Time to organise is now
No to privatisation of the NHS
United Campaign to Repeal the Anti Trade Union Laws
We reject these cuts as simply malicious ideological vandalism, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Join us in the fight
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Tony Benn and 73 others guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 4 August 2010 15.32 BST Article historyIt is time to organise a broad movement of active resistance to the Con-Dem government's budget intentions. They plan the most savage spending cuts since the 1930s, which will wreck the lives of millions by devastating our jobs, pay, pensions, NHS, education, transport, postal and other services.
The government claims the cuts are unavoidable because the welfare state has been too generous. This is nonsense. Ordinary people are being forced to pay for the bankers' profligacy.
The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VAT to 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target the most vulnerable disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBT people and pensioners.
Women are expected to bear 75% of the burden. The poorest will be hit six times harder than the richest. Internal Treasury documents estimate 1.3 million job losses in public and private sectors.
We reject this malicious vandalism and resolve to campaign for a radical alternative, with the level of determination shown by trade unionists and social movements in Greece and other European countries.
This government of millionaires says "we're all in it together" and "there is no alternative". But, for the wealthy, corporation tax is being cut, the bank levy is a pittance, and top salaries and bonuses have already been restored to pre-crash levels.
An alternative budget would place the banks under democratic control, and raise revenue by increasing tax for the rich, plugging tax loopholes, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, abolishing the nuclear "deterrent" by cancelling the Trident replacement.
An alternative strategy could use these resources to: support welfare; develop homes, schools, and hospitals; and foster a green approach to public spending investing in renewable energy and public transport, thereby creating a million jobs.
We commit ourselves to:
Oppose cuts and privatisation in our workplaces, community and welfare services.
Fight rising unemployment and support organisations of unemployed people.
Develop and support an alternative programme for economic and social recovery.
Oppose all proposals to "solve" the crisis through racism and other forms of scapegoating.
Liaise closely with similar opposition movements in other countries.
Organise information, meetings, conferences, marches and demonstrations.
Support the development of a national co-ordinating coalition of resistance.
We urge those who support this statement to attend the Organising Conference on 27 November 2010 (10am-5pm), at Camden Centre, Town Hall, London, WC1H 9JE.
It's an attack on everyone
Thursday 10 December 2009
Thanks to the vicious anti-union laws, Britain suffers the unenviable distinction of being the European leader in chopping workers' jobs without difficulty.
But let's give three not-so-hearty cheers for our government. It has managed or, at any rate, is trying to manage, to make it even easier - for itself.
Mind you, as an employer, it has several advantages in that respect. Not only does it employ hundreds of thousands of people, it also makes the laws which restrict their rights while in employment.
You would have thought that that would be enough advantage for any boss but, apparently, the government doesn't think so.
In addition to the anti-union laws that all workers labour under, it has now decided that it is perfectly entitled to unilaterally change the agreed compensation levels for its own staff if it makes them redundant, and to hell with existing agreements.
Gordon Brown announced this perfidious bit of nonsense earlier in the week and, thankfully, the Civil Service unions said yesterday that they would mount both a legal and an industrial challenge to it.
This isn't one of Mr Brown's soundbite measures. Nor is it a mere knee-jerk response to the bank-manufactured crisis and the resulting cash shortage.
Rather, it is a large part of a long-planned and still proceeding assault on public services in this country by new Labour in the service of the European Union.
Pay no regard to Tory arguments about an over-large public sector, the reduction in the size of the state machinery is an essential part of the EU free-marketeering strategy which sees the shrinkage of state provision and the elimination of all but the most basic of social services as an integral part of the new privatised Europe that it envisages for all of our futures.
Private pension schemes, the penetration of the NHS by private medicine, housing associations co-opted into policing unemployed tenants - they have already displaced municipal housing, after all - the demolition of the Civil Service, all this and more can be traced back to an attack on democratically controlled civil society and nearly all of it is coming about using the agency of the diktats of the nascent EU super-capitalist superstate.
And Mr Brown's latest assault on the Civil Service is an integral part of it.
It certainly wasn't unpremeditated. The government has been cancelling scheduled meeting with the unions to discuss the situation for months.
After all, if you are going to do a hatchet job on civil society, the first thing you have to do is make sure that you can do it on the cheap.
The sheer scale of the exercise, however, is enough to take your breath away.
If the saving from capping redundancy payments amounts to an incredible £500 million over three years, just how many jobs are they plotting to axe?
Half a billion quid in capping is a lot of jobs in anyone's book, so what will be left of public services at the end of it? The answer is, unfortunately, precious little.
The evidence is already there. Only yesterday, the House of Commons public accounts committee drew attention to loss of expertise by the Customs Service when it cut staff administering stamp duty from 400 to 135.
But unpaid tax is on the rise, with £11.2 billion of the £27.7 billion owed in March this year unlikely ever to be collected. That is 40 per cent of the total, almost double the 23 per cent level in 2006 and an increase of £3.3 billion on last year's figure. It's not all stamp duty, but the message is clear.
Cut the Civil Service and you cut civil society - and that's just what the EU and its financier bosses want.
Cut civil society and with it goes a century of progress and struggle by the working class.
So it's not just a blast at Civil Service benefits, it's part of a concerted attack on the working class as a whole and, as a result, must be resisted by us all.
Anti-Trident lobby gets stronger
Wednesday 09 September 2009 by Adrian Roberts
Anti-nuclear campaigners have welcomed the formation of a new group of ex-ministers and retired senior military officers who are calling for multilateral disarmament.
The Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation group is part of a growing movement of senior politicians from across the political spectrum who are highlighting the urgency of moving towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
In the US a similar group has been formed by former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who wrote recently to the NY times setting out the case for multilateral disarmament.
The announcement of the group's formation comes at a time of renewed debate about the £76 billion project to replace Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system.
As reported in Wednesday's Morning Star, a ComRes opinion poll yet again showed a substantial majority of voters in favour of scrapping Trident, with 58 per cent opposed compared with only 35 per cent in favour.
The group includes former Labour ministers Des Browne, Margaret Beckett, John Reid and Lord Robertson, senior Conservatives Malcolm Rifkind and Michael Ancram and three former chiefs of the defence staff, General Lord Guthrie, Field Marshal Lord Inge and Admiral Lord Boyce.
Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams, an internationally acknowledged expert in this area, will also join the group.
CND chairwoman Kate Hudson said that the formation of such a high-level coalition underlined the urgency of the task facing governments, including Britain, to ensure progress on disarmament.
"Serious steps must be taken towards disarmament, otherwise we will see the further spread of these most dangerous of weapons," she said.
"The cross-party nature of this group shows how nuclear disarmament is taken increasingly seriously across the political spectrum.'
Ms Hudson added that CND also strongly supports the group's goal of reaching a common European position on the withdrawal of the remaining 200 US nuclear weapons in Europe.
"Rapidly reaching a consensus on this could feed into the current rewriting of NATO's 'strategic concept.'
"The 'sharing' of US nuclear weapons with Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Turkey contradicts both the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and NATO's international non-proliferation policy."
Royal Mail Privatisation
Royal Mail Early Day Motion, Ask your MP To add His /Her Support
To all the owners of the Royal Mail,
(this means you), as it's a publicly owned industry.
Do you realise what the government is trying to do to your Postal service and the effect it will have on your service?
In the 1980's and early 90's the Thatcher Government pulled off the greatest national con in history, they used Public money to advertise shares to the Public in nearly all the service industries that the Public already owned. They justified this on the grounds that competition was good, would force the prices down while using shareholders money to improve the services concerned.
Well that worked didn't it? We the taxpayers are still subsidising the "Private" Railway industry (while the shareholders still get a dividend), and I for one cannot think of any of the privatised industries that are cheaper or better than when they were Nationalised industries. In fact most of them have been allowed to put their prices up, way above the rate of inflation year on year ever since privatisation.
