An anarcho-punk Ph.D thesis

I have just found this 264 page PhD thesis on anarcho-punk – written by Michael Dines in 2004, but only now online. [Warning Note – I had some problems downloading text on Firefox, but worked ok on Internet Explorer]

I have just speed-read it – it is a good overview, but doesn’t get beyond (a few of) the groups.
Examples – gives a very detailed ,chord by chord, phrase by phrase analysis of Bloody Revolutions, which leads in to a brief discussion of the French Revolution and a mention of the Wapping Anarchy (Autonomy) Centre…but nothing on Centro Iberico and later A centres…
Nothing on fanzines- major lack.
No Mob/Zounds.
Mentions Stop the City – but only as a quote from Andy Martin – and although discuss McLibel Trial, does not connect Dave Morris with STC.

Bit of a neutron bomb – the groups (buildings) – Crass, Discharge, Subhumans remain but the people, yer actual anarcho-punks, have been textually vapourised.

So it goes.


Here is the index.

1. Punk and The Consensus: The Move Towards the Anarchic 48
1.1.1940-1955: The Building Blocks of the Consensus 50
1.2. A Force to be Reckoned With: Sustaining Britain’s `World Role’ 50
1.3. Looking After the Nation: The Establishment of the Welfare State 54
1.4. Fixing the `Balance of Payments’: The Development of the `Mixed
Economy’ 56
1.5.1955-1979: The Breakdown of the Consensus 57
1.6. `Rivers of Blood’: Another Blow to the Consensus 63
1.7. Final Thoughts: The Beginning of the End 71
2. Pop vs. Progressive Rock: Starting Out on the Punk Rock Road to Nowhere 72
2.1. Musical Whiplash: K-Tel and the Politics of Boredom 73
2.2. From New York to Sex: Sonic Reducing in the Big Apple 83
3. The Sex Pistols and Anarchic Rhetoric: `Cos They Meant it Man 93
1. New Beginnings: The Transformation of the Punk Rock `Ethos’ 114
1.2. From Protest to Parody: The Building Blocks of the `Anarcho’ 120
2. Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Parallel Emergence of Discharge 129
3. `Bloody Revolutions’: Crass and the Forging of a New Direction 144
4. Parliamentary Questions: Crass and the Politics of War 166
5. Instantaneous Spontaneity Drive: The Final Path of the `Anarcho’ 183
5.1. Us Fish Must Swim Together: Anarcho-Punk and Lyrical Reflection 188
5.3. Onwards and Upwards: `Culture Shock’ and the Hindrance of Stereotype 202
5.4 A Revolt Against the Rational: The End of the Road for the `Anarcho’ 208
1. Unfinished Business: The Thread of Dissent into the’80s and Beyond 215
2. From Conflict to Sore Throat: Musical Heterogeneity of the Anarcho-
Movement 229
3. The Relationship Between Punk and the `Anarcho’: Final Thoughts 243


  1. Mike/Lena
    November 13, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Great article but i feel like something is missing…

  2. Jay
    November 14, 2009 at 6:37 am

    The patch pictured that was a freebie with Nagasaki Nightmare 7″ is mighty clean!!
    Is it a reproduction on e-bay or summin?

  3. Penguin
    November 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    “Is it a reproduction on e-bay or summin?”

    No Jay it is an original, just never came out of the sleeve very often.

    I do have a dirtier patch as well though which was slipped in amongst my fanzines which I found when scanning some of them into the photo gallery well over a year ago. That one belonged to my little brother who did stitch it and wear it on a jacket that he wore at the time. Got unstitched when he chucked the jacket.

