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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

ACT NOW! Defend Iraqi oil union leader

The TUC is supporting a Labour Start appeal to defend the President of the Kirkuk Oil and Gas Workers Union, Jamal Abdul-Jabbar who has been forcibly relocated by his employers. International union protests have prevented this sort of management harassment before.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19623-f0.cfm

Monday, 30 May 2011

Naomi Campbell and Cadbury

Supermodel diva Naomi Campbell is reportedly threatening to sue chocolate giant Cadbury over a new advertising campaign. According to The Independent, the 41-year-old is considering "every option available" following the release of the Bliss bar ad, which features the tagline: "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town."

This is another example where super giant companies think they can dish out whatever none sense they like at the expense of everyone else. Naomi is of course one of the worlds super models and got to the position that she is because she is one of the best. Picking on her because she is either over 40 or Black is unacceptable and should not be allowed. I don't know what the ugly fat men running Cadburys think they are saying or doing but they should leave Naomi alone, she has achieved what she has got because of her talent and being over 40 does not mean she is out of the race. I hope she sues them!! On the other hand this incident will give Cadbury more publicity? Is this what they are after?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Cheryl Cole

Well the sage goes on and it is now obvious that the 4th place on the UK version of the X Factor was already preserved for Cheryl Cole, she will be with Gary Barlow and Louie Walsh plus another. This is perhaps the worst kept secret in the country.

I have a lot of time for Gary Barlow and Louie Walsh has got experience of managing successful bands so they both make the grade but I am still wondering why Cheryl is meant to be the best discovery (talent wise) since green olives? Can someone explain? Its like the panel on the Britain has no talent thing where we have that American guy from banana bay series and the 'comedian' McIntyre someone? Are we so short on talent? How about they get Brendon Barber or someone it would make more sense? Or Bob Crow he would be bloody good!

Sharon Shoestring

The tragic case of baby P shook everyone and those responsible for his death have now been punished as they are in jail where they belong hopefully for a very long time.

But Ed Balls was wrong to react the way he did at the time and blaming those who work in a very over stretched stressful department was not the right thing to do. He reacted to pressure from the public and looked for a sacrifice. I would have thought that the right person to get the blame, if that is what the country was looking for, would have been himself, he should have resigned for failure to ensure that Councils like Haringey are adequately resourced. He is just another one of many career politicians motivated by self preservation. Shoestring should have been more effective in her job but not allowing her to respond to a report that dismissed her was unfair dismissal.

Friday, 27 May 2011

War criminals

It is right and proper that the Serbian commander largely responsible for mass murder should be brought to justice and it is correct that we in the West should be ready to stop genocide. The international Rule of Law principle should apply everywhere and irrespective of who we are dealing with.

That is why I am angry that those who have committed murder and violated international law during the invasion of Cyprus, a European country and now a member of the EU, should also be brought to justice.

It is a disgrace that Britain, which was one of the 3 a guarantor powers after the Cyprus treaty of 1960 did not take action to stop the invasion. James Callaghan mentions the fact that 'he thought about it' in 1974 but thinking about it and doing it are two distinct actions. Why does the international community tolerate the continuous occupation of 37% of the Republic's territory? It means that Turkey is in real terms occupying part of EU territory? Yet nothing is being done to change this? Who is responsible for instigating the 1974 coup? We all know it was Henry Kissinger who did not, in his own words, want to see Cyprus turning into another Cuba of the Med...

Cheryl Cole crisis...

I can understand why most of the press here are so preoccupied with whether Cheryl Cole's career will be damaged by the decision taken in the US to drop her as a judge for the US version of X Factor over the pond.

