Janine's blog

Poplarism, Christianity and Socialism

As my regular reader will know, I am writing a book about Poplarism in the 1920s. I'm just drafting a section about the extent to which the Poplar struggle was influenced by religion. But I think there is more to be said about this than I want to include in the book, so I thought I'd share it with you here ...

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Defend Victimised Teachers

35 teachers at Haggerston School in Hackney face disciplinary action for refusing to cross a Unite!/T&G picket line of striking school meals workers. You can read all about it on Hackney TUC's website. Below is an email I have just sent to the head teacher.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Discussing German socialist women

May saw the start of a very-welcome socialist feminist discussion group in London. Organised by Workers' Liberty, it is meeting every month. The first discussion was about the German socialist women's movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As this is a pet subject of mine, I was happy to be asked to introduce the discussion.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Thanks, Jon

Jon Cruddas has emailed me to thank me for supporting him in Labour's Deputy Leadership election, even though I, erm, didn't.

The thank-you note is copied below. I particularly enjoyed his description of Harriet Harman's "compassion", a view I am sure is shared by the single parents whose benefits she cut.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Faith Schools Petition Race

Take a look at the second and third petitions on this page of the Downing Street petitions site.

The first wants the Prime Minister to "continue the support for faith schools and to ensure that in all schools the teaching of traditional ‘faith’ views of origins is included alongside the more recent scientific ‘theories’ which many scientists ‘believe'", and goes on to argue that "Evolution and other scientific theories should not be taught as fact but instead along side other ‘faith’ views of origins."

Issues and Campaigns: 

Labour Deputy Leader election: zero out of six

The other day, the pamphlet of election addresses for Labour’s Deputy Leader dropped through my letter box. Regular readers will know that I am not a Labour Party member and my union is not affiliated, both of us expelled for preferring socialist candidates in elections to Blairites. But I am a member of another affiliated organisation, the Labour Camapign for Lesbian and Gay Rights – so I get my voting paper.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

OK!, Derek Draper and Nip/Tuck Celebs

A kind friend thought I would appreciate a look at OK! magazine. Not because I’m a celeb obsessive, of course, but because of the eight pages devoted to my erstwhile political sparring partner Derek Draper – the man who once threatened to get his cousins from Chorley to come and sort me out.

Issues and Campaigns: 

TSSA Backs Brown and Hain

How it is that union leaders are so pathetically accommodating to the class enemies who run the Labour Party, but hard as nails in refusing to do their members' bidding?

We have already heard of embarrassing fawning to Brown and the coterie of right-wing no-marks scrabbling to be his deputy from leaders of the T&G, CWU and others.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Racial Segregation in East End Schools

A report has claimed that East End schools are dividing by race.

While 17 Tower Hamlets primary schools have more than 90%+ Bangladeshi pupils, nine have fewer than 10%. Three of the borough's 15 secondaries have less than 3% Bangladeshi pupils, while two have more than 95% Bangladeshi pupils and three over 80%.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

A Union Women's Newsletter: Is It Divisive?

At yesterday's RMT Regional Council, our new women's newsletter had its first outing, with 500 copies distributed amongst delegates. Mostly, it was well-received, welcomed by both women and (most) men, who expect it to go down very well in the workplaces.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

A strategy for equal pay for women

The Women and Work Commission was New Labour's attempt to address the embarrassment and injustice of the enduring gender pay gap. But its report was woeful, in great part blaming women and girls for going into low-paid jobs and men and boys for renouncing those jobs for better-paid work. Bastards.

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Trade Unions: 

Network Rail 'Bonus' Outrage

Brilliant. Network Rail have made big bucks, have dipped their short arms into their deep pockets to fish out a tiny bit to share with the workers - and have excluded the maintenance workers in the Grayrigg area and the Scottish signallers who Network Rail forced to take strike action earlier this year!

Trade Unions: 

RMT Women's Newsletter: 'Time Of The Month'

I have just finished laying out the new women's newsletter for RMT's London Transport region, amusingly entitled 'Time Of The Month'. It was put together by our regional Women's Officer, Jackie Darby, and myself - with contributions from several other women members.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Police Homophobia Lets Queerbashers Get Away Wtih Murder

Homophobia within the police hampers investigations into 'queerbashing' and murder, according to an independent review. The report was conducted by the Metropolitan Police's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Group (LGBT AG) and sanctioned by the Met itself.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Vote for John McDonnell - on the BBC website, now.

Click here.

Update: the poll is no longer on that page. Instead there is an article about how John McDonnell is struggling to get on the ballot paper. You can help make his struggle easier by emailing one or more of the following 'undecided' Labour MPs, urging them to nominate John.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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