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artswith Investigative documentary


State motivation over disputes makes for a disturbing tale


Book


Rebel with a Cause By Peter Evans It’s a bit William Boot, but imagine a reporter starting his career earning £1 a week at a local newspaper and progressing to having his own aircraft waiting to whisk him off around the globe to cover another breaking international story. That’s what happened


Belonging: The Truth Behind the Headlines by first-time director Morag Livingstone shines fresh light at what happened at Wapping. The multiple award-winning


investigative documentary reveals secret government plans revealing what has long been suspected by many but not proven – until now. Belonging reconsiders three


industrial disputes – News International (1986-87) Royal Mail (2007-08) and Ineos (2013) – and complicit actions by the government. But it’s more complex than that. This film is different from previous


trade union films; it looks at patterns found in multiple disputes and how successive governments worked to reduce collectivism and the accountability of business. The consequences of such actions are borne out through heart-rending personal interviews with those at the centre of these disputes. It looks closely at Wapping, raising questions about the legality of UK


20 | theJournalist


public order policing, behind closed doors dealings of government and Murdoch’s purchase of the Times and the Sunday Times. New questions are raised through documents submitted by Murdoch to Leveson, including classified cabinet minutes from the Thatcher era. Belonging reminds us that, with 5,500 Fleet Street workers sacked and a de-unionised Wapping workforce, trade unions were unable to hold back fake news as they had done during the miners’ strike. This pattern of sacking trade unionists and involving the government and the police continued at Royal Mail and Ineos. The results were reduced corporate and government transparency and accountability. Former Fleet Street compositor


Terry Smith sums it up: “It’s not what’s in a newspaper that counts – it’s what’s not in a newspaper.” Livingstone says: “This isn’t a film


that tells you how to think; it asks you to think again.” www.belonging4us.com


to Times reporter Peter Evans, and he writes about it in his memoir, described by his publishers as ‘the ultimate inside scoop’. Evans worked for the Times for 30


years, so he has a lot of stories to tell, including being hijacked by knife- carrying religious fanatics, threatened with violence by the London Richardson gang and saving Cardinal Hume from a rock-throwing Notting Hill riot. www.bookguild.co.uk/ bookshop-collection/non-fiction/ biography/rebel-with-a-cause/


Poetry Benjamin Zephaniah On tour throughout the UK Performance poet, Rastafarian and OBE-rejecter Benjamin Zephaniah has decided, aged 59, that it’s time for him to write his autobiography. Which, for someone who left school aged 13 able to neither read nor write, is quite an achievement. During the 18-date tour to plug


Life and Rhymes, the anti-racist campaigner will recount tales of his life while sharing some of his


attitude


by Tim Lezard


favourite poems. “They say you mellow with age but, if anything, I’m angrier than I’ve ever been,” he says. www.awaywithmedia.com/ benjamin


Music


Belly, the Breeders May, June, July On tour throughout the UK It’s a good time to be a child of the 1990s if you like minor indie bands. For, while members of Oasis have alternated between churning out pub-rock albums and family feuding, and members of Blur have become Labour councillors or Cotswolds-dwelling


cheesemakers, 4AD royalty Belly and the Breeders are back making proper music. Probably the coolest woman in


rock, Kim Deal, returns with her sister Kelley for a new album and a tour, while former Breeder Tanya Donelly takes the stage again with her band Belly to do the same. If you missed them the first time, make up for lost time. http://bellyofficial.com http://thebreedersmusic.com


Games of Thrones Live On tour throughout the UK If you can’t wait for the new series of Game of Thrones, why not satisfy your longing by listening to music from the show? You’ll hear composer Ramin


Djawadi leading an orchestra and choir, and see ‘mesmerising visuals’ claiming to bring to life the fantasy kingdom of Westeros. Whether that means dragons or not, I have no idea. www.gameofthronesconcert. com


Some of the best things to


see and do with a bit of political bite


For listings email: arts@NUJ.org.uk


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