New Statesman, 2019

As 12th December draws closer, the name-calling and bickering of party politics intensifies, and pub debates heat up as left- and right-wingers — and those middle-ground people who don’t know where to look — fight their corners. ‘He’s an anti-semite, and he was in the IRA’ they shout. ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!’ the Labour devotees chant back. You’d be forgiven for opting out of the process altogether, lest a fight breaks out and somebody gets swilled for saying the wrong thing.

It’s clear, however, that many working-class people just don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. Painted as the political version of an allotment-owning…


Ex-PM David Cameron (top, second from left) and current PM Boris Johnson (bottom, third from left) in a Bullingdon Club photograph, 1987. Gillman & Soame.

In a 2013 interview, Boris Johnson considered the likelihood of him being appointed Prime Minister. He concluded that he ‘had as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as being decapitated by a Frisbee’ or better still, that it was more probable that he should be ‘reincarnated as an olive, or Elvis Presley.’

On 24th July 2019, however, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson became the PM, and his lifelong dream was finally realised. …


I asked her what she wanted to photograph, and she said, ‘I want to take pictures of policemen kicking children,’ and I said ‘You’re in.’ It was the shortest interview I had ever done.’

David Hurn on Tish Murtha

Tish Murtha, 1978. Elswick Kids

In 1980, social documentary photographer Tish Murtha (born in 1956) wrote an essay titled Youth Unemployment in the West End of Newcastle, influenced by the climate of the disadvantaged Northern community that she grew up in. In it, she gave a searing account of life for many working-class people in Newcastle, documenting how one mother — who was only 20…


To all intents and purposes, Helen is a normal 68-year-old woman. Her blonde, perfectly permed hair falls just above her shoulders, and she wears a classy floral dress, holding herself well.

She sits in the pub waiting for me, peering over the heads of the day drinkers in our shared home; Cannock, a quiet ex-mining town in Staffordshire, UK. I stumble through the door, a little late, and we exchange greetings.

The first time I met Helen, at Cannock’s only LGBT bar — Candi Caine’s — she struck me as a woman with a story bursting out of her. It…

Emily O'Sullivan

Writer with an interest in working-class issues, feminism, politics and philosophy

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