We call for peace in Palestine and Israel conflict


I recall during my time as a very active trade unionist which I’m proud to been part of trade union delegation who was invited to visit Palestine organised by the Friends Of Palestine even then  it was a desperate situation. Waiting for the next wave of attacks is no way to live and, like many other onlookers, we feared where this was going to end.  Almost all the casualties so far have been Palestinian civilians. They were bearing the brunt of this bloody escalation.  At the time we sincerely hoped that  all sides would stop firing its rockets and that the Israeli Government can be persuaded to stand down. The Israeli bombardments are indiscriminate and lethal. The tragic loss of civilian life in Gaza and Jenin at the time. Former Member of Parliament Lynne Jones, Birmingham Selly Oak, 1992–2010 and other trade unions lobbied The British Government to do all it can to bring about a ceasefire and prevent further loss of life.

Benjamin-Netanyahu-Israel-Ban-Ki-MoonI could still recall the United Nations, Security Councils, and European Parliament passing resolutions after resolution to end the ceasefires but did Israel heed as usual they stuck two fingers to the world that called for a ceasefire it was during the time of the leaderships of Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat  unfortunately it was to continue until the death of  Yasser Arafat then after the burial Hamas and Israel continued unto the present still with no solutions from both-sides.

 

demoThe UN has called for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire”, allowing for the delivery of “urgently needed” humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

At an emergency session in New York, the security council adopted a presidential statement – one step below a legally-binding resolution – urging Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond”, the BBC reports.

However, the Israeli and Palestinian envoys to the UN both criticised the presidential statement.

The Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said: “Miraculously, it doesn’t mention Hamas. It doesn’t mention the firing of rockets. You don’t have to have the IQ of a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets are falling on you, you are allowed to defend yourself.”

We stand together and we call on World Leaders to unite to call for the immediate ceasefire on both-sides of the conflict

We stand together and we call on World Leaders to unite to call for the immediate ceasefire on both-sides of the conflict

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative, said he was “disappointed” a formal resolution demanding Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza has not been agreed. “They should have adopted a resolution a long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately,” he said.

The UN’s statement emphasised that “civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected”. It also stressed an urgent need for “immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip”.


Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama called for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire during a phone call to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed in the fighting.

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon has called for an urgent “humanitarian pause” to the fighting. “On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel”, he said. “This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period”.

Meanwhile, there are reports that John Kerry had presented both sides with a new ceasefire proposal today and is awaiting a response before he flies back to Washington tonight.

This follows yesterday’s mass protest where Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) clashed with Palestinians in the volatile area around a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.Over 10,000 people took to the streets to protest against the bloodshed in Gaza. Protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails and blocked a road with burning tyres, while IDF says it used “riot dispersal means”, a term used to cover weapons such as rubber bullets and tear gas.

More than 15 women, children and United Nations staff were killed and 200 injured yesterday when a school used as a UN shelter was shelled in Gaza, the fourth time in as many days that a UN facility has been hit.

The UN has rejected IDF claims that it gave occupants time to leave before the attack. The UN says it made repeated attempts to negotiate a period of time during which people could safely leave the area but none was granted.

According to the UN, more than 118,000 people are now sheltering in UN schools and people are running out of food. More than 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have died since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on 8 July.

Hamas has said it would consider a ceasefire if Israel agrees to lift its blockade of Gaza, but the organisation wants the terms to be agreed before it lays down its arms.

The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza following the bloodiest day of the two-week conflict.

More than 500 people have been killed and more than 3,100 injured in Gaza since Israel launched its operation against Hamas militants, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.

At least 100 Palestinians were killed yesterday alone as Israel escalated its military onslaught. The bodies of women and children were said to be strewn in the streets of Shejaiya as people fled their homes.

Following an emergency closed-door meeting, held at the request of Jordan, the UN Security Council expressed “serious concern at the escalation of violence”. It backed efforts by Egypt and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to broker a ceasefire deal, including the “withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip”.

But Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ UN representative, said he was disappointed that the council had not adopted a resolution to “stop the aggression against our people”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described the Israeli attacks as “crimes against humanity” and called for urgent talks. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue operations “as much as we need to” despite the death toll of Israeli soldiers rising to 18 at the weekend.

Twenty Israelis, including two civilians, have died in total, including two Americans fighting with the Israel Defence Force. The Guardian says the rise in casualties on Israel’s side could “increase pressure inside Israel for an end to the fighting or harden determination to inflict a decisive blow on Hamas”.

But Hamas has already cast doubt on the agreement, denying that a deal has been reached but saying talks are continuing in Egypt.

According to the Israelis the truce will begin on Friday at 6am local time (4am GMT), and if honoured will build on the temporary “humanitarian pause” both sides undertook today. But fears remain that one or both sides could renege on the agreement.

Israeli security forces say that Palestinian militants fired three mortars at Israel today, despite both sides committing to a five-hour cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds after four boys were killed playing football on the beach yesterday.

According to reports from Palestinian medical officials and journalists who witnessed the attack, the four teenagers were killed by shells fired by an Israeli naval gunboat.

“Children and adults scattered as the first shell struck, with a second and third hitting as they ran, setting fire to the palm-thatched shack
UN  figures cited in a Human Rights Watch report yesterday, suggest that more than three quarters of the Palestinians killed have been civilians, including 36 children, and that approximately 7,500 people had been displaced in the bombing campaign.

“Israel’s rhetoric is all about precision attacks, but attacks with no military target and many civilian deaths can hardly be considered precise,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of Human Rights Watch.

Well hopefully we all live in the hope that both Palestinian and Israelis will live in peace one day and hopefully a two state solution will be possible which may or may-not happen during our live time but may be possible through the eyes if our grand children.

 

 

My thoughts of children suffering in Gaza and Isreal conflict


1) Saturday 19 July a March and rally took place in London, Glasgow, Sheffield,   and some parts of the world like New York, Berlin, Paris, Soul, Johannesburg, Brussels, Jakarta, Athens, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver,   protesting against the disproportion of bombing of in Gaza and lack of food, medical aid arriving into Palestine whilst children who are the ones who suffer the most in this conflict. I’d like to know where the peace negotiators are in the middle east. Horrific scenes on TV & social media. Innocent children being killed. Heartbreaking what humans can do to each other. Conflict should be avoided and communication should be increased.

