nick venedi

Thursday, 31 December 2009

The end of 2009

Another year nearly gone. 2009 was eventful in many ways, there were good and bad events and developments, but then again that is how it always has been. The hope, as always, is that the new year will be a better one for everyone and the most important thing for me is that hope is in the air (with her legs up the air! bad joke I know...)

Wishing the thousands of you who do and don't read this blog a Happy New Year. There is optimism in the air. How do I know that? I am a firm believer that if you say something many times it will happen, so go and do it!

My NY resolutions are: Remain a free thinker, defend the underdog, reject dogma, keep a balance between the need to be nice and the necessity to make things happen by managing real situations, spend more time with my teacher partner (lots more) resist shallowness, finish my second novel, remain gorgeous, stay humble, be critical of those who deserve criticism and remain focused on pure Trade Union principles.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sarah Brown

I will not be exaturating I think if I said that one of Labours most valuable assets is Sarah Brown. She is a major hit with the trend setters and appeals to voters of a liberal mind. In addition she has the makings of an inspirational role model for some and could attract votes from Middle England and of course Middle England where Brigadier Trolley, his wife Porcia and daugther Lucricia Fairbottom live are important if Labour is to win the next election. And I am not publicly saying that I am promoting Labour (apparently I am in a politically restricted post so can't publicly encourage anyone to vote for anything??) So bearing that in mind it would appear that Sarah Brown, who fascinates me, is a vote winner. And lets face it Gordon Brown's accounting background makes him more trustworthy than David plum in my bloody mouth Cameron. I hope the country makes the right choice when the election comes up.
And Happy Birthday to my comrade Jon of the Rogers who works so hard for the Branch and has done so much to help so many people. He is a true Helper a breed of people who give up themselves and their careers to help others. Happy birthday mate!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Where did 10 years go??

with close friends in March...

Difficult to believe but we are just about to exit 10 years of history. Where did an entire decade go and why does time go so fast? Is there life on the planet zanussi and indeed is there such a planet? Are these questions relevant or have I been on the bloody sherry again like Ms Marbles.. ( a younger version if you don't mind..)

Well for me the 10 years went a little too fast but as an optimist I am looking forward to the next 10 with my lovely new partner who, I am hoping, will also be the last (5th one so far so hoping to get this one right..) I am still a bit behind Henry the viii I know but would like good old Henry to keep that title.

My grandmother died at the age of 95 in 2005 so that was one bad event in our family but she had a good life and was a strong powerful woman who managed the family and didn't take any nonsense from any man. Then my dear uncle Nikos died suddenly at 70 back in 2008. I was very close to him and he was such a huge inspiration to me. He always saw great potential in me and was openly proud of his nephew ( he was married to my auntie so not a blood relative but still a treasure) but the man was such a lovely person and could not ever think that any human had negative thoughts he thought all men (and women) were good rather than the reverse. He was devoted to his family and those close to him. We often had little arguments about his position (he was the founder of one of the largest Insurance groups in the Hellenic world and therefore a capitalist so would never join the United Left...)I know he is resting in peace.

I also met my previous partner in April 2000 and we had 6 good years together. We are still very close friends and live near each other.

And of course my first novel was published in January 2000 and got some good reviews (and some bad ones) on amazone. It was also listed in the booksellers magazine which made me feel that I achieved something. I once saw a copy of it in Waterstones in Oxford Street. Bugger knows why I stopped writing after that but hey its one of them things and I intend to change all of that by finishing my next novel which will be even more controversial than the first one!

Became Branch Secretary for Lambeth Unison in 2003 ( still there) and continued to be Finance Convenor for the London Region until Feb 2006 (1999 to 2006) So the last decade was busy for me.

In the mean time and in the real world Tony Blair decided to invade Iraq and then Afghanistan which was a major error of judgement and a strong signal of pure arrogance. His disregard of democracy is unforgivable. Then we had the execution of an Innocent Brazilian on the streets of London who was mistaken for a terrorist. And of course we had the collapse of the banking world because the bankers messed it all up by dishing out cash which would give them bigger bonuses but fuck the rest of the economy up? I am amazed that no one got disciplined for such an act of incompetence and I know for a fact that where I am any of us would be on charges if we were in that position?

