Monday, 30 January 2012

Letter from RAC Member to Goverment & Response

Before people cry foul at the bus drivers or public sector workers striking over pay and conditions, I'd like to draw their attention to something that requires urgent resolution.
The Chief Executive of the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland earns £1.2 million per annum, with a bonus this year of £963000 which means with all that lumped in to one sum, even if he had to pay tax on the bonus, this leach would get over £4000 per day.
Is someone able to explain to me that whilst Stagecoach drivers, nurses, teachers, police officers, cleaners, class room assistants and lollipop crossing patrol staff have to strike to earn a few more pennies, this gentleman who is in charge of a publicly owned asset can get such a massive income?
This bonus has been authorised by George Osborne and David Cameron, the very men who want to wage war against the public sector.
Another issue that appears to be getting attention is benefit theft/fraud. Benefit theft/fraud is a serious issue, however, tax evasion by massive companies makes the effect of benefit theft/fraud look minuscule. Osborne is keeping the tax evasion issue well out of the public gaze as it's all his gang of cronies who is affected.
Lets tackle the massive amount of unfairness in this country of ours - and let's do that by starting at the very top - NO to massively inflated salaries, NO to tax evasion for the richest companies and NO to insulting pay and conditions to some of our most hard working guys on the front line.

P J Cawkwell

Dear Mr Cawkwell,
I am writing on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government to thank you for your email of 28 January.
Ministers are always keen to receive feedback from people up and down the country, so it is very good of you to take the time to write and to let them have your views. Please rest assured that the contents of your letter have been registered by the Treasury.
Thank you, once again, for taking the trouble to write to us with your views.
Correspondence and Enquiry Unit
Hi Rita

That's not really good enough I am afraid.

Can someone please address the issues I have raised please?

P J Cawkwell

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Reclaiming our movement

by: John McDonnell

Morning Star Readers & Supporters

Over the last 18 months we have seen the best and the worst of our movement.

The best has been the tsunami of activism that started in November 2010 with the students and lecturers march on Millbank and which flowed on to half a million at least turning out for the TUC's March for the Alternative in March 2011.

Despite the dead hand of bureaucratic resistance to industrial action within the TUC, the strike by teachers, lecturers and civil servants in June undoubtedly forced the hand of other unions and the TUC to back co-ordinated action in November.

Again, despite all those doom merchants moaning that their members would not come out and that the strike would be unpopular, people poured out in their hundreds of thousands and we saw demonstrations in towns and cities on a scale not seen for decades, popularly supported by local communities.

In some areas in the north of England and Northern Ireland the reports were of a virtual general strike.

Nationally opinion poll ratings supporting the strike were also reached as in no other dispute we have engaged in.

Throughout this period, the generation that many had given up on as obsessed with celebrity culture and materialism emerged with a vibrant creativity to challenge the very foundations of capitalism with their occupations and direct action.

The Occupy movement with its use of new media also demonstrated an internationalism that many traditional organisations had long forgotten.

But we have also seen the worst of our movement as well.

The dogged opposition by the TUC and some trade union leaders to a co-ordinated campaign of industrial action showed just how incorporated into the system some organisations and individuals had become.

Just as the leaked memos from Wikileaks showed the TUC reassuring governments that the trade union protest against the Iraq war would be comfortably contained, it is clear that the mindset of the TUC and some trade union leaders was that though they may have to concede to the November 30 strike, they could reassure that they would rapidly kill off any prospect of further co-ordinated action.

These bureaucrats were willing not only to accept any offer from the coalition no matter how pathetic the deal, but worse still they were also willing in front of government ministers to attack those union representatives who refused to sell out their members.

It became clear that what some trade union leaders wanted was a return to the acquiescent quiet life of the last 14 years to enable them to continue to enjoy their lifestyles that are closer to those of the class they are supposed to oppose than the class they are supposed to represent.

When it came to political representation we also witnessed the downside of our movement.

The Labour Party's political leadership has failed to recognise the scale of the suffering that our people are experiencing and the anger that they are feeling.

This has produced a lack of confidence in the Labour leadership over the desire for change among our own people and in their willingness to act. This resulted initially in a succession of losses of nerve.

The refusal to back the strikes and the direct action movements comes from that deep-seated fear by those at the helm of the Labour Party of supporting anything that doesn't secure overwhelming majority focus group support.

Only when an issue is completely safe will the Labour leadership show leadership.

Arguing now that standing up to Rupert Murdoch was an example of courage when it came after 12 months of calls for such a stand, weeks after attending a Murdoch party and only when Murdoch was on his knees, really just doesn't wash.

This depressing lack of courage has led on to support for reactionary welfare reform, privatisation of public services, including healthcare and staggeringly even prisons, acceptance of the coalition's academies and now the complete capitulation to neoliberalism in the recent statements of support for cuts and pay freezes.

