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What do you do when you need a pair of superfly trainers but you aren’t a fan of sweatshop economics, nor do you have 100 squid to spend? Well a one-off investment in a pair of Nikes with air-bubble soles can provide you years of sweatshop produce. Wear the shoes for a couple months, then take a needle and pop the air bubble, making sure the hole isn’t noticeable. Once the air bubble becomes flat, take your shoes back to the shop and complain that the sole blew out, and that you want a replacement. (This really only works if you go to a large sports shop, such as Foot Locker or Nike Town. And, of course, go to different shops each time.) We’ve been doing this for years, and our feet have never been happier.
Beer (microbreweries do not apply)
If you”re a beer monster and you buy your beer by the crate, then here’s a sure-fire way to boozer heaven. Next time you pick up a crate of beer look on the box for the customer service hotline. Call the number and tell customer services that your beer tastes sour. After reading off several serial numbers, chances are they will send you a complimentary voucher for a new crate. Just don’t try the same company more than once in a year as they might just twig.
Free camera hire
Need electronic equipment for a short time, but don’t want to pay for it? No problem; just take advantage of the generosity of your high-street retailer. Most big chains have returns or, at worst, exchange policies that let you return items within a month if you’re dissatisfied or you just plain changed your mind. Essentially, this means free hire for most electronic goods for a couple of weeks. Just make sure you keep the product packaging in good shape and your receipt. Then once you’ve used that ridiculously expensive camera on holiday, just return it in its original packaging and Bob’s your uncle.
Retail shops in general
Forget about paying for a warranty when you buy a product. We all know that corporate boffins, chained to their desks in some windowless office, time product warranties to end the day before your gizmos give up the ghost. Get your own back on them by getting the shop to replace your widget for free. Let’s say you want to return your broken personal stereo but you’ve lost the receipt. Now most shops won’t do diddly squat without a recent receipt, and, anyway, you’ve had the thing for a few months. You need to buy another of the exact same model, and replace the new model in the box with the old broken one. Then go to the shop within a half-hour of buying the new personal stereo, and simply ask for a refund. If they ask why, tell them you changed your mind or bought the wrong model. Works with just about anything.
Getting the best seats in the house
Buy the cheapest seat up in the gods, and then turn up with a mate in a wheelchair and complain about accessibility. The front rows of many events are often reserved for disabled access. One serious caveat: do not under any circumstances get up and dance, unless you’re attending a Billy Graham event and want to claim to have been miraculously touched by the hand of God. But that’s another blag altogether.
Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth
Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Nick Dowson looks at the new wave of co-ops and community groups where people are building their own truly affordable homes
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali
To stop the BBC interviewing climate deniers, we need to make climate change less boring
To stop cranks like Lord Lawson getting airtime, we need to provoke more interesting debates around climate change than whether it's real or not, writes Leo Barasi
Tory Glastonbury? Money can’t buy you cultural relevance
Adam Peggs on why the left has more fun
Essay: After neoliberalism, what next?
There are economically-viable, socially-desirable alternatives to the failed neoliberal economic model, writes Jayati Ghosh
With the new nuclear ban treaty, it’s time to scrap Trident – and spend the money on our NHS
As a doctor, I want to see money spent on healthcare not warfare, writes David McCoy - Britain should join the growing international movement for disarmament
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, by Shashi Tharoor, reviewed by Ian Sinclair
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder, by Grace A Musila, reviewed by Allen Oarbrook