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Beginning in Liverpool John Moores University as a millennium project, The Writing on the Wall festival has run independently for over ten years. It celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance, storytelling and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate while working with diverse communities across Merseyside.

WoW organises an annual festival, which has expanded to around 30 events each year. It organises one-off events and writing development workshops, including the Liverpool Young Writers’ project and Pulp Idol for aspiring novelists. It brings together local audiences and the best local, national and international writers, artists and social commentators.

One of the most popular initiatives is the Rebel Rants which were launched in 2010 to mark WoW’s tenth anniversary. On 11th October the latest and a particularly topical talk, given the impending Anti-Austerity demonstration in London, will be given by Liverpool born Len McCluskey, He is the General Secretary of Unite, the Union, has been an active trade unionist since his first job on the docks in the 1960’s and was elected promising to ‘campaign against the devastation the Government is unleashing against working people and their communities throughout the land.’ A controversial figure, ‘Red Len’ is calling for a huge turnout at the TUC’s demonstration on October 20th, demanding ‘A Future That Works’.

Len will be introduced by Ricky Tomlinson. Best known for his roles in Brookside, Cracker and The Royle Family, Ricky is no stranger to working class struggles. He was wrongly jailed as one of the ‘Shrewsbury Two’ for his role in the building workers’ strikes of the 1970’s.

He will consider whether we are really ‘All in it together’ or is Austerity Britain for us and not ‘them’ – the bankers and the millionaires? Can the Coalition turn it round or are we all con-demned to spend the next ten years back in Orwell’s Britain of the 1930’s?

Previous ranters have included; Martin Bell, Germaine Greer, Darcus Howe, Bonnie Greer, Peter Tatchell, Joan Bakewell, Benjamin Zephaniah and, fairly controversially, Derek Hatton. They have spoken passionately on topics such as gay rights, equality, democracy, Obama’s legacy one year on and Liverpool’s radical agenda. Further exciting events are scheduled for the coming year.


Thursday 11th October
Adelphi Hotel – 7.30pm

For more information contact WoW on 0151 703 0020 or email info@writingonthewall.org.uk