UK Newswire Archive
Tens of thousands of students and schoolchildren marched through London on Wednesday against plans to triple university tuition fees.
Violence erupted as thousand of protesters battled police and stormed a building containing the headquarters of the governing Conservative Party.
Over 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters demonstrated against plans to raise the cost of studying at a university to £9,000 a year, three times the current rate, in the largest street protest yet against the ConDem government's sweeping austerity measures.
13-11-2010 01:221970's Uncovered!
This week sees the launch of Bristol Radical History Group’s event The 1970s – Life Before Thatcher. For most of us the 1970's is a distant memory or we have no memory at all if we are lucky enough to be that young. Many people see the events we are living through as having lots of parallels with the 1970's. So what better way to learn more about the successes and events of the 1970s than by attending these great events. Hear from the people who were there about the events that mattered and this is all for free, but don’t forget to buy the great Radical History pamphlets, surely to become collectors items in the future.
Talks, films and music, 13 free events between Sunday 14th November and Tuesday 7th December 2010 on a variety of subjects such as The 1976 West Indies Cricket Tour, From The Ford Workers’ Group to Made In Dagenham, The Asian Youth Movement, Grunwick: The End Of An Era?, Spies, Lies And The Coup: State Repression In The 70s, Cry Freedom Concert, How We Won: Strikes In The 70s, Glam-Punk Disco Inferno, The Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Punk And The Pistols, From Recruitment To Dialogue: How Does The Radical Left Relate To Workers?, Italy In The 1970s: Bodies In The Street, A Tale Of A Country Like Ours, The League Of Revolutionary Black Workers.
More info at
http://www.brh.org.uk/70s/index.html See you there!
From Dagenham to Grunwick, Glam to Punk and Wilson to Thatcher.
Talks, films and music, 13 free events between Sunday 14th November and Tuesday 7th December 2010.
* “Make Them Grovel”: The 1976 West Indies Cricket Tour
* From The Ford Workers’ Group to Made In Dagenham
* The Asian Youth Movement
* Grunwick: The End Of An Era?
* Spies, Lies And The Coup: State Repression In The 70s
* Cry Freedom Concert
* How We Won: Strikes In The 70s
* Glam-Punk Disco Inferno
* The Anti-Vietnam War Movement
* Punk And The Pistols
* From Recruitment To Dialogue: How Does The Radical Left Relate To Workers?
* Italy In The 1970s: Bodies In The Street, A Tale Of A Country Like Ours
* “Can’t Do Nothin’ If You Ain’t Bad”‘: The League Of Revolutionary Black Workers
See you there!
13-11-2010 01:22Speaker: John Lynes, Christian Peacemaker Teams
Venue: Mulitfaith Chaplaincy, Bristol University - 1 Woodland Rd, Bristol, Avon BS8 1AU
Date: Monday 15th November
A Talk about the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams opposing violence and injustice in Palestine
This Monday we will be having a talk from John Lynes about his work and experiences 'getting in the way' of violence in Palestine, trying to build a just peace in a country torn by war and oppression.
John is part of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) - an organisation which "offers an organized, nonviolent alternative to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict". They often risk their lives in non-violent direct action getting in the way of conflict.
13-11-2010 01:22"A warm welcome from the West to the London Mob ... Now we go 'til the government falls."
[most links removed]
P R O T E S T
Gloucester's march and rally against the cuts is tomorrow. The march to Kings Square kicks off from Gloucester Park at 10:30 prompt.
Campaigners fighting Bristol City Council's plans to sell off green space for a bit of fast cash are calling a protest next week. It's at 1pm, Tuesday 16 November on College Green, Bristol - ahead of a full council meeting at the Council House at 2pm. They hope as many people as possible will attend as a "show of strength".
Students in Bristol say there may be days of action locally on 23 and 24 November about tuition fee hikes. They will focus on occupations, 'lobbying' or lobbing MP's, outreach to the public and encouraging high school students to join in to defend their futures. More information when we receive it.
Students involved in the rioting at Tory HQ on Wednesday have been condemned by some patsy student committee run by University of the West of England (UWE). Colin Offler, Student Representative Council (SRC) President at UWE, says the actions of a minority had ruined an otherwise successful protest.
A couple of interesting eye-witness reports on the student rioting this week. London Class War describe scenes around the Lib Dem HQ. "The blood had clearly drained from their faces," they say of the Yellow Tories at the windows and trapped in their offices by demonstrators. "If Clegg had been there we think he’d have been dragged out by a lynching mob," they continue. Elsewhere Ian Dunt provides some intelligent insight on Yahoo News of all places.
STUDENT FILM FOOTAGE IN TORY HQ
A variety of activists picketed and shutdown the Vodafone shop in central Bristol in protest against corporate tax evasion and government cuts again last Saturday.
Over 250 campaigners took to the streets of Taunton on Saturday to protest about Somerset County Council's £43m cuts which will cost 1,500 jobs .
