Tag Archives: Len McCluskey

Save our Public services


“While the rest of Europe is marching to confront the new challenges, the prime minister [Margaret Thatcher] is shuffling along in the gutter in the opposite direction, like an old bag lady, muttering imprecations at anyone who catches her eye.”

“While the rest of Europe is marching to confront the new challenges, the prime minister [Margaret Thatcher] is shuffling along in the gutter in the opposite direction, like an old bag lady, muttering imprecations at anyone who catches her eye.”

Firstly, I would like to say that the four arrest on Sunday 4 October does not represent the majority of the Marchers who went on the Anti-Austerity March. It was not done in my name.

What is David Cameron playing at by ensuring that Jamaica receiving 25 million pounds to building a prison for convicts that are found guilty for alleged drug mule to the UK. Surely this money could be well spent on investing on our public services and building council housing.

By doing this #piggate (David Cameron) has opened the floodgates for far right groups to say this money could be better spent on us the English people whom they will use as a recruiting ground to attack more black and minority ethnic groups which include Muslims and Jews.
cameron-pig
I would like to make it very clear that I have visited the island on many occasions and it’s a lovely place which most Jamaicans all over the world will call it the land and water which is true. Let’s not forget that it was a European person called Christopher Columbus that discovered the island and he claimed that island in the name of Queen Isabella. In actual fact it was the Arawak who were the first settlers on the island.

It was Spain who brought the slaves to the island and some of them escaped their masters then called themselves maroons. The British came they ruled the island until the independence was granted in 1962. There is a can of worms coming to the forefront by allowing the family of slaves all over the Caribbean and African nations wanting to claim compensation from all the European Nations.

However I recognize that this will not happen as it’s a form of nationalism that will not be acceptable which are what African nations has been pushing for centuries. This is something which the European Nations will have to address very soon. The African nations is just as bad as the European nations for helping them to ensuring that there were a supply of slaves available from different tribes.Slave_trade

Instead all the European nations would rather highlight modern day slavery as it is more acceptable to address rather than they come clear to say that their fore parents were previously slave and plantain owners to boost their social status to become Members of Parliament (MPs) and Governors.

For the moment David Cameron can gloat all he wants as he and his cabinet ministers will use every opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn by indicating that he is not fit to be Prime Minister at the Conservative Conference this week in Manchester. They will claim that Labour is weak and they have a weak leader coupled by the so called uprising of his shadow cabinet ministers

David Cameron seems to forget he got a rough ride from the media and press when he stood for the Conservative Leadership but he pulled through to win a election with a majority of 12. A week in politics is a long time and the tide can turn on the conservatives. No doubt after all the conferences are over Conservatives will be on the attack with a vengeance to attack our pension and procurement policies which were introduced by a Labour Government from 1997/10 as they pay masters(hedge funders) demand they get a payback for donating to the Tories coffers. What a cheek of them to say the trade union are the pay master of Labour Party will both Thatcher and Major used those very words to attack our party.5-DavidCameron

So much for the political establishment (Conservatives) wanting to save British steel which they did squat dilly instead they chose to visit China to invest into HS2 and purchase cheap steel. No doubt that they will argue that the steel down turn is part as global issue. In the meantime the NHS is in turmoil with the possibility of family doctors alleging mass resignations in protest at increasing workloads leaving the government three months to prevent closures of surgeries. This comes no surprise that this establishment wants to bury bad news showing the health service to be hurting towards an unprecedented £20 billion deficit in a publication of a watchdog report containing the figures as not to hurt the Conservative party conference. It’s purported that half of teachers in England are thinking of quitting in the next two years suggested by a survey which found 61% of those wanting to leave blame workload. Conservatives smell the coffee now not tomorrow.

I love to have a vote in our future of UK to either remain in or out of Europe. Somehow I don’t have any confidence of a conservative establishment to deliver on its promise in EU. If anything I think that workers’ rights will not make one jock of a difference to the Conservatives they would rather stick two fingers at the social chapter.

It’s been purported that some backbenchers of the Conservatives worried about tax credit. What hug wash they are more worried of losing their seats leading up to general elections in 2020. They fail to recognize that there are people who have no choice but to queue up at the food banks to make ends meet. Whilst some people who are on benefits are struggling to find out how do they go about to receive a food-bank voucher which you are entitled to get three a year. So in between this time they lose out on their housing, council tax and to top it off they are unable to top up their electricity, gas meters and bedroom tax. All of this reminds of me of the dreaded poll tax which thatcher government introduced but only to scrap it later on during her premiership.foodbank

Conservatives says they are the party of working people. Yeah right. They rather hit people who are on benefits who suffer a disability which are visible and non-visible. They key message at their conference to people who are benefits get on your bike and find a job. I find it rich from the Tories saying they have a number of people are back at work. In truth there are people who are on zero hour contracts and some of course have gone self-employed with very little help from this establishment. Instead we have some of the policies that a Labour Government introduced has been scrapped by this government like SureStart, family friendly policies, incentives for unemployment for taking on unemployed, welfare reform like introducing the American system, national min wage, and living wage, to name a few. So it’s little wonder that David Cameron wants his successor to be George Osborne to be leader. The dark horse in the race will be Boris Johnson to take the crown away from the rest of the contenders.

I welcome the idea of a seven days of doctor surgery opening with some caution this grand idea of the establishment comes at a time when junior doctors, and general practitioners (GP) are under paid and over worked in UK and the fully qualified doctors are leaving UK to work in other countries or they are setting up their own consultancy which this Tory government continues to encourage them to do. I would like to see the loopholes closed to ensure that both doctors and nurses get their fair share of the deal instead of the government coming out with their usual anti NHS statements.

When the establishment gets their policies correct I will praise them, when they get it wrong I will criticize them over our public services. I have to say I disagree with this establishment over their policies on our public services. They need to go back to basics and listen to the professionals. So it’s little wonder voters and potential voters came out to vote.

The public does sense that if the party has no discipline from the shadow cabinet down to the membership they will not gain the supporters to put us back into power for the general elections in 2020.