But cynics tell me that the entire episode(obviously of more significance to some papers than the G8 and other international situations) tell me that its all to do with good and well constructed PR meaning that you create some so called 'crisis' (as important to most of us as not having enough lemon for a salad) you get the public to sympathise with how the Yanks are treating our Newcastle girl, she comes back and saves the planet by sitting on the British version of X Factor and saving the world from sure catastrophe?? Get the twist? Then Simon Cowe turns up as a surprise and makes us all feel proud that we can grow such genuine talent in this country, then months of boring nonsense every Saturday night until Xmas ensuring that the X Factor winner gets the Xmas no one and makes Simon even more money than he already has...

My take on this is that you can take anyone from the street spend 2 to 3 million on heavy PR and publicity and you turn them into a so called star? Cheryl (and am sure she is lovely) is as talented as I am an expert on post depression Swedish nationalism... in other words she is not...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Regional Council 25 May

As expected not enough delegates attended today's Regional Council meeting held in Euston. A number of those attending questioned the regional team about this. I think it is a legitimate concern and delegates have the right to ask questions.

The meeting had 3 speakers who were invited in advance. One of the delegates wanted to ask a question after the first speaker had finished delivering his 'long speech' but the Chair ruled that she would not be taking questions from the floor at which point half of those attending walked out.

My take on this is that the Chair could have allowed brief questions but for more than 20 people to walk out before the next speaker came on was wrong and it showed disrespect to the the activist who accepted the invitation and had nothing to do or is involved with the internal politics of Unison. So lets have some balance from both sides in future please?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Cyprus elections

The results from the elections that took place at the weekend in Cyprus have not been a surprise. The right wing party DISY increased the share of its vote by around 2% but they only have 34% of the total vote. So although thhey will be the largest party in the House of representatives communist AKEL with 32% and the centre right parties like DIKO and EDEK can continue to support the communist President Dimitri Cristofias. Nothing changes..

Monday, 23 May 2011

Tax promises campaign

ACT NOW! Keep aid promises, make tax transparent, support a Robin Hood TaxOn Thursday, 9 June, the TUC is supporting a lobby of Parliament organised by British development NGOs.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19598-f0.cfm

Friday, 20 May 2011

Cyprus elections. Same old violin?

Elections for the house of representatives takes place this weekend in the Republic of Cyprus with the same old parties (plus a few new ones) saying the same old thing.

Attended a meeting last night where the 3 major parties AKEL, DYSI and DIKO were having a debate and I wondered whether anything they said was any different from what they have been saying for the last 40 years. The answer to that is unfortunately no. They are all blaming each other for not making progress with resolving the problem associated with the occupation of part of the Republics territory and are offering no real alternatives or solutions.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

German warnings?

The Greek press are correctly concerned about the comments made by the German Chancellor concerning the long holidays Greek workers have and the fact that up to now public sector workers could retire by the age of 50. I don't think that she has the right to be making these statements publicly and if she has these cocnerns she shuld make them in private. Of course we all know that she has to appease her own critics back home but to get involved in another countries internal affairs is not the right thing to do. And I don't think going back to the Drachma is going to help either.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Will Kate Middleclass do well?

Well Kate middleclass from middle England has married into the royal family and it all looked good at the wedding. Now although this is not a great cocnern to me I just wondered whether Kate would follow the footsteps of Diana and Sarah who were more or less eaten up by the 'family' chewed up and thrown out. I hope not and I hope some of the royals have learned the lesson?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Greece. More privatisation?

Public service unions have reacted angrily at firm proposals announced by the PASOK government to priviatise more of the remaining services that are still under publci ownership.

This is on top of cuts in pay and drastic reductions with pensions. The socilaist government of George Papandreou 'explained' that they had very little choice on the matter and that repaying the huge debt that Greece has would have to be the priority. Unisons have warned of more strikes and further unrest.

Monday, 16 May 2011

BA and Unite

It appears that the 'deal' proposed by the new boss of BA will be accepted by the majority of cabin crew Unite members and this will see the end of the long and bitter dispute. Well done the cabin crew!

