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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Athens in chaos







Demonstrators and protesters are continuing action against the austerity measures passed by the government yesterday. Ruling party PASOK (A version of the Labour party) got 155 vote whilst 138 MPs voted against the proposals, it remains to be seen whether the government will be able to make people pay the huge tax rises, the privatisation of many public sector services will go ahead with the ports authorities (Greece has one of the most extensive port networks in Europe) to ho ahead as soon as. The port of Piraeus will be privatised, The government has 74% share in that right now. This will of course mean job loses and deterioration of terms and conditions of service.



A day of action 30 June 2011



activists gather for a day of action in SW2 in support of the public sector day of action on 30 June 2011

Windrush square action 30 June 2011



Community campaign groups and union activists gather around windrush square in support of those taking strike action to defend pensions in the public sector..

Unions and community action in Lambeth 30 June 2011

Outside Lambeth town Hall around 10 on the 30 June 2011 in support of the public service strike action by schools

Lambeth Unions acting together 30 June 2011

On the march with the NUT, Unison, Unite and the GMB in Brixton at 10.30 on the 30 June 2011 in support of the public service strike action...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Ed Milliband

Well the union vote got him elected to be party leader but our great leader is now telling us not to have strike action tomorrow to defend our pensions?

Let me get this right, the unions created the labour party to represent them in parliament, they then elect a leader who would not have been in that position had they not voted for him and now he tells us we are wrong? Ah.. wonder what the argument in his favor is now then?

Windrush square gathering 30 June

Glad to see that there will be a gathering tomorrow around 11 at wind rush square in support of those taking strike action. Wind rush square SW2 at 11 tomorrow. Will try and be there.

Greek government wins vote

Greek PM Papandreou





The Greek government of George Papandreou has just won the vote in the Voulli (Parliament) with a small majority. This means that the strict austerity measures have been passed and that the further loans from the IMF and the EU will be released.




It remains to be seen whether the people of Greece will cooperate with rising taxes and major cuts. This is a major crisis which questions whether the current financial system is acceptable. In the meantime demonstrations on the streets of Athens and other major cities continue.

The Greek crisis

The vote in the Voulli ton Ellinon (Greek parliament) on whether the austerity measures are passed or not will be taking place at 2 p.m. today Greek time (they are two hours ahead)

I think the measures are incredibly harsh and they punish ordinary people the rich ones that always manage to avoid paying taxes will find ways to survive this, there doesn't, however, seem to be another way right now. The PASOK government (Socialist) won an election about 2 years ago and inherited the mess created by the ND party (Tories) They are now calling for an election knowing full well that they will not have a choice other than to impose these measures. They are being very hypocritical, they have still not explained what alternative method they will use if they won an election?

These are very hard times for the people of Greece and if the country defaults on its huge debt then the consequences will be catastrophic for the rest of Europe and the world. The France have, as per usual, come to the rescue by guaranteeing the debt for 30 years and have once again shown their willingness to take responsibility for a mess created by an over ambitious Euro project. Lets hope the country stabilises soon otherwise the instability will lead to further adventures. Unfortunately unhappy nations either rebel or go to war so this doesn't look good for anyone!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

PASOK threats

As expected some of the governments own MPs in the Greek Parliament are reluctant to vote for the austerity measures that are being debated right now. Evangellos Venizellos, new Finance Minister, declared that MPs have a duty to carry the cross of national responsibility. In the meantime MPs who are not prepared to take the whip will be expelled by the party. The vote takes palace tomorrow night and the meeting with the Euro group on Sunday.

Mark Sirotwkas comments

"It was disappointing that the meeting proved to be no different to any of the others - it was a farce. Again the government has shown no interest in actually negotiating on any of the key principles at the heart of this dispute.

"And this is a dispute that is entirely of the government's making. We did not ask for pensions to be cut, we did not ask for public servants to be told they must work years longer and pay more for much less in retirement. Every independent analysis shows that public sector pensions are affordable now and in the future, and costs are falling in the long term.

