Posts Tagged ‘Lyn Brown’

Wednesday News Review

29/06/2011, 05:12:23 AM

Spoiling for a fight

David Cameron was accused yesterday of deliberately stoking up tensions ahead of tomorrow’s mass walkout by teachers and civil servants. Labour said Tory Cabinet ministers were spoiling for a fight with the unions so they could rerun the battles of the 1980s. The accusation came after ministers broke off talks on Monday and refused to enter into last-minute negotiations with union bosses. Up to 750,000 teachers, lecturers, civil servants and other public sector workers are expected to walk out in the largest day of strike action since the 1980s. It is thought that more than 3,000 schools in England and Wales will be closed and a further 2,000 partially shut, with a million pupils affected. Hundreds of job centres, tax offices and courts are set to be closed or badly disrupted by the strike over pensions. Driving tests will be cancelled and customs checks will be affected at ports. But instead of trying to resolve the dispute, Mr Cameron outraged unions with an inflammatory speech yesterday, attacking strikers and insisting his public sector pension raid would go ahead as planned. – Daily Mirror

Passengers are being warned to avoid flying tomorrow as airports are dragged into the strike disruption over public sector pension reforms. The walkout is also set to hit four out of five schools, affecting seven million children, as union members defy calls from David Cameron to call off the industrial action. The Prime Minister yesterday told public sector workers strikes were ‘wrong’ at a time when discussions were ongoing, pointing out that their retirement funds are costing every household in the country £1,000 a year and must be reformed. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are due to desert their posts at air terminals, threatening massive queues at passport control. Airport operator BAA which is responsible for Heathrow, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, said: ‘Certainly there will be queues at immigration, there’s no doubt of that.’ A BAA spokesman said the strike would affect only arrivals, as checks for departing passengers were carried out by BAA staff, rather than the UKBA. However, passengers transferring  flights in the UK are expected to  have problems. The PCS union’s general secretary Mark Serwotka said attempts to train UKBA managers to take the place of passport-checkers would not prevent delays, adding: ‘It is likely that there will be severe disruptions and delays affecting both ports and airports. – Daily Mail

C’mon back us Ed

Tomorrow’s strikes will nail one poisonous myth: public servants do worthless jobs. Many ConDems, plus a few foolish Labour figures who should know better, demonise staff on the state payroll. Shut schools and closed courts will prove how much we depend on them. If as few employees back action as Cabinet minister Francis Maude argues, he’s got nothing to worry about. Nobody’s forced to strike and the closed shop was ­abolished years ago. But Maude’s jumpy because he fears the public could turn on the Tories if strikes spread. Ed Miliband’s terror of a Tory “Red Ed” tag triggered an ill-judged union denunciation by the Labour leader. At one point I feared Scared Ed might offer to join Michael Gove’s gimmicky Mum’s Army. Miliband should note the poll showing a majority think the pension strikes are legitimate. Appeasing Right-wingers who’ll devour him at their convenience, is a risky strategy. Because when Mili’s feckless friends turn, he might find old mates scarpered earlier. – Daily Mirror

Hypocrisy of the highest order

Campaigners say it is “unacceptable” that an MP who has campaigned for the living wage is recruiting an unpaid worker for her House of Commons office. Lyn Brown, Labour MP for West Ham, is seeking a “voluntary Westminster worker” for duties including policy research and dealing with constituents. Ms Brown said she “would like to pay everyone” in her office, but “did not have the resources to do so”. The Labour Party said staffing decisions were a matter for individual MPs. Ms Brown’s official website states: “Since her election in 2005, Lyn has campaigned tirelessly for a living wage for all.” The living wage is an hourly salary rate – higher than the minimum wage – that campaigners say is necessary to allow a family to meet their basic needs. In London – including Ms Brown’s constituency – it is currently £8.30. – BBC News

A labour MP who has campaigned against low wages was yesterday branded a hypocrite after advertising for an unpaid researcher. Lyn Brown is seeking a “voluntary Westminster worker” to help with constituency and research duties. The West Ham MP has been at the forefront of a campaign for a living wage of £8.30 an hour for workers in London. Her website states: “Lyn has campaigned tirelessly for a living wage for all.” Gus Baker, from campaign group Intern Aware, said: “This is a double hypocrisy. How would someone from a low-income background take that opportunity? It is manifestly unfair.” Ms Brown said: “I would like to pay everyone who volunteers for me and who is ultimately seeking a wage. The reality is that I do not have the resources.” – Daily Mirror

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