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Monday, 31 May 2010

Dave Prentis

Simple. There are 3 candidates and one who can do the job and has been doing it for years. I support Dave Prentis because he is the credible one!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Pierse Morgan and the coalition

You will be wondering what Pierce Morgan has to do with the Lib Con coalition? The answer is very little apart from the wise comments he made on question time on Thursday. PM thinks that the amazingly artificial coalition, a most unnatural phenomenon, will not last beyond Christmas. I don't think it will last more than a year myself but I am also of the opinion that Nicky Cleggs thirst for power will mean that he will do everything he can to ensure that they hang on. Grass root Liberal supporters, however, have other ideas and the 1922 Tory committee is getting ready for battle with Cameron who they always seen as a crypto Liberal anyway. The whole country has gone made. The combination will not work!
The only good news for the coalition is that the Labour party is preoccupied with our own internal battle for the next leader. Ed Milliband and Ed Balls have suddenly been visited by angels from outer space who have reminded them that they never really agreed with the war in Iraq. Well if that was the bloody case why didn't they bloody say something when they were in government? I recall them both being bloody ministers? At least David Miliband is not pretending to be anything other than what he was. And Alistair Campbell is right the Labout party needs to find a leader that will defeat David Cameron and not one that would appeal to Paul Holmes or his neighbours? Sorry!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Eurovision song contest ...

Its that time of year again when anyone who is anybody is desperately trying to tell everyone that they do not watch the Eurovision song contest (well song fiasco more likely) I on the other hand are getting together with my mates and watching it before we go out for a drink or 6.
For me the annual fiasco is interesting as more than half of my mates are from Europe so my Dutch, French, Italian Portuguese and Spanish mates will be supporting our respective states of origin (not countries as we are in a European federation now with states) I shall be cheering on Greece and Britain and will be annoyed if the Greek jury do not award Britain and Spain good marks! I think the United Left are also supporting Greece this year as they liked the way the Greeks demonstrate. The Greek press on the other hand are hoping that Greece does not win as there isn't enough pesetas to pay for organising it next year!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Heart disease and brushing teeth..

Well apparently there is 70% risk of being under threat from heart disease if you do not brush your teeth twice a week and although I do follow this ritual I am amazed how they managed to be so accurate with their prediction. I would imagine that 68.3% would be a much more on the spot figure on this one? I am bothering with this today because it reminds me from my many years working as an accountant how you can make figures say what you want them to say and how you can interpret statistics. I am not disputing that the research was done on this and the project was conducted in the proper way but find it astonishing how they can refer to such a precise figure? You could, for example, ask 10 of your friends who would no doubt be a sample of random souls spread all over the city, a question and their answers could support or reject a theory. So if 10 were asked how much they liked the Eurovision song contest and 3 of them said they hated it you could accurately state that 30% don't like it and 70 % do... get the picture? Now go brush your teeth.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Cheryl Cole

It has been brought to my attention that I have been getting rather serious lately and that most of my outstanding contribution to modern English literature has been about the world of politics a world that most of my close friends (bimbos mainly..) are not that keen on so with that in mind I am diverting my attention to a newish star that has given this country a reason to rethink the meaning of life? Or was it euthanasia?
We are all familiar I am sure with huge stars and real divas like Rhiana and Beyonce not to mention Madona, Kylie and of course Belinda Carlile ( just realised they are all women?? Do I have an issue there... )
Anyway I digress somewhat. Chery Cole has been what I call A PR invention or success in other words someone somewhere woke up one morning and said what shall we do to make more money? I know lets find someone somewhere who will appeal to Sharon or Tracey someone who they would identify with and build her up elevate her to star status to show Sharon that she too can be that person and of course in the meantime the PR men and women and their publicists will make money. So we have the Cheryl Cole phenomenon. It means that if you project someones image constantly the majority of people will start thinking well maybe she has something. I noticed for example that when CC released her first single even though the lyrics were as vile as a 20 year old skoda the mainstream radio stations like Capital FM, Choice and to a lesser degree Kiss FM were playing it about 5 times every hour not allowing other better quality singles to have any air time. This of course made Sharon, Tracey and Dick embed the single in their brains and made them go out and buy it. So whether the system is fair or not is a very big question. Is it fair that new talented younger artists are not given any chance what so ever to get anywhere as they are not given the exposure? The answer is no it is not fair! The argument against what I am saying is that these are private sector projects but the monopolisation these private sector institutions have on the market is not healthy and a degree of fairness needs to be injected into the system! A brilliant example of a healthy reaction to this tyranny of PR men running the artistic world was displayed when the rebellion against the position for the no spot over the xmas period was fought and won by an alternative to the Simon Cowe x factor bollocks. Now there is another one that slipped through the net! Lets all rebel against those who control and regulate the world of arts!! They are talentless and should not have that power.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Was the euro a mistake?

