If ever there was a party that made the left look pathetic, weak, self-serving and reeking of multicultural opportunism you can’t find better than the Respect Party.
So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Lee Jasper Inc has joined George Galloway Inc to attempt to try and shore up the black vote in Croydon.
For those not quite in the know about dear Lee, below we reproduce an article by the IWCA from back in 2008. Just remember folks, class isn’t the issue any more, it’s all about race and which pocket of funding you can squeeze out as a self appointed representative of your chosen racial identity. The sleazier your character the better and bags of money for everyone especially if you’re a friend of Ken Livingstone. And when you don’t deliver? Take cash and move to the next town and start over leaving the ‘community’ you’ve chosen to ‘represent’ in a worse state than they were before.
Let’s hope the working-class people of Croydon North put Jasper and the Respect Party right where they belong…firmly on their opportunistic segregationist money grabbing arses….
Some are more equal than others…
In the land of ‘equal opportunities’ some are clearly more equal than others, if the grants by the London Development Agency (LDA) described as the Mayor’s ‘business arm’ are anything to go by. Under the guiding hand of Lee Jasper, the principle race adviser to Mayor Ken Livingstone, the LDA, has been doling out grants to his friends and cronies, as if there is no tomorrow.
Of course with police currently investigating four of the beneficiaries there may indeed be no political tomorrow for Jasper and Co; so ‘make hay while the sun shines’ seems to be the motto. And with good reason.
On Tuesday Rosemary Emodi, the deputy to the Mayor’s adviser on race, was exposed as a liar and forced to quit her £64,000 job, after initially denying she had accepted a free weekend at a £200-a-night beach resort in Nigeria without telling her employers. Her stay was paid for by the resort, La Campagna Tropicana , near Lagos.
When journalists made inquiries about the trip, Ms Emodi told her employers that she had never been to the resort, and the Mayor’s office issued a statement which later turned out to be untrue. The BBC obtained confirmation that Ms Emodi had in fact flown to Nigeria on Friday 30 November, returning the following Monday. The Mayor’s office has emphasised that no public money was involved.
But Brixton Base, run by a friend of Mr Jasper, Erroll Walters, a long-standing friend of Ms Emodi, who accompanied her to Nigeria, has however benefited hugely from public money. Brixton Base has received more than £500,000 in the shape of LDA grants to be precise. The London Evening Standard claims that, to date, nine students have complained to the LDA of intimidation and lying by Brixton Base staff.
In all it is believed that approximately £3 million of taxpayers money has been invested in similar projects with no discernable return. For example Diversity International, a company run by another business associate of Mr Jasper, received a £295,000 grant from the London Development Agency – all the money has disappeared without trace.
Of the total of thirteen projects under suspicion, not one thought it worthwhile to invest even a tiny fraction of the money in covering their tracks. Had they done so there would be something, anything, to show for their efforts, when the auditor or police came calling. As the story is breaking in increments, initially and inevitably the greatest shrieks of outrage from the media have been on behalf of the London taxpayer.
This is perfectly understandable, but there are other victims in all of this, and they are the supposed beneficiaries of the LDA largesse; London’s black working class. They, and their interests are after all supposedly Jasper’s reason for being.
His entire career from when he first emerged in the late 1980’s has been based on the premise that when you come down to it race remains the determining factor that transcends all else. He is, as one critic put it, ‘some one who would play the race card in a game of solitaire’. And he would also go to extraordinary lengths to prove his point.
In 1991 he organised a march through the predominately white class neighbourhood of Bermondsey simply to prove that racism did exist there and because of that fact a grant funded initiative he himself had proposed was needed to tackle it. Jasper chose to march on a day and a time that made conflict with fans of the local football club, Millwall, who were playing at home, inevitable.
The result was a race riot, with attacks carrying on long into the night. Whether he subsequently got his grant is not known, but whatever the outcome, it was the black working class locally and not Jasper who paid a high price for this particular political misadventure. But then again having others pay the price is hardly novel. When the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor, Brian Paddick, was a serving police officer, he and Jasper’s often crossed paths in the run up to the annual Notting Hill Carnival.
Predictably Jasper had cast himself as a ‘community leader’ in west London even though he was born in Oldham and actually lived south of the river. According to Paddick’s account, Jasper’s real interest in the affair was restricted to one long street that he, Jasper, insisted was ‘controlled by the community’, which in Jaspers eye’s entitled the ‘community’ to collect the monies from stall-holders that would normally go to the organising authorities. A standoff would normally ensue, with Jasper invariably emerging as triumphant. ‘An example of entrepreneurship’ was how Jasper would describe it.
That Jasper appears to have taken ‘affirmative action’ as a personal entitlement is beside the point. In terms of race relations there is more to this than the odd rotten apple, or indeed barrel.
Observer Columnist Nick Cohen recently appeared on a panel to discuss the forthcoming Mayoral election. A question came up on the issue of ‘affirmative action’. The substance of Cohen’s criticisms was that it always went to the ‘wrong people’. In his experience he told the meeting the principal beneficiaries of such schemes were ‘already middle class’.
This is undoubtedly true, but that objectively is the entire purpose of the stratagem: talk up equal opportunities for all but in reality work to create and sustain a black middle class as a buttress to the existing white middle class in order to maintain the political equilibrium, with the working class, white and black alike, picking up the tab in one way of the other.
‘Rosemary Emodi Plc’
A case in point is the career of Rosemary Emodi herself. Nigerian born to a middle class professional family she moved to London with her sister to study. She qualified as a barrister and in the late 1990’s became active in the Society of Black Lawyers (set up in 1973 to fight racism).
Ms Emoldi was fond of arguing that SBL should remove obstacles to “black success.” She certainly tolerated no obstacles to her own success. Within the black business community she was, it is alleged, widely known as “Rosemary Emodi PLC”. At the Town Hall her persona was of course very different. There she talked ‘the good fight’, both eloquent and consistent in her appeals on equality issues which endeared her to minority campaigners.
The likelihood is she didn’t believe a word of it. For when she took a free holiday in a 5 star holiday in Nigeria with her hosts believing that she and her companion, Errol Walters, were on an official mission from the GLA to investigate ‘funding visits for London youngsters with African roots’, she was consciously exploiting the inequalities, real or contrived, she was paid £64,000 a year to address.
And just because the scheme in question was an absurd improvisation of no imaginable merit, there can be little or no doubt that Emodi would have been just as eager to leech off it, had it been authentic and worthwhile. So what does that say about the integrity of the man that had her appointed his deputy, Lee Jasper? And indeed the probity and judgement of the individual who in turn had hand-picked Jasper?
Livingstone stated recently that he believes he can ‘trust Lee with his life’. Who knows, he may even believe It? But if Livingstone was anyone other than the High Priest of Multiculturalism, Jasper and company would already be toast. However startling it might appear, Jasper and Emoldi may not be the final word in self-serving hypocrisy.
Especially when compared to the unedifying crew responsible for running the Major’s administration, serving as the well lubricated liason between City Hall and the City. As is now widely known the main stringpullers are former members of a group called Socialist Action.
In 1990 following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Socialist Action (no. 7, Summer 1990) had this to say: “The destruction of at least some of the workers’ states, in Eastern Europe, and the imperialist reunification of Germany are both the greatest defeats suffered by the working class since World War 2…” The reference to only ‘some of the workers states’ was because SA still had high hopes for Romania!
If, as Channel 4’s programme Dispatches claims, the Mayor has of late taken to indulging in the odd tipple, prior to, with, or instead of his museli, it is not too surprising. What will be probabaly hard for Livingstone to stomach if, as it appears, the old fraud’s entire career and legacy is hanging by a thread, is that he really has no one to blame but himself. As the old saying goes, ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are’.
THE KING EDWARD VII, AYLSHAM ROAD, Norwich, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June 2012.
In response to the recent victimization of Punks in the Aceh province of Indonesia, Norwich’s own punk singer Emma Keevil of HOTWIRED is launching a two day benefit gig to raise enough money to bring Indonesian punk band DISLAW over so they can tour the UK and raise lots of cash for the street punks back home.
In a statement Emma said
“This benefit is to raise enough money to get the band Dislaw here from Indonesia after all the trouble from the police they’ve suffered. By bringing them here they can tour and it will raise awareness of the discrimination punks are receiving in Indonesia.
We are a huge family and we must unite all over the world. We can raise more money when they get here and send back any clothes boots etc that we might not want to replace the stuff the police have taken from the punks arrested.
I have grown to love the boys in this band, they have not only captured my heart but they are a fantastic band you will not be disappointed so please help us make this happen.
Where can you be arrested and brainwashed for listening to music in mixed company? That would be in Indonesia, where the deputy mayor of the Aceh region recently declared “being punk” a crime punishable by arrest.
Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal authorized the arrest and ten-day “reeducation” of sixty-four young people who attended a musical fundraiser in an Aceh park. Their “reeducation” consists of forced incarceration for ten days and having their heads shaved. Also some were hosed down in communal cells.
Illiza told the Jakarta Globe that the punks are guilty of spreading a “new social disease” which in effect undermines the community’s religious practice. However, the only breach of Islamic law that she cited was that men and women had gathered in the same place.
She has also announced her intention to pursue, incarcerate, and “reeducate” another 200 punk rockers in her region.
Tell Banda Aceh deputy mayor Illiza S’aduddin Djamal that punk is not a disease. Tell her to stop punishing punk rockers in her region!”
As a thank you to Hotwired for supporting NCAGs Norwich Justice For Ian Tomlinson Day back in 2010, I’ll be throwing my full weight behind supporting Emma and her endeavors to make this a great success and hope all NCAG members and supporters will take the time to do the same.
The event website can be found here http://punkisnotacrimefest.wordpress.com/
This promises to be one hell of a couple of days!
Rick Dutton, NCAG.
While today marks the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Nazi holocaust that killed 12 million people including 6 million Jews, 500,000 Roma and Shinti, countless Slavs, Poles and Russians among numerous other nationalities from all over the globe, the disabled, the mentally ill, trade unionists, communists, freemasons, LGBT people…we also remember all the other genocides that have been and are the terrible blight of humanity.
May the victims forever be remembered and may we continue to fight against those who would commit future atrocities whatever political persuasion, colour, faith, creed, religion or self declared righteous dogma they may come from.
by Rick Dutton in International News
If you know anyone from the West African Republic of Nigeria you might find them slightly absorbed by what is going on back home at the moment. Yes, yes, we hear you declare, that’ll be the ethnic tensions and rise of another group of Islamic extremists kicking off, they’re always doing that!
We’ll if you were to take a good look at international media reports it’s understandable that you might have that reaction. What isn’t being reported much is that there’s a movement of protest going on in Africas most populated country which is seeking to rid the country of injustice, corruption, political greed and incompetence. While there are indeed increasing clashes on a religious and ethnic basis these are minuscule compared to what is actually going on in pretty much every state of Nigeria. And that is ‘Occupy Nigeria’.
Cynics among you will no doubt be shocked to hear that this isn’t just a couple of hundred people in tents camped outside the equivalent of Londons St.Pauls Cathedral. Well it’s not. It’s hundred of thousands of people from every section of Nigerian society…hundreds of thousands of people on the streets shouting ‘We have had ENOUGH!’
