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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Dover up for sale..

Looks like the ContheLibs 'coalition' is at it again with firm proposals to sell off Dover! They have gone privatisation mad and even one of their own MPs Charlie Elphicke who was a Con Councillor in Lambeth during the period when Revenues and Benefits were put out, is supporting the idea of having the port go to local people who live and work there.

This is of course the shape of things to come or as Tracey Barlow once said ' things can only get worst..' The French are of course interested in buying the port as they were never able to add it to their dominions a few centuries ago when the man from Corsica, who was so 'misunderstood' was expanding his stamp collection. I am hoping that the TUs will fight this daft idea and the good people of Dover rebel!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Older workers

Studies conducted by imminent economists show that whilst a graduate may not expect to get the job they were trained to do a worker over the age of 45 will have great difficulties getting any job after they are made redundant so the governments obsession with changing the benefits system and increasing the retirement age will have an impact on the job market. But the whole strategy is bad economics as one public sector cost centre will have to absorb the so called savings made by another. The person who could not retire at the age of 65 and will now be unemployed even longer will simply have to live off a different set of benefits? So there is, in real terms, no saving! What a lot of bananas!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Clarification

My good comrade John of the Gray placed an entry on his blog yesterday in response to what I said in my piece re DMiliband and specifically a debate I was having with someone in Clapham about the meaning of life and the Labour party. I would like to clarify that this discussion was not with anyone from Lambeth Unison ( I do know people who live in the borough and don't work for Lambeth, they do, apparently, exist)

In terms of the 'Permanent Revolution' links around this I would also like to make it clear that whilst I totally disagree with almost everything they say and do ( all 5 of them in London) and their methods I will still defend their democratic right to say what they think and what they believe in. Or as Deidrie Rashid Barlow once said ' I disagree with them but I will fight for their right to express what they think'.

I also disagree that those who wish to associate Jon of the Rogers with ET I think he looks nothing like ET he is much more like Del Boy's brother Rodney in only fools and horses.. so leave our Jon alone.. Anyway I have moved away from Lambeth Unison and its politics and very happy with that!

Friday, 27 August 2010

The case for David Miliband


David Miliband

There is nothing clever about supporting a clear winner and my decision to campaign for David Miliband has more to do with the fact that he will be the one who could persuade the huge number of floaters to vote against the ConLibs. The argument is the same as the one used when Tony (not so nice) Blair was elected. He attracted those who were sitting on the fence and gave us 13 years of Labour government which allowed us to bring in necessary reforms the minimum wage Act being one of those big changes that no Tory governmnet would have introduced. He then went totally mad and took us into an illegal war but he was removed because of that. So even though Tony Blair was not liked by the average left to left or even soft left activists he did bring in the customers at the start!

And I know this very pragmatic way of thinking is not at all attractive but it is real and the evidence shows it will yield the desired result. Ed Miliband isn't a bad candidate at all but his brother looks and sounds better on television and that will bring in the extra votes we will need to throw the Tories out of government. Its a simple PR exercise!

I was in fact having this debate with a 'commrade' from Lambeth last night (he happened to be there in the same pub as me) this lefty who is as good looking as Nora Batty and has the wit and charm of Robert Mugabe, was arguing that we (those of us in the Labour party) should regain the party before we start supporting any leaders better still, in his opinion, leave the Labour project and join a real (in his Mugabian reasoning) party. This is the kind of person of course who would rather spend time and energy arguing with the other 28.4 ultra left versions of the far left than concentrate on achiieviing change and therefore and that way help those wo need it most?

Anyway I conclude by saying that a vote for David of the Milibands is a vote for reality and real chance of change! This is drastically important as the ConLibs will soon be collapsing and the Tories will be running the show for the next 13 years! By the end of that time we will all be working until we are 92 have 5 days annual leave and pay for our childrens education (we already do of course via taxation)




David Miliband for Leader!!

Nick Venedi

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Barnet Unison

I must say that I am rather impressed with the excellent communication systems Barnet Unison have. Information is emailed out to all members who are on email almost immediately after an event or before a major gathering that could be of interest or relevance. This practice is excellent and much better than what we used to do in my old branch where I was Secretary, and to think that Barnet have more members than what we had in Lambeth, lol!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

TUC Appeal

The TUC is supporting the DEC appeal and would like to invite union members and the general public to contribute generously to it.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18382-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Free Ebrina Manneh

