Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Young are the Heart of the Movement


With the words 'the young are the heart of the movement' Salman Jaffar Al Mahfoodh, General Secretary of the General Federation of Bahraini Trade Unions (GFBTU) identifies what lays at the heart of the revolt and resistance in Bahrain.

The ITUC is calling upon trade unions and trade unionists globally to support the efforts of the GFBTU, as part of a wider civil society coalition, in resisting a vicious assault on its members and on workers, and citizens, in Bahrain.

Details of the current situation for the labour movement in Bahrain can be seen via this link and you will also see ways in which you can provide moral and practical support:

In urging your support the ITUC is unequivocal about the threat posed to trade unionists:

The people of Bahrain are living in a state of fear of further killings and other violence, arbitrary detention, and loss of their livelihoods. Bahrain is sliding into absolute dictatorship, and the elimination of trade union activity is being given a high priority by those in the ruling circles who intend to complete the transformation of the country into a totalitarian state.

Please do all you can to support the ITUC's campaign and forward the link to the ITUC material to as many trade union (and allied) friends and colleagues as you can.

In Solidarity


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Good People - Different Places

Colleagues, a great way to end the week and just about to head off for a few days in the sun. Finished the week with UNISON activists (below) at Wolverhampton Acute NHS Trust. Like all other colleagues in the public sector these fine women and men face tremendous challenges ahead but will of course do their very best to defend the interests of their members. I was hugely impressed by the significant degree of knowledge and experience these reps had - a tribute to the British labour movement. And then from on to the wedding (see the two pics below) of my nephew Stephen to Deborah in Manchester. What great weather for a wonderful wedding. All of the Manborde family were there and we had (as Manborde's do at parties) a fantastic time. Such a pity that we don't get the chance to do this more often. What a great way to end the Spring term at Ruskin College and move forward into the Summer period. If only I could spend all of my time like this! Ian.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Procession of the Damned

Colleagues, You must wonder whether turkeys do indeed vote for christmas with the news this morning that something called the 'Event & Movement - Rally Against Debt' is planning a pro-cuts march. Pro-cuts?! I do hope these people very quickly and quite desparately require the services of an element of the public sector and of one of its employees that they seem to despise so much. You don't like to stereotype but you know automatically what type of character will appear (if they do appear) when you read on their web-site ( that the initiative was the brainchild of UKIP fiends going by the names of Annabel and Harry. We mustn't however write this initiative off. As discussed in today's Guardian ( this cabal has the potential to (de)generate into a UK version of the Tea Party Movement - of which they claim they won't be - until the Guardian identifies clear, tangible alliances between the people behind the pro-cuts march and the anti-Obama rightwing movement in the US. We cannot dismiss them neither as these people are the continuum of the far-right's politics of hatred for any form of initiative that seeks to address and redress the fallout from hardline neoliberal economic and social policies. All being well the left and the TU movement in this country is able to develop a sizeable response to what these people are doing and, hopefully, the police will not intervene when they are chased into the Thames by the Black Bloc! I look forward to seeing you in London on May 14 (the date they reckon they will be on the streets) and I very much look forward to what a good friend of mind would call 'a ruck' (i.e. a fight). Cheers Ian PS: Thanks to Roger Sutton (GFTU) for the picture from TUC March on 26th March. See all pictures here: