July 2013

Two books are recommended reading for Unite members this month.

Nigel Costley, West Country Rebels
  West Country Rebels Cov c
Seen by many as the peaceful, quiet corner of Britain where people visit for holidays or spend their retirement, the West Country has in fact had a turbulent and radical past. It is a place where work-ing people have fought for their rights and rebellions have sprung up against the establishment.

Most people will have heard of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and many will also know about the Swing Riots, but few would read stories about the 1913 China Clay Strike where Cornish clay workers first organised themselves or the Grovelly Wood Rebels who fought from 1820 to stop their rights of access to the woods being taken away from them by the local lord, their fight continued until 1987!

South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley felt that the stories of ordinary people across the West Country needed to be told and has collected hundreds of accounts to produce “West Country Rebels”. The book is well written and beautifully put together, something you’d expect from a former compositor and Father of Chapel.


Owen Worth c Owen Worth, Resistance in the Age of Austerity: Nationalism, the Failure of the Left and the Return of God  (Zed Books £14.99).

With neoliberal ideas resurgent in the ‘age of austerity’ this thought provoking book examines the radical and reactionary alternatives posed to globalisation.

Questions put to the author, Owen Worth, about the book

Why write this book?
In the aftermath of the current financial crisis, no concrete alternative had really been seriously given to reforming the way that the global economy was managed. Antonio Gramsci’s understanding of hegemony provides a way of explaining how concepts such as ‘austerity’ are bought into. I wanted to show that whilst there are competing alternatives that seek to build different worlds to the neoliberal one that we live in, these are too weak and fragmented to gain momentum.