Monday, 31 October 2011
Entitlement fostered not only dignity and respect, but decent wages and working conditions for those in work. Since 1979, Thatcher's love for the free market and her hatred for "the culture of entitlement" has determined social policy. We are now all expected to chase nonexistent jobs or work for our benefits, ie £1.63 an hour; sick and disabled people are found "fit for work" even despite terminal illnesses; older people have had their pensions postponed because living "too long" is a crisis; the vital work of mothers and other carers is disregarded and dismissed. The minimum wage is bypassed and we all stand to lose. Why should corporations pay a living wage if they can get claimants and prisoners to work without one?
We are expected to compete with Chinese workers, 600,000 of whom drop dead from overwork every year. Is that what we should aspire to? The Chinese, like the rest of us, are demanding better wages and working conditions – and the welfare state is part of that. Haven't they noticed people are getting together internationally to raise everyone's standards, not to lower them? The fight is on for the society Thatcher said did not exist.
Selma James Global Women's Strike
John McDonnell, MP
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
Nina López Legal Action for Women
Oliver Callan, satirist and impersonator, facing charges of homophobia, comes out on Irish national television and does a wonderful impression of the Irish presidential candidate, Senator David Norris. Congrats to Oliver for coming out publicly and it shows the way that LGBT issues can now be addressed openly in modern Ireland.
Monday, 24 October 2011
Here YouTube filmmaker Corey Ogilvie combines news footage of Obama Administration officials praising the Arab Spring uprisings (in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt) with citizen-shot video of police in New York City brutally attacking Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. The juxtaposition provides an instant, powerful and striking indictment of the deep hypocrisy in the words of both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the President of the United States. Obama Administration officials might try taking their own advice once in a while.
Just when it seemed that the Irish Post, the long time newspaper for the Irish community living in England, Wales and Scotland was down and out, news has arrived that it has been given a new lease of life. The owner of Loot magazine has stepped in and saved it. Recognition must be given to the efforts of the campaigning journalist Paul Donovan, who writes for the Post, as well as a number of MPs and others who raised an Early Day Motion on the issue and also established a campaign group. My fellow Green and candidate for the London Assembly, Noel Lynch, also played a role in the campaign.