Wednesday, 27 October 2010


65 activists have today stopped trading at Vodafone’s largest retail store on Oxford Street, London, by blockading the doorway in disgust at the HMRC’s deal with Vodafone that have allowed them to walk away from paying a tax bill thought to be worth £6bn to the public purse.

The action started at 09:30 this morning where activists gathered at The Ritz hotel near Oxford Street following rapid mobilization over the weekend via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and text messaging.

The 65 activists confronted the minor security in front of the shop to gain entry to the shop and proceeded to blockade the entrance with arm tubes and banners before the store had chance to even receive its first customer.

This comes exactly a week after George Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review in which he announced that another £7bn will be cut from welfare, producing a total of £18bn of cuts from vital welfare services.

These cuts have been widely condemned by charity groups representing the most vulnerable in society, and the highly respected Institute of Fiscal Studies confirmed on Thursday last week that the coalition’s cuts will indeed hit the poorest in society the hardest.

The issue of tax evasion by corporations and the wealthy was not however even mentioned during Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review speech, despite the fact that it is estimated that the deficit to the public purse from tax evasion amounts to at least £12bn each year.

To add salt to the wound, Osborne also announced last week that large corporations in addition will be expected to contribute 4% less in tax to public services across the next four years through a reduction in corporation tax.

Activists on today’s action also note that Andy Halford is both a financial advisor to Vodafone and a corporation tax advisor to the treasury.

Under a banner that read “Pay your taxes - save our welfare state”, Jennifer Kyte said, “The cuts are not fair, we're not all in this together, and there are alternatives. Why not start by collecting - instead of writing off – the tens of billions owed in taxes by wealthy corporations?”

She continued, “The economic downturn was caused by the reckless greed of the private sector, but it is the public sector and those at the bottom that are picking up the bill. Is this their idea of the wonderful Big Society?”

Zeketa Darby said, “We will not pay for their crisis! The public need to join together and hit the streets to take concerted action to fight these cuts”
Taken from Martin Francis Brent Green Party Blog -

Captain SKA - Liar Liar


From Rugby Against The Cuts Blog -

* Green Party MP Caroline Lucas also supported the motion on Trade Union Rights proposed by Labour MP John McDonnell that most of his fellow Labour colleagues refused to support that is referred to in Bob Crowe's speech.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


(In Picture L-R - Paul Sandison, Clive Dunkley, Martin Eversfield, Pete McLaren,
Mark Pawsey MP, Roy Sandison and Sarah Bennett)


A delegation from Rugby Against the Cuts lobbied Rugby Tory MP Mark Pawsey on Friday (October 22nd) about the recently announced public spending cuts. “There was a frank exchange of views during the hour long meeting,” Rugby Against the Cuts spokespersonPete McLaren said afterwards. “Although the discussion was generally pleasant and cordial, there was little political agreement as we were expressing the anger being felt by working class people for being made to pay for a crisis they did not cause. We told him we thought those who caused the economic crisis – bankers and governments - should pay for it, whereas Mark Pawsey clearly believes that public services have to be cut to balance the books. We particularly expressed our concerns at the loss of one million jobs, and the redundancies that will inevitably follow; the 28% cut to local Council budgets; and the attacks on welfare, especially on housing and incapacity benefits.”

The group’s Trade Union Liaison Officer Roy Sandison was concerned that Mark Pawsey did not seem to understand how seriously the cuts would affect Rugby. “He could not see that there would be a massive growth in unemployment, with a predicted job loss of one million, and only180,000 jobs created in the private sector last year. He defended the Government’s insistence on targeting welfare benefits for cuts and raising rents for social housing, although we pointed out the effect this would have on those already in poverty. He also felt it was correct to get rid of the Educational Maintenance Allowance for 16 – 19 year olds, despite the effects this would have on youngsters from families on low incomes.”