But there were also good things happening in the last 10 years. Greece managed to host the best Olympics ever in 2004 despite the racist motivated criticism from the press (mainly the British press)and proved to the world that the underdog can win and good always prevails. And then Greece also won the European cup in the same year not to mention the Eurovision crap contest.

In conclusion I would say that like any decade there were good and bad things happening to the world, to our friends, families and those around us that we know and love. I am sure that the next 10 years will be as eventful but hope is in the air (what's she doing in the air again? Thought she went to Spain with Stuart?) and I know that we will all be fine and get on.

Happy New Year to all my friends who read the blog and a special one to my mate Martin Granaher in Germany who I lost touch with and then found out that he actually reads this blog and therefore knows what am up to! Have a good one Martin come and visit soon? Good luck with your next single!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

New novel for 2010...

Hoping to put the final touches to my new novel, still trying to find the time to re write the 3 last chapters. Here's a link to my first book which came out in 2000.. well one every 10 years isn't that bad!

Cut copy and paste job..

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo

Mentioning a few important people in my life the day before Christmas and wishing them all Buon Natale. Friends to start with and associates who have worked with me over the years, but my close mates first.
Martin, Nicky, James, Martin Granaher, Gordon, Mark, Denise, Madline, Andre, Nigel, Jackie, Pepe, Jose, Carlos, Lucia, Lilliana, Claire, Rene, Barbara, Louiza and of course David. These are my close friends some of whom I have known since university days back in 1827...
And of course members of my family who are close to me and friends. Helen, my sister in law and Janet my other sister in law, Flora, Anna, Antroulla, Maria and another Maria my cousins.
And then there are people I have worked with closely in the last 20 years who have also become friends. Juliet, who is more of a sister to me, Anne, Claire, Hassina (she is fascinating) Jon (my second younger brother..) Chester Paul and Jackie and of course Marsha Jane Thompson who has become a good friend, we clash sometimes but she knows at the end that I am always right. She is truly amazing but isn't aware of her true potential I think and allows others to be negative about her when she does nothing other than radiate positive thoughts around people she is close with, an asset worth having I think!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Lambeth Unison AGM report

Happy to say that the AGM report to be presented to the Lambeth AGM on the 14 January 2010 is ready and with the printers. My branch has a good tradition of having good popular AGM's every year that are well attended and we always manage to produce a report well in advance.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Snow every where...

A picture of my road early this morning. Apologies to Andrew for not having a picture of myself to fulfil the prophecy of wanting my ego enhanced... lol

My nephew who is 12 finds it exciting and my neighbours daughter, little Marta, who is 8 also thinks its great. We are surrounded by snow and although it looks lovely it is difficult to get the car out and drive up the hill! My mother also wants to know where this greenhouse that's going to make England warmer is? But seriously the snow looks lovely and it looks like we might get a white Christmas. In the meantime I am breaking the Leviathans code to wear formal wear as I have no intention of breaking my legs wearing hard shoes so there you go!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Triumph of common sense with Xmas number one..

Delighted to see that Simon Cowell's attempt, based on greed, to control the Xmas number one position in the charts has been successfully torpedoed by Jon and Tracy Mortimer who campaigned to make sure this doesn't happen. This is of course a shame for young Joe from X factor who won that competition and whilst he is far better than what the Mortimer's have been promoting the point was made very clearly which is that the general public are not going to allow one individual with little or no talent (apart from being able to manipulate) to control and monopolise the music industry. I am hoping that the next stage for this will be to discontinue the dominance of Cowell and remove him from our tv screens. Talent should be helped and allows to develop without middle men making vast fortunes and controlling the industry. Its got to stop!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Lambeth Unison Xmas get together

Was good to spend time with comrades and friends at the annual Xmas get together last night. We had fun and a great thanks to Juliet for organising it all. I made sure that the main subject for discussion was general gossip. Hassina and I deviated a little bit and spend time debating the meaning of life and the relevance and impact sausage factories have on this. Apart from that the red wine went down well and we all managed to love each other for 6 or 7 hours which is splendid if I may say so! Long live the Republic of Lambeth!

