1) EMERGENCY PROTEST ON THE IRAQ WAR
TUESDAY 31 OCTOBER ASSEMBLE 5PM-7PM
PARLIAMENT SQUARE, LONDON SW1
(Nearest tube: Westminster)
On Tuesday 31 October, Parliament will debate and vote on the Iraq war for
the first time since March 18 2003. Alex Salmond, one of the MPs who
initiated the debate, says: "This is the first time since the invasion of
Iraq that the government can be held to account over this illegal and
STOP THE WAR COALITION has called an emergency protest in front of
Parliament when the debate takes place between 5pm and 7pm. MPs must end a
war which has brought nothing but mass slaughter and devastation to the
people of Iraq. There is no excuse. It's what the majority of British people want. It's what even the head of the British armed forces, General
Sir Richard Dannatt, wants.
2) Feminists protest against the Tories!
On Saturday 21 October, the Feminist Fightback conference at the School
of Oriental and African Studies in London attracted over 230 people. On
Tuesday 31 October, activists involved with Fightback will be protesting
outside the Conservatives' "Shoes, shopping and politics" event to make
clear that rich women discussing shoes and how to become Tory MPs is not
our idea of women's liberation!
Come and join us!
Meet 5.45pm at Covent Garden Tube station. We will be protesting outside
the LK Bennett store at which the event takes place at 43 King Street,
Covent Garden, WC2E 8JY from 6.30pm. See below for the statement we will be
:( I'm unable to make either as i'm at work and then have to do a Haloween Party for the kids.
Hope they both go well
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
1) EMERGENCY PROTEST ON THE IRAQ WAR
Sunday, October 29, 2006
While I was at the students’ demonstration for free education today I had the doubtful good fortune to pick up a copy of Workers – magazine of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (not to be confused with other similarly named organisations…).
This carried a bizarre article claiming to be a “working-class” perspective on immigration (I can’t post a direct link but if you click on “features” on the main CPBML website you’ll find it dated October). This argued for strict restrictions on immigration (in order to protect British workers from competition) and was based on the odd view that “we” as a “sovereign nation” should control our borders (leaving the European Union in order to do so…)
It’s difficult to judge articles in a magazine where everything is written anonymously (is it because all the authors have full time jobs in the movement and can’t be identified?) However the suggestion that our priority as a trade union and labour movement should be to organise on a national basis in order to protect the interests of that section of the international working class who happen to live at one point in time within particular national boundaries seems strangely anachronistic.
We do have a slowly gathering consensus across the movement in favour of UNISON’s policy for an amnesty for illegal migrants, which better reflects the interests of our class, which does not exist within particular national boundaries. However, we may not have done enough to win the arguments for this policy with our own members, so it is quite helpful to have someone publish the contrary point of view so that we can think a bit more about how to do that. Thank you anonymous “comrade” whoever you are…
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/29/2006 09:53:00 p.m.
Just read this over @
and WTF? this is a disgrace if true and to me it just rings true it has a lot of detail in it, which is bloody scary!
What is Simpson up to, surely he realises that 1) he's campaign wouldn't work Meacher is just not credible and 2) he could end up ruining any chance we on the left have of a decent contest!
I must say that I thought Simpson was completly on the right (left) side of the fence and at this level surely you put any personal feelings aside and go for the best option the left has?
Posted by marshajane at 10/29/2006 05:56:00 p.m.
It's ok its not on politics!
it's about Alan Shearer
TB said "We'd all love to have been players and this guy was the best.
"It's a tremendous honour for me to come along and participate in what is an act of generosity from a man who is remarkable. "
"The pressures and the rewards of being at the top of football are tremendous, but not everyone puts something back in. But he has."
Good causes to benefit from the striker's generosity include hospitals, boys clubs and cancer research projects.
And just for my benefit heres some pictures..........(and yes I know how badly Newcastle are playing at the minute)
Posted by marshajane at 10/29/2006 09:50:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
From the Guardian
I may be a bit late with this as have been offline all day :)
But the Beast is backing Benn?? Perhaps he should have a look here and here!
Not my ideal candidate - the only one i'd consider voting for at the minute would be Cruddas - and that would be with both hands forcing the x in the box!!
But at least it looks like its gonna be a very good race for deputy!
(rather than the landslide victory of John McDonnell!!)
Posted by marshajane at 10/28/2006 08:50:00 p.m.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Sad news indeed Cllr Kris Brown has left the blogosphere!