But in 1994 the Thatcher Government were soundly defeated in their attempt to privatise our Postal Service, the general consensus being, that it would not be in the Public interest.
In 1997 we voted in a new Government "New Labour" and although one of their Manifesto commitments was that they had "No plans to privatise the Postal Industry"
It seems that was exactly what they set out to do.
First step;- The previous Government had allowed the Post Office to take a 13 year Pensions holiday ( because the pension fund was in surplus).
When New Labour got in one of the first things they did was to Tax pension funds.
Result-now a £5.9 Billion pension deficit, and climbing.
Second step;- Open our Postal service to competition from the European Union, 3 years before they were supposed to, and by the way the rest of Europe baulked at doing it themselves, the new "target" for them is 2011.
Result -- Now TNT, DHL, etc; are all over here taking our profit. But we cannot compete over there.
Third step;- Appoint Alan Leighton as Chairman (a known privatiser, who lives in Canada and pays no tax on his salary or bonuses), who in turn appointed Crozier who came from messing up the F.A. and knows exactly that much about the Postal industry, but takes £2-3 million in salary and bonus per year out of the industry.
Result -- Much later deliveries, thousands of town and rural sub offices closed, many Crown offices sold off to W.H.Smiths, (privatisation by any other name). Going from putting £500 million a year into the exchequer - to making a loss.
Fourth step;- When the Postal staff went on strike because they had their Pension and attendance times changed by executive action, stand to lose 40-50 thousand jobs, their canteens have been closed, their Union ignored, their jobs made harder, are bullied and treated with contempt by managers.
The Government promise a Postal review, John Hutton M.P. oversees the Hooper review, the interim report looks favourable to the Unions viewpoint, the review is due to be published in October 2008, is not, John Hutton is moved sideways and Mandleson (a known privatiser) is made a lord and put in charge.
Result -- The Hooper review reappears, much changed and recommending, ............ partial privatisation, Mandleson says 49% sell off (mooted as probably TNT) one of our European competitors, who we are not allowed to compete with in their own market.
49% exactly what they sold off of B.T. (to start with)......But was soon fully private.
He has backed off a tad and now says a 30% sell off, after getting a drubbing on National television. But it's a safe bet that the end game will be total privatisation.
Unlike Thatcher you may notice that New Labour have cut out the middle man (you), they do not intend to give the owners of the Post Office (you) the chance to have a say in how it is run, by holding shares.
What will this mean to your Postal Service?
Leighton, his cohorts and successor favour the Dutch system.
Which is, only handling letters which can be machine sorted down to walk order, can be packed into pouches which will then be delivered by part time workers (they envisage 84% of Postal delivery staff being part time by 2011).
The part time workers in Holland are mostly women who drop their children at school, pick up a pouch or so from the school and deliver the letters. (Royal Mail has already been talking to schools).
Other part time staff will collect the pouches from lock up garages etc; which means Royal Mail can also sell of the majority of Delivery offices.
So how far away will the new Delivery Processing office be from you if you have to collect something?, because you have the effrontery to be at work when delivery is attempted.
You may have noticed that there is no mention of packets, recorded, registered or any other special delivery service! Now what, I wonder will the 30 or 49% sell off consist of?
Surely not all the profit making products? And how much will they then go up by?
The hijacked Hooper report says that we are a loss making industry, compared to those of Europe !
It does not take into account that they are over here now taking our profit, nor does it stress that it may be because the European Postal industries charge up to three times the amount that we do, in their own countries!
So instead of the best and cheapest Postal service in the world (as it was a few short years ago), serviced by mostly friendly, honest, caring and helpful staff, which cost you the same to send an item 800 miles as it does to send it next door.
YOU WILL GET A SERVICE RUN FOR PRIVATE PROFIT.
(Zoned pricing has been mentioned)!
Your Posties will most likely lose their livelihood as well as getting a reduced pension.
Who pays for poor pensioners or those out of work? YOU DO, THE TAX PAYER.
