UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

UNISONActive debate: Dealing with the symptoms and causes of unrest

In the face of public fear, anger and retribution, the left faces an uphill struggle to articulate the way forward from the unrest in our cities.

Butterwell by Paul Batchelor

Nightdriving. Going to pick dad up from work.
Dance To Your Daddy as the road unwinds,
a cine-film pitted with potholes. Catseyes.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Media vilification – the modern day stocks

An orgy of abuse and character assassination has been unleashed by the media in the wake of recent civil disorder:http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/aug/12/london-riots-national-newspapers

'Failure of politics and social solidarity'

For those for whom the David Cameron trite and self serving assertion in the Commons that there is no social cause for the recent disturbances in British cities, there is an antidote:-

See all posts in this debate here http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/search/label/Unrest%20Debate

Thursday, 11 August 2011

UNISON Mobilises for action at Anti-Cuts Festival

Artists will paint a real picture of the damage caused by public sector cuts at UNISON's Mobilise Festival in Edinburgh, alongside musicians, comedians and special guests. The festival against the Government's cuts, which runs from 13 to 20 August, will include daily debates, followed by live music and open mike slots.

Turning the tide of reaction

Red Pepper co-Editor James O'Nions, provides a necessary antidote to media and Tory hysteria designed to whip up an authoritarian right wing response to recent civil disorder in English cities: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/riots-the-left-must-respond/

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Broken Society

‘We should not be surprised at riots in inner-city areas like Lewisham. A whole workless generation has been abandoned by society’ writes Heather Wakefield, UNISON national Secretary for local government – identifying youth unemployment, poverty and cuts in services as key factors in recent civil disorder:

See all posts in this debate here http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/search/label/Unrest%20Debate

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The price of progress - story of Triana's women's group

A delegation from UNISON’s Northern region is currently visiting Colombia. This is the second in a series of reports sent into UNISONActive by the delegation: The Afro-Colombian community of Triana has suffered extreme violence for no other reason than its location. Located on the main route from the Port of Buenaventura, it sits on the gateway to Colombia.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Iceland - defending national sovereignity

The response of the Icelandic people to the banking crisis that smashed the false economy of Iceland - based around internet banking and a national debt of 900% of its GDP - has been astonishing and inspirational. But we have seen very little reporting of the political and economic transformation taking place: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/01/1001662/-Icelands-On-going-Revolution  It belies the desperate idea that we have no alternative but to follow the curve of the banking crisis

Colombia's sugar cane cutters: still fighting for their rights

A delegation from UNISON’s Northern region is currently visiting Colombia. This is the first of a series of reports sent into UNISONActive by the delegation: Colombia has one of the most challenging political climates in the world. The extreme implementation of neoliberal policies has seen the erosion of core workers’ rights, and the marginalisation of communities. In this context the struggle of the Corteros (sugar cane cutters) is significant.

Democratise the economy and tax the rich

In clear echoes of what UNISON, the TUC and the STUC amongst others have been saying for some considerable time, Iain Macwhirter makes the case for taxing the banks and the super-rich and putting money back in the pockets of the middle classes. He challenges the conventional economic wisdom that high taxation stifles enterprise and therefore economic growth arguing that exactly the opposite is the case. (Global economic Armageddon is nigh – so let’s tax the rich, Sunday Herald 7.08.11) http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/iain-macwhirter/global-economic-armageddon-is-nigh-so-let-s-tax-the-rich-1.1116148

Sunday, 7 August 2011

UNISON public services message taken to Liverpool Pride

Yesterday Liverpool held its third Pride march and festival. Local UNISON members were present campaigning on public services in particular raising awareness of spending cuts in youth and HIV support sevices. Liverpool branch activists were joined by NW LGBT activists Carl Phillips (Knowsley branch), Darrell Burns (Wirral & West Cheshire health branch) and Eileen Best (Stockport branch & chairperson of regional LGBT group) - pictured at the busy UNISON stall.

Unions – still Labour’s embarrassing elderly relative

Ahead of Labour's conference Peter Watt, its former General Secretary, analyses the relationship between the trade unions and the party. His contradictory and muddled conclusions epitomise the dilemma of the Blairites - who see the union link as an outdated liability but who know that without financial support from millions of union members Labour could not sustain itself as a national political force:

As Histadrut joins protests, does leadership have the vision?

As Israel protests at the impact of a war economy, is the Israeli trade union Histadrut relevant and has their leadership the vision and direction? "In what some observers called a bid by the Histadrut to remain relevant, the union held a rally calling for 'social justice.' http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146404

Establishment by Eleanor Wilner

The Bush/Cheney Years

Death had established himself in the Red Room,
the White House having become his natural
abode: chalk-white facade, pillars like the bones