It seems there were so many abusive comments on his blog that him and his local labour group took the decision not too blog anymore....
Kris asked me to say goodbye from him to the blogging community.
Ciao then Kris, :)
Posted by marshajane at 10/27/2006 07:47:00 p.m.
I'm not going to be able to make it on Sunday for the NUS Demo in London I hope theres a great turnout though and for all those that will b e there look out for the new John4Leader leaflets that will be handed out on the day. For more info see admissionimpossible/
Posted by marshajane at 10/27/2006 10:57:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
From Sky News
Support for Labour has dropped to its lowest level for almost 20 years, according to an opinion poll. The ICM poll for Wednesday's edition of The Guardian puts Labour on 29%, 10 points behind the Tories on 39%, with the Liberal Democrats on 22%. Labour's support equals a previous record low for the party in an ICM/Guardian poll recorded in May 1987.
That poll came just a month before Margaret Thatcher secured her third general election victory.
The findings will cause alarm among Labour MPs after the turmoil of the summer.
They are likely to lead to fresh questions within the party as to how long Tony Blair can carry on in No 10.
Mr Blair has said he will step down before the next general election, but some in the party are becoming increasingly impatient for him to go.
The latest poll is likely to provide fresh ammunition for those who believe they need a new leader in place in time for crucial elections in May for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and English councils.
The poll also found dissatisfaction with the Government's handling of the National Health Service.
Almost three out of four people questioned - 72% - thought that "a lot" of money invested in the NHS since 1997 has been used badly.
Only 25% of voters said the NHS had improved since Labour came to power, 30% thought it had got worse while 39% thought Labour had made little difference.
I wonder which Leadership contender could reverse this trend and who is actively campaigning to stop the cuts in the NHS?
Posted by marshajane at 10/25/2006 08:26:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The crisis within the National Health Service could cost the Labour Party the next election, the General Secretary of UNISONhas said.
Dave Prentis, speaking on , GMTV warned that the Government could not "deal with hard news now" so that it would be forgotten before it seeks re-election for a fourth term.
Mr Prentis claimed over 20,000 jobs in the NHS would go "in the next year" and said public demonstrations against the cuts and hospital closures would grow.
He said: "Those demonstrations will grow. There will be lobbies of Parliament. It will work its way all through next year.
"If the Government believes we can deal with hard news now, three years away from the election and by the time we have done it, it will be forgotten about, I am telling you it will not. It really will be remembered."
He added that, although Unison wanted Labour to win the election and a fourth term, he thought the NHS reforms "could cost them the election".
Mr Prentis claimed that the Prime Minister had been "badly briefed" because 20,000 jobs would go in the health service over the next year with no assessment as to their effect on patient care.
Compulsory redundancies were happening and in "reasonable numbers", he continued.
"What is different is that now financial control is more important than patient care. We are trying to deal with historic debt that has been built up in 20, 30 years in one year and pulling it all back in one year and it simply cannot be done."
The Government would face more strike action from Unison members if it used the "same old Tory idea of hiring out based on cheapness", he said
So what better time than now to back someone who is for Public Services not Private Profit
as our next Labour Leader?
Come on Dave........
........ you no it makes sense
Posted by marshajane at 10/22/2006 08:47:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I hope that some of these observations will be published this week in the excellent Labour Left Briefing. Given New Labour's continuing obsession with privatisation public service trade unions need to consider how best to fight to keep our public services public (and what to do if we fail).
UNISON members at NHS Logistics who took two days of strike action against the sell off of their essential, award-winning service to DHL deserve the gratitude of all socialists and trade unionists. There can be little doubt but that their strike action – during the week of Labour Party Conference – helped us to victory at Conference over the Government on the vital question of their policy on the health service.
At the post-Conference meeting of the UNISON National Executive Council the strike was rightly applauded. The principled determination of the strikers was, and remains an inspiration. There can also be little doubt that, even though the strike action came too late to prevent privatisation, the experience of the dispute will have helped to build up the effective union organisation which is key to surviving privatisation and working to return in-house.
Another, smaller and less well publicised but also significant dispute involving UNISON members underlines this last lesson. 250 low paid ancillary workers at Whipps’ Cross hospital in East London were forced to strike against a new private employer (Initial) who were refusing to honour the terms of a settlement of an earlier dispute following which the privatised workers had been promised conditions equivalent to those of workers still within the NHS.
The Whipps’ Cross strikers have recently concluded a successful settlement of their dispute – this was doubtless based upon the strength of their local organisation, which can be traced back to strike action taken against the initial privatisation almost ten years ago. The Whipps’ Cross strikers also deserve our congratulation.
