Stolen by Grace Blakeley: Political Education and Building Power

For decades, it has been easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.

Register here.

In the decade leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, booming banks, rising house prices and cheap consumer goods propped up living standards in the rich world. Thirty years of rocketing debt and financial wizardry had masked the deep underlying fragility of finance-led growth, and in 2008 we were forced to pay up.

The decade since has witnessed all kinds of morbid symptoms, as all around the rich world, wages and productivity are stagnant, inequality is rising, and ecological systems are collapsing.

Stolen is a history of finance-led growth and a guide as to how we might escape it. We’ve sat back as financial capitalism has stolen our economies, our environment and even the future itself. Now, we have an opportunity to change course. What happens next is up to us.

Event Details:

UCU MDX Branch, MDX Politics Dept & Hendon Labour Party are delighted to host writer, broadcaster and policy expert Grace Blakeley as part of the book launch tour for Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialisation.

Grace Blakeley is a research fellow on the IPPR‘s Commission on Economic Justice, commentates on economics for the New Statesmen and has appeared on numerous political and current affairs programmes.

A panel of UCU, Politics Dept and Hendon Lab members will discuss the themes of the book followed by an audience Q&A and a book signing.

Event Location:

The Boardroom: C219. 2nd Floor. College Building. Middlesex University. NW4 4BT

Ask at reception to the left inside the main doors for directions if needed.

Transport:

Tube: Hendon Central

Thameslink: Hendon

Buses: 143, 183, 326, 643, 653, 683

Book Launch: Steal As Much As You Can: Nathalie Olah on Class, Culture and Austerity

Nathalie Olah talks about the impact of austerity on the culture industries and how a new generation has emerged to challenge it- with a Q&A

About this Event

The 2010s have been a double-edged decade. Socioeconomic factors have led to the widespread and increased disenfranchisement of poorer people from the mainstream media and the institutions shaping it. This has coincided with a growing number of people from low income backgrounds also receiving better educations than ever before, and having the means at their disposal to both name and resent it.

Steal as much as you can is the story of how this bright generation came to be, and what effective means are still at their disposal to challenge the establishment and ultimately win. By rejecting the established routines of achieving prosperity, and by stealing what you can from them on the way, this book offers hope to anyone who feels increasingly frustrated by our increasingly unequal society.

Link here.

General Election Now / #StandWithCorbyn

General Election Now rally with Jeremy Corbyn this Thursday (July 25, 6pm, Parliament Sq.)
** RSVP, share & invite friends on Facebook now here. **
On Thursday, join Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament Square and send a message: we need a General Election. Tory incompetence has led to a deadlocked Parliament, a deeply divided country, and a government led by a man decided by just 160,000 Tory members. We need a General Election, and Parliament is where we’ll pile on the pressure. Will you be there?
** RSVP, share & invite friends on Facebook now here. **

You’re being gagged

On 30 July Tory councillors will vote to bar residents from speaking at council committee meetings. Tory councillors will vote to allow only two residents to raise one question each, in writing, on items on a committee’s agenda. After 30 July you, your residents’ association or interest group can no longer voice your concerns. Councillors will make decisions about bin collection and recycling, potholes, air pollution, development, libraries, schools, and care for the elderly and the disabled without listening to you.

What you and your friends can do now:

• E-mail your councillors to oppose this resolution

• E-mail your MP to oppose this resolution

• Go to your councillors’ surgery to oppose this resolution

• Sign the petition at http://chng.it/KgZ7gz7pk4

What you and your friends can do on 30 July: Come to Hendon Town Hall at 6pm to show your opposition to being gagged.

Who are we? Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) is a coalition of residents, campaign groups and trade unions defending public services in Barnet. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 6.30-8.30 at the Greek Cypriot Centre, North Finchley, 2 BritanniaRoad, London N12 9RU

Email: barnetalliance4publicservices@gmail.com

How you can help ‘stop and scrap’ Universal Credit

It is TUC policy to ‘stop and scrap’ Universal Credit. The implementation of the policy, alongside the cap on the up-rating of welfare benefits, has been shown to be causing immense hardship, and has been proven to be a substantial cause of the huge growth in the dependency of vulnerable people on foodbanks, and of evictions. 

