Janine's blog

TUC Blog: Held Captive While The Enemy Invaded

I have spent today held captive by a ballot box. I was appointed as a scrutineer for the General Council election, which entails sitting next to a box all morning, counting votes for about an hour-and-a-half, then being banned from Congress floor and penned in by bodyguards for four hours to prevent...

TUC Blog: Monday morning – Pensions and Public Services

After the formalities and back-slapping that mark the start of Congress, the first big debate was on Pensions. As I reported yesterday, we had a long and uncontroversial composite motion on the subject.

Paul Kenny from the GMB moved the composite, and other speakers included Janice Godrich, PCS P...

TUC Blog: Assaults At Work

Monday morning, first session, and that Booth woman is up at the microphone opening her gob already! NASUWT and PCS moved a resolution deploring violence against public service workers and calling on the TUC to set up a national register of assaults. Several union delegates spoke on the subject...

TUC Blog: Warming Up or Selling Short?

Congress starts tomorrow, so today is the day for going to your delegation meeting, unpacking your undies, blogging in the hotel bar and checking out some social functions later.

At the RMT delegation meeting, we got to the see the composited motions for the first time.

Most union motions to...

TUC Blogging

I'm off to Brighton for TUC Congress, and will be blogging several times a day - just as I did last year. So check back on a regular basis between tomorrow and Thursday for the latest news from the annual parliament of the workers' movement (?!).

Justice for Janine?

Just as I am getting back on my feet after my horrific injury last year, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has bowled me over by turning down my claim.

They reckon that what happened to me was an accident rather than a crime. Obviously, the CICA thinks it knows better than both the...

Jemima Khan: Poverty Tourist

Pass the sick bag. In a horribly creepy interview in the Sunday Times, Jasper Gerard not only drools all over the page, but falls over himself in praise of Jemima's concern for the poor.

Poverty's so distressing darling. What the poor need is a dose of pity from a rich globe-trotter with more...

Hackney Council: Seeing Through The P.R.

If you believe the propaganda department of Hackney Council, you'd think we live under the most generous and enlightened administration on the planet. Awash we are with fantastic new services. How will we ever find the time to enjoy them all or the means to thank our leaders as fullsomely as they...

Mad Idea

City & Hackney Mental Health Trust wants to become a foundation trust. And as a service user, it wants my opinion on the idea.

I'll certainly give it that. Mental health services here - as everywhere else no doubt - are horribly underfunded, leaving poeple waiting six months or more for a first...

Hate The Rich

In May 1919, the Ministry of Labour reported a Home Office survey listing causes of revolutionary feeling amongst the working class. The top six?

  • high prices
  • bad housing
  • hatred of the rich
  • education
  • leadership
  • unemployment

I wonder what a similar survey might come up with today. Admittedly...

Books books books

There a books Q&A doing the rounds of bloggers at the moment, and I've been tagged by Volty over at Shiraz Socialist. So here goes ...

1. One book that changed your life.

It was a song that changed my life (Going Underground by The Jam) rather than a book. But 'Ten Days That Shook the World' by...

Let Samina Altaf and her children stay

I'm happy to carry out a request from this campaign to publicise their case. Below is an extract from a press release advertising a press conference that has now happened. This case is, however, still ongoing, and your support would be most appreciated.



More Outdoor Play Places - NOW!

CBBC Newsround is running an on-line survey asking whether there are enough places to play outdoors.

Obviously, the answer is 'No'!

The government goes on and on about childhood obesity, but its 'solution' is to lecture ordinary people about our lifestyle habits but stop short of providing...

Ernesto Leal must stay!

Ernesto Leal came from Chile to Britain as a child in the 1970s, fleeing Pinochet's repression with the rest of his family. After living in Scotland for years, he now lives in Hackney. His first language is English, he now longer has family in Chile. Ernesto is British.

But the government wants...

Pensioner Wins GP Privatisation Battle at Court of Appeal

The press release below contains good news indeed - a spoke firmly in the wheel of the government's ridiculous and dangerous plans to allow profiteering private companies to run GP surgeries.

I generally try not to be the annoying person who rains on every parade, but it would be irresponsible...

My Boss Is A Tosser

Ok, so it's not exactly organising the workers, and it may even turn out to contain some dodgy bits, but this made me laugh.

I should, of course, add that the title of this entry is a reference to the name of the website linked to in the text, and should not be misinterpreted as a reference to my...

ASLEF strikes on Midland Mainline and Gatwick Express

Train drivers on Midland Mainline are to strike for six successive Fridays over the issue of management's treatment of medically-restricted drivers and ill-health severance.

With a 95.7% ballot majority (135 votes for; just 6 against), ASLEF has named strike dates on Fridays 25th August and 1st...

Today's quiz question

Is Hugo Chavez:

(a) the President of Venezuela?; or

(b) the real leader of the Arab people?

According to George Galloway at last Saturday's anti-war march, the answer is (b).

Workers' Liberty and Socialist Appeal / Hands Off Venezuela have had interesting debates as to whether Chavez is...

Nazi Scumbag Loses Appeal Against Expulsion From RMT

RMT press release

FAR RIGHT activist Patrick Harrington has failed in his bid to have the Certification Officer overturn his expulsion from RMT for misconduct under the union's rules.

The Assistant Certification Officer yesterday dismissed three complaints that the union had breached its rules as...

Packed Meeting Pledges to Fight Privatisation

I have written this report for the Hackney TUC website, but it is currently under hack attack, so I'm posting it here. This is my report with the Hackney TUC's President's hat on. You'll have to wait for my personal opinions on some of the issues discussed until I get back from my holiday in the...

Global unions launch UN complaint over Iranian repression

This press release was issued on 25th July. I am glad to say that my own union, RMT has circulated and supported it. While we oppose a war against Iran, this can not become an excuse to prettify the regime or for trade unions to forget that their basic duty of solidarity is towards workers, against...

Farewell, Child Support Agency

So the Child Support Agency is to be scrapped. Sounds like good news for all those people - men and women, 'caring' and 'absent' parents - who have been let down or persecuted by it. Problem is, it looks set to be replaced by something even worse.

Governments always announce their latest measures...

Council Cock-Ups See Mobile Masts Go Ahead

It seems that here in Hackney, we are not alone in having an incompetent Council when it comes to mobile phone masts and planning permission. After an effective campaign by local residents, Hackney Council refused permission to O2 to erect a mast on London Fields, just metres away from a primary...

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