Friday, April 30, 2010

Cameron's Councils - David Cameron's real agenda for government

Check out this site about the truth about Tories in power.  "They’ve said it themselves - Tory Councils show both by their actions and by what they say exactly what a Conservative government would look like. We reveal here what Cameron’s Conservative Councils stand for in power".  Hat tip The Cowan Report

Big Brother Monitors Placa De George Orwell

Life imitating art? Hat tip Harry's Place

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Missing: The Tory manifesto for London

Minister for London and London Election Campaign Director Tessa Jowell said today,

‘‘The Tories are the only major political party in London not to release a manifesto for London. Today they have offered nothing more than a press release.

‘This is another example of David Cameron’s lack of substance. I expect the promises he makes today will last no longer than the headlines he is seeking to get.

‘With only one week of the campaign left to go the Tories are offer little more than broken promises on housing and bus fares, a failure to guarantee the future of local police teams and the completion of Crossrail.

‘Londoners deserve better than this.”

Canning Town South Labour Candidate: Alan Taylor

Picture from last night of Alan Taylor about to go off and “fight the good fight” for Labour in Canning Town. Alan is a well known and respected community activist in the local area.

I was sent off to deliver a direct mailing and rather embarrassingly got locked inside a  community garden area in New Barn Street. In order to deliver to ground floor flats in the block I went through an entry door without checking I could come back through it! You had to have a special block key to do so.

After 15 minutes trying to work out how to get out I gave up and knocked on the door of the flat nearest the entry door. Happily they didn't mind and were strong Labour Party supporters and let me out.

Workers Memorial Day Ceremony at Waltham Forest Town Hall

Yesterday lunchtime I went to the Worker Memorial Day ceremony outside the Assembly Hall. This had been organised the local UNISON Branch Health & Safety Officer Su Manning. All around us on the floor were shoes and work boots. Fran Chalkwright started the Ceremony after a welcome from Su by reading out the moving poem “Empty Shoes” written by Wendy Lawrence.

Next the Chief Executive of LBWF spoke, followed by the UNISON National Officer for Health & Safety Hope Daley who reminded everyone about what this day meant. Retiring local MP Neil Gerrard spoke about the recent Health & Safety successes (Corporate Manslaughter legislation and increase in criminal sentencing tariffs) and occasional failures (Law Lord ruling about asbestos compensation). We then had Ben Simmons from Thompsons speak out about battling for compensation for workplace victims, Rinaldo Frezzato from the NUT, Sergeant Douglas from the Metropolitan Police talked about the importance of risk assessments and finally Tony Phillips from Waltham Forest Trades Council.  The Mayor then laid the first of three wreaths followed by the local London Fire brigade.

There was then sandwiches at the local Social and Sports club.

It was probably the best organised local Health and Safety event I have ever been to and well done to Su and the branch. Next year lets have more boroughs across London organising similar events.

There were also a number of local Labour Party Council candidates and PPC's there including Stella Creasy and Cath Arakelian.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Your Labour Team in West Ham

Great to see Ted, Gerry, Victor, Rhoda and Louis as our local West Ham endorsers!

“There is only one party that reflects trade union values and that is the Labour Party”...

This latest “Unions together” video shows Unite Joint General Secretary, Tony Woodley, explaining that Labour Party supporting trade unionists can make a difference in this election. Many people will listen to them and that people are starting to realise what they will lose if the Tories get in or if the Liberals let them into power. Minimum wages, pension credits and investments in public services will all be at risk if the Tories win. He urges members to use the trade union phone banks to get the message over

Next there is pictures of a GMB canvass team in the Labour marginal of Westminster North “on the knocker” for top local MP Karen Buck. However, I do note that the team is being led by London UNISON Health activist and Labour warhorse Francis Prideaux!

Click on this link to make calls for Labour.

Workers' Memorial Day

Today is Worker’s Memorial Day which is an internationally recognised day to remember those who have been killed while at work or who have died of work related illnesses or injuries.

It is also a campaigning day for health and safety at work.

At noon - in work workplaces and meetings across the country there will be a minute’s silence.

