Janine's blog

RMT: A Step Forward for Political Representation?

Yesterday, I got my union branch to agree what I think is a positive step forward in the fight for working-class political representation.


Since my union, RMT, parted company with the Labour Party more than two years ago, it has still not quite found its feet in pursuing political representation...

Abortion time limits: Is the right wing winning the argument?

Each week's Hackney Gazette asks a random selection of residents their views on a particular question. In the last-but-one issue, it was "Should the time limits for abortion be reduced?".


As everyone knows, Hackney residents are left-leaning, tolerant, liberal sorts, and almost always give left...

Splitters!

The best hope for re-founding a genuine working-class party in Britain lies in splitting current Labour Party - separating the dreadful, anti-working class Blairite clique from the remaining socialists in the Party and from its trade union base. The left part of the split could join with socialists...

Socialist Worker on Hamas

I am alarmed by an article in the new Socialist Worker about Hamas and its victory in the Palestinian Authority elections. Explaining the background to the election victory, and interviewing Musheer al-Masri, the Hamas MP for the northern Gaza Strip, what is remarkable about the article is that it...

England Out of the World Cup

The pundits have thus far interpreted the game. The point, however, is to win it.


For sixty minutes, England appeared to have a strategy of losing the ball as soon as they reached the final third of the pitch. Then a petulant lad thought it was acceptable to push your opponent in temper. (Just...

State Racism Kills Again

Yesterday, the Report was published into the appalling death in Feltham Young Offenders' Institution of Zahid Mubarek. Zahid was murdered by his racist cellmate Robert Stewart, but as his family's spokesperson pointed out at yesterday's press conference, this was an institutional murder by a prison...

Run a Mile

BBC TV is plugging the Sport Relief mile. Among the array of sporty types encouranging us to canter for charity, one said, "If you can't run just one little mile for Sport Relief, you should be ashamed of yourself."


Excuse me, but what?!? There are plenty of people who can not run a mile because...

Iraq Union Solidarity Conference

There's a conference this Saturday, which introduces itself thus: Iraq Union Solidarity has joined together with Solidarité Irak (France), the Worker-communist Party of Iraq, and the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, to sponsor a conference to discuss and coordinate international activity in solidarity...

Shortlist of 'scum'

As readers are probably aware, the Tube's East London Line is due to be privatised once it has been extended. This appalling idea has been around for a couple of years, and in 2004 I engaged in an exchange of views with one of the extension project's big cheeses about it.


In April, TfL announced...

Two marketing ploys that annoy me

  1. Bottled water is good for you.


    "Drinking eight glasses of Aqua water a day is good for you." I don't recall the exact brand name, but that is definitely what the label told me.


    And yes, it's true. But only inasmuch as drinking eight glasses of any clean water is good for you - including other...

Bambery and Zinoviev

Yesterday, I stumbled across this interesting description of how the Communist International started to go wrong: "By the early 1920s the revolutionary wave which had swept Europe had ebbed. In these circumstances Zinoviev turned away from seeking to build independent working class strength, as...

Other 'Arf on the Telly

My partner, John Leach, will be appearing on BBC1's Politics Show tomorrow, discussing the woeful consequences of Tube privatisation. John is the London Transport workers' representative on the RMT National Executive, and will hopefully stick the boot into the profit-grabbing infrastructure...

The Da Vinci Code - chill out, eh?

This is my dissenting view on this article in the new issue of Solidarity - a damnation of The Da Vinci Code for promoting conspiracy theories.

The writer reckons the reason that so many people like The Da Vinci Code is because they believe (or want to believe) that it is true, and that this is a...

For your amusement

Allegedly, the following is the transcript of an actual radio conversation in October 1995, between a US Navy ship and the British authorities, off the Scottish North coast. The transcript was apparently released by the MoD on 10/10/95.


BRITISH : Please divert your course 15 degrees to the...

Rights for Great Apes?

I recommend this excellent, thought-provoking article by Princeton University bioethics professor Peter Singer in Saturday's Guardian. His argument is that great apes are so close to humans in evolution, and share so many of our traits - long-term relationships, self-awareness, bereavement...

BNP Bullshit Housing Claim

Copied below is the BNP's absurd claim to have "won" new housing for the residents of Barking.


The BNP is not claiming credit for actually doing anything - like proposing the housing plan or anything like that - simply for getting elected and "therefore" forcing the government's hand.


It is...

Two things that are annoying me at the moment

  1. Dry gardening magazine articles.

    Like this one. And adverts. And even a bloody Mayoral campaign.


    Fair enough if you just want a nice garden that you don't have to be arsed to water too often. But this is being marketed as the latest weapon in the war against climate change.


    Wake up. Global...

SureStart pulls the plug on our estate's toddler group

Well, that's the post-election rest out of the window.


I got a phone call today from the Under-5s Project saying that SureStart has pulled the funding for the baby & toddler group on our estate with immediate effect.


This is appalling. The families who use the group will be very hurt by this...

Hackney Central election result

A really good result for us in Hackney. I got 260 (11%), Charlie got 161 (7%). I beat the Tories. Full result below.

We have held up the socialist vote from four years ago despite the sad demise of the Socialist Alliance (and despite extensive gentrification of the ward, and the Labour council...

Election day

Finally, the day of voting has come. I should be out doing some last-ditch campaigning, but I tripped over a kerb on the Pembury estate today and sprained my ankle, so am at home resting it. Ah well - only an hour and a bit to go anyway.

Today's Hackney Gazette put a big smile on my face. Page 4...

Galloway: Anyone But Labour?

Thanks to Jim for passing on this woeful snippet.

Today's Metro News carries a "60 Second Interview" with the Gorgeous One. The final question is "How can a Metro reader make the world a better place?", to which he replies:

"The most immediate thing is to vote for anybody but Tony Blair on May...

Sorry for the silence

Whoops, not posted anything on the blog for a whole month! Simple reason - busy with the election campaign in Hackney Central. I was going to provide a commentary on it as it went along, but it always seems better to be out there campaigning than in here blogging about it!

No doubt I'll do a...

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