Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Support your fire-fighters!”


The Times They Are A-Changin'; lyrics and words from a 1960s iconic song made famous by the singer song-writer Bob Dylan come to mind whist I think of the composition of this post, and of course I need not tell readers that Dylan’s celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler, and an apparently reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of his songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements.     

Oh, and whilst I remember I must correct a mistake, an err that was inadvertently made on my part when in a recent post I wrongly stated that Vodafone had not paid their £6 million tax bill, big mistake in fact it was £6 billion and you will agree a big difference, sorry!”     

So are the times changing I’m now wondering?” Yesterday, I went along to Poplar Fire Station, which is just down the road from me, to show my support and solidarity with our fire-fighters. I also went with the intention that I should learn more about the issues and history that lie behind this dispute, so as it were to be familiar, acquainted and grasp a better understanding able to be in a position to support the fire-fighters in the greater community when it comes to speaking up in their favour amongst my friends and neighbours, and countering any rubbish that may have filtered into heads provided by an uncongenial, nay hostile press and media; for example the up-souring and deliberate propaganda fed to the press about the so-called second jobs of fire-fighters, in fact it has been established that personal (name and address) data had been handed-out to the media pack regarding 700 + fire-fighters who had declared a second job. The best response to this attempt to discredit was provided by Tower Hamlet FBU  branch secretary Chris Boag he said that London Fire Authority chief Brian Coleman was "politically motivated" in his call for fire-fighters to be sacked.

And it’s also worth pointing out the strike is not about more money or even about the shift changes; it’s not about the manning proposition being perused by the Authority and in particular Brian Coleman. The strike is in response to sacking notices that have been issued to the entire workforce in London in an attempt to force by threat the acceptance of new contracts. Such tactics employed not only highlight the bullying methods, but implies undermining the FBU in the process, two birds with one stone would be an ideal understanding of the situation.

The Fire Authority have been told by the FBU that if they withdraw the notices the strike would be called off instantaneously, that means no strike on bonfire night alleviating everyone’s concerns including an over-exaggerating media, but this has been refused point blank, and the union say if sacking notices are withdrawn they are then willing to sit-dawn with management and look at their propositions, the answer coming back has been an emphatic no, like telling someone that pouring petrol on a blanket and throwing it on a fire will put it out.

So ask yourself who, just who is being bloody minded and irresponsible and playing with peoples lives on the busiest (allegedly) night of the year?”

Now let me just say it once more; this strike is not about money and in the Morning Star fire-fighter Nick Sadler defended their right to have second jobs because of the comparatively low pay they receive.” No one does this job for the money. I get £1,800 take-home pay a month. I do it because I love it and to serve the community.

"If I didn't have a second job, I would not be able to afford a house locally."

Well I think that fire-fighter Nick Sadler has nailed that argument dead, not only that but it’s not against the rules to have a second job, and what about MPs who don’t do such a dangerous job, who pay themselves generously with many doubling even tripling by a factor of three their remunerations, and for what?”  
Whilst we are considering our honourable members let me say that the New Labour leader Ed Miliband is totally out of order to condemn the Bonfire Night fire strike amid the so-called fears, and as the press puts it signs of a growing wave of industrial unrest.

Oh shock horror, and what this says about the Labour Party under Miliband is simply not worth thinking about. Someone tell him please, it’s being rumoured that 1.6 million people with families may lose their jobs!”
It is our duty on this blog and in the wider Trade Union and Labour Movement to defend the services and jobs of public workers, the times may be changing but they should not be allowed to be driven like an out of control house and cart through our communities in the interests of profit and privatisation.

Support your fire-fighters!”

The Times They Are A-Changin

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

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