Pass the word.
Write to your M.P. Demand the Postal service that you deserve (because you own it).
Also sign this petition only 5900 have signed, it should be all voters.
We can give you the service you want and deserve !
Unless of course, Mandleson gets his way.
I apologise in advance if we have to go on strike to protect our jobs and your service, we don't want to (it costs us money), but it is after all the only weapon we have left.
KEEP THE POST PUBLIC !
Please send this to all your e-mail contacts, - Friends and family.
CWU, A.D.R. (T.W.)
Royal Mail privatisation
Prescott says Royal Mail privatisation plans can't work
9th February 2009
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has questioned the practicalities of privatising part of Royal Mail while the Government takes responsibilities for pensions.
Attending a two day Labour Party conference for Yorkshire and Humberside, Mr Prescott questioined how Royal Mail pensions could be with the Government while the terms and conditions relating to other matters remained with the company. "Pensions and pay usually come together, its just not practical," said Mr Prescott, who reasserted his total opposition to the part privatisation plans put forward by Business minister Peter Mandelson. Mr Prescott was speaking to CWU officials at their stand.
Labour MEPs Richard Corbett and Linda McAvan both signed the CWU petition expressing support for a fully publically owned Royal Mail.
There was also total support from Yorkshire and Humberside constituency labour parties for Royal Mail remaining in public ownership with 90 per cent of delegates signing the petition.
Addressing a fringe meeting at the conference Labour MP John Grogan expressed his "disgust" that there is talk about privatising a profitable concern like Royal Mail while the debts of the banks can apparently be nationalised.
The conference was attended by a number of members of the Government, including health minister Alan Johnson, deputy leader Harriet Harman, education minister Ed Balls and Europe minister Caroline Flint.
The Daily Mirror
By Paul Routledge 12/09/2008
A decade ago I campaigned for reform of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.
I was appalled to discover that half the fund's annual surplus, often amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds, was stolen by the Treasury.
That's because it is a Tory scheme, forced on the miners as part of Thatcher's revenge for the great strike of 1984.
Labour, I argued, should end this scandal. Ed Balls, now a Cabinet minister but then Chancellor Brown's chief economic adviser, promised to "do something".
But nothing has happened. Since then, a massive £3billion has been siphoned off.
Neither the Government nor British Coal have put a penny into the fund since 1987, while some pit pensioners receive less than £10 a week.
Admittedly, the Government has paid compensation for industrial injuries to many thousands of miners and their widows. But this legalised theft means they are paying for their own compensation.
How crooked can you get? As Yorkshire miner Steve Mace puts it: "Even Dick Turpin had the common decency to wear a mask."
The National Union of Mineworkers is now campaigning for the return of the stolen millions. More power to their arm.
NUM CONFERENCE VOWS TO FIGHT OVER PENSIONS THEFT
20 JULY 2008
The Conference of the National Union of Mineworkers has vowed to take its campaign to stop the government raiding the pension surpluses of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme to a new level./b]
Keith Stanley the NUM Vice-President said since 1987 the government has stolen £3 billion from the Scheme surpluses and contribution holidays accrued under the days of British Coal.
He pointed out that when the industry was privatised a trustee from the breakaway UDM was imposed whose vote enabled the government to raid the scheme.
They have not put one penny into the Scheme since 1987, only miners have done that, yet the have continued to steel our money and at the same time refused to meet me us simply saying we have a Fair deal". How can they justify what they do when there are pensioners on less than £10 per week from the Scheme?. He Said
He told delegates attending the Conference in Blackpool that the Union would be launching a massive campaign which would involve lobbying both MPs and the government.
I see no difference between the government taking money from the MPS and Robert Maxwells theft of the Mirror Group Pension Fund. He added.
Wayne Thomas South Wales Area Secretary in seconding said This is a fundamental issue with us, it is an absolute scandal what the government are doing with our surpluses
Referring to the Cannock Chase Retired Members Campaign led by Mick Westwood he said They have been fighting a tremendous campaign and the money taken by the government should be returned to Scheme so that beneficiaries can have a decent pension and our miners can retire at 50.
