Going on strike should be regarded as “an individual human right” and not be subject to a trade union vote, Wansbeck MP and former president of the mineworkers’ union Ian Lavery has said.
The Northumberland MP, who considered standing for the Labour Party leadership, predicts mass “civil disobedience” in the UK if the Government presses ahead with radical changes to trade union law.
The Conservatives want to bring in a 50% threshold that would see half of a union’s membership having to vote for a strike to be legitimate.
But former NUM chief Mr Lavery said pushing it through the legislation was a risk, adding: “This is a pure and utter attack on the trade union movement and an attack on workers.
“If the legislation proceeds through Parliament then I can see the trade unions ignoring it.”
He added: “I can see industrial action on a huge scale.”
Asked if he foresaw an era of wildcat strikes, he said: “I think it could be more serious than that. I think we could see civil disobedience.
Harriet Harman, the acting leader of the Labour party has joined a number of the leadership candidates in what is fast becoming a competition to see who can most blatantly encourage hatred of claimants. Harman complained that Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.”
Last week, in Labour leadership hopefuls queued up to kick claimants – even in speech to tax avoidance auditors we reported that a number of Labour leadership candidates, including Andy Burnham and Caroline Flint had sought to distance themselves from any appearance of support for people on benefits.
Burnham talked about some people believing Labour wants ‘to be soft on people who want something for nothing’, whilst Flint said Labour ought to start attacking benefits scroungers as much as bankers and should give people choosing to live off benefits a “kick up the backside”.
The attempts to denigrate people claiming benefits appear to based on the idea that Labour lost the election because it wasn’t tough enough on claimants.
Now, in an interview in today’s Independent, Harriet Harman has joined in the attacks. The paper explained that:
“Ms Harman believes a common problem all over Britain was that voters felt the party “doesn’t talk about me”. Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.” She said: “It doesn’t matter how many leaflets you deliver if the message is not right.””
MPs hoping to be the Labour party’s next leader or deputy leader are lining up to kick claimants as they seek to blame anyone but themselves for the disastrous election result. In one case the attack on claimants was made from the offices of accountants who narrowly escaped prosecution for involvement in tax dodging.
Leadership front-runner Andy Burnham supports the Conservative’s plans to lower the level of the household benefits cap, plunging more families into poverty, According to the Independent Burnham argued that people see Labour as being “soft on people who want something for nothing”.
In a speech to Ernst and Young, the accountancy firm which paid out £82 million in 2013 to avoid criminal charges in the US for aiding tax dodgers, Burnham argued:
“I was talking about an impression on the doorstep and there is that feeling, some people say, that Labour want to be soft on people who want something for nothing. We’ve got to be honest about that. That is a feeling that’s out there, that was still being replayed at this election.”
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Pusillanimous is a good word and it’s a useful word. It sums up Labour’s last five years in opposition. The definition of pusillanimous is:
showing a lack of courage or determination; timid
Either through cowardice or weakness, the Labour Party failed to counter the absurd allegations made by the Tories that they had created the recession and had driven the country to bankruptcy, because they “crashed the economy”. One ridiculous statement put forward by the Tories and the Lib Dems claimed the United Kingdom was in a similar situation to Greece. Not a single Labour politician that I saw on television or heard on the radio bothered to counter these accusations. Instead, they rolled over and let the Tories get away with murder.
Governments don’t create or cause recessions: these happen because of external factors, like banking collapses and stock market crashes. The current recession (What? You think it’s over?) was…
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A bookmaker has made former South Shields MP David Miliband 12/1 to succeed his brother Ed as leader of the Labour Party.
According to Unibet, the 49-year-old, who narrowly lost to his brother in a leadership contest in 2010, could make a spectacular return.
He rose to prominence as the head of Tony Blair’s policy unit from 1997 to 2001, when he was elected MP for South Shields.
In April 2013 he resigned from Parliament in order to become president and chief executive officer of the International Rescue Committee in New York.
> In other words, he left his constituents to their fate in order to chase the yankee dollar to the tune of £300,000 a year.
Now, with Labour reeling from its heaviest election defeat in years, the bookies are giving odds on a stunning return.
Unibet’s odds are:
BREAKING: Chuka Umunna 9/4
Andy Burnham 2/1
Yvette Cooper 3/1
Dan Jarvis 8/1
Liz Kendall 16/1
David Miliband 12/1
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 09 May 2015
There’s an appalling stench to the election result and it’s one of scaremongering and dirty tricks, but there’s also a faint odour of Labour’s weakness, complacency and drift. Scottish Labour, especially, ran an abysmal catch-up campaign in which they adopted Tory scare tactics to try to frighten voters into returning to them. Labour also made a huge mistake in standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Scottish independence referendum. This, as well as their reluctance to offer a clear alternative vision to voters, cost them dearly not only in Scotland but south of the border too.