The NHS Logistics strike was not only a protest strike designed to hit the Government for maximum political effect, it was also a sensible and pragmatic response to the need to sustain union organisation following privatisation.
It is nevertheless a shame that it was not possible to organise the strike action at an earlier stage, when the workers were first calling for it. It would be a mistake to think that privatisation cannot be prevented by striking early.
Late last year the Government announced plans to privatise the NHS Pensions Authority, the organisation which administers the pensions of health service staff. Organised by their union, PCS, the staff took a successful day of strike action on 20 January this year. Fighting without noticeable support from other unions, PCS fended off this privatisation which the Government has now put off. The threat may not have gone away but it has been defeated for now.
If we in UNISON want our members at NHS Logistics to be the last to be privatised out of the NHS then we clearly have some lessons to learn from our brothers and sisters in PCS whose members administering NHS pensions are still working in the public sector. Unfortunately, UNISON seems to be wedded at present to the view that privatisation must be fought sector by sector by sector and not through a unified cross-union campaign through which we could best learn from other unions’ victories.
A campaign about quality public services is not enough, particularly not when it is used as an excuse for our Union not to support proposals for action – leading to the fudged TUC position reflected in Composite 8 this year (available here) to debate proposals for the organisation of a national demonstration and campaign day to promote public services and to oppose the policies of contestability and privatisation, at the earliest possible date after Congress – rather than simply to get on and organise some action.
New Labour's ideological obsession with privatisation informs their policies for our public services across the board - and this demands an across the board response from the union movement.
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/21/2006 09:30:00 p.m.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Clare Short has resigned as a Labour MP and will sit as an independent for the remainder of this parliament.
The ex-Cabinet minister has already said she will quit as an MP at the next general election.
In a letter to Labour's chief whip she accuses Tony Blair of "half-truths and deceits to get us to war in Iraq".
Earlier this month the Birmingham Ladywood MP was formally reprimanded by Labour for saying she would campaign for a hung parliament.
Labour Chief Whip Jacqui Smith said she had breached the Parliamentary Labour Party's code of conduct.
I am sorry it has come to this
In full: Resignation letter
I am sorry it has come to this, but after a lifetime of service to the Labour Party and twenty-three years in the House of Commons I think I am entitled to discuss what has gone wrong with the Government and our political system in my remaining years as an MP.
It is my view that our political system is in trouble and that the exaggerated majorities in the House of Commons have led to an abject parliament and a concentration of power in Number 10 that has produced arrogant, error prone government.
Given that the next election might well produce a hung parliament, I want to be free to argue that this creates a valuable opportunity to reform our voting system so that the House of Commons more accurately reflects public opinion and we have a parliament more able to hold the Government to account and to ensure that policy is well considered.
As you know I am critical of many other aspects of Government policy.
The previous Chief Whip tried to use her authority to stop me discussing the fact that the Prime Minister engaged in a series of half-truths and deceits to get us to war in Iraq. You focus on my views on electoral reform.
The consequence is a string of rebukes, usually through the media. In the circumstances I think the best way to ensure that I can put forward my views for my remaining time in parliament is for me to resign the Whip.
I will therefore sit in the House of Commons as an independent Labour MP.
I remain proud of the history of the Labour Party and a convinced Social Democrat.
Hmm was she that upset that they didn't expel her and make her a Martyr,
Where next for CS??
Posted by marshajane at 10/20/2006 01:24:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
So do we support John Cruddas or not? Much has been made about Cruddas's work with searchlight and UAF in Barking and Dagenham. I personally think that he has moved leftwards and gone to the lengths he has gone to becuase he has been forced into it with the rise of the far right in Barking and Dagenham.
However that doesn't detract from the good work he has done.
Jon Cruddas has launched his campaign and his website has now gone live and it sounds leftish
There has been much debate around the blogosphere about whether or not to support him mainly here
-But his voting record speaks for itself from TW4U
Moderately for introducing ID cards.
Very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals.
Moderately against introducing student top-up fees.
Quite strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Very strongly for the Iraq war
Can we on the left "forgive" as some are asking us the fact that he voted for the war and accept JC as our left candidate or should we be holding out for one of the 139 MP's who voted against the war?
What happens if none of them stand and we are left with JC as the left candidate - how do we ensure he doesn't move back to the right as soon as he's elected (If he wins?)
Harry Perkins also makes an issue of the fact that he is anti-abortion.
