From our northern correspondent...

Here's a letter, verbatim, recently received - so remember to keep us posted of any changes to your regular meeting dates etc! The story also serves how important it is to make it clear to potential newcomers who you are if you do meet in a pub and the landlord/lady doesn't know about it...

Dear Networking News Projekt,

I know it's not your responsibility to keep tags on the activities and meetings listing in your Regulars section, so please don't consider this as a remonstrance.

I recently tried to visit the Anti-JSA group at the Vine in Kennedy St. According to the guide this takes place on alternate Wednesdays. As the third Wednesday of the month is supposedly occupied by the Anarchist and Libertarian Communist discussion evenings, I concluded that the fourth Wednesday would have to be the one. In hindsight this was premature, as the second Wednesday of the month at the Vine is meant to be occupied by the Libertarian Socialist discussion group. From the guide there is thus no possibility of an anti-JSA group meeting on alternate Wednesdays at the Vine, unless said groups are meeting there at the same time, which relegates one of them to the bar area.

On attending the Vine I asked if there was a meeting and was met with incomprehension. After which the extraordinarily amicable landlord attempted to involve me in a Karaoke evening. At least the beer was cheap. I think some of my undoubtedly fond prejudices about English pubs would have been shattered, had the Vine actually been the hub of a broad revoluntionary movement, as one would suspect from reading your listings.

Next up was the Tameside Anarco-Marxist Federation, which apparently meets every last Thursday of the month at the Buck and Hawthorn in Ashton. Here, too, the meeting room was empty, as was the pub, although I refrained from asking if the said group was expected or not. We drank there for several hours, so they can't have just been late.

Then we tried "Action Not Words" at the "Hog's Head" in Oldham on the first Tuesday of the month. This pub has been called the Buck and Union for the past 2 years, but cases have been known of pubs retaining their old names for many years among the locals. Once again we were the only people in the pub, which coincidentally seems to have given up its Real Ale menu, thus liquidating the only other reason for staying there. On this evening I was also cajoled by a friendly landlord into getting up for a Karaoke session.

You may think I'm naive for giving any credence to the idea that as much subversive activity could be going on in Greater Manchester as is suggested by your listings. I do feel, however, that it is the responsibility of the groups concerned to retract their adverts when they've finished their activities, or moved them to another venue. Their failure to do this says a lot about their attitude to the people they may want to attract.

In lieu of these groups taking such action, it would be ideal if you could use any contacts you may have to verify my information or generally to overhaul your "regulars" section. I can quite understand your not having the time or energy to attempt this.

Rob Red

So, please let me know by email of any corrections to the events, regular events/meetings or contacts listings.

Michael :)

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© Networking Newsletter (July 2000)