Sandra Gives The Game Away: Jobcentres Given Sheriff’s Stars For Hitting Benefit Sanction Targets

If you’ve got twitter, you can give her some too.

the void

sanction-sheriffSandra Lambert, manager of 149 Jobcentres and self-styled lifestyle guru, has spent much of the last few days frantically blocking people on twitter who have been taking the piss out of the cringemaking motivational advice she inflicts on the poor bastards who work for her.

She wasn’t fast enough however to hide the tweet in which she awarded a Texas style sherriff’s badge to Jobcentres in the midlands for upholding their DMA decision rate – as spotted by @refuted.  A DMA means a referral to a Jobcentre ‘decision maker’ to process a benefit sanction.  It is the second time this month a DWP manager has been exposed praising their staff for hitting benefit sanction targets – targets that Iain Duncan Smith’s department have repeatedly claimed do not exist.

It is not just that the DWP are lying which is so contempible, all government departments lie after all.  It…

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Swindon Anarchists 2015 programme.

swindon

Postponed: Introduction to Feminist Self Defence, 17th January 2-5:30pm, Albany Centre Bristol

This event has been postponed, if you’ve booked, please get in touch with the organisers.

Bristol Community Gym, The Albany Centre, Shaftesbury Road, Montpelier, Bristol, BS6 5LT

  • Do you want to learn about basic self-defence?
  • Do you struggle with confidence in a mixed training environment?
  • Want to revise techniques you have learnt previously?

A one-off session to learn feminist self-defence for all self-defining women. We will look at common barriers and boundaries and work together to consider practical ways to overcome them.

-assertiveness
-use of voice
-stance
-force
-basic strikes
-fighting from the floor

You don’t need to be super fit, or have prior experience. The session will combine physical techniques and discussion, so please wear comfortable clothes and bring something warm. There will be cake and hot drinks available.

Please email Bristol Community Gym for more info. We will ask for a donation of £3-£5 to cover the cost of venue hire. Booking essential so we know how much kit to sort.

Please spread the word among your networks.

Students are Revolting Part II: The Revenge

Free education is not a radical demand, it’s the bare minimum an advanced society would require if it had any interest in maintaining social cohesion and progress.

Red and Black Leeds

all_i_want_is_revenge Anti-cuts banner from late 2011, at the tail end of the last wave of student struggles.

Four years ago, in the aftermath of the installation of the current coalition government, students took to the streets and occupied university property in protest against the rising cost of education, cuts to course budgets and student services, and the creeping privatisation of higher education across the country. The protest movement, though short lived, showed remarkable militancy and an ability to mobilise a diverse range of people, from relatively privileged university students studying at prestigious, high-end institutions to poor teenagers angry about the scrapping of EMA. It was also notable for the extent to which the bureaucratic National Union of Students, the NUS, was sidelined almost immediately, left to shriek ineffectually about “despicable students” and “violent minorities” to anyone who’d listen.

Undoubtedly the events of November/December 2010 helped pave the way for…

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New Years Eve Prisoner Solidarity Demo

Message from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch: Medical Aid for Palestinians.

You might like to learn about the amazing work that Medical Aid for Palestinians are doing on behalf of the people of Gaza. As you may be aware tens of thousands of people in Gaza are going to be homeless this winter, including newly orphaned children and bereaved families. Medical Aid for Palestinians are doing everything they can to try to provide them with the basics that they will need to at least get through the winter months such as blankets, food packages, mattresses, and hygiene kits. Would you like to help them reach a few more of the many thousands who are suffering? Maybe you’ll make a donation to their Gaza Winter Crisis Appeal (think of it as  buying a Christmas present that you know someone definitely DOES need and want!) to help them to do just that:

Palestine Solidarity Campaign is not an aid organisation, but as a branch group we support the work of Medical Aid for Palestinians and have often donated a proportion of the proceeds of our annual sponsored walk to them. It would, however, be unsatisfactory to focus exclusively upon aid given that this is a man-made problem that can be resolved with sufficient political will. Medical Aid for Palestinians are also well aware of that and also try to promote awareness of what is happening and why. This point was also made by Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert who was working in Gaza at the time of the mass bombing in the Summer. As Mads Gilbert has put it prevention is always better than cure in the area of public health, and so it would be irresponsible for him to not focus on the root causes of the problems faced by the people of Gaza.

Please consider joining Palestine Solidarity Campaign as an individual member. Even if you aren’t able to make it along to any of our local events this is still a powerful way of supporting our organisation at a national level and ensuring that we can continue to advocate on behalf of the long-suffering people of Palestine and advance their cause.

For a powerful interview with Mads Gilbert see:

For a brief summary of events of the past year by our Chairman Hugh Lanning and a link to our annual report see:

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Website
Blog

Message from Barnet UNISON via Dorset Socialists.

Dear Colleagues

First of all I need to update everyone that we managed to hold on to our UNISON office and to our facility time. Tonight 63 Barnet Councillors are going to vote on the proposal to outsource 81% of the existing Council workforce. Our story has been covered in the Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty: “Outsourced and unaccountable: this is the future of local government”

By the comments being left it is taking place across all of public services. BUT there are more and more shocking headlines emerging I have produced some of them below:

“Northamptonshire County Council reduce its workforce from 4,000 to 150 people in a bid to carve £148 million out of its budget within the next five years.”

Camden £73 million cuts

Cardiff council planning £32m cuts in 2015/16

Birmingham city council to axe thousands of jobs as part of ‘dire cuts’

Manchester facing £60m council cuts – while 20 areas in the south GAIN spending power

Funding crisis leaves Newcastle facing ‘impossible cuts’ and social unrest

Coventry City Council’s service cut plans ‘horrify’ residents

Leeds faces up to ‘brutal’ council cuts

Business leaders hear impact of £102 million council cuts

The makes it very clear that public services funding will be reduced to 1930’s levels. I have checked, there weren’t many public services in 1930’s, which does mean the end of local government. But it isn’t stopping a local government with 70% of NHS contracts already handed to the private sector.

Two weeks ago we submitted a joint Trades Dispute with the GMB in response to the mass outsourcing proposals. Today our branch submitted to our region a request for a formal industrial action ballot as this is the only response to the draconian proposals we are now facing. It is untenable not to mount a fight that is directed at our member’s Terms & Conditions, Pay and Pensions.

Some branches may be able fight battle alone but it is obvious this is a national matter which needs a national response and quickly.

Solidarity to all and good luck in your fights in 2015.

Best wishes
John Burgess
Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON

DS members have been supporting the UNITE Defence Support Group picket lines at Bovington.