Nobody knows exactly why journalist Ebrima B. Manneh was arrested by Gambian authorities. What's almost certain, however, is that Manneh was detained for exercising his right to freedom of expression.Free journalist Ebrima B. Manneh. »Gambian authorities claim that they didn't arrest Manneh and don't know where he is, even though there are reports that he was escorted into a hospital by police.The Economic Community of West African States, along with others, isn't buying the government's story. They issued a statement saying that Manneh's right to liberty and fair trial were violated, and asked authorities to release him and restore his human rights. But the government has been silent. Don't let the Gambian government cover up Ebrima B. Manneh's whereabouts after his murky arrest. Tell the Gambian President Dr. A.J.J. Yahya Jammeh to release Manneh immediately. »

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Greek economy

The measures imposed by the Greek government in the last two months have been tremendously harsh and the Trade Unions there have marched and demonstrated their opposition to the severe cuts the resistance will continue but in the meantime the press and the media at large are reporting few improvements in the way the IR is chasing uncollected taxes. A famous scandal involves a number of high earning lawyers and dentists with at least 3 villas each (including swimming pools and at least 4 cars each) and tax returns showing around e 20,000 a year! I don't know how these guys manage to 'achieve' the accumulation of such wealth with so little! The PASOK government must do more to deal with this and a PAYE (or similar) system must be introduced immediately, the country is wealthy it is just badly managed! George Papandreou needs to sort this out before her majesty, the one that must be obeyed, Mistress Merkel, whips his hairy ass again! The French will not be running to our rescue again! Sort it out Giorgos mate!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Is Charles (not Nigel) Kennedy the first of many?

Well when the coalition was put together back in May this year many wondered as to whether the marriage of convenience for Cameron and inconvenience for Clegg would last long. It is strange to me to have two major parties with such different views getting to bed together! Some of the Liberals I know from the Lambeth constituencies are very unhappy with the direction Clegg has chosen to take them. It looks like he decided this was the only opportunity he would ever have of getting anywhere near Downing street so he took the chance but by doing so has condemned the Liberal party to political oblivion.

I would imagine Simon Huges will shortly be staging a rebellion based on the Charles (not Nigel) Kennedy defection and others may follow. It is somewhat strange however that an ex Leader of a party can defect I can understand if an ordinary MP left but an ex Leader spells huge trouble! Is Paddy Ashdown to follow?

Friday, 20 August 2010

50 years of independence conference

http://www.archive.org/details/CyprusCentreatLondonMetConferenceCyprus50YearsofIndependence-BirthandDevelopmentoft

Airbus UK Ltd vs Webb (2008) IRLR

The Court of Appeal held that there is no rule of law that spent warnings must be ignored for all purposes. On the facts, where a spent warning was not part of the reason for the dismissal, but the basis for the employer's refusal to exercise leniency in respect of later gross misconduct, the dismissal was not necessarily unfair.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

ConLib reviews

Looks like the 'coalition' government is getting ready to 'review' (meaning remove) the regulations which allow employees to ask for time off for training which came into effect in April 2010. They are also shelving or scrapping plans to extend paternity leave. Now why am I not at all surprised that this is happening?

In a statement issued by John Hayes he says 'We believe it is important that all regulations are properly scrutinised and we are therefore interested in hearing views on the future of this right and its role in promoting training in the workplace, which I see as vital to our economic success' This is interesting of course but the consultation period will be shorter than usual and the period given will close on the 15 of September...

I hope the Liberal side of the coalition are now realising what a mess they have let themselves into!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Quien Dijo Miedo

SERTUC Film Club presents a screening of Quien Dijo Miedo (Who is Afraid?), which follows René Guillermo Amador Padilla during the Honduran people's resistance against the military coup of June 28, 2009. There will also be a live panel discussion with René Guillermo Amador Padilla.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18355-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Is Deidre Barlow, Rushid, Langton, Baldwin innocent?

There has been a lot of speculation about whether Deidre Barlow, Rushid, Langton and nearly Baldwin (she had an affair with Mike Baldwin but never married him) is Innocent or not. I understand that even the united left is divided on the subject with those who insist that she flirted with the Nigel Havers character and the rest who think that she was led on. The decision as to who to follow will very much depend on whether the ul allow for an amendment to go onto the agenda at their forthcoming AGM.

At the end of the day it would appear that both Deidrie and Audrey Roberts were seduced. Full marks to Audrey Roberts though who is still selling up and running off to the island of Alonisos in the Aegean a beautiful little place with clear sea water and constant blue skies am sure the locals will benefit from her in depth skills and knowledge in modern English literature.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Cruelty to animals

Last month, Parliament passed a ban on bullfighting, making Catalonia the first major region of Spain to outlaw the old Spanish tradition. The ban will take effect January 01, 2012. More than 35,000 people signed the Care2 petition, sponsored by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Read more.


