Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pro-Choice Week of action: 23 - 29 October 2006


*It’s time the pro-choice majority was heard! **

Pro-choice week of action: 23 – 29 October 2006*

Abortion Rights is launching a national ‘*pro-choice week* of action’ to raise awareness and encourage people to lobby their MP to defend the abortion time limit.

The week, which marks the anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, will become an annual focus point for campaigning.

* **Get involved!*

* *Lobby your MP*: write*

*a lobbying postcard to or meet your MP

* *Show a film*: Vera Drake, The last abortion clinic in Mississippi, Speak Out: I had an abortion - (available from the Abortion Rights office)**

* *Organise an information stall* - (materials available from the office)**

* *Organise a speaker meeting*

* *Stage an awareness-raising stunt *

* *Contact your local press

**Everyone can make a difference:**

* Add your support - *join* Abortion Rights and get your group to affiliate

*Send a *lobbying* *postcard* or e-postcard to your MP

* Help break the taboo and *wear a pro-choice sticker* during the week

* Sign up for pro-choice *e-action alerts* on our website

Contact Abortion Rights

Friday, September 29, 2006

"He spent life picking himself up"

Will found this obit whilst spending to much time on the internet eating pringles and planning to buy a pitbull. Yep Will and a pitbull . Scary yet somehow a match made in heaven.

Anyway back to the point. This obit is of a man who was killed in a car accident. But that was only the end of a long line of accidents throughout his life. I must admit after the tenth one I think I would have stayed in bed and never left it again.

His sister said, with much understatement ..."He was kinda accident-prone"

It is very tragic and essential reading for those who are feeling a tad fed up with life.
It is so unlucky that it is tempting to laugh .
Seriously though it was one crap sad life. But also a life of someone who never gave up whatever was thrown at them. Ok, I will not laugh , bad stroppy.


I mistakenly said Will was getting a rottie, but its a pitbull. So blog amended and pic changed. Now why can't he ask that nice Mr Denham if he can have one of his poodles...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quit the ciggies and win a holiday in the sun....

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a link to this piece I read today in The Metro. It looks like that 2 hospital trusts in Kent are offering anyone who uses their Stop Smoking service chance to win a holiday abroad. Way hey! Maybe I should develop a 20-a-day-addiction and then miraculously give-up by munching on Nicorette gum. Then I get my holiday. I really would like a holiday in Italy. I really would.

Quitters must have a series of check-ups before they are entered into an annual prize. The latest winner won a £2,000 trip to Italy. Medway and Swale primary care trusts pay for the holidays from their advertising budgets. They claim the incentive costs little more than an advert in a local newspaper encouraging people to quit. According to the report smoking-related illnesses costs the NHS £1.5billion a year.

This year’s prize winner said: "At first I was quite prepared to go back to smoking but then, when I found out I’d won a holiday, it was a turning point.”

Deborah Arnott, head of anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health: “I don’t see a problem with being rewarded for quitting. The cost of one holiday is neither here nor there. This is not the NHS squandering money”.

Well, I do see this as a problem as it is a “quick fix” solution and a rather shallow one at that. What happens if a prizewinner reverts back to the cancer sticks, will they have to cough up the 2 grand to reimburse the primary health care trust? Is it really such an incentive? Where’s the “carrot”? Where the positive reinforcement?

There's usually a big hearty dose of moralistic lecturing chucked at smokers, drinkers and obese people. And now it seems to be, “if we can’t bully them into submission then hey, lets give them a holiday”!
Will they be “inspiring” people labeled obese to lose that fat as they too can be shaking their new improved booty on holiday?

These “sticking-plaster” solutions really help nobody, as they are short-term. Surely that money can be best used for more long-term solutions and not on shallow quick fixes. I can understand people pulling out all of the stops to get the holiday and probably do it myself if given half the chance but what happens when there's nothing more to strive for. What happens when you come back off your holiday and tumble back down to earth with a big bump and reality may be making you gasp for a cigarette?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Debt Collection: the booming industry

I would've posted this earlier but had my arm twisted to go the pub by various union bods in my workplace. Well, that was my early evening down the pan though explained to them that I drank quite a lot the previous night. Their reaction, "Get this whisky down your neck, girl"! Actually I refrained and stayed on the orange juice all evening (honest Stroppy One I did). The conversation ranged from Rosa Luxemburg ("she had real balls, that one"!), democratic centralism, anti-imperialism and the SWP. Oh what a night of drunken debate and argument and knowing that lot they're still at it now. And I stuck to the orange juice and left reasonably early.

Got home and saw advertised this documentary on bailiffs tonight. When I interviewed an eighty-odd year old Socialist over 20 years ago for my 'O' Level History project, he spoke about defending people against bailiffs. They organised themselves quickly once word got around that the bailiffs were on their way. The tactic was to surround the house and use furniture as obstacles to force the bailiffs back. He told me they were pretty successful as they were always able to mobilise themselves immediately. This was Smethwick during the 1920s and 1930s. Unfortunately, you don't seem to get the same collective action against bailiffs nowadays. Instead debt collection is a booming business. The profits they make are off the backs of poor and powerless people. They are not regulated by the state so they go unchecked. They con, steal, scare and flout the law. And who gives a damn as it is usually the most impoverished in this society who have the bailiffs on their doorstep.