So not a credible candidate - but in the absence of another candidate he surely has to get our Vote, it will be seen as the left vote by most of the PLP anyway so shouldnt we be trying to make sure thats a big a vote as possible? (I'm glad we dont have this dilemma with the leadership vote www.john4leader.org )
I'm sure the big 4 UNIONS will support JC, he'll be seen as the soft left option and they can pretend their leftward leaning whilst all the time secretly (or not so secretly) backing Brown.
Posted by marshajane at 10/19/2006 10:05:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sitting in the Red Lion Pub last night with Jon and who was to walk in but none other than my good friend Kris, he'd been to a londonyounglabour meetingwith Sham. Who he then rang to join us in the pub. Much to Kris's dissapointment there was no fireworks when myself and Jon met the blairite one himself but he actually said he's been looking at archive footage of john McDonnell and nothing he says is actually that mad. Praise indeed form the self confessed Blairite :)
Much effort was put into getting the delectable one on the phone to see if he was around - but he didnt answer Kris's phone calls - problems with the discipleship at this early stage.
A few very surreal moments of the night were Sham, Kris and Jon bursting into song of There's only one Hamer Shawcross
every time a slightly older guy walked past and Kris asking a random guy if he was Hamer Shawcross only to be asked in return no but have you got any Coke (With Jon then launching into "No we only drink Pepsi" which was very funny).
And then when I said I was leaving Kris didnt let me go until I'd run this gauntlet of Compassites he wanted to "introduce me 2" they were all in a line in the pub and I was ushered down it! It was very funny to be introduced as Marsha and get lots of "Aha. You're Union futures" comments. :) At least the blog's well known :)
Lots of talk about that conversation and who Hamer and Harry Perkins are!
It is good all these characters coming out.
Much fun was had by all!!! and I'm looking forward to meeting more bloggers soon :)
Good to see Ben again and congrats for getting elected as London Young Labour TULO rep, Congrats to Kris to who is now Treasurer.
Posted by marshajane at 10/17/2006 07:15:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
On the back of Comrade Mike making it into the world of Blogs, Geoff Martin of Health Emergency fame has also got a new blog.
A welcome addition to the blogosphere someone with decent politics and who campaigns to save the NHS, (oh and who supports John McDonnell for Leader) rather than the careerist and Brownite bloggers we're used to.
Posted by marshajane at 10/14/2006 09:34:00 p.m.
Friday, October 13, 2006
John McDonnell MP poses this important question.
With Sir Richard Dannatt, the army's chief of staff, calling for a withdrawal "soon" or risk serious consequences for Iraqi, why aren't our elected representatives calling for an immediate exit strategy to be brought forward by the government?
Of course I have some sympathy for Jon Rogers view in that I don't like to see paid officials trying to dictate policy to elected representatives, but the more voices that call for an immediate withdrawal the better. (I hope your not sneering at people again Jon)
John McDonnell goes onto say "Nobody however, neither Blair nor Brown, is coming forward with anything new.Instead we face the prospect of a lingering, directionless presence in a country which is obviously sinking into civil war with all the consequent loss of life and threat to our troops.We need clear and firm leadership on this question now."
Thank goodness we have a Leadership contender like John who is willing to speak out on this issue rather than the silence from our current elected leaders.
Posted by marshajane at 10/13/2006 10:09:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Following my earlier post here commenting on the different recruitment experience of PCS and UNISON in recent years I thought I ought to be a bit more thorough, so I have looked at the following information on the membership of large unions in recent years. These figures show the percentage increase or decrease between 1999/2000 and 20004/05;
Notes (1) AMICUS in 2004/05 = AEEU+MSF+GPMU+UNIFI in 1999/2000
The source for these figures are the Annual Reports of the Certification Officer for 2000/01 and 2005/06
The total for all unions, based on this source, in 2004/05 was 7,473,000 compared to 7,897,519 in 1999/2000 (a fall of just over 5%). (By contrast, figures published by the DTI based upon the Labour Force Survey show a reduction of 3.5% in union membership from 6,924,000 in autumn 2000 to 6,677,000 in autumn 2005, while TUC membership fell from 6,745,907at the 2000 Congress to 6,452,267 at the 2005 Congress – a fall of 4.5%).
So what does all this show? Well what is striking is the decline in membership of unions based in the private sector in general and manufacturing in particular. This mirrors the decline in jobs in manufacturing in recent years. This is in marked contrast to impressive membership growth amongst some of the predominantly public sector unions. This, of course mirrors the increase in public service employment over this period. (USDAW a private sector – but not manufacturing – union is growing though).