Occupy Nigeria has barely been noticed by other Occupy groups around the world, hardly a mention. And it’s not like they haven’t been sending messages out asking for support. Yet there’s more eloquence and understanding of corruption in terms of international and domestic capitalism on display in Occupy Nigeria than from ANY other we have seen so far on our own door steep and indeed across the so-called ‘western world’.
Here’s some other things you may or may not know.
Did you know Nigeria is the sixth biggest oil producer in the world pumping oil to the tune of two million barrels per day? Did you know Nigeria is Americas third biggest oil provider? Did you know that a Nigerian Minister earns $60,000 more than an American Cabinet Minister? Did you know members of the Nigerian Senate earn $26,000 (not including allowances) more than their American counterparts? Did you know the majority of the population of more than 160 million people live on less than $2 per day? Did you know Nigerian ministers travel in convoys ten vehicles long, have their own jets, own properties around the globe, attend international events (whether invited or not) with entourages of sometimes 100 people…all at the expense of the Nigerian people? Did you know money regularly disappears to the tune of billions of dollars with rarely any explanation or individuals held accountable. In fact it is estimated that $400bn of the country’s oil revenue was stolen by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999.
Remember our own expenses scandals? There is simply no comparison.
These are as close to facts as you could possibly get.
Meanwhile there is little to no working public infrastructure let alone any public welfare system. ‘Official figures’ from the Bureau of Statistics puts the unemployment figure at about 20% (about 32million people if based on a population figure of 160 million), but this figure still did not include about 40million other Nigerian youths captured in World Bank statistics in 2009. Average life expectancy in some studies puts men at 47 years and women at 48 years.
With those kind of statistics you’d wonder if there was anything at all that the Nigerian people receive from their government that is of benefit to them.
There was one, but that’s now being taken off them. We’ll call it a ‘perk’.
That one ‘perk’, from the government of Africas biggest oil producer, was subsidization at the fuel pumps.
That one ‘perk’ ended on January 1st causing prices to go from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per litre) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per litre). The costs of basic food stuffs and travel also doubled.
Let’s just go over that again…$3.50 per gallon when the average wage of the population is $2 a day.
The only ‘perk’ taken away, just like that…overnight.
The lie from the Nigerian government is the removal of the subsidy will benefit the Nigerian population because there’s a massive hole in domestic finances which they’d like to recoup to rebuild the nation. Nigerians have heard this one before. Many times. ‘Rebuilding the nation’ is a phrase every government has used since independence in 1963 and it has rarely come to much.
As of last Monday the already growing Occupy movement was swelled when unions called out their members on strike in protest to the removal of the subsidy. In turn this has attracted the young, masses of them from every part of Nigeria.
Last night union leaders from the Nigeria Labour Congress, threatening this coming Monday to shut down all oil production met with the Nigerian President Goodluck Johnson and his government officials to ‘negotiate’ an end to the strike in return for the original fuel subsidy. However tweets from inside the meeting made it clear that the government would reduce the price slightly and the unions would meet them half way, much to the fury of protesters and a substantial number of the population who believe that the unions have no right to negotiate away the return of $1.70 per gallon on behalf of the Nigerian people. The popular declaration is it’s ‘N65 or nothing’ (the price in the local currency Naira).
This meeting ended without agreement and today hundreds of thousands were again back on the streets warning the union leaders not to betray them tomorrow when meetings between the two parties continue. Union leaders have called off the strikes over the weekend apparently in order to open airports and allow members of the government to fly to the capital Abuja to make their voices heard. Cynics might also say there’ll be those flying ‘far away’ also in fear of what may or may not occur in the coming days. But there is also a need for those involved in the protests and the population at large to ‘re-charge the batteries’, so in that respect it is to be commended.
Both governments and unions have much to be frightened of at this juncture. Neither parties are likely to quell the current growing anger if the demands of the public are not addressed quickly. The average working Nigerians are far from being the usual stereotype many bigoted fools in the ‘the west’ hold of scam artists who spam email boxes on a daily basis, they are far more politically astute and resourceful a nation than these bigots at large would give them credit for. Great names such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ken Saro-Wiwa should be forced upon them. In fact they are far more politically astute and resourceful than their own leaders and union heads give them credit for. They should take heed.
Meanwhile the international Occupy movement should get off their butts and support Occupy Nigeria. While it is common knowledge that there is chronic pollution in the Niger Delta caused by oil spillage, it is not the fault of the Nigerian people, it is the fault of their government, lack of accountability, corruption in high places and the oil industries. It is the fault of international capitalism running riot. Nigerians are calling for the outside world to support them.
And this has what to do with us here in little old Norfolk? Maybe nothing, maybe everything in the current international crisis. But keep an eye on the old oil pumps at your Morrissons, BP or Sainsbury forecourt if Nigeria hits crisis point, better still keep an eye on our own state and its allies because the root of all these problems internationally lies there!
And in the spirit of of Nigerian freedom fighters such as the likes of the late great Fela Anikulapo Kuti there’s a message to the EU, the US, the UK and above all the IMF…
Him no know hungry people
Him no know jobless people
Him no know homeless people
Him no know suffering people
Him go dey ride best car
Him go dey chop best food
Him go dey live best house
Him go dey waka for road
You go dey commot for road for am
Him go dey steal money
Na “Vagabond in Power!
While Cameron and Co hand out medals to the posh and corrupt lets recognize some folks who really are deserving of them but are instead fitted up and jailed in the fight against fascism.
Andy Baker, Thomas Blak, Sean Cregan, Phil De Sousa, Ravi Gill, Austen Jackson as well as all those jailed in the struggle against the far-right everywhere, we stand with you in solidarity.
70 years ago they’d have been called heroes, today they’re labelled criminals and extremists.
NCAG members were out and about today joining pickets and marching with trade unionists across the county.
One particular group of striking public sector workers stand out for their commitment to Norfolk communities and they are the striking paramedics who answered red calls hour after hour for no pay at all.
Are these the actions of selfish taking the piss trade unionists or dedicated, professional and essential public servants?
While the right wing media and Tory propaganda machine work on overdrive it has been more than clear today that there is more than just hesitant support for public sector workers in their struggle. There would be even more if the TUC leaders were to get off their behinds and embrace private sector workers and working class communities also.
There is much to play for, the destruction of the whole welfare state is at stake. But while Tories and their apologists appear on our screens day after day spouting nonsense about trade unionists and blaming the previous equally useless government for the mess we’re in, most people are able to see through the nonsense and remain committed to both the welfare state and those workers who form it’s backbone, and they’re not yet ready to sell them out to the corporations.
Long may that remain.
NCAG members travelled down the A11 to HMP Wayland to visit Ravi Gill, one of the seven antifascists jailed for twenty one months last June. For those unfamiliar with the trial and how they were fitted up, a website by supporters has been set up here http://antifascistprisonersupportuk.wordpress.com/about-2/ .
Ravi is in good spirits and sends his thanks and best wishes to all who’ve been sending him mail and financial help in the form of postal orders while he’s banged up.
However we believe that the initial abundance of solidarity has of late tailed off somewhat and we’d urge that people continue to write to all the prisoners regularly in order to help keep them positive in the knowledge that they’ve not been forgotten.
While we all lead busy lives it’s often too easy to put off writing until a later date, but bear in mind though that being locked in a cell for much of the day gives a lot of time for thought and naturally negativity will sometimes set in, hence the importance of staying in touch and remembering the old adage…
“They’re inside for us…we’re outside for them.”
Full details on how to stay in touch with the Welling Seven can be found here http://antifascistprisonersupportuk.wordpress.com/addresses/
Today members of NCAG joined travellers and their supporters at Dale Farm for a march from Wickford train station to the site and the official opening of ‘Camp Constant‘ where an attempt will be made to fend off the eviction that is now only days away.
The march itself was lively and had a good turn out of a few hundred strong. The only question was where were the mass throng of ‘leftist activists’ who constantly talk a good talk of ‘fight back’ and ‘equality for ethnic minorities’-apart from a handful of union banners, they were noticeable by their absence once again.
As usual the police presence was bordering on the ridiculous and FIT teams were out filming four year olds for their ‘database of domestic extremists’.
If any of our members, friends and supporters are able to get down to the site and help out the residents, we’d encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
Thanks to all at of Dale Farm for having us, our thoughts will be with you over the coming week.
Last night the SWP held a meeting entitled ‘What To Do About The EDL’..or rather they would have done, if they weren’t forced to leave the Golden Star pub on Duke Street because EDL members were already there waiting to join in the debate.
Clearly the Socialist Workers Party’s internal communications department is not fit for purpose as someone obviously forgot to tell the Norwich branch that holding and advertising these kind of meetings encourages the EDL to attend which has been happening to the SWP across the country. Either that or the Norwich branch are just idiots. We think we’ll go with the latter.
30 or more members of the EDL turned out, more than the whole membership of the SWP in Norfolk and Suffolk.
And SWP numbers were only slightly swelled last night because begging posts had gone out on Facebook for ‘solidarity attendance’ once they’d found out the EDL were definitely going to be making an appearance.
By calling this meeting publicly without a thought for peoples security, without a thought for the safety of members of the public or the bar staff of the two pubs the SWP were thrown out of, they have exposed themselves once again to be the most clueless, manipulative and amateur organisation that exists on the left today.
Not only have their actions narrowly avoided serious harm to individuals, they compromised at least two anti-fascists from NCAG who found themselves having to engage in debate with EDL members in order to try and get people away safely from a situation that was growing more dangerous by the minute. The term ‘lambs to the slaughter’ springs to mind. Having said that, it was apparent that the older EDL members wanted to do nothing other than discuss and on several occasions prevented younger members from ‘piling in’.
A word of advice to less experienced folks..next time the SWP send you ‘messages of solidarity’ in other words ‘help us out’, reply with ‘fuck off’ and steer well clear…
Because if a group organises a meeting called ‘What To Do About The EDL’ and the EDL turn up and rout the meeting, clearly the organisers of said meeting don’t have a fucking clue what THEY’RE doing never mind what the EDL are up to!
Perhaps if the SWP gained the slightest understanding of the ‘white working-class’ instead of spending all their time giving platforms to ‘mad mullahs’ and marching alongside idiots dressed up as suicide bombers things would be a lot clearer?
And then again pigs might fly…
One thing is clear. Due to the SWP’s idiocy and amateur behavior, the EDL in this part of East Anglia will be buoyed up by last nights events, and unlikely to be disappearing from view anytime soon…
It’s been an interesting week, watching the media talk up a riot, public servants ‘STRIKING…RALLYING…MARCHING!’
Yet it seems it doesn’t have enough ‘oomph’ anymore for the press. It’s only newsworthy if there’s a ruckus involving ‘latchers on’ from the ‘anarchist movement’…heaven forbid an anarchist might themselves be part of a Labour Party recognised trade union…
HEADLINE! READ ALL ABOUT IT! THE SCARY UNIONS HAVE LOST THEIR MOJO! HOODED MENACE TO TAKE OVER PLANET! More dangerous than Al Qaida…till next week…
Likewise it’s been an interesting and pleasing week watching friends and comrades rising to the challenge in defending the unions and taking the struggle to the streets against the Tory/Liberal ‘coalition’ government…who seem hell bent on destroying our welfare state…much to the derision of the press and unions in equal measure of course…
It’s also been a sad sad week. A week where comrades have been taken from us…
You know solidarity is a great great thing. There’s not enough of it about these days. So it fills me with joy to see it on display.
It is however a two-way street. And it is rarely reciprocated.
Over the last year I’ve spent a lot of my time involved with my organisation in our local ‘Coalition Against The Cuts’. Those on the inside ‘leading the fight’ are a hodge podge bunch, of local and regional union officials, some permanently involved in the usual paper-sale and petitioning for this months big issues, others less politicised but falling into place behind their more ‘senior’ union members. Hidden caucuses, caucuses hidden or within caucuses that are hidden from caucuses…
They use great and meaningful words like ‘worker’ and ‘working-class’. Even…’comrade’…although it’s often followed my a snigger and a red face…
These words however just seem to roll off the tongue.
There’s little passion there. It’s as if they’re acting out a part and the main lines of the script have become their catch phrases.
They talk of ‘fighting’ and ‘uniting the class’…
And this friends is where they start to lose me…when they eagerly discuss booking whole trains to take down to demos held in London which would ‘easily be filled to the carriage’ by a happy throng of ‘the class’…who would be eager to ‘rally to the cause’…
Only it’s all just fantasy…
As is all the talk of ‘the class’…
Class… They don’t belong to my class. Increasingly…they don’t belong to my class…Increasingly they don’t share the same life experiences, of dole, and housing office queue…of the prison…
They work for the state, they increasingly have the degree (that’s not a dig), often work in comfy offices, they have ‘expenses’, and something called’by the mile’… they work a rigidly set working week, hours never to be tampered with or there’ll be hell to pay…most of us don’t…and they have things called pensions…and their idea of conflict with the state…
Many of us too are currently in conflict with the state…and all it’s little branches…it’s offshoots…it’s wheels and centres of enforcement…
They work in the police station, the social services, the job centre, the housing office…’the public services’…the very services that many of these individuals will never ever have to utilise themselves… the very services that many of us have to deal with on a regular basis when we’re unemployed or in need of housing or desperate for work and money…or banged up…
‘NOW JUST HOLD ON!’ I hear you cry…’There’s nothing wrong with having a degree or working for the state and going on strike over pensions!’
You’re absolutely right, there’s not and my hat goes off to them…Likewise I remain steadfast and committed to the principle ‘a grievance to one is a grievance to all, I SHALL NEVER CROSS A PICKET LINE…’
But It would be nice if the solidarity that you and I believe in would be…and here’s that word again’…’reciprocated’.
It would be nice to know that those on the marches and rallies waving their flags shouting ‘support us’ and ‘join us’…that those same people this Monday weren’t going to be throwing us out of our houses, taking or children away, cutting our dole money, putting us in prison, and being the holders of the keys to our cell doors…
Because they will be.
Yes it would be nice if there was…solidarity…
The recent attempts made by the Norfolk Community Action Group within the local coalition to try and bridge this situation fell on deaf ears. So we chose to part company.
Our arguments that if they want ‘popular support’, and yes folks that does mean engaging with the Sun reader and the Daily Mail reader, then they will have to stop solely ‘agitating’ within their unions…an ‘agitation’ that often is nothing more than an email and a flyer on the union notice board or a phone call to the very same people who attended the meeting the week before, the pathological ‘preach to the converted’ who can only be bothered if it affects ‘them and theirs’…and get off their arses and physically start engaging with their local population explaining and arguing why they BELIEVE they are RIGHT to take the actions they are taking, in plain words with the use of plain English, without the use of a pre-script or the handing over of a leaflet that will never ever ever in a million years dear God get read because it’s cold, it’s heartless, it will not engage…
It can not engage.
Because there’s no soul in a leaflet…or a petition…especially when it’s a petition for OUR benefit…and our benefit only…
Yes that means job centre staff walking onto council estates, Yes that means teachers walking onto council estates, Yes that means housing officers walking onto council estates…Yes that means social workers walking onto council estates, Yes that means trade unionist from each and every sector of public services in this ‘country’ of ours walking onto council estates…
Not destroying peoples lives and being the first port of call of the oppressive state…
Only they won’t will they?
They won’t because there is a barrier…
They won’t because there is a barrier of ‘us’ and ‘them’…
They won’t because there is a barrier of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and ‘service provider’ and ‘service user’…
That is…dare I say it…a barrier…of one class against another, even if that ‘class’ can not be easily differentiated. They would if they could though comrades…’differentiate that is…
Long gone are the days of Dave Douglass and the great Hatfield Main branch of the NUM, all the miners, the steel workers, the toilers, the manufacturers, the print workers…
They have been taken over…by the bureaucrat…the degree in trade union studies…and the Tolpuddle Martyrs, more an historical quaintness than a model, example, direction and template of struggle…
Unless miraculously new Dave Douglass’ appear and return the trade unions to their rightful place…holding meetings at the bottom of our streets, discussing and showing ‘solidarity’ and helping the unemployed with education and training, and building a real resistance to the aggressive Tory doctrine that has recently returned to plague us…
You know comrades, only 26% of the workforce in Britain today are unionised…and it’s falling daily…
They had better appear soon…before trade unions go the way of the Tolpuddle Martyrs..and become ‘a quaintness’..
Did you notice the use of the word ‘they’?
