KEN ROCKS! SO DO TRADES UNIONS!



London Trades Unions have launched a new website to support Ken Livingstone to continue as the Mayor of London. Check out www.kenrocks.org

"As London Trade Unions, we support Ken because he will deliver a better London and a better work/life balance for Londoners." TULO

Ken's delivery on Transport and Housing rocks here's why:

London is now seeing the biggest public transport investment programme since the Second World War.


World-class bus service

  • Night bus network almost doubled, from 57 routes in 2000 to 100 routes from 2006.
  • 8,000 London buses now modern, low floor and wheelchair-accessible.
  • All buses are now fitted with CCTV - making you safer.
  • Over 90% of all London’s households are now within 400 metres of a bus stop.


Tube and rail

  • More than 30 London Underground stations
    refurbished and renovated.
  • New £16bn Crossrail line to be constructed.
  • New ‘London Overground’ service, bringing metrostyle services to Hackney for the first time, and south to West Croydon and Crystal Palace.


Fares kept down

  • A 21st century transport system - 10 million Oyster Card’s have been issued!
  • Free bus and tram travel for under-18s in full-time education.
  • Single bus fares cut from £1 to 90p, and weekly bus pass down from £14 to £13.
  • The Freedom Pass for older and disabled Londoners defended from Tory attacks.
  • Reversed disastrous Tory policy of curbing affordable rental house building, with 28,000 new homes this year, up from 17,000 in 1999.
  • Requirement that 50% of all new homes are affordable to Londoners.
  • Plan for 50 000 new affordable homes over the next 3 years, supported by £4b from government.
  • New Housing Strategy also includes measures to increase supply of affordable family sized homes to address problems of over-crowding.


Trades Unions rock here's why: Trade unionism is alive in London
  • Supporting trade unionism as the best way to ensure that workers receive fair pay, conditions and pensions.
  • London Living Wage set at £7.20 an hour for 2007 to take account of the cost of living in London – all GLA Group employees paid no
    less than the Living Wage.
  • Implementing fair employment clauses in public contracts, to ensure that proper pay, conditions
    and trade union rights are not undermined.
  • Thousands of newly licensed taxi drivers now in trade unions.


Samuel Tarry Chair of Compass Youth said: "Ken Livingstone is the most progressive Labour leader in the country, he has fought for and won in the defence of workers and ordinary Londoners. Compass Youth will be fighting for Ken in the forthcoming London Elections in May, not only are we going to fight to stop the neo-conservative bigot Boris Johnson but we'll help smash the BNP at the same time. Ken stands up for working class people, students, pensioners, school kids and all of London's diverse communities. He may be a maverick - but judging him on his progressive policies that have made London he stands head and shoulders above the rest. I'll be proud to campaign for Ken our anti-War Mayor,in fact my own family has benefited from his progressive policies to the tune of hundreds of pounds as my young siblings were able to travel to school for free. Ken fights for Equality - this is the cornerstone of any social democratic programme. As a young Trades unionist activist and Vice Chair of the GMB London Youth Committee I welcome the launch of this exciting new campaign to help Ken get re-elected. Ken rocks, but his policies rock even more!"

A fair deal for agency workers


A coalition of the major Trades Unions including the GMB and Unite today called on MPs to support the private member's Bill aimed at giving new rights to 1.4 million UK agency staff at second reading in the Commons today, Friday 22nd February 2008.

The Bill has been introduced by Andrew Miller MP for Neston & Ellesmere Port and is expected to be supported by over 100 Labour MPs. The Bill would introduce into UK law the same employment rights for agency staff as those enjoyed by permanent, directly employed staff. It covers the same ground as the proposed European Directive which may be discussed at the EU Employment, Social and Consumer Affairs Council on the 29th February 2008.

It was reported in the media that the UK Government is proposing a Commission of inquiry Chaired by Sir George Bain to see if agreement can be reached between the Unions and the CBI on the issue. The CBI is opposed to any employment rights for agency staff for their first 12 months of employment. The trade union want the employment right to apply to agency staff from day one.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary commenting on this report about a Commission said, "It is incredibly premature for the Government to be talking about setting up a Commission, with an independent chairman, to study the issue of agency workers' rights.

What is being offered so far is a second-hand fairy tale, which certainly does not have a happy ending. If every other country in Europe is prepared to give agency workers rights, why should we have to put up with being second or third class citizens? The Government is trying to appease the business lobby."