The two companies this undercover journalist worked for was CCS Enforcement Services Ltd and Drakes Group, who are, incidentially, used by Lib-Dem/Tory Southwark Council to collect council tax arrears. Both these organisations state that there will be an internal investigation into the behaviour of their employees. So it just a couple of rogue bailiffs then? Of course it is not!! The business of debt collection revolves around power and fear. The whole ethos is to screw people on behalf of the agency they are employed by. Does Southwark worry about tactics of these two organisations? I doubt it. I really wish there was collective action against bailiffs similar to what Arthur told me about all those years ago.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Arctic Monkeys new fan

Christ! I really like the Arctic Monkeys and now we have Gordie Brown "pretending" to listen to them. Credibility for Arctic Monkeys down the bog then. Think he's trying to be "hip" but it seems to have ended up as a bit of a PR disaster (which old Gordie does so well at the moment). Stick to liking ya manky James Blunt and "music for bedwetters" Coldplay. By the way, if I offended any fans of Coldplay and James Blunt. Tough!

Now I wonder if John McDonnell is an Arctic Monkeys fan. That's one question we should've sent him!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bliar: Time to GO!

Well, I travelled up to Manchester on the Peace and Love train from Euston to Manchester. Luckily I was able to bag a seat in the Unison compartment (so nice of my ex-union to accept a T&Ger). It was a very, very and did I say very, long journey.... The RMT train raced ahead while ours seemed stuck on the tracks. I have to say that trying to negotiate my way through the carriages to get to the buffet car was stressful (the singin' hippie carriage did my head in..and trying to push through the sea of papersellers where I stayed well, relatively calm!!) indeed but at the same time, a trip down memory lane. Seeing people you haven't seen for yonks though there is one woman who is adamant I am a photography student at Camberwell School Of Art (don't ask.. too confusing). Obviously I have a doppelganger.

I am a sucker though when it comes to papersellers and don't always have the heart to tell them to, "Fuck Off"! Though the temptation is very strong I usually become all wussy and buy the damn paper/pamphlet and tell them they can cut the hard recruitment sell as it just won't wash with me. So I will spend my Sunday tipping out the crushed papers from my bag and reading some of them (there may be a copy of Workers Hammer lying at the bottom of my bag as well.....)

We got to Manchester bright eyed and bushy tailed and it was kinda impressive seeing the sheer volume of people coming off the train.

The march was a bit of a stop and start affair. More stop than start. And I felt a little hemmed in and claustrophobic as we were marching through what felt like side streets. Though we passed the peace camp campaigners.

We got to Albert Square and pissed off to the pub as we were early. Again, going back to the square I still felt this hemmed in feeling. I reckon there were about 50,000 people but I am crap at estimating numbers. I spotted Unison banners (I marched under the London Region banner), FBU, Amicus, and RMT. But I was dismayed at not seeing any T&G banners (but I could well be wrong). We marched to the conference centre where we stopped and chanted a bit but there didnt't seem to be any real stewarding or organisation. What was the plan? Bit of a damp quib to me.

We marched on and lay in the middle of the road for 2 minutes to symbolise the war dead. Unfortunately, I didn't finish the march as the Unison lot I was with lacked discipline and decided to go on a pub crawl instead. I heard that Michael Meacher was at the front of the march and spoke about the need for a change in Labour Party leadership. Meacher, it seems, is launching his campaign very soon. Unfortunately, John McDonnell couldn't make the demo.

After many drinks we toddled off to the square to find another pub. Sorry... this is a bad report as I didn't hear any of the speakers either! Anyway, we all staggered back onto the train. Unfortunately the carriage I was in had no lights. Yeah, you read correctly, no fecking lights!! HA! That stopped the previously oh-so-determined paperseller. There's not much you can do with the lights off though those determined and creative pissed Unison activists certainly had their own ideas that passed for"entertainment" while aided and abetted by pissed SWP members.

Oh and before I forget, I do hope those London Unison activists are reading this (as I know they read it... and are fans of the blog....!! And you know who you are..) as their behaviour in that carriage was debauched and disgraceful. It became known as the "dirty carriage". The discussions were horrendous and this Stroppyblogger had to clap her hands over her ears in dismay and shock. Honestly, no wonder I joined the T&G. It makes me want to embrace.... puritanism and abstinence.

Btw: I clapped eyes on the 'ickle Lenin from Lenin's Tomb trying to take a pic while swinging from some scaffolding. Lenin looked worried when I confronted him by saying, "Oi, you're Lenin's Tomb"! but when I said who I was he relaxed somewhat. There was so much I wanted to ask the Ditcher of the Dialetic such as, I dunno, "astroglide". Shame I couldn't stop as I was being carried along by the crowd. So... Lenin, if ya reading this, weren't you bloody hot in that leather coat..??

NB: I have photos of the demo but they are being developed....

Friday, September 22, 2006

Blacking up: it's racist!

I meant to post something about this yesterday. Yesterday, while in WH Smith buying my copy of the Guardian I happened to catch the Independent out of the corner of my eye and was appalled by the front page. It was of Kate Moss blacked up. What was Indie thinking of? Trying to be clever? Being chic? No, it is being utterly racist and offensive. Hannah Pool in today's Guardian makes some powerful points:

"What exactly is this picture of Moss-as-African-woman supposed to portray? I suppose it is meant to be subversive, but what does it say about race today when a quality newspaper decides that its readers will only relate to Africa through a blacked-up white model rather than a real-life black woman? What does it say about the fight against HIV/Aids if that is the only way to make us care? And, as a black woman (born that way), what does this trick say about me?"

Why couldn't the Indie have used a picture of a Black woman? Again Pool argues (rightly):

"And you know, there really are black women who could have done this job. Next time a photograph of an African woman is needed, they should call on Iman. Call on Alek Wek. Call on one of any number of black girls you can see on the street. Call on me."

