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

Saturday, 22 October 2011

UNISON speaking up for social care

UNISON is the major voice for social care and home care in the UK and this was underlined at this year’s national seminar in London on Thursday 20 October. Members from across the country backed an organising agenda to defend services, service users and workers amidst unprecedented cuts and privatisation.

More delay on review of party funding as Tories block compromise solution

The Independent reports on a Tory rearguard action to block the likely (and much delayed) recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life's inquiry into party funding. The proposed settlement would exempt union affiliation fees from a £10,000 donations cap subject to new transparency rules (below) - already met by the UNISON political fund: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/camerons-fury-at-plan-to-curb-rich-backers-2374247.html

Grotesque scenes in Libya an affront to civilisation

Whilst Libyans take photos of Gaddafi's body in Misrata, where a guard let small groups in to a meat store to view the corpse of a dictator (and recent customer of British arms manufacturers) it brings home the spectre of a ‘’new Libya” styled by Cameron et al.

The Masterplan by Richard Barrett

1. the cause and the effect
like a Dick Whittington myth
imagining cities
setting for alchemical opportunities
sweat into gold
actually: sweat into grime
poverty and squalor

Friday, 21 October 2011

Local government bearing brunt of public sector job losses

Yesterday marked the 1st anniversary of the Con Dem’s misnamed comprehensive spending review, and a new report confirms that local government is bearing the brunt of the resultant job losses – a remarkable 240,000 already – out of 400,000 predicted to be lost across the public sector by 2014/15: http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2011/10/councils-take-brunt-of-public-sector-job-losses/

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Turning protest into political action

The Spanish indignados occupation of central Madrid against austerity has now spawned protests in more than 900 cities around the world. Yet a rightwing neoliberal government is likely to be elected in the November 20 general election. How the left can turn disaffection into real political change is the key challenge facing those protesting against austerity writes Seumas Milne:

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Toynbee gubs taxdodgers alliance

See Polly Toynbee waste the taxdodgers alliance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4iLOP1WCVk
Also yesterday Dave Prentis took part in the BBC Radio 4 'you and yours' programme debating the right to strike and industrial relations with Ed Holmes of the Thatcherite lobby group Policy Exchange http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Between a rock and a hard place: The fate of Palestinian political prisoners‏

Civil Rights organisation Al Haq and Palestian Prisoner Aid group Addameer question the terms of release.
On 11 October 2011, the Israeli government and Hamas authorities concluded a deal whereby 1,027 Palestinian prisoners will be released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a long-awaited development for Palestinian prisoners, their families and Palestinian society. As organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), however, it is the obligation of Addameer and Al-Haq to highlight their concerns and condemn those aspects of the deal that are fundamentally at odds with international law.

The other 'occupy' movement - how corporate lobbyists have hijacked British politics

A Guardian analysis of links between government and corporations as well as a FT report on attendance at this year's conferences of the 3 main political parties shows beyond doubt that politics in Britain no longer serves citizens and party members but is a domain dominated by the vested interests of big business and its hireling politicians:

Second 24-hour strike in Barnet

UNISON members at the Tory flagship council in Barnet, North London are staging another 24 hour strike today in protest at plans to transfer staff to the private sector. Branch Secretary John Burgess said " The council is gambling that the private sector can deliver £100 million savings over the next 10 years. We have seen no evidence to substantiate these claims. In other parts of the country we have seen the consequences of such blind allegiance to 'public sector bad, private sector good'. Our members are not daft, they can see that redundancy and cuts to jobs and services are behind the transfer from the council to a private sector contractor" http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/council-staff-to-stage-24hour-strike-2371897.html

Monday, 17 October 2011

Threat to Derecognise Unite at Honda?

It just won't go away. As the UK economy crawls across the desert that is the global recession, employers are determined to attack unions as a means to preserve global profit. Hard on the heels of UNISON's recent successful re-recognition campaign at Plymouth Council, Unite have now caught Honda management red handed discussing plans to derecognise them:
UK unions are approaching a major crossroad - do we persist in yearning for partnership or do we move our resources to organising more powerful unions?

An upsurge of anger and bitterness

‘Anti-capitalism is now firmly on the march’ claims Labour MP Michael Meacher - in doing so he makes an important connection between the worldwide upsurge in protests against austerity and the recent exposure of extreme right-wing corporate dominance ‘which behind the scenes runs most Western countries’

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Financial war by Thobile Maso

This is the crux of the entire question upon us all
Why engaged in a hand-to-mouth endeavour to adapt
Are we ready! Really, really ready!
To look facts in the face and put our affairs in order
Why we talk peace in a war and not war to make peace
Do we not have adequate machinery at hand?
To deal with the great complications ahead of us
Is it so difficult to increase provisions of home-grown food for the nation
Capitalist financial crisis has been in ICU
Don’t see the whole country is completely overmastered by the privately owned
Why not cushion blows through Nationalisation or Socialisation
Is not appropriate to communalise all the means of creating and distributing wealth
Is rapidness so dangerous than procrastination
Why almost as far off as ever what we championed for generations
Of course, some of us are shareholders and debenture-holders
We are victims and volunteers of monopoly game plays
Why rights of property be upheld against the interests of the entire community
What a system! What a crime!
Experience is the best teacher but the school fees are very heavy
We are suffocated by ideas of individual interests as opposed to collective advantage
We can’t mend it! We must end it!
This is a financial – economic war
Fight it!!