"On Thursday (30) we will see hundreds of thousands of civil and public servants on strike and, on the experience of today's meeting and the last few months of government obstinacy, we fully expect to be joined by millions more in the autumn."


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Greek crisis

I was in Athens 2 weeks ago on the 20th day of protests. People are constantly on the streets in most major cities protesting against further austerity measures. I had the feeling that the battle in Athens was more of a fight between the capitalist system and ordinary people who are not prepared to take any more.

The Voulli ton Ellinon (Greek parliament) has started the debate before the vote is taken tomorrow, the government will need 151 votes to push the measures through. The opposition ND (Conservative) are doing their best to ensure that the government loss the vote, and despite the fact that I also reject the austerity measures the truth is the opposition would not have a bloody clue on what to do and how to save the country. It was, after all, during their five years in power that the country was forced into the current position, so the opposition are being totally reckless and irresponsible. The power now rests with the people who have had enough and it looks to me like Greece would take the default road and revert to the old drachma, this of course does not mean immediate salvation as the debts will remain where they are. Bugger knows how we get out of this one now!

Monday, 27 June 2011

General strike in Greece

People from the south of the country started marching from last week, thousands are walking from the city of Sparta in the Peloponnese towards Athens. More are moving from the northern cities of Macedonia and Thessaloniki towards Athens.

The general strike starts from tomorrow Tuesday the 29th and Wednesday 30. Athens is expected to come to a complete standstill.

There is also a demonstration today outside the Greek embassy in Holland park.

Tony Blair and hatred of leaders

Its nothing new and it always seems to happen. We always tend to end up hating those who lead us mainly because they make difficult decisions when in power that we disagree with.

Briefly watched the Andrew Marr programme yesterday morning where Tony Blair was interviewed. You could see that he looked uncomfortable knowing that he is not a very popular man and isn't liked by many people.

I have a slight difficulty with this one as well. I have to confess that I am not too keen on the man as he displayed a huge level of arrogance following the biggest demonstration ever against the war in Iraq. He ignored all those voices and took us into an unpopular war. I don't think history will forgive him for that. But at the same time he did win 3 elections for the Labour party and he was quite dynamic.

I would say that all leaders are always disliked after they end their term in office. This is fuelled by those left behind who are paranoid about the level of influence an ex leader can exert. It happened to Thacher, Churchill, Blair and now Brown and it will continue happening for ever. It also happens in smaller organisations where a leader moves out, I have experienced that myself but I am big enough to know that's how it works. There are always those who appreciate what one has done and they are what matters.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Greece. What are the options?

There are of course 2 options. One is to go ahead with the austerity measures which will punish the poor in the country and not affect the rich that much and two default.

It is my opinion that George Papandreou will not be able to get enough support in Parliament on Tuesday and win the vote. This is because the people of Greece through PAME ( a TU movement against the cuts) will intensify the rate of protest and more pressure will be put on individual politicians who are members of the PASOK governement to either vote against or abstain, if they don't then they will live to regret their decision. So I am sure that the government will not win the vote and the austerity measures will not be imposed.

If the austerity programme does not go through then the country will be defaulting de facto. Which means that Greece will be leaving the euro and not paying back its debts. This will of course also mean that Portugal and Ireland will try and follow the example which will mean a run on the euro with severe consequences on the world economy. We are, unfortunately, at the start of a major financial disaster... I hope I am wrong.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

2 day strike action in Greece

There will be no buses or trains on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28 and 29, as a result of the 48-hour strike called by unions to coincide with the Parliamentary debate and vote on the government’s latest austerity package.

Workers at the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) and at the ETHEL bus company said yesterday that they would take part in the strike.

As a result, there will be no inter-city trains, no Proastiakos suburban railway and metro trains will not run to Athens International Airport, stopping instead at Doukissis Plakentias station, because OSE manages the remainder of the line.
Buses will also be off the road, apart from a limited service for people taking part or attending the Special Olympics. ETHEL unionists said they would keep some buses on the road just for this purpose.