Hat tip for some of the photos to Nick.

A Nightmare on your Street

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Notting Hill Housing Trust: Strike Action Back on!

Following last month’s successful strike UNISON had suspended any further action while trying patiently to negotiate and reach an agreement with Notting Hill Housing Group to resolve the dispute. Despite this act of good faith senior management are still refusing to allow UNISON to even speak to its Board and are still refusing any attempt at mediation via ACAS.

You do wonder what is the point of such nominally “independent” Boards when they are so scared of going against their CEO that they will not even listen to their employee representatives? What is wrong with having genuine two-way conversations? Isn’t it supposed to be “good to talk”? Why do they only listen to their Executive team's hugely expensive "remuneration consultants" - but not their own staff reps???

No wonder so many people believe that governance in our sector is so poor and pathetic. Many Housing Association Boards (not all) are accused of being undemocratic, unresponsive self perpetuating oligarchies controlled by over paid and under supervised CEO’s. Where there are no real or meaningful “checks and balances”.  These organisations will eventually fail. Unless this is changed we will face further “Project Jerusalem's".

The Chief Executive at Notting Hill, £192k per year, £16k per month, £3,692 per week, Kate Davies, has even gone on record that the savage cuts to family friendly policies and staff terms and conditions have not gone far enough!

To come out with such stuff while on such high pay in what is suppose to be a “not for profit” charity proves to me that these people think they are some sort of superior human beings or class above the rest of us mere low wage earning proles.

Check out further background of the dispute here, here and here. Lobbies will take place next week and further significant strike action is being organised.

Housing associations are supposed to be here for the long term. They produce financial plans and projections in great detail for the next 30 years. I don’t think that people understand that perhaps the biggest threat to the long term survival of these organisations is not getting wrong a possible 30 year projected cash flow.  The real risk is the lack of any meaningful or accountable governance in the organisation towards all its stakeholders.

I have always argued that organisations and management teams such as Notting Hill who treat their staff as rubbish will also treat their residents in the same dismissive manner and will have no long term future.

Some more info from UNISON press release:

1. UNISON’s Housing Association Branch represents approximately 3,500 members in the Greater London Region and the South East. UNISON Members at Notting Hill Housing Trust took successful strike action on 15th March.

2. NHHT manages 25,000 homes in London and the South East. According to its own website NHHT has an asset base of £1,317m and an annual turnover of £167m. Group reserves on 2008/2009 totalled £188m and its operating profit was £19.8m. In June 2009 the group absorbed 3 smaller BME housing associations – Presentation, Pathway and Croydon People’s.

3. 14% of staff took paid carers’ leave in 2008/09 at a total cost to the organisation of £40,000. Chief Executive, Kate Davies total pay and reward package for the year 2008 to 31March 2009 was £192,000.

4. Paul Hodgkinson is the Chair of NHHT’s Board. He is also a Trustee of Parenting UK, a national charity that sets the policy for parenting focus in the UK. Respect for cultural diversity and the different needs of men and women within the context of human rights for all, is one of Parenting UK’s key principles.

Five Votes for Team Labour: MP, Mayor and Ward Councillors

Voted last night and posted back to returning officer this morning.

"Sacrifice? Let's all Step down one rung" - or Vote Labour

A very modern political message from 1911. 

Funny how history repeats itself. 

Iconic Labour Movement poster.

UPDATE: David Miliband thinks it is from 1929 General Election. While a better quality image of poster is here

Monday, April 26, 2010

Health & Safety Executive CEO Geoffrey Podger at IOSH 10

Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive on YouTube! Whatever next? He is interviewed about the new HSE strategy at IOSH 10 conference.

It is only 2 minutes 17 seconds long so if you have never seen or heard the senior Government official in charge of British Health & Safety - have a click.

It’s not exactly aimed at the average trade union safety rep but he does mention the role of “worker involvement” and the involvement of trade unions in the new strategy. “Partnership” is still key but he states he is concerned with “outcomes” of policies and making sure that “safe working” is built into every day work practices.