Samuel Tarry Chair of Compass Youth said: "Compass Youth believes that only UK legislation can end the scourge of widespread abuses and guarantee equal rights for equal treatment for over 1.4 million agency workers in the UK. I myself like many members of Compass Youth have worked as an agency worker and had to suffer worse conditions, pay and rights then my colleagues employed directly and not through an agency.

Compass Youth believes that the tide is turning with growing support for legislation among Labour MPs, across Europe and among the public generally.

For the bill to proceed though it needs the support of more than 100 MPs which is why we are asking MPs to be in the Commons on the 22 February and Back the Bill.

Please do your bit to stop agency workers being employed on poorer terms and conditions and the undercutting of directly employed staff. Compass Youth generates ideas - but also takes action - now is the time to do so"

Write to your MP and ask him or her to be in the Commons on 22 February to support the bill - a MS Word example of the letter to send can be downloaded here.

If you're not sure who your MP is please log on to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ or http://www.writeforthem.com/

You can then email or call the MP's office to lobby them. Most MP's email addresses have the same format surnamefirstinitial@parliament.uk EG: browng@parliament.uk

You can also call you MP by ringing the Houses of Parliament on 0207 219 3000 asking to be put through to their office.

EU Citizens for London - Register to vote, vote for Ken!

We live in London.
We commute in London.
We work in London.
We pay taxes in London.
We breathe in London air.
That is why we care about how London is run who it is run by.
We are all Londoners.
Vote for Ken!

There are over one million non-British EU citizens living in the UK, a very large percentage of them in and around London, over 10%. However, they are more than four times less likely to be registered for elections than British citizens.

Why should I register to vote?

Voting is the basic right and expression of participation in the democratic process. Encouraging EU citizens to vote in the UK in elections in which they are entitled to vote means everyone can help influence their local area on issues that matter to them, such as good transport, affordable housing, clean streets, etc.

Why should I vote?

In addition to freedom of movement of labour, we have to recognise the freedom of movement of people’s rights, encouraging EU citizens to not only contribute economically in a place of their choice within Europe, but also to contribute socially, culturally and politically. Only in this way can we make Europe work on a local level.

hidden

What are my rights?

All non-British EU citizens are eligible to vote and stand in:
  • Local government elections
  • Elections for regional tiers of government, as in Scotland, Wales and London
  • European Parliament elections

But not in general elections (except for the Irish and Cypriots).

hidden

Why are we campaigning for this?

  • Strengthen our bonds with European citizens
  • Keep in touch with the realities of London
  • Enable all our citizens to contribute politically and economically

The very large numbers of potential EU voters in London and the South East provide a huge opportunity to strengthen the bonds between European citizens. It could also enable us to engage with new communities, pilot new methods of communicating, and keeping in touch with the realities of London.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has always championed the contribution of foreign citizens to making London one of the most popular cities in the world. While the Conservatives and UKIP campaign against European integration, while the BNP campaign against foreign citizens coming to England, he has constantly campaigned against racist and anti-European parties.

Achievements
  • Reducing bus fares and free bus passes for school children, pensioners and the disabled
  • Low emissions zone to cut air pollution
  • Increased the minimum wage to a living wage
  • Won the right for London to host the 2012 Olympic Games
  • Cut overall crime by over 6%
  • Pledged a 50% increase in the delivery of affordable London homes

What can I do?

  • Register with your local authority to be an eligible voter
  • Tell your EU friends, family and colleagues that they can register to vote
  • Encourage local councils to maximise registration and participation of EU voters
  • Encourage Labour councils to take this statutory duty seriously and put pressure on other councils through members’ questions to do the same.
Come to our events

Join our Facebook group here!

Pledge your support here
Share this
Print out customised flyers
Promote on your site or blog
Create a local version of this pledge

Go here to start the registration process
http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/pcsearch/EntryPage.cfm

Go here for information on registering
http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/your-vote/registering.cfm

Let us know what you are doing to help register EU Citizens for London, how we can help and any ideas on what we can do

Join us, the local PES Activists citygroup, contact noel.hatch1@gmail.com



See here for:
The “Polish voter” - a strategy for political integration of EU citizens
The need for a strategy for EU citizens
Labour’s chances to capitalise
Who are the european citizens in london?
The hidden electorate - Is there an affinity to vote Labour?

