Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Pussy Riot Call!

Supporting images for Pussy Riot music video

Pussy Riot call for protest over Alexei Navalny sentencing

Russian feminist punk band release video calling on people to protest outside Kremlin.
AFTER the Russian opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, was released yesterday after being briefly detained by police in Moscow yesterday, the feminist band Pussy Riot has appealed for protests against Putin.  Mr Navalny was let go but his brother Oleg has been ordeered to serve a prison term.  The imprisonment of Oleg Navalny, who is now viewed as a hostage in the larger battle, showed that the Kremlin is getting more shrewed in its efforts to restrain Aleksei Navalny's political activities.
After the sentence, Mr Navalny tried to provoke the authorities by walking from Pushkin Square, down Tverskaya Street towards the Kremlin.  Minutes later he was arrested and pushed into a bus parked nearby.
Aleksei's brother Oleg, a former postal worker, is not politically active and is virtually unknown to the public before yesterday's trial. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

GMB Newroom Report of Care

Few To Benefit From £72,000 Care Cost Cap

Sunday, December 28, 2014
Only Tiny Minority Of Elderly Care Home Residents Paying For Own Care Will Live Long Enough To Benefit From Cost Of Care Cap Of £72,000 From April 2016
The shocking reality is about 90% of those who go into a care home will die before they reach the cap limit says GMB.

GMB, the union for care staff, is warning that only a very small minority of elderly residents who pay for their own residential care will live long enough to benefit from the £72,000 cap on care costs due to start in April 2016.
The government is introduc
ing a cap from April 2016 on eligible care costs for people in England of state pension age or over who have to pay for their own care. Individuals will pay all costs before the cap. The government has set the cap at £72,000.

Top-up fees are excluded from the cap. So too are so-called “hotel costs” of around £230 per week. This is the amount care-home residents have to contribute toward the cost of accommodation, food, etc. Based on current trends, when the new system comes into force in 2016, local authorities will be paying on average £522 a week in England for a residential-care bed. So after deducting the £230 per week the balance counting towards the cap will be £292 per week on average in England. There is significant variation in local-authority rates and this will affect the time taken to reach the cap.
It would take 4 years and 9 months for an average resident in England to reach the cap and they can expect to spend around twice the official level of the cap to get to that point. There is just above a 1 in 10 chances of a resident reaching the cap before they die.

Set out in the table below are the estimated average amount per region that will count toward the cap and the estimated years and months it will take to reach the cap.

Cap on care costs – projections broken down by region:
RegionHow much of what residents pay
counts towards the cap (weekly) 
Time taken to hit the cap
North East£ 2765 years
North West£ 2555 years 5 months
Yorkshire and Humber£ 2405 years 9 months
East Midlands£ 2166 years 5 months
West Midlands£ 2745 years
East of England£ 3024 years 7 months
London£ 4343 years 2 months
South East£ 3194 years 4 months
South West£ 3354 years 1 month
England£ 2924 years 9 months

Justin Bowden, GMB National Officer, said “The complete inadequacy of the government’s cap on eligible care fees is laid bare for all to see.
The £72,000 cap is more than double the £35,000 recommended in 2011 by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support chaired by Andrew Dilnot.
The cap of £72,000 has to considered in the context of how long people tend to be resident in care homes. BUPA figures suggest that the average length of stay in all care beds was 832 days or 2.3 years. The longest 25% of stayers are resident for an average 1,206 days or 3.3 years and the longest 10% for 2,112 days or 5.8 years. This means that nearly 90% of the people who have to go into a care home will not live long enough to reach the cap.
This is a betrayal of hundreds of thousands of citizens who contributed to this country all their working lives and were promised a cradle to grave system of care would be there if they needed it, free at the point of use.
Instead they are thrown into a lottery whose outcome depends on whether or not they are one from twenty from each age group who will need to go into a care home and if so how long they will be there. At their most vulnerable and needy, they are expected to empty their hard earned savings or sell their houses long before reaching the cap.
At their most vulnerable and needy, those whose health forces them into a care home will be expected to empty their hard earned savings or use money from their houses long before reaching the cap. The shocking reality is that nearly 90% of them will die before they reach the cap.
Does this government policy really represent the full value as a society we place on our elderly and vulnerable?
We need to move away from this mess of means-testing and capping. The Westminster parties should make manifesto pledges to integrate elderly care with the health service and fund both from general taxation. This would patently be a fairer system.
Older people are being short-changed by the current approach to funding. The care workforce is getting a raw deal too. The sector desperately needs more public investment and control.”
Contact: Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Monday, 29 December 2014

A. F. NORTH announcement!

'Renovation in Progress':

THE Manchester a.f. (Anarchist Federation) would very much like it to be known by all those who have heard of them, and few will have, that they are still 'very active'.  Alas, their 'website has had its problems'!

This very active body does not tell us what they are really up to, perhaps because they make a point of being in their own words 'semi-secretive', and being brought up shy like all good little English boys and girls they typically don't broadcast their own names or devulge much about themselves at all. 

Above all like most respectably Englishmen and women of gentile disposition they enjoy their privacy and only moderately militant; yet let it be known they are in their own words:  'ORGANISING FOR RESISTANCE'.  So watch out comrades!

