Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Latest From Defend Council Housing Campaign

Here is the latest from Defend Council Housing who are rallying support for Labour Campaign group MP Austin Mitchell's Early Day Motion on decently funded council housing:

Austin Mitchell MP has tabled a new motion (EDM 136 Funding Decent Council Housing) following the Queens Speech. Ask MP(s) to sign to demonstrate their support for the ‘Fourth Option’ for council housing, a ‘level playing field’ and real choice for council tenants (email your MP).

149 MPs backed motion EDM 48 in the last Parliament. Ask all tenants and trade union organisations to write to local MPs urging them to sign up. Tell your MPs to lobby the Treasury for the ‘Fourth Option’ to be included in the Comprehensive Spending Review next spring and ask them to join the House of Commons Council Housing group.

Majority of tenants’ ballots voting NO

The majority of ballots in 2006 have gone against privatisation including 4/4 ballots in Scotland. Tenants, trade unionists and councillors opposing privatisation are still massively out resourced by one-sided council campaigns but we have showed we can stop them when we organise effectively. If a council is pushing transfer, ALMO or PFI in your region please help campaign against (see list available on DCH website) in forthcoming ballots to finally kill privatisation off.

Meeting at DCLG

On Tuesday (Nov 21) Austin Mitchell led a delegation to meet DCLG officials to examine the financial issues. This meeting was promised a year ago by David Miliband and Yvette Cooper. They were unable to defend Ruth Kelly’s dramatic assertion at the Labour Party conference that the ‘Fourth Option’ would cost £12billion and we are now demanding a detailed costing of how much it would cost to meet Decent Homes for all council housing.

Debt write off
The No votes in Scotland very starkly put the focus on a ‘level playing field’ on debt write off. If the Treasury will write off council housing debt on privatisation why won’t they write off (or take over) council debt when tenants choose to keep the council as their landlord? Put this question to all politicians – including those who are considering standing for Leadership and Deputy Leadership of the party in government.

Affiliate, order material and donate

Encourage tenants organisations and trade unions to distribute copies of the DCH national newspaper and the ‘Case for Council Housing in 21C Britain’ pamphlet. Make sure your organisation is affiliated and agree a generous donation to enable DCH to campaign locally and nationally.

Please forward this email to tenants, trade unionists, councillors and others…

Further information on the campaign website

Also browsing today I discovered the interesting web site of Tom MacFarlane - called Democratic Deficit. Tom is a retired teacher who harvests interesting stories from the media on the ongoing destruction of our liberties, services, welfare and environment in the name of neo-liberalism. Tom comments in an informed way, referencing philosophers and thinkers such as Polanyi. He also has some pretty sites of photographs.

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