Friday, 18 December 2009

British Airways and the press

Hey lots of snow down here, looking good so far!

Not at all surprised to see that the High Court ruled in favour of British Airways management and declared the Unite strike illegal. It is a well known fact that the courts will almost always take a stand against the workers. The courts have decided that balloting the 900 members of Unite that were in between being with BA and leaving makes the action invalid. They were not interested in the Unite argument that the information, although requested was not made available to them. This would be seen as a totally ridiculous situation anywhere else but not here.

In addition the press presented the result as a victory for common sense. One idiotic travel writer (whatever that bloody means?) went on television and destroyed his ticket in front of the camera screaming and stating that his holiday had been ruined (this was of course before the result) so the 'lets all be miserable and hate everyone' mood so encouraged by the media prevailed again and the message once again is the workers have very little rights and it doesn't matter if management want to reduce their pay by 30% and destroy their terms and conditions of service they should be grateful for having a job and get on with it! But, and its a big bad, we should continue working hard to bail the bloody banks out and pay bankers their bonuses for taking major risks and messing the world economy up?? This isn't right!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

British Airways and strike action

Two things to say today. First the developments with the British Airways strike action and two a statement from me about the recent criticism from Ms anonymous on Jon's blog.
I will briefly state that the impression given on Jon's blog regarding what the UL thinks of me (I was described as being politically untrustworthy by a member of the UL) is a silly one. The comment implies that I have been running after the UL seeking their approval. I will state that I stood for the position of Finance Convenor in 1999/2000 as an independent and won an election against Ruth Styles. I was never a UL candidate (they were called something else at the time) I then served another 4 years in office. In a subsequent election the UL openly supported me when someone stood against me in 2003 and of course I welcomed that. I won that election. The UL then asked me to attend their meetings and I did. There are some splendid activists involved with that group. But I always thought that the marriage between SWP and Labour didn't make sense at all. And politically they are a world apart!! There are many more Labour party members in the region who are not in the UL so the whole concept doesn't make sense. I stayed with the UL for a year or two out of loyalty to Jon and Marsha who are personal friends but politically I was never persuaded by the SWP and Labour love affair?? So any comments on any blog giving the impression that I was seeking approval from the UL is a total non sense. I am a very active Labour party member and have centre left politics. I am a Euro Federalist and a reformist. I don't think the UL has worked well enough in the region and as far as I am concerned there are 3 sections/factors in the region. The UL the non UL and the independent thinkers who come mainly from a SOG perspective. If anyone doesn't understand how this works then that's their problem. Personally I am much more comfortable with SOG issues than dogma and incomprehensible arrangements between groups that have nothing in common. I will resist and fight any attempts for any group to force their views on any individual.
British Airways
I wasn't at all surprised to see the London Evening Standard taking up the opportunity to do a big article on how splendid the terms and conditions of BA staff are compared to other cabin crew. As a result the television channels took the opportunity to inform the general public of how good BA cabin crew have had it for years and why it is about time that we should all reduce our pay and lose our terms and conditions and in effect harmonise downwards. In other words its not and shouldn't be about improving everyone conditions but bringing everyone down to make sure that the bankers find money to maintain theirs. What a ridiculous situation we have been pushed into? I thought the aim would always be to strive for something better? BA cabin crew work hard and long hours especially those serving on long haul, the terms and conditions they have achieved came from long struggles over the years negotiated for them by their trade union so the idea that they should be forced to give it all up because we should all be miserable and on lower pay (not the bankers or MP's of course..) is a ludicrous one. I am hoping that the High Court will make a fair judgement today but I am not holding my breath! Harmonise upwards I say and not downwards!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

