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communities against the cuts

1)3What3do3you3think3of3Birmingham3City3 Council's3initiative3to3pay3all3employees3a3 Living3Wage?3WeAagreeAtotallyAwithAtheA initiativeAtoApayAaAlivingAwageAtoAallABCCA employeesMAItAisAaAdisgraceAthatAitAhasAnotA happenedAalreadyMAItAcouldAeasilyAbeApaidAforA byAseverelyArestrictingAtheAexcessiveAsalariesA ofAseniorAmanagementAandAbyAcuttingAbackA onAtheAdisgracefulArip0offAcontractsAwithA CapitaAandASercoM 2)3What3do3you3think3of3the3green3waste3 collection3charge?3IAthinkAthatAtheAgreenA wasteAchargeAshouldAbeAabolishedMACATCAisA campaigningAforAthatAtoAhappenM 3)3What3do3you3think3of3the3cuts3central3 government3are3handing3out3to3local3 government?3TheAcutsAimposedAbyAcentralA governmentAonAlocalAgovernmentAareA dreadfulMAWeAareAalreadyAtheAmostA centralisedAcountryAinAEuropeAandAtheyAwillA makeAitAworseM 4)3What3would3your3actions3be3in3 response3to3the3cuts3to3Birmingham3City3 Council3from3central3government3if3you/ your3party3controlled3the3city3council?3IfA ourAparty1ACATC1AwasAinAcontrolAofAtheABCC1A weAwouldArefuseAtoApassAaAbudgetAthatA acceptedAtheseAcutsAfromAcentralA governmentMASomeAmayAsayAthatAwouldAbeA irresponsibleMAButAwhatAisAtheAalternative?A AcceptA“theAendAofAlocalAgovernmentAasAweA knowAit”A–AtheseAareAtheAveryAwordsAofABore1A theAcowardlyALabourAleaderAofABCCMAWeA believeAthatAbasicAlocalAservicesAlikeAlibraries1A parks1AswimmingAbaths1Achildren’sAandAyouthA services1AcareAforAtheAelderlyAandAinfirmAareA atAtheAcoreAofAcommunityAvaluesAandAmustA beAdefendedAatAallAcostM

ConServatives 1)3What3do3you3think3of3Birmingham3City3 Council's3initiative3to3pay3all3employees3a3 Living3Wage?AWeAvotedAinAfavourAofAtheACouncilA introducingAtheAlivingAwageMAWeAwelcomeAtheA GovernmentAraisingAtheAIncomeAtaxAthresholdAtoA overA£241444AhelpingApeopleAkeepAmoreAofAtheA moneyAtheyAearnMAWeAwouldAwelcomeAaAfurtherA riseAofAtheAthresholdAtoAensureAthatAnoAoneA earningAminimumAwageAhadAtoApayAincomeAtaxMA ThisAwouldAdeliverAaAlivingAwageAforAeveryAsingleA workingApersonAinAtheACountryMA 2)3What3do3you3think3of3the3green3waste3 collection3charge?3WeAopposeAtheAintroductionA ofAtheAGardenATaxAforAgreenAwasteAcollectionMAWeA votedAagainstAitsAintroductionAandAhaveApledgedAtoA axeAtheAtaxAandArefundAthoseAwhoAhaveApaidA shouldAweAtakeAcontrolAofAtheACouncilAinAMayMAWeA wouldArestoreAtheApreviousAsystemAofAallowingA peopleAtoArecycleAasAmuchAasAtheyAwishAtoM 3)3What3do3you3think3of3the3cuts3central3 government3are3handing3out3to3local3 government?3TheAmeasuresAtakenAbyAtheA GovernmentAtoAfixAtheAmessAthatAGordonABrownA leftAtheACountryAhasAledAtoAtheACountryAbecomingA theAfastestAgrowingAeconomyAinAtheAdevelopedA worldMAWeAclearlyAwishAtoAseeABirminghamAgetAtheA bestApossibleAdealAbothAnowAandAgoingAforwardA bothAinAtermsAofAcoreAgrant1AtransportAfundingAandA futureApowersMAHoweverAitAshouldAbeAnotedAthatA thisAyearABirminghamAwillAreceiveA£)FAMillionAperA aAweekAfromAtheAGovernment1AmoreAthanAanyA otherAlocalAauthorityAareaM 4)3What3would3your3actions3be3in3response3to3 the3cuts3to3Birmingham3City3Council3from3 central3government3if3you/your3party3 controlled3the3city3council?AWeAwouldA implementAourAalternativeAbudgetAputAforwardAtoA theACouncilAinAFebruaryMAThisAdemonstratedAthatA theACityACouncilAcanAprotectAfrontlineAservicesAbyA makingAfurtherAsavingsAtoAbackAofficeAandAnon0keyA servicesALegAEuropeanAofficers’MAWeAwouldA ensureAthatABirmingham’sAstreetsAwereAkeptAcleanA byArestoringAtheAF4“AreductionAinAstreetAcleaningA introducedAbyAtheALabourACouncilMAWeAwouldAaxeA chargesAforAbulkyAwasteAcollectionsAandAtheA gardenAtaxAforAgreenAwasteAcollectionsMAWeAwouldA alsoAworkAtoAensureAthatAtheACityACouncilAattractedA inwardAinvestmentAandAcreatedAjobs1AwhileA workingAwithAtheAGovernmentAtoAensureA BirminghamAgetsAtheAbenefitAofAfutureAgrowthMA

Labour

(brett O'Reilly - councillor for northfield ward) 1)3What3do3you3think3of3Birmingham3City3Council's3 initiative3to3pay3all3employees3a3Living3Wage?ATheA BirminghamALivingAWageApolicyAisAaAveryAimportantAstepA towardsAtacklingAinAworkApovertyMANotAonlyAdoAdirectA employeesAofABirminghamACityACouncilAreceiveAaAlivingA wage1AbutAthereAareAalsoAaAnumberAofAcontractors1AstakeA holdersAandAorganisationsAwhoAhaveAalsoAfollowedAsuit1A recognisingAthatAitAisAnotAacceptable1AorAsociallyA responsibleAtoAsimplyAuseAtheAnationalAminimumAwageAasA aAbaselineAforApayMASomeAargumentsAhaveAbeenAmadeAbyA oppositionApartiesAthatAitAisAtheAwrongAtime1AduringAcutsA andAausterityAtoAgiveAworkersAinAtheAcityAaApayArise1A howeverAmyApersonalAopinionAisAthatAweAshouldAleadAbyA exampleAdespiteAgovernmentAcuts1AandAprovideAlivingA wageAforAemployeesM 2)3What3do3you3think3of3the3green3waste3collection3 charge?3TheAdecisionAtoAchargeAforAgreenAwasteAisAnotA popular1AhoweverAthereAitAisAaAdifficultApoliticalAchoiceAthatA hasAbeenAmadeAinABirminghamMATheArealityAisAthatA BirminghamAisAreceivingAsomeAofAtheAbiggestAcutsAinAlocalA government1AdespiteAhavingAsomeAofAtheAhighestAlevelsAofA povertyAinAtheAcountry1AwhichAisAultimatelyAhittingAfrontAlineA servicesMAIfAsomeone1AorAaAfamilyAliveAinAaApropertyA withoutAaAgarden1AthereAisAnoAfairnessAifAtheyAhaveAtoAloseA aAserviceAinAorderAtoAsubsidiseAgreenAwasteAcollectionsA forAthoseAwhoAuseAtheAserviceMAItAmayAnotAbeAaApopularA policy1AbutAtheApolicyAisAthereAtoAprovideAfairnessAtoAallA whoAuseAandArelyAonAservicesAinABirminghamM 3)3What3do3you3think3of3the3cuts3central3government3 are3handing3out3to3local3government?3EvenAifAweA acceptAthatAthereAwillAbeAcutsAtoAmostAgovernmentA departments1AtheAcutsAthatABirminghamAareAreceivingAareA disproportionateAandAunfairAinAcomparisonAtoAotherApartsA ofAtheAcountryMATheAgovernmentAuseAtheA‘spendingApower’A calculation1AprobablyAasAthisAmakesAtheAcutsAofAhundredsA ofAmillionsAsoundAlessAsevereMAUsingAtheAToryAledA government’sAownAmeasureAofAspendingApower1A BirminghamAlosesAinAexcessAofA%“1AwhilstAotherAmoreA affluentApartsAofAtheAcountryAactuallyAseeAanAincreaseAofA inAexcessAofA%“MAIfABirminghamAwasAtreatedAfairly1AthereA wouldAbeAfarAmoreAprotectionAforAfrontAlineAservices1A howeverAtheAgovernmentAsimplyArefuseAtoAlistenM 4)3What3would3your3actions3be3in3response3to3the3 cuts3to3Birmingham3City3Council3from3central3 government3if3you/your3party3controlled3the3city3 council?3AsAaALabourAadministration1AweAhaveAtakenAaA proactiveAapproachAinAdealingAwithAgovernmentAcuts1A reviewingAservicesAinAallAdirectorates1AwhichAinvolvesAallA membersAfromAtheAleadership1AtoAcabinet1AtoAbackA benchers1AinAorderAtoAmakeAtheAfairestApossibleAdecisionsA inAtheAfaceAofAdraconianAcutsMAThereAareAnoAeasyA decisions1AandAeveryAserviceAwhichAisAcutAaffectsAcitizensA ofABirminghamAinAoneAformAorAanotherMAWeAhaveA launchedAaA‘StandAUpAforABirmingham’AcampaignAandA evenAtheAprimeAministerAhasAbeenAlobbiedAforAaAfairerA allocationAofAfundingMATheALabourArunABirminghamACityA CouncilAisAdoingAeverythingApossibleAtoAdeliverAfairnessA andAsocialAresponsibilityAinAtheseAtimes1AasAitAisAunlikelyA thatABirminghamAisAeverAgoingAtoAgetAaAfairAdealAunderA thisATory0LiberalACoalitionAgovernmentM