Cyprus wine festival

Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition 2011

A fun packed weekend for all the family!
The Cyprus Wine Festival & Business Exhibition, organised by Parikiaki Cypriot Newspaper in London, will be held at Alexandra Palace’s Great Hall on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011.
The two-day extravaganza is going from strength to strength, having established itself as a major event throughout the past 20 years, held at the most prestigious venue in North London and is indeed the most celebrated community event for the Greek-Cypriot Community in Britain.

Bad teacher

Went to see bad teacher, the film, with friends last night at Clapham picture house. Was interesting and somewhat entertaining more funny (well it is a comedy) Cameron Diaz was good but Justine Timberlake wasn't that strong, worth going to see if you have nothing better to do..

Friday, 24 June 2011

Europe in crisis?

I have of course supported the Euro project as long as I remember and since the days when I was an undergraduate student.

I have always been in favour of a united Europe a Federation that would not depend on the USA for support. Europe has suffered as a result of nationalism and tribal wars for centuries so a united continent would stop that. That's where my support comes from.

But I think that the project has been pushed too hard without preparation and much thought. Especially in the area to do with finances. You cannot have a common currency between states that have fundamentally different methods and systems of collecting revenue and you definitely cannot have a common currency area where there is no central bank with the power to determine financial policy. If you don't have these central controls then you allow for a situation like the current one with Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, so I have no idea why this crisis was not anticipated and measures were not put in place?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

NUT Strike action 30 June

Great news that the NUT are taking industrial action on the 30 of June but have been approached by several Unison member I know who work in schools and asked whether they will be right in refusing to cross an NUT picket line at their school? I think the answer is that they are within their rights not to do so but can someone from the NEC clarify this? I have send this message to Jon and John who are now both on the NEC and will see what their answer is if any.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Greek government survives vote of confidence

The Socialist government (Labour type of socialist) of Greece has survived the vote of confidence last night with just 155 votes. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to jump through the next fence by next Tuesday when the country is required to pas the austerity measures.

The vast majority of the Greek population are against paying for the mistakes made by bankers and other financial institutions. There were huge demonstrations also in all the major cities of Spain yesterday and the day before, the Spanish people are also fighting against severe austerity measures.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Greece. The struggle continues...

Crucial night for PASOK and Greek PM George Papandreou as he faces a vote of confidence in Parliament at 6 p.m. our time. The government is expected to get through that vote but they would then have to pass a law next week allowing them to go to phase 2 of the austerity measures which are draconian and severe. Its any ones guess as to whether Parliament would vote the measures through but if they don't then the country would have to go to an election. If that happens there will be no reserves left to pay anyone and the state would have to declare bankruptcy... that could signal stage 2 of the global credit crunch and a depening of the recession.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Can Greece survive the current crisis?

There are limited options.

1. Default on the debt, but this will create a huge financial crisis and destabilise the world markets, so the consequences on the rest of the world could be severe and I hope no government there will ever intentionally chose this route;

2. Government of national unity, meaning a coalition between left and right. This approach was tried on Wednesday when PM Papandreou had openly secret talks with Samaras, oppostion ND leader, but this attempt failed.

3. Government reshuffle and try to implement phase 2 of the 'EU programme' which will financially enslave the nations for two generations. This is the option that Papandreou has taken.

The new government has now been formed with Evangellos Venizelos appointed as Fiance Minister. His first job was to fly to Luxembourg for aa 2 day meeting with the Euro team. The measures that will be imposed will include the rise of vat from 13% to 23% by September and many many other draconian measures. This is not a good time for Greece or the Euro project...

Unison local government conference

The annual conference which takes place in Manchester this year has started with calls by the local government conference 9Sunday and Monday before main conference) for industrial action to defend workers pension rights.

In debates that were characterised by determination, speaker after speaker emphasised the need to "build for an historic victory", with head of local government Heather Wakefield telling delegates that the union would be "in UNISON in unison".

