Friday, 4 September 2020

Look Who's Talking!

 Action 4 Equality Scotland: Aslef of Arabia

ASLEF, the train drivers union has stepped into the row over Richard Leonard's leadership of Scottish Labour after several of his own MSPs called on him to resign.

ASLEF immediately leapt to Richard's defence denouncing the move as an undemocratic 'palace putsch' - see statement below.

Yet back in 2015 ASLEF did the self-same thing when they called on the then Labour leader, Jim Murphy, to stand down.

I know this because I wrote about ASLEF's behaviour at the time - see blog post below dated 15 May 2015. 

Statement on Richard Leonard

03 September 2020

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has today issued a statement in support of Richard Leonard, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, after an attempted palace putsch by disaffected Blairites.

Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser in Scotland, said: ‘We backed Richard Leonard when he stood for the Labour leadership in Scotland in 2017 and we back Richard today.

‘I have known Richard for many years, as a labour movement activist, trade union organiser, MSP, and now, for the last three years, as leader of our party in this country. He is a man of great integrity, and high ideals, who is steeped in both the Labour Party and the labour movement.

‘He has a difficult job on his hands here, as we all know, but it is a job he is doing extremely well. And it is a job not helped by the whingers and the moaners who snipe from the sidelines instead of trying to help rebuild the party on behalf of the people of Scotland. James Kelly, who has resigned, was Jim Murphy’s campaign manager, never wanted Richard as leader, and has done everything in his power to undermine him.

‘They are trying to topple Richard ahead of the Scottish executive committee, which meets a week on Saturday. They want him out of the way before the list selection for the election is drawn up. It’s a pretty shabby – and entirely self-interested – thing to do. Not for the party, or the people, but for a few old Blairites trying to get their way. 

‘That is why we are today calling for the bampots and the naysayers to shut up and let Richard do what he was elected to do – rebuild Labour ready for the elections at Holyrood next year so we can build a Scotland that works for everyone.’

  

Aslef of Arabia (15/05/15)

Image result for aslef + images

Aslef is one of my least favourite trade unions, a highly unrepresentative body if you ask me, but one that is always on hand to dish out helpful advice to others including, for example, its recent call for the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy to resign.

Now I'm pretty relaxed about whether Jim Murphy stays or goes, but what this has to do with the train drivers union is completely beyond me, as well as most ordinary Aslef members, I suspect.

Maybe they should just leave things up to Labour Party members to decide instead of 'gobby' union bosses sticking their oar in where it doesn't belong. 

'Aslef of Arabia' (29/12/13)













A number of readers have been in touch to ask where the 'We the Women'  picture came from - to accompany the post about women drivers - dated 26 December 2011.

Well  it comes from people campaigning in Saudi Arabia against the ban on women driving cars and other motor vehicles - public or private.

According to the Saudi authorities it's against Islamic teaching that women should drive cars - never mind trains - it's against the law of the land.

Any women caught doing so by the religious police are liable to be punished severely.

But all hope is not lost - because people are fighting back with courage, wit and humour.

By arguing that it's ridiculous and even anti-Islamic to suggest that God somehow proclaimed that women can't drive.

'We the Women' is their campaign slogan.

And the campaigners think of all kinds of ways to illustrate how crazy it is - to ordain that women can use washing machines or mobile phone or computers - but not cars (or trains for that matter).

Some women have taken to dressing up in male clothes and wearing false moustaches to ridicule the authorities, but as the law stand women still need a man to drive them around.

Apparently a father, brother, son or just about any old male relative will do which seems quite bizarre. 

Now to look at the statistics on the number of women train drivers in this country - or the number of women members in Aslef - you'd be forgiven for thinking that God had made a similar proclamation in the UK.

But thankfully no one believes that kind of nonsense in this country.

So maybe 'We the Women' will catch on in the UK - maybe even deep in the bowels of the still male dominated parts of the UK trade union movement. 

I for one hope so, anyway.