Thursday, 27 July 2017

Stalybridge Tesco raided by immigration officers looking for illegal workers!

Immigration officers raid Stalybridge Tesco

LAST Friday, officers from 'Immigration Enforcement' raided the Tesco car park in Stalybridge looking for illegal workers. An eyewitness, who took this photograph, told NV that on early on Friday morning, immigration officers were seen questioning two people who were working at the Tesco Hand Car Wash.

As with a lot of countries, the subject of immigration is a sensitive subject for many who live in Britain. Although 52% of people last year, voted for Britain to leave the EU on the grounds that they believed that it would curb immigration into the UK, the minority Conservative government of Theresa May, now say they want a flexible approach to migration and a transition period when Britain leaves the EU in 2019.  

Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has stated that there will be no "cliff-edge" in the migration system when the UK officially leaves the EU in March 2019. Senior political figures such as Michael Gove, a staunch Brexiteer, have stated that the cabinet is in favour of allowing free movement of labour to continue during an implementation phase of two to four years after 2019, when EU workers will have to register their details. No doubt this is aimed at reassuring British businesses, who rely on migrant labour, and others who see Brexit, as a ruinous economic policy for Britain. 

Never the less, many people may be wondering what it is they voted for last June when they voted for Brexit. According to one distinguished academic, all the talk about hard or soft Brexit, is utter nonsense. Professor Ian Begg, of the London School of Economics (LSE), said recently that the choice between a hard or soft Brexit was a "false dichotomy" and that there was in reality, only two choices facing the UK - either we leave the EU or we decide to stay. My guess is that at the end of the day, we will finish up not with a Brexit, but a fudge called a BINO - Brexit in name only. 

On 23rd June 2017, some 61.1% of people who live in the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, Greater Manchester, voted to leave the EU, even though many see leaving, as a tragic act of folly. The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Angela Rayner, told the Guardian newspaper in a recent interview that there was:

"absolutely no way you can disrespect the way people voted. If it was a popular thing on the streets of Britain, there could be another referendum, but until the general public has a change of heart, we're going to exit Europe. The public can make their feelings clear, and there can be a groundswell for it. Politicians are political animals; they're savvy. That's why most of them are saying they respect the vote. But MPs haven't changed their mind on Brexit. Most of them are weeping. They want to stay in Europe because they think this is going to be really damaging. If I got a feeling in my constituency that the public wanted to remain, I'd say 'Brake'." 

We understand that following the Tesco raid last week, the car wash at Tesco Stalybridge has now been closed.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

U.S. Senators support bill making protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestine a crime!

GAZA 2014

WHEN the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that Adolph Hitler had supported 'Zionism', he was denounced in some circles as a Hitler apologist.  However, when he was dragged before Labour's National Constitutional Committee, he wasn't charged with anti-Semitism, but with bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, the catch-all clause favoured by many organisations aimed at silencing and censuring critics within their ranks.

Likewise, when the former chair of 'Momentum', Jackie Walker, stated in a private conversation that:  'Many Jews, my ancestors too, were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade...' she was outed by the 'Israel Advocacy Movement' and accused of anti-Semitism and suspended by the Labour Party. 

Some pundits have argued that many of these type of accusations of anti-Semitism are not only bogus and spurious, but are really  aimed at trying to silence the critics of the Israeli State, such as the peaceful 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' (BDS) movement and anti-Zionist supporters of the Palestinians. The type of people, for example, who condemned the shelling, bombing, and drone strikes, that killed 1500 civilians in Gaza in 2014, one third of them children.  When the man who ordered this attack, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, addressed the US Congress in February 2015, he was given 25 standing ovations.

Other critics have also drawn attention to the way in which countries like the UK have adopted the 'International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance' (IHRA) 'working definition' of anti-Semitism which includes over-sweeping condemnation of the state of Israel. Over 400 words long, this definition of anti-Semitism equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and has already been adopted by the British police to help them decide what can be considered anti-Semitism, previously considered as 'hostility or hatred of Jews as Jews.'

Spurred on by this new IHRA 'working definition' of anti-Semitism, a group of Democratic Senators in America, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and fellow Senator Chuck Schumer, along with twelve other Democratic Senators around the country, are supporting a bipartisan bill that will make the act of protesting against that Israeli occupation of Palestine a crime in the U.S. If the bill gets passed and is signed off by the U.S. President (Dr Strangelove), Donald Trump, then protests action such as supporting the BDS movement, could result in a million dollar fine and 20 years in prison.