“Although we did not seem to change his views, overall, the lobby was worth organizing,” Pete McLaren concluded. “Mark Pawsey listened as we outlined our fears, and said he would be happy to meet us again to monitor developments as they occur. He agreed to take up any cases arising from abuse of Health and Safety legislation, provide a list of the quangos affected by the cuts, and look at the effects proposed cuts on children’s services would have in Warwickshire. He also said he would find out the effect housing benefit cuts would have in Rugby. We remain very concerned about the way the Con-Dem Government is cutting without any apparent understanding of the effects of the cuts, but at least our MP was prepared to listen”.

  • Rugby Against the Cuts was set up by local trade unionists and political activists on September 22nd. Officers were elected as above
  • Rugby Against the Cuts is holding stalls in Rugby town centre to publicise its opposition to the cuts – the next one will be on October 30th
  • Rugby Against the Cuts meets on the second Thursday of every month, 7.30pm, at the Three Horse Shoes, Rugby
  • Rugby Against the Cuts can be contacted on 07881 520626,, or through our web site at

Sunday, 24 October 2010

TORY B*STARDS - Paul O Grady tells it how it is over the cuts!

Government’s cuts are “reckless gamble with the future of this country”, says Caroline on Question Time

Government’s cuts are “reckless gamble with the future of this country”, says Caroline on Question Time

Watch Here

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP made a powerful contribution to last night's BBC Question Time programme, in which she condemned the government spending cuts as unfair and unnecessary.

The first question from the audience was put to Caroline first.

Audience member Michael Teague asked: "Can the government really talk about fairness when it is talking about cuts that will devastate the unemployed, the sick and the poor?"

Caroline Lucas responded: "No, absolutely not. This reckless gamble with the future of this country and this economy is deeply unfair.

"And it doesn't need us to say that, we've got people like the IFS - the Institute for Fiscal Studies - and many others, who are repeatedly saying that the poorest 10% are going to be paying at least more than the average when it comes to who actually pays the price for this.

"When you see what is being done, it is an absolutely wicked targeting of the most vulnerable."

The Brighton Pavilion MP argued later in the programme: "I do not think that the best way of getting the deficit down is through cuts, and I appreciate that sounds counter-intuitive, so let me explain.

"We do need to get the deficit down, but there is every risk that if we try to do that through throwing more and more people out of work, we will simply lose their tax revenues, we will have to pay out their redundancies, we will have to pay out benefits, and actually that's going to make matters worse, that is more likely to tip us into that double-dip recession.

"George Osborne's strategy is basically to close his eyes, cross his fingers, and hope that the private sector will manage to produce the jobs that have been destroyed in the public sector."

She concluded:

"What this government should be doing is things like tackling tax evasion and tax avoidance in a serious way, not in the pitiful way they are doing at the moment, and use that money for investment, for example, in energy efficiency and renewable energies.

"This is the best way to get people back to work, it would also address the issue of climate change, getting our emissions down. There is an environmental crisis, there is an economic crisis: we can tackle them both at the same time."

Caroline Lucas's responses were greeted with applause and cheering from the studio audience.

At the end of the programme, "Caroline Lucas" was the most mentioned phrase in the UK on Twitter, and 7th most mentioned worldwide.

Caroline Lucas appeared on the panel alongside Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond; Shadow Business Secretary, John Denham; former head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt; former political editor of The Sun, George Pascoe-Watson and journalist Polly Toynbee of The Guardian.

Thursday, 21 October 2010


We are pleased to start our occasional series of articles on the best of Rugby with ‘Me and My Place’ This is an innovative project involving community anchors working in partnership to develop their ability to represent and give 'voice' to the communities they work in. Each group represents the diversity and character of that particular community.

With all the gloom and doom at the present time its great to see 4 of our communities in Rugby have come together with professional artists to show the best of Rugby.


From Rugby Against The Cuts site -

Coventry Protest joined by people from Rugby

For immediate use October 20th 2010


“The cuts outlined today in the Public Spending Review will cause misery for millions of people, especially the poor,” Rugby Against the Cuts Convenor Pete McLaren stated immediately after the Chancellor’s announcement. “Governments throughout the world are trying to make the poor pay for the global economic crisis – yet the crisis was caused by these Governments and international banks worldwide. Those who caused it should be made to pay for it.”

