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Jul 09 2014

Susan Says: Harrow Labour Slammed for Backing Unions Over Impending Strike

susan_hall_3Harrow Council’s Labour administration has been heavily criticised for backing the unions set to strike on Thursday 10th July, and for staying silent on the likely disruption to services. Over a thousand Civic Centre staff are members of either Unison or GMB – two of the main unions which will be encouraging their members to strike on Thursday. The strike may also affect schools, with over a thousand support staff in striking unions – and the National Union of Teachers has also confirmed its members will take part in strike action.

The Leader of the Council’s Conservative Group, Cllr. Susan Hall, has challenged the Labour administration to reverse its position and condemn the strike. Cllr. Hall said: “The only thing this strike will achieve is the disruption of services that Harrow residents expect and pay for, and interrupting things like bin collections even for a day can cause total chaos. As the administration, Cllr. David Perry and his Labour colleagues should be taking the lead in condemning this strike action and demanding that it’s called off – not backing it!”

As to why Labour have offered their support to the strikers, it would seem their relationship with the unions may be responsible. Cllr. Hall explained: “We all know how close Labour are to the unions nationally, but it’s less well-known how this support and influence trickles down. We’ve been told that GMB paid around £8,000 towards a borough-wide leaflet Labour put out during the recent local elections – a leaflet which was later derided for showing Labour activists posing as unbiased residents. And Unison wrote to hundreds of Council staff during the campaign with details of Labour’s manifesto and asked them to help deliver leaflets or stump for Labour on the doorstep.”

Cllr. Hall concluded: “Harrow Labour have to choose who they really serve – is it the unions who keep their bread so nicely buttered, or Harrow’s deserving residents?”

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  1. Willy Stoodley

    As a former PSC Union branch chair (for Harrow Land Registry 2007-2009) I have to take issue with Cllr Hall’s coments…generally, but not specifically! What Cllr Hall probably hasn’t noticed is that the unions involved in this strike have no more time for Labour than they do for the Conservatives, but hey, if Labour want to “suck-up” at a local level, I doubt that Unison or GMB will object!

    You have to see this from both the workers’ view and from a democratic view. Members under £20,000 pa have watched food and fuel prices skyrocket way above the official rate of inflation whilst enduring pay-freezes or cuts; as MPs award themselves yet another colossal rise-so much for “we’re all in this together”. And regardless of whether they have a genuine vrievance or not, it is still a democratic right in this country to strike-so who is Cllr Hall, or anyone come to that, to deny a democratic right?

    I leave readers with this thought: if so many low-paid workers from so many unions are prepared to give up a day’s pay, surely that must suggest that something is amiss?

    Those going on strike have my full and utmost support-go for it comrades.

  2. Mike N

    Willy Stoodley comments are typical of Labour, Nu Labour, ex Labour, independent Labour or anything else that they want to call themselves. The reason why workers haven’t had the pay rises to keep pace with inflation is because the last Labour government made such a hash of running the country and left us broke. I’m in the private sector and I am in just the same boat, but keep on working hard because I need my job. However those in the public sector, who’s wages are paid for by the tax payer….. Yes ME…..choose to disrupt the lives of of those, who’s hard earned money keep them in employment. Willy talks of democratic rights. What about my democratic right to have my children in school tomorrow, have my bins emptied on time, streets swept etc.

  3. sonoo malkani

    Sickening shadow of Trade Unions looming over Harrow and blighting our daily lives.Strike action is fine up to a point but these unions carry on endlessly and have only managed to antagonise most ordinary people who are the innocent recipients of their thoughtless actions.We ALL have to make do with smaller wage packets,pensions and whatever.Stop this carry on which only hurts poor members of the public you were hired to serve,WHY PUNISH US?

    You have the democratic right to strike but not to PARALYZE SECTIONS OF YOUR OWN LOCAL COMMUNITY,denying them the very services they have paid for,working just as hard as anybody else.

    No doubt some of you will take exception to what I have said.So be it.I am sick and tired of the non-sense already emerging from our newly elected Council.

    Our governments need to spell out to the public sector that they will also be treated like the private sector, who get fired should they hold their employers to ransom.Yes,we need a REALITY CHECK.

    In the twenty-first century there must be innovative thinking helping to achieve balance between the rights and duties of employees—both in the private and the public sector.
    Really not looking forward to the impending strikes over the next four years as spelled out by those in charge.

  4. Mike N

    Oh great. Just read Harrow Councils website to be informed amongst other things that my bin isn’t going to be emptied tomorrow and It will have to fester outside my home for another two weeks making it four weeks since last emptied. During summer as well. Thanks
    Harrow public sector workers. Shouldn’t P45’s be in the post!

  5. Willy Stoodley

    Mike N – 1: if your bin not being emptied is the worst thing that ever happens to you then you really are a very lucky person, aren’t you? OMG what a trivial complaint about life.
    2: you work in the privare sector? YOUR CHOICE! And for the record, I’d just love to have a job mate, and I’d gladly do yours for HALF of what your paid! Of course, were you a union member they’d protect you from the likes of me undercutting you but hey, it’s just capitalist business if I put you out of work because I’m cheaper, right?! But I bet you earn more than £20Kpa! In fact I bet you wouldn’t even know how to survive on £20Kpa.

    OK let’s increase that to £25Kpa-that covers the bottom 70% of all government workers. And no, you don’t pay all their wages-a lot of government departments (inc. my old firm the Land Registry) are self-funding cash-cows.

    As for Labour leaving the country in a mess-well I’ll go fetch a link in a mo that TOTALLY disproves that Cameron spin-myth.

