Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

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Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014, photo by Wheelz.

It’s our fifth anniversary! Usual deal: scaring the taxpayers, winding up the Tankies – Winning friends, influencing people and impressing them with our revolutionary praxis. Every year we welcome comrades from as far afield as Wales, France, Spain and the Midlands; we enjoy frank but good-natured debate with fellow trade unionists and activists alike. A small contingent doesn’t want us there, but sod ‘em – The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was an example of working-class self-organisation – Stalin would have had them shot. Still we hope to extend our safe spaces policy to all festival-goers; their kids will learn to swear without our help and please be kind to the cosplay cops, the council would charge a fortune to close the public highway.

Visit our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, if you’d like to help run it, or you have anything you’d like to give away / accept donations for please contact us An advance party will pitch tents on Friday afternoon, we corral them together so that people can get to know each other. If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 19th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners, this year’s theme will be politicians heads on spikes…

View map Download flyer

Freedom Press

A good start – Kingfisher rising!

SCBU

Just got back from Dorchester where a couple of thousand people marched against the closure of the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital; estimates vary between one and three thousand. Unless you believe the Echo who put it in the hundreds, odd since they are publicly supporting the campaign.

Conspicuous by his absence was ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, who has been hedging his bets, he would not have had a pleasant experience, we think. The march was good-natured but shows the strength of feeling in West Dorset about keeping our health services local, it was organised in a week and people required little prompting to turn out.

This is a grass-roots phenomenon bubbling up from the ground. The left are running to catch up; what will it take to get the unions to put their weight behind this? The workers at the hospital would be a good place to start. It’s all very well going to the capital a couple of times a year and trudging round in a giant police kettle, which just confirms the centralisation of power and frankly, is an exercise in hand-wringing. Here is an opportunity to strike back against austerity and let’s face it, save lives.

A couple of things have occurred to us and need to be widely appreciated:

  • It’ been pointed out by a comrade who is a practising midwife that the loss of Paediatric services and the Special Care Baby Unit will make the maternity ward untenable.
  • Next to close will be A & E.
  • They can then have another go at shutting the pathology lab which was only saved after a similar public outcry last year.
  • Then why not just sell off the rest?
  • We are under no illusions. This is a planned, progressive asset-strip. Letwin would not dream of associating himself with this campaign if he didn’t personally believe it was doomed to failure, so the decision has already been taken, somewhere, and the consultation exercise is just to soften up the public.

That doesn’t mean we are going to allow it to happen, if enough people get out to stop it. The health service is a pyramid with a three-cornered base. At its apex are the managers, politicians and ultimately, their corporate masters. At the base are the medical staff, support staff and the patients – all workers and taxpayers. Unite the base and we will cut the top off!

Public Consultation on Slyer’s Lane wind farm, closes 20th December 2014

From West Dorset Pro Wind Facebook group

Application Number: WD/D/14/002611 Case Officer: Andrew Martin Tel: 01305 252227

For the application & to comment online West Dorset District Council “Planning Application Search”
http://webapps.westdorset-dc.gov.uk/PlanningApps/Pages/Planning.aspx?App=WD/D/14/002611

By post: Mr Martin, Case Officer, Planning Department , West Dorset District Council, South Walks House, South Walks, Dorchester DT1 1UZ

If you are writing your own letter make sure you include the application number and your address. Everyone 18 and over in your household can have his/her own say. You can use the same envelope or email address. Save a copy of what you write and use it to contact your local councillors and your MP. Check out the documents online or view at the Council offices on request.

It is an election year. With UKIP and others, there is a new level of climate change denial, a threat to cancel all targets on greenhouse gas emissions and plans to stop the development of renewables both wind and solar in its tracks.

Wessex welcomes new IWW Dorset branch!

iwwlogo DORSETgreenIndustrial Workers of the World Dorset group is in the process of chartering as a branch in its own right, having operated for several years under the auspices of Bristol General Members’ Branch. The paperwork’s all done we’re just waiting for the formalities and should be fully operational in the new year.

The IWW is a certified union and can represent you at work, but unlike the TUC unions we’re not shy of direct action and don’t have to pretend we’re all on the same side, we’re not bothered about getting Labour elected and none of us has any ambition to sit in the house of lords! Follow the logo to the side of the page.

– Cindy Callist.

Roll of dishonour, M.P.s with their hands in the N.H.S. till.

