Monday, March 29, 2010

Islington Labour - who say's there's no such thing as a free lunch?

I have just had the honour of speaking at the launch of Islington's workforce manifesto - the agreement between the Council trade unions and the Labour Group who should - all being well - be running the Council after May 6th.

For the attention of regular reader - and commentator - S Blogger, I hasten to add that I spoke, and am blogging, in my own time following a busy day sorting out casework in my Unison Branch Office (in anticipation of assuming sole responsibility for the first time in four years later this week).

Islington's Labour-Union agreement follows their experience of having been one of two London boroughs to have such agreements four years ago. It includes support for direct provision of public services and for comprehensive education, to both of which I drew attention in my brief contribution.

Support for the comprehensive ideal matters very much to me, both as a product of an excellent comprehensive education myself and as a child of a Grammar School girl who saw her siblings sent to Secondary Moderns.

Islington Labour also deserve full credit for driving through - even from opposition - free school meals for primary schoolchildren.

As Paul Kenny said in his contribution to the excellent meeting, such a commitment in Labour's national manifesto would attract much support in its appeal to the interests of our class.

Regular readers will know that I hold no brief for this Government, nor for their claque of supporters, dependents and hangers on in the wider labour and trade union movement.

Nevertheless we need a Labour, rather than a Tory, Government and Islington - like Lambeth - needs a Labour rather than a Lib Dem Council.

Good luck to the Islington comrades (and special apologies to Gary Heather, whose contribution I had to miss to get to Lambeth Trades Council (late...)
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3 comments:

Andrew said...

Thank you for officially representing UNISON in Islington today.

James Caspell said...

Why is a Labour Council good for Lambeth's workers or residents? More job cuts and privatisation I would imagine.

Given in 2009 the Labour Council castrated a motion by Green Cllr Thackeray which would have lifted hundreds of contracted workers out of poverty and onto a Living Wage, the Lambeth Labour Party are clearly not the best option for workers, based on recent evidence.

Your cheerleading for Labour at a time when they are carry out jobs cuts undermines your role representing Lambeth's workers, no?

Jon Rogers said...

Thanks Andrew!

James, the short answer is "no"

The long answer, by way of the observation that I really don't have the physique to be a cheerleader, is that there isn't a viable and better alternative to a Labour Council.