Our survey shows vast majority against 42 day limit despite "safeguards"


An overwhelming majority of Labour members, supporters and left-leaning voters oppose the government’s plans for detention of terrorist suspects for up to 42 days, according to a survey conducted by Compass.

The survey of 800 people found that:

• 39.89% of respondents favour retention of the current 28 day limit, however a further 45.29% support a return to the pre-2005 limit of 14 days. Only 9.15% support the government’s position for a maximum period of 42 days detention.

• Furthermore 60.22% of respondents do not believe that the additional safeguards of requiring agreement of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Home Secretary – with the need for a report to Parliament and vote make extending the detention period any more acceptable.

• 76.28% would support the use of intercept evidence in court and 69.38% would support post-charge questioning of terrorist suspects.

• 51.56% of those who responded say they think the Counter-Terrorism Bill will increase the chances of a further terrorist attack on the UK. A mere 9.28% said they thought the legislation would make such an attack less likely.

We will now be sending the full results of the survey to the Home Secretary and Labour MPs.

We call on all our members and supporters to lobby parliamentarians on the issue. You can contact your MP via www.theyworkforyou.com. Most MPs emails use the following format: SURNAMEFIRSTINITIAL@PARLIAMENT.UK

Compass Chair Neal Lawson said: “The view from this survey is definitive; 42 days detention is a non-starter. The Prime Minister stated in January he wanted to find a consensus on this, and despite all the ‘safeguards’ the consensus could not be clearer: there’s little appetite for any extension beyond the current 28 day limit. With crucial local and London elections looming, it’s unbelievable that yet again we have the spectre of ill conceived, rashly presented legislation driving a wedge between the Government, its supporters and the electorate at large. This is an issue where the Prime Minister should now demonstrate his moral compass, put the principles of justice and democracy first and show Labour has a soul”.



Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti commented: “We’re delighted that the Compass poll endorses Liberty’s view of the disastrous 42 day policy. The poll demonstrates that the Labour movement, like the rest of the country, supports a new rational consensus on national security issues”.

Compass Parliamentary Spokesperson Jon Trickett MP said: ”As this survey shows, there is increasing evidence that there’s no consensus in the country about this measure. The Prime Minister indicated he would not proceed until he had sought a cross party agreement. I would urge the government to attempt once more to take account of the widespread objections to 42 days detention without trial before proceeding with this illiberal proposal.”

For further information contact Gavin Hayes on: 0207 463 0633

Take a look at other articles in our "social and civic justice" series. If you'd like to join the social and civic justice network please fill in the survey here.

The full results are availabe to download here

Without forgetting to congratulate our member Jon Worth who is "blogger of the week" for the Party of European Socialists. We are organising a series of debates on the PES Manifesto, join in the debate and get involved in the events here.

Chuka 4 Streatham - Yes we can!

Just to let you know that Streatham Labour Party’s equivalent of our primaries and caucuses are now over and Chuka Umunna has come out clearly in the lead. He has secured nominations from every single party unit – that is every Streatham Labour Party branch (there are 6), our Women’s Forum, our Ethnic Minorities Forum and our Young Labour section. No other candidate has done this. He has also secured nominations from the two UNISON branches, in addition to GMB and the parliamentary branch of the T&G section of the Unite – they are all affiliates to our party.

This puts him in a very strong position going forward in the final four weeks of the selection campaign, which has seen a whole host of local residents, members, and big wigs like Guardian journalist Polly Toynbee, Jon Cruddas MP and Skills Minister David Lammy MP have all come out in support of what we are trying to do here. He is now working to ensure I win the final prize on Saturday 15 March (our 4 November) – the hustings and count.

He would like to thank you so much for all your support and help to date. He says "I simply could not do this without all your help and support - as I keep saying, this campaign is not really about "me", its about "we" (the collective "we" being a concept that Labour needs to give much more emphasis to in this consumer obsessed society of ours!)". You can keep up to date with the campaign here.

Why 'the establishment way of doing things' must be strangled


Here at compass youth, we too like to involve whole communities. The middle 5% will of course have to learn to share.

