Investigations, campaigns and reportage

Military conflict in Ukraine 

You can not fight the far right by giving a platform to their friends. 25 July 2019.

Stop calling warmongers “anti-war activists”. An open letter to members of the Stop the War coalition. October 2016.

War in Ukraine and the trade unions. A talk I gave at the Book branch of the NUJ in September 2014.

The Gongadze investigation

Investigation into the death of the Ukrainian journalist Gyorgy Gongadze. I authored or co-authored four reports on the case, published by the International Federation of Journalists and other NGOs. Downloadable here:  no. 1, no. 2, no. 3 and no. 4.

Ukraine in the 1990s

Fighting Back in Ukraine: a worker who took on the bureaucrats and bosses, a pamphlet I published in 1997 together with Oleg Dubrovskii, a factory worker and militant activist based in Dnepropetrovsk, is now available on the libcom site here. The pamphlet is mainly an extended interview with Oleg about his activism, from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Felix Pirani (my dad)

My dad Felix, who died on 31 December 2015 aged 87, was a mathematician (a specialist in relativity theory) and a passionate believer in social justice. Here’s an obituary in the Independent, one in the Guardian and one in the Telegraph.

Here is an article from the American Physical Society journal (11 February 2016) describing the discovery of gravitational waves, and my dad’s contribution to the science that paved the way for it.

Here is a copy of an interview he gave to the New Scientist on 11 February 1971, Activism With Feeling.


Don’t censor Nigel Kennedy. A letter to the BBC, 20 August 2013.

The oil industry, workers, ecology

Zhanaozen: extractivism, state and civil society. Presentation at the Connecting Central Asia in the 21st Century conference, St Antony’s College, Oxford, 25 April 2019

“Cracking the new Atlantic triangle”, Variant magazine, Spring 2007. Downloadable here

“Better to leave the oil in the ground” – Emerging Markets, 18 September 2006

Shell in Nigeria – oil and gas reserves crisis and political risks: shared concerns for investors and producer-communities. A briefing to Shell shareholders, June 2004. Read about it, and download it here.

Behind the mask of corporate social responsibility: Shell in Nigeria – Christian Aid report, January 2004. I contributed the case study on Shell in Nigeria to this report. Downloadable here.

The UK miners’ strike

In November 2018 I made a submission to the Independent Review of Policing During the Miners’ Strike, carried out by the Scottish government. It summarised material in Polmaise: The Fight For A Pit by John McCormack (for which I was the “ghost writer”), and I have put it on line here. The Inquiry (information here) is due to produce a preliminary report to the Scottish government by January 2019 and a final report by June 2019.

Polmaise: The Fight For A Pit, by John McCormack, was republished on line here in March 2015. John was the pit delegate at Polmaise, whose miners played a leading role in the fight against mine closures in Scotland from 1982, which fed into the national strike of 1984-85. I “ghost wrote” the book, first published in 1989.

Reviews, comments and reportage

I turned down a date with gorgeous George. February 2017

Obituary of Ngo Van, Vietnamese revolutionary (written with Hilary Horrocks) – Revolutionary History web site, January 2005

Russian workers find their voice again – Labour News Network, March 2000

Unsung genius among great modern Russian novelists: Vasili Grossman – The Jewish Chronicle, 17 February 2000

Red Snapper Swam Against the Tide. The story of Evgenii Khaldei – The Journalist, January 1999

Some other bits and pieces 

Women in the driving seat in Russian journalism – The Journalist, March 2006

Wolfowitz angers France with rankings – ­ Emerging Markets, 22 September 2005

Commodity banks relish Chinese domestic market ­ – Metal Bulletin, 16 November 2004

Now or never for big metals projects – Project Finance magazine, October 2004

The Trotskyist movement in the 1970-80s, and related issues

The radical left’s #metoo moment – all thirty-plus years of it (April 2018)

Weinstein and Healy. Letter in Red Pepper magazine, April-May 2018

The break up of the WRP – from the horse’s mouth (January 2013)

Healy was not “framed”: he was a serial sexual and emotional abuser (letter to Walkley’s magazine)

Vietnam and Trotskyism. A series of articles published in Workers Press, a Trotskyist newspaper, in 1987, later republished as a pamphlet by Australian Trotskyists, and now available on the web site.

Facts About G. Healy and his Followers (facsimile of leaflet published in 1986)

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