Their website does warn us that it has lots of 'content on the main AF website, 'including various local texts and articles from historical groups including sexy stuff as Solidarity, Subversion and Wildcat'.  Goodness me, I can hardly wait!

Renovation in Progress:

'We in Manchester are still very active. However, this website has had its difficulties and we are currently redesigning it.
In the meantime, check out the following blog;
and our Facebook page;
Note: You will still be able to access a lot of content including links on the left to content on the main AF website and the international IFA site, plus local archives of material in the Online Library section including various local texts and articles from historical groups including Solidarity, Subversion and Wildcat.'

Bristol Radical History Group's Films

ANOTHER group of legacy videos you may be interested in....

Nov 2014 Gee Vaucher and panel: anti-war art

Ex-Crass artist Gee Vaucher discusses the background and influences on her art with some of those influenced by it in the 1980s.

Oct 2014 The Commons or the True Commons with Peter Linebaugh

'Commons and commoning' as waves of ideas and practice from the English Revolution to the present....Oh, and Geese 'stealing'...

Dec 2011 Dagenham, Drum and the League of Black Revolutionary Workers
In December 2011 Bristol Radical History Group were invited to participate in a 'history' meeting in Detroit, USA. This gathering included ex-members (such as the late General Baker) of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, arguably one of the most radical working class organisations in the US in the 20th century. Also present was Marvin Surkin, one of the authors of Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution, the seminal history of revolutionary class struggle in the auto-industry in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s.

Nov 2010 “Make Them Grovel”: The 1976 West Indies Cricket Tour

Soweto and Notting Hill Carnival uprisings, whilst the West Indies batter England at cricket in the Long Hot Summer of '76.

Nov 2010 Grunwick: The End Of An Era? with Chris Thomas

The two-year strike (1976–1978) over trade union recognition at the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories in Willesden, North London is iconic in left wing history. During a decade of industrial unrest, the Grunwick dispute became a cause célèbre of trade unionism and labour relations law, and at its height involved thousands of trade unionists and police in confrontations.

Apr 2010 The Chartists And Their Legacy with Dorothy Thompson, Owen Ashton and Les James

One of the last public meetings given by the esteemed historian Dorothy Thompson.



Brhmob mailing list

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Best Wishes to N.V. from John Walker

Well, a year to remember, certainly.

Not sure if you caught last night's News at Ten, on the convicted paedophile who was sent down for activities in public schools in the 60s and 70s yesterday - half brother of Tory MP John Wittingdale, I believe. 

They interviewed one of his victims from the past - Francis Wheen.  Francis has always been hugely supportive of the stuff we (NV & Rap) have done on Smith, from the piece he wrote in New Statesman, 35 years ago, to the time and space he has given in the last couple of years in the Eye. Perhaps his experience as a victim helps explain his support.
Anyway, on a lighter note. All the very best for an enjoyable festive season, and here's to another roller coaster year in 2015! 
John Walker:  Former editor of the Rochdale Alternative Paper

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Page Views on Northern Voices' Blog

THIS month the post 'Protester's target Ashton Jobscentre for sanctioning claimants'  overtook 'SEXUAL ABUSE: Cyril Smith's Family v's Private Eye...' (Date: 19th, Sept. 2010).    The latter had dominated our page-viewings since 2012.  The post on the 'Protester's target Ashton Jobcentre...' was posted on the 28th, Aug. 2014.  Other postings about the campaign at the job centre in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester have also attracted significant interest in recent weeks.  It may represent the nervous concern of some folk about the repressive nature of sanctions and the benefit system at the present time.  There is a strange interest another very old post on the NV Blog 'WOOLAS SUSPENDED BY LABOUR PARTY! (Date: 6TH, Nov. 2010) .   


'Boys on the Blacklist' Second Edition!

THE second edition of the 'Boys on the Blacklist' published by Tameside Trade Union Council has now been completed by our printers in Manchester.  This 'edition' contains only one additional footnote, and has no major changes from the original edition which first appeared in October. 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Liverpool Against the Cuts Motion:

MOTION from Old Swan Against the Cuts for Liverpool Against the Cuts meeting 10 December

We continue to oppose all the cuts in local services: adult social care, support for mental health, children’s centres, swimming pools. We oppose any attempt to privatise public areas such as the parks.
There should be no deterioration but improvement of all current library services, maintenance of the infrastructure and day to day running to ensure no cuts and no staff lose. No to a programme of death by a 1,000 cuts because of starvation of funds. Now it’s time to take Liverpool from the grasp of those who support austerity: the Tories, Labour, Lib Dem or UKIP, and give the city back to the people. With this purpose we will be standing in the elections in May 2015 and call on all groups fighting the cuts to do the same.
We ask Liverpool Against The Cuts to work with all anti-cuts groups to call a conference to deepen the fights against the cuts and to encourage anti-cuts groups to stand in the elections on a social and political struggle basis.

* No to privatisation of libraries! No volunteer run libraries! Keep all libraries public!
* No reduction of opening hours. No loss of staff.
* End all zero hour and precarious contracts
* Against cuts in any local service what so ever
* Defend all council and public services.
* Restore the benefits safety net
* End all benefit sanctions and cuts 

Rochdale Councillor Condemns Cyril!

