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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Ban shark fishing

You've heard of snake oil, perhaps -- the famous "medicine" peddled by con artists that usually contained nothing that would actually help people. But have you ever heard of shark oil?

In the UK, many fish oil supplements contain material from endangered sharks.

The reported benefits of Omega-3 supplements vary widely. Many experts say that the way to reap the rewards is to include them in a balanced diet, rather than popping the pills. But regardless of how you get your Omegas, one thing is for sure: those tablets that people are buying by the truckload often contain parts from endangered shark species.

Oil from endangered deep sea shark species such as the goblin shark and the leafscale gulper is widely used in the omega-3 supplements sold in the UK with almost no restrictions. As a result, the already threatened sharks are under more pressure than ever before.

Monday, 29 October 2012

What Euro crisis?

It looks remarkable when you compare the headlines between May to September this year and then you look at what is being said right now. The Euro crisis seems to have gone or at least the press has got bored with the whole affair and has moved on to more 'interesting things'. We are all victims of media manipulation and that will never change.

What is becoming apparent now is that the entire outburst had at its centre the desire by the Eurocrats to achieve fiscal integration which is of course a few metres away from the United States of Europe. That, I would imagine, is the entire reason behind scaring the underpants off most of us!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

X Factor 2012

Yes I know I am always critical of rubbish on television but I had guests staying this weekend from Manchester who insisted on watching X Factor so I was briefly exposed to the entire PR show because at the end of the day that's what's it's all about. A Jeremy Kyle type of formula that satisfies the armchair wannabes.

Anyway this year is no different to any other. A few years back they had a dreadful act called Wagner and people kept voting him in. This time around there is an appalling man called Rylan who has the singing ability of a bag of chips left on the drive way over night. Again people keep voting him in because lets face it Britain loves shit on television!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Euro crisis? What crisis..?

I think I am right and not paranoid to have thought right from that start of the current euro zone crisis that the purpose of it all was to drive wages down and make the general population more submissive.

I have very little doubt about that. The issue about debt is a nonsensical one. Countries will always have to borrow money to do things, they always have. Its the markets that create the crisis by increasing their interest rates constantly. Control the fucking markets and stop punishing the general population its not the right way to do things!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Promote union mergers

I have written about the need for TUs to join up and merge and others have agreed that this is indeed the way forward.

It is time for us to face reality and accept that many workers are either indifferent or scared and avoid joining the TU movement. More should be done to stop this and putting all our resources together is the best way to ensure that we can be more effective. There should, for example, be one union representing those in local government.

Merging means evolving and if we don't evolve we face extinction!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Local action?

I agree with activists that I normally disagree with that local government and health branches have got to organise local campaigns and fight employers without having to wait for a national mass mobilisation on the scale seen in Greece or Spain as that ain't gona happen mate!

Strange that my own branch, Lambeth Unison, voted for a ballot at the annual AGM in January and nothing has materialised yet? Do we just talk the talk, or am I waiting for some major revolution to take place!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Austerity means poverty



A poster from Athens found all over the city. Here is the translation:

Homeless in Athens need your help NOW!

Underneath it it states: Blankets and winter clothing needed urgently;
Requests for basic food and thick winter blankets!

This is the state of modern Europe with its austerity measures now!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Day of action and where to next?

We all had a superb day yesterday, more than 150,000 people marched on the streets of London demanding the end of austerity and the introduction of policies that stimulate growth. This is indeed what most of those fighting the injustice are demanding in the rest of Europe.

The big question following the great mobilisation yesterday is what is the strategy and the next step? It is important that we have clear tactics that can prove that we have not given up and that we know where we are going to next! More local action is what we need to concentrate on next!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Greece to get the 31.1 billion after all

Looks like all the talk about not continuing to support the Greek economy by the Germans was meant for domestic consumption. The German Chancellor announced that the second package of loans will be paid given that their man in Athens, PM Samaras, has managed to behave himself and has shown signs of improvement in the last 3 months.

The EU needs to come up with policies that encourage growth and abandon restrictive austerity measures otherwise the crisis will get worst!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Greek general strike

My ADEDY friend ( public services union) texts me to say that the march in the centre of Athens is strong with people protesting against the severe austerity measures imposed on the general population ( strikes and marches all over Greece not just Athens ). He also reports that there are a number of Spanish, Portuguese and French flags in St Sophia's avenue but can't see a British representative. Maybe this is because we are all getting ready for the big London march this coming Saturday? Hope so..

