Big Flame


A book about Big Flame

Update as of February 2014.

Some  ex members to work on a book provisionally titled Big Flame: Re-appraising radical politics

Three of us are jointly editing the book, and about another dozen others helping in various ways (including writing sections).

The book aims:

1.   To present the history – or, more accurately, histories – of Big Flame, its theory, principles and practice.  For this reason, while the book is authored, it includes dozens of contributions from ex-members of Big Flame, and the authors do not intend to paper over the many cracks in the organisation. There are many different perspectives then for understanding Big Flame and its relevance for today. By including many of them in this book, with contributions of very  different lengths and in different styles from the more personal to the more analytic, we aim to convey something of this diversity.

2.  To reappraise its politics and impact, and to review its contribution to the British Left as well to the lives of some of its members.  While the authors are well disposed to their history in Big Flame, this book is not a panegyric: it recognises BF’s failures as well as its contributions.

3.  To apply its politics and practice to certain contemporary political situations and struggles – and, thus, whilst the book does draw on histories, it looks forwards.  The book intends to be of value to activists within the new social movements struggling against capitalist globalisation today.

 The current structure is:



Ch 1:Capitalism under threat?: the context in which Big Flame emerged


Ch 2: What was Big Flame?


Ch 3:New theory, new practice


Ch 4:Intervention after Intervention: what BF did


Ch 5: Women’s politics in Big Flame


Ch 6: Assessing Big Flame (including the relevance of its politics for today)



5 Responses to “A book about Big Flame”

  1. Sorry I never carried out the promised interviews with ex-BF cdes in Manchester. I am now the Secretary of the newly-formed Stockport branch of Left Unity. LU has 1,700 members so far and one or two ex-BF people are involved. If there is anything else you would like to ask me to do, I will try not to dissapoint once again.


  2. Paul Newton said

    So what happened with The Book?
    Given the collapse of the Corbynista project- maybe there’s a real value in Big Flame revisited.
    Don’t give up on the idea!

  3. archivearchie said

    We haven’t given up (though at times we have been distracted by other things). We now have a draft of the entire book, which we are revising and editing before submitting to the publisher. Hope to have some definite news early in the new year.

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