What does deflation mean for working people?

A must read new study from the New Economics Foundation looks at the headline negative inflation figures now circulating:

“Latest UK inflation figures have been greeted with an extraordinary amount of fuss. A 0.1% decline in the rate at which prices are increasing is not, by itself, especially newsworthy. But of course the symbolism of hitting a 2% rate matters. It means the Bank of England’s inflation target has, for the first time since late 2009, been achieved.

“Leaving aside the politics around this arbitrary target, there are three things to note here. First, the cost of living crisis is not over. Prices are still rising much faster than wages and salaries. Inflation is 2%. Average earnings, however, have risen less than 1%. In other words, the real value of people’s wages and salaries is still falling. Most people are still becoming steadily worse off, as they have been for the last five years. The figures for December also miss out the sharp rises in household energy bills, which will feed into next month’s numbers.

“Second, the fall in inflation has little to do directly with the government’s actions. The biggest reason for the decline in the overall rate of inflation was a fall in the rate of price increases for food and drink, down from 2.8% to 1.9% over the year. But Britain is a huge importer of food, buying some £20bn more from abroad than it sells to the rest of the world. The prices we see in the shops are to a large extent determined by what is happening internationally. And with the pound rising in value over the last few months, the price of importing food has declined. Alongside that, after years of sharp increases, the prices of basic food commodities like wheat and sugar have fallen globally over the last year.

“Third, there’s an unusual danger lurking underneath this. Strip out food, drink, and energy prices from the headline inflation and you get a measure of what is often called “core” inflation. This excludes those items that are most affected by pretty contingent, day-to-day factors to try and get a sense of where the underlying economy is heading. Core inflation, currently, is 1.7%, having fallen from 1.9%.”

Read the full report on the NEF website:



Tenants and housing summit 13 June

Stop privatisation; improve existing and build a new generation of first class council housing
Tenants and housing summit 13 June
Tenants and housing campaigners are meeting on 13 June in London to spell out how we will win our demands after the election.
With Focus E15, New Era, Sweets Way, Fred Wigg, Aylesbury and Cressingham and the March for Homes inspiring growing resistance, the 13 June event will bring together tenants and campaigners to work out our next steps, demanding and winning change, targetting whoever forms the next Government.

The ‘summit’ event, called by Defend Council Housing, is already supported by Housing Justice the churches housing campaign,and Generation Rent, organising private renters. Others taking part include Welsh Tenants, Disabled People Against Cuts, trade unions, estates fighting demolition and privatisation, Anti Bedroom Tax and benefits campaigns and the Radical Housing Network; others also invited.
The Tenants and Housing summit event is on 13 June 11-4.30pm at Bloomsbury Baptist Church Hall in central London.
Sessions on What Next for March for Homes, the Tenants Manifesto, Anti Benefit Cuts campaigns, trade unions and housing, Private renters and rent control, and the Fight for Council Housing – against demolition, sell off and privatisation.
Get your tenant group, trade union or community organisation to come along. For more details and leaflets contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk.
Other News
Cambridge’s Housing Crisis meeting Tue 28 April with speakers from Generation Rent, Defend COuncil Housing, and Kevin Price Exec Councillor for Housing 28th April, at 7.30, at Ross St Community Centre Cambridge.
Hammersmith Council in west London, is considering privatisation of all 12.500 council homes. A DCH leaflet sets out why this is a threat to tenants – copies and details from info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk for leaflets.
What you can do
Get your organisation to send people to the 13 June summit event: Tenants and Housing – after the election. Contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk for more details
Re/affiliate to DCH 2015 – form here and more here.
Further information from www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
To stop getting DCH email newsletters reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in subject.

Radical Labour – A Message From John McDonnell MP

Let’s transform this leadership election into a real debate about the future of socialism, our party and our country

So far neither the political range of candidates for the Labour leadership nor the ideas they have voiced have set the world of progressive politics alight.

So if we want to use the selection of a new leader to excite people about the potential of socialist politics, then it’s up to us to get this debate going.

I am launching this website to host a debate on the issues the Labour leadership candidates have to address and to promote some of the ideas and policies people think any new leader should adopt.

We start with a hard hitting analysis of Labour’s electoral geography in last week’ selection by Andrew Fisher, the Director of the Left Economic Advisory Panel.