Ms Wakefield condemned government Danny Alexander as a "thieving tomcat" after he spoke out on Friday, pre-empting the result of ongoing negotiations between the government and unions, and she urged activists to make sure that any strike ballot would be won "with the sort of majority that leaves this government in no doubt".

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Greece. Reluctant government

The approach made to the opposition leader during the week to form a government of national unity has failed so PM Papandreou moved swiftly by changing his own the government guard. Evangellos Venizellos, constant critic of the PM has reluctantly agreed to serve in the position of Minister for the economy a job that no one would have wanted under the circumstances. He agreed this move on condition that he will also become vice President of the party. The entire government has now been changed with my favorite, Droutsas, moving to bcome a Euro MP and no longer the foreign Minister (shame..)

The markets have seen these changes as a sign that the PASOK government (Socialist) will go ahead with stage 2 of the measures that will mean a further attack on working people, the privatisation of most that moves and the huge reduction in the public sector plus a further attack on the value of pensions.

The two traditional allies of Greece, France and Germany, welcomed the move. The British government, as always, remains in the background with very little or no active involvement.

In the meantime the extensive protests that have been seen on the streets of major cities in Greece over the last 22 days will be continuing with the TUs promising more protests.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Pensions attack

The government appears to have made a decision on what to do with public sector pensions but in doing so they seem to be determined to impose these changes there is very little option for the unions other than to ballot members for industrial action.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Greece. Is the capitalist system about to collapse?

There are 3 major factors to lead to the move by Prime Minister Papandreou yesterday to approach Samaras, opposition and conservative leader, with a view to forming a government of 'national unity'. This move would have been unthinkable a few months ago and and it has never happened before.

The 3 factors which lead to this situation are, the huge uprising of the Greek people who are constantly on the streets of the major cities, pressure from the markets and the draconian measures imposed on the country by the EU.

Whatever happens after today the fact is that George Papandreou has effectively resigned his position and he can no longer be the PM. It remains to be seen if a coalition can be formed by the two major parties, PASOK (Socilist) and ND (Conservative) the other profound change that I have noticed when I was in Athens recently is that those demonstrating on the streets are from all walks of life, anarchists, communists, right and left wingers. Can capitalism collapse under these circumstances?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ken Livigstone

Well the election campaign to get our Ken ( not the one married for the 5th time to Deidre Barlow) to the position of Mayor for London should have started, I know the rules say you can only do so much but there are a lot of photo opportunities that Boris is taking advantage of that our Ken is not and given my interest in seeing Ken elected I would suggest that he needs to start creating opportunities? I am amazed, for example not to have seen him at a festival that attracted around 40,000 people in Alexandra Palace this week! Sort your self out Ken (Meaning his PR people) As Bruce Forsyth once said 'photo opportunities make prices..' get on with it! Its simple when it comes to winning you must want it so bad you will do anything even put up with people like me telling you what to do??

Ed Milliband part 3

Looks like I was right to raise concerns a few weeks ago regarding Ed's handling of the media since becoming Leader. Since then the press reported that there are those in the Labour party who are worried about his ability to make an impression.

Now I know I was critical of the Leader we ended up electing but I think we should now concentrate on supporting him to make sure the laid back image he has acquired is lost. He needs good spin doctors and good PR people around him as as Alistair Campbell is busy playing golf with Tony Blair I would be more than happy to help. Ed needs to show the electorate that he is tough on many things and he drops the boring old rhetorical statements so he needs to become more robust. As I said am happy to help :-)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The only way is Streatham?

We have been bombarded with low quality programming for many years now and recently we have had The only way is Essex and Made in Chelsea thrusted upon us. Both 'programmes' (misuse of the words I would say) are of very low quality and the common denominator between them is that those who appear don't look very real, plus they tend to be very white Anglo Saxon blond with blue eyes, very Midsummer murder types. So as you can imagine its all very real... ??

