Posts By: Ben Smoke

The cost of living crisis is killing football

Chelsea’s recent £107m signing of Argentina’s World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez was the cherry on the cake for an insane month of Premier League spending. Closing just days before Manchester City was charged with over 100 alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules, this January shattered the British transfer window record with a collective outlay… Read more »

Thousands join vigils in memory of Brianna Ghey

Brianna Ghey vigil London

It’s been less than a week since the killing of Brianna Ghey. The 16-year-old trans girl died last Saturday after being stabbed in a park in her hometown of Warrington. Two 15-year-olds have been arrested and charged with her murder. There are reports that Brianna was “bullied for years” because of her gender identity. However,… Read more »

Activists left missing posters outside the Home Office

Home Office officials arriving at their central London office this morning were greeted by a grim site.  Outside the Marsham St. headquarters of the government department responsible for, amongst other things, the safety and well being of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, activists left 200 missing children posters. The posters, alongside two larch missing poster signs,… Read more »

Just Stop Oil don’t need you to like them

 ‘Get out of the way, you fucking cunts!’ Language like this, and even acts of physical aggression, have been directed daily at the Just Stop Oil supporters who spent October blocking roads, throwing soup on paintings and spraying orange paint all over London’s shrines to power and wealth. I am one of the Just Stop… Read more »

Jayde Adams, Self Esteem & Jack Rooke in conversation

Comedian, actor and recent contestant on Strictly Come Dancing Jayde Adams reclines on a sofa in the Mondrian London Shoreditch, slowly raising her leg to vertical, showing off her flexibility. Two of her best friends sit across from her, unimpressed. They’ve seen this behaviour before. The pair are award-winning TV writer and comedian Jack Rooke,… Read more »

It’s time to abolish the family

What if, instead of being responsible for feeding your family, food was available for free – for everyone – in a public canteen? What if you didn’t have to spend half your income per month on shelter for yourself and your family? What if children were autonomous – free to choose how and with whom… Read more »

How the energy crisis is affecting grassroots venues

“It’s been a perfect storm of things going terribly,” Stuart Cameron tells me over the phone, breaking into a laugh of near-disbelief.  Cameron runs The Booking Hall in Dover – an independent, grassroots music and arts venue inside the town’s old Harbour railway station, which once offered direct access to the port and served as… Read more »

Why we must still pledge to strike this autumn

In the borough of Lewisham where I both live and campaign with my local Don’t Pay group, the “We Care Food Bank”, the largest of its kind in Britain, now faces an uncertain future  — all while demand skyrockets. From an initial 30 households seeking support when the Food Bank opened just years ago, now… Read more »

How one Australian teen changed trans rights for good

When a trans voice is given the platform to tell their story on their own terms, you listen.  Spanning 19 years, new documentary The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone provides an intimate glimpse into the life and transition of the eponymous teen. A pioneering trans activist, we are guided through Stone’s life, from home movies of… Read more »