Going green - How we can save our planet? 26th March



Wednesday 26th March at 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Camden Town Hall Council Chamber
London
WC1H 9JE


Climate change is one of the most dramatic problems of our time. The world must reduce greenhouse gasses or face irreversible effects of global warming. The cost of doing nothing will be far higher than effective action now. But the actions Europe can take to combat climate change will have other benefits: renewable energy and energy efficiency will create jobs and offer new economic opportunities. A comprehensive response is required: in all policies from energy and transport to foreign and security policy; at national and European levels as well as local; by Governments, business and consumers. The PES has "A new EU energy strategy" but we need to go beyond that, and we need to agree on some top priorities for European action. We need Europe to take a global lead as well as putting its own house in order.

Join us at the second of our PES Manifesto debates, with a fantastic range of speakers confirmed:

Robert Evans MEP
Andreas Helle, Political Advisor on Climate Change for the PES
Andrew Parkers, Co-Chair of SERA
Murad Qureshi AM
Jonathan Clarke, Labour Movement for Europe (LSE)



Before the debate, join in the debate around the questions below and submit your ideas here!

We will be putting together all the ideas submitted both online and submitting them to the PES Manifesto!

  1. What priorities and policies should the EU pursue for sustainable development and the fight against global warming in the period 2009-14?
  2. How can Europe help developing countries to reduce CO2 emissions?
  3. How can Europe reduce its dependence on fossil fuel?
  4. What can citizens do to fight global warming? And how should the EU encourage its citizens to take action?
  5. How can we combine sustainable economic growth with tackling climate change?
  6. Which economic and tax incentives will ease the transition to a low carbon economy?
  7. What are the key technological areas for a green industrial revolution?
  8. How can we organize the right mix of private and public investment, citizen’s choices and political leadership for effective sustainable development and climate change policies?
We aim to make connections that will keep the PES in touch with the most dynamic and innovative thinking, but also enhance mutual understanding between Europeans. Through our series of debates, we will actively encourage participants to share their insights but also put forward innovative ideas and practical solutions to each of the four manifesto themes. Through this, we hope to promote a more social and democratic Europe by making it more relevant to people's everyday lives.

To read more
Check map

Taking it global - How can Europe change the world? 18th March



Tuesday 18th March at 6.30 - 8.30 pm

House of Commons, Committee Room 12
Westminster (London)
SW1 OAA


European countries can only have a big say in world affairs if they work together: so how far should Europe go in its common foreign and security policy? As well as facing new security threats, it is widely recognized that many environmental, health, development, trade and other issues are world problems that need global responses. So what should Europe stand for in the world? What can Europe do to promote democracy, decent work and human rights? How can it promote better global governance? How can it encourage not only development but sustainable development? How can it foster development that lifts people out of poverty and not only bring wealth to a few?

Join us at the fourth of our PES Manifesto debates, with a fantastic range of speakers confirmed:

Denis McShane MP, Former Europe Minister
Catherine Fieschi, Director, Demos
Paul Hilder, Campaign Director, Avaaz
Simon Dubbins, International Director, UNITE
Clara Marina McDonnell, Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform






Before the debate, join in the debate around the questions below and submit your ideas here!

We will also be present at the People and Politics Day, so come and join us there too.

We will be putting together all the ideas submitted both online and submitting them to the PES Manifesto!

We aim to make connections that will keep the PES in touch with the most dynamic and innovative thinking, but also enhance mutual understanding between Europeans. Through our series of debates, we will actively encourage participants to share their insights but also put forward innovative ideas and practical solutions to each of the four manifesto themes. Through this, we hope to promote a more social and democratic Europe by making it more relevant to people's everyday lives.

  1. How should the EU promote effective and collective international action on development and world security?
  2. What sort of UN reform should the EU propose?
  3. How should the EU facilitate common viewpoints and positions regarding security and defence?
  4. How should the EU work efficiently with NATO?
  5. What actions should be taken to improve transatlantic relations on security and defence?
  6. How should the EU deepen its cooperation with other regional entities?
  7. How should the EU support a better cooperation between the ILO and the WTO?
  8. What actions should be undertaken by the EU within the international institutions to promote Decent Work and the ILO Core Labour standards?
  9. What actions should be undertaken by the EU to achieve the UN Millennium Goals?
  10. What should be the EU’s international trade policy?
  11. What policies and agreements should be promoted to avoid fuelling conflicts over natural resources?
  12. How can the EU’s development policy ensure that developing countries have the capacity to meet their current challenges, including climate change and environmental protection?
  13. How can we achieve security of supply and tackle high energy prices in developing countries?

To read more

Check map




Globalisation in the community - How can we shape a social Europe? 11th March



Tuesday 11th March at 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Camden Town Hall, Council Chamber
London
WC1H 9JE


Europe is unique in the way it tries to combine a free market economy with social justice. But things are changing with globalization and our ageing society. Conservatives say we can no longer afford high standards of social and environmental protection. We say our welfare states are our strength, that a society in which everyone can participate, contribute and benefit will be a strong and prosperous society. We say our welfare states must be renewed - not dismantled: reformed to meet new challenges, not taken apart. The PES agreed 10 Principles for a New Social Europe at our Congress at the end of 2006. But what should be our priorities for 2009-14? What should be done at the European level in the years ahead?

Join us at the third of our PES Manifesto debates, with a fantastic range of speakers confirmed:

Deborah Littman, Chair of London Citizens Living Wage Network & UNISON National Officer
Henning Meyer, Head of European Programme, Global Policy Institute
Michael Walsh, Research Director, Community
Ben Richards, UNITE International Officer




Before the debate, join in the debate around the questions below and submit your ideas here!

We will be putting together all the ideas submitted both online and submitting them to the PES Manifesto!

We aim to make connections that will keep the PES in touch with the most dynamic and innovative thinking, but also enhance mutual understanding between Europeans. Through our series of debates, we will actively encourage participants to share their insights but also put forward innovative ideas and practical solutions to each of the four manifesto themes. Through this, we hope to promote a more social and democratic Europe by making it more relevant to people's everyday lives.

  1. What should the EU’s priorities be for Social Europe?
  2. What are the biggest problems facing working people and citizens today?
  3. How can the EU promote social dialogue?
  4. How can the EU promote gender equality?
  5. Should the EU ensure a better protection of workers’ rights?
  6. Should the EU address increasing inequalities in European society?
  7. Should the EU set better standards for accountability, transparency and corporatesocial responsibility, for multinational companies, and hedge and private equityfunds?
  8. Should public services be protected from liberalization under Single Market rules? If so, which public services?
  9. Should the EU develop new and better policies and schemes to upgrade the skills of Europe’s workforce and institute lifelong learning?
  10. Which priorities and policies should the EU develop in the area of immigration and integration of migrants?
  11. What should a post-2010 Lisbon strategy look like?
  12. What should the EU budget be spent on?
To read more
Check map





Democracy and diversity? Your Europe or mine? 4th March



Tuesday 4th March at 6.30 - 8.30 pm

Camden Town Hall Council Chamber
London
WC1H 9JE


Democracy at the EU level is stronger than ever before but is far from complete. Citizens feel more at ease with national politics than the European Union. If the EU is the 4th house of our democracy (after the local, regional and national) how can we make it more like a home? At the same time European countries are becoming more diverse with immigration and EU citizens moving from one Member State to another. What should the European Union do to make our societies fully at ease with our new diversity? How can the EU protect and improve the rights of the individual?

Join us at the second of our PES Manifesto debates, with a fantastic range of speakers confirmed:

Claude Moraes MEP
Lesia Radelicki, Political Advisor for PES Women & Diversity & Integration Network
Rachel Briggs, Head of Identity, Demos
Chuka Umunna, Editor of TMP & Black Socialist Society Exec



Before the debate, join in the debate around the questions below and submit your ideas here!

  1. In what ways should European democracy be strengthened?
  2. How can European citizens’ participation in and understanding of European politics be improved?
  3. How can the EU reflect Europe’s diversity better?
  4. How can the EU contribute further to the fight against discrimination?
  5. Should the European Parliament have more democratic powers in policy-making and holding the European Commission to account?
  6. Should the President of the European Commission be directly elected by European citizens or by the European Parliament on a proposal by European political parties?
  7. How should European political parties develop their democratic role in the European Union?
We will be putting together all the ideas submitted both online and submitting them to the PES Manifesto!

We aim to make connections that will keep the PES in touch with the most dynamic and innovative thinking, but also enhance mutual understanding between Europeans. Through our series of debates, we will actively encourage participants to share their insights but also put forward innovative ideas and practical solutions to each of the four manifesto themes. Through this, we hope to promote a more social and democratic Europe by making it more relevant to people's everyday lives.

