The NEC acted unlawfully

Five members of the Labour Party took the NEC to court.  They were funded by a crowd funding page. They said that the NEC were acting unlawfully in applying a retrospective ruling on who was eligible to vote in the leadership election.

In brief, at the recent NEC meeting at which a private vote was taken to see if Jeremy as incumbent leader could be on the ballot paper for this leadership election there was an additional issue raised which was not on the meetings agenda. 

This was raised after Jeremy left the meeting and some of his supporters had left.  

The issue concerned who was eligible to vote in the election.  

The result of this discussion was that anyone who had joined the Labour Party after January 12th 2016 was not eligible to vote in the election.  Anyone who wanted to vote would be able to pay £25 on two specified days to obtain the right to vote. 

This wiped off nearly 130,000 voters with the general understanding that they joined the Labour Party because of Jeremy and so would vote for him. 

To anyone without an agenda this was unfair and was quickly seen as a breach of contract as it clearly stated on the Labour Party website that a benefit of membership was the right to vote in leadership elections.  Just as the wording in the NEC rules regarding nominations were needed to be on the ballot was straightforward to those who were not trying to win by default. 

We all knew what was happening. We knew that the NEC and PLP wanted Jeremy gone by fair means or in this case foul. 

This was made even more obvious when the ruling regarding the 12th January was then applied to union affiliated members. It was then made even more obvious through the High Court challenge to Jeremy being on the ballot.  Which if you didn’t know saw a judge describe it as a waste of court time  and which Jeremy won. 

We knew what was going on when constituency Labour Party meetings were suspended.  Some CLPs were accused of intimidation and even worse of homophobia against a then leadership candidate, who must have amazing powers as she claimed the abuse happened at a meeting she was not at which was chaired by a mother who had just celebrated her daughters wedding to another members daughter. 

We knew what was going on when it took so long for the challenger to be named and we knew what was going on when we had Angela “brick through my window” Eagle and Owen “a normal radical” Smith come forward.  If you have every been to a football match and have heard the shouts of  “who are ya” aimed at a player then you know what was going through my head when these guys were announced. 

So we come to the finding of that court case today.  The NEC acted unlawfully.  

So twice the actions of the NEC have been shown to be wrong.  They have tried to create a leadership obstacle course rather than a race for Jeremy Corbyn and they have failed.

It is a great day for justice and democracy.  And it also a vindication of all who have said that this was unlawfully applied.  But most importantly it is a great day as it demonstrates that there is a way of fighting back.  There is a great deal of strength in the unified force of the decent ordinary people who stand with Jeremy Corbyn in his battles against those who claim to be on the same side as him and who have systematically abused, insulted, undermined,  labelled, and refused to accept as the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party. 

There is an amazing amount of power in our voices and in our actions.  And we have just as tough an exterior as Jeremy to deflect those slurs and accusations that fall at our feet daily. 

Jeremy has stood over the years for the rights of those who were seen as undeserving.  Has supported causes that were denounced by politicians and the media.  And in all those times he stood for what he believed in he was proved right.

It was not easy and it was not fair but he stood his ground and he made a change.  And this is what all Jeremy Corbyn supporters must do.  We must stand by him and with him and with each other in saying that no matter what you do to us no matter how you try to dull us we will roar and we will fight and we will see Jeremy as leader. 

So share share share again anything you can that explains and supports Jeremy.  There is no need now to belittle the opposition they are quite able to do that themselves.  Let’s take the higher ground and explain and discuss and show people why we are so determined and so adamant that we want him to be in charge and we want him to be Prime Minister. Explain that this is not just for us as his supporters but for all in this country and for future generations too.

And if you are reading this and you are unsure consider this.  David Cameron and Boris Johnson  bet their political careers on the belief that the British public would vote remain.  In doing so they showed how out of touch their were with the public.  How they ignored so many. They we caught in the Westminster bubble, fuelled by thier Etonian confidence, unprincipled and without morals  and embroiled in the battle for power.  They both failed as the public spoke. 

Do we really believe that this is the only calibre of person who can be electable. Do we really feel that behaviour of this sort  such at that shown by the PLP has anyplace in the Labour Party? Are you really prepared to vote for more of the same? 

