Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Snoopers Charter

I have written the following to my MP, Sir Peter Bottomly.
I do not expect it to do any good but he will not be able to say none of his constituents are opposed to Teresa May's activities.
I am concerned about the Investigatory Powers Bill. I fail to see how continually restricting the rights of the citizen will do anything against terrorism. Governments have notoriously used these powers against their political opponents rather than against terrorism. Peace campaigners and trade unionists have had their rights infringed. These people are not terrorists but Teresa May seems intent on treating them as such. There are many examples like that of John Catt http://derekmcmillan1951.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/police-squander-our-money-attacking.html

Monday, October 26, 2015

Please vote Jane Nellist 1 for BOLD LEADERSHIP and A STRATEGY TO WIN

From October 28, ballot papers will be arriving at NUT members' homes
for the NUT Vice-President election.

Jane is campaigning for a National Charter for all teachers which gives:
● A life outside school - minimum 20% PPA in all sectors
● No more than 1265 directed hours, 195 days
● An end to performance-related pay
● Limits on observations and marking
● Retirement at 60 - not 68
● Abolish Ofsted/Estyn
● A pay rise to compensate for the huge losses we have suffered

"The iron fist of the Tories has been exposed. Performance-pay has been
imposed and our pensions cut. They have stood by and watched our
workload get ever greater.
Not content with stopping teachers moving up the pay scale, now they
want to force teachers back off the Upper Pay Scale too!
Teachers are suffering and leaving in droves. Colleagues are being
driven out of a profession they once loved. We have to act.

The NUT's campaigns have not yet been enough to protect teachers and
education. Government attacks on schools and teachers will continue with
a ferocity that will require our Union and our members to stand firm and
fight. That will also require strong, effective, bold leadership. I
believe that I have the experience and commitment to help provide
that lead as NUT Vice-President.
I am a Primary teacher and currently the National Executive member for
the West Midlands. As Joint Secretary of Coventry NUT for the last 15
years, I have been responsible for managing casework and negotiations
with the Local Authority and Academy managers.

I am a formidable campaigner against cuts and on community based issues,
working closely with other trade unions in our local anti-cuts groups
and Trades Council.
I am proud of the work I have done in creating new NUT policy through
motions I have written and steered through Conference on Domestic
Violence and to oppose the discrimination of older women teachers.
I am a founder member of LANAC, Local Associations for National Action,
which has been instrumental in pushing the Union to develop a real
strategy to win.
I want to see one teachers' trade union but one that will use that
strength and unity to fight and win for teachers and education.

Jeremy Corbyn's victory has shown the growing mood to stand up to
Government attacks, a mood we must now build upon.
To protect our working conditions, trade union rights and the learning
conditions of pupils, we need bold leadership and a serious strategy
that will rebuild national action so that teachers can seize back our
lives and our professionalism".

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Corbyn's nuclear stance

The i newspaper has made much of Jeremy Corbyn's assertion that he would not use nuclear weapons. They put it to a number of senior Labour figures who apparently blamed him for saying out loud what everybody knew - he is a lifelong opponent of nuclear war.

I do not for a moment think Jeremy Corbyn's Labour critics would launch a nuclear holocaust so what is this war of words about?

Any PM is bound by international treaty not to use nuclear weapons (The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1970). It is nice to think the Labour leader is not a psychotic killer with no respect for international law.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Blairites for war

People have been expelled for not agreeing with 'the aims and objectives of the Labour Party'. I have searched diligently and I cannot find 'nuclear holocaust' as a Labour aim or objective. Are the Blairites going to expel themselves? 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NUT Supply Teachers' Network

Please keep working to build a turn out for the October 28 lobby of supply teaching agencies.

We will be meeting at the NUT HQ Hamilton House (close to Euston Station) at 11.30 am. The lobby of the agencies will be from about 12.00 - 12.30 more details to follow. For cost reasons some people will need to get a later train so you can go straight to the lobby, don't worry if you can't make the 11.30 at Hamilton House.

There is a suggestion that we finish the lobby by going to the PCS picket at the National Gallery. this is an all out strike against privatisation and the sacking of a union rep.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

National Anthem?

The gutter press were all ready with the headline "HYPOCRITE!" if Corbyn had sung the National Anthem. Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel. For the Tory press it is the first refuge.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Andrew Marr's Schoolboy errors

This is a very clever and witty fantasy on the workings of the "corridors of power." I will not reveal the plot but suffice it to say the title is not what it seems! The caricatures are finely drawn and wicked.

Andrew Marr's book shows him to be a political insider. This is both his strength and his weakness. In the Labour Party leadership elections 2015, Marr made a series of schoolboy errors. He knew the "insiders" but the vote was decided by outsiders he struggles to understand. Young people, people on zero hours contracts struggling to make ends meet and people described by Ian Duncan Smith as "abnormal" and treated as scroungers.

"Corbyn will make Labour unelectable" is an opinion. Marr presented it as a fact. A Year 7 pupil would be told off for such an error. Presenting opinion as fact is virtually the definition of propaganda. Likewise Marr and the rest of the BBC news organisation spend time promoting the views of the Blairites. The result of the election was that the Blairites were comprehensively defeated. That was a massive miscalculation. The Blairites are rich and powerful. The people who voted in the election were not. They are beyond Andrew Marr's experience it would seem.


BBC Bias

The BBC is a publicly funded body with a mandate to report issues in a balanced manner without fear or favour. The coverage of the Labour Party leadership election fell far below that standard and the BBC should apologise for showing such bias.

The press is beholden to millionaires and expresses their prejudices. "You pays your money and you takes your choice." With the BBC we pay the money and we deserve a balanced and thoughtful approach to major issues of public policy rather than derision and innuendo.
1) The BBC gave publicity to supporters of Tony Blair which was disproportionate to their importance. They were comprehensively defeated in the leadership election.
2) The BBC referred to the eventual winner, Jeremy Corbyn as "a joke candidate" and there has so far been no apology for this lapse of journalistic standards.
3) The focus on ridiculing Jeremy Corbyn meant that the other candidates were virtually ignored.
4) The "Anyone but Corbyn" slogan suggested there was nothing to choose between the other candidates.