Anyway saying that freedom of expression and the right to serve anything you like on telly means that there isn't much we can do about the exhibiting of these programmes the best way to deal with them would be to create alternatives? So how about the Only way is Streatham? Or Made in Clapham Common?? Worth a try? lol

http://lawatwork.blogspot.com/2011/06/independent-tlent-show.html

An independent talent show?

Seems that ordinary people can achieve power or enable change through the use of social media and communication systems.

A recent entry on my blog (see below) has prompted several people to contact me saying that there is a need for an independent non commercial talent show, as a result of this we recently met (last night actually) and put a few ideas together. This initiative will of course never be as big as the major shows put on by the multinationals but it can be the right thing to do at the right time? The country is fed up with the hegemony and control exercised by the very few so lets do something about this? Making it clear, however, that this is not an attempt to have a go at anyone but a small if not minor alternative to help those who may never get the exposure otherwise. Watch this space as they say on the island of Fiji every Sunday dinner time...

http://lawatwork.blogspot.com/2011/06/talent-shows-or-simon-cwell-show.html

Monday, 13 June 2011

Working from home

According to the TUC on figures released on work from home day 20 May working from home has slowed down during the recession. Last year saw a small fall in the proportion of people working from home, from 12.9 to 12.8 per cent of the workforce. The fall came despite evidence that home working can save on office costs, ease transport congestion and help staff manage their work more effectively.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Commuting costs a barrier to work

The link between long commuting times and high earnings suggests that transport costs are a major barrier to people looking for work outside their local area this is according to what the TUC said in response to official figures.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Jobs growth so uneven

Large swathes of the UK are failing to share in overall jobs growth, according to figures published by the TUC in May.
Although last month's labour market statistics were 'good news' for those looking for work, with employment up and unemployment down, new jobs were not distributed evenly.
The hardest place to find a job was Merthyr Tydfil, followed by the Scottish industrial heartlands and inner London, where over 20 claimants are chasing every vacancy.
TUC on uneven jobs @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-19567-f0.cfm

Ninety trade unionists murdered

Ninety trade unionists were murdered last year for defending workers' rights, according to the International Trade Union Confederation's annual survey of abuses of workers' rights in 143 countries.
The study reveals that Colombia and the Americas as a whole still hold the grim record for murder and oppression of workers involved in union activities.
The survey - published at the 100th International Labour Organisation conference in Geneva - says that in addition to those killed, many more trade unionists were arrested, attacked, or subjected to harassment and intimidation.
Further information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19640-f0.cfm

Wake up call on living standards

The TUC reacted to last month's interim report of the Commission on Living Standards by saying that fair wages and jobs were essential to a new strategy for economic growth.
Describing the report as 'a wake- up call to anyone who assumes that rising living standards will automatically accompany our economic recovery', the TUC said that the failure of wages to keep up with economic growth, the rise of household debt and the concentration of wealth at the top all contributed to the financial crash.
In other economic news in May, the TUC said that the Bank of England's latest Inflation Report was a clear warning signal against deep and rapid spending cuts.
TUC on Commission on Living Standards @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-19610-f0.cfm

Friday, 10 June 2011

TUC Response to 'Strengthening Women's Voices' Consultation

The TUC has responded to the Government Equalities Office consultation on 'Strengthening Women's Voices'. http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-19653-f0.cfm

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Prince Phillip via Fiona Bruce

I was unfortunate enough to end up watching an interview by Fiona Bruce for BBC1 (paid by licence fee payers) on Prince Phillip. The Prince is 90 tomorrow so lets get that out of the way and wish him a happy birthday.

Fiona Bruce took a gamble doing this interview as she ended up getting the same treatment as others get when conversing with the Duke. At one point he said to her that she would understand what he meant if she had a profession?? At which point FB said she believed she had one, she is a journalist?