U N I O N S
There's another BBC strike on Monday 15 and Tuesday16 November. There will be a picket line at BBC Bristol on Whiteladies Road from early on Monday morning, 15 November. Try from 8am onwards.
Strong rumours are circulating that Bristol's Unison Health Branch, that looks after workers in hospitals, clinics and healthcare in Bristol, have been instructed not to join the Bristol and District Anti-cuts Alliance by the union's regional office.
Lucky Unison members this week received a glossy publication - 'the six hundred thousand' - about "600,000 public service jobs at risk".
The introduction by Unison President Angela Lynes cheerily explains how she "wants to make a difference" before cutting to the chase and announcing "Unison disagrees with the depth of the cuts".
This explains a lot. Presumably then, Unison members who are losing their jobs, experiencing pay cuts or having their terms and conditions rewritten without any protest whatsoever from Unison are simply victims of cuts that aren't too deep in Unison's view? Unfortunately the union hasn't, as yet, published their list of unacceptable "too deep" cuts and acceptable "shallow" cuts. Why not?
Rounding-up the publication, Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis - a man so out of his depth his membership should club together to buy him a rubber ring and armbands for Christmas - supplies a rambling conclusion to this maifesto of capitulation. "We'll stand together," he says, "to protect not just our members but the vital services you provide."
Alas, Dave neglects to say how he intends to do any of this. Does he have a strategy for his million members?
Education Secretary, Michael Gove has scrapped the School Support Staff Negotiating Body, which sets national standards and pay for non-teaching staff in schools. This paves the way for these staff to be openly attacked by cost-cutting management and subjected to dodgy locally negotiated deals.
E V E N T S
'LIFE BEFORE THATCHER'
Bristol Radical History Group are putting on three weeks of talks, films, music and chat on the 1970s from Sunday 14 November to Tuesday 7 December. Look out for anything from the highly-charged 1976 West Indies Cricket Tour to Italian Autonomism to Grunwick and Dagenham to the Asian Youth Movement. Timely stuff!
B R I S T O L
As predicted here and elsewhere, the cuts announced by Bristol City Council last month were inaccurate. The council has now admitted it will have to make at least £70 million of spending cuts over the next four years, not the £50m announced last month. Council leader Janke admits more job losses are on the way but refuses to provide any details.
This new announcement throws the council in to chaos as a round of scrutiny meetings for councillors to discuss the cuts have already taken place. These discussions are now obviously out of date and, as yet, the council has given no indication of where these new cuts might fall.
By 2015 the total budget for Bristol City Council will be just £330m budget. The same as it was in 1998.
YELLOW TORIES SPEAK
Bristol's Yellow Tory leader, Janke, finally managed a statement to the press on these cuts a day after they were announced - unattributed - in the Bristol Evening Post. "There could be more job losses after the first year. We're looking at the numbers all the time, it's a rolling programme," she vaguely explained.
YELLOW TORIES SPEAK AGAIN
Some obviously shaken Yellow Tories in Bristol described the Evening Post's entirely accurate report as a "a total non-story" and "sloppy reporting". They were joined by Bristol City Council's head of PR, Peter Holt, who Tweeted that the factually correct story was "sloppy reporting". Anyone else seen this new PR textbook that suggests you publicly insult and lie about one of your key clients?
Bristol City Council's Labour Group leader, Helen Holland, has issued a mild statement of condemnation about the her council's cuts. She says, “they will have a disastrous effect on services to the most vulnerable people in our communities”
Staff and trade unionists at Bristol City Council are complaining that - once again - they have only heard about the new potential cuts to their jobs through the local newspaper. A Unison member told us, “Our employers, the council, have told us nothing about these new £20m cuts. We have had no communication whatsoever. We only know what we've read in the papers. Last month, when cuts were announced in the local newspaper, staff were directed by the paper to a website where they found out their jobs were under threat. This time they haven't even bothered to insult us with that. Senior management and their councillors treat us like shit.”
Councillors have slammed Bristol's new cultural strategy - "Can Bristol afford to undervalue its cultural ambition? A provocation" - that we reported on last week. They say it's too complicated for the man on the street to understand and no will know what it's on about.
The council's director for culture Kate Davenport, however, says: "It's not written for the person on the street. Within the cultural sector, people love it and say what a fantastic document it is.”
In other words some well-paid vested interests like it because it guarantees their salaries for the next few years. This meaningless report cost the council tax payer £2,500.
The next consultant's report due out on Bristol City Council's endless conveyor line of them - despite the fact that the council cutting back on consultants - is on the urgent subject of markets. The cost of this one was a mere £9,965.
Bristol East's Labour MP Kerry McCarthy has tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling on the Government to support Bristol's bid to be a host city for the 2018 World Cup. Bristol West Yellow Tory MP Stephen Williams and Bristol North West Tory MP Charlotte Leslie have signed the motion too. Along with the rest of the city's political class, none of them are able to tell us where the £30m plus to fund the tournament will come from.
