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Saturday, 30 April 2011

The only way is white Essex?

I had the misfortune of being forced to watch the Only way is Essex a kind of soap opera on Chanel 257 or something like that. Now I know I am often critical of the influence television has on people and I do not hesitate to put my thoughts down hence my severe criticism a few years ago of Neighbours and Home and Away from the toilet for being exclusively white?

It now seems that British telly producers want us to go down the same way. If what we see on telly is to be believed then 98% of everyone in Essex is white blond and with blue eyes? Is it meant to be a joke? British programme producers have a responsibility to ensure that what is shown on our screens resembles some truth and reality?? Sort it out geezers!!

British TV The hegemony of the few

Can't switch telly on these days without seeing Andrew Neil or Phillip Schofield. The message to me and others is that either there is no one else in a country with 65 million population to do the job they do or that television producers simply won't allow new talent to get thorough? Shouldn't we have some new people have a go? How is social mobility going to be achieved if we restrict the movement of new talent?

No offence to Schofield or Andrew Neil but the job can be done by a few others? Give them a chance??

Friday, 29 April 2011

Congratulations to Kate and Will

Irrelevant whether we like the monarchy or not and debatable as to whether we will be better off having someone like Sarkozi as our President? The fact is two people who are obviously in love got married today and we should all be wishing them the best of luck especially to Kate who may face problems by the family she is entering into like Diana and Fergie? I hope not.. all the best!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Workers memorial day





























































Remember the dead fight for the living. The war against repression and inequality continues.

Andrew Marr

A lot has been said in the press about whether Andrew Marr was right to go to court and get an order against printing stories about his personal life. I just don't think its any ones business what people do when they are offline. The most amazing thing with the story is that anyone would want to have an affair with someone looking like him but whether they did or not has nothing to do with us!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Against AV

It was interesting to watch last night the debate between 6 white men around the Yes and No to AV campaign on newsnight. I can't understand how the BBC could not find a few women to be on the panel?? Should they be reported to someone?

Anyway I am convinced that the current system is not perfect but it is good enough to retain and Ed Millibands argument that had we had AV right now we could have had a Lib Lab government is not that attractive at all. Why would Labour supporters want to be in coalition with crypto Tories like Nick Glegg??

I am voting in favor of keeping the current system. Its easy to understand and I would not want my 4th choice to gain power ever!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The wedding

Well its difficult sometimes to escape from reality and the fact is that William and Kate are getting married this week.

There are of course serious arguments against having a royal family and one of the major ones revolves around the fact that the crown symbolises inequality and perpetuates the tradition that started hundreds of years ago. They are in other words on top of an unequal pyramid.

On the other hand there are those who will say that things have change and the royals have a ceremonial role. Not many people would, for example, remember the name of a president whereas almost everyone would know who the king of Spain or England are. So there is that side of thugs to consider. And I am not sure that it is the royals that create the inequality that much? I think its those immediately below them who hope that they might get a title out of it and make themselves look better (in their opinion) by being associated with them.

But on a practical level many people will enjoy the day and an extra holiday will do everyone the world of good. I can only wish the two people getting married the best of luck to be honest they are clearly in love and the fact that the family have agreed to allow William to marry someone amongst the ranks of the middle class is a good thing.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Who benefits if Europe collapses?

I am continuing with the theme I stared yesterday as it is one of the most significant of the principles I hold dear. European integration is a fantastic opportunity for those of us who live on the continent to achieve stability, avoid conflict and ensure economic prosperity. And whilst I agree that there are some major financial problems right now we must not forget the core values and the reasons for starting the Euro project.

The world is moving towards having big blocks of united countries that will control our futures like the US and China and small states like France, Britain, Germany or any of the other countries of Europe will never be able to compete. American hegemony is definitely not what Europe should want. We should not depend on them. So Europe must preservere with the current crisis and push forward because the alternative will be catastrophic.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

European integration

There is a great danger that member states of the EU would see the current financial crisis as a reason to abandon the European project and whilst I can see that the temptation to pull out is there destroying the chance for total integration will be a major set back. European federation and true integration is the only hope we have for fewer conflicts and more prosperity for all the people of the continent.

So whilst it is inevitable that there will be some major problems on the way to total unity it will be a mistake of historical proportions to pull out. American hegemony is the only thing that will benefit if countries opt out. This must not happen and we must persevere!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Καλό Πάσχα





Good wishes to all during Semana Santa



Καλό Πάσχα

Thursday, 21 April 2011

TUC Events

Across the country, trade unionists will be commemorating 1st May, International Workers' Day, with marches, rallies and events. Here are a number of events being organised by trades councils and local union groups, taking place in the days around May Day.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/union/tuc-19518-f0.cfm

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Can Greece survive the Euro crisis?

Greeks would tell you that the journey has been difficult for the country since it was re invented in 1827 and continuous wars in the Balkans and conflict have not helped. But Greeks will also remind themselves that modern Greece has achieved a lot and that they close ranks and deal with problems when they are facing a crisis.