COUNCILLOR Phillip Bethell has made it known to all and sundry in the Rochdale Observer this week that he condemns Cyril Smith abuse of young men and boys.  He is a good friend of Simon Danczuk the MP for Rochdale, who himself eventually decided to condemn Cyril Smith just over two years ago on the 13th, November 2012, in a speech  the House of Commons no less.

Mr. Danczuk now tells that it occurred to him to throw in a condemnation of Cyril the former MP for Rochdale, while pacing up and down his office in Westminster worrying about writing a speech on child grooming in Rochdale earlier that year.  Councillor Bethell now makes it clear that he is the latest politician to jump on this bandwagon of condemning the now deceased Sir Cyril Smith. 

Councillor Bethell is not of course apologising on behalf of the Labour Party, because Cyril was a leading figure in that party during the time he was beating the backsides of young men at Cambridge House.  But as a late convert to the witchunt against Smith, he is urging others, mainly his political opponents among the Liberal Democrats, to apologise.

In a letter in the Rochdale Ob. last Wednesday Councillor Bethell even seemed to be urging a solemn condemnation from Brian Bamford who reportedly had 'a far better record than anyone else still resident in the town, both in making public Cyril Smith's activities at Cambridge House and keeping them in the public eye' (see letter from Les May in the Rochdale Observer 20th, December).

In the Rochdale Ob. (17, Dec. 2014) Councillor Bethell wrote:
'YOUR frequent correspondent, the self-styled anarchist, Brian Bamford, spends a lot of time obsessing about who is to blame for Cyril Smith's child abuse, but he really is missing the point (Observer letters, 9, December).'

But there is more to his righteousness on the subject of Cyril Smith and the 'self-styled anarchist', Mr. Bamford:
'If Brian Bamford really understands or cares about child abuse then he'd realise that anyone carrying a torch for Cyril nowadays in politics is extremely dangerous.'

Well there is nowt like a late-comer for demonstrating that he or she 'really understands or cares about child abuse'.  Where was Councillor Bethell in May 1979, when Brian Bamford was in David Bartlett's cellar on Spotland Road folding the Rochdale Alternative Paper with the story of Cyril Smith's antics at Cambridge House in it?  Where were Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker for that matter?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Protestors lay wreath at Ashton Jobcentre: staff called upon to show humanity and compassion!

Around 20 protestors including members from TAMESIDE AGAINST THE CUTS, Tameside Stop The Bedroom Tax & the Cuts, Tameside Unemployed Workers Alliance, Tameside Trades Union Council, & Tameside Green Party, gathered outside Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre on Thursday. These regular Thursday afternoon demonstrations, have been taking place since August, after a 19-year-old girl from Ashton had her benefit stopped after she informed an employer B&Q (where she'd been sent by the Jobcentre to work unpaid) that she was 23-weeks pregnant. More recently, a 32-year-old jobseeker was told by staff at Ashton Jobcentre that his benefit would be stopped if he continued to participate in the protest outside Ashton Jobcentre against unfair and illegal sanctions.

On Thursday, a wreath was laid outside the Jobcentre to highlight how benefit sanctions and cuts have led to suicides. A list of people whose deaths have been linked to benefits cuts, which was taken from the 'Black Triangle Campaign', was read out to the public. A representative from the trade union UNISON, also read out a letter that he was delivering to Ashton Jobcentre objecting to unfair sanctions and the beastly inhuman treatment that is being meted out jobseeker's. Rev. David Grey, a former friar of Gorton Monastery, dressed in a monks habit, made a speech outside the Jobcentre calling upon Jobcentre staff to show humanity and compassion towards the unmployed.

Although the government deny that there is a policy of targeting people for sanctioning, it is known that staff face disciplinary action if they don't sanction enough people. At one Jobcentre, Easter egg prizes were offered to staff who had sanctioned the most people.

While the UK is ranked as the sixth richest country on earth, a recent all-party report on foodbanks, has warned that Britain is 'stalked by hunger' caused by low pay, growing inequality and a harsh benefit sanctions as well as social break-down. The report says that benefit sanctions are the single biggest reason why the poor are resorting to foodbanks.

Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary for Work and Pensions, denies that welfare cuts are connected to financial hardship and suicides. He has accused Britain's largest food bank network, the Trussell Trust, of scaremongering. Other well-fed Tories have also scoffed at reports of hungry Britain, claiming that the poor don't know how to cook or that greater awareness of food banks, has led to increased demand. Yet the report says that severe hunger is leading to malnutrition and that there has been an increase in people scavenging for leftovers in restaurant and supermarket skips. Despite this indictment against Duncan Smith's vendetta against the poor and vulnerable, he was voted the most influential lay Roman Catholic by readers of the Tablet in 2010.

On Wednesday, a Labour motion to scrap the bedroom tax, was defeated in the Commons by 298 votes to 266, after 35 slimey LibDems, voted with the Tories to retain the tax despite promising earlier this year, to ditch the policy.

The weekly protests outside Ashton Jobcentre, have attracted a great deal of attention from citizen journalists working within social media. Yet the local Tameside newspapers the Tameside (PRAVDATISER)  Advertiser  and the New Charter owned, Tameside Reporter and Chronicle, have shown scant interest in the campaign despite receiving regular briefings. A visit to Ashton Jobcentre made by Rachell Reeves, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and council leader, Kieran Quinn, in October, did however, receive press coverage.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Bad Backs for Bury Bin-men!