Worryingly, it does seem to me that blacking up is back in fashion especially by "comedians". The list is growing with various individuals like David Walliams and Matt Lucas from Little Britain. Charlotte Church blacked up in a sketch on her new show. Others include the piss-poor Bo' Selecta and even Rory Bremner shamefully blacks up as Trevor MacDonald. I mean, watching Laurence Olivier as a blacked up Othello still sends chills down my spin as it is offensive and the god awful Black and White Minstrels Show. I assumed (wrongly) blacking up had been consigned to the racist dustbin of history.

There is also an appalling racist festival which happens in Padstow, Cornwall during xmas and the New Year called, "Darkie Day", where inhabitants black up. In 1998 Bernie Grant, the late black Labour MP for Tottenham, condemned the tradition as "offensive to black people all over the place". But it still happens.

It seems to me that the politics of understanding oppression (I would also say sexism and homophobia as well) has fallen by the political wayside. I am shocked when I see comedians and other "entertainers" black up. Don't they understand the political message they are conveying? Or don't they care because it is all harmless fun. Harmless fun at the expense of people experiencing oppression in this society. Yeah, what a laugh!

When I first became politically conscious in the 1980s the fight against oppression was on the political agenda along with liberation politics overall. It was at the forefront and it had an integral part in educating people. Well, things seem to have changed for the worst and it is depresses me that a so-called liberal paper like the Indie can publish a blacked up Kate Moss.

NB: I was going to use the frontpage of the Indie which showed a blacked-up Kate Moss to advertise this post but I changed my mind. I wanted to show instead a vibrant, dynamic, strong and heavily influential Black woman and she is Angela Y. Davis.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

How to win friends and influence people, the US way...

Apparently in order to get Pakistan to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US ...

The United States threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" unless it joined the fight against al-Qaeda, President Pervez Musharraf says.
General Musharraf said the warning was delivered by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to Pakistan's intelligence director.

The response to this :

"I think it was a very rude remark," Mr Musharraf told CBS television.

Understatement indeed !!

Uganda and the persecution of LGBT people - demo this friday .

E-mail re demo :

Uganda! Stop persecuting gays! Protest: 4pm on Friday 22 September 2006Ugandan High Commission, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, London WC2Organised by the NUS LGBT campaign, supported by OutRage! London – 21 September 2006Uganda punishes male homosexuality with life imprisonment. Lesbians and gays are subjected to vigilante violence by homophobic mobs, especially in rural areas where most of the population live. The government has banned same-sex marriage and fined a radio station forairing a debate about gay issues. State-funded HIV campaigns refuse to promote safer sex and condoms to same-sex partners. The latest outrage is an outing campaign by the Ugandan tabloid newspaper, Red Pepper. It has outed 58 alleged lesbian and gay people in the last two months; and has urged readers to send more names, so they too can be outed. The paper also published a list of underground gay venues, exposing them to the risk of homophobic attack.Recently, Red Pepper carried an article with the headline 'Jinja Cops Hunt For Gays, ' in which they reported a police manhunt to arrest homosexuals in the Kampala suburb of Jinga.The NUS LGBT campaign, working with partnership organisations such asOutRage!, is organising an emergency demonstration outside the Ugandan Embassy, 58/59 Trafalgar Square, London at 4pm this Friday 22 September.“We call on individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, to protest against the intimidation, arrest and torture of LGBT people in Uganda.We will be handing a letter of protest to the Ugandan Ambassador calling on his Government to respect the provisions enshrined in theUgandan Constitution giving citizens rights to equality and freedom and the clauses of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) monitored by the UN, which allows the right to privacy, free from discrimination,” said Claire Anderson of the NUS LGBTcampaign.OutRage! congratulates the NUS LGBT campaign for organising Friday’sprotest, and urges its friends and supporters to attend.“Uganda's anti-gay laws were imposed by the British colonialists whooccupied the country, stole its wealth and abused its people,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!“The time has come to ditch this oppressive, divisive, imperialist legislation.“The Ugandan government should accept the diversity of humanity,including the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.“One of the hallmarks of an enlightened, democratic society is live-and-let-live. Majorities should respect minorities, even if they don't always agree with them.“I urge the people of Uganda to show understanding and acceptance of their fellow citizens who love people of the same sex.“Ugandans should be judged by the quality of their character, not by their sexual orientation,” said Mr Tatchell.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lap-Dancing club for Laydeez

Back to the frivolous posts. Can I hear a sigh of relief at the back?

My old childhood stomping ground, Birmingham is known as the “lap- dancing capital of the UK". And here’s me thinking it was chiefly remembered as the city, which spawned Ozzie Osbourne and Black Sabbath.

Well, it has set up a lap-dancing club for straight women called Tricky Dicky’s (oh, such a corny name). One snag, is that the club isn’t making the same kind of money lap- dancing clubs for men makes, as women aren’t spending the money. Men visit lap-dancing clubs alone while women, it seems, go with a gang of mates. One lap dancer said she was surprised how many men bought into the fantasy. Women, according to the owner of this new club, just go for a laugh. One woman was so disappointed with the experience that she would have preferred to have spent the money on a manicure. Us women... our standards are just too high.

One Talking Head from the Institute of Sexuality and Human Relations states that women are unlikely to be turned on just by watching as women are interested in attention, protection and humour than physical attributes”…

Protection? Me Tarzan, you Jane rubbish. Get real! Sorry, but I am callow, shallow and a voyeur …. with a good sense of humour. But isn’t it great, Ladies, that some bloody man is making assumptions about what turns us women on….

I think the Stroppy One and myself should take a trip up to Birmingham and visit the said club. It is for research purposes I’ll have you to know.

So… to all you lovely women out there, is this Talking Head correct? Blokes can of course comment as well.

Thanks to the F Word blog

Things to do on holiday ...

