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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Canada's seals

The Canadian government is encouraging the slaughter of Canada's seals, and baby seals, at that? It's true. Earlier this month, the Canadian government set the seal hunt quota to 400,000 seals in order to push the sale of seal products. Tell the Canadian government to end the seal hunt now! The Canadian government's logic is extremely backwards. They should be working to end this incredibly inhumane tradition that allows the clubbing young seals, nearly all of which are less than 3 months old, to death. Worse, the seal hunt couldn't survive economically on its own; the Canadian government is using taxpayer money to subsidize the industry!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Lambeth NUT strike action

Outside Lambeth Town Hall..







Lambeth Unison activists joined in with NUT strikers yesterday in solidarity and to support the action taken by teachers against the severe cuts imposed on the pension scheme. It was a great sunny day and everyone outside the town hall steps was determoned to continue the fight. Was good to see the unions stand together!

Spanish general strike - Nosotros Estamos Preparados

Trades Unions in Spain have mobilised and got all who work in the public sector out in a general strike which follows the strikes that have already taken place in Greece and Portugal last week.

The walkout is in protest at changes to labour laws and the introduction of severe austerity measures that are hitting hard the poor and those out of work.

The Spanish government, is struggling to satisfy the fiscal requirements of EU and international investors while avoiding the fate of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which were all forced to accept a bailout with harsh conditions.

The New PM, Mariano Rajoy, passed a decree on workers' rights limiting workers rights and making it cheaper and easier for companies concerned about their own productivity to lay off people, cut wages and modify other employment conditions.

Spain's unemployment rate is nearly 23%, higher than that of Greece and Portugal and the highest in the euro zone.nearly 50% among young people.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Sumatran tiger

The Sumatran tiger is in danger of becoming extinct. This native Indonesian tiger is threatened by deforestation and the loss of thick plantation near the ground.How many more species must be destroyed before humanity steps in? » With less than 30 percent of the Sumatran tigers' habitat located in protected areas, these tigers' chance of survival is dwindling as more and more forests and plantations in Indonesia are being cleared. There are only approximately 400 Sumatran tigers left on the planet. If Indonesia will not step up to protect them, what is next for these gorgeous and precious animals?
The least Indonesia can do is to start protecting the habitats that these tigers need to survive.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Solidarity with the teachers and lecturers

Solidarity with the teachers and lecturers

Support the pensions fightProtest on Wednesday 28 March, Assemble: 11am, Malet Street, W1

– March to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s office, Westminster

Support the pensions fightProtest on Wednesday 28 March, Assemble: 11am, Malet Street, W1

Monday, 26 March 2012

Port workers in New Zeland

The International Transport Workers' Federation is calling for global solidarity with port workers in New Zealand.

All they're asking you to do is take 30 seconds and send off your message to the Mayor of Auckland. They are convinced that if he gets enough messages, he'll intervene, replace members of the port's board who have pushed for the lock-out of workers, and move to resolve the dispute.
Click here to send your message.
Every message send increases the chances that this will happen, and that workers will be able to go back to their jobs.

Please forward this message to your fellow union members. Let's build this campaign!
Thanks.

Is there a need for an MP of Greek origin?

Attended a meeting on Saturday to mark the setting up of the Greek community support unit supported by LGR and other community groups http://www.greeksupportunit.blogspot.co.uk/

One of the topics of discussion was the mobilisation on political lines of the Greek speaking community in London and the need to have an MP of Greek origin as many see this as a desirable objective. Many other communities have already achieved this.

A number of those attending were under the impression that Andreas Adonis, now known as Lord Adonis, was the first MP of Greek origin in this country and of course that isn't true. Adonis was active in the Labour party and the Labour constituency in Islington North but was not an MP. He was in Blair's cabinet but was not an MP.

My argument has always been that a community or a campaign group does not necessarily have to have an MP to be effective as there are many other ways to represent those who need support without getting involved with Parliamentary procedures. But I now accept that the argument is in favor of the community having a representative in the House of Commons that can clearly speak for them. The community has of course got more than 23 Councillors mainly in the north London areas and the Leader of Merton Council is of course of Greek origin.

