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SALFORD LABOUR MAYOR AND ASSISTANTS IGNORE MAY DAY
 

Star date: 6th May 2013

SALFORD MAYOR IAN STEWART AND CO MAY DAY NO SHOW

Just one Salford Labour councillor attended the annual May Day Rally at Bexley Square on Saturday, as City Mayor, Ian Stewart, his Assistant Mayors and councillors blanked the traditional gathering of trade unions, workers and the wider community.

"Isn't that interesting" noted Salford Pensioners Association speaker, Alice Searle "We're in a Labour city but the councillors can't get themselves out of their beds to come and listen…"

Full story and photos here…


Salford May Day Rally 2013 Salford May Day Rally 2013 Salford May Day Rally 2013
Salford May Day Rally 2013 Salford May Day Rally 2013 Salford May Day Rally 2013
Salford May Day Rally 2013
click image to enlarge

"Is Ian Stewart here?" enquired Salford Pensioners Association speaker, Alice Searle, to a tumbleweed silence…

"Are any councillors here?" she asked "Please come forward we want to talk to you…"

Laughter rippled around Bexley Square, where trade unionists, campaigners and the wider community had gathered for the annual May Day Rally and a march into Manchester.

"Isn't that interesting, we're in a Labour city but the councillors can't get themselves out of their beds to come and listen…"

Just one Salford Labour Councillor, Gina Reynolds from Langworthy, stepped forward, together with another councillor from Tameside. They got a round of applause as Alice continued…

"I'm representing you" Alice said "because one day you will all be pensioners. Time goes very fast but what it is important is that when you are pensioners you are dependent on the people who aren't pensioners to make the services work for you. Something very insidious and very sinister is happening, so be wary…

"We all know what OAP stands for but do you know AQP - Any Qualified Provider?" she asked "because what is happening to the NHS is that anybody who is qualified from this country or another can provide the services previously supplied by the NHS…"

She gave examples of two private firms that have taken over health services, and the problems she, personally, had experienced with one of them…

"It's up to young people now to start protesting and saying something to the commissioning groups which decide the companies that will take over our services" she concluded "If we don't, we'll end up with an NHS that takes long term sick people, and the short term sick will go to private companies which exist for profit and their shareholders. My message is `Be wary' because something really nasty is happening and we need to defend against it."

With Salford City Council now centre stage in providing health care in the city, only one Labour councillor, out of 52, was present to hear Alice's message, despite the Labour Party being invited to attend.

Earlier, they would also have heard Salford City UNISON branch secretary, Steven North, talk about the history of Bexley Square and its infamous `Battle' of 1931 when unemployed Salford people attempted to hand in a petition against benefit cuts to Salford Council at what was then Salford Town Hall…

"When they attempted to enter the Square they were met by police on horseback who brutally proceeded to go amongst the marchers and attack them" he recalled "There were some famous people present that day - Jimmy Miller, also known as Ewan MacColl was injured, and Eddie Frow, founder of the Working Class Movement Library was imprisoned.

"Every time we come to Bexley Square we need to remember the struggles and sacrifices of those who came before us to fight for the things that we now have and the things this Coalition Government are attacking" Steven concluded, as he introduced Ian Hodson, National President of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, who gave a rousing speech against to erosion of workers' rights…to the point where the Government is even trying to eradicate May Day itself…

"It speaks volumes about the type of government that's currently running this country" he said "We all recognise the issues around austerity but isn't it amazing that workers take pay cuts while millionaires get tax cuts. We have to make workers understand that the spin that this Government puts on is contrary to what they are doing."

Ian added that if you get dismissed unfairly at work, it now costs £1200 to fight your case for justice. If your employer doesn't pay you there's now a charge of £390 just to get what you are owed…

"That is not a government on the side of the workers, that is a government that's attacking workers' rights and making it easier for employers to exploit us" he explained "What we have to do today is to get the message to people how important it is to stand up and fight. This is it. This is the final end game."

Calling for a General Strike, he added that "if we don't take this Government on, what we will see is further exploitation, further tax cuts for them and more poverty for us."

Citing the Anti Poll Tax campaign, the Justice for the 96 campaign, and even the defeat of the Pasty Tax, Ian explained that campaigns and marches can and do work… "We've got to fight and keep fighting because I'll tell you what, there's six and half million of us, and they can't put us all in prison" he insisted "Let's make sure when we march through the streets of Salford today people hear us and people understand that the trade union movement and the socialist movement hasn't gone away."

The one campaign that might be Cameron's Poll Tax is the increasing anti-Bedroom Tax protests, and the crowd gathered in Bexley Square heard from Terry Simmons of Little Hulton and Walkden Against The Bedroom Tax…

"The stories I hear every day about the Bedroom Tax are a disgrace" he said "One woman came to me and said `I'm on £67 a week in benefits and with Council Tax and Bedroom Tax I'm expected to pay nearly £30 out of that'. I'm hearing stories like that every day. We must oppose it."

With vital messages against the privatisation of the NHS and attacks on workers rights, and the horror stories around the Bedroom Tax, it would have been fitting for Labour councillors and the Labour Mayor and his 13 Assistants to be present to at least acknowledge publicly what is going on in the city and beyond in 2013.