TUsc

trade union &

socialist coalition

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slaneystreet.com | 3

Don't vote, organise! David Graham T T T ForT manyT ofT theT mostT vulnerableT theT lastT fourT yearsT haveT beenT whatT canT onlyT beT describedT asT hellT withT possiblyToneTofTtheTmostToutTofTtouchAT selfT servingT governmentsT wePveT everT hadDT WithTelectionsT comingTupT andT aT generalT electionT nextT yearT thereT isT understandablyTaTlotTofTtalkTandThopeT onT theT LeftT ofT standingT candidatesDT IT wouldT argueT thisT isT misguidedAT howeverDTTheTsituationTisTdireATandTinT needTofTaTcompleteTtearingTdownTandT replacementT ofT theT currentT modelDT WhatT weT donPtT needT isT liberalT reformistsT wastingT timeT andT effortT tryingT toT changeT theT systemT fromT withinD TTTThereTareTmanyTproblemsTwithTourT currentT representativeT “democracy”T modelDT IT canPtT thinkT ofT anythingT moreT disempoweringT thanT puttingT anT XT onT aT ballotT paperT everyT MT yearsT forT someoneTwhoTmakesTpromisesTaboutT thingsT theyPllT doT toT makeT myT lifeT betterAT andT whoT subsequentlyT spendT theT nextT MT yearsT servingT nobody’sT interestsT butT theirT ownT andT theirT party’sD T T T WeT needT aT participatoryT modelT ofT democracyATinsteadTofThandingTpowerT overT ourT livesT toT someoneT elseT whoT “knowsT better”AT andT overT whomT weT haveT noT powerDT PuttingT anT XT onT thatT ballotTpaperTisTbeingTcomplicitTinTyourT ownT oppressionOT weT needT toT moveT awayT fromT oppressiveT hierarchiesT insteadTofTgivingTthemTlegitimacyDT T T T WhenT participationT inT politicsT hasT beenT reducedT toT goingT toT theT ballotT boxTeveryTfewTyearsTit’sTnoTwonderTsoT manyTpeopleThaveTbecomeTalienatedT fromT theT processDT WePveT reachedT aT pointTwhereTsoTmanyTpeopleTareTnowT completelyTdisillusionedTthatTitTseemsT wrongT toT beT spendingT hugeT amountsT ofT timeT andT moneyT campaigningT andT tellingTpeopleTthatTthingsTwillTbeTbetterT thisT timeT ifT youT justT voteT forT thisT orT thatT partyDT TheT timeAT moneyT andT energyT couldT beT betterT spentT organisingTwithinTtheTlocalTcommunityT toT helpT itT putT powerT overT theirT livesT backTinTtheirTownThandsDTTheTLeftThasT spentT theT lastT MGT orT soT yearsT experimentingT withT electoralT politicsT andT itT hasnPtT workedT outDT WithT soT manyTdisillusionedTpeopleToutTthereTitT seemsT likeT timeT toT toT stepT outT ofT theT narrowlyT definedT boxT thatT weT callT politicsD

TheT frameworkT ofT ourT democraticT systemTisTsetTupTinTsuchTaTwayTthatTtheT oddsT areT stackedT heavilyT inT favourT ofT maintainingT theT statusT quoAT whichT servesT theT interestsT ofT theT rulingT classDT TheT differencesT betweenT theT mainstreamT partiesT areT minimalDT WithT hugeTmultinationalsTdonatingTmillionsTtoT theT mainT partiesT andT theT mainstreamT mediaT spewingT outT rightT wingT propagandaAT andT onceT inT powerAT someoneT goingT intoT politicsT withT theT bestTintentionsTwillTfindTitThardTnotTtoTputT theirTownTegosTandTinterestsTbeforeTtheT interestsT ofT theT peopleT theyT areT supposedT toT representDT SuccessfulT partiesT andT candidatesT areT sidelinedAT andT donPtT standT aT chanceT ofT gainingT powerT unlessT throughT aT coalitionAT T thusT compromisingT outT theirT principlesT andT beliefsD TTTTATLeftTUnityTgovernmentATorTwhoeverT theTlatestT“workers’Tparty”TmightTbeATwillT notT putT powerT intoT theT handsT ofT theT workingT classAT itT willT justT replaceT theT currentT rulingT classT withT aT differentT rulingT classDT ThereT areT plentyT ofT examplesT toT backT thisT upAT fromT theT currentT stateT ofT theT LabourT PartyAT theT LibT DemsT breakingT theirT preUelectionT promisesT toT getT aT tasteT ofT powerAT theT GreenT PartyT inT BrightonAT toT variousT greenT andT socialistT partiesT acrossT EuropeDT TheT closerT aT partyT getsT toT powerTmoreTtheyTstartTtoTlookTlikeTallTtheT otherTpartiesTpartTofTtheTestablishmentD TTTTTTellingTpeopleTtoTvoteTforTsomeTnewT partyT ofT theT LeftT isT notT goingT toT helpT anyoneDT InsteadAT weT shouldT beT spendingT thatT energyT buildingT practicalT alternativesDT TheT fightT againstT austerityT overT theT pastT fourT yearsT hasT beenT prettyT depressingCT whereT areT theT sustainedT riotsT inT theT streetsYT WhereT areT theT wildUcatT generalT strikesYT TheT occupationsYT DirectT actionsYT MarkingT anTXTonTaTpieceTofTpaperTachievesTnoneT ofT theseT thingsAT insteadT weT shouldT beT encouragingT workersT toT joinT radicalT unionsT likeT theT IWWAT benefitT claimantsT toT joinT claimants’T unionsAT democraticT structuresT thatT supportT anyoneT whoT wantsT toT fightT backT andT takeT directT actionDT WeT donPtT needT politiciansT andT bossesT runningT ourT livesT andT sortingT outT ourT problemsAT weT canT doT thatT ourselvesDTWeTjustTneedTtoTorganiseD


slaneystreet.com | 4

Underfunded safeguarding services leaves unidentified children at risk By Jolyon Jones