I very rarely change my mind about major policies that I have been promoting but the Euro may have been introduced too soon and some of the 16 states that are part of the mechanism were definitely not ready for the huge financial burden the system placed on them.
There is no need to explain why there is a major crisis within the euro zone as everyone understands the issues. The controversial way to resolve the origins of the problem would be for all 16 euro zone members to surrender control of their economies to the central European bank and have, effectively, budgets and economic policy imposed by the EU and even I don't think the 16 states in Europe are ready for that. It will, however, be a good long term objective to have this system the USA has it after all and if Europe wants to compete in the big world then federalism is a definite must! And yes I know this ideal is as popular in Britain as is having mumps on a Friday afternoon just before you are about to have a good night out but hey I could be the one who is right in the long term on this one. some people thought the earth was flat 200 years ago!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

David Miliband

I have just found out that Ed Miliband has got the 33 nominations he needs to stand for selection whereas David Miliband has only got 19. This is not looking good for the Labour party and if David isn't the one we select then we are looking at a William Hague type of a situation where the Tory party selected a Leader they liked but not the rest of the country which of course meant that the Labour boyz easily won another term.
The Labour party and the MPs need to be thinking about who will appeal to the general public and not ignore the floating voters who will be more than likely, like my neighbour Marion, to vote for David rather than Ed. Ed does of course command the respect of many within the party but he is not brilliant PR material whereas David is and will get many votes. I know this sounds crude but that is the nature of the game we are in the Western world these days. PR men and women run campaigns and David Miliband will do well in person and on telly. In addition David is more robust and his ideas have substance. He must be supported! I shall definitely be writing to my own MP Malcolm who was returned with a bigger majority than before asking him to vote for David. David is the future of Labour Ed represents the middle of the road slightly angry brigade and as for John Mac Donald. well did he not have a farm?

The Queens speech and the coalition

Well it looks like the coalition has lasted for a whole 3 weeks without any major disruptions. This could be more because David Cameron is a crypto Liberal or that Nick Clegg has Tory tendencies. But it is remarkable how the Queen's speech contains proposals for legislation to be introduced that would not go down well with rank and file Liberal members or hard line Tory boyz and gals. I am waiting for the first outburst from Brigadier Trolley who will not put up with the vile liberalisation of Tory dogma. How long before we see that? Not long I think... The two party Leaders will obviously do all they can to hang on to power as they got a taste for this but that won't be enough I don't think.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Discrimination for those over 40

I have been involved with some voluntary work since I left the world of Lambeth supporting people that I know through friends of friends with problems and difficulties. One of the things I have discovered is how employers discriminate against those who are over 40. I would say that if you are 40 and look reasonably fit and manage to get an interview with a prospective employer and you have the skills then you have a chance of getting the job. The prospect of getting employed goes down after 45 and virtually disappears after the age of 50. It is very well for government to be telling everyone that we have to work until we are 79 or was it 89? but how do these people get jobs and how do we ensure as a society that discrimination is eradicated? I have dealt with an Asian friend of a friend who is very well qualified is an expert in his field of work but is 47 was made redundant and has found it impossible to get a job. The law is there to be looked at and admired but it has become impossible for this lovely man to get a job for a whole year. The stories we all hear that people can apply for 100s of jobs and get no where are absolutely true! This is not right and more needs to be done by all of us including TUs to ensure that recruitment is based on skills and not age!
In fact if you are over 40 and you have experienced problems with recruitment and you need advise on how to deal with this then contact me and I might be able to help. I will not publish your comment and will get in touch with you and see if I can help.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The arrogance of the extreme left and BA