BRISTOL CITY FC
Cuts are appearing in the most unlikely places. Bristol City will be offloading high earners like David James after losses of £11.8m for last year says the Daily Mail. Manager, Keith Millen, has to reduce his wage bill and England shotstopper James is the top earner. Defender Nicky Hunt, midfielder Kalifa Cisse and ex-QPR defender Damion Stewart, all signed by Steve Coppell before he quit in August, are heading for the door too.
City boss Keith Millen confirmed to the Evening Post on Tuesday that they are now a selling club.
Meanwhile City's tax-avoider Chairman, Steve Lansdown, flew in from Guernsey last week to meet 70 bosses from Bristol firms who support Bristol City FC's campaign to go ahead with a £92-million stadium on greenbelt land. Hosted by Bristol West Yellow Tory MP Stephen Williams, who claimed the stadium was "absolutely crucial for the city's economic future", it was claimed the stadium would create a total of 6,000 permanent and short-term construction jobs.
This is rubbish. According to the club's own estimates 380 short-term construction jobs may be created. While in the long term, around 750 jobs may be created by the stadium and its hotel, fast food outlets and the supermarket on their existing Ashton Gate stadium site.
750 low-paid, low-status, insecure service industry jobs are hardly the stuff of bright economic futures. Although the episode does give an idea of what this ConDem "business-led recovery" is really going to be all about.
Maybe the reason that Bristol's Yellow Tory MP has so little shame about grabbing photo-ops with Lansdown and supporting his grubby little tax avoidance business schemes is because Williams, prior to becoming an MP, worked for corporate accountants KPMG? His job? Advising telephone company Orange how to avoid tax!
You can read in sordid detail about Williams' outright election lies on student tuition fees on Bristol Indymedia.
An informal vote at the Bristol North Yellow Tory AGM on Thursday was overwhelmingly in favour of government higher education proposals. About 75 per cent were in in favour. 25 per cent opposed or abstained.
Williams voted for caps on housing benefit this week. Earlier this year he was complaining to the BBC that the new rent limits for MPs expenses would make it difficult for him to afford to live in London. The rental allowance for an MP is £17,400 a year. The local Housing Allowance for a single person on housing benefit will be £13,000. How the hell does he expect people on benefits to live in London then?
Bristol's Yellow Tory transport boss, Gary Hopkins, claims, “A major new operator could be running commercial buses in Bristol within two years, leading to cheaper fares”. His evidence for this is his naive belief in the power of markets and the fact that some new operators might be "interested in the tendering process" he's set-up. Intelligent observers argue regulation is the key to bringing fares down, not pseudo-competition from a cartel.
Bristol Labour Councillor Ron Stone - possibly the only councillor in Bristol who uses a library - has slammed city council plans to cut the library budget. "We've all heard debate about the new structure. In reality my local library shuts on Saturdays due to the inability of the existing staff to cover and we've got issues with regular closures in other areas. There's still a huge group of people who rely on the libraries and don't want the internet but they're not getting the service at the moment."
Proposed £200,000 cuts to the libraries service will involve the introduction of a supermarket style self-service checkouts for books.
A new pressure group, the Bristol Pubs Group, is calling on Bristol City Council to urgently adopt a new policy to save local pubs. They say pubs in Bristol are shutting down at an alarming rate and some neighbourhoods have no boozers left at all.
MORE HIGHER ED
More commentary from Eric “Out to lunch” Thomas, the University of Bristol's Vice-Chancellor, on the new Higher Education funding settlement. “Much work has been done and continues in order to reduce our operating costs. The combination of our Academic and Support Process Reviews, along with the voluntary severance and early retirement schemes, are all contributing to ensuring we are in the best position to navigate this significantly challenging financial landscape,” booms the man with the extravagant taxpayer-funded expense account
Our chap in the senior common room explains: "Academic and Support Process Reviews? This is corporate-speak for their redundancy programme, which is laying off huge numbers of staff, especially in admin and IT. Meanwhile they are creating more managerial jobs to 'manage the change'.”
A Freedom of Information request has been submitted to find out how much it cost to send Bristol's Yellow Tory leader, Barbara Janke, and her part-time £72,000 a year 'Place Manager' to Zaragoza for the Eurocities 2010 Conference to discuss 'identity'.
Latest figures reveal Bristol City Council has £15m worth of Section 106 monies unspent and lying dormant in bank accounts. The money is provided by developers who have obtained planning permission for new schemes. Some of the money has remained unspent for up to15 years.
The recent purchase of St Ursula's - a loss-making Catholic private secondary school in Bristol - which had gone into administration, cost Bristol City Council £1.95m. The cost was disclosed after a Freedom of Information request made by the BBC. The city council explain away this extraordinary outlay by saying the school could be considered a "strategic reserve" with regards to potential provision of secondary schools in Bristol.
CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Tolls for the Clifton Suspension Bridge are to be doubled. The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust says an application will be made to the Department of Transport before Christmas to raise the toll from 50p to £1.
