Topics about the Labour Party
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
McDonnell is laboured but if he wants to make some use of his platform being nasty to May is probably the best he can do
“It is shocking and humiliating. If the chancellor had spent less time writing stale jokes for his speech and the prime minister less time guffawing like a feeding seal on those benches, we would not have been landed in this mess.”
By bluebellnutter
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
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.@johnmcdonnellMP "Trump has rebuilt the US blockade of Cuba - when we are in government we will break the blockade"
Go home, John. You're drunk.
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Posts
The law guarantees the right to voluntarily form and join trade unions. Unions are legally independent and financially autonomous, funded by members’ subscriptions. Unlike in the UK and US, Cuban unions are not constrained by hostile legislation (contrary to US propaganda, strikes are not illegal in Cuba).
See also the paragraph on US funding of ‘independent’ unions.
They are tiny groups that do no trade union work at all, and are mainly a means for individuals to access US cash and equipment. ... 2015sl.pdf" onclick=";return false;
By Littlejohn's brain
Membership Days Posts
Well they would say that wouldn't they?" onclick=";return false;
In that ideal world also built in Cuba, trade union activity was practically nullified. The Cuban Communist Party, which has a representative in every State company and members at all managerial positions around the country, is the one who defends the “strategic interests” of the humble.

What’s curious is that Karl Marx himself says that there are social classes with particular interests under socialism. Thus, the adulteration of unions left workers at a disadvantage, devoid of the crucial instrument needed to defend their rights.

The social damage was even more serious than that, as this undermined the counterweight that could have put a stop to bureaucratization. As early as 1884, Jose Marti had warned about the difficulties the people would encounter when it “confronted government officials united by common interests.” (2).

Despite the long history of Cuba’s trade union movement, many workers today do not feel represented by some of their leaders, which lack real power or settle under the wings of managers in search of the crumbs the bureaucracy is willing to give them.
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
Neoliberal Blairites
During the CTC congress, Cuban President Raul Castro announced that the only wages that would go up are those of health professionals, and that all other workers would have to wait for the country’s productivity to rise.

He explained that a raise in salaries without an increase in productivity leads to inflation.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
BBC News (UK)‏Verified account
Labour's John McDonnell shows an NHS cleaner's payslip for £297 a week and asks if Chancellor Philip Hammond could live on that #marr
Is that gross or net? Assuming it's gross, it's going to go up by something like £50 a week in 3 years. Which is fine, but I'm not exactly confident of that amount of extra tax being collected.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
Finally came across his Conference speech. It's, er, interesting on Rail. ... l-13673339" onclick=";return false;
He told the Labour conference: “In our investment strategy, we will no longer accept the disparities between investment in London and the Home Counties and the rest of the country.

“This Tory Government plans to invest in the north just one-fifth of what it will spend on transport per head in London.”
Yes, it's easy to make things sound unfair, and probably it is, but places much more densely populated are much more likely to use trains- and how does London look when you add all the commuters and visitors? And it's about what capacity you need and what money you need to provide it. Crossrail (strongly supported by McDonnell) is expensive because adding capacity in London involves digging tunnels. You aren't likely to do that in Northumberland or Cumbria. What if the return on investment is higher in London? Do you spend the money somewhere else, and make the overall GDP and tax receipts lower?

Sure, it's easy for areas to get into a vicious circle with low investment, but these judgements aren't easy. It's not just the bad Tories (who do better in some of these areas than London, these days) can't be think beyond London.
And the party would build a scheme called Crossrail for the North, a new rail line linking the North East and North West which is backed by local political and business leaders.
Crossrail is a commuter network centred on one city. It's purpose isn't to join up two different regions. I can't see even there's a route for this new line anywhere.
extend HS2 into Scotland.
It's reaching Leeds in 2033 (and no problem with it taking till then, it's coming on stream when capacity is needed). McDonnell will be 82 by that point. When does he want it to reach Scotland?

That's basically a meaningless commitment, isn't it? It's going nowhere near Scotland while McDonnell's in politics.
we’ll overturn decades of neglect and lack of investment in the South-West. We’ll electrify railway lines from Cornwall right through to London.”
The "through to London" bit is already happening, it's joining the SW to it that needs to be done. What work has been done showing electrification all the way to Cornwall being good value? What if Cornwall wants the money spent on something else? Railways in Cornwall, for one thing? Would they want more of that, and live with having better bimode trains serving Cornwall from London?

This is a pile of politically-symbolic ways of chucking money about. Why not look much more of the schemes that have been on the drawing board for years? There's tons of stuff about. Look at advancing a few of those credibly.
Last edited by Tubby Isaacs on Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
On the plus side, I suppose Jez's "ridiculous you can't just get a train all the way up the West Wales Coast" scheme which he pulled out in the leadership election hasn't made it in to the speech.

John McDonnell's going to come under a lot of pressure to cut fares too, from such determined local campaigners as John McDonnell. There's a case for that, but it's not likely to increase the amount of money for investment available.
By mr angry manchester
Membership Days Posts
On the north, there was a suggestion at one point to reopen the Manchester to Sheffield Woodhead route, which closed to passengers in 1970 and freight in 1981. Nothing ever seemed to come of it. This talk of extending HS2 to Scotland is confusing.

Are they suggesting something like the Settle and Carlisle to be built to link Yorkshire with Scotland?
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
I don't much about the Woodhead Tunnell. It was looked at and not proceeded with in 2013. I don't know how near it was to getting OKed. With the rail traffic increasing, the case for these reopenings should be getting stronger all the time. It's something Labour could be looking at.

I think they just mean taking the HS2 line which will reach Wigan in 2033 on further to Scotland. It doesn't need that.
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