I was angry to see on television last night the disgraceful behaviour displayed by a handful of left wing extremists who decided to wreck what little hope there was in salvaging a deal between BA management and the union. The union leader was seen visibly annoyed confronting the extremists who simply broke in and ensured that what little progress was being made was torpedoed. Willie Walsh was suddenly turned into a 'victim' as he was surrounded by hostile demonstrators who didn't seem to know to be honest what to do next. The extremists managed to create a PR disaster in a matter of seconds something that they are very good at. Unions should take this more seriously and deal with people who do not wish to abide with collective discipline and collective action. They represent no one!

Whilst these extremists have the right to protest peacefully and say what they think they have absolutely no right to take action and destroy any progress that was in the making. They are a blemish on the good name of progressive Trade Unions as they rely on intimidation. No one is allowed to have an opinion outside their own little boxes and if you dare to have an opinion they will soon try to bully you. I have seen this happen so often and it needs to stop!

Saturday, 22 May 2010


I have been put under some pressure by the many who never look or read at my blog to comment on the imminent abolition of the Hips. The Home information pack something was introduced in order to speed up the conveyancing process instead it has created another idiotic layer of bureaucracy and has imposed more regulation on an otherwise over regulated country. The stupid system ( and I am talking from personal experience here) Hips was as pointless as having a bag of chips placed on a fence outside a house to improve its value. Now I am not the one to congratulate the Tory party for coming up with a good idea but they get a smile from me on this one. The dreaded system should be removed forthwith and thrown in the dustbin of historical irrelevancy. It was pointless, useless and did not speed up any process. Get rid of I say (but no don't bring back the death penalty!) Happy BBQ day!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Labour party Leadership elections

I am glad in many ways that so many hopeless MP's are putting themselves forward for the position of Leader in the party, this is good for democracy but I wonder if some of those who have declared their interest have a real time view of who they are and what their chances will be. In addition I am angry that my mothers neighbour Dorothy isn't allowed to stand either, this cannot be good for that neighbourhood and the fact that she doe not know what day of the week is should not exclude her from participating! Lets all stand!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Greece and the UK TUC

I am happy that the TUC has issued a statement in support of Greek Trade Unions taking responsible action in Greece over the financial crisis which threatens the stability of Europe. It took some time for this to come but good that it has finaly happened. I am reproducing what the TUC has said. It is a shame that British Trade Unions take so long to respond to major events on the European continent? I would like to see, however, actions from the TUC and others that are not simply tokenistic in nature? There is a lot going on there and what is happening in Greece could easily spread to Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland all members of the 16 state Euro club. More debate is needed. Also amazed that the UL has not bothered to make a statement on the happenings there??

TUC statement

TUC supports Greek unions' General Strike: cuts won't create growth The TUC has expressed solidarity with the unions' General Strike in Greece today (Thursday). We believe that cutting back on public spending will reduce the growth that Greece needs to overcome its financial problems in the medium term, as well as increasing inequality and hurting the people least able to cope.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hassina and Juliet...

I was told off for not placing good pictures of Hacienda and Juliet on the blog on Tuesday, so here we are... The gorgeous Hacienda with Juliet and Anne on the left and on the right Juliet, and Hacienda, otherwise known as Beyonce... hope you are happier now? :-)

Organising an active community, a new project

The Greek community in London has become more politically active in the last few years with the majority of Councillors standing as Labour party candidates. One area where there has been considerable success is Enfield where there are now 7 Councillors of Greek origin and of course we had a number of Mayors who have been of Greek origin and one Council Leader.
The new project supported by the Greek Representation Forum aims to identify potential candidates so that an MP can also be elected. We do, of course, have Yianna Yinakoudaki who was elected and is now Euro MEP for north London (Conservative) but the search is on for activists who want to get more involved and have the potential to make a difference. This is an exciting new project and I am looking forward to pushing it as much as I can.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Latinos del Mundo...

