Showing posts from July, 2016

A Life Well Lived!

My Uncle Pat didn't last too long after his 100th birthday which came as no great surprise because his 'batteries' were pretty run down towards the end.  He is being laid to rest today following a service at St. Catherine’s Church in West Drayton (London) which I can't attend due to other commitments, but I plan to mark his passing in my own private way. Pat never lost his sense of Scottishness even though the spent the rest of his life in England after the Second World War; he was a charming, hugely interesting and very generous person like so many of his generation. I loved this pamphlet which was on display at Pat's 100th birthday party in March - A Soldier's Guide to Rome - having been  issued to the allied troops who helped liberate Italy from the fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.  A Life Well Lived! (22/03/16) I was in London last week for a remarkable event - a celebration of the life and times of my Uncle Pat who turned 100 y

North Lanarkshire Update

I still receive emails on a daily basis asking for information and an update on North Lanarkshire Council's job evaluation (JE) review. The current position is that Action 4 Equality Scotland has asked North Lanarkshire Council to explain exactly how the backpay element of the JE review impacts on all A4ES clients.  Once this information is to hand A4ES will be able to check the figures and will write to clients on an individual basis, but the current delay is down to North Lanarkshire Council.   The workforce is understandably fed up at this state of affairs which is why so many people have been writing to the NLC chief executive, Paul Jukes, urging the Council (politely, of course) to 'get its finger out'.  After all, the JE review should have been completed   before the end of December 2015 whereas, in reality, it's still very much a work in progress. The chief executive's email address is:    North Lanarkshire C

PlaySchool Labour

    I suggested last year that electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party made about as much sense as appointing the school caretaker (janitor) as its new head teacher. Not a bad analogy, as things have turned out, and although the appointments system has been broadened out, under new Labour Party rules, the result in some ways is akin to giving school pupils (party members) the same voice about who gets the top job as their teachers (Labour MPs). Now that's a good thing you might say since a political party is not a  school and  more direct democracy has to be welcomed, generally speaking, except that  other 'outside' interests also have a big say  in who should become Labour leader, such as trade union bosses like Len McCluskey and 'registered' Labour supporters. Meanwhile, going  back  to the school analogy, the parents (Labour voters) and the wider community (the electorate) are forced to sit on the sidelines while this unedifying drama is being

Johnson on Jeremy

Credit: PA Images Alan Johnson wrote a scathing letter about the behaviour of the Labour leader's office drying the EU referendum which explains d his reasons for backing the recent vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn. “The lukewarm approach by Jeremy was bad enough but there is no doubt in my mind that at least three of his closest associates in the leader's office were actively undermining the party's efforts. “They wanted Leave to succeed and at best Jeremy could not control them; at worst he was sympathetic to their views “Either way his performance in the campaign was risible and a taster for what to expect in a general election. “The fact that he refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever adds insult to injury.” Mr Johnson also warned that Labour would suffer third consecutive election defeat if Corbyn stayed as leader. "We in the Parliamentary Party have observed at first hand his woeful performances in the Commons, his inability to tak

TUs Need New Gene Pool (10/06/16)

David Aaronovitch wrote an interesting article for The Times the other day (behind the paywall) in which he argued that its fine for people in leadership positions within membership organisations to hold views which are at variance (to the left or right) of the people whom you are paid to represent. So long as you don't push your views too far, or pretend that you are speaking for all of the members, especially when it comes to controversial issues. Now that makes perfect sense to me and it was my own personal experience as well for many years, throughout my trade union career, from my days as a NUPE shop steward in the NHS to my role as Unison's Head of Local Government in Scotland. But in Scotland the unrepresentative nature of trade unions is becoming a bad joke, stuffed to the rafters as it is with Labour Party hacks at every level, many of whom have been in the same or similar positions for years. The Labour Party is now supported by around 1 in 5 Scottish voter

Unrepresentative Unions

Unrepresentative Unions (07/05/16) Len McCluskey has every right to support the Labour Party, but the Unite boss is deluded if he thinks he's speaking for the wider union membership when he says that "The Labour Party is our party".     Because in Scotland the standing of the Labour Party is at an all time low of around 20 to 25% and the truth is that far many more Unite members in Scotland support the SNP and parties other than Labour. So Len should would do us all a favour by abandoning the bogus claim that Unite is a 'representative' organisation, because on the question of political affiliation in Scotland such a claim is self-evidently untrue.    Labour was 'built to serve us', Unite boss Len McCluskey says Len McCluskey, the Unite boss, says that Ed Miliband's flagship manifesto commitments are 'our policies' Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the union Unite Photo: PA By  Steven Swinford  - The Telegraph Len McCluskey,