Thursday, August 13, 2015

Labour Leadership Candidates Issue Manifestos or Substitute Material




The Campaign to obtain "Manifestos Of Intent" from the Labour Leadership Candidates (as shown here) received a limited success.

Andy Burnham has issued what is clearly a Manifesto, as he did for his campaign for the leadership in 2010. His current document is eight pages long and as he delivered this, it deserves to be examined carefully. See here. Then there is also his Leadership Campaign Web-site to examine here. Added Saturday 15 August. Also circulated via the post as an eight page booklet.

 Yvette Copper circulated a letter by post dated 3rd August, which is some 800 words long and probably qualifies as a "Minifesto". Her Leadership Campaign Web-site with more in it, is here. Added Friday 14 August. Today Yvette has circulated an 8 page booklet to members, on the penultimate page it provides an eight point programme.

Jeremy Corbyn has issued a number of policy documents in specific areas, which in total are much longer than Andy's Manifesto. But whilst detailed and important, they may be felt to cover less total ground than Andy's. They include "Protecting The Planet", "The Economy in 2020" and "Housing Policy". There are a further three documents which unfortunately are defective when printed off. But they can be read on the screen. These are "Housing Policy", "Northern Future" and "A Better Future For Young People". To seek out all these documents and other material, see his Leadership Campaign Web-site here. Added Friday 14 August. Today Jeremy has launched a ten point programme which has been circulated to members, under the title "Standing To Deliver". It is also here .


Liz Kendell had an article in the Independent on 2nd August, entitled "The five causes that Labour must put at the centre of our vision for Britain's future". See here. Her Leadership Campaign Web-site is here.

Looking ahead to the next Leadership Contest, there is a need for a requirement for "Manifestos Of Intent" being issued by the candidates, to appear in the Rules of the Labour Party. Amendments for this purpose can be submitted for the Agenda of the 2016 Labour Party Conference. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Capitalism Attacks Democracy" by Ken Curran

 Capitalism-vs-democracy













When the Labour Party was formed at the beginning of the 20th Century it had a clear ideological message. It was united because the founders believed the economic and social structures of society needed to be altered in order for the benefits of our industry to be redistributed, so that the wellbeing of all can be improved.

There is great difficulty today when trying to find the ideological divide between today’s political parties. Although I still hold a Labour Party Card after spending 70 years in its ranks, its relevance is nil as far as many of our Parliamentary Labour Party are concerned. The role of the party member as far as most of the PLP is concerned is to work their socks off to get them elected. Cynical with good reason. It is sad to say, but many of members of the PLP do not want to listen to the opinions of Party Members. They expect Party Members to be apolitical to the point of subservience. These attitudes are killing off the very liberties and freedoms the founders of the Labour Party espoused in the late 1800s. The Labour Party is supposed to present a distinct alternative to those people who believe the capitalist system will always deliver.

As we have seen with the Banking scandals, of the recent years Capital has to have controls. The crisis of the Greek Economy has been brought about as a result of a lack of control by both borrowers and lenders. Therefore planning along with measured control of capital is desirable. But Neoliberalism constantly works to remove all constraints which inhibits its aim of total economic freedom. Capitalism attacks Democracy because it is seen as an obstacle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Update


                          DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING


TOPIC  :          INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE  AT GUNSTONE'S, STUBLEY LANE, DRONFIELD.

SPEAKER :     DAVE SORBY and JOHN HIGGINS, both of the Bakers Union

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 19 JULY

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD


Dave is the Baker's Union Branch Secretary at Gunstones and John is their District Organiser.

There has been a 48 hour strike already at Gunstones. A last minute offer has now been made by the Management, so a further 48 hour strike planned from 16 July has just been placed on hold. Local members are being balloted. So our meeting will be held in the middle of this development. Dave and John will be updating us on the very latest situation. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Important July Discussion Meeting

 


                          DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING


TOPIC  :          STRIKE ACTION AT GUNSTONE'S, STUBLEY LANE, DRONFIELD.

SPEAKER :     TO BE SUPPLIED BY THE BAKERS UNION.

                         (MORE DETAILS WILL BE GIVEN LATER).

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 19 JULY

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD


The following "Early Day Motion" along with the names of its supporters appeared on the Commons Order Paper on 24 June, during a 48 hour strike period called by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The Union is commonly known as the "Bakers' Union". Our Discussion Meeting will be held near the close of a second 48 hour strike period. More MPs are likely to give their support to the motion, including Jeremy Corbyn. The motion explains the situation.    


INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT GUNSTONES BAKERY 24:6:15
John McDonnell
David Crausby
Ian Lavery
Louise Haigh
Richard Burgon
Justin Madders
Dennis Skinner,
Chris Stephens,
Ian Mearns
That this House notes that management at Gunstones Bakery, near Sheffield, having recently made over 400 redundancies, is now trying to impose a pay freeze on the remaining workforce; further notes that the Chief Executive of the parent company, 2 Sisters Food Group, Ranjit Singh Boparan, and his wife, are estimated by the Asian Rich List to enjoy a personal fortune totalling £1.35 billion; deplores the exploitative business model that has seen attacks on jobs, pay and conditions across the 2 Sisters Group; highlights the goodwill previously shown by Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) officials and members in offering to suspend pay negotiations whilst the redundancy process was conducted; believes that the company management is now being unreasonable in insisting that any increase in pay would need to be financed via reductions in existing terms and conditions of BFAWU members; recognises that BFAWU members have been obliged to take industrial action to protect their pay and conditions; and calls on their employers to enter into meaningful negotiations to resolve the dispute.

This further information is taken from the Union's Web-Site -   Press Release re: Strike Action at Gunstones Bakery.

The BFAWU strike at Gunstones (Sheffield) taking place from June 15th 2015 was called following the company’s decision to force through a pay freeze on staff at the site.

BFAWU members and officials had initially agreed with the company to keep any pay negotiations in abeyance due to over four-hundred redundancies being made. However, the company refused to offer staff an increase following the redundancy consultation period, citing the overall cost of the redundancies as a reason for non-movement on pay.

BFAWU members at the site subsequently balloted for industrial action, but gave the company a window of six weeks in order to negotiate further. Five days before the strike was due to take place, Union members at Gunstones met and made a proposal to the company that involved a pay increase of 4% over two years with no back pay.

The company refused this proposal and made it clear to BFAWU members and officials that any movement on pay would have to be ‘self-financing’, meaning that employees at the site may have to sacrifice existing terms and conditions in order to secure any increase. The BFAWU sees this as unacceptable and hopes that the company can review its position to avoid potential bitterness, resentment and the possibility of further action at the site.


More information will be provided nearer the date of our meeting

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Hope For Labour ?

  Compass Radical Hope NEW








"Independent Labour Publications" (ILP) is getting together with the campaigning pressure group "Compass" in September to examine the future of the Labour Party and the politics of radical hope. A public meeting will be held in Leeds on Saturday 19 September, just one week after Labour elects a new leader and deputy leader, and four months on from the party’s disastrous defeat at the general election.

The implications of the election results for Labour’s future will be the focus of the day’s activities.

For further details click here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Celebrating The History Of The Derbyshire Miners




Friday 26 June is the centenary of the unveiling of the statues of Harvey (on your left)) and Haslam (right) outside the former Miners' Office on Saltergate in Chesterfield. The above photo was taken shortly after that event.

At 7pm on Friday, 26 June a short ceremony will take place at the statues themselves to mark the occasion. From 6 pm, refreshments will be available at the Labour Club which is situated close to the statues, but on the opposite side of the road.

Harvey and Haslam were known as the "Twin Pillars of the Derbyshire Miners Association (DMA)", being its major founders and its leading officials from the time of its establishment in 1880 until their deaths just before the start of the First World War. They were also the first miners in Derbyshire to serve as local MPs.

On Saturday 27 June, the following events will be held at the Chesterfield Library to commemorate the unveiling.

(1) Talks at in the Library Threatre from 11am.

   On Harvey and Haslam - Harry Barnes (a former tutor on Derbyshire Miners' Day Release Courses and then MP for NE Derbyshire from 1987-2005.)

   On Derbyshire Mining in its final period - Cllr John Burrows (Leader of the Chesterfield Borough Council and a former DMA official).

(2) A round-table discussion on the history of the Derbyshire Miners from 1.15 pm.

   Chair : John Halstead (Labour Historian and former tutor on Derbyshire Miners" Day Release Courses.)

   Attendance at these events is free. Refreshment facilities are available in the Library.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

JUNE DISCUSSION MEETING

            DRONFIELD LABOUR PARTY DISCUSSION MEETING

TOPIC  :          THE FUTURE FOR THE LABOUR PARTY

TIME :             8pm to 9.15pm

DATE :            SUNDAY, 21 JUNE 2015
(A week later than usual.)

VENUE :         CONTACT CLUB, SNAPE HILL LANE, DRONFIELD



I WILL PROVIDE A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE TOPIC.

WE WILL THEN QUICKLY ENTER INTO DEBATE ON KEY ISSUES CURRENTLY FACING THE LABOUR PARTY, SUCH AS -

(1) THE LEADERSHIP AND DEPUTY LEADERSHIP OF THE LABOUR PARTY.  HOW DO WE VIEW THE CONTESTANTS? (Link here, this item has relevance to this question.)


(2) HOW SHOULD LABOUR RESPOND TO GOVERNMENT POLICIES?

(3) WHAT SHOULD BE LABOUR'S OVERALL "DIRECTION OF TRAVEL" AND ITS KEY  POLICIES?

(4) HOW CAN WE SEEK TO INFLUENCE THESE MATTERS ?

                                                                                                            HARRY BARNES.