The bigest hit for summer 2010...

and the real version

Bob Crow

Bob Crow is attracting media attention again, well he is in the Standard, his most favorite newspaper. The editor there seems to like reproducing an old picture of Bob taken years ago which is not very faltering and suggests that Bob is an miserable old so and so. I am not too sure about the tactics of the Bob Crow fun club but the story in the Standard is not balanced at all and there is only one version of the events described in there. This can't be fair or right?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Dave Prentis

I know I have upset some old friends from my 'near past' by supporting Dave Prentis for the election for the position of General Secretary for Unison. I did of course support Jon Rogers last time out of personal loyalty and I am glad I did so even though I got some hassle from the 'other side' as I was, at the time, Finance Convenor for London.
But we live in a democracy and as I am no longer bound by decisions made by the Lambeth Branch committee (not the actual branch I may add) my assessment of who has done what and who is capable of doing more have led me to conclude that given the choice of candidates Dave Prentis is the best person for the job. The left has also done it again by having two candidates which shows me that their most prominent feature is disunity rather than unity (same old story) Dave Prentis down to earth approach and the fact that he is well liked by ordinary members who do not attend branch committee meetings means that he is better able to communicate and represent their aspirations which are not about extra terrestrial ambitions about revolution in the upper atmosphere or the promotion of the 232 left wing groupings that are floating in the left pool of confusion. So I am afraid, and despite the fact that Paul Holmes is a nice guy, I will be supporting Dave Prentis. And I have no idea what happened to Roger Bannister. Is he still running?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Greek community in London

It is estimated that there are around 300,000 people born here in London who are of Greek origin.
The migration started from mainland Greece before the revolution in 1821 but until the 50's the number of people of Greek descent was relatively speaking small. The connection between Britain and Cyprus (Cyprus was a British colony until 1960) meant that a number of Cypriots (mainly Greek Cypriots) arrived here between 1955 to 1962 they were what is today described as the 'first generation' immigrants. They were invited by the British government in an attempt to rebuilt the country after the war as were other immigrant groups. Then we have the second generation who were born in Britain between 1960 to 1980 and now of course we have the 3rd generation the children of those born here who are more or less completely assimilated into British society. Most of them speak some Greek but are not very fluent in the language. I am constantly amazed and delighted, however, to see how proud and interested these young people are in retaining and knowing more about the culture of their parents.
The community has managed to retain its identity without rejecting the positive elements acquired from the diversity of other cultures that exists within London.
Most British citizens of Greek origin live in north London. Southgate is, for example,often referred to as small Greece. Haringey, Barnet, Enfield, Cambden and Islington also have a good proportion of Brits of Greek origin.
There are now moves to examine closely the plethora of small organisations that exist to represent the community and the project to unite all of these strands and interest groups is underway. There are prominent individuals of Greek origin born in this country but they have not come together as a group. There are around 22 Councillors in the London area, one Euro MEP and also an ex minister (Lord Adonis) not to mention George Michael and Peter Andre of course (thought I mention though...)
So there is a new energy to identify and unify the efforts and there is a lot of excitement and support for this initiative. I always ask people I meet of course to ensure that they join a union wherever they happen to be working!

Another pic...

My baby Alison ( the Bournmouth babe!) on the left and good friend Michelle on the right...

Saturday, 15 May 2010

tourist film

We are still standing...

The Greek economy

Greece’S high defence spending has contributed to its economic problems. Indeed, the country has Europe’s highest military expenditures relative to GDP and last year this stood at 3.2% higher that that of Britain. Improvement in relations with Turkey could enable Prime Minister George Papandreou to cut defence spending and make it easier to rescue an economy on the brink of bankruptcy. But the true complications with the economy arise from a chaotic system of taxation. The mainstream television channels were full of stories yesterday about tax evasion and an incompetent system that has not yet introduced a PAYE method to collect taxes. Reforms are needed now before its too late. Those of us who travel to Greece frequently would know that the country is not poor so the question must be what has gone wrong? The answer is financial reforms and the better distribution of wealth.

