Thursday, 30 June 2011


First off, sorry this is late. The strike kept me pretty busy all day, then I was off to Marxism 2011 straight after work on Friday (of which more later). Anyway, this is more of a diary entry than an attempt to analyse, but I hope I capture something of why I think it was a welcome and positive development.

We got some good coverage today -here's Radio Derby (about 46:00 in - listen for the vile Tory MP proud to be scabbing, but the best bit starts at about 2hrs 20 and there's a great piece from Sue, who teaches at a local PRU, closer to 2hrs 30).

Here's how the paper went with it:

Workers were told at a rally in Derby's Market Place that more strikes would follow if the Government did not back down on its plans to raise the pension age for public workers to 68 and increase ontributions.

Keith Venables, Derby National Union of Teachers president, said: "Strikes after the summer holiday could lead to an autumn of discontent."

In yesterday's action, members of the National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and the Universities and Colleges Union joined those in the Public and Commercial Services union for the one-day strike .

With other unions preparing to ballot members, including Unison and the National Association of Head Teachers, leaders are confident the percentage of schools shut or partially closed next time could be nearer 100%.

Which is pretty positive, really. There's some photos here.

All in all, I think this was a good turnout and we have good reason to hope for a wider strike in the autumn. I also think that a healthy proportion of people are not buying the government line on the strikes despite the blanket media coverage and the spinelessness of the Labour leadership. Of course, the key thing is to broaden it out now.

Finally, despite NUT and ATL not being a majority of staff members in our school, it was largely shut down on the day, so from a personal perspective there was the added benefit of having an actual effect.


Off to a strike meeting in a minute, but this tickled me:

'Is US TV too leftwing?'

And as an example of leftwing, the Graun's put up a picture of The West Wing. I shit you not.

Dear America,
Thank you for reminding me how comparitively unfucked our political discourse still is and how vitally important it is that, to paraphrase Lenin, you be removed from your position and replaced with something which differs in all other respects from you.

Yours etc

The Proletarian Tide
(dictated but not read)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Might find this handy

I know I'll find a use for it...
I think it came from these guys - cheers!

I Don't Think Much of Ed Milliband's New Tattoo

Sometimes I can't help but think these kind of things are a mistake. I mean, once it's done, it's permanent. It's the sort of thing that can make you squirm with embarrassment for years if you don't get it done right.

On a related note:

Oh good. I'd hate to think that the leader of the Labour Party would back us, the people who routinely vote for his party, at a time when our livelihoods are under attack by some of the most reactionary hacks ever to disgrace the title of Minister of State. No, Ed, you tell us that it's our fault. Why oh why don't we use our incredible presence in the national media to make our case to the public before we take action to defend ourselves? Shouldn't take much longer than the rest of this century, after all.

And that's before you get to the bollocks about 'opening the Labour Party up' - no, you arse. The Labour Party was founded to defend the working class against the depredations of the capitalist class. It's not MEANT to be for everyone. It's to help the majority organise to defend against the powerful minority in society. It's not going to be able to do that if every branch has to listen to what the local Alan bloody Sugar thinks about every damned thing.

Still, I think the tattoo is the biggest mistake.

UPDATE: Anyways, I've got yer 'case for strike action' right here...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Guardian in 'headline that literally cannot be true' oddness

I mean, if you think about it for a second,

'World's oldest person dies aged 114'

can't actually be possible, can it?

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

One out, all out

So the results are in and barring major government climb downs, we will be on strike on the 30th June.

I thought it was just worth reiterating the reasons why we'll be out.

  1. We are being asked to work longer, pay more and get less. I won't be able to retire until I reach 68, I will have to pay at least an extra £100 out of my pension every month, and I'll receive a minimum of £168,000 less when I do retire.

  2. There is no crisis in the pension fund. It is self-sustaining and there is no shortfall.

  3. The proposed move from a final salary to average salary will hurt many teachers but particularly women - if you take time off to have children, your pension will suffer as a result.

  4. Our pension money is being used for the purposes of deficit reduction. Workers are being asked to pay for this crisis. I feel like a stuck record at this point, but this crisis was not of our making. This deficit was not of our making. This was a crisis created entirely by the capitalist class and this is an attempt to make the rest of us pay. To borrow a slogan that tells us more than the ConDems are comfortable with, We Won't Pay for Their Crisis.

  5. As a corollary to that, do not forget: this is class war. The tories are using the deficit as cover to hit our communities and hit them hard. This is a concerted bid to destroy the public sphere in whatever ways they can. The attacks on the NHS, the academies acceleration and the universities show us this. Do not be deceived: they are attacking us and if we do not resist now, our ability to withstand attacks in future will be weakened too. This is capitalism: continual class war, waged by the haves against the have nots and the have lesses. Only a fight back can halt their advances. Only socialism can end the war.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Unanswered Questions of Some Importance

I didn't get to watch AWOBMOLG live this week so I didn't liveblog it. Might well post a review when I've got a bit more time though. However, never mind all that now because Who finished last week and I have Some Questions.

Here we go...

  1. What is the Myth Corporation?

  2. Why aren't there any ducks in the pond?

  3. Is Melody really River?

  4. Is the girl in the suit Melody?

  5. Who shot the Doctor?

  6. Who do the Silent work for?

  7. What's the point of the Headless Monks?

  8. What does 'Silence will fall' actually mean?

  9. Just who is fighting this 'eternal war'?

  10. How are the Cybermen involved?

  11. Didn't the Doctor go back to see young Amy at the end of the Eleventh Hour? What happened there then?

  12. Why doesn't Amy remember the Daleks?

  13. Why did the TARDIS explode in the first place?

  14. Where can I get the exciting dum-dum-dum dum-dum-de-dum incidental music?

Other stuff may come up in time.