Saturday, September 22, 2007

Date with destiny

I wasn't so much surprised that Fianna Fail are going to organise in the North of Ireland, so much as shocked that it was announced with the context of the suggestion that the SDLP might merge with them.

Of course, all this seems clever. The SDLP have been sidelined by Sinn Fein (after all, the main difference was the question of the armed struggle), and so seem sort ofdoomed in the North. Sinn Fein seem to have been unable to break into the south, but if Fianna Fail comes North, hoovers up the SDLP's votes - it can actually offer the genuine prospect of a united Ireland by being the dominant party both sides of the border - Sinn Fein could be driven back to their council estate fastnesses.

Of course, the SDLP is a Socialist international affiliate, whereas Fianna Fail isa centre right populistparty, but it is the echte natioinalist movement, the original Sinn Fein, the uber republicans. Such is the poison of nationalism.

of course, I reckon such a move would actually split the SDLP, but really, if a left rump refused to go, they'd get hovered up by Sinn Fein. Mark Durkan as president of the replublic? What a prize, and within the gift of the formidable Fianna Fail.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Everybody out...

OK, UNISON's industrial action committee has backed a ballot of local government staff over strike action against the government imposed paycuts (news via Marsha Jane).

Obviously, this, after the POA strike, is clearly a strike that effects everyone - not just public sector workers, but all workers because of the massive effect that government spending has on the jobs market.

It seems clear, that paycuts are not acceptable without some sort of fight, ever - we need desperately to make that clear to the government and all employers - not a penny from the pay.

That the PCS are looking to ballot for the same day is good news, and as Marsha and others are saying, if the teachers could be brought out, we'd be close to a general strike magnitude event.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Say it loud, say it proud...

Victory to the RMT!

So, the maintenance crews for the former Metronet (the failed PPP company) are striking to get guarantees over pension and job security rights (see press release here). Strategically, this is directly in their members' interests.

Politically, it is in all our inetrests - the whole point of PFI is to fragment workers and evade national bargaining frameworks. If the message gets out that there isn't a simple, cheap transition method of taking over contracts without workers causing mayhem and all sorts of trouble, this will make investors think twice before joining in.

Also, we need to fight the idea that there can be any diminution of workers' standards as a result of the largely fictitious front PPP companies going arse voer tit.

So, when friends, colleagues and strangers on the street start complaining about the strike, explain, it benefits us all.

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