There’s Power in the Union

I’m just back from the AGM of Islington UNISON at the Union Chapel.  I used to be a branch member and was invited to say a few words about Sunday’s national demo against the Housing Bill and the Kill the Bill campaign.  But a current one, Jeremy Corbyn, was the main speaker.  He proudly introduced himself as a branch member and paid tribute to the work of rank and file union members in fighting austerity, inequality and racism.   He described the squalor and inhumanity of the Calais camps and urged people to attend the ‘Refugees Welcome’ demonstration on 19th March.  He talked about the need for a future Labour government to create jobs and apprenticeships with decent pay, conditions and union recognition.  And he talked a lot about housing.  Mr Corbyn re-stated his opposition to the Housing and Planning Bill, attacked the vicious intent of a government policy that will ‘destroy our cities and communities’ and encouraged everyone to take to the streets in protest on Sunday.  He called for investment in council housing, partly because it will offer an alternative to the super-exploitation of private renting and nailed the lie that council housing is ‘subsidised’.  Finally, as he left, he agreed without hesitation or consulting a spin doctor or PR guru, to the following photo.

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