Hazards Poster on Workers' Memorial Day

Check out further resources for Workers' Memorial Day at the Hazards site.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"The Common People" (pass this on amongst us proles)


Cameron sings the truth to the British electorate about what he needs to do to get in and what he'd do if he gets there.

Do the right thing on May 6th". Hat-tip thingy Anna

I couldn't possibly comment.

Celebrate MAY DAY 2010

I suppose that if you are a trade unionist you are entitled to a break of an hour or so from campaigning for the Labour Party to attend this important event in the Labour Movement Calendar.

Me? - Maybe next year.

Dave Osler and his “Schwarzwälderkirschtorte” update

Check out Dave Osler’s account here of Friday’s “performance” (in the true sense of the word) before Justice Eady at Court 13 in the Royal Court of Justice...and also an alternative view.

What a ridiculous and absurd waste of time, money and scarce judicial resources.

What a joke. Further evidence if needed that our libel laws are in a complete and utter mess!

Stratford Street Stall

Another successful street stall in Stratford High street yesterday morning with our West Ham Parliamentary candidate Lyn Brown. City and East London Assembly member John Biggs came by and helped out as well.

A local West Ham Ward resident sought me out to have a detailed conversation about the need to have a “controlled parking zone” in her part of the ward to stop commuters using the area as a free car part for Stratford Station. After a reasonable and constructive conversation (rare for any parking issue in my experience) she thanked me for my time for apologised that she would not be voting for me since “We are Conservatives”. Which is fair enough.

Apart from that and some (unnamed?) white middle class “anti-racists” who are also very angryanti-imperialists” protestors with a megaphone a few hundred years away the reaction we got was overwhelmingly positive. In the afternoon we went door knocking with Lyn in West Ham ward.

Friday, April 23, 2010

West Ham Labour: Working for You

Double click left to bring up detail.

Labour Launches Housing Manifesto - Clear Red Water

Check out Labour Housing manifesto here.

I do like the 160,000 jobs safeguarded to build 112,000 new affordable homes during the next 2 years (we do need to build far more!), 10,000 new council houses; protecting secure tenures and affordable rents, improving rights for private tenants; support for first time buyers and those in mortgage arrears under threat of eviction; the 1.5 million homes improved under decent homes and the further commitment to the programme (tonight I was delivering letters to some of the many West Ham ward estates which have been utterly transformed under “decent homes”).

As opposed to Tory/Lib Dem plans to savage, slash and burn the public housing programme, to get rid of security of tenure, increase all rents to market levels; gerrymander by exporting their poor out of Tory boroughs; making all councils and housing associations put out to tender all their housing management functions and driving down all wages, terms and conditions to the level of the modern day Rachman Housing & Social Care PLCs.

If you work in housing you can of course already get a taste of Tory plans for staff at Notting Hill Housing Group!

St Georges Day: 23 April

This is me on the right last night chatting to a local resident in Wakelin Road E15 who was busy hanging a “Flag of St George” outside her front bedroom window in preparation for tomorrow.

I was out delivering Labour election information with a Tower Hamlets UNISON comrade.

This is an annual event for the street and later today they will be having a proper “St George's Day” celebration!

Great stuff!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SPGB attack SPEW over "union branches...hi-jacked by Vanguardist parties...”

A blog written on behalf of candidates standing for the Socialist Party of Great Britain (SPGB) has attacked the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW - aka Militant).

Check out this post here which linked to my mine here.

The leaders of UNISON don't like Militant and have recently taken over a branch in Greenwich which Militant had captured. Don't know what this was all about but in general it's a bad thing for union branches to be hi-jacked by vanguardist parties (which specialise in this)...

Of course this is not an accurate account of what has actually happened in Greenwich but I must admit to being a little fond of the SPGB for the following not very serious reasons. Number 1 – they are not SPEW; Number 2 – they are the oldest Socialist Society in the UK formed in 1904; Number 3 - the much respected Newham Recorder columnist Robert Barltrop was for many years a member until he saw the light and finally; Number 4 - if you wanted to join the SPGB they use to make you sit a rigorous exam to see if you were good enough to be allowed to join!!!


The Journey Watch: Labour's achievements over the last thirteen years.

