Communist and photographer Stalingrad took these great photos at Sunday’s rally in support of Birmingham bin men, enjoy!
Myth 1 – Manzie uses magic powers to make all the poor Labour councillors do her bidding, including poor old John Clancy
Truth – Manzie was appointed by the Labour party. Clancy and the rest, including the Tories love her. Her views coincide with theirs. All their views are the same because they are all capitalists, none of them are socialists. In fact, Manzie was appointed precisely because she is such a wretched slave to the interests of capitalism.
Myth 2 – Manzie gets £180,000pa
Truth – she does, it was a salary agreed by her bosses in the Labour Party when they appointed her. They also take neat little sums as Councillors.
Myth 3 – Manzie is a Tory
Truth – who knows and who cares? Labour or Tory its the same old story. She was appointed by Labour with Tory support, her salary was agreed by the Labour Cabinet, and presumably her politics and reputation preceeded her, thats why they appointed her and not a bin man. So – they knew she was a disgrace and they appointed her for that very reason, they haven’t been tricked or bullied!
Myth 4 – “if it sounds like a Tory, talks like a Tory and is a Labour party member, it’s a Tory” video here
Truth – nope, it’s a Labour party member. Let’s stop making excuses for Labour class traitors by calling them Tories. They’re Labour, the same party which didn’t overturn any anti-union legislation between 1997-2010, gased 4 million Korean workers whilst it bribed British workers with the NHS in 1948 (which it then began privatising in 1998!), betrayed the Miners Strike in 1984 and abandoned the fig leaf of Clause 4 & common ownership in 1995. The list could go on….
Myth 5 – the Labour party is a socialist organisation
Truth – The Labour party doesn’t set itself the goal of socialism. The Labour party aims to manage capitalism, to put a nice face on it. When workers make a fuss, all the top brass start going on about socialism again. The mention of socialism in Clause 4 of the Labour party constitution was put in by Tony Blair in the 90’s. Tony had total power to do what the hell he wanted for ten years, we didn’t advance one inch towards socialism, but Tony did manage to murder a few million and make himself a few more million from all the slaughter.
We need to strive for socialism, and for that, we need a Communist Party. The CPGB-ML is that party.
The Birmingham Mail yesterday quoted McDonnell as saying:
“I do not see your strike as strike against Labour. I see your strike as a strike against austerity. Simple as that.
“Our advice to Labour councillors wherever, when they go into dispute, is to get round the table.
“And insist on the fact that it isn’t chief executives or officers of the council that determine the future of a council’s policies, but the councillors themselves.
“So we want negotiations to resolve this dispute immediately.
We agree that this strike has been a strike against austerity, but it’s LABOUR PARTY austerity. Whilst the Tories may be in government, it is the Labour party locally who have chosen to attack the bin men, as well as implement cuts which have reduced a city council workforce of 20,000 to half that number.
The reason John McDonnell has finally spoken in support of the Birmingham bin strike is because he has been forced to support the bin men. If he was an ardent supporter would it have taken nine weeks?
It is clear that this new and very welcome support is due to the heroic industrial action undertaken since June. The local Labour Council have failed to impose the cuts which they believed in their arrogance would go through with very little disruption, the Labour chief of the Council has fallen on his sword and McDonnell is being forced to the microphone. The fact that the pressure has mounted to this level is proof, were any needed, that the bin men are winning.
The Birmingham Branch of the Indian Workers Association (GB) accompanied CPGB-ML comrades to the Perry Barr picket lines on Thursday to show their support for striking bin men. The IWA comrades handed a cheque to Convenor Richard Beddows for the strike fund. The Birmingham IWA(GB) has a long and proud history in our town; from the days organising in the Birmingham foundries for Marxism-Leninism, it’s influence in the trade union movement & anti-fascist campaigning in Handsworth from the Shaheed Udham Singh Welfare Centre.
Birmingham IWA(GB) leader Avtar Jouhl is a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and will speak at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Great October Socialist Revolution which is taking place in London on November 4th – tickets available here.
All those who have claimed that Clancy has been ganged up on by Tories and Lib Dems should read these words of John Clancy, Labour Party member and leader of Labour led Birmingham City Council:
“Deal or no deal – there was no deal. My cabinet and I came together with a negotiating position to try to see what we could do to go that extra mile to get a negotiated solution.
“If there had been a deal to end the dispute, the strike would have ended, it wasn’t, it was suspended.
“So, there was no deal, there was an agreement in principle to talk at Acas and my cabinet and I agreed some heads of terms that would enable us to get into Acas to talk, there has been no deal concluded with Unite.
“Unite have said there was a deal for their own purposes. There was never a deal.”
And you can watch him here: https://twitter.com/BrumLeader/status/903634716846415875
Regardless of his claims, and the misplaced faith put in him by many – it is now clear to all that Clancy is a typical Labour Judas. As are the rest of the Labour Councillors like Trickett who back the moves against the bin men.
The penny drops
Here’s the footage of Howard Beckett addressing Perry Barr depot this afternoon, all illusions in Clancy & Labour begin to erode in the harsh face of reality, but we must ensure that they are not allowed to resurface, even if a celebrity like Corbyn eventually decides to make an appearance!
The Birmingham Branch of the CPGB-ML and its newspaper the Birmingham Worker congratulates Birmingham’s bin men in what we hope is the first step towards an equitable settlement. Whilst encouraged by the promise that the Grade 3 posts will be protected, actions speak louder than words. At this moment in time, it would be wrong for us to echo the jubilant tone of both the Socialist Party and those from whom they take their analysis, the Unite press office.
So far, the pause in industrial action is based upon the good will of the bin men and promises from the city council. Words are not deeds; Clancy, Trickett and Co are like the rest of the Labour bureaucrats – they’re anti working class careerists riding the Labour Party gravy train and must not be trusted. If they fail to implement concrete measures then workers must be ready to come straight back out. The Cabinet Meeting is yet to discuss the outcome of the ACAS talks and the city council have been very cool in statements they have made to the press over the course of the week.
We have stood with the workers since well before the strike began, as many bin men know, our comrades have tirelessly campaigned on behalf of workers since before the mass meetings at the Alexander Stadium and from the very first day of strike action. This will not change, whether there is strike action or not. Our political line is simple – Labour, Tory, its the same old story, cuts at home and war abroad. We hold no illusions in local Labour Party careerists or the top nobs in London hanging onto Corbyn’s coat tail. Corbyn had plenty of chances to turn up to support striking workers, as did his MP’s. They were nowhere to be seen, and the whole mess was caused by Labour Councillors in the first place.
The political line from the Socialist Party that local Labour members are clearly not “Corbyn Labour” and calls to remove so-called “blue Labour Blairites” make no sense whatsoever. The Labour Party is a thoroughly bourgeois political party, the fact that some members of the Labour Party are of working class origin makes the Party no more a political workers party than any other right-wing Party with working class members. We appeal to workers to trust their instincts – put no faith in the Labour Party, put no faith in those who talk about a “red” “left” or “Corbyn” Labour Party.
Should the dispute be resolved or not we will be ready to play our part in the struggles to come. We hope that striking bin men see that this strike was just one skirmish in the class struggle, but in going up against a Labour Council they blazed a trail for the entire British working class to follow. Britain needs workers to learn the lessons from the strike; that workers need their own political party unconnected with Labour to voice their interests in the Council, that the main corporate media worked against the strikers and that workers need their own magazines and publishers to put across their point of view, and finally that if workers stand in solidarity for their class interests then for those moments their lives take on a greater meaning than they did previously, that in fighting for their class interests they point the way to the future, a society run not for profit but in the interests of working people. The world is nothing without it’s workers, our class is the most powerful force for social change and when it is united it is unbeatable.
Class Against Class.