Cuts to housing benefit in Bristol will mean pensioners and people in low-paid jobs will not be able to make ends meet. "Those already on low incomes such as pensioners, those with disabilities, carers and people in low-paid jobs will struggle to find the extra money they will need to keep a roof over their head," says homeless charity, Shelter. Shelter's chief executive Campbell Robb said a two-bed household in the city was set to lose £52 a month.
B A T H
According to a study by the Chartered Institute of Housing, 1,860 housing benefit claimants will be worse off in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) when new rules limiting payments come in. More than a third of these claimants - 34 per cent - will be in employment. Claimants living in two-bedroom homes in Bath could lose up to £17.26 a week when the changes go live next October.
Next week politicians in BANES will start slashing their budget for the care of elderly people. A new charging policy will see at least 350 people paying more for home care, the price of meals on wheels will increase by 33 per cent and around £200,000 worth of voluntary sector grants will be axed. The community learning budget will also be cut by £125,000 while 'efficiency savings' are set to save £307,000. The council say there will be “some redundancies”.
Politicians met in Bath this week to discuss £5.8 million of savings and income generation in the planning, transport, environmental services, tourism, leisure and culture directorate at B&NES. Cost-cutting proposals included getting volunteers to work in libraries and the Victoria Art Gallery. Councillors also discussed reducing the opening hours of recycling centres and cutting back on floral displays. The directorate has already cut 10 per cent of its staff this year and is expected to ditch more in 2011/12.
Schools in Bath are moving ahead with plans to become independent academies. Hayesfield School and Beechen Cliff School have now launched a consultation exercise into whether they should take advantage of the Coalition Government's academy legislation. Both are already working together as the Bath Education Trust and are asking their governing bodies to make a decision next month. Hayesfield head Erica Draisey says the school could reopen as an academy by April next year.
B&NES is also looking to make more money through parking and bus lane fines. They will increase use of CCTV cameras and automated number plate recognition technology along bus lanes and in car parks.
S O U T H G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E
A Kingswood curry house has named a new dish after the new local Tory MP Chris Skidmore. Our Restaurant Correspondent says the curry, “is thick, nasty and leaves a bad taste in your mouth”.
F O R E S T O F D E A N
ConDem plans to sell Forestry Commission land to the highest bidder continue to run in to militant opposition in the Dean. Cinderford district councillor Graham Morgan has said, “I predict another Warren James-style uprising, with fences being torn down. You’ll see me at the front of the barricades.”
Morgan is referring to Warren James a miners' leader who led a 2000-man revolt against the enclosure of the Dean in 1831 and got transported to Australia for his troubles.
A Facebook group called Stop The Forest Of Dean From Being Sold Off has been set up and there is a national online petition.
N O R T H S O M E R S E T
Cash-strapped North Somerset Council is introducing charges for the hire of the Beach Lawns and Promenade at Weston-super-Mare. The public space currently hosts events like the Helidays helicopter display, classic car and community shows and the popular Carters Steam Fair. It's also used for major events such as T4 on the Beach, Weston Beach Race and the annual Armed Forces Day celebration plus lots of smaller charity events. Charges will be £1,000 if the event has an entry fee and £500 if the event is free.
North Somerset Council libraries are resorting to holding a giant book sale in Weston-super-Mare to raise cash. The sale is at the Winter Gardens on November 26 and 27 from 10am to 4pm with prices of books starting from 10p. They say they are offering our items for sale that are no longer in demand.
S O M E R S E T
Compton Dundon Primary School near Somerton, Somerset with just nine pupils could be under threat of closure to save money.
G L O U C E S T E R S H I R E
1,000 jobs – a sixth of the workforce – will go as Gloucestershire County Council tries to save £108 million in the next four years. The measures are being branded as 'The Big Community Offer' in which buildings and assets worth millions will be given away to the public and community groups to run their own libraries, adult care centres and youth clubs. They proposals will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet next Thursday
B U S I N E S S
Local MPs are warning that Babcock Marine, the West’s biggest firm, is facing a “huge trough” in its workload because of cuts to Plymouth-based defence contracts. The threat of redundancies to the highly-skilled workforce are real and probably inevitable with Plymouth's naval fleet being cut from twenty warships and submarines to, potentially, just one.
Exeter-based builders Rok are going into administration after recently revealing half-year losses of £3.8 million. Their auditors have now uncovered serious failings in its plumbing, heating and electrical business. The company employs more than 2,000 people.
The company has offices at Pill and St Werburghs in Bristol and has multimillion-pound contracts with Bristol City Council and the Bristol-based insurance firm AXA. They are halfway through a five-year contract worth £3.75 million with Bristol City Council to refurbish 14,500 in the north of the city and they are currently working on improvements to council tower blocks in Easton. ROK was also the contractor appointed to build twelve new council properties in Lawrence Weston in a contract worth £775,690. They also had a five-year, £35m contract to upgrade homes in South Gloucestershire for Merlin Housing Society.
Administrators have already announced the loss of 711 jobs in the first wave of anticipated redundancies in the wake of Rok's collapse.