BURY MBC this week denied that its newly imposed 3-weekly collections of grey non-recycable waste was resulting in more injuries to the Council workers.  This was after a spokesman for the local Bury Unite branch had claimed two operatives were off on the sick with a bad back and shoulder respectively.

A Bury Council spokesman told the Bury Times:
'The council has not seen an increase in injury to employees since the move to three-weekly collections.  All staff are trained in safe manual handling techniques and in instances where a bin is found to be too heavy to empty, crews are advised that it should be left and stickered.  This has always been the case and nothing has changed in this respect.'

A union leader, Brian Bamford, local Secretary of Bury Unite, had said:
'This week, a safety representative at Bradley Fold depot reported to me that since the new change to three-weekly collections there had been an increase in injuries.'

Mr. Bamford continued:
'Part of the problem arises from the binmen being forced to shift two bins at a time to complete their new rounds on schedual.  Doing this is contrary to the advice of management and the workforce safety representatives, but workers now feel they may be penalised, or even victimised, if they fail to complete their rounds on schedual.  In this kind of rat-race, younger workers are being played off against some of the older lads.'

The Bury Council admitted:
'The new service has required settling into but we refute any allegation that our valued workforce is victimised in any way.'

Amen, to that!

Remembering the Real First World War

After the First World War many believed the arms trade to be a primary cause of war. The unprecedented scale of death and destruction wrought by modern weaponry led a majority of people to support…
Added on 08/12/2014
OUR video techies have been working hard over the last month to capture a number of legacy and recent BRHG talks for your viewing.

The first group are from the Remembering the Real World War one series of events in October and November this year, and are listed here:

Wed 29th Oct 2014 World War One: Arming All Sides with the Arming All Sides project
Sun 2nd Nov 2014 Hidden Histories of World War One including:
The Christmas Truces 1914-15: Miracle, myth or mass mutiny? (Roger Ball, Bristol)
Compulsion, Conscription and Class: The case of the Forest of Dean Miners (Ian Wright, Bristol)
What are we fighting for? The East End and the First World War (David Rosenberg, London)
Opposition to WW1 in Germany: Rosa Luxemburg and others (Andrea Heubach, Berlin)
103 Foresters: Mutinies and death sentences in the local regiment 1914-18 (Philipp, Nottingham)
No Glory in War, Manchester - Alternative Ways of Marking the World War I Centenary (Ian Gwinn, Manchester)
Tue 4th Nov 2014 Women Resisting the Great War with June Hannam and Sheila Rowbotham
Thu 6th Nov 2014 Deserters, Conchies and Reds with Colin Thomas and Geoff Woolfe
Sat 8th Nov 2014 Trade Unions and Resistance to the Great War with Kevin Morgan and Ian Wright
Wed 12th Nov 2014 The World’s War with Dominic Rai

Full details of each event can be found here.

A second e-mail will follow with some other new films.

Happy holiday,

 Brhmob mailing list



Under the Pavement Politics

CHRIS Draper has written an excellent expose of the 'semi-secretive' and authoritarian structure/organisation of the Anarchist Federation (AF).   It is a detailed and well researched critique and illustrates very well the 'entryist' tactics of this organisation.   The bans and proscriptions which it employs against libertarians have no place in the anarchist movement.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Anarchist Federation: Bring on the Clowns!

The Skedaddler in English Political Life

Chris Draper writes in his review of anarchism in the UK titled 'Anarchist Fed.: Under the Pavement Politics:

'In 2011, Comrade Heath {long term boss of the Anarchist Fed.} declared "We have to be seen as a serious movement, not one viewed as ineffectual and passive, riddled with dilettantes and cranks".'

It would be interesting to learn what the Anarchist Federation has done to bring this about; beyond getting a Manchester Museum to ban people like Barry Woodling, a participant in the Northern Anarchist Network, and a journalist associated with the regional news and cultural publication Northern Voices.  Perhaps in 2012, Barry Woodling was accused at the Manchester Anarchist Bookfair in the People's History Museum, by Nick Heath and others, of being an 'anti-Semite', simply because he is a lapsed Jew who eats non-Kosher food like bacon butties, and has in the past been witnessed taking part in anti-Zionist demos outside Marks & Spencer. 

Who knows?

The fact is Mr. Heath excels himself not so much at political and social activism but rather at political intrigue and manipulation.  By being in their own words 'semi-secretive' how could it be otherwise?  I wager that few of the readers of the Northern Voices' Blog will have ever heard of the 'Anarchist Fed.' .  Certainly it is hard to find in which campaigns they have been active in, and being objectively 'anti-trade union' they do not seem to have participated in the campaign against the Blacklist in the British building trade or even to have shown their faces on a picket.  I may be wrong about this but usually such groups as theirs declare themselves 'anti-Fascist' which gives them the excuse of keeping their heads down for fear of being noticed by 'Red Watch'.