Some argue that if the law passes, it will act as a Trojan Horse to dismantle the first amendment that guarantees free speech and a free press and will define those who engage in peaceful political protests as 'terrorists'.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Crummy Jobs: Park Cake Bakeries have their cake and eat it!

Park Cake Bakeries

Anyone who has had the misfortune to be pressed ganged by the Jobcentre onto a so-called government training scheme in Greater Manchester, will have heard of John Hill Biscuits in Ashton-under-Lyne and Park Cake Bakeries in Oldham. For donkey's years, both firms have relied on seasonal casual workers and temps to meet their production needs particularly in the run up to Christmas and other festive periods.

In 2011, employees at Park Cakes in Bolton and Oldham threatened industrial action following the introduction of new employment contracts, which were described as tantamount to 'slave labour' Park Cake were accused by the 'Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union' (BFAWU), of seeking to circumvent the EU 'Temporary Agency Workers Directive' which came into effect in October 2011. This directive (which Conservative leader David Cameron tried to block), entitles agency staff who work for twelve consecutive weeks, with the same employer, to equal rates of pay and basic working conditions with permanent  employees. The cake and dessert maker was accused by the union of creating a "two-tier workforce" by introducing about 30 new permanent staff on minimum wage contracts to drive down terms and conditions, in order to bring in cheap agency labour and zero-hour contracts. 

This afternoon I spoke to a young woman outside Ashton Jobcentre who told us about her experience of working at Park Cake Bakeries in Oldham on a wonderful zero-hour contracts. She explained that there are two agencies now based in Park Cake Bakeries who recruit staff on zero-hour contracts. Having been recruited initially via the Jobcentre, she receives text messages from the agency calling on her to attend the bakery for possible work. She then explained that she was told to sit and wait for two-hours, in the expectation that there might be work, but she would be paid for the second hour. If nothing was available, she is sent home. According to this young woman, around 90% of the staff at the bakery are agency staff. When I asked how she could know this, she said because she could tell agency staff by the colour of the hairnets - red and purple for agencies workers and white for those directly employed by Park Cake.

When  I asked this young woman how she managed to live when she was not getting temporary work, she said she relied on the goodwill and generosity of friends and neighbours. This is the world of work that many now face daily in Tory England. Data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in March of this year, shows that the number of UK workers in zero-hour employment has rocketed to reach a staggering 905,000 people, an increase of 101,000 over the past year alone. Recent research undertaken by Middlesex University found that one-in-20 workers do not get statutory holiday pay and on-in-12 does not get a payslip. Around £1.2bn in wages are unpaid annually. 

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, expect more of this race to the bottom and precarious employment. This country will sold on the basis of low-taxes for the bosses and little or no rights or regulation for the workers. This, we will  be told, is all in the national interest. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

William Morris at Wakefield Socialist History Group

Forwarding the latest  newsletter from the William Morris Society.
The next Wakefield Socialist History Group event, DEMOCRACY UNCHAINED: TOWARDS A REAL DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT, is next Saturday (22 July)1pm at the Red Shed, Vicarage Street, Wakefield WF1.
Alan Stewart
Convenor, Wakefield Socialist History Group
William Morris Society on behalf of William Morris Society
Sent: 15 July 2017 13:02
Subject: Latest news and events from The William Morris Society
Latest news, exhibitions and events from The William Morris Society
View this email in your browser


The William Morris Society

eBulletin no. 16

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

From Belfast to London

by Desi Friel
Where does one begin?  

Someone once told me to write about what I knew and to relate my history in the light of current events.  Many people from our Muslim community have just been victims of a callous and cowardly act of attempted murder.  Call it subliminal horror or a deeply sad series of memories; not buried, but faded over the years.  But as with many others, I grew up in Belfast during one of the worst periods in our recent history.  So imagine if you will, becoming conditioned (beyond the religious nonsense of course), to being forever on your guard and learning to avoid potential danger by taking the right steps at the right time.  

You avoided the choke-points of confrontation, the road blocks (when you could), the inquisitorial nature of the forces of law and order, because you had an evidently Irish name. You left your friends, usually musicians from all sides of your community, said goodbye and hoped that nothing combustible would happen on your way home.  You walk through a park and are forever looking over your shoulder to make sure you are not being followed.  In public places you sit with your back to a wall for the best 180 degree view of your surroundings.

