RED RAG (cover illustration)

Back Issues

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Established 1979
20p! Fortnightly! Fun!

These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every (usually) two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1987; the latest issue is dated May 5th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 19th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a readership in its heyday of 4000. It printed practically everything it got sent ("except poetry and party political broadcasts, provided it isn't racist, sexist, militarist or otherwise supportive of oppression"). It aimed to provide a decent alternative coverage of local news and issues from a radical non-aligned position; to promote subversive and creative initiatives; to provide a forum for unorthodox views; to allow some sort of co-existence between a huge variety of interests. An indispensible source of local information? a forum for the self-indulgent and self-important? a continuous experiment in collective, de-centralised organisation? Who knew? In its first seven years it never sold a single copy; but now after much soul-searching a price had been put on the Rag's head...

In this issue (scan / txt): the only independent telephone system in Britain other than British Telecom is in Hull, where the telephones are run by the local council; while BP lost 50,000 jobs, Hull has a policy of retraining employees displaced by new technology; it is cheaper to subscribe to than BT and far more efficient in its service. Radio 210 reports that local anarchists have prepared posters, leaflets and stickers as part of a "Don't Vote" campaign; but you should vote for the SDP-Liberal Alliance because David Owen wants power and if we help him, perhaps he will throw us a few crumbs once he has leapt into partnership with the Tories; and the Rag has a recurring inability to decide exactly what is or isn't folk music.