“We know that these cuts will mean the loss of half a million public sector jobs, and at least the same number in the private sector because of the knock on effect. Many of these will be redundancies. That means one million families will be affected, and, with posts not being filled, far fewer jobs available for the growing number of unemployed. At the same time, the Spending Review includes a savage attack on welfare benefits for those unable to find work, including cuts in housing benefit and limits to incapacity benefits. However, nothing is being done to recover the estimated £120 billion per year of unpaid tax that the wealthy avoid paying through tax invasion. It took over 50 years to establish the Welfare State – the Tories and their Liberal allies will destroy it overnight, with little, if any, meaningful opposition from Labour,” he concluded.

Roy Sandison, one of the group’s Trade Union Liaison officers was concerned that the cuts would still hit schools, social services, public transport, the fire service and housing – whatever the Tories may try to pretend. “You can not cut funding to local Councils by 28% without that happening,” he claimed. “Those who need these services will be denied them, and those who work tirelessly to provide these services will face redundancy, reduced wages and pensions, and greater workloads.”

“The message we want to get over is that there are other ways to remove the debt,” he continued. “Cuts are not inevitable. The banks could repay the £850 billion the Government has given them to bail them out. A 5% wealth tax on the richest 10% would, on its own, resolve the debt. Withdrawing from Afghanistan would save £billions. The banks and building societies, which continue to make massive profits, could be nationalised and run by the people for the people, with profits used to maintain and improve our public services. There are alternatives to these draconian cuts,” he concluded, “and we will continue to put them forward until politicians listen.”

  • Rugby Against the Cuts was set up by local trade unionists and political activists on September 22nd. Officers were elected as above
  • Rugby Against the Cuts is lobbying local MP Mark Pawsey this Friday to put their anti cuts arguments forward
  • Rugby Against the Cuts can be contacted on 07881 520626,, or through our web site at
London Protest 20 Oct 10

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Taken From West Mids GP site

Romayne Phoenix To Speak At Anti-Cuts Conference

Green Party National Campaigns Co-ordinator, Romayne Phoenix, will be speaking at the “How to Fight the Cuts, A New Vision for Birmingham” conference this Saturday 23rd October.

Organised by the People’s Charter, a group against the proposed cuts promised by the Con-Dem coalition, the one-day conference will look at how to fight the cuts and present a new vision for a better Birmingham for its people. Other prominent figures taking part are Tony Benn and Jack Dromey, the MP for Erdington.

Romayne Phoenix said “These savage cuts are not inevitable and they are not acceptable. They are ideologically driven, designed to cut out the heart of the welfare state and to place public service provision in the hands of private profiteers. The ConDem Government wants to make the poorest pay the most towards footing the bill for this banker driven crisis. The Green Party has consitently campaigned for cuts to be avoided completely. We believe tax rises for the wealthiest who benfited from the boom should pay for the deficit, not the least well-off."

Romayne Phoenix will be doing a workshop on "An Alternative Vision for A Green Future"

“The Green Party supports the Green New Deal, a plan to create a million new jobs in renewable energy infrastructure, building and refurbishing homes, public transport and in public services.”

“With all of the challenges our planet, country and families face, we have to look forward to an entirely different path. The inequality and injustice the previous Government created are being made so much worse by the current one. Only the Green Party has policies, which can affect the radical change needed to true create social, economic and environmental justice. Green Party policies are made for the next 50 years not the next 50 weeks.”

The day starts at 9.30am at Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square, this coming Saturday. For further information on the conference visit


Women machinists at Ford Dagenham voting to strike in 1968(Pic: Pat Mantle/TUC Library)

Sometimes film and music is said to reflect the mood of the country - the box office hit film ' Made in Dagenham' directed by Nigel Cole seems to fit in this category.

The film tells the gritty story of women machinists in 1968 employed by the Ford motor company taking industrial action to demand basic workers rights – in this case, equal pay with men doing similar jobs in the company.

