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People's Assembly Against Austerity

(168 Posts)
Eloethan Tue 19-Mar-13 14:41:00

The People's Assembly aims to bring together individuals and organisations to build a new movement for social justice - Coalition of Resistance. Supporters include: Tony Benn (President), Christine Blower, General Secretary NUT, Caroline Lucas MP, Ken Loach, film maker, John Pilger, journalist, Bruce Kent, peace campaigner, Wendy Savage, Keep our NHS Public, etc., etc.

If anyone is interested, there is a conference on Saturday 22 June 2013 9.30-5 p.m. at Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate SW1H 9NH (ticket required)

bluebell Tue 19-Mar-13 15:20:44


Sel Tue 19-Mar-13 20:27:11

Social justice? I must be missing something. What are you hoping to achieve...and by what means? Perhaps a spell in a less comfortable country would be an education.

Eloethan Wed 20-Mar-13 00:10:21

Sel OK, I get it, you're not interested, you think it's rubbish - that's your prerogative. It's a shame though that you have to be so confrontational.

Sel Wed 20-Mar-13 00:27:01

Eloethan I asked questions - I am interested, what social justice? Don't we have Human Rights via the European Court - what more do you want?

Goose Wed 20-Mar-13 08:53:16

Thanks Eloethan - sounds like an interesting conference to me

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 08:55:16

Are you communists?

wisewoman Wed 20-Mar-13 09:44:20

Sounds interesting. I worry that we are returning to "Victorian values" , eg deserving and undeserving poor, workers versus scroungers. The welfare budget is of course a matter of great concern but so is the money lost through tax evasion. I don't have any answers but I do worry about what sort of society our grandchildren are inheriting. confused. I don't think that makes me a communist.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 09:59:19

Ok, perhaps not communist, but it sounds left-ish in the extreme.

absent Wed 20-Mar-13 10:04:16

j08 Do you mean that a movement for social justice – presumably such things as narrowing the overgrown pay gap between the highest paid and the rest (not just the lowest paid) – sounds left-ish in the extreme or that the list of supporters sound left-ish in the extreme.

Btw We have been told off more than once by Sel for our old-fashioned attitudes to left- and right-wing politics. It's about time we all smartened up.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 10:17:02

It's probably one and the same thjing. These organisations are usually about the people heading them.

If more people would only take proper advantage of the excellent education available to all in this country, we would not need to go back to the demos and strikes of the seventies.

And that could start with the parents of present day school children making sure their kids knuckled down and tried a bit harder.

absent Wed 20-Mar-13 10:19:06


bluebell Wed 20-Mar-13 10:45:08

Oh goodness - that simple eh?

BAnanas Wed 20-Mar-13 12:05:04

J08, education is not always the answer to many of the problems we have today. A young person can knuckle down as hard as they like, they may still find they do not have a job when their education is completed. Throw into the mix a dire shortage of housing, especially here in the overcrowded South East, not enough school places and a lack of decent hospital care, particularly with the elderly.

Having said all that it's quite clear that not nearly enough cuts are being made as the deficit is still scarily high. Greece, Cyprus and other economies teetering on the brink bear this out and are a clear warning that bankruptcy will inevitably follow if bail outs cannot be found. Sometimes I think quite a few cuts could be made without causing too much pain I read somewhere equality monitoring costs us 1 billion p.a. I have also read about the ridiculous number of press officers that he NHS now employs. Surely among the great strata of over paid managers within the NHS, occasionally one or two could put out press statements as and when they are required to do so, and then that money could be better used to employ more doctors and nurses and give the patients the care they have a right to expect. I'm sure if the general public were asked what they would rather have press officers or medics, bet we all know what the answer to that would be and after all it is our NHS. These are two examples, there are undoubtedly loads more. I would rather cut backs on things that we don't really need were implemented, than the petty punitive bedroom tax which I imagine will cause hardship to many.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:23:06

No. I know it's not that simple. But it would help. The underprivileged poor are often the under-educated ones. The opportunities in education are there for the taking. Not all poor people are thick. Some are lazy and therefore unemployable.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:25:40

I really don't like the sound of that organisation.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:29:07

I really don't like the sound of that organisation. How is returning to strikes and demonstrations going to help the government sort things out? Cuts will always apply to some people. Where would the striking end?

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30:02

Sorry for the repeat there.

Eloethan Wed 20-Mar-13 12:43:47

Sel I didn't set out to be contentious - I merely posted some information about a conference that I thought some people may be interested in - I couldn't understand why you were getting so hot under the collar about it.

I am well aware that conditions in many other countries are a great deal worse than here. In what way does that mean that I should not be concerned about injustices here? I think this is a great country but I am sorry to see the way it is joining the race to the bottom - I appreciate that you may think differently.

My husband and I own our house, have good pensions and a very comfortable lifestyle. Fortunately, our son and his partner have reasonably well paid jobs and, with some assistance from us and the in-laws, have been able to buy a house. Our daughter also has her own home.

We are not concerned for ourselves - we haven't got a whole lifetime ahead of us to worry about the security of our jobs, our pensions, our housing, education for our children, the health service, etc., etc.

More and more people in this country are being employed on "Zero Hours Contracts" where they have no guarantee of the hours they may be working from one day to the next. People's wages have been flat lining for many years and they have been actively encouraged to bridge the gap by taking on debt.

The banks and the financial services industries behaved recklessly and dishonestly and have created the mess that we're in now - and yet what has happened to them - they are given more and more money, which they are unwilling to lend to small businesses. Because they have received handouts from the government, they don't really need savers' money now and are consequently paying derisory interest rates.

People with severe disabilities are being deemed "fit for work" and having their disability benefits removed. Brian McArdle, a 57 year old, who was paralysed down one side after a stroke, who could not speak properly and was blind in one eye was pronounced "fit for work" by Atos. He died of a heart attack a day after his benefits were stopped. There are many cases like this.

I would describe myself as politically to the left, but that doesn't make me a communist, any more than describing myself as politically to the right would make me a fascist.

The people involved in this movement come from a fairly wide spectrum of left-leaning people, some of whom may not receive your seal of approval. However, Caroline Lucas, Tony Benn and Bruce Kent are brave and highly respected people who have a record of saying what they think and fighting for what they believe in. If only there were more people like them.

Ana Wed 20-Mar-13 12:48:14

A lot of trade unionists on the list.

bluebell Wed 20-Mar-13 12:48:27

Nothing to add except human rights and social justice are not interchangeable concepts

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:57:04

Chair of the British Communist party! General Sec. of British Communist party! Editor of the Morning Star!

Eloethan Wed 20-Mar-13 12:59:58

J08 Do you think the NHS, regulation of working conditions, state pensions, welfare benefits, etc., were achieved because the rich and powerful suddenly decided out of the goodness of their hearts to do something to benefit and empower ordinary people?

Every gain that working people have achieved has been through struggle.

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:00:06

No. Not communist at all, is it? hmm

j08 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:01:18

We don't want that kind of struggle in our streets. Had enough of it last summer.