Thursday, 28 May 2009
Famous, local, radical punk-poet “Attila the Stockbroker” to vote No2EU-Yes to democracy on 4 June
Well-known Southwick-based radical punk-poet Attila the Stockbroker has declared he will be voting for No2EU–Yes to Democracy at the European elections on 4 June.
In a statement, he said: "People should vote for any of the progressive alternatives – to register disgust at the pigs in the trough and to stop the BNP.
"I’ll be voting No2EU because I am nauseated by the way that the noble sentiments of internationalism are being channelled, via the EU, into a bosses’ charter for cheap labour."
No2EU–Yes to Democracy is a left-wing EU-critical alliance formed to contest the Euro-elections by trade unionists, socialists and other campaigners. Standing a full list of candidates in every constituency across England, Wales and Scotland, No2EU is headed in the South East by former Labour Party councillor Dave Hill, who said: "We welcome the support of Attila the Stockbroker for the stand we are making – against the gravy train and in favour of workers’ rights and conditions, and against the EU-driven agenda of privatisation and the race to the bottom."
Thursday, 21 May 2009
South East Candidate Dave Hill is pictured here with other NO2EU supporters and candidates including RMT General Secretary Bob Crow and Ex-MP Dave Nellist. The recent MP's expenses scandal has highlighted the desperate need for a polictical alternative from the workers movement. In the European Elections it is No2EU - Yes to Democracy that can provide that.
Dave Hill, the lead NO2EU-YestoDemocracy candidate (a socialist and trade union backed party fighting the European elections nationally) this week joined the 100 strong picket line of teachers and students protesting against threatened redundancies and plans to cut pay and conditions at Park for staff.
At the 300 strong public meeting (Eastbourne Town Hall, Monday 18 May) Dave Hill said
`I am here as a Grandad. My grandson Josh Akehurst is currently taking his A levels at Park College. I don’t want to see him and future students here having education on the cheap, with teachers on inferior pay and conditions.’
`I am also here as a member of the Universities and Colleges Union, UCU, and as a former regional chair of the lecturers’ union, offering our solidarity in this struggle to protect pay and conditions- and the quality of education for our young people’.
`The kids here, and in future years, want to go to University. I am a Professor of Education. At my university and at most others up and down the country, we are also threatened with redundancies and cuts- cuts in staffing and in the quality of education’.
`These attacks on our pay and conditions are part of a broader attack on workers and on public services- attacks across the whole range of public services’.
`While MPs are pillaging the system, and fat cat bankers and bosses are on the gravy train, it’s the workers and public services that are being cut –to pay for the bankers’ bailout’.
`The turnout at this meeting, organised by the teacher unions, - of 300 students, parents, teachers and school support staff- is magnificent- people standing up for public services. We need thousands of protest meetings like this up and down the country, to combat these attacks- to improve public services- not chop them’.
`I am also here as the lead candidate for the NO2EU-YestoDemocracy campaign fighting the European Elections. We are fighting against the EU’s privatisation directives, we are fighting to defend- and extend- public services’.
NOTE: The College is seeking to move away from employing staff on nationally agreed teachers’ contracts and onto its own `in-house’ contracts, paying lower rates. On BBC South East Today, Sussex Downs (the umbrella college of which Park is part) Principal sought to defend his 20% pay rise (bringing it to £168,000). See www.keepitpark.com for the campaign website
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
For Workers’ Rights, Jobs and Public Services.
Garry Hassell from the R.M.T. a candidate on the election platform of NO2EU – Yes 2 Democracy a Trade Union and Socialist Coalition here in the South East.
He is supporting the European Trade Union Confederation’s days of action on the 15th and 16th May as he will join fellow Trade Unionists from across Europe in the fight against Railway Privatisation.
Garry will be part of 2 days of action planned by the ETUC in Brussels and in Koln (Cologne)
Once again displaying solidarity and unity with fellow workers from around Europe, Privatisation directives from the E.U. such as we are seeing here in Britain with the post office are part of the problem of the E.U being used massively disproportionately by the Bosses, the Bankers and Big Business...at the expense of people and communities being put first.
For Workers’ Rights, Jobs and Public Services.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Isle of Wight (PCS Make Your Count Hustings)
7pm Tuesday 26th May
Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport
Chatham, Kent (PCS Make Your Count Hustings)
7pm Wednesday 27th May
The Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, Chatham
7pm Thursday 28th May
Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton
7:30 Monday 1st June
St Johns Hall, Cross Keys, Crawley Town Centre
MPs' expenses are in the news! MEPs in the European parliament are on the gravy train too. How much has each Euro MP made in the last five years? We should be told! It is a gravy train! And we (the No2EU-Yes to Democracy campaign and candidates) are not jumping aboard.