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Standards of service

I accept that campaigning for a better future and getting involved with other activists to achieve change is a very important part of what we do as union members. But there is no excuse for allowing ourselves to fall behind with the work needed to help and support ordinary members who need our help.

That is after all why unions were formed. There is not point creating armies of arm chair revolutionaries who spend a major part of their time fighting a class struggle in cyber space. Lets have minimum standards of service and lets ensure that we meet these.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Why are unions losing members

Why are unions losing members or perhaps why is it that union members lose faith with those they perceive as being part of the ruling  bureaucracy? These are big questions that need to concern us all.

The simple answer is that whilst many union activists on the front line are fighting to protect fellow workers rights those who are in a position to make things happen and help them when they have a work related problem take for ever to do anything. This is an endemic problem and one that full time 'orators' and followers of hot air who spend most of their lives up their own M25  should deal with.

I am currently dealing with a case of a low paid member who has been asking for legal advice on a matter to do with his employment position. This member is facing dismissal at the end of the month. We submitted case forms and requested legal advice more then 4 weeks ago but nothing is coming forward it's one excuse after another.

My argument is what is the point of having a revolution to save the class struggle when you can't be bothered to help an ordinary loyal member who needs support? And I know for a fact that this is not an isolated case. The orators who love the sound of their own voice and are so obsessed with the theory of revolution should do something practical to offer support.  Do I f...g need me to state the obvious?? What is the purpose of the uprising if you can't save a single member?? No wonder more than half of those who work in public service don't bloody join!! Lets change that!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Decisive EU summit

The October EU summit later on this month will make major decisions on how to deal with the current financial crisis in the South.

There is strong evidence that member states are doing a U turn understanding that huge austerity measures imposed on the PIGS  will kill growth and be counter productive. The President of the IMF has already gone on record saying that countries like Greece and Portugal need more time to pay off their debts. Amazes me that it has taken them so long to understand this simple principle of economics!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

EU Extension to be agreed

As expected by almost everyone with more than one brain cell the extension demanded by Portugal and Greece to repay the support loans will be agreed. I have never doubted that the north EU states would come to understand at some point that the policy of killing the patient would not help recovery! Growth and not austerity must be the fundamental principle for recovery. If there is no growth then the revenue goes down which means inability to pay back loans.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Make the 20 of October a success

Get your placards ready

Union placards and flags will no doubt dominate the march, and as at the March for the Alternative in 2011, there are likely to be lots of individually made, personalised messages.
This year, in recognition of this particular art form, a competition for the best placard is being organised with an invitation to demonstrators to make videos explaining why they are marching.

Average worker is £1,600 worse off

The fact that most people are now getting poorer year on year will be a big feature of the demonstration, with new TUC research showing that the average worker is now £1,600 a year worse off than they were three years ago.
The study showed that workers will have to wait another nine years to get back to the level of income they enjoyed in 2009, during which time they will have suffered an average of £8,500 in real terms wage losses.
Further information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21485-f0.cfm

Friday, 12 October 2012

Greece will stay in the euro

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the northern states of Europe would not want Greece out of the Euro as this would not be in their interest. They count themselves lucky that the feeble coalition of Conservative Samaras and Socilaist Pasok with fat boy Venizelos is holding together and they won't be taking the risk of bringing them down. The alternative will be the mad pro Argentinian Alexis Tsipras who has no policies other than fighting everyone and anyone. That would not do. So I can't see any changes and all the 'hostile, tough' statements made by northern leaders is simply serving internal market politics. They have no intention of letting Greece or Spain go!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

EU and poverty

It is astonishing and sad that the 4th largest economy in the euro zone has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where the Red Cross is distributing food parcels to the growing army of the very poor.

The situation in Spain is now so severe with 27% of those of working age being unemployed. The reality is that although having a United States of Europe is a novel concept  the economic system that was going to make that union a reality has not work. A large rethink is needed right now before Italy also joins Spain Greece and Portugal. If Italy defaults there will be nothing to stop the collapse of the Euro and the European Union dream.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Angela Merkel in Athens

I don't agree with the method used by the EU and the CEB which has as its centre the need to impose massive austerity anti growth measures on countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal. The punishment dished out on the general population using such a system is unfair and it affects the most vulnerable in society.