In 2016 there will be local government, police crime commissioner, and London mayor elections all on the same day. Although it will be a testing time for Labour they will need to have policies in place. I say this to be cruel to be kind when I call on all sections of Labour members to unite and fight against the Tories before the elections. If we don’t do this then we as a party deserve to lose.
Remember to lobby all your prospective candidates and Member of Parliament on where they stand on our public services, and welfare.    

 

 

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Welcome to the UK world of one nation conservatism


Checkout this Youtube:

 

Ministers have defended plans to tighten the rules on strike ballots after unions said they would make legal strikes “almost impossible”.

Britain has the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe.

We cannot accept a situation in which our ability to fight back is prevented in this way. The labour movement must unambiguously call for the repeal of the anti-union laws and advocate a positive charter of rights for workers.

IMG_2575Yesterday(15  July 2015)  the government will publish its Trade Unions Bill – a grossly unfair package of measures that will tip the balance of power in the workplace.

The proposals will make getting a much-needed pay rise, stopping job losses or negotiating better conditions at work much more difficult. They’ll make it harder for unions to do their day-to-day job of dealing with problems in the workplace before they escalate into disputes. And they’ll stifle protests against cuts to public services, like closures of SureStart centres, libraries and care services.

It’s a strange choice for the party that wants to position itself as the workers’ champion. Not measures to tackle exploitation at work or boost productivity, but an unnecessary attack on workers’ rights and civil liberties.

It’s also a strange choice of priority with the economic recovery still fragile. Ask anyone running a business and it’s unlikely that messing about with trade union laws will be on their wish-list of things the government could do to help.

The details have been widely trailed, and colleagues will blog on this in more IMG_2609detail when the bill is published.

The thresholds for industrial action ballots have made the headlines, but even when ballots meet the government’s new rules, the bill will allow employers to break strikes by bringing in agency workers. It’s a recipe for chaos – agency workers will be put in a difficult position, and the delicate balance of industrial relations will be irrevocably tipped in favour of employers. Decent employers and agencies are likely to want to keep well away.

The proposals are also expected to restrict and police union members’ rights to peacefully picket. At a time when police resources are already badly stretched, it’s hard to think of a bigger waste of time and public money than looking to lock up peacefully protesting teachers, midwives and cleaners.

If ministers were serious about improving workplace democracy they would instead let workers vote online. In an era of online banking, safe and secure online balloting is a common sense option.

Instead, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the government is determined to weaken trade unions so that they can attack rights, pay and conditions for all workers. Collective bargaining works because both sides have some power – that’s why the vast majority of negotiations result not in strikes but in a deal being reached. And collective bargaining benefits union members and non-members alike.

IMG_2612We will oppose these draconian proposals. Our country has a proud tradition of liberty and democracy – and trade unions are central to that. This year, as we mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, that heritage is as important as ever. Our aim is clear: to stop this unfair, unnecessary legislation getting onto the statute books.

Now you have it the Conservative are showing their true colours by attacking our trade union right to assemble for strike action. This smells of Thatcherism returning from the dead in the form of mummy return after 30 years ago when she tried to smash the trade unions for good. Not forgetting that this establishment only received 24% of the vote and their cheek to state that trade unions should get 50% of the vote from trade unionists where is the democracy.

Many trade unions will recall what Thatcherism did to the coal miners, public services, manufacturing and industries across the England, Wales and Scotland. What thatcher did not count on was unity the trade unions was very strong and she used the SAS to infiltrate the picket lines and in some cases joining the police forces to intimidate strikers.

This new legislation is design toughen up the laws on strike action is to be introduced by this establishment is one of the worst we will witness for a decade by introducing a minimum turnouts in strike ballots, time limits on mandates for industrial action and changes to political levies.

It’s no wonder there is two hidden agenda on the plate which is to interfere with internal affairs of Labour Party funding process. The other is to smash the unions in such a way that trade union members will not allowed to withdraw their labor when employers talks break down and makes it easier to employ temp staff to do the job.

IMG_2611Tories are very happy for millionaires and bankers to donate to the coffers of the conservatives with open arms which tantalise to double standards. Some will recall the Institute of Employment Rights was established in 1989 by those concerned about the alarming erosion of trade union rights in Thatcher’s Britain.

Since then governments have come and gone but what remains stubbornly in place is a framework of law that fails to protect workers from exploitation and abuse at work.

Now we face another general election and we need to raise our voice and tell politicians what we expect from an incoming government. To that end the IER has brought together a high-profile platform of policy-makers, trade union leaders and lawyers to set out the basics of a progressive agenda on labour law. There is much common ground, with attention focusing on some of the worst problems experienced by workers in our deregulated, fragmented, profit-over-people, labour market workplaces.

Suggestions include strengthening individual rights. Improving access to justice. Removing the benefit conditions that force people into exploitative jobs in profitable companies.

And it’s not just individual rights.

IMG_2610Thatcher attacked trade unions because she knew the power of numbers and the strength of a collective voice.

Without that collective voice the balance of power swings massively in favour of the employer. The result? The growth in inequality, exploitation and bad employment practices that haunt Britain today.

We know that bad practice trickles down far faster than wealth. Last month Britain was criticised for failing to protect workers against unpaid overtime, unpaid holidays, inadequate rest periods, failure to secure a decent standard of living, failure to compensate workers exposed to occupational health risks and much more.

These are problems that should be dealt with by collective bargaining, setting standards at a national level across all sectors of the economy.

That’s why one of our key demands is for a Ministry of Labour at the heart of government, tasked with giving a voice to the UK’s 29 million workers, both in the corridors of power and in the boardrooms of Britain. The minimum demand of the trade union movement to any government elected in May 2015 should be the following essential reforms. These are the least steps necessary to begin to secure social justice, democracy in the workplace, the reduction of inequality and to increase real wages and so stimulate the economy.

