Saturday, 16 June 2018

THE PLAN : " This is an amazing story that needs to be told."

The crowdfunding site is now open for a new film - THE
 PLAN that came from the bottom up - about the inspiring 1970s Lucas Aerospace workers Alternative Plan to shift from arms manufacture to socially useful and environmentally
 sustainable production.

 You can watch the trailer there, see what we need the funds for and also info about this feature length film

 Please support and share it far & wide so the film can be released in October and make a contribution to sowing the seeds for many more such plans. 

Many Thanks   

 “This film will capture a unique moment in our history - highly skilled workers showing how to turn swords into ploughshares. It is a vital lesson for us now, as

 Labour leaders ask questions about common ownership, what we produce and who benefits from the products. We can be inspired by the Lucas workers, by their foresight and imagination. Please support this film, see it, promote it and
 discuss it. If we want to transform society, this is a good
 place to start.” Ken Loach, Director & Political Activist

 "Those who make nuclear submarines can perfectly well make medical equipment, wind farms and tidal barriers for
 alternative sources of energy. People can move from
 destructive to constructive work - hospitals, homes and schools - if there is political will and imagination. We need more of both right now".
 Bruce Kent, Vice President Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 

 " This is an amazing story that needs to be told. Britain still
 ploughs huge amounts of resource - both human and financial - into the arms trade, when we really should be diversifying our economy urgently. I really look forward to seeing this film - and celebrating the Lucas Plan story"
 Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Campaigning against academisation – how to turn the tide

Monday, 11 June 2018

Unsung Hero: The Jack Jones Story

TUC London, East & South East (LESE)
International Affairs Committee and Pensioners’ Network supported
Film Screening and Audience Q&A:
Unsung Hero: The Jack Jones Story

Monday 2 July 2018, 7-9.30pm

FREE ADMISSION (registration essential)

Please Register: / 020 7467 1220 

‘Unsung Hero – The Jack Jones Story’ is a documentary on one of the greatest British figures of the past century –
a man who exercised more power over government economic policy than any other trades union leader in British history.
Jones took on four of the great evils of modern times: poverty, fascism, worker exploitation and pensioner poverty - and took them on with so much conviction that at one point,
the public voted him the most powerful man in Britain. The life of Jack Jones mirrors the story of the 20th century - a man whose like we may never see again.

For your information:
World Premiere!!!
Unsung Hero – The Jack Jones Story
Friday 15 June 2018 7:30pm
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Liverpool L1 9BP

Bromley Green Party at against Racism demo 9/6/2018

There were 15.000 fascists in Whitehall and only 200 Stand Up to Racism campaigners.

The police really protected us and helped us safely to the underground.

At Lewisham Mosque there were some excellent speeches and solidarity, but there was no opposition

Was proud to represent Bromley Green Party.


Wednesday, 6 June 2018


In September 2017 TUC Congress took the historic step of unanimously passing a motion on climate change, noting that it is “..driving unprecedented changes to our environment”.

The motion blamed “..incoherent UK government policy” for “..undermining measures to achieve the UK carbon reduction targets.”.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady’s statement of 5th June 2018 seems to be equally incoherent in calling for an immediate go ahead to building a third Heathrow airport runway. She advocates this because it “will create thousands of high-quality jobs and apprenticeships” and claims this will benefit local communities.

Levels of air pollution, noise pollution and associated diseases are already high around Heathrow. Those who suffer most from this are the workers in the airport, workers in its associated industries, and often their families, if they live nearby. Heathrow expansion will increase pollution and increase the number of people exposed to it.

As well as this, Heathrow expansion is will increase greenhouse gas emissions which are already exceeding UK government reduction targets.

Attempting to insist that the possible new jobs will be ‘high quality’ and paid a living wage, although a justified aim for Trades Unionists, is hardly adequate compensation for the global and local damage that is likely to be caused.

It is sad that Frances O’Grady did not take the opportunity to advocate alternatives such as the 1 million climate jobs proposals of the Campaign Against Climate Change. Thousands of high-quality jobs and apprenticeships could also be created by promoting and developing low carbon technologies and infrastructure. Furthermore, the associated community benefits need not be confined to the relatively affluent South East.

