No Pasaran - James Alwyn of Bolton when to Spain to fight for democracy and lay down his life in doing so
Edward McHugh - rediscovering a lost -working-class hero
Ellen Strange - the light that still burns
No Pasaran - James Alwyn of Bolton when to Spain to fight for democracy and lay down his life in doing so
Edward McHugh - rediscovering a lost -working-class hero
Ellen Strange - the light that still burns
to build for 180th anniversary commemoration in 2022
Friday 17 September 2021
Maurice Jagger Centre
junction Lister Street & Winding Road, Halifax, HX1 1UZ
Catherine Howe Halifax born author of Halifax 1842
Matthew Roberts Sheffield Hallam University
Cllr Jenny Lynn Park Ward councillor
Mark Metcalf Halifax freelance journalist
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In August 1842, striking industrial workers in Halifax were attacked by 150 soldiers and 200 specially sworn in constables. At least four were killed whilst many others suffered brutal injuries that are likely to have killed them.
Workers were participating in a nationwide general strike that combined demands for better pay with an extension to those allowed to vote.
Massive wage reductions over the previous two decades had left many workers in great poverty.
At the same time only one man in seven had the right to vote at a General Election.
The strikers called for the same right for all men, because they believed their own parliamentary representatives would bring them some control over the laws under which they lived: laws fashioned to protect property and profit.
In the 179 years since that atrocity of 1842, what has changed for the people of Halifax?
The wealth gap between rich and poor is still here. In recent years it has widened under both Labour and Tory Governments.
Workplaces were hazardous in the 1800s yet are still not safe. We have had a disproportionately high number of COVID deaths in front line workers, and deaths from accidents continue because of cost cutting by employers who ignore Health & Safety laws.
Our environment has greatly changed due to industrialisation. Climate change needs measures taken that do not simply make ordinary people pay for polluting companies going green.
Housing costs – whether to buy or rent have risen sharply. Many young people still have no chance of owning their own home.
Unionisation is no longer a prosecutable offence but today there is still employer and government hostility to the existence of trades unions with Amazon being the latest major company to refuse to allow unions to organise employees.
Tax avoidance is still a fundamental issue with many major companies such as Amazon failing to pay their fair share.
As in 1842, new technology threatens us with unemployment: driverless cars and automation mean millions face being out of work.
We have our NHS but it is facing privatisation with citizens paying exorbitantly for the building of Calderdale Royal Hospital because it was built using expensive private finance.
Today we have a national pension scheme but the state pension age has been increased. Capped pay rises (and pay freezes) for public sector workers also result in lower pensions on retirement.
Many of us enjoy the benefit of university education but students now pay for higher education and once they are saddled with debt, many cannot find decent jobs.
Sexism and racism are no longer left unchallenged as they once were but legislation is hard to enforce. Women should be safe. Ethnic minorities should be empowered to effectively challenge discrimination. The prosecution of attackers should be vigorously pursued.
Today, soldiers are not employed against demonstrators but there is an increasing militarisation of the police whose powers to prevent effective protests including strike action are set to be strengthened through the Policing Bill.
As in 1842 we still live in a society organised on the basis of profit before people.
We will not forget what happened in Halifax in 1842. We will campaign for the changes needed for a better, fairer, more equal society.
A Rough Jersey documentary of 18 minutes in length on how the oldest site in the world to commemorate a domestic violence victim is providing inspiration for campaigners today:-
Stanley Taggart; an ordinary man on an extraordinary day – a Unite booklet by Mark Metcalf
When the spectre of fascism came marching into Stockton in September 1933 it aroused great passion and anger. Ordinary people recognised that fascism would destroy democracy, the trade union and labour movement, create a permanent one-party state, crush individual identity and force the individual to serve the interests of the state. It would lead to genocide and the persecution of minorities and women.
The story of Stanley Taggart is a story of an ordinary man, who did something extraordinary. It’s often said that history is made by the acts of extraordinary individuals, yet it is ordinary people standing together who really make the difference as Bertolt Brecht points out in his fantastically powerful poem, A Worker Reads History – “Each page a victory, at whose expense, the victory ball? Every ten years a great man, who paid the piper?”
