Sunday, 31 January 2010

Report of LSHG Activity

Keith Flett, editor of the LSHG Newsletter, writes the following
report in the new edition (No. 37, January 2010)

We have had an interesting series of seminars in the Autumn term.
Roger Seifert kicked off with discussion of his biography of Bert
Ramelson the industrial organiser of the Communist Party in the
1960s and 1970s. He brought a fascinating picture taken by MI5 of
Ramelson having a beer with miners leader Lawrence Daly in a
central London pub. Quite how they got the photo in the era before
camera phones I’m still not sure. Needless to say, the seminar was
undecided as to whether Ramelson’s activities were consistant with
Marxism or were a Stalinist distortion of it, but it represented
interesting new research. We hope to run some more sessions of
labour and union activists from this era, pending on negotiation
with some quite well known speakers.
Next up was Terry Ward’s delayed [by an IHR fire alarm on an
earlier occasion] seminar on class struggle in Shakespearan
England. A well-researched paper, but I can’t comment on the
discussion as I had to head off to BBC TV news to discuss whether
there was still such a thing as socialist history.
Finally, Gareth Dale spoke on 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
and what this meant for the left and class struggle. Gareth was in the
old East Germany in 1989 and spoke with first hand knowledge of the
events prismed through an acute Marxist understanding of what it
meant. Again a very useful discussion was sparked.
This Spring term we at last get John Charlton to the IHR for his
much awaited paper on the left in Tyneside in the late 1950s. His
book is now out from Merlin. Equally much awaited is Ian Goodyer’s
paper on his recent book on the history of Rock Against Racism.
Looking forward to the Summer term, an old friend of the LSHG
Satnam Virdee returns to discuss a new research project on racism
he is involved with.

Spring Term 2010
Monday 15th February
Ian Goodyer: CRISIS MUSIC The Cultural Politics of
Rock Against Racism in the 1970s

Saturday 27th February

Monday 15th March
Youth & Politics on Tyneside in the late
1950s and early 1960s

All seminars will be held at 5.30pm in the
Pollard Room at the
Institute of Historical Research
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1

The LSHG Newsletter
Letters, articles, criticisms and contributions to debate are most
welcome. Deadline for the next issue is 1 April 2010

The London Socialist Historians Group
We receive no official funding and rely entirely on supporters for
money for our activities. To become a member of the LSHG, send
£10 (cheque payable to ‘London Socialist Historians Group’).
Contact us:
LSHG c/o Keith Flett, 38 Mitchley Road, London N17 9HG

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