To read more

* Yourspace manifesto 2009 discussion paper 'European democracy and diversity'
* PES Declaration for the 50th Anniversary of the Rome Treaty

Check map



Unity or diversity? Which Europe do we want? 26th February



Tuesday 26th February at 6.30 - 8.30 pm

House of Commons, Committee Room 16
Westminster, London
SW1 0AA

Sign up on Facebook here or email noel.hatch1@gmail.com

Democracy at the EU level is stronger than ever before but is far from complete. Citizens feel more at ease with national politics than the European Union. If the EU is the 4th house of our democracy (after the local, regional and national) how can we make it more like a home? At the same time European countries are becoming more diverse with immigration and EU citizens moving from one Member State to another. What should the European Union do to make our societies fully at ease with our new diversity? How can the EU protect and improve the rights of the individual?

Join us at the first of our PES Manifesto debates, with a fantastic range of speakers confirmed:

Peter Facey, Director of Unlock Democracy
Matthew Clifton, Research Manager at New Local Government Network
David Schoibl, Chair of Labour Movement for Europe (LSE)
Noel Hatch, PES Activists / Compass Youth




Before the debate, join in the debate around the questions below and submit your ideas here!

  1. In what ways should European democracy be strengthened?
  2. How can European citizens’ participation in and understanding of European politics be improved?
  3. How can the EU reflect Europe’s diversity better?
  4. How can the EU contribute further to the fight against discrimination?
  5. Should the European Parliament have more democratic powers in policy-making and holding the European Commission to account?
  6. Should the President of the European Commission be directly elected by European citizens or by the European Parliament on a proposal by European political parties?
  7. How should European political parties develop their democratic role in the European Union?
We will be putting together all the ideas submitted both online and submitting them to the PES Manifesto!

We aim to make connections that will keep the PES in touch with the most dynamic and innovative thinking, but also enhance mutual understanding between Europeans. Through our series of debates, we will actively encourage participants to share their insights but also put forward innovative ideas and practical solutions to each of the four manifesto themes. Through this, we hope to promote a more social and democratic Europe by making it more relevant to people's everyday lives.

To read more

* Yourspace manifesto 2009 discussion paper 'European democracy and diversity'
* PES Declaration for the 50th Anniversary of the Rome Treaty

Check map




VENEZUELA AND LATIN AMERICA – MAKING SOCIAL JUSTICE A REALITY


Compass Youth and Venezuela Information Centre member Matthew Willgress reviews “The US War on Democracy in Latin America” by Richard Gott, published by the Venezuela Information Centre.

Written to accompany John Pilger’s film ‘The War on Democracy’ this short pamphlet gives an excellent overview of the US’ continued intervention in its ‘backyard’ since the 1800s - providing the context that is necessary to understand the ‘revolt at the ballot box’ against US domination and free market orthodoxy in numerous Latin American countries in recent years, sparked by Hugo Ch├ívez’s election in Venezuela.

The numerous examples given of US undermining of democratic, progressive governments in Latin America – such as the democratic socialist government of Allende in Chile in the 1970s - should also make us aware of the origins of much of the international ‘media war’ against the government of Venezuela today; ludicrously portrayed in much of the British press as a ‘dictatorship,’ despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Speaking of the changes taking place in Latin America today, Gott points out both the similarities and differences of the experience of the countries in what some have termed the “pink tide” of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile (and now Ecuador and Nicaragua). “Clearly,” he writes, “this is not a homogenous Left” as “their programmes and political processes are specific to each country.” However, the similarity lies in the reasons behind these changes, specifically that “the social movements that lie behind the election victories of individual presidents (and are also powerful in countries that have not yet changed direction at the top,) represent a striking new development” with “new political players emerging,” including from Latin America’s indigenous peoples, arriving on the centre of the political scene.

With the launch of the Bank of the South, as an alternative to the failure to the international Thatcherism of the IMF and World Bank, and the fair-trade block the ‘Bolivarian Alternative For the Americas,’ these progressive developments – through the new left governments these movements propelled to power - are now building their own institutions and methods of regional integration, with an emphasis on social development.