    Sooni – when was it that unions were “carrying on endlessly” eh? Not since the early 80s actually. In fact it’s taken ages for PCS, NUT, Unison and GMB to get their act together with a co-ordinated strike. And why do you blame them? What the hell difference does one day of disruption make? You lot are so over-pampered in the western world you think it’s a pigging disaster if a bin isn’t emptied! Well I’ll tell you what a pigging disaster is-it’s being diagnosed with cancer or hearing your child has an uncurable illness or hearing late on a Friday afternoon that Grandma died or getting a phone call from the police station that your son has been arrested or your daughter coming home telling you she’s been raped. An unemptied bin? A school closed for one, I repeat ONE day? Jesus Christ get your priorities right and stop reading the Daily Mail – you lot really don’t realise how lucky you are to be living in the UK-wana swap it for Brazil? Or Columbia? Chile? Argentina? Venezuela? Central Africa? South East Asia? I have zero sympathy, I really don’t. Whinging about a one-off unemptied bin-honestly, how shallow.

    And by the way Mike – there’s no apostrophe in P45s – clearly YOU weren’t paying much attention in school lol!!

  6. Willy Stoodley

    For the aboidance of doubt, Labour did NOT bankrupt the country, the BANKS did. Yet bankers and politicians are still getting massive above-inflation pay-rises; so why shouldn’t the workers strike for an inflation-based pay-rise. ALL OUT BROTHERS!!

    http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/2007552

  7. sonoo malkani

    That’s a pathetic response Willy Stoodley.I have plenty of personal experience in receiving harsh news about close family members and a number of other things,which you have no knowledge of and have no right to assume you to be an authority on.
    You have no idea of what personal grief somebody may have been through.So stop re-gurgitating rubbish.Please stop being so pompous just because you feel the Unions are doing the right thing.Unions have a place in society but must not be allowed to run away and become all-powerful as they once were and almost ended up ruining this country.

    This is not about a ONE DAY strike .It is about their INTENTION to step up the pressure pre election and hold us all to ransom.We are not stupid nor spoilt as you suggest.Just very hard working,honest folk without any political agenda who want the best for ALL our citizens.Don’t try your bullying tactics with me.Why don’t you whizz off somewhere else instead of suggesting it to others??

    By the way,stop behaving like somebody’s English teacher and showing off needlessly.A bit of humility is in order.

    1. Awula Serwah

      Shall we focus on reasons for the strike?

  8. Awula Serwah

    .
    I don’t think the purpose of the strike is to cause inconvenience for the sake of causing inconvenience.The discussion should be about the reasons for the strike, and whether other ways of resolving the grievances of public sector workers were taken seriously.

  9. Rupika Dave

    I do understand and sympathise with the argument for the bin men striking for higher wages but there are no teachers that I know of on that kind of money. Teaching Assistants maybe, but certainly not fully qualified Teachers. Most ( if you pro rata their income to include the 13 weeks they don’t work) happen to earn substantially higher salaries. Therefore, why should we support their strike? I have 2 members of staff who now need to take emergency leave to be home with the kids. This has caused some friction in the office because no other staff members can just take leave at short notice. It is a major inconvenience to employers but I guess when you don’t understand profit & loss, you cannot understand the impact of the strike action.

    1. Willy Stoodley

      Hey Rupika – if you claim not to be a cham cchi then you know what it means; and if you know what it means then you lied about not understanding it.

  10. Krishna James (@CllrKJames)

    Rupika and Sonoo so smug, you clearly have not lived where there were no unions, no job security, no workers rights, no housing security, no security of education unless your parents could pay, It appears Will understands and empathises. Such a shame that you do not seem to understand that welfare state, the education system and the housing stock what is left of it has been fought hard for in this country. The rights were certainly not handed on a plate to the populace. They are hard fought rights and some of our parents and grand parents paid a high price for them. My in laws were welsh miners and my father build army barracks in Africa for the British Empire. I am so glad to be part of a society that cares, unlike your rants. Listen to what Will says THE BANKERS CAUSED THE CREDIT CRUNCH, some of us were victims of it before the name was coined. By the way I have 4 extended family members who are teachers and 4 who happen to be nurses, I doubt if either of you have a clue what it is like to do these jobs. All of them are some of the most dedicated inspirational people I know. Please leave the workers alone, it is the only bargaining they have thier Labour.

    1. Rupike Dave

      Krishna James, for your information, I have lived my formative years in a country without unions, job security or house security. However, it is because of that very reason I work hard to keep my job, pay for my house and support my family. When you come from a country where that is not possible, you commit harder to a country that provides you with the opportunities to make a better life. We all work hard, This is not just something that teachers and nurses do. I too have friends that are teachers, nurses, and policemen and yes they work hard, but, no harder than me. And, they ALL earn more than me, and on balance, I work longer hours than they do. So, please don’t assume that I am being smug. I have purely stated facts that support my argument. Striking will not achieve anything productive. So far despite many strikes already, the teachers are still aggrieved. I do however, have huge sympathies with the bin men, and I hope their strike succeeds in achieving their aims. As for the teachers, well, I will state again, there is no political agenda – they just want a day off.

  11. Harrow Dude

    More political jibba jabba Susie and there was I under the impression that you were all for ‘your boys and girls’ who provide Harrow’s valuable front-line services or was that just mere pre-election Susie spin?

    If you really gave a stuff about street cleaners and refuse staff you would be supporting their fight for a decent wage not condemning them. After all your mate Dave and the rest of the cosy club have awarded themselves 11% or is it a case of no rules for the rich and one rule for the poor and that rule is stay poor…
    Perhaps you would like to tell us the percentage of Harrow residents now having to rely on food-banks and pay-day loans just to survive day to day?

    As for Labour’s relationship with the unions get your facts right Susie, Unison wrote to 600 Labour Link members. These are people who have already signed up to support Labour so it’s not the big surreptitious plan that you are trying to portray. I know it’s a long time since you were in power have been corrected about this before click the link to refresh your memory

    http://www.iharrow.com/noretweet/chief-executive-position-could-return-under-labour-with-pay-rise/

    Tell me Susie what percentage rise did you gave your staff, when was it and are you paying the London living wage?

