Readers’ meeting on Paul Mason’s ‘Postcapitalism’ 16 Nov

Leeds Taking Soundings Readers’ Meetings

Monday, November 16th (2015)

6PM in Broadcasting Place AG10 (opposite the Fenton pub).

Paul Mason’s new book, Postcapitalism, has attracted a lot of attention, and deservedly so.

From the publishers blurb: “In this groundbreaking book Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism, he shows, is no longer a utopian dream. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.”

The Leeds Taking Soundings group wants to provide an opportunity to discuss what the book is about and how relevant it is.

Postcapitalism has already attracted a lot of discussion. For this discussion we want participants to have read the lengthy piece by Paul entitled ‘The End of Capitalism Has Begun’ in The Guardian from July:

Paul is also speaking at Leeds Beckett University on Saturday, November 6th in a day event put on by the Centre for Culture and the Arts: 10:00 – 17:00 and 18:00 – 21:00 at the Rose Bowl. With Alex Nunn, Peter Knight and Nicky Marsh also speaking.


Generation Rent and the Housing Crisis

Following a great event with Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Housing Studies at Leeds Beckett University, last Thursday (October)

Quintin has agreed to share his slides from the talk, which can now be found here Generation Rent. & the Housing Crisis

A chronic under-supply of housing, and grossly inflated house prices, have condemned ‘generation rent’ to the endless insecurity of the private rented sector. A new assault on the provision of social housing coupled with the imposition of further benefit caps has created a swaggeringly unequal landscape with central areas of our cities rendered entirely unaffordable. But there are growing signs of popular protest in this country against the injustices of the broken housing market. A new wave of direct action from tenants in the private rented sector signals the resurgence of a movement for housing rights with rent control and new council housing among its demands. This talk will identify the key sites of conflict in government housing policy and discuss the possibilities and opportunities for this new resistance movement.

Blacklisted: The Secret War between Big Business and Union Activists

6pm Tuesday 6th October, Leeds Beckett University, Broadcasting Place, Woodhouse Lane, BPAG10


12noon – 2pm Tuesday 6th October, University of Leeds Fairbairn House, Suite A Room 1 (G.01) Clarendon Road –

Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. Drawing on first-hand accounts of the workers, Blacklisted reveals how, when major construction projects were unionized, those involved were unlawfully victimized. From the building sites to the High Court, this is a story of ordinary working people taking on some of the most powerful transnational companies in the world. Hear direct from the authors of this important book – Phil Chamberlain and Dave Smith – about their experiences of blacklisting, their search for answers and the fight for justice.

“I recommend people read this book. Just by picking up this book, just by reading it, you challenge what I believe to be a state and corporate spying culture that is out of control.” Mark Thomas, comedian.

As part of their book launch tour, the authors will present two meetings in Leeds on Tuesday 6th October, one lunchtime, one evening.

Venues and times:


University of Leeds Fairbairn House, Suite A Room 1 (G.01) Clarendon Road 12pm-2pm

Refreshments served from 12 noon. Talk 12:30-13:30. Book sales and signings and networking 13:30-14:00.  Sponsored by University of Leeds Unison and Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change.

(Directions from Parkinson Steps: Follow the path to your right then turn right underneath the link building, go all the way through campus until you reach Clarendon Road, turn left, Fairbairn House is about two mins walk on the right – opposite the entrance to Hyde Terrace).


Leeds Beckett University, Broadcasting Place, Woodhouse Lane, BPAG10 6pm onwards.

Presented by Leeds Taking Soundings

(This is the ‘rusty tower’ building opposite the Fenton Pub. The room is on the groundfloor)

Read more about Blacklisted here:

John Hollaway’s talk on Greece now on Vimeo

Professor John Hollaway recently gave a talk about the challenges Greece faces at an event organised by our friends in the Geography Department of the University of Leeds.  If you missed it, or if you want to see/hear it again, here’s the link to Vimeo for the film, made by Stuart Platt, a documentary filmmaker based in Glasgow, Scotland.