Labour party and the Marion factor

The Labour party in opposition will now have to elect a new Leader after the resignation of Gordon Brown who was not the media favorite and the media of course decide these things? Anyway we are where we are and those of us in the party have to make a decision as to whether to support Ed or David Milliband. I am of course disappointed that their mother and their cousins will not be standing but that's life.
On a serious note (if that is ever possible with me) I would say that out of the selection of Millibands David will probably do better. He looks better on television and my neighbour Marion, who has always been a Tory, will vote for him because she likes his suits. That, without any doubt, must be the factor that decides who our next Leader is. It has to be someone who looks good and sounds interesting on television. My only advice (as I am in the world of PR now) is for David to work on the way he walks as he looks nervous and self conscious when he is filmed walking, need to work on that perhaps? As a pragmatist I will be voting for David who will, at the end of the day, get Marion to vote for him!

Friday, 14 May 2010

High level meeting in Athens

PM Erdogan on the left and Papandreou on the right...

There is some hope that the two day visit by PM Erdogan of Turkey today in Athens will renew the talks about a new era of cooperation between the two NATO countries which are meant to be allies.

There are air chases over the Agean sea on a weekly basis between Hellenic F16 fighters and Turkish war planes and this has been going on for the last 10 years. Despite assurances given before by PM Erdogan the Turkish military has not stopped entering Greek air space. The dispute is about whether the 100's of Greek islands in the Aegean sea have a 12 mile zone or 6. Turkey claims it can only be 6 whilst Greece states that under international law they are allowed to extend the zone to 12. The Cyprus problem is also a matter under discussion. Lets hope that these two progressive and forward thinking politicians can manage to convince their respective sides that the dispute is pointless and costly. Both Greece and Turkey spend more than 3% of GDP on defence which is very high compared with other NATO countries (Greece spend 3.3% of GDP last year higher than Britain)

Facing reality...

Well we now have a ConLib government so the opportunists have taken over the asylum so to speak. We have William Hague in the foreign office and my name sake Nick Clegg is Deputy PM. I don't know of many Deputy PM's mentioned extensively in any of the history books so lets see how long this one lasts.

I am now turning my attention to the election for General Secretary for Unison and having been relieved of my 'Lambeth connection' I can now make comments without worrying that I will upset people that I have worked with for many years. So looking at who is standing and applying real time benefit analysis I would say that from where I am standing it will be silly to do anything to remove Dave Prentis from office. He has the best profile amongst TU Leaders in the country and has done a lot to lobby for change. Paul Holmes could be seen as the man who could express the aspirations of those on the fringe but his profound (apparently) refusal to work with new technology puts him at a great disadvantage. The position requires the winner to be an excellent communicator and whilst making a good speech is nice being able to be a good all rounder is essential. So as an existing Unison member I will be supporting Dave Prentis even if it means lunch with those I left behind next Wednesday is cancelled. Dave gets my vote!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

This one for Katrina...

Here you are Katrina you are in this one my dear. I miss not arguing with you, its so different now everyone agrees with me where I am! Its not right!!

Can just about see Katrina with Jackie behind her trying to convince K to agree to amend the motion so that the cake can be eaten sooner rather than later... K is texting David Cameron who wanted to know where MFI is... Jackie in the meantime wants the word later deleted from the motion and replaced with right fucking now!

New cabinet...

Well all the speculation has ended now and the new government has a new cabinet which Tory boy Cameron bought from MFI not even Ikea! And the thousands of you who did not contact me to find out whether I am in the new cabinet or not I can put you out of your misery and say that neither Nick (not me) or the other one called me to offer me a place. This is of course tactically wrong as I am so knowledgeable on the question of the Greek economy and how to get there? They need my knowledge but hey they are the losers!

On the other hand I understand that the Liberal Democrats who of course used to be Liberals before David Owen got engaged to David Steel are now going to call the party Conlibs? I think ordinary good Liberals got short changed on this deal by Tory boy and the coalition won't last long! David Milliband his brother or his cousins will soon be taking over the Labour party in preparation for Tony Blair part two... whatever!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Con Lib coalition...

Well its all happening and I can confirm that David Cameron did not call me or offer me a position in his cabinet which is fine by me as I am not interested in his taste in furniture he is too MFI and I am more Heals. That aside I would come clean and say that most of the Labour members I know are relived with the events and the way these have developed and am not at all sure if I would want my party to be in a coalition with the smaller parties like the gang of 6 known as SNP etc.
On the other hand I am amazed that ordinary Liberal members are allowing this marriage of total opportunity and inconvenience and my bet is that it will last as long as some of the relationships I have had! I give it maximum of 2 years! The bed news is that the 6 billion that Cameron Tory boy wants to cut will hit the public sector in a bad way. The 6 billion will only represent some 1% of the overall deficit. So it looks like Britain will be joining the PIGS states soon...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

And the last few pics...

