Tag Archive: environmentalist


Where the World’s Unsold Cars Go To Die

Above is just a few of the thousands upon thousands of unsold cars at Sheerness, United Kingdom. Please do see this on Google Maps….type in Sheerness, United Kingdom. Look to the west coast, below River Thames next to River Medway. Left of A249, Brielle Way. Timestamp: Friday, May 16th, 2014. There are hundreds of places like this in the world today and they keep on piling up…

THE WORLDS UNSOLD CAR STOCKPILE
Houston…We have a problem!…Nobody is buying brand new cars anymore! Well they are, but not on the scale they once were. Millions of brand new unsold cars are just sitting redundant on runways and car parks around the world. There, they stay, slowly deteriorating without being maintained.

Below is an image of a massive car park at Swindon, United Kingdom, with thousands upon thousands of unsold cars just sitting there with not a buyer in sight. The car manufacturers have to buy more and more land just to park their cars as they perpetually roll off the production line.

There is proof that the worlds recession is still biting and wont let go. All around the world there are huge stockpiles of unsold cars and they are being added to every day. They have run out of space to park all of these brand new unsold cars and are having to buy acres and acres of land to store them.

NOTE:
The images on this webpage showing all of these unsold cars are just a very small portion of those around the world. There are literally thousands of these “car parks” rammed full of unsold cars in practically every country on the planet. Just in case you were wondering, these images have not been Photoshopped, they are the real deal! Its hard to believe that there are so many unsold cars in the world but its true. The worse part is that the amount of unsold cars keeps on getting bigger every day.

It would be fair to say that it is becoming a mechanical epidemic of epic proportions. If anybody from outer space is reading this webpage, we here on Earth have too many cars, why not come and buy a few hundred thousand of them for your own planet! (sorry but this is all I can think of) Below is shown just a few of the 57,000 cars (and growing) that await delivery from their home in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. With Google Maps look South of Broening Hwy in Dundalk for the massive expanse of space where all these cars are parked up.

The car industry would never sell these cars at massive reductions in their prices to get rid of them, no they still want every buck. If they were to price these cars for a couple of thousand they would sell them. However, nobody would then buy any expensive cars and then they would end up being unsold. Its quite a pickle we have gotten ourselves into.

Below is shown an image of the Nissan test track in Sunderland United Kingdom. Only it is no longer being used, reason…there are too many unsold cars parked up on it! The amount of cars keeps on piling up on it until its overflowing. Nissan then acquires more land to park up the cars, as they continue to come off the production line.

UPDATE: Currently May 16th, 2014, all of these cars at the Nissan Sunderland test track have disappeared? Now I don’t believe they have all suddenly been sold. I would guess they may have been taken away and recycled to make room for the next vast production run.

Indeed next to that test track and adjacent to the Nissan factory, they are collating again as shown on the Google Maps image below. So where did the last lot go? This is not an employees car park by the way.

None of the images on this webpage are of ordinary car parks at shopping malls, football matches etc. Trust me, they are just mountains and mountains of brand spanking new unsold cars. There is no real reason why you should be driving an old clunker now is there?

The car industry cannot stop making new cars because they would have to close their factories and lay off tens of thousands of employees. This would further add to the recession. Also the domino effect would be catastrophic as steel manufactures would not sell their steel. All the tens of thousands of places where car components are made would also be effected, indeed the world could come to a grinding halt.

Below is shown just a small area of a gigantic car park in Spain where tens of thousands of cars just sit and sunbathe all day.

They are also piling up at the port of Valencia in Spain as seen below. They are either waiting to be exported to…nowhere or have been imported…to go nowhere.

Tens of thousands of cars are still being made every week but hardly any of them are being sold. Nearly every household in developed countries already has a car or even two or three cars parked up on their driveway as it is.

Below is an image of thousands upon thousands of unsold cars parked up on a runway near St Petersburg in Russia. They are all imported from Europe, they are all then parked up and they are all then left to rot. Consequently, the airport is now unusable for its original purpose.

The cycle of buying, using, buying using has been broken, it is now just a case of “using” with no buying. Below is an image of thousands of unsold cars parked up on an disused runway at Upper Heyford, Bicester, Oxfordshire. They are seriously running out of space to store these cars.

It is a sorry state of affairs and there is no answer to it, solutions don’t exist. So the cars just keep on being manufactured and keep on adding to the millions of unsold cars already sitting redundant around the world.

Below are parked tens of thousands of cars at Royal Portbury Docks, Avonmouth, near Bristol in the United Kingdom. If you look on Google Maps and scan around the area at say 200ft you will see nothing but parked up unsold cars. They are absolutley everywhere in that area practically every open space has unsold cars parked up on it.

Below is that same area in Avonmouth, UK, but zoomed out. Every gray space that you see is filled with unsold cars. Anyone want to hazard a guess at how many are there…

As it is, there are more cars than there are people on the planet with an estimated 10 billion roadworthy cars in the world today.