Those organisations with a clear occupational identity, such as the teaching unions and the large professional associations in health appear to have a marked advantage in recruitment. My earlier comparison of the recent experience of UNISON and PCS does still seem noteworthy though. UNISON’s recruitment record is not impressive given the increase in jobs in public services over this period.
There are a number of questions raised by these figures (which important mergers have I missed or forgotten to take into account? To what extent are the differences due to changes in employment in different sectors and industries and to what extent can unions own actions influence their recruitment record? What do the large general unions do about the fact that workers seem more likely to join unions which have a clear occupational identity?)
Maybe I’ll go and look for some answers… Or maybe someone else has some?
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/11/2006 09:31:00 p.m.
Good luck to 2,500 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union, PCS, taking strike action this Friday against the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).
Over 74% voted in favour of strike action. The strike to be followed by a discontinuous work to rule comes as IPS management fail to deliver on the union's pay claim despite giving an undertaking when it was submitted in June to deal the claim for 2006- 2007 as quickly as possible. The settlement date for this year's pay was August and with no pay offer in the foreseeable future, staff fear a repeat of last year when management dragged out the pay settlement for over a year.
PCS are facing an onslaught upon the civil service as the recent Guardian supplement made clear. In spite of facing massive job cuts, PCS has grown from 272,735 members in 2001 to nearly 325,000 now. This suggests that a combative approach to a hostile Government is the way to strengthen and develop a public service union. PCS have not allowed the threat of cuts to sidetrack them from fighting over pay, and it is clear that this approach helps the union to recruit and grow.
If UNISON were recruiting at a similar rate as PCS it would have added almost a quarter of a million members since 2001. The major surges in UNISON membership growth have been around the 2002 pay dispute in local government and the recent and current dispute about the Local Government Pension Scheme. The evidence is there to suggest that fighting unions are flourishing unions.
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/11/2006 04:57:00 p.m.
No it's not a personal ad :)
its the Jane Austen quiz which has been floating about the blogosphere I am....
.... Eliza Bennett from Pride and Prejudice! Yay, you! Perhaps the brightest and best character in all of English literature, you are intelligent, lively, lovely-- in short, you are the best of company. Your only foibles are that you stick with your first impressions... and your family is quite intolerable.Take this quiz!
Posted by marshajane at 10/11/2006 09:33:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
John McDonnell’s leadership bid is beginning to emerge from the media blackout imposed in recent weeks. The BBC’s report today about protests against Government health policy quote John’s views as a leadership contender.
Michael White, writing in the Guardian on 28 September reported that John had 41 of the 44 MPs he needs to appear on the ballot paper. John’s campaign has received a further boost this weekend with confirmation of the support of the influential AMICUS Unity Gazette – the key organisation within AMICUS which brings together activists and officials committed to union democracy.
Activists in other unions need to ensure that we are building support for John’s challenge wherever we can – through official union channels where possible, and through rank and file organisations too!
Posted by marshajane at 10/08/2006 01:49:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
John McDonnell MP has posted about a wave of Islamophobia from leading politicians in all parties.
We as the labour movement need to move fast to combat these attacks from the media and politicians - already there has been racist attacks with a Muslim women having her veil ripped off and the BNP in Barking and Dagenham putting out leaflets which attack all muslims and demanding that they are kept out of Britain.
Posted by marshajane at 10/07/2006 10:13:00 a.m.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The Labour Party is to
ditchits annual spring conference next year in favour of a series of smaller "seminars and consultations" across the UK.
Party bosses said shelving the 2007 party meeting in Glasgow would help to involve more people in policy-making and was not designed to save money.
Blogs and podcasts would be used to broaden "online engagement" with the new "interactive party", they said.
Although I'm pleased that they are taking into account the use of blogs and pod casts and I do believe that we should be using the blogosphere to engage with members - this should be as well as not instead of conferences I cant help but feel this is more about the amount of debt we are in than involving greater numbers of party supporters and members.
It goes onto say
Labour's National Executive Committee said it had decided to take politics "out to the country".
Funny I cant remember seeing it in any of the reports from Labours NEC??
For up to date NEC reports try this link to Ann Black
Posted by marshajane at 10/05/2006 07:29:00 p.m.