British Airways

British Airways is challenging Unite in the High Court today. The existing laws allow for employers to take injunctions against a TU for getting a minor detail wrong. I won't say much on what I think about this today as I could be send to the electric chair given the draconian laws of this country. But what I would ask is why it is that an employer can take a TU to court if they got one address wrong whilst cutting down the pay of am employee by as much as 30% cannot be challenged in the courts. This is not right and not fair, but then again we don't live in a fair world. BA management is known for its nasty attitude towards its staff and I am so glad that of the 80% of Unite members who voted in the recent ballot some 90% of them voted to go on strike. BA is a nasty Levithan all Trade union activists should consider boycotting them!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Can we learn from BA cabin crew staff?

Two of my friends work for BA one was recruited last year and came over from Portugal to work as cabin crew for BA based at Gatwick on lower pay and different conditions of service. The other has been cabin crew with BA for many years and he works from Heathrow with better conditions and pay than H who works from Gatwick. They are both members of unite.
BA has been in financial trouble for sometimes or at least their share holders who are not very interested in fairness have been complaining about the fact that their dividends have gone down so BA started a programme of action which includes the Gatwigfication of terms and conditions.
BA wants all staff to be on terms and conditions that reflect what new recruits based at Gatwick have. But they went even further and they are now going to be reducing salaries even for those who work from Gatwick. So all cabin crew members are, correctly, up in arms and the recent ballot showed the strength of feeling with 80% of unite members taking part in the process and 90% of those voting for strike action! That is an amazing result! So based on what friends who are in the profession say (and there is lots of them in my community) the talk is about fighting and not putting up with the disgraceful behaviour that BA management have embarked on.
In conclusion I would say that both the postal workers and cabin crew staff have shown us that it is possible for those of us active in the union to take unacceptable policies on and fight for what is right. We should now be preparing for what is going to be a year of hardship and should be ready for a fight. Organise, recruit and fight back. Those are the words that should determine what we do in the next year for we will face a major attack by our employers who want us to pay for what mess the bankers created! Lets take them on!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Independent thinking...

Some of you would have seen the comments made by 2 anon people on the Jon Rogers blog. These comments refer to my criticism, as they put it, of Jon. I have of course replied, even though I don't really think anon comments deserve a response, stating that I do not consider what they say seriously. On the other hand there are two fundamental things to say. One is that the anon people who write the stuff could in fact be those who wish to create an argument and two anyone who does not wish to reveal who they are does not deserve attention as they do not, after al, exist? In other words if they are not brave enough to put their name to what they say they are cowards and they are obviously afraid of what others (or me) say about their inability to understand the real world?
Focusing briefly on what they said I would respond by saying that the comments I make about Jon are almost always a joke and the relationship between myself and Jon of the Rogers is a very good and constructive one and if he had a problem he would have told me a long time ago (and sometimes he does) Of course the criticism the anon and non existing people make of me re taking the side of the right wing as they put it, is total non sense. This assertion assumes that there is, to start with, a right wing in the region (and of course there must be) but the people they identify as being on the right are simply people who don't agree with the mixed up politics of what some on the ultra left have. They are not on the right they just disagree with what some on the ultra left think? Most of the so called right are members of the Labour party? So this is simply childish. In fact I distinctly remember violent disagreements within the united UL camp on many occassions so how do they explain this? Don't start me...
I would state again that what I say on my blog is a matter for me and there is no need for any of them to read it. The best ever joke came from one comrade who a few weeks before told me that he never read my blog then a few weeks later complained about something I said. My blog is a personal diary with entries that are read by friends and others and it is an alternative to face book bollony. That is a matter for me to decide.
The non existing person who criticised me says that I am politically untrustworthy what he or she means is I have deviated from dogma and don't agree with their politics (do they really have any politics??) They don't want to understand that at least 35% to 40% of those in the region are free thinkers and they exercise the right to think freely without having to abide by virtual reality discipline? Anyway this is what these anon critics have to say and this is why they will always be far behind when it comes to winning major elections. I will remind the anon critics that after Geoff Martin I have been the longest serving elected lay officer in the region having served a 5 year term as Finance Convenor. They are so politically trustworthy they never won anything! Hoping that whoever the anon pearson was she or he grows up! There is more I can say but I will leave it there...