Seems the must have holiday experience, to trump your mates, is to witness a military coup.
The report on the BBC newsite, on the coup in Thailand, quotes an ex-pat living there :

"It was like a tourist attraction. Tourists were going right up to the troops and posing for pictures," he said.

And it seems the tourists and backpackers were not inconvenienced .

Backpacker Sam Champion said the "lively, buzzing, busy" atmosphere was no different "from any other day in the capital".
"As far as I can tell there doesn't seem to be any reason to be worried about it. It doesn't seem to be anything to do with tourists or travellers whatsoever.
"It seems to be that the situation is completely under control. It just seems to be so well organised and planned, it doesn't look like it's going to get out of control."

Another tourist states

"I found out about this when my parents rang and told me," said Danish tourist Jannick Bondrop. "They were worried for me, but I'm not afraid. To see this is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

So as long as a military coup is well organised and doesn't disrupt the holiday to much then its a good photo opportunity and something to tell the folks about back home. The word fuckwit springs to mind.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Continuing saga of potential cuts in the voluntary sector in London

Hey, another serious political post. Ye Gods, we might start to get a reputation for being a "serious political blog"! That can't happen....can it? I mean, for Gawd Sake, we could end up on Tory Dale's Hit Parade of Blogs. Or be the 2nd Best Lefty Blog... Ever!

Oh well, (ab)normal disreputable (I mean if CND can then so can we) posts on dildos (tried and tested) and dirty porn mags for women will follow soon.......

Anyway, to the serious stuff. Yes, afraid so. I posted something on cuts to voluntary organisations a couple of weeks ago. Around 10 days ago the ALG Grants Executive Committee met and decided not to "Discuss the specific figure of the proposed cut" and "Focus on achieving agreement as to funding budgets". They are saying there will be cuts but not at the level originally proposed (33%). Organisations like the London Voluntary Service Council are cocker hoop about this as they see it as some kind of success. I hate to spoil their party but the small print states there will be cuts so some organisation who aren't deemed a "priority" will have their funding cut.

Areas which were rejected as a priority was work with children and young people. How they justify this considering the fact that London has the highest in the country of "unaccompanied children" is beyond me. A whole range of children organisations in London will be at risk in losing their funding. But don't despair, Olympics initiatives will get funding. Advocacy around domestic violence (though DV overall was considered a priority) wasn't seen a priority. This means independent advocacy for women and kids affected by DV.

Other areas deemed not a priority included access to and participation in cultural activities for BME communities, disabled people, older people and kids.

Information advice and training services to improve health and safety in the workplace.

Promoting cycling and walking around London.

Health awareness and access to health support for "excluded people".

These are only recommendations and the decisions will be made next month. But it still has to be agreed by 22 of 33 London boroughs. And there are various London boroughs, such as Enfield, Barnet and Ealing who wanna bring down their council taxes to the level of Wandsworth. And for this "vote winner" you need to cut something expendable and to your average right-winger the voluntary sector is.

Oh and even Mayor Livingston doesn't like the sound of these cuts who says, "Any proposed cut in grants would have London-wide implications and are therefore a matter of considerable concern to my office." No shit Ken!

Watch this space if there are any developments.

More anoraky lists and polls....

The left bloggies are getting all Nick Hornbyish with their lists and polls.

Back in august Volty did his list of fav blogs .
Osler (who is high up in both the Iain Dale and Channel 4 lists) has a poll going on the 2nd best leftie blog. Hmmm, so which one is the best then Dave :-) Andy of SU Blog has given his verdicts on the contenders.
Now Jim Jam is compiling a list of 100 top green blogs .

I like lists and polls . Quite fancy doing a stroppy one , perhaps an awards type list or a bit of best and worst type one.

Any suggestions for categories ?

FEM 07

I just received this from Kat Banyard, organiser for the FEM conferences. Very surprised as I didn't know they were organising a FEM 07 (no FEM 06...) the last one was in Nov 2005, which I attended and wasn't greatly impressed.... but that's another story/post..whatever. And laughably, I was on the planning committee for FEM 05, which is also another post/story!!

Enough of the bitterness. I am pleased though they are organising another FEM conference and putting the importance of international solidarity on the agenda. I just hope they listen to all of the organisers this time....I also think I am still on their list of organisers... Oh Well, I am a glutton for punishment after all.

They do have a link but it doesn't seem to be working.
Dear all,

We are emailing you because you were either one of the organisers of FEM 05 or, if you are a women's officer, your predecessor was!

FEM 05 was a fantastic success - with over 400 women and men travelling across the country to attend! Please find attached a FEM 05 Report summary.

And because we are all gluttons for punlishment.......the follow-up to FEM 05 - FEM 07 - will take place on Saturday 10th March 2007 at Sheffield University Students' Union, hosted again by the fabulous Sheffield University Students' Union Women's Campaign! The two main themes of the conference will be involving men and international feminism. Other sessions will include the objectification of women, young feminists, women in higher education, and an exploration of issues facing BME women.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Grunwick Commemoration

"I will no longer take it. I want my freedom"
(Jayaben Desai to management as she led women workers on strike)

"The law on trade unions will remain the most restrictive in the western world"
(Tony Blair - March 1997)

I attended the commemorative event on Grunwick organised by Brent Trades Union Council today. I would have posted earlier but went for a drink with Kit from Kit Notes and quaffed too much Guinness (can you quaff Guinness? Oh and I am a lightweight when booze is concerned!)

Firstly, I want to get my gripe out of the way. When I got there I was asked whether I wanted to attend the AM or PM sessions. This was because there wasn't enough room to hold all participants. Well, I wanted to hear all of the speakers but eventually chose the AM slots and missed out on hearing Amrit Wilson speaking and the discussion about Gate Gourmet (I couldn't sneak in as they were checking tickets). It would have been really nice to have been able to have attended all the sessions!

