Monday, 14 September 2015

To whom are you accountable and how can we get rid of you? TUC Day 2

First off today, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow dong a fine impression of the late, great Tony Benn, stating the five questions to be asked of anyone in power!
 “What power have you got? 

Where did you get it from? 

In whose interests do you exercise it? 

To whom are you accountable?

And how can we get rid of you?” 

He also spoke of his efforts to encourage young people to engage with politics; how he chairs the UK Youth Parliament in the Commons.  

How he insisted that a bar in the Commons be removed and replaced by a creche for Commons staff, despite complaints

How he pushed the idea that all contractors. and staff in the Commons should be paid a London Living Wage! 

How his politics have changed dramatically from his early right wing days. He was well received at  the end!! 
You can watch his speech here.

After that, a rousing speech from the TUC General  Secretary ,Frances O'Grady, talking about organising and building the unions and calling ultimately for all workers to join a union, saying 'Together we are stronger!' . 

She also  talked about the joy of seeing that Corbyn"s newly appointed Shadow Cabinet consists of a majority of women ( the very first!).
The text of Frances' speech is available here.
Later on, a lively debate took place about Electoral Reform. 

Emergency Motion 1 Colombia - Christine Blower asked all to support by pushing unions to give practical support to this cause.

  Emergency Motion 2 re: Met Office Weather Forecasting Service For The BBC. Prospect asked for support from the unions. Tony Lennon  of BECU described the new plan as 'a stitch up of one national institution by another!!! ' Support the campaign! 

Today was also the debate on education and I will report more on that in the morning. Anyway, off to bed now...

Sarah Carter
SE Region NUT
TUC Delegate

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