Dave Hill, No2EU -Yes to Democracy candidate for the European elections, southeast region.
MEPs can expect to 'make' a million pounds in a five year period by claiming various allowances on top of their salaries and even claiming for assistants for whom no record exists. And the pay of British MEPs will rise by 30% after June's election, to over £80,000 a year.
This, at a time when millions of hardworking families are living on poverty wages. Millions of manual and white collar working class families are finding the going tougher and tougher, while newspapers are reporting that the gap between rich and poor is the widest since the 1960s.
In the real world hundreds of thousands of workers lose their jobs, and all the main capitalist parties - Labour, Tory, LibDem, Greens - say there is no alternative to cuts in pensions, pay and public services. EU elites and MEPs continue to enrich themselves at the taxpayers' expense.
A major plank of our No2EU - Yes to Democracy policy is 'No to the EU gravy train'. Our candidates will absolutely not get rich from getting elected as MEPs! We are united in opposition to the EU gravy train - it's one of our main policies.
Within the No2EU campaign there is debate between those like me who argue that our candidates, if elected, should be workers' MEPs on a worker's wage, using that forum as a platform to advance workers' interests, and others who say we should accept election but take no expenses and pay-packet whatsoever, acting instead as spokespeople in Britain for the campaign and workers' interests.
As Hannah Sell, in her article 'Challenging big business and the far-right' in the current edition of Socialism Today says, a decision about which of these anti-gravy train policies to adopt will likely be taken by a convention of supporters following the election. But all of us want to derail the gravy train! Not climb on board!
I would take the gravy train argument further. I would reduce pay and expenses for all MPs and all MEPs and, instead of cutting public services, would tax the rich, with the 50% tax rate coming in at £60,000, a 75% tax rate coming in at £100,000, and a 95% tax rate at £200,000. When millions of workers and pensioners are on less than £10,000 a year poverty wages or pensions, it's time for the rich, who have milked the system and grown rich and fat out of the Thatcher and Blair/Brown giveaways, to pay their fair whack.
Then we could raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour and pensions to £164 a week. As well as renationalising the railways, keeping the post office public, and putting green investment into job creation and building a decent public service infrastructure in this country.
Dave Hill is the lead No2EU candidate in the southeast region. He is a former Brighton Labour Party councillor and East Sussex county council Labour group leader. He left the Labour Party in 2005 after 44 years as a member.
Monday, 11 May 2009
Old warhorse renews his appetite
It was good to read that Brighton's old political warhorse Dave Hill has renewed his appetite for political struggle and will be contesting the European elections as lead candidate for the No2EU – Yes to Democracy party (The Argus, May 5). However, his quote: “I now have the chance to represent that socialist opposition to neoliberalism, privatisation, wage cuts and the EU gravy train in the European Parliament”, requires clarification since No2EU’s website says it will not sit in the European parliament and that its elected candidates will only nominally hold the title MEP. Despite a rush of new parties appearing for next month’s election, no others appear to be giving voters the chance to demonstrate their outright opposition to the EU by electing candidates who will boycott its so-called parliament. I guess the prospect of an MEP’s pay, perks and allowances is just too attractive.
Dave has repiled to try and anwser these very justifiable concerns.
Letter from Dave Hill submitted to The Argus 11 May 2009
Here’s my answer to the question about whether I will take up my seat in the European Parliament if (as is very possible) elected as MEP campaign (as lead candidate for the NO2EU-YestoDemocracy in the June 4 European elections.
MEPS can expect to `make’ £ one million in a five year period by claiming various allowances and their pay will rise by even more after June’s election. This, at a time when millions of hard working families- including members of my own family- are living on low and poverty wages and millions of manual and white collar working class families are finding the going tougher and tougher.
The European Parliament- just like Westminster- is a gravy train! And we (the NO2EU-YestoDemocracy campaign and candidates) are not jumping aboard! A major plank of our policy is `No to the EU Gravy Train’. We will absolutely not get rich from getting elected as MEPs! We are united in opposition to the EU Gravy Train.
How do we do that? Within the NO2EU campaign there is debate between those who argue that The NO2EU-YestoDemocracy candidates and campaign should actually get stuck in- as Workers’ MEPS on a Workers’ Wage. This happened, honourably, once before, (with Dave Nellist, lead NO2EU Eurocandidate for the West Midlands, and a handful of other Westminster socialist MPs in the 1980s). All expenses were immediately made public and presented openly regularly to trade union and party organisations and made openly available- to make sure there was no get rich quick fiddling within or without the rules!