 

  1. The right to a decent wage and to a decent income for those not in employment
  2. The effective regulation of zero-hours contracts
  3. The right of every worker to be protected by a collective agreement
  4. The re-establishment of sectoral collective bargaining and Wages Councils
  5. The re-establishment of a Ministry of Labour
  6. The right to strike in accordance with international law
  7. The removal of a qualifying period for unfair dismissal
  8. The restoration of redundancy consultation rights
  9. The right to legal protection for everyone who works, regardless of their legal status (‘employee’, ‘self-employed’, ‘agency worker’ etc)
  10. The right of all workers to access to justice, including the abolition of tribunal fees

Intriguingly Secretary General Francis O’Grady comments:

If David Cameron really wants workers to get a pay rise, then he’s got a funny way of going about it. Over the last five years we have seen a sustained attack on workers’ rights and protection at work, including trade unions.

Unions are the last line of defence for workers, so little wonder that that the Conservative Party’s belief in freedom doesn’t extend to us. Far from stamping out workplace abuses like zero-hours contracts and pregnancy discrimination, the government has made it easier for bosses to sack workers and act with impunity.

Employees now have to wait two years before getting protection from unfair dismissal. New charges as high as £1,200 make it impossible for many to take a case to an employment tribunal, even if they would get their boss bang to rights at a hearing.

And now the Conservative Party has promised even more punitive rules for strike ballots, in a naked bid to wipe out democratic dissent and weaken workers’ bargaining power.

This government is fond of telling us that any job is better than no job, no matter how insecure and low-paid, and has handed employers the kind of absolute power that Victorian mill owners once wielded. Workers deserve better.

For a start we need to scrap tribunal fees that price workers out of justice. And we need to get rid of the qualifying period for unfair dismissal — this should be a day-one right.

Second, we need tougher enforcement of workers’ rights. Since 2010 the budgets of enforcement agencies, including the Health and Safety Executive and Gangmasters Licensing Authority, have been slashed. And we must reverse the trend of casualisation that loads the dice in favour of bad bosses. This means paying agency workers the same rate as permanent staff, clamping down on exploitative zero-hours contracts and calling time on bogus self-employment.

Spare a thought for those self-employed City Link workers who found out on Christmas Eve that they were losing their jobs. Many had worked at the company for years but will hardly get a penny in compensation. Meanwhile, the private equity chiefs behind the collapsed parcel carrier expect to walk away with £20 million.

This is why we need stronger unions and collective bargaining in workplaces across Britain.

Only a strong union voice, up to and including the boardroom, will build a more equal and sustainable post-crash economy that benefits the 99 per cent who, after all, create the wealth in the first place.

Unite General secretary Len McCluskey:

This government will leave behind an economy working for a few at the top while offering no hope to millions. Not by mistake, but by design.

More than half of people in poverty in this country are in work. Getting a job no longer means earning a good living; instead zero-hours, under-employment and phantom self-employment mean hard-working people can’t even expect a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

All this while the corporate elites and our best-known brands refuse to pay their fair share in tax.

People across our nations deserve better. Decent work with a living wage, a secure and affordable home, well-funded public services, an NHS taken out of the grip of private healthcare and a democratic system that gives people a voice in their workplace — not just a vote at election time.

Trade unions are a force for good in today’s society. Now more than ever we need a radical shift in employment legislation that has for decades given a free rein to bosses while workers have seen their rights diminished and trade unions shackled.

The ideologically skewed approach to employment relations of successive governments is at the heart of our broken economy, when in reality there are plenty of examples of where trade unions work positively with industry for mutual benefit — look no further than Unite and the car industry.

Inequality is widely regarded as the most pressing issue facing Western economies — Bank of England governor Mark Carney and US President Barack Obama are only the latest to point out the spiraling economic injustices that are a by-product of the neoliberal experiment.

The proportion of GDP going to pay workers’ wages has dropped dramatically from over 60 per cent 30 years ago to just over 50 per cent today.

And Thomas Piketty has shown that the yawning gap between rich and poor will only get worse without government intervention in the market. The economic crisis of today is not the budget deficit. The budget deficit is, like poverty wages and falling tax intake, a symptom of something far worse.

This government attacks working people and workplace justice; Labour’s answer to the economic crisis must be to empower working people and make work pay. This can only be done with stronger trade unions giving a voice to working people.

The late Tony Benn, a proud Unite member, said that “the crisis we inherit when we come to power must be the occasion for fundamental change — and not the excuse for postponing it.”

I can only echo that call.

 UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis:

There is a great deal of common ground about a new settlement of union and worker rights to reverse the decline in living standards of the last 30 years.

Unison supports the Institute of Employment Rights collective bargaining manifesto and from a public service point of view there are three areas that stand out in 2015: zero-hours, care workers, and the public-sector leadership role.

We need some firm and worked out proposals on zero-hours contracts that heavily restrict their usage and prevent easy loopholes like one-hour contracts.

The best proposals we have seen so far are in the private member’s Bill by Ian Mearns MP.

This gives a right to regular hours at three months, employee employment status, payments for standby time and short-notice cancellations and restrictions on employers moving weekly hours up and down.

Of course we need action too on agency workers, tribunal fees and bogus self-employment, otherwise gains on zero-hours contracts will easily be negated.

Unison members working in social care are on the front line facing austerity and casualisation pressures, with 15-minute visiting slots, zero-hours, unpaid standby time and unpaid travel time to the fore.

Report after report shows the quality of care is affected for the elderly and disabled, yet even with a multitude of regulators there has been little impact on standards, with only 15 formal care sector complaints to the government Pay and Rights help­line last year.

What we need — apart from the obvious case for strong trade unions — is the various public-sector bodies responsible for care commissioning to set both employment and care quality standards (such as Unison’s Ethical Care Charter) as adopted by several councils already.

There is a wider public-sector role on pay and conditions, for in-house staff and contractors, and what we would like to see is a return of the “fair wages” clauses in procurement, which were abolished in 1983.

This would see not just a living wage but a range of standards for sick pay, holidays and pensions set by national agreements like the NJC in local government being carried through the procurement process to stop the current race to the bottom.

There would be massive benefits for millions of women workers too as it would be an easy way to transmit proper equality-proofed pay agreements to the wider economy and rebuild our country.