The story not only brings out the sexism of the time but also exposes the cosy relationship between the Bosses and the Trade Union Leaders who are more concerned for their conditions (junketing, status etc) then that of the workers.

It also shows the pernicious nature of the relationship between multinationals and government.

The personal development and confidence of the ordinary women workers is the dynamic that keeps the Bosses and Trade Union leaders on their toes.

The film sends an optimistic message to workers that by standing up for your rights – even in the most difficult circumstances that you can win struggles and also have a wider positive social impact on society.

If the film attendances in 2010 are reflecting a growing mood of interest in workers struggle in the country then Clegg and Cameron face a turbulent time ahead.

The film is currently showing at Rugby Cineworld.

Thursday, 14 October 2010



Mark Pawsey Tory MP for Rugby
to be called to account for cuts plan
* Please contact us if you intend to come to the meeting


Simon Hughes Lib Dem Deputy Leader (Pictured left selling out on PR) led the Lib Dems this week in rejecting a cross party (only Lib Dems MP's did not vote for it) amendment in parliament to allow people to
Fair Votes and specially PR (Proportional Representation) has been a corner stone of Lib Dem policy since the 1970's and they have always pledged to allow the people of the UK to at least considered this in a referendum.
Now the Lib Dems are in Government this core principle has now been dropped!
Many people were first attracted to the Lib Dems because of the unfair voting system - for example the Thatched Government was a minority Government in terms of votes (about 40%) but was able to wreak chaos and damage to the country.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP proposed the PR amendment along with Austin Mitchel (Lab) and Douglas Carswell (Con).

More information here from fellow Green Party member Stuart Jeffery -

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


*Picture top left- Clegg's right hand man in Rugby - Councillor Jerry Roodhouse
Remember just before the last General Election, that nice, young and bright Nick Clegg and his band of fair minded Lib Dems, who with your support could break the mould of British politics with their ethical, honest and socially aware approach to problems in our society.

Unfortunately it appears that this was all well a good until they were offered 23 pieces of silver (cabinet posts) to turn their heads.

Take for example the issue of Student fees -

From the Guardian - 9th Feb 2010

Lib Dems promise to scrap tuition fees

Money to meet promise would be raised by the abolition of Child Tax Fund and fewer tax credits for some

University tuition fees would be scrapped under the Liberal Democrats, the party promised today.

Nick Clegg, the party's leader, pledged to divert almost £7bn from other areas to enable the state to again fund degree courses for full and part-time students.

Only a student's first degree would be paid for, but the Lib Dems say this would still save a graduate more than £9,000 over the course of their lives.

Fees and grants for advanced apprenticeships and NVQ level 3 courses would also be scrapped.

To meet the promise, families with incomes above £27,000 would have their tax credits cut and the Child Trust Fund – a government-backed savings account for children – would be abolished.

Quangos that strive to improve the population's skills, such as the Learning and Skills Council and Train to Gain, would be closed down or have their budgets cut.

The rest of the funds would come from cutting 90% of the government's road and motorway building plans and saving on government advertising and IT projects.

The Liberal Democrats said the £6.6bn would stretch to funding free childcare for children between 18 months and five years old.

It would also pay for extra cash for schools in disadvantaged areas and class sizes of only 15 in primary schools.

Clegg said the promises showed how his party would "promote social mobility through the education system, the childcare system and through colleges and universities".

He said: "We can take the tough choices on Gordon Brown's wasteful public spending to redirect it to the kind of things people really need at a time of recession.

"We know that young people will be hit hardest by the recession

The list of sell outs is mounting - how long before the hard hand of electoral failure at the ballot box gives our 'good friends' a reality check?

Answers on a post card to Jerry Roodhouse - Rugby Lib Dem Leader and former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Rugby c/o

Monday, 11 October 2010



The national debt of countries represents how much money the government of that country owes. Like a household budget, national debt gets larger when a government spends more than it takes in. This can continue for years, or even decades. This budget deficit is the total amount of this debt that has grown over time, with interest charged adding significantly to the amount owed by the government.

