Margaret Dewey

Margaret Dewey, who sadly has died recently, was a key part of the lively NATFHE branch at the College of North-West London. She was an ESOL lecturer and at some point in charge of ESOL in the long-gone days when the government encouraged and almost properly funded ESOL, even if college management had, we suspected, a nasty habit of siphoning off some of its funds. The College was spread over many sites (Margaret mainly in Harlsden)  and the union provided a bridge for its left-wing activists. We had a ‘Rank and File ‘ college grouping , even if we didn’t call ourselves that, where we plotted and became good friends.… Read on ...

An end to incorporation

An article appeared in FE week reporting that the government is about to release a white paper on the future of Further Education. It says that the government is planning to take control of the sector.

It quotes Gavin Williamson saying:

“The FE sector is playing a pivotal role in making sure more people can access the high-quality education and training they need to progress and will support our economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak. Our reforms will build on and strengthen the excellent work already happening across the country and will ensure the FE sector is at the heart of every community.”Read on ...

Mugsborough Then & Now

The story of Robert Tressell and his book has been told and re-told by various authors, each account framed in accordance with their own perspective. His novel has also been the subject of academic scrutiny and literary criticism, but the approach adopted here is different. This new book focuses on the striking, not to say shocking parallels with modern day Britain, comparing Tressell’s descriptions of early 20th century Britain and with their 21st century counterparts.

Each subject is split into two parts, with the first section quoting examples from The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and in the second part evidence based modern-day equivalents are introduced.… Read on ...

Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, held on 28 April every year, brings together workers and their representatives from all over the world to remember the dead and fight for the living. 

The theme for the day is: ‘Stop the Pandemic in the Workplace.’

Workers are in the coronavirus front line, never has the WMD slogan “Remember the dead, Fight for the living” been so crucial as it is today during the fight against Covid-19. The pandemic is having a major impact on all of us, not just on lives and physical well-being but on our mental health as well, causing people anxiety, worry and putting them under additional stress.… Read on ...

NOT ANOTHER INCINERATOR IN BEXLEY

Stop a SECOND waste incinerator at Belvedere,  Borough of Bexley.  The existing plant is already the largest incinerator in Greater London. (24 other London boroughs have no incinerators!) The 2nd plant planned for the site, is to take London wide commercial waste for incineration. There will be extra health and environmental hazards caused by operating 2 giant waste burning incinerators in one place.

Sign the Petition here…


You may also be interested in this article on the Edmonton incinerator rebuild from the Waltham Forest Echo…

Indro Sen 1952-2020

Former secondary maths teacher, primary school governor,  College of North West London lecturer,  and most importantly trade unionist, Indro Sen has died shortly before his 68th birthday.

In 2016-17 Indro was involved in a dispute at CNWL over his allegations of corruption in an apprenticeship scheme. He was suspended from his job allegedly because of his support at an employment  tribunal for a sacked colleague and his opposition to the CNWL’s merger with Westminster College.

At the time Peter Murry, Trade Union Liaison officer for the London Federation of Green Parties and for Brent Green Party  supported Sen and said,   ‘Both of these are actions are entirely proper for a University and College Union Branch Secretary to carry out.… Read on ...

Anti-Nazi Germans – review by Ian Birchall

I was invited to speak at the launch, on 26 March, of Anti-Nazi Germans, by Steve Cushion and Merilyn Moos. The launch had to be cancelled, but the following is, more or less, what I should have said.

For details of the book see http://www.socialisthistorysociety.co.uk/?p=945

You can get a copy post-free from the authors: £10 – more details from: s.cushion23@gmail.com You may pay by cheque, bank transfer or PayPal

In one of his last interviews Eric Hobsbawm said that “the whole function of history is precisely to be a pain in the arse for national myths.” It would of course be grossly discourteous to call Steve and Merilyn “pains in the arse”, but they certainly are fulfilling the function of good historical writing.… Read on ...

Bring Rayan Crawford back home to Tower Hamlets

Rayan was deported on Tuesday, 11th February. He is a resident of Tower Hamlets and lived with his partner, Jana, an EU citizen who has Indefinite Leave to Remain, and their two sons, aged three and twelve, both of whom were born in the UK and have British Passports. Rayan was closely involved in his children’s upbringing. The evidence shows ‘separated children develop emotional, behavioural and educational problems, including anxiety, depression and attachment difficulties’. Rayan was deported with no money, no belongings, no medication and no support plan for his medical condition in Jamaica.

Sign the petition…

Rayan came over to Britain to live with his father and step mother, both British citizens, at the age of 12.… Read on ...