The Fight for Remploy Factories


by David Harney – Reblogged from 19.07.12


May 2010…Just how many of us I wonder, could contemplate what a Conservative led coalition government actually would mean for you & me?  Or for millions of others, who just happen to be young, old, have children, drive a car, pay the bills, rely on financial help, or just happen to be female?  How many could possibly have foreseen the gross disproportionate hardships imposed with such seemingly callus zelous, upon those in society, who need help & support the most?  The reason I pose these questions, are to help focus minds upon the latest government act of crualty to inflict one of society`s most vulnerable groups…. Disabled workers!
1946, & one of the most beneficial organisations to help disabled people was introduced…Remploy.  Since 1946, thousands upon thousands of disabled people have found dignity, self-respect, pride, & self-worth by the work opportunities it has helped provide.  Vital for any person, let alone a disabled person, I think you`ll agree.  Of far more benefit, even than the wages it has provided, for its workers & their families. 

Workers at a typical Remploy factory, skillfully manufacturing furniture…

Who, in May 2010, I wonder could have possibly dreamed that this new Tory, Lid-Dem coalition would or could, act with such speed & brutality in its crushing decision to close a minimum 36 of Remploy`s 45 factories?  Surely no British government could act this way?  There surely can be no way ANY respectable government could simply throw at least 1,500 disabled workers on the unemployment scrap heap, in the depth of the worst recession we have ever lived through?  This is pecisely what this Tory led coalition government intend to do! 

Yesterday, July 19th, saw those 1,500 Remploy workers picket their factories, in a defiant, unified, & dignified stand against what can only be described as this government`s savage attacks & utter disregard, on not just their livelihoods, but on their very lives.  These workers went on strike, not for higher pay, & not for better working conditions. They were not even on strike for better pensions, all of which are incredibly justified reasons to act.  The only reason these disabled workers took strike action was to fight for an opportunity & a right to work. For an opportunity to provide for themselves, & for their families.  For an opportunity, this government intends to remove as quickly as possible.

Last Stand? Disabled Workers at Remploy showing this government, their desperate desire to work!

What of me, I am not disabled, you may ask?  Why should I be concerned by closures that don`t affect me?  The point is, they DO affect us… they affect every single working person in the land!  If this Tory-led coalition can act this way against society`s vulnerable, they can act this way against everyone & anyone they choose, & at will.  The Tory track record of this brutality against our society is quite simply, recorded fact.  For those of us old enough, who can possibly forget Margaret Thatcher`s open sickening gloating, as miners, steel workers, factory workers, & public servants in their hundreds of thousands being thrown on the dole.  Even the kids had their school milk taken from their mouths, in what Thatcher called, `prudent policies`.  Who prospered?  Bankers, wealthy businessmen, the City`s high-flyers, corporate fat-cats, spivs & legal conmen.  It seems that, Thatcher may be gone, but little else changes with the Conservatives.  Remploy is testiment enough of that fact!

Our consciences should ALL be pricked. If they’re not, we have no right to complain, when this government sees fit to stab us in the back….& they WILL!
If we accept, the government`s assertions that `Remploy costs too much`, then why don`t they look at cutting some of the hundreds of able bodied managers, & bosses, who earn an average of £40 to £60k p/a?  Why make those who earn the least, pay the most.  Able bodied managers stand a far greater chance of finding alternative employment, than a disabled person, with a progressive illness, wouldn`t you say?  Quite simply, this government`s `reasons` for Remploy closures just do not stand up to logic.
Remploy workers have had incredible support from many honourable MP`s such as John Tricket, & Chesterfield`s Toby Perkins.   Help too, from Trade Unions, such as Unite, & my own GMB Union.  Help in their fight, by able mental & bodied people, who have taken the Remploy workers plight to their hearts.  In short, thousands of decent people support Remploy in it`s valiant fight against closure. All deserve a huge well done… & for many, the fight will go on!

Solidarity Thursday

There are major strike actions happening this Thursday across the country. GMB and Unite members in Remploy are taking strike action to defend their jobs and workplaces against Tory cuts.  If you can get to a picket line on Thursday morning, please do – and please sign the Save Remploy Factories Online Petition.


Europe’s Systemic Collapse…


The future according to Phoenix Capital Research.

It is always enlightening to read analyses written on behalf of the financial sector, but they also make me naively wonder why, when faced with the consequences of such a dangerous global meltdown, politicians think that they have anything to lose… why don’t they just take the banks into democratic ownership (ie. full nationalisation) and solve most of the problems at a stroke?  The political power of the banks would be annulled, and governments could get on with the real world problems of creating full employment, investing in mitigating climate change and oil dependency with a new green deal.

As Stephen Spratt wrote in January 2009 for New Economics Foundation:

‘Just as this was no accident, neither is anything about it inevitable. One positive feature of the meltdown we are witnessing is that it should finally lay to rest the idea that if we just let financiers and business leaders get on with it, the best of all possible worlds will be the result.’

Europe’s Systemic Collapse… and What It Means For Us and You

… it’s clear now that the world is entering a period of wealth destruction. Europe is in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis. History tells us that this will entail more than one sovereign nation going belly-up. Indeed, I believe that we’ll see ALL of the PIIGS, as well as France, stage sovereign defaults in the coming months.

After that will come Japan, then finally the US. By the time the smoke clears, we will have seen systemic collapse.

This will mean:

Many major banks disappearing, as well as numerous potentially lengthy bank holidays (think Argentina in 2001)

Multiple sovereign defaults as well as broad economic contractions and their commensurate unemployment/ civil unrest/ erasure of retirement accounts/ pensions (this process has already begun in some US municipals, e.g. San Bernandino and Stockton California as well as Harrisburg Pennsylvania).

Possibly new currencies being introduced or new denominations of currencies (say one new unit being worth 1,000 of the old one)

Massive wealth destruction to the tune of tens of trillions of Dollars (think MF Global i.e. the money is gone… only systemically… in fact we just had another such instance with PF)

A global contraction that will result in new political/ power structures being implemented as well as the breakup of various countries/ unions.

Very serious trade wars to begin (see Obama’s recent attack on China) and very possibly a real war.

… I know that much of what I’ve written to you in the past could be labeled as “gloom and doom.” However, I want you to know that I do not use the words “systemic collapse” lightly. Indeed, I wish I wasn’t mentioning them now, but I’d be doing you a disservice not to bring them up because we’re well on our way towards it.

At Phoenix Capital Research, we are determined to help our clients get through this period safely and profitably. The words “systemic collapse” sounds horrifying but the truth is that some of the world’s biggest fortunes were made during Crises.