The amount owed varies greatly with the amount of money a country generates, its population and how much its government spends. In Germany, the national debt is $1.79 trillion. This represents 62.6 percent of Germany’s gross domestic product, or GDP. In The U.K. the national debt is $42.2 trillion. This is 47.2 percent of the GDP of the U.K.

In Russia, the national debt is $151.3 billion. This is 6.8 percent of the Russian GDP. Italy owes a national debt of $1.89 trillion, or 103.7 percent of the Italian GDP. The national debt of France is $1.40 trillion. This is 67 percent of France’s GDP.

One of the highest levels of national debt relative to the country’s GDP can be found in Japan. The Japanese national debt is $7.47 trillion. This is 170.4 percent of the Japanese GDP. India has a national debt of $2.55 trillion. This debt is 78 percent of the GDP of India. Zimbabwe has a national debt of $472.51 billion. This level of national debt is 241.2 percent of Zimbabwe’s GDP.

In the Americas, The United States has a national debt of 8.68 trillion. In the U.S., this is 60.8 percent of the American GDP. The Canadian national debt is $814.26 billion. In Canada, the national debt is 62.3 percent of the GDP. In South America, Argentina has a national debt of $293.56 billion. The Argentinean national debt is 51 percent of the GDP of Argentina.

The gross domestic product of a country is the market value of all of the products and services that a country produces in one year. This includes spending that is done by the citizens of the country and by the government of that country. It includes the value of items produced within the county and exported elsewhere, but it does not include the value of any imported items. The GDP is the primary way to calculate the size and status of the economy of a country as a whole. It is calculated quarterly as well as yearly.

Taken from

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Wednesday October 20th is the day that the ConDem government will announce their Comprehensive Spending Review. Although we will have to wait for the more detailed plan of how the cuts will be managed we are expecting to get a real idea about the scale of the cuts that will impact on our communities and services.
Rugby Against The Cuts agreed at our last meeting to encourage people from Rugby to attend the mass demonstration in Coventry to show solidarity across Rugby and Warwickshire from workers and local communities against the CON DEM cuts.
We want to organise the biggest protest we can outside the Coventry City Council House at 5.30pm.
Google Maps

Please pass this on to friends and family, workmates and neighbours. Bring placards, banners and anything else to tell this government that we do not accept these cuts . Make sure you are there. If you in a trade union makes sure this a priority for members.

Friday, 8 October 2010


coalition of resistance logo

Protest at Downing Street on 20 October

Jessie JacksonUS Civil Rights activists Jessie Jackson is the latest speaker to confirm for the protest

Stop the Con-Dem cuts! Build the Resistance! Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay!

Speakers include Tony Benn, Caroline Lucas MP, Jessie Jackson, Jeremy Dear (NUJ) Dot Gibson(National Pensioners Convention) Lee Jasper (BARAC) Zita Holbourne (BARAC) John McDonnell MP Mark Serwotka (PCS) Jeremy Corbyn MP Bob Crow (RMT) Aaron Porter (NUS)

Marches are converging at Downing Street on 20 October

Student March to Downing street: Assemble 4pm outside ULU, Malet Street
Camden Trades Council March to Downing Street: Assemble 5.00pm at Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Marches will join the Coalition of Resistance Rally at Downing Street: Assemble 6pm
The momentum for the demonstration on 20 October is growing. Camden Trades Council’s march is now supported by 15 trade union bodies plus the local Labour Party and several anti-cuts and anti-privatisation campaigns (full list below).
At the same time, the University of London Students Union is calling on all students to march (assembling 4.00pm outside ULU, Malet Street). The students will march to join the trade union demonstration. The joint march will then head for a rally in Whitehall outside Downing Street.
The Coalition of Resistance is calling on all supporters to build the demonstration and rally, and to join the march if possible (4.00pm in Malet Street, or 5.00pm at Lincoln’s Inn Fields) or the final rally (beginning 6.00pm outside Downing Street).
George OsborneWhen Osborne announces the cuts on 20 October, we need to challenge head-on the Con-Dem lie that ‘there is no alternative’ and that ‘we are all in it together’.
We need to break through the media consensus that working people and the poor have to pay for a crisis caused by the bankers, big business, and the rich. That means making the protest on the 20 October big, loud, and vibrant.