The story of a rank-and-file trade unionist, a member of the T&G, (predecessor union to Unite), is the story of us all. I’m sure on that far off morning in September 1933, when Stanley woke up, there must have been a slight temptation to roll back over in bed or choose to do other things that day. Many of us confronted by the choice of taking a stand against injustice, or simply going about our normal daily business, choose the latter.
Stanley Taggart alongside several thousand other local people, when asked by their grandchildren, “what did you do when the fascists came to our town?” was able to stand proud in the knowledge that he wasn’t passive, that he didn’t choose to leave it to others, but that he went out to stop them from spreading their messages of hate and division.
There are lessons for us all in Stanley’s story. It’s often said that evil succeeds when good people fail to stand up to challenge it. When we decide whether to attend that demo, to join that picket line or go to that rally, we place ourselves in history. When we are asked by our grandchildren what we did to stand up to far-right extremism, we need to have a tale or two to tell.
NEW ROUTES TO RECONNECTION
Disabled people enjoy North’s sensory walks
Big Issue North article
An organisation that runs sensory walks for disabled people is launching a third northern route after the success of its first two in Yorkshire.
Sense, a charity that supports people with complex disabilities to communicate, learn and develop, has been connecting them to nature on routes in Rotherham and the woodland, play areas and green spaces of West Bank Park in York.
The people it supports include those who struggle to respond to information from senses such as sounds, sights, smells, textures and taste.
Working with mapping agency Ordnance Survey, Sense’s walks “provide an opportunity to engage with the outdoors in meaningful ways, at the same time as supporting people to be active”, according to Alissa Ayling, Sense’s head of sport and physical activity.
Two disabled people who enjoyed the Rotherham sensory walk are hoping that Sense, partnering with the national mapping agency Ordnance Survey, can build similar projects across the region.
Afzal, aged 41, from Rotherham, is a wheelchair user with arthritis and Crohn’s disease. With the help of his support worker Michaela, he did the sensory walk around the town’s Clifton Park, starting at its museum and going on to the gardens and playgrounds. It has wooded areas for shade in the summer and stunning colours in autumn.
“It allowed me to take a trip down memory lane,” said Afzal. “Before my health deteriorated, I loved walking around the park as it’s close to home and I enjoy being out in the community. Clifton Park is one of Rotherham’s best features.”
Sense was formed in 1955 by two mothers who gave birth to deaf and blind babies after contracting rubella when they were pregnant. Its OS Maps app routes for the sensory walks come with accessibility information, including key milestones and sensory highlights, and are available via the free OS Maps App. Each walk has been established with the help of local walk leaders or groups.
Rajab is another fan of the Clifton Park walk. His carer Neil Davis uses sign language and clear speech to communicate with Rajab. Davis said when he asked Rajab if he would like to go to the park, “he gave a big thumbs up and immediately put his coat on”.
Rajab’s response at the end of the walk – after he had enjoyed the scents, textures and colours of the plants, the sound of falling water and an outdoor exercise area with walk machines – was the same.
One slight negative, according to Afzal, is the steep incline on the return to the museum. But he added: “It was really enjoyable and has been planned well as you can get to see most areas of the park. I love being out in the open air and being able to go on similar walks somewhere else other than my local park would be nice. I am sure disabled people in other towns would welcome similar opportunities.”
Sense is about to launch a third walk, in Cumbria, with the help of Forestry England. Paul Downes, Sense sport and physical activity organiser in northern England, added: “There are plans for new walks to be mapped in the North Yorkshire area with the help of volunteer walk leaders from the Woodland Trust.”
He appealed for anyone who would like to help plot sensory walks to make contact.
The Scottish govt’s seasonal workers pilot scheme exposes a depressing picture
A report into the operations in Scotland of the Seasonal Workers Pilot (SWP), launched by the government in April 2019, that brings temporary agricultural workers from outside the EU, exposes a depressing picture of gross exploitation.
The Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and Fife Migrants Forum (FMF) report into the horticultural sector is the first ever independent evidence of worker experiences on seasonal agricultural workers schemes.
Between 1943 and 2014 the Home Office ran the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme. Throughout the 71-year period no independent reports based on interviews with participating workers were undertaken, a sure sign of how little successive government’s cared about some of the most vulnerable workers in the country.
In the lead up to the UK’s exit from the EU there were concerns that the agricultural sector was suffering a shortfall in workers, resulting in crops being left unharvested.
To solve these problems the SWP was introduced. It began with an annual quota of 2,500 workers, increasing to 10,000 in 2020 and 30,000 this year – when it was opened to workers from EU countries. Ukrainians have made up by far the largest group of SWP workers.
Funded by the Scottish Government, the research by FLEX, assisted by an independent expert on labour exploitation, Caroline Robertson, benefitted enormously from the experiences of two FMF caseworkers who had previously been seasonal agricultural workers in Scotland and who later undertook academic research qualifications. 146 SWP agricultural workers responded to information requests.
Until May 2021, recruitment for the SWP jobs was undertaken by Concordia and Pro-Force Ltd. Migrant workers who are offered posts must fund their own travel costs plus a £244 visa fee. Costs average out at around £900 for each migrant worker. Many are forced to borrow this money from black market sources.
Many workers complained of discrepancies between the information they received before travelling and the nature of the work they were actually required to undertaken on arrival. Documents are rarely translated into mother tongue languages.
Unsafe caravan accommodation, which is exempt from local authority licensing and must be paid for even if there is no work, and the use of zero hours contracts, combined with payment by piece rates, paints a depressing picture made worse by deportation threats by some employers and the impossibility of finding alternative employment.
The report authors state it ‘identifies a serious risk that forced labour could take place on the SWP if action is not taken.’
They want the UK and Scottish Governments to consider a lengthy series of recommendations. They include removing the visa fee and ensuring workers get a guaranteed minimum weekly income of £332.50 for 35 hours a week.
Increasing resources to the Gangmasters and Labour Authority, which has just one staff member in Scotland, is required and there should be new regulations relating to piece rate calculations. An independent helpline with translation into workers’ languages would allow them to raise potential labour abuse. The Scottish Government is asked to offer financial support to migrant community organisations and trade unions.
The Assessment of the risks of human trafficking on UK Seasonal Workers Pilot report is at:-
Northern Ireland agriculutral wages board threatened
Young English workers paid less
Landworker magazine for Tolpuddle Festival
With agricultural workers, especially those under 22, across England continuing to be worse off than their UK counterparts it is vital that UNITE defeats proposals by the Northern Ireland executive to abolish their own Agricultural Wages Board. (AWB)
The England and Wales AWB was scrapped by the Con-Dem coalition government in 2013. Agricultural workers in England faced being paid less than those in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which have had their own AWB’s, on which Unite represents agricultural workers, since 1949 and 1977 respectively.
The move left thousands of workers in Wales and England without union representation over wages and conditions and with no way of knowing when they might next receive a pay increase.
In Wales there was a devolved assembly Labour Government which fought a successful legal battle that allowed it to establish a dedicated Wales AWB, (officially known as the Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales) on which Unite sits, to protect 13,000 low paid agricultural workers.
English workers again lose out
On 1 April 2021, the minimum hourly rate for all Scottish agricultural workers, irrespective of age and duties became £8.91, which is the national minimum wage (NMW) rate across the UK for 23-year-olds. In Wales those aged 16 to 20 are paid £7.84 hourly and those aged 21-22 get £8.36. In Northern Ireland, a minimum hourly rate of £6.95 is paid for the first 40 weeks of employment which rises to a minimum of £7.49 an hour for workers aged under 23.
In comparison to these AWB negotiated rates, young agricultural workers in England are only covered by the NMW hourly rates of £4.62 for under 18s, £6.56 for 18- to 20-year-olds and £8.36 for those aged 21 and 22.