Don’t be told who is electable.  Don’t allow those in power to make the rules so they are not challenged.  Don’t believe that nothing can change. 

Because that is exactly what the NEC, the PLP, the mass media , the Tories , the financial sector, huge corporations and even the bankers of Panama what you to believe.

And if they did not think he was electable why break the law to try and stop him? 

Electability – what does it actually mean? 

 

whole picture – guardian advert 1986.

Cook cook cook cookability , that’s the beauty of Gas.

To some reading this the above  will mean nothing whilst some will have sung it.

I love watching old adverts.  They bring back memories and they give you an insight into the social values of the time as well having created some.  They  can be brash and cheap or iconic and award winning.  They also give us images and words that stick in our mind for years.

That is why I quoted that jingle.  It’s stuck along with a lot of other stupid stuff. Perhaps I spent too much time watching television when I was young  or perhaps it is indicative of the power of advertising.  Whatever it is these trivial memories are normally awakened but a phrase or a tune or sometimes a similar word. So what has triggered this trip down memory lane for me?

The advertising agency that came up with cookability meant for it to convey the way you can control gas when cooking ,  ease of use , it’s reliability.  Looking deeper perhaps it was trying to put across an idea that those who use gas are better cooks or it is more traditional.  Looking again at the same word it could be that they basically just hummed a tune and it was the only word that rhymed.

The word was created for a purpose and it was used to sell a product.  And I thought of it because I heard a similar word. Electability.

Electability is also a word that can be interpreted in many ways.  The general consensus of the media  and those who use it is that is indicates the chances of winning an election are based on a persons electability. It indicates if they match what they believe are the most important factors to have to win over the voters.  It is a key factor they look in a person who they want to lead them into power.  A key factor in electability is generally accepted as image.

We  all know appearances matter.  Deportment and poise, style and grace , image is seen as everything.    An example of this was the famous debate between JFK and Nixon in 1962.   The youth and glow of  Kennedy against  the sweaty and drawn looking Nixon.  Those listening on the radio believed Nixon won, but the television audience felt very differently.  We now know  the chubby face and tan were due to the medication Kennedy took for his Addison’s disease and the sweat down to Nixon not wanting to wear make up and it made a difference as to who won the election.  History  has shown which was the greater statesman, but it was the start of the image politician.  The suit and tie, the smile and haircut and even the stylish wife all help in electability.  In the Mad Men age policies and principals started to become secondary to the image.  Electability in these terms is really pandering to the dumbing down of politics.  To say that a person can only hold office if they are of a certain type or look, background or character.  It should be something taken out of politics rather than reinforced. It indicates the power of media in creating and destroying those in public life.

Electability  can however be about the policies and aims.  In this case a persons electability is affected when it’s assumed the British Public will not vote for the policies of the candidate. Now this is a little more complicated.  Recent  events have shown that the mind of the British public is not that easily read. Making sweeping assumptions as to what the electorate want is really quite dangerous.   Yes for many a choice is made on image, but this is exacerbated  by the lack of attention paid to policy and substance due to the factors mentioned above and without this information how can they make that choice.  For those who look beyond image it is basically insulting to presume you know what they want.     When there is evidence the British Public may well support some of those policies and ideas then to use this term in order to undermine the candidate is really tantamount to dictatorship. In this case the term electability is dangerous , divisive and undemocratic. Surely it is the result of the election, after a campaign which focussed on the aims of the candidate , which shows if a person is electable or not.   Claiming otherwise is arrogant , elitist   and insults the electorate.
Electability can also be seen as conveying a completely different meaning altogether.  Electability can be seen as a term which sums up all of the ideas and concepts that people have about politicians. That a person is very aware of image, having stylists and even taking  lessons on how to look good, trustworthy , authoritarian .  That a person is aware of the things the public likes to hear and will say them even if they really do not mean them.  It can indicate a person who has a background which distances them from the everyday public , such as wealth or privileged education, but is still portrayed as  understanding the worker, the poor, the unemployed.  It can embody all that is seen as wrong with politics and Westminster.  MP’s who are professional performers  who spin and lie and twist and turn with seemingly Teflon coating whilst treating the electorate as fodder. Power used a tool for their own self advancement.  Here again the media is involved in the  creation and sustaining of this kind of electability.   In this sense it is a word to be avoided if we want people to engage in politics, to become involved.  It helps to keep the halls of power as somewhere only suitable for a certain type, background, gender or ethnicity. Electability alienates and divides and discourages people from believing things can change.