In truth, as one of their number said in an earlier comment, the only agency the members of the Anarchist Fed. fear is the Chartered Institute of Personnel Officers and Human Resources Managers. They fear this institution because what they want above anything is to preserve their jobs and pensions:  you will struggle to find any of these heroic persons on a blacklist anywhere and that is why they so hate the nick-name many of them have earned - 'Skedaddler'.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Thought Experiment from Trevor Hoyle

Salford Working Class Movement Library

1. Our exhibition The Great War - myths and realities closes this Friday, 19 December. Pop in any time Wednesday to Friday 1-5pm if you haven't yet caught it.

2. A reminder that the Library's opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows: the Library will close at 1pm on Wednesday 24 December 2014 and will reopen on Tuesday 6 January 2015 at 10am.

3. Library Trustee Royston Futter has got three copies of the script he put together for the recent Radical Readings fundraiser. They each have all the extracts and the poems, and are signed by all the readers. One is Maxine Peake's script, highlighted by her; one is Royston's copy with manuscript additions scribbled out during the performance; and one is the spare copy kept in case Sheila Hancock dropped hers!  In addition Royston has the original manuscript (with amendments and alterations) of his poem "Bullingdon Dave", read (or rather sung) by Sheila on the day.

These are all available to anyone who would like them in return for a donation to the library. Offers (specifying which item you are bidding for) to Royston at by Friday 2 January please.

4. The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is hosting a Pioneers 170 Christmas Celebration event on Wednesday 17 December, 6-8pm.
21 December 2014 marks the 170th anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers opening their co-operative store at 31 Toad Lane. A team of volunteers at the Museum has been busy transcribing the original minute book from 1844. This evening lecture and launch of the newly transcribed minute book will include mince pies and mulled wine.
Free, recommended donation £2.50. Please book by calling 01706 524920 or e-mail  More details here.

5. People Make their Own History
This is a ten-week course of study delivered by the WEA in association with the People's History Museum, and held at PHM on Thursdays from 15 January to 26 March 2015, 1-3pm. It will look at seven key demonstrations that shaped our social and political landscape: from Peterloo and the Chartists, the struggles over jobs, against fascism, and for access to the countryside in the 1930s, fighting Section 28 and for LGBT rights in the 1980s, to Stop the War and against the Bedroom Tax today.
Bookings must be made in advance by contacting the WEA on 0151 243 5340 or via, quoting course ref C3837176. Fee: £65.10 or free (please enquire with the WEA).

Festive regards to all Library supporters.  We're looking forward to sharing a new Web site and new-look e-bulletin with you early in 2015.

Today's Blacklist Events!

'I’ve been sacked so many times at Christmas that my kids thought it was part of the Father Christmas story, except that the ‘sack’ was empty'
Blacklisted bricklayer and UCATT branch secretary, Dave Ayre from Crook, County Durham 

Wednesday 17th December

9:30am - High Court blacklisting trial continues (Photo-opportunity for the press) 
Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand

4:30pm Blacklist Support Group parliamentary meeting (press welcome) 
Committee Room 17
Houses of Parliament

Update from the High Court legal action plus ongoing campaign including the compensation scheme, public inquiry, police collusion, publicly funded contracts. Expect some breaking news.
Speakers: John McDonnell MP, Dave Smith (BSG sec), Steve Acheson / Steve Kelly (BSG co-chairs), Justin Bowden (GMB), Liam Dunne (GCR solicitors), Howard Beckett (UNITE Legal) 

7pm - BSG Festive drink (we deserve it) 
Westminster Arms
Storey's Gate

Blacklist Support Group

One Hundred & Fifty!

The final version of the Burnley Declaration below was
first published on the 7th, March 2013.  It is a response
agreed in Burnley at a meeting of the Northern Anarchist Network
in December 2012 to the curious actions of the people associated
with a 'semi-secretive' body called the Anarchist Federation (AF) led
by a retired librarian called Nick Heath:  the AF has been described by
a historian as a London based organisation.
Condemnation of Bizarre Act by Secretive & Conspiratorial Group Continues to Grow!

THIS Northern Anarchist Statement to the Movement is here update with extra names adding their support, as the Anarchist Federation, which has turned a blind-eye to the irresponsible actions of its own members and constantly failed to disassociate itself from behaviour that is likely to bring the anarchist movement into disrepute. The statement below is the original Burnley Declaration approved by the Northern Anarchist Network, last December, and now includes blacklisted electricians, trade unionists, supporters of the Occupy Movement, members of the peace movement, libertarians, socialists as well as anarchists: 
'The Northern Anarchist Network (NAN) meeting in Burnley on the 8th, December, unreservedly condemns the treatment handed out to NAN supporter, Barry Woodling, at the Manchester Anarchist Bookfair on the 1st, December, 2012. He was subjected to intimidation, threats, and verbal abuse at the hands of one of the organisers called 'Veg' assisted by Anarchist Federation members, including Nick Heath. In addition to being harangued as an 'imbecile', a 'dullard', and a 'fucking disgrace', he was accused of being an 'anti-semite'. Barry was subsequently thrown out of the bookfair. Such a monstrous charge beggar's belief in view of his Jewish roots, and the murder of a member of his family in the Nazi Gas Chambers in the 1940s.