So looking at who is around and who is capable of doing what I would say that the real candidates are currently two. Peter Droussiotis ( President of the Greek Federation) and Cllr Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, both of them are of course Labour party supporters. MEP Gianakoudaki is also an existing Euro MEP (Tory) for north London but does not aspire to be an MP and has not, to my knowledge, been involved with Greek community issues.

I am hoping that the work of organising this endeavour will start shortly and I will be meeting with those who either wish to work towards promoting this idea or those who want to have a further discussion but the time tables are rather short and the objective will be to have someone in place for the next election which could be as early as in two years time?

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Unison Finances. Prepare for the review

It is important that those dealing with finances at branch level are ready and able to get involved with the current review of branch funding as this would affect the formula which determines what is kept at front line.

Branches currently get anything between 20% to 23% of all income collected, there are those who argue that more of that should be retained locally and others who feel that national should keep more. I think something in between the two would be the way forawrd but factors such as geographycal distribution of members, reserves and ability to have activists on release must also be taken into account. Whatever your views you must get involved with the regional meetings first which are scheduled to take place between April and May and national conference in June 2012 where decisions will be taken.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

UNISON Branch resources - Urgency and caution!

One of the most radical reviews of funding at branch level is taking place right now. An initial consultative paper will be sent to all in the week beginning 2 April 2012. This will ask for views on several crucial issues including, whether branches should be funded according to need; how to link resources to wider objectives; and how the union should address the issue of reserves at branch level. Regional consultation meetings will then take place in May.

For those who are not familiar with the current system anything between 20% to 23% of all income collected by branch is kept locally the rest goes to national.

There have always been arguments as to whether 23% is sufficient given the level of activity at front line but I feel that this time the national union are approaching this more methodically and carefully by introducing the concept of a link between existing resources and funding. Those responsible at branch level for finances need to take this exercise very seriously and get involved if their branch is not to lose out, the time tables are very short and a decision will be made at June conference for implementation by 2013 so extreme caution is needed here!!

TUC on pensioners tax

Commenting on the age-related tax allowances announced in the Budget TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The Chancellor's decision to raise more than a billion extra pounds in tax from pensioners by freezing age-allowances will come back to haunt him. It's already being dubbed 'the granny tax'.
'Pretending that pensioners will be grateful because it will simplify their tax is a vain hope. Instead they will see that they are being asked to pay more while the super-rich have kept all the pensions tax relief - a heavy burden for ordinary taxpayers.
'And with ever more increases in the state pension age threatened in a new White Paper - a burden that falls more heavily on the poor, the regions and those with manual jobs - older workers and pensioners are paying a heavy price for a pro-rich Budget.'

Friday, 23 March 2012

Portugal, geneal strike

Portugal’s major cities came to a halt yesterday as unions began a 24-hour strike against austerity measures agreed by the government in return for an international bailout in other words a similar story as what has happened in Greece.

Garbage went uncollected, ports closed, trains stood still, public transportation was disrupted and other public services were affected by the country’s second general strike in four months, this compares to the 7 general strikes in Greece and 3 in Spain for the same period.

The majority of ports, including the port of Lisbon and Viana do Castelo in the north, were closed, according to the country’s biggest union -- the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP) -- which called the strike. About two dozen ships were forced to change their routes to go to other ports because of the action, it added.

There is growing coordination between the major trade unions in Greece, Portugal and Spain with the aim of resisting the austerity measures imposed on the people by the EU there is a better chance of winning if these countries stand together. I think similar approaches are being made by the Italian TUs who are now eager to join in.

London Mayor election - The need to challenge

People that often witness small transgressions tend to ignore them and do very little to challenge those who commit the error of judgement. I accept that it is some times better to turn the other way and not to make an issue out of something that could be seen as rather minor and some could argue that a challenge can draw attention to an issue that is actually buried away somewhere.

But I was put in a situation on Sunday when I heard Brian Paddick make an indirect statement about the Greek community in London which implied that its members were kebab shop owners or that most of them are involved in this 'industry' which is of course completely untrue. I wrote to Brian and his campaign team asking for clarification as I wasn't happy to allow the negative stereotyping of a vibrant and progressive community to go unchallenged.

I have nothing against Mr Paddick and I did, in the past, find him a rather reasonable person but I was not happy that someone who wishes to represent the whole of London could perhaps accidentally make a comment that could encourage negative images of a people. Anyone who wants to be the Mayor of London must remember who it is that she/he is representing.