Family photo above with Jon of the Rogers
Supreme allied Commander of UL Marsha,
Anika, Jennifer, the lovely Juliet, Munu and
Chester at the back....

the boyz flexing their muscles?

What form of a coalition?

The country desperately needs a stable government but the people of Britain have voted for a coalition so it remains to be seen which combination would work. A Lib Lab agreement will mean that the other smaller parties will be able to dominate and impose their own agendas on the country so we could end up with Scotland and Wales for example getting different and preferential treatment which will be paid off by us in England and this isn't right at all. I think that if a Con Lib agreement was reached it will soon collapse and another election would take place with Labour increasing its vote. I agree however that what is in the interest of the country is strong and stable government and this should happen sooner rather than later otherwise Britain will be joining Greece...

Monday, 10 May 2010

National Minimum Wage rates

Current NMW rates

There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age. The current rates since 1 October 2009 are:
£5.80 - the main rate for workers aged 22 and over
£4.83 - the 18-21 rate
£3.57 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
If you are of compulsory school age you are not entitled to the NMW. Some of your other employment rights are also different.

A few more..

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Electoral reform

The results from the election show that the people of Britain can not be taken for granted by the politicians. The only obvious message from Thursday is that the electorate is fed up with all 3 parties and that change is needed. It is so obvious that ordinary voters do not like career politicians or opportunists. I am not sure what form of proportional representation system is necessary but I am pretty sure that the concept needs to be looked at rather fast. It is ridiculous that a party (not that I am a Liberal supporter) taking 23% of the vote gets 8% of the seats?
Not at all happy that the Libs are trying to form a coalition with the dreaded Tories their move is a tactical mistake and it will alienate anyone who thought they were a party of principals? The argument is that the Tories got more votes but the Labour and the Libs together got a lot? Its all going mad!

And more...

Saying good bye to friends on Friday 30 April...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Farewell to Lambeth...

Just got the pictures from my leaving event Friday 30th will download some of these...

Message from Steve Reed...

'Huge turn out in Lambeth Council elections - looking forward
to getting back to work on Monday.' Steve Reed - Leader of the

Not only did Labour regain Lambeth but the majority of seats and votes increased! Well done to all the activists and to Steve Reed and Jackie Meldrum for organising a brilliant campaign!

Lambeth Council results

Great news for Lambeth. The Labour party retains control after a fierce battle. The liberals lose some seats and the Green party gains one. But Labour rules the waves for another 4 years. Well done to all who fought a hard battle to ensure victory!

It is obvious now that London has stood its ground and supported Labour so the London factor was decisive in avoiding a total humiliation. The best result for me was the destruction of the BNP they lost all of their seats in Barking. This shows that there is no room for the politics of hate in modern Britain.

It remains to be seen as to whether the Tories and the Libs will form a coalition government. If they do it will be a marriage of convenience and it wont last long. It is amazing that a Liberal would even contemplate joining with the Tories and it puts anyone who ever flirted with the idea of looking at the Libs as an alternative to the toilet. There is such a divergence of opinions. The Tories might as well join with the communist party. Total nonsense. Tory boy Cameron will start cutting public services as soon as he gets his Eaton underpants on and in Downing street!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Election special...

Some interesting results the morning after the night before..
Margaret Hodge holds Dagenham with an increased majority and defeats the BNP, well done to all those who campaigned there! So the winner of the night is Margaret Hodge.
Malcolm Wicks increases his majority in Croydon North, where I am so does Tessa Jowell and Chuka wins Streatham. On the other hand the massive movement for the forces of revolution in Vauxhall with their candidate Jeremy Drinkall come last with just 103 votes. No chance of a revolution there then? Well done to Kate Hoey who got a good majority! Another loser is George Big Brother Galloway who lost to Labour. So where's the revolution gone then?
So inner London does well enough with Labour whereas Brighton Pavillion turns green and Jon of the Rogers loses his Labour MP. Its a mixture of interesting but expected results. I am waiting by the phone just in case any of the parties want to form a coalition with me!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Vote Labour!