Modern Greece is still not sure whether the post 1827 Kingdom/state is a recreation of ancient Greece or an extension of Byzantium. The reality is that the modern state is a mixture of both. The movement of populations by the Byzantine Emperors from the Balkans into southern Greece (Peloponnese) also means that there is a good and diverse mixture of old and new people who inhabit the modern state.

I am not sure what it is that an expert would use to measure the success or failure of Greece plc? Would the fact that it has doubled its size geographically be a criterion or would the fact that it has the largest merchant navy fleet in the world seen as an indicator of success? Would becoming the 12th member of the EEC (now EU) be another way to determine success or failure?

The fact remains that its not just Greece that is facing a financial crisis Portugal, Ireland and Spain with Italy following soon are also having to deal with similar issues. So the international markets are creating the pre conditions that in term have lead to major problems. I know that the current problems will be dealt with soon and Greece and other countries will return back to stability.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bahrain risks sliding into absolute dictatorship warns ITUC

An urgent mission by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) to Bahrain over the weekend has warned of a slide towards absolute dictatorship, and called for an ILO Commission of Inquiry to stop the government's discriminatory attacks on trade unionists.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19497-f0.cfm

Monday, 18 April 2011

Against the AV system

We are asked to vote for an alternative system on May the 5th this year and the Lib Democrats are pushing the idea as far as it can go. But it is a complex to understand and pointless system that will, at best, produce more coalition governments that we do not need. In addition to that it does not pass the ' my mother test'. Which means that since my mother and her friends don't understand how it works then its no good. I am against the AV system as it is being proposed come up with something simpler and I will think about it. Vote against AV.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Protest letter to Mexican President

The TUC General Secretary has written to President Calderon of Mexico to express serious concerns over draft labour law legislation which will entrench anti-worker practices and make it even harder for independent unions to organise.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19486-f0.cfm

Saturday, 16 April 2011

My ordeal - a personal account from a Swazi trade union activist

Percy Masuku is the National Coordinator of the International Research Academy for Labour and Education (IRALE). The TUC has close relations with IRALE and has been collaborating with it in a capacity-building initiative for two years now. Percy, his colleagues and a number of trade union leaders and activists were arrested yesterday by the Swazi Police. Percy recounts his ordeal in a communication to his colleagues in the international trade union movement. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19493-f0.cfm

Friday, 15 April 2011

TUC protest at initial signing of EU-Colombia trade agreement

In the face of a campaign by Colombian unions, Justice for Colombia and unions across Europe the EU has initialled a free trade agreement with the Colombian Government. The campaign however continues as the European Parliament will have to give its formal consent before the Treaty can be considered as fully ratified. The TUC calls on all MEPs to consider the appalling levels of violence still suffered by trade unionists and other human rights defenders in Colombia before they vote. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19494-f0.cfm

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Unions call on EU to support positive transition in Tunisia

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, along with his European and International counterparts, has written to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, calling on him to back an EU-wide approach to supporting democracy and decent work in Tunisia. This includes granting Tunisia preferential access to EU markets, writing off part of its debt, and supporting fundamental rights at work and good governance.

http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19488-f0.cfm

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

ITUC condemns anti-union reprisals in Bahrain

The Bahraini Government has engaged in massive sackings, and threats and violence against workers and their trade union representatives in response to their participation in strikes and protests for greater democracy in the country. The ITUC and the global trade union movement have condemned these vicious reprisals. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19481-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

TUC backs Zimbabwe Vigil

The TUC is supporting the lunchtime Vigil organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) outside the Embassy of Zimbabwe, 429, the Strand, London WC2, from 13.00 to 14.00 on 18 April 2011 on the occasion of the Independence Day in Zimbabwe. The TUC joins the ACTSA in its call for democracy, justice, the rule of law and an immediate end to violence.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19465-f0.cfm

Monday, 11 April 2011

NEC Election 2011

Unison members throughout the country will be getting their ballot papers delivered today. The main contest is between the forces on the left (known as United Left) and those describing themselves as the forces of Light and Reason who are not seen by the others on the left as being on the left? Anyway I am advocating that members should vote for those who have shown dedication and commitment and ability to deliver the job. I am therefore not suggesting that people should vote for labels but for individuals. There is no question about Jon Rogers ability to represent members correctly and with vigour. Marsha Jane Thompson is also a good candidate so they should both get the vote.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Public against the cuts

Public against cuts On the eve of the March for the Alternative, the TUC released results of a YouGov poll showing that a majority of the British people backed the aims of the demonstration. Some 52 per cent of those questioned said they supported the mobilisation against the cuts, while just 31 per cent disagreed. Full details @ http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-19397-f0.cfm

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Half a million on the march

As many as 500,000 people joined the TUC's March for the Alternative on 26 March, making it the largest and most successful trade union mobilisation in living memory. People from all walks of life and every part of Britain joined the march, which started on the Embankment and culminated with a rally in Hyde Park. Over 800 coaches and 12 special trains brought protestors to London. One person walked from Cardiff to protest against the cuts. The event attracted a huge amount of coverage on television, radio and internet media, as well as in newspapers. Prominent throughout was the TUC's message that there is a credible alternative to austerity, based on growth, jobs and tax justice. More on this @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/26/march-for-the-alternative

Friday, 8 April 2011

Has the Euro gone down the toilet?