Last nights Labour PPB.  Pretty good I thought.  I couldn't find it on Labour membersnet but it's on Socialist Unity!

Battling for Bethnal Green and Bow

"On Tuesday Progress visited the East End, meeting up with Rushanara Ali in Bethnal Green and Bow. Rushanara told us about George Galloway and his neglect of the area and its people, the divisions his election caused and how she's trying to unite the community and make their voice heard in parliament again".

Beat the BNP in Barking: Saturday 24th April (POSTAL VOTERS WEEKEND!!!)


Thank you to all who have supported the campaign so far. We've spoken to thousands of local people, making the case for Labour, and against the BNP. And we've delivered hundreds of thousands of leaflets and direct mails.

Next week voters receive their postal votes. This weekend is therefore crucial in making one last push to speak with as many residents as possible. We'll be based in Mayesbrook Ward, a BNP/Labour split ward.

Please join us from 10am - 4.30pm.

- Saturday 24th April. - 26 Bromhall Road.

- Turn left out of Becontree Tube station (District Line), then left again along Rugby Road, a 5 minute walk on the right you'll find Bromhall Road.

- We'll provide lunch and refreshments.  There's plenty of leafleting to do if you'd prefer.

Any questions, please call 07576 323 109.

All the best, Margaret"

Promoted by Jen Oliver on behalf of Margaret Hodge, both at 152 Reede Road, RM10 8DX

UNISON White Rose Ringer on “dog and bone” for Labour in West Ham

Well, I just couldn’t resist this headline but tuesday evening we did have two UNISON Labour Party members, born and bred in Yorkshire (and others) tele-canvassing Canning Town from our West Ham CLP HQ.

One is now a fully fledged Londoner and Newham resident while the other is a Leeds activist in London for a UNISON Employment rights/TUPE course who was gently “persuaded” to come and “fight the good fight”.

Yorkshire is the home of many tele-banking and marketing organisations.  I understand that one reason for this is that the Yorkshire accent is seen as "honest, trustworthy, thoughtful and wise."

From the voter ID returns and listening in to the conversations I think East Londoners agreed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Conservatives: Call this Change?

Workers Memorial Day - 28 April 2010

I picked up this new WMD poster at today's UNISON National Health & Safety Committee meeting.  Check out further information here

“On the knocker” with Labour Fire-fighter Michael Nicholas in Canning Town South

On Monday evening I went out canvassing with Michael who is an existing Labour Councillor, a London fire-fighter and who is also on the Executive Council of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).

I hadn’t been to this part of the Canning Town South Ward before and was impressed with the regeneration works that had taken place in the area. The older “Newham Homes” blocks have been refurbished and there were a number of small new build housing association developments. Estate management and design by both organisations seemed to be pretty good.

Michael was born in Canning Town and has lived in Newham all his life. Local residents were usually quite happy to chat with him about local issues and concerns. So much that we had to take off him the voter ID sheets (NB never let your candidate lead the canvass team).

Pictured with Michael is Charlene McLean who is standing herself as a Newham Labour Councillor in Stratford and Newtown.

Lyn Brown: A Strong Local Voice for West Ham

This came through my door yesterday.  Not bad either.

Ipswich May Day Festival 2010

hat-tip SERTUC

Monday, April 19, 2010

Newham Labour Helps out Jim in Limehouse & Poplar.

Yesterday West Ham and East Ham Labour Party members from across Newham joined in on a mass canvass to help our comrades in Limehouse and Poplar. We had about 30 activists turning out including the Mayor, Sir Robin Wales and Lyn Brown. I was part of a team with Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Minister for Digital Britain.

The reception was pretty good on the whole. Either side of the River Lea, East Londoners are instinctively Labour. There was also not a single Tory or Galloway canvasser to be seen the whole time we were there.

I do wonder how the “Gorgeous One” will manage in an election this time without his SWP brain washed foot soldiers to do all his dirty work?

I fear that Galloway is not only trying to score political points but to further poison relationships between the local communities. He will do all he can to try and elect a Tory MP for the seat.