    For the record Susie it is the right of every employee (even yours) to withdraw their labour
    For a person who may not withdraw his labour is a nothing more than a slave…

  12. the red mirror

    krishna james i salute you god bless your soul at last a real man of compassion and understanding you have my full respect my freind well said and SO SO SO TRUE.

    1. Harrow Dude

      Red… this Krishna is a woman but I agree with your sentiment. Although I do not always agree with KJ the very fact that Susie has openly displayed her dislike for her tells you Krishna is doing the right thing. Plus when Susie stole the show on Sept 17th 2013 Krishna had the integrity to abstain when it came to the vote…

  13. Susan Hall

    Harrow Dude, not pre election spin. The lads and lasses on the front line know I support them because my administration put money into the services keeping the borough clean, we did it in the last 9 months when in control and we did it when we were in control from 2017-2010 Its Labour who have removed funding from these services. I want these front line Officers to keep their jobs and deliver for the residents of Harrow. By striking they will lose public support, inconvenience our residents and taxpayers and we must remember that many in the private sector are suffering every bit as much as the public sector and the only way we can survive is to work harder.. Do I accept that people have the right to strike, yes of course, however sometimes we must remember that wages, pensions, sick pay and benefits are much better generally in the public sector than in the private sector and the priority in my personal view is that we must preserve jobs as the priority. You, ‘Harrow Dude’ are quite happy I am sure to call or support strikes but sometimes we should look at the bigger picture. how many Boroughs in London will lose their refuse collection? Possibly not many as they have been outsourced. I would not outsource our public realm services as you know but there are many who would – think about that when talking to the Union members. Enjoy your day tomorrow on the picket line, but give a thought please to the future of the front line staff, I most certainly do

    1. Harrow Dude

      Susie those lads and lasses striking are your residents and taxpayers and I’m sure they have no problem working harder as long as that is reflected in their pay packet.
      Surely you must agree that a below inflation pay increase of 1% is a derisory offer considering your mate at the Palace of Westminster think that it’s acceptable to award themselves 11% more than 4x the rate of inflation. What say you Susie?

      You did put money into street cleaning but the question you have always failed to answer is where did it come from, I’m going to say you diverted money from other services leaving them at risk, services that you don’t really care about. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong as long as you can prove what you say and it’s not just more Susie spin.

      If you could expand on exactly what funding you say Labour have removed from this service would be nice, because I’m not sure whether if you are talking about the money that you usurped for your pre-election campaign or something else?

      For your information I did not call for this strike, nevertheless I do support those fighting for a decent living wage but by your ‘you’re lucky to have a job’ statement I know where you stand.
      Then again veiled threats have always been your default setting.

      For the avoidance of any misconception….I AM NOT GARY

  14. N. Lathia

    Cllr. Hall concluded: “Harrow Labour have to choose who they really serve – is it the unions who keep their bread so nicely buttered, or Harrow’s deserving residents?”

    For Cllr. It’s not just the Harrow but 99% of the British population support this against the 1%. It’s the present Conservative policies under the false name of ‘austerity’ which is the real cause of the strikes! When has a member of a Conservative group, Local or National said a word against the BWANKERS and their multimillion £ BONUSES. When has a member of a Conservative group, Local or National said a word against the Tax Avoidance/Legalised Evasion on an INDUSTRIAL SCALE. Highest paid Accountants are employed by the Corporates for these immoral acts! If the national exchequer collected a fair amount then the workers in the public sector would be paid a just wage — NO NEED FOR STRIKES THEN!

    The Conservative policy of ‘divide and rule’ [the haves & the have nots] has now been pushed to a point of revolution/ national strikes in all major industries.

    Cllr. Hall, winding the public against the Unions is another ‘divide and rule’ ploy!

  15. BWANKER

    I work for a bank.

    I have worked for the same bank for 35 years.

    I am a manager and have considerable responsibility for the meeting of targets (not sales) and a number of staff.

    Am I proud to work for a Bank in the present climate? No, I am not, but as I am married and have a wife and children to support I cannot just walk away.

    Am I paid huge amounts of money? No. I am paid £47k which is not a lot for 35 years service.

    Do I get a pay rise – Yes. 2011 = 0.75%, 2012 = 0.5% 2013 = 0.75%.

    Do I get a Bonus- Sometimes. 2011 = Nil, 2012 = Nil, 2013 = £2,200.

    Do I get a pension – Yes. It’s a final salary pension and I get a maximum 40/60ths of my final salary. Up until 2 years ago my retirement age was 60. I could take my pension at 55 but with a 5% reduction for each year it is taken early i.e. at age 55 it would be 75% of 38/60 (this is because I joined the bank at 16 and would only have done 38 years service at the age of 55).

    Is this still the case – No. Two years ago they raised my retirement age to 65.

    Did I have a choice? – Yes I could have contributed an extra 5% of my salary to maintain my 60 years retirement.

    Could I afford that – No.

    Now, I am not saying I’m on the poverty line at all. BUT am I better or worse off than teachers ?

    I really do not know, but what I do know is that there are thousands of bank workers like me and there are thousands more who are a lot worse off than me but striking doesn’t even cross our minds.

    We understand the financial situation of our employers, public sector workers need to understand the financial situation of their employers. Money doesn’t grow on trees – it has to come from somewhere.

    Bankers are an easy target. Yes of course banks have been responsible for some terrible wrong doings over the years but let’s face it the regulators have let them get away with it.

    When you are bashing bankers please spare a thought for the vast majority of bank employees who struggle to make ends meet as much as anyone else – we are humans too.

  16. mike mcfadden

    Mrs Hall you are without doubt leadership material and I have always been a staunch Tory supporter and believe to keep prices down and quality up every one should be self employed so they get a good grasp of the basic economic facts of life!! If you can’t afford it you can’t have it!! Not rocket science but Cameron is a school kid who doesn’t know right from wrong in my view! Every person I know is hurting financially Cameron’s ponzi scheme would put Berni Madoff to shame but the bankers (his mates) who caused all the grief none have been charged with fraud and gone to jail. All of them are earning bundles plus getting outrageous bonus’s while we are paying. Its like rubbing salt in an open cut.