Luciano Pittronello, 22, was leaving an explosive device outside a branch of Santander when it detonated blinding him instantly and ripping off his hands before setting him alight. He is only alive, although in intensive care and in a coma, due to the help of passers by rushing to assist him.
There has long been a debate about insurrectionary anarchism and the use of violent methods to fight back against capitalism and the state and whether the methods used by them further our movements progress. This is not the time or place for such debate, suffice to say that we believe ‘property destruction’ in the dead of night is just that, ‘property destruction’, no matter how the media like to declare it ‘violence’. It will always however put the lives of ordinary people at risk no matter how planned the action may be, hence the fierce debate around actions of this nature.
Our thoughts go out to Luciano, his family, and the anarchist community in Santiago, Chile.
Here’s just a few names of the many who’ve lost their lives over the last decade, killed at the hands of fascists and neo-nazis. We’ll add further names when we collate them…
16th March 2003. 26-year-old Italian anti-fascist Davide Cesare is
stabbed to death by fascists after leaving a bar in Rome.
13th November 2005. 20-year-old Russian anti-fascist Timur Kacharava
is murdered by fascists in St Petersburg after a Food Not Bombs action.
16th April 2006. 19-year-old Russian anti-fascist Alexander Ryuchin is
stabbed in the heart by fascists on his way to a concert.
21st July 2007. 21-year-old Russian anti-fascist Ilya Borodaenko is
attacked by fascists during the night at a protest camp and dies from
12th November 2007. 16-year-old Spanish anti-fascist Carlos Javier
Palomino is stabbed in the heart by fascists while on his way to a
demonstration in Madrid.
18th January 2008. 18-year-old Czech anti-fascist Jan Kučera is
stabbed to death after confronting a knife-wielding fascist.
In October of 2009, in East St.Louis, Anthony Rice was a victim of intentional vehicular homicide when neo-Nazi skinheads affiliated with the City Nights strip club tasered him and his brother, threw stones at him, and capped off their racist assault by hopping in a truck, driving after him, and brutally running him over.
16th November 2009. 26-year-old Russian anti-fascist Ivan Khutorskoy
is shot to death by fascists at the entrance to his home.
Stanislav Markelov, 34, a lawyer and Anastasiya Baburova, 25, a trainee reporter at the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, in January 2009 were shot dead on a side street in the Kropotkinskaya district of central Moscow.
If you missed it, Ian Tomlinson’s killer has been taking to the stand during the inquest for the last couple of days. Whats been going on during proceedings must be nothing short of torture for his family. There are lies, damn lies…and utter crap! All freely flowing from PC Haywood’s mouth.
See exactly what we mean by going here and reading the inquest transcripts in full. Haywood began giving evidence on Monday.
If you have less time to read lengthy judicial text then you can also go to the Guardian’s Ian Tomlinson Inquest blog being updated live from the scene by Paul Lewis and Sam Jones who are doing a stirling job.
Our thoughts are very much with Julia and family at this time who are having to listen to the insane ramblings of one PC Simon Harwood of the Mets TSG…
With immediate effect Norfolk Community Action Group withdraw our affiliation with Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts.
From the outset NCAG has had to deal with some fairly ridiculous manoeuvres by elements within the local coalition.
To start with our email sent to actually affiliate with the group that claims ownership of the struggle against the current governments cuts in Norfolk was taken before the steering group in order for us to be allowed to join. We were then summoned before said steering group to answer questions on our position on multiculturalism, in itself a laughable course of events.
While trying to educate some lefty elements within the steering group about the logic of multiculturalism and it being anything BUT progressive and inclusive, it was clear that some people just can’t get past reading socialist texts of the 1900’s. Our stated support of an open borders policy in conjunction with our opposition to multiculturalism appeared to do little more than confuse, so from the beginning we were well aware what we were up against.
However as fighting these ideological cuts we see as imperative we were willing to try and show solidarity and go ahead with affiliation once approved.
This has been a mistake on our part.
Absolutely nothing has changed on the left. The coalition is made up of the same tired old faces from struggles past who see fighting back as a march down the road and dragging out the same worn out octogenarians to speak, however well respected they are, as adequate action in fighting back against the cuts. Leaflets, marches, speeches, petitions, hidden left caucuses within the coalition…all symptomatic of a politics with very little direction not even attempting to move forward.
But let’s deal with the reality here. Most members leading the coalition are from a Labour trade union left and assorted Trot organisations who are oblivious to the fact that they are part and parcel of why the Labour Party were not returned to power at the last election. They, and the Labour Party, simply no longer have anything in common with the working class of our society. What’s more many still think they live in the 1970’s, but in reality trade union membership makes up for only around 26% of workers in Britain today.
There are those too who simply are not concerned with the likes of people living on council estates or the majority non unionised workers in society, precisely the reason they have nothing to offer a progressive fight back against these cuts.
It was not the unions who were instrumental in bringing down the Poll Tax and Thatcher, but the hard work and dedication of those willing to get their hands dirty by agitating within the general populace and building a mass movement within the working class. And let’s face it, the Labour Party and TUC are not opposed to the cuts, they just want nicer ones.
Bottom line, most are simply interested in getting the Labour Party re-elected to power.
While there are those individuals within the coalition we have much respect for, and while we still see the trade unions as being important to any successful fightback, it is the rank and file members and unheard voices in society that are the real key to winning this struggle, and not the bureaucrats, careerists and leaders who’ll win it.
We return to working within the communities of our region and leave the Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts to do whatever it thinks it’s doing by agreeing to two minute marches with the police and spending all it’s time preaching to the already converted.
After all, it is the cuts we’re fighting isn’t it, not seeking the re-election of the Labour Party…
Around 200 people turned out on Hay Hill in Norwich yesterday to rally against the upcoming cuts in public services.
Speakers from Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts and others called for a united struggle among working people and trade unionists to fight off the cuts which are likely to turn the clock back in Norfolk at least 20 years, and are the first ideological steps by ALL political parties to systematically break up and end the welfare state.
Stan Cullen Grant on behalf of NCAG called for immediate action to agitate in local communities and build the fight back as soon as possible, and requested the formation of an Unemployed Workers Centre financed by the unions to aid all who are likely to be savagely attacked by the cuts, the previous one having had to close due to funding being withdrawn.
In other towns and cities across the country similar rallies and marches occurred signalling the start of a movement that has potential to dwarf even the fight back against the Poll Tax. In Edinburgh 20,000 people turned out to protest.
Meanwhile news is breaking in London that councils are booking up B&B’s outside of the city as far away as Reading and Hastings for families that will be forced to move away due to the cut in housing benefit.
The ideological motivated gentrification of our towns and cities has well and truely begun.
Chloe Smith, the Conservative Norwich North MP has this afternoon defended the governments announced £82 billion cuts in public services by making this remarkable statement..
“I know people will carefully consider today’s announcements about benefits. I think pensioners locally will welcome a sincere, permanent increase in cold weather payments and the retention of other help for them. I hope Equitable Life victims will also appreciate the sum that has been found for them. People I speak to locally do want the UK back on a sustainable financial footing. We can’t burden future generations with debts we wouldn’t be prepared to pay today”.
Nice one Chloe. The Silver and Essex Rooms closures ring any bells by any chance? The fact that the poorest 10% of the population are going to be potentially living on the streets homeless, a lot of them likely to be pensioners, due to the £8 billion in benefit cuts and rent increases simply passed you by has it?
And as for your comments on future generations not being burdened by debts Chloe, it’s not you or your ideologically motivated party who are going to be paying them is it! It was however your lot who caused it!
Chloe and her ‘pensioners and future generations’ are clearly a class above the rest of us…either that or they’re living on a completely different planet!
You might find Clueless Chloe knocking around Norwich North on Saturday.
“I will be holding special public meetings this Saturday and next to make sure I understand people’s opinions locally about the announcements.”
We do hope it’s in the poorer areas of the city…
By now many will have heard of the death of Angolan freedom fighter Jimmy Mubenga who died at the hands of immigration security while being restrained on a plane during his deportation.
What was Jimmy Mubenga’s crime? To flee to this country from a regime that killed members of his wife’s family, and had threatened his life due to his activities as a student leader opposing the government of Angola. There isn’t a family in Britain who wouldn’t do the same to protect the lives of their families.
Whilst living here for 15 years he was involved in a pub brawl an event that could happen to anybody at anytime in any public house in Britain. He was given a two year jail sentence and his ‘exceptional leave to remain’ status was revoked.
While many on ‘the left’ such as the UAF concentrate their efforts on the likes of the English Defence League, the State, to appease the ‘anti-immigration’ fever that has been sweeping the country scapegoating immigrants, runs a system that imprisons children and causes deaths ‘in custody’ just like this one, and has just lifted a ban on deporting refugees from Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
The left need to sort their priorities out.
The EDL may be bigoted racist fools, in the main their members are just full of beer, fear and self percieved ‘pent up anger from years of neglect’, but the biggest threat to minorities doesn’t come from a tiny section of ‘the white working class’, it comes from the STATE ITSELF and always has done.
The left helped to create the EDL phenomena when they should have been outside the immigration detention centres trying to pull down the walls and freeing the likes of Jimmy Mubenga.
‘Despots and Dictators of the world, don’t kill freedom fighters who oppose your stinking murderous regimes…send them to Britain…and we’ll do it for you..’ you can almost hear the British state say…
Meanwhile the left busy themselves publicising and creating a public platform for bigots from some of Britains most disenfranchised communities. They should be inside these communities building links and addressing the problems within them, and outside detention centres shouting ‘tear down the walls’ so that deaths at the hands of immigration services never happen again!
Jimmy Mubenga leaves a wife and five children behind, another family torn apart by the actions of the British State and those that work for them.
On Monday night members of Norfolk Community Action Group attended a steering committee meeting of the Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts where we were quite literally ‘vetted’ on our suitability to join.
While some of our members and supporters are annoyed that we even attended the meeting and had to justify our class struggle politics against much of the lefts obsessive ‘identity politics’, and local trade unions almost universal lack of support for the Tomlinson Family Campaign, having met and spoken to the members who were there, we found them amiable and courteous enough to admit that no other group had to go through the same process to sign up, and believe them to be people we can work with.
Whether this coalition goes the same way as many others in the last 25 years due to ‘stacking’ by one particular group we must wait and see but feel there are potentially enough decent minded trade unionists there to recognise when this is happening.
It is imperative that the upcoming struggles against public service cuts and the potential decimation of the welfare state are fought on as much of a united front as we can possibly achieve.