Nick Venedi

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Support Sustainable Fishing Policies

Maria Damanaki Daskalopoulos, EU Commissioner and I hope a future leader of Hellas..


Global fish stocks like bluefin tuna are in decline; in Europe over 80 percent are overfished and a third are outside safe limits. For too long, short-term interest has hi-jacked European fisheries management. But now the reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy provides the opportunity for a new policy that will stop overfishing, end destructive fishing and deliver fair and equitable use of abundant fish stock.Tell Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, to enshrine environmental sustainability as the overarching principle of the future Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in order to achieve long term economic and social sustainability.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Deidrie Barlow at it again...


Telly idle Deidre Barlow, Rushid, Langton and nearly Baldwin is at it again


I have to admit that I was wrong about Deidre Barlow, Rushid, Langton and nearly Baldwin and my view that she could change and stop being a trollop was proved wrong last night. I apologise to the thousands of readers who never read my blog for getting this wrong!


I managed to inflict on me the first episode of Corrie Street last night before going out and watched the second one this morning. I was devastated when I saw the Nigel Havers character sticking a big kiss on D's smoke filled mouth (she smokes 50 a day) which was, as one would imagine, miraculously recorded by a cctv camera in the betting office (owned by Peter 'give me 5 bottles of whisky' Barlow) In the mean time Gail Tisley, Platt, Hilman and for 5 days only McIntere ended up throwing a Manchester tart on poor D when she found out! Anyway I am now giving up on D and will refuse to campaign for her next time she is thrown in jail!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Violence against women seminar

The Yorkshire and the Humber TUC ,Amnesty International Leeds and the Leeds Trade Union Council are working together to hold a half day seminar on Saturday 9th October 2010 on Violence Against Women. This event will include speakers,workshops,actions and a conference pack for campaigners/trade union representatives looking at regional/national and International issues. The seminar is free of charge.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18341-f0.cfm

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Are Trade unions doing enough to recruit?

I have been involved with a number of projects since leaving the land of Lambeth Unison and have had the opportunity to witness first hand how the private sector works. My exposure and conclusions, based on participant observation, would suggest a number of significant and interesting findings;

Employers in the private sector are worried about the power of unions and organisations with less than 100 employees are not organised enough to have policies and procedures that meet national and European standards in employment law;

Employers would rather work with a union to try and resolve a dispute and would avoid conflict;

The majority of those employed in smaller organisations are rarely asked to join a union and if they were they would gladly do so!

So the major reason I am writing this is to ask the question as to why we don't or haven't done more to recruit and campaign? And as my old Regional Officer used to say if some activists spend at least 20% of their spare time recruiting then we would be much stronger. And now that I have seen how the other half live (private sector) I am amazed that some local government branches can only attract one third of those at their work place into membership! Should the ultra lefties and the others spend more time recruiting first and concentrate on the revolution once they have achieved these results? The answer is surely yes!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Older workers fear it most

Studies conducted by imminent economists show that whilst a graduate may not expect to get the job they were trained to do a worker over the age of 45 will have great difficulties getting any job after they are made redundant so the governments obsession with changing the benefits system and increasing the retirement age will have an impact on the job market. But the whole strategy is bad economics as one public sector cost centre will have to absorb the so called savings made by another. The person who could not retire at the age of 65 and will now be unemployed even longer will simply have to live off a different set of benefits? So there is, in real terms, no saving! What a lot of bananas!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Born Free campaign, rescue the dolphins!

Born Free patron Helen Worth visits dolphins Misha and Tom and calls for their release from Hisaronu.
Behind the blue tarpaulin which screens their concrete pool, Misha and Tom drift aimlessly around and occasionally bob up for air. There's nothing else for them to do.
They arrived in Hisaronu in June 2010, reportedly transported there, without a supportive sling, in the back of a fruit and veg van.
Together with their owner Aleksandr Kuznetsov, they are now in limbo. With no license to operate, the dolphinarium is not open to the public. But already tourists and local people are speaking out against this facility. With major tour operators committed to boycotting the facility and the public getting behind Helen's'campaign in The Sun along with the
Facebook campaign - will public opposition be strong enough to end the suffering of these dolphins?
As long as people are prepared to pay to see captive dolphins then opportunistic facilities like this will continue to spring up. But at what cost to the dolphins?
Born Free has proposed directly to the owner that he consider entering the dolphins into a rehab programme, if experts consider Misha and Tom suitable candidates.