2) For the sake of humanity its important Israel is not let of the hook, while focus is on the shooting down of the plane in the Ukraine. What happened on that plane is sickening and vile and Russia has many questions to answer.

demo3) However the slaughter happening in Gaza should not be overshadowed either. Israel has become a rogue state itself. They have lost all credibility and care little to nothing for international law. The deaths of civilians cannot be excused and the way the Israel Army is using attack jets and tanks against civilian areas shows they are out of control.

4) Israel causes its own problems by keeping the Palestinian people poor, denying them they ability to be their own state, building on land they stole and having little regard for human rights. Palestinians have no army, navy or air force they have however extremist who only grow stronger because of Israel actions. Because of the Israel hostility the moderate politicians lost ground. Yet while no missiles should ever be fired into Palestine I doubt the world has failed to notice that one person has died on the Israel side. Yet 310 Palestinians have been killed. From the images appearing on social media what is more than clear is that they are civilians not Hamas.

photo-15) It’s time Israel was treated with the disrespect it deserved and sanctions were placed on them to stop their violence.

6) The alleged terrorist attack in the Ukraine is a tragedy, and I pray that all those martyed are blessed with a place in paradise. I agree with our PM David Cameron that sanctions against Russia for their complicity in the atrocity are necessary.

7) But what about the refusal of Israel for their indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and for breaking more UN resolutions than any other country. Why is the PM not calling for sanctions against Israel. Why is the PM, and other world leaders ignoring the plight of the Palestinians. Why are they turning a blind eye to the injustice, and the killing of children.

8) At last the UN is calling for an immediate ceasfire. But the cynic side me thinks that there is an ulterior motive behind it but I could be wrong. Is it anything to do with the fact that 13 Israeli soldiers were killed yesterday? If it is what about the first 13 Palestinians that were killed when the violence broke? Why did the UN not call for an immediate ceasfire then? It is clear that in the eyes of the UN the life of a Palestinian is worth less than an Israel soldier. The UN has proved time and time again it is a tool of the USA exploited for their own purposes!

9) It is a real shame that the Muslim countries some of whom spend the majority of their public finances on weapons have not come to the aid of the Palestinians. Do you think Israel would continue their attacks if Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, or Turkey threatened to intervene?

Benjamin-Netanyahu-Israel-Ban-Ki-Moon10) Unfortunately there seems to be more unity amongst the apes in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes than Muslim countries. Caesar got it right in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes when he described to his peers that one stick breaks easy but a bunch of sticks is a lot harder to break. I hope that the Muslim leaders watch the film so they might learn a lesson from the apes!

11) Many Jews speak out against what Israel is doing. We have to make sure this doesn’t become a platform for those with anti-Semitic views. At the same time there are those who accuse the critics of Israel as being anti-Semitic. Religion has to be taken out of the conflict; the Israeli state is no more a Jewish state than Britain is any more a Christian state. A Zionist yes but we have to be clear that Zionism is not Judaism. Israel now exists, there is no rolling back the clock and undoing that and the rest of the region will have to accept that. On the other hand Israel has to accept that there is a Palestinian state which has its own borders which Israel has no right to be in, she has to end all the occupations, the wall has to come down and the people of Israel have to treat people of other faiths and races with respect. Christians as well as Muslims suffer in Palestine. I get that Hamas are firing rockets into Israel but they are nothing compared to the destruction and death Israel is bringing to Palestinians. As long as Israel keeps retaliating in this way, as long as she keeps starving the Palestinian people by destroying their crops and trees and diverting water away from Palestine then there can never be peace. Israel is the stronger country both military and financially and has to be the ones to make the first move however painful that may be.

12) Tanks and military units penetrated deeper into Gaza on Friday as the Israel Defence Forces’ ground offensive entered its second day. At least 20 people died and many more were injured as intensive tank fire across eastern Gaza ravaged buildings and led to mass civilian casualties in the area.

13) The latest figures reported by health officials in Gaza, now estimate the total number of dead to be 316, a rise more than 60 since the offensive first began. IDF reports say that “40 Hamas terrorists” have been killed during the operation so far, with many of the underground tunnels used by the group destroyed. Three Israeli soldiers were injured, including one seriously, in a gun battle in northern Gaza; while one more was injured after being caught by sniper fire on Saturday morning.

14) With the number of people to die as a result of conflict in Gaza now topping 300, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is set to travel to the region today in a bid to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Following an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last night, a UN spokesman said that the UN chief was travelling to the region to meet with officials from both sides to secure a “lasting resolution” between both sides.

15) With the number of people to die as a result of conflict in Gaza now topping 300, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon is set to travel to the region in a bid to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Following an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last night a UN spokesman said that the UN chief was travelling to the region to meet with officials from both sides to secure a “lasting resolution”.

16) Palestinians are fed up with words they want to see action from the UN and not tokenism because they (UN) do not want to rock the boat. Let’s not forget this war has been going on for a very long-time which dates back to 1967 to the present time. As ever, the dominant narrative being presented to us on the current conflict in Gaza is that Israel is defending itself and its civilians against unprovoked rocket attacks by terrorists. And as ever, it is the same narrative being pushed in Washington and London, as like a well-rehearsed play the actors involved perform their respective roles with the same old aplomb.

17) It is the same narrative we have been subjected to over countless years, one intended to paint Israel, that democratic outpost of Western civilisation surrounded by barbarian hordes intent on its destruction, as perennial victim. But as in the past so as now, it is a lie. The truth is the current conflict has little if anything to do with Hamas or its rockets. It does however have everything to do with the state of Israel’s decades-long policy of occupation, embargo, siege, collective punishment, expropriation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. 

18) Israel’s war is not with Hamas but with the Palestinian people in their entirety, both the 1.5 million in Gaza and the three million in the West Bank. It is a war waged every hour of every day there is occupation, checkpoints, and settlements. It is a war waged every hour of every day there is an economic embargo, siege, and collective punishment. It is a war being waged every second of the indignity and humiliation suffered by its victims.

19) Yet despite the irrefutable facts of Israel’s barbaric treatment of a people criminalised for daring to exist, we are treated to a constant inversion of the truth, which holds that the many and multiple depredations being suffered by the Palestinians do not amount to one of the most sustained and grievous crimes against humanity in history, but are the result of their intransigence and violence. 