In short, you learn that (beyond the messed-up politics), you are as likely an innocent victim as anyone else.  News seeps in that someone you knew has been abducted by a torturing murder squad; just for being of the opposite persuasion.  Their body is found up the Cave Hill in a pitiful state and your blood boils with the indignation of an affront to humanity. Above all, you cry to the universe that the vast majority of the human beings you know are good, caring, loving people to whom violence is abhorrent.

That wee, insidious , poisonous, deranged minority of lunatics has tried to spread their ignorance and fear to the rest of the reservoir of humanity with whom you live, cheek by jowl.  Retaliation and hatred breeds more retaliation and hatred and spreads like a copy-cat cancer until their ignorance and hatred runs out of steam and they turn their Neanderthal attentions elsewhere.  The dark clouds of our recent tragedies have unveiled a silver lining without parallel, to those who would marginalise the poor and the under-privileged, and who would ignore the calls of those in greatest need.  It screams from the roof-tops: "Look, we will not be cowed, this is how a good and caring community really works.   We give what we can and we help where we may.  We are not idiots and we will show government what caring for society really means".

Fear of what is on the other side of the wall, panting and snuffling and following, can be crippling because you know that at the end of the wall there is a gap and that soon you either have to turn face and run, or confront your ignorance.   When you get to the gap you have been fearing, the friendly poodle licks your hand and your relief is compounded by the pride you take in having overcome your fear.

Most rational people have little doubt that those in so-called power may be nothing else but the mouth-pieces of the mandarins and oligarchs; perhaps the puppeteers need to listen as well as pulling the strings.  Love really is all there is
Desi xxx

Are we facing a Biafran Genocide 50 years on?

by Solomon Egbo (Coordinator for IPOB Manchester)

THIS article is written in the hope that another genocide in Nigeria can be prevented.  Most of the developed world stood back as the Biafran War, which started 50 years ago on July 6th. 1967, descended into genocide.

During the war there were great shortages of food and medicine throughout Biafra, due largely to the Nigerian and British governments' blockade of the region. Furthermore the destruction of Biafra was as much about the protection of strategic British interests in Biafra as it was for the Federal Government to retain control of this oil rich region. Only when images of Biafran children flooded Western media, did the world began to pay attention. 

Whereas nations stood back many individuals showed their abhorence of the mindless slaughter.John Lennon returned his MBE order to the Queen in protest at the UK's involvement in the Biafran War. 20 year old Student, Bruce Mayrock,   burnt himself to death outside the United Nation’s Headquarters in protest against the killings.  He took his own life for people whom he never met before.

Two more young men in Lille, France, also took their lives  in January 1970. One 16 ‐year‐old set himself afire in his school  playground . His suicide note said “I offer myself to atone for the wrongs committed in Biafra, against war, violence and the folly of men.” The other, a 19 year old, left this message “ I did it as a sign of protest against violence, to see love again.” Both received church rites from the Right Reverend Adrien Gand, Bishop of Lille, who said “Only God, who gives us life, may take it back. But how can we fail to see that the cruel reality of the world is striking the young. They await our witness, the testimony of our hope and of our engagement.”

The recent death of Steve Jobs, co- founder of Apple, has propelled Biafra back into the news again. His  biography, written by Walter Isaacson, says that Biafra was instrumental in  Jobs  renunciation of his  Christian faith when as a  13-year-old he confronted his Church pastor with a photograph of two starving Biafran children on the cover of Life magazinebut failed to get a satisfactory answer as to why God allowed such things to happen.

There has been of persecution of the Igbos  and christians prior to and since the Biafran War. For now though, paraphrasing the Bishop's  words we need to bear witness  and engage  in preventing a repeat of the Biafran tragedy.

President Buhari came to power in 2015 in an election when he was actively sponsored by British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama. Seen as a strong figure, a former military dictator of his country, but as other administrations have done his  still 'tolerates' terrorism.

An example of this is state sponsored terrorism in allowing Fulani herdsmen freedom to herd their cattle anywhere and when  challenged they have killed thousands of unarmed men (mainly Igbos) and committed other atrocities. The killing goes unpunished by the state and a President who is a Felani himself! This is not a new phenomena as Christians across the north have been persecuted and killed in increasing numbers over the years.