Bangladeshi textile workers campaign

The TUC has joined trade unionists and campaigners around the world to demand better terms and conditions for 3.5 million Bangladeshi textile workers, who are striking and demonstrating for, among other things, a higher minimum wage of 5,000 taka a month – just £45. The current minimum wage in Bangladesh is 1,662 taka a month – about £15. This leaves textile workers, who are making clothes for sale in the UK, US and around the world, in dire poverty. The USA is the largest single market for Bangladeshi textiles, and the EU as a whole takes a massive 57% of them.
http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18317-f0.cfm

Monday, 9 August 2010

Single Equality Act

Last month's announcement by the Government Equalities Office that the first wave of implementation of the Equality Act is to go ahead as planned on 1 October was welcomed by the TUC.
The TUC said it had campaigned for many years for a single Equality Act to simplify discrimination law and make it easier for workers and employers to understand.
Details @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-18168-f0.cfm

Sunday, 8 August 2010

An EU trade policy for Decent Work

Europe's trade policy needs serious changes to deliver on decent work and development, and to restore the faith of working people badly shaken by an economic crisis they did nothing to cause. The TUC's submission to the European Commission's consultation outlines priority areas for change.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18298-f0.cfm

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Pensions

An 80 year-old pensioner with an average public sector pension would be more than £650 a year worse off if the budget change to the indexing of pensions had been in force since their retirement, according to TUC calculations released in July.
A little noticed budget announcement changed the figure used to uprate public sector pensions from the RPI inflation measure to CPI. As CPI is normally lower than RPI, public sector pensioners will usually get a smaller increase when their pensions are annually uprated.
Further details @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/publicsector/tuc-18170-f0.cfm
http://www.tuc.org.uk/pensions/tuc-18192-f0.cfm
In defence of public pensions
Meanwhile, TUC evidence to Lord Hutton's pensions review has made it clear that public service pensions are both affordable and sustainable.
Even before the switch to CPI indexing, the National Audit Office and the Office for Budget Responsibility had endorsed Treasury estimates that public sector pension commitments will remain stable as a proportion of GDP for the next 40 years.
Summary information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/newsroom/tuc-18289-f0.cfm
Read the full submission @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/responsetohutton.pdf

Friday, 6 August 2010

TUC welcomes closure of minimum wage loophole

The TUC welcomes the announcement that the Government will change the law from 1 January 2011 to stop payments made into travel and subsistence tax relief schemes from counting towards the national minimum wage (NMW). An earlier consultation uncovered abuse of these schemes by unscrupulous employers who have used these arrangements to avoid liability to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions, says the TUC.
TUC News

Am I getting older then?

Deidrie Barlow trying to decide who to go for next..


Well I started watching coronation street more often than I used to and I don't understand why young guys in their 20s are wearing thick woolly hats in the summer with temperatures over 35c? In fact my fear that I am getting older was confirmed by my 20 year old niece was was shocked when I asked her why young guys wear these woolly hats? Apparently its a fashion statement? There are two possibilities here one that I am getting older and losing touch or two the woolly hat wearing brigade are bonkers? On the other hand I clearly don't undestand how Deidrie Rashid, Barlow, Langton and nearly Baldwin has got away with looking so glamorous in her old age!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Levithan and the O'Oclock clubs

Good news has just come in from the land of Lambeth where the Levithan was threatening to interfere with the good work done by workers in the One O'clock clubs a very popular service with parents, children and the community at large. The half baked proposal would have seen the destabilisation of the service and changes that would have affected people who have worked there for many years some for over 20 years. I won't say more as I do not want to jeopardise the security of the new state of play but congratulations to the activists and the local Convenor, Andrew Tullis, in the division who worked hard to ensure that sense prevailed. I was asked to get involved with the campaign and agreed to do so as I know the people who work there very well, they are an example of how trade union activists should be.

An EU trade policy for Decent Work

Europe's trade policy needs serious changes to deliver on decent work and development, and to restore the faith of working people badly shaken by an economic crisis they did nothing to cause. The TUC's submission to the European Commission's consultation outlines priority areas for change.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18298-f0.cfm

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Changes in Minimum pay and age

Good news on the age at which workers become eligible for the full national minimum wage (NMW) rate this will drop to 21 this year.
The Government has
published the latest NMW Regulations which state that the age from which the principal rate becomes payable falls from 22 to 21 on 1 October 2010. Employees of that age and above will be entitled to a minimum wage of £5.93 per hour - up 2.2% from £5.80.

It is estimated that around 85,000 22 year olds will benefit from this positive change but of course more should be done to bring the minimum wage in line with real cost of living.

Holiday


Monday, 2 August 2010

Holiday season...


No one reads blogs in the holiday season..


Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rights at work

SPANISH leaflet for people coming to work in the UK from the eight new member countries of the European Union. It gives information about your legal rights while you work here.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18272-f0.cfm