We can build protest over the next month by:

  • Holding street stalls where we hand out leaflets, collect signatures on the Statement of Resistance, and sign people up to the 27 November CoR National Conference.
  • Organising CoR public meetings with national and local speakers (contact us if you need speakers or help setting up a meeting).
  • Leafleting tube stations, workplaces, meetings, door-to-door. Download the leaflet
  • If you have a group of local activists committed to building and joining the demonstration, issue a statement to the local press explaining why you will be joining the protest (model press statement below).

Model Resolution

  1. This [trade union branch, student union, campaign group, or whatever] resolves:
  2. To campaign in active opposition to the Con-Dem Government’s programme of cuts.
  3. To sign the Statement of Resistance headed by Tony Benn and Caroline Lucas and now supported by thousands of others.
  4. To affiliate to the Coalition of Resistance and to send a delegation to the inaugural national conference in London on 27 November.
  5. To support the Coalition of Resistance’s call for a mass protest in Downing Street on 20 October, when Con-Dem Chancellor George Osborne announces the cuts.

Model Press Statement

On the day Con-Dem Chancellor George Osborne announces the results of a ‘spending review’ designed to cut £83 billion from public services, the Coalition of Resistance is calling a mass protest in Downing Street. The Con-Dem government of millionaires, supported by the media, says ‘there is no alternative’ to massive cutbacks at the expense of working people to pay the debts of a bankrupt system.
They tell us ‘we are all in it together’ as they plan cuts in jobs, pay, pensions, benefits, and public services that will hit the poor ten times harder than the rich. If they want cuts, let them cut bank profits and bonuses. If they want to pay off debt, let them tax the rich and big business. If they say we can’t afford the NHS, let them axe Trident and withdraw from Afghanistan.
The cuts they plan will plunge us into a slump. Cuts in the public sector destroy jobs in the private sector. Cuts on the scale of the 1930s will produce unemployment on the scale of the 1930s. What we need is massive investment to create jobs, regenerate the economy, and provide the goods and services people need. In particular, we need massive investment in renewable energy and public transport to begin the transition to a green economy.
If the bankers object, we should take over the banks and put them under democratic control. We [members of, residents of etc] will be joining the march called by Camden Trades Council (assembling 5.00pm at Lincoln’s Inn Fields) and the rally called by the Coalition of Resistance (beginning 6.00pm outside Downing Street).

Current list of individuals and organisations supporting the protest:

Tony Benn, Caroline Lucas MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Jeremy Dear (NUJ), Matt Wrack (FBU), Mark Serwotka (PCS), Bob Crow (RMT), Dot Gibson (National Pensioners Convention), Lee Jasper (BARAC), Zita Holbourne (BARAC), Paul Mackney (former General Secretary, NATFHE and UCU), Aaron Porter (NUS), Kanja Sesay (NUS Black Students Officer), Clare Solomon (ULU)
Camden Trades Council, Camden UNISON, Camden NUT, East London Teachers Association (NUT), Hammersmith & Fulham NUT, Islington NUT, Lambeth NUT, UCU London Region, CWU Mount Pleasant (International), RMT Euston No.1 and Camden No.3 branches, Brent Trades Council,Hackney Trades Council, Haringey Trades Union Council, Islington Trades Union Council,Greater London Association of Trades Union Councils, Holborn & St Pancras Constituency Labour Party, Coalition of Resistance, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC), Right to Work Campaign, Keep Our NHS Public, Islington Hands Off Our Public Services, Green Left,Socialist Resistance, Counterfire
Our mailing address is:
Coalition of Resistance
Coalition of Resistance, c/o Housman’s Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road
London, London N1 9DX