A. shortfall. of. resources. has. been. identified. as. a. critical. issue. in. the. Le. Grand. Review. of. children’s. Social. Care. services. in. Birmingham‘. which. was. published.last.week1 The. independent. review. was. appointed. by. the. Government. in. November. to. report. on. the. ability. of. the. Council. to. make. improvements. to. its. safeguarding. services. after. being. rated. as. inadequate. by. repeated. OFSTED. inspections. since. x7741 The. underfunding. of. child. social. care. in. the. city. is. identified.as.a.likely.factor.affecting.the.relatively.low. rate.of.child.protection.referrals.into.the.Department1. The.report.raises.a.current.concern.that.there.are.a. significant. number. of. young. people. in. need. of. protection.who.have.not.been.referred.to.the.council‘. what. the. report. calls. at. ‘unidentified. risk’1. In. Birmingham.the.rate.of.child.protection.enquiries.per. 57‘777.children.for.x75-.was.57"16.compared.to.the. national.average.of.555161.This.rate.of.referral.would. also.be.expected.to.be.higher.in.Birmingham.due.to. the. higher. proportion. of. local. children. living. in. poverty. and. in. low. income. families. in. the. city1. The. review.authors.raise.the.possibility.that.Birmingham. has.developed.a.high.threshold.criteria.to.cope.with. the. under. resourcing. of. safeguarding. service1. . Thresholds.refer.to.the.known.level.of.risk.or.actual. harm.experienced.by.children.which.would.trigger.a. child. protection. enquiry. or. would. require. a. child. to. be. placed. on. a. child. protection. plan1. ‘A. hypothesis. that.can.be.drawn.from.this.analysis.is.that.there.has. been. a. long. term. underIinvestment. in. children’s. social. care. services‘. which. has. led. to. the. development. of. services. that. manage. demand. only. by.maintaining.very.high.thresholds1’

The.Council.has.been.asked.to.provide.plans.and.to. identify.the.additional.resources.needed.to.meet.an. increase. in. referrals‘. to. include. those. currently. at. ‘unidentified.risk’’1 ...The.report.calculated.the.underspend.by.dividing. the. gross. spend. in. children’s. social. care. by. the. number. of. children. living. in. deprived. households1. ‘The. average. spend. among. the. x7. local. authorities. with. the. highest. proportion. of. deprived. children. is. £""4.per.child.while.Birmingham’s.is.£j£7.per.head‘. the. jth. lowest1. ’The. report. considers. the. historic. underspend.on.children’s.social.care.service.to.have. been. the. result. of. a. lack. of. consistent. political. interest.by.past.and.present.Council.leaderships1 . . . . Cllr. Brigid. Jones‘. Cabinet. member. for. Children. and. Young. people‘. has. confirmed. that. the. level. of. spend. recommended. by. District. Auditors. reports. was. disregarded. ‘year. on. year’. by. Council. leaders‘. and. that. she. only. looked. to. increase. the. spend. on. Children’s. Social. Care. following. the. appointment. of. Peter.Hay.in.the.summer.of.x75-1 . . . . . Jones. was. interviewed. by. Adrian. Goldberg. on. Radio. WM. on. Friday. morning. following. the. publication. of. the. Le. Grand. report1. She. admitted. that.she.was.responsible.for.submitting.a.budget.to. the.Council.for.x75-I5£.which.had.contributed.to.the. continued. underfunding. of. safeguarding. services1. She. blamed. her. senior. officers. and. said. that. in. setting. the. budget. that. she. was. acting. on. the. ‘best. professional. advice. at. the. time’. and. that. they. had. failed.to.flag.the.issue.of.the.underspend1. ....Cllr.Jones‘.as.a.Cabinet.member‘.will.have.been. aware.of.the.Annual.Audit.letter.which.was.received. by. Cabinet. on. 57th. December. x75x‘. which. recommended. increasing. the. spend. on. safeguarding. services. in. response. to. the. failed. OFSTED.inspection1Auditors.

£xx16m.from.Children’s.services.including.over.£4m. direct. cuts. from. social. care. services1. This. cut. to. children’s. social. care. services. will. probably. have. increased. the. level. of. relative. underspend1. The. Council.Cabinet.in.December.x75-.agreed.to.find.an. additional. £41jm. as. part. of. its. latest. Improvement. plan. for. safeguarding. services1. In. a. report. to. that. Cabinet.meeting.there.was.an.acknowledgment.that. the. impact. of. direct. cuts. together. with. the. historic. underfunding. had. contributed. to. the. continued. failure.of.services.to.improve.and.despite.being.the. subject.of.a.Government.improvement.notice1 ......yThe.service.has.been.historically.underfunded. yet.it.has.continued.to.face.budget.reductions.whilst. trying.to.improve1.This.has.included.a.severe.lack.of. effective. support. services. or. infrastructure‘. thus. undermining. its. ability. to. deliver. or. sustain. improvement1y A Question to Councillor Jones: . . . The. Annual. Auditors’. letter. is. a. statutory. requirement1. There. is. a. duty. upon. the. Council. to. take. into. account. all. relevant. information. when. making. decisions. about. their. budgets. including. the. Annual.Audit.letter1. ....Cllr.Jones.has.admitted.that.recommendations.of. previous. Annual. Audit. letters. in. regard. to. underfunding. were. disregarded1. This. raises. the. question. as. to. whether. in. ignoring. the. Audit. letters. recommendation. to. ‘consider. the. level. of. resources. alongside. its. response. to. the. OFSTED. report’‘. Cllr. Jones. and. the. Council. were. acting. lawfully1. In. addition‘. there. is. also. an. issue. of. the. fundamental. political.and.moral.judgment.involved.in.the.decision. to. cut. Children’s. Social. Care. services. by. £4m. for. x75-I5£.in.the.knowledge.of.the.underfund‘.and.the. parlous. state. of. childrens’. safeguarding. in. Birmingham1


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slaneystreet.com 6

Raising women’s voices:

the upcoming women's issue ByI takingI onI theI workI ofI collectingGI publishingI andI distributingI theI storiesI ofI communitiesGI individualsGI activistsI inI BirminghamGI SlaneyI StreetI isI doingI somethingI veryI importantNI We’reI magnifyingI theI manyI voicesI speakingI outI againstI theI bigotryGI oppressionI andI exploitationI pedalledI byI theI mainstreamI pressGIbyItheIrulingIclassIandItheIpoliticalIeliteN IIIThisIisIaIfeministIprojectI–IoneIthatIseeksIequalityIforIallNIYetGIwithinIourIownI pagesGIweIstillIseeImanyIvoicesImissingGInotIleastIthoseIofIwomenN I I I ThisI sadlyI mirrorsI globalI realitiesI ofI womenI inI newsI mediaGI rarelyI seenI asI anchorsGIcolumnistsGInewsIreportersGIandIevenIless?oftenIregardedIasIimportantI toItheInewsIitselfNIAIrecentIAmericanIstudyIshowedIthatIonlyI17(IofInewspaperI articlesI evenI quotedI womenNI WhenI womenI areI representedI inI theI mediaGI theyI areI oftenI discussedI inI termsI ofI theirI appearanceI and:orI theirI relationshipsI toI menNI WithI regardI toI transBI womenGI itTsI notI justI appearanceI butI veryI privateI questionsI ofI anatomyI thatI areI seenI asI moreI importantI thanI theirI workI orI thoughtsNI I I I WomenI whoI experienceI otherI oppressionsI areI evenI furtherI erasedI orI diminishedI fromI mediaI coverageGI exceptI asI aI tokenI orI exceptionNI TheI MuslimI womanI whoI doesI notI wearI aI hijabI isI elevatedI asI aI signI ofI theI TstrongGI independentIwomanTIwhileIthoseIwhoIwearIniqabIorIburkaIareIseenIasIpassiveI pawnsIratherIthanIconsciousIpoliticalIagentsNITheIlesbianIcoupleIwhoIareIgettingI marriedIareIheldIupIasIaIshowIofInormalcyGIbutIqueerIwomenIwithInon?traditionalI relationshipsIandIsexualityIareIstillIvilifiedNI I I I AtI SlaneyI StreetGI weI wantI toI seeI coverageI ofI issuesI thatI matterI toI allI oppressedIpeopleNIWeIhopeIandIbelieveIthatIallIgendersIwillIseeIsuchIissuesIasI importantGIandItakeItheItimeI toIreportIonI themGI andI reportIonIthemIwellNIAtItheI