The conference was introduced by ex-ISG comrade Pete Firmin who spoke about how it was important to celebrate Grunwick strike. The first session kicked off with Jack Dromey, who was secretary of Brent Trades Council at the time of the strike, who gave an overview of the strike. Thousands of trade unionists mobilised to support and show solidarity with the Grunwick strikers. These women wanted union recognition and scum like George Ward, Grunwick boss, refused point blank.

Strikers spent 14 weeks on a picket line to end up being betrayed and sold out by the trade union bureaucracy. Strike organiser, Jayaben Desai and other women activists went on hunger strike outside TUC House in protest at the way the TUC was selling them out while rank and file activists were supporting their struggle. Dromey said that it brought to the forefront of the labour movement issues around racism, migrant workers and sexism. Issues which nobody had really considered before.

Derek Walsh from the then Union of Postal Workers (UPW) spoke about postal workers refusing to handle post for Grunwick. Unfortunately, another bunch of scumbags, The Freedom Association (backers of apartheid in south Africa and Ian Smith's regime in Rhodesia) threatened to take the UPW to court. Walsh spoke of the tensions between the London District Council who supported the strikers while the Executive Council put pressure on them to handle the mail. Supporters of the strike in the UPW lost the vote.

Cricklewood sorting office carried on refusing to sort mail and workers were suspended and eventually fined. The Freedom Association, helped by Royal Mail managers took 68 bags of undelivered mail and posted it around the UK. The union was fined for disobeying a vote and refusing to handle the post. Arthur Scargill spoke about being summoned to TUC House to be told to call off mass strike action! Scargill told them to, "Get Stuffed!" and walked out. Scargill was the best speaker on the platform and the most eloquent.

Grunwick was a defeat and a betrayal by the very people who should have been supporting these women. The TUC and APEX (now part of the GMB) sold these women out and the trade union movement overall. The TUC was definitely on its knees. But what came out was the heroism of women like Jayaban Desai and other strikers who showed defiance and courage and stood firm against these attacks but also rank and file trade unionists who showed solidarity with these women unlike the bureaucracy who were itching to sell them out.

Parallels were made with Gate Gourmet and how the anti-trade union laws have stopped secondary picketing. No big demonstrations or mass pickets on the scale of Grunwick have happened at Gate Gourmet. Nor have there been Labour ministers on the picket line at Gate Gourmet unlike Grunwick. Both of these strikes were led by Asian women who desperately needed union support. Like history repeating itself, the rank and file membership showed support and solidarity but only to be sold-out by the bureaucracy (yes and that means you T&G Deputy Secretary, Comrade Dromey!)

John McDonnell spoke of the Trade Union Freedom Bill, which funnily enough, the TUC is suffering from the jitters about (it must be hard being a bureaucratic as their backbone is made of jelly and I have seen jellyfish with more nerve) . The Bill is watered down and leaves out quite a lot but what McDonnell argues is that it is at least something and we can get a foot in the door. He is calling upon rank and file activists to put pressure on the labour movement overall.

Interestingly, when asked of the panel who they would support as Labour Party leader, Jack Dromey sidestepped the question (his missus at the back in vibrant red.....) and so did Arthur Scargill while there were murmurings in the audience of support for John McDonnell.

Ed Blissett (GMB) formally apologised to Jayaben Desai on behalf of the GMB for the disgraceful behaviour of APEX during Grunwick. He also spoke of international solidarity with other trade unions and the good work the GMB have been doing. John Hendy (Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers) worryingly said that at the time of Grunwick 78% of workers had their terms and conditions underpinned by collective agreements. Now it is 35%. The rest of Europe is around 90% and one country which comes closest to the UK is Greece at 65%. One of the reasons for this severe drop is the shackling of the trade union movement and repressive legislation.

Overall, I found the day both depressing and optimistic (I can feel a Gramsci quote coming on). Depressing, due to the continued obstructive behaviour and constant betrayals by the union bureaucracy but optimistic when women like Jayaben Desai stood firm and show immense courage along with the postal workers and other rank and file members. As the majority of the platform were white male trade unionists it was damn good to see them (along with the audience ) give Jayaben Desai a standing ovation.

Apols. for the long post but I am trying to be as fulsome as possible.

Btw: Brent Trades Union Council have produced a pamphlet called, "Grunwick: bravery and betrayal"

Stroppyblog redesign

Well if Osler can have a flash new design so can we. As he did such a great design for Dave our virtual mate Will is going to do the honours .

Any suggestions for the design ? In particular what picture/graphic would be good for the masthead ?

Dave has suggested that we have a byline of 'leftie chicks talk dirty'. Well as we are not a serious political blog liked by Tories then what the hell !!

Oh and thanks Kit for questioning why we weren't on the 100 best Labour/leftie list.
If anyone wants to cheer us up for being left out (reminds me of not getting picked for teams at school) then pop over to Daves' site and vote for us.
Not that I am competitive ...

update: pic of a cat in a suit for Mr Anderson who has requested a pic of us in catsuits for the masthead.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Shock! Horror! CND disreputable.....

I have been reading with interest the reports from TUC conference on Jon Roger’s blog and one which has really caught my eye was, “TUC set to oppose trident replacement”. It wasn’t the report but it was the comment from Bloggers4labour. They describe CND as “disreputable”… Hang on, CND disreputable!! I had to do a double take as I really believed for a minute my eyes were playing tricks.

Oh and Bloggers4labour argue that, “any enemy of Bush and Blair is not a friend of Unison”!

