Back Issues

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Established 1979
Free! Three weekly! Fun!
(cover illustration)

These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1982; the latest issue is dated July 25th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on August 15th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a dedicated readership by now of over 800. It aimed to publicise and encourage a wide spectrum of subversion and culture in Reading; it kept people in touch with an events diary which spanned the activities of groups as diverse as organic gardeners and anarchists, anti-nuclear activists and civic planners, wild-eyed liberals and woolly communists; it contained news and views and details of things to do in and around Reading which the local press couldn't or wouldn't touch. And it was free.

In this landmark issue (scan / txt): part one of a chilling first hand account of life in a nearby psychiatric hospital; a guide to the new rules for claiming sickness benefit; an interview with Marion Sim, new chair of the Berkshire Anti-Nuclear Campaign; latest reports on people arrested for opposition to the war over the Falklands Islands/Malvinas; 25 excellent reasons for voting SDP; America's "Moral Majority" bans "Alice in Wonderland" and Reading's central library follows through by banning Red Rag; and on the back cover Bill & Ben's glorious "communiqué no. 1"...

What's all this crap in the Chronicle then? Who is this weed Absolom anyway? If all the money wasted on this patronising pantomime, this disgusting cover-up job in the bare concrete spaces of Reading can't be spent on housing why isn't he doing something about it? He's on the fucking council isn't he? He's got a nerve. What's he mean, the flowers "bring colour to what could otherwise be a very drab town"? These "flowers" only appear for a few weeks a year, and they hardly "brighten up the streets" 'cos they're all sickly greens and insipid whites. The one we picked had shrivelled to nothing within an hour - call that a flower? We love flowers - but we hate these cynical council bastards who pretend to make Reading "bloom" just for a competition. If someone wants to brighten up the island in the middle of the Junction, why don't they dig the fucking thing up? Reading sure as hell bloomed for the down and outs who froze to death on our streets last winter. Our slogan was not as printed "Houses before flowers" but...

       Homes Not Flowerpots!