That aside she was wrong to allow her self to be drawn into the time fantasy circle of whether Phillip is Greek or not as she was getting into some dangerous ground with that. She more or less started the discussion by saying that most people think that the Prince is Greek but of course he is not.. That can be interpreted in two ways. One that the 'establishment' is uncomfortable with the Greek connection, or two she meant that because he was naturalised at a young age he is British by naturalisation. If the second is the case she should have made that clear otherwise it looks like she too wants to have a go at the Greeks and I would find that offensive.

Does she also think that the Queen who has clear German ancestry is also not British and is therefore German? I know her great grandfather didn't even speak English? Would she dare to state that? Probably not but having a go at the Greeks (a current preoccupation it seems) is ok.

Phillip was made a Duke by a British Monarch but if people are to continue calling him a Prince the he has that title through his connection with the Hellenic royal family. He was born in Greece and so was his father. So if he is to be called Prince Phillip he has acquired that through him being Greek and he denies his Greek origin then he cannot be a Prince? Another dimension to this argument would be that those born in Britain cannot be British and they can only call themselves x or Y depending on where their parents come from? This is of course wrong. I know that the majority of Greeks don't want anything to do with the royals so they won't thank me for this intervention but I feel that it has become a trend lately to have a go at the country that invented the Olympics and many other positive things and I won't have it. I shall complain to the BBC for this bad piece of journalism.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Prince Phillip

The thousands of readers who never look at this blog would know that I have an opinion about almost everything and anything and royalty is no exception. I remain strongly agnostic about whether there is any value in having a royal family and the others that hang on around them instead of an elected president. There are arguments on both sides and when a real red blooded socialist like John Prescott has does not hesitate to wear the lordship title it makes me wonder whether anyone is really bothered about having a republic?

Anyway Prince Phillip is of course Greek by birth as he was born in Greece. His title of Prince comes from his connection with the Greek royals otherwise he would just be a Duke. So the nonsense said in the press about him being German is stupid. The guy was born in Greece and so was his father? Although of course the Queen herself and her line of descent is German as well but no one says she is German? The hypocrisy of the press ah? lol

Apart from that he is a fellow Gemini and has a sense of humour so whether I like royals or not I would like to wish him a happy birthday. A royal family consisting just of the head of state and the immediate family would perhaps be ok there is no point having all the others hanging around with titles as long as their arms. We are all equal and they are no different to anyone else but the head of state performs a job so lets leave it at that, otherwise you will have President Blair or Cameron? The expression Yach and no thanks.. comes to mind!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

EDF and the Olympics

I am rather annoyed and others seem to be too with the latest EDF energy advert on national television. The ad tells us how important it is for our lives to be graced by EDF which is great as I am one of their customers but then it goes on to say that the '.. Olympics are 100 years old..' then blah blah blah, this is such a misrepresentation of history as the Olympics are of course 4,500 (approximately) years old and they certainly didn't start in Streatham Hill 100 years ago! It's insulting to the Greeks who are of course the first to head the Olympic parade and of course the games cannot start before the flame is brought over from Olympia not the one in Kensington!!

Will someone in EDF go and change the content of the ad please? It is incorrect, next you know we will be seeing a remake of Troy with a Costa cafe on the beach? Get it right or don't bother!!

Boris Johnson and our Ken

The only interesting thing about Boris and my claim to infamous links is that we were born on the same day, apart from that we disagree with almost everything he does. Ah yes and we both suffer from foot in mouth disease as we both talk before we speak sometimes, but hey we live in an imperfect world and we can't help thinking that we are perfect?

Anyway that aside I think that our Ken (not the Deidre Barlow variety) needs to start putting himself about if he is going to be at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. I am a major supporter of Ken Livingstone but perhaps his PR people should start throwing his name around and linking him with positive things and events, like the 2 day wine festival in Alexandra Palace happening in a weeks time attended by more than 50,000? Just a thought...

One of my criticisms during the last election, and I said this to our Ken when I spoke to him at a reception at the Lambeth Town Hall, is that he did not put as much effort as Boris did visiting ethnic radio stations a week or two before and he lost some votes form organised communities because of that. He should not do that again. It is a fact that many who listen to these radio stations will take into account whether some candidate makes the effort in connecting with them... simple I would think?

