Friday, December 16, 2011

Cameron woos Barber with mince pies

"Barber could end up as popular as Herod if
he sells out our pensions"

The Daily Mirror is well on top of the Christmas sell-out story.
"It is expected Mr Barber will be offered mince pies in a desperate
charm offensive by Mr Cameron aimed at heading off fresh strikes.

"He could even pose for an unprecedented handshake outside Number 10
with Mr Cameron - an image that would horrify both the Tories and union members."

The demon Barber could end up about as popular as Herod if he sells out our pensions :) Have you written to your executive member yet? Do it now before the Christmas shopping.

A sell out for Christmas ... but not in the high street.

I don't know if the TUC are more comfortable on their knees than up on
their hind legs but it would seem they need a bit of encouragement not
to sell us down the river. (excuse the mixed metaphor - I am an
ex-English Teacher!)

I got this from Martin Powell-Davies (NUT Executive and Classroom
Teacher) today:

Just when this Government is cracking at the seams, just when we have
had one of the largest strikes for generations, some in the TUC are
trying to recommend a shoddy deal that will allow the Government to get
away with their pensions robbery.

Urgent pressure needs to be applied in every union to make sure that
negotiators do not cave-in but show the same courage and determination
as their members showed in their millions on November 30.

Reports from today's TUC PSLG meeting suggest that some, such as Brendan
Barber and Dave Prentis, are arguing that 'we have gone as far as we
can' and that unions should all agree to sign-up and throw in the towel
on Monday. Reportedly, the PCS have even been told that if they don't
agree by then, all talks will be ceased - with the threat that any
concessions that have been offered (not that there are many!) will be

I understand that the PCS, NUT and others like the NASUWT have stood
firm - but others are clearly looking to settle. But what gains have
been made? Prentis can apparently point to the offer of a two-year delay
in increased contributions in Local Government - but that only postpones
the pain to come. I understand that he has nothing similar in the Health
negotiations. Certainly, nothing similar has been offered in education -
in fact the hope that the Government might offer retirement ages set
lower than the State Pension Age has been dashed - so it's still
retirement at 67 and 68 for many. The only minor concession might be
that if you retire at 66, you'll only lose 3% of your pension for every
year of 'early' retirement instead of 5%!!. Even that would have to be
paid for by losses elsewhere in the scheme.

Crucially, the Government has refused to lift the 'cost-ceiling' - in
other words they are insisting that we pay for the Government's debts,
even though they have refused any valuation to justify their attacks. So
that means we still pay more, to get less and retire older - yet Brendan
Barber wants us to settle on Monday!

If these union leaders have no stomach for a fight, then they have no
right to call themselves a leadership. They will be guilty of accepting
a pensions robbery which, just two weeks ago, we were all united in
saying was unjustified and unacceptable. They will demoralise and
undermine our united movement and invite the Government to go on the
attack on jobs, facility time, TUPE, pay bargaining, capability
procedures - and all the other attacks that they have lined up.

So put out an urgent call in every union - don't cave-in. Call the
Government's bluff and announce the next day of united strike action in

Martin Powell-Davies

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Standing up for Britain - or for the bankers?

According to the children’s song - “In the big rock candy mountain, the cops have wooden legs.
The bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs.”

Obviously in the never-never land inhabited by the Financial Services Authority those bulldogs would be examples of “due diligence.”

Charged with the apparently serious job of regulating the banks, the FSA admit in their recent report that their light touch approach allowed the Royal Bank of Scotland to get away with (metaphorical) murder in its financial shenanigans.

“"This approach reflected widely held, but mistaken assumptions about the stability of financial systems and existed against a backdrop of political pressures for a 'light touch' regulatory regime."

The FSA were scared of exercising any “supervisory function” and admit they “failed to challenge the
management of RBS.” One is tempted to ask what the FSA are they for? A cop with two wooden legs would have done a better job.

Well thank heavens that sort of thing couldn’t happen nowadays……

Except of course one David Cameron was among the advocates of the light touch with the light-fingered speculators of RBS and his most recent brave stand for Britain was actually a brave stand for the City of London. God forbid that anyone should interfere with their activities.

It is obvious to everyone that we need control over the financiers; bulldogs with real teeth. Yet the politicians of all parties stop short in pious trepidation before the big banks and attempt to drain the ocean of depravity with spoonfuls of inadequate control.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Anders Behring Clarkson

New Top Gear Presenter?

Jeremy Clarkson might sound like some sort of bad joke, but in the
wake of recent mass-murders by an EDL sympathiser, and with EDL
supporters here in the UK posing for Facebook photos with guns,
incitement to murder is a crime that needs to be taken seriously.
Anyone is entitled to make fair comment on a matter of public concern.
There is a feeling that Jeremy Clarkson may have shown less than
sufficient care in his "Anders Behring Breivik" moment. There is also
a feeling that complaining about it will just inflate the Big C's Ego.
Like Breivik, his self-importance is already beyond safe levels.

Inciting people to shoot strikers is not funny. If Clarkson needs an
ambulance (perhaps after an overdose of Top Gear) I hope he realises
shooting the driver wasn't a smart move.

He is of course a friend and neighbour of David Cameron. One wonders
if he is just repeating something he heard from the other Big C?

However if you feel that it is worthwhile to complain about this
overgrown kid the links are as follows: