Janine's blog

Women in the Irish nationalist movement 1900-1916

I just transferred this article from the old Workers' Liberty website onto this one, so I thought I would draw your attention to it! It was originally pubished in Workers' Libety 56, June/July 1999.


The picture, by the way, is of Constance Markiewicz. If you want to know more about her, then you...

I hate the Daily Mail

Yesterday, I went to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel for an appointment with the consultant who is going to re-make my eyeball. He introduced me to another patient of his - a man with a similar eye injury, but who had suffered poor-quality surgery in his native Afghanistan.


After the...

Shit happens

This title was suggested by Janine, who had an accident on Saturday night. While taking two of her kids to a Bonfire Night party, she was hit in the face by a firework. She's still in hospital, but hopes to be out in the next couple of days. She asked me to tell readers of her blog what had happened...

Hackney Solidarity hits the streets

Sorry for the lack of blogging over the past week, but I've been pre-occupied with producing the latest issue of Hackney Solidarity.

This is a local socialist newsletter produced by Workers' Liberty members and other lefties in Hackney. We will be putting it through hundreds of letterboxes, as...

Vote for our estate!

Yesterday, we had the TV cameras on our estate, filming a snippet for 'People's Millions' on ITV. Two community projects will go head-to-head for the viewers' vote, and the winner will get £50k to make their project a reality.

Our estate has fought a long, hard struggle against private developers...

Our Survey Said ...

The Labour Party in Hackney is getting into gear for next year's Mayor and Council elections.


Council freebie newspaper 'Hackney Toady' (sorry, 'Hackney Today') seems to announce everything from street lights to secondary schools as a 'personal project' of Mayor Jules Pipe.


And Mayor Pipe has...

Don't let the facts get in the way

In last week's Hackney Gazette, LibDem Councillor Ian Sharer wrote that "The Labour Party conference at Brighton has just resoundingly endorsed four more years of New Labour spin and deception."

Maybe he didn't actually watch the conference, or maybe he just doesn't like to let the facts get in the...

Get well soon, Dad

My dad had a heart bypass operation today, and the good news is that it went well, he is in recovery, sedated and breathing unaided.

Once active again, he will doubtless be singing the praises of our beloved NHS. After all, he contributed to its establishment when, as an 8-year-old boy in 19...

The German socialist women's movement 1890-1914

Or ... the greatest socialist feminist story ever told. A century ago, Germany saw the biggest ever mobilisation of working-class women fighting for socialism.


How did they do it? To my mind, there are three crucial things you have to look at:

  • a detailed organising strategy
  • the...

Hackney's Academies: Sponsors, Selection and the Social Etiquette of Dining

From Del-Boy Trotter's flat in Nelson Mandela House to the CLR James library here in Hackney, you would like to think that if a public building carried a person's name, it was a tribute to some contribution they had made to humanity.


But now, you can get your name over the portal by making a...

New Orleans sacks half its workers

Around three thousand employees are to be made redundant over the next couple of weeks. Would you Adam and Eve it?


A hurricane wrecks the city, so the city does not have enough "income", so it sacks half the people you'd need to rebuild the city! And presumably, nearly all these workers will be...

Paddington crash: six years on

Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of the train crash at Paddington (or Ladbroke Grove, if your prefer) in which 31 people died. Or, more accruately, were killed by privatisation.


I remember it pretty well. It was one of those stories that did not shift from top spot in the news for around a week...

Resolution to TUC Women's Conference 2006

Yesterday, RMT's Women's Advisory Committee agreed to my proposal that we ask the union's Executive to submit the following resolution to next year's TUC Women's conference.


I've been to a few of these annual get-togethers now. It's always worthwhile, mainly for the women trade unionists you meet...

Thin end of the wedge

Yesterday, a certain trade union rep in a certain railway company had a local consultation meeting with a certain manager. All names are withheld, to protect both the innocent and the ridiculous.


Management provide tea and coffee in the workplace. Acting on requests from members, the rep proposed...

Do drunk girls deserve it?

Today, I am pretty annoyed by reading articles about the Portman group's report about boozing and the trouble it allegedly gets you into.


The report, “Anatomy of a big night out”, claims that almost four in ten young women (36%) have been sexually assaulted after getting drunk (the figure for men...

Wollstonecraft Live

Last Friday, I went to see Wollstonecraft Live in Stoke Newington.

It sounded very appealing. Mary Wollstonecraft is an important historical figure (read something I wrote about her a while back here): the founder of feminism, indeed. And the format - a 'multimedia' event starting off indoors then...

It's not a "man's job", it's my job

Thoughts from women railway workers (collected from workmates and RMT women's conference) ...

  • "Sometimes, you feel like you're on trial for the entire female sex. If a bloke makes a mistake, it's 'Fred's having a bad day', but if I do, it's 'Women can't do the job'."
  • "I really enjoy my job...

It's official: the rich live longer

According to today's Metro, a new study has found that "people in wealthy neighbourhoods live five-and-a-half years longer than poorer people just streets away". Researchers from 'data solutions' firm Experian studied hospital records in Huddersfield over a three-year period, and came to the...

Ten of my favourite ... feminist books

Notice the carefully-worded title - so no claims to be a definitive list. Please use the 'comments' facility to add any you want to recommend (or argue about the ones that I have). In no particular order ...


Is the future female? by Lynn Segal. In the 1980s, the remains of the women's...

TUC blog: Bits and Bobs

Some things that didn't fit in to other blog entries ...

  • Workers on the outside
  • Stomach churning
  • Sexist Simpson?
  • JFLAG
  • Fluffy stuff
  • Railwaywomen

    Most days, delegates arriving at the Brighton Centre were met by groups of workers standing outside, pressing their cause:

    • Gate Gourmet
    • DARA...
  • TUC blog: On the fringes

    The rail unions jointly hosted a well-attended fringe meeting outlining the case for bringing the railways back into public ownership. The three General Secretaries - Bob Crow (RMT), Keith Norman (ASLEF) and Gerry Doherty (TSA) - plus Frances O'Grady (TUC Deputy General Secretary) and Tony Benn...

    TUC blog: Debating Iraq

    This afternoon, Congress discussed international issues, including Venezuela and the Western Sahara. It also debated Iraq, kicking off with a motion from the Community and Youth Workers' Union. Doug Nichols gave a pretty standard anti-war speech, effective in outlining what is wrong with the war and...

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