A 20-year-old in Scotland is thus guaranteed £356.40 for a 40-hour working week, in Northern Ireland it is £299.60 and in Wales the figure is £313.60. The sum in England is £262.40, considerably less than elsewhere. The differences for a young person in England aged 18 or under is even greater. It is hardly surprising that young workers in England are not considering entering the agricultural sector.
AWBs also cover pay for workers or all ages in lieu of wages, sick pay, holiday pay, piece rates, overtime rates at 1.5 times the standard rate and it limits deductions for accommodation to a flat rate and which in Northern Ireland is £45 weekly.
UNITE’s predictions were correct
The drop in living standards for agricultural workers in England is exactly what UNITE predicted eight years ago.
A UNITE survey in 2014 found that just 56 per cent of those previously covered by the AWB had had a pay rise. This was despite a third asking for one. Those that did get a pay rise had received less than the whole economy average. Eighty two per cent had any pay rise imposed by their employer, destroying the government and employers earlier claims that abolishing the AWB would free employees to conduct individual negotiations with their employer.
The survey also revealed that no sick pay was being paid by some employers, who had also added an extra hour to the working week before overtime was paid.
Nick Clegg and David Cameron attacked pay and conditions
The history of the AWB can be traced back to the radical, reforming Liberal government in the years leading up to WWI. In his role as Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2015, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg propped up the austerity programme of David Cameron and George Osborne and helped scrap a board that even Margaret Thatcher retained.
Clegg, who is now Vice‑President for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, was knighted for his services in the 2017 New Year Honours list. He should never be forgiven for attacking agricultural workers throughout England.
Northern Ireland fears
In Northern Ireland the AWB is the final collective bargaining mechanism with a responsibility for private sector workers. As the evidence from England since 2013 demonstrates its abolition will ”open the door to a post-Brexit race-to-the-bottom on workers’ and farmers’ pay and conditions” states the UNITE regional officer Sean McKeever.
In January, the Northern Ireland (NI) Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minster Edward Poots of the Democratic Unionist Party announced his intention to end the NI AWB that covers over 11,000 agricultural sector employees. Poots is a member of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) which champions the interests of big ranchers and the agri-food bosses.
At the NI AWB meeting in March, Sean McKeever, unsuccessfully pressed UFU representatives to retain the AWB. “There is a particular need for a collective bargaining body covering agricultural field workers………the sector receives a huge amount of public funds ..it is one which is inherently difficult to organise given the scattered distribution of workers and the prevalence of part-time working……..
“The AWB is of vital importance in countering exploitation, which all too often includes the practice of trafficking and modern-day slavery – especially as many are migrant workers with little other protection.”
Abolishing the AWB in Northern Ireland will also offer further encouragement to the National Farmers Union in Scotland who are known to favour abolishing the board there.
Defend and extend the Northern Ireland AWB
UNITE is strongly opposing the proposals to scrap the NI AWB. See:- https://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigns/stormont-hands-off-our-farm-workers/
The union has written to the leaders of all political parties to oppose abolition.
If you live in Northern Ireland please send a message to your MLA demanding their party stands up for agricultural field and farm workers and use their Ministerial veto, which is what former Agricultural Minister Michelle Gildernew did in 2007, when it was first proposed to scrap the AWB. Details on this can be accessed by the link above.
According to agricultural science worker and Unite member Charlie Clutterbuck the absence of hedgerows and soil in the government’s post-Brexit vision is a sign that any hopes of a rural revitalisation are likely to fall on stony ground.
Relatively unsung by nature lovers and Romantic poets, hedgerows are a fundamental aspect of the British countryside.
Hedgerows come in many shapes and sizes, the best ones for wildlife being broadest at the bottom with woody species such as hawthorn, hazel and field maple. Hedges provide shelter and nesting opportunities for woodland and farmland birds. Nectar, berries, nuts and leaves are food for mammals, birds and invertebrates. They can also help reduce soil erosion and water run-off on arable land. According to Natural England, hedgerows also preserve carbon stocks and wildlife that may have taken centuries to develop.