We literally cannot make enough of them. Below are seen just a few of the thousands of Citroen’s parked up at Corby, Northamptonshire in England. They are being added to daily, imported from France but with nowhere else to go once they arrive.

So there they sit, brand spanking new cars, all with a couple of miles on the clock that was consummate with them being driven to their car parks. Below is the latest May 2014 Google Maps image of unsold cars in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Manufacturing more cars than can be sold is against all logic, logistics and economics but it continues day after day, week after week, month after month, year in year out.

Below is shown a recent (April 2014) screen grab from Google Maps of the Italian port of Civitavecchia. All those little specks are a few thousand brand new unsold Peugeots. Just collecting dust and maybe a bit of salty sea spray!

Below, all nice and shiny but with nowhere to go. Red and white and black and silver, purple, pink and blue, all the colors of the rainbow and be they all brand new. Indeed all the colors of the rainbow are down there on those cars, making pretty mosaics, montages of color and still life. Maybe that is all they will now ever be, surreal urban art of the techno production age. Magnificent metal boxes, wasting space and saving grace, all sitting still, because its business at mill.
All around the world these cars just keep on piling up, there is no end in sight. The economy shouts out quite loud that nobody has the money anymore to spend on a new car. The reason being that they are making their “old” cars go on a lot longer. But we cannot stop making them, soon we will run out of space to park them. We are nearly running out of space to drive them that’s for sure!

Below, more cars mount up in the port of Valencia in Spain. They will not be exported as there is nowhere for them to go, so they just sit and rot in their colorful droves.

Gone are the days when the family would have a new car every year, they are now keeping what they have got. It may be fair to say that some families still get a new car every year but its the majority that now do not.

The results are in these images, hundreds of thousands if not millions of cars around the world are driven from their factories, parked up and left.

Could we say that these cars have been left to rot! Maybe, as these cars will certainly rot if they are not bought, driven and cared for. It does not look like they will be sold any day soon, many of them have been standing for over 12 months or even longer and this is detrimental to the car.

Below, as far as the eye can see, right into the background, cars, cars and more cars. But what’s beyond the horizon? Have a guess…Yes that’s right…even more cars! All brand new but with no homes to go to. Do you think they will ever start giving them away, that may be the only radical solution. Who knows, you could soon be getting a free car with every packet of cornflakes.

When a car is left standing idle, all the oil sinks to the bottom of the sump, and then corrosion begins to set in on all the internal engine parts where the oil has drained away.

Cold corrosion is when condensation builds up in the cylinders and rust forms in the bores. The engines would then start to seize and would need to be professionally freed before they could be started. Also the tires start to lose air and the batteries start to go flat, indeed the detrimental list goes on and on.

So the longer they sit there the worse it slowly becomes for them. What is the answer to this? Well they need to be sold and that just isn’t happening.

The epidemic is not improving, it is getting worse. Car manufactureres are constantly coming out with new models with the latest technology in them. Hence prospective buyers of, for example, a new Citroen Xsara Picasso want the latest model, not last years model. Hence all the unsold Citroen Xsara Picasso cars from the previous year will now have even lesser chance of being sold.

The problems then just keep on mounting up. In the end, the unsold cars that are say 2 years old will have no alternative but to be either crushed up, dismantled and/or their parts recycled.

Some car manufacturers moved their production over to China, General Motors and Cadillac are examples of this. They are then shipped over in containers and unloaded at ports. However they are now being told to put a big halt in their import into the U.S.A. as they just can’t sell them in the quantities they would desire. Consequently Chinese car parks are now filling up with brand new American cars. Well nobody in China can afford them on their meagre pittance wages, so there they will stay until our economy improves..And lets not hold our breath for that!Enemy Is Profit

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Voag-Logo-9After a year of silence The VOAG is back!

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from Surrey and Beyond.

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Leabank Project Ltd (A Not-For-Profit Ltd Company) Public Meeting.
Stop The Alisa Street Waste Management Development!
February 18, 2012. Truissler Hall Community Centre, Poplar.

The VOAG has been on holiday in East London. And together with a local activist, attended a public meeting “To Consider the proposal of Tower Hamlets Council that land in Ailsa Street be reserved for a waste management facility, to assess the likely consequence of this, and to agree if possible on how best the people of Poplar may respond.”

The 5.8 hectare site comprises of a long strip of land running between the River Lea and the A12. At the north end of the plot lies ACME House and the A12/Glender Street junction. The Southern limit is adjacent to Aberfeldy Street. The site is dissected East-West by Alisa Street and Lochnagar Street, which run parallel to each other and divide the site in to a northern part and a southern part.                                                       Proposed waste facility site
The Northern half of the land is used for a mixture of industrial activities and a small waste transfer station. The Southern half is largely disused land, a former primary school and some warehousing. Within the area lies Bromley High School, a listed building, with two more graded buildings on its boundaries. The site borders the Aberfeldy and Teviot estates.