Saturday, 12 December 2009

A weekend in shallow land...

I used to be snow white but now I have drifted...

Well got friends staying from Portugal this weekend so we are all out socialising so all serious debate suspended until Monday when I return back from shallow land... am too young to stay home and knit a jumper!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Official opinion polls...

A survey of those attending a pub round the corner from where I am, following the pre budget report, has shown that the majority of those asked would not vote Conservative. They were also not happy with Labour policy or those around Gordon Brown but most thought that Gordon was the right person for the job given his finance background.
An opinion poll which coincides with the majority of those of you who never read this blog, confirms that whilst Gordon Brown doesn't look good on television and could never win Ms World competition, they would trust him to go for growth policies rather than take total wipe out measures to deal with the crisis created by the bankers (where is the w in front of that word??) And this of course is what I also agree with, the majority of people faced with the prospect of voting in an outright banana like Cameron (not Diaz..) would chose the safety of Gordon Brown. This is of course what I have been arguing for all summer stating publicly that those idiotic Labour MP's who wanted to get rid of Gordon would have taken us all down the banana hole!
So I put my money (not that I have any) on Labour coming back with a small majority and as long as the likes of Miliband are kept away from our tvs Labour will have a reasonable to good chance of winning! Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government? (who said that, think it was David Steel..)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pre budget report

Our darling Mr Darling found himself in a very difficult situation. The pre budget report did not of course have any good news for any one. The only people who might benefit are those on incomes less than 20,000 but with inflation still much higher than any pay rises and with VAT going back to 17.5 % no one is gaining and there will be many losers.

The question with what we have here is whether the pre election pre budget could have been any better under the Tories or the Lib Democrats. The answer is a sure no it would have been worst. That does not mean that the Unions should not oppose the decision to impose a limit of 1% for pay rises (this means a real terms cut with inflation above 2%)

I am in two minds as to how to react and whilst I am certainly not happy with the fact that we are all being forced to pay for the mistakes committed by bankers who were allowed to do what they liked for 10 years with no real controls I am reminded that the reality of the situation is that we are in a real financial mess. What amazes me is the fact that no government is brave enough to follow standard audit rules which would allow for the tracing of those who put the country in such a mess. I worked in an audit division for years and I know that the audit commission insists that standards should be adhered to (as does Cipfa) so tracing the trail and finding who did what and trying to recover fund misuse should be used in this instance and the bankers should not be allowed to get away with the crisis they have created. But of course that in itself will not resolve the problems we have so the question must be do we work with what the Chancellor has proposed or do we oppose them? The debate will no doubt start. The one thing that is sure is that under the Tories more than one million jobs would be removed to pay for the bankers mistakes so it would appear that the choice is between financial hardship or job loses. The debate will start now

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Lambeth Living

Lambeth Living is an organisation that was imposed on the good people of Lambeth who were told that by creating an imaginary structure (called Lambeth Living) things would get better for them and of course this did not happen. All that Lambeth Leaving (it should be leaving) have achieved is to introduce longer waiting lists and major financial problems and hardship. The way they treat staff is also not so good with arbitrary decisions being made on policy and procedure. HR in LL seem to be weak and they simply accept whatever management tells them to do.

The reason I am focusing on this ridiculous organisation is because they seem to be obsessed with spending money which they clearly do not have on numerous consultants and invent HR policies as they go along. I don't think the decision to create this virtual reality outfit was a good one and the Council made a huge mistake like the one they made in 1997 when they put Benefits out. We should fight them like we did in that instance and bring the service back in house where it belongs. It is a disgrace! It would not suprise me if the Labour administration lose the local elections in May because of this huge error of judgment!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Is the region in chaos?