'We thus call upon the organisers of the bookfair, and the Anarchist Federation to unreservedly apologise for their authoritarian actions, and to offer a guarantee that there will be no repetition of this in future. It seems that the Anarchist Federation and the Bookfair organisers are doing the State's work for them by attacking the NAN and its supporters.'

The following 150 people have now agreed to have their names added to the list supporting the above statement. Not all of these are anarchists, and most were not in attendance at the Northern Anarchist Network meeting at which the decision was made to make this declaration supporting Barry Woodling. It is a declaration that any decent person may sign. These are the signatures so far:
Colin Trousdale - blacklisted electrician (Bacup, Lancashire); Sean Keveney - blacklisted electrician (Manchester); George Tapp - electrician (Salford); Mark Brooks (Little Hulton, Salford); John Walker, former editor of the Rochdale Alternative Paper and now part-time correspondent on Private Eye (Forest Gate, London); David Dane (Baldock, Herts. ); Lee Brooks (Malborough in Derbyshire); Patricia Culpan (Rochdale); Paul Arnold (Manchester); Kevin Brenan (Bristol), Stacy Bluer (Salford), Mariam Shaw (Longsight), Donavan Pedelty (Wales); Trevor Bark (Northumbria); Grace Bamford (West Yorkshire); Basil Landau (Manchester); Neel Tiwana (Manchester); Sheilia Simpson (Manchester); Neil Donaldson (Shropshire); Diana Garcia (Manchester); Johnathan Davis (Manchester); Dan Hernandez (Manchester); Mingus (Manchester), Sal Choudhry (Manchester); Martin Hopwood (Manchester); Martin Gilbert (Cumbria); Barry Woodling (Swinton); John Simpkin (Lancashire); Eileen Hall (Burnley); Deon Bamford (West Yorkshire); Duncan Ball (Shropshire); Ilyan Thomas (Wales); Jim Petty (Burnley); Laurens Otter (Shropshire); Brian Bamford (Rochdale); Chris Draper (York); Derek Pattison (Dukinfield, Greater Manchester); Joe O'Neil (Swinton South, Salford); Bob Crane (Bury); Yvonne Dodge (Radcliffe); Camilo Melara (Manchester); Johnathan Simcock (Derbyshire); Denise Bamford (Todmorden); Anna Jeffery (North Yorkshire); Adele Dodge (Radcliffe); Patrick Finnerty (Rochdale); Sean Dempsey (Bury); Dave Douglass (South Sheilds); Martin Bashford (York), Dave Chapple (Bridgewater), Chris Chilton (Bolton), Susan Reddington (Bolton), Elaine Cross (Bolton), Denis Pye (Bolton), Dameon Bamford (Todmorden); Dave Fogg (Manchester), Lydia Meryll (Manchester), Heike Gabernowitz (Manchester), David Hernandez (Manchester); Deyika Nzeribe (Manchester); Johnny Pratt (Manchester); Stefano Ba (Manchester); Carmen Perugia (Manchester); Jenny Longworth (Manchester); Joseph Stacey (Manchester); Herman St John (Manchester); Sarah Redman (Manchester); Nadja Redman (Manchester); Clifford C. Cawthorn (Manchester); Dr. Phoebe Moore (Manchester); Nicola Smith (Monton); Fred Coker (Manchester); Daniel Evans (Manchester); Page Cleasby (Manchester); Jean Compton (Bolton); Janette Cosgrove (Bolton); Steve Harrold (Bolton); Graham Marsden (Bolton); Barry Mills (Bolton); Roy Ratcliffe (Leigh); Heide Connell (Manchester); Mike Koefman (Manchester): Ann Papageorgiou (Stockport); Phillip Gilligan (Rochdale): Rae Street (Littleborough, Lancs.): Ann Jordan (Manchester): George Abenstern (Rochdale): Angela Trikic (Manchester); Maya Grana (Manchester): Natalia Grana (Manchester); Edward Egan (Hale Barns, Cheshire); Jacqui Burke (Oldham); Cath Tributsch (Bury); Pat Sanchez (Rochdale); Malcolm Pittock (Bolton); Chris Cole (Oxford); Maggie Smith (Salford); George Hayes (Bolton); Julia Simpkins (Bolton); Wendy Pye (Bolton); Phil McNally (Bolton); Sara Burn (Bolton); Trudy Chilton (Bolton); Ian McHugh (Bolton); Helen Dickson (Bolton); Liz Terry (Bolton); John Terry (Bolton); Eileen Murphy (Bolton); Paul Kelly (Manchester); Helen McHugh (Bolton); Moira Hill (Bolton); Carol Gordon (Bolton) Hilary Eastham (Bolton); Neil Duffield (Bolton); Stuart Murray (Bolton); Fiona Parr (Bolton); Tim Gillibrand (Manchester); Steve Duriant (Manchester); Rachel Stokes (Manchester); Michelle Lanaway (Manchester); Merlyn Taylor (Manchester); Usman Hamid (Manchester); Keith Dowshup (Manchester); Mauricemo Shaw (Manchester); Sabrina Rahman (Manchester); Howard Broadbent (Bolton); Stephen Moulton (Bolton); Martin McLoughin (Bolton); Dave Mann (Rugby), Coventry); Michael Hazell (Rochdale); Liz Moult (Salford); Barry Moult (Salford); Cybil Perryman (Salford); Peter Bainbridge (Salford); Robin Hemuss (Chester); Jack Smith (Salford); Adam Richards (Salford);

Carlos Beltran (Madrid); Melina Gonzalez Sanches (Madrid); CARLOS ANTONIO FIGUEROA LILLO (MADRID, Spain), John Lawrence (Oman), Seamus Cain (USA); Rachel Whittaker (Republic of Ireland); Kanjana Damrongsaksit (Thailand); Bitrous Yohanna (Nigeria); Adama Yussuf (Nigeria); Cyril Wosu (Nigeria); Prof. Peter Buse (CANADA); Ana Lucia (Guatemala); 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Agency Labour on Cannon Street Site?