I also know, as many others do, that not allowing these countries to promote growth in their own economies means that they will never be able to repay the huge debts they have accumulated. It is pure madness to use a method which kills the patient in order to cure his illness? Total madness.

At the same time I think that the anti German hysteria in countries like Greece is not justified and the decision taken by Angela Merkel to visit yesterday was a positive one. There were 50,000 demonstrators in the streets of the capital city with a population of 4 million, which is, by comparison, small compared to many other similar events. The people of Greece must be heard and Angela Merkel's visit was a reasonably good idea. Alexis Tsipras can move to Argentina if he feels so strongly that the Argentinian model is so Utopian. Many Greeks I know would gladly pay for his one way no return ticket.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Future that Works: countdown

The TUC's Future that Works march and rally is now less than two weeks away, with the 20 October mobilisation shaping up to be another momentous day.

The aim of the demonstration is to highlight the immense damage government austerity measures are causing to the economy, public services and communities, and to call for an alternative future based on jobs, growth and tax justice.
The event got a big publicity boost when, in response to a question at the Labour Party conference, Ed Miliband said that he would be taking part. The main focus of the day will be in central London, with a march forming up at 11 am on the Embankment and heading to Hyde Park for a rally. Events are also taking place in Glasgow and Belfast.
The demonstration website is being regularly updated with information about the route and timings, and details of transport arrangements for the day. Those attending are urged to plan ahead as there is some disruption to the tube network in London on 20 October.
Visit the Future that Works website @
http://afuturethatworks.org/

Monday, 8 October 2012

Tory party conference



The Tory party conference starts today with the usual announcements from Osborne and the rest of his executioners on who they are going to make more people homeless and how they can achieve this to ensure that the ruling class continue to enjoy total domination of the country. So of course the target is those people unfortunate enough to be on benefits or those who have to live on pensions.

Amazing that the Liberals have allowed Clegg to support the government as long as he has. They face total oblivion at the next election and they will suffer huge causalities!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

One nation Labour

Am not sure the one Nation slogan adopted by Ed Milibank is going to persuade the voters of Clapham. They are the sort of people New Labour/One Nation Milibandites need to win over if they are going to get their posh well paid jobs in the government they form.

Was in Clapham village last night and 8 of of 10 people getting pissed there did not even know what the slogan meant the other two were more interested in a pint or six of babysham. So it don't look good! Try something else like having policies that make sense?? A shift to the left might help?

Friday, 5 October 2012

One Nation Labour. Its not about PR!!

What I object to with the Labour party decision to use the old brigadier trolley slogan 'One Nation' is that the battle that the party has chosen to fight is on the PR field.

It is now evident that it's  all about what key words to use and which slogans to dish out and of course this is wrong. The electorate is not stupid to buy the shift towards the war of terminologies  and they will soon decide whether it is the substance that matters or not. Get some good policies to the left I say otherwise you might as well get Deidre Barlow to be the leader she has a steady following and will get a few more votes!! And its all about that isn't it??

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A future that works

Growth not austerity hope not despair. Those are the slogans that you hear on the streets of Athens, Madrid and Portugal and now London. Join the march on the 20 October and show the government that the people want and demand a better future.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Newish Labour different slogan?

I am beginning to think that New Labour is taking us all for a ride. The shift that most of us wanted to see is taking place but it is to the right and not the left. The reality is that the only change is to do with altering the PR approach so we are now to use an old Tory slogan and dish out the term used by some brigadier years ago to make the public think that we are further to the right than Cameron?

The New Nation term used by Ed yesterday is a ridiculous idea and it won't take long before the likes of Nick Robinson and Andrew Neil start taking the piss and if they do then I might just agree with them. We are beginning to look ridiculous!!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Can Labour make it?

A lot of hot air at conference in Brighton this week coming out of shadow Ministers desperate to convince the voters that they are not just career politicians looking for a long term job in politics. Yeah right..

My disappointment with what we have with the Labour party is not diminished by my commitment and my firm belief that the party can be changed from within so I remain a member and will strive for a real Labour party the one that was created by the trade union movement? I truly believe this can be done!

Monday, 1 October 2012

South Europe Socialist Alliance

Encouraging news from the 9th meeting of Socialist parties of Southern Europe and the  decision to form an alliance. I have always been an advocate of a strong link between the Socialist movements of Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy. We all have common problems and we can deal with the challenges created by our northern neighbours better if we stick together. I see this as a first step.