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

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Was Falkirk a false flag operation?

A BBC radio documentary this week confirmed an earlier report by the Guardian’s Seumas Milne that the allegations of impropriety in the Falkirk CLP made against Unite - which led to a Tory anti-union feeding frenzy and Ed Miliband’s panic measure to recommend the end of collective trade union affiliation to the Labour Party – are lacking in substance with little evidence in the body of the internal Labour Party report to substantiate the executive summary.

Latest anti union law unparalleled in its ideological venom

The UK's latest anti trade union law - the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trades Union Administration Bill - in its ideological venom exceeds the worst of the measures introduced during the Thatcher era, according to Victoria Philips of Thompsons Solicitors. 'The detail of the proposed reforms is complex – annual membership audits, new Certification Officer powers, enforcement orders, a requirement for unions with over 10,000 members to appoint an assurer, self-certification for smaller unions and exemption for new unions. It’s the very opposite of the Red Tape Challenge. Oh what a laugh they must have had in Cabinet with that one.'

Free Beer by Diane Seuss

I’m the one who can hold a mouthful of salt.
Bring him here, the fool dressed in prison stripes.
I can pray for him, even though his eyes are wild.
I can de-louse the rat.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Lib Dems – only 42,000 members yet they rule over us

With only 55 MPs and 42,000 members Liberal Democrats are at the heart of the UK Government. Within the Coalition they have been the driving force to take ‘big money out of politics’ and staunch supporters of attacks on workers’ rights. No wonder that this almost virtual political party couldn't believe its luck in recent weeks with Ed Miliband repudiating collective trade union affiliation and the Lobbying Bill severely restricting ‘third party support’ in the year preceding a general election. Look out next for attempts to install the life support machine of state funding to guarantee them a long term role on the national stage regardless of their lack of viability as a UK wide political party:

Thursday, 25 July 2013

New information sharing resource for trade unionists

A useful new source of trade union policy briefings and documents has been launched by the think tank Class. Publications from supporting unions and the wider trade union movement are now available in a library section of the Class website:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Time to loosen the grip of corporate sharks on public services

UNISON has issued a timely repeat of the union's longstanding call for an inquiry into privatisation in the wake of last week's revelations that private companies providing public services are routinely “gaming the system” to make money for their shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer. However the resilience and staying power of the £100bn per year and fast expanding public services industrial complex should not be underestimated.
   DeAnne Julius, writing in the Financial Times, was quick off the mark to defend the ‘outsourcing industry’ in the wake of the latest privatisation scandal.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

New ways of doing politics - Spot the difference

Coalition Agreement 12 May 2010 ‘We will regulate lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists and ensuring greater transparency. We will also pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics’

Ed Miliband 22 July 2013
‘We want to open up our policy-making, clean up the lobbying industry and take the big money out of politics’.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Markets are not infallible

‘There is an almost automatic reflex reaction in our current economic culture to the effect that markets are infallible while governments are so prone to error that they should just withdraw and keep out.... this view is ripe for re-assessment’ writes Michael Meacher MP in a scathing critique of outsourcing and privatisation failures - in rail, public utilities and welfare services:

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Liverpool commemorates James Larkin and his legacy

Hundreds of trade unionists marched through Liverpool yesterday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Dublin lock out - Ireland's most important industrial dispute. The heavily policed march started from Larkin's birthplace in south Liverpool and ended at the Pier Head where CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes and his Irish counterpart Cormac O'Dalaigh gave speeches about Larkin and his relevance today: http://www.cwu.org/billy-hayes/?p=901

Quantitatively Eased by Jacob Richardson

Plexiglass divide,
To deposit worthless paper in line,
To vacant faces in vacancy,
Gazing dead to those snide eyes.
Paper crumpled, hoarded and
Discarded, freshly printed,
Brittle and thin,
Granted little, as they can see.