“A romantic view”
Historically, hedgerows were planted to show ownership boundaries. Many were laid on common land during the enclosures beginning in the 18th century to exclude people who previously used the land. In the 1980s, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy encouraged farmers to pull them down by offering subsidies to make fields bigger. It proved disastrous, with the loss of 23 per cent of hedgerows during the decade.
But Charlie Clutterbuck, who first began writing for the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers in the 1970s, believes Boris Johnson’s statement that “we will use the new freedoms we have after leaving the EU Common Agricultural Policy to support farmers to beautify the landscape” excludes hedgerow restoration and is instead a call for big vistas, reservoirs and rivers.
“It is a romantic view of the countryside, which, sadly appears to have the backing of many environmental organisations.” said Clutterbuck. “You would imagine hedgerows should be in there somewhere – most people would back this – but I have yet to see any words confirming this. Johnson is playing to the City, to big finance who are being invited to make bids under the new Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF).”
Government regulations in 1997 sought to reverse the loss of hedgerows, preventing their removal without local planning permission. The EU also sought to repair some of the damage by later introducing ecological focus areas that included hedgerows.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the total amount of hedgerows, estimated at 402,000 km across England in 2007, has stabilised, but there is no official data.
Clutterbuck is himself part of a Ribble Valley consortium NEIRF bid led by the Larder Project in Preston, which includes key organisations such as the National Farmers Union. NEIRF will provide natural capital grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to “people interested in tackling climate change, creating and restoring habitats or improving water quality”.
But he says government guidelines on these improvements do not include aspects such as hedgerows and soil health. Instead, he said much of the money on the bid he worked on is set aside for consultants at £500- £600 a day.
“Money that once went direct to farmers through Countryside Stewardship Schemes is being replaced by the Sustainable Farming Initiative but half of this funding, around £2 billion, will be cut and replaced by schemes that the government has yet to announce, which will be based on NEIRF ideas.
“These consultants will be focused on attracting large scale funding, whereas in the past farmers big or small got direct payments. Jobs will be lost.
“I fear that attracting large-scale private sector investment will mean largescale landscape picture box projects rather than a working countryside.
“As such a good number are likely to be rewilding and tree plantation projects, neither of which will, after an initial boost, provide long-term employment for local people. “
Clutterbuck is not totally opposed to tree plantations but would much prefer to see priority given to locations such as river banks where trees can hold the soil, thus helping to control water flow and possibly prevent flooding.
Over 200 NEIRF bids have been submitted this year and the 100 or so who have been successful will be notified in July.
” A Defra spokesperson said: “Our new schemes will enable us to reward the work farmers do to manage every metre of hedgerows on their holdings’ sustainability.” But she did not provide any guarantees that any NEIRF projects would include hedgerows.
She did not respond when asked whether funds will be used to pay consultants rather than farmers and farm labourers.
Perhaps the most important aspect of hedgerows is not what we can see above ground, but what is going underground. So often forgotten, soils, are vital to ‘regenerating’ our farming. Regenerative means improving soils, so building from the ground up. Improved soils do more for reducing global warming than any other measure. This is not just because they can hold a lot more carbon than they are now, but they can hold water, enabling more plants to grow. This keeps the temperatures of the earth lower, and should be built into any climate change scheme.
Hedgerows provide deeper rooting systems, so that water runs down the roots instead of running off the land. They will play a vital part in natural flood management, where – by holding water – they can control erosion of land and faster flowing rivers causing erosion and silting up.
The loss of hedgerows in the eastern part of England and where there are now vast plains of monocrops with no hedgerows has led to the erosion of 2 million tons from our best groundwater-dependent ecosystems/land into the North Sea. That – our most valuable asset of any – cannot come back. It is a man-made disaster that will hurt future generations.
“Hedgerows not only create that classic British scene, they also protect our most important asset, our soil, “ said Clutterbuck. “ Marx said that the source of all our wealth is labour and soil. Let’s value both more. We need to regenerate our soils to protect our environment better and so that they can provide better living for those working the land and those of us eating off it.
“That old EU subsidy money should be going to paying workers a decent living wage to regenerate the land, as I proposed in Bittersweet Brexit: The Future of Food, Farming, Land & Labour.”
In Charlie’s book he outlines how the £3bn annual subsidy that was paid out under the EU’s CAP, most of which subsidised large landowners, should, by providing an annual subsidy of £10,000 per job, be switched towards creating 300,000 new rural, decently paid land-based jobs.
Unpublished Landworker article - June 2021
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), which is responsible for crime prosecution in Scotland, has ruled that ‘it would not be in the public interest to hold a Fatal Accident Inquiry in relation to the death’ of Lesley Whitfield, aged 42, who died on 28 November 2018, in an incident involving a quad bike in a forest near Castle Douglas.
The decision followed an HSE investigation into Whitfield’s death, who was one of 32 workers killed in 2018-19 across the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector, around 22 per cent of the UK total of 147 deaths.
A year previous to the tragedy, Unite had warned through its Forestry Commission lead rep Neil Grieve that in Scotland: “Private companies are doing some of the harvesting, road repairs and replanting. This could reduce the direct workplace and we are aware that, just like in Wales, the employees are not enjoying decent terms and conditions.
“They are being exploited by being employed on zero-hours contracts. For the first time in my 30-year career I have seen planting contractors who are living in tents in the forests.” Unsurprisingly, very few workers across the private companies are trade union members.
In response to the COPFS decision a spokesperson for Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) said “We are not in a position to comment on the individual circumstances in this case. However, the health and safety of our contractors continues to be the top priority for the agency– from the tendering and procurement phase right through to contract delivery.
“Every year we are independently audited to ensure we are meeting the standards laid out in the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS). Amongst other requirements, the standard sets out employee and contractor’s rights to trade union membership, pay exceeding the statutory national living wage, access to a grievance procedure and relevant measures relating to compliance and conformance (including anti-corruption) and workers’ rights (measuring compliance with workers’ rights legislation).”
Nevertheless, planting contractors on FLS land in the winter months are still living in makeshift camp sites.
It is clear, and is confirmed by the article elsewhere in this magazine on the seasonal workers project, that land-based workers in Scotland are being expected to endure living conditions that should not be acceptable in the 21st century.
21 July 2021
Gerard Dempsey Resignation with Immediate Effect
I write to resign my membership and record my utmost disgust at the ongoing misconduct by the so called Leadership, acting GS, Officers and most of the current inept PLP.
It is a challenge to keep it brief at the toxic nature of the above and almost any tangible trace of socialist values from the party.
Expunging socialism from the party and attacks on decent socialists.
Whipping up bogus Anti semitsm with right wing groups and the BoD.
Whilst engaging in racism and inequality against other groups including by MPs and staff towards muslims, blacks, gypsies and travellers.
Failing to defend Palestinians from the brutal oppression and genocide by the Israel state including murder, torture, ethnic cleansing of palestinians.
We have witnessed Assaf Kaplan being hired by Labour as a social listening and organising manager, a new post described as “a crucial new role at the heart of Labour’s new approach to digital campaigning”.
The complaint from Bindmans solicitors alleges that Kaplan worked for Unit 8200, the cyber branch of the Israeli Defence Force, from 2009 to 2013. It adds that the unit has been mired in controversy over its surveillance practices against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza.
The party failure to suspend /expel all those Cllrs involved in the Rotherham CSE Grooming that caused over 1600 children to be sexually abused and raped. The lack of safeguarding and the Coverups on an industrial scale for years.
Failure of the LP to deal with above complaints on the above for many years; then again approving the same unfit Cllrs to
Rotherham Council and other councils embraced tory cuts rather than fight.
They ignored the valiant campaign to save Day Care Centres in Rotherham that every major union, socialists, communities and over 100, 000 who signed petitions, campaigned and opposed the Council's pernicious closure of every Learning Disability Day Care centre in Rotherham serving the most vulnerable.
