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Radio review - My generation
BBC Radio 4 airs a 45-minute play every weekday, giving a first break to many newer writers. My Generation, centred around one family over four decades of the protest movement, is a recent example of excellent radio drama.
Writer Alice Nutter, once part of the band Chumbawumba, uses her own experiences to bring to life four periods or events in our rich heritage of protest.
Starting in Leeds with the 1970s feminist movement against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper prowling the streets, progressing through the 1980s miners' strike, the rave culture of the early part of the 1990s and finishing with the Occupy movement, My Generation provokes memories, both good and bad.
What sets it apart from many commentators' views of the past decades is that it doesn't conclude that protest is just a folly of youth or pointless. As you'd expect from Alice Nutter's own life, the politics are more anarchist than Marxist and the lifestyles of communes and 'direct action' are removed from the experiences of most readers of the Socialist. But this doesn't detract from a good story well told.
Indeed, some of the arguments against such stunts as firebombing a sex shop feature as strongly as those in favour. The scenes at Orgreave during the miners' strike highlight powerfully the brutal police assault on pickets and supporters.
With an excellent musical score and strong performances, My Generation is well worth a listen if you can catch it on BBC iplayer.
In The Socialist 22 February 2012:
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