I see electability as a word which has been developed, just in the same way as cookability.   Electability is an advertising term because in recent years politicians  been seen as nothing more than individuals trying to sell us something , trying to get us to buy , trying to sell us a way of life.  And all the time they are basically just looking for the profit at the cost of the consumer .

I see the term electability as encompassing all that is wrong with the government and with politics. A word  which says MP’s are not thinking of what is best for the country but what is best them.   It indicates a complete selling out of democracy and fairness.  It is a word which conveys contempt and arrogance.  It’s jargon having no substance or true meaning, used as a blanket to cover the truth and the real intentions of those who use it.

Therefore I am not surprised that this word has been used to describe Jeremy Corbyn.  However, it reflects more on those who use it than the one it is used against.  It reflects that they see the public as image hungry simpletons with no concept of the workings of government or the power and agenda of the media.  The word shows the workings of their minds not ours.  It shows contempt and fear that the world in which we went along with all they say is changing and that people have been caught out too many times by advertising to fall for it again.

Next time someone mentions the electability of Jeremy Corbyn  just explain what that word means.  That is stands for shallow, self serving , power hungry, arrogant, undemocratic, elitist , un inclusive people .  People who will always work for the rich and not the poor.  Who will line their own pockets and make deals rather than help the electorate. Will stand in the way of anyone who challenges their way of life and who has principles they stick with and a desire to actually make a difference.  When they  understood this then maybe they will also  understand exactly why they have used that against Jeremy.  They may understand that is actually not a bad thing to be called.

Musical hall rewind 

There is an old song , which you have to sing in a cockney accent.  Think Nancy from Oliver Twist not Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.   It goes like this,

It’s the same the whole world over, ain’t it all a bloomin’ shame.

It’s the rich what gets the pleasure and the poor what gets the blame.

This could become something of an anthem.  I doubt that you would find many who would not agree with the lyrics.

It is not only a  song but also a way of thinking that is embedded in many.  With good reason.  We have seen preferential treatment given to those with money in the courts.  We are seeing business men who after abusing their companies finances are kicking their  heels in a  new private jet.

So the song reverberates in our head and we all think that is just the way of it.  People may moan in the pub ( if they can find one) and they may tut and roll their eyes  at the stories of elitism and cronyism.  And they think there is nothing you can do.

So how has this become the predominant thought in the minds of those who are getting the blame?  For this we return to the ones who have the most to gain from people believing that nothing will change.  Those who get the pleasure. We see those with money , and the power that comes with it manipulating the media , elections , public opinion and many areas of public life to ensure that things go their way and more money is made. Normally on the back of those without.

We live in a world that is saturated with information, news passing  by quickly. As soon  as one scandal finishes another tragedy occurs.  We can keep  track of it all and we don’t have time to stop and study and think.  We accept the picture shown on the news, the article on the Internet the poll in the paper.  And this where our concept of the world is formed and where we get our belief of how the world works and what has to happen and how we should react.

And we know of the political leanings of the press.  We know which sources we can trust.  Or so we think.

In my opinion the mass media we have today is the single biggest weapon of mass destruction in the world.

Strong words you might say.  However if we are to look at how the “news” is presented to us.  The use of clever wording, of subtle comments, or correctly angled pictures then we start to see that it is not news that is being presented to us it is an agenda.

This agenda aims to make the majority of the population live in fear of terrorism, in fear of the Muslim , in fear of the refugee.  It gives us cover stories for wars and aggression.  It portrays people who are fighting for basic rights as thugs and aggressors.  It promotes stereotypes and racism.  It presents lies as truth and the truth as folly.  It creates who we see as the enemy and it shouts down those who want a different way. It promotes an identity , a belief, a position for people to take and be proud of and want to fight for because they are told it is threatened by others who want to destroy a way of life.