However the emergence of groups like IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) peacefully campaigning again for Biafra to be recognised as an independent state has led to an extreme reaction from muslims in the north.

An ultimatum has been issued by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (ACYF), a coalition of socio-political groups in northern Nigeria, giving a three months ultimatum for all Igbos in the 19 northern states to vacate the region. If the Igbos fail to leave by the October 1, 2017, the group said, it would use force to evict the Igbos. They also threatened to take over all the  properties of the Igbos after they had left the region. In a press conference in Kaduna AYFC President,  Yerima Shettima, claimed that an event staged by Igbo groups, was a threat to the country’s national security. This was a 'sit at home' protest organised by the Supreme Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra groups, IPOB and MASSOB, in remembrance of the Biafra  war that led to the death of  an estimated 6.5 million people.#

What is the Federal Government doing you might ask? Althouh there is no attempt to prosecute terrorist attacks by Fulani herdsmen theNigeria Department of State Service (DSS) have previously unlawfully detained, by order of President Buhari, the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and thousands of IPOB and Massob supporters have  been killed by security forces, 'disappeared' or unlawfully imprisoned. This is nothing short of state sponsored terrorism.

These events are met with almost deathening silence across the world, indeed   under Cameron and now May, the British Government are condoning these atrocities by not speaking out.History shows the UK bears a large share of the blame because of how it organised the transition to an independent Nigeria.

I feel there is an urgent need for the United Nations to set up a commission for truth and recognise that Biafrans are an indigenous people exercising 'THEIR RIGHT FOR SELF DETERMINATION' .
The Biafran Genocide is pending and  I ask you to listen to this cry for justice and act  to alert politicians here and around the world of their responsibility to prevent a recurrence of the trajedy  50 years ago.

# See Nigeria: 'Bullets were raining everywhere': Deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists.
November 2016 Amnesty.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Coup at Freedom?

IT seems that there has been a kind of coup at Freedom, with Simon Saunders (the acting editor of Freedom) getting rid of Andy [Meinke].  It's not easy to follow what's going on, but on his Facebook page on the 8th, June, Andy [Meinke] writes:
If the saga of my suspension was a sign of Freedom taking misogyny and patriarchy seriously it would be worth it.  In fact the majority of people involved in Freedom have just abdicated any responsibility for dealing with these issues.
  Meantime Freedom has another issue which illustrates perfectly what's wrong with the group at the moment.  Someone wrote an article for the Freedom website about the disruption of a pro Syrian government meeting at the Marx Memorial Library.  The acting Freedom editor (Simon Saunders) refuses to put it on the website saying attacking the far left is not what Freedom is concentrating on....   However the Editors paid job is for the Morning Star newspaper.  That should be something that he is aware of and reflects on his own potential and perceived bias however when this conflict of interest is pointed out by her he responds by saying she's "internet stalking him"....   Comrades are entitled to know what the Editor of Freedom does for a living.'

There's more, much more, but it just looks like a cheap power struggle between Andy Meinke and Simon Saunders.  We'll just have wait and see if the Friends of Freedom can do anything to improve things.

An Alternative View:

My own feeling is Andy wouldn't have been deposed by just one person. Others must have at the very least provided Simon with tacit support.

Simon shouldn't have any problems with either the CPB or the Morning Star. They're on fairly good terms with senior people in the Greens (esp those who have an anarchist bent), Stop the War and Corbyn's Labour.

To take a public position on Syria can invite intense harassment and denunciation from opponents.
Chances are the event at the Marx Memorial Library referred to is the one in this article.


(“FREEDOM’s” posthumous annual report 2 – July 2017) 
by Christopher Draper

REGULAR readers will recall how FREEDOM – one of the world’s longest running radical newspapers was destroyed by authoritarian “class warriors” who refuse to vacate its valuable (£1.5m) London premises.  FREEDOM’s Board (FFP) is obliged to resume publication of the newspaper but for two years made negligible efforts to regain the building or restore FREEDOM and effectively colludes with clowns claiming rents from fellow occupants of their self-proclaimed “anarcho-hangout”.  This situation provides nothing for anarchists around the country and achieves even less in spreading anarchist ideas.  On the contrary this whole embarrassing episode is a text-book example of anarchist ineptitude.  NORTHERN VOICES will not collude with this nonsense and we’re happy to expose the absurdist antics of the clown “collective”.

