Friday, September 22, 2006

Bibliopoles and Pugilism

There's a fight going on in the world of publishing and bookselling. This week's Weekly Worker carries a letter that complains about Bookmarks.
The people who run the Socialist Workers Party bookshop called Bookmarks in central London are into censorship and it stinks.

We publish a magazine that any socialist would be interested in reading ... Bookmarks refuse to stock our magazine. This is strange, considering we don’t allow fascists or racists to write for us, but do encourage debate about some old leftwing shibboleths, especially those to do with ‘class struggle’.

The draconian management at Bookmarks are letting down anyone engaged in an attempt to make sense of our world today. ... It’s a shame, because Bookmarks in the old days used to be a thriving socialist bookshop in the heart of north London - a real hub of debate and discussion, with a vast and exciting range of literature, always full up with people. With such a po-faced management team these days, it’s hardly surprising no-one goes there and is only kept alive by the party faithful digging deep week after week.

Sean Delaney
Principia Dialectica
Following up on the magazine's own site you get this amusing response:
Mike writes: maybe they thoughtyour mag was a load of pretentious bollocks and not worth stocking - but its easier to shout “stalinist” than look at yourself critically…
Looking at the other places that do stock the magazine Bookmarks' refusal may be down to ideological differences and that the magazine is a load of Judith Butleresque nonsense. Alternatively, Bookmarks may be under Stalinist management.

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