Monthly Archives: December 2018

Cuts Put Gateshead Special Schools in Crisis

Gateshead headteachers and teachers appeal for people to sign a petition to get the town’s funding crisis debated in Parliament.

# 4 of 6 special schools in the borough have made teachers redundant.

# Schools face a dire situation.

# School funding has stood still for 8 years.

# The needs of vulnerable children increasingly cannot be met.

# There is no money for repairs.

# Parents are asked to help with funding some school activities.

# It is predicated that within three years, schools in Gateshead will not have enough money to fund the schools or pay staff.

Whilst I fully support the iniative to get the Gateshead school funding crisis debated in Parliament, I strongly believe that signing petitions is not enough in days like these….

The planned poverty aka austerity and cuts to services establishment consensus across Europe was rejected in the UK with the Brexit vote and the election of Jeremy Corbyn. People in Gateshead voted 57% to Leave. Was that any wonder given what government cuts have done to Gateshead? Gateshead has record levels of child poverty and health inequality and the schools are in a crisis.

But let’s not forget that Gateshead has had a Labour Council for donkey’s years. Yes, they have protested verbally about the cuts but have they led a determined campaign with the support of trade unions and the people to stop the cuts? No.

During the last election one of the biggest and most enthusiastic mass meetings with Jeremy Corbyn was in Gateshead. A town that voted for Brexit which is potentially solid for Corbyn if he doesn’t cave in to the Blairites.

The ‘People’s Vote’ shenanigans is a smokescreen to hide the real threat a Corbyn government could be the establishment EU pro-austerity status quo.

Reversing the referendum decision will not fund the special schools in Gateshead. Look at what the EU neoliberal ‘the market comes first’ policies are doing to education and health services in Greece and the Spanish State.

Only a Left Labour government can start to reverse the cuts to services in places like Gateshead but it will not happen unless we make it happen. Sign the petition by all means but most of all get on the streets, into your unions and pressurise Labour councillors to actually stand up and fight the cuts.

The ‘People’s Vote’ campaign is a trick to stop Corbyn getting elected. Stop it! General Election now!

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The Paddy Ashdown EU consensus

The death of Paddy Ashdown reminded me how all the establishment politicians united two years ago to berate and bully people to vote for the status quo of the Bosses’ Club EU and the planned poverty aka austerity consensus.

Windbag, turncoat and clown Ramsay McKinnock, who as a nominal Left-winger back in the day had opposed the EU had no trouble working with Ashdown and Cameron.

Despite being the majority capitalist position, both in the UK and worldwide the working class in the main ignored the likes of Ashdown, Cameron and Kinnock and voted to put two fingers up to the system.

What a tragedy that Jeremy Corbyn went back on his long held and correct opposition to the neoliberal EU and went along with the establishment consensus.

It’s a messy situation but even at this late stage it is positive that Corbyn is defending the position that a future Labour government will fight for a Brexit in favour of the working class.

If he caves in and supports a 2nd referendum then the class collaborationism of Kinnock and the Blairites with the likes of Ashdown will have won in the LP and a new situation will inevitably open up….

La lucha sigue….

Endnote

“This is the kind of politician, this is the kind of politician, who …will, will be…greatly missed. [solemnly, to the camera] A great…a great parliamentarian of our time, and a close personal friend. I am heartbroken.”