Dairy farmers in the West have attacked supermarkets for using cut-price milk to attract shoppers. Farmers say that price wars have lowered the average price of semi-skimmed milk to about 55p per litre at supermarkets. Meanwhile, farmers receive around 25p per litre of milk although some receive even less and are paying more than that to produce it. Studies suggest farmers need to receive 30p per litre to stay in business.
New arrangements around the procurement of the over budget, behind schedule Airbus A400M military transport plane have been announced. The untried and untested plane that has finally managed - just about - to get off the ground will replace the popular Hercules. The UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey will now purchase 170 A400Ms between them instead of 180. The UK has cut its order by three planes to 22. Germany will take 53 planes instead of 60 and forgo special technology that allows for low-level flights.
The overall cost of the project remains broadly unchanged from the deal reached in March where a price increase per plane of 11m euro (£9.5m) was agreed. The A400M's wings are made in Filton near Bristol where more than 800 people are employed. The landing gear comes from Messier-Dowty, whose Gloucester factory keeps nearly 1,000 aerospace engineers in work. The project is three years late and at least 5bn euro (£4.3bn) over budget - or perhaps double that according to some calculations.
C S R
The University of the West of England's (UWE) teaching grant will be cut by 80%, Bristol University's by 34% and Bath Uni's by 53%, based on Commons library figures.
Government figures suggest 8,200 claimants in Bristol will be hit by changes in the way housing benefit is paid with most losing about £572 a year. In Bath & North East Somerset, 1,860 claimants face losing out with the majority hit by around £676 worth of cuts. North Somerset has 3,980 claimants, facing a £468 reduction, tmuch he same as South Gloucestershire's 4,820 claimants. The cuts are "hardly draconian", the ConDem Government say.
The Observer's Nick Cohen asked Richard Miller, the legal aid manager for the Law Society: “would I be guilty of journalistic hyperbole if I wrote that on basic questions of access to shelter and a minimum income the poor would soon be outside the rule of law”?
"Oh no," he said. "You wouldn't be exaggerating at all."
The Government intends to drastically cut the Bus Service Operators Grant which refunds bus companies up to 70% of the tax that they pay on fuel. This will mean that bus fares will rise by at least 10-15% on top of what the operators would raise them by anyway. Prepare for bus fares to go up by around 20% in the New Year then.
All work-related benefits are to be merged into a single Universal Credit "to make work pay". This new ConDem benefit reform will affect at least 45,350 claimants in Bristol, 11,070 in Bath and North East Somerset, 15,940 in North Somerset and 15,780 in South Gloucestershire.
SIGN 'O' THE TIMES
NEWS FROM THE SWRDA: "This site is now closed and unfortunately will not be maintained in the future. To view the latest information and news please go to the South West RDA Corporate website.
E C O N O M Y
A row is brewing between the Welsh Assembly and the West's MP over who should receive the proceeds from Severn Crossing tolls when the bridges return to public ownership in 2017.
Meanwhile, Severn bridge tolls are to rise by 20p to £5.70 in January.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says the UK is heading for a "moderate downturn".
Government hopes that economic recovery will be spearheaded by manufacturing and exports took a dent this week when official figures revealed the UK was running a record trade deficit in the three months to September.
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12-11-2010 13:22Kebele Sound returns to E.C.C. for our biggest gig of the year, this time to raise funds for Autonomous Spaces of Bristol. This thriving network of projects collectively offer a range of activities and ‘services’ from debt advice, bike maintenance and internet access to yoga and self-healthcare as well as providing spaces to meet, eat and enjoy music,film and performance – AND ALL FOR FREE.
With no government funding they are run entirely by volunteers and aspire to include all regardless of race, gender, physical ability or other modes of difference. Part of a wider and growing network, Bristol’s autonomous spaces aim to reflect the world we want to see in our everyday actions and organising: a living working experiment in what we are told is impossible.
WHERE: Easton Community Centre
WHEN: Friday the 3rd of December, 9pm - 2am
WHY: err, ...see above.
HOW: ..much? - £5 before 10pm, £7 after
In the Main Room:
AOS3 - Legendary Free-Festival Dub-Ska
Ruckus Collective - Brass-Heavy Funked-up Hip-hop
Primeval Soup - Brighton's Finest Ska-punkers
In the Anarcoustic Lounge:
Baba Yaga's Consort - Atmoshperic & addictive freeroaming vocal harmonies overlaid by bluesy guitar
Molly Samson - Deep rich vocals accompanied by wild finger picking guitar
Street Lit - Poetry, Hip-Hop and Dub collective
Bristol Voice Workshop - Choral Folk
In the Rave Room - Bass/Bashment/Mashup:
KSC Residents present a filthy respite from all that "proper" music. Featuring: Miss Fit / Drugray / Peverly Knight / Trozminster Krapawski / Vagabond
A little more info on bands:
Formed in Sunderland in 1990, taking their name from the initials of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, LSD chemist and sound engineer, AOS3 shot to fame on playing the free festival circuit including the infamous Castlemorton. Blending elements of Ska, Dub, Punk, and Psychedelic music the band represent a meeting of the rave and anarcho punk movements and became increasingly politicised after the ’94 Criminal Justice Act and persecution of the party scene. As the savage cuts trigger a new wave of unrest and police repression they return to support the radical resistance.