The Tories’ announcement of a new raft of anti-union laws if they win the election in May means that trade unionism is at stake in the period ahead.

The Tories want to atomise the labour movement, because they know we are the most powerful force opposing their plans for more austerity, more privatisation and more attacks on workers’ living standards.

That’s what is behind their plans to introduce stiff ballot thresholds, slash facility time and scrap check off.

Britain has the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe.

We cannot accept a situation in which our ability to fight back is prevented in this way. The labour movement must unambiguously call for the repeal of the anti-union laws and advocate a positive charter of rights for workers.

 

 

 

 

 

Is it time to reform our NHS


Important message to all our supporters of NHS please watch and share widely:

Proud to be born in the NHS comes to mind and why should we not be proud of it. As many will have various experience of the excellent service it provides. Granted there has been some failure in it caused by human errors but those are few compared to the wonderful service it provide worldwide from our well trained NHS staff.

The new age of our NHS trained staff are left with a dilemma of job offer aboard with better pay offer which includes better terms and conditions that entice both our nurses and doctors which recruiting companies are headhunting for them to gain a quick profit which they receive large commission from foreign companies as they only want the best for their service providers from abroad.

Whilst some doctors have started up their own consultancy with specialist skills and they tender their service both in the UK and abroad as they see it as a way forward to provide a decent service.

Our National Health Services (NHS) is at a tipping point with a increase population which brings on added pressure to one part of our NHS. The establishment alleged they have invested more in the service by providing more doctors and nurses.

I’m very clear that our NHS should be free at the point of need and those who can afford to pay for the service should make a larger contribution by paying more in tax. This is not about socialism or capitalism but what is best for our NHS. I’m sure that many would be saying that Nye Bervan will be turning in his grave if he saw what is happening to our NHS. This may or may not be some truth in it as the population continues to grow then it’s the question of which is the best model to serve our needs to improve the service. Feel free to listen to his speech:

I find myself concurring with Andy Burnham proposal about our NHS. See link below:

http://andyburnhammp.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/andy-burnham-speech-on-labours-10-year.html

This may be enticing to some of us but those in the know will state that the service they provide lack investment in real terms i.e. the government should provide more investment roughly in the sum of thirty billion pounds. Some will argue that there should be more downsizing in hospitals and more investments in Care in the Community to provide decent services as the patients knows what is best for them. See link below:

http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4275/1/MHEEN_policy_briefs_4_Balanceofcare(LSERO).pdf

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10099856/Hospitals-need-to-be-closed-to-save-NHS-doctors-warn.html

http://www.reform.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/HTRAC-Health-and-social-care1.pdf

The question now is was the Conservatives right to introduce both Care in the Community, competitive tendering and PFI during the 1970s to 1997

http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/2355

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Care_in_the_Community

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_finance_initiative

Let’s not forget it was the Conservatives who first closed mental health and learning disabilities hospitals and sold prime lands to the highest bidders during the 1980s this included NHS cleaning services at the height of Thatcherism and Majorisim for which I make no apologies for mentioning it.

No doubt there will be a number of assaults coming from a wide range of political parties trying to put the blame a previous Labour Government for the full scale of implementing PFI on hospitals. Let’s not forget the last days of the Conservative Government left our country in debts and voters could no longer stand by a Conservatives and wanted a change of direction. the ideal opportunity came in 1997 when a Labour government came to power and see some improved our NHS and the said thing was when a Labour government continued with the PFI programmes on our NHS and Highways.

 

 

 

Has George Osborne Opened a can of worms for his bid for Conservative Leadership


dkdkIt was refreshing to see Labour calling George Osborne bluff and chasing headlines and ideological assault on working families after he announced the slashing of tax credits in Wednesday’s budget.

The cheek of the chancellor to boasted that his budget would provide a so called new contract for the people of Britain. In a nutshell what he is saying is welcome back to the Victorian times of Britain if you are poor then go to the poorhouse to learn a trade or beg and get arrested.

So the golden boy has seemed to forget that working families on low incomes trying their hardest to do the right thing would be hardest hit.

kkksnThe office for budget responsibility claim that tax increases would be twice as big as any tax cuts over the course of this Parliament adding that it was a budget chasing headlines to support the chancellor to number 10 Downing Street.

It is widely suggested that as many 500,000 families would lose tax credits under the Chancellor’s plan adding that the so-called budget will expose the skewed priorities and failed to build a more productive economy.

It’s comes as no surprise as Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was jumping for joy in parliament when his chum announced the welfare cuts and his response to the chancellor the budget was a groundbreaking measure he introduced was enshrining the idea that if you work hard you should be rewarded.  Well Iain Duncan Smith can laugh now but remember this IDS those who laughs last laughs the best.

 

Here is a YouTube of all the Labour leadership contenders

 

Is no further surprise that when the Chancellor of the exchequer  and IDS attacks people for no reason other than it’s an evil beast, you put it down. When you have a politician that attacks disabled people and the poor for no reason, you make them Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

ndjfgklIain Duncan Smith (IDS) decides to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF). This fund helped disabled people pay for visits from professionals to carry out some of the more personal elements of their care. It also gave them the ability to employ staff who lived with them to support them. It helps disabled people to stay out of institutions and live relatively independent lives.

In its final weeks the £320 million ILF paid out an average of £300 a week to approximately 18,000 disabled people, but that’s too much to pay out. Much better to waste billions on some vanity project like a train line or new runway in London.Well, carers have seen similar things done with the “breaks for carers” scheme. That wasn’t ringfenced and there was a huge underspend which mysteriously vanished into someone’s pockets. As a carer I know that getting any assistance from councils can be a long process. Accessing one particular resource took me almost four years of constant fighting

Arranging for councils to take over the payments without ringfencing it?

kkdhfnThen we get IDS deciding to scrap the Child Poverty Act, the mentality behind this being that the numbers of children that are in poverty make the Conservatives look bad and there’s no chance of getting rid of child poverty so the best solution is to hide it. For me I have said that  Stephen Timms summed it up: “David Cameron’s government is trying to make child poverty go away by pretending that if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” IDS’s reply was … well who cares what IDS’s reply was because it will have been lies and smears and misinformation.

Still, he can’t cause more misery can he? Yup, he sure can! It seems the BBC Today programme has a scoop that ministers are reviving a secret coalition plan to cut sickness benefits. It has a leaked Whitehall paper describing the Employment and Support Allowance as a “passive” benefit which does not “incentivise” people to find a job, and proposes abolishing the work-related activity group (WRAG) category. If scrapped, weekly payments would drop nearly £30, bringing it in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Yet again the Tories have managed to cure people with disabilities by cutting vital financial help. What a fantastic political party they are.

So the Conservative Party have got rid of child poverty and cured disabled people by cutting two vital benefits, round of applause for such splendid work. Now all we need is the report on how many people have died after being classed as fit for work, and we all know it will be a truthful piece of fiction, I mean accuracy that hides nothing, honest.hrmnud

When is Labour going to expose the actions of the Tory government? They can easily counter the Tories’ “Labour are the party of benefits” if they want to or have the inclination. It’s just that Labour seems content to sit on its hands and watch us suffer.

The film Brassed Off tried to show how the last Tory majority government treated our miners. The Mr Chuckles rant seems as relevant now as it was then: “So God was creating man. And his little assistant came up to him and he said: ‘Hey, we’ve got all these bodies left, but we’re right out of brains, we’re right out of hearts and we’re right out of vocal chords.’ And God said: ‘Fuck it! Sew ’em up anyway. Smack smiles on the faces and make them talk out of their backsides.’ And lo, God created the Tory Party.”

IMG_2534It’s very good to note that all four of the Labour leadership contenders have put themselves at odds with the party’s front bench after lambasting the government’s public-sector pay freeze yesterday.

Shadow ministers Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall all launched separate attacks against the four-year imposition of the 1 per cent annual cap that Chancellor George Osborne unveiled in Wednesday’s Budget.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has already vehemently opposed any public pay freeze, told the Star yesterday: “Public-sector workers have been hammered over pay and pension cuts, with threats of future job losses.

I put the challenge to the Conservatives to live on the 1% that our public services workers have to put up with whilst  MPs get a 11% pay raise  why not donate it to our public service workers now?

So this is what will happen  for the next Leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister George Osborne very soon if David Cameron does not watch is his own back.

 

 

 

Labour Leadership


 

“Ancient Chinese warriors  to the emperor it is better to acknowledge defeat gracefully and live to fight another day, we learn the lesson a thousand times and regroup our forces  to win battle.”

Today is our enemy time tomorrow will be the raise of Labour Party to gain full victory.

Many speculations both in the press and social media at the moment regarding Labour Leadership and the funny thing about it the close of nominations has not been completed and all one reads on both press and social media internal fighting and bickering. I strongly dispute the alleged allegations in a nutshell. Our members arkakasndrhe discussing among ourselves who is the best candidate(s) to move Labour forward and we are aware that it’s going to be a hard task which we all recognise from both spectrum of Labour.

The way how the rightwing press and bloggers portraying our party with utter contempt as they want a Conservative Government in 2015 which they made no secret where they nail their colours. Yes, it’s disappointing when the party that you support lose the elections and for now we lick our wounds, regroup, and analyse where we went wrong which is the natural thing to do to move forward.Just before the campaign trail officially started I seem to recall that a number of members also including myself where on the doorstep on a daily bases across the country taking soundings from voters which they intending to vote. Everything seemed to be hunky dory that Labour would stand a chance to win which set off alarm bells and had a nasty sting to it voters began to watch the leadership debates and depending what part of the country you lived in voters we were given very mix messages.

“We cannot repeat the same mistakes again. But nor can we give in to despair, write off the next election as we flail about, or give in to the Tories – as I’ve heard too many people starting to suggest. Those who depended most on a Labour Government have already been let down, we cannot let them down again.”

The problem we have right now is that all these politicians keep apologizing for the global debt and haven’t the “balls” enough to stand up to state the real facts this party won’t ever be in power again because the so called leaders don’t live in our world.

Harriet_HarmanHarriet Harman is correct to say:

I have to begin by saying the last thing we wanted was to be where we are now. 

Being interim leader was not the job I wanted to be doing today.

I wanted Ed Miliband to be our Prime Minister and for us to be in Government.

We’re bitterly disappointed to have lost so many Labour MPs – in England, Wales and Scotland.

I want to pay tribute to Ed Miliband. He is a thoroughly decent and principled man who threw himself into the leadership unstintingly and he could not have worked harder or been more committed.

I would like to pay tribute to Jim Murphy. He stepped up in Scotland at an intensely difficult time and he faced that challenge with energy and determination.

And I want to pay tribute too, to all the thousands of party members and supporters who worked so hard and to all the party staff who put their heart and soul into their work.

The party is still very raw, very upset and we are still all trying to process emotionally and intellectually what happened on May 7th.

We lost. And we lost badly. There is no getting away from that. And it came as a shock.

We thought we had a fighting chance of forming the next Government and the 10pm exit poll was a body blow none of us will ever forget.

It took me back to 1992.  Now we see that election as a stepping stone to victory in 1997.  But that wasn’t how it looked then.  Then, as now, we thought we could win. Then, as now, the polls fuelled that thinking and they were horribly wrong. Then, as now, we fought a good campaign under a leader with many fine qualities. The defeat was all the more painful because then as now, minutes before the exit poll landed, we thought we were heading into government.   

Late afternoon on election day in 1992, I popped up to Transport House, Smith Square, which was our HQ. Tory HQ was in Smith Square too and who should I see wandering around on his own but the Prime Minister – John Major. He looked like a beaten man. But he wasn’t beaten – we were. 

Something else about then. People said we were finished. Not just opponents and commentators. Many of our own activists thought that too. And so did many of our MPs.

It was incredibly bleak.  At our campaign after-party in Milbank I just couldn’t stop thinking of what lay ahead for my constituents and I couldn’t stop crying.  Later, I remember being in our One Parliament Street offices with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.  Tony – who’d before he became an MP had been a highly successful barrister and had three young children said –and he was only half-jokingly – “What on earth is the point in being a wasted political generation? We’re never going to be in government again and we could do something more useful – and a lot easier – outside politics.” We all stayed and we stayed to fight.

I don’t need to remind you what happened five short years later. We won a truly stunning victory, the first of three, a massive majority that enabled us to do so much to make this a better country.

Let me be clear, I am not saying that we are in the same circumstances we found ourselves in after 1992. That was then, this is now, and it’s a very different era. But some things are always necessary for our party do well. 

  • A strong and charismatic leader in touch with the values of the majority.
  • A talented and largely united team.
  • Values and policies that speak to people’s concerns and choices.
  • A big picture message about change and how to meet the challenges of the time.
  • Local connections which give people confidence in Labour and demonstrate we are on their side.

And, from defeat then, all of that emerged.

It was not obvious at the time when the pain was raw.  There were shocks, setbacks and rows and even the death of our leader.

But on May 1 1997, five years after we were said to be finished, five years after many of us thought we were finished, we were back and Tony Blair was prime minister with a three figure majority.

I remind you of all this, not to say we should be New Labour, Old Labour, Blairite, Brownite, Blue Labour or even Pink Labour. These labels are unhelpful in what is a different era.

I remind you of what it was like then to raise your hopes that great victory can follow shocking defeat. But also to remind you that when we are honest with ourselves about our failures, and above all honest with the public about our failures, then we have shown that we can come back and we can win. We can win in 2020 if we are honest with ourselves and with the public and if we make the right decisions. If we take the right approach now, we will lay the foundations for our fightback and our next win.

How did last Friday morning feel for us? Terrible. But did you notice something else? Did you notice the seeming lack of any real joy or delight among the public that David Cameron was back?

This is not to re-run the arguments of the campaign. It is simply to say that it was not so much that he won but that we lost.

That is painful to admit. But true. So we should admit it.

We fought a good campaign. But not good enough.

We won over new support. But not enough.

We had some good ideas and some good policies which I am certain would have made this a better country than the one we will see between now and 2020.

But none of it was enough. When the undecideds finally decided they decided they did not want us in power.

 LEARN LESSONS

We need to learn the lessons of what went wrong. There is lots of conjecture; lots of personal anecdotes; lots of commentary from people including those who are now wise after the event.

We need a forensic, honest examination of what happened which looks at and understands the results, looks at the statistics and the all the science, and hears from our party, our candidates who won and who lost but above all, the public.

I am in the process of commissioning this important work and will have to more to say on it when the details are finalised.

But there is one lesson we can and must heed right away. When it comes to elections the public are the boss. We do not question their decision. We heed it.

 CHOOSING OUR NEW LEADER

In modern politics so much of the attention and responsibility is on the leader and Ed took responsibility.

And now we must choose a new leader now and get the right leader, the best leader, the one who can lead us forward from September 12th so that every month, every year we are making progress to a General Election victory the country will, we believe, need more than ever.

But this defeat is also an opportunity to have a much deeper and more fundamental debate about our future than we had when Gordon took over from Tony and when Ed took over from Gordon.

The party must get the right leader. But the party must also take stock of much more than the captain on the bridge. This is also about the direction in which we steer. And that too must be a big part of the debate on which we have now embarked. 

As interim Leader, my role in the leadership election is to make sure the process is clear and the rules are followed and I will stay absolutely neutral.

But there is one thought I want to insert firmly into the process right now. I want to insert it into the minds of candidates, but above all into the minds of MPs who will choose the field of candidates, and of members and supporters who will choose the leader from that field.

As we conduct this debate, as we elect our leader and deputy leader, we must have the public in the forefront of our minds. We must let the public in.

Into our minds and into the process as we make the decisions about who is our next leader and how we go forward.  So we are going to start that with how we do the leadership elections.  When I stood for the leadership it was a cosy contest in front of people who – like us – love politics and love Labour. Very different from the rest of the country! 

We asked ourselves – who do we like?  That was the wrong question.  We should have asked – as we made our choice – who does the country like.  Who knows, if we had done that perhaps Labour would have chosen Alan Johnson rather than me!

Now, we have already fundamentally and radically changed the way we elect our leader and deputy leader – indeed that is an important part of Ed Miliband’s legacy.

We will allow people who are not party members or who are not affiliated supporters through a trade union or Labour linked organisation like the Fabian society to have a vote. Anyone – providing they are on the electoral register – can become a registered supporter, pay £3 and have a vote to decide our next leader. This is the first time a political party in this country has opened up its leadership contest in this way and I think there will be a real appetite for it out there. Already we have had over 30,000 people join us as full party members since May 7thbut this is a new and innovative way of letting the public in on an important decision. And we have changed the rules so that it means one person has one vote regardless whether they are an MP, a Shadow Cabinet member, a trade unionist or a registered supporter – everyone’s vote is equal, as it should be.

But that in my view is not enough. We have to make the whole process more public facing.

If I think back to 2010 leadership election I remember a comradely and well organised debate. I remember hustings that were packed with party members keen to hear what the various contenders had to say.

We have to get to the heart of why we lost and making the right decisions about how we win. We should not be afraid of differences. We should thrash them out.

And nor should we be afraid of letting the public in to see those arguments. Because if there is one thought that should drive the thinking as we elect a new leadership team it is this – which of them has the best qualities and leadership skills most likely to win over the support of the public?

Not the politically obsessed public, the people like us, but the people who most of the time are busy getting on with their lives, not thinking about politics.

That’s why our hustings have got to be different.

I want the members and supporters who elect our new leader to see not just how the candidates react and relate to the party faithful but to see how they react and relate to those we need to win over.

We need robust, tough, televised hustings which involve the public.

We have begun talks with broadcasters about how we make these happen. We are very open and keen to make this work. As interim leader, I have one principle here – let the public in.

And we cannot just hold hustings in our Labour heartlands, we have to go to areas where we didn’t win. Because ultimately we are electing the team that we think can lead not just the party but lead the country. And that must be our guiding thought.  Last time our hustings – in front of Labour members – were in cities where Labour won.  We must have those hustings now in towns and suburbs where Labour lost. We have to go back and ask local people from those areas to be brutally honest about what they think of us and what they want from us.

We need to see this process as one that is not merely electing a new leader and deputy leader. But one that is helping to rebuild old connections and fashion new connections with a public that rejected us North and South.

So I want to see leadership hustings where members bring non-members. Where someone who voted Labour brings along someone who voted Tory or SNP or didn’t vote at all.

We will use the setback to build membership. More than 30,000 people have joined Labour as members since May 7.  That is a small silver lining. There are thousands of people who are so motivated by the disappointment of defeat, they want to get involved, want to do more. Let’s turn 30,000 into 60000 and let’s turn 60 into 100,000.

And let’s welcome them, not by saying this is when we have meetings and this is how we do them and that is how it has always worked. But how do you want to be involved?  Online or in person? How much do you want to be involved? And fitting it around your work and your family not the other way round so that these new members help us on our way on the journey back from defeat?

 EFFECTIVE OPPOSITION

We can’t be the government we wanted to be.  We applied but we didn’t get that job.  But we have a different one. 

We are the Opposition and that is a very important job which we will do to the best of our ability and with all the commitment and energy we brought to the election campaign and would have brought to government. 

The Tories got elected but they must be held to account – on the NHS, on jobs, on living standards, on fairness. 

We have 232 Labour MPs and that is what we will do. 

We are strengthened in that task by the injection of new blood in the PLP – one in 5 of our MPs our new with 53 Labour MPs elected for the first time – from every region of England and from Wales. 

That task of Opposition is for all of us – including and particularly the leadership candidates. 

Our leadership candidates will be dissecting our defeat and setting out a vision for the future.  But I want to see them showing that they can successfully challenge the government now. 

That is, after all, what they are going to have to do if they win.  So let’s see them do it. 

 CONCLUSION

These are dark days for the Labour party. We are all still bruised by our failure on May 7th and we are still coping with the aftermath.

But we will move on and move forwards.

Amid the wreckage of defeat, it seems hard to see where the next victory might come from.

I’ve been in Labour politics for 34 years. I have known stunning victories as well as devastating defeat. 

But what experience and history tell me is that sometimes it is from that exact same wreckage that the next victory does indeed emerge. That is how we must approach our thinking and our development over the next five years.

These are my priorities as interim leader.

  • Being a strong opposition.
  • Maintaining stability and unity – we will thrash out discussions and it will be painful but we won’t tear ourselves apart.
  • We will learn the lessons.
  • And we will elect a new leader and deputy.

But above all, we will let the public in and elect a leader who can lead not just the party but the whole country.

I’m sure that some people recall a period in 1983 and 1992 all the opinion polls were in favor of a Labour Government only to see it being pulled away from us. See the two examples below:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_1983

See Youtube below:

 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_1992

See Youtube below:

 

 

“Unless Labour can once again become the party of the majority of the working class it has no future, except as a coalition of minority pressure groups and interests. Yet there is only a modest future for a party which represents only such groups, and social forces on the decline. If Labour cannot get back the sort of communities represented by Stevenage, or Harlow, or Swindon, or Slough, we can forget about the British or any other realistic road to socialism.”

I still would have liked to see more Member of Parliament (MPs) preferably more females from from the BAME communities came forward to take the challenge. We have to understand that Labour is a broad church I am originally from London and I was extremely left wing however over the years one realize that not all Labour or potential Labour voters are and we must take them into account. Like I said before we must work together to get them back in government or all is lost for another 18 years I kid you not.

 

 

Hedge Funder are in the back-pockets of conservatives


Welcome to the Conservatives if you have a substantial donation to give to the party.

I’m sure many will have noticed that in three months’ time we have a General Elections coming and each of the political parties are jockeying for positions to gain our votes. It’s no wonder why the timing of tax avoidance/Hedge Funds is very much in all the press, social media, and in the public interest since Ed Miliband put the questions to David Cameron during Prime Ministers Question Time(PMQs) and all David Cameron can do is to put the blame on Labour then have the bloody cheek to say that Labour are in the pockets of the trade unions and conveniently forgetting thathedgefunds the hedge funders are in the pocket of the conservatives who allows them to be granted peerage in return for their extra-large donations to the Conservative Party.

I must say I was glad when Margaret Hodge MP from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) broke the news followed by Ed Miliband and BBC Panorama in the first instance whilst I’m happy that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) plan to investigate the sandal which will require the former HSBC to provide evidence. On the one hand I’m saying yeah right a conservative peer to give evidence. On the second hand they must think we’ve got muggings written on our forehead, who are you kidding its beggars belief that a Conservative peer will just volunteer the information without any sweetheart deals in the pipeline and how long will this take secondly how much will it cost the public purse strings to carry out this whitewash investigations it’s like adopting a donkey for the sum of £2:00.

Over the past five years the personal wealth of these 1,000 people has almost doubled. In 2009 they possessed “only” £257bn. This poses an obvious question. Over these years the real incomes of wage-earners fell by 9 per cent. How, then, did these very rich people, few of whom work in any conventional sense, manage this amazing feat of wealth accumulation?

Tax-dodging may provide part of the explanation. The practices of the HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary represented only a small part of a very big iceberg. “Wealth management” is one of the main activities of all the big banks. Research conducted for the heedPCS union estimates that tax evasion cost Britain £80bn in 2014 and tax avoidance another £25bn.

On this front it’s one law for the rich and one law for the poor. So-called “benefit fraud” represents just 1 per cent of this total.  While the poorest 25 per cent pay almost 40 per cent of their income in tax, the richest 25 per cent pay only 35 per cent figures which will inevitably exclude undeclared wealth hidden away in Zurich or the Bahamas.

