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 ...

The importance of solidarity to our disputes – Why money matters

We are entering a crucial phase in UCU’s two concurrent disputes. Our second wave of strikes represents an escalation in terms of strike days and the number of members involved in action.

Donate to the fighting fund…

These are disputes about the future of Higher Education. It has become clear to people watching the dispute from the outside what was already obvious to UCU members – that we are challenging the marketisation of education through fighting against its pernicious effects on staff.

Generalise
The stakes are now very high. We will not pursue these disputes to successful conclusions if we fight them in a sectional way which fails to generalise them outwards.… Read on ...

Review – El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson

When I was at school in the 1950s, we were told in geography lessons that the United States of America had no colonies. Even if one accepts the 13 original British colonies, this neglects the remaining 37 states. No one never seemed to wonder about the origins of names like Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Florida etc., which had originally been Spanish then Mexican before being seized by the US government. This book looks at the history of North America from the point of view of its Spanish speaking inhabitants and makes a useful counterbalance to the normal Anglo-centric historiography

The origins of Texas were particularly myth-laden to those of us who got the story of the Alamo from Walt Disney, Fess Parker and John Wayne.Read on ...