And it does a very good job of all of that and more.  However, for a long time now people have been catching on  to this.  They look elsewhere for the information.  They turn to the Internet.  They watch You Tube videos and follow blogs.  They find websites and groups.  Some even become creators of information.

And the media denounce it , you can’t trust it.  The Internet is evil and full of conspiracy believing tin foil hat wearing people.

Now I am not saying that you should believe either  one or the other.  I watch the news and surf the net and I find information which will help me to make up my mind.  Will help me come to a conclusion.

The thing is once you come to this conclusion you really can’t go back to watching the news in the same way.  And it makes you angry and frustrated. Because you know what is happening and how it is happening but others don’t. They dismiss your arguments and say you are paranoid. Even when you can show them evidence that they were lied to through the media and prove what you have been saying is true , as has been the case with the fallout of the referendum they dismiss it. They don’t want to be part of this quite scary place knowing that the desires and aims of a small group of people can be marketed in such a way that the population will actually support and believe them and help it to materialise.

So what has all this got to do with the price of fish ?

Jeremy Corbyn has been mocked, ridiculed , misquoted , vilified and ignored by the main stream media.  There is a bias against him.  His detractors get air time , even after it has been proven they are liars (mention no names Angela ” brick through my window ” Eagle)  His policies and ideas are seen as extreme left and to way out the for the British public to support.  He is mocked for his behaviour at public events , shown as unpatriotic and a light weight in terms of defence due to belief in nuclear disarmament and stance against trident and his talking to terrorists.

In short they are out to get him.  And three academic reports show that this is not the belief or feeling of those behind Jeremy but rather there is a clear bias against him and thee has been even before he was leader.

So what do we do.  We become his voice. #wearehismedia

The massive following that Jeremy has needs to unite together and counteract the bias. We need to show we are everyday people from all backgrounds and cultures , every gender and sexuality, differing social status and wealth.  And we want what is best for everyone in the UK not just those who have the wealth and control. We are loyal to this our country and to its people whilst also having compassion and care for those who are suffering as a result of the illegal war that a labour prime minister actually instigated. We want the UK to have quality education for all, for all to have a roof over their head and for no one to have to rely on food banks or be denied a quality of life or even take their own life due to welfare cuts and sanctions. We want everyone to have an equal chance at living a healthy life, and not one where poverty reduces life expectancy.

We do not want a system of private insurance health care.  We want to save the NHS and ensure that its staff are valued and their morale is high.  We want people to have access to care and medication.  We want there to be better mental health services so people and families are not left to suffer and cope alone.

We need to share all of this with those who “don’t do politics”or want to sign up to more of the same from a Labour Party of spin, lies and connections.  We want to bring back those labour supporters who felt alienated by the party that was created for them by those who took it and sullied its name through its Labourist belief system and   Westminster way of doing things.

We are strong enough to do this.  We will take the name calling and the derision. We will take the bias and the twisting of our words. We will take the obstacles put in front of us and throw them aside.  And we will change things for the better.

If you doubt this I will put forward one name.  Nelson Mandela.  Whilst Jeremy  was protesting against apartheid, David Cameron was involved in groups against him, going to South Africa to make deals to stop the ANC , and called him a terrorist.

The commitment and the power of the voices that stood up and said no.  Who brought it to public attention . Those loony lefties of the 80’s made a change.  In fact we all now know it was a complete turnaround.  So much so that on his  death David Cameron waxed lyrical about him.  Because he knew that the public had seen that this was a man fighting for justice and freedom.  And that the public would not stand for anything else.

So it is possible to make a change.  To fight against injustice and wrong.  And to make the public understand the truth despite the best attempt to tell them otherwise.

And that is what is scaring those whose life will change and who will have to stop treating the poor and those in need with contempt.

And we will be able to sing a different song and know that we have worked together for the greater good.

 

Who owns the UK media

Left foot forward – who owned the press

 

 

 

Nice conversation. 

So I have just got off the phone after a surprise call from my local MP.  Our CLP meeting is happening tomorrow and he wanted to discuss Owen.  

It was a really good conversation .  Pleasant and calm with respect on both sides.