Crooks

Untie the Onion has helpfully produced a list of honourable members who stand to profit from flogging off our Health Service. No surprise to find ‘Evil Oliver’ Letwin, and the sinister Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax amongst this shower of shit.

Check and see how bent yours is:

1. David Cameron – Prime Minister

Handed a peerage to nursing andcare hometycoon Dolar Popat, who has given the Tories more than £200,000 in donations.

2. Andrew Lansley – Former Health Secretary & architect of privatisation

Received a £21,000 donation in Nov 2009 from John Nash, the former chairman of Care UK.

3. Harriet Baldwin – Tory whip

Former executive at JP Morgan, a major player in private healthcare.

4. Greg Barker – former Energy Minister

Held shares in Quester VCT 5 plc ,a venture capital firm with multiple investments in healthcare companies.

5. Henry Bellingham

Former director of Lansdowne Advisory Ltd, which has shares in private healthcare company Circle.

6. Jake Berry

Has registered interests in legal firm Squire Patton Boggs, which workd with multiple NHS trusts on PFI and PPP programs.

7. Graham Brady

Former advisor to PA Consulting, a management consultancy company which has worked with the NHS’s new Clinical Commissioning Groups.

8. Simon Burns – former Health Minister

Attended an oncology conference paid for by Aventis Pharma – a five-day trip to the US funded by a leading drug firm.

9. Nick de Bois

Was the majority shareholder in Rapier Design Group, an events management company heavily involved with the private medical and pharmaceutical industries.

10. Steve Brine

Received almost £15,000 in donations from James Lupton, the chairman of investment bankers, Greenhill Europe which has a global network of corporate relationships in the healthcare sector.

11. Aidan Burley

Received six bottles of wine from Hitachi consultants for a speech in 2011. Hitachi Consulting UK built an online ‘portal’ for NHS commissioners to help them monitor performance.

12. Damian Collins

Spent almost a decade working for marketing agency M&C Saatchi, whose clients include PPP healthcare, AXA insurance, Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Merck

13. David Davis – former shadow home secretary

Received a payment of £4,250 for a six-hour speaking engagement for private health insurance company Aviva.

14. Jonathan Djanogly

Received £1,900 from Huntleigh Healthcare Ltd, which manufactures medical and orthopaedic equipment and instruments.

15. Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax

Received £14,000 in a series of donations from Derek Luckhurst, chief executive and owner of care home group Agincare.

16. Iain Duncan-Smith – Work and Pensions Secretary

Has shares in hygiene technology company Byotrol plc, which sells products to the NHS.

17. Philip Dunne

Was a non-executive director for investment firm Baronsmead VCT 4 plc, which had multiple investments in private healthcare companies.

18. Michael Fallon – Defence Secretary

Former director of Attendo AB, – a Swedish private health company.

19. Mark Field

Was a board advisor to Ellwood and Atfield; a recruitment firm which recruit for NHS positions and private healthcare.

20. Liam Fox – former Defence Secretary

Received £5,000 from investment company IPGL Ltd, who purchased healthcare pharma company Cyprotex.

21. George Freeman

Has shares in Hill House Assets Ltd, formally private health firm 4D Biomedical Ltd.

22. Mike Freer

Provided marketing advice to Care Matters, a financial planning company for care homes.

23. Richard Fuller

Worked for L.E.K consulting, which has six ‘partners’ in European healthcare.

24. Richard Graham

Received £3,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

25. William Hague – Leader of the Commons

Received a £20,000 donation from MMC Ventures, which parts owns The Practice plc which runs 60 GP surgeries.

26. Philip Hammond – Foreign Secretary

Beneficiary of a trust which owns a controlling interest in healthcare and nursing home developer Castlemead Ltd.

27. Mark Harper

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

28. Nick Herbert

Received £15,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

29. Jeremy Hunt – Health Secretary

Received £32,920 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

30. Margot James

Had a key role at marketing giant WPP Group, which had a long list of healthcare clients.

31. Sajid Javid – Culture Secretary

Received £11,000 from Moundsley Healthcare Ltd last year.

32. Jo Johnson – Downing Street policy adviser

Received £6,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

33. Kwarsi Kwateng

Worked as an analyst for for Crispin Odey’s hedge fund Odey Asset Management.

34. Mark Lancaster

Former adviser to property venture capital firm Company Palmer Capital Partners Ltd, a funder of Danescroft Commercial Developments, which has worked in the healthcare sector.

35. Dr Phillip Lee

Has worked as a freelance or Medical Solutions Ltd, which provided medical cover for events.