Steve Mace from Yorkshire supporting the motion said, I want to say this to the government. Get your grubby hands out of our pension scheme and continued Even Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.
Nottingham Area School
Saturday June 2nd 2007 at the Hucknall John Godber centre, Eric Eaton (Chairman) welcomed everyone to the first Notts afternoon school for many years.
Colin Burgon MP kicked the session off with an exhilarating brief on what is happening in South America and its politics surrounding Venezuelas leader Hugo Chavez. Barry Johnson spoke next on his findings whilst researching his book on the 1926 strike in Notts and locally in Hucknall.
Ian Lavery national President of the National Union of Mineworkers then spoke on the coal industry and the prospects for coal, it being the energy source of the future. Dave Allsop spoke on Industrial relations and the unions role then, now, and in the future.
Our thanks go to all the people who helped to make the afternoon a great success, supporters, organisers and speakers.
L-R Colin Burgon MP, Dave Allsop,Eric Eaton (Chairman),Barry Johnson, Ian Lavery (NUM President)
There is a government move afoot to make it very difficult for musicians to perform live in small venues, or for schools, pubs and charities to raise money for causes through musical events. The proposed new legislation will inhibit the central role music making has in our lives and communities.
If you circulate this to your friends, all each person has to do is go to the government's petitions website below, give your name, email and address - it takes about 30 seconds.
Success could make a vital difference to the nurturing of community music making, and enabling young musicians to find their feet in the performing world.
The live music/licensing e-petition now has over 33,000 signatures. It currently stands at no.5 in the list of petitions on the Number 10 site. - and there are three more months in which people can sign.
But the petition needs to do much better to make an impression on ministers, and to encourage DCMS to implement music-friendly amendments. Please click on this link to sign :-
Reclaim Our Rights
Reclaim our rights!
United Campaign to Repeal the Anti Trade Union Laws
39 Chalton Street
Many of the current anti-trade union laws were introduced by the Conservatives between 1979 and 1995. Tony Blair wrote on 31st March 1997, the changes his Government introduced, "would leave British law the most restrictive on trade unions in the western world." Believe him in this.
These laws must be repealed, or replaced with other laws - not only because they are repressive, but also because they are illegal in themselves - they contravene the UK's international obligations under ILO Conventions, the Social Charter of the Council of Europe and United Nations declarations and covenants.
Labour laws now are worse than they were over 100 years ago. And changes in the world of work - with the fragmentation of organisations and the growth of non-standard work contracts - mean that the situation has continued to deteriorate for working people over the last quarter of a century. The European Green Paper published in November 2006 is a sign that we can expect nothing better, unless we act now.
Positive legislation in the field of industrial relations is required - laws which will protect trade unions from legal attacks, allow them to operate democratically and protect their members; laws which restore and extend collective bargaining, give each worker the right to strike and be represented by a union, protect workers against exploitation and provide the basis for a fairer and more just society.
Latest news: Rally 1 March 2007 & Support for EDM 532
That's why the United Campaign has been working to support the call for a Trade Union Freedom Bill endorsed without dissent by TUC in 2005 and 2006 and Labour Party policy.
The Bill now exists as a detailed draft supported by the TUC and prepared with a lot of help from the United Campaign National Secretary, John Hendy QC. It was laid before Parliament and at second reading on 2 March 2007 the details will be published before Parliament. The United Campaign is organising a Rally for 1 March between 7pm and 9pm in the Commons to promote the Trade Union Rights and Freedoms Bill as it is known. We have a great line up of speakers including MPs and General Secretaries; for more details go to the events page.