The other view within NO2EU, currently represented on the developing website, is to boycott the EU and its Parliament completely, taking no pay or expenses whatsoever.
How should workers’ elected representatives best proceed? Of the two views about how best to advance the interests, pay, conditions of the working class, my own view is that workers’ elected representatives (MPs, MEPs) should accept a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, fair being the regional average for a skilled worker- not that of a hedge fund investor! and that we should act primarily in Britain as spokespeople for the campaign and movement and workers’ interests.
The decision about which of these two anti-Gravy Train policies to adopt will likely be taken by a convention of supporters following election. But for all of us, we want to derail the Gravy Train! Not climb on board!
I would take the gravy train argument further, I would reduce pay and expenses for all MPs and all MEPS- and, furthermore, instead of cutting public services, tax the rich instead, with the 50% tax rate coming in at £60,000, and 75% tax rate coming in at £100,000, and a 95% tax rate coming in at £200,000. When millions of workers and pensioners are on less than £10,000 a year poverty wages, it’s time for the rich who have milked the system and grown rich and fat out of the Thatcher and Blair/Brown giveaways, and time for and upper middle income earners, to pay their fair whack. Then we could raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour and pensions to £164 a week. As well as renationalising the railways, keeping the post office public, reversing the post office closures, and putting green investment into job creation and building a decent public service infrastructure in this country.
Funnily enough, when I asked local MEPs at a Brighton public meeting on Saturday what their pay and expenses were- who had `made a million’ in their five years as MEP- there was a deafening silence! I have written to all the region’s MEPs to get them all own up about how much they have received in pay and expenses in the last five years as MEPs!
Barbara Booker is very welcome indeed, as is any elector, to come to my monthly public reportback meetings and become a member of my pay and allowances scrutiny committee (if I’m elected) showing any EU pay and expenses claimed/ received. I promise you, it’ll be just a fraction of that of the current money grabbing expense account fiddling of many of our current MPs and MEPs. There won’t be any bathplugs, bidets or bungs there!
Just socialist representation, by a Workers’ MEP on a Worker’s Wage.
Professor Dave Hill, lead NO2EU candidate in the SouthEast region Euroelections
Sunday, 10 May 2009
The Candidates are:
Professor Dave Hill – Former East Sussex Labour Group leader, long standing Socialist and Trade Union Activist.
Garry Hassell – RMT executive committee
Kevin Hayes – Ford worker, Unite
Owen Morris –Construction worker and supporter of Lindsey and Olympic site protests
Gawain Little – Teacher and CND National Council member
Robert Wilkinson – NUT Wokingham and District Secretary
Jacqui Berry – Medway trades council president
Nick Wright – Graphic designer and teacher
Nick Chaffey – Youth worker, Unison Activist
Sarah Wrack – Student Campaigner Sussex University, Youth Fight For Jobs Steering Committee.
Workers' Candidates for a Workers' Europe.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
FROM BRIGHTON ARGUS
A former Brighton councillor is to come out of political retirement to fight for a place in the European Parliament.
Working class activist Dave Hill, a political icon in the city in the 1970s and 80s, has vowed to make a radical comeback on the international stage.
Professor Hill retired from politics in the early 1990s after becoming disillusioned with the Labour Party and losing his hearing.
The 63-year-old became an academic at the University of Northampton and wrote 16 books on how education affects the class system.
At the same time he underwent ground-breaking NHS treatment on his ears.
Today, with renewed hearing, Mr Hill has announced he will be making a comeback and will run as a socialist MEP for the South East in the European Parliament elections on June 4.
He said: "With the new digital hearing aid I can hear enough to take part in political debate again.
"I was hailed a Labour moderate in the 1970s but Thatcher's class war against the working class, pay, conditions, public services, together with the rightward rush of Labour, made me into a Marxist and a strong socialist.
"I now have the chance to represent that socialist opposition to neoliberalism, privatisation, wage cuts and the EU gravy train in the European Parliament to represent the working class, the class from which I come and whose interests I try to represent."
Mr Hill, of Cumberland Road, Brighton, will be the lead candidate for the new Socialist group, NO2EU-Yes to Democracy, which is organised by the RMT union, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party.
He was a tireless political campaigner throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
During that time he stood twice as a Labour Party general election candidate for Brighton, served both the old Brighton Borough Council and East Sussex County Council and was leader of the county council’s labour group.
He left the Labour Party in 2005 after 44 years as a member and joined the Respect Party before forming the new NO2EU-Yes to Democracy group.
The United Kingdom will send 72 MEPs to the European Parliaments this year of which ten are from the South East.