He’s quite happy about that prospect since the one thing he learnt from his former SWP comrades about such political “Fronts” is you should either “Rule... or Ruin”.


Iconic Labour Movement picture.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

UNISON London Labour Link says “good bye” to retiring MP Keith Hill

This is a little late but picture is from this month’s Greater London UNISON Labour Link Committee meeting. Former Housing minister and UNISON member Keith Hill gave the Parliamentary report. Keith has now retired as MP for Streatham and spoke very highly of Chuka Umunna who is standing to replace him.

In the Q&A I brought up the Notting Hill Housing Strike and also asked Keith (who is still Chair of Lambeth Homes) if he thinks we need a Labour Party public housing forum in London to win the “Battle of Ideas” over housing policy.

He gave positive but diplomatic answers to both questions.

The committee formally thanked him for his contributions to our committee and wished him well in “retirement”.

In this photo there are 6 members of the committee who are standing as Labour Party council candidates including Louise Couling (8th from left) who is standing against the fascist BNP Barnbrook in Barking and also Rachel Voller (1st left) who is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Romford.  There was also at least one other PPC in the room at the time.

"I'm voting for Jim Fitzpatrick"

Today the Newham Labour Party rallied around Jim and the local Labour Council candidates in Limehouse and Poplar. I’ll post on this very successful day later.

The picture poster is just to annoy the diss-respect trots and the Galloway tankies :).

Team Labour in Forest Gate South

Rohini's Story - Labour Grassroots

Check out

Saturday, April 17, 2010

“On the Knocker” in Forest Gate South

After this morning’s Stratford Street Stall we went off to Forest Gate with our Parliamentary Candidate, Lyn Brown. There had also been a local Labour Party stall in the ward this morning in Woodgrange Road which had gone down well I understand.

We had all three members of the local Labour Action Team who are standing for the Council with us. It was really good to be able to grab one of them to deal with any tricky case work.

On the whole there was a pretty overwhelmingly positive response to Labour. There are serious issues that were brought up and which need to be dealt with but a clear majority of electors that I spoke made it clear that they were not only going to vote for the Party but they were “Labour and Proud of it”.

Winner Takes All

hat tip thingy Radio Times via Tom Harris

West Ham General Election Labour Party Stall in Stratford High Street

We had our regular West Ham Labour Party stall with our Parliamentary candidate Lyn Brown outside the entrance of Stratford shopping centre this morning under lovely sunshine and blue skies.

The Labour red balloons went down very well with the young children but there was definitely more interest by the parents in what is going on politically. Labour affiliated trade union ASDAW had sent us “We’re voting Labour” lapel stickers which went down very well with the adults. We also had a good stock of leaflets from across the borough (and Limehouse and Poplar!) which were also well received.

We had probably our best ever number of people asking for information on how to join, how to take part in the campaign and who wanted Labour Party window posters.

We even had a fan club of real live Tories next to us handing out their leaflets! Apparently some of them from outside Newham were a little shocked at the rude comments they got from some of the passer byers.

Check out the bottom left photo in the main picture college. I swear this story is true. An elderly lady was walking past our stall slowly pushing her shopping trolley. She had the Conservatives leaflets placed on top of the trolley. As she went by I said “don’t you want a Labour leaflet as well as that mob”? She stopped and asked me “who are those leaflets on my trolley from then? I said “they are Tory leaflets”. She stopped, shook her head, then slowly with a broad smile on her face picked up the Tory leaflets, crunched them up and threw them on the floor. She took a leaflet from me and carried on her way.

I of course quickly picked the leaflets up and deposited them in a nearby bin (after taking a photo).

Sheffield Dinner Ladies Petition for Fairness over pay

This is another great campaign by UNISON 3 Companies initiative - battling here to get privatised school dinner ladies (apologises for any sexist assumptions) paid decent minimum terms and conditions by Chartwells.

It is completely shameful that such companies seek to maximise profits out of the misery of already poorly paid employees.