Basically he explained some of the events and issues he had with Jeremy.  It was quite amazing for me , who has never had a call from an actual MP before , to hear from the horses mouth as it were his reasons for resigning and his issues with Jeremy. 

It was very interesting and I can see that issues with communication, following up plans, being visible at key moments are things that Jeremy has not been great at.   

I responded that I saw those things as internal party issues.  If he has made the wrong choices in staff advise and support.  Don’t leak that information to the BBC. 

I raised the now academically supported belief of media bias. I talked about those who plotted from day one.  I discussed the timing of the resignations and the staged on air resignations. 

But mostly I discussed Owen.  I asked him how I was to believe he would stand up for women when his mysogonistic gaffs are all over the Internet.  How calling himself normal whist standing against Angela Eagle could be seen as homophobic and also basically very alienating to those of us who are not “normal”. 

I said how can I trust a man who takes Jeremy’s ideas and pledges but his voting record shows he acts in a very different way.

How can I be sure that the words he says about privatisation and the NHS will be stuck to when he worked and has links with Pfiser ? 

And also , well he is just insipid. 

I also said that in considering all the moans and groans about Jeremy they all seem like internal communication and administration matters which could have been dealt with in a much more discreet and productive way.  For Jeremy and the party. 

He liked my analogy of seeing Jeremy as a football manager , well he has played six games and he has not won a cup he has to go.  He laughed at it actually. 

And I was very happy he called .  Because hopefully I expressed myself as a well informed, articulate , respectful Labour Party Member who happens to subscribe to the view that the Labour Party is a socialist party not a Labourist one.  He obviously doesn’t. 

And it was nice to have a discussion in which I was not insulted or berated or dismissed or have it closed off with a it’s no point talking to you, you brainwashed conspiracy thinking idiot.  I mean he may have been thinking it but he didn’t say it. 

He knows I am a hopeless cause.  And I am looking forward to meeting him on Thursday at my first every political event.  (Agoraphobia permitting ) . 

It must be frustrating when people are not listening to you.  It must be frustrating when you think a large group of your party members are making a mistake.  The question I have is who that will be a mistake for ? The people behind Jeremy Corbyn or the ones who want him out?  I have a very very strong feeling it is the latter,

We knew you would do us proud.

Before the rally started last night , and for some time after a picture was circulating on social media.  It was being posted as a picture of the rally and although I was dubious I thought that it could be .  It was an aerial shot of a massive crown filling the square and the surrounding streets.

A few things puzzled me about it.  Why was it so dark ?  Maybe it raining?

It was only when another person pointed out the open top bus I realised it was a celebration of a LFC trophy win.

I had been fooled , as many others had. No seriously a lot had it was not just me – honest.

As the night progressed it kept popping up until finally someone made a meme explaining what it was and to stop posting it as it made us look silly. At first glance I agreed with that but I have since had time to think about it.  And how we should have know immediately it was not a picture of the Corbyn rally.

Before I discuss that however I will discuss another night in the same square a few months ago.  It was an amazing night with a massive crowd of people who had come out to support and celebrate a massive victory.  It was connected with LFC but it was not a parade of another trophy .  It was a gathering to mark a more momentous event.

People were there to celebrate families and friends , a dignified and stoic group of people who embody everything that is good and strong about the people from the city of Liverpool.  They were the Hillsborough families and they had won justice.

As I sat in my home in London , a football fan of a different team but also a mum , sister, aunt , friend I cried as I watched them.  I have cried many time over Hillsborough.  As I watched it unfold as it happened.  When you hear the stories and what they went through.  Tears of anger and frustration and sadness at the tragedy that had unfolded that day.  But now it was tears of joy that those people , those ordinary people had not given in or given up and they had reclaimed the memories of those who died and could not shout from the rooftops we won.

The words were said that night “they messed with the wrong City” and it was clearly evident they had.

The justice won for the 96 made me happy but the result filled me with joy for another reason.  It showed that there was a cover up, there were deals done to hide the truth and the press was used to vilify not only the innocent victims but also the total population of that City.  It showed that despite the hoops the families had to jump through, the obstacles put in thier way they kept on and on because they were driven by a desire to clear the names of thier loved ones.  To see that justice was done so they could now rest in peace and the families could begin grieve.

