Pension changes will leave university staff £240k worse off – study | Education | The Guardian

University staff will be more than £200,000 worse off under new pension arrangements as a result of rising contributions and reduced benefits, according to analysis for the University and College Union.

On the eve of a new ballot over strike action at British universities, the UCU published research claiming that a typical member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) would pay £40,000 more into their pension but receive almost £200,000 less in retirement as a result of changes introduced since 2011.

The strike ballot is due to open on 9 September at 69 universities with UCU members in the pension scheme and will run until the end of October. Last year more than 40,000 staff took part in sustained and unprecedented strike action over their pensions that brought campuses to a standstill.


Source: Pension changes will leave university staff £240k worse off – study | Education | The Guardian

Tory MP to introduce anti-strike Bill in commons : Telegraph.

What is the real motive behind this bill, is it for supporting the rights of customers or to drive another stake into the trade union movement and thereby diminish workers rights.

We all do have rights, but in many instances by respecting the rights of one you may be diminishing the rights of others.

Employers do have a great deal of power over their employees and the trade unions were created by the workers themselves to rectify this to bring more equalisation.

Some, as could be said of Tory MP Chris Philp, that the balance as gone too far one way, but then this depends on which side or sides you pro port to be on.

Robert Halfon v Jeremy Corbyn: The battle for the working class vote | David Hencke


Jeremy Corbyn’s success in attracting tens of thousands of new Labour supporters was given a rare  accolade this week at the Conservative Party Conference.

Robert Halfon, Tory MP for Harlow and the skills minister, told a Conservative  Party fringe meeting  organised by Respublica how the Labour leader had attracted these people because they saw him representing  their ” moral and ethical ” values and being fair minded rather than representing ” the privileged few”.

No doubt this would lead to a furious denial  from the Labour

Source: Robert Halfon v Jeremy Corbyn: The battle for the working class vote | David Hencke

Workers’ rights must not be bartered away in Brexit negotiations | Frances O’Grady and Keir Starmer | Opinion | The Guardian

Trade unions EU referendum European Union Work & careers

Source: Workers’ rights must not be bartered away in Brexit negotiations | Frances O’Grady and Keir Starmer | Opinion | The Guardian

The Break-Up of American Zionism and the Anti-Semitism Allegations

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I’m aware that I’m in serious risk of doing this subject to death, but this needs to be said. I’ve put up several blogs featuring the videos of talks and interviews given by Israeli and American Jewish activists and historians – Ilan Pappe, Elizabeth Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein, laying bare the terrible history of Israel’s persecution and systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is because of the smears against leading figures in the Labour party that they are anti-Semites, when they are nothing of the sort, and demonstrably nothing of the sort. Ken Leninspart, when he was leader of the GLC, was notorious and reviled for his anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia stance. And if you want to read what he has to say about anti-Semitism, it’s written down in his book, Livingstone’s Labour. He decries it as one of the worst forms of…

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Tory Anti-Immigrant Cartoon from 1906

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I was finally able to track down a history textbook containing a Tory anti-immigration cartoon aimed at the working class for the 1906 election. It’s reproduced in Martin Pugh, The Making of Modern British Politics 1867-1939 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1982) p. 84. Here it is:

Tory anti-Immigrant Cartoon

As you can see, it’s set in a factory, Schmidt & Co, Clothing & Boot Manufacturers, and shows a stout, upright British workman being shown the door by his fat foreign employer, while coming in the back way is a dishevelled foreigner, whose bags are marked ‘To England’, and ‘Steerage to England’.

The caption reads:

THE ALIEN EMPLOYER (to British workman): You can go now: Mine friend, who has just arrived, will do your work for half your wages.

The caption also notes that it came from the 1906 Tory protectionist pamphlet, Topical Tips for Typical Tykes.

I’ve discussed this cartoon before, when one…

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The War and Socialist Demands for a National Health Service before the Beveridge Report

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This is following a debate I’ve recently had with a critic, who stated that the National Health Service had its origins in the Beveridge Report of 1942, and was endorsed by Winston Churchill and the Conservatives. This is true, up to a point, though Churchill was initially very cautious about the foundation of a National Health Service. After the War he made a radio speech denouncing the Labour party’s plans for a complete reconstruction of Britain as ‘a Gestapo for England’. However, Michael Sullivan in his book, The Development of the British Welfare State (Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf 1996) also points out that before the publication of the Beveridge, there had been a long process of negotiation and demand for some kind of comprehensive, free healthcare for working people, and that this had become official Labour party policy in the 1934. He writes

Discussions about the reform of British…

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Thom Hartmann: Why Don’t the Media Ask Trump about his Mob Connections?

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Another video, but one with an interesting angle on why Trump is totally unsuited to be President of the US. In this piece, the American radio host Thom Hartmann reads out a list of questions drawn up by an American historian on the apparent links between Trump and the Mafia. Like Trump Tower isn’t a conventional concrete structure built around a steel skeleton, but purely cement. The firm that supplied the cement was owned by two of the leading American gangster families. Trump has also used mob firms in his construction projects, often paying them much more for their services than the standard amount charged by other, clean firms.

One of the most suspicious episodes in Trump’s career as a real estate developer came with a construction project in New York. This was supposed to be a union-run site, but there were only ten union men on the workforce. The…

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An encouraging outlook for the UK

UK showing signs of a recovery

Jobs outlook encouraging

From the above articles it would appear that the UK may be on the road to recovery and if so, it is extremely welcome.  After the successes of the 2012 Olympics and Para-Olympics this will indeed be good news after many months of doom and gloom.

What we do not want is the Trade Unions to take industrial action this will only act as a hindrance to the UK recovery and at worse could halt or reverse the steps to further recovery.

Even worse is the teachers threatening industrial action being their way to  show their discontent over pay and pensions. As I have have previously stated in my post ‘Teachers’, even taking into account the proposed changes to their pensions, these pensions will still be very good and way far better than anyone in the private sector could receive.

Any major action taken by the Trade Unions can only have a detrimental effect on the economy of the UK and with the proposed actions of the teachers, will reduce the jobs prospects of our future generation,  With children already leaving school with a poor standard of English, this proposed action by teachers will not improve the situation.

I can only hope that the Trade Unions and the teachers, stop to think before taking action, in what will amount to action of a political nature, where the root reason is to bring down the Government and not to benefit their members.