On the NHS bill we are treated with a
kak handed policy.
Labour is rightly voting against I believe and yet it is Labour Cllrs who have sat in the integrated care partnerships for 2-3 years and which are now to be key to further NHS destruction
Not one Labour Cllr has ever resigned from being a member of the integrated care partnerships.
Its all about the cash and gravy train.
Just 32 Labour MPs (approximately 16%) signed the motion opposing the USA takeover & wholesale privatisation of our NHS.
Labour should be Standing up for our NHS night & Day to defend our frontline heroes.
They should be Exposing the sale of the NHS 24/7.
But They won't, they are funded by spivs, fat cats and several Private Health Vultures.
Labour are reduced to flogging off NHS/Labour pin badges
Undermining the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn for 5 years by most of the PLP and GLU staff.
Recklessly and deliberate acts to lose the 2017 and 2019 elections.
Putting forward the 2nd brexit referendum by Starmer that was incendiary and toxic on the doorsteps despite the most welcome and progressive manifesto for generations.
Emma Dent Coad was spot on with her recent comments about the Establishment clone
Sir Starmer. We are under no illusions about Starmer as he continues his merry way to wreak destruction on the Labour Party on behalf of the Establishment, with whom Starmer is very unified.
Starmar jailed julian assange on a pack of wicked lies for the Establishment.
All part of preserving the status quo for the establishment with Starmers dodgy involvement in the Trilateral commision.
Finally, Keir Starmer refused to sign Unite’s letter demanding an end to fire & rehire.
It says so much. Disgraceful.
Time he showed some guts and passion by genuinely talking for workers.
Starmer and his front bench failed to challenge the Government for months including on lack of PPE and duty of care to our NHS and social care staff. They were woefully silent and in a state of paralysis.
The movement and public had to do it.
Then Starmer infamously pushed the government to re-open schools, “No ifs, no buts, no equivocation” – and schools promptly became the main driver for the new ‘Delta’ third wave of the pandemic.
They refused to heed the pleas by our dedicated teaching staff and their trade unions.
We had a footballer who had to lead the just fight for free school meals. Whilst Sir keith was too busy waiting for his focus groups to tell him which way to go!
At best, Starmer is totally inept, out of his depth and got dreadful judgement.
The failure to publish the findings of the Forde Inquiry.
Using members and trade union monies to reward wrongdoing of party staff instead of dismissing them for gross misconduct.
Plotting against party members
There is nothing in the custom & practice of Labour’s best traditions that prevents members from voicing criticisms of the current leadership.
Plotting, scheming, diverting election monies - now that would be different!
The above factors demonstrate the appointment of an unfit and not fit for purpose acting Labour GS.
A Leadership that has been took over again by Neo liberalism and that has rode roughshod over the values & principles of the movement.
Behaving more like a Tory Reserve 2nd eleven or bargain basement Tory Tribute band.
It's difficult to have principles when you frankly don't believe in anything under the current leadership.
When you inherit the largest socialist party in Europe, lose over 115k members on YOUR watch, alienate loyal Left trade unionists, create disunity, take your party to the brink of bankruptcy. And your answer is to proscribe groupings. Its absolutely appalling.
The latest attacks on socialist groups and members.
What has happened to the values of
UKLabour when members and MPs can jump in bed with those who attacked trade unionists, Liverpool supporters and phone tapping families like Milly Dowler.
As they brief & write for The Sun, seek the support of Murdoch, without fear of discipline.
But going to political schools to understand the relevance & application of the theories of Marxism creates panic.
"An attack on one, is an attack on us all
We stand in Solidarity"
I have broken free from my chains.
I have cancelled my direct debits.
My conscience will not tolerate it for a moment longer to now belong to a party that has lost its moral compass.
It now exists in name only - it stains and violates real labour values of our Movement.
Wentworth & Dearne CLP
Former Unite the Union Executive Member
Print & Media Sector - GPM&IT Sector