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Sunday, 30 September 2012

20 October. Make it happen!

It is important that the message we send to the coalition government on the 20 October is loud and clear and whilst I have been critical of the fact that the strategy of concentrating on taking one day of action in isolation of all else we must do all we can to make sure it succeeds.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Rebellion in the South

The good people of Spain and Greece have had enough of the austerity measures imposed on them by the bankers friends and marched in the streets of Athens and Madrid protesting and showing their anger.

It is clear the the strategy of killing the patient to cure his illness is not going to work and it will produce a more undesirable situation which could involve more instability and even conflict. The brain box politicians in Brussels better rethink their policy again before we return to pre war conditions!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Seal Pups

Back soon..Seal Pups Saved From Certain DeathSuccessOver 140,000 Care2 members helped save two seal pups, Zak and Mika, from certain death. The pups were taken from the wild for display at the Aquarium des Iles in Quebec, even though aquarium officials knew they would be senselessly killed at the end of the tourist season. Read more.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Shell Backs Away

Shell Backs Away from Arctic DrillingSuccessShell Oil announced it's finally putting its controversial plans to drill in the Arctic on hold. Irreversible damage to endangered species, irreparable oil spills and draining the resources of native communities are just a few of the injustices Care2 members helped avoid.

Back soon

Back soon

Monday, 24 September 2012

20 of October must be big!

I know I have been critical as have many others of the TU's not having a long and coherent strategy that delivers long term objectives and I am also cynical of us thinking that by marching into central London for one day we can achieve much, we all know that one day will not bring the government down and it will not force Cameron to become more reasonable.

Saying that we must ensure that we do our best to be part of this big day of action and show the country that many of us are determined to fight on!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Life of Brian should be part of the school curiculum

I don't want to get into a massive debate about the merits of religion or the effects it has on humanity as a whole and althugh I understand and accept that believing in the metaphysical aspect of it all helps many people deal with their day to day problems it is as equally important to teach the alternative and there would not be a bteer way to do that than by introducing The Life of Brian as a subject at school. Pupils should be able to think fr themselves and that classic film could help them question the big questions in life.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Call for Catalan independence

The financial crisis in Europe is creating many problems and it is more severe for the time being in countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.

In Spain there are calls from Catalan nationalists for independence. They claim that the region pays more than 50 billion more in tax than any other area. The approach by the EU so far has been one of inactivity and the policies formed to deal with the troubles remind us all of what happened before the start of the second world war. It will seem that we in Europe are totally incapable of learning from history!

Friday, 21 September 2012

'Ask not what the union can do for you but what you can do for the union' belongs to the last centuury

There is no doubt that the only way to deal with declining levels of TU membership in Britain is to have major recruitment initiatives.

But it will be a mistake to have a strategy that simply deals with dishing out membership application forms outside major workplace buildings. A wider strategy is needed  that explains to the 24 million working people who are not TU members what the unions are and what they can do for them.

The current approach which says ask not what the union can do for you but what you can do for the union belongs to the last century!! Change the attitude or face a smaller movement made up of those on the so called hard left!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Animal rights issue

Lion Is Off the Menu At Kansas Restaurant
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AG_p6/zMTc/Aus7JTaste & See, a Latin-fusion restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, cancelled its plans to serve lion as part of a special big-game tasting. Chef Jason Febres noted that pressure from animal-rights activists (including those from Care2) influenced his decision.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The truth about the Greek financial crisis

The Greek press have never been interested in not covering issues that are current and newspaper editors have not shown any reluctance in saying what they think and how they feel.

Like many other European countries the press is divided between those on the left, the right, the far left and the mad right. The difference with any other country is thus very small in that respect. The same is the case with the 12 or more television channels and a plethora of radio stations that are constantly dishing out different versions of the same story.

The one thing that everyone seems to agree with in Greece is that the system used by the state to collect taxes and revenue was incredibly weak and measures to ensure that things were done correctly did not exist. This major deficiency produced a huge problem since the Greeks have been used to have a good standard of living in the last 20 years with excellent public services. Children would get a portable computer at 14, waiting queues for hospital treatment were very low and the transport system in the major cities was above average plus most people could retire on a good pension at 50.

But this great improvement was financed by successive governments who simply borrowed money from the international markets. This of course produced a huge debt which stands at 130% of GDP. And of course this is what induced the current crisis. Irresponsible and weak governments with career politicians who were only interested in making themselves be loved and staying in power for as long as they could.

The way to deal with this problem is to allow the country to go for growth and encourage more investment from outside. This would be the only sure way for Greece to be able to repay their debts. Killing the economy will not allow the state to have the funds to pay back the debts so the stupid career politicians of Euroland have got that one very wrong. Europe will be cutting its own nose to spite their face if they continue with the unfair austerity measures. The fact is that it is Euroland that will suffer more if Greece, Portugal or Spain go down. Anyone who can't see that is simply following the path that lead the world into a catastrophic war in 1940. They better think again!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

U turn on Greek financial crisis?

The current visit of the Troika in Athens appears to have been a 'success' ( a word used by them to describe their mission) This was their 4th visit in the last year and their intention was to establish whether the Greek government has done enough to comply with the expectations raised by the EU.