To see the Bill follow this TUC link: http://www.tuc.org.uk/law/index.cfm?mins=560
In the last session of Parliament there was an early day motion 1170 that had the support of 187 MPs at the time that it was withdrawn in accordance with the Commons Rules. But it has not gone away. It was brought back for the latest session (and reprinted in full below). So far 70 MPs have signed. If your MP has not signed, lobby him or her to do so. You can check to see if your MP is on the list by going to: http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=32194&SESSION=885
EDM 532 TRADE UNION FREEDOM BILL CAMPAIGN 18.12.2006
That this House recognises that free and independent trade unions are a force for good in UK society around the world and are vital to democracy; welcomes the positive role modern unions play in providing protection for working people and winning fairness at work; notes the 1906 Trades Disputes Act granted unions the legal freedom to take industrial action; regrets that successive anti-union legislation has meant that trade union rights are now weaker than those introduced by the 1906 Trades Disputes Act; therefore welcomes and supports the TUC campaign for a Trade Union Freedom Bill whose principles include better protection for workers, such as those sacked by Gate Gourmet in 2005, the simplification of ballot procedures and to allow limited supportive action, following a ballot, in specific circumstances; and therefore urges the Government to bring forward legislation to address these proposals.
January 2nd 2007
The Association is asking the wider trade union movement, supporters , comrades and friends for donations towards our printer fund, this will enable us to print our members information journal, The Ex Miner'' in house, with a growing membership the production costs to keep in touch also rises, so our own printer will significantly cut down on the costs involved, which is a drain on our recourses, any amount is much appreciated.
To date we are nearly half way to achieving our total. A very big thanks to all those who have given generously so far
Please send cheques to the office, and make payable to Notts NUM Ex & Retired Miners Association.
Thank you in anticipation
Friday 17 November 2006
L- R Partner of Deputy head of Notts County Council, Deputy head of Notts County Council, Chairman Eric Eaton, Davey Guy President of the Durham Miners Association, Alan Meale MP, Henry Richardson Ex General Sec of the Notts NUM.
The speakers evening started with compare and Chairman of the Association Eric Eaton, outlining the aims and ambitions of the association. Introducing Henry Richardson ex NUM general secretary of the Nottinghamshire area, he told of his memories of the Cresswell colliery disaster.
The other speakers were Alan Meale MP, who gave a comprehensive report on the situation in parliament and the situation in the labour party, Alan said ''we are ready for any election when it comes''. Rodney Bickerstaff mixed humour with politics, with a call for an increase in pension payments to every state pensioner.
Davey Guy president of the Durham Miners Association, spoke of the Gala which attracted 80,000 comrades this year, and he outlined how the Durham Association was set up, and has since gone from strength to strength over the years and now has a massive membership.
The night was a very enjoyable occasion and it was good to see faces from the time when collieries were plentyfull in the area, Yorkshire area was represented with the presence of Chris Skidmore,ex Rossington Branch who ended the night with a sing along with the Ollerton and Bilsthorpe all male choir.
Saturday 28th October Mansfield
Seminar with Karen Coupland MPS Secretary
Keith Stanley and Eric Eaton opened the seminar on behalf of the Nottinghamshire area NUM and the Notts NUM Ex & Retired Miners Association.
Karen then explained how the scheme functions, its constitution, rules, trustees, the enforceable guarantee deed, valuations and what standstill means, and the current position, Keith Stanley said we would arrange future meetings to discuss the Scheme.
Those in attendance were then invited to ask questions, which went into overtime.
The presentation/seminar was very informative to those present and we hope helped clear up some myths, as well as answering the questions in depth.
Nottinghamshire Area NUM and the Notts NUM Ex & Retired Miners Association, thanks Karen Coupland for giving up her Saturday morning to address our members, and it is hoped to invite Karen back in the coming months, to have a follow up and update session.
Early Day Motions to keep an Eye on
Trade Union Freedom Bill Campaign
Future of Coal
Chavez wins election
Venezuela (Colin Burgon MP)
Mis Selling of Land for Building.
Battle of Cable Street
Freedom of Information
Miners Memorial Day
School Playing Fields
Nottinghamshire NUM Ex & Retired
St Peters Retail Park,
01623 416895 - 01623 621 611