Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday Updates: Tommy Sheridan quits & Mary Bousted speaks out

Tommy Sheridan quits anti bedroom tax Campaign

Last week I reported a furious row breaking out in the West Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax Campaign. A report initially appeared on the Socialist Unity website that attracted such venomous debate that it has now been taken down by their Editorial Team. In the meantime the controversy has led Tommy Sheridan and three of his "supporters to quit the steering committee.

In a Press Statement they say:

The principled socialist Tony Benn famously declared he was resigning from Parliament to get more involved in politics. In a similar vein we are collectively stepping down from the West Scotland Anti-Bedroom Tax committee not through differences or disagreements with the aims and objectives of the West Scotland committee that we all helped to establish but to try and cut across divisions which have regrettably developed since the founding meeting on Wednesday 13th March.

It seems Tommy Sheridan remains a very divisive individual within the myopic world of the Scottish far-left. Even his resignation statement has kicked off a debate amongst the comrades over at Socialist Unity.  Apparently he has not been invited to speak at the Glasgow Rally on March 30th as he is apparently aware that his appearance would indeed be divisive.

It would seem his first attempt to revive his political career has failed.

ATL pass motion of no confidence in Micheal Gove

The BBC reported that the moderate union, the Association of Teachers & Lecturers passed a motion of no confidence in Education Secretary, Michael Gove this afternoon. Mary Bousted who became one of the outstanding trade union leaders during last years Pensions dispute said:

ATL is moderate. OK, maybe we lost that label for a while when we were driven to national strike action for the only time in our history, but it has been restored since. I hope you see me as moderate – I know my colleagues on the TUC General Council do. But this morning, it is my duty to be less than moderate. I owe it to you, to our members, to the whole profession, but most of all to all those children and young people we teach, and their families. It is my duty to castigate the man who is undermining everything we stand for.

So I ask the question: does Michael Gove know he has a problem? I think, perhaps, amazingly he does not; surrounded, as he is, by fiercely loyal special advisors with ready fingers on Twitter – meting out abuse for anyone who dares to question their beloved leader - and bolstered by a hand-picked chief inspector.. Loathe as Michael is to meet anyone who might have a different point of view, he blithely forges ahead – like the officers in the Charge Of The Light Brigade – pardon my adaptation – cannons to the right of them, cannons to the left of them, volleyed and thundered – there's not to reason why, there's not to make reply – into the valley of death goes Gove and his hundreds.
She continues:
Michael Gove often talks about his moral purpose, about his desire for the most disadvantaged children to succeed in our schools. It is an ambition ATL shares with the Secretary of State, but not his means. But moral purpose and endeavour lose their shine when they are undermined by poor judgement, poor behaviour and the stench of a cover up – all of which hang like a fog over Michael Gove and the DfE as calls for inquiries into bullying of civil servants, misleading the Education Select Committee over allegations of bullying and abuse by DfE insiders, and contraventions of the special advisers' code mount. There is just too much going wrong in the state of the DfE for it to be ignored. And the truth will out. It's leaking out already and it looks rotten.

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