Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Geoff Martin calls for Green vote

Geoff Martin, Labour's parliamentary candidate in Sutton and Cheam in 1992 and a leading campaigner in the fight to save services at St Helier Hospital today called on local voters to back Sutton's Green Candidate Peter Hickson.
Geoff Martin, who lives in Sutton and who was expelled by the Labour Party last year, said: "Voters sick and tired of the spin and sleaze of the main Parties have a real choice in Sutton and Cheam and I would urge them to vote for the Green candidate Peter Hickson and give the political elite a real kick up the backside.

The Greens oppose privatisation of services like the NHS and support workers rights and decent pay and pensions. I would call on all trade unionists and socialists in Sutton to make a positive decision and give Peter Hickson and the Green Party your vote.

The Labour Party in this area is dead in the water and traditional Labour voters who feel badly let down by 13 years of Blair and Brown have a real alternative in Peter Hickson and the Greens. My advice is don't stay at home getting angry on May 6th - get down the polling station and vote for Peter."

Notes for editors:

Geoff Martin was Labour's parliamentary candidate in Sutton and Cheam in 1992. A high profile trade unionist who was UNISON convenor for a decade, he was expelled by Labour last year after 30 years as a member. He was prominent in the long fight to save services at St.Helier hospital, Carshalton; and is currently a national officer of the RMT.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Councillor Reed wriggles: New labour and the minimum wage in Lambeth

By Joseph Healy

On Saturday afternoon I turned up in the centre of Brixton for an event to demand the Living Wage for Lambeth organised by the South London and Lambeth sections of London Citizens. A large crowd had gathered, representing churches and mosques in Lambeth. The political glitterati had also appeared
– Tessa Jowell, Chukka Umunna (Labour candidate for Streatham and sometimes called the ‘British Obama’) Chris Nicholson (Lib Dem candidate for Streatham) the Labour Council Leader, Steve Reed (inventor of John Lewis Council model) and the Lib Dem group leader, Ashley Lumsden – no sign of the

I was aware that Becca Thackray, our one councillor on Lambeth Council had put a motion to Lambeth over a year ago asking for the Living Wage for contracted staff etc but it had been blocked by Labour. I had received a request from someone involved with London Citizens not to try and hijack the event so I only mentioned the motion and the fact that Greens had got the policy adopted elsewhere. I thought that the beaming council leader would get away with hypocritically stating that Labour supported it also.

However, I had tipped off London Citizens beforehand and was pleasantly surprised when they announced that Lambeth’s contracted staff were not receiving LW – they produced a cleaner from Brixton Market, who told how he was trying to live on £100 per week and had a child to support also. I spoke to him later and found out that he was a GMB member. The Council Leader’s face was a joy to behold. But better was to come. As each politician placed a symbolic ballot paper into a box indicating that they would support the LW
in Lambeth, they were addressed by a young Muslim activist from London Citizens who read out a formal statement. As Reed prepared to pledge to vote, the LC speaker addressed him saying: “Cllr Reed, you told us some months ago that all contracted staff in Lambeth were paid a Living Wage but we have found out that this is not the case. We met with the Head of Procurement and she told us that Veolia staff are not receiving it.” Once again he looked stunned and his Cabinet Member for Finances, who was standing nearby was panicking. He then addressed the crowd and said that the only reason Lambeth had not paid the LW was because the previous administration had not placed it in the contract and this meant that they had to wait for a new contract. This is not at all the case and a clause could have been placed in the contract for a Living Wage. Clearly the Cllr Reed was trying to wriggle out of his past and he then signed up to the promise to introduce the LW for all contracted staff, as did the Lib Dems.Tessa Jowell tried to rescue the situation by stating that the Labour Party’s manifesto was calling for a Living Wage for all staff (cleaners etc) employed at Whitehall. My question to her would be why this was not done before now. Ken Livingstone introduced the policy years ago.

A typical example of New Labour hypocrisy. I have told some of my friends in Lambeth UNISON about this and hopefully it will be brought to light.

Friday, 16 April 2010

It is left to the Green Party to represent the view of 64% of the British public when it comes to the war

As Johann Hari writes today in the Independent, it is left to the Green Party to represent the view of 64% of the British public when it comes to the war in Afghanistan. Last night’s debate between Clegg, Brown and Cameron concentrated on helicopter numbers and troop equipment and did not once address the underlying issues of the war nor the demand of the British public to end it and bring the troops home. Only the Green Party has had the moral courage to challenge this war, which continues to take lives and resources at a vast rate and which even President Karzai is now questioning the logic of.

Joseph Healy
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall and Stop the War Coalition Steering Committee Member

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

NUT doing their bit on Saturday. Message sent to NUT members:

NUT doing their bit on Saturday. Message sent to NUT members:

We need your help to stop the BNP in Barking and Dagenham. On 6 May there is a real chance of the BNP taking control of education in Barking and Dagenham. They are already the official opposition and they are making a huge effort to win overall control of their first council in the May elections.
NUT members from across London and the South East are helping their colleagues in Barking and Dagenham to ensure that every household is leafleted and canvassed.

Please join us if you can on Saturday 17 April, when we will be supporting the HOPE not hate campaign day of action alongside colleagues from UNISON, PCS, RMT, Usdaw and Unite. We need to deliver a special 12-page newspaper (which has been sponsored by the NUT) to properties in the borough.

We will be meeting from 10.30am at Transport House, 50-52 New Road, Dagenham RM9 6YS. There will be campaigning sessions through until 5.00pm, lunch will be provided and there will be free entertainment from Billy Bragg!