Does that include T&G union activists too ‘cos I aint standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of warmongers. Obviously neo-con pro-imperialists who dabble in war aren’t disreputable in the least, are they Bloggers4labour??????

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Tonight in the Grand Hotel a bunch of Brighton labour Party members and Trade Unionists met with John McDonnell to plan a campaign meeting in Brighton in November.

It was nice to meet in real life two fellow bloggers, Jon Rogers and Marsha Jane (who was down for the TUC conference). Marsha asked if I was the one with the cowboy hat. I said no, other one, the one with the fishnets .

Anyway , back to the point of this post
We all introduced ourselves to John. I said I was still just about in the Party but had not been active because was I disillusioned with Blair. I said I saw this as a last chance to energise the left. A few others said they felt the same and I think this was a message he has heard from many members.

It was good though to feel some enthusiasm for a campaign to build the left. Yep I know some will say I am naive. But as I said tonight, its difficult to leave a Party I have spent all my adult life in.

Jon was very positive, declaring it would be fun. Oh dear, what anoraks we all are. But I agreed. I hope he does not mind me quoting him, he said we should fight for what we want not what we think we can get .

I will post details of the event when its finalised.

At the end I talked to John about blogs . He humoured me ! I asked if he would do an e-mail interview for Stroppyblog. He agreed. Jon Rogers , diplomatically , pointed out it would reach a 'diverse' audience. Hmmm, whatever could he mean.

I will send John an e-mail of questions in a few days. Any ideas from the 'diverse' readership please add to the comments.

Yours truly new shop steward......

Had a T&G union shop meeting today. One of the items on the agenda was who was gonna be rep and before I could even say, "lets have a democratic debate", I was nominated unopposed and was seconded rather quickly while yours truly was eating an apple. The art of mastication is important as choking can result. They were literally onto the next item before I eventually swallowed and said, "Oi, what about what I think"?...

And after a lot of flannel and soft soaping me about how I have "lots of experience" (cheers comrades) they all gave me those hang dog looks. I relented as some schmuck as gotta do it! The reason I was cautious was because in my previous job I was branch secretary for 4 years and for the last year I was there things got very bad such as witch hunts. It wasn't a good time and support wasn't exactly forthcoming from branch or regional officer. I felt a bit cast adrift.

In my current job, it is obviously a different situation but my worry and fear is lack of support and being left to muddle alone (and I know this is the experience of other trade union activists). I mentioned that in the meeting that it is the responsibility of the whole branch and it should not be left one or two people to make decisions. I said it is fundmentally about unity and solidarity etc. And they all murmured in agreement. By then I was expecting a rendition of the "Internationale"....

Well, it will mean more trips to the pub to discuss union stuff and towards the end of the evening there's usually a drunken discussion about your favourite top 3 books written by Lenin. Stroppybird will think I will be right at home then.....and just for her here's my top 3 'cos I know she'll wanna know ;)

The State and revolution
What is to be done?
The emancipation of women

Monday, September 11, 2006

Maggie and the 'special relationship'.

Cameron is attempting to be the first Tory leader to fully distance himself from Thatcher and move the Party away from her influence. This has included criticism of globalisation and America's role in the world as well as apologising for the Thatcher era Tories calling Mandela a terrorist. Of course many Tories are unhappy about this and some still look back with nostalgia for the Thatcher era.

Cameron must have felt he was safe from Thatcher's meddling and attempts to grab back some influence. Doctors had ordered her not to talk in public due to poor health. But somehow she has emerged to re assert her views and special relationship with the US. For dramatic effect this has been on the same day Cameron gave a speech tinged with some criticism of US foreign policy .
Thatcher chose her moment well, the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

Blair has made no secret of his admiration for Thatcher but he has not learnt the lesson from her departure, knowing when to go. Perhaps he will emulate her in the future, always trying to grab back centre stage and undermine his successors, never accepting he is no longer wanted.
Blair has started this process already with the undermining of the frontrunner to succeed him, Brown.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rather worrying link...

I find it interesting to see what links and searches bring people to Stroppyblog. We certainty get some strange and 'interesting' ones. It has also been said by a prominent CPGB member that we 'get some strange men on this site '.

Regular readers will know we at Stroppyblog cannot stand James Blunt. I added him to a list of people to be shot come the revolution .
Given this I was quite surprised, even disturbed, to notice this blog is linked to ... A James Blunt fan site !!!! There on the stats was a referral from

And who is to blame for this ? Louise. Its her post
that has caught there attention.

So as well as weird leftie men , Dr Who and Eastenders fans , we could have visitors here who like James Blunt. Arghhh....

Scary Paisley addressing LP conference

Christ on a bike! Why are New Labour pandering to Ian “no surrender” Paisley by inviting him to address LP conference this month? Paisley is a pro-imperialist authoritarian Scum-Bag.

Blair has invited Paisley to let delegates hear “his side of the story” regarding power sharing in Ireland. I say to delegates, have a butchers at his scary website, which is probably one of the biggest load of anti-catholic bigotry you can read. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is trying to soften their image. Yeah, right!

But at the same time they argue: “it is premature to accept that the IRA had ended all criminality”…..

The man’s politics and the DUP are reactionary and an insult to progressive politics!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cuts in voluntary organisations based in London

And now for a serious post….. Sorry!

I am sure readers of this blog have needed advice in their time whether it was over benefits, legal help, and other practical support. At least you knew that there are organisations out there usually connected to the voluntary sector that can help you in some way. I have been on the receiving end of advice and have also worked for voluntary organisations (paid and unpaid capacity).

