From the New Town Utopia Facebook page…

We’re incredibly pleased to be coming back to screen in Basildon again! We’ll be at The Towngate Theatre on Thursday 26th July.

The night will feature live performances alongside a screening of the film. It would be great to see you there. You can get tickets here:

It’s here at last. The companion book to New Town Utopia is fresh from the printers and ready to be released into the wild.

It’s an anthology of poetry, photography and thought about Basildon, new towns, working class communities and much more. To kick off we printed a limited first edition of 100 numbered and signed copies. You can get hold of one here:

The book was edited by Christopher Ian Smith and designed by Mark Beechill. The cover was designed by Guy Hulse at dn&co.

A huge thank you to all those who contributed – including:

Phil Burdett
Ralph Dartford
Ölmo Lazarus, Poet
Vince O’Connell
Mike Parker
Ben Williams
Christopher Beanland
Gillian Darley
Dennis Hardy and Colin Ward
Owen Hatherley
Magnus Granath
John Grindrod
Katy Lock
Jonathan Meades
Dr. Helena Rivera
Ken Worpole


50 Years of Resistance

We’re sharing this because it marks 50 years since the police set up a Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) after the protest against the Vietnam War in Grosvenor Square, London, that took place in July 1968. Setting up the SDS marked a new turn in the efforts of the state to disrupt protest and revolutionary movements. With the Undercover Policing Inquiry underway, this commemoration is important. This commemoration shouldn’t be seen as drawing a line under state infiltration and disruption of protest and revolutionary movements. The strategy and tactics of the state change according to the circumstances they find themselves in and how much of a spotlight is being placed on their attempts to disrupt us. This is an indication of one way they’re operating now: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations. With the Undercover Policing Inquiry, despite the efforts that are being made to frustrate the proceedings, state disruption of our movements is coming into the spotlight. Understandably the state would rather that wasn’t the case. Now think about the splits over various aspects of identity politics that are damaging the anarchist and other radical movements. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of us think that it’s more than a coincidence that the (unwanted from the state’s point of view) focus on state disruption of radicalism and the splits we’re witnessing are somehow connected.

Join hundreds of people in London on the 7th and 8th of July to celebrate 50 years of campaigns, struggles, resilience and success.

On the 7th of July we will be gathering from 12.30 pm at Grosvenor Square for a roll call of groups spied on.

On the 8th of July there will be a conference exploring five decades of movements for change, exhibitions, food, videos and talks at the Conway Hall. More information here.


In 1968, following demonstrations against the Vietnam War in London’s Grosvenor Square, the police set up a Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Since that time, 50 years ago, over 1,000 groups campaigning in the UK for a better world have been spied on, infiltrated and targeted by political policing. Their protests and demonstrations are also subjected to ongoing police opposition and control to try to limit their effectiveness.

See here for the rest of this piece…

Save Southend NHS march and rally – it’s happening this weekend!

We’ve put up a fair few posts sourced from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page – – which detail the threats posed to NHS services in the region. If people don’t unite to fight against these threats, cuts in the name of ‘rationalisation’ are inevitable. What will also be inevitable will be the acceleration of the privatisation of the NHS and the beginning of the end of free at the point of use health care.

The march and rally on Saturday has two aims – to make the public aware of the extent of the threats posed to the NHS services we rely on and to build a campaign that will stop those threats. If you’re an activist anywhere in south east / mid Essex, you need to be on this march and rally offering your solidarity. If you’re a member of the public who’s concerned about the future of the NHS, please come along to this event to find out more about the threats and join in the campaign to stop them.

To make sure the message that this march and rally needs the support of everyone in the region who can get along to it, we’re leaving this post at the top of this blog and won’t be posting again until it’s over – that’s how vital we think this event is…

Another community clean up for Vange on Saturday 17th February

Following on from the community clean upon the ¾ estate in Vange on December 2nd: Doing it for ourselves on the ¾ estate in Vange the Vange Hill Community Group (VHCG) and Basildon & Southend Housing Action (BASHA) have called another one for Saturday 17th February.

VHCG and BASHA are wondering if Basildon Council get wind of this clean up, whether they’ll put in extra effort on cleaning the estate of uncollected rubbish bags like they did before the last one back in December:) Fine – that leaves VHCH and BASHA more time to concentrate on the trimming and gardening side of things which will help with building a sense of pride in the neighbourhood…

As before, BASHA are facilitating this community clean up. The overall aim is to empower people on the ¾ estate to take an active role in making their estate a better place to live. Part of that is the physical work necessary to tidy the place up and put in some planting that will brighten things up come the spring and summer.

Obviously VHCG and BASHA are not going to be doing the whole of the ¾ estate. They’re working on two areas where they’ve already established a foothold with the aim of eventually linking these up to establish a clean and green corridor. The hope is that this will inspire residents in other parts of the estate to start working on their areas, facilitated by VHCG and BASHA if needed.

