Yesterday’s papers: Harry & Class War

The market-place for far-left newspapers was mighty crowded in the mid-1980s. For your daily needs, there was the Moscow-subsidised Morning Star, organ of the Communist Party of Great Britain, or – for those more Trot than Tankie – the Workers Revolutionary Party’s News Line, the first colour daily in Britain, thanks to funding from Libya. Then there were the weeklies and monthlies of the 57 varieties of Marxism, from Militant and Socialist Worker all the way down to The Red Flag (a Posadist publication) and – dreariest of them all – The Spartacist.

But for the non-aligned, the must-buy on a demonstration was the anarchist Class War, a much more engaging proposition. Somewhere between the Sunday Sport and Viz, with the design aesthetic of a punk era-fanzine, it featured high levels of cartoon violence, genuine anger and gratuitous swearing, and it differed from all its competitors by having no interest in theory and by being funny.

The primary targets were politicians and the police, but the paper also had a fondness for attacking royalty. When, for example, it was revealed that the father of Princess Michael of Kent had been an active member of the Nazi Party, an officer in the SS, Class War‘s headline was: ‘Queen’s Father was Hitler Shock!’ And then there was a second-tier headline: ‘Princess Michael of Kent – What a Fucking Stupid Name for a Princess’.

Anyway, the birth of Prince Harry in 1984 warranted a front page and a small story inside. And, in the interests of the historical record, here it is:


Once again the same old headlines are plastered across the front pages of all the dailies, we are confronted by the special extended editions of the news, there are special features in all the glossy magazines… all of them to tell us we should celebrate, celebrate the birth of ‘prince’ Harry. But why should we celebrate? This bullshit has no bearing on our lives. Just another ‘royal’ born ready to sponge off us for the rest of his life.

It’s obscene that we should be told to celebrate the birth of one into privilege when thousands die each year because they can’t afford a decent meal or heating for the slum they are forced to call home.

It’s an insult for the millions of ordinary people in this country who slog their guts out for fifty years with nothing to look forward to but a pathetic pension that will keep them in poverty for the rest of their days.

No, we won’t celebrate. We won’t celebrate till the last ‘royal’, the last law maker, the last of the bosses, have all been pulled from their position of power and privilege and we are finally free.


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