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

Saturday, 7 June 2014

G4S under pressure to withdraw from Israeli prisons

Campaigners from War on Want, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and other organisations attended Thursday’s G4S Annual General Meeting and called for an end to the company’s complicity in Israel’s illegal occupation and the imprisonment and torture of Palestinians, including children:

Egemonia Culturale by Mark A. Murphy‏

Antonio Gramsci knows only too well
the limitations of ‘common sense’,
hunch-backed, fading away in his Turi cell,
constantly in pain –
while the ‘natural’ and ‘inevitable’ nature of man
plays itself out in the Senate,
the Sardinian countryside
and the Fiat and Lancia factories of Turin,
where ‘parliamentary immunity’
is a phrase that is to be found wanting.

Friday, 6 June 2014

On D-Day – Remember why they fought

Watching the BBC broadcasting from Normandy, with Chuck, his Ma and her bidie-in, any socialist could almost be forgiven for disassociating themselves from the whole enterprise. Ceremonies like this always bring God, Queen and country to the fore. But the anniversary of D-Day deserves more respect, because we need to remember why they fought.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Queen’s Speech 2014 – Sleepwalking into oblivion

Google searches sometimes provide the most unusual results, in this case by providing a link to the Queens Speech under “Arts and Entertainment”. This proves one of two things - either Google has a sense of humour or is a sadist, because there was nothing entertaining about this legislative programme.
  This government revels in its declaration of the green shoots of recovery, proclaiming that the economy is improving  and that everything is getting better. Meanwhile in the real world the percentage of those working but living in poverty continues to increase, as demonstrated by the increases in those in work claiming housing benefit.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Permanent austerity is a road to oblivion for Labour

Friday’s speech by Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the treasury, was a wholly inadequate response to the recent local and European parliament elections. Leslie stated that ‘we won't be able to undo the cuts that have been felt in recent years, and I know that this will be disappointing for many people’. TUC advisor Richard Murphy rightly points out that ‘Labour is offering the politics of despair and not hope. It is the politics and economics of reckless irresponsibility. And it is the economics of those without the courage to deliver change, most especially for those who are dependent upon that change happening in this country’.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Unions under the microscope

Last week’s Radio 4 broadcast of a debate on the state of the unions coincided with the BIS publication of the Government’s annual estimate of union membership in the UK. It was a mixed bag of a report with 2013 showing positive growth (+61,000) in private sector membership but that welcome trend was offset by a marginal decline in overall union density (down to 25.6%). The same might be said of the radio debate, which included Frances O’Grady and Alan Johnson MP as well as some excellent studio audience input. Available online until Wednesday 4 June.

Dazzle of Day by Pablo Neruda

Enough now of the wet eyes of winter.
Not one single tear.
Hour by hour, green is beginning,
the essential season, leaf by leaf,
until, by spring’s name, we are summoned
to take part in its joy.
How wonderful, its eternal openness,
clean air, the promise of flower,
the full moon leaving
its calling card in the foliage,
men and women trailing from the beach
with a wet basket of shifting silver.