Janine's blog

Solidarity for both trans rights and women's rights

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...

On The Move

This blog will not be running on this site any more. I am now a contributing blogger on Stroppyblog. The old stuff will stay here.

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...

Missing Words

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.

Respect is a political party opposed to war and privatisation. Respect believes that...

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.


I am writing with great...

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...

Save Minnie's Clock!

One of my great heroes is Minnie Lansbury. She is one of those socialist feminists who would be an icon if more people had even heard of her.

Briefly ... Minnie was born in 1889 in Stepney to Jewish parents named Glassman. She was a school teacher and in 1915 became a committee member of...

Fat cat scandals

Fancy a billion quid between you and your mate? Pierre Lagrange and Noam Gottesman are in line for what the papers call a 'windfall', surely one of the greatest under-statements of our time.

And what are they doing to 'deserve' this bonanza? Floating their company, that's what. They are hedge...

Keep Estate Cleaning Public!

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. Entr...

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...

Olympic Games Displace Millions

Here's an interesting source of information. Apparently, the Olympic Games and other 'mega-events' have displaced some 2 million people from their homes over the last two decades, disproportionately people who are poor, vulnerably housed and/or ethnic minority.

Online Antisemitism

For a vile example of antisemitism, check out this YouTube page. It manages to denounce the war on terror and Israel as a 'racist apartheid terrorist state'. It also drips antisemitism from every sentence.

I oppose Israel's brutal military oppression of the Palestinians. I believe that there...

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...

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....

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...

Ken 4 Crud

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...

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...

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.

I say "most" because in the bar...

Blaming Youngsters For Crime

Two wee anecdotes:

1. A couple of people I know who live in the Clapton Pond area have recently been the unfortunate victims of crime. One has had his car stolen for the second time in the last year. The other was forced to hand over his motorbike at knifepoint.

This area used to get quite a...

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....

Sex education should be compulsory

Below is an extract from a Parliamentary discussion about compulsory sex education.

Thu, 24 May 07

John Bercow (Buckingham) (Con): Given that a recent online survey of no fewer than 2,200 university students undertaken by the Terrence Higgins Trust, in conjunction with the National...

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...

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.

It's attached for your perusal...

Reactionary Christian fundamentalist Falwell Is dead

File this under 'Deaths That Will Cause Me No Tears'. Jerry Falwell, religious fruitcake and rampant reactionary, has departed this mortal coil, aged 73.

Here are some of his lowlights:

  • On Apartheid: a "bulwark for Christian civilization".
  • On AIDS: "the wrath of a just God".
  • On Martin...

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.

Anne Begg...

Managers Cause Workplace Stress Shocker

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...

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