The letter below is by now a late posting
as the picket was at 6.30am, but if anyone
wants to help they can still contact Graham Boxall: 

Hi Comrades ,

11 workers including 2 stewards were made redundant on 11th December at the volks Fitzpatrick site in Romford by T Clarke. There has not be any meaningful consultation with the stewards or ftos. The job still has a few months to go and Clarkes have other sites that are looking for labour a massive site in Canon Street , we are sure agency labour is being used on these sites.  T Clarke are saying they have no other work and cannot transfer the workers .  We all know the real reason Clarkes do not want union members or an organised work force on their company.

Please do your best to support the picket :
15th December 6.30am volksfitzpatrick site waterloo Romford Nearest station Romford overhead its around 30 minutes from Liverpool street trains leave platforms 12-18 .

Contact: Graham Boxall 07801 863360.

Scottish Nationalist 'People's Vow'

I picked up a copy of The Spectator while I was in Aberdeen at the end of November with a piece by Alex Massie entitled 'Scotland's unwon cause' in which he wrote:
'The SNP is the only political party in Scotland that can credibly claim to be a mass organisation.  It will soon, in all likelihood have 100,000 members.'


About the same time I bought a copy of The National a new daily that claims the be 'The newspaper that supports an independent Scotland'.  According to Alex Massie this paper sold 50,000 copies of its first edition – near twice of what the Scotsman averages.  Since then The National has doubled its print run.


At their last SNP conference since Nicola Sturgeon took over it produced the People's Vow:which specifies that industry should be nationalised; a republic declared; land ownership reformed; fracking banned; Nato left; and a people's budget published that would offer an alternative to austerity.


Whatever the outcome in Scotland at the next UK general election, and the SNP could win up to 50 seats if it performs in line with the recent polls, the consequences could lead to conflict for the Union whoever gained power in Westminster:  a Tory win next May would almost certainly result in increasing the backing in Scotland for the nationalists, and a Labour majority would not be much more helpful in so far as it would have to chose between letting down Scottish aspirations for more independence and possibly upsetting English opinion.  A Labour Government that depended on the SNP would be particularly vulnerable.


Mr. Massie argues that during the next General Election in Scotland it will be like '59 mini-referendums [in Scotland] on the national question'.  That in turn would 'serve as an overture to the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections', at which Massie says: 'another SNP triumph would open the door to a second referendum.'  This would need the approval of the London Government, but in such circumstances it would be hard to refuse.

The building site lads I met from Glasgow at the Rank & File construction worker's conference in Newcastle on the 15th, November, certainly had high hopes that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP would be able to force the political pace in the New Year and give the Westminster crowd the run-around.  It is expected that Paul Salveson will be writing on this in the next edition of the Northern Voices - N.V. 15.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

End of Year Message from Blacklist Support Group

View Blacklist Support Group xmas card.jpg in slide show
View BSG xmas card justice.jpg in slide show
View BSG xmas card Neil Findlay.jpg in slide show
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BLACKLIST by Time Served J.I.B. Electrician
I stood up for my rights,
My workmates and my brothers,
On bleak construction sites,
I always shone a light,
For safety, and for others,
All these working men,
Have sisters, have mothers,
No work, my back a knife,
What will I tell the missus,
I'm blacklisted for life,
And not just for Christmas.

Wednesday 17th December 2014 - End of Year Day Out:

9:30am - Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London
High Court blacklisting trial continues

4:30pm - Committee Room 17, Houses of Parliament, Westminster
Blacklist Support Group update meeting

7pm - The Westminster Arms, Storey's Gate, Westminster
End of year beer & craic.
Attached Xmas cards designed by Art Against Blacklisting and Neil Findlay MSP
A big festive thank you to everyone who has supported the Blacklist Support Group over the past 5 years.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Price of Everything...

Rochdale councillor and businesswoman Karen Danczuk has defended her decision to sell scented ‘selfies’ of herself on eBay - and says it’s a simple case of supply-and-demand.

The Twitter-loving politician, married to Rochdale’s Labour MP Simon Danczuk, said her signed snaps are highly sought after.

Mrs Danczuk explained:
 'I decided to do them because they are in demand. People ask me for a little picture or a little note all the time. I’m very business minded, it’s in my blood.'

The selfies are sprayed with Chanel perfume before they are sold for £10 each on eBay.
Now mum-of-two Karen, 31, has already sold 80 cards on the auction website - and she’s buying more bottles of her favourite perfume in anticipation of further sales.

She added: I need to print off more and I’m going to have to buy more Chanel perfume.
'I can’t believe how big it has become - I’ve had a radio station in Australia wanting to talk to me about it.

