25 April 2012
3pm-5pm, Working Class Movement Library, Salford, followed by drinks in the Crescent Pub. All welcome.
Shot By Both Sides: Punk, Politics and the End of Consensus
Matthew Worley, University of Reading (4pm, approx)
This paper examines the ways in which political organisations of the far left and far right responded to punk-informed youth culture in Britain during the late 1970s. It examines how both tried to understand punk within their own ideological framework, particularly in relation to the perceived socio-economic and political crises of the late 1970s, before then endeavouring to appropriate – or use – punk for their own ends. Ultimately, however, the paper suggests that while punk may indeed be seen as a cultural response to the breakdown of political consensus in the 1970s, the far left and far right’s focus on cultural expression cut across the basic foundations on which they had been built. Consequently, neither left nor right proved able to provide an effective political conduit through which the disaffections expressed by punk could be channelled.
Policing Disorder in the Regenerating City
Will Jackson (University of Central Lancashire) & Waqas Tufail (University of Salford) (3pm, approx)
This paper seeks to consider the rioting in Pendleton, Salford on 9th August 2011 in the context of the regeneration of the post-industrial city. While the official interpretation of these events echoes the dominant framing of the August riots nationally as defined by ‘organised criminality’, ‘naked consumerism’ and ‘mindless violence’, we suggest that the riot cannot be understood as detached from the reordering of the inner-city that continues apace in the current ‘age of austerity’. We consider the intensification of explicit and more insidious forms of policing that have developed in the context of ‘regeneration’ and suggest in turn that these policing practices had a significant role in the build up to the riots in Salford. We suggest that the regeneration of inner-city Salford involves the re-colonisation of the inner-city by capital and that the policing of working-class communities is a fundamental part of securing this process. The confrontation with the police that defined the August riot in Pendleton therefore needs to be understood as a reaction to the defence of the interests of capital and the attempt to pacify the working-class communities who are by virtue of their physical and social position understood as signs of disorder.