And traitors sneer

Once in a generation there is a pivotal moment in a country’s history.
I believe we have reached that moment.
It is time to decide whether we remain in the EU.
A Councillor knows constituents want jobs with security and longer hours.
A trade unionist knows people want the abuse of the labour market by employers stopped.

But another referendum?
As a priority?
Our sovereignty is being eroded by the day.
And no doubt, from the same people who say 75% of our legislation is from the EU.
Well, no it isn’t.

140218b0274h Yeo Telegraph parts 1 and 2
Now UKIP have been warning of a defection to them from Labour for some time, I hadn’t expected it to be from my own trade union. Harriet Yeo was the President of TSSA and when I saw Facebook entries reporting she was saying vote UKIP, I thought there’d been a mistake. Perhaps my political compass is faulty, or perhaps left and right as a way of understanding politics is not that useful, but I’d thought she was more leftist than me.
At times like this, it’s hard to accept notions like ‘she was only ever in it for herself’, cos plenty of Labour movement caucuses had chance to spot that – the district party that appointed her to a panel, the branch that made her a ward candidate for the council, the county party that made her a candidate for Police Commissioner, the TSSA conference that nominated her for the Labour Party NEC and the trade union movement who elected her.
The District party had decided (only the night before apparently) that she was no longer fit to be a Labour candidate, and I certainly don’t want to double guess them, though I trust they gave proper recognition of her employment circumstances, family commitments and health.
One of her Facebook friends has protested “So sad to attack people for what they believe in”, but it seems to me that beliefs and values is the proper front to challenge Harriet on.
Yes, some of the personal stuff floating around is unfortunate. And attempts to be humorous aren’t always 100%.
But Harriet is not beyond the personal herself -“Voters are simply turned off by politicians who … speak from scripts … ” kinda begs a question.

And traitors sneer
Labour’s anthem, “The Red Flag”, was said to have been written to the tune of a German Christmas Carol, in the space of a short train journey through South London.
It seems that even in those early days in Victorian times, we were aware of betrayal from people who had previously been our own; as if it was in the movement’s DNA.


PCS strike #Oct15

IMG_4942pcsb1024h PCS leaflet IMG_4945b0580h PCS picket Station Street IMG_4942b0749h PCS picket UPS
Visited PCS strikers picketing DWP offices in Nottingham city centre.
Poor morale amongst staff.
The focus on helping people who need help being lost.
Have had no wage increases.
Select graphic to read leaflet.
Twitter coverage on @pcs_union #Oct15


The new movie “Pride” evokes the 80’s and tells big political stories. History. Tales from our own time.
The miner’s strike.
Victimisation of gays.
Public health responses to HIV and AIDS.

Big tales of the time to tell, and the film does it well. Of personal suffering. Of victimisation. Of struggle. Of defeat, and of victory.
Perhaps too much at the expense of one family portrayed.
Perhaps too much of the other worldliness of South Wales – despite them dancing to the same disco music as the rest of the world – well, the women anyway.

Pride directed by Mathew Warchus
But some great humour. A favourite scene – a Welsh gay, returning home after many years, and pretending to be from Rhyl. No – we won’t have that – not someone from North Wales. A wind-up, masterfully executed.
And an excellent, triumphant end, with some sadness.
Authentic. Makes you think about the value of making bigger demands in politics.
Reminds you of some of the events of the time at work and in Nottingham.
One tiny moan. Celebrating the NUM driving the Labour Party conference to adopt gay rights. But no mention of the New Labour government passing the legislation that was sought.


Roy Greensmith

010608c0382h OMS Roy Greensmith 001_36aRailworker, trade unionist, Socialist, City Councillor and more.
Died 26th August.
Funeral took place on Friday 19th September at Holy Trinity Church, Clifton.
Roy was a Clifton Councillor from 1992 to 2003 .
Born in the Meadows in 1929, Roy joined the army in 1947, serving in Egypt before returning to work for British Rail, where he remained for 47 years. An active member of both the trade union movement and the Labour Party,

Roy was elected to the City Council in October 1992, representing Clifton East. Roy was appointed Sheriff of Nottingham in 1995 and served as Lord Mayor in 1997/98 and 2001/02. He later served as an Alderman.

I first met Roy at a trade union branch meeting (RMT), called to support a strike, and for which TSSA members had raised a donation.
Roy was chair of Nottingham No.2 branch (covering engineering) for many years. He was a lineman in signals and telegraphs, looking after external relays, for Trent Box and another nearby signal boxes. He chaired British Rail’s S&T and Permanent Way grades committee, as well as being on the RMT’s national executive for 3 years.

One constituent has already said – “Roy was a smashing man and very easy to work with. He was very supportive of the work we undertook within the community of Clifton and Wilford and the wider City. When he was Lord Mayor Mary, his wife was a constant support at his side.”

Photo taken on 8th June 2001, the morning after Labour’s landslide.

J10 strikes

Visited 4 picket lines before joining the march from The Forest.
Unison’s argument.
Cllr. Pat Ferguson made a special umbrella to show Labour Councillors’ concerns.
Former Labour MP Alan Simpson says – “I bet none of those on strike today have off-shore accounts or hide in tax havens. You can not build a recovery on an economy that gets richer whilst its people get poorer. We have to get back to paying decent wages for decent work, and valuing those who sustain the society, not speculate against it. That is the top and bottom of the day’s strike action.