Ed Milliband part 2

Well on reflection and following 2 comments (only 1 published) I think I may have been a little unfair with my description of our Leader, I have therefore removed the comment I made and the link with an omelet. I will be the first one to hope that I am wrong and it will be good if Ed proves to be that changing force we all need. I shall work as hard as others to ensure a Labour victory at the next election. So good luck to Ed but get your PR people to work a bit harder?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Ed Milliband

The Labour party elected Ed Milliband to be its leader using an incomprehensible system which meant that the majority of Labour MP's and members voted for someone else. That aside he was the one elected but the fact that he has not been seen or managed to get the regeneration of interest in the party again has disappointed many. I of course did not vote for him. To be honest am not sure he expected to win.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Talent shows? Or the Simon Cowell show?

For talent shows read Simon Cowel enterprise. And this is fundamentally wrong and against, in my opinion and that of many others, the public interest.

It cannot be right that a creative nation like Britain has allowed for the hegemony of one person. It is not right that youth and popular culture is so controlled by one man and those he chooses to be on 'panels'. In fact the talent shows (as they are allegedly called) are about the panel of judges and not those who take part.

I didn't watch 'Britain has no talent' but I understand that the person who won wasn't the expected winner. I am hoping this is because the general public are rebelling against the hegemony of the few who are controlling what we watch. If this was any other industry the monopolies commission would be called in to investigate. Nothing against Simon Cowel at all but the way the media is being manipulated is not acceptable. Time for the publicly owned BBC channels to offer an independent alternative.

Unison NEC Elections

Congratulations to my old friend and ex felow Branch Secretary, Jon of the Rogers for getting re elected to the NEC Jon is clearly a worthy NEC member and has served union members well by putting across alternative views (always with a sense of humour) He is well respected by those close enough to him to know how hard working and dedicated he is. Well done Jon Rogers!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Joining forces to improve working conditions in Sri Lanka's garment industry

For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka's garment industry, representatives from global sports and leisure wear brands, trade unions, a supplier and the Ministry of Labour joined forces to agree on how to work together to improve conditions for workers.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19634-f0.cfm

Friday, 3 June 2011

Stephen Fry

There were reports in some of the papers yesterday about Stephen Fry and how he would, allegedly, commit suicide, if it all became too much for him. The reports say that Stephen is bipolar.

I am assuming that some of what has been said is right but I sincerely hope that the man who has recently won the first place for having more twitter followers than anyone else does not take to this extreme measure. He is saying that he cant live a normal life because he can't walk in the street without being recognised and stopped by people all the time. I really like Stephen and I think his intellect and humour is second to none but perhaps he can help himself by not twitting and not being on every social network there is? Try it?

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Happy Italia day

Republic Day is celebrated in Italy on 2nd June each year. It marks the establishment of the Italian Republic on June 2, 1946 by a popular referendum in which the people chose between a Republic and a Monarchy.

So happy giornata Italia to all my friends and relatives in Italy (even those who are not republicans... )

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 27 June 2011 to mark the anniversary of the 2008 presidential run-off election when the ZANU-PF ran a brutal campaign of violence in a bid to remain in power.http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-19625-f0.cfm

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Low content on telly land?

There seems to be a crisis of content as far as British telly is concerned right now what with East Enders looking more like Miserable all the time Enders and with so called talent shows dominating our screens.

The latest of these, 'Britain has no talent' is taking the biscuit I think. I am all for fellow citizens exhibiting their talents (or making a fool of themselves) but it is a mystery to me and many others as to how the judges on the panel are selected? No idea why most of them are making the decisions they make why on earth is McIntyre and Hassalot on the panel? What do they know or understand?

Thank God for Coronation street I say where real life characters like Steve MacDonald and Deidrie Barlow Rashid are shown, we would not have credible soap in this country if it wasn't for them!!