Friday, 30 January 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Simon Saunders: Dare to Daniel!LAST week, one-time editor (unpaid?) of the now defunct Freedom, Simon Saunders, accused Northern Voices of 'Doxxing' him.* By that, I think he means that the Northern Voices Blog has 'outed' him by allowing the publication of his 'real name' in the public domain. I ought to say at this stage that Mr. Saunders' name is already in the public domain in the sense that he has been for several years a paid journalist on the former Communist Morning Star using his 'real name'. For some strange reason Mr. Saunders is shy about being identified with the anarchist publication Freedom or anarchism but happy to be a paid journalist on the Morning Star which is generally associated with a political philosophy 'Communism' or 'Marxism' which has been described as 'morally and politically bankrupt' (see Lord Kenneth Clarke's 1970's essay on 'Civilisation'.
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Secretary of Rochdale Green Party's Message:
Monday, 26 January 2015
His case has been taken all the way to the highest court in Britain, the supreme Court (House of Lords). A date for this hearing has yet to be set.
Solicitor Ann McMurdie, from Public Law Defenders will give an update on the challenges to the Bedroom Tax in the Courts.
Like many who have been hit by the Bedroom Tax, Mervyn has a number of mental health conditions. To be forced to move away from his home would have a detrimental effect on his life and his health.
Mervyn has joined marches and protest against the Bedroom Tax since its introduction in April 2013.
The legal speak for his appeal is:
'The Claimant is a 56 year old sole tenant of a three bedroom flat initially allocated to him in 1994 when it was hard to let. He has a number of physical and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and OCD together with persecutory delusions from time to time. His condition is aggravated by stress and changes of routine and his disability means that it would be unreasonable to move or share occupation of his flat.'
by David Goodway
A subscriber to Freedom for more than fifty years, David Goodway laments the end of one of the world’s oldest left-wing papers:
It has been announced by Freedom, arguably the longest running left periodical in Britain, that the March-April 2014 issue will be its last. The paper has been in trouble for some years. Now with a mere 225 subscribers, a print-run of about 1,000 and annual losses of £3,500 it is intended to produce an online version accompanied by an occasional free news-sheet. This is an odd situation since there must be a greater number of conscious anarchists nowadays than at any previous time in British history, while in addition there are many more natural anarchists, people who, though not identifying themselves as anarchists, think and behave in significantly anarchist ways.
For more go to:
Saturday, 24 January 2015
The conclusions on United Kingdom concern 13 situations and are as follows:
"There will be a demonstration against Maximus and the Work Capability
Assessment on Monday 2nd March 2015 from 12pm at Albert Bridge House,
Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9AT (meeting point St Mary's Parsonage
(the road/square off Bridge St on the Manchester side of Albert Bridge
House), Facebook event:
This demonstration is part of the national day of action against
Maximus and the WCA called by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) on
Monday 2nd March 2015:
Maximus is the company taking over from Atos running the despised Work
Capability Assessments (WCAs) for sickness and disability benefits.
These crude and callous assessments have been used to strip benefits
from hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people after a quick
computer based test ruled them 'fit for work'. A growing number of
suicides have been directly linked to this stressful regime, whilst
charities, medical staff and claimants themselves have warned of the
desperate consequences for those left with no money at all by the
In a huge embarrassment for the DWP, the previous contractor Atos were
chased out of the Work Capability Assessments after a sustained and
militant campaign carried out by disabled people, benefit claimants
and supporters. In a panicky effort to save these vicious assessments
Iain Duncan Smith hired US private healthcare company Maximus to take
over from Atos this coming April.
This is not the only lucrative contract the Tories have awarded this
company. Maximus are also involved in helping to privatise the NHS,
running the Fit for Work occupational health service designed to bully
and harass people on sick leave into going back to work. Maximus also
run the notorious Work Programme in some parts of the UK, meaning that
disabled people found fit for work by Maximus may then find themselves
sent on workfare by Maximus. There is no greater enemy to the lives of
sick and disabled people in the UK today than this multi-national
poverty profiteer who even are prepared to run welfare-to-work style
schemes for the brutal Saudi Arabian government.
Maximus have boasted they will not face protests due to their
involvement in the Work Capability Asessments and have even stooped as
low as hiring one prominent former disability campaigner on a huge
salary in an effort to quell protests against their activities. We
urgently need to show them how wrong they are and call for all
disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters to organise against
this vicious bunch of profiteering thugs.
