Red Pepper (magazine)

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Red Pepper
Oct/Nov 2009 issue of Red Pepper
Co-Editors Hilary Wainwright, James O’Nions, Michael Calderbank
Categories political left
Frequency bi-monthly
Circulation 7,000[1]
First issue 1995
Country United Kingdom
Based in London
Language English
ISSN 1353-7024

Red Pepper is an independent ‘red, green and radical’ magazine based in the UK.[1][2][3] For most of its history it appeared monthly, but relaunched as a bi-monthly during 2007.


Red Pepper was founded by the Socialist Movement – an independent left-wing grouping that grew out of a series of large conferences held in Chesterfield in 1987 and 1988 after the defeat of Britain’s miners’ strike of the mid-1980s. The Socialist Movement set up a campaigning, fortnightly newspaper called Socialist[1] in autumn 1991. It lasted through September 1992.[4][5]

Supporters of The Socialist were convinced that there was a demand for a regular green-left publication, published independently of any political party. After a fundraising drive, which raised an initial £135,000, Red Pepper launched as a monthly in May 1995.[6]

Its first editor was Denise Searle, who had also edited Socialist.[4] But for most of its history, it has been edited by socialist and feminist Hilary Wainwright[1] best known as the co-author of Beyond the Fragments. Since July 2009, she has been co-editor alongside James O'Nions and Michael Calderbank, with Emma Hughes and Sarah-Jayne Clifton joining the editorial team in 2010. Prominent journalists involved with the publication at some point include Nick Cohen, Gary Younge[7] and Barbara Gunnell.

The magazine's reported circulation in November 1995 was 13,000.[8] In 2004, it was reportedly 7,000.[1]


Red Pepper’s editorial charter commits it to ‘Internationalism; sustainable, socially useful production; welfare not warfare; and self-determination and democracy.’

This charter claims it as: "a magazine of political rebellion and dissent. Influenced by socialism, feminism and green politics, it is a resource for all those who imagine and work to create another world – a world based on equality, solidarity, and democracy".

The magazine is unusual for the UK left, insofar as it is independent of any political party. Red Pepper has also collaborated in 'Eurotopia', a network of left and progressive European magazines which publishes a multilingual supplement. The magazine sees itself as closely aligned with the global justice movement and has taken part in the organising for the European Social Forum[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "If circulation is low, have a row", The Independent, Nov. 7, 2004. Retrieved on Nov. 4, 2009. 
  2. Independent News Collective
  3. O'farrell, John. "Keep to the Left - for that feel-bad factor", The Independent, June 15, 1999. Retrieved on Nov. 4, 2009. ("This month sees the fifth birthday of Red Pepper, the radical red and green magazine that has defied all predictions by surviving in a market...)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Talk of the Trade: On your Marx", The Independent, May. 4, 1994. Retrieved on Nov. 4, 2009. 
  5. "Free radical", The Guardian, June 28, 2004. Retrieved on Nov. 5, 2009. 
  6. Red Pepper magazine history page
  7. See for instance 'What Obama means to the world' by Gary Younge in Red Pepper
  8. Nick Cohen. "While Labour blooms, radical journalism withers", The Independent, Nov. 12, 2005. Retrieved on Nov. 4, 2009. 
  9. IPS news story on the European Social Forum

External links

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