Throughout, it is welcome that Gott writes as someone who recognises that there is much we can learn from these progressive struggles in Latin America, rather than the approach of some on the British left of setting themselves up as ‘teachers’ for the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela and others, pointing out where it is ‘going wrong’ and ‘not radical enough’, with little understanding of internal dynamics and conditions.

Those seeking to build a new, democratic left in Britain and beyond should extend our support to this ‘Bolivarian Wave,’ using both the historical examples of US intervention presented by Gott, and the dreadful situation faced today by community leaders, trade unionists and others in Colombia, as warning of what the negative alternative is if US domination was to be re-instated. In terms of policy this means there must be independent, constructive engagement from Britain and Europe, not following the failed approach of the US administration.

* This booklet is available for only £4 (including P&P) from VIC. Please makes cheques payable to the ‘Venezuela Information Centre’ and send to PO Box 56210, London, United Kingdom, N4 4XH.


Register for the Spanish elections and help us campaign for Zapatero!

Call out to all Spanish voters, if you haven't added yourself on the consultate immatriculation, go to the consulate before the 9th February with your DNI/passport and a passport photo to register. At the same time, ask the consulate for papers to register to vote. They will the send you by the post the relevant documentation.

You can send your vote by recorded delivery before the 9th March

In the PSOE manifesto, there are several European proposals
  • the introduction of a European framework directive on public services
  • strengthening workers’ rights, notably through the revision of European law on worker information and consultation
  • a common European migration policy, defining integration policies, the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration and favouring legal migration
  • the creation of a common border police
  • regulating hedge funds and tackling financial speculation
  • promoting the creation of an Alliance of Civilisations at global level
  • introducing a solidarity mechanism for energy supply


The PES Manifesto site relates another very interesting proposal here to fight “brain drain” from the developing world is that every time Spain receives a highly skilled immigrant, like a doctor, from a developing country, the Spanish government should pay for the education and training of another highly skilled worker from that country to replace him/her. This reflects the widespread problem in Africa of doctors, nurses and other vital professionals leaving to take better paid jobs in Europe (eg. until recently there were more Malawian doctors in Manchester than in the whole of Malawi – their doctors can now be found working across the UK and other EU countries, leaving Malawi with 2 doctors for every 100,000 Malawians!).

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen says, “We cannot have a Social Europe without a Social Spain”!

Compass Youth will be helping campaign with the Young Spanish Socialists and PES Activists in Spain. See here for more details.

But what ideas can we take from the PSOE Manifesto and adapt for the PES Manifesto and even the Labour Party Manifesto?

Choose change, join us in the US to campaign for Obama


If you would like to meet with fellow Obama supporters and hear directly from a key organiser in the South Carolina primaries then please join Compass Youth at an event hosted by Labour Friends for Obama with Meetup.com. The details are below:

Friday 6th February - 7.30 pm

The Patisserie, downstairs
77A Gloucester Road, London SW7 4SS

This event cost £2 and this money does not go to the campaign it just helps cover the cost of hiring the room.



On March 3rd, Kris Brown, our Compass Youth councillor will be flying out to Chicago, IL, to help with campaigning from Obama's Headquarters before leaving for New York City on March 10th for a few days holiday and to celebrate his 23rd birthday before returning to London for the start of the London Mayoral elections.

If you would like to join, please contact him ASAP on kristoforbrown@aol.com.

PES YOURSPACE GOES STATESIDE


PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen leads a European Socialist delegation to Washington and New York to meet leading US Democrats.

He will be there on SuperTuesday when 22 states choose between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for their candidate for the Presidential elections.

Yourspace – the PES manifesto consultation – will be reporting interactively from the delegation. You can put your questions to the delegation – or make a comment – which will be answered in the Yourspace blogs from America!

Yourspace will be blogging on what the delegation found out about the Democrats policy agenda, what that means for the PES and our manifesto for the 2009 European elections, what are the prospects for the PES and US Democrats to make the world a better place? But what questions would you like addressed by the delegation?

Sam Tarry Chair of Compass Youth has already asked: "I would like to know about how real progressives get involved in politics in the USA when the whole of US politics is so far to the right of European and even British politics? Do people who are more progressive get involved in community politics? Do they instead get involved in Trades Unions? Are there any people who believe in social democracy in the USA? How do they campaign to make it a reality? Is it around issues like bringing in universal health care? Something that doesn't exist there currently but many of us in Europe and in the UK take as a human right."

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