Rob Ray's blog

How To: Small print runs

Because of my background with Black Flag and Freedom I sometimes get asked for advice on sorting out print jobs for small leftie publications. So here's a very quick rundown of the issues you might want to think about.

Colin Ward

I can't claim to have known him but I did visit Colin shortly after Talking Anarchy - a book entirely made up of a fascinating exchange between him and David Goodway - was brought out. I suspect mine was one of the last published interviews he gave as he was already getting very frail by then.

Christians vrs Atheists: Who's killed the most?

One of the recurring themes of evangelical Christianity is that atheism means people have no reason to look after each other, supporting the allegation that it led the deaths of millions during the 20th century. Disregarding for a moment the reality that wars are caused by elite power conflicts and generally have little to do with religious belief or a lack thereof, I thought I'd check out who led some of the more famous wars and genocides in history...

John Rety 1930-2010

I'm sad to announce that John Rety, ex editor of Freedom and poetry editor for the Morning Star, died last night after a heart attack.

The return of "class warfare"

Recently we've been seeing a long lost phrase creeping back into the media - class warfare. Sadly, they're only talking about the opportunistic ranting of Gordon Brown.

The anarchist International

This thread got me thinking yesterday about how little decent information exists on the IWA — the biggest anarchist project of all time.

Fools and their "gold-plated" pensions

Public sector workers have been fools. No more so than private sector workers, for sure, but it has been a breathtaking level of foolishness across the board which has led to the imminent extinction of the entire concept of final salary pensions*.

Impressions on the commute

For the last three months I've been spending a good portion of my time in commute-land, a rattling, faded bastion of middle-class conservatism and low-level lebensraum crammed into the 08.30 from Norwich to London.

Hopefully, this is soon to come to a blessed end and I can start waking up in a London bed, with London traffic and London impoliteness to look forward to as I make the jump from Suffolk buh to City cynic. Which makes this a good time to have a think about exactly what I learned on the trip down.

Acpo chief, you're one low-expectation-having motherf*cker.

A quote piece by the Times from Sir Ken Jones, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers reminded me of Chris Rock's most famous, and funny skit.

Not-so-fat cats: How the rich got thin

I came across an interesting Daily Mail article today (yes it does happen occasionally), which says that fat women are unfairly excluded from top jobs. Now the idea that sexism exists in the workplace, particularly at higher levels, is a bit of a no-brainer, but it got me thinking...

Anarchist literature and distribution

Distribution of anarchist literature has been a major difficulty for decades, and recent improvements to a range of products has repeatedly been held back by this fact. what can we do about it?

Neo-liberals don't die, they just amortise

There has been a lot of talk on the left, and even in the mainstream media, about how neo-liberalism is dead or dying as the recession burns a hole through their theorists' tissue of lies. Not a bit of it. If anything, privatisation and the robbing of the working class is accelerating.

Charitable giving

An investigation in a national newspaper has found that charitable donations have been in free-fall as the number of donors crumbles due to the credit crunch. The general response has been to urge the great and the good to open their hearts, and their pockets to save the day. How quaint, to believe that in the face of capital loss people will band together in solidarity to help out the weak...

Freedom newspaper copy dates - 2009

Copy dates for the anarchist newspaper Freedom for next year - send submissions to freedomeds - puttheatsigninhere -

Why is anarchism always 'self-described'

Reading through some of the coverage of the greek riots which have been happening, I couldn't help but notice the words 'self-described anarchists' cropping up a lot.

Redistributionist budget? Yeah right.

The angle of the mainstream media on the Budget is 'big borrowing, big risk, the death of low taxes for the rich'. Only the first two are true.

The great class struggle video library project

Christiebooks have announced that they are set to close their class-struggle films section on December 17th unless they find an alternative host - or a £26,000 donation. As a purely hypothetical exercise, could a free alternative be found for their 760 titles?

Sweeping down on the supermarkets

As supermarkets continue to hike their prices, it seems a response is being planned – and not before time. But will it work?

The peccadillos of Winston Churchill

Following a few questions and misconceptions on the man himself, I thought I'd reiterate a few of them to balance things out a bit.

After the break... more Freedom

The copy deadlines for the rest of the year have been set, so if you have an article to send in, you know where to check...