Amanda Slaney Street: Dorter Printed in white ink SlaneyIStreetTsImandateIisIclearNIAmongIotherIthingsGI“weIstriveItoIensureI thatItheIvoicesIofIthoseIinIstruggleIshouldIbeIheardIinIourIcontentIasIwellIasI throughI directI accessI toI theI pagesI ofI theI paperI andI encourageI writersI toI directlyI addressI issuesI ofI genderGI sexualityGI im:migrationGI raceGI disabilityI andI povertyI andI toI includeI representationsI andI analysisI ofI theseI issuesI withinIyourIwritingN”I I I I I AsI II wasI helpingI toI formulateI thisI partI ofI theI mandateI II wasI assuredGI repeatedlyGIbyIpeopleIwhoIhadIworkedIonItheIinitialIrunIofISlaneyIStNIthatInoI issueI wouldI everI goI toIprintIthatI didnTtI meetI thisI criteriaNIAndI yetGIhereIweI areNI DuringIourI ImeetingIforI thisIeditionGIIIsatIandI lookedIatItheIcontentIofI theI piecesI andI theI authorsNI II recognisedI almostI allI ofI theI writersGI knowingI mostItoIbeIwhiteBGImostIwithinItheIstudent:post?studentImilieuGIandImostItoI beImenIjasIfarIasIIIknowGIcis?menqNI I I I I ThoughI thereI isI contentI onI disabilityI justiceGI andI queer:TBLGI cultureGI thereI isI nothingI onI migrantI justiceGI nothingI onI policingI orI jailsGI andI oneI articleI?IoneI?IthatIdealtIexplicitlyIwithIracismNIDoesIthisImeetIourImandate?I NoNI ButI adsI wereI soldGI andI theI nextI editionI wasI dependentI onI thisI oneI comingIoutIsoonGIandIsoIyouIhaveIwhatIyouIareIholdingIinIyourIhandsN IIIIToIbeIhonestIIIfindItheIbroadIleftIthatIITveImetIinIBirminghamItoIbeItheI mostI segregatedI communityI ITveI workedI inGI withI manyI campaignsI II hearI aboutIbeingIextremelyIwhite?dominatedNIIIalsoIexperienceIridiculousIgenderI inequalityIinItermsIofIwhoIspeaksGIwhoIisIquotedGIwhoIisIrememberedGIandI whichIdealsIveryIpoorlyGIifIatIallGIwithIgenderedIandIsexualIviolenceNIItIhasI beenItheIhardestItoIimplementIthingsIthatIseemIaInaturalIpartIofIorganisingI toI meEI child?careGI wheelchairI accessGI image?captioningGI proceduresI andI structureNI I I I I ThatI isI theI broadI BrummieI leftI thatI II knowGI butI thatI isI notI allI ofI BirminghamNI AndI soI whyI areI weI notI moreI linkedI inI withI disabilityI justiceI campaignsGI migrantI rightsI organisingGI anti?racistI andI anti?colonialI groups?I TheIissuesIaroundImigrationIorIpolicingIareIeasilyIresearchedIbyIusNITheirI ownI wordsI areI outI thereGI inI meetingsGI onI postersGI inI performancesGI onI blogsNI I ButI theyI neverI seemI toI reachI SlaneyI StNI II thoughtI creatingI aI structureI thatI wasI sustainableI andI transparentI wouldI allowI participationI fromIaIwiderIswatheIofIpeopleNI I II III wantedI toIdiscussI howI weI canI solicitI andI supportIwritingIfromI peopleI outsideI ofI ourselvesNI ButI theseI ideasI wereI turnedI downI inI favourI ofI publishingI quicklyGI toI buildI ourI membershipI andI reputationGI toI continueI toI getI ourI wordsI outNI WhatI membershipGI thenGI areI weI building?I WhatI reputation?I WhatI makesI aI white?dominatedGI largely?educatedI groupI ofI peopleIthinkIthatI1WGWWWIBrummiesImustIurgentlyIreadIourIwords?I IIIILeavingIthatIforIyouItoIanswerGIallIIIcanIsayIisIthatIIIhopeIthatIweIcanIdoI betterIbecauseIIIthinkIitIisIimportantItoIhaveIwebIandIprintIalternativeImediaNI ItI isI importantI toI provideI coverageI orI aI rangeI ofI issuesI withinI oneI placeNI II hopeIthatIthisImotivatesIyouInotItoIputIdownItheIpaperGIsoImuchIasItoIpickI upIyourIlaptopIandIwriteIforIusNIAndIIIhopeIthatIasIyouIkeepIreadingGIyouTllII findIsomethingInewIandIthought?provokingIinIeachIpieceNIItTsIjustIaIshameI thatIwhatIyouIwonTtIfindGIforItheImostIpartGIareIvoicesIofIstruggleNINextItimeGI IIhopeIyouIwillNIIIhopeIitImightIbeIyoursN

The'women's'issue'is'open'to' all'self-defining'women

IsameItimeGIweIwantItoIensureImoreIreportingIisIdoneIbyIwomenGInotIbecauseI onlyI womenI canI provideI aI nuancedGI feministI analysisGI butI becauseI asI weTveI saidGIwomenIareIsoIrarelyIencouragedItoIhaveItheirIvoicesIheardN IIIThisIgenderedIbiasIreflectsImanyIaspectsIofIourIsocietyNILow?paidIandIunpaidI workIofIdailyIlifeI–ItheIglueIthatIholdsIcommunitiesItogetherI–IdisproportionatelyI fallsIonIwomenNIWeImakeIupItheImajorityIofIunpaidIcarersIandGIwhenIweIhaveI paidI workI jmostlyI low?paidI workEI theI majorityI ofI low?paidGI part?timeI andI precariousI workersI areI womenqGI itI isI oftenI onI topI ofI unpaidI expectationsI atI homeEIhouseworkGIemotionalIworkGItheImajorityIofIchild?rearingIandIcare?givingNI ThoseI sameI rolesI areI thenI usedI asI anI excuseI toI notI giveI usI jobI securityGI letI aloneI promotionsNI ItI isI estimatedI thatI 1:%I peopleI loseI theirI jobsI afterI returningI fromI maternityI leaveNI I I WeI areI blamedI forI “choosing”I familyI overI careerNI ThankfullyGI thisI rhetoricI isI finallyI beingI erodedI ?I I butI apparentI culturalI shiftsI arenTtI yetI beingI reflectedI inI theI realityI ofI womenTsI day?to?dayI livesGI norI inI theI workplaceNIAIrecentIstudyIofIwomenIinItheIsciencesIshowedIthatIidenticalIjobIorI researchI applicationsI wereI grosslyI biasedI inI favourI ofI peopleI withI masculineI namesGI furtherI indicatingI whyI itTsI importantI toI createI spacesI forI womenI toI expressI themselvesI withoutI havingI toI vieI forI aI positionI inI aI male?dominatedI milieuxI I I I EvenI withinI activismGI womenI areI theI supportiveI pillarsI holdingI upI aI politicalI edificeI whenI menI speakersI andI so?calledI menI leadersI enjoyI theI limelightIandIhelpIeachIotherItoItheItopGIawardingIthemselvesGIifInotIwithIbetterI payIofItheIcorporateIworldGIwithImoreIgloryIandItheIpoliticalIcacheIthatIcanIlaterI beI leveragedI intoI fortuneI asI wellI asI fameNI AndI allI theI whileGI controllingI whatI issuesIareItakenIupIandIhowNIIIIAsIaIwayIofImitigatingIallIofIthisGISlaneyIStreetI recentlyIcommittedItoIpublishingIregularIwomen’sIeditionsGIwithItheIfirstIprintedI editionIlinedIupIforInextImonthNIWithIspecialIeditorialIboardsGIdesignIgroupsGIandI writersI–IcomprisedIofIself?definingIwomenIonlyI–IweIhopeIthatIthisIwillIprovideI aI spaceI forI allI womenI toI joinI inI withoutI fearI ofI beingI spokenI overI byI theI masculineI voiceI andI writtenI overI byI masculineI inkNI I I I InI timeGI weI hopeI thatI projectsIlikeIthisIwillIbecomeIunnecessaryGIbutIuntilIthatItimeIthisIisIaIspaceIforI youItoIbeIheardNI III

calling'all'selfdefining'women' writers, designers,' editors.

