UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Prentis supports BDS demand in response to Israeli state terror‏

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis has joined forces with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other union leaders in a public statement of solidarity with the besieged citizens of Gaza.

Gaza Flotilla: Thousands protest in Edinburgh. Photos

Over 4,000 demonstrators marched through Central Edinburgh this afternoon to protest against the Israeli killing of at least 9 unarmed aid workers from many different countries who had been sailing to Gaza with humanitarian aid in an attempt to break Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza.

Gaza Flotilla Demonstrations today

London: 13.30 outside Downing Street
March to the Israeli Embassy in Kensington. The organisers are the Palestine Solidarity Campaign along with CND, the Stop the War coalition, the British Muslim Initiative and Viva Palestina
Edinburgh: 14.00 Mound Precinct Princes Street
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/

Scotland: NHS loses 4000 jobs as bankers get bonus for making a loss!

The NHS in Scotland is facing 4,000 job cuts as the SNP government plans a £270million cut in spending following a tight budget settlement earlier this year. And even further cuts are expected after the Westminster ConDem ‘emergency budget’ on 22 June with knock-on effects in Scotland over the next few years.

Harold Pinter honoured by Cuban Council of State‏

Harold Pinter, the British playwright and winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, was posthumously awarded a medal in May, in recognition of his outstanding commitment to the cause of international solidarity and friendship with the people of Cuba.

Tears of Blood by Laila Yaghi‏

Sometimes tears have to drop
But too many tears turn into blood
Oh Palestine my ancestors’ land

Friday, 4 June 2010

Privatisation Resumes - the World Bank is Happy‏

A recent report out from the World Bank highlights the decline in privatisation in 2007 and 2008 across the world's public services due of course to the collapse in bank lending. The World Bank's four-page analysis of "Privatization Trends" is available at:

Thursday, 3 June 2010

New alliances required to fight cuts‏

A very useful discussion paper on ‘constructing alliances to oppose cuts in and privatisation of public services’ has been written by Professor Gregor Gall of the University of Hertfordshire.

Mandy's World‏

Today’s Times has an extended advert by Peter Mandelson for his new book under the headline ‘New Labour is dead, long live New labour.’ Its 1000 words is a repetition of ‘me, me, me, me’ and ‘by the way I was right all along.’

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

No cuts, more growth - European Day of Action‏

On September 29, to coincide with a meeting of European finance ministers, the ETUC will organise a European Day of Action.


Headlines on Thursday morning highlighted the Con Dem proposals for a shake up of the welfare system. This time we are promised a benefits revolution- a promised simplification of major benefits to just two, with the withdrawal of benefits taking place more slowly so that those moving into work don’t face the problem of losing more than they gain by taking a job. Noble sentiments that it is hard to disagree with, for sure. But can the rhetoric match up to the situation in reality?

Israel must be held to account - Richard Burden MP‏

Richard Burden British MP, Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, has demanded that Israel be held to account for its appalling attack on the Gaza aid flotilla:

EU ‘social dialogue’ – dancing on the public sector’s grave‏

The Guardian reports on efforts of the European Union to promote austerity measures to reduce public finance deficits. It is one plank of a strategy to placate financial speculators.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Gaza protest 31 May 2010: Speeches at Downing Street‏

The Stop the War Coalition website has uploaded videos of the speeches at yesterday's Downing Street protest when thousands converged on London to protest at the massacre of peace activists by Israeli forces.

Histradut apologia for indefensible massacre - pinning blame on innocent victims‏

Last night the UN Security Council agreed an unprecedented (US backed) statement critical of the Israeli state in which it "condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families."

Monday, 31 May 2010

Manchester protests at Israeli terror attack‏

Tonight in Manchester almost 1000 protestors converged on the Oxford Road studios of the BBC in an impromptu demonstration against the massacre of civilian volunteer members of the Gaza aid flotilla.
Bob Oram

Inhumane, illegal and insane: A Medieval Siege on Gaza in 2010‏

Through a policy of siege lasting nearly three years, the 1.5 million people of Gaza have been isolated, impoverished and largely ignored by the outside world. At 630PM on Tuesday 1 June at LSE John Ging, Director of UNRWA Operations, discusses the counter-productivity of the siege on Gaza - a medieval measure which threatens to destroy the mentality, mindsets and outlook of hundreds of thousands of innocents in a process designed to unravel the fabric of civilised society. Left to respond to ever-growing needs, UNRWA in Gaza is not only concerned with the harsh realities of daily life, but also with future prospects for peace and stability.
Date: Tuesday 1 June 2010
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: New Theatre, East Building, LSE
Speaker: John Ging
Chair: Professor Christine Chinkin

North East message to EDL - 'you're not welcome here'‏

Unfortunately the EDL were allowed to march in Newcastle over the Bank Holiday weekend despite the many protests that were made objecting to such an offensive event in a Region known for its tolerance and friendliness. The Northern TUC mobilised a counter protest in the heart of the City, bringing together trade unions, politicans, anti-racist campaigners and local bands to give a resounding 'You are not welcome here' message to the EDL, and to promote our anti-racism message.

Palestine Solidarity: EMERGENCY ACTION

20 unarmed civilians on board the international humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza have been killed by Israeli naval forces, reports the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, as it urges people to demonstrate and protest to William Hague and Nick Clegg.

Unions face 'moment of truth' - FT‏

The FT surveys the industrial and political influence of the UK trade unions as Unite, GMB and UNISON meet successively in conference over the next 3 weeks.

Terrorist state kills 10 in attack on Gaza aid flotilla‏

Israeli forces have attacked the international aid convoy Freedom Flotilla en route to the besieged Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 50 injured. The attack came this Monday morning, 31st May, after one of the six ships in the convoy was hit by Israeli navy forces before being stormed by commandos descending from helicopters.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Labour should speak out in defence of state education‏

Labour should speak out against Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove's invitation to all 20 000 state schools in England to consider converting into academies - independent of local education authorities but controlled by sponsors - says education campaigner Fiona Millar in an Independent on Sunday article.

The man with the hoe by Edwin Markham‏

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?