If you would like to submit a paper on your ideas about what the Labour leadership candidates need to address, send us your ideas by emailing me on radical-labour@hotmail.com.

At the moment the choice of a new Labour leader is looking like a glamour contest between a group of candidates with little ideologically to choose between them.

Let’s transform this leadership election into a real debate about the future of socialism, our party and our country.



McDonnell MP

Barnet Left Unity meeting

Barnet Left Unity meeting
TUESDAY 19 MAY, 6:30-8:30pm
What next after the election?
Glyn Robbins, LU candidate in Tower Hamlet​s and housing campaigner
Andrew Burgin, LU national officer
And speakers from local unions and housing campaigns
Venue: the Greek Cypriot centre
Britannia Road, N12 9RU, North Finchley

Finchley Literary Festival

Finchley Literary Festival 

Join us for this lively discussion: The Library Debate

Friern Barnet Community Library, Friern Barnet Road, N11 3DS
Thursday 21st May 7.30-9.00pm

The Library Debate: In the library that was rescued from closure and is now run by the community, join us for a lively panel discussion on the role of libraries. Libraries are under threat locally and across the UK. We discuss just what libraries are for and who they are for? Can we mange without them? We hear a lot about what councils want for libraries, but what do users want from libraries? No charge but donations to help fund the library appreciated.


For more details of this and other great events check out this link


End Austerity Now

2bb9dc70-c1a0-4fd2-bfcf-c0e5d9cf52ee1) WHERE NOW AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION? North London Activists & Mobilising Meeting for the June 20 demo, Tuesday May 26, 6.30pm

1) WHERE NOW AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION? North London Activists & Mobilising Meeting for the June 20 demo, Tuesday May 26, 6.30pm
North London People’s Assembly Against Austerity activists and mobilisation meeting for the June 20 End Austerity Now Demo. With an introduction from John Rees from the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – come along & get involved in making the June 20 demonstration a massive show of anti-austerity opinion.
* RSVP to northlondonassembly@gmail.com or on Facebook so we have an idea of numbers. Please invite your friends on Facebook here

North London People’s Assembly Against Austerity supporters, elected representatives, trade unionists, anti-cuts and community campaigners plus many more people from across North London have launched an open letter pledging support for the June 20 demo and building the movement against the cuts.
* Please add your name here

The People’s Assembly is calling a protest at Downing Street, marching to the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster for a rally on the evening of the Queens Speech – Assemble at Downing Street, 5:30pm and march to Emmanuel Centre for rally at 7pm, Marsham Street, London, Westminster SW1P 3DW
* Invite you friends & spread the word on Facebook here

UNISON & GMB LG Strike Update


Barnet UNISON Statement

Following extensive consultation through our local reps, contacts, survey monkey and a branch meeting the overwhelming decision was that we take strike action alongside our GMB colleagues* on 1 & 2 June.


* GMB are currently balloting their members over the same dispute.



Further information about the strike will go out shortly.


2bb9dc70-c1a0-4fd2-bfcf-c0e5d9cf52ee  THIS SATURDAY, 12 NOON (May 16): Volunteers needed for stall in Camden promoting No More Austerity demo // Weekly stalls until June 20 Please help us to put on more!

With the Tories going it alone in government we know exactly what to expect. More nasty, destructive cuts to the things ordinary people care about- the NHS, the welfare state, education and public services. On June 20, the END AUSTERITY NOW demonstration will be assembling in the heart of the City of London right on the doorstep of the very people who created the crisis in the first place, the banks and their friends in Westminster. We demand that the bankers and elite should pay for the crisis and not the vast majority who had nothing to do with it.

Now is the time to get organizing, to mobilize our communities and spread the word. We need to do all that we can to make this demonstration bigger and bolder than ever we have done before. I am therefore writing to see if you can help us build the demo across North London in the coming weeks – our initial weekly stalls schedule is below & with your help we will be continually adding to it over the coming weeks:

THIS Saturday May 16, noon::

Saturday May 23:

Saturday May 30:

Saturday June 6:

Saturday June 13:

  • Seven Sisters Tube Station
  • Highbury & Islington

If you can help on any of these dates please reply to this email address and the contact below. Additionally, if you can set up additional leafleting sessions in your area please let us know and we will help you get materials and additional volunteers.

Best wishes,
Matt Willgress, North London People’s Assembly.

PS: Remember to invite your friends to the June 20 demo on Facebook here

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