Tower Hamlets intends to use this space for a waste transfer station to eventually deal with the entire boroughs waste, estimated to be around 300,000 tonnes. The facility will receive the waste from domestic collection lorries and store it until it is carried off by larger vehicles for subsequent treatment or disposal. The plan will mean an extra 200 trucks will travel down the A12 and along the A13. Just south of the location, opposite the Aberfeldy Neighbourhood Centre, on land presently housing a gas works, there is a plan – already approved – to build a primary school, a housing development, and a public park to link up with the Lea River Park.

The Tower Hamlets Local Development framework, which calls for the waste site, says it must be “integrated in to its surroundings”. It “should minimise negative impacts on the environment, transport and amenities and respect the surrounding environment”. It should also “protect heritage assets on the site and surrounding area”; “address noise and air pollution”, “enable ‘activation of the river side”, and “improve walking and cycling access and connections”.

John Baker, the founder and director of Leabank Project, presented the case that the proposal for the waste transfer station made no reference to the planned gas works redevelopment. Neither plan takes account of the impacts one would have on the other. The waste management facility would negatively impact the development planned for the gas works site. He told the meeting that lorries entering and leaving the site would significantly increase traffic congestion and pollution along the A12 and A13. He said that the river side will suffer and access to it would be further restricted. For these reasons he believed the waste facility proposal was incompatible with the council’s own Local Development Framework, and there were better uses for such a river side location.
  




John Baker is also the treasurer and founding director of Tower Hamlets Council For Voluntary Service Ltd, a registered charity which is endorsed by the mayor and funded by the council. Its web site says it aims to “Provide ‘third sector’ organisations with the necessary support, information and services to enable them to pursue or contribute to any charitable purpose.” According to THCVS’ February e-bulletin, their Council funding was overdue and in a recent letter John Baker had asked the mayor for an assurance their funding wasn’t going to be cut.

Previously, in January 2006, John Baker was one of the founding Directors of New Mill Consultants. It was originally set up by Poplar HARCA – a large, not-for-profit, social landlord – as a group of residents to provide the government’s Guide Neighbourhoods Programme. The centrally funded programme is “awarded to social housing groups to “encourage regeneration, empower and include residents in planning decisions and promote a range of environmental and social benefits”. Once the residents group was established it incorporated as a company and operated independently of Poplar HARCA. After six months John Baker resigned.

New Mill founded the Linc Cafe as a drop in and advice centre. Its web site says: “the company provides professional courses and consultancy services to community and residents groups” and has helped to set up residents trusts. Between 2002 and September 05, John Baker was also a director of Poplar HARCA.

John Baker made the case that the riverside should be “recovered and developed with houses, shops and leisure facilities. I don’t even mind luxury flats” he said. “There should be protest and unanimous opposition to the plans”, But he continued: “the campaign must submit viable waste management alternatives. A NIMBY attitude will not be good enough to dissuade the council”. “What we need is more information, research and more residents’ participation”.

“The council has other vacant land available. Houses have been good investments recently in the area, due to environmental improvements and investment from the council and housing associations. If the plans go ahead property prices will fall. Public money spent on regeneration projects will also be wasted” John Baker said, “because the value of the investment will decrease with the property values. Businesses and landlords will also suffer”. “Poplar HARCA, many councillors, and the MP Jim Fitzpatrick have all stated their support for the campaign”.

“Tower Hamlets Council have been working on the proposals for months, yet the idea has never been discussed in public. Their scheme only came to light when it was included in the 212-page Tower Hamlets’ Development Plan Document (DPD) – part of the Local Development Framework – buried on pages 127-9 and 130!. There followed a wholly inadequate, six week consultation period during which most residents were unaware of the plans”.

I counted seventy people, seated in groups of five, around tables. Most were residents from the Aberfeldy and Teviot estates. There were four landowners, and a couple of ‘small businessmen’. Representatives from Poplar HARCA, one of whom was another director of Leabank Project, were also present.There were four councillors present. Three of them were on the board of Poplar HARCA. They all voiced their opposition to the plans. However, Cllr. Shiria Khatun pointed out that: “There was a shortage of alternative land. Transporting the waste out of Tower Hamlets would be costly and not the best environmental solution. There were options that could be looked at for example locating the facility underground or autoclaving the waste instead of moving or incinerating it.”.

Autoclaving, treats the waste by sealing it in tanks and passing high pressured steam through it. The majority of waste is biodegradable which is shredded into strands. There are presently no plants of this kind in the UK, and there is no market for the resultant biomass. Glasgow Council has been advocating large scale autoclaving, but recently distanced itself from the process, opening up its waste disposal contract to tenders with alternatives to autoclaving. Autoclaving is energy intensive, and since there is no market for the resultant biomass it usually ends up in land fill where it degrades to produce methane, a ‘greenhouse gas’.

John Baker, knew almost everyone in the meeting. In a gesture to the landowners, “who have not been allowed to develop or sell ‘their’ land, he said: ”Housing should be developed on the site, I don’t mind luxury flats, we need proper returns for the landowners. The Deputy Mayor, independent Councillor Ohid Ahmed joined in: “We want housing on the site, that’s what the developers want”. John Baker hands petition to Dpt Mayor Ohid Ahmed
The Deputy Mayor giggled nervously and looked bemused as he addressed the audience. He was obviously unprepared to speak to the meeting. He said “the council did not support a waste facility in Poplar”. “After the Fish Island site was decided against as a location for the waste plant, we had to come up with an alternative place to put it – for reporting and central government purposes. – To fulfil our statutory obligations. We have no intention of actually putting it there”. He went on to say that many of the businesses in and around the proposed site were sited on illegally held land. The VOAG found these remarks astounding, but they went completely ignored and unchallenged.

One of the Landowners spoke to the meeting. He was a friend of John Baker. He suggested smaller waste sites spread across the borough as an alternative, which could be used to produce electricity or gas. “I’m not a business man, coming in from outside the borough just to make money.” he said.

Several residents spoke out from the floor. One said:”they’re not thinking of the residents, they just think about themselves.”. Another said:”we must persuade the council” Another resident called the estates “the forgotten estates”. Labour councillor, Rajib Ahmed, also spoke to the meeting. He said that London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) has the power to over-ride Tower Hamlets Council (THC). Cllr. Kosru Uddin, Development Committee member and board member of the (LTGDC) added: “The (LTGDC) is being disbanded in the Autumn. Some of its powers will be transferred to THC, whilst others will go to the newly formed London Mayoral Development Corporation, which will have to approve any plans of THC once the powers have been transferred.

Shiria Khatun, Councillor

Oddly it seemed, John Baker stressed several times that the mayor and the council were not responsible for the decision to build the waste plant. It was “down to an officers job and ‘administration”. John Baker was at great pains not to criticise the council executive especially the mayor. Cllr. Shiria Khatun addressed the meeting. “London Thames Gateway dictates that THC must have a plan for waste management, but it must take into consideration air quality and nature reserves”. She emphasised that it was the mayor and the executive that was responsible, not the “clerks and council officers” as John Baker had said earlier. “You must demand another meeting with the mayor” she urged the meeting. The Labour Councillor went on to suggest Leabank Project organise a lobby of the council and apply to speak to a council meeting.

Cllr. Khatun, together with another councillor was sitting at the same table as the VOAG. At one point she whispered in my ear “why don’t you speak, go on ask John Baker why he doesn’t want top blame the mayor”. Naturally, the VOAG said nothing. The VOAG has never been to a meeting quite like this. Hidden agendas hung like shadows between the lines of everyone that spoke. It has become clear to the VOAG since the meeting, that the reason John Baker is reluctant to criticise the mayor is because the mayor is holding the funding for the Tower Hamlets Council For Voluntary Service which John Baker is a director of.

The VOAG noted that although the councillors, one independent and three Labour, arrived more or less at the same time, they entered the hall separately and sat as far away from each other as possible. There was a tension between the councillors and also between two of the councillors and John Baker. The source of this tension and the issues behind it, are not quite clear to The VOAG – yet.It was all-in-all an intriguing meeting which left open many questions regarding a serious local issue. There were many different concerns and contradicting agendas represented. What did the councillor mean when he said “the council had no intention of putting the waste facility on the site”? Are the councillors seriously opposed to the project? What are the interests of the landowners? How does the close relationship between the various stakeholder organisations and the councillors effect the dynamics of the debate? And lastly; what on earth was the councillor referring to when he said “many of the businesses were sited on illegally held land”. But as you know: The VOAG is always watching!

May 1926: when workers stopped the country

Reprinted from Workers Power- May 2006

The May 1926 General Strike could have changed the course of British history but, as Andy Yorke and Mark Hoskisson explain, the trade union leaders demobilised the workers and handed victory to the bosses

“I suppose my usual critics will say I was groveling, and it is true. In all my long experience I have never begged and pleaded like I begged and pleaded all day today.” These were the words of Jimmy Thomas, a leading member of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), on May Day 1926.

Thomas had spent the day with Tory ministers in Downing Street, desperately trying to find a way to call off the imminent general strike. Meanwhile more than 100,000 workers, determined to stop an ongoing bosses’ offensive, gathered in Hyde Park for the biggest May Day demonstration in living memory.

But Stanley Baldwin’s Tory government gave Thomas no way out. They had prepared for battle. On Monday 3 May 1926, the TUC called the majority of organised workers out on strike. The British general strike had begun.

Preparations
The Tories were driven by an intensifying economic crisis on the one hand and by the need to counter the wave of militancy that had swept the globe since the Russian Revolution of 1917 on the other. Baldwin’s Tory government came to power in December 1924 determined to smash the unions.

On 30 June 1925, the owners of Britain’s coal industry terminated all existing wage agreements and slashed pay. All sides saw the attack on the miners as a test case. The TUC called solidarity strike action and the government retreated. It announced a nine month wage subsidy for miners and a Royal Commission on the industry.

This retreat was hailed as “Red Friday” by the workers’ movement. It demonstrated the power of workers’ solidarity. But instead of using it to prepare for a red future the union leaders sat back and congratulated each other. Yet it was clear that the Tories had no intention of giving up. Faced with Red Friday Winston Churchill, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, explained: “We therefore decided to postpone the crisis in the hope of averting it, or if not of averting it, of coping effectively with it when the time comes”.

The government and employers began preparations. The country was divided into 10 districts, each under a “Special Commissioner” in charge of strikebreaking. The Tories strengthened the army and police, creating a Civil Constabulary reserve made up of ex-soldiers. They set up the Organisation for Maintenance of Supplies (OMS) – a semi-official strike breaking organisation that was set up to run the rail and road supply system.

In contrast the TUC, the “general staff” of the workers, made no preparations.

This passivity was all the more unpardonable given that there was a sizeable left-wing faction on the TUC leadership – the General Council. The miners’ leader, A J Cook, together with TUC president George Hicks and builders’ leader A.A. Purcell, enjoyed the support of many workers as they argued a militant line. But most of these lefts were, as Trotsky commented, radical in words rather than deeds.

It was left to the rank and file, organised in the Communist-led Minority Movement, to prepare from below. On the eve of the General Strike the Minority Movement was able to hold a conference of delegates from 547 union bodies, representing 957,000 workers.Minority Movement Poster 

At this conference and throughout the general strike, the Communist Party correctly called for the setting up of local councils of action to organise and politically lead the strike. It also fought for workers’ defence of picket lines and strikers against the expected violence from scabs and the state. 
 
But while these policies were correct and the growth of the Minority Movement showed the growing influence of the CP (it had only 5,000 members in 1926), the policy of the party towards the “left” leadership was a fatal weakness.This all meant that the CP found itself tied to the left wing of the bureaucracy precisely at the moment when it needed to break with them and lead the Minority Movement in offering a fighting policy that could win the strike.Strike Rally

Employers’ offensive
In March 1926 the Tories went onto the offensive. The Royal Commission proposed scrapping subsidies to the coal industry, a measure that would immediately result in massive wage cuts and job losses. If it went ahead it would pave the way for similar policies in every industry.
Cook and the miner’s leadership rejected the proposals and declared the miners’ union ready to strike. The TUC was pledged to support the miners.

The right-wingers on the General Council, like Jimmy Thomas and Ernest Bevin, had a powerful influence that the lefts had done little to challenge. In an attempt to avert the crisis the lefts effectively ceded leadership to these two, dispatching Thomas on his famous trip to Downing Street to “beg and plead” for a compromise. They all feared that a general strike could lead to revolution – the last thing these reformists wanted.

But the miners were already locked out and a printers’ strike had started at the Daily Mail in protest at its anti-strike editorial. The Tories broke off negotiations and forced the TUC to call the strike.

The response from the ranks was immediate, solid and overwhelming. Once the working class had shut everything down it was immediately faced with the problem of who runs society. As councils of action and local strike bulletins mushroomed, millions of workers began to realise they could run society themselves.

The initial impetus for local councils of action came from the TUC, who envisaged them as mere strike co-ordinating committees. But once the fight was on, these councils gathered delegates from every type of workers’ organisation. Some of them became real centres of embryonic working class power, like the “soviets” which had taken power in Russia in 1917.
Mass pickets were organised to stop strike breaking at strategic workplaces, where, under police and army protection, the OMS had taken over.

In the Fife coalfield, in Scotland, the trades council formed a workers’ defence corps. A member of the Fife council of action wrote: “The organisation worked like clockwork. Everything was stopped – even the railway lines were picketed… After police charges on mass pickets, the defence corps, which 150 workers had joined at the outset, was reorganised. Numbers rose to 700, of whom 400 marched in military formation through the town to protect the picket. The police did not interfere again.”
Guildford trades council
Throughout the country the strike was gaining strength. In contrast the union leaders were desperate to find a way out. General and Municipal Union leader, Charles Dukes expressed their fears: “Every day the strike proceeded, the control and the authority was passing out of the hands of responsible executives into the hands of men who had no authority, no control.” A revolutionary situation was developing. The strike did not just call into question the survival of the government, it called into question the survival of the system.

Betrayal
What was urgently needed was a communist party that actively pushed this development towards its natural conclusion – the formation of a revolutionary workers’ government. This would have entailed preparing the workers for seizing power and smashing the obstacles that stood in their way-the police, the OMS and the army.

