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August 15, 2012


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May I ask when did you recently visit the Centerprise Cafe & Bookshop? I ask as it sounds like that it was in the middle of day (a weekday at that). In my experience it is at is most busy in the evenings and over the weekends. As a resident of Hackney you would probably know that is when Dalston is at it's busiest. Maybe you should drop by at a time when Scholar's and Professor's that are invited from Africa and USA and other locations to give talks, speeches and presentations, where it is standing room only in it's large basement meeting hall. In regards to Anti-Semitism there are not any books in Centerprise that you wouldn't find in any main stream book shop or weary book shop that that is just about standing in the legendary (declining) Charing Cross Road! Most of the DVD's can possibly be viewed on You Tube! (Which I suppose you know is accessible to all)

As for justification for Peppercorn rents of £10, I appreciate that £10 doesn’t carry the same value that it did in the 1980's that does today, however in 2011 Britain saw riots, men being shot dead by the police with poor (or no) explanation, increasing unemployment for young and the rise of conservatism (we even had a royal wedding!) so sadly not much has changed for the people of Labour run borough’s in 3 decades. May I ask where you were in 1981? I can only assume you were not a resident of Hackney at that time.

Why do you feel that Centerprise is not worthy of it's current location? Do you have this same attitude to the ever growing number of Bookmaker's, Chicken & Chips shop's and not to mention a well known Supermarket opening up another Metro/Express store (quicker than you can say "Do you have a Clubcard")? It seems to me that Hackney Council are happy to encourage people to gamble (with money that I dont think they have) and eat high salt and sugar foods (at a time when the government are supposedly encouraging people to eat 5 a day fruit and veg) not to mention the growing concerns of obesity and Diabetes diagnosis in children and young people. In terms of having perpetuity over other groups or organisations, is that really the case considering the masses of eateries that are dominant from one community, not to mention the yummy mummy business's of neighbouring Stoke Newington ?

I detect a sense of sarcasm with the term "grandly titled CEO" do you not think the Emmanual Amevor is not worthy of this ? Why ?

It is of course your choice not to sign the online petition, however to think that Hackney Council tax payer's are subsidising something that is not worthwhile to the people of Hackney, London, the rest of the country and the world over you are thoroughly mistaken. You never know your children may depend on it someday.

Long Live Centerprise!


Paul, I am rather surprised you have so little to say about the Olympics.

I thought it was wonderful.

So many memories, but the enduring image is the smile on the face of Mo Farah, a black muslim who grew up in my part of London.

Shame he's an Arsenal fan, maybe that's what puts you off.

james walsh

My enduring image of the 'Olympics' is seeing John Lydon at the Winer Gardens in Blackpool- funnily also an Arsenal fan- and as he says what have those bankers and lick spittles of the modern British London state done to London- they've wrecked it!

Dr Paul Stott

I suspect the tempers of both Olivia and Internationalist have been rather tested by Robin Van Persie leaving Arsenal for a bigger club, still I won't dwell on your grief.

Internationalist - Plenty from me on Twitter about the Olympics, including Mo Farah.

Olivia - One of the DVDs I picked up at Centerprise is entitled 'The Illegitimacy of a People Called The Jews' by Dr Ray Hagins. It comes complete with a drawing of a stereotypical Jew on the cover, with top hat and crown on the floor beside him. Once to get such literature you had to go to groups like the National Front or British Movement. In recent years I have built up a fair collection of these items - bought in either Muslim Malaysia, or black bookshops and stalls in Norwich and London.

If people want to read such shit its up to them - I don't believe in banning it. What is NOT acceptable, ever, is the authorities promoting or assisting such garbage. Charging Centerprise £10 per week in rent is doing just that. It needs to stop. And if that means Centerprise going out of business - tough.


As a lifelong Yid I couldn't give a flying fuck about van Persie leaving the Arse. Though I was amused at how ineffective he was last night.

I think if Spurs had been selling Daniel Levy would have squeezed more money out of Man U. He certainly held out for a pretty good deal on Luca Modric.

As for stereotypical Jews in a broader context, you'd have a stronger case if you didn't promote the stereotypical Jewish tribalists over at Harrys Place.

I am not familiar with Dr Ray Hagins so I cannot judge. Thankfully, people are less and less inclined to be intimidated about accusations of antisemitism. Just as you feel free to vent your anti-islamic prejudices, people should feel free to question the degree of influence that organized Jewry has over our political leaders. For example, is it "anti-semitic" to point out that 80% of Tory MPs are members of "Conservative Friends of Israel"?

I haven't been in Centerprise for many years but I don't think there is much of a future for radical bookshops if the authorities force them to pay "commercial" rents.

Yakoub Islam

I'd like to thank Centerprise for publishing Maurice Beckman's wonderful anti-fascist history: "The 43 Group: Untold Story of Their Fight Against Fascism". I was a volunteer at Centerprise many many years ago, when Maurice's book had just been edited/published by Centerprise, and I had the genuine honour of meeting him. The 43 Group, of which Maurice was an active member, were crucial in seeing of London's post-war fascists, and if nothing else, Centerprise deserve thanks for ensuring Beckman's gripping account became required reading for any self-respecting British anti-fascist.


Beckman fought anti-semities in Hackney - his book is inspirational.

Perhaps the current occupants of Centerprise should give it a read - if they can find a copy. I think it's out of print.


A Hackney Autobiography: Remembering Centerprise- 24 January 2014, London.

When: 24 January 2015, 2 – 5 pm. Where: Bishopsgate Institute, 230
Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4QH. Venue is wheelchair accessible. What: Free
public event for all those who remember Centerprise. Bring photographs,
publications, documents from the time and your memories. Refreshments
provided. RSVP to On the Record.

Read more of this post:

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Apologies - Above notification date(s) error... Throughout should be: 24th January 2015, 2pm – 5 pm.

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