Tony Staunton

The Angry Brigade

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Angry Brigade

This brilliant first production of James Graham’s The Angry Brigade is a play of two halves. The story of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group focuses on 1971 and the setting of a number of small explosions by a small group of anarchists in London.

They target an MP, a Commissioner of Police, an embassy and the Royal Albert Hall where the Miss World Pageant is taking place, hosted by the sexist comedian Bob Hope. It’s a true story.

Lessons of Rotherham

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Tim Sanders

The Jay Report revealed the extent of child sexual exploitation in the UK. Tony Staunton argues that the scandal also exposes the impact of cuts, as well as contempt towards vulnerable young women.

The Jay Report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over a 12-year period is horrific reading. There were more than 1,400 known cases of abuse, mostly of isolated working class girls, most of whom remained unheard by the services supposedly there to protect them. Those in charge of the services undermined investigations and stopped preventive measures being put in place.

Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia

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James J Brittain, Pluto Press, £18.99

More trade union activists are assassinated each year in Colombia than in all the rest of the world. State troops and right wing paramilitary groups terrorise the urban poor and rural communities. Colombia has a history of colonial control, fascist government, democratic development and then an extreme model of neoliberalism.

International Social Work and the Radical Tradition

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Editors Michael Lavalette and Iain Ferguson, Venture Press, £15.95

Free market globalisation has brought not only increased poverty, inequality, social and personal problems, but also a consequential growth in social work. Most who seek to practise social work do so from a desire to help address the problems that affect people's lives. Such people are everywhere. Throughout the world the ideas and values of social work developed in Western liberal democracies are extremely influential, yet few would deny that social work in those very countries is in crisis.

Lives, Lies and Statistics

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Review of 'Britain in Numbers', Simon Briscoe, Politico's £14.99

It may be sad, but I love statistics! However inaccurate, they undermine the Thatcherite cry that 'there is no such thing as society'. You cannot have a statistic that brings more than two people together as a group before generalising to reflect social trends and tensions.

Statistics can be seditious. Just look at the Make Poverty History advert with a child dying every three seconds - on the click of a celebrity's fingers - to observe the power of numbers.

Through the Eyes of the Child

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Tony Staunton looks behind the rhetoric of 'children's rights'.

The headlines are becoming as familiar as they are phenomenal; 33,000 children die each day from preventable illnesses; at least 250 million children are in effective slavery to transnational corporations; the expansion of the global sex industry with a disproportionate increase in child abduction, with more than 1 million entering the sex trade each year, some as young as five years old.

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