A member of his team replied with a diplomatic answer and I can accept that on balance BP did not mean to sound negative but I am glad that I issued the challenge because it is not acceptable for anyone who wishes to hold public office to be making statements based on prejudiced assumptions. I insist that zero tolerance applies to all incidence that relate to this type of a situation.

http://lawatwork.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/greek-community.html

http://lawatwork.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/greek-community-in-london.html

http://lawatwork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/lgr-supporting-greek-community.html

Thursday, 22 March 2012

March 28 demonstration

I have reproduced here an entry from the NUT website calling for strike action next Wednesday

Strike Action in London - 28 March

The NUT is calling a one day strike and demonstration in London on 28 March as the next step in the pensions campaign.
The strike action on March 28th is for NUT members in the following areas:
Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley Teachers Association, Brent, Bromley, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, East London, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster.
If you are an NUT member in London, please join the central London demonstration on 28 March. Assemble at 11am in Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY and march to Westminster, ending up at the Department for Education at SW1P 3BT. For a detailed map of the approved route, please go here.

The apprentice on BBC1 with lord Sugar daddy

Another series of the apprentice started last night with the new mixture of those chasing a false dream of either 'making it' or at least getting enough exposure on prime time telly to allow for other things.

Looking at it another way the programme is entertaining enough and lord Sugar daddy is quite witty with his standard remarks. He wouldn't get away with it if he turned up at a Corporate Strategy Forum in Lambeth as the unions will eat him alive and Jackie Lewis would grill him for breakfast but in his own little world he sounds funny and clever. He was right to fire Liliana last night as she was arrogant and didn't do her self any favours by trying to appear hard and nasty.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The trouble with PASOK

George Papandreou was removed from office by an angry Angela Merkel, Berlin did not approve of George's proposal for the Greeks to have a referendum, The Chancellor was not amused!!









PASOK is the Socialist (New Labour style) party of Greece. It was invented in the 60s by George Papandreou who was the grandfather of the George Papandreou who was removed from office in October 2011 by Berlin for daring to go back to Athens after a summit and propose a referendum before clearing it with the German Chancellor. George was a close friend of the Blairs and they used to have holidays together on the rich island of Corfu.

George Papandreou the first was removed from office by the CIA and the junta after they staged a miliary coup in April 21 1967. The CIA did not think that the Papandreou government was good for democracy ala USA style because they were not too keen on Israel. Anyway Andreas Papandreou formed two governments after the fall of the military dicatorship in 1974 but went down the toilet of history when at the age of 80 something he left his wife to marry a 26 year old Olympic Airways cabin crew girl. George Papandreou then took over after the fall of the Karamalis government 3 years ago ( he was the nephew of Constantine Karamalis firt PM after the fall of the junta in 1974) the point I am making is that all these bloody politicians are memebrs of political family dynasties. We now have Evangelos Venizelos taking over PASOK who is of course the grand son of Eleftherios Venizelos the great modern Greek PM!!

Sort yourselves out I say and stop nepotism or I will get Merkel onto you!!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Yupi the polor bear

Yupi the polar bear has lived in the same small, enclosed, and barren holding pen in a Mexican zoo for twenty years. Help Yupi get better living conditions! »

Polar bears require large spaces and a complex natural terrain in order to thrive.
Furthermore, Yupi is exposed to a tropical climate even though polar bears are not physically adapted to live in hot climates and can easily overheat. Simply put, the Morelia Zoo is definitely not a suitable place for Yupi to live.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Branch returns and financial planning

I am using the London region as an example of what I am thinking of with regards to the annual cycle of returns and complying with strict deadlines to do with submissions. I fully accept the importance of adhering to the process completely and absolutely but the vast majority of front line officers at branch level do not and should not be expected to be able to or understand the finer detail, so I would imagine that even Unison would accept the need to simplify and improve the process.

It would be infinitely better if monthly monitoring of accounts ( income and expenditure) were done and submitted to national electronically on a monthly basis. There is nothing what so ever to excuse us not being able to accommodate this?

I have worked as an accountant for many years and I see no reason why a medium size branch like Lambeth for example, could not collect and present the relevant information every month. A data base will then be constructed and central office will have 11 out of 12 motnhs of information by the end of December and 12 out of 12 end of January? They will then have time to raise inquiries and complete audited submissions to the certification officer much earlier? It is that simple! A branch will need an officer with a finance background to be available to do this role but that should not be a major problem! Lets move to the 21st century please??

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Brian Paddick on Andrew Marr

I was shocked to hear Brian Paddick, who I previously thought of as being rather reasonable, describe Greeks in London as kebab shop owners, that is what his remarks implied unless he meant to say that the police train them to put communities in pigeon holes? If yes then that is even worst!

Many in the Greek community find this type of stereotyping offensive. The association between ethnicity and certain low ranking jobs promotes negative images. It would be wrong to say that all corner shop owners are Asian and anyone who says that should be challenged but it appears that people who should know better, like Mr Paddick, can indirectly target a smaller community. I shall be encouraging the 300,000 strong members of the London Greek community (most of them eager voters) to be casting their vote the right way!

It is not acceptable for people who wish to represent London to be making irresponsible remarks. He needs to apologise.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Byzantine frescoes return home

TWO 13th-century Byzantine frescoes finally arrived home back in Cyprus yesterday, decades after their removal from a church in the occupied north following the 1974 Turkish invasion.

The frescoes had been stolen from the church of St. Evphemianos in Lysi, and cut into 38 pieces by thieves intending to sell them on the black market.
"Today marks a historic occasion with the return of something of such great value for cultural antiquity, paving the way for the return of other antiquities," said conservator for the antiquities department, Stella Pissaridou.

One of the murals, that used to adorn the dome, depicts Christ Pantocrator surrounded by angels while the other – an apse -- shows the Virgin Mary and the archangels Michael and Gabriel.

The frescoes had been acquired by the Houston, Texas-based Menil Foundation on behalf of the Church of Cyprus in 1984 and had been on loan under an agreement that ended in February.
The frescoes were stolen by Turkish art dealer Aydin Dikmen who shipped them to Germany.
Dikmen claimed they came from an abandoned church in southern Turkey, and prepared to sell them on the black-market.

Told by a London art dealer that the fragmented frescoes were available for purchase, Dominique de Menil grew suspicious and began researching the frescoes’ provenance.
After further research de Menil learned that the frescoes had been stolen from their home in a small chapel in Lysi.

Hundreds of religious artefacts had been looted from churches in the illegally occupied north of the island during and after the Turkish invasion.

Chancellor to freeze pay for public sector workers

The Chancellor states that he believes in equality so he is going ahead and harmonising pay but downwards in other words bring anyone who gets a bit more (due to regional variations) down to the lowest level. This is how our caring sharing government thinks! Lets wait and see what he does in the budget next week!

Friday, 16 March 2012

BBC complaint

Thought I should publish the BBC reply to my recent outburst..

Dear Mr Venedi

Reference CAS-

Thank you for contacting us regarding our current affairs programming.
I understand you're unhappy with our choice of presenters for certain programmes, as you feel we tend to use the same journalists over and over again. I note that you believe we should give other, less frequently-seen presenters a greater opportunity to front programmes more often.
While I appreciate the points you raise, I'd like to assure you that programme contributors are appointed on the basis of their experience and talent, and this is done on a a programme-by-programme basis.
However, judgements are often subjective, and we would never expect everyone to agree with every choice we make. The range of tastes and opinions held by our audience is so diverse that it's inevitable some viewers will dislike or disapprove of certain presenters, or feel that they feature too often. It's a very rare TV personality who meets with everyone's approval, and it's clear that opinions on individual presenters can vary considerably.
Please be assured, however, that we don't engage any presenter or reporter unless we believe they're competent and can meet the specific demands required of them.
Despite this, I fully realise that you may continue to feel we don't do enough to blood new journalistic talent, and with this in mind, I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Kind Regards

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

TU Facility time

As Tory MPs and sections of the press stepped up their campaign against trade union facility time in January, the TUC responded by publishing research showing that the union presence in workplaces could save employers as much as £700 million a year.
The report - Facility Time for Union Reps: Separating fact from fiction - says that in workplaces where union reps negotiate with employers on behalf of their colleagues, there are significant cost savings to be had. These come in the form of more productive and better trained workforces, safer workplaces, fewer cases taken to employment tribunal, and lower recruitment and retention costs.
Summary details @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-20520-f0.cfm

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Who killed Frank in Weatherfield?

