Archive for the ‘Ipswich’ Category
Last Known Sighting of Ben: I Make Fun Stuff !
Popular Ipswich MP, Ben Gummer (Unofficial Minister for Ipswich, Honorary Mayor of Ipswich, Acting Editor, Ipswich Star, Benefactor of the Shrine of Lady Lane), has been less than visible lately.
His last major political achievement was this, “February 2014 BISHOP’S HILL LIGHTS STOPPED.”
Sadly the sprightly Latin scholar, and author of the definitive guide to the Black Death (1), does not appear to have benefited from the recent Cabinet Reshuffle.
His position as Michael Gove’s PPS has, well, lapsed.
For all his prestigious unofficial and honorary posts, Ben did not figure in the roll of honour that was at the command of Leader David Cameron.
Rumours that Ben is seeking a bolt-hole in the West County have flourished in the absence of any more definitive news.
We hope to be informed of developments on this front.
The fate of the Gummer dynasty is in the balance.
(1) Fittingly the last outbreak of bubonic plague in England occurred on the nearby Shotley Peninsula in 1910 (Here).
Grandma Gilles on Ipswich Demo. (Thanks Ellie).
Over 300 people came to the demo in Ipswich called by the Trades Council and local unions, Suffolk Needs a Pay Rise, yesterday.
In Ipswich there were well attended pickets at the Russell Road Borough and County Council offices, at Crown Pools, the Borough Council Waste depot (dust-carts – the majority of which did not go out), and HMRC offices in Lower Brook Street.
59 Suffolk schools were affected by strike action and 17 closed for the day.
At the march and rally there were members of UNISON, GMB, FBU, UNITE, PCS & NUT, NUJ, DPAC, the Peoples Assembly, other unions and campaigns, as well as members of the public.
The Suffolk People’s Assembly (Facebook) report notes,
Many speakers at the rally expressed their anger at the wage freeze public sector workers have faced over the past 4 years. This has led to a 20% decline in real wages at the same time as increased workload. One PCS member said that he was now doing 2 peoples’ jobs and facing constant performance reviews, which was destroying his job satisfaction.
A parent talked of her support for the teachers’ strike, to defend her and other people’s education. The Ipswich NUT Secretary, Margaret Bulaitis, spoke about how the the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, denigrated the work of her profession, and was more interested in promoting academies and privatisation than the needs of school students.
Martin, from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), gave an impassioned speech on the effects cuts and changes to the benefit system were having on those with disabilities.
Support came from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Their representative suggested that Grandma Gilles (above) would not have put up with the attacks on public services by the Liberal-Conservative Coalition.
Ipswich Tory Attacks Strikes.
Ipswich Tory MP, Ben Gummer, disagrees.
He said (Ipswich Star) that, “public sector workers had fared better than the private sector during the recession.”
He said striking teachers were damaging the education of the children in their classes.
And he said the government was taking action to clamp down on tax avoidance by the rich and to help the low paid.
“This government has lifted two million people out of paying income tax altogether and the gap between rich and poor is getting smaller for the first time in 20 years.”
Gummer’s figures are certainly creative.
Sky news states (May 2014),
“The gap between rich and poor in Britain has become wider, with 10% of the population now owning almost half of the nation’s household wealth.
Those same one in ten households own assets worth over £1m – that’s almost 1.4 million homes.
Teachers’ Unions argue that it is Michael Gove’s ‘reforms’ are undermining education.
Their dispute about pay, pensions and working conditions, is linked to the government’s efforts to devalue teaching, and open the way to private companies profiting from the schooling system.
Gove’s changes have created excessive workloads, and let free schools operate without democratic control and public accountability.
On public sector workers’ pay the TUC says,
Public sector workers are £2,245 worse off as a result of the coalition’s austerity policies, according to the Trades Union Congress.
NHS staff, teachers, firefighters and local government workers are among those that have lost out following pay freezes and limited pay rises since the government took office, the TUC said.
The figures, which show the average fall in real terms pay suffered by workers since May 2010, were published a day before a wave of strikes among UK public sector workers over pay, pensions and working conditions. Government policies on public sector pay have had a big impact on the spending power of almost six million UK households, according to the TUC.
The Liberal-Conservative Coalition has one overarching policy for the public sector: turning it into a source of profit for private companies.
As Thomas Picketty has noted,
“Instead of holding public debt via their financial investments, the wealthiest European households would becomes the direct owners of schools, hospitals, police stations, and so on. Everyone else would then have to pay rent to use these assets and continue to produce the associated public services.”(Page 541. Capital in the Twenty-first Century. Thomas Piketty. Harvard University Press. 2014.)
The trade unions, backed by the People’s Assembly, are fighting back!