I still work in the voluntary sector specifically welfare rights. So, it was appalling to read that the ALG (Association of London Government) has decided to cut 33% of the £28m annually distributed to voluntary groups across London. The reason this is happening is due to the swing to the Tories in the last local election. In July this year the ALG have said that this wouldn’t mean less money and that £9million would go directly to voluntary groups working on frontline services in individual boroughs. But what does that mean? How will the money be allocated?

These cuts will have a detrimental impact on advice and support around London. Instead of strengthening and supporting the voluntary sector the Tory dominated ALG want to cut taxes. This money is specifically allocated to the voluntary sector and to use it to cut council taxes breaches the compact (the 1998 agreement defining the relationship between the government and the voluntary sector).

As Tania Pouwhare from the Women’s Resource Centre argues: "The problem is that councillors are explaining the budget cut by saying voters on the election trail were unhappy about where borough money is being spent. In some cases, specifically that too much money is going on BME groups."

The fact that 33 locally elected councillors can preside over individual boroughs while under the jurisdiction of the Livingston the mayor causes a complex funding issue. Individual councillors will have their own political axes to grind. And that ALG money remains specifically ring-fenced for the voluntary sector and should remain so. It is a case of hands off!

With the impending Welfare Reform Bill becoming legislation it will be a time where advice organisations will be inundated with requests for help. What we have seen so far with the Bill is how ambiguous it is so we don’t know what the procedures will be and especially with Clause 17 (disqualification clause on "own conduct") will there be more people turned down for benefits? Whatever happens people will always need advice from seeking help with debt issues to help around asylum and so on.

Advice will start to shrink in size in London and now with a Tory dominated ALG organisations could possibly go under and I know of (having worked for) groups who rely on their ALG grant. I am hoping there will be a concerted response from the various voluntary sector forums and the 400 groups who could be hit by these measures with some kind of fight back against these cuts. It will have an impact on people who experience oppression and are powerless and who desperately need help and support. But hey, will New Labour care or the Tories on the ALG give a toss? They’re too busy cutting council taxes with voluntary sector cash.

People will need advice and support at some point in their lives. I know of organisations which have to turn people away as they haven't got enough resources. Instead of less money we need a more. Take the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre in Croydon (see below), they receive 6,500 phone calls from women but that's probably just the tip of the iceberg as many may not be able to get through. They receive £60,000 from the ALG and fundraise for £50,000. This will leave a big financial void in their resources if they are cut. So where will these women who need to speak to someone go? Oh well, as long as your council tax is cut these women can suffer in silence.

Yvonne Traynor from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre in Croydon argues: “I’d like to get the councillors who thought of this was the right thing to do to come down and tell one of the women who’s been raped and beaten to a pulp that she can’t access counselling because she lives in the wrong postcode.”

And now the Legal Services Commission (LSC), which is the central government funding body who dishes out the cash for what used to be Legal Aid, has introduced a new strategy which will mean a bleak future for publicly funded suppliers of social welfare legal services. Those plans deserve a post in itself.

It is not a good time to be involved in welfare rights or the voluntary sector.......

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ma Sheridan warbling at Solidarity launch

This is surreal and strange…. Watch it and see

I wonder if Sheridan’s mum is auditioning for Pop Idol? By the looks of the audience I think it is gonna be a thumbs down.

Hat Tip: MacUaid blog

Thursday, September 07, 2006

For those who can't handle real stroppy women...

The post below attracted some 'disgusted of Stoke Newington ' types (yep, our old 'mate' Paddy the Puritan and some of his virtual allies).

So this post is for all those men who can't handle women who are stroppy, who don't want to lie back and think of the revolution and fake it. I suggest they invest in a blow up doll. It doesn't argue back and you can just 'do' things to it. No hassle. You could also pretend it finds what you say fascinating.

If you do a google search there seems to be quite a lot of demand for this. Some quite specialist markets as well. Not found an Yvonne Ridley one though. Looks like you are on your own there Paddy :-)

Right, how long before Paddy pops over and gets all offended. Then comes back , to get offended again, telling us this is not a porn site. The spirit of Mary Whitehouse is alive and well on the left...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lie back and think of ..... Fay Weldon

“Do yourself and him a favour, sister: fake it” – Fay Weldon (What Makes Women Happy)

If I had to endure a punishment, a kinda Room 101 experience, then it would be a proper gal’s night out with Yvonne Ridley and Fay Weldon. I would definitely lose the will to live especially if the Loves and Lives of a She-Devil One condemns women for being selfish to want an ….. orgasm.

Some choice quotes from Fay regarding the orgasm: “If you are generous and happy minded, you will fake it and then leap out of bed and pour him champagne, telling him he is so clever”…. And “faking is kind to male partners”.

Firstly, Fay Weldon hilariously believes she knows what makes a gal happy and secondly, a woman must ignore her own sexual desires to placate the bloke’s feeling. But doesn’t this also show utter dishonesty as Bloke thinks he has rocked her world while Woman says, “Oh yes, that was super darling, best fuck I’ve had in ages”! But thinking the exact opposite. Is that the Weldon recipe for good sex? Well, she can keep it as it well… sucks.

Women have, historically, been denied the old orgasm. Moaning and groaning wasn’t the thing during Victorian times. Women were expected to please the husband. Desire and pleasure wasn’t part of the act. When Ye Olde Sex Manuals first appeared on the scene in the early part of the 20th Century couples were informed:

“The wife must be taught not only how to behave in coitus, but, above all how and what to feel in this unique act”. Is this what Fay Weldon desires women should go back to?

Orgasms, according to Freud were centred in the vagina as this was far superior to the “immature clitoral orgasm”. The vaginal orgasm represented “normal sex” as the reliance is on penetration whist clitoral stimulation can well be ….applied DIY or in other shapes or forms…Women being in charge of their sexuality? As if!

