Wednesday, 13 February 2019

As an 80-year-old, free TV licences are essential – to deprive us is pathetic Free licences 'make such a big difference to older people,' s

As an 80-year-old, free TV licences are essential – to deprive us is pathetic Free licences 'make such a big difference to older people,' says 80-year-old Maureen Childs

Read more at:

Thank you so much for coming to the BBC hand-in yesterday, we really appreciate you all giving up your time to campaign on this issue. You were all fantastic. You've definitely helped make an impact, we've had plenty of traction with the national media!

I hope you have a chance to pick up a copy of the Daily Mirror today, there's a half page write up on pg.11 including comments from Gill, Yusuf and Tony. 
If not, below are some of the links to some of the online articles: 

I’ve also attached a photo of you all taken by our photographer.

Thank you also for joining us for lunch in Tavis House, it was lovely to chat to you all. 

If you'd like to receive updates from Age UK Campaigns, we have a newsletter that you can sign up to here, but there's no pressure to do so. We also have a Twitter account for those who tweet (@AgeUKCampaigns)

Best wishes, 


Lucy Williams
Campaigns Officer
t. 020 303 31552
Age UKTavis House
1–6 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9NA
t 0800 169 80 80  f 020 3033 1000

Friday, 8 February 2019

50 members of Unite call on their general secretary to immediately withdraw from his negotiations with Theresa May,AND the official Unite reoly

Len McCluskey and Brexit negotiations
50 members of Unite call on their general secretary to immediately withdraw from his negotiations with Theresa May, and urge MPs to vote down the Tory Brexit deal
AND the official Unite reoly
 Len McCluskey of Unite outside 10 Downing Street on 24 January 2019 after talks with the government over Brexit. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
As members of Unite, we are deeply concerned by reports that our general secretary, Len McCluskey, is entering into direct negotiations with Theresa May over the Tory Brexit deal. The outcome of the Brexit process will affect the lives of all of us for decades to come. Workers face the prospect of lost rights, lost jobs and lost prosperity.
The Labour party, to which Unite is affiliated, has a clear policy to vote against any deal which does not meet its six tests or which puts the Good Friday agreement in doubt. Unite policy conference established a similar set of red lines in July. It appears that McCluskey is engaging in separate talks with the government in which he is putting forward a position which contradicts both the policy of the Labour party and Unite’s own policy. This is absolutely wrong.
AdvertisementBy voting down the deal, MPs can create the conditions to bring down the government and force a general election, giving us the chance to get a government for the many. Backing the Tory deal, or abstaining on it, means keeping the Tories in power with their agenda of cuts, austerity and privatisation. Unite must stand up for the jobs and rights of its members. We call on Len McCluskey to immediately withdraw from his negotiations with Theresa May, and urge MPs to vote down the Tory Brexit deal.

Rebecca Tonks NE/100/11
Salman Shaheen London ITC
Tracey Thatcher Unite community Shrewsbury & Telford
Mark Boothroyd Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Hospitals
Graham Martin York community
Rebecca Lawrence SE London Medical
Alena Ivanova LE524
Jane Lawson Manchester, community member
Sheila Ravnkilde Unite community Nottingham
Matthew Smyth NW/NW11 Liverpool and Merseyside Clearing Banks
Joshua Lovell Beds and Herts
Ana Oppenheim LE 524
Liz McShane Central London
Sandy Paul Tower Hamlets Unite
Dennis Leech Tower Hamlets community
Omar Salem LE/790 (legal workers) branch 
Steven Carver Tower Hamlets 
Catherine Overton Poplar & Limehouse/City 
Laura McCormack London and Eastern
Nick Dearden Central London 
Eugene Dalton-Ruark Unite community 
Sarah Parker Enfield
Kristian Ravnkilde Unite community Nottingham 
Michael Chessum LE524
Elias Eiholzer SC/156/AREA
David Kirk
Lee Griffiths Tower Hamlets
Roland Rance East London 
John Bowden 
Susan Pashkoff East London
Joseph Clough
Ruben de Dios Armesto Tower Hamlets
Terry Conway Islington 
Sabrina Huck 
Chris Brace York Community 
Matthew Jury Brixton
Joseph Healy
Hannah Webb LE524
Mark Findlay Retired
Michael Tucker West Midlands retired 
Katia Widlak ACTS
Lisa Homan Parliamentary 
William Conway Nottingham Community branch
David McNerlin Belfast
Jane Kelly Retired
Radhika Patel 
Anita Downs South East London Medical Branch
Debby Boon LE524
Barry Woodling Greater Manchester Unite Community Branch
Alan Rawnsley Yorkshire