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what'would'you' like'slaney' street'to'look' like?

EDi JUNE

2014

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editorial'meeting Guild'of'students uni'of'birmingham mon'19th'may'6pm all'welcome


slaneystreet.org.uk | 7

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slaneystreet.com 8

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9 slaneystreet.com

Formula 1: the season so far Mercedes domination

Kitty Howse

Yercedes’have’left’behind’their’midfield’performance’of’the’last’few’years’and’are’well’ and’truly’dominating’the’season’so’far3’They’have’had’four’polesk’four’wins’Dthree’to’ /amiltonk’ and’ one’ to’ Rosberg–k’ and’ they’ are’ racing’ ahead’ in’ the’ Vonstructors’’ Vhampionshipk’ with’ J'‘’ points3’ Red’ ?ullk’ in’ second’ position’ in’ the’ Vonstructors’’ Vhampionshipk’have’ only’ 'zk’ with’ Uorce’ %ndia’ surprising’ us’ all’ with’ '‘’ points’ in’ third’ place3’…on’t’count’your’races’before’they’are’wonk’though’–’there’are’still’J'’races’left3

Astro Bigots

Domenicali resignation By Robert Brenchley

’’’%’m’sure’%’m’not’the’only’one’who’s’met’an’enthusiastic’UN%P’supporter’out’ campaigning3’They’tend’to’be’older’white’people’with’little’idea’of’the’party’s’ policies’2’that’they’want’even’ more’austerity’than’the’Tories’and’that’they’d’ attack’ the’ basic’ human’ rights’ of’ the’ people’ likely’ to’ be’ voting’ for’ themk’ not’ just’ those’ of’ Yuslims’ and’ the’ other’ groups’ they’ demonise3’ So’ let’s’ look’ at’ what’some’of’those’policies’actually’are3 ’ ’ ’ UN%P’ removed’ its’ policies’ from’ its’ website’ after’ Uarage’ described’ themk’ along’ with’ the’ manifesto’ which’ contains’ themk’ as’ ‘drivel’3’ They’ can’ still’ be’ foundk’ howeverk’ at’ httpE00vote2ukip3co3uk0policies3’ %’ never’ thought’ %’d’ find’ myself’agreeing’with’him’about’anything’but’Uarage’is’completely’right’on’this’ one3 ’’’UN%P’wants’a’flat2rate’income’taxk’beginning’at’£J-k888k’and’set’at’either’ -J7’or’A'7k’depending’which’site’you’re’looking’at3’6et’s’suppose’it’s’A'73’ %ncomes’ below’ £J-k888’ would’ be’ untaxedk’ which’ mightk’ on’ the’ face’ of’ itk’ sound’like’good’news’for’very’low’earners3’Those’on’middling’incomes’would’ find’ themselves’ paying’ somewhat’ more’ than’ at’ presentq’ a’ lot’ more’ if’ it’ was’ -J73’ Yillionaires’ like’ Uarage’ would’ be’ laughing’ all’ the’ way’ to’ the’ bankk’ as’ both’the’‘87’and’‘'7’bands’would’disappear3 ’’’’’’The’overall’take’would’be’lowerk’and’the’burden’would’fall’on’precisely’ the’people’they’hope’will’vote’for’them3’UN%P’want’to’charge’for’visits’to’the’ doctork’and’sell’N/S’services’to’the’highest’bidder3’The’likes’of’Uarage’can’ afford’itk’but’most’of’us’would’end’up’with’inadequate’or’no’healthcare3 ’’’’Public’spending’would’be’cut’to’pre2Jjjz’levels’by’eliminating’two’million’ jobs’ public’ sector’ jobs3’ /alf’ of’ these’ would’ allegedly’ be’ replaced’ by’ manufacturing’ workk’ the’ other’ million’ would’ supposedly’ be’ created’ by’ the’ private’sector3’Vague’promises’with’no’guarantee’of’fulfilmentE’the’market’will’ supply’all3’Yaternity’pay’would’be’cut’to’£L‘’a’week’from’the’current’£J-P3JP’ or’j87’of’average’earningsk’whichever’is’lower3’Rights’to’paid’holidaysk’sick’ payk’ and’ redundancy’ pay’ would’ be’ scrapped3’ ”quality’ legislation’ would’ be’ repealed3’ ’’’’The’party’s’openly’declared’policies’look’like’a’shopping’list’of’things’which’ can’ be’ used’ to’ annoy’ a’ particular’ section’ of’ the’ electorateq’ working’ classk’ whitek’and’over’fifty3’Scratch’the’surfacek’thoughk’and’much’of’it’turns’out’to’ be’ no’ more’ than’ skin’ deep3’ …on’t’ like’ immigrantsK’ UN%P’ promised’ to’ ‘end’ support’ for’ multiculturalism’ and’ promote’ onek’ common’ ?ritish’ culture’k’ until’ bad’ publicity’ led’ to’ the’ mysterious’ disappearance’ of’ the’ promise3’ Uaragek’ we’re’toldk’‘felt’awkward’’having’to’hear’foreign’languages’spoken’on’a’train’ journey3’ /e’ doesn’t’ seem’ to’ mind’ them’ at’ homek’ thoughk’ from’ his’ :erman’ wife3’;ohnny’Uoreigner’is’taking’our’jobsk’we’re’toldk’yet’Uarage’employs’the’ said’ wife’ as’ his’ secretaryk’ and’ their’ recent’ poster’ campaign’ used’ an’ %rish’ actor’posing’as’a’construction’worker3 ’’’9ccording’to’UN%P’we’should’leave’the’”U3’ThereIs’no’mention’of’the’fact’ that’ we’d’ be’ leaving’ our’ biggest’ marketk’ or’ that’ many’ of’ the’ foreign’ firms’ which’set’up’here’do’so’for’the’sake’of’easy’access’to’”urope3’Yet’there’s’no’ problem’with’Uarage’and’others’living’high’on’the’hog’as’Y”Psk’taking’all’the’ expenses’ they’ can’ get3’ Uarage’ has’ admitted’ to’ claiming’ over’ £A’ million’ during’his’time’as’an’Y”P’since’he’was’first’elected’in’Jjjj3’/e’s’currently’ wriggling’ like’ a’ worm’ on’ a’ hookk’ giving’ numerous’ different’ answers’ to’ the’ question’ of’ whether’ he’ll’ have’ his’ expenses’ account’ audited3’ Yeanwhile’ he’ endlessly’castigates’the’”U’as’a’corrupt’waste’of’money3’The’real’nature’of’ the’party’is’hidden’behind’a’screen’of’lies3’z'7’of’our’laws’originate’with’the’ ”UK’%t’s’plain’untruek’but’never’mindk’the’answer’is’to’wipe’the’dust’of’”urope’ from’ our’ feet3’ %n’ doing’ sok’ they’ could’ also’ leave’ behind’ the’ ”uropean’ Vonvention’on’/uman’Rightsk’and’leave’us’with’no’defence’against’grasping’ employers’or’greedy’landlords3 ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ Yillions’ of’ Romanians’ and’ ?ulgarians’ due’ to’ arrive’ after’ ;anuary’ Jk’ causing’a’crime’wave’and’putting’unprecedented’stresses’on’every’aspect’of’ the’system’hereK’Never’mind’when’they’fail’to’arrivek’just’move’on’to’the’next’ fake’ scandal3’ What’ nextK’ Will’ they’ claim’ that’ all’ AL’ million’ ”uropean’ jobseekers’want’jobs’in’?ritainK ’ ’ ’ ’ There’ are’ regular’ reports’ of’ racist’ remarksq’ sexism’ and’ homophobia’ are’ rife3’?ut’this’won’t’offend’UN%P’supportersk’who’tend’to’be’racistk’sexist’and’ homophobic’ themselves3’ We’ need’ to’ emphasise’ that’ Uarage’ and’ his’ cohort’ of’Y”Ps’are’as’much’part’of’the’greedy’establishment’as’those’they’criticise3’ 9’millionaire’stockbroker’who’has’been’an’Y”P’since’Jjjj’is’simply’not’an’ outsiderk’ even’ if’ he’ pretends’ to’ be3’ ?ehind’ the’ facadek’ UN%P’s’ only’ real’ intention’is’to’serve’the’very’rich3

:iven’ Uerrari’s’ poor’ performance’ so’ far’ this’ yeark’ it’ came’ as’ no’ surprise’ that’ heads’ would’roll’–’and’that’head’happened’to’be’Stefano’…omenicalik’the’team’principal3’/e’ has’ worked’ with’ Scuderia’ Uerrari’ for’ A-’ yearsk’ and’ has’ been’ team’ principal’ since’ A88Pk’when’he’replaced’;ean’Todt’Dnow’the’president’of’the’U%9–3’…omenicali’resigned’ in’ mid29prilk’ saying’ ‘%tIs’ time’ to’ make’ an’ important’ change3’ 9s’ bossk’ %’ take’ the’ responsibility’2’as’%’always’have’2’for’the’situation’we’are’going’through3’’9lonsok’after’ winning’ Uerrari’s’ first’ podium’ of’ the’ year’ in’ Vhinak’ dedicated’ his’ podium’ to’ his’ old’ boss3’ Uerrari’ president’ 6uca’ …i’ Yontezemolo’ also’ thanked’ …omenicali’ for’ his’ dedication’ and’ effort’ over’ the’ years3’ …omenicali’ has’ been’ replaced’ by’ Yarco’ Yattiaccik’but’many’are’speculating’that’this’is’only’a’temporary’replacement3’’Pit’lane’ whisperers’ are’ speculating’ that’ Ross’ ?rawnk’ who’ was’ at’ Uerrari’ during’ the’ Schumacher’years’and’recently’resigned’as’Yercedes’’team’principalk’is’the’man’for’ the’job3

Ecclestone in court

?ernie’ ”cclestonek’ the’ eccentric’ and’ controversial’ Uormula’ J’ bossk’ is’ currently’ embroiled’in’a’bribery’case’in’the’:erman’courts3’/e’is’accused’of’bribing’a’:erman’ banker’in’order’to’secure’a’sale’of’a’stake’in’UJ’to’a’particular’company3’The’banker’in’ question’is’:erhard’:ribkowskyk’who’was’sentenced’to’eight’and’a’half’years’in’prison’ in’ A8JA3’ ”cclestonek’ howeverk’ claims’ that’ he’ was’ being’ blackmailed’ by’ :ribkowsky3’ 6egal’experts’doubt’that’he’will’have’to’serve’a’jail’sentence’even’if’he’is’found’guilty3’ %t’also’emerged’that’he’had’made’a’deal’with’/YRV’to’sort’out’his’family’s’tax’affairsk’ which’ –’ while’ legal’ –’ has’ been’ called’ ‘the’ biggest’ individual’ tax’ dodge’ in’ ?ritish’ history’3’ /ad’ he’ paid’ the’ tax’ in’ fullk’ it’ would’ have’ cost’ him’ £J3Abnk’ whereas’ /YRV’ agreed’to’conclude’the’matter’if’he’paid’£J8mk’which’he’did3

Women in F1

%n’October’A8JAk’Yonisha’Naltenborn’became’the’first’female’team’principal’of’an’UJ’ team’ –’ and’ she’ opened’ the’ floodgates3’ 9fter’ Peter’ Sauber’ retired’ from’ the’ Sauber’ Uormula’One’teamk’he’appointed’her’team’principal3’Then’Vlaire’Williamsk’daughter’of’ Sir’ Urank’ Williamsk’ was’ appointed’ deputy’ team’ principal’ of’ Williams’ Yartini’ Racing3’ Susie’Wolffk’who’has’slowly’made’her’way’up’through’the’ranks’of’motor’racingk’was’ named’ as’ a’ development’ driver’ for’ Williamsk’ and’ will’ be’ one’ of’ the’ first’ women’ to’ participate’in’a’Uormula’One’weekend’since’the’unsuccessful’:iovanna’9mati’in’JjjA3’ 9nd’then’there’s’Simona’de’Silvestrok’announced’in’Uebruary’as’an’‘affiliated’driver’’to’ Sauber3’They’hope’for’her’to’be’able’to’race’competitively’in’A8J'3’Only’a’handful’of’ women’ have’ ever’ taken’ part’ in’ Uormula’ One’ races3’ While’ the’ physical’ ability’ is’ obviously’ there’ –’ it’ has’ been’ proven’ that’ women’ at’ their’ physical’ peak’ have’ the’ strength’and’stamina’to’race’in’Uormula’One’–’the’lack’of’involvement’at’a’young’age’ means’ that’ very’ few’ women’ reach’ the’ highest’ levels’ of’ motorsport3’ Vomparing’ the’ number’of’boys’who’go’karting’as’children’with’the’number’of’girlsk’ork’for’the’technical’ sidek’ the’ number’ of’ men’ studying’ engineering’ with’ the’ number’ of’ womenk’ it’ is’ no’ surprise’that’Uormula’One’is’an’intensely’male2dominated’sport3’The’??V’are’taking’ steps’to’combat’thisk’with’Suzi’Perry’Dpreviously’a’Yoto:P’presenter–’taking’the’main’ presenting’role’in’their’coveragek’but’is’it’far’enoughK’%t’is’no’coincidence’that’the’only’ two’ female’ drivers’ in’ UJ’ are’ employed’ by’ the’ only’ two’ teams’ with’ female’ team’ principals’ Dor’ deputy’ team’ principals–3’ With’ the’ sexist’ comments’ from’ ?ernie’ ”cclestone’ and’ ex’ UJ’ driver’ Stirling’ Yossk’ the’ parade’ of’ smiling’ pit’ lane’ girlsk’ and’ –’ worst’ of’ all’ –’ the’ snide’ comments’ after’ the’ tragic’ accident’ and’ subsequent’ death’ of’ test’driver’Yaria’de’Villota’last’yeark’it’is’clear’that’Uormula’One’still’has’a’long’way’to’ go3’ AmandauDorteru-u“MinorityuResponse”u–uSlaneyuStreetuisuaudemocraticu organisation.uAllumembersuhaveuaurightutoureply.uIfuyouuwishutoucontestuanuarticleu thatutheuEditoraluBoarduhasupublisheduyouumayusenduau200uworduresponseutou slaneystreet@gmail.com.uAmandauDorterudisagreesuwithuthisuarticleuthisuisuheru response.u“ComeEtoEraceEinEmyEcountry.ETheEstageEisEfullEofEmyEhungerEandE deprivation,...theEtrackEisEpaidEwithE...blood[and]...tears...”EduardoEGaleanoEdescribesE theEeffectsEofEcapitalismEonEfootballEasE“…the’beauty’that’blossoms’from’the’joy’of’play’ got’torn’out’by’its’very’roots”’This’can’easily’be’extended’to’all’sport’and’particularly’to’ those’‘sports’’which’are’made’possible’byk’and’glorifyk’an’industry’colonial’occupation’ and’war’thatIs’killed’J88k888’sk’not’to’mention’the’damage’done’by’the’oil’industry3 ’’’?ut’the’UJ’is’more’than’that3’%n’?ahraink’itIs’shiny’cars’deflect’the’global’publicIs’ gaze’from’the’government’violence’intensified’following’the’A8JJ’uprisingk’as’ detentionk’torture’and’even’death’of’primarily’shia’protestors’and’civilians’is’par’for’the’ course3’9s’with’all’major’sporting’eventsk’the’repression’intensifies’in’the’lead2up’to’ the’race’as’the’government’forces’try’to’hide’protest’and’dissent’from’the’global’public’ eye3’Why’thenk’are’we’writing’’about’Yercedes’or’Uerrari’or’even’whether’women’are’ behind’the’wheelk’when’this’very’talk’is’used’to’hide’such’torture’and’abuseK’This’is’ not’to’say’we’must’always’talk’about’torturek’and’never’about’beautyk’but’to’ask’that’ we’save’space’for’sports’thatk’for’all’the’taints’of’nationalism’and’capitalismk’still’have’ a’beauty’to’themK


CULTURE

10 slaneystreet.com

Corruption and class war at The Rep

The Three Penny Opera

. . . Graeae. Theatre. Company. and. Birmingham. Rep. turned. a. lot. of. heads. last. month.with.a.production.of.Brecht)s.famous.Three.Penny.Opera–.as.progressive.in. execution. as. in. contentM. It)s. not. often. that. one. gets. to. see. a. play. performed. by. visibly. disabled. actors. and. actresses–. that. celebrates. accessibility–. and. which. explicitly.wages.war.on.government.;even.ohLso.subtly.calling.for.the.hanging.of. David. CameronIk. But. its. success. relies. on. a. context. where. disabled. people–. the. poor. and. women. are. brutally. oppressed;. it. was. riotous–. in. short–. because. of. its. timeless.accuracyM ...The.Three.Penny.Opera.is.refreshingly.honest.and.angryM.It.is.a.compassionate. take. on. the. downLandLout–. povertyLstricken. criminals. of. Victorian. EnglandM. The. story.explores.themes.of.retribution.and.forgiveness.–.as.London)s.most.notorious. murderer–. rapist. and. thief–. Macheath–. tries. to. escape. getting. hanged. for. his. crimes;.and.of.political.corruption.–.as.the.Chief.of.Police.and.his.force.prove.to. be.some.of.the.most.selfLinterested.swine.of.allM.One.of.most.interesting.aspects–. however–.was.the.explicit.manner.by.which.the.troupe.brought.this.production..into. the.modern.day–.referring.explicitly.to.ATOS).controversial.changes.to.conditions. of. eligibility. for. disability. benefits–. and. cuts. to. welfare. that. many. of. the. most. vulnerable.in.the.country.have.been.suffering.at.the.hands.of.Iain.Duncan.Smith–. Osborne. and. others. in. the. CoalitionM. ATOS. has. been. heavily. criticised. by. countless.disability.activists–.declared.responsible.for.the.deaths.of.thousands.of. disabled.people.since.its.contract.with.the.DWP.beganM.The.raw.sense.of.injustice. felt.by.the.actors.and.actresses.was.powerfully.expressed–.and.it.was.evident.that. the. whole. process. of. publicly. condemning. ATOS. and. the. government. was. very. cathartic.for.those.involvedM . . . Before. the. show. began–. singing. and. music. could. be. heard. coming. from. the. stairsM. The. audience. walked. to. their. seats. amidst. handLpainted. banners. which. could. have. been. plucked. straight. out. of. an. antiLATOS. demonstration–. with. slogans. such. as. )Eat. the. Rich)–. )old. people. are. worth. more. than. the. pennies. we. give. them)–. )Mansion. Tax. not. Bedroom. Tax). brandished. across. themM. The. audience.did.not.have.the.option.of.being.a.passive.observerM.Political.lines.were. being.drawn.and.the.audience.had.to.decide.which.side.they.were.onM.This.was. activism.at.its.finestM ...The.Three.Penny.Opera.is.not.confined.simply.to.issues.of.poverty.or.disability–. it.engaged.with.issues.of.sex.work–.abortion.and.domestic.violenceM.In.one.scene. Polly–.Macheath)s.mistreated.new.bride–.fights.back.against.a.room.full.of.bawdy–. sexist.men.with.a.performance.of.)Pirate.Jenny)M.It.is.the.ultimate.feminist.fantasy–. the. tale. of. a. downLtrodden. bar. maid. leading. a. mutiny. against. the. patriarchy–. where.the.men.end.up.against.the.wall.and.Jenny.runs.off.to.command.her.pirate. shipM.The.Opera.is.home.to.an.impoverished.but.powerful.gang.of.sex.workers–.. ..

Kelly Rogers the. apparent. leader. of. which. ends. up. exacting. revenge. against. MacheathM. Also. called. Jenny–. the. realLlife. echo. of. the. vengeful. barmaid. later. sings. that. women. “end.up.as.a.wife.or.a.chambermaidM.Either.way.we)re.treated.like.a.slaveM.It)s.not. surprising.we)d.rather.be.paid”;.an.insightful.and.in.many.ways.timeless.comment. on.women)s.lot–.and.a.refreshing.approach.to.sex.workM.The.politics.doesn)t.end. thereM.With.images.of.Benefits.Street.and.Daily.MailLesque.headlines.flashing.up. on. screen–. lyrics. chastising. the. audience. ringing. in. our. ears. ;“it)s. so. much. more. enjoyable.to.see.a.criminal.hanged.than.crowned”k.there.is.an.unequivocal.call.for. the.audience.to.showcase.a.more.humane.empathy.for.the.poor.and.to.fight.the. tide.of.classism.and.antiLbenefits.propaganda.awash.in.our.mainstream.mediaM........ ...The.content.of.The.Three.Penny.Opera.was.excellent–.but.what.made.this.show. particularly. great. was. its. progressive. execution;. it)s. approach. to. disabilityM. In. the. Q!A.following.the.production.the.actors.and.actresses.talked.about.how.the.use. of. signing–. of. subtitles. and. the. general. )aesthetic. of. accessibility). was. entwined. with. a. typical. Brechtian. device:. it. kept. the. show. in. the. realm. of. fiction–. of. makeL believeM. This. resonated. deeply. with. their. selfLidentification. as. activistsM. In. much. the.same.way.that.DPAC.;Disabled.People.Against.the.Cutsk.powerfully.describe. using. their. wheelchairs. and. exploiting. the. discomfort. that. police. feel. around. disabled. people. to. block. roads. and. occupy. spaces–. the. actors. and. actresses. unapologetically.used.their.disabilities.to.make.highly.politicised.artM.They.turned. what.many.perceive.to.be.an.affliction.into.an.assetM.... ...On.the.other.hand–.though–.they.illustrated.how.disability.doesn)t.have.to.be.as. debilitating. as. it. often. isM. The. actors. and. actresses. glided. smoothly. on–. off. and. around.stage.–.helping.each.other.so.subtly.that.it.went.unnoticed–.irrespective.of. the.diversity.or.severity.of.their.disabilitiesM.The.entire.production.was.accessible;. the.world.that.they.had.created.was.shaped.–.so.very.different.from.the.real.world. –. to. support. all. of. their. disparate. circumstances–. and. it. did. not. detract. from. the. quality. of. the. show. one. jotM. The. production. shattered. any. preconceptions. about. what.)types).of.people.could.put.on.productions–.and.what.looks.goodM.The.Three. Penny. Opera. acted. as. a. reminder–. ultimately–. that. the. aesthetic. we. maintain. in. society.–.where.society.belligerently.pretends.that.everyone.can.run–.jump–.climb. stairs–.see.and.hear;.that.everyone.is.physically.able.and.neurotypical.–.is.just.an. aesthetic.choiceM.And.it)s.not.worth.maintainingM.The.)aesthetic.of.accessibility).is. just.as.pleasing–.and.one.that.we.should.strive.forM... ...As.the.director.instructed.all.the.actors.at.the.beginning.of.their.rehearsals–.so. we.should.follow.in.everyday.life:.“access.is.everyone)s.responsibility–.regardless. of.who.you.are”M.If.we.did.this–.then.odes.to.those.on.“the.margins.of.society”–.like. The.Three.Penny.Opera–.wouldn)t.be.nearly.as.necessaryM..


slaneystreet.com 11

WhyfisfJohnfLennonfWearingfafSkirt?