20) This is the song of colonialism. The victims always bring it on themselves. If only they would learn to bear their chains in silence. As Golda Meir said, “We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” And they are killing them, right now, while the world looks on again. Worse, when we consider that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people constitutes a clear and unarguable breach of international law, and has done for decades, the Western media’s continuing policy of ascribing a moral equivalence between Israel an oppressive settler colonial state, and the Palestinians an oppressed colonised and besieged people, monumental insult is added to monstrous injury. There is no moral equivalence. Nor could there ever be one.

21) A concerted attempt is underway to break an attempt at unity between Fatah and Hamas, after the Netanyahu government incited and whipped up hatred against the Palestinians over the recent abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers after they left an illegal settlement near Hebron to hitchhike back to Israel proper. 

22) Their deaths have been exploited to prosecute an agenda of keeping the Palestinians divided. It won’t work. Oppression does not divide it unites its victims and Israel deludes itself if it believes it can break a people whose will to resist has proved unbreakable time and again. That said, resistance is not a game nor is it romantic or glorious. The trauma being suffered by children, old people, and everyone forced to live under the shells and missiles being rained down on them will be unimaginable. The fear as the tanks gather at Gaza’s border and the troops prepare to invade will be immeasurable.

23) The bombing of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish civil war by nazi bombers on behalf of General Franco’s fascist forces has endured as a symbol of barbarism, when innocent civilians for the first time in western Europe were attacked by the military might of an advanced industrialised nation. A reproduction of Picasso’s famous painting of this war crime hangs pride of place within UN headquarters in New York to this day.

24) How ironic then that the same UN demonstrates nothing but impotence in the face of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, which at time of writing has killed close to 200 people and injured hundreds more, the vast majority civilians and many of them children. There is no point in deluding ourselves that anything approaching a resolution is anywhere in sight, not with a supine administration in Washington which could end this barbarity with one phone call. 

25) All we can say with certainty at this moment is that incinerating Palestinian children in the name of civilisation and democracy renders both meaningless.

26) please sign the petition to end the killings in Palestine

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-government-sanction-israel-and-stop-the-killing-of-innocent-women-and-children

My thoughts on data retention and investigatory powers bill.


1) Whilst I concur with freedom of expression in the UK and I don’t have a problem with GCHQ if they wish to monitor my mobile calls, and emails let me put in plain English to some people I have nothing to hide and frankly I don’t give a flying monkeys as it’s only criminals who have something to hide.

2) GCHQ can only go on the directions of the government of the day. Let’s not forget it was under strict instructions of a  dreaded former prime minister AKA the milk snatcher who did away with trade union rights under her rein which saw the trade union being quashed in GCHQ and it took many trade union activists to lobby the government to restore the right to have trade unions in the workplace of GCHQ which came about in 1997 to which I’m proud to be one of the many activists to lobby for the change.

"Wake up my people the establishment is watching you"

“Wake up my people the establishment is watching you”

3) There has been grave concerns which has arisen in regards to the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill by some part funded Government lobbyists to seek assurances that across party will vote against the bill which has backfired this is on the grounds of 449 members of parliament voted in favour of the bill.

Emergency legislation enabling the police to continue to be able to access communications companies’ records of phone and internet use has cleared Parliament and is set to become law.

Peers approved the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill after two consecutive days of debate. It had already won MPs’ backing.

Ministers said it needed to be rushed through to maintain the state’s existing powers, after a European Court of Justice ruling in April. But critics had demanded more time to debate the measures.

4) “The Conservatives will bring forward plans to “curtail” the role of the controversial European Court of Human Rights in the UK, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said 17 July 2014.

Mr Grayling confirmed the Tories would set out their proposals in time to be included in the party’s manifesto for next year’s general election.

The move comes after the two staunchest supporters of the European Convention on Human Rights among Conservatives in the Cabinet  Kenneth Clarke and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve lost their jobs in David Cameron’s reshuffle of his top team.”

I won’t be surprised if the bill will get the nod to go through to become law by the end of this year which will give the ammunition for the argument of letting through the blanket retention via the backdoor.
5) Don’t be very surprised by this coalition that gives them the requirement to sanction internet service providers to log details of all of their users online activity for inspection by the police and other government agencies.

"This what the Coalition thinks of voters and country"

“This what the Coalition thinks of voters and country”

6) Why I am not surprised the coalition had more than year to consider their response to the European ruling it ruled that it was a breach of data being kept would allow investigators to piece together someone’s private life. instead the coalition used a canny way to put it to the vote in the house so they can claim credit to say we did it and this what we think of you!

Some thoughts why so many went on strike


Why are the many not surprised by the actions of this Coalition attacks on public-sector pay have robbed workers of enough cash to feed their families for eight months straight from now until the general election.

 If I’m honest enough I would say that the Trade Union Congress (TUC) researchers said on 8 July 2014 that public-sector workers had lost the equivalent of £2,245 a year through freezes and below-inflation rises since 2010.

Official figures put the cost of a typical family’s weekly shop at £60 — meaning that the lost wages would have kept kitchens stocked for 37 weeks.

The TUC’s shocking study comes on the eve of tomorrow’s enormous strike over years of real-terms pay cuts.

Workers across the country from school crossing guards to NHS staff, teachers to refuse workers walked out to demand an end to the government’s assault.

Two million people belonging to unions including PCS, GMB, FBU, RMT, the National Union of Teachers, Unison and Unite are set to join picket lines.

“Wages are falling further behind the cost of living and in the last four years some civil servants have seen their income fall by 20 per cent,”

“The meagre economic recovery is only benefiting the rich we need a recovery for everyone.

photo 4“We need an alternative to cuts where we invest in public services to help our economy to grow, where jobs are created, not cut, and where we clamp down on the corporate tax dodgers who deprive our economy of tens of billions of pounds a year.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the coalition’s vaunting of an economic recovery had brought no “let up” for ordinary people on their payroll.

“Instead several more years of penny-pinching and frugal living lie ahead,” she said.

“In local government and right across the public sector — workers believe that ministers neither care about nor understand the pressures on their already stretched household budgets.

“Meanwhile the government seems happy for the public purse to miss out on billions through income tax cuts for the wealthy and corporation tax reductions for big businesses, yet says there’s no money to give a decent pay rise to struggling care assistants, nursery workers, dinner ladies and other local authority employees.

photo 2“Public servants have understandably had enough  now is the time for ministers to start listening and to realise that it was never going to be possible to keep the lid on the public sector forever.”