The reasons behind the creation of the Euro zone are probably good ones if you want a united Europe that stops creating wars and conflict. But the entire concept was not thought of carefully and the absence of a real central European bank to regulated local economies means that the entire project is now under danger. Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and to some extent Italy are not ready for this punishing regime. Greece for example had many crisis in the past and was able;e to deal with these by devaluing the Drachma which it cannot now do The same applies to Portugal. So I think we should all admit defeat on the euro land project and go back to good old currencies...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Stop Ivory trade

Elephants are in more danger from poachers than ever. Recently the international ivory trade has begun flourishing again, leading to more and more illegal killing of elephants. Countries with stockpiles of ivory continue to vie to legally sell it abroad. Recent sales to Japan and China have created huge incentive for poachers to continue slaughtering elephants for their ivory, selling it into the market created by legal stockpile sales. Poaching is devastating to elephant packs, throwing apart their complex social structure and ravaging elephant population. Twenty years ago international outcry halted the trade of ivory, letting elephant herds start to recover. We need to act again to protect wild elephants.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

What happens after the big march?

A considerable number of those I know are just wondering as to what the follow up from the big march on the 26 March is? There were more than half a million people protesting yet the focus of the media was on the very small number of those who resorted to disturbances (around 200?) But where do we go from here and how do we ensure that Trade union branches link in with community groups to develop a more successful strategy for fighting the cuts. Was the 26 a one off? I hope not!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Top Ten Beach Destinations in Europe





Cyprus favourite Ayia Napa has been named the best beach destination in Europe by Tripadvisor.The travel review website has revealed that Skiathos in Greece came in at second place, while Protaras took third place.


But Ayia Napa's bustling music scene and nightlife, boat tours and diving spots, as well as, of course, its turquoise waters and gorgeous golden sand beaches, was named the clear winner.


Tripadvisor's full Top Ten Beach Destinations in Europe are:

1. Ayia Napa, Cyprus

2. Skiathos, Greece

3. Protaras, Cyprus

4. Mykonos, Greece

5. Oludeniz, Turkey

6. St. Ives, England

7. Alcudia, Balearic Islands, Spain

8. San Vito lo Capo , Sicily , Italy

9. Calvia, Balearic Islands, Spain

10.Villasimius, Sardinia , Italy


Meanwhile, Tripadvisor has also released its list of the top ten beach destinations in the UK, and, if you're looking for a lovely staycation this summer, it looks like St Ives in Cornwall is the place to be.Tripadvisor's Top Ten Beach Destinations in the UK are:1. St. Ives, Cornwall , England2. Newquay, Cornwall , England3. Bournemouth, Dorset , England4. Weymouth, Dorset , England5. Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales6. St. Brelade, Jersey, Channel Islands7. Woolacombe, Devon , England8. Padstow, Cornwall , England9. Shanklin, Isle of Wight , England10.Swanage, Dorset , EnglandSo, what will it be? A place in the sun: home or away?

Kate Allen: standing firm on workers' rights in the USA

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK spoke about the human rights implications of developments in the US at the TUC solidarity rally with US workers and unions on Monday 4 April http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19444-f0.cfm

Monday, 4 April 2011

TUC leaders call for workers' rights in Wisconsin

Today, the leadership of the British trade union movement have written to the US Ambassador to Britain calling for the right to collectively bargain for public sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19410-f0.cfm

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Church of England

Now a lot of my many readers would be wondering as to why the hell I am getting involved with the debate as to whether we should have an established church and they would be wondering, correctly I think, as to what makes me an expert on this. Well the truth is not being an expert on a subject has not stopped me from commenting before. I am sure that Mrs Queen will not care much about my views on this. My profound position on the church of England and its dominance over all other religions in the country is that it is very much part of the historical tradition of the country. But its elevation to top dog does not make it right and the fact that Henry the 8.5 (apparently that's how big he was) and his obsession with removing a number of his wife's (he clearly didn't believe in equal rights..) should not mean that one religion should be more equal than others? In fact I would go as far as to say that in this day and age we do not need to have any religion have such a powerful position in society. Those who want to practice religion, like my mother and her friends, have every right to do so but having the Church of England recognised as the main religion of the state over say Catholics or other non Christian religions is not representative. Whoever becomes the King next should declare that they will try to defend all religions and those who have none at all. That will be more up to date and relevant. Ah and maybe someone should start getting rid of the House of Lords? What do they do???

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Egypt

A proposed decree which would make strikes a criminal offence, with prison terms of up to one year and fines of up to US$ 90,000 has been condemned by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Amnesty International. http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19441-f0.cfm

Friday, 1 April 2011

Cinderella was a Maoist

Secret documents held by the BBC were released today proving that Cinderella's real name (originally Sharon Rollbottom) was in fact a secret Maoist and that her 7 companions were also followers of the revisionist tradition...