Update: this how private companies making money out of public services in Suffolk fail to deliver:
Bosses at the private firm providing community healthcare in Suffolk have defended themselves following concerns over equipment provision.
Jane Basham, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk, criticised the Serco-run Suffolk Community Healthcare after patients spoke of equipment delays.
Ms Basham heard how one elderly woman was told she would have to wait three weeks for a walking aid, while she also heard of delays for equipment for paediatric services as they were no longer stored in Suffolk.
It comes after concerns were raised in January about the performance of the Community Equipment Service (CES), part of Serco-run Suffolk Community Healthcare.
In October 2012, Serco took on the role of providing community health services to 600,000 patients in Suffolk.
The CES is an integrated service providing equipment for people with health and social care needs.
However, delays of up to five months in providing equipment, such as specialist beds, slings and hoists, and poor communication were among the concerns raised at a Suffolk health scrutiny committee meeting.
Hats off to Ipswich Labour Party!
Ipswich: Labour wins two Tory seats after the town goes to the polls for borough council election
Labour won two seats from the Conservatives during the election for 17 councillors, one in each of the town’s 16 wards and a by-election in Alexandra.
Whitton and Rushmere were the two wards switching from blue to red.
And despite big UKIP votes in some wards, including Bridge, Castle Hill and Gainsborough, they were unable to secure a council seat.
Labour worked extremely hard in these elections.
The won on the basis of the good record as a Borough Council – ranging from their widely acknowledged competence, standing for the majority of the people in the town.
There have been no devastating cuts.
They have begun to build new Council Housing.
Their backing for the Living Wage, their anti-racism (march against the EDL), to policies, such as their opposition to Workfare, have solidified good links with the labour movement, unions, and to the broad progressive constituency.
Just to give an example of things have changed politically in the UK.
This is where Tendance Coatesy lives by the centre of town (we call it a town, but in most English speaking countries it would be called a City).
Alexandra (first two elected): John Cook (Labour) 935, Jane Riley (Labour ) 917, Jose Esteves (UKIP) 444, Mark Felix-Thomas (Conservatives) 400, James White (Green) 390, Alex Hopkins (Conservatives) 331, Robert Chambers (Liberal Demcrats) 215, Andrew Houseley (Liberal Democrats) 180. Maj: 18. Turnout: 33.58%. No change.
UKIP beat the Tories.
The Green beat one of the Tories and both of the Liberal Democrats.
This pattern was repeated with the exception of St Margaret’s where the Liberal Democrats (aka the St Margaret’s Residents’ Association) clung on.
There were no candidates standing from TUSC and other left parties, or from the Galloway communalists.
This is because most (not all) of the left in Ipswich works well with Ipswich Labour – which naturally represents a far larger constituency.
We might have our differences on this or that, but we consider in unity there is strength.
This gaff could be yours if you vote Ipswich Liberal Democrats.
Just got a leaflet from the Ipswich Liberal Democrats.
If I could cut and paste it I would but they are not up to putting it on-Line.
Time was and they had a councillor in our ward: a certain, well he’s better off spending more time with himself and his closest friend and love partner (as in right arm) .
So they are standing.
The leaflet spends most of its time going on about how their candidates support Ipswich Town FC.
Er, that’s about it.
If you want to read more you can see their site,
Working for Ipswich.
And read this.
Gummer: “Passionate about Chewing Gum Mess”
Ben Gummer, Ipswich MP (Con.) Chief Executive, Ipswich Hospital, Mayor of Ipswich, Minister for Ipswich, and National Secretary of the Union of Stockjobbers presents his monthly Alternative View on Tendance Coatesy.
“It’s been a busy week.
Assisting my good friend Jorge (‘Francis’) at the consecration of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, I remarked that Britain is a Christian country. The policies of my government should make us not afraid to say so.
I am passionate about Ipswich Hospital and the National Health Service.
My sponsorship of a pilgrimage to Lady Lane (Ipswich) for those about to take an ATOS Work Capability Assessment shows that local grass-roots action can make a difference.
Hundreds of disabled and sick people are now capable of work!
Which brings me to ‘workfare’.
Why the unemployed cannot volunteer to scrub Ipswich pavements clean (after the mess Ipswich Labour Borough Council has left them in) is beyond me.
Only last week the heel of my brogues got covered with chewing gum in Tavern Street.
The much loved statue of internationality famous Prince Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky looks as if could do with a spring clean as well!
My Hospital lacks auxiliary staff and we still have vacancies for medics.
The out-of-work could do a good job if they worked for their benefits on the wards!
We need less “Earnings Tax” and more elbow grease from those who don’t earn their sausage in return for their generous benefits.
My Cabinet’s Help to Work plans are another boost for Ipswich.
I am passionate about getting this country back to work!