The reality is that out of the 11.4 billion of cuts in public services the Greeks have been able to identify around 8 or 9 so there is still a so called shortfall. The Greek government has been pushing for an extension by another two years but they have not been asking for more money.

The truth is the targets will not be met and everyone knows this. The change in the climate and the use of more positive rhetoric comes from the political changes that have taken place recently, namely the Dutch election which has produced a pro Euro result and the German High Court decision which says that dishing out more money is not illegal.

The other reality is that if the Greeks were 'allowed' to leave the Euro then Europe would be cutting its nose to spite her ugly face. In other words Portugal, Spain and Italy would definitely be following. It would also mean that the credibility of the Union would go down the toilet and if the Greeks were to exit it would prove that the EU can't sort its own house. It will also mean that Syriza, the mad left wing party in Greece, would take control and lead the region into oblivion avenue changing the geopolitical balance in the region and creating major instability!

Monday, 17 September 2012

838,000 Acres To Be Protected For Jaguars

838,000 Acres To Be Protected For Jaguars http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AG_p3/zMTc/Aus7JThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally proposed protecting 838,232 acres - an area larger than the state of Rhode Island - as "critical habitat" for endangered jaguars in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Belo Monte Dam Construction

Brazilian Court Halts Belo Monte Dam Construction
http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AG_p4/zMTc/Aus7JA federal judge in Brazil has suspended construction work on the world's biggest hydroelectric project in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Tens of thousands of Care2 members, along with other activists around the world, succeeded in placing a halt on this construction.This was truly an international grassroots movement.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Harry and the The PR machine

Most of us are not at all interested in whether Harry parades his bush in public or not and most do not want to know about how Kate Middle class relaxes when she is with her husband. The press must respect every ones privacy.

The most intersting part of the two episodes for me however is how the PR machinery have quickly moved to shift the emphasis from Harry's fun night out to how important it is for the us to have him fighting in Afghanistan? I would want to know who is paying for managing this media story and I am hoping its not the public? If the UK insists in having a monarchy (and I think the majority of people want that) then they should become cost effective. There is no need to have so many of them being paid lots of money to open supermarkets and going around dishing out titles? A streamlined monarchy, if we must have one, should be the aim as should be the abolition of titles that are so incompatible with Equality principles. Why do we have to live in total fantasy and complete denial?? Revise and streamline I say!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Killing badgers

At least seven out of every ten badgers will be shot across two areas in England over a six week period. The culls could begin in a few days and if it is rolled out across the country it could result in the deaths of up to 130,000 badgers! These animals could completely disappear from many areas and injured individuals could suffer a slow and painful death.

Killing badgers is not the solution!

Scientists who conducted the largest ever study into the issue concluded that the badger cull would have no meaningful effect on eradicating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle in England. The policy to cull badgers will not help farmers or cattle, but it will decimate badger populations across the country.

The government is planning this cull while alternative humane solutions exist! They should focus their efforts on reducing cattle-to-cattle transmission and on producing viable vaccines for both cattle and badgers instead of the cull. They should be listening to scientists and the public by focusing on tackling the root cause of the problem.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Pakistan workers appeal

Over 300 workers burned and suffocated to death in their workplaces, a garment factory and a shoe factory.
Some died while trying to jump out of windows to safety.
There were no emergency exits, no escape routes.
Not in Victorian England in the 19th century. Not in New York City a century ago.
But this week, in the second decade of the twenty-first century.
They died in Karachi and in Lahore, making the garments and shoes that you may be wearing right now.
We honour the memory of those lives cut short by demanding justice --
  • an impartial inquiry into what happened - and punishing those at fault;
  • compensation for the families of those killed and injured;
  • and an investigation into the failures of those public authorities who should have been there to ensure the workers' safety.
The unions in Pakistan are asking us all to take a minute and send off our messages of protest to the Prime Minister.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Guevara to lead US embassy vigil

The annual Cuba Solidarity Campaign vigil in support of the Miami Five will take place on Tuesday 18 September outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, from 6 to 7.30 pm.


It is now more than 14 years since the five Cubans were imprisoned in the United States and the TUC has been among the many organisations worldwide campaigning for their release.

Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che, will lead the 18 September demonstration and will be joined by campaigners and trade unionists including TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady.

More on this @

http://www.cuba-solidarity.org.uk/news.asp?ItemID=2290

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Greek claims to compensation from the Germans justified

I am in favour of the select committee that has been appointed by the Hellenic Vouli (Parliament) to look into the reparations that Germany did not pay following the devastation the Nazis inflicted on the country.

The Germans were particularly harsh with the Greek population because unlike other nations they resisted fiercely and as a result more than 300,000 people starved to death during the occupation from 1941. It is ludicrous that the current situation is seen as a separate issue and that the post war state is seen as not having a connection with what happened before. The Greeks did not receive Marshal Plan aid and in fact were led into a catastrophic civil war by the Western allies following liberation to ensure that communism was kept out of the country? And for what? Time for all to pay up I say!