'At the end of the day newspapers print my picture all the time - my face is in the paper every week and the newspapers are making money from it. Why can’t I?'

Morning Star & Trade Union Treachery

The Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union is implicated in today’s Consulting Association blacklist scandal.
Stevie Stevenson below in the

Monday 8th
posted by Morning Star in Features examines its long history of treachery

THE courts will soon hear a blacklisting 'super-case' after the granting of group litigation, which means that hundreds of separate cases of blacklisted workers will be taken on as one single case.
One of the main firms implicated, McAlpine, has named 34 other co-defendants, including most of the other major construction companies.

The trade unions must be aware that as part of their defence, the construction employers will attempt to use the same kind of smears and distortions used in the infamous Shrewsbury Pickets trial of the 1970s. They will once again be supported by the right-wing press and media.
There can also be little doubt that the role of trade union full-time officials will be scrutinised.
Many contracting electricians have been angered to find that the information on their Consulting Association blacklist file indicates complicity by officials of the former Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union (EETPU).

The construction trade press has reported on this 'collusion' and the blacklist victims are hoping that the court case will reveal the redacted names of those union officials.

I myself was put on the blacklist by the EETPU. My Consulting Association blacklist file states that I was an Electrical Plumbing Industrial Union shop steward in a three-month strike on a Manchester construction site in 1995.

I have never worked in Manchester. In fact, at that time I had recently started work with my local authority building direct labour organisation in Swansea, where I worked until retirement in 2013.
At that time, the TUC expelled EETPU, but it then merged with the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) as a means of restoring TUC unity.

They were deadlocked over structural integration and continued to operate as separate sections of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU).

Eventually the deadlock ended with an EETPU takeover led by Sir Ken Jackson. The renowned internal democracy of the AEU was eradicated.

The restoration of TUC unity by this means, meant that not only was the EETPU’s previous destructive activity effectively swept under the carpet, but some of its internal practices, like assisting in blacklisting, were allowed to continue.

A TUC 'conciliation process' in 1995 amounted to a typical TUC fudge designed to secure EETPU’s return.

The TUC had eventually been forced to expel the EETPU in 1988 over 'sweetheart deals'.
During that decade of the Thatcher government’s onslaught on the trade union movement, EETPU’s behaviour had been utterly treacherous. It included:
  • Collusion with Tory Cabinet minister Norman Tebbit, who informed Parliament that he had taken advice on anti-trade union law from EETPU leader Frank Chapple.
  • Collusion with Rupert Murdoch by supplying the scab labour which allowed him to sack his Fleet Street workforce.
  • Collusion with the scab Union of Democratic Mineworkers.
EETPU’s complicity in blacklisting was part of an internal culture that had arisen during the 1970s following a so-called “Joint Industrial Board check-off” agreement whereby the electrical contracting employers actually paid the union contributions of all their employees.

In return the EETPU officials involved in that industry were obliged to 'police' the construction sites. Basically a case of he who pays the piper calls the tune.

The AEEU eventually became part of Amicus and then Unite.

Unite was formed by a merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) in 2007, two years before the Consulting Association blacklist was exposed in 2009.

So in 2007 there was no knowledge of any trade union officials being complicit in blacklisting.
Nevertheless, due diligence was carried out by Unite as the corrupt “JIB check-off” was ended at the insistence of the TGWU.

This latest exposure of the old EETPU’s behaviour raises the question of whether the trade union movement has learned the lesson.
The EETPU’s brand of trade unionism was more about organising the employers than organising the workers.

There has never been a more unprincipled, divisive and destructive TUC-affiliated union than EETPU.

TUC Congress House should be compelled to do what it has so far never done, to place on record its acknowledgement of that fact.

We must strive to ensure that the collaboration and sweetheart deals with employers, which led on to EETPU officials assisting in the blacklisting of union activists, is never allowed to happen again.

For more information on this get a copy of 'BOY's on the BLACKLIST'
a recently researched investigation into blacklisting in the British building trade
including the involvement of some paid trade union officers and the police, and
security services, published by Tameside Trade Union Council in October 20014. 
See below:
OUT now is Tameside TUC's study of blacklisting in the British building trade. This unique 52-page A5 book concludes our research into blacklisting stretching back for over a decade of struggle by a group of Manchester contracting electricians. This book illustrates a special investigation by two officers of Tameside TUC focusing on cover-ups, collaboration, and complicity by major British construction companies affiliated to the now defunct Consulting Association. We consider the behaviour of local authorities in providing contracts to companies that blacklist workers in the British building trade; especially those in the Greater Manchester area such as Tameside MBC, Salford and Manchester City Council. The book also asks questions as to who else was involved besides: what did the unions do to expose what was going on for decades; who were the whistle-blowers who helped to bring out the truth; what part did the police and special security services play in the history of blacklisting that goes back beyond the days of the Economic League?

Copies of 'Boys on the Blacklist' available by postal subscription:
£3.00 for one copy (post included).

Make cheque payable to 'Tameside TUC' and send to:
46, Kingsland Road, Rochdale, Lancs. OL11 3HQ.

Bundles of 5 copies - £14.60p a package (post included).

Tel.: 01706 861793.