Janine's blog

Solidarity for both trans rights and women's rights

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 29/03/2018 - 11:37

By Janine Booth

This is a discussion document which forms the background to agreeing policy in the AWL; the document seeks to reflect the areas where there is substantial consensus, rather than the discrete areas of difference and some differences of emphasis.


- We support transgender rights and express our solidarity with trans people. We oppose prejudice, hostility and discrimination against trans people, and advocate support and compassion towards them.

Missing Words

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 11/07/2007 - 09:05

Here (in italics) you will see Respect's entry in a guide to political parties for people with learning disabilities produced by the Disability Rights Coalition. The text was submitted by Respect themselves.

Defend Victimised Teachers

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 09/07/2007 - 14:53

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.


I am writing with great concern having heard about disciplinary action against Haggerston School teachers for respecting school meals' staff's picket lines.

Campaigning to Keep Ticket Offices Open

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 04/07/2007 - 12:13

Apparently, when you complain about your union not producing a leaflet, you are in fact volunteering to produce it yourself! So here is a leaflet against Tube ticket office closures which I and other RMT activists will be dishing out to passengers, together with stuff from TSSA too.

Meanwhile, the online petition on the same subject has nearly 600 signatures now, so if you haven't yet added yours, please do.

Thanks, Jon

Submitted by Janine on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 09:00

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.

Having heard yesterday of Cruddas' personal intervention to prevent MPs nominating John McDonnell for Leader despite having promised John support, I am more glad than ever that I did not back him.

Dear friends,

Keep Estate Cleaning Public!

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 21/06/2007 - 09:41

Hackney Council is carrying out an appraisal for estate cleaning and ground maintenance services, and are considering three options:

  1. Full outsourcing of contractors for both services across Hackney Homes.
  2. Bringing all estate cleaning services back in-house as the external contract elapses.
  3. Entry an effective partnership with another organisation following an appropriate procurement process.

Hackney Tenants' and Residents' Associations have been consulted on our views, and naturally, ours voted for option 2.

Faith Schools Petition Race

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 18/06/2007 - 17:08

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."

Labour Deputy Leader election: zero out of six

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 11/06/2007 - 13:21

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.

Calm down, any witch-hunters out there: I shan’t be casting a vote. There’s not one of the six who deserves my cross on the ballot paper.

OK!, Derek Draper and Nip/Tuck Celebs

Submitted by Janine on Sun, 10/06/2007 - 21:05

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.

Derek is now apparently enjoying marital bliss with GMTV presenter Kate Garraway and invited the obsequious pens and snappers from the superficial glossy to accompany them on a trip to Hackney City Farm to celebrate their baby daughter’s birthday. Aaaah.

Ken 4 Crud

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 19:26

I have reported to blog readers before that I am receiving unsolicited 'spam' email from Jon Cruddas' campaign, who seem to think there is some reason why I might back their man. Me being a principled socialist, there is not.

But just in case I were tempted to back Cruddas, I got another piece of spam today that would put the nail in his careerist coffin. Yes, Ken Livingstone is backing him. You know, that bloke who called on members of my union to scab on strikes.

A Union Women's Newsletter: Is It Divisive?

Submitted by Janine on Fri, 01/06/2007 - 08:49

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.

I say "most" because in the bar afterwards, I had my ear bent by a couple of geezers who believe that simply producing a women's newsletter is "divisive", will "alienate men" and may even "lose us half our members".

Network Rail 'Bonus' Outrage

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 24/05/2007 - 20:16

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!

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

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 22/05/2007 - 19:40

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.

It's attached for your perusal (you have to be logged in to access attachments) - although I couldn't upload page 4, so you'll have to e-mail me if you want a look at that. If you are logged in, you can also see a rather entertaining graphic culled from its pages.

Managers Cause Workplace Stress Shocker

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 12/05/2007 - 10:02

Oh yes they do. It's official.

Joint HSE/CIPD research - 'Management Competencies for Preventing and Reducing Stress at Work' - shows that "a manager's behaviour can have a major impact on employees' stress levels affecting the well-being of employees and organisational performance."

When I told workmates about this, they rolled about laughing - and pointed out that expensive academic research was not necessary, the HSE could just have popped in and asked us!

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