pamphlets from past tense...

Framed by spycops for resisting World War 1

In 1917, Derby socialists and war resisters Alice Wheeldon, her daughters Hettie, Winnie and Winnie's husband, Alfred Mason, went on trial at the Old Bailey, all charged with conspiracy to
murder the Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George and cabinet minister Arthur Henderson.
In fact the supposed 'plot' was a fit up, set up by a spy working for the intelligence unit of the Ministry of Munitions, effectively then run by a combination of Special Branch and what would become MI5. The aim was to attack and discredit the anti-war


Gentrification as Social Control in the USA


Urban decay and subsequent 'regeneration' have been deliberately used in the USA to disperse poor, mainly black
communities, both to disrupt communal solidarity and subvert
organised movements for social change, and maximise private profit.
With the levels of gentrification and development many communities are currently facing in London, it is timely to reprint these classic accounts of how military and political powers, and business interests, devised 'Spatial Deconcentration' to
maintain social control.




The Anti Corn Law Riots of 1815

ISBN: 978-0-9932762-4-8

At the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, corn prices fell to nearly half their war level, causing panic among British farmers - many of whom were also voters. In response the government introduced the Corn Laws in 1815; banning cheap wheat imports, to ensure the high incomes of farmers and landowners.
This was class legislation at its most blatant. It made sure aristocrats could continue to benefit from high bread prices, and the high rents that they supported; knowing well enough this law meant penury for the poor, who relied on bread to stave off starvation.
Riots broke out in the area around Parliament as the Acts were being debated, and spread out around London and Westminster as the London houses of the MPs and lords held most responsible were targeted by crowds...


The North London Civil Servants Strike, 1987/88

Jean Richards
ISBN: 978-0-9932762-2-4

An account of a strike by low-paid civil servants across North London Department of Employment offices in 1988, also involving Job Centre and Department of Health & Social Security staff who came out in solidarity when they were asked to do the strikers’ work.

By a woman civil servant who worked for 10 years in one of the offices in dispute.



Remembering 1830s London's most notorious political
social centre
ISBN: 978-0-9932762-3-1

In the early 1830s a building on Blackfriars Road became the most notorious radical political meeting places of its era. For a few short years, the Rotunda was the heart of radical London. The Rotunda entered its golden age in 1830, when it was taken over by freethinker Richard Carlile, and was transformed into a centre of political and scientific education and theatrical anti-religious performances... It became home to diverse radical groups and speakers, including the National Union of the Working Classes, Robert Taylor (known as the “Devil’s Chaplain’), and female atheist lecturer Eliza Sharples, the ‘Pythoness of the Temple’.

The Rotunda was feared and hated by the political establishment, who saw it as influencing all radical and rebellious opinion. The reactionary Duke Of Wellington considered the battle for the future of society as one of “The Establishment Vs The Rotunda.”




Dave Burn
ISBN: 978-0-9932762-5-5

In 1960 over 2000 council tenants in the then London borough of St Pancras went on partial rent strike, against a new rent scheme introduced by the Conservative council. This pamphlet recounts the causes and the history of the rent strike, examining the reasons the rent scheme was brought in, and the history of the tenants’ movement. A comprehensive but also compelling story of a community struggle, as well as a thoughtful analysis of its motives and possibilities.



The Spitalfields Silkweavers: London’s Luddites?

For centuries, silkweaving was one of London’s biggest 
industries, employing thousands in the East End. Through the 18th century, the silkweavers fought to defend their wages & conditions: their tactics included strikes, riots, sabotage and more. In some ways the issues they faced, and the methods they used, anticpate those of the later Luddite movement; but with crucial differences. 


Report & reflections on the UK Ford-Visteon
dispute 2009.
ISBN: 978-0-9932762-1-7

In June 2000 the Ford Motor Company outsourced the production of component parts to a new spin-off company called Visteon. In March 2009 Ford/Visteon closed its three UK factories, sacking 610 workers with only a few minutes notice. The workers responded by occupying their factories...



Tommy Atkins’ hidden tactics to avoid combat
on the Western Front in WW1

Why ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’
could have been a lot funnier (and more subversive)

Roger Ball
ISBN: 978-0-9932762-0-0

Mass refusals, mutinies, disobedience, strikes and out-right rebellion were all part of the British armed forces’ experience in World War 1. But on a day to day level, many soldiers were also actively constantly resisting the war effort - shirking, skulking, and avoiding combat. By its nature, these practices are usually clandestine and hard to document, but in ‘Cunning Plans’, Roger Ball of Bristol Radical History Group briefly lifts the lid on some of this hidden resistance...


The European Witch Hunts, Enclosure
and the Rise of Capitalism.

Lady Stardust
ISBN: 978-0-9565984-0-0

Understanding the witch trials of the 16th and 17th Centuries is a vital to understanding the rise of capitalism, the family, women’s roles and our relation to our bodies. Their deep importance and impact is often neglected in even radical histories. This brief overview looks at the eceonomic, social and ideological reasons for, and effects of, the massacre of women that accompanied the growth of capitalism.


Ruffians, radicals and ravers, 1855-1994

Twentieth Anniversary Edition.
A4 booklet.

Hyde Park in central London has been the scene of conflicts between the state and its opponents for at least 150 years, with protagonists including Karl Marx, the unemployed, anarchists, and almost every radical or counter-cultural current that has ever breathed the London air. This pamphlet covers some of this tumultuous history of sex, drugs and rioting.
The first edition of this publication came out late in 1994, (produced by Practical History, one of the projects from which past tense emerged) shortly after the massive demonstration and riot against the Criminal Justice Act with its repressive provisions against ‘raves’, protests, trespass, and so on.

This new edition, produced for the 20th anniversary of the October 1994 Criminal Justice Act Riot, includes additional material not in the original text.



Wanderings in the past, present and future of radical pamphleteering.

Omasius Gorgut

Since the earliest days of printing, political pamphlets have been one of the most popular way to spread radical ideas. Short, sharp, easy to read and distribute; by their very nature, pamphlets lent themselves to underground ideas. But in the age of blogs and twitter, does political pamphleteering have a future?



The Ideas of the Ranters
A.L. Morton

The Ranters formed the extreme leftwing of the sects which grew up during the English Revolution. Heretical, impassioned, possessed: they were accused of spending their time “in drunkenness, uncleanness, blasphemous words, filthy songs, and mixt dances of men and women stark naked.” A.L. Morton recounts the ideas, activities and fierce repression faced by these 17th Century mystical anarchists.



A Chapter of the Revolutionary Movement
in the German Navy 1918-1919.

' Ikarus' (Ernst Schneider)

In 1918 the war-weary German sailors and soldiers mutinied, and a radical uprising launched the German Revolution. Wilhemshaven, on the North Sea, was a leading centre of the revolt. The revolutionary ‘Ikarus’, a participant in the events at Wilhelmshaven, gives an account of this crucial episode in the mutinies that ended World War 1.
past tense World War 1 Series, no 3


An enclosure struggle sparks a discussion of how land should be used, in the wake of the English Civil War.

J.M. Patrick

A great revolution always involves changes in land ownership. That the Puritan Revolution was no exception is proved by the story of agrarian riots in 1659, over property rights to Enfield Chase, a tract of land in Middlesex about nine miles from London. The struggle was between ‘Intruders’ who had purchased part of the Chase and ‘Inhabitants’ who had traditional feudal property rights, including rights of common, over the area.
Their quarrel reproduced in miniature the conflict between moneyed men attached to the new capitalism and men whose wealth consisted mainly of “feudal” rights and properties - the conflict which underlay the English Revolution. Just as the agrarian struggles of the Diggers helped to provoke the communistic writings of Gerrard Winstanley, the struggle at Enfield inspired the collectivist theories of local thinker William Covell.


Occupying Hospitals: Some Inspirations and Issues from UK History

A4 dossier.

Through the 1970s, 80s and early 1990s, more than twenty hospitals were occupied either by NHS workers or people from local communities, usually to prevent closures of wards or buildings. Occupational Hazards recounts
the stories of some of these actions, with first hand accounts of some, and raises some questions about who controls the occupations and work-ins. Can tales of these events be useful the face of current closures in the NHS?


A History of Islington Action Group of the Unwaged, 1980 - 1986


What happens when a group of unemployed trying to organise for themselves has to take on not only the benefits system, but the entrenched interests of the trade union hierarchies and the local council?
Unwaged Fightback is a firsthand account of an unwaged
workers’ group in 1980s London, its efforts to establish and run a centre for the unemployed and its relationships to the Miners’ Strike and other struggles of its times.


A walk around the working class/radical history of Hammersmith.


Revolting peasants... heretics... civil war agitators... chartists... suffragettes... socialists... irish republicans... anarchists... suffocated tory MPs with satsumas in their mouths... Hammersmith has seen it all. Wander the streets of one of West London’s finest neighbourhoods & delve into its proud and rebellious history...



The Fight Against the Theft of Sydenham Common
and One Tree Hill.

Betty O’Connor.

Many open green spaces that we take for granted today still exist because in the past they were preserved from enclosure and development by both legal and illegal resistance. This pamphlet briefly discusses the fight to save two such spaces in South London: Sydenham Common & One Tree Hill. A rousing tale of legal shenanigans, rioting, intrigue and violent death...




Mouvemente Communiste
A4 pamphlet.

A text translated raising some questions about established myths and reality in the uprising in France in May-June 1968. Ten
million workers were said be on strike during these events; a strike wave brought under control and neutralised by the Communist Party and CGT union. But how autonomous was this wave really? How much did the CGT direct the strikes and did workers themselves break from these structures?




Black tailor William Cuffay was one of the leaders and martyrs of the Chartist movement. In 1848 he was arrested for allegedly plotting a Chartist uprising, put on trial for treason & transported for life to Tasmania. A powerful tale of an often forgotten figure in London’s working class history.


Birthplace of People’s Democracy.

Stefan Szczelkun.

150 years ago Kennington Common was host to a historic gathering, the great Chartist rally of 10th April 1848, which can now be seen as the birth of modern British democracy. In response, the common was forcibly enclosed and the Victorian Park was built to occupy the site...




Mock Elections in 18th Century South London. 


In the 18th Century mock elections for the fictional office of Mayor attracted huge crowds to the tiny South London hamlet of Garratt.
Thousands of people flocked to a huge rowdy satirical pisstake of the election process of the times. The candidates were always poor tradesmen, usually with a drink problem and sometimes with a physical deformity...



Opposition to ID cards in North London, 1950/2006.

David King


During the Second World War the government introduced compulsory ID cards as part of their emergency measures. It was not until seven years after the War that ID cards were finally withdrawn. Clarence Willcock was instrumental in this process; his refusal to show his ID card when stopped by the police in North London raised questions about their use in peacetime Britain and contributed to the withdrawal of the cards in 1952.



Keith Scholey

The Communist Club, originally a political social club formed by German émigrés, played an important role in the radical politics of London and Europe during the mid to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It linked Chartism, utopian socialism, the First International, early anarchism, the first Marxist groups in Britain, and formed an important connection between the British and Continental European (German, Russian) socialist movements.




• The Judges Are Going to Jail
A Rousing Chartist Song for all the family.





Unless otherwise stated each pamphlet is A5 format.