Back Issues

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Established 1979
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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 November 11th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 25th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a readership of 4000. It was produced by an incredibly fluid collective, some of whom had never met each other. 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. And in five years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): embarking on a policy of closing geriatric wards and hospitals because it says the institutional care they provide is unnecessary, the government pays out huge sums to the owners of private rest homes. Locally the supply of places fails miserably to meet the demand. The Reading Labour Party believes that the town needs 5 sex shops in spite of a Council subcommittee report recommending the refusal of licences to all five; Cosmo Girl explains how to hold down more than one relationship at a time; shop-keepers in Newbury oppose cruise missiles at USAF Greenham Common because the USAF Seargeants Association is pressing for USAF personnel at the base to be given a 10% discount in their shops; and the Rag goes dangerously mainstream with its first astrology column.