But the Communist Party failed to challenge the hold Hicks and Purcell had over the most advanced workers. And as the strike continued these lefts ran for cover behind the coat-tails of Bevin and Thomas. On 12 May, only nine days into the strike, the right wing delivered their unconditional surrender to the Cabinet. Bevin remarked: “We have taken a great risk in calling the strike off. I want to argue it must not be regarded as an act of weakness, but rather one of strength…it took a little courage to take the line we have done.”

The TUC lefts stayed silent. Even A. J. Cook, general secretary of the miners, refused to go over the heads of the TUC and call for continuation of the action from below. Yet the workers themselves showed no signs of wanting to retreat, on the day after it was called off 100,000 more workers came out on strike. But in the end the miners were left to fight alone, for seven more months. Starvation and isolation led to a terrible defeat.

The Communist Party failed to learn from the defeat indeed Stalin’s faction had to cover it up. They certainly attacked the right wing of the labour movement and their “left-wing satellites” but at the same time maintained their alliance with them in the ARC. They attacked Trotsky for his criticisms of the Anglo-Russian Committee and for his demands that the Russian trade unions should have publicly broken with the traitors in front of the working class.

To pursue the policy of “socialism in one country” inside the USSR, Stalin sought allies in the imperialist countries to ward off any attack on Soviet Russia. The “Anglo Russian Committee” (ARC) – an alliance struck between the Russian and British trade union leaders – was used by Stalin to promote sympathy for Russia and prevent, he hoped, imperialist attack. But this policy had a price. The CP had to promote the left reformist trade union leaders who were vital to this policy and mute its criticism of them in order to preserve the ARC.

These left leaders proved incapable of fighting the sell-out policies of the right wing and the CP never prepared its members, or the hundreds of thousands in the Minority Movement, to fight independently of the TUC leadership. Before and during the strike the CP’s main slogan – “All Power to the General Council” – disarmed and confused the militants – it was this very General Council, which organised the sell out.

Trotsky had outlined an alternative to this disastrous policy and warned in advance that the left leaders would vacillate and betray. But with Stalin’s campaign against “Trotskyism” in full swing his warnings were either suppressed or construed as “sabotage” because they undermined the ARC

The defeat of the general strike and the miners was a massive set back for the British workers. Thousands were victimised and wages slashed. General strikes were outlawed. The unions lost millions of members as the whole movement retreated after this strategic defeat of the working class.

The general strike was defeated not because the forces of the state were stronger than the working class, nor because the rank and file gave in, but because the union leaders were faced with a choice: the survival of capitalism or the fight for workers’ power. They preferred defeat to the threat of revolution and the revolutionaries were not armed with the right policies to be able to win the leadership from the bureaucratic traitors.
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Hunter, Fisherman, Shepherd, Critic: Karl Marx’s Vision of the Free Individual.

A lot of nonsense is talked about Karl Marx, most of it from people who have never read him. Many consider his work to be discredited by the dictatorial regimes that were set up in his name. But what did Karl Marx actually have to say?  

Was he in favour of dictatorship? Did he think that the state should impose dull uniformity, rigid regimentation and boring work on its citizens? Did he think that human nature and talents should be suppressed in the name of equality and altruism and for the benefit of a collectivity?  

No. In fact, Karl Marx’s driving passion his whole life was the free development of the individual. Karl Marx was not opposed to the capitalist ideas of choice, liberty and individual freedom. He supported these ideas, but opposed the society that prevented them becoming a reality.  

He wanted to be able “to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic”.  

This is the very essence of Marxism. Only through socialism can Karl Marx’s vision of the free individual be achieved.  

SUACS Logo (Wage Slavery)

SUACS Logo (Wage Slavery)

 

Bottom-Of-Post - Anti-Police

Bottom-Of-Post - Anti-Police

 Tory Cuts Will Lead To Recession  And Spiralling Unemployment!!

Yahoo News reported today that more than 50 leading economists have issued a warning that Tory plans for cuts will push the economy back into recession. 

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph said 58 economists from around the world had signed a letter warning the recovery remained “fragile” and “rash action” could lead to spiralling job losses.

The Tory paper, which claimed it had obtained a leaked copy of the letter, said the signatories included such Tory academic economists as Lord Layard, Lord Skidelsky, Lord Peston and Sir David Hendry. The disclosure comes after the first week of the General Election campaign was dominated by declarations of support for the Tory plan by business leaders.

In their letter, the economists said that while the Tories described their proposed £6 billion cut as “efficiency savings”, in economic terms it was “just a cut by another name”. They said: “It will lead directly to job losses and indirectly to further falls in spending.  With the recovery still delicate we will tip back into recession – with much larger job consequences.”

Here in Guildford there is only one choice, as the bar chart below indicates. It is between the Liberal Party and the Tories. Many may say that there is no difference between them. Both parties will make cuts, both parties will attack living standards and neither party represents normal working people.

