A crusade aimed at evoking memories of the famous Jarrow March arrives in the town next weekend.
The People’s March for the NHS is a campaign dedicated to preserving the founding principles of the NHS and ensuring its staff are afforded the treatment they deserve.
The march – which deliberately echoes the Jarrow Crusade for jobs in 1936 – has already called in at Tredgar in Wales and Bristol.
On Saturday, March 28, marchers will gather in Jarrow.
The alliance has organised an event to highlight a last-ditch plan to save the under-threat Jarrow Walk-In Centre from closure.
Merv Butler, chairman of the Alliance, called on the public to turn out at 11am to hear a host of speeches from, among others, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.
He said: “It is vitally important that we prevent the closure of the facility. The event will focus on the need to keep it open and we want as many people there as possible to show their support.”
It seems clear that the outcome of the General Election will determine the centre’s fate. Labour has pledged to keep it open if elected.
The Conservatives are putting the decision in the hands of an independent adjudicator.
Mr Butler, branch secretary of Unison South Tyneside, added: “Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has given his party’s assurance that it will be saved.”
Source – Shields Gazette, 21 Mar 2015
Hundreds of people gathered to give a rousing send off to the crusade launched by a group of North East mums protesting against the “privatisation” of the NHS.
One of the organisers, call centre worker Joanna Adams, 41, said she was “totally taken aback” at the turn out at their starting point, Jarrow Town Hall in South Tyneside.
“There must be seven or 800 people here,” she said. “It shows how many people care about the NHS. It’s really moving. It shows the majority of people are decent human beings, not the self serving and greedy people some would have you believe.”
Those taking part in the ‘People’s March for the NHS’ are to follow the historic Jarrow Crusade route of 1936 when over 200 men – and local MP Ellen Wilkinson – marched to the Houses of Parliament to protest about the lack of work.
The march this time is in response to government legislation they feel is leading to the privatisation of the NHS.
At the town hall send off speeches were given by politicians, union officials and Lizi Gray, the great granddaughter of one of the original marchers.
“It was a lovely symbolic gesture,” said Joanna.
Then, to the strains of the Proclaimers song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500miles) which the Scottish duo “gave” to the campaign and is now being used as their signature song, they set off.
The group will actually be walking 300 miles and are due to arrive at the Houses of Parliament on September 6, in time for Prime Minister’s Question time that day.
The idea stemmed from a group of 11 Darlington mums who wanted to highlight the damage caused by the Health and Social Care Act which has led to the increasing privatisation of the NHS
“The idea was floating around for a while – it seemed such a crazy idea – then in March we decided just to do it,” said Joanna.
As the marchers headed on their first leg to Chester-le-Street with many of those who originally come to give them a send off actually joining in, she added: “This is what British values are. We’re generous, we care about equality and justice, something that isn’t acknowledged. There is such a thing as society.
“They talk about choice, well this is our choice. We want the NHS. We want public services properly funded. We own it and they have no business trying to take it away from us.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 16 Aug 2014
A South Tyneside Council leader has denied double standards after the authority launched a crusade against payday lenders.
At a meeting of the full council last week, a motion was passed to introduce a series of measures against high interest lenders.
Action includes blocking access to lenders’ websites from council computers, working with partners to stop the promotion of such firms and to lobby for an extension to planning and licensing powers to prevent them locating in South Tyneside.
But one of the motion’s signataries, Coun Allan West, has now been forced to defend the move after it emerged the authority, along with the four other Tyne and Wear councils, pays into a pension fund which has £233,000 invested in Wonga shares.
Today Coun West, the council’s lead member for adult social care and support services, said legal regulations prevent the authority, which administers the fund, from cutting its “indirect” ties with the payday lender.
He said: “We are raising the issue of payday lending because it is the right thing to do.
“At times of financial pressure, it can feel like payday lenders are the only option, but their extortionate rates can trap people in a vicious circle of increasing debt and interest payments.
“The council administers the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund on behalf of 140 different organisations and we are bound by some very clear legal restrictions as to how the fund is allowed to operate.
“Case law and local government pension scheme regulations specifically require the fund to seek the best possible return on its investments and only allow us to consider social and ethical issues when they have a financial impact.
“The Pension Fund has no direct investments in payday lenders, but does have a very small indirect holding via Pooled Investment Vehicles as part of its global private equity programme.
“This is similar to a private individual investing in a unit trust and having very limited influence on how those investments are made.
“These indirect holdings represent a tiny proportion of the fund’s investments – about 0.005 per cent of its total value, which currently stands at £5.6bn.