Don't take the risk! Vote Labour!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Havoc and chaos in Greece...

The 3000 year old Acropolis occupied by demonstrators asking the workers of Europe to 'rise and fight'

Just spoke to friends in Athens. Havoc and total chaos on the main cities all over the mainland and the large islands with thousands on strike and countless demonstrations. Three people dead trapped in a bank that was set on fire. The government appears to be losing control. There are no petitions or leafleting going on just sheer violence the expression of anger and frustration at the severe measures imposed on the country by the IMF and Eurozone partner states. Is this the shape of things to come all over Europe? I hope not! The equivalent of the TUC there has asked for peaceful demonstrations only and has condemned deliberate acts of violence. Have not seen any statements issued by the UK TUC yet...

Vote Labour

Minimum wage, improvement in living standards, better transport, reduction in crime, winter fuel grants for the old, more and improved schools, reduction in times to see consultants at hospital. The list is endless but the message to those devoted to public service is clear, vote Labour or risk massive cuts and major uncertainty. Recovery needs a steady hand not people who are good at manipulating images! Gordon Brown isn't the kind of person I would want to go to dinner with but he is firm and competent to manage the economy. The country needs a person who knows how to handle the deficit and not someone who looks good on camera!

Good luck to John Gray and Louise Cooling who are standing for election tomorrow they have been brave enough to take the bull by the horns and have done a lot to challenge extremists in the East End. I am sure that left wing politburos will join me in sending them good wishes! Good luck also to Labour Councillors in Lambeth!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Remember Malcolm...

Its almost a year since I wrote this about Malcolm who died suddenly last year, a great man and a dedicated Trade Unionist. May he rest in peace.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Eurozone in trouble...

The 16 Eurozone member exclusive club has faced its first crisis with Greece going down the toilet because of the accumulating debt. There are huge demonstrations organised by the Greek unions and all the television stations there are preoccupied with the reaction which of course coincides with the May day events.
Austerity measures to be introduced include moving the retirement age from 53 to 67 with immediate effect (no transitional stage) and vat increases going up to 23%, a reduction of pensions and the abolition of the 13th pay as its called there for civil service employees (civil servants have been paid 13 times a year instead of 12)
The population there of course is not at all happy although some of the mainstream newspapers are trying to explain that these measures are needed to avoid bankruptcy.
The tragic situation in Greece has also been explained by the fact that the country has never been allowed by super powers to rest and allowed to develop. The German occupation between 1941 to 1945 meant a total destruction of the infrastructure. This was then followed by an even nastier civil war which lasted from 1947 to 1951 between the communists and the democrats in fact this was the first ever Vietnam where Stalin's communist partisans fought a nasty civil war instigated by outsiders. These constant wars did not allow the country to have a clear path of development and of course there was no Marshal plan deal to help the country. Then there was the military dictatorship which lasted from 1967 to 1974 so I am afraid the history of modern Greece is one of constant conflict sponsored by outsiders. Greece was the rushed in to the EEC in 1981 by the impatient French who wanted their ally in and then the country was pushed into the Eurozone by the Germans and the French in 2002. The Germans own the postal service and the telecommunications industry in the country so they have a major interest in what happens there. The questions Merkel is raising right now is for domestic consumption because of the election she is facing. The entire situation is a mess!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Final good bye

A big thanks to those who attended my leaving do last night at Lambeth Town Hall. It was great to see friends that I worked with for so many years. Would also like to thank Juliet who went to so much trouble to organise the event and for doing such good detective work to locate and bring back Alison who I was very close with for so many years! That was a big surprise! Thanks Juliet. Thanks also to the customary speech makers like Jon, Tim O Dell, Chester Danvers, Khi Rafe, Peter, Peter Milsom and Marsha, everything they said was true and I can confirm that I had nothing to do with the collapse of the Greek economy!
Ed took a lot of photos and I will be publishing some of them as a reminder. This was indeed the final chapter in my Lambeth book. I had 22 years and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with some great people who will always remain friends.