The answer is no and the truth is there is a power struggle between the regional Secretary, Linda Perks, and the forces on the left (well left as in United left and a few additions from other planets..)

The United Left was in control of the region during the Nick Wright years when I was the Finance Convenor. Then Linda Perks arrived (following the departure of Chris Humphreys) and started to get alarmed about certain practices (the opposite of what is happening today where there are no motions coming on from anywhere) She worked well with Geoff Martin who was at the time a very popular Convenor and I had no problems working with her either. So we managed to organise a successful European Social Forum and despite the criticism against Linda Perks she did not try to stop me getting funding for the Forum a task, I imagine, that the real UL would not have been able to achieve.

Then there was a period when the brain boxes on the left wanted Geoff Martin out so they started their school boy 'strategies' to persuade them to go not realising that his departure would have been a signal to others. They then agreed that I would be the alternative to Geoff Martin given my neutrality and my record on being able to keep the balance and work with the office. But they then made a last minute decision and put Jon of the Rogers up for the job. This of course made it look like I was in on the game and that I had deliberately given signals out that I would be the candidate for the job of Convenor when I wasn't and I was used as much as anyone else. Either that or they were more incompetent than I thought.

Those opposing the UL then decided that they could not deal with a clear UL candidate (Geoff Martin was not a UL member and neither was I) so Alan was selected to fight the election and as I predicted the anti UL vote won the day. This showed clearly the arrogance of those on the hard of the UL who always think they know it all. They may mean well but they know as much about tactics and strategy as I know about Swedish nationalism in the 12th century! So cut a long story short they have now ended up not bothering to put a motion to regional committee or Council! How organised! Passive resistance? Doubt it...

On the other hand you have the 'current administration' who have not been able to inspire the region and have not been able to get more than one meeting a year to be quorate? That isn't very good now is it?

In conclusion I would say that the 30% or maybe more of those of us who are free thinkers should think seriously of what is happening in our region and get more involved. I come from a Self Organised Group perspective and the activists involved with those groups (quite a few in number) are free thinking individuals who want to see the region do more to help members. The UL should grow up and the 'others' should do more to inspire people, they can start by making regional meetings more exciting, accessible and interesting!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Daniel is out...

Going back to the real world of shallowlad I was happy to see that Daniel, one of the contestants in the x factor that no one apparently watches, was voted out last night by the great British public. He will of course be using the opportunity he has been given to do a lot of other things but at least his arrogance will not be rewarded and he is not going to be the winner. It is always great to see confidence on display but there is a huge difference between that and arrogance and that should never be rewarded so I say good that the public voted him out!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Regional matters

There has been some talk and there will be more of it on organising regional Council meetings and the regional AGM.

The fact is AGM policy is to have 4 meetings a year so it remains a mystery as to why only one of the 4 can attract enough delegates. This is in contrast with meetings before the last 4 years when we were able to gather more delegates to these meetings. So the question from the 'free thinkers wing' will be why have we not been able to get things sorted in this 4 year period and who is responsible for this failure? Is it my mother? Would it be her neighbours son? Or is it maybe those lay officers who should, in my opinion, make more of an effort to ensure that AGM decisions are carried out? Lets not start giving each other labels and concentrate on answering the questions that will make more of those in the middle (more that 35%) vote a different way? And I am not saying I know the answer but I would like to know what has gone wrong and what the relationship between making democratic decisions at AGM is with those with the responsiblility to implement these? Answers please....

Friday, 4 December 2009

Is Lambeth Unison really the bastion of Militant activity?

I was at a regional meeting last night doing regional business with many friends and comrades. After that I had the chance to talk to a few people. One of them asked me a few questions about Lambeth Unison implying that we (at Lambeth Unison) were well known for our political activism and trades union work. The person in question looked and sounded enthusiastic and confessed that she had wished that her own branch was as half active as my branch. This has of course confirmed what I have always known which is that there are those who want to label Lambeth Unison and Lambeth activists, as trouble makers but the truth is we are a well organised, diverse and very active branch one that I am very proud of with achievements second to none.