  4. Jay
    November 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Nice one, I too had that patch proudly sewn to my jacket in ’82, until it was put in a charity shop along with some other clothes I’d outgrown, after that I couldn’t be bothered with patches and badges, kept to a minimum and just wore the seemingly uniform colour of black clothing with one pin badge, that wasn’t too colourful of course, as it would have clashed with the borstal pumps, as we used to call them back then in the area I lived. 🙂

  5. Nic
    December 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    More ‘anarchist’ literature: a pdf of the first issue of International Anthem (with contributions from Gee Vaucher, Penny Rimbaud, Pete Wright and Steve Ignorant) is available for download here:

  6. sned
    December 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    good to see punksishippies blog mentioned on here, related to that i just put up this:

    757 front covers scanned from the collection which goes from 1977 to early 90’s , those are the a4 and a5 zines, theres a bout 100 more ‘odd sizes’ to add in yet. willing to take on requests for scanning and uploading to pdf.

    work in progress. there’ll be a few classics you’ll recognise on there nic ( justins zine , digs zine etc)

    just a drop in the ocean compared to the the mighty punks is hippies all updates to be added there also.


    cheers kypp for some great music and information, keep up the good work and all that !

  7. Nic
    December 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Nice one Sned…
    Some old favourites there!
    Seeing as you offered, can I put in a request for a full scan of Joy of Propaganda, Enigma (and No Comment, Shocking Pink, Acts of Defiance and Children of the Revolution if you’ve got time!)…

    Hope all is treating you well in the frozen North…

  8. sned
    December 4, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    hibernating, scanning zines, listening to that cheery nico album!

    enigma 4 is on p.i.h now, others in due course. cheers!

  9. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    December 4, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Feel free to put any issues of New Crimes up if you can be arsed!

  10. sned
    December 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    New Crimes (7, the only one i have), Joy of Propaganda 2, Children of the Revolution 5 and 6 all uploaded and now at


  11. luggy
    December 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I wrote an article on squatting for that issue of Joy of Propaganda. The local rozzers in Telford visited all the local printers trying to find out who produced it as they thought the article was promoting criminality!

  12. alistairliv
    alistairliv • Post Author •
    December 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Ha.. history repeats itself. Back in 1724 someone calling himself ‘Philadelphus’ wrote a fanzine (broadsheet) in Edinburgh in support of the Galloway Levellers and the lord Justice Clerk (top law officer) personally visited the printer to find out who ‘Philadephus’ was… and to sieze any unsold copies.

    In 1726, Kirkcudbright town council arrested a guy for possessing a copy of a ballad about the Levellers. They also got the town’s hangman to burn all the copies they could find at the market cross.

    A generation like to this
    Did never man behold
    I mean our great and mighty men
    Who coventous are of gold…

    The lords and lairds they drive us out
    From mailings [rented land] where we dwell
    The poor man says “Where shall we go?”
    The rich says “Go to Hell.”

  13. UKDKOK
    December 16, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I’d tell the rich to “Go to Hell”. Alas, I work there and don’t want to see them everyday!

    — Anon.

  14. sned
    December 16, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    apologies for continually hijacking this thread but.. a load more new requests / uploads at punks is hippies as of just now

  15. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    December 17, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Cheers Sned for uploading New Crimes 7 – haven’t seen it myself for about 20 years! A bit cringeworthy in places to say the least, I think I was going through a period of trying to distance myself from Anarchopunk after my experiences at the Autonomy Centre, but still trying to embrace its more positive aspects… And at least trying to take the typical fanzine format away from the cliches whilst still doing the best I could with my limited Gestetner resources… The rap article is pretty much one of the most embarassing things I ever wrote but at least it was an attempt to break away from Flux interviews and collages with skellingtons and mushroom clouds…

    Just read my review of KYPP 5; “Psuedo-psychedelic positive punk elitist nonsense. But has got some nice pictures to look at here and there”… Sorry about that, hope it didn’t affect your sales figures too much chaps 😉

  16. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    December 17, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I also remember that during this period my energies were split between New Crimes and editing the SLAB – Southend Libertarian and Anarchist Broadsheet, which I think I was actually more enthusiastic about by this stage…

  17. Nic
    December 17, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Nice one Sned – thanks for the uploads…
    Good to see Protesting Children Minus the Bondage and The Joy of Propaganda again…

    It’s funny Graham: I don’t remember the cover of New Crimes 7 at all, but looking through the magazine, I can clearly remember the content…which is the point really, I suppose!

  18. Gerard
    December 17, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Does anyone know what happened to Lee who did Protesting Children Minus the Bondage?