This is why the Labour Party is quite correct to call for Britain’s offshore territories and crown dependencies to establish public registers of the ultimate owners of all companies and accounts based in their jurisdiction. In the wake of the 2008 banking crash the previous IMG_2050Labour government established the Independent Review of Britain’s Offshore Financial Centres. Its purpose was to establish just how much money passed through these centres.

The Bank of International Settlements provided an estimate of the total cash flowing annually into tax havens across the world as $3.6 trillion (£2.4 trn). Of this total, British tax havens accounted for over two-thirds, considerably in excess of the value of Britain’s gross domestic product.

So it’s no surprise predictably Mr Miliband’s call for a register of ultimate ownership has brought cries of outrage. George Osborne dismissed Mr Miliband as “anti-business” and “unfit for office” even though Osborne was quite happy to serve for three years in government beside Lord Green, who presided over HSBC when it was fiddling tax.

IMG_2049Intriguingly HM Revenue in a nutshell has said it was forward a bundle in 2010 from France regarding possible evasion by HSBC clients. They alleged that they were prevented by an international agreement from sharing information about HSBC possible involvement in tax evasion.

My conclusion will be if those in concern paid their fair share of taxes the revenue could be used to fund our public services like   our leisure services, public highways, build more council housing, hospitals, council tax, police, children and adult, disabilities, learning, mental health services.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on why Britain needs a pay rise


Here is why we all should lend our support to have a pay increase in UK see below two youtube:

 

NHSMany of you will have noticed that the right-wing press never want to report Britain needs a pay rise as they had no choice but to report it could it be that they want to see a Conservative and UKIP coalition.  I can only come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter as those marchers are a bunch of hard lefties. This demonstration also took place in Glasgow, and Belfast to coincide with England people from all walks of life turned up to show their anger at this vile coalition who are offering a below inflation 1% whilst Members of Parliament are happy to receive their pay increase which amounts to 11% in 2015 and the European Parliament MEPs gets €96,246 which does not includes their benefits.

 

Midwives who took strike action this week for the first time ever are among tens of thousands of trade unionists taking to the streets of London and no one can claim that they don’t know the value of labour.

MarchersA march from the Thames Embankment to Hyde Park will see heroic trade unionists joined by students, housing campaigners, anti-nuclear activists and many others in calls for a new politics of hope at the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise march and rally.

Meanwhile thousands more are expected to join a sister march and rally taking place in Glasgow dubbed A Just Scotland: Decent Work, Dignified Lives.

The demonstration comes after half a million workers in the NHS downed tools this week in the first health strike since the Thatcher era and low-paid civil servants brought government to a standstill.

TTIPMembers of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which is not affiliated to the TUC, received an ecstatic message from the union’s chief executive Cathy Warwick urging them to take to the streets.

She said: “I really encourage those that can make it to join us on Saturday so that we can show the government just how strong their feelings are and how much support there is for fair pay.

“Our members are not asking to be paid like bankers, just for a fair reward for the work they do. Enough’s enough and now is the time to take a stand.”

TUC research has found the average worker is now a whopping £50 a week worse off than in 2007.

mysideOn the 17 October the TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, said she will address crowds in Hyde Park launched a rallying cry for a fairer Britain.

“After the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it’s time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery.

“An economy that finds money for tax cuts for the rich and boardroom greed, while the rest face a pay squeeze and big cuts to the welfare system that any of us might need is no longer working for the many.”

And lecturers’ union UCU leader Sally Hunt will use her speech in Hyde Park to blast the “narrow nationalism” of Ukip.

“Britain needs more than just a pay rise, we need real change,” she is set to say.

mirrorI have to say that I’m intrigued to say which I don’t normally do even the  private sector workers have taken to the streets on 18 October they also belong to trade unions.  Also public sector workers pay the same tax as everyone else. It is also wrong to say public sector are not wealth creators a very narrow view.  My local authority for example works with the business sector to help enable growth in businesses be they large or small, we are also putting in reserves to create business opportunity that is wealth creation.

Never in this country have those who fight for democracy and social justice carried a greater burden or faced the possibility of bigger losses of human rights, human freedoms, human dignity and wellbeing than they do right now. As the poor and disabled suffer and have to pick up the crumbs from the dining tables of the fatcats, and bankers. They rather put their finance in offshore accounts rather than paying their fair share of taxes.

taxpayersYet the The TaxPayers’ Alliance have produced a report, and assisted  by Harry Phibbs concerning the vast amount of space Trade unions are provided with in public sector buildings – at little of now charge. It amounted to at least 273,753 square feet in 2013-14. This is more than the total floor space of the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow nothing more than a distraction as to why the trade union members when on strike on 18 October which they play into the hands of Conservatives and UKIP.

Let us all not forget It was your government that lost us the triple A Fitch and Moody credit rating, inflicted socially and economically damaging austerity on only the poorest, whilst handing out our money to the millionaires, and your government that borrowed more money in 4 years than Labour did in 13. And Labour had the global recession caused by irresponsible bankers to deal with. And they did. No austerity cuts from them.

We were out of recession in 2010, and you, Mr Cameron, with YOUR government’s policies that manufacture gross wealth inequalities, caused another recession. Be a man. Tell the truth.

I say to them we will fight them at the hustings, we will fight them at the ballot box; we will fight them for the minds of the People. We shall never surrender.

In 2015 if people let the Tories win the only thing they will guarantee is years and years of more austerity. On such a scale that it will scare the UK in such a way it will never recover. That is the stark truth. The Tories want to destroy social justice, equality and fairness.

Their overriding plan is to sell of every single public service to private companies. Regardless of standards, commitments to service, protection for those least able to get by and with no regard to the real economic impact having hundreds of thousands more people on the dole. Have no doubt this is what the Tories want and are hoping you will fall for it all over again. They want another £20 billion in cuts. That is on top of the multi billions already taken away. Now no matter the lies and spin the cuts have done nothing to bring down the deficit and that money seems to just vanish, but it’s going somewhere?

When people say there is no difference between the political parties they really need to think before they say that. The only hope every single public service and public sector worker have is with Labour winning in 2015. If not then what is happening now will seem tame in comparison.