Back Issues

  • Get the Rag to your inbox
  • Red Rag
Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!
(cover illustration)

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 1984; the latest issue is dated January 22nd (scan / txt); the next one is due out on February 5th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a print run by now of 1300. It printed pretty well everything it got sent ("unless the Collective judged it racist, sexist, right wing, or supportive of oppressive religions"). 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. And in four years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): Bracknell cuts funding to an adventure playground and play centre; the children and their parents turn up at a council meeting to protest but are dragged out by swarms of police; as we go to press the children and play staff have occupied both premises and organised a rooftop demonstration. Back in Reading, one of the founding squatters at the Borough Arms is the son of Tory Housing Chairman Ron Jewitt, who also hits the news for imagining that not only is it no big deal to get rented accommodation if you're single and living in Reading, in fact it's easier than ever with the new Unified Housing Benefit paid by the Council. Women at Greenham are continuing their night-time watches on all the gates on the common to ensure that nothing is taken in or out of the base without their knowledge; racist attacks on Asian occupied houses are on the increase; and a date has been set for Acorn Bookshop's court appearance.

So what care in the community is going to mean mainly is more sick and elderly people living at home, being looked after mainly by women who will be chained to the home caring for their parents, in-laws, spouses, or children with a bare minimum of supporting services from the NHS and local authorities. It is an effectively sexist policy and make no mistake about it has top-level support - having been presented to and praised by the Minister of Health, Kenneth Clarke, himself, it is a part of the solution to the problem of unemployment, a solution that involves forcing very many women off the labour market.