Sham Politics – Islington Protest

February 19, 2011

It was called sham politics by councillors the night the people of Islington were forcibly removed from the gallery for exercising their right to protest. Police ejected around 60 demonstrators from the public chamber at Islington Town Hall on Thursday, February 17th after councillors abandoned a meeting to approve a 52 million pound spending cuts package amid a barrage of verbal abuse. Protesters shouted at ruling Labour councillors as they prepared to vote through reductions in services – including counselling for rape victims and teenagers leaving care, day centre provision for the elderly, and support for foster parents.

Union members furious over up to 700 job losses bitterly accused council leader Catherine West of betrayal as she began to make her case for implementing the cuts at the same time as blaming the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition for forcing her to do so. Some demonstrators called on the council to pass a no cuts budget even if it meant the Coalition stepping in to take over the borough – in the belief that popular protest would then help topple the Government.

Mayor Mouna Hamitouche adjourned the meeting as noise from the protesters reached crescendo and, after conferring with senior councillors, chief executive John Foster called for the police to clear the gallery. Around 30 police arrived and demonstrators who refused to leave were forcibly ejected – while the councillors retired to a committee room to resume their meeting and pass the cuts package. Council leader Catherine West defended her decision saying she that while she regretted the cuts, she was doing her utmost to defend local services with the councillors’ local knowledge – and had prevented the Coalition stepping in to make cuts without proper regard to local need.

Four Lib Dem councillors walked out in shock and disgust at what happened, stating the people were exercising their legitimate right to protest and they would not take part in a voting process that was open to the public but which was kept closed to the public, stating it was undemocratic. Shirley Franklin, joint chair of Islington Hands Off Our Public Services (IHOOPS) lambasted Cllr West for claiming to be anti-cuts while implementing them and calling in “heavy handed” police to help her do the job.


Jobs To Be Relocated From the Office Of The Public Guardian

February 4, 2011

Recently, the Chief Executive has announced that 177 jobs in the Office of the Public Guardian are due to be relocated to the Axis building in Birmingham. Unfortunately, staff will have little option as they will either accept relocation or face compulsory redundancy of which is very likely during this Comprehensive Spending Review.

Yet, this policy is hardly a cost saving exercise. Already, a minimum of 22 million will be squandered on relocation costs and there are plans to increase the fees of our mentally incapacitated clients in order to meet any spiralling debts. Only mere superficial consultation was made with the local PCS Union and none of us were informed of these costs as well as options for other sites such as Croydon. As a result, PCS is now in a dispute and the matter has been taken forward to ACAS.

Our local MP, Jeremy Corbyn, has introduced an Early Day Motion, asking for the government to relocate our staff to the Royal Courts of Justice. Such a move would be a cost saving measure. It would end the payment for the leasehold in Archway Tower and reduce energy costs to the environment, especially in relation to telephony expenses unlike the site in Birmingham. No doubt, this situation is worrying as many of our mentally incapacitated clients in London will have a devalued service with the use of inefficient call centres in the Midlands. Your support would be greatly appreciated.


Why We’re Marching Tomorrow

February 4, 2011

People Power.

It was February last year Islington held a colourful and wonderful march in Holloway Road to the islingtons much loved hospital the Whittington. This was organised by a collective which was a broad alliance of People coming together under the name of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition.This was organised to save the A&E and maternity Departments from Closing which would have seen the fate of the future of the hospital..Islington folk some of them who felt strong about their local hospital, some of whom never marched before,came out on the demonstration, some 5,000 strong in a strength of People Power.

Vultures waiting on the Birch

We are marching Tomorrow to protest against this Governments ideological driven attempt to destroy our Public services, NHS and welfare State..They have just announced 250 nursing jobs on Barts to be made redundant………such is the Nerve of this Con Dem Government,who will cutback on secure jobs and essential services, while the Tories allies in corporate multi national companies, will be like vultures sitting on the birch waiting to cherry pick in a bonanza of privatisation. WE ARE HAVING NONE OF IT

Ragged Trousered & Angry

100 years ago this week , Robert Tressell died in Liverpool infirmary from TB..(a disease which was prominent amongst the poor), some years earlier who wrote his semi biographical book, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists . The title of which was a twist on the Philanthropists that were prominent before the foundation of the welfare Stat in 1945.The book tells a tale of Builders who renovate a Grand House….some of the workers accept their plight in life, as they new their station in life, and were to challenge,or improve their education was “not for the likes of us…..In the book we see the workers families,one mother going starving in order to feed her children..The book for me explains clearly why it is necessary that we have the very existence of public services, a NHS and a welfare state. Our Community, Our Society Not ThiersWe are at a watershed now…..

Do we want a Government to slice up everything that we have achieved as a society since the end of the second world war.Do we want to live in an existence, where we are isolated, individualistic,competing for lower wages and conditions,in a cost cutting agenda of essential services in housing health education (just to name a few)Or do we want to live in a collective society, with Pride and Dignity and the respct with which all Pele deserve. These are the questions we should be raising to people who are unsure. Democracy is not just about putting an X in a booth every 5 years, its about are involvement, in our community,workplace and environment…That’s why we are marching in Islington Tommorow….. Come and join us Tomorrow , Join together, Protest against these Unnecassary cuts which the Tories (and lets be blunt it is a Tory Government )with unfinished business from the Thatcher years…..

Come and join us , like at the website for further information http://www.ihoops.org.uk