That every single one of them, bar the Labour Councillor for Langworthy, ignored this year's Salford May Day Rally speaks volumes about them all…


* Following the Bexley Square Rally, there was a march into Manchester where a further rally took place at Friends Meeting House.

Main photo shows Langworthy Councillor Gina Reynolds, and a Tameside Councillor listening to Alice Searle

Pi55ing in the wind wrote
at 13:04:23 on 12 May 2013
@Salfordactivist, you say "think up some useful policies" this is exactly the problem we have in Salford the Labour party have policies and all Labour cllrs vote in line with that, what cllrs should be doing is voting for what is good for their ward and the people who live in it regardless of what the leader tells them to do. The other commenter hit the nail on the head, we live in a closed shop city, just look at previous election results many independent candidates have stood and they have all got nowhere, I do hope this will change with the rise of UKIP and those Labour voters who can see that immigration is killing Salford will hopefully elect a Cllr who is not scared to challenge this inept council.
 
not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 08:19:20 on 12 May 2013
salfordactivist. it's hard to get elected in a closed shop like politics, also the biggest hurdle is changing the mind set of a brain dead labour voting public, the labour party over the decades have got the Salford (and nationaly) people hooked on free benefits & free housing and their not going to vote for someone who's going to make them work for a living, are they now and as for councillors getting flack, this would not happen if they did what the public elected them to do. you may not be a councillor but are you Barbara Spicer or even Michael false, seeing your trying to defend these councillors. I look forward to the next election especially if UKIP are running in the area. ps salfordactivist don't slate other people for hiding behind anonymity when you do it your self.
 
salfordactivist wrote
at 15:38:54 on 09 May 2013
why dont some of you who love to slag off councillors get off your arses and work to get elected then? The answer is because its too much hard work and you wouldnt have the balls to take the flak that councillors get, instead you are happy to hide behind anonymity. Why not think up some useful policies and get inolved?? Things arent going to change just because you come on here and spout tripe! Get off your arses and do something productive! And no I am not a salford councillor, or any other councillor for that matter, just someone who doesnt mind getting dirty hands and taking flak for things I believe in.
 
not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 17:44:45 on 08 May 2013
insider, labour councillor's are not allowed to respond to these comments, when you join the labour party and become a councillor, you've got to be, already a vegetable( labour's preference ) or have the ability to be turned into one ( by the look of some of them ,it didn't take long for the transformation ). I hope this clears this up for you and other people. and if you need to know any more about vegetables and the labour party you can e-mail Alan Titchmarsh on www.alantitmarsh@thelabourvegetableparty
 
Insider wrote
at 04:48:16 on 08 May 2013
Typical of our failing Mayor, Deputy and all those highly paid Assistant Mayors (apart from Cllr Reynolds) that they fail to support the working class who elected them. Why werent they there a simple answer is that they couldnt be bothered and attendance doesnt boost their expenses. Ian Stewart has failed to grip this City and what needs to be done. He continues to allow Spicer and her Directors to be overpaid and underworked. He has no vision adn no commitment. Suffice to say not one Councillor has responded to this article to say why they fail to recognise this momentus occasion.
 
alf ramsfield wrote
at 22:23:08 on 06 May 2013
Local MPs and the like only grow attached to a fight when it begins gathering pace and they can get their kissers plastered in the papers as actually having earned their crust. Hazel "My Cheque's Still Wet" Blears is no doubt ready to have her ever-smiling features in the free local, if bedroom tax gets put into the untidy bin, with Pastie Tax, Caravan Tax etc.
 
Sick of Irwell Riverside Councilliors.."Where R They" wrote
at 22:23:04 on 06 May 2013
Typical Councilliors...you only ever see them when their seats are up.....this is a great chance for UKIP to get canidiates in and kick our the never see labour Councilliors anymore.
 
Gill Whiteley wrote
at 20:11:54 on 06 May 2013
Been saying this for weeks now, what the hell are the councillors getting paid for ? They are not doing enough for the people of Salford in light of these unjust taxes. Where are you all ? You are accountable to the people of Salford, you are supposed to be the voice of the people, seems like we are doing your jobs for you. You are all a disgrace to the office and the people you represent. Totally disgusted with the lot of you and that includes Hazel (nowhere to be seen or heard) Blears.
 
Ed wrote
at 20:11:50 on 06 May 2013
Shame on those councillors for not supporting.
 
White wrote
at 20:11:44 on 06 May 2013
Perhaps they all thought, “Oo!, May Day Rally. Isn’t that something to do with socialists?” “We mustn’t be seen associating with them.”
 
Kenmckelvey wrote
at 20:11:17 on 06 May 2013
For Salford councillors not to show for a m Day meeting just shows whatSalfordians are up against I think it is about we put up Independant labour councillors these New Labour are just Closet Torys.They have privitised all Salfords Assets it is about time they got Privitised.i
 
not a bystander wrote
at 20:10:29 on 06 May 2013
Pathetic story. The usual suspects turn up, increasingly irrelevant to ordinary Salford people, most of whopm have better things to do.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 20:05:45 on 06 May 2013
The message needs to get to our Councillors that they must kick out the bedroom tax rather than those who cannot pay. No to bedroom tax in Salford
 
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