Back Issues

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Established 1979
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(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 December 9th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on January 6th.

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): the families of Miners striking to defend 70,000 jobs against the closure of 70 pits are faced with a cut in Social Security; magistrates in Acorn Bookshop's court case deem that books and comics which presuppose familiarity with drugs are obscene, liable to corrupt, and so to be pulped later this month; the personal remains political; Reading's Only Cassette Album is launched; and what to do if you wake up on Christmas mornng and don't fancy talking to anybody until - say - Friday.

Those present at the editorial meeting found the following letter sexist, racist and very offensive. However we thought it was necessary to print it, in full. This is because we felt it was a criticism of the Rag and everything the Rag stands for. We cannot simply ignore this kind of attitude as it is only a blatant expression of the attitudes that we are surrounded by every day. We feel it is more dangerous to ignore this than to print it and let the readership see for themselves.