Janine's blog

Union Organising in the Workplace: a 'Left-Wing Policy' from 1925

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 18/10/2006 - 12:20

Browsing Lansbury's Labour Weekly again, I found this article from June 27 1925. So, what do you reckon? Are union branches obsolete? Is organising in the workplace the way forward? Is the policy outlined here unworkable in small, scattered workplaces? Personally, I'm inclined to agree with the broad outline of this.

A Left-Wing Industrial Policy

Engagement - Not Bans and Boycotts

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 14/10/2006 - 08:35

Engage was set up to campaign for links rather than boycotts as a way of supporting justice in Israel/Palestine. It initially concentrated its efforts on opposing the call for an academic boycott of Israel, but is now campaigning against the Israeli government's outrageous imposition of a ban on Paletinians studying at Israeli universities.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with everything Engage says about everything, but I wouldn't disagree with anything in this circular. So I'm happy to agree to their request to publicise this campaign. Here it is, in their own words ...

Abortion Time Limits: Urgent Action Needed Before We Lose

Submitted by Janine on Fri, 13/10/2006 - 16:02

At my last union branch meeting, I lost a vote on a resolution opposing cuts in the abortion time limit. The vote was about 6 for, 10 against, with plenty abstaining (including our branch's SWP member, about which more later).

The arguments against were that while everyone supported a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, they were not so sure about defending 'late' abortions. Why does a woman have to wait so long to decide? What are these medical advances we keep hearing about and don't they make a difference?

En-Ger-Land Women Are Through To China!

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 11/10/2006 - 12:45

As you know, this blog likes to keep you up-to-date with the progress of the England women's football team.

So I am delighted to report that the team has qualified for next year's World Cup finals, thanks to a "gutsy" away draw in France.

Let's hope they don't stumble against any former Yugoslav republics - or maybe it's just the blokes we have to worry about on that score.

Anti-Abortionists On The March - Supported By George Galloway

Submitted by Janine on Sun, 08/10/2006 - 23:24

Here's an interesting Early Day Motion. Entitled 'REVIEW OF ABORTION LEGISLATION', it "endorses Recommendation 77 of the Report of the Science and Technology Committee, Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law; and calls on the Government to set up a joint committee of both Houses to consider the scientific, medical and social changes in relation to abortion that have taken place since 1967, with a view to presenting options for new legislation."

Fake Charity Advertising Scam

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 07/10/2006 - 21:04

I got this glossy A5 leaflet though my door the other day. Make sure you're logged in and you'll see a picture of it. The text reads as follows ...

Dear householder



Bring Me Sunshine?!

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 02/10/2006 - 15:31

"Let sunshine win the day" says David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party.

Sunshine? From the Tories?! Right - that'll be like the sunshine that shone down on mining communities when the last Tory government closed their pits, yeah? Or the sunshine streaming in through the letterboxes of working-class households when their Poll Tax bills arrived? Or perhaps the sunshine that drove teenagers to suicide when they saw no future in Thatcher's Britain? Or the sunshine that brightened the days of victims of queerbashing attacks in the wake of the Tories' Section 28?

Clissold Leisure Centre - Still Sunk

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 30/09/2006 - 23:37

This one's for Hackney locals (including you Stoke Newington types who don't like to admit you live in Hackney), swimmers, and followers of useless local Councils and "Labour" politicians who fail working-class communities.

As you may already know, the Clissold Leisure Centre was Hackney Council's great millenium show-off-showpiece. Except that the roof leaked when it rained and it had to close down and, despite promises and predictions, has still not reopened.

Creationists On The March - Into Schools

Submitted by Janine on Sat, 30/09/2006 - 14:11

The march of the creationists into our kids' schools must be getting bad when even other Christians are complaining about it to the Government.

Christian thinktank Ekklesia and the British Humanist Association have jointly written to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, calling for science teaching to be based on, er, science.

Wanker Of The Week?

Submitted by Janine on Tue, 26/09/2006 - 16:16

A Mr Idris Francis is up in the European Court today, trying to get out of a fine for speeding, having lost his case in the High Court back in 2004. He reckons that because he was punished for refusing to tell the police who was driving the car, his 'right to not incriminate himself' was breached. There is a similar case in the Court by a motorist challening the legality of higher fines for people who contest their speeding fine.

Letter-Writing Against Tube Privatisation

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 25/09/2006 - 14:25

I got this letter (below) published in the Hackney Gazette this week. It's self-explanatory. I look forward to any response from TfL/Livingstone to the challenge at the end.

Last week's Gazette reported Transport for London's launch of its 'London Overground' project, joining up the North and East London Lines to greatly improve rail services in Hackney and other parts of London.

Luke The Nuke Dot Com

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 21/09/2006 - 14:45

Labour Party spotters, Hackney activists and ex-student movement hacks of a certain age will be familiar with a certain Luke Akehurst. Uber-Blairite Luke is one of the few people who is actually ideologically committed to the Blair project, rather than just going along with it for the sake of a career or some defeatist notion that it's the only way to 'win'. (That's the nearest he's going to get to a compliment from me.)

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