“We are very keen to invest as ethically as possible, but the pension fund issue is extremely complex, and something that all local government pension funds are grappling with on a national level.
“There is a lot we can do on a local level to make a difference and ensure that people have an alternative. We have recently reorganised our welfare rights service to ensure it can help more people with financial problems, and The Bridges Community Bank in South Shields is a non-profit service that offers far lower rates.
“There are also encouraging signs that the new Financial Conduct Authority is ready to cap the cost of loans and provide increased protection for vulnerable borrowers.
“In the long term these things will either encourage payday lenders to improve their practices or it will impact on their profits, which in turn would make it easier for pension funds to invest elsewhere while staying within the law.”
Source – Shields Gazette, 17 March 2014
There aint half been some nasty bastards (to mis-quote Ian Dury) and god knows I’ve met some of them. But here’s a guy could really make you consider revoking your membership of the human race, just so that no-one would think you might be part of the same species.
Spotted. Benefit Fraudsters
is a Facebook page, apparently run by an ex-DWP employee who got sacked (the irony !) but continues with his crusade to rid society of… well, most of society really.
A example –
I once met Mr Iain Duncan Smith. He was a really nice person and was happy to stop and chat, shake my hand and pose for photos. Really nice person in the flesh and I can’t understand why he attracts so much hate. All he is trying to do is fix the broken welfare system that Labour left behind.
You might almost think that was a piss-take, until you see posts like –
To those who have been sanctioned because they are too lazy to seek work. I know you’re facing a bleak Christmas and in hard times like this I can only think of one thing to say to you all…. Ha Ha !
Definitely someone with big, big problems.
As you might imagine, he’s being kept busy deleting all the adverse comments his site is attracting. Should you wish to add to his workload you can find it here –
Be warned, though – you may feel the desperate need for taking a bath after viewing it.
We get all sorts of rubbish coming through the letter-box nowadays (obviously a growth area, considering the Job Centre vaccancies are dominated by positions for “self-employed” leaflet distributors !). But what we got to day was not just rubbish, it was nasty rubbish…
“Introducing The Northern Patriotic Front” trumpeted the flyer, going on to inform us that the NPF is “a campaigning organization based in the North of England and in Scotland. We firmly believe that the actions of politicians representing the so-called main-stream political parties are destroying our British way of life with the ultimate intent of collaborating in the destruction of our British race.”
You get the idea. It probably wont suprise you to hear that this sad bunch, operating out of a Sunderland PO Box, have been described as having “been set up by a number of disillusionedNational Front members” – disillusioned presumably because the NF aren’t right wing enough.
Its all the usual old rubbish –
“Britain continues to be swamped by immigrants”,
“The white British population will rapidly become a minority and be displaced.”
“White children are being taught to hate their own culture”
You know, as a white British male myself, I haven’t got a clue what this white British culture I’m apparently in danger of losing actually is, and the NPF dont define it, so I guess they dont really know either.
Since the NPF are operating out of a Sunderland adress, it may be instructive to look at some of the statistics for the city from the 2011 census…
The first thing worth noting is that over the period 2001 to 2011 overall, the North East population increased by only 2.2%: the slowest rate in the UK. Not exactly a region being swamped by anyone, let alone immigrants.
Moreover, Sunderland’s population actually declined by 3.2% (neighbouring South Tyneside also fell, by 3.1%). So wherever this alledged swamping is happening, its not in the NPF’s backyard.
But the biggest debunker of this nonsense is the figures of the city’s population broken down by ethnic groups –
Asian / British Asian 2.7%
Black / Black British 0.5%
Evidently those dastardly immigrants are going to have to put in a lot of work before they get to swamp Sunderland !
Of course anyone with half a brain can see through the NPF and their fellow travellers and their agenda of stirring up hate and divide and rule. Still, if you dont have the necessry brain cells and do want to join their crusade, the annual subscription is a tenner. But be warned – not just anyone can join their gang – you have to state that :
*I am 14 years or older
*I am of white parentage
* I am not an illegal drug user
*My spouse/partner is of white parentage
*I am not homosexual
*I am not a member of any other political party
Not just racist but homophobic too. They like to cover all the bases, don’t they ?
You can tell them what you think of them at: NPF, PO Box 1352, Sunderland, SR5 9NE
Or you might want to phone them: 0773 3511 761
And you know the biggest irony ? Their leaflet came through the door along with the usual flyers for pizza places, Indian takeaways, etc . Yes, they were swamped by flyers for “foreign” food, the most obvious and easily embraceable example of multicultural Britain.
Stuff your undefined “British culture”…I’m off for a Chinese.