The Hillsborough families are my heroes.  They are an inspiration and Liverpool came out that night in force to show that.

Last night there was another show of support for someone else who has been inspiring.  They came out in the rain to listen to Jeremy Corbyn.  The pictures of the crowd are amazing.  I have seen them on Facebook and Twitter and seen coverage of the event in the Liverpool Echo, The Guardian , The Mirror.

When I searched yesterday on the BBC and ITV news web sites , nothing.  People commented they watched national news and saw nothing.  I have spoken with people , outside the “Corbyn bubble” as they like to call it and they did not have a scooby doo it went on.

And it dawned on me how I should have know that those first pictures , showing the massive crowd , we’re not of Jeremy’s rally.

They were aerial shots.

Last night there were no aerial shots as the media did not send a helicopter .  The media ignored the rally and in doing so ignored thousands of people who were showing support for a leader they believe in and want to lead the Labour Party.  Imagine if they did and we could see that crowd from the air instead of having to rely on those who were there to share photos and videos. To rely on Jeremy’s you tube channel to watch and listen to what he said.

This is the leader of the Labour Party , the leader of the opposition , speaking to a political rally the likes of which have not been seen isn’t this country for years.  Is that not news?

We have had reports, we have had comments and last night we had the ignoring of this rally.  Why is there this bias .

Maybe it is because Jeremy would not do a favour for a media mogul but shelving an inquiry into the Hillsborough families claims and prolong their suffering for more years . Maybe that is the reason he gets short shrift from the media controlled by that mogul.

And maybe this is one of the reasons why those people of Liverpool , who have for years fought to boycott the publications of that mogul and can smell a rat a mile off came out last night in force.

And as for sharing the wrong photo last night , well that would have been embarrassing if the real pictures  bore no similarities.  But they did.  People mistook those pictures for the rally as we knew , positively and without doubt that the crowd would be massive.  We knew that the message of Jeremy and his plans for the Labour Party and what he has done already would be supported even if they are paraded by the media as a folly.

That is because the City of Liverpool knows injustice , it knows when someone is a fake and it knows the people who will stand up for them and will make sure they live in a equal society.  That is why the crowds were massive last night.

All this without an ice cream van in sight.

LIverpool we salute and thank you.

In memory of the 96 – may they rest in eternal peace and may their loved ones be comforted by the love and respect that thousands of people unkown by them have for thier actions, their bravery and their victory .
Share this and anything else you can to get the message out there that this rally actually happened

#wearehismedia

Use this when posting photos videos stories on Twitter and elsewhere to get it out there

Links to videos

Other related links
Jeremy Corbyn campaign video

Jeremy for Labour – campaign site 

Momentum web site
Donation sites

Crowdfunding site for the case against the NEC for backdating voting eligibility – hearing 4th August 2016/

Donate to Jeremy Leadership Campaign
Membership

Labour membership
Momentum membership
Unite community membership – union membership open to everyone 

To complain

BBC complaints web site
Articles

Independent – Murdoch Blair courtship
The mirror – Blair did deal with Murdoch over Hillsborough enquiry

The guardian – Blair is godfather to Murdoch child
The Guardian – deals between Blair and Murdoch
The independent – I never did deals with Murdoch

#wearehismedia

So this is the hashtag of the moment #wearehismedia

I am one of those people who have to call for their children to help me with twitter snap chat etc. So the hashtag thing is a bit of a new concept.

They roll their eyes and tut and I say I taught you how to use the toilet so think on and look sharp.

Anyhoo I am so glad that this is a “thing” as I really feel that this is out next step. We have to be the ones getting the information out there.

We have to be involved in canvassing , phone banks, leaflet pushing  rally attending event organising and generally explaining why we support him.

We all have to chip in,  what ever way we can however we can to get the message out there that Jeremy has policies, he has stood up in opposition and won, Labour is winning elections , gaining support in Scotland. So basically debunk the idea he is unelectable.

We are fighting the media we need to engage those who do not engage . But the passion and the strength of determination to have someone in power who will fight for all of us is strong and together we can really,  really do this.

The coup has backfired.  The lies have been uncovered and people out there are starting to listen.

Be the advocate of change by explaining why you will vote for him, gen up on your knowledge of what he has done and will do. Speak to people and listen to them and above all do it with dignity , respect , authority but not bullying and finally with passion.

Show them we are not thugs or bullies or cult followers but are decent humans who have had enough of the Westminster way and want a new kind of politics.

With Jeremy leading the way

 

http://www.jeremycorbyn.org.uk/

http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/

http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/

 

 

 

 

Rights for workers…

I don’t have to reminisce about my days growing up in a working class family to show my socialist credentials.  I can’t discuss mining towns or seamstresses in my family but I can say that my father was a builder and my mum mostly stayed at home and did a cleaning job for a while.

However the reason I don’t have to reminisce is because I am living that life now.  I am working class and I am one of the lucky ones who has actually lived in council accommodation all my life.  I say lucky because I know my children have no chance of getting council housing, nor do thousands of others in London .

I have always lived in a flat, growing up on the eleventh floor of a tower block with the  stuning views of London it gave me.  Those have certainly changed over the years. As has the block.   I now live in a flat , again not ground floor which I love and have been in the process of decorating for many years.  Perhaps if I stopped writing on here I would get some done – but I digress.

The reason I explain all this is because despite my background I have never really got on board with the whole Union thing.  I was a teenager during the miners strike ( don’t worry I am not going to say I had my political awakening them) . In fact to be honest it might as well been happening a million miles away for all I cared.  We were in London. We believed the news.  The only connection I had was that Arthur Scargill’s  surname sounded similar to mine so being asked if he was my dad was a regular joke. Hilarious.

So I will be totally honest here.  My understanding of unions came from “carry on at your convenience” and “the rag trade” on television. it also came from the news, the press and the conversations I heard from people annoyed because the tubes were not running.  So I cannot say that I was one of the trendy ones who wore Union badges and went on marches.  When I was a teenager if it did not involve Paul Young I really wasn’t interested.

I see things differently now.  And it is only seeing where we are now in terms of workers rights that I can see how important they are.

Zero hour contracts.  My teenage son was on one of those.  Some weeks he would be working all hours and the next nothing.  So he does not know what his salary will be from one payday to the next.  he cannot get cheaper travel through buying a travel card or monthly travel pass as he may not actually use it enough to make it worthwhile.  He can’t really make plans either for spending or activities.  It’s a sort of limbo job where it’s there but not quite.

For a teenage boy at home well he won’t go hungry.  But this is the story for so many people in this country and it includes those who have to pay bills, feed families and survive without the ability to budget.

This has to be looked at seriously, with an understanding of how it affects people and communities.  The flippant one hour contract comment by Owen Smith spoke volumes.  He is paying lip service to an issue but he will not go against anything that supports capitalism and business to stand up for workers rights.

I strongly believe that the only way to change this is to change politics itself.  To change the constant derision of the unions and what they actually stand for.  Working people need a voice which is backed by hundreds more in union support.  Workers need those who fight their corner, who understand what they are going through and who can highlight how we can change things.

The Labour Party , under Jeremy’s leadership have set up an initiative to ask questions of those most affected on what needs to be changed and how things can be improved for workers.  Workplace 2020 was launched last May and whilst its website is currently under construction you can sign up for updates.  This is something that should be talked about and shared as it is showing how our Labour Leader wants to hear the views  of workers and actually listen and act on them.  We cannot rely on businesses and companies to make the changes needed.  We cannot rely on this government to put pressure on those who fail to care for their employees.  We could not rely on a Labour Party lead  by Owen Smith or any of his Labourist allies to take things into hand.

Only a socialist leader would stand firm on the side of the workers.  And only a Labour Party lead by such a leader can get the job done.

And as for Unions, well I am now a union member. You can join the community membership scheme run by Unite.  You do not have to be employed to join.  It is fully behind Jeremy and the more who join the stronger that voice will become.  It may have taken me a while but when I look at how workers are being treated now I will fight and support any Union taking the government to task.  And I will back Jeremy in his support and promotion of them in order to change the lives of the working class.

the ones living it not embellishing it for political gain .

 

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/communitymembership/

http://www.workplace2020.org.uk/