In this Issue: The Struggle for Anonymity, Post Office Closures, Nick Clegg, Homelessness, Religious Nutters and Temping Agencies.
Due to the ID card database being widely opposed the government are trying to introduce it in stages. The first victims to have their personal and biometric information added to the new national identity register have been non-EU nationals. Sheffield hosts one of the five public enquiry offices in the country where the information is collected for the database and the ID cards issued. On 1st December twenty activists from Sheffield and Bradford staged a direct action protest outside the Sheffield office as part of nation wide activity, locking themselves to the doors of the building and preventing the immigration service from issuing cards. Eleven activists were arrested but no one was charged. One of the arrested activists later said: "We have no choice but to use civil disobedience in order to fight against an ever increasing surveillance state. The government wants to remove our anonymity and keep a tighter check on people and they won't listen unless we make them." This demonstration will likely be the first of many against the register - a store of peoples DNA and personal information - with many individuals claiming they are prepared to break the law to stop its existence: "We have to build a large and confrontational movement of opposition against the database. If we don't stop this Orwellian surveillance we're giving ourselves up to the states excesses, and then what?"
THANKS FOR NOTHING!
Following a lengthy period of consultation with the public, on November 3rd Post Office Limited have decided to push on with their controversial decision to close 15 Sheffield post offices. This includes post offices in Silverhill, Commonside,Loxley, Wincobank, The Moor, Shalesmoor and Crookes. All 15 affected post offices will shut from mid-November onwards.
This is due to these offices not meeting Post Office Limited's "national criteria" for what makes an eligible post office during the wide-ranging post office closures initiated by the government, keeping these offices open would apparently affect the "viability" of other offices. This is unacceptable. The postal service is first and foremost a public institution which should be for the benefits of local residents and workers, NOT for profiteering. Closing post offices means depriving local residents of what is both an important service and a community centre.
The fact that local residents, especially elderly and disabled members of the population will now have to travel much further distances to use a service people should be able to take for granted is unacceptable. Offices such as Commonside which serve a huge local and student population closing leave people with little option but to go into the city centre for what should be a simple local errand.
This episode shows the disregard both Post Office Limited and the national government have for local communities when presented with the option of making a quick profit.
IS NC THE NEXT JC?
Atheists will be troubled by local developments in the Liberal Democrat party. Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam and leader of the Lib Dem's, has been displaying some worringly messianic qualities. A self-described “maverick” and “rebel” Clegg has been baying at establishment squares since his rise to leadership of the party. In the face of the recent economic crisis, for example, Nick wrote a “strongly worded” letter to Gordon Brown in which he insisted that banks should only be able to repossess family homes “as an absolute last resort”. You tell em Nick! If I am having all my worldly possessions stripped from under my nose because city bankers have been gambling with my savings I will take great comfort in the fact that they have really taken the time to reflect on the decision before I say goodbye to the kitchen sink. Like Jesus casting the money lenders out of the temple, Nick Clegg insists on responsible bank remuneration procedures. But Nick Clegg is not only the champion of working people. He also spreads his love amongst the meek and poor of this earth. October saw Cleggy taking to the streets on a walking tour of “rough sleepers” in Sheffield. What great comfort these people must have taken to a wake-up call from this grinning ponce followed by a swift “relocation” by South Yorkshire coppers in tow. Is there no limit to the powers of the man! We only hold hope here at the Fargate Speaker that Clegg goes whole hog with his JC imitation act and opts for a similar demise. If he fancies cutting to the chase I am sure we have a spare 2 by 4 and some nails kicking around the office ...
All of us have observed there's such thing as recruitment agencies on the labour market. If we take
a closer look at it, it doesn't look as good as it seems to be. The first thing is you don't get a full time contract which means you cannot say "i've got a job".
At the begining you're told to wait for a phone call. When you finally get it (30 min before you have to get to the agency) you go to the "desired" workplace and you are treated as a "worse one" cuz you are only temporary/agency staff. If you wanna go for a holiday – no problem, but don't expect the work place to wait for you back unless you've been there for long time. If the factory you work needs to just get rid of some staff or you get late all you hear is "you're a very good worker but there's no more job at the stand you've been held" (in fact the next casual worker arrives to hold it). The agency calls you – they don't even say it to you themselves. If you're very lucky you get a contract after some time. Overall – don't expect it to be easy and quick way to get a job.
and much more inside ...
Letters to Fargate
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