The TUC should be living up to its aim “to make the working world a better place for everyone”, not advocating retrograde proposals such as Heathrow expansion.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

London university criticised for spending £415,000 on protest security

London university criticised for spending £415,000 on protest security…/university-of-london-criticis…

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green party, said: “It is astonishing to see a university which failed to give workers the pay it promised spend nearly £415,134 on security for a peaceful protest.”
University of London spent money on security during protests in support of outsourced workers

One year on: Justice for Grenfell Solidarity March

One year on: Justice for Grenfell Solidarity March
June 29th Branch Meeting - President of the Grenada TUC will be our guest

One year on: Justice for Grenfell Solidarity March

Join the Fire Brigades Union as we march to Downing Street with Justice4Grenfell on 16 June to demand justice for the victims of the disaster.
One year ago 72 people died and 70 were injured in the worst fire in the UK for decades. Since then there has been a trail of broken promises from the government.
• 50% of survivors and displaced families are still in emergency accommodation
• A Public Inquiry that a year on has only just begun, so we are no closer to the truth
• 300 tower blocks across the country covered in dangerous cladding used on Grenfell Tower. Building & fire safety regulations still not fit for purpose
We need to show the government that our campaign will not stop until justice is delivered for every victim of Grenfell Tower.
more details...

Monday, 4 June 2018

Don’t Take The NHS For Granted – Stand Up To The Tories On June 30th

Low paid workers, pushed to the brink. Specialist services, cut back or closed. Bed numbers are down. Surgeries are cancelled, and patients left in limbo – or for dead. There is no sign of change from the Tories. Jeremy Hunt wears his NHS lapel pin almost as if to mock the nurses, doctors and patients being failed by his policies.
Whole departments are being sold off, piece by piece, to private providers. As Corbyn has said before, we must oppose any move to create “an NHS where they feel for your purse before they feel for your pulse”. The prospect of a US-style healthcare system run in the interests of businesses is very real.
This government’s ideological drive to privatise our health service puts the very basis on which it was formed under threat. As someone currently in and out of hospital every week, I can truly appreciate our free and public health service, but also feel the incredible strain it is under. Despite the fantastic work of our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, the conditions they are working in – and the budgets they are working with – are simply not up to scratch.
The student NHS bursary is gone: despite committing 2,300 hours on placement, student nurses, midwives and other trainees are shouldering a huge debt to work for free. Is it any wonder the number of applications has fallen so sharply? Despite the Prime Minister’s pledge to prioritise the issue at the start of her term, mental health budgets have been slashed.
People are literally dying as a result of this government’s neglect of our NHS, and every day it becomes more and more essential that we take action at every opportunity to show our support for a public health system, and an end to its stealth privatisation.
It is easy to take the NHS for granted – it can feel as though it has always been here. That’s why we must remind ourselves that the NHS is a triumph of modern history, and it is only through our collective strength that it will survive.

This June marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the NHS. A platinum anniversary! The People’s Assembly Against Austerity has announced that we will be mobilising a march for our NHS on June 30th.
The People’s Assembly has mobilised some of the biggest demonstrations this country has seen, including last year’s march for the NHS – the largest in its history. The PAAA’s actions have acted as a springboard and rallying point for local protests and national strikes, too. Local groups have played a key role in mobilising at a grassroots level, such as during the junior doctors’ strike. When Bristol’s NHS Children’s Services were at risk of being sold to Richard Branson’s Virgin, local activists and trade unions came together to oppose the move. More recently, the campaign against the closure of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary saw similarly inspiring local resistance.
National mobilisations provide an opportunity for local struggles to link up and show this government that, while their cuts may be designed to carve up our health service, they will not divide our movement. This time, on June 30th, we hope to bring together thousands of NHS workers, patients, activists, trade unionists and their families to show the mass support for a free and public NHS, and our opposition to the crisis in care and cuts to services currently facing this country.
The People’s Assembly is working jointly with Health Campaigns Together, a coalition of grassroots organisations working to defend our NHS. It includes Keep Our NHS Public, the Socialist Health Association, Momentum NHS, Unite, GMB and Unison.
We will be assembling in Whitehall and marching to a site where we will hear from speeches and bands. This is a chance to actually celebrate our NHS, its fantastic achievements and the staff who work within it, as well as protest the devastation it is now facing under this Conservative government. We will show our support for a free, universal and publicly owned National Health Service.
See you there, for #OurNHS.
Shelly Asquith is a Labour member in Cities of London and Westminster and a member of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity national committee.
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity will also be mobilising for the TUC national demonstration on the 12th May, and is hosting its national conference in London on 2nd June.
This piece was commissioned by guest editor Diane Abbott.

Friday, 1 June 2018

UCU conference: leadership, unwilling to accept criticism, has acted anti-democratically

The annual UCU conference has begun and the leadership, unwilling to accept criticism, has acted anti-democratically and with contempt of its members reports Des Freedman

Democracy thwarted – that’s the outcome of an extraordinary opening day of the annual conference of UCU, the union representing university and college staff including those who took 14 days of strike action in February and March to oppose cuts to their pension.
Three times in a single day, the union’s general secretary, Sally Hunt, led a walk out of full-time officials in order to prevent delegates voting on motions that were critical of Hunt and the union’s leadership. This follows widespread criticism of the lack of accountability of UCU officials during negotiations with the employers over pensions and substantial manoeuvring in order to impose a ballot on the employer’s offer against the wishes of dozens of branches. Motion 10 from Exeter called for the resignation of the general secretary while Motion 11 from King’s censured her for not accurately relaying the positions of branches at a national delegates’ meeting in March. A motion from Sheffield that called for a review of the union’s democratic structures was initially kept off the conference agenda but delegates voted to hear it and then passed the motion itself.
Conference was suspended several times as officials complained that these motions would “breach agreements between Unite [representing the officials] and UCU which protect employees’ dignity at work and right to due process.” Unite has now, apparently, declared a trade dispute with UCU.
For many delegates, this was simply a premeditated attempt to scupper democratic debate and to prevent legitimate discussion about the tactics adopted by the leadership during the dispute. Motions 10 and 11 were both ordered onto the conference agenda many weeks ago so why wait until the very last minute to raise objections? Even more worryingly, where is the democratic mandate to put pressure on rank and file delegates to withdraw motions that have been passed in quorate branch meetings?
According to TassiaKobylinska, a delegate representing Goldsmiths, “the phrase ‘Motions 10 and 11’ will now enter the lexicon of our future discussions about democracy and accountability and making the university ours. Shutting down debate never works and walking out on motions that were democratically voted for in branches has only strengthened members’ resolve to hold the leadership to account.”
In fact, while many branches have been vocal in their criticism of the leadership’s conduct during the dispute, very few were actually willing to table motions of no confidence in the general secretary, focusing instead on more proactive initiatives designed to wrest back control of the dispute from unelected officials. For example, more than 20 branches backed a call for a Special Higher Education Conference designed specifically to discuss the pensions dispute – an event that is now due to take place on 21 June – while conference itself voted for a national dispute committee to oversee any future action.
The leadership’s behaviour yesterday marks the sharpest break yet between the energy and determination of the thousands of new members who joined UCU during the pensions dispute and the conservatism of a leadership that refuses basic demands for transparency and accountability. It demonstrates that there is a gulf between a rank and file that showed enormous spirit throughout the spring and a leadership that shows little concern for allowing this rank and file to shape the union’s strategy.
It’s vital that both motions are debated on Friday – without intimidation or the red-baiting that has inevitably been part of the press reaction. If the officials once again threaten to walk out and suspend the conference, then delegates should do what they did in response to the first walk-outs: continue the debate, listen to the motions and take charge of the union.
There will be voices that argue that the shenanigans at conference mark the end of the UCU as a serious force and as a democratic union. The best response is not to give up on the union but to tackle the bureaucracy by non-bureaucratic means: by building activist branches that will produce delegates who demand a different kind of leadership than the one that we currently have.
So it’s vital that activists remain fully focused on meeting the external challenges we face. Pay is a central issue for the whole union. Ten further education colleges have been on strike with action continuing over the next couple of weeks while higher education members are set to ballot soon on the employers’ “final offer” of 2 percent. The pensions strike is in a hiatus pending the outcome of the deliberations of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), the body that was set up by both UCU and employers in order to come up with a valuation that provides a more meaningful view of USS assets than the one that triggered the initial dispute. There is no guarantee, however, that the JEP will actually deliver on its promise nor that the USS Trustees will actually listen to its recommendations. Activists have to find ways of rebuilding the momentum that has, not surprisingly, ebbed since the dispute was suspended. The Special Higher Education Sector Conference provides one such opportunity but reconvening strike committees before the end of the summer term in order to prepare for further industrial action in the autumn is equally important.
The actions of the leadership in Manchester are shameful and in stark contrast to the imagination and inspiration shown by ordinary strikers in both further and higher education. Our best response to a leadership that can’t take legitimate criticism is to show leadership ourselves: organising to win the pay ballots, to work with students against marketisation and to be the backbone of a defence of public education.
Des Freedman

Des Freedman

Des Freedman is Professor of Media and Communications in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of 'The Contradictions of Media Power' (Bloomsbury 2014), co-editor of 'The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance' (Pluto 2011), chair of the Media Reform Coalition and secretary of Goldsmiths UCU.