36.Oliver Letwin – former shadow chancellor

Was a non-executive director of N.M. Rothschild Corporate Finance Ltd, which invests heavily in healthcare.

37. Peter Lilley

Non-Executive director of management software firm Idox plc, which provides services to the NHS Health Libraries Group and NHS Education for Scotland.

38. Tim Loughton

Received £350 for training sessions with Cumberlege Connections, a political networking firm that works “extensively” with the pharmaceutical industry.

39. Mary Macleod

Was a senior executive at Andersen Consulting/Accenture, which has profited from big PFI deals.

40. Francis Maude – Cabinet Office Secretary

Was a director of PR firm Huntsworth plc, which was part of lobbying group Healthcare Communications Association.

41. Maria Miller – former Culture Secretary

Former director of Grey’s Advertising Ltd, an advertising and brand company which worked extensively with clients in the healthcare sector.

42. Andrew Mitchell – former International Development Secretary

Was a strategy adviser to global management firm Accenture, which has worked extensively with private healthcare companies and the NHS.

43. Penny Mordaunt – Communities Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Hanover, where she had a range of healthcare clients.

44. Brooks Newmark – former Charities Minister

Partner in the Allele Fund, which invests in healthcare startups.

45. Jesse Norman

Received £5,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

46. Stephen O’Brien

Received payments totalling £40,000 from Julian Schild, whose family made £184million in 2006 by selling hospital bed-makers Huntleigh Technology.

47. George Osborne – Chancellor

Received donation through Conservative Campaign Headquarters from Julian Schild – see above.

48. Priti Patel – Treasury Minister

Worked for lobbying firm Weber Shandwick, which does PR for big healthcare and pharmaceutical firms.

49. John Redwood – former Cabinet Minister

Advised the private equity company which runs Pharmacy2u, the UK’s largest dedicated internet and mail order pharmacy.

50. Jacob Rees-Mogg

Partner of Somerset Capital Management LLP, which has healthcare investor Redwood Emerging Markets Dividend Income Fund as a client.

51. Sir Malcolm Rifkind – former Foreign Secretary

Chairman of advisory board at L.E.K. Consulting LLP, which helps private healthcare firms identify “new business development” and “opportunities with the Government”.

52. Amber Rudd – Energy Minister

Received £3,000 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms.

53. David Ruffley

Received £10,000 in donations from Caroline Nash, wife of former Care UK chairman John Nash.

54. Mark Simmonds – former Foreign Minister

Was paid £50,000 a year as a “strategic adviser” to Circle Health.

55. Chris Skidmore

Received £3,500 for speeches to STAC Consultancy, which specialises in the launch of pharmaceutical products.

56. Julian Smith

Received a £2,500 donation from Principle Healthcare Ltd in September 2014.

57. Nicholas Soames

Received £2,000 from asset manager Crispin Odey, a major investor in Circle.

58. John Stanley

Consultant on financial services to FIL Investment Management Ltd, which invests in healthcare.

59. Andrew Tyrie – select committee chairman

Attended the Ryder Cup as Secretary of the Parliamentary Golf Society, with travel and accommodation paid for by U.S. healthcare services company Humana Europe.

60. Robin Walker

His office received a £2,000 donation from Redwood Care Homes, which owns multiple care homes.

61. David Willetts – former Universities Minister

Has shares in Sensortec, a company that owns Vantix which was working on a contract for a new product to detect MRSI.

62. Rob Wilson

Had registered shares in Vital Imaging, a private screening company.

63. Tim Yeo

Also attended the 2008 Ryder Cup, courtesy of Humana Europe.

64. Nadhim Zahawi

Non-executive director of recruitment company SThree, which specialises in the Ppharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

65. Menzies Campbell – former leader

Non-executive director of Scottish American Investment Company plc, which took over one of the care homes when Southern Cross collapsed.

66. Vince Cable – Business Secretary

Received a donation of £2,000 from Chartwell Care Services, which is 100% owned by Chartwell Health & Care PLC. It also owns Chartwell Private Hospitals plc, which provide day case surgery to NHS patients.

67. Nick Clegg – Deputy Prime Minister

Received a donation to his constituency office for £5,000 from Alpha Medical Consultancy.

68. Simon Hughes – Justice Minister

Received £60,000 donation to his constituency party from the founder of Alpha Hospitals, a private hospital firm.