The economic crisis creating mass unemployment and intense poverty is hurting our people terribly.

In my own constituency we are distributing food parcels to help people get by.

This is the opportunity to explain starkly how capitalism works and the crisis-ridden nature of this system.

For Labour leaders to react to it by supporting the same old failed economic orthodoxies that mean ordinary people will pay for the crisis is rapidly making them appear irrelevant.

Competing with David Cameron in calling for responsible capitalism is laughable when the extremes of wealth and poverty and inequality caused by the capitalist system are being evidenced every day and the bankers' bonuses are returning with a vengeance.

There is now a vital opportunity to challenge our corrupt and incompetent economic system and to give people the possibility of opening up a new era in how we organise our society.

That means resisting the cuts, pay freezes and every attack on our class. It means offering an alternative based upon a radical redistribution of wealth, insisting on democratic control of our economy at every level from the firm to the City, pressing to eradicate inequality in all its forms and recognising that if environmental sustainability is not at the core of our world view, everything we plan will become irrelevant anyway.

The last period has shown that there is the potential of creating an exciting new movement for change.

We need to reclaim our movement from the bureaucrats that are undermining from within the TUC and some trade unions the solidarity upon which the labour and trade union movement was founded.

Union by union we need to organise to challenge and clear out the defeatists.

We need to base our movement once again on action. That means mobilising to support industrial action, direct action, occupations and demonstrations wherever there is an injustice to fight, a cut to resist or a strike to wage.

If the UK Parliament fails us our political leadership must instead come from the picket line and the streets.

John McDonnell is Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Press TV Close by the British State

As we see the establishment position on both foreign policy and Domestic policy under increasing political analysis.  We see the state demonstrate just how morally and politically weak its case is by the action of trying to suppress democratic debate.  All three main political parties together with there chums in big business and banking seem quite happy to allow free air of porn channels but seem to have a fear of any channel that attempts to put a counter case to the right wing agenda of the capitalist state.  Interesting that the Murdoch press empire for all its corruption has not been closed down and yet press TV only crime is to give an alternative political view.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Strikers battle over private sector pension

16 January 2012
Workers who make Marmite, PG Tips, Pot Noodles and other famous household brands are striking to defend their pensions.
Members of three unions – GMB, Unite and USDAW – are beginning a rolling programme of walkouts at Unilever plants across the UK.
The workers are determined to stop the company closing their final salary pension scheme.

For more details of the dispute and the rolling action see the Unite website
PCS members are urged to support local picket lines and donate to any hardship funds.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said last month when the Unilver strikes started: “The government shamelessly tries to play public servants off against their colleagues in the private sector, when the real divide over pensions is between the wealthy bosses and shareholders, and the workforces they exploit.

"Despite ministers' best efforts, the public sector strike in November was supported by many in the private sector who recognise that the answer to their problems is not an equality of misery, but fair pensions for all.
"The real pensions scandal is not the very modest packages in the public sector, but the near destruction of decent pensions schemes in the private sector.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with workers in Unilever who are fighting for a fair and decent pension in retirement, and we hope to work more closely with them and other private sector workers in the weeks and months ahead."

Last week Unite won a victory in the private sector when car-manufacturer BMW reversed a plan to exclude new entrants from the company pension scheme.
Follow PCS on Twitter, Facebook and Unionbook

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Blue Labour

Once again we see New Labour Jumping to the capitalist tune they seem to think out doing the Tories on cuts gives them economic credibility due to the polls showing there poor performance.  As per usual in recent years they listen more to the right wing press and lobbyists from the tax payer alliance than there own grass roots support.  We would suggest there showing in the polls is poor due to the fact the like of Balls and the rest of New  Labour actually have no balls when it comes to taking on the ruling classes.

Instead they choose to go to cowering to right wing institutions and confirm in their eyes what those aristocratic crooks in the torie party think, that were all peasants put on this earth to serve them.  Shame on New Labour to betray the very reason this party was formed
Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has moved to challenge accusations that Labour is not credible on the economy by telling the public sector unions that he endorses George Osborne's public sector pay freeze until the end of the parliament, and that he accepts every spending cut being imposed by the Conservatives.  
The whole point of an opposition is you take up an opposite position on government policy it confirms the real opposition is us ordinary grass roots activists and ordinary people both in our unions, anti cuts groups and our communities.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mark Serwotka@PCS Left Unity

On the 7th January PCS Left Unity held an 'organising conference' aimed at preventing a pensions 'sell-out' by Unions. 

Left Unity is "a democratic organisation that embraces a wide range of socialist opinion in PCS and campaigns for a socialist society that provides for the needs of the many, not the greed of a few". This video appeared on the PCS Sheffield Blog -

Classroom Teacher - January 2012 Newsletter

NUT Reps had this newsletter circled just before Christmas! CTeacher Jan 2012