Welcome to Spokesman Books, the publishing imprint of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation
Standing Up for Education
Edited by Louise Regan and Tom Unterrainer
What is education for? What should be taught? Who should control schools? How should educational progress be measured? What are the real barriers to learning? How much testing is too much testing? Are schools being privatised? Should schools be privatised? Do academy schools 'work'?
These are just a few of the questions at the heart of a major debate over the future of education and schools. Many of the issues in this debate are long-standing concerns that have found new relevance in new circumstances. Some of the issues are new but demand an urgent and forceful answer.
New issue of The Spokesman
Socially Useful Production
The Spokesman 133
Socially useful production was conceived, at least in part, as an alternative to military production, by shop stewards campaigning to save jobs at Lucas Industries in Britain in the 1970s. RollsRoyce had gone bust, unable to fulfil the terms of a ruinous contract to build the RB211 aero engine for the Lockheed Tristar. As a major supplier to RollsRoyce, Lucas suffered the knockon effects of bad debts and other depredations to its business. Step forward the Lucas Combine Shop Stewards Committee, whose alternative Corporate Plan listed diverse products from hybrid engines to mobile dialysis packs that the company could produce using the wide range of skills possessed by its experienced workforce. The Lucas Plan has echoed down the decades as a viable alternative, if only the company and some of the trade unions of the day had given it a chance to work.
Today, socially useful production is a pertinent issue for our climate changing, automated times, when the future of work is under consideration, in the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the alternative Lucas Plan.
Tony Simpson in his Editorial
From Liberal to Labour
with Women's Suffrage
The Story of Catherine Marshall
By Jo Vellacott
Catherine Marshall was a vital figure in the women's suffrage movement in Britain before the First World War. Using her remarkable political skills on behalf of the major non-militant organization, the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, she built close connections with major suffragist politicians, leading some - in all three parties - to consider adopting a measure of women's enfranchisement as a party plank.
By 1913 Marshall was uniquely placed as a lobbyist, with inside information and sympathetic listeners in every party. Through her the dynamically reorganized NUWSS brought the women's suffrage issue to the fore of public awareness. It pushed the Labour Party to adopt a strong stand on women's suffrage and raised working-class consciousness, re-awakening a long-dormant demand for full adult enfranchisement. Had the general election due in 1915 taken place, NUWSS financial and organizational support for the Labour Party might well have been substantial enough to influence the final results.
'The book's great strength is its insider perspective, based on the author's exemplary, definitive analysis of the huge archive of Catherine Marshall papers - a source never so thoroughly worked before. The author is clearly the world authority on this material and her work is, in addition to its contribution to British political history, a real addition to the growing corpus of British women's biography.'
SYBIL OLDFIELD, University of Sussex
Architect or Bee?
The Human Price of Technology
By Mike Cooley, Foreword by Frances O'Grady
Mike Cooley's pioneering introduction to socially useful production and human-centred manufacturing systems, with a new foreword by the General Secretary of the TUC, herself an advocate of the lessons of the Lucas Plan for alternative production priorities. Years ahead of its time, Architect or Bee? is essential reading for all those seeking a democratic alternative to the politics of austerity.
'Essential reading' - New Statesman
On the 14 Apr 2016 there will be an evening of discussion about Lucas Aerospace workers plan in the 1970s, entitled Architect or Bee? at Nottingham Contemporary.
This event is free, but booking is recommended.
Nottingham - UNESCO City of Literature
On Friday 12th November 2015, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, announced the designation of 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. We are please to let you know that amongst them was Nottingham, which was declared a City of Literature!
For more information please visit the UNESCO site and to become a part of our historic moment visit http://www.nottinghamcityofliterature.com/
Tony Benn Pamphlets
The Levellers and the English Democratic Tradition
by Tony Benn
The Levellers continue to inspire political debate and public interest. Thousands of people travel to Burford, attracted by their story with its ideas of democracy and common ownership. Tony Benn's and Frieder Otto Wolf's sparkling speeches to the annual Leveller's Day celebrations at Burford, separated by more than twenty years, give ample testimony to the strength of this tradition.
The Speaker, The Commons and Democracy
by Tony Benn
There is no doubt that unless we can restore the vitality of representative democracy more and more people will conclude that they are just pawns in an unending political game to be managed and manipulated for the convenience of those at the top.
See our full range of Tony Benn books and pamphlets.
Russell Press Digital
Russell Press Digital is the digital printing arm of the Russell Press who have printed books in short runs for our clients for some years now. Our product is unique because we have in house the right finishing equipment. That, together with our book printing expertise, provides you with a good, professionally finished paperback book. We also print posters, flyers, business cards, brochures, and saddle stitched booklets to the same high standard, as well as general stationery.
Here you will find details of all our books, journals and pamphlets. You can order online using our safe and secure shop.
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