69. Stephen Lloyd

MP for Eastbourne. Received £544.92 aggregated over time for office equipment from Platon Medical Ltd – who provides Ear, Nose and throat devices.

70. Robert Smith

Has shares in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

71. Jo Swinson – Business Minister

Received a donation of £2,000 September 2013 from private optician firm, Peter Ivins Eye Care.

– See more at: Dorset Eye

Victory for Dorset Health Campaign! Community rejects pathology privatisation.

The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it” – Aneurin Bevan.

dorset-show_5

The people of Dorset have seen off the piratisation parasites and foiled attempts to flog off the Dorset county hospital’s pathology lab to private contractors out of the county.

Bridport Unite Community Branch performed ‘NHS versus capitalists’ street theatre outside Dorchester hospital ahead of its board meeting on Wednesday. Watch it on youtube

The directors caved in to the avalanche of public outrage over the profiteering scheme. Demonstrations have been taking place outside the hospital for a year and a petition gathered over 11,000 signatures. This is one up the shitter for ‘evil Oliver’ Letwin the bloodsucking M.P. for West Dorset whose manifestation is anticipated in Bridport next month.

Discussions began in July 2013 to sub-contract the service to South West Pathology Services in Taunton – See more:

In August, 24 Dorset G.P.s wrote to the Echo:

“The innovation of electronic reporting means we can receive a result in the late afternoon from a sample taken in the morning. This is great for patient care. There is no intention from local GPs to destabilise or undermine our local service by forcing competition and making a market where none is needed.”

In September a row erupted over a proposal to spend three and a half grand training the governors and appoint a spokesperson to stop them giving the game away to the media.

On Monday midwives at Dorset County Hospital will strike over an ‘insulting’ one percent pay rise. The Royal College of Midwives estimate that if their members, who rely on food banks to survive, began billing the NHS for the 13 hours of overtime they clock up on average over a few weeks, it would increase their pay packets by one percent anyway.

The NHS was built by the working class for the working class. Drugs and medical equipment are made by workers not capitalists. Cleaners, doctors, nurses, midwives, porters and technicians are workers. It belongs to us, it’s not a source of revenue for the socially useless. Keep your filthy grasping bourgeois hands off it!

Dorset Eye report

To celebrate, here’s a song about vampires:

Bournemouth mobilises against fascism! 23rd August.

23rdbannerr

Oppose the racist English Defence League in Bournemouth on 23rd August!

Once again this bizarre right-wing cult threatens one of the most peaceful and diverse communities in the south. Their proposed ‘Bournemouth against the Islamification of Britain’ march is a crude provocation to a section of the population that has been here since before most of them were born.

A broad-based coalition, ‘We are Bournemouth’ comprising unions, community organisations, traders and individuals from all walks of life has called for a massive, inclusive, family-friendly counter demonstration against racism and fascism.

Local antifascist groups such as BHstopEDL, StopEDL Bournemouth and of course ourselves will also be out and about on the day, something for everyone. Bournemouth EDL has a history of importing fascists from elsewhere, notably Southampton and Portsmouth, as the blighters have been quite effectively blocked in their own areas, so we call on antifascists from across the south to join us on the day – who knows, you might get to spot one of your local boneheads!

The EDL, which mostly focuses its hatred on Muslims but attracts every kind of bigot has suffered badly in recent years from defections, criminal convictions and internal splits, but has somehow stayed under the radar in Dorset – mainly because most people have never heard of it or are unaware of its fascist origins and sinister agenda, and because there are few racial tensions here to exploit – let’s keep it that way. Their new chairman Tim Ablitt, who was Dorset organiser for the BNP splinter group ‘British Freedom Party’, lives at Fitzworth Avenue in Poole.

Now, we didn’t make this up, honestly.

berksIt was a response to Bournemouth fascist Gary Hazel‘s plea on farcebook for a field where out-of-towners could get heavily refreshed the night before. The cops having refused the fascists permission to use public campsites – not that any would have them – after telling them they aren’t allowed to cook a pig on the beach.

Details will follow as both march routes are being challenged by the locals, we’ve been forwarding e mail enquiries to BHstopEDL

See you on the streets – they shall not pass!

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally, Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July 2014

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Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

This will be our fourth bloc on the Martyrs Festival and rally; from an inauspicious start with seven of us and a black hanky on a stick, we’ve more than doubled each year to about seventy-five in 2013, from as far afield as Wales, France and the Midlands. Our commitment is to the original spirit of the Martyrs: working class self-organisation in the face of a hostile bourgeois state, more relevant today than ever, owing to the abject failure of political and industrial representation to meet the needs of the people, and the increasingly repressive reaction of the state to autonomous protest and resistance.