Unite Community is organising a day of action against Universal Credit, 1 August 2019. More information and campaign materials are available at: 
https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/stop-universal-credit/
#STOPUniversalCredit

MR REASONABLE: Barnet Council Plan to Gag Residents

Last week the Constitution and General Purposes Committee proposed significant changes to the public participation rules. Currently, up to 30 minutes is set aside at the start of each committee meeting for public comments and questions. You have to submit the questions by 10am 3 working days in advance of the committee meeting and you also have to specify which agenda item on which you wish to make a public comment.  At the meeting the resident gets 3 minutes to make their public comment and they can then be questioned by committee members. Questions are taken in strict rotation so everyone who has asked a question gets a chance to ask a supplementary question. Even if the questioners do not get the chance to ask a supplementary question there is a written response to their original question. This provides a useful audit trail when matters arise in the future.

Last week all those rules were changed.  Following ratification at the forthcoming full council meeting on 30 July public participation will be dramatically reduced. The Council’s proposals are as follows:

Questions and comments should be amalgamated. The number of words for each question/comment should be limited at 100 and must be submitted in writing by 10am 3 working days in advance of the committee meeting.
Residents may raise one question/comment on an agenda item. The question/comment must relate to the substantive matter to be determined by the committee. No more than two questions from residents will be allowed per agenda item taken in the order of receipt by the Governance Service. These changes means the public will no longer be able to address the committee in person and councillors will not be able to ask the member of public about their comment. When reports run to many pages, summarising a single question or comment in 100 words will severely restrict what people can say. Residents will only be able to make one comment or one question on an agenda item but if more than two residents ask a question or make a comment on an agenda item, no other questions or comments will be accepted.  Barnet say this is about saving money and giving more opportunities to residents. It will do neither especially, if residents are forced to submit multiple FOI requests to get important answers. It seems clear that Barnet do not like residents scrutinising decisions such as the Council’s £22.9 million loan to Saracens Rugby to build a new stand at their stadium or asking questions about the £2 million fraud carried out by a Capita employee which went undiscovered for more than a year. Capita’s performance in areas such as Highways and Pensions Administration have been dismal but public scrutiny of their performance and why they are being allowed to continue to provide such a poor service will now be all but eliminated. The Council are also making major cuts to services such as libraries and are changing the rules to force disabled people who receive in-home care packages to move into residential care simply because it is cheaper. The ability to question these changes will be dramatically reduced, allowing the council to rubber stamp decisions without any meaningful engagement with the public. Barnet residents have a right and a need to scrutinise the Council and these changes will eliminate that scrutiny. I admit I do ask quite a few questions but that is simply because I believe committees are failing to provide adequate scrutiny. Conservative councillors keep saying the questions are political. The questions I ask are almost always about money and performance. With £20 million of budget cuts this year and a further £47 million of cuts over the next four years it is important that Councillors at least listen to the concerns of residents. If you think the Council’s proposals are wrong, please sign the petition here or go an visit your local Conservative Councillor before the Council meeting on 30 July. Details of all their councillors’ surgeries are on the Barnet Council website but I have summarised them here for your convenience.

ORIGINAL POST

Barnet Alliance for Public Services Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 16 July from 6.30 – 8.30 pm at the Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road London N12.


The first hour of the meeting has been set aside for general business, for a review of the past year and for discussion of further work to be undertaken by BAPS in the coming year. 

For the second half of the meeting from 7.30 onwards we are  pleased to announce guest speaker Adelaide Joseph and her husband Paul, both veteran ANC activists and campaigners. Their daugher Nadia will also participate in what it likely to be an interesting and inspiring presentation. 

#GeneralElectionNow – Labour Assembly Against Austerity

RALLY: General Election Now! Time for a Corbyn-Government

Rally with John McDonnell // Diane Abbott // Richard Burgon & more.
Friday June 21, 6.30pm, Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD.  RSVP, Share & Invite here


Hosted by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, this rally will open the Arise 2019 – a festival of Labour’s left ideas festival, and all Friday + Saturday tickets will include a ticket to this. These can be bought at www.arise-festival.com/tickets.

A limited number of tickets for the Friday night rally only are also available, also at www.arise-festival.com/tickets – get yours today!

#GeneralElectionNow
#JC4PM

BENEFITS SANCTIONS a critical issue for the Labour Party

BARNET MOMENTUM MEETING
Thursday 6 June – 7.30pm
Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, N12 9 RU

Meeting and discussion with David Webster and Stop UC campaigner

David Webster is a Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University. He is currently carrying out an in-depth critical investigation into disallowances and sanctions in the UK unemployment insurance system.
Benefits used to be run on insurance principles – but the Blair government bought into the whole ideology of conditionality, sanctions and workfare. A research by the IFS concludes that almost 2million people will lose £1,000 a year with universal credit, and that it is those on disability benefits and low incomes will be among worst affected.

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