Many are not surprised by the actions of coalition to say they support the right to strike but never support any actual strikes? From the Telegraph’s splash:

“A million pupils face being turned away from classes on Thursday as teachers go on strike based on a poll of just a quarter of union members two years ago. The Prime Minister pledged to overhaul an archaic law that has allowed members of the National Union of Teachers to disrupt children’s education without any fresh ballots. The move would put an end to union powers to hold an unlimited number of ‘rolling’ strikes based on a single vote that has enabled the NUT to take action three times this academic year alone.”

I will give my reason why I went on strike on 10 July with my trade union colleagues:

1. These workers keep your services going day in day out, despite savage government cuts to vital services and jobs. They look after the elderly, the vulnerable and help educate our children. Almost half a million jobs have gone with those left doing far more for far less.

2. The current government offer leaves most workers with pay worth almost 20% less than in 2010.

3. Falling pay also means loss of pension for the rest of these low paid workers lives.

4. Another pay cut won’t save jobs – despite a pay freeze, jobs have gone and services continue to be stripped to the bone, privatised or stopped all together. There’s no reason to believe a pay cut will stop this.

5. Low pay is bad for workers and bad for the economy. That’s why politicians from all parties are calling for an end to low pay. Many local government workers rely on benefits to pay bills. Right now, the taxpayer is subsidising local government to pay poverty wages.

6. Paying all local government workers a living wage will boost Treasury coffers by around £0.9bn every year from increased tax and national insurance take – shifting many off in-work benefits and reducing the bill to taxpayers.

7. Over 100 councils already pay the living wage. If these councils can afford it, why can’t every local authority? Our claim would make the living wage the minimum pay rate for every council and school support worker.

8. The UK is the 7th richest nation on earth, surely we can afford good social care, housing and libraries while paying workers a living wage?

9. Councils have got over £19bn in the bank. Some of that could be spent on paying a decent wage, which would give workers more money to spend on local goods and services, helping local businesses and creating jobs.

10. The pay and conditions of local government workers are the worst in the public sector  from top to bottom. It can’t carry on.

11. One of the biggest programme of cuts and privatisation in public and welfare spending since the Second World War is well underway and starting to have serious even fatal consequence for lower, and middle incomes.

12. Suicide rates among the unemployed are climbing whilst central government forcing councils to implement the dreaded bedroom tax  some people with disabilities are having their benefits stopped for no apparent reasons in which time they face debts, poverty and the possibility of homelessness.

13. Child benefits, educational grants, family credits, pensions, and social facilities are under attack by this coalition in the mean time our libraries, youth centres and fire stations are closing down.

14. Our education system is being hammered and privatisation contractors are creeping in from the backdoor who has been given a free rein to loot the best services like our NHS to gain massive profits at the expense patient care.

15. Moreover, as social services disappear the cost of living is going up whilst public sector pay are stagnating and in some cases going down. Unemployment and underemployment are endemic. Over 10% of workers and 25% of young people are unemployed and many more can’t find work that pays enough to live on.

16. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment at a time of crisis how many success governments both previous and present continues with the blame game ie it’s Conservatives or Labour fault yet they both forget it’s the voters who all suffers. The problem is not one of “limited resources” since 2008 crash bankers and their excessive bonuses have become the targets of much anger. It certainly easy to hate and blame immigrants for the politicians fault who gambles with our economy but we must be careful not to mistake a symptom for a cause.

17. Regulation could not have prevented the crash. “Sensible, regulated banking practices” inevitably lead to fevered speculation as production outstrips consumption and market contact. In my opinion there is no such thing as capitalism without crisis; no such thing as capitalism without crisis and collapse.

18. The establishment have made it clear what their intentions are they hope to pass the burden of their latest crisis onto the backs of the voters through austerity and war saving their fortunes and their system at our expense. They do not give a monkeys what catastrophic effects their self preservation strategies have on the planet let alone of humanity.

What a cheek from David Cameron, and Francis Maude to say that the ballots were not valid lets not forget the 11% pay raise that Members of Parliament enjoy whilst the likes of teachers, dinner ladys, firefirers, local government employees gets a 1% increase. Furthermore the elections did not get 50% of the voters. So we don’t need no lessons from both ministers who are well off with their 11% increase and living in their mansions. What the this coalition should be doing is to bring in the mansion tax which this coalition will not touch with a bargepole.

Yet Almost half of UK managers work an extra day of unpaid overtime per week, a study into working practices has suggested.

Work pressures and easy access to email through smartphone technology leave over 90% of managers working outside contracted hours, the study found.

Around 13% of managers work two days unpaid overtime per week, the Institute of Leadership and Management said.

“When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the extra hours culture is within UK business,” said ILM chief executive Charles Elvin.

“Of course, all organisations face busy periods when employees will feel motivated to work above and beyond their contractual hours.

“But excessive hours are not sustainable – there are only so many times you can burn the midnight oil before your performance, decision making and wellbeing begin to suffer,” he added.

An online survey of 1,056 ILM members found that 76% routinely work late in the office or at home, 48% regularly work through their lunch-break, and more than one third work at weekends.

Smartphone technology has added to pressures to work, with some managers “obsessively” checking email outside of office hours, Mr Elvin said.

“We all know how stressful it can be to receive an urgent late night email when you feel compelled to respond immediately,” he said.

Research body the Work Foundation said that overwork can lead to underperformance.

“When you work excessive hours this can lead to employee burnout, increased stress, depression and physical illnesses,” said Zofia Bajorek from the Work Foundation.

However, if smartphones are used to allow flexible working hours, this can support the organisation, the employee and the customer, she added.

The employers’ organisation the CBI said that businesses investing in employee wellbeing “is not only the right thing to do, but it also has real business benefits.”

“Having healthy staff is an essential part of running a healthy business,” said Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills.

“Businesses are looking at how they can work with employees to manage workload and we’re already seeing many firms focusing on health management and building employee resilience to help keep their staff happy and healthy.”

Around two thirds of UK managers feel under pressure to work extra hours from their employers, the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) said.

 

 

Who benefits from trade unions


 

Intriguingly I had some discussions in regards to the day of strike action on 10 July. How many right-wing answers have you heard of lately such as:

1) I bear the scars of the trade unions on my back. I don’t believe in strike action.

2) I’m not a member of a trade union so it does not affect me.

3) Oh here we go again bring back the 1970s strike action, I can’t afford to go on strike I’ve got a mortgage to pay and children to feed.