Unite responds to misleading letter from Another Europe is Possible

·         Thursday 7 February 2019

Responding to today’s (Thursday 7 February) letter published in The Guardian coordinated by second referendum campaigners Another Europe is Possible, a Unite spokesperson said: “The criticisms of Len McCluskey from second referendum campaigners are malicious and deliberately misleading. Len McCluskey is not negotiating a Brexit deal with Theresa May.
“He has met the prime minister once, as have several other trade union leaders, when he took the opportunity to raise a number of concerns for working people, including the danger of a no-deal Brexit and the need for a customs union in order to preserve jobs.
“The terms of Brexit can only be determined by MPs, and Unite fully supports Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to secure the best possible arrangements.
“We endorse the proposals set out in his letter to the prime minister yesterday as being an approach that can bring all people of goodwill together. We urge all Labour party members and supporters to get behind them.
“Len McCluskey continues to liaise with government ministers to ensure that jobs in manufacturing and elsewhere are safeguarded and makes no apologies for doing so. Posturing will not keep a single factory open.
“Unite activists for the most part know better than to believe media rumours about their union, and we urge Another Europe is Possible to take the same sceptical approach.”
Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066or 07967 665869 
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Comments on 'Delinquent Genius':

Comments on 'Delinquent Genius':

(  Cooley, Mike (2018). Delinquent Genius: The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology. UK: Spokesman BooksISBN 978 085124 878 3

This is a romantic and, at times, a nostalgic book, which might not be surprising as it is a critique of modern technology. It is perhaps more surprising that the author, Mike Cooley, was a designer and engineer at Lucas Aerospace working on military technology and the main argument of the book is that relatively recent forms of technology, underpinned some aspects of scientific rationale are superceding and devaluing other forms of human knowledge, experience and ways of interacting with the world.

However, this is less of a contradiction, if one considers that Mike Cooley was one of the originators of the Lucas Plan which proposed using the design and technical skills of workers at Lucas Aerospace could to used to make products which were more socially useful than high-tech killing machines.
Mike Cooley’s approach is not anti- scientific, reactionary or anti-technological, there are passages which show that he is clearly in awe of what scientific design can achieve. Yet, in other places, he details the apparently unquantifiable and intuitive nature of human skills, which is something a scientific-technological world view tends to ignore or denigrate.

Perhaps at times Cooley falls into the trap of over stating the de-humanising effects of the European scientific revolution. He is critical of the way in which it promotes an impoverished and reductionist views of humans, seeing them as little more than biological machines.  However, this is not just the end result of changes in European thought that can be traced to the renaissance and the enlightenment. Many civilizations, in Europe and elsewhere, have engaged in large scale civil and military engineering projects using mass enslavement or other forms of forced labour. Some of these projects took place in pre-Colombian America, yet Cooley seems a times to use a generic ‘Indian’ as a exemplar of how systems of knowledge outside the European scientific tradition were more environment and people friendly than it was.

In one chapter Cooley is fascinated by how elements of Japanese culture survive sand co-exist with the adoption of western derived science, technology and forms of social organisation. This perhaps shows that the use of science does not necessarily displace all previous cultures, and that it can be adapted to fit in with them, and vice-versa.

So, does Cooley confuse the effects of bureaucratic social organisation with those of European originated science and technology? It would be interesting to know what he thought about the Chinese scientific and technological achievement which preceded western ones, such the invention of gunpowder, the development of a far larger ocean-going vessels and devising means to prevent their crews contracting scurvy.

But these criticisms maybe nitpicking, Delinquent Genius is  a fascinating examination of human creativity and intelligence with all its pitfalls and potential to go beyond the current confines it has made for itself with the narrow application of science and its diversion to serve the exploitative, and may be catastrophic interests of nation states.

P.MURRY 31/01/2019

Sunday, 3 February 2019

We are opposed to ‘Fortress Europe’ and to ‘Fortress Britain’. We want to lower borders, not raise them.

Join the meeting tomorrow in London

On Monday evening, Labour was set to abstain on the Tory Immigration Bill. At the last minute, under huge pressure from members and activists, it decided to vote against, though it didn't even whip all of its MPs to be there.

Jeremy Corbyn has a track record of fighting for the rights of migrants, and that is why so many have supported him. Yet, the Labour party combines pro-migrant rhetoric with deference to anti-immigration sentiment in terms of policy: supporting the end of free movement between Britain and the rest of Europe, and 'no recourse to public funds' for migrants.

We are calling this emergency meeting for Labour and labour movement activists to discuss what is happening in the party, and to organise for a radical change of direction.

Where the party already has positive policies, such as scrapping the net migration target and guaranteeing the right to family reunion, we call for further development and the launching of serious campaigns. Beyond that, we call for clear, strong pro-migrant policies to break up the 'hostile environment'.

We are opposed to ‘Fortress Europe’ and to ‘Fortress Britain’. We want to lower borders, not raise them.
See you tomorrow (Monday) at 7pm, New Cross Learning, 283 - 285 New Cross Rd, SE14 6AS.

In solidarity,

Nadia, Another Europe