Whilst this may be true – a Conservative government is the very worst case scenario for the normal working majority of the country. A hung parliament  is better than a Tory government, A Labour majority is better than a Tory government. The three main parties may all be the same, but for those of us that remember the Tory years – We know we have to keep them out at all costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Million Unemployed, Riots in all Major Cities, Poll Tax, Destruction of Industries, Break-up of Communities, Minors Strike, Steel Workers Strike, Argentine War, High Crime Levels, Unsafe Cities.

Here in Guildford, it may only be one seat in the parliament – But why give that seat to the Tories by not voting, or by voting for the Greens or by making a “protest” and giving your vote to some kind of quasi religious sentiment.

We all want Peace – But we won’t get it by voting for the Peace Party and letting the Tories win here.

Civilian Death Toll In Iraq:
Video Footage Of A Civilian Massacre

Last month we had a think about the Iraqi and Afghani wars. According to the Stop The War Coalition newsletter, 8.5 billion as been spent so far on the Iraq war, whilst 12.5 billion has been poured into the Afghanistan occupation. We calculated this was the equivalent of £342. per UK citizen, A cheap holiday for each of us. https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/stop-the-war-coalition-march-newsletter/ 

We asked our F/b group http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=148659678647&ref=ts "What would you do with your £342?" We then investigated the human cost of the conflicts. After extensive research, we came to the conclusion that there were no reliable casualty figures for the Afghanistan war. There simply hasn't been the research.

With Iraq however, there has been several reliable studies with peer-reviewed results and transparent, published methodologies. One study was conducted by Harvard University and was published in the Lancet, the British Medical Association journal. Another was conducted by the University of Austin, Texas. We discovered two other studies with equally impeccable standards and lack of bias. All the studies came to the same shocking conclusion. The Iraq war had claimed the lives of 1:18 of the population, with, according to the UN, 1:5 of the survivors now 'displaced persons'. That's more than Pol Pot's death toll in Cambodia. It's more than Ide Armin's in 1970's Uganda. Its greater than the Ruwandan massacres of 1994.- And remember all these studies are at least a year old.  https://suacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/civilian-death-toll-in-iraq-and-afghanistan/  

WikiLeaks is an organisation that obtains secret information from governments around the world in order to publish it in the peoples' interest. Today it has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded. The video is embedded below.

For related videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&feature=player_embedded#

“Councillors say they are ‘trimming the fat’. However, the fat went years ago and they have been gnawing on the bones ever since”.

 Cuts and closures are already being felt in Surrey, which people usually see as a place of leafy suburbs and stockbrokers. However the county’s less well-known trade union struggles and local, grassroots campaigns are beginning to fight back.

Across Surrey, people are mobilising against the cuts. Brooklands College was saved after a huge local campaign by staff, students, parents and local people. Parents, governors and staff at Shortwood School turned out in their hundreds at public meetings. They organised street stalls and collected a petition of over 1,000 signatures in a campaign to save their school. Working peoples’ creativity and organising ability has shocked the local council.

March 15th saw the launch of  the Save Our Services in Surrey (SOSiS) campaign, sponsored by Surrey Unison. The campaign will coordinate anti-cuts activity, support local campaigns, and bring local trade unionists together to defend jobs and services.

Paul Couchman, Tusc Parliamentary Candidate for Spelthorne, West Surrey and founder of Save Our Services in Surrey said at the launch rally: ”We face threats to close Shortwood infant school in Staines, threats to hundreds of essential bus services, a ‘review’ of fire services with a clear intent to reduce the number of fire stations -and swingeing cuts to community hospital services. -And this is before the county council’s £180 million cuts package over the next few years.”

Paul Couchman is also the secretary of the Surrey County Council Trade Unions (SCCTU), representing all trade unions within the council. They have formally affiliated to the campaign. Speaking at a joint SOSiS and SCCTU lobby of Surrey Council, at Kingston Town Hall on 23rd March, Paul said: “Public sector workers and local communities who need public services, will be asking who to vote for in this year’s general election. Most trades unionists already see that New Labour no longer represents working class people and that whoever wins, the next government will take the axe to public services.”

Richard Jones, Surrey FBU branch secretary spoke at the lobby. He said: “We’ve reached a point where fire crews are turning up at emergencies and having to tell the public that they cannot make a rescue because they have to wait for more staff to turn up. These cuts put lives at risk. We turn up to incidents without enough crew and have to wait for back-up before we can safely enter the building. Fire-fighters are going in understaffed and risking their lives. The public is in danger, fire-fighters are in danger, enough is enough!”

Richard Jones continued: “If these cuts go through, Surrey will be spending less per head of the population on fire services than any county in Britain. It will mean the loss of fire engines and station closures. It’s life or death in the fire services and if these cuts continue the Grim Reaper will be taking up residence in Surrey.”

