The Red Lion, Great Windmill Street, Soho is closing. Tonight. Forever. They're turning it into offices. Now I've been compering comedy in the upstairs room there for about three years on and off and there's been comedy in that room for more than five years. More importantly it's the room in which Karl Marx was commissioned to write and wrote the first draft of the Communist Manifesto. That's a pretty major occurrence in modern history. Without it things might have been very different indeed.
Now National Heritage-type issues are really not my bag. I'm all in favour of them but I just don't consider them "my" causes. I do womens issues and secularism (although Marx had some very interseting points to make on both). Still I am utterly furious that it's being closed down without so much as a wimper. I only found out myself a few days ago. I called English Heritage and they told me it's not grade 2 starred listed - only grade two, so it's nothing to do with them, I have to speak to Westminster Council. The latter hasn't answered it's phone or returned my call since. We're having one last comedy night there tonight. Aaron Barshack (the comedy terrorist guy) is coming along and has contact a few other people of the activist type to see if there is any interest in making a fuss.
Karl Marx is audibly turning in his grave.