to let me know your thoughts on any of the recommendations given!
Alyn & Deeside CLP Political Education Officer