4) God will provide trust in him and everything will work out I will pray for you.

5) I read the daily mail, express, telegraph you know you public sector workers want one rule for yourselves and another for the rest.

6) The trade union does not have the power since Maggie smashed the unions and they don’t take its members seriously I had a case and they did not want to know.

7) The Labour Party is in the pockets of the trade union.

8) Don’t work in public sector I’m happy in the private sector they treat us much better.

9) Public sector gets a decent pension and they are over paid. So why should I support them.

10) I have no time for trade unions I don’t know why I pay my union subs as I get no benefits from them and if I have a problems with management I will sort it out myself.

Here some positives for being in a trade union:

1) Trade unions speak on behalf of their members.
2) Trade unions provide members with information, advice and guidance about work-related problems.

3) Trade unions provide members with a range of services including training,  insurance, financial services and legal advice.

4) Trade unions bargain with employers to get better pay for members.

5) Trade unions campaign on particular issues, for example low pay, discrimination and bullying.

6) Trade unions can help you if you have a problem at work.

7) You’re better off in a union. Research shows that union members in the UK receive higher pay (on average 12.5% more), better sickness and pension benefits, more holiday and more flexible working hours than non-members.

8) Some people join in order to feel part of a wider community at work. Others join because they believe in giving employees a collective voice and making sure workers and not just employers and senior managers benefit from the success of an organisation.

9) Trade unions are at the forefront of campaigns to create a fairer society.

10) Workplaces are safer where there is a trade union recent studies show that organisations that have trade union health and safety committees have half the injury rate than those that manage safety without unions.”

11) Every year, around members seek help for a problem at work from their local trade branch last year  trade union legal service won more than £2m in settlements for members treated unfairly at work. In 2007 trade unions in UK as a whole won a record £330 million in compensation for members through
this sort of legal action.

Quick someone pinch me now, am I really delusional in thinking that Tories have reconfirmed plans to outlaw public-sector strikes in the face of July 10’s mass walkout.

Two million public sector workers including fire-fighters, teachers and council and NHS workers will strike over pay and pensions this Thursday.

In response embattled Tories say if they win the 2015 general election they will enact legislation to ban strikes if less than 50 per cent of union members involved vote Yes.

If the same restriction were placed on parliamentary elections no MPs would be elected.

The idea has been cooked up with the help of big business leaders, and is supported by the Prime Minister and other leading Conservatives.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: “When faced with strike action being called on the basis of ballots often with extremely low turnouts, then actually every time that happens it strengthens the case for some sort of turnover threshold.”

Commenting on Thursday’s public-sector strike Mr Maude said trade union laws needed strengthening because strikes prevent “hardworking families from going to work and could in extreme cases put lives at risk.”

The questions I would pose to all the press, social media, and general public with the constant increases of food,electric, gas, rent, council tax, car insurance, MOT, bus fares, taxis, children clothing, shoes, and mortgage could you live with a 1% increase in your pay packet whilst your Member of Parliament gets a 11% increase in their pay packet. Remember to continue to lobby your Member of Parliament(MP) to make representation to the coalition to increase Public Service pay.

Let us all take a stance to Keep Public Sector public which side are you on?

Leading figures from the health world are calling for a national debate on how the NHS in England is funded.

In a letter to The Times, they say challenges from an ageing population mean the system is “creaking at the seams” and cannot continue as it is.

Signatories include the heads of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing.

Without action an extra £30bn will be needed by 2020 to fund the NHS at current levels, their letter adds.

They are asking for a cross-party, independent conversation on the way forward for the “scope, provision and funding of health and social care”.

The nine signatories say that in 50 years’ time, at least two-and-a-half times as many patients will suffer from multiple health problems.

Hugh Pym said while their letter is suggesting that further action is needed to make the NHS more efficient, this will not be enough as financial pressures intensify.

“The group is calling for a national debate on what it says are the options – higher taxes, payments for some elements of health care or a review is what is available on the NHS,” he added.

Their letter says: “The status quo is not an option. We are already seeing the signs of the system creaking at the seams.”

Warning that “business as usual won’t do”, they assert there needs to be “an honest, open dialogue between politicians and citizens”.

“We need a new settlement; a fundamental, holistic agreement with the country on what health and social care should be, how and where it is delivered to maximise the quality of care, and how it should be paid for.”

This “national conversation” should start now and be completed by the end of 2015, the letter concludes.

Two signatories – Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, and Turning Point chief executive Lord Adebowale – are non-executive directors of NHS England.

It is also signed by: Sir John Oldham, who chaired the Independent Commission on Whole Person Care; Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society; Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing; Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs; Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians; Jean-Pierre van Besouw, president of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, and Chris Hopson, chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network.

I’m positively sure the public would want to know what the Conservatives would not want hit the headlines in all the tabloids. Ahhs shocks  the cat is out of the bag now. So here goes:

A Conservative Party donor is reported to be among contenders to become the new chairman of Ofsted.

 David Ross, who co-founded Carphone Warehouse, has been named by the Independent as favourite for the role.

As well as having donated thousands to the Conservative Party, Mr Ross has a charitable foundation which supports more than 20 academies.

The Department for Education (DfE) said the chairman recruitment process was “ongoing”.

Mr Ross resigned from Carphone Warehouse in 2008 following a share selling scandal, when he used 136 million of his 177 million shares as security against personal loans without telling anyone in the company.

As a result, he was also forced to step down from his position on the board of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and as chairman of the Legacy Board of Advisers along with other roles.

The Ofsted chairman’s role became vacant earlier this year after Education Secretary Michael Gove decided not to keep Labour peer Baroness Morgan in the job.

Thank god for this information according to the Independent, Mr Ross has donated about £220,000 to the Conservative Party. 

The DfE spokesman said: “The recruitment process for the new chair of Ofsted is ongoing. The successful candidate will be announced in due course.

“As with all public appointments, the appointment process is being conducted in accordance with the requirements set by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the guidance issued by the Cabinet Office Public Appointments Unit.

“An independent panel decides who is long-listed, short-listed and interviewed. After this process is complete, they recommend to ministers a list of appointable candidates.”

“So lets not have any lessons from the Conservatives on donations as it buys you a peerage and give top jobs to their Troy donors”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day of action from trade unions


 

Members of other unions are currently voting on proposed strikes, with a day of action planned for 10 July.

Unison said local government workers and school support staff – which include all school workers except teachers – had been subject to a three-year pay freeze and had now been offered a 1% pay rise.

The union said almost 85,000 workers – mainly low-paid women – voted and more than 58% backed the strike. About 410,000 workers had the chance to vote.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “These workers care for our elderly, clean our streets, feed and educate our school children and keep our libraries running, but they receive no recognition in their pay packets.

“They are mainly low-paid women workers, stressed and demoralised, and they deserve better from their employers and from this government.

“This is the group that has borne the brunt of the government’s austerity agenda.”

Mr Prentis said Unison members “expect to be joined” by other unions in the strike on 10 July, adding: “The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”

Unison said pay freezes and below-inflation pay rises had reduced local government workers’ pay by 20% since the coalition government came to power in 2010.

The GMB and Unite unions are expected to announce the results of strike ballots in the coming days, and the National Union of Teachers has already announced a strike on 10 July.

Midwives in England are currently being balloted about possible strike action after the government did not approve a recommended 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.

My thoughts of the national day of action:

1) I’m in full support of the trade unions day of action this on the grounds of that there are many low paid workers in this part of public sector and I would like to counter the arrangements from the press, social media, Local Government Association central Government who continue to feed the myth that public sectors are well paid in actual fact they are not followed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) who knows nothing of how our public services operate which the local Government should be a shame of themselves for toeing the line of  the CBI and Central Government.

2) As a ex-employee of local and central government I have witnessed the hardships that faced by employees and in some cases that central and local government have at times failed in their duty of care of its employees to protect them from psychical abuse from the general public for instance Ambulance, Social Workers, Community Psychiatric nurse, doctors, police,  have been called out of hours to with the communities and they have to work at all hours

3)  It comes no surprise that the trade union members decided to vote on strike action over a number of reasons like the coalition attacking trade unions terms and condition, the coalition continued attacks on pay by offering lesser than inflation rate.

4) There has been more cuts in public sectors like police, and arm forces the continued closure of day and night care services, under this coalition than any other UK government compare to a Labour government so don’t be hoodwinked by the Conservatives, and their affiliate press will have you believe.

5) To add insult to injury few scenes have illustrate the draconian cruelty of austerity Britain better than the weekend’s kettle of disability protesters in Westminster.

Notice there has been no coverage of a 50000 people demonstration and only this weekend Disabled People Against Cuts had very attention by most of the leading press and social media. Many find it distasteful the a group who decided to their right to a peaceful assembly was kettle by the police at the request of Dean of Westminster who refuse to meet activists who broke no laws.

Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

6) The police, arm forces, and public services will face a further increase in cuts by this dreaded coalition and rest assured if the Conservatives win a full majority in government we have a full scale cuts on public services.

7) It’s little surprise that it was the banks and tax avoiding corporations that wrecked the economy forcing UK, and Ireland and much of the world into wasted years of austerity and social misery.

8) Twenty-fourteen had barely begun when George Osborne was warning more cuts were on their way, with another £25 billion to be ripped out of the welfare state.

Yet the Chancellor’s economic black magic actually pushes the country deeper into the red, with £14m per hour being borrowed.

Just last week, his passion for the destruction of our social structures was revealed again with his plans to rid the nation of a million public servants.

Of course, many are doing very nicely in coalition Britain — such as the 62,000 “high-net-worth” individuals who joined the ranks of the global super-rich last year.

Over half a million people in this country are now among the wealthiest on the planet — one in every 121 of the population, hogging the goodies to themselves while 5.2m workers in this country earn less than a living wage.

9) Intriguingly a leading Archbishop has recommended that the government should pay its own workers a “living wage”.

The commission is an independent body bringing together business, trade unions and civil society.

It says that “the majority of people in poverty in the UK are working”.

The commission’s definition of a living wage is “an hourly rate of income calculated according to a basic cost of living in the UK and defined as the minimum amount of money needed to enjoy a basic, but socially acceptable standard of living”.

In 2014 the UK living wage rate stands at £7.65 an hour, and the London living wage is set at a higher rate of £8.80 per hour, to take account of the higher cost of living in the capital.

By contrast, the national minimum wage currently stands at £6.31 an hour.

The government is the biggest employer of low-paid people, and so should look at pay levels during procurement, and that private sector companies that are capable should also pay.

The commission’s research shows that there are currently 712 employers across the UK accredited as paying a living wage.

Service industries such as accountancy, banks and construction firms could boost the pay of 375,000 workers if they agreed to pay the national living wage.

“Working and still living in poverty is a national scandal”.

“For the first time, the majority of people in poverty in the UK are now in working households.

“If the government now commits to making this hope a reality, we can take a major step towards ending the strain on all of our consciences. Low wages equals living in poverty.”

10) Yet this  coalition government was accused yesterday of continuing to drive Britain’s low-income families further and further into poverty  to the point where they cannot even afford to feed themselves.

Independent charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report exposing how the ever-increasing gap between prices and wages is leaving low-income families struggling to meet the costs of basic essentials.

The Foundation warned that since 2008 the price of essentials had soared by 28 per cent, while average wages increased by just nine per cent.

The government responded by saying tax cuts — which have handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthy — are a benefit to low-earners.

But the foundation’s chief executive Julia Unwin said: “These figures show there is still a lot of work needed to make up the lost ground for low-income families. The income they need to make ends meet has soared at a time when their ability to make up the shortfall is severely constrained.”

She said action was needed to “to help alleviate the pressure on the worst-off households.”

The foundation’s research identified the levels of wages needed for individuals and families to “afford a minimum acceptable standard of living.”

It said single people need to be paid £16,300 a year before tax while a couple with two children need to bring in a total of £40,600 before tax — an impossibility for most low-wage earners.

The figures are based on the foundation’s “minimum income standard,” which sets out the basics to be included in a minimum household budget according to public opinion.

Report author Abigail Davis said: “Throughout the past few difficult years, the people we talk to have held a consistent view of what it means to live at an acceptable level in the UK.

“It means being able to afford to feed your family and heat your home properly, but also having enough to buy a birthday present for your children, and to spend time with your family away from home, such as the occasional meal out.

“The growing number of people who fall below this standard are unable to afford basic goods, services and activities that most of us would take for granted.”

 

Who benefits from Austerity?


“Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains”. Karl Marx

 

 

Checkout this youtube:

Great day on Sat 21 June in London and proud to have joined the demonstration a few things struck my mind whilst returning from the rally on the train:

1) Whilst it was good to see so many people there from the trade unions movements, lower paid, and lower middle class all coming together to send a clear message to this coalition austerity plan is hurting but not working and how will this now translate into Labour votes in 2015.

2) Why is there so much resentment for this coalition and why has the Conservatives and LibDems have not done so well in the recent European and Local Government Elections 2014. People are more concern of their own bread and butter issues that it then becomes agonizing to chose to put food on the table to feed their children while the adults do without food and start to but their pride aside and approach mom and dad for that extra support from or join the queue of the nearest food bank?

4) A recent report from Trade Union Congress(TUC) which stipulates that the Department for Work and Pensions disputed the statistics cited in the report, saying it was comparing the current situation with the economic boom years of the late 1990s.

The report – which follows a study of employment rates for different groups of people in the UK – says young people outside full-time education are now less likely to have a job than workers aged 50-64.

It says the situation is a “remarkable” turnaround from 1998, when they were 25% more likely to be in work than workers in this age bracket.

The report says fewer than half of those who have no qualifications are in work, while the employment rate for people with basic qualifications had fallen to about 63%.

It said employment rates have improved for single parents, older people, black and Asian employees and disabled people over the last 17 years – although they too remain less likely to find jobs.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said government ministers seemed “keener on kicking struggling youngsters when they’re down and removing the safety net they need to learn new skills and find work”.

“We need to increase funding for employment programmes, for example by guaranteeing a job or training to any young person who’s been out of work for six months or more.

“Spending more money on jobs support now will save money in the long run by getting more people in work and paying taxes,” she said. 

She said that although “times have been tough for young people in the jobs market”, their prospects were “better now than in any other recent recovery”.

“Young people who aren’t studying full time have a higher employment rate than any other group the TUC lists and it’s a credit to every single young person grasping the opportunities that are out there that they’ve been able to do that,” she said.

Nearly three quarters of the public believe the political parties are designing health policy to win votes, and not what is best for the NHS, a poll has suggested.

The survey of almost 2,000 people in the UK found 73% were sceptical about the motivation of politicians.

One in four also said they were dissatisfied with the way the NHS was being run.

The survey was commissioned by the British Medical Association (BMA).

The poll carried out by Ipsos Mori also found two-thirds wanted the NHS to manage itself without the involvement of politicians.

Another 46% also said politicians should have low or no involvement in how the NHS is run.

That was one of the aims of the reforms introduced by Andrew Lansley when he was health secretary.

But commentators have noted that since Jeremy Hunt has replaced him there has been a push to retain a much more hands-on approach.

5) BMA leader Dr Mark Porter, speaking ahead of the four-day conference which gets under way in Harrogate later, said: “The government promised to remove micromanagement from the NHS and yet the opposite has happened.

“There are even claims that NHS England, set up to be independent of Whitehall, is being manipulated for political purposes.”

He also mentioned a key policy put forward by Labour – the pledge to offer GP appointments within 48 hours – adding: “Patient care is taking a back seat to scoring points over the dispatch box.”

Dr Porter said “doctors want to see politics taken out of the NHS once and for all”, saying it was “clear that the public feel the same way”.

“Yes, politicians should be accountable for the running of the NHS, but when it comes to decisions of patient care it is time to allow doctors to do what they do best – lead the delivery of high quality patient care,” he added.

6) So where is the difference today? Look at today’s Tories and what are they doing. Seeking to destroy the welfare state plus scrap the NHS! The only difference between now and then is most of the press. Back then they would have created outrage at the Tories just trying. Now the press by in large hand out words of encouragement.

Cameron, Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith all think of Thatcher as the person they most admire, It says it all. 

No matter the issue it will keep getting worse and worse if we leave Cameron in office after 2015 as we have not seen anything it is just the tip of the iceberg of whats to come under a Conservative Government should they get elected if they win it outright majority in the house. George Osborne orders ‘ambitious’ new efficiency drive, to be detailed in the Autumn Statement, for savings and job cuts stretching deep into the next parliament.

Hundreds of thousands of civil servants and other government employees are facing the sack under sweeping Tory plans to cut back the state.

Ministers are drawing up radical measures, to be announced in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, which will see widespread privatisations and at least one million public sector workers removed from the government payroll by the end of the decade.

The Treasury has now ordered the Cabinet Office to prepare an “ambitious” new programme of efficiency savings stretching deep into the next parliament after the 2015 election.

It comes as new laws are announced to force future governments to reduce red tape for businesses, and a fresh assault is launched on “fat cat” public officials’ pay.

Matthew Hancock, the business minister and one of Mr Osborne’s closest allies, declares that government must “get out of the way” to allow companies to thrive.

A new Small Business Bill will set down in law new targets for reducing the amount of regulations that shopkeepers and other small businesses have to comply with “We are on track to be the first government in modern times to reduce the burden of regulation on business. Our ‘one in, two out’ rule ensures that the burden of regulation keeps falling. Now we will put the deregulation target into the law entrenching the need for government to reduce their burden on business,”Mr Hancock said.

In a separate move, Eric Pickles, the Local Government secretary, will also step up his assault on “exorbitant” salaries for public officials this week, ordering councils to share senior executives across local authorities and stamp out high pay deals.

The Conservative effort to roll back the state comes after worse than expected economic figures showed that government borrowing rose last month.

A succession of positive reports from economists reinforced the message that Britain is returning to strong growth.

However, Mr Osborne has also warned voters that the economy is not yet safe and the Tories are expected to argue in next year’s election campaign that they should be allowed to finish the job rather than letting Labour put the recovery at risk.

The budget deficit is forecast to continue until at least 2018, requiring public spending restraint well beyond the general election.

Ministers have been told that the government workforce will fall by about one million between 2011 and 2019. At a rate of 36,000 per quarter, this is the equivalent of sacking one state employee every four minutes, every day, for the next five years.

At a meeting in Whitehall earlier this month, Mr Osborne told officials: “We’ve made excellent progress and have now shown that we can deliver savings and reforms year after year. But there’s still more to do. There’s a job to finish.”

He said he wanted “an ambitious new efficiency programme” to deliver savings “across the next Parliament” and to be announced in time for the Autumn Statement later this year. “We know we need to spend taxpayers’ money responsibly,” he said.