Basically, it’s all about empowering residents to take an active interest in managing their estates as part of a more fundamental project aimed at bringing power down to the grassroots where it belongs…

Building a new world in the shell of the old

Normally we’d be promoting a course like this on our side project, The Estuary Alternative However, there are a number of very good reasons why we’re promoting it on here as well…

Firstly, as the title of this piece suggests, amongst other attributes, this course has an element of building a new world in the shell of the old. It’s all very well knowing what we’re against – we also need to be able to articulate what kind of world we’re aiming for…

Secondly, Graham Burnett is a good friend of The Stirrer and the least we can do in return is to promote this course:)

Thirdly, try as we might, The Estuary Alternative isn’t getting as many hits as we would like so we’re promoting the course on here in order for it to reach a wider audience.

Details on how to book a place on this course can be found here:…/creating-positive-revolution/

Rally! SaveSouthendNHS

This is an event on the SaveSouthendNHS Facebook page – We’ll be attending this in solidarity. As the aim is to raise awareness among the public about the ongoing threat to NHS services in the area, there will be plenty of flyers explaining that to be handed out. We’ll be joining in with handing these flyers out. We won’t be handing out copies of The Stirrer until the end of the rally at the Odeon concourse when people start to leave. We hope that other political groups attending this event will do the same…

Saturday January 27th 2018 – Assemble 12noon onwards at Pier Hill and walk to the Odeon concourse for a rally

SaveSouthendNHS shall be hosting another Southend town centre rally – meeting at the top of Pier Hill and walking to The Odeon concourse where there will be speakers, petitions and public consultation information. This is not just pointless, shouty placard waving, our aim is to ensure the whole community are aware of the public consultation and what the proposed changes will mean for our local hospital and community NHS services and to inform you of the good, the bad and the ugly parts in it all.

This Mid and South Essex STP (formerly known as Success Regime – they dropped that title – we wonder why…) intends to achieve cuts of £30 million in Southend alone, year on year.

Many of their plans are based on significant improvements to community health services (Primary Care) which in turn will achieve hospital admission avoidance, according to them. However…..

There are no published detailed plans or investment to achieve this.
Southend has 2nd highest number of GP vacancies and 2nd highest number of likely retiring GP’s in the next 5 years.

The new medical school at Anglia Ruskin University doesn’t even open until next year and then it will take a long time to get trainees through.

There is a general NHS recruitment and training crisis both locally and country wide.

Applicants to nursing and allied health professions have significantly dropped due to the removal of the training bursary.

We say – get the foundations RIGHT before you tamper with our acute (hospital) services. Three of the CCG GP Chairs abstained from the vote to go ahead with the proposals.

STP proposals WILL affect where you are to be treated when you have significant complex health needs or require emergency surgery. Critically ill patients will be transferred to Basildon or Broomfield hospitals to ‘specialist units’. Whilst we aren’t against specialising care if the patient outcome is proven to be better, we already know that some of the patient groups would not be fit/well enough to endure a long and risky ambulance journey – and whilst we are on the subject, the STP have only offered wooly claims that an ‘in house specialist transfer service’ will be provided yet not given details on how it will be staffed (in an already understaffed health economy). Will your relative be stranded at Southend Hospital, acutely ill and awaiting transfer for their ‘specialist care’???

Southend Hospital is set to be designated for elective (planned) surgery and cancer care – this is a DOWNGRADE to our current provision of general hospital care and specialities available. We are a ever expanding town with an international airport, university and thriving tourist industry – we deserve investment, improvement and EXPANSION of our hospital.

As always, we are fighting to ensure that these cuts do not cost lives and that ANY changes are backed fully by the clinicians from the specialities affected (and not just by the ones on the STP payroll). Let’s send a strong and clear message to the Mid and South Essex STP that we REFUSE to be part of a NHS postcode lottery for care.

The same as our A&E rally last year – this is a peaceful, family friendly, whole community event where EVERYONE is welcome.

Ensuring a huge public response to the consultation is VITAL! Be a part of it. Up and down the country people are fighting for their local NHS – let’s fight for ours.

Get your copy of the The Estuary Alternative paper

This was first posted on our sister blog, The Estuary Alternative but, as this one gets more traffic, we’re posting it here because we want to see as many of you as possible when we’re distributing the paper:)

If you want to get hold of a copy of The Estuary Alternative paper and talk to us about what we want to achieve with this project, you’ll have your chance this coming weekend. On Saturday 16th, we’re going to outside the Southend Christmas Vegan Fair (Bellvue Baptist Church, 484 Southchurch Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2QA) – – from 1pm onwards for a couple of hours. On Sunday 17th, we’re going to be at the Stop the Cliff Development Demonstration (Prittlewell Square, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1DW) – – from noon onwards. If we have any papers left over from the Saturday, we’ll be handing those out at the protest – if not, we’ve got flyers to hand out instead. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible this coming weekend and to work out a way of taking this project forward in 2018…

Dovers Farm Estate – decision day on Village Green application


We have been notified that our application will be decided at a public enquiry at Romford Town Hall on the 11th of January 2018.

This is great news as it means the evidence will be considered by an independent Inspector.

It does mean that some people will be asked to give verbal evidence to the Inspector on the day.

We will be holding a meeting on the 17th of December which we would urge anyone who wants to help out before or at the enquiry to attend.

We can’t stress enough how important this is, this is the final stage of the application.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their work, support, and attendance over the last few years, lets not ease up on them now!