The clitoris was re-discovered (like it was ever “lost”) by Kinsey in the 1950s and also Masters and Johnson, who still emphasised the need for “penile penetration” to achieve orgasm. The Hite report during the 1970s wasn’t groundbreaking either as she too argued the mechanical behaviourism of her predecessors which amounted to women needing a bit of rubbing to aid stimulation. Yeah right…

Sex should be about equality, being open and that includes discussing your own sexual needs. It is not about sub-ordinating your own sexuality. Feminists argue rightly that it is about autonomy and women reclaiming their own desires and pleasures. Sex can be daunting and a bit like rocket science. And it is a tad more complicated than drinking a glass of water. Sex is about asserting and surrendering, mutual esteem, pleasure, trust, safety and equality.

The woman’s orgasm has been a fraught battle (I am sorry if the emphasis has been on heterosexuality) and it is has been a long time coming…

Fay stick to your religion and I will stick to having real orgasms, which sure does make me one happy feminist!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Just for Volty...

Here at Stroppyblog we quite like Volty and the Shiraz Socialist blog.

I had hoped he was getting help with his Yvonne Ridley obsession. But nope, he is still talking about her on his blog.

So these pics are for Volty. Enjoy ;-)
Couldn't find any ankle flashing so you will have to use your imagination...

"We are all Walter Wolfgang"

Dave, or the "The Grand Old Man of lefty independent-minded semi-trot types"(not that old I better add and quite well preserved considering), has done a post about the security at this years Labour Party conference. Seems the leadership is further clamping down on any dissent or disagreement . Looks like they may be getting the message that the public and their own Party are unhappy with them.

One of the commentators , Bruce, suggests :

In the meantime, perhaps we should adopt the slogan 'We are all Walter Wolfgang'.

I'll second that. Anyone want to make some T-shirts and placards for the Time To Go demo on the 23rd Sept ?

Samina Will Stay Campaign

I received an e-mail , via Volty, on the campaign to stop Samina Altaf, and her two children Aqsa and Sumama (pictured), being deported.
I was about to do a post but have noticed there is a very detailed one up on Shiraz Socialist.

So I will be lazy and just say to people pop over and read it and support it.

James Blunt... why?

James Blunt won Best Video and Best Cinematography awards at the MTV Video awards. Blunt attended with his New Model Girlfriend, she of the "new face" of John Lewis.

Without resorting to bad language (though I easily could). All I wanna say is.. Why Oh Why Oh Why!!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Banksy and Paris Hilton

Banksy has done it again. He has smuggled into record stores 500 doctored copies of Paris Hilton's debut album.

A worthy target for the 'guerilla graffiti' artist Banksy. His 'artwork' included replacing the title tracks with a list of questions :
" Why am I famous?", "What have I done?" and "What am I for ?"

Well the answer is she is famous for being famous, a symbol of our shallow celebrity obsessed society. Money and connections has bought her fame and the 'highlights' include the infamous home sex video and taking the piss out of 'ordinary' people in her TV programme 'The Simple Life'. And if you find people using mobile phones on trains annoying well Paris trumps that. Apparently she is seen taking a call on her mobile whilst having sex.

Looks like those CD's will become collectors items. Shame the people who will have them are those so stupid and shallow as to have bought a Paris Hilton CD in the first place.

Domestic goddesses...

I noticed an item on the BBC News site about schools teaching children to cook.

It states :

All schoolchildren are to be offered cooking lessons - from baking cakes to making spaghetti bolognese.
It forms part of a government scheme to get children to improve both their diet and culinary skills, and will be formally launched on Monday.
Under the plan there will be 24 one- hour classes for 11 to 16-year-olds and once completed children will receive a 'licence to cook' certificate.

This could be a good idea if it gives the basics of nutrition and cooking without 'lecturing'.

Thinking about it I could probably do with it . Domestic goddess I am not ;-)
I do remember cookery lessons at school but it does not seem to have held me in good stead. My memory is of making cheese straws. Never had a desire to make those again.
My mother never taught me how to cook either. She is not the most maternal or domestic and her view was if I was quietly reading in my bedroom, not causing any mayhem, then best leave me be. So my childhood was spent in my room and not being taught the skills to cook , clean or do anything practical at all.

Consequently I am a menace in the kitchen or doing anything practical. I own one saucepan (I had a second but burnt it ). Dave was horrified that I did not have a potato peeler and laughed that I did not know what the salad spinner in his kitchen was. I have never had or been to a dinner party (my idea of hell, I would only get drunk and say something, or do something, outrageous).

I get easily bored and let things burn, don't follow recipes and 'improvise', don't know how to measure out the right amounts, throw matches at hobs ( I don't like matches) leaving a trail of dead ones all over the place, create a mess and generally lose interest. Oh and I once almost killed Dave by leaving the gas on (and switching on the light) over night.

Apparently my 'signature' dish is grilled halloumi and pittas ;-)

So I wonder if they could devise a specialist cookery course for me. How not to burn down the kitchen or gas your partner ;-)

Somehow I think I am a lost cause. I don't think I will ever be domesticated , can't see me swapping fishnets for a apron. I think I will always be more Courtney Love than Nigella Lawson ...

Friday, September 01, 2006

The delicate sensibilities of the homophobes ...

Well it seems there are no lesbian or gay people in Ghana .

According to the BBC new site :

Ghana's government has banned a conference for gay men and lesbians due to take place there later this month.
Information Minister Kwamena Bartels said as homosexuality was illegal in Ghana the gathering was not permitted.
"Government does not condone any such activity which violently offends the culture, morality and heritage of the entire people of Ghana," he said.

So