Critical race and feminism books to be launched in October

Critical Race and Feminist writing on activism, subjectivities, governance and nation: Shirley Tate, Shona Hunter and Suryia Nayak and audience in conversation around their new books. Books by each of these authors will be launched at an event on 12th October 2015 in Leeds city centre.  All welcome, free, but you must register by 23rd September. Contact S.D.J.Hunter@LEEDS.AC.UK to register.  More information here:UK Northern Launch invitaion

Politics of Hope on 19th Sept 2015

Compass and the ILP have organised this event and Taking Soundings is pleased to be supporting it. There’s an introductory talk from Compass’s Neal Lawson, followed by a panel discussion with Barry Winter (ILP & Taking Soundings) and Sarah Perrigo (Labour Party, left). In the afternoon Sue Goss (who wrote Open Tribe) will lead a discussion on ‘Building a progressive coalition for change’.

Venue: The Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University. 10.30 till 4pm. Saturday 19th September 2015.

It’s free, but you must REGISTER by 12th September.

More information here  Or on a PDF here 2015.09.19 Radical-hope-ILP-flyer

To join or not to join…



We at Taking Soundings have been debating the merits of joining the Labour Party as a supporter (for £3, or for free if you are part of an affiliated union) in order to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming leadership elections.

If you think it is a good idea, you can become a Labour Supporter for £3 here: until 10th August.

You can have your say by debating the pros and cons in the comments section below…

John Holloway on the challenges in Greece (7 Sept)

Leeds Taking Soundings is very pleased to be working with the School of Geography at the University of Leeds to present a talk by the distinguished radical scholar John Holloway. The public lecture is at 7pm. This poster advertises other events John is taking part in at the School of Geography.

holloway crisis and


This talk will be in Broadcasting Place (Leeds Beckett University, located opposite the Fenton  pub on Woodhouse Lane), room BPAG02 at 7 PM on Monday, September 7th 2015.

John Holloway: “Greece: Hope drowns in the Reality of a Dying World. Or does it”?

Here’s what the School of Geography have to say:

The MA in ‘Global Urban Justice’ and the ‘Cities and Social Justice’ research cluster at the School of Geography, University of Leeds are organising a workshop with John Holloway, titled “Greece: Hope drowns in the Reality of a Dying World. Or does it?”. Holloway is a Professor of Sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico. He has published widely on Marxist theory, on the Zapatista movement and on the new forms of anti-capitalist struggle. His book ‘Change the World Without Taking Power’ (Pluto, London, 2002, new edition 2010) has been translated into eleven languages and has stirred an international debate. His more recent book, ‘Crack Capitalism’ (Pluto, 2010), takes the argument further by suggesting that the only way in which we can think of revolution today is as the creation, expansion, multiplication and confluence of cracks in capitalist domination. John visited the School of Geography at Leeds previously in 2011 and delivered a set of public lectures that can be watched here: .

Read an interview of John Holloway at Roar magazine, published online in September 2014:

Leeds Taking Soundings strongly recommends this talk, coming as it does at such a huge moment of crisis in Greece. We’ve booked the biggest room  in the building, we expect a lot of people will want to come.

For more details from Soundings contact Matthew Caygill at

See our blog

Please follow the Leeds Taking Soundings Facebook at

Rustin and Massey reflect on the 2015 UK election

Michael Rustin and Doreen Massey, along with the late Stuart Hall, founded the journal Soundings, from which Taking Soundings has borrowed. In ‘Post Election Blues in Britain’ (probably the first article in this Lawrence and Wishart blog), they analyse Labour’s failure.

Readers like me with an interest in psycho-politics might look at the next article in the blog, ‘Reflections on the 2015 Election’, a longer piece from Mike Rustin, in which he discusses the unconscious splits and projections in the electorate that (he and his wife Margaret argue) were a factor in the result.

Followers of Soundings will know that Rustin, Massey and Hall were editors of the Kilburn Manifesto (2014).

Followers of Taking Soundings (it’s an open house) can hear Mike Rustin speaking about Labour and the election at one of our forthcoming events in Leeds, UK, on 16th July 2015.