It's good that the conflict may be coming to an end but BA management need to learn from this experience the fact is that they lost many customers during the troubles. I for one used to be a long frequent flyer with them and I travel to mainland Europe at least 5 times a year but have not done this in the lat 18 months. Now I know am not that importnat but am sure if people like me refused to use BA 5 times then many others did the same, so BA management need to learn that cutting your face to spite your nose is not a very good alternative to dispute resolution....

On the other hand I am glad that this conflict could be ending coz I liked the idea of being able to book the seat I want to seat in well in advance... Sort your selfs out BA management!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Eurovision 2011

Well it all went as wrong as one would expect it to go with the UK not getting very far, Greece coming 5th and Italy second. Portugal awarding 12 points to Spain the Spain dishing out 12 points to Portugal and all the Scandinavian countries voting for each other, plus, of course, Cyprus giving Greece 12 points. So it remains as political as ever and that is, to me, the fun of it all. The only solution I could recommend for Britain is to move the island near another group of countries like Australia and the USA that way Britain will get more votes.

Anyway its all a lot of rubbish but that's why is fun?? The British press should relax about it and not get so serious...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Eurovision 2011

Another dose of below average music is on tonight yet many people will be watching the event the only attempt perhaps to pretend that Europe as a continent gets together. Its fun, its not meant to be serious and it has, on some occasions like the ABBA phenomenon, produced some good results, so stop resisting and watch it if you can, I will be if I manage to get to my destination on time. I know Pat Butcher and Deidrie Barlow will be watching it although I doubt very much as to whether Emily Bishop will take an interest.

Good luck to Britain, Greece and Italy... loll

Friday, 13 May 2011

Greek recovery?

Well slightly good news with the growth figures published a few hours ago showing 0.8% growth in the Greek economy compared with 0.5% with Britain and 0% with Portugal so it would appear that Greece is doing relatively well and better than Britain and Portugal or Ireland. But the road is long and the challenges are major. Air traffic controllers were on strike in Greece this week and the government seems to be considering (although they deny this) to returning back to the old Drachma.. what a carry on!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Defend Iraqi trade unions

Iraq's union federation, the GFIW, have been facing a crackdown from their government, with unions derecognised and a heavily partisan committee appointed to take control of union elections and assets.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19560-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Trade Unions and the Environment online

If you have an environmental role in the workplace or would like more awareness of green issues, find out more and apply for the online course at www.unionlearn.org.uk/tuenvironment.http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-19551-f0.cfm

Monday, 9 May 2011

Greece

The debate amongst the Greek community in London continues with arguments in favor and against the country staying in the Euro. But I think there are more serious questions to deal with than whether the Euro experiment has worked or not. Greece isn't the only European country in trouble and rumours of the modern states demise are somewhat premature. The Greeks have always been good at dealing with crisis and this is another example of that. The reality is that Germany and France wanted Greece in the Euro zone and they did everything they could to push for this. German companies control most of the major multinationals within the country so it makes sense that they have an interest in controlling what goes on.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Independent Scotland?

Well the SNP have scored a major victory and of course full credit to the SNP for conducting a very efficient campaign.

I have to confess that I have a soft spot for Scotland the Scottish people always remind me (in some ways) of my own country of origin, Greece. We are of similar size and have faced similar turmoils historically speaking. Not too happy with Lord Elgin but hey there is bad in every thing...

Saying that I would not want to presume that I can tell them whether becoming independent is a good idea or not. The argument for and against are strong on both sides of the divide. An independent Scotland will be financially stronger and the theory that Scotland needs England to survive is total macaroni! Scotland will also be welcomed by the other states of Europe and the world with open arms they will also win the Eurovision song contest if they stood on their own as they will be more popular! loll..

On the other hand the Queen may be unhappy with losing part of her kingdom and the link with the other constituent nations will be weaker. I am sure the Scottish people will make the right decision. Europe loves Scotland I know that for a fact!

