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

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Austerity, Unions and Labour - a conversation running dry

At Labour’s National Policy Forum today Ed Miliband will commit an incoming Labour Government to continue austerity cuts until 2020 to eradicate a deficit made worse by Con Dem tax cutting policies for corporations and the rich. The Guardian previews his speech "You and I know we won't have the money. For all of the cuts, for all of the pain under this government, Britain still has a deficit to deal with and a debt to pay down. That's why our programme starts with a binding commitment to balancing the books in the next government.”

The Legend of Mythic, Proud Perfection by Tareq al-Karmy

Not Richard’s – not your “Lionheart” ’s – horse, no
Nor Great Alexander’s steed Bucephalus, no
Not Roman horses thundering home their demonic mastery,
Not the legendary, immortal, Trojan horse,
No, there’s never been a horse on all the earth but –
failing to attain absolute perfection of nobility –
has, in the end, had to be put down
by merciful bullets. Not one
this, the one my father bought me,
my horse,
although it’s only wee and made of wood.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014


This infographic dramatically shows Israel's aggression towards occupied Palestine over the last year and a timeline of Gaza under siege from 8-16 July 2014. Click on the graphic for a bigger version.
Gaza under Siege

Contrary to false assurances, health services are included in TTIP

As opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) gains momentum in the UK and elsewhere, suddenly (and based on leaked correspondence) it has been claimed in some quarters that the treaty poses no threat to the NHS. John Hilary of War on Want, writing on the Open Democracy website, demonstrates convincingly that the opposite is true and emphasises the importance of continuing to build the campaign against TTIP:.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Labour Link Forum: Less than 10 months to get rid of Cameron and Tories

UNISON Labour Link Forum took place this year in Bristol earlier this month. This is the national meeting of UNISON delegates from regions and Self Organised Groups who support our constitutional link with the Labour Party via the Labour Link (also known as the APF) political fund.
    This is a motion based conference which had some great debates on policy. There was also workshops and a number of high profile speakers including Jon Cruddas MP, Head of Labour's policy review; Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Minister for London Sadiq Khan MP, and our General Secretary, Dave Prentis. There was a UK Parliamentary panel of Labour MPs and a European Parliament panel of MEPs.

Tebbit resurfaces to attack collective union rights

The Tory world view regards collectivism as a threat to civil liberties. This explains their fundamental opposition to trade unions. In 1975 Tory MP Norman Tebbit accused the Labour employment minister Michael Foot of 'pure undiluted fascism' for upholding the primacy of collective agreements in a unionised workplace. Tebbit went on to become an arch ally of Margaret Thatcher in rolling back union rights.
   As Tory employment minister he introduced the landmark Employment Act 1982 in order to, in his words, 'redress the imbalance of bargaining power' by narrowing the definition of a legal strike and outlawing solidarity action. Now Tebbit has surfaced to invoke his 1982 legislation as a smarter way than ballot thresholds to 'restrain the extremists of the union movement' and proposes that union immunity from civil action for damages arising from a strike be conditional on 'a minimum percentage of the relevant workforce and possibly a minimum turnout' rather than an outright ban on strikes not meeting those requirements:

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Urgent call from Gaza civil society: Act now!

'We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.
    With the world turning their backs on us once again, for the last four days we in Gaza have been left to face massacre after massacre. As you read these words, over 120 Palestinians are dead now, including 25 children. Over 1,000 have been injured including countless horrifying injuries that will limit lives forever –- more than two thirds of the injured are women and children.

Long Live Palestine by Lowkey

This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza,
Lowkey's album Soundtrack To The Struggle
is at www.soundtracktothestruggle.com
This is the official video for Lowkey's single
Tears to Laughter which has been supported
 by Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
Stop the War Coalition, Viva Palestine
and others.  All profits from the single
are being donated to the DEC Gaza Appeal.
This is for the child that is searching for an answer,
I wish I could take your tears and replace them with laughter,
Long live Palestine, Long live Gaza!

While we listen to tunes, made by ignorant fools,
Israel blocked the UN from delivering food,
They'll bring in the troops and you won't even glimpse at the news,
They make money of the products that we are quick to consume,
It's not simply a question of differing views,
Forget emotions, this is fact, what I spit is the truth,
Makes no difference if you're a Christian or if you're a Jew,
They are just people living in different conditions to you,
They still die when you bomb their schools, mosques and hospitals,
It is not because of rockets, please god can you stop it all,