Workers of the world, unite!
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Here’s a few photos from week 5 of the strike. The workers heard from Unite’s Howard Beckett this week, and progress is anticipated next. Here’s hoping the Council is starting to see sense. Red salute to Unite Convenor Richard Beddows and all the Shop Stewards who have stood tall, and of course to all the striking workers who are fighting to protect the services for all of Birmingham.
Jacqui Kennedy, having helped to cause the mess on Birmingham’s streets, then helpfully told Birmingham residents to take their own rubbish to the tip! Councillor Trickett, Labour cabinet member responsible for bins thinks that it’s okay to support £5,000 pay cuts and cause all this disruption so long as she sticks up CCTV camera images from the tip telling everyone it’s okay! And what happened to Clancy’s magic solution this weekend gone? The streets are still an utter mess! Birmingham residents must demand that the Council listens to the demands of it’s workers.
Today, Councillor Trickett’s twitter feed showing the tips looked like this:
Now we don’t want to accuse anybody of misleading the public, especially a friendly Labour Councillor who claims to support trade unionists, but when we went down to Lifford Lane today these were the scenes we found. Draw your own conclusions:
If you can help us to expose these hypocrites please get in touch urgently and help us to tell the truth:
Birmingham City Council, a Labour run Council is implementing these cuts. Well paid lackeys (managers) like Jacqui Kennedy who can earn between £97,000-£120,000 p/a are attempting to cut the wages of the bin men by £4,000-£6,000p/a. She does this because she is paid to do it. She is a mercenary and a class enemy.
The Council and its puppets like Jacqui are also trying to extend the four day working week to five days, increase the workload and squeeze every last drop of blood and sweat from the workers. They are instructed, aided and abetted by the Labour Party Councillors like Cabinet member for Clean Streets Lisa Trickett who gets a minimum of £41,000p/a in “allowances”. Lisa is in the Labour Party and heads the attacks on the bin men. She’s a shrewd politician who in her role as Cabinet member for Clean Streets has caused the biggest industrial dispute for years resulting in piles of stinking rubbish adorning the streets of Birmingham.
To see Jacqui Kennedy put the case for Birmingham city council before she buggered off on holiday leaving Birmingham in a stinking mess, check out the video from the Cabinet office meeting here:
Here’s an ITN report from Friday giving some limited voice to the bin men themselves:
Good turnouts again at both Lifford Lane and Redfern Road this morning, our bin men are holding firm despite the attempts by Labour Councillors and biased journalists to turn the public mood against them.
Councillor Clancy is now promising a new approach to rubbish collections that will make a “significant difference” effecively admiting that his attempts last week were a complete failure. The Mail reports that,
“Now the council is implementing clean ups ward-by-ward, aiming to clear up an area before moving on to the next. But even then it could take days to clear the total backlog built up since industrial action began at the end of June.
Speaking before a council watchdog committee Cllr Clancy (Lab, Quinton) said: “Ward by ward people will notice their recycling and refuse being cleared. People are going to notice a significant difference over the next week.””
Clancy’s plan is aimed to keep his own voters happy. Quinton (Clancy’s neck of the woods) benefitted already this week from this “new approach” and Perry Barr men will drive passed Handsworth tomorrow which has not been collected for four weeks and head out to leafy Sutton Coldfield instead.
All the scheming and attempts at strike breaking will not save Clancy in the end. His great plan is doomed to fail. Based on a ward to ward round, taking into account the planned industrial action, most residents will now be lucky if they see a bin man once every three weeks! Public pressure on the Council will increase and the workers resolve shows no sign of breaking.
The Council is so desperate to clear some of the mess that they are now binning everything they can get their hands on, regardless of the fact that whatever cannot be incinerated will go to landfill and poison the environment. All of this will incur extra charges. It seems the Council can find no end of money when it is to be used against the workers. Labour, Tory same old story.
Help us to build public support. Get in touch with the Communist Party: