Last Saturday saw the 128th Miners’ Gala in Durham (called locally ‘The Big Meeting’). It got the national headlines because Labour leader Ed Miliband attended, the first leader to do so for 23 years. (Neil Kinnock was the last.) Continue reading The Big Meeting
Last week’s TU Congress (12 – 14 September) was a ‘dumbed down’ affair. It was held in London with reduced delegations from the unions – the NUJ had three instead of five. The idea to hold it in London with reduced delegations, was an attempt to stop moves to make the congress biannual (a move favoured by some in Congress House – to save money). So we trooped into the basement of Congress House in central London for three days (actually two and a half – usually it’s over four days) at a time when our movement needed a really high media and public profile. Media coverage was scaled down and most of the headlines were about the frosty reception Ed (‘I don’t like strikes’) Miliband, the Labour leader received on the second day, and the decision taken on the last day to support united industrial action on 30 November against the coalition government’s plans to for many of our public sector members to pay more for reduce pension benefits. Ballots should be held next month.
Some 8 months after his death, family, friends, admires and others gathered together in the Lyric Theatre in London on Monday 8 November to celebrate the life of Michael Foot. The NUJ was represented by vice president Donnacha DeLong and I – Michael had been a union member since 1937 and was made a member of honour in 1984. Continue reading Remembering Michael Foot