Bold as brass. Funkier than old socks. A constantly evolving palette of influences including funk, hip-hop, jazz, and rock with a punk attitude has drawn comparisons with the likes of Ozomatli and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but in reality it is impossible to categorise this remorselessly genre-smashing punk fusion party sound. Frenetic and unhinged they are a formidable live presence, ruckus indeed.
Former floating members of Collective Responsibility have simmered gently in a squatted garage in Brighton and have emerged a new, rich dish for your aural-nourishment.
12-11-2010 11:22Tories call it a once in a lifetime opportunity
So we finally get to hear how Gloucestershire’s public sector is going to be destroyed. The Tories are going to shave off £108 million pounds off the budget, sack 1 in 6 people and close libraries and youth clubs amongst other things. So it seems we are all in it together, that is together in having our services and communities destroyed.
This is now the time for people in Gloucestershire to take a stand against this vicious assault on their communities. Now is the time to show them that we are all in it together, together in resisting these cuts.
Demonstration on the 20th November:
Gloucestershire County Council Tories unveiled another load of cuts under the title "Meeting the challenge", if the government was truly meeting the challenge they might want to get our money bank of the banks which have caused this debt. You have to love the language they use, challenge, best value, opportunities blah, blah, blah. Translated this always means cuts, cuts, cuts.
To further rub it in they have the audacity to call it a New Deal and an opportunity:
“It is a chance to go back to the beginning and start from scratch,” he said. “I believe this opportunity is a ‘New Deal’ for the council and communities. It is a once-in-a-generation chance to change the way we do things – to rethink the way we provide public services.”
Lets look at this statement
“It is a chance to go back to the beginning and start from scratch,”
Yes this has been the Tories wet dream since time began, the rolling back of support and services and state support. This is the destruction of all the gains that have been won by ordinary people over the past 100 years. So it is you and me who has to start from scratch not the Tories, or for that matter the bankers and banks which have caused this crisis and continue to receive their bonuses and bailouts while we lose vital services. The banks caused this crisis, not public sector spending.
Hawthorne further continues his sickening crap “I believe this opportunity is a ‘New Deal’ for the council and communities. It is a once-in-a-generation chance to change the way we do things – to rethink the way we provide public services.”
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, not for us but for the Tories to rush through the biggest cuts in living memory to our public services. And who is this we he talks about, because I don’t remember signing up for this, in fact the government doesn’t even have mandate to govern as they did not receive enough of the vote to have an electoral majority.
So yes it is a new deal a new deal that translates into a rough deal for the poor and vulnerable people in our communities, for young people, for the elderly and the sick, for all the public sector workers who work hard every day servicing our communities who will lose their jobs. Its also a raw deal for us as tax payers, when we still pay the same tax which rather than paying services goes to pay off a debt caused by the rich, the bankers and the politicians and let’s not forget the MP’s expenses scandal while were at it.
These cuts won’t affect the current government cabinet which has 29 Ministers of which 23 have assets and investments estimated to be worth more than £1million. How about we take all their money off them and give them a “once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way they do things” they will then see what it is like living on benefits with no job and relying on the public services they are currently destroying. You know it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
So the great opportunities we have are:
ONE in six jobs will be cut (1,000 jobs lost 60 per cent in the next two years):
– opportunity for people to live in poverty and be placed into an extremely competitive workplace and become a further financial burden on the state because they are on benefits and not paying tax.
£108 million in cuts: equals massively reduced services to everyone, don’t believe the crap about services being protected, these levels of cuts will hit everything
Libraries will be closed or opened only part-time and Youth centres shut and bus routes axed: Real good opportunities there, nowhere for kids to go, no transport and no access to information and books, can’t wait its so exciting to be offered such great opportunities!!
2,000 acres of council farmland will be sold to farmers or other landowners, raising up to £25 million. This is our land not the councils to sell, Privatisation and selling off of our natural assets, which can never be recovered. Lets not forget they also want to sell off vast sections of the forest of dean.
Mr Hawthorne said: “It’s regretful that some jobs will go and it is clearly going to be a very difficult process. There will be some pain, but I believe we have done our best to protect the services people really want.”
Yeah right, it’s your party who is pushing through this ideological assault on our society, I would recommend that we remember that at election time. How can services be realistically delivered with a quarter of the budget cut, this is just utter crap. I for one want more services. To state that these are the services people really want is a further insult, as if we don’t want libraries and youth clubs, support services for vulnerable people etc. Your not protecting any services, how is cutting 108 million pounds protecting services. Again bullshit deceitful rhetoric.