    I have never been one for politics of envy. I’m pleased scroungers are being made to work again but the total collapse of Cameron’s false economy can’t be far off. Britain to day spends £4000 extra every second keeping up this pretence because its easier to scrounge on benefits then work and people see this and are giving up.

    As someone once said: Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.

    My personal view is the Communist E.U want us in Britain as poor as church dormice so we will go begging to the state for hand-outs. Just like in the once Soviet Union. I don’t have the answers but I know @@it will hit the fan soon and much of Nu-Labours disastrous handling of the economy will lead to anarchy. Hence Boris getting the water cannon ready. The Heir-to-Blair got it wrong from the start and nothings going to change while his Tory-Boys are betraying and lying to the people all the time. Time for change is coming. Use your votes people. Its the only weapon we have against state tyranny.

    1. the red mirror

      mike you are so bang on the money my freind but it all goes so very much deeper the elites are ALL versed in the teachings of leo strauss saul alinski etc etc the plan is a new world order plain and simple and if you dont like it they have a very simple answer room 101 i am not joking we are so close now just look perpetual war overseas while at home the police state and tyranny grows ever bigger (oceania ) water cannons thats just the tip of the iceberg the uk made some substantial purchases in the last few years on mass crowd control weapons they are geared up to the max SO PEOPLE WAKE UP AND START ASKING THE BIG QUSTIONS NOT SNIPING AT EACH OTHER ON FORUMS THATS JUST WHAT THEY WANT DIVIDE AND CONQUER BY THE WAY CHECK OUT THE LOGO FOR THE FABIAN SOCIETY I THINK YOU WILL BE SURPRISED GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

  17. Willy Stoodley

    Sonoo you’ve been brainwashed – but it’s not your fault, it’s Murdoch’s, the Daily Mail’s and the Director General of the BBC’s so I forgive you! But for the record the statute is awash, and I mean ABSOLUTELY AWASH with legislation preventing the sort of union power that this one day strike has made you descend into paranoia over.

    STOP WORRYING, Sonoo; STOP FRETTING! IT AIN’T NEVER GONNA HAPPEN! It’s a one day strike, it’s merely a public expression of dissatisfaction; nothing to get yer knickers in a twist over!

    I take the point about the qualified teacher but let us not forget that course now costs £10,000 AFTER university so how are they supposed to pay their student debts back if they’re not on a decent wedge? Also, if you’re a union member, you come out, regardless of grade or salary; that’s one of the reasons it’s called a union.

    Sonoo – I’m intrigued by your comment about me picking up on people’s English – I take it education isn’t important in your view then? Use of the apostrophe is one of the most easiest things to learn – it denotes a missing letter or letters and I should have thought that Mike N. would have known that!

    And I was delighted with your rant about knowing full well the hardships of life and that I should go someplace else. If you are indeed so familiar with the hardships of life then why are you so paranoid about this strike?! IT’S ONLY ONE DAY! IT DOESN’T MATTER OR MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO YOU! And as for someplace else, I am currently in the Philippines, a totally dog-eat-dog workplace environment with zero social security or healthcare, the likes of which would scare most of you to hell. AND YOU’RE BOTH FRETTING OVER AN UNEMPTIED BIN? Surreal…

    Harrow Dude – we have often locked horns on here but I totally agree with EVERY word in your piece – here here sir! Many tories think you’re Bill Stephenson but, with all due respect, Bill would have known the phrase “Cappo di tutti cappi” which you did not! So I wonder who you really are…???!!!!

    Susie – the “better Ts & Cs” argument doesn’t wash. Fiddle with the newcomers’ contracts all you like but fiddling with anyone’s Ts & Cs who’s already been working a number of years is a breach of contract. You wouldn’t like it if you had a fixed rent clause in the lease of your shop and then suddenly the government disapplied it and upped your rent by 20% would you?! Think about it please – a lot of people deliberately choose government jobs because the working Ts and Cs are so much better – that’s why so many mums and part-time carers work for government, usually part-time. If they’re hit with a pay-freeze for years on end it hurts real bad!

    Hey I tell you all what – let’s all take a 25% pay CUT!… PROVIDED THE BANKERS AND THE MPs DO ALSO. ARE YOU UP FOR THAT BOB?! ARE YOU UP FOR THAT GARETH?!

    “Barclays bankers”, the lot of them (if you get my rhyming slang!).

    1. Harrow Dude

      Capo di tutti capi OR capo dei capi, is often referred to as the Godfather in English, it is Italian for boss of all bosses OR boss of bosses. Both I’m sure we can agree fit Susie’s opinion of herself…

      1. the red mirror

        [This comment has been deleted as it was found to breach our house rules]

  18. Nana Asante

    It’s great that Susan has started a debate. It is healthy that we discuss what sort of society we want rather than sink into apathy. Awula Serwah is right, we should focus on the reasons for the strike. Longer hours, worse pay, larger workload, an attack on pensions, a pay freeze followed by a 1% increase etc all this at a time when Parliamentarians award themselves 11% increase?

    Divide and rule does not help. Private Sector Workers deserve better and we should be improving their working conditions, work life balance rather than saying Public Sector Workers have it better so should zip it. More Private Sector Workers should join a Union so they have the benefit of collective bargaining. Strikes are a last resort when everything else has failed. Strikes by their very nature inconvenience people but to focus on the inconvenience and ignore why people are striking is to be out of touch. This ONE day strike is the biggest walkout since the 1926 General Strike when 1.5 million people went on strike. In 2014, it is 1 million people who want us all to notice the problem and listen to their grievances. We are being inconvenienced, we need to ask why instead of asking for their right to strike to be curbed.