Conference season

Its like a cycle but of course it is a cycle. I mean you have Xmas, Easter, the summer break, big brother, x factor and then the party political conference season with the three major players stage managing the events to convince us that they are carrying a half full bucket of hope.

So should we expect anything different this time around? Unfortunately all 3 parties have very little to say and the only conference am looking forward to watching is the Liberal party one only because I want to see how Nick Clegg is going to explain not meeting any of the promises he made in his manifesto before the general election. It will be interesting to see how he explains that the promise to create many more jobs has led to just creating one, the one that he has!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Olympians and Paralympians as role models

The British Olympic and Paralympic teams did very well, they have inspired a generation. It is now up to the press to use athletes who have succeed through effort and hard work as role models for a new generation and stop pushing the likes of Beckham and his devotion to complete shallowness onto us.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

In search of Argentina..

All I can say about the comments made by Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras who wishes that Greece became another Argentina is that he has shown his true colours. The reality is that his party exists simply because they can say what the people want to hear knowing that the policies they want to push through will never materialise and even if they were able to implement them the country would be driven to oblivion.

The example of Argentina is a very bad one  and not applicable to Greece. Argentina declared bankruptcy and its people were starving for 20 years before the country was able to recover  by using the vast natural resources the country has, something that Greece has not got. The man is irresponsible!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Syriza looking for Argentina!!

General outcry in the Greek press today over remarks made by Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras who wishes that Greece could become another Argentina.

Argentina went bankrupt and through a major depression that lasted for more than 15 years with people starving on the streets of major cities. What Argentina also had that Greece has not is huge natural resources so they were able to eventually export and achieve full recovery.

The remarks made by Tsipras and his 'flash in the pants' party are irresponsible but they expose the reality behind a movement that came out of nowhere. They concentrate on making statements on what could appeal to the general public but do not come up with empirical evidence on how their fantasy scenarios can be implemented. My argument against them is that if they were so good then the other more established parties on the real left would have had no problem forming a coalition government with them? Instead they don't want anything to do with them!!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Ticket office moves on wrong lines

Campaigners from Action for Rail held a day of protest on 26 July amidst fears that the Department for Transport will give the green light to the closure or reduction in opening hours of 86 of the 90 stations operated by London Midland.


Rail unions say that the Government's recent fares and ticketing consultation included leading questions hinting that ticket office closures would be inevitable as part of its wider plans for cost-cutting across the rail industry.

More on this @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-21268-f0.cfm

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Regulating programmes on tv

The idea of allowing or rejecting programmes shown on telly in a free and democratic society is of course unthinkable and it would be a regressive step it is, however, a great concern that absolute rubbish is being shown all the time. Programmes that can be offensive and misleading often dominate our screens.

You have, for a small example, the so called Jeremy Kyle 'show' where a totally unqualified person induces people to show how nasty and violent they can be and then makes them look as small as a pile of pooh, they are then made to take a lie detector test (a method shown to be scientifically unreliable in many studies), and then they humiliated depending on the result of such an idiotic test.

The argument for showing such shit content programmes (if you can call it a programme) is that there is demand for that sort of thing but it is not acceptable in a civilised society to encourage the production of such total crap. The alternative to not allowing this type of thing is to have an independent regulator marking programmes for content, so JK will be given 0 out of 10 this way people will know what it is that they are exposed to. Will it work? I don't know, but its better than being exposed to total shit on telly!!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Polar bears in danger

There is a reason that polar bears are the silent spokespeople for stopping climate change. They are the unfortunate result of decades of environmental destruction. And now, drilling in the Arctic threatens them even further.

Enough is enough. It's time to declare the Arctic off-limits to drilling and industrial fishing!

Big oil companies -- who have played a major part in causing climate change -- are now ready to take advantage of the retreating sea ice. They want to start drilling in the Arctic for oil, putting the polar bears' fragile habitat at even greater risk.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Employment law update

The Institute of Employment Rights will be holding its annual Employment Law Update event on 10 October at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London in association with Old Square Chambers and the TUC.


Details @

http://www.ier.org.uk/events/employment-law-update-2012-ken-gill-memorial-fund-0

Monday, 3 September 2012

Farewell to quality welfare

Changes to the social security system which include the removal of Job Grants, In Work Credits and Return to Work Credits would impoverish people and make finding work even harder, the TUC said last month. The TUC also warned that the delays in reforms to social care would mean extra worries for families.


More on welfare changes @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21209-f0.cfm

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Energy jobs need a boost

High energy costs and the UK's emissions targets are making life hard for the UK's steel, cement, ceramics and other core industries who have warned that thousands of jobs could be at risk without more government support for companies in the energy intensive sector.


A report produced by the TUC and the Energy Intensive Users Group says that there are currently 800,000 people working in the UK's energy intensive industries. But it warns that heavy energy users are operating under difficult conditions and, without ministerial action, jobs and investment could be lost to overseas competitors.

Summary information @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-21270-f0.cfm

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Unions' register victory

A report from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee on introducing a statutory register of lobbyists has been welcomed by the TUC.


The Committee recommended that the Government should scrap its plan for a statutory register of lobbyists which would have required unions, but not employer bodies, to register.

More on this @

http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-21211-f0.cfm