Andy Exits the Circus
Two of the funniest clowns Simon Saunders (“Computer Game-boy”) and Andy Meinke (“Beer-belly”) are jealous performers.  Last year they laughably named and blacklisted four of our NV team for publishing critical reviews.  Simon issued a fatwah – the Northern Voices 4: “should not be given any support by anarchist or progressive organisations…they should not be welcome in anarchist spaces nor published in anarchist outlets – they are persona non grata…”   Now Saunders has banned his fellow clown!  Apparently Andy over-indulged in the beer tent, made off-colour remarks about female artistes and on 7th June 2017 was sacked by the clown collective.  Simple Simon is now ringmaster but the Big Top’s tatty, the audience has drifted away and new management is itching for change.

Last Laugh?
Just a year ago Andy taunted audiences mourning the loss of FREEDOM with his arrogant boast, “Kropotkin might have started it but we fucking finished it”.
You might recall, Simon first entered the Big Top selling Syndicalist programmes whilst simultaneously proclaiming ignorance of anarchist politics – now he claims infallibility.  What a funny old circus!  There’s no performance and the Big Top leaks like a sieve.  Can a pair of plucky new governors save the day?

  Vero Richard’s Dying Circus
Decades ago, when wily old ringmaster Vero Richards re-founded the FREEDOM tradition he was smart enough to create a board of management (FFP) to guarantee the set-up after his death but before he was in his grave miscreants moved in, drove away audiences and threatened outsiders. When aged ex-performer Brian Bamford turned up at last year’s FFP AGM he was knocked to the ground by clowns Andy and Simon, whilst FFP Company Secretary Sorba deleted the digital evidence from the victim’s camera.  What a performance!

New Friends of FREEDOM
Now the show’s over, the clowns have had their day and the audience want their money back. Fortunately, since last year’s AGM management has been refreshed. There are now nine FFP members and the majority are not amused.  FFP now comprises the following nine members;
Stephen Charles Sorba – director of a printworks
Carolyn Jane Wilson - cycle trainer
Jason Holdway - unemployed (rarely attends FFP meetings)
Martin Howard - compiled quizzes for “Black Flag”
David Goodway - libertarian writer and historian
Ernest Rodker - veteran peace campaigner
Jayne Clementson - long-time stalwart of “old” FREEDOM
David John Douglass - libertarian communist ex-coal miner
Peter Marshall - anarchist author of “Demanding the Impossible”

Past Failures
Until now the FFP Board failed every bit as badly as the “collective” to act as anarchists, both preferring to operate as secretive cabals, accountable to nobody.  Neither “collective” nor FFP publishes minutes or identifies its members.  Fortunately, our contacts abound and NV is proud to Wikileak details of what’s been going on.  Now it’s time for radical change.
Whilst the first four people on our FFP list - Sorba, Wilson, Holdway, Howard seem determined not to re-establish the open-minded anarchism that long characterised FREEDOM the last five named are more solid FRIENDS OF FREEDOM.  Significantly the sectarian four all exist in the London bubble (with at least 3, Sorba, Wilson and Holdway concentrated in the South East corner of that bubble), whilst Goodway travels to meetings from Keighley, Marshall journeys from Plymouth and Douglass from South Shields.
Northern Voices has always criticised FFP’s London bias only to be dismissed by ringmaster Saunders for speaking “from the other side of Britain”!
FREEDOM newspaper was formerly the forum for anarchists across Britain, now the Aldgate “anarcho-hangout” is no more than clubrooms for metropolitans.  Anarchists are supposed to reject structures that dis-empower yet the collective are content to exploit their privileged position as Londoners.  Merely to travel to the FREEDOM building is an expensive disincentive for many anarchists around the country yet neither the “collective” nor FFP rotates its meetings around England or even offers a fare-pool so for the recent AGM NV put its money where our mouth is and chipped in £40 to enable one of the northern FFP members to attend.