Theffunnyfsidefoff Lindsey genderfpolitics Sheehan

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(lesbian,fbisexual,ftrans*)

Kelly Rogers

1 The1 end1 of1 last1 month1 saw1 Shout1 Film1 Festival'1 four1 days1 of1 queer1 and1 LGBTQ1 cinemaJ1 organised1 by1 Birmingham1 LGBTN1 I1 went1 along1 to1 one1 of1 the1 earlier1eventsJ1a1selection1of1lesbian1short1films1entitled1Southside1ShortsN1 1 1 1 The1 screening1 of1 a1 number1 of1 short1 films1 in1 tandem1 was1 a1 perfect1 way1 to1 explore1 a1 complex1 topic1 through1 different1 lensesN1 Women)s1 sexualities1 and1 identities1are1far1from1easy1to1categoriseJ1that1much1was1clear1from1the1small1 range1 of1 films1 screenedN1 In1 one1 a1 married1 woman1 struggled1 to1 explain1 her1 homoerotic1 fantasies1 and1 dissatisfaction1 with1 her1 everyday1 life1 to1 both1 her1 husband1 and1 the1 female1 sex1 worker1 she1 had1 hired1 for1 their1 anniversaryN1 In1 another1 we1 were1 subtly1 introduced1 to1 the1 intersection1 between1 sexuality1 and1 religionJ1 with1 cultural1 norms1 and1 mores1 being1 foregrounded1 in1 a1 deeply1 sad1 short1about1suicideN1In1a1thirdJ1a1young1woman1battled1with1confusion1over1her1 own1 desires1 when1 propositioned1 by1 a1 voyeuristic1 young1 coupleN1 It1 is1 a1 symptom1 of1 a1 narrowLminded1 society1 thatJ1 in1 our1 constant1 mission1 to1 categoriseJ1 pigeonLhole1 and1 stereotypeJ1 so1 many1 women)s1 fantasiesJ1 sexual1 preferences1 and1 identities1 are1 erasedN1 It1 is1 within1 the1 margins1 of1 women)s1 heterosexuality1 to1 fantasise1 about1 other1 womenJ1 and1 within1 the1 margins1 of1 lesbianism1 to1 eroticise1 menN1 Sexuality1 often1 exists1 outside1 of1 the1 gender1 binaryJ1beyond1the1categories1of1men1and1womenJ1and1it1exists1away1from1the1 male1gaze1–1to1the1surprise1of1many1men1conjuring1images1of1conventionallyL attractive1 white1 women1 making1 out1 in1 skimpy1 underwear1 for1 their1 pleasureN1 It1 can1be1a1spectrumJ1or1existing1on1multiple1axesN1It1is1often1repressedJ1hidden1 awayJ1 deniedN1 This1 is1 the1 lesson1 introduced1 by1 this1 brief1 selection1 of1 short1 filmsJ1and1there1was1room1for1much1much1moreN 111But1why1so1brief?1Sadly1the1number1of1lesbian1short1films1being1made1is1very1 smallN1 Many1 of1 those1 that1 are1 being1 made1 are1 directed1 by1 men1 –1 a1 fact1 that1 has1ignited1a1lot1of1debate1around1the1objectification1of1lesbianismJ1especially1 after1the1release1of1the1controversially1explicit1Blue1is1the1Warmest1Colour1last1 yearJ1 directed1 by1 Adbellatif1 KechicheN1 Women)s1 sexuality1 is1 confined1 to1 a1 disappointing1 and1 confined1 range1 of1 archetypes1 and1 tropes1 in1 the1 fullLlength1 film1 industryJ1 as1 well1 as1 in1 shorts'1 the1 longLsuffering1 wifeJ1 the1 sexy1 young1 woman1experimenting1with1lesbianismJ1the1raunchy1female1lead1who1only1ever1 appears1on1screen1in1smallJ1biteLsize1segments1as1the1cameras1focus1in1on1big1 breastsJ1an1arched1backJ1or1pert1buttocksN1The1representation1of1homosexual1 or1bisexual1relationships1in1mainstream1film1is1negligibleJ1and1LGBT1characters1 that1 offer1 plot1 devices1 separate1 to1 the1 tokenistic1 and1 caricatured1 depiction1 of1 their1sexuality1are1even1less1commonN1 111A1sadJ1melancholic1streak1ran1through1a1lot1of1the1shorts1screenedJ1and1the1 question1was1raised'1why1is1suicideJ1depression1and1isolation1such1a1recurrent1 theme1 in1 LGBTQ1 cinema?1 The1 answer1 to1 that1 is1 important'1 these1 issues1 are1 far1 too1 present1 in1 LGBT1 communitiesN1 )Coming1 out)1 is1 often1 a1 painful1 experiencez1 bullyingJ1 hate1 crimes1 and1 violence1 is1 far1 too1 commonz1 suicideJ1 depression1 and1 selfLharm1 are1 tragedies1 happening1 far1 too1 frequentlyN1 While1 attitudes1 are1 slowly1 changing1 for1 the1 betterJ1 the1 catharsis1 invoked1 by1 the1 depiction1of1these1lived1realities1on1screen1is1necessaryN1Those1involved1need1 to1mournJ1and1we1need1to1mourn1with1themN1BesidesJ1these1issues1still1remain1 largely1invisible1and1unreportedN1 1 1 1 LGBTQ1 cinema1 is1 a1 valuable1 assetJ1 and1 as1 an1 industry1 it1 needs1 to1 grow1 before1we)re1really1going1to1see1an1accurateJ1and1sorely1neededJ1expression1of1 the1myriad1sexual1experiences1lived1by1us1and1those1around1usN1Shout1Festival1 is1a1gem1in1the1Birmingham1calendarN1Keep1an1eye1out1next1yearN1

1 1 1 It1 takes1 great1 creative1 vision1 to1 reLimagine1 a1 series1 of1 monologues1 and1 stage1 them1 as1 an1 enormous1 ensemble1 productionJ1 and1 StageF1 pulled1 it1 off1 in1 style1 in1 their1show1at1The1Crescent1Theatre1on1ThursdayJ1April1x:thJ1the1opening1night1of1 their1three1day1runN1They1live1up1to1their1promise1of1giving1every1member1of1their1 theatre1 company1 for1 :LFx1 yearLolds1 a1 part1 with1 x“1 girls1 playing1 main1 character1 Claire1 aloneN1 With1 big1 dance1 numbers1 and1 a1 live1 band1 on1 stage1 playing1 Beatles1 hits1there1were1ample1opportunities1for1different1talents1to1shineN 1 1 1 The1 title1 refers1 to1 writer1 Dand1 patron1 of1 the1 Crescent1 Theatre’1 Claire1 Dowie’s1 mental1 subversion1 of1 the1 world1 around1 herz1 hating1 all1 things1 girlie1 –1 especially1 skirts1–1she1imagined1herself1as1the1person1she1most1admiredJ1John1LennonN1All1 around1her1growing1up1the1leadersJ1thinkers1and1idols1were1male1so1she1decidedJ1 to1paraphrase1Nora1EphronJ1to1be1the1hero1of1her1own1lifeN1After1allJ1who’d1want1to1 be1Lulu1when1you1could1be1Batman?1 1 1 1 This1 discussion1 of1 gender1 roles1 and1 expectations1 is1 extremely1 valuable1 and1 necessary1for1young1peopleN1Dowie’s1text1is1very1accessible1in1this1regardJ1though1 in1its1usual1context1of1places1like1the1Edinburgh1Festival1it1is1less1likely1to1be1seen1 by1the1audience1who1can1most1benefit1from1itN1By1staging1this1show1a1large1group1 of1 kids1 and1 teens1 will1 have1 spent1 months1 considering1 and1 questioning1 the1 the1 artificial1 divides1 between1 girls1 on1 the1 sidelineJ1 limiting1 their1 career1 aspirations1 to1 nurse1 and1 secretary1 while1 boys1 are1 pushed1 to1 become1 doctors1 and1 managersN1 Even1 nowJ1 fifty1 years1 laterJ1 we1 still1 use1 terms1 like1 “career1 woman”1 and1 “male1 nurse”1to1show1that1these1choices1are1exceptions1to1the1ruleN Although1the1subject1matter1had1depth1this1was1at1heart1a1funny1showN1The1actors1 had1excellent1chemistryJ1were1bang1on1with1comedic1timing1and1utterly1believable1 deliveryN1The1talent1on1display1exceeded1expectations1and1I1look1forward1to1future1 productions1from1StageF

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Slaney Street May