For this reason we have affiliated with the Norfolk Coalition Against The Cuts and ask all to respect the organisations aims and principles which are as follows…
We seek to build broad based alliances in the major communities of Norfolk involving all trade unions representing members in the public sector, Trades Councils, campaigning, community and welfare groups, school councils and other organisations representing young people
We seek to form a Steering Group with representatives from all of the above to take forward the campaign
Priority task to build support for a credible alternative to the Coalition Government’s policy of public spending cuts
We agree a core Statement of Aims that we ask other Trade Unions and organisations to add to and support
We seek to promote a positive image of Public Services and Public Service workers to counter the negative propaganda of the Government and its supporters in the media
We seek to hold a series of meetings in identified communities in Norfolk to build the Alliance
We seek to develop practical and meaningful solidarity to support campaigns and actions in opposition to the cuts in our communities
We welcome the support of any political organisations and politicians that are prepared to oppose (in words and deeds) cuts in public spending
That we develop a Communications and Media strategy to promote our ideas
Commitment to universal public services for all regardless of ability to pay without discrimination
Recognition of the crucial social and economic value of Public Services and public sector jobs to the communities of Norfolk
Opposition to all public spending cuts
Effective action to close the Tax Gap and ensure the wealthiest in society pay their fair share of taxes
Commitment to maintenance of ‘Face-to-face’ and local services
Opposition to job cuts, service delivery cuts and closures
Opposition to privatisation or outsourcing of public services
Opposition to cuts in Welfare benefits
Opposition to the scapegoating of minorities for unemployment and strains on services.
Members of Norfolk Community Action Group and others joined the FBU and general secretary Matt Wrack outside County Hall yesterday to try and persuade the Council and Fire Service to refrain from imposing cuts which will leave the people of Norfolk more vulnerable than they’ve been in years.
Rather than listen to the professionals i.e. the fire fighters themselves, it is once again bureaucrats and managers calling the shots and who are now rubber stamping a course of action that everybody in Norfolk should be extremely concerned about.
Having spoken to FBU members who went into the county hall meeting, it seems there is now little hope of saving appliances and at least 36 jobs in Norwich alone.
There is little point in the Norfolk public involving themselves in Norfolk County Council ‘public consultations’ as they are nothing but lip service with decisions already made behind closed doors by pen-pushers.
We are a week away from finding out precisely what else we are going to suffer in Norfolk, but rest assured your safety, your jobs, your homes and your welfare state is going to be torn apart.
Wake up Norfolk! These cuts are not necessary. Let those who caused the financial crisis in Britain pay back the money. It’s not as if they can’t afford it!
Saturday’s event saw an eclectic bunch gathering at the King Edward VII Music Venue on Aylsham Road coming together to raise money for the family of Ian Tomlinson.
At present we have managed to raise £950 for the campaign.
We’d like to thank the Tomlinsons for coming along to the benefit and Richard in particular for speaking.
Other speakers we’d like to thank are Paul Lewis from The Guardian, Estelle Du Boulay from the Newham Monitoring Project who is representing the Tomlinson Campaign, Ian Gibson, Ian Bone, Bella from the Class War Federation, and Ken Connor from the Red Flags for all his hard work on the day, Maxine Narburgh from Bright Green, The Somewhere Else Tea Tent folks-you are great, and the King Edward VII for their support and giving us £100 to the campaign, and Mell Harrison for the lone of the marquee-sorry some idiot wrote graffiti on it. Hope we haven’t missed anyone!
Thanks to all the bands, poets and other artists who attended, and above all every person who came along and helped us raise a significant amount of cash for the Ian Tomlinson Campaign.
Only one question remains to be asked…exactly where were the Trade Unions?
Organising the Norwich Justice For Ian Tomlinson Family Benefit Day is now underway and a progress blog has been set up
The aim of the blog is to keep all interested parties up to date with the daily goings on and processes we are going through to make the Norwich Justice For Ian Tomlinson Family Benefit Day as transparent and accessible as possible.
While we work hard to achieve the best event we can to support the injustice the Tomlinson’s are going through please be reminded that without your participation we are going nowhere.
We appeal to all those who want to sponsor and support this event to get in touch, be they bands and artists interested in playing, Trade Union branches with cost donations or anyone else who would like to see the monitory value of every ticket sold for this event getting directly to the family for legal costs.
Details of where to send sponsorship donations will be posted in the coming week.
Let us stand togethor united, in the names of all those past victims of police and state injustice, that the death of Ian Tomlinson and the subsequent white-washing by the IPCC and CPS is the final straw.
We refuse to turn away, we refuse to forget, we WILL see justice prevail…
You’ve got to hand it to Norwich South MP Charles Clarke, he can smell the whiff of the decaying Labour corpse alright, but sadly he’s not able to admit that no matter how hard he scrubs, the stench is still all over his own hands.
Nobody has forgotten his part in the New Labour experiment that has seen public freedoms slowly eradicated and it’s Bush supporting full on ‘crusade’ to war.
His current attacks against Gordon Brown and urging for his replacement in order to win the next election are nothing short of a political desperation to save his own skin.
The Labour movement is dead and the Tories are still the Tories, the upper class swine who will continue aggressive Thatcherism as soon as they are elected to power next May.
There is no longer any representation of working-class people in Britain today (if indeed there ever was), and pretending otherwise is just politically motivated lip-service.
You may be oblivious to the truth of British politics Charlie boy, the rest of us aren’t.
And as for Labour needing to adopt the “killer instinct”….we’ve had enough of that thanks.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent dead in Iraq and Afghanistan and our own children being brought home in body bags.
At least have the decency and courage to go down with the Labour wreck quietly….
Meanwhile the rest of us will start to build a new political movement, one that puts real working-class politics in the hands of real working-class people….and Parliament can go to hell!
If ever people who are supposedly ‘represented’ by Mr.Clarke feel like sharing their opinions with him, which ofcourse we are entitled to do, he can be contacted by
1) Writing to Charles Clarke MP for Norwich South, Norwich Labour Party, St Marks Church Hall, Hall Road, Norwich, NR1 3HL or Charles Clarke MP, Constituency Mail, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA
2) Phone the constituency office on 01603 219902
3) Fax the constituency office on 01603 764475
4) E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org