Monthly Archives: July 2014

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

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”.