Excl: proof faithless council, not union, to blame for Birmingham bin strike


Coverage of the ‘Birmingham bin strike’ – the strike by Unite members of the city’s refuse collection workforce – in television news has been largely limited to footage of bin bags and soundbites from Tory MPs condemning the industrial action and trying to exploit the situation to attack Labour leader jeremy Corbyn.

bham bins.pngOnline coverage has, just occasionally, gone into slightly more depth, but has presented a story of a financially-squeezed council with little choice but to impose changes in order to save over five million pounds a year – with the implication that Unite and its people are being obstructive and unreasonable.

Both versions of the coverage are deeply misleading.

The SKWAWKBOX has spoken to both Birmingham City Council, to Howard Beckett, Unite’s assistant General Secretary who is co-ordinating Unite’s response to the situation in Birmingham – and to mediation service ACAS – to get to the truth of…

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Independent – Shared Article ‘Vulnerable silenced by ‘draconian’ campaign law, major UK charities warn’

I’m reading Vulnerable silenced by ‘draconian’ campaign law, major UK charities warn via The Independent Daily Edition https://edition.independent.co.uk/editions/uk.co.independent.issue.300817/data/7919256/index.html

Why doesn’t this type of behaviour from the Torries not surprise me. ”

“We are concerned that it caused many organisations, often representing our society’s most marginalised and vulnerable people, not to engage in the run-up to the recent general election, and resulted in important voices being lost from public debate,” it adds. “The Lobbying Act is a confusing and burdensome piece of legislation that weakens our democracy, rather than strengthens it. We look forward to working with you in your new role to ensure that much-needed changes are made to this law.”

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “At the last general election, the UK was in an unprecedented period where uncertainties about post-Brexit Britain touched nearly every facet of our society, our environment, our governance and our role in the world.”

He added: “It was a crucial time to hear the multitude of voices in civil society as we collectively sought to shape what comes next. Greenpeace refused to register for the Lobbying Act because we felt the issues we campaign on – climate change, air pollution, ocean plastic, wildlife protection – are too important to be muzzled by an act that attempts to silence our voice at such a critical point. The right of civil society to campaign and make their voice heard should be the fabric of any vibrant democracy.”

Liz Sayce: ‘The UK thinks it is a leader in disability rights. But it has a long way to go’

Liz Sayce: ‘The UK thinks it is a leader in disability rights. But it has a long way to go’


“Government has continued to focus on influencing individuals to change their behaviour, rather than influencing the behaviour of employers to open up employment opportunities [to disabled people]. You can’t just keep putting pressure on the individuals. You have to change the way employment works and the way [we] support individuals into work. What we want is policy across government – whether it is transport, social care, education or employment policy – that is all working to an agenda of full participation and independent living.”

Totally agree