Newspapers for and by the jobless in the early 1980s


 

After 1979, there was a calamitous rise in unemployment – especially among the youth. In northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle – a kind of dole culture took hold. You could be forgiven for thinking that not having a job was the norm while being in work was some kind of privilege.

Local authorities and trade unions funded unemployment centres. I recall the centre in Liverpool on Hardman Street with a pub attached at the back called The Flying Picket where you might bump into Alexei Sayle at the bar on some nights.

Some of these centres produced cheap newspapers for and by the unemployed. They would normally reflect the opinions of the dominant political group within the centre – often on the ultra-left.

Here are some examples – note the attack on the TUC for not doing enough for the unemployed. A common theme at the time was that the Labour Party and trade union leadership were sadly wanting in the face of the Thatcherite onslaught.

 

Pop faces of the early 1980s


Three magazines from my huge archive of 80s stuff – Record Mirror featuring Blondie, My Guy with Steve Strange and No.1 magazine with the faces of 1983.  Record Mirror was a good music mag but it never inspired the tribal loyalty that attached to the NME, Melody Maker and Sounds.

In the late 70s, it would publish painted images of pop stars, some of which I’ve framed as they were rather fetching. The mag closed down in 1991 but bizarrely, the name was bought by Giovanni di Stefano – an Italian lawyer most famous for being on Saddam Hussein’s legal defence team!

Blondie IMG_1747 IMG_1656

Record Mirror front covers from the late 70s


I’ve just decorated my bedroom as a shrine to the coolest 80s pop stars and here’s a budget idea to do the same to yours.  Basically, I got some of the best Record Mirror front covers off e-bay and then had them framed.  Around 1978 to 1981, the magazine had some very stylised front covers with artistic images of stars instead of photos.  I don’t know what the reason was – cost, whatever.  But framed – they look amazing – here they are!

Siouxsie Sioux during Hong Kong Garden phase
Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders
Our man in The Clash