Thursday, 21 July 2011


Hello everyone. I'll helping to make placards for Saturday's demo to save Bombardier.

Any suggestions for slogans?

So far I'm a bit stuck. Best I've got so far is

'ConDems - off the rails'

and the rather more prosaic

'Save Bombardier workers'

I'm sure you can do better - help me, intertubez!

H/T to Tony Burke for the flyer - my scanner's buggered at the moment...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bombardier: La Lutte Commence (ou possiblement, Continue)

I've just come from an open organising meeting called by the RMT to kick off the campaign to save 1500 jobs at Bombardier (and thousands more support jobs) in the wake of the decision not to award the company the Thameslink contract.

There was an amazing display of solidarity tonight. As well as speakers from RMT, GMB, and TSSA, MP Chris Williamson was there, who has been circulating a petition that in less than two weeks has got more than 34,000 signatures.

In addition, there were statements of support from the city's Trades Council, Unison, NUT, climate change activists, LMHR and workers from Birmingham. There was also mention of unusual cross-spectrum support, which even extends as far as the *shudder* Di'ly Sexpress.

The main thrust of this post is the stuff you can do to help. Here's a list:
  • Sign Chris's petition - it's paper, and the deadline is this weekend so turn up to the Carribean carnival on Saturday where there will be a stall for you to put your name to it.
  • Go to the Right to Work meeting on Tuesday - at The Quad in the Market Place, 7 pm. This is a broad front meeting with speakers from Right to Work, Labour, SWP, the Green Party, the Indian Workers Asociation, Climate Change and trade unionists. This meeting is to help build public support for the Bombardier workers, all are welcome.
  • Sign Unite's petition here.
  • Lobby your MP. The Bombardier issue has received unusual levels of cross-party support, even within the Con-Dems, so tell them you want the decision to give Siemens Preferred Bidder Status revoked NOW, before any final decisions are made.
  • Go to the rally on the 23rd. This rally is sponsored by all four unions at Bombardier - Unite, TSSA, GMB and RMT. Meet on Saturday 23rd at Bass Recreation Ground, 10.00.
  • Lobby the Con-Dems during conference season. Info on the Right to Work campaigns on that here.
  • Any other suggestions welcome - just put them in the comments.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How Not to Get a Good Night's Sleep

I was about to go to bed when I thought I'd check up on Lenin. It turns out he's had an article in today's Graun about the Murdoch implosion, which obviously I'm finding satisfying on a number of levels. Specifically he was commenting on Ed 'Twat' Miliband's decision to stick the boot in now the beast is wounded*.

Point is, much though I enjoy Richard's writing, CiF becomes an even worse bearpit than usual under his articles. A brief survey of the comments suggests at least 3 sub-species of Trollus Cryptofascistus.
  • The 'cynic'. This is a common troll endemic to CiF threads. Cynics usually acknowledge that something is not good but then proceed to offer up whatever banal platitudes they use to ensure they don't actually have to do anything about it and lets them drown out the little squeals of guilt that occasionally erupt from the dustier layers of their reptilian hindbrains. These trolls' comments usually have the effect of siding with the aggressor against the victim - ach, you see it every day in the playground, bless them. Typical examples include iamaliberal:
Labour - the party with the bravery to kick someone when they are already down.

  • The 'clearly a hack'. Typical examples include Ilohan:

Whilst the media, liberal commenators, Ed Miliband etc get in a hysterical tizzy about events that happened years ago and are, in any case, a side effect of having a free press....1000s of people are losing their jobs in Derby cos we have no meaningful industrial policy**...

But some dodgy phone tapping is a national crisis...

I don't know...but have we al lost our minds?

  • The 'Sir Thickington Thickalot'. These are generally just your examples of either pig-ignorance or outright barefaced lying. Possibly a witches' brew of both. Examples include flatpackhamster:
Did you know that Richard Seymour, the author of this article, is an active member of the Socialist Worker's Party? Did you know that his party campaigns for totalitarian rule and glorifies the Soviet era?

The last ones do at least have comedy value. However, it brings out the worst in me.

* For the record, it's great that he is sticking the boot in, long may it continue. However little confidence I have that it will, should Murdoch manage to pull something out of the bag to stop the rot and begin reinflating his rancid bladder of a media empire. Maybe he could do something about his unfortunate tattoo whilst he's at it.

**PS - it's not because 'we have no meaningful industrial policy' - at least, not in the sense I suspect Ilohan means. It is, as ever, because of the way capitalism runs industry. And if you want to stop the job losses, there's a public meeting next Tuesday.

UPDATE: Having grabbed a few hours sleep, I've come to the conclusion that in fact this is a pretty normal CiF crowd. And in some ways, isn't that the biggest disappointment of them all, eh?

Thursday, 7 July 2011

In Praise of Chris Bryant

Chris Bryant is coming dangerously close to restoring my faith in elected representatives. Yesterday there was this, and today there was this!

Come the revolution, I for one will aim to miss. His criticisms are so reasoned and substantive that I feel a bit guilty about the following snark aimed at the periphery of his statements.

Here it is: Astonishing - first he works out that the PCC is a fig leaf, then he spots that Burley's 'a bit dim'.

Hmm, you know, reading that back, I feel that I've irrevocably lost any claim to the moral high ground ever.

There is still going to be a Marxism post. Honest.

UPDATE: Of course, nobody's perfect