Sally Campbell

New Town Utopia

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In 1948 the Central Office of Information produced a short animated film selling the idea of the New Town. It shows city-dwellers crammed into inadequate housing, facing the hellish daily commute on overcrowded public transport, choking on fumes from traffic and from factories at the end of every street.

Editorial: Gearing up for battles this spring

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Could a spectre be haunting Europe once again? As we go to press millions of public sector workers in France — including teachers, civil servants, air traffic controllers, hospital workers and rail workers — are striking and marching together in protest at President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed “reforms” (read: pay freezes, job cuts and wholesale attacks on conditions).

This one-day action is set to be followed by three months of strikes by rail workers, who plan to strike for two days out of every five from 3 April to 28 June.

A Fantastic Woman

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As the words “A Fantastic Woman” appear on the screen we are looking, somewhat jarringly, at a man’s body. For several minutes we follow middle aged Orlando as he goes about his business in Santiago, getting a massage, heading back to work, then out to meet his lover, Marina, who he is taking out for her birthday. Their relationship is easy and comfortable, but also passionate.

From #MeToo to #WhatAboutUs

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What began as a discussion of sexual harassment has broadened out to other aspects of the fight for women’s liberation. But working class women must be at the centre of debate, writes Sally Campbell.

The #MeToo movement, which took off in reaction to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault revelations, has continued to reshape discussions around women’s equality.

Downsizing

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Just before I went into the screening of Alexander Payne’s new film, Downsizing, I was reading George Monbiot’s article in the Guardian, “Is this the end of civilisation? We could take a different path”.

That could be the subtitle to this odd and amusing film from the director of Nebraska and The Descendants.

Matt Damon plays Paul Safranek, an everyman who cares for his mum, then his wife, all while working as an occupational therapist in a meat factory.

The enduring appeal of Marx

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Karl Marx was born two centuries ago. There have been ups and downs since, but he’s never gone entirely out of fashion. Sally Campbell introduces a monthly column looking at his life, work and relevance today.

The spectre of Karl Marx has never disappeared — a fact that will be reinforced when his bicentenary is celebrated this year on 5 May. A production at the National Theatre recently portrayed him as a lovable rogue. And a forthcoming film by Raoul Peck shows the young Marx, and his great friend Friedrich Engels, embedded in the revolutionary movements of the 1840s.

Ending the silence on workplace sexism

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The autumn has been dominated by the sexual harassment claims against prominent figures. Sally Campbell looks for collective solutions to a problem often experienced individually.

Since October headlines have been dominated by revelations of sexual harassment and assault, first against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and then spreading to other producers, directors and stars.

The scandal then engulfed the UK parliament, where Tory minister Michael Fallon was forced to resign over sexual misconduct — and claimed his behaviour was “acceptable ten or 15 years ago”. Some 28 other Tory MPs and several Labour figures are being investigated over similar issues.

Gender Recognition Act: Trans rights versus feminism?

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Proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act which would allow trans people to self-declare their gender have reignited debates about trans rights and women’s oppression. Sally Campbell argues that socialists must support the right to self-identify.

In the early hours of Tuesday 22 August Kiwi Herring, a 30 year old trans woman and mother of three, was shot dead by police in St Louis, US. Police had been called after Kiwi had allegedly stabbed her neighbour. After an altercation during which one police officer received a “minor injury”, the police opened fire.

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