After the lobby, Paul Couchman told the rally: “We’ve sent a message to the councillors that our public services are vital and we won’t tolerate cuts to them. The politicians spent billions bailing out the bankers, and they want us to pay the price. The local hospital has lost most of its wards including the A&E Dpt, local fire stations face the axe and bus routes are being slashed.”

Paul is Chairman of the Elmbridge Care Homes Campaign. Reffering to the Campaign he said: “We have decided to draw a ‘line in the sand’ and say no more sell-offs. We are fighting to preserve the excellent services provided by the care homes”.
Paul explained the importance of working class people having a political voice, now that New Labour has joined the Tories in cutting and privatising public services. “Its necessary to fight together, trade unions and the community, to maximise the pressure on politicians and councils to fully fund public services.”

Alan Greenspan, head of the US federal reserve during the boom years – once treated as a god by capitalists and now reviled as being responsible for the crisis – recently excused his role by saying: “Unless there is a societal choice to abandon dynamic markets and leverage for some sort of central planning, I fear that preventing bubbles will in the end turn out to be unfeasible. Assuaging their aftermath seems to be the best we can hope for.”

Greenspan is right, capitalism, an unplanned blind system driven by profit and not by social need, will always have periods of crisis like at present. Anxious to restore their profits, the capitalists’ way out of the crisis will always be to try to trample working class people a bit further into the dirt.  All of the things won through struggle – are under attack. The NHS, education – the list is considerable,  The crisis is being used to unravel and dismantle all of those social gains. We’re told that poverty must now increase and that we should meekly accept the growing gap between the richest and the poorest in society. However the public are not fooled.

A Mori survey in the FT showed the public was utterly unconvinced of the need for cuts. Only a quarter believed there’s a need to cut services to reduce the national debt. 50% don’t think cuts are necessary at all -and 48% think more, rather than less, should be spent on public expenditure. The recession is the result of massive market failure. It’s entirely technically and financially feasible to create at least a million new jobs, by investing in insulating homes and public buildings, investing in renewables, through a sustainable publicly run transport system, and utilising the skills and know-how in society for socially useful production. None of this will happen if we leave it to the market.

     http://paulcouchman.com/
     www.ourhomesoursay.org.uk
     http://www.saveourservic.es/
     http://www.surreycountyunison.org.uk/

 
Join Save Our Services in Surrey F/b Group:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=194817448458&ref=ts  
Join Guildford Against Fees And Cuts F/b Page:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Guildford-Against-Fees-Cuts/167151436659040

Almost a year ago, during the G20 demonstration in central London. The police indiscriminately assaulted hundreds of people in an attempt to spark a riot. Hundreds were clubbed and assaulted. One person was murdered. Many others were attacked on their way home, up to half a mile from the demonstration. One, relatively tame incident, was caught on camara. The policeman involved was charged with assault. Today he was acquitted. Below is a Youtube video of the incident. Make your own mind up.- And when you’re at the next demonstration remember: Self defence is no offence. Fight Back!!!! 

 A riot squad officer who allegedly twice hit a female protester with a metal baton has been cleared of assaulting the woman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUtoOsoDXRA

A riot squad officer who hit a G20 protester twice with a metal baton has been cleared of assault. Metropolitan Police Sergeant Delroy Smellie, 47, clashed with Nicola Fisher outside the Bank of England last April.

The officer, a member of the controversial territorial support group, went on trial accused of assault by beating last week. He was cleared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court. But he could still face misconduct proceedings over the incident. Smellie, who was standing in the dock for the verdict, smiled widely and gave two thumbs up to his supporters as he was cleared.

District Judge Daphne Wickham said there was no evidence that his use of the baton was not approved, correct or measured. She said the officer had a “mere seven seconds” to act and other witness also feared for his safety. She said: “It was for the prosecution to prove this defendant was not acting in lawful self-defence. I have found the prosecution has failed in this respect and the defendant has raised the issue of lawful self-defence and as such is entitled to be acquitted.”

Ms Fisher, 36, ran in front of Smellie hurling abuse during a vigil to mark the death of Ian Tomlinson the previous evening. District Judge Wickham, who heard the case without a jury, watched video footage of the incident and looked at dozens of photographs. Nicholas Paul, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Smellie lost his self-control because of Ms Fisher’s irritating, aggressive and confrontational actions. He said the officer was justified when he shouted at her, pushed her back and struck her with the back of his hand, knocking off her sunglasses.

But Mr Paul said the officer went too far when he struck Ms Fisher across the thigh with the extendable metal weapon, known as an asp. The clash attracted attention worldwide when amateur video footage of it was posted on the YouTube website. Ms Fisher, of Brighton, failed to attend the trial claiming she was suffering depression and did not want to be in the public spotlight again.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUtoOsoDXRA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgE29rxR3ZA&feature=related