The turnout for this election was 66% nationwide. That’s nothing to crow about. In French presidential elections, the vote often exceeds 80%. According to the Daily Mirror, in Lucy Powell’s constituency, only 18% bothered to vote in the 2012 by-election. Yesterday the turnout was 44%. It isn’t great. That tells us that some voters who…
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The Tories and their allies in the press seem to believe that the party with the most seats in the event of a hung parliament should be able to form a government. They also claim that should Labour get fewer seats than the Tories and if they form a minority government with the support of smaller parties, then this government would be illegitimate. This has been comprehensively debunked time and time again. Yet the Tories and Nick Clegg continue to lie about this, relying on the widespread ignorance of how parliament and governments function.
There is a historical precedent that has never once been mentioned during this election campaign by those commentators whose job it is to ‘explain’ the political system to the voters. The General Election of 6 December 1923, which Stanley Baldwin had called over tariff reform (which meant very little to many working class voters), produced a situation…
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I realize the Labour Party sees Scotland as its natural territory. For decades, Labour has dominated the country politically. However, it has, to use Johann Lamont’s words, treated Scottish Labour as a branch of the party at Westminster. Furthermore, Labour has ignored the wishes of their voters and regarded them as errant children when they complain about neoliberal policies being enacted in Westminster and forced down Scottish throats. This has all come back to bite Scottish Labour on the arse. The Scottish National Party saw the void left behind when SLab slid to the right by adopting the neoliberal orthodoxy and filled it. What party wouldn’t do that? This is called ‘politics’ and the SNP played a blinder.
I saw a tweet earlier on my timeline from a Labour activist that read something along the lines of “The SNP’s right wing roots”. Yet, as I pointed out in this blog
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Having started with the far right, now for the not quite so far right…the Labour Party.
Are musicians and creative people generally more likely to lean to the left, politically speaking ? It does generally seem that way.
Labour once had a good relationship with musicians – I’m particularly thinking of their engagement with Red Wedge, the collective of musicians who attempted to engage young people with politics in general, and the policies of the Labour Party in particular, during the period leading up to the 1987 general election, in the hope of ousting the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher.
Fronted by Billy Bragg (whose 1985 Jobs for Youth tour had been a prototype of sorts for Red Wedge), Paul Weller and The Communards lead singer Jimmy Somerville, they put on concert tours and appeared in the media, adding their support to the Labour Party campaign.
Artists who appeared at Red Wedge gigs included The Style Council, The Communards, Junior Giscombe, Jerry Dammers,Madness, The The, Heaven 17, Bananarama, Prefab Sprout, Elvis Costello, Gary Kemp, Tom Robinson, Sade, The Beat, Lloyd Cole, The Smiths, The The, Captain Sensible and the Blow Monkeys.
Which is a pretty good support base. It didn’t work though, and Red Wedge was formally disbanded in 1990.
I wonder how many of those would appear in support of Miliband ? Labour lost any credibility they may have still retained under Blair (despite desperate attempts to woo ‘Cool Britannia’) and I dont really think its ever going to come back. Tough shit, Ed.
There’s not even much in the way of anti-Labour songs out there… not in the same way as there is for UKIP. There’s one or two featuring Ed Miliband, but they are more speech cut-ups – well executed and quite funny, but without the vitriol and satire that fuels the anti-UKIP ones.
It’s a if we’ve been so disapointed by Labour that we cant even be bothered to heckle anymore.
I do like the bacon sandwich one, though.
Ed Miliband (feat. Queen): One Nation
Rap Battle – Miliband, Farage & Clegg
Ed Miliband eats a bacon sandwich
It’d probably be unfair to drag Tony Blair into this…but, hey – why not ? This is a great video and neatly sums up the disillusionment Bliar left in his wake : “we could have been anything…”
Goodbye, Tony Blair
At election time, politicians from the main parties (and UKIP) will repeat the mantra of low taxes and blah, blah, blah. There is a group of people whom these politicians always ignore, unless it’s to claim they will “create jobs” or offer some kind of “job guarantee” for a certain age group. Who am I talking about? The people on out of work benefits. These are the forgotten voters.
The rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) has failed to keep pace with the increased cost of living. There are two kinds of JSA: Contributory and Income-based. The rates for each are exactly the same. I won’t bother going into detail about the minor differences, because they’re not that important. The only real difference is the rate for couples.
The rates are
Age JSA weekly amount 18 to 24 up to £57.90 25 or over up to £73.10
For those on Income-based…
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