    The gains made by Public Sector Workers are not an accident, Private Sector Workers need to appreciate the value of Unions. A race to the bottom does not help us to create the sort of civilised society we want to live in. In the 6th largest Economy we can choose to create a different society where hard work pays instead of one where some people work all hours and need a subsidy from the State to pay ordinary living costs! We need to be asking why the Government did not listen to the Teachers, Nurses & other Public Sector Workers leaving them no alternative but to strike. The excuse about Austerity does not wash. As Winston Churchill said a lie gets half way across the world before the truth gets its pants on. The misinformation that Labour wrecked the Economy is one such lie. Thank you Will for sharing the article by Ramesh Patel, an Economist who worked in the Media and Financial Sector. http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/2007552. Ordinary Bankers need not be defensive – the guilty ones are those who gambled with assets they did not have creating a financial black hole.Ordinary Bankers should join other hardworking workers to fight for and create a fair society. Private Sector Workers deserve better and we need to be insisting that they have pensions and basic working rights. I support the strike even if my bin will not be collected today.

    The right to strike is part of the democratic fabric, it is a hard won right that we should be vigilant to protect. For those interested in discussing the issues, there will be a screening of “The Spirit of ’45” followed by a discussion.The film documents the context in which the NHS and the Welfare State were created. The country was broke after fighting a war but it was seen as important to give everyone access to Healthcare, Housing and help when out of work. Important that we ask ourselves whether we deserve less than people did in 1945. No pain, no gain, the alternative to austerity will not be easy but if we want it, wee can make it happen. Date and time to watch The Spirit of 45 to be confirmed.

    Email independentlabourgroup@gmail.com to receive a personal invite.

  19. sonoo malkani

    Pity,Willy, you consider what I say a “rant.”I am NOT one who gets brain-washed!Please get that straight..For your kind information,I research very carefully and independently and have very definite views of my own.I don’t subscribe to the sources you have mentioned.Also,kindly use more genteel language.

    I am not stressing over a SINGLE Day’s STRIKE but the idea of having a repeat show over the next FOUR YEARS fills me with horror.You may not care,Willy,but I most certainly do.We now have to pay for PUBLIC ORDER which comes out of the public purse.

    Of course,education matters greatly to me.I am simply not in favour of putting other people down for the little errors they might make because their English or grammar might not be up to the mark!Also many make typing errors.Let’s stop being haughty.

    Krishna James
    ,I come from INDIA where,unless you had TONS of dough,you had to fend for yourself.I certainly do not come from a rich family so we had to learn to MANAGE our own affairs the BEST WE COULD,with no help from any external source.I am therefore,HARDLY IN position to be “SMUG” as alleged by you.We always worked with very tight budgets but learned coping skills which have helped me throughout life.

    Please stop having a carry on about not appreciating Nurses and the good work done by them.Such a lot of tosh!We greatly appreciate hard-won public institutions serving us all but cannot carry on in the same way as before when the world has moved on so much.It is prudent that we constantly review how to get best value for EVERYBODY.

    Like most people I certainly feel the BANKERS have let us down very badly and still need much more regulating.I am afraid many POLITICIANS have also left a lot to be desired and are also well and truly on the public’s radar.

    I appreciate what Awula has said but strongly feel that one should never give up negotiating or finding “other mechanisms” which would help those feeling “left behind” to have a genuine voice and a genuine listening ear.

    Only then will this animosity between these groups end and positive results start flowing.STRIKES will only make things worse and close channels of communication which are so vital for the good of the whole community.

    Our nation needs UNITY to thrive and prosper.In-fighting only makes us a WEAK and VULNERABLE,society-,economically and socially divided,–sitting ducks for Terrorists and anyone else who looks at us with envious eyes.Wise up while there’s time!

    1. Awula Serwah

      “I appreciate what Awula has said but strongly feel that one should never give up negotiating or finding “other mechanisms” which would help those feeling “left behind” to have a genuine voice and a genuine listening ear.”

      My understanding is that negotiations have been going on for over 2 years without much progress. In the meantime Parliamentarians have received an 11% increase whilst public sector workers are being offered 1%, the numbers of people in work (the working poor) struggling to make ends meet and needing benefits has increased, more and more people are compelled to use food banks. I could go on.

      Going on strike is often the last resort, and is taken when negotiations are not progressing. Strikers lose money when they go on strike, and I don’t think the decision to go on strike is taken lightly.

      Teachers, civil servants, fire fighters, nurses went on strike because negotiations had been going for over two years without much progress.

      When is enough enough, and what do you suggest they do?

  20. Willy Stoodley

    Sonoo you’re shifting the goalposts – now you claim you’re not fretting over a one day strike but over what could happen with a epeat show over the next 4 years. What on earth do you mean? Why does a strike fill you with horror?! Surely the fact that the strikers hahe had a pay freeze since 2009 whilst MPs award themselves 11% should fill you with “horror”?! Or do you mean the Harrow Labour administration will cause more strikes? Lol it’s nothing to do with them – it’s the unions, at a national level, and they have to ballot the members. You really don’t have a clue how this all works do you? It’s crystal clear you’re not sourcing accurate information about how unions and strikes work! Hence why I suspect the Daily Mail. Or the BBC. Or worse still the Daily Express! If you were sourcing accurate information you’d realise how lamentably difficult it is now in the UK to legally call members to strike – another reason why you need to stop fretting!

    Wake up Sonoo and stop doffing yer cap to the toffs – you don’t have to anymore!

    Strange how people take umbridge on this site when I correct grammar – there appears to be no desire to learn!

  21. sonoo malkani

    You’re a sad and pompous old what’s it.Not worth bothering with,Willy!

    1. Willy Stoodley

      Ah – resulting to insults-they say that’s a sure sine that the individual has lost the argument…

  22. Harrow Dude

    Sonoo you say that you ” strongly feel that one should never give up negotiating or finding “other mechanisms” which would help those feeling “left behind” to have a genuine voice and a genuine listening ear.”

    The Unions did not give up on negotiating and the only other mechanism they have is industrial action to bring those that hold the purse strings back to the table. 1% is an insult to those who clean our streets, look after our sick, educate our young when those that ‘lose files and protect the guilty’ deem themselves worthy of 11%.

    At the same time those on benefits get an increase of 5.2% for not working.
    How can that be fair, you work to provide essential services to the borough that you live in and you lose 18-20% in real terms. However if you choose to sit at home and do nothing you can rely on an inflation busting 5.2% increase in your state handouts.

    If you do indeed “greatly appreciate hard-won public institutions serving us all” Then you will appreciate why they chose to lose a days pay and take industrial action…

  23. sonoo malkani

    I know this may be the way some people in this part of the world choose to go about making their case,Harrow Dude..However, I don’t see it bringing any positive results, especially in the present economic climate.

    In fact,it seems to be antagonising a large section of the public who feel badly let down and inconvenienced.Their frustration is palpable and cannot be brushed off lightly.Feels counter-productive.

    You must realise how much this is costing not just financially but also in social and emotional terms.How many days of pay loss and industrial action will union members be encouraged to take and what guarantee it will be to their benefit?Somebody has to come up with a sounder solution, so both sides can make progress.

    I worry that higher wages granted in the public sector might be at the expense of much needed jobs.That is what has been happening thus far,more often than not.

    I hear what you say but have to say that Life is HARDLY EVER FAIR eg women don’t get paid the same as men for performing the same job but no one expects them to down tools nor supports their cause– do they?.I could give you truck-loads of examples but to what avail?You would argue till the cows came home!

    I don’t pretend to be the Oracle.Nor do I have the perfect answer to such distressing issues.Only hope and pray we are not going to jeopardise the hard-won economic gains made with enormous sacrifices, heralding the end of the austere period which our countrymen have suffered in recent years, by launching into a period of strikes and crippling industrial action.

    That would be suicidal for the entire nation and certainly NOT result in enhanced wages.More likely in high unemployment and economic disaster.I sincerely hope union members will consider their options very carefully before going on more strikes.Truly,it should be used only as a LAST RESORT.

    However frustrating it may be that negotiations have stalled for two years,public servants must look for practical alternatives which will help bridge the gap between their thinking and communicate EFFECTIVELY with the very people who will decide what pay rise is feasible,in Britain today.

    Perhaps they might consider” performance related “increases.I have no knowledge of these matters so please forgive me any erroneous suggestions.There HAS to be some thing other than striking!!Good luck all.

    1. Harrow Dude

      For the record at Harrow Council a female street cleaner earns the same as their male colleagues likewise the refuse collectors, teaching assistants etc

      If women are getting paid less then men for performing the same job I would suggest that they seek the assistance of their union in pursuing an equal pay claim..

    2. N. Lathia

      It’s very easy for “the very people who will decide what pay rise is feasible” to award themselves 11% and ask the rest (99% of the population) to settle for 1%. If that’s the kind of world you hope to live in good luck to you. You have sent an invitation to disaster!

  24. Willy Stoodley

    Let’s not forget that inflation figures take everything into account. TVs, DVDs, Hi-Fis, cars, computers, cellphones and a plethora of electronic goods have tumbled DOWN in price. Essentials such as gas, electric, petrol and food have SKYROCKETED in price. A bus ride was 90p under Ken-under Boris it’s now £1.45 – unjustifiable. The net result is that the poorer you are the more you are hit and let us not forget that 75% of government workers earn LESS than £25K p.a. No wonder they went on strike and good luck to them I say!

  25. Willy Stoodley

    Harrow Dude – you’ll never convince Sonoo – she’s been brainwashed by Middle England media! The facts aren’t out there in the mainstream media anymore because the corporations don’t want the people to know. The truth is out there but it’s on facebook, youtube, Huffington Post, 38 Degrees, the sort of stuff that Middle England will purse its lips at whilst saying “Oh my goodness, oh dear, oh, no thank you. An INTERNET source of information? Oh no, it’s the BBC and the Daily Mail for me.”

    1. the red mirror

      well said will and as an aside the excellent uk column has just ben baned by atvod for telling the truth basicially on you tube getting too close to the truth but as you say people like sonoo cant see the man behind the curtain. IN A TIME OF TYRANNY TELLING THE TRUTH BECOMES A REVILUTIONARY ACT . we must all become revolutioneries under that definition god bless will.

  26. Rupika Dave

    Finding a guju friend to translate isn’t hard Willy.

    1. N. Lathia

      Been reading the exchange between Sonoo and Willy for a while and cannot resist adding my 2 pence worth. Excellent idea Rupika. Sonoo sound like she wants to join the Conservatives – Cameroon, Clegg & Co. to carry on quaffing caviar and quails eggs in the Commons canteen till Christmas while the rest look on! Sorry but are you sitting on a little pot of gold – Sonoo?

      Perhaps never had to do a hard day’s work as a general labourer, cleaner, shop assistant, office assistant, nurse auxiliary, clerk, delivery man etc. etc. just to name a few. This type of work makes anybody come down to earth from cloud cuckoo land. This might work for you too Sonoo!

  27. Willy Stoodley

    You have a friend? Wonderful!

  28. sonoo malkani

    It seems anyone who does not believe in what the Union lovers do ,have no right to speak or have opinions of their own.They are deemed “brain-washed”.and only rudely attacked.Read the above comments which prove my point.

    Looks like.Democracy is only for the chosen few——Union backers.Please feel free to bash anyone not in your club!No point wasting precious time to pre-conditioned minds.

    1. N. Lathia

      Apologies, Your Highness Sonoo, I did not accuse you of being non vegetarian. It was all said in jest, if you notice a lot of ‘c/q’ words (Conservatives, Cameroon, Clegg & Co., carry, quaffing, caviar, quails, Commons, canteen & Christmas). Not having a sense of humour, not being able to see the lighter side of ‘an exchange’, seems to be a Conservative/Tory trait.