And yes it is true that some of our activists get a bit more excited than others but that is what makes us unique, successful and probably the best Branch in London. The reason we are good is because we have been able to take the huge diversity of talent and skill mix it up and blend it to produce a success story. And as for rumours that there is opposition against me or Jon (of the Rogers of course) well there always has been different opinions expressed (must admit never understood how anyone can disagree with me.. lol) but that makes us more alert and any form of constructive opposition is surely a positive thing? Its part of the democratic process?

And there will of course be those who come back and say well you have all the privileges like more time off for tu duties etc. Well yes Mr wise guy but who the beggar got those improved conditions? Was it my mother? Was it her neighbour or her cousins second cousin twice removed? No it was through long and protracted fighting and long term strategies based on campaigning that produced those results. So what is stopping others doing the same? You need to answer that question! Nosotros Estamos Prepardos is the moto and not Perdido en espace.. like some are!

I will deal with the conversation I had with a friend with whom I have a love hate relationship in the Branch (we love each other really) tomorrow (he called me an airhead! lol)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Tiger Woods and Bankers and the United Left ...

The thousands of you not reading this blog on a regular basis will be wondering what the connection between Tiger Woods (an American golfer and a very rich man) is and UK Bankers? The answer is non what so ever. I just thought those two stories were quite interesting but in very different ways. Variety is the spice of life and all that bollonie!

Interested in the Tiger Woods story because it reminds me of how absurd it is to expect a man to spend 40 years of his adult life pretending to be John the Baptist (no he wasn't a United Left candidate at the 2004 regional Council) It is astonishing that society condemns a person who was just having some fun? Yes I know that he has a family but monogamy (and this is where I get into trouble) isn't real, it doesn't work and the opposite of monogamy (or taking your dog for a walk as it is sometimes referred to) can be ok if done occasionally. Now I am aware of this from my own experience of life and I know that many of my friends in relationships are happier when they get the balance right and this applies to women as wel as men. You can love someone and have a special person in your life who whings at you every day but also have fun? Can this principle be the basis of a new up to date religion? I know the bishop of Bollonie land will not be happy with this but hey this is the 21st century??

Now I come to bankers? Well all I can say on this is that there is a w missing from the start of that word. The public have invested billions into saving these incompetent lot so that they will now be paid extra bonuses? Have we all gone mad? Has society lost the plot? What with Cheryl Cole being presented to us as a singing phenomenon and Tiger Woods as being the Arch Satan of the universe for having a bit of 'how's your father' we should get serious and sort ourselves out before the United Left pass another motion!!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

What's going on?

I have been asked on a number of occasions and more vigorously in recent times as to what is going on in the world of the region. Some of you have been wondering as to whether the forces on the left have given up and will no longer be challenging those they perceive to be on the right. The evidence for this 'theory' comes from the lack of motions being presented at both regional committee and now regional Council. I can understand why people think that things have changed but I believe that this tactical withdrawal of 'effort' in the direction of motions is simply a way of sending out a message. And what is that message you may ask? Well I would imagine the message is obvious? I would imagine it will all be revealed when the business of the Regional Council AGM is announced soon but I don't think for a minute that the 'left' has given up!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

World AIDS Day

Each year, we mark World AIDS Day on December 1st. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember those we have lost to the pandemic and to battle against this deadly killer.
The World Health Organization announced recently that HIV/AIDS is the number one cause of disease and death among women ages 18-49 worldwide. AIDS has already taken the lives of 25 million people and 33 million more are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS around the world today.

And yet, as infection rates rise, the public's level of awareness of their very real risk for contracting HIV wanes. We have a funding crisis for HIV/AIDS worldwide. Even the current budgeted relief programs come nowhere close to meeting the need we have to get those who require treatment into care. And stigma continues to prove as deadly as the disease itself, keeping people from getting tested and treated for HIV/AIDS.

Those of us involved with the Trades Union movement need to do more to promote awareness and fight for more resources and equal distribution and support those in poorer countries living with the disease.