Remarkable as it may sound but there has been another tragedy in Weatherfield with Frank being killed. It is difficult to know who murdered him though as the producers of the programme have filmed a number of different outcomes. My money is on Emily Bishop being the guilty one...
The most astonishing thing about the story is the public reaction with many writing in demanding that the whole cast of Albert Square be killed off too, can't say I disagree, Eastbananas is perhaps the most appalling soap ever to have been made! Terminate! In the meantime it has been said that Ken Barlow, otherwise known as Mr exciting, has been putting his i pod where it don't belong.. I wonder who's been getting his emails then?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

BBC operates elitist policies?

I have just returned back from a night out in the green pastures of Clapham and switched telly on to watch the programme on Human Rights on BBC2 as one does. Not surprised that it is Andrew Neil presenting again?? Are the BBC telling us that there are no other journalists capable or available to manage current affairs shows like these??

I have nothing against Andrew Neil but there are many other younger and capable journalists who would love to be given the opportunity? There should be an inquiry into how the BBC Chiefs select people, its always the same old same old. Let the BBC sue me if am not right! Andrew Neil is on Sunday and has other programmes on the go at the same time. I don't particularly see the appeal but that is not the point! And since we pay for all the programmes produced we have the right to know how these BBC people make decisions?

LGR supporting the Greek community

The Greek community in London is an established entity with many organisations providing help and guidance but the community has been facing new challenges lately which are the result of the huge devastation caused by the latest financial crisis that has afflicted Greece. One of the consequences is to see new migration of Greek workers some of whom don't speak very good English into this country.

I am proud to see that London Greek Radio has reacted to this by working with the Greek Support Unit in South London to provide help, advice and support to those that may need it especially when dealing with public sector service providers. The unit provides support and a translation service to those dealing with services provided by local authorities. The unit will hopefully expand to provide other support as well. Seminars have been arranged to get people together and explain how systems work.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Unison Returns absolute deadline

The absolutely final deadline for national to get completed returns from branches to comply with the certification officers regulations is 15 March. A branch that does not make a correct submission gets a fine equivalent to one months income (anything from 6,000 to 9,000) and is disqualified from sending delegates to national conference.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Iranian teacher support campaign

Being asked to support a campaign to mobilize tens of thousands of trade unionists around the world in defense of an Iranian teacher who has been sentenced to death. His name His name is Abdolreza Ghanbari and the crime he is accused of is "enmity towards God". The Education International, which represents teachers' trade unions around the world, is demanding his release.It will take you only a minute to send off your message of protest -please click here to do so.Please spread the word in your union.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

German lessons in manufacturing success

The UK has much to learn from Germany as we seek to end our over-reliance on financial services and re-balance the economy towards manufacturing, the TUC argues in a new report German Lessons: Developing industrial policy in the UK.

The report looks at how government approaches to industry in Germany and the UK have differed since 1945, and comes up with a number of suggestions as to how a more strategic, intelligent and active approach to government industrial policy could reap huge dividends for British manufacturing and the UK economy.

Summary information @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-20488-f0.cfm

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Pesnions dispute and strategy?

The title says pensions dispute and strategy meaning what it is that the unions are doing to fight the governments unacceptable decision on imposing changes to the public sector pensions scheme. The answer must surely be that whatever the strategy, that is if there is one, it doesn't make sense that we went for a walk to central London on the 26 March 2011 we then took a day of action on 30 of November 2012 and then we started doing a few petitions. This is not an intelligent strategy and it isn't one that will scare David Cameron off! The Greek unions on the other hand have had 7 general strikes (of more than one day each time) in the same period of time, shall we learn from them? Call me old fashioned but I think we should!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Help at work

A further indication of the range of work undertaken by union reps, often in their own time, can be found in an important new publication which has just been published by the TUC and is already proving popular among workplace representatives.
The TUC Workplace Manual aims to fill a gap long felt by reps, who can be faced with any number of problems as members and managers look to them to solve problems. By listing resources, providing checklists and offering examples it tackles issues such as the role of the rep, how to represent members effectively, and how to use employment rights.
The TUC Workplace Manual has a cover price of £18 for union members, with substantial reductions for bulk purchases. It will be followed later this year by the fourth edition of the popular guide to workplace rights, Your Rights at Work, which the TUC publishes jointly with Kogan Page.
Further information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-20482-f0.cfm

Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Womens day, can the BBC wake up to this?

I am celebrating, like many others, International Women's day. It is still ludicrous to me that whilst more than half of the population in this country are women only a few make it to top jobs and fewer make it in politics. Also astonishing is the fact that the BBC and am paying for them continues to have panels on programmes that consist of men. It is rare to have a panel on the BBC that has a majority of women! Perhaps the BBC doesn't read stats or the bloody news!

Happy Women's day!

Tension in the Near East

There is a lot of tension in the Near East again with Greece, Turkey and Israel swapping and changing alliances and with other Balkan states keeping a close eye on developments. There is huge tension in the Republic of Cyprus and over the Aegean sea there have been more than usual air fights between Greek and Turkish F16 aircraft. The air fights mean that when say a Turkish plane enters Greek airspace the Greek air force chases it until it leaves the area and of course the reverse.

I am not sure whether those in power are in full control of what is happening but the reality is this is a region that started the first world war and its quite capable of commencing another one. It is of course probably impossible for two NATO allies to go to war with each other but the degree of instability in the region is so profound right now I would not rule a military clash out. More should be done to prevent this.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

English National Ballet

Great evening at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night where the English National Ballet company were exhibiting their new talent. The event was about the Emerging Dancer of 2012 and The Peoples Choice.

It was so good to feel the energy, enthusiasm and witness the dedication these new dancers were showing. At the end the Cuban born Yonah Acosta won the award but the other five were equally as good. My favorites were Jia Zhang and the Scottish born Barry Drummond. Would agree with what the Director said at the end, they were all winners and they all displayed endless skill.

Anton Lukovkin, last years winner of the Peoples Choice award, also performed a splendid piece called Nanou choreographed by Alexey Miroshichenko. Well done the English National Ballet!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Rise in unemployment figures

Labour market figures published last month showing another rise in unemployment and youth and female unemployment at record levels were evidence that Britain was 'in the midst of a full blown jobs crisis', the TUC said. Unemployment rose by the equivalent of 1,300 a day towards the end of 2011.

Noting that the figures were even worse than the bleakest economic forecasts, the TUC said there was now a danger that mass joblessness would become a long term scar on Britain. The news for those in work was not good either, with pay growth falling, and more people having to move into part-time and insecure self-employment.

In the run up to the publication of the figures, the TUC warned that public sector job losses were adding to the gloomy economic outlook, with additional job cuts in local government, education, the NHS and the civil service announced in the Autumn Statement having a 'devastating' impact on regional labour markets.

TUC on jobs figures @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-20491-f0.cfm

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Cameron considers changes?

Rumour has it that David Cameron is running out of ideas and he wants the country to think that he is radical enough to get voted in next time without the Libs. So it would appear that Eric Pickles will be appointed the new fashion Minister with Anne Widdicombe coming back as the Minister for Arts and Dancing trends. I don't think this move will appeal to anyone though..

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Jay Mehta

It was good to see Jay Mehta and attend his leaving party. Jay has been a loyal union member and activists and I have known him for 22 years. I wish him the best of luck in his retirement, I am sure he will enjoy himself with his family. He is one of the many who have left public service lately and I fear many more will be joining him.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Anne Widdicombe for Eurovision?

There was amazement and surprise last night in the dark corners of Clapham pubs when the news about Engelbert of the Humperdinck regarding him representing the UK at Eurovision was released.

I was shocked, however, when an opinion poll which was conducted in SW4 (just after closing time) showed that the majority of those on babysham would rather see Anne Widdicombe do the Eurovision thing. The argument was that she seems to be on everything else at the moment so why not trash Eurovision? I don't see the point of all this excitement anyway as it is obvious that the Republic of Bananistan will win the next 'competition' ... And lets not forget that there could also be an opening for Andrew Neil since he is on every BBC programme invented since Saint Peter missed his easy jet flight to Rome.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Lambeth Unison lobby of meeting 29 Feb 2012
























Great to see so many activists and members of the SOS campaign group gather outside the Town Hall last night to protest against the savage cuts imposed by the government and implemented by the Labour Administration. The pictures tell the story...