Anarchism Begins at Home
From their next meeting in October 2017, FFP need to start acting as anarchists and tackle this issue.   Either move your meetings around the country or share the costs.  It is written into FFP’s formal constitution (para. 32) that members attending should have their expenses paid but this has just been ignored by Company Secretary Sorba and guess where he lives.
Next, FFP must put the old FREEDOM building up for sale.  It was bought to provide premises to layout and print the paper but this is no longer required to publish either an electronic or print edition. A sale would raise £1.5m to £2.0m which could finance a publications fund split between maintaining a new high quality FREEDOM anarchist news site and a separate book-publishing programme of say two titles per year.  This could be overseen by a publications sub-committee of FFP.  A website editor could be appointed by this group and granted, say, a renewable, modest biannual stipend.
The existing fixed metropolitan asset must be liquidated to discontinue further privileging a London elite and refocus on the needs of the widely scattered, isolated anarchist community.  When the clowns trashed FREEDOM and cast aside the loyalty of former subscribers, only FFP member and FREEDOM stalwart Jayne Clementson expressed any sensitivity or understanding of the harm they caused to the anarchist movement.

Time for a Change
Since FREEDOM was shut down Northern Voices has ceaselessly campaigned for a revival.  We’re heartened by the exit of Meinke and appointment of Dave Douglass and Peter Marshall and encouraged by the response of someone close to the collective, “I have no doubt your group’s commendable efforts precipitated this”, but fine words butter no parsnips.  We call on Dave Douglass and Peter Marshall to put some iron into the soul of other well-intentioned but irresolute FRIENDSFREEDOM, like the Norwegian Blue, might appear deceased but now, in July 2017, the FRIENDS have the individuals, the ideas and the resources to get FREEDOM squawking again. They owe it to anarchists around the country not to let a few London clowns reduce our whole political philosophy and movement to chucking custard pies.

Christopher Draper – for Northern Voices (July 2017)

Freedom's Metropolitan Bubble Bursts!

Anarchist Publishing House Broadens its Base
by Brian Bamford
LAST Monday at this year's Annual General Meeting, the Friends of Freedom Press have appointed two new directors from outside London.  In doing so, with the appointment of the former miner and trade unionist, David Douglass from Tyneside, and the writer, Peter Marshall from Plymouth, they have effectively broken the stranglehold of a metropolitan political clan which has continually served to castrate the publication of Freedom as a serious intellectual voice of radical anarchism.
News over the weekend came out that the Freedom Bookshop manager, Andy Meinke, is leaving his job, but it is still unclear as to whether he is leaving of his own accord or if he has been dismissed by the unofficial Freedom Collective, over which he had a degree of influence.  A year ago Mr. Meinke was questioned by the Metropolitan Police after an incident in the Freedom Press Bookshop in which he played a role trying to prevent someone from participating in last year's Friends of Freedom Press' AGM.
The story of the strange departure of Mr. Meinke came to Northern Voices on the evening of the 16th, June, when we got the following e-mail from someone unknown to us in London:
'Thought you would like to know I was listening to Dissident Island Radio earlier this evening. Andy Meinke, has a regular five minute slot on the two-hour show.  He said at the end of his usual schtick that he was leaving Freedom and there would be a farewell drink in the shop at 2pm this Sunday' 
Almost a week later this same source informed us:
'The edition of Dissident Island Radio I referred to last week is online.  The final section of Andy's slot where he mentions leaving has been removed and one of the shows sweary radio idents has been inserted to camouflage the edit.  Heaven knows what he's up to.'
Later, our informant further updated us:
'The situation has spilled over on to Facebook with Meinke and others, including that anarchist can't recall his name who works for the Morning Star (editor: this is presumably Simon Saunders, formally from Ipswich). Facebook is a no-go zone for me so I haven't followed it'
Our informant ends up with a warning by saying:
'I have no doubt your group's commendable actions precipitated this.  The only questions remaining are what carnage will be discovered in his wake, and if the place (Freedom Press Bookshop) doesn't collapse, who will replace him.'
Another metropolitan pundit writes today in response to the news of Mr. Meinke's departure:
'Good news for Freedom.  Maybe not so good for wherever he ends up next.' 
Ultimately. the Friends of Freedom Press (FFP) themselves, particularly the FFP Secretary Steven Charles Sorba appointed as secretary of FFP in 2002, should be asking themselves how they came to allow someone like Andy Meinke to be employed for so long, empowered as a virtual overlord to very dubious goings on, without the directors applying any obvious restraints. It may be just a coincidence but the decline of Freedom newspaper seems to date from 2002, when Harold Schulthorpe, then living in Hebden Bridge, resigned as secretary of FFP, and Steve Sorba took over.
Those readers interested in the details could do worse than read Chris Draper's accounts of the history of Freedom:

Carillion's Share Price & other comments

 N.V. Editor:  
  Yesterday, Construction News reported:  
' “Grisly” is how one analyst described Carillion’s profit warning this morning.  
Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalef was speaking after the Wolverhampton-based contractor issued a profit warning on contracts worth £845m, which could cost the business up to £150m in 2017 and 2018. Chief executive Richard Howson has stepped down with immediate effect, Carillion Building managing director Phil Wakefield has left the company after more than a decade leading the division, and a “comprehensive review of the business” will be undertaken.'