Once again we have a stall in the Martyrs Marquee; we will be carrying stock from Freedom Books, Britain’s oldest anarchist publisher, plus flags, badges, zines and pamphlets for donations, and loads of free stuff. If you’d like to take part and help run the stall, or if you have literature you’d like to give away or accept donations for please get in touch.

For those who are staying for the weekend festival, an advance party will arrive on Friday afternoon to pitch tents; we corral them together so that people can get to know each other, exchange contacts and ideas, plan and plot another year of class struggle.

If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 20th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners. View map  Farcebook event

A4 Flyer     2xA5 Flyer To get involved, contact: wsol@riseup.net

Freedom Press

50% pay cut for ex-NHS carers in Dorset.

A personal account from a Dorset care worker:

In 2011 approximately 160 adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour were transferred from long stay hospital units and moved into their own homes. The private sector stepped in to provide care for these people and staff were personally matched and TUPE transferred with each individual. The promise was that any private care provider bidding for one of our clients had to show they could ensure our contracts for 2 years minimum, employ new staff on the same pay as the NHS workers to avoid a 2 tier workforce, and help with retention of new staff. A few weeks after the transfer it became apparent this was not the case; providers were employing colleagues at a much lower rate.

By October 2012 the provider ‘Dimensions’ had cut one third of staff’s salary in the form of lost enhancements, change to overtime rate, reduction in annual leave, loss of sick pay, reduced maternity leave etc.. Staff on average lost between £300 and £500 per month in take home pay. For one reason only, many staff accepted the cut at that time while others were dismissed and re-engaged. This reason being respect for those we care for. In Dorset many of us have worked for decades with these people, and have seen them uprooted and socially isolated in their own homes, often with strangers (agency staff) coming in to care, having lost day care provision and suitable transport, we felt so soon after this monumental change in their lives it would be beyond heart-breaking to remove the stability of those they had grown to trust over the decades, so we bit the bullet and continued to provide good care for our clients with the facilities we have.

‘Lifeways’, another of these providers, early in 2014 not only cut their staff’s wage in a similar fashion to Dimensions, they also reduced the hourly rate by 20% at the same time leading to huge reductions in take home pay. For example, a single parent of 3 previously took home £950 per month for part time hours – for these same hours she will now take home £389 – less than her mortgage payment alone and that is after 27 years in the service.  Again those that did not sign to accept this cut were ruthlessly dismissed and re-engaged.

In March 2014 Dimensions staff received a further letter stating their hourly rate would be cut by £1.90 (a 20% drop this time). This is going to force the long term staff to search for work elsewhere a choice they cannot take lightly but for reasons of survival will be forced to, having devastating effects for those we care for. Stability is essential for their quality of life and the staff realise this as we have, in many cases, dedicated our lives to the vocation.

Both Dimensions and Lifeways insist the cuts are only necessary because the local authorities who commission the work to such companies have cut the budget and they cannot survive as businesses unless they do. This appears to be their priority – survival as a business – rather than the devastation they are about to unleash on staff and vulnerable people.

That said, other private providers locally receiving the same amount of money from the authorities have kept their ex NHS staff on their original terms and conditions without going out of business. Despite staff arguing that the cut of £1.90 per hour to 42 Dimensions staff in the area, will result in recruitment and training costs higher than the saving made, Dimensions are well aware of this and stated they are looking at the long term stability of the company, so to us as staff this devastating upheaval is completely unnecessary, especially when you learn extra directors with huge salaries have been employed, managers have been cut in number but received an increase, deputy managers have been put in place  and a bonus will be paid to all staff in April due to a profit share scheme.

In what world can carers and those we care for be treated this way – in a tory world where profit is put before people time and time again, I would ask everyone reading this to imagine losing 50% of their wage within 2 years, through no fault of their own and in fact for taking more responsibility now than we ever did as a care worker in the hospital units.

Where does this leave me? Other than fighting against this cut I cannot look the gentleman I have looked after since 1999 in the eye for fear of how I am about to let him down, let alone his family and how they will feel when those staff they trust implicitly are priced out of the job. Not to mention how to pay my bills and care for my own children.

Join the “CARE CUTS HURT” demo outside Poole Council meeting. 22 April 17:45