A senior government source said the public would be urged to back further spending cuts at the next election with a simple message that Britain’s soaring debts require everyone to tighten their belts further.

“What we’ve done so far has been presented as radical but it’s actually been pretty incremental we haven’t been reinventing the wheel,” the source said

“We want to go further. It’s like a firm cutting overheads – no leading organisation ever stops looking for efficiencies and the civil service shouldn’t be any different.”

The reforms are expected to see more government offices privatised and turned into “public service mutuals”, which are owned by their staff, but funded by private sector payments rather than the taxpayer.

The “digitisation” of services will also put more government functions online, reducing the number of civil servants on the state payroll.

Next week, ministers will also urge councillors to block high pay for chief executives and other senior officials, as unions insist that salaries of more than £200,000 for town hall officials are justified.

MPs on the communities and local government select committee will take evidence from senior government figures as part of an inquiry into the pay of council chief executives.

One plan being promoted by the Department for Communities and Local Government is for more councils to share their chief executives and senior management teams.

It has been purported that Mr Pickles told “senior town hall pay was allowed to spiral out of control under the Labour Government and we have been very clear that councils need to show much greater restraint.

“All local authorities should be focusing resources on protecting frontline services and keeping council tax down rather than throwing away taxpayers’ money. Councils are now legally required to open up their books to public scrutiny, and councillors now have the powers to stop exorbitant pay deals they should use them.”

Checkout this youtube:

7) It has been suggested that Chris Green suggests that Labour, under Blair and Brown, damaged the country and that we have nothing to say on the economy.
He also blames Labour for immigration concerns, provides advice for Labour on how we are to “get our voters back” in Bolton, whilst telling us we should not oppose Tory welfare reform. And he declares that inward investment in the town centre and in Horwich is all down to Tory achievement.

The public know the truth. The Tories continue to peddle lies about what really happened to the international financial markets and major economies in the West, blaming Labour in an attempt to draw votes their way again.

It’s ridiculous to suggest that Labour has “nothing to say on the economy” when we have, in Ed Balls, an economist who reveals every wasted opportunity the Tories have had to deliver a fairer cost of living to the average Boltonian. Labour has a better economic offer. Cameron knows this and forever complains about our Shadow Chancellor.

Mostly we’re up against Right-wing newspapers that don’t print Labour opinion and policies. The public know how much power the media have in this country.
Local government officers and councillors have worked hard to secure economic investment in Bolton that, at a stroke, could have gone elsewhere in the North West.

It is not right that the prospective parliamentary candidate fails to acknowledge the hard political and strategic work that is needed every day for this town. The idea that everything that is wrong with immigration and policy on Europe that voters care about began on May 2, 1997, when Labour won the election, is bizarre.

Both parties have looked back over their policies changed this not having social security for unemployed, sick, old and disabled people is inhumane. Some people are so poor with the welfare sanctions, they return food to food banks that they can’t heat up as they can’t afford the meter. Tory “welfare reform” is a disaster with a litany of misery. Even the archbishops have spoken out. It is a shameful legacy of the Conservatives.

8) We all know the media lies and excludes anything important, that it’s under authoritarian Tory control? That IDS ‘monitors’ the BBC for ‘left wing bias’, that the Guardian’s occasional forays into truth are stifled by jackbooted officials marching in and smashing hard drives do you really imagine that such a government media spokesperson  will do any justice to reporting about the positive intentions and actions of its opposition? Not one bit.

Yet I see people running around hysterically with the cherry-picked, distorted media spun soundbites, as if the media is somehow suddenly credible when it talks of the opposition, and when you actually read what was said and proposed at the unspun source, it bears no resemblance at all to the media tale of the unexpected…if you trouble yourself to investigate these things, the crap being published and broadcast doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. 

And when the media resort to personal smears like they did last year about Ralph Miliband – you know they are worried about being defeated.

9) Finally there was a media  silence on the 50,000 who marched against government imposed austerity at the weekend tells us all we need to know about Britain’s “free” press.

The Guardian consented to run a report on the march online, though it was not mentioned at all in the group’s Sunday title the Observer. 

Other papers ignored it completely as, initially, did the BBC, before a flood of complaints forced it to post a grudging acknowledgement on its Facebook page.

Broadcasting pundits and well-heeled newspaper columnists were quick to cry foul at the idea of state regulation of their sector after the revelation of mass illegal snooping at the now defunct News of the World and other Rupert Murdoch titles, citing the vital importance of an independent and diverse media which could hold the powerful to account.

Who could disagree with that? But Britain’s major newspapers, owned by a handful of mostly foreign-based billionaires, are not diverse and do not hold the powerful to account.

Most of the biggest titles Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Times  are open cheerleaders for the Tory Party, which is hardly surprising since it is the party which best represents the class interests of their owners.

To this end evidence-free hate-mongering about immigrants and “benefit cheats” and hysterical attacks on workers who dare to flex their collective muscles through their trade unions are all the rage.

But tens of thousands of people marching through the centre of Britain’s capital demanding an alternative to the ruling class war on working people? That’s not news, apparently. 

Indeed, the publicly funded BBC claimed that it was unable to provide “extensive” coverage of the march because of other more important stories on the day — which included significantly smaller crowds gathering to watch the solstice sun come up that morning. 

The excuse does not explain why a BBC News tweet about the march was subsequently deleted, suggesting deliberate censorship rather than a simple case of odd priorities.

Even newspapers which are not consistently Tory act to perpetuate the poisonous narrative of the ruling class, whether this takes the form of the Independent’s cheerleading for marketising our public services or the Guardian’s support for the fascist-backed coup in Ukraine and the bloody war that country’s new leaders are waging against their opponents in the east. Other examples could be added ad nauseam.

The fact is that Britain’s rulers do not need to regulate or censor the press, because they own it. 

As Lenin once said: “In capitalist usage, freedom of the press means freedom of the rich to bribe the press, freedom to use their wealth to shape and fabricate so-called public opinion.”

So it’s no surprise that only one newspaper backs the People’s Assembly, just as only we have supported and campaigned for the victims of blacklisting, backed trade unions fighting to defend their members’ pay and pensions and stood firm for peace and socialism and against imperialist war.

Saturday’s magnificent march was only the beginning of a summer of strikes and demonstrations, a summer in which the labour movement will seize the initiative and take the fight to the Tories.

The mass media’s response was to pretend it didn’t happen. This weekend’s events show more clearly than ever how important it is that working people have their own voice.