Below also is yesterday's website response of the well-know whistle-blower, Alan Wainwright, on the now notorious Consulting Association blacklist in the British building trade:  Here is what he has to say about Carillion:
As Carillion collapses and Howsen resigns, let us not forget all their lies in relation to the blacklisting.

It's all HERE

On 1 October 2016 Sky News reported that Carillion's Chief Executive, Philip Green had been in talks with Teresa May about a role advising her on 'responsible business'.

Sky News Report - 1 October 2016 
The report also revealed that Mr Green had been advising David Cameron on 'corporate social responsibility' during his tenure.
This beggars belief!
Now Carillion's position...
"Crown House, the only Carillion subsidiary to use the Consulting Association's database, stopped doing so back in 2004. The practice was proactively stopped because the HR manager responsible for checking the database believed it was wrong." a total pack of lies.
I set out all the facts and evidence disproving their lies in my three letters to Philip Green and the other Carillion non-executive directors in January, March and April 2016.

You can view all three letters and the evidence HERE 
This was ignored by Mr Green, all the other Carillion non-execs, and the politicians who were copied in on this (see below).

This was recently highlighted to my MP, David Hanson in October 2016, who subsequently wrote to the Prime Minister highlighting the facts. The PM responded in late October 2016, stating that she had referred this to the business department.

Over three months has now passed and no further response has been received to date. David has therefore submitted a formal written question to the Secretary of State for Business, which can be viewed HERE 
Okay, so I expect nothing less from the Tories who are quite happy to turn a blind eye to Carillion's lies, but look who else was copied in on the correspondence over a year ago and did nothing about it.
Pete Wishart - Chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee
Jim Eadie - Infrastructure and Capital Investments Committee
John McDonnell - Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Steve Mogford - Carillion Non-exec
Andrew Dougal - Carillion Non-exec
Alison Horner - Carillion Non-exec
Ceri Powell - Carillion Non-exec
Keith Cochrane - Carillion Non-exec

Meanwhile, Sam Dean and Rhiannon Bury in the Daily Telegraph report::):
Hedge funds pocketed huge windfalls yesterday after more than £300m was wiped off Carillion’s stock market value on Monday as the building contractor warned on profits, axed its dividend and parted company with its chief executive.

Carillion is the most shorted stock in the FTSE 250, with more than 25pc of its shares on loan to short-sellers. Its shares crashed 39.04pc at 117.1p, shedding £322.6m in value.

Short-sellers make one-way bets that a company’s share price will fall rather than rise, profiting when it does so.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Blacklist Support Group update 10th July 2017:

1. One word. Shocking. Undercover Police Monitored And Spied On Jeremy Corbyn for 20 years. Jeremy as ever has the BSG's full support
2. Did Undercover Police Target Grenfell Residents Who Raised Fears About Safety?
Dave Smith representing. As above with Jeremy, the Grenfell residents can count on the BSG's support. As a Hillsborough survivor, i can assure the victims of the fire that they can count on our solidarity too 
3. Blacklisted worker Roy Bentham causes the establishment and mainstream media to go into frenzy after being elected to a union liaison role in Wavertree Labour Party

