Does Brighton Council only care about PR?

UPDATE: since the publication of this article on the afternoon of Monday 10th July 2017, Larissa Reed, Executive Director for Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing at Brighton council has been in touch to arrange a meeting with Brighton SolFed and the Bobby Carver campaign within the next two weeks. We look forward to hearing how the issues raised below are going to be addressed, and about the changes the council is going to put in place to ensure 'the safest homes possible' for everyone...


Newcastle Local Attend Anti-Pegida March

As predicted, the static demo held by Pegida in Newcastle's Bigg Market was something of an embarrassment for the neo-nazis. Denied a march through town, and lacking anything like a fraction of the numbers that the hype and publicity accorded to them, the unveiling of the far-rights latest toy turned out to be broken. Dredging up all the old fascists from the past several decades for something that was supposed to be new and dynamic, was both tragic and comic, with reports of less than 300 them turning up. Outnumbered many times over - several estimates of anti-fascists are close to 2000 - just shows that for all of Pegida's effort, Newcastle was never going to be the city of the Fourth Reich.

SolFed supports Boycott Workfare's Noise Demo

On 2nd December, those driving forced labour for unemployed people on the government's workfare schemes are getting together for their annual conference at Senate House, Malet Street, London.

ERSA, the trade body for the 'welfare to work' industry, have called their conference "Challenge and change in an evolving landscape". Those attending include Esther McVey (Minister for Employment); Stephen Timms (Shadow Minister for Employment); The Department for Work and Pensions Director of Social Justice; Chairs, Heads and Directors from workfare profiteers A4E, Avanta, Seetec, G4S, Pinnacle People, Groundwork UK, Tomorrow's People; the lead researcher from Ian Duncan Smith's thinktank, the Centre for Social Justice; and the Chief Executive of the Tax Payer's Alliance. All under one roof.

Getting in the way of Gove

Later this year, teachers in the NUT and NASUWT will take part in a series of one-day strikes against attacks on their pay, pensions and conditions, not to mention a raft of pro-market, anti-pupil polices flying out from the DfE. Until now, the universally hated Mr Gove has been able to swan about the country opening academies, praising private involvement in education and pontificating on the future of the curriculum. Last week however, Mr Gove ran into a small obstacle.

Anarchists and trade unionists rattle Iain Duncan Smith in Bootle

Today (Friday 29 June), Iain Duncan Smith went to Bootle in what was planned as a low-key visit to Department for Work and Pensions offices. Instead it was the scene of a lively picket where local anarchists joined trade unionists from the area to oppose the capinet minister's arrival.

Obviously none of the ministers from the current government are popular with most working class people. Duncan Smith deserves particular attention because of his role in workfare - including lying in parliament about the "success" of the schemes.

Save Our College - 250 people march against redundancies in Hackney

250 people marched through Hackney on Saturday against the threat of 55 redundancies at Hackney College. Although there have been redundancies every year bar one for ten years, this year the proposed cuts are much more serious.
In a borough with 11, 243 people claiming JSA chasing just 669 jobs in the jobcentre, courses that may be closed include basic literacy, basic maths and health and social care. All the courses in the Access department are at risk even though Access to Nursing, for example, is already full with more than a hundred people on the waiting list. 

Disruption in Islington town hall

Solidarity Federation members joined a good sizable demo of more than 200 souls who braved the cold to ensure the pressure was kept on Islington Council. Thursday evening (17 February) the council was due to reside over a council budget meeting to determine the nature of cuts in the public services in the borough. The anger from the demo spilled over, and the 'public consultation' in the council building allowing for the hearing to be observed resulted quite rightly in the retreat of the councilors under heckles and 60 protestors being removed by heavy handed means by the police. Massive turn around in fortunes have seen Labour Councilor Catherine West the previous week leading protests of over 1000 protestors to now calling on the police to turn on protestors! How the tables turn when your being held to account, eh Catherine...