We hope to see you in Dagenham on 17 April

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

We now need your help to get Caroline elected for Brighton Pavilion.

Phelim Mac CaffertyApril 7, 2010 at 3:34pm
Subject: Help Caroline get elected in Pavilion.
Dear all

Many apologies for lack of communication of late-

So Brown has called the election and we now need your help to get Caroline elected for Brighton Pavilion.

Action Days are happening every Saturday between now and election day. This Saturday is no exception- from 10:30am, we will gather at the Eco Centre (just opposite Brighton train station) .
Canvassing is happening throughout Brighton Pavilion on a daily basis. If you want more details of either, please contact Alex on 07908 260 528

Caroline and the Greens have reiterated our call for a state pension of #170 per week in the last week, and we look forward to celebrating International Workers’ Day at Lewes Rd Community Garden.

In case you need a reminder of the policies that Caroline is bringing to this election, please click on the election video:
--Against ‘business as usual’ approach to the scandal of the bankers and the crisis they have induced on society
--urgent government investment in jobs
--For strong action on climate change
--A Living Wage
--#170 a week pension
--oppose cuts and privatisation in the NHS

Now is when we need your help- without the Lord Ashcrofts or the Hinduja brothers, we rely only on the time, efforts and donations of our volunteers. You can donate here: http://www.facebook.com/l/7701b;www.greenparty.org.uk/sites/donate/electionalert.html
But above all you can help by canvassing, by leafleting, by offering to put a poster in your window or even by offering to help on election day itself. If you can spare even an hour between now and May 6th, please get in touch.

Best wishes, Yours fraternally
Phelim Mac Cafferty

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Statement on Welfare Cuts, supporting April 10 demo (from Guardian 6/4/2010)

Since 1948, Britain has supported the principle of social solidarity through state pensions, healthcare, education and other public services provided by society as whole. This idea is now under threat.

Whoever wins the next general election will be targeting the welfare state and public services as a way of cutting public expenditure to pay for the mistakes of the bankers and speculators. Never was so much put at risk by so few.

What they seem to forget is that good public services are important to everyone at every stage of their life from the cradle to grave. That is why we are supporting the demonstration in London on 10 April to remind all politicians that a civilised, compassionate society needs a welfare state and decent public services that pool life's risks and provide support to all who need it, irrespective of their individual ability to pay.

Brendan Barber TUC, Lee Billingham Love Music Hate Racism, Christine Blower NUT, Brian Caton POA, Bob Crow RMT, Jeremy Dear NUJ, Gerry Doherty TSSA, Peter Fisher NHS Consultants' Association, Dot Gibson National Pensioners Convention, Sally Hunt UCU, Tony Kearns CWU, Chris Keates NASUWT, Paul Kenny GMB, Prof Harry Keen NHS Support Federation, Jonathan Ledger Napo, Hamish Meldrum BMA, Lesley Mercer Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Gerry Morrissey Bectu Keith Norman Aslef, Peter Pendle ACM/AMiE, Dave Prentis Unison, Alan Ritchie Ucatt, Wendy Savage Keep Our NHS Public, Mark Serwotka PCS, Eileen Short Defend Council Housing, Derek Simpson Unite, Vanessa Stanislas Disability Alliance, Christine Steel Carers Poverty Alliance, Gordon Taylor PFA, Tony Woodley Unite, Matt Wrack FBU

Friday, 2 April 2010

Save Our Hospitals - meeting called by Ealing Trades Council Wednesday April 7th
NHS London has drawn up plans for changes to London's Health Services which have been leaked to campaigners. They could result in the closure of up to a third of London's hospital beds. Locally, Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital are threatened with losing all accident and emergency provision and being downgraded to glorified poyclinics. Charing X Hospital could be closed. Dr John Lister of London Health Emergency has analysed these proposals and he will be the speaker at a meeting to be held at West London Trades Union Club,  33 High St Acton W3 on Wednesday April 7th at 7.30 pm. These changes will affect the whole of our area, not just Ealing, so please support it if you can. A leaflet with more detail is attached
Stop the racist EDL in Dudley Saturday April 3rd:
Islamophobic racists from Stop the Islamisation of Europe and the English Defence League tried to demonstrate in Harrow late last year against the new building for Harrow Central Mosque. They spread lying rumours that the mosque would be a centre for extremism and the imposition of Sharia law, but the people of Harrow refused to let these racists divide them. They recognised that this attack on Harrow's Muslims was an attack on the whole of Harrow's community - one of the most diverse yet one of the most united and harmonious communities in the country.
On Saturday 3rd April, the English Defence League, which has close links to the Nazi British National Party, plans to demonstrate in Dudley against the building of a new Mosque in that town. As we did in Harrow, we are determined to stand up against all attempts to stir up hatred against Muslims and divide a united community. Unite Against Fascism will be part of a broad-based, peaceful demonstration of solidarity with Dudley's Muslim community.

West London UAF and Brent & Harrow UAF have booked a coach to take supporters to the demonstration which assembles at 11 am in Stafford St in Dudley and will be leaving Dudley to return at 4.30 pm. It will pick up from Ealing Broadway Station (Haven Green) at 7.30 am and at Harrow on the Hill Station (back entrance off Lowlands Rd) at 8.00 am. Tickets are £15 waged/£5 unwaged and HE students/£2 FE and school students. ADVANCE BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. You can reserve your place on the coach by emailing
uafbrentandharrow@googlemail.com or ringing or texting 07951 084 101.