Albert Bridge House is the assessment centre used in Manchester by
Atos to carry out Work Capability Asessments. The building is owned by
the DWP and it is likely that it will continue to be used for these
assessments with the premises and staff handed over from Atos to
Details of other national and local actions:
Links for more info about Maximus and the WCA:
All the problems with the Snoopers' Charter - that its figures were fanciful and misleading, that it, pays insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, are still there. Laying 18 pages of amendments before the Lords to insert the Snoopers' Charter into an already complicated Bill is an abuse of our democratic system.
The Lords cannot have time to properly consider the bill, and would deny the Commons the opportunity to consider the clauses as well. You can stop this happening! Please
1. Write to a Lord (they don't have constituencies, so you have to pick one at random)
2. Ask them to debate Snoopers Charter on Monday
3. Send them our briefing
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
I think it was fairly well received although I do detect a 'generational gap' between the older-end who may remember trade unions as they used to be in the 1970s & 80s, and the younger ones who are fresh which ideas about the environment. This may not be a problem if they can find some way blending the two tendencies.
Yet, with Labour Councils like Manchester City Council and Tameside MBC under Kieron Quinn, freely handing out contracts to blacklisting companies like Carillion it would be good if we could get the Greens to take up a policy of 'Ethical Procurement' using the 'Islington Model' as suggested at Liverpool TUC last Thursday night, to try to turn it into an election issue.
That would, I think, help put some of these Labour Councils who are collaborating with blacklisting companies on the back-foot.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Unite's Gail Cartmail & the Northern Narative!
I didn't know then, what we all know now, that this would lead the most significant industrial struggles of this century so far.
Soon after these early pickets was when at the Manchester Employment Tribunal that Michael Fahey, a manager for the sub-contractor DAF Electricial Contractors PLC, famously declared:
'AMICUS IS OUR UNION!'
'YES' , he says, 'We pay the union dues!'
Thus the boss of DAF Electrical Contractors PLC pays the union affiliations for his own workforce on site.
That was a signal, the vital signal that something is anmiss in the culture of labour relations on the British building sites.
Sometime in 2004, on a picket in Crown Square, while standing with the electrician Sean Keaveney I took a photo of Dave Fahey, the senior boss or managing director of DAF.
In this booklet over a decade ago we stated that:
'it aims to capture the essence of /// a small but important dispute: The Manchester Lockout of the DAF electricians.'
and in our conclusion, at that time in 2004, we stated an analysis that was very different from that that we are proposing today in the 'Boys on the Blacklist'.
What has happened here is, that in just over a decade, a dispute that kicked-off with health and safety issues on the British building sites, and cheap labour on British building sites, has clearly moved on to something much more significant.
With this new book I think that we have now come to realise that we're up against something very much more radical; and fundemental than health and safety or cheap labour however important these issues are. Now in this later book the 'Boys on the Blacklist' I think we now know that we're up against something more serious, and that in dealing with the affiliates of the Consulting Assocaition we have seen a culture, a spirit of capital, that both red raw in tooth and claw.
There are two areas of serious concern which are alluded to in both these books - the 'Manchester Locked-out Electricians' and the 'Boys on the Blacklist'. Both deal with what are for all of us trade unionists two serious matters, but neither resolve the two problems:
PROBLEM 1. TO WHAT EXTENT WERE FULL-TIME TRADE UNION OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN EITHER PROVIDING INTELLEGENCE OR ENFORCING THE BUILDING SITE BLACKLIST?
Over this there has been strong evidence and convincing claims from another whistle-blower called Alan Wainwright: I think he told Gail Cartmail, Deputy General Secretary of UNite, that the company Carillion paid AMICU £100,000 a year in union dues.
So there you go comrades! & that you know that we're 'EVERYDAY SEXISTS!'
What's interesting here is that Gail Cartmail didn't really want to dig the dirt on AMICUS and full-time officials who may have been involved in the blacklist. She just wants to hand the problem over to a future Labour Government. The last thing she wants to do is to say the Emperor has no clothes. Of course, Gail talks of an 'independent public inquiry' into blacklisting but how can it be genuinely independent when the biggest donor to the Labour Party is Unite the Union?