So it seems that the big society model is going to be rolled out in Gloucester. This basically means that the government will shut down services, sack people and then expect people to run these services for free. That sounds like a real good opportunity doesn’t it. Lose your job, come back and do for us for free on benefits and if you don’t we will cut your benefits for three years.
As Hawthorne states “I fully believe that communities are ready and able to take on some of these services. It is up to communities to shape services the way they want them.”
These proposals will now go before the authority’s cabinet next week for approval which means they will definitely go through, because it’s full of Scumbag Tory Cotswold dwelling tossers.
Then there will be a public consultation, which basically means we will ask for your opinion and then we will do exactly what we want.
They have to go to full council in February so go you still have time to resist, organise and defeat these cuts.
All over the country groups are being setup and demos organised.
These cuts are not inevitable or for our benefit and they can be stopped.
This is not necessary and the debt was caused by the banks and it is those who should pay for this crisis.
Resist and organise!!
Speak to people about the cuts, dispel the myths.
http://www.tuc.org.uk/industrial/tuc-18087-f0.pdf (cuts leaflet)
This is a brilliant analysis of what's going on by David Harvey and why we should all be anti capitalists and is good entertainment check out some of the other animated talks on the right hand side.
See below for an outline of the myths that are being peddled to us about this debt and crisis to see why these cuts are not necessary.
MYTH: Debt is the highest it’s ever been
Debt is 70 per cent of GDP, this is high but not unprecedented.
1920-1960 debt 100%
End of second world war 250%
MYTH: The UK’s debt crisis is one of the worst in the world
We have less debt than US, Canada, Germany, Britain, Japan, Italy and France.
MYTH: Government debt is ‘unsustainable’
70 – 80% debt is held internally and long term which makes it easy to manage.
MYTH: The government shouldn’t get into debt.
Debt can be used to invest in future to make economy work better to create money.
Cuts decrease demand for goods and services, makes it harder for businesses and individuals to generate an income. Everyone is worse off.
MYTH: Public spending got ‘out of control’ under Labour
Public spending same as early 1990s and lower than any point since the 1960s.
Spending always rises during a recession as a result of welfare spending on unemployment.
Increased spending in the 2000’s repaired schools and hospitals left in ruin by the tories.
The crisis is an opportunity to build the infrastructure of a more energy-efficient, green economy to prepare us for the future.
MYTH: The UK has a big public sector compared to other countries
It is lower than France, Italy, Austria and Belgium, as well as the Scandinavian countries (OECD World Factbook 2010).
MYTH: Spending on the public sector is ‘crowding out’ private sector growth
Investment in public infrastructure and services is essential to private sector productivity, it is more likely to stimulate private sector investment by maintaining levels of demand and preventing a deeper collapse of economic activity.
MYTH: Public sector workers are overpaid
Recently average wages in the public sector have moved marginally above those in the private sector, because privatisation has pushed many low-paid jobs out to the private sector meaning that private sector wages have fallen due to some private sector workers being severely underpaid.
MYTH: The financial crisis was caused by a lack of money in circulation
This one is true to some extent. The system of finance capitalism pursued in the UK and US since the 1970s has moved money away from the poor toward the rich. The rich have got richer and hoard their money, so it is not in circulation.
MYTH: Cutting public spending will help us avoid economic disaster
The economy has for the last 2 years been propped up by government interventions. To reduce these and expect the country to have economic growth is a joke. Cuts equal less jobs, less money, less spending and possibly another recession.
This crisis was a golden opportunity to move toward a more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable national and international economic system. For a while all countries were so concerned about the whole system that there was at least a chance to overcome narrow self-interest and look toward a more co-operative and sustainable future. We are about to squander a once-in-a-generation opportunity for progressive change – unless, that is, we organise and campaign for an alternative.
MYTH: There is no alternative to cuts
Every year we could raise:
£4.7 billion from a 50 per cent tax rate on incomes over £100,000.
£5 billion from a tax on vacant housing
£25 billion from closing tax loopholes
£20 billion from a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions
Stop war in Afghanistan
Stop privitisation and paying consultant huge fees.
All of these are political choices.
We don’t have to live in a world where unemployment co-exists with a long-hours culture in which workers are so stressed that mental health problems are on the rise.
We don’t have to live in a world where bankers gamble millions across the world in elaborate financial casinos at the same time as 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.
We don’t have to live in a world where there is no limit to how much of our collective economic output goes to the rich, yet others do not have enough to eat.
It is worth remembering that after the last crisis of this scale and significance, and with public debt something like three and a half times the size it is today, we established the NHS, created the welfare state, put in place comprehensive education and built a vast number of public housing estates.
History tells us that there is more than one way out of an economic crisis.
12-11-2010 11:22Submit your objections TODAY 12 November
There is still time to stop Tesco in Stokes Croft.
Here is one planning issue out of several to get your blood boiling.
Tesco's proposed store in Stokes Croft, Bristol will incur 42 deliveries a week (their figures) causing traffic congestion, blocking a cycle path, a bus stop and two pedestrian crossing on either side.
