Family values at Freedom

The paper started to regularly come out late shortly after I took over. I make no bones about this, and have apologised fulsomely in both the paper and on occasion in person to whoever got pissed off. However, an issue has also never been missed, so while consistency has been poor, reliability has not.

To start with, we had very few writers, and of these a couple dropped off when John left. Among the best stalwarts were Iain Mackay, Mark Barnsley, Svartfrosk, Louis Further (who is back after months of painful recuperation from an operation) and Richard Griffin, and J was always reliable. My brother, (Sorry. On the libcom forums) came in and helped out every so often with international news. All of them, as far as I’m concerned, deserve some sort of reward in the equivalent of anarchist heaven (so a pint at the bookfair, probably wink).

But the largest proportion was written by me, particularly the news, to start with between factory shifts, and later when off work at my current job. I was originally supported by my parents – one a liberal, one a Tory – which I simply couldn’t have managed without. Although their politics differed from mine, they did as much as anyone else to keep the paper working, by allowing me to focus entirely on that rather than on things like food, washing clothes etc. Admittedly this made Freedom a paper founded on anarchism yet largely run by one middle class man who was exploiting blood ties to do so – but for a press which sits underneath a KFC sign and relies on the goodwill of a bourgeois art institution (and very nice people they are too), this seemed to be nothing new.

To start with, this limit to resources, time and reliability meant that the articles were mostly pretty unoriginal, and lacking in decent sourcing. After complaints that the paper had become a bit too much like Guardian lite (although I have never had a guardian subscription), I had to get organised.

NOTE: This is a short one due to work constraints…

Posted By

Rob Ray
Oct 11 2006 13:58


Attached files


Oct 15 2006 12:42

I'm really appreciating your blog! Nice one!

Rob Ray
Oct 16 2006 11:08

Ta Rich, tis probly a better use of my lunchtime than screwing around online anyways wink.

The complaint about Guardian lite had some basis in reality, even if the tone wasn't analogous, at least some of the stories were picked up by the Guardian at the same time as I got them (this is pretty inevitable in a situation where the news sources I could easily get hold of were also among those being observed by paid professionals) so they got quite a lot of stories out before we could.

Rob Ray
Oct 16 2006 11:28

Lol never heard that one, they should ask the PR department at the GMB how easy a ride I give them with questions - one guy got so flustered he started CAPPING HIS REPLIES grin.

Oct 16 2006 16:02

The main reason there was no criticism was that Saii couldn't get quotes from anarchists who would be critical!

Jason Cortez
Oct 17 2006 09:34

Could've asked me, i will shut my mouth off about anything if you buy me a few beers (or even a pack of wine gums). What you mean it's not relevent.

Rob Ray
Oct 17 2006 10:21

Mm the anarch quotes was a problem, it would have been easy to get someone completely unconnected from whichever anarchist group got in first to bollock on for a bit, but the trick is always to find someone directly involved who can demonstrate some informed critical thinking - which is one of the reasons for having a list of specialisations.