  19. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    December 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    The cover photo for New Crimes 7 was actaully from a book about hippy festivals called ‘Tomorrows Children’, but I liked it because it wasn’t too clear what was going on as the two people on the ground look like bodies on a battlefield, but actually they are a pair of sleeping hippies…

  20. sned
    December 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    graham, thats funny because that whole schism (is that the right word?) was going on in the north east too, the broadsheets up here being ‘free news’ and ‘the syndicalist’ , i got bored of the politico stuff pretty quickly, class war was pretty much the only paper i could relate to. people seemed to go off noisy shouty music pretty quickly (i guess antisect / crucifix / mdc were ok cos they were on the right labels) – i went the other way and started going to brum to laugh at nics band!

    no idea what happened to lee, then again i never ever met him or even knew him, a fan of his / thier work though. i would love to see copies of ‘anathema’ zine which i assume was made by lee / protesting children folk, i have a really messy copy with bits missing and so on, and thats all.

  21. Nic
    December 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    1983 through 1984 was a strange time for the ‘Anarcho’ scene in England. The schism between the extremes of the political spectrum (Pacifism versus armed aggression) was very deep and – to me, at least – effectively stunted growth to the point of stasis.

    Many people on the Pacifist pole seemed to grow weary of the way in which the ‘Anarcho’ milieu seemed to replicate and mirror the pressures of the society around it: the peer pressure (Who is the most ‘Anarchist’? Who is most ‘committed’?) and – let’s face it – outright bullying which developed was inevitably alienating.
    (In hindsight, it’s pretty obvious it was bound to happen when the people involved in the discourse were – generally – confused, alienated and increasingly desperate teenagers).

    I initially found the engagement of Class War appealing, but not the lust for violence and Mob-mentality which it fostered (as Graham noted in his article in New Crimes): much of it just reminded me of the macho sport orientated world I’d initially tried to divorce myself from as I was opened up to new ideas through Punk.
    Simultaneously, the more ‘Pacifist’ stream seemed to be locked into endless Green Anarchist debates with themselves, slowly digging a deeper hole for themselves in the organic vegetable plot…

    A lot of people just drifted away from the ‘Anarcho’ scene, glad to be able to be themselves again whilst still retaining the beliefs which had inspired them…

    The mid-80’s is a very interesting time because it seemed to ring the death-knell of the ‘traditional’ Left: seemingly overnight, all of the bookshops / social centres, magazines, graffiti and political imagery (such as the CND sign) seemed to vanish. Just a few years later, the impetus behind the Poll Tax Riot didn’t seem to be so much about notions of freedom as money…

    I’m with you Sned: the way that the nosier music (‘Hardcore’ for want of a better term) possessed a sense of purpose, of excitement and exuberance, and of life (which was sadly lacking in the music coming out of England at the time) was very appealing. We had some great times getting blasted by the bands (particularly Heresy, SAS, Skum DxRxIxbblurzzzz, Generic, ENT and Atavistic) and being able to share our enthusiasm with like-minded folks…
    It soured quite quickly for me when it seemed to become an exercise in impersonation as people started to clone wholesale their vision of the American sound and fashion look (even the way of speaking): it just didn’t seem to have any relevance…
    And then, in the blink of an eye, everyone seemed to become Born Again Metallers and started wearing high top training shoes and bullet belts…
    By the turn of 1987, I was pretty much out for good (with the odd toe-dip here and there in an optimistic manner – some good times with Doom)…

    I remember Anathema, Sned: another great magazine (and interesting to think that it was probably linked to Protesting Children: he later did that magazine Kiss the Earth where the address was 56 Brougham Road)…In fact, I remember throwing what was left of it away (after I’d cut out all sorts of bits and pieces) back in 1988 was a few sacks of other things…
    It would be great to see some of the other magazines from back then: A-Z (by Paul of This Bitter Lesson and Faction), Paroxysm Fear (by Mag of Flack), Fat Man – Little Boy, Cobalt Hate, Ability Stinks! (get your archive out Gerard!), and even A System Partly Revealed (by the Fascist John Cato)…if only because they represent a flurry of creativity undertaken without sanction by the culture around them (and ultimately inspired by the example of Crass)…

  22. chris
    December 18, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Nick, I’ve still got an Anathema (or two) plus Kiss The Earth. Also issues of Cobalt Hate, Ability Stinks, Paroxysm Fear, A-Z and A System Partly Revealed (didn’t realise that was Cato’s zine – will have to look it out for a perusal again sometime). FM-LB was one zine I never came across. Along with one called ‘Fuck & Vibrating Nipples’ – the title of which alone intrigued me.
    An interesting list of zines though as there is a discernable similarity between them all, not just in their presentation and the bands they covered. I think what made those so vibrant was perhaps that they seemed to centre on little known bands who you could write to + get tapes of (which were often excellent and much more uncompromising, underground + exciting than what you could buy on vinyl at the time) and also, significantly, that they seemed to refect the Autonomy Centre/Centro milieu, which for a 12/13 year old punker stuck in a small Scottish village, back then almost seemed like some mythic anarcho-punk nirvana. Possibly as a school-age, suburban brit-pop fan may have envisaged Camden in the mid ’90s . Needless to say this was prior to actually visiting these venues when reality promptly clamped a clammy hand on the shoulder of one’s youthful imaginings.

  23. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    December 19, 2009 at 2:23 am

    I was just reading this post and thinking about how funny Lee (kiss the earth, anathema, spitting pretty pictures etc was) At the point when I was pretty much bored with a lot of people from ‘the scene’ Lee was always worth talking to and always had a great outside perspective. I actually often wondered what happened to Lee too, anyone know?

    Then I read down a little further to see that John Cato became a fascist, huh? When did that happen? I knew John pretty well back in the day and can honestly say I didn’t see that one coming. crazy!

  24. Nic
    December 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, it was pretty surprising to me as well, John…

    Cato was in the British Movement (presumably at the time he shared a flat with Colin Jerwood), and went on to be involved in the initial setting up of Combat 18 (acting as an ‘ideologue’ for the Sargent brothers) before being one of the founders of the National Socialist Alliance in 1994 (federated to Combat 18)…

    He also published / edited a number of fascists magazines (such as The Order and the Combat 18 magazine Putsch) which contained Holocaust denial material (Searchlight 1994)…

    He was driven out of Gravesend in 1993 after pressure by anti-fascist activists and moved to Lincolnshire where he began the magazine The Oak…

    He’s mentioned in Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke book ‘Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity’….

    Looking back, the symbols on the first Admit You’re Shit EP include one that bears a remarkable similarity to the BM ‘cross in a circle’…

  25. chris
    December 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Nick & John, surely the most bizarre factor, unless it’s yet another example of anarcho-punk ‘historical revisonism’, is that Cato claims in Ian Glasper’s book that he was ALWAYS a racist and as the BM split up in the early ’80s could only have been a ‘member’ at the time he was doing ASPR + AYS. I’m pretty sure he used to write to Andy Martin too. Crazy indeed.

  26. John No Last Name
    John No Last Name
    December 20, 2009 at 1:54 am

    It was so long ago, but I’m pretty sure I was 15 when I first met John and he was a couple of years younger than me. He definitely wasn’t openly racist and I suspect that his racism came much later. AYS was several years after his “A System Partly Revealed” fanzine, and I knew Lee and Rim from that band a can honestly say neither of them seemed in any way racist. Both of them were really great musicians too especially Rim who was definitely one of the better drummers from the UK hardcore scene.

    It’s not altogether surprising though when you look back that people from our circles would get drawn towards extreme politics or religious views, we were all kids looking for something to believe in or stand for. I could name names, but why bother. Hopefully they’ve all moved on to better things and have more productive views by now.

  27. Ian S
    Ian S
    December 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    alistairliv wrote: “In 1726, Kirkcudbright town council arrested a guy for possessing a copy of a ballad about the Levellers. They also got the town’s hangman to burn all the copies they could find at the market cross.”

    I’m guessing you probably know about the Glasgow poet Tom Leonard, but in the off-chance you don’t, you might be interested in his study of radical verse and poetry in Renfrew from the 1780s onwards:

  28. AL Puppy
    AL Puppy • Post Author •
    December 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for that link Ian.

  29. Lee
    May 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Lee here from the old fanzine days – Hi to anyone I used to know.
    I’m busy working on a little biog-book called A Punk Rock Flashback.
    Cheers to all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *