Anti-globalisation festival coming to UK

Bad news for British lefties who like a jolly – the next European Social Forum, the continent-wide gathering of the anti-war and anti-globalisation ‘left’, is going to be held in Britain.

Should be fun if you like listening to George Galloway or former Red Brigade terrorists talk about democracy and peace.

Oh and by the way: Matthew Tempest’s diary from the current Forum in Paris contains several gems to give readers a taste of what will be coming to London, including this one:

Just come out of a very good debate on the perspectives for the alter-globalisation movement, addressed, partly, by half-American half-British activist Jonathon Neal.

He’s a children’s author and trade unionist, and, bearing in mind that poet and children’s author Michael Rosen is also a committed socialist, I ask him what it is about children’s writers and lefties.

Neal reckons it’s because children, like socialists, always side with the underdog. I put it to him that there has to be something of the child-like about the revolutionary, to keep that innocent sense of simple right and wrong that kids have. Tony Benn’s diaries, for instance, are full of very empathetic musings on his children, and grandchildren. Neal agrees.

Supporting the underdog? The sense of simple right and wrong? Nothing wrong with those sentiments in adults either.

It’ just a shame the likes of Neal and Tempest forgot about the underdogs.