I tried a little while ago to interest folk in a discussion about union democracy. I won’t give up on this. In the mean time, I have been reading an interesting article from the British Journal of Industrial Relations about how paid union officials are managed and spend their time. (I cannot easily post a link to the article but it is available free at that link if you scroll down to the article on Union Workers, Union Work: A Profile of Paid Union Officers in the United Kingdom by Edmund Heery and click there.)
This does suggest that during the last decade or so, unions have been successful in shifting the work of our officials in the direction of our organising priorities, although this has mostly been amongst newer, younger officials.
The 4,000 or so paid union officers continue to exercise wide discretion in all the main components of their job. The main thrust of union management, moreover, is developmental: appraisal to identify training needs is twice as common as that to rate performance. Unions continue to relate to the officer workforce as committed professionals performing high discretion work (which of course they are).
The survey data reported in the article (from 2002) shows that a very large majority of paid union officials are male and that almost all are white. Only 2% are aged 30 or under (although this reflects the fact that most officials serve considerable time as a lay activist before being recruited as a paid official). If “like recruits like” we have some way to go. Some of our officials are trying to get there however.
Heery finds that; “There is a minority of officers who attach priority to recruiting previously unorganized workers beyond established job territories, who have made frequent use of the new recognition laws and who have launched three or more recognition cases. As with equality bargaining, the pattern suggests that union work has changed to reflect new challenges, but that this has occurred to a variable degree. There is a vanguard, an active minority of officers who have engaged in equality bargaining and attempts at expansion to a degree not shared by their peers.”
The article argues that unions have to focus on providing training and encouragement if we want to change the practice of our paid officials in the direction of an organising approach. Heery concludes that “Union revitalization is likely to flow from the renewal of the officer workforce and the lowering of ages of entry into the occupation” and that “officer training and advisory support emerge as critical and it seems that a developmental approach to union management is most effective in fostering innovative behaviour, probably because it matches the high-discretion, professional
role that union officers occupy.”
In other words trade unions should be recruiting enthusiastic young activists as paid officials and providing the training and advice needed to revitalise our labour movement. For those of us who believe in the election of union officials this poses an interesting question about who should be elected, and who should be appointed, since new young activists are unlikely to win elections (yet that is not an argument for continuing to appoint – rather than elect - the most senior and powerful union officials!)
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/05/2006 05:05:00 p.m.
So Dave “Web”Cameron says the NHS is safe in his hands… I remember the last Tory Prime Minister who said that.
From a trade union point of view it is worth noting that the key points from his speech to the Tory Party Conference don’t touch on the world of work at all.
Those with a strong stomach who want to read his speech in full can search in vain for the phrase “trade union” – if you look for “union” you find just one reference (under foreign policy) to how he “became involved in politics in the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviet Union.” Such a simplistic pro-US analysis is at least as bad as the worst of New Labour and reveals the deeply reactionary roots of Cameron’s right wing politics.
If you search his speech for the word “work” the only relevant reference you find is the single phrase “flexible working” – just like Blair this is a phrase not a sentence so no dangerous verb commits the speaker to any particular action. The Tories have nothing to say to working people about our working lives.
This silence about the interests of workers does not signal any sort of benign indifference when the Tories get in. The experience of local government workers is very clear – Tory administrations attack trade unions. That’s why trade unionists need to get involved in shifting Labour from the failing policies of today and in the direction of the future.
Posted by Jon Rogers at 10/05/2006 07:31:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I was lucky to hear some very good speakers at a Public Meeting called by UNISON in Islington last night.
The meeting was well attended and highlighted the various privatisation going on in the borough including care uk who have just been given a million pound to buy our members out of their current contracts so that they can advertise the same job for lower wages and poorer terms and conditions!
Two of my favourite speakers Jon and John
Spoke about privitisation in general and the need for someone to offer some alternative labour policies - a welcome change from the Blair/Brown obsession with privitisation.
I was very pleased by the levels of support for the John4leader campaign - although there has been a media blackout the growing number of supporters we have is amazing with people coming from Middlesex just to hear John speak and show support for the campaign.
Though I was very angry to hear John say that UNISON will no longer have a constituency development plan with him and his constituents this without any reason or consultation with the UNISON members that he represents - and he represents them very well! We have these CDP's with 12 others in London and this is the only one that hasn't been renewed!
Def something I will be bringing up at our Regional Committee next Tuesday.
I also managed to sell some of our lovely John4leader T shirts and badges :) which is great the more people out wearing them the better - so if anyones interested drop me an email. Bulk orders welcomed :)
Posted by marshajane at 10/04/2006 09:02:00 a.m.