      You claim to have some disability’. Sound like an excuse for not doing manual work? But then the Tories you back enjoy nothing more that being the Lords of the Manor. I too am disabled by Polio from age of 2 but have received little help from the state. I am extremely proud that my very first job was in a butter factory cutting up giant blocks of butter from New Zealand. I have benefited more by Union Membership to protect my right, as a disabled person.

      I too am of Indian ancestry and am fully aware of which side my bread is buttered, unlike you Sonoo!

      Reading your exchanges with Willy, you DO sound like, “a very naive and ill-informed person who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth” You will probably agree totally with something I heard from the mouth of an Mumbai lady “If we did not have the ‘jupadpatti’ (shanti towns) and the people living there who would do our HOUSE/MANUAL WORK?” Such is the sad thinking of many British Conservatives too!

      Another thing, you do need a better command of the English. Available at Stanmore College: “For Upper Intermediate (Level 1) courses you should be communicating effectively and fluently in different everyday situations, such as taking part in a discussion and writing a letter in English. The course will cover the four main skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and you will have the opportunity to expand your grammar and develop vocabulary to a more advanced level. This course is suitable if you have progressed to this level via our other ESOL courses” Good luck!

      You say in one of your answers “I gave up my paid job 40 years back”. Lets assume you started work at age 18, like I did, This makes you 58 years old!

      Returning to political matters:

      Creating an environment where dis-satisfaction thrives, where 99% are stripped of their rights to basics of life, the 1% are allowed a free hand to the wealth of the nation and thus creating the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ has been the cornerstone of Condem(ned)/Tory Party. Thatcher ‘the milk snatcher’ has had many ‘sons’ including TORY Blair to carry on the evil & divisive policies. Now Cameroon Clegg and co. (more popularly known as the CONDEMned due to the policies they pursue) will carry on the work of the Wicked Witch of the West! Apologies if she is your hero!

      You my dear are a freshly arrived ‘immigrant’. Just be careful you are not sent back home on the next banana boat back to India by the very same CONDEMned Party. No grounds for such an idea? I ask you to please Google “History of the Jews in Germany”. I quote Wikipedia: “A higher percentage of German Jews fought in World War I than that of any other ethnic, religious or political group in Germany; some 12,000 died for their country. Ironically, it was a Jewish person, Lieutenant Hugo Gutmann, who awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, to a 29-year-old corporal named Adolf Hitler.” After August 25, 1933, “60,000 German Jews were allowed to emigrate to Palestine and take $100 million in assets with them”. Later the “Nazi persecution of the Jews culminated in the Holocaust, in which approximately 6 million European Jews were deported and murdered during World War II.” It was not the ordinary population but the Government under Hitler who carried out all the atrocities. I thus say ‘be warned!’ to the Indians and Asians in the UK. You never can tell WHEN the ‘colour’ of those in power changes!

      CONDEMned Party who have already forced through the ‘Gaging Laws’. are going to FORCE through ‘Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill’ this very week. This Bill is being rushed through for the simple reason that it will be possible for it to be ‘misused’. ‘Push the bill through now and apologize later, once the real purpose has been served’ seems to be the policy here!

      One aspect of the ‘misuse’ (obvious to me) WILL be by SOME Conservative Party members. The recorded phone conversation will be sifted through for keywords related to political discussions. Information retrieved from conversations (related TO rival parties, BY rival parties, Labour members, Labour policies (i.e. to challenge Conservative Empire)) will be misused by the Conservatives to promote their interests. These are to suppress the 99% of the British population and rake all wealth towards the 1%, who are the richest.

  29. Willy Stoodley

    It’s not that Sonoo – it’s the fact that you’re saying people shouldn’t strike when by law they’re allowed to. It’s the fact that you come across totally paranoid that in a few seconds the country will grind to a halt and the revolution will start, yet you refuse to believe that that could never happen under current legislation. And it’s the fact that trying to tell people not to do something that they are ALLOWED to do by LAW is the ultimate epitomy of arrogance. Add all that together Sonoo and you not only doing yourself no favours, you also give the impression of a very naive and ill-informed person who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. I’m sorry if that hurts Sonoo but quite honestly nobody, and I mean nobody, earning under £20k pa would say the things that you have written on here, regardless of whether or not they’d had their pay frozen for years whilst watching MPs award themselves massive pay rises.

  30. sonoo malkani

    One has come to expect the kind of impolite language and wholly erroneous assumptions which you pour out ad lib,Willy.Yours are outpourings of a mind which seems clogged with negativity for anyone who disagrees with you.You even told me,more or less,that I should go back to my own country.You may be blissfully unaware that is NOT in keeping with what most decent people in this country feel and work hard to promote harmony.Of course,there are laws about this too.You should know,having served as a local Councillor!

    I know the Law PERMITS strike action.Just debating where it is getting us to and what it is achieving.For your kind information,.I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth but grew up in a spartan atmosphere where we learned COPING SKILLS for life.

    In addition,for well-informed folk like yourself,I gave up my paid job 40 years back and stayed in to care for my child.I needed money despeartely, like anyone else, but chose NOT to claim benefits and gave up the little joys of life which most of us feel entitled to so that we could manage our limited budget effectively.I have no regrets and would do it all over again..My husband is not a millionaire!It’s just that.we chose to be community-minded and try our best to this day to make our way through life under our own steam,to the best of our ability.You are free to make other choices and not make any sacrifice…

    I never had the luxury of earning 20k or spending it on myself.So the question of a pay freeze does not arise!There is more to life than just living for your self.Look further and see what you can give back to your community.

    It’s impossible to believe that you ever were a Councillor,with the sharp and nasty comments you shower in abundance on members of public,imagining you are the fountain of all knowledge.Must pray for all of us to work together in peace and a spirit of forgiveness.Arrogance suits nobody and damages everybody.

  31. sonoo malkani

    N.Lathia.You may be surprised to know I have NO political ambitions nor am I a non-vegetarian or fond of all the non-sense you have listed.Please think before you speak.I am not sitting on a pot of gold but prefer to go out into the community and spin gold for all our fellow citizens.I happen to fast as well.So stop your silly talk please.

    By the way,I work incredibly hard to this day,and do all sorts of tasks despite some disability.I have held jobs many years back and worked my tail off but never resorted to withdrawing my labour.So,please stop jumping out of your pram and assuming the worst of people who don’t see eye to eye with you or the likes of Willy.

  32. Mike N

    I can’t make up my mind if Willy (my old firm Land Registry 2007-2009(Wow 2 years) I speak English, French, some German, some Filipino (Illongo) and some Gujarati (double Wow) and so diverse that they are fluent in two languages and familiar with a further three languages. Who replies to Sonoo Malkani , who has already told us they originally come from India, “Nobody’s forcing you to live in Harrow! Or the UK for that matter” ) Stoodley is a class wind up act or a rude, big headed, conceited, arrogant, aggressive, boring, pugnacious twit.

    1. mike mcfadden

      “Nobody forces you to live in Harrow” yeah but living free would encourage all in sundry! Apparently, under Nu-Labour’s control all you had to do to get housing benefit was make a call to the council. Checks and verification of entitlement were apparently made later but if you believe that you’ll believe anything!!
      However, I can never understand how Harrow advertised they take in “lost children” and failed asylum seekers!!
      I know 6 families of E.U guests that arrived here and 5 of them work and draw benefits of many kinds and they have home’s back in their member state. Not very fair on a family say living Liverpool who want to let their home and move to Brighton and have every living cost paid by tax-payers. We are all in this together comes to mind, comes to mind.

      Now please explain who gave Harrow council the authority to spend my tax-payer money in that way? So Mike N that was probably the reason so many flocked here.
      I personally believe if councillors have spent tax-payers money frivolously “welfare for votes” they should be made to pay it back personally.

  33. mike mcfadden

    Ha ha ha had to laugh at your George Orwell statement because its so true. However, Orwell went on to say the totalitarian state will only evolve if we allow it. Perhaps that’s why Nu-Labour allowed the poor to invade our big cities and way of life to live on benefits! Oops, sorry “to do the jobs nobody else wanted to do!!!” Did you know that was the self same excuse used by Enoch Powell in the 1960’s when he was minister of health and every U.K politician has been running scare ever since he realised the errors of his ways! As for the tyranny shown by our misguided police in their confused and some what tarnished understanding of freedom’s is heating up to an explosive situation that we may all live to regret. “Stasi” However, this is life as we know it now but no truer saying then what comes around goes around. Just keep to your fair honest values and wait for this era to change back to honest reality instead of Labours lies and dishonesty. Show your Emmeline Pankhurst spirit it will rise up above autocracy.

    1. the red mirror

      thanks mike i do believe that evil carries the seeds of its own destruction so please god this totalitarian plan implodes on itself before too long keep up the good work buddy.

  34. sonoo malkani

    Thanks N.Lathia.for your pompous ravings and rantings.All aimed at TORIES.You obviously have a huge chip on your shoulder about anyone from India who did not come from the working classes.Can’t help you get over that!Grow up.

    You should learn to examine your own heart and your deeds before launching off into vicious attacks which you seem extraordinarily adept at..Thanks for your sarcasm!

    What you are on the inside manifests and is there for all to see.I expect it’s beyond your control..

    1. N. Lathia

      Thanks for totally ignoring all the points raised. Just trying to guide the misguided back to the road to righteousness, as Shree Krishna teaches us all Hindus in the Gita.

      You totally ignored all the points I raised. Have a re-think about the ESOL courses. Will certainly improve your command of the English language. Any sensible person [not having a chip (or a large boulder) on the shoulder] would have taken this as a constructive advise and acted upon it to gain a real advantage. Seems I was attempting to ‘talk to a brick wall’. You appear not EVEN to have a life. Reading your words reminds me of ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. Please do not boiling in your own soup. Wish you luck with Willy and the rest of life in general. Try not ‘to get too hot under the collar’.

  35. sonoo malkani

    You’re the one who needs to cool off.,N.Lathia.Please do not start quoting from the Bhagawad Gita or try to cover your churlish remarks by referring to any sacred text or religious teachings..PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH.Thanks for your barbed comments..

  36. Rupika Dave

    @ Paul Boakes. I think you need to end this discussion. This site has become a tool for trading insults which is a real shame. Many people have valid points to make but this kind of insult trading does make you think twice about sharing your comments.

  37. sonoo malkani

    Couldn’t agree more,Rupika.Any insulting or nasty emails should be excluded.No exceptions.This site started off giving useful information but has sadly degenerated to trading personal insults which is totally unacceptable.

    Paul Boakes,please ensure the CONTENT is very carefully monitored so that valid points can be freely posted,with malice towards none.Let’;s not spoil it for everybody!.

  38. Mike N

    Being new to this site I have to agree with the the above comments. Although I would also have to point out that the majority of the nasty comments, some near racist, generally come from one side of the political spectrum and in general from two people.

  39. Rupika Dave

    Mike N – You need only to read the above comments to decide who these nasty commentators are. I hope Paul Boakes has taken our comments on board and that he will intervene soon enough to stop people using this site to attack people on a personal level.

  40. iharrow.com

    …and I think this is the best place to end this discussion. I am going to turn on moderation, so all comments now need to be approved before being published. Those that contain any abuse, insults, etc, which I think are designed to inflame or annoy others, will simply be deleted. Sorry – I really don’t like censoring posts, but I have to do something. Constructive and thoughtful comments will, of course, continue to be published. – Paul

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