Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sack the slackers!

The latest improvement to all our lives proposed to the government by the one-man think tank Adrian Beecroft is that employers have the right to 'sack the slackers' as the Daily Telegrapb impartially put it. The idea is that employers do not have to have any reason to sack you, if they think you are slacking then out you go.

As you know this is exactly what happens in firms where there is no union but Beecroft imagines a world in which this applies to everyone. A bit like ancient Egypt in fact.

And who is Beecroft? Well he has certainly purchased the right to influence government policy. He paid 530000 into Tory party finds.

But where did he come by money like that? Well it seems Beecroft is a very kind man. If you are strapped for cash your uncle Adrian will slip you 100. Of course everything has got a little price.

In thirty days the boys will be round to collect 136.72. That is an APR of 4394 percent. And no I haven't left out a decimal point there.

And if one of his employees fails to put the screws on his victims? Well they are obviously a slacker and off they go!

Our gold-plated pensions

Public sector pensions are gold-plated. You have only to read the Daily Mail or the Express to know that. A pity this image will not be appearing in your bank account any time soon. The average teacher pension is 10000.

However, there are exceptions to the rule of public sector pensions.Margaret Thatcher has received 535,000 for ex-PM duties from a little fund - well obviously a rather large fund - called the public duties cost allowance. Major and Blair have also had very nice golden handshakes (Major 490K and Blair 169K) from this fund. Remember that when some government minister tells you the nation
cannot afford your pension.

Friday, October 28, 2011

We're worth it!

The government is not at all sure it can afford the scheduled CPI-based increases to pensions - about five percent. However you can rest assured we are 'all in it together' ... except the bosses of major corporations who have received ten times that increase in remuneration. Apparently this is quite fair because they decide their own remuneration and they think they are worth an average of 2.7 million per annum.

The leadership of Unite has correctly branded this as "obscene" but Len McLusky's solution is to give greater power to shareholders to curb directors' pay. One can't help wondering why a trade union leader isn's saying "what about the workers?" It is no use for union leaders to stop short in pious trepidation before the power of big business. The workers in these corporations could give you a very accurate picture of how much use these directors are and whether they should be given house-room let alone a salary.

It does however suggest a very simple solution to the pension crisis. Let pensioners award themselves a 50 percent increase - because we're worth it!

Derek McMillan

Monday, October 24, 2011

My message to Frankie Maude

I have asked for an appointment on 26 October but have not so far
received a reply. As a matter of courtesy, the questions to which I
would like an answer are these:

1) Can you explain what has happened to the cast iron guarantee that
"We will restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from
April 2011, with a ?triple guarantee? that pensions are raised by the
higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%."

2) What does the government plan to do to pensions in 2012? Will the
link to increases in the cost of living even exist or will pensioners
be made to pay for the bankers' crisis?

3) Is it likely that the current policy towards teachers' pensions
will lead to a problem of recruitment in state schools?

4) How will it impact the public schools to which government ministers
send their children?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Youth unemployment

Conference notes the record levels of youth unemployment in the UK.
This is likely to have an effect of demotivating pupils. Many do not
see the point in working hard at school when they are more likely to
end up unemployed than otherwise.

We believe that the riots in the UK were a purely negative reaction to
the apparently hopeless situation young people find themselves in.
They show how dangerous the government policy of cutting welfare and
cutting jobs has been for the social fabric of the country.

We welcome the initiatives of Youth Fight for Jobs such as the Jarrow
crusade in 2011. We support this approach as a way of getting a
positive message to the young unemployed and to school pupils that
there is an alternative to demoralisation and an alternative to the
political system which has failed them so badly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Ark - new weblog

The Ark has a new blog. Its address is

It can accept pictures and text. If you have something to say about
Ark just email it to derekmcmillan1951(at) or to
lisa(at) and it can be forwarded to the blog at
the speed of light.

It has contact details for the Ark for those who want to help.

I do not have control over the content but if I can keep the spam at
bay I will be happy. This is something practical I was able to do for
Ark and I am feeling altogether too pleased with myself!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

October 26 - March route confirmed

Join the Joint Union March and Lobby:
ASSEMBLE at midday, Victoria Gardens,Westminster, SW1;
MARCH to the Dept. of Education to hand in the mass petition.

All of the main teaching unions - ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NASUWT, NUT, UCAC
and UCU are backing this joint march & lobby on Wednesday October 26.
Every school is being asked to try and send at least one
representative to give Government a final warning - back off or face
the consequences.

The march gives us a chance to dust off the flags and banners from
June 30 once more. Media coverage of the event will be a timely
reminder to union members that are balloting to return their 'YES'
vote for action as well!

Even if you can't make it to London in half-term, make sure everyone
in your school signs the mass petition. More details on: