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Them were the days

Going through some old papers today, stuff that has been trailing after me as I perambulate around the world over the years.

Anyway, what do I find? Here on Queenslands sunny Gold Coast? Some examples of good old fashioned political pamphleteering, that’s what. The sort of written equivalent of standing on a soapbox at Speakers Corner, which any political loudmouth would indulge in back in previous centuries, before this internetty thing made it so easy that it turned the world into Speakers Corner and we can all have that soapbox.

Anyway, these pamphlets must be over thirty years old – headed as they were ‘Alternative Bookshop’ and authored by one Brian Micklethwait


  1. RAB says:

    A sound man. I really must make the effort to get up to London for one of his Friday night soirees. What were the pamphlets about Cats?… give us a flavour.

    Alternative bookshops, ah yes I remember those well! I even started writing for an underground magazine named Plain Dealer.

    I had a similar experience a few months ago Cats. With all the chaos of putting central heating in and some major building work, Velux windows etc, we also had the loft insulated. Well you’ve got to drag all the stuff you’ve put in there out haven’t you? So I came across five bin liner bags full of old newspapers, copies of Sounds, NME, Melody Maker, underground comics and copies of International Times and OZ etc etc.

    I went through the Music papers looking for any stuff I may have written. Jeez I was coming across articles on bands I don’t even remember seeing let alone writing about. A right trip down memory lane indeed.

  2. CountingCats says:


    It was not some generic alternative bookshop.

    Many years ago there was, in Covent Garden, a libertarian outlet named ‘The Alternative Bookshop’.

    Brian was one of the individuals involved. I may even have purchased some material from him at the cash register at one time or another.

  3. RAB says:

    Well it depends on how you view generic in the period you are talking about Cats.

    I would posit that any shop calling itself “Alternative” back then was looking to attract a certain sort of punter… young, curious, fed up with the current order and looking for change in all sorts of different directions, be it a feminist, anarchist or even marxist one. Re-reading some of the articles in IT or OZ for instance, some were very Libertarian. “Alternative” was a very broad church indeed.

    We had a bookshop at the bottom of my hill on the corner of Picton street called … Full Marx. You can imagine what they were selling, but they thought they were very “Alternative”.

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