4. Protest in solidarity with great comrade of the Blacklist Support Group Bob Carnegie  over Lendlease. Special mention to BSG member Keith Dobie in coordinating last weeks demonstration against Haringey Council regarding their partnership with the rogue company.
5.  There was a protest outside Housing conference  in Manchester Central (GMEX) on Thursday 29th June when the Mears CEO was speaking. 
Maintenance workers, employed by Mears and working on social housing in Manchester, are in the middle of 12 weeks of strike action over unequal pay and attacks on terms and conditions. 
The BSG sends its support and solidarity
6.  'Blacklisted' book (echoing union activists) describes umbrella payroll companies in the construction industry as a giant scam designed to deny workers basic employment rights and at the same time deprive the tax man of billions in revenue. 
Now the bosses who orchestrated these schemes are starting to be sent to jail.
7. Blacklisted workers travelled from across the country to the big Tories Out demonstration last Saturday. 
8.  Calling all blacklisted workers or associates in the Manchester area!
MIF are working with the Turner Prize-nominated visual artist Phil Collins on a project for the Manchester International Festival on July 16th. Phil’s project is a very timely examination of current day working practices - minimum wage, zero hours contracts, blacklisting and exploitation. 
Get yourself along if you are in the area.
9. Great result at the Football Supporters Federation AGM on Sunday at the FA National Centre in Burton. 70 Football fan groups voted in favour of boycotting the S*n from their respective clubs.
10. 21st June. Jeremy Corbyn received one of our justice campaigns banner t shirts at a recent Unite Executive Council meeting in Holborn during an impromptu visit.
11. Durham Miners Gala. 8th July
Plenty of BSG members in attendance at an event which garnered record crowds with Jeremy addressing a reported 200,000 supporters. Don't forget Tolpuddle this weekend.  
12. Private Investigators spying on union and fracking activists

And finally best wishes to brother Dave Smith who is studying hard to get his PHD nailed. 
I'd also like to thank everyone within the group for campaigning magnificently on behalf of the Labour Party during the election too. 
Never forget. We are the many 
Roy Bentham (joint secretary)
Blacklist Support Group 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Sam Smith's eccentric owner launches a "crusade against profanity."!

The Yorkshire brewery, Samuel Smith, based in Tadcaster, run over 300 pubs in Britain and sell some of the cheapest ale in the country. Even in London, it is still possible in some places to get four pints of Sam Smith's for under a tenner. Yet, you would be hard pressed to find a Sam Smith's pub in any locality, because the brewer some years ago, took the unusual decision not to advertise outside their pubs. In 2004, it also banned music from its pubs and now, it has called time on swearing.

The pub chain is run by 72-year-old Humphry Smith, an eccentric Yorkshireman, who according to some of his customers, "habitually dresses up as a tramp and poses as a customer to make sure his rules are being enforced." The head of the Sam Smith's brewery empire, rarely gives interviews and expects the same of his staff. One of the brewery's landlords, however, did tell the press that Smith ruled the pub chain with "an iron fist."

Last month, customers drinking in the Arlington Hotel in North Yorkshire, were confronted by a "mystery man", who yelled - "Everybody out.". Customers say he closed the bar and locked the doors behind them, without giving a reason. The pub was then reopened four days later. One newspaper claimed that a telephone call to the pub seeking an explanation for the incident, resulted in a "no comment." However, in April this year, Samuel Smith's brewery did announce that it would refuse to serve customers who swore, in any of its 300 +pubs.

By all accounts, Smith's idiosyncratic and eccentric behaviour, "is the source of local legend and seems to know no bounds." It is alleged that on one occasion, he walked into a pub and found some people swearing, and sacked the managers on the spot. Some customers at the Commercial Inn in Oldham, also claim that Smith once sacked a bar worker for not giving him the correct change. On New Year's Eve 2011, Smith closed the Junction Inn in Royton, Oldham, because he alleged the landlords were overfilling pints glasses. He then issued a retrospective surcharge of £10,733 for lost stock over a 12-year period.

Sam Smith customers have given their own reactions to Humphrey Smith's "crusade against profanity." Steve, 59, a HGV driver from Oldham, told the Guardian that he thought Smith was a "complete idiot" and thought that his no swearing policy was "absolutely ridiculous" - "It's crazy. Everybody does it, I don't care who they are. When you're in a pub you might have a game of cards, and when somebody wins you might say, 'you jammy bastards'." One customer who was known as the "Vicar", by patrons of the Commercial Inn in nearby Shaw, told the newspaper that Smith's campaign against "effing and jeffing" was only the tip of the iceberg. He said the pub had not only banned swearing, but also standing at the bar as well as talking and using a mobile phone.  

Although Smith, is said to run a tight ship, the verdict of many Sam Smith customers who spoke to the press, was that it was unlikely that his edict on swearing would be observed at many of his watering holes. Craig, 38, a cable jointer from Oldham, told the Guardian - "To be honest if you banned everyone who was swearing in a pub, you wouldn't have a business...Are they going to send you outside to swear?"