Yet these concerns were dismissed on the October 22 planning meeting because change of use had already been granted in September 2009 - when the planners did not even know it was for a Tesco!
Tesco uses a third-party anonymously to make these applications.
Now the planners know the real situation - that change of use was actually granted to a multinational corporation that operates just-in-time deliveries and, in this case, at least 42 a week at up to 40 minutes each within a 6 hour period - should they not re-examine traffic concerns?
Why have the impacts to public and highway safety not been assessed when servicing a store is a material consideration?
This is just one issue we can raise with the planning officers.
The fabulous hard-working No Tesco in Stokes Croft campaigners have created a template letter helping you raise planning issues with the Council.
The template letter is at http://notesco.wordpress.com/take-action-2/
Please copy, paste, customise and send by end of play today.
- personalised letters will be significantly more effective. But if time is not on your side, just add your address and send.
2008 was the year of crisis convergence. Escalating oil price spikes coincided with similar spikes in the prices of staple foods, both driven by a combination of production-supply constraints, rocketing demand, and the ensuing bonanza of commodity trading on futures markets. Then the banks collapsed, prompting massive government bailouts designed to shore-up a crumbling financial system.
12-11-2010 10:12The Royal Parks authority says the Afghanistan demo on 20 November can't assemble at Speakers' Corner. WE WILL DEFY THE BAN and defend the right to protest. JOIN US and send your complaint to the authorities.
We invite you to be a part of exploring and demonstrating an alternative educational system over three days. Be it a workshop, a lecture a discussion a film an event, we are calling... on students, lecturers and staff and others to come together and show another university is possible.
WHO'S THE NEXT?
Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, and now the UK...
WHO'S THE NEXT?
Like workers, unemployed, students, pensioners... in Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, but also more generally in China, Bangladesh, South Africa, Algeria, Peru and many other regions in the world, proletarians also take to the street in the UK.
Against austerity measures, thousands of young (and lesser young) proletarians ransacked this November 10th the Tories' Headquarter in London and confronted the law and order forces.
We are the "infection in action"... the one that all governments of all countries and from all political tendencies are afraid of! Our specific demands are nothing but the expression of ONE AND THE SAME MOVEMENT:
- AGAINST SACRIFICES that Capital's managers try everywhere to impose on us;
- AGAINST SURVIVAL CONDITIONS (housing, health...) everywhere always more deteriorated;
- AGAINST OUR WAGE SLAVERY everywhere more increased (rise in work pace, in working time, work always more destructive for human life...).
Obviously the exploiters and their union lackeys will try to neutralize our demands on the field of reform: negotiation, "social dialogue", or even a change of government (Labour vs. Tories)... to better satisfy Capital's needs!
To satisfy OUR HUMAN NEEDS there is no low-key solution possible:
Economy is in crisis? Let's finish it off!
LET'S BREAK UNION AND SOCIAL PEACE!
Let's spread and deepen our movement!
LET'S SELF-ORGANIZE OURSELVES AT ALL LEVELS!
Like in France, let's break isolation between sectors and categories!
Let's block factories, offices, schools, etc.
Let's organize strike pickets and flying pickets!
AGAINST EXPLOITATION, LET'S BLOCK THE ECONOMY!
LET'S PREVENT THE RETURN TO NORMALITY BY ALL MEANS!
WHE ARE ONE CLASS, ONE MOVEMENT!
LET'S BE ALL!
11-11-2010 23:32EXCLUSIVE - Dramatic footage of the moment the Greek ship's captain went berserk will soon be available from documentary film maker, Josh Barnes, currently still at Derna Port in Libya with Road to Hope, Convoy to Gaza. To request footage, contact Josh at email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
11-11-2010 22:36Anti Nuclear Lecture Event in Thornbury , Bristol,UK
11-11-2010 22:08During yesterday’s protest against cuts to education crowds stormed Tory headquarters. Windows where smashed and offices destroyed. As a result we can witness the capitalist system bend and buckle in its attempts to dismiss these acts of anger as illegitimate.
Amongst the 1,000s that played some role in the invasion of Millbank Tower, were workers and students from all areas of society. We condemn both the media claim that a small group of anarchist antagonists where responsible (juxtaposed by their own images showing thousands rallying around the building) as well as the notion that the students involved are part of a privileged class. The idea that working class youth are some how exempt from the desire for education is both naive and patronising.
11-11-2010 19:28The Lib Dem's went into the last election on a ticket that they opposed any increase in student fees, which, as is now widely known, they have done a u-turn on in the new Con-Dem coalition.
That's what they say. So, why was their main thinktank - funded and chaired by hedge fund speculator and founder of the ARK academy network Paul Marshall - arguing for an increase in student fees as far back as March 2006? Marshall is a special advisor to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. The chameleon-like nature of the Lib-Dems and what they supposedly stand for not only rings even more hollow but is further exposed as being as slippery as the lizard skin of their wealthy benefactors.