I note that Sheffield City Council is run by the Lib Dems and I wonder what local MP Nick Clegg thinks of this?  After his "Savage Cuts" grandstanding I suppose he approves of this sort of thing as a way to bring down the public sector wage bill?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keir Hardie in West Ham: "A Constituency with a Past"

With all the excitement of the moment I thought this would be a good time to resurrect my “Iconic Labour Movement” posts.

Starting off with this "Occasional Paper" from the Socialist History Society. 

Any other (sensible) suggestions?

Please email me with any suitable stuff.

I’ve just ordered this very same pamphlet on-line via "Pay Pal" for still only £2.50 (including postage from the Socialist History Society)

You Can Stop the BNP

hat tip "hope not hate"


Please pass on to any UNISON members who work in local government in London.

Remember Mike Davey and Monica Hirst who are also standing in London Region for the forces of light and reason in Health

Canning Town South: Team Labour 2010

Out Wednesday with Canning Town South Action Team.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Greater London UNISON “Community” Service Group Elections 2010

This is my ballot paper which was delivered to my home address yesterday. Guess who I voted for!

Pity about the “Female Seat” ...but it is after all the “General Seat”.

Just place one cross against “John GRAY” put it in the pre-paid envelope and post!

Don’t forget about Peter Daley and Margaret Back for London Local Government SGE elections: Mike Davy and Monica Hirst for London Health SGE.

Ballot finished 5pm Friday 14 May but if you don’t vote within a few days of receiving it you will lose it in the kitchen drawer with all the rest of non-urgent mail.

Let people know in your workplace you voted for sensible and moderate left of centre candidates! aka the forces of "light and reason":)

Eddie Izzard - Brilliant Britain

Canning Town Sunset

While out campaigning last night. Bye, bye Craig!

Same Old Tories: David Cameron mixes up his lines on discrimination

Hat-tip Comrade Sigurimi.

Labour Party Council Candidates for West Ham Ward 2010 Election

It’s now official. Freda Bourne, Ron Manley and I are Labour Party Council candidates for West Ham Ward in Newham.

Sir Robin Wales is the Labour Party candidate for Mayor of Newham.

Lyn Brown will be nominated as our Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for West Ham Constituency next week.

Team Labour!  All working together for the People of Newham.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jack Hart Funeral Possession outside Newham Town Hall.

Picture above is from outside Newham Town Hall this lunch time. There was a traditional East End send off to former Council leader, Jack Hart (born 1913-2010). Jack was a Labour Councillor from 1935-1985 who held pretty much all the major positions in first East Ham then Newham Council. I first heard of his death at a Labour Party event last month when it was announced by East Ham MP Stephen Timms. I never had the privilege of meeting him but many people I have met were personally touched at news of his death. Jack was of course a trade unionist and had been a member of the Labour Party since 1928. During the Second World War he served his country in the Royal Air Force.

The funeral possession stopped outside the Town Hall as a mark of respect. Somewhat aptly inside the foyer of Newham Town Hall today only some 50m away from Jack’s coffin there are details posted of all the present day ward and Mayor candidates standing for next month’s Council elections (including myself and 60 other Labour candidates).

Passing on his baton to all of us...

Look What's in the Tories' First Budget.

A great poster which is being put out on billboards across the country - paid for by UNISON’s GPF fund. A simple and very direct graphical political imagine which goes straight - to the “point”!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday morning canvass in Canning Town South.

Picture is of local Labour Action Team member Brian Collier (left) and Myself “on the knocker”!

Brian worked for 25 years in Environment Health in my 3rd favourite UNISON branch - Lambeth local government. As we waited for other activists to turn up at the meeting point he reminisced about “Mouse” and the 19th century Lambeth “bug wagon”. 

This picture was actually taken by one of our canvass team members - Newham elected Labour Mayor Robin Wales.

Since I am not allowing comments for local posts during this election I won’t mention the pretty good reception we got from electors in the ward and their well deserved moaning about the completely useless lot of existing Ward councillors they have at the moment from the 'orrible' ...

"I fought the Nazi. will you?"

"John, When I enlisted in the army 66 years ago, I did it for Britain.  Now I need you to do something for me.

The BNP is trying to strangle our great nation with the same extremist and fascist agenda that Hitler's Nazis threatened us with decades ago. Today, the war isn't being fought on the battlefield - but in the ballot box.

Hope Not Hate is on the front lines of our fight. They're organising to make sure modern-day Nazis aren't elected on 6 May and to preserve the Britain for which I fought so hard. If I had my health I would be out there with them. But I can't - so I'm writing to ask you to volunteer for me.

Please join Hope Not Hate's Day of Action this weekend - the campaign has laid on transport to help you get to the areas in which you are needed the most:

I was barely in my twenties when I went to fight for Britain. I left home with friends - all young lads like myself - and many never returned.

Today, the BNP salute and say "Heil Hitler" - and they support the same all-white Britain. They're proud of what the Nazis did to my friends, and what they did to millions of innocent people throughout Europe.

We didn't fight with our lives on the line years ago just to be right back here today.

We need to do everything we can to stop the BNP from being elected to local councils and to Parliament. Those boys lost to the war would proudly go door-to-door with Hope Not Hate to fight against the fascist BNP today.

There are no tanks and no guns in this fight - but we still need your courage to speak out.

Attend a Hope Not Hate event this weekend and join the fight against fascism:

The elections on 6 May are personal to me - and I hope they will be to you. I'd like to thank you in advance for your service.


Kenneth Riley
Normandy Veteran - Tank Division"

(hat-tip an email from "Hope Not Hate")

A future fair for all: Labour animated manifesto film

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Road Ahead - Labour Party Election Broadcast

A great Broadcast - because it is "The Economy Stupid" - Labour has called the right economic shots that have stopped a recession turning into a depression. Because of their political and economic dogma the Tories would still risk all if elected.

Steady as she goes with Brown and Darling at the helm....No to Eton "boy wonders".

We want our chief officers of State to be in post by their merit - not cadets who were bought advantages and positions in life by Mater and Pater.

Vote John Gray for London rep on UNISON “Community” Executive (please)

I’m standing in the UNISON Service Group Executive (SGE) elections for the London general seat on the brand new national committee for the “Community and Voluntary” sector. Attached is a flyer that I have been sending out with the following message (double click to bring up detail)

“Dear UNISON Community Member - I am standing for election to be your London rep on the new national group for UNISON members who work in the Community & Voluntary sector. You should be getting ballot papers sent to your home address in the next few days.

Firstly a little bit about me: I am a lifelong trade unionist and member of the UNISON Housing Associations Branch where I am the Assistant Branch Secretary, Health & Safety and Labour Link Officer. I am also the UNISON Regional Finance convenor.

My first paid job was as a Welfare Rights Advisor for a voluntary organisation. I am now employed as an Estate Officer by Circle Anglia Housing Association after being TUPE’d from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets 3 years ago. A third of the people I represent work in social care schemes and projects.

What I want to do: Members working in housing associations and the voluntary sector know all too well about job insecurity and instability. Most members have had to deal with numerous reorganisations or being TUPE’d due to cuts in funding or mergers. We need to build stewards’ networks so that they can support each other and share knowledge, ideas and experiences. I would like to see specialist training introduced for stewards in our sector dealing with Community specific issues such as transfers and threats to our basic terms and conditions.

Stewards and members can feel isolated at work and we need to ensure that they know that UNISON can support them and how they can access this support. I would like to see more email networks and electronic forums set up as a way of linking our members and stewards together.

We must raise the profile of health & safety at work. Not only to protect us from the risk of violence but also occupational stress due to bullying or unmanageable workloads.

I am committed to listening to your views, making your voice heard and ensuring you and the branches with community and voluntary sector members get the support and the resources we deserve.

If you want to contact me you can ring 07977 285 297 or johndotmdotgrayatntlworlddotcom or via Facebook or even John’s Labour blog at

Many thanks - John Gray”

This election hasn’t come at an entirely opportune moment for me since I am a little bit busy doing other things however such is life. If you know anyone eligible to vote then could you download the pdf and send it to them.

Also standing on behalf of the forces of light and reason in UNISON Health SGE seats in London are Mike Davey and Monica Hirst while in Local Government SGE its Margaret Back and Peter Daley.