AV is dead

The people of Britain are not stupid and politicians should remember that. The half baked idea that was pushed through to pacify Nick Clegg has been rejected by the electorate. Ed Miliband has also got egg on his face.

AV was an idiotic system that no one explained to ordinary people it might be ok (debatable) for the Labour party to elect its leaders but it is not good enough to use for a sophisticated country like the UK, so it was thrown in the dustbin of history where it belongs. The only winners out of the entire episode have been the Tory party who are driving the Libs to oblivion avenue!

Friday, 6 May 2011

BBC and proportionality

As predicted the Lib Democrats have been punished by the electorate throughout the country for supporting anti Liberal policy promoted so aggressively by the Tories. The electorate has spoken.

On a different front the BBC does not seem to understand issues to do with equality, fair representation or proportionality so for the 3rd time in a week they have displayed ignorance by having on question time a panel of 6 with just one woman? Are they aware that the majority of the population are women? What the hell appoints the producers of these shows? They really need to sort this out?

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Vote Labour

Another election outside London today and the vote for to decided on the AV system as well.

Agree with fellow blogger Jon of the Rogers that we should all vote Labour and understand that he will be spearheading the Labour victory in the green pink shires of down Town Brighton I am sure Labour will be successful http://jonrogers1963.blogspot.com/2011/05/voting-labour-is-not-enough.html

On the other hand I do not agree with Ed Milliband and his support of the AV system and if I was a cynic I would think that his support for this idiotic system is to do with the fact that he managed to get elected because of a similar system himself and despite the fact that the majority of Labour party members and MPs did not vote for him. The AV system works well in the Fiji islands and Papua New G but it wont work here so we should all vote against this half baked idea served to us by some in the so called political class, its a total nonsense and Deidre Barlow Rashid would never understand it or Pat Butcher to be honest!

Television and responsibilities

It is a fact that many people if not the vast majority watch a lot of telly. It is for that reason that those making programmes have a duty and a responsibility to keep a balance. This is especially the case with the BBC given that I am paying for what they produce.

It is not acceptable for example for Newsnight to have a panel of 6 members debating the AV system a few nights ago with six white males?? How does that achieve fairness and a balance? Could the BBC not get any women to appear and could they not even find a member with an 'ethnic' background? This is totally unacceptable and should be contested!! And then we had the young voters debate with 4 white males and two females and a Chair who could not control and allowed one of those males on the panel to dominate and cut the others out? Not to mention the fact that there was a distinct lack of young people on this panel?? Where the hell do they get the producers from??

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

AV debate on BBC3

A rather poor debate on BBC3 last night chaired by Richard Bacon who couldn't clearly control the members of the panel and as a result allowed the male participants to dominate the debate. I was amazed how out of control David Starky was but then again it is the job of the chair to ensure that this sort of behaviour doesn't happen? The female panel member sitting next to DS was often not allowed to finish her contribution. BBC controllers must do more to make sure that there is a a balance when there is a debate.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

No to AV system

The AV system is difficult to understand and harder to implement. My mother and her mates will never figure it out so it won't work. The same system was used to elect Ed Milliband even though his brother got more votes? So that cant be right at all. Vote against to AV system!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Lib Lab coalition time?

It would appear that many Liberals, well the ones I know anyway down south West London, are not at all happy with the current arrangement between them and the Tories. The only one who seems to like being in bed with them is Nick Clegg, so if that's the case is it time for the removal of this strange marriage and is it time for a Lib Lab government?

To be honest I would not be happy with any arrangement which would involve the Libs now but if it means the the nasty Tories are out then perhaps it should be looked at?

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Against the AV system

I am known for being a practical person and in fact I have sometimes been criticised for being that way. Call me old fashioned but I don't really care about that.

On a simply pragmatic level there is no good argument for having an AV system that not many people will understand imposed on us. The evidence is also there to support those who think it will not work. Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia are the only 3 countries using the system right now so it would appear that if it was so good other states would use it.

Keep the current system as it stands!