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.
Yasmin Gunaratnam reflects on John Berger’s gut solidarity with the stranger
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Graham Jones proposes a framework for a diverse movement to flourish
Musician Eliane Correa reflects on the fading revolution
Trump's victory is another sign of the failure of the centre-left's narrative on climate change. A new message is needed, and new politicians to deliver it, writes Alex Randall
Siobhán McGuirk says the question we are too afraid to ask is simple - what kind of society leads to Donald Trump as President?
The battle lines are clear. Democracy is in peril and the left must take itself seriously electorally and politically. Ruth Potts speaks to Gary Younge, who was based in Muncie, Indiana, for the US election, about the implications of Donald Trump’s victory
We need a society built on openness, community and equality to truly defeat everything that trump stands for, writes Nick Dearden.
Utopia: Work less play more
A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen
Short story: Syrenka
A short story by Kirsten Irving
Utopia: Industrial Workers Taking the Wheel
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry – and its lessons for today
Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
Anne Harris reports on one woman’s fight against a multinational coal giant
Bike courier Maggie Dewhurst takes on the gig economy… and wins
We spoke to Mags about why she’s ‘biting the hand that feeds her’
Utopia: Daring to dream
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Utopia: Room for all
Nadhira Halim and Andy Edwards report on the range of creative responses to the housing crisis that are providing secure, affordable housing across the UK
A better Brexit
The left should not tail-end the establishment Bremoaners, argues Michael Calderbank
News from movements around the world
Compiled by James O’Nions
Podemos: In the Name of the People
'The emergence as a potential party of government is testament both to the richness of Spanish radical culture and the inventiveness of activists such as Errejón' - Jacob Mukherjee reviews Errejón and Mouffe's latest release
Survival Shake! – creative ways to resist the system
Social justice campaigner Sakina Sheikh describes a project to embolden young people through the arts
‘We don’t want to be an afterthought’: inside Momentum Kids
If Momentum is going to meet the challenge of being fully inclusive, a space must be provided for parents, mothers, carers, grandparents and children, write Jessie Hoskin and Natasha Josette
The Kurdish revolution – a report from Rojava
Peter Loo is supporting revolutionary social change in Northern Syria.
How to make your own media
Lorna Stephenson and Adam Cantwell-Corn on running a local media co-op
Book Review: The EU: an Obituary
Tim Holmes takes a look at John Gillingham's polemical history of the EU
Book Review: The End of Jewish Modernity
Author Daniel Lazar reviews Enzo Traverso's The End of Jewish Modernity
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
Ida-Sofie Picard introduces Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants – as told to Jenny Nelson
Book review: Angry White People: Coming Face to Face With the British Far-Right
Hilary Aked gets close up with the British far right in Hsiao-Hung Pai's latest release
University should not be a debt factory
Sheldon Ridley spoke to students taking part in their first national demonstration.
Book Review: The Day the Music Died – a Memoir
Sheila Rowbotham reviews the memoirs of BBC director and producer, Tony Garnett.
Power Games: A Political History
Malcolm Maclean reviews Jules Boykoff's Power Games: A Political History
Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: from liberation to the post-gay
Aiming to re-evaluate the radicalism and efficacy of queer counterculture and rebellion - April Park takes us through David Alderson's new work.
A book review every day until Christmas at Red Pepper
Red Pepper will be publishing a new book review each day until Christmas
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From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
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The Fashion Revolution: Turn to the left
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The abolition of Art History A-Level will exacerbate social inequality
This is a massive blow to the rights of ordinary kids to have the same opportunities as their more privileged peers. Danielle Child reports.
Mass civil disobedience in Sudan
A three-day general strike has brought Sudan to a stand still as people mobilise against the government and inequality. Jenny Nelson writes.
Mustang film review: Three fingers to Erdogan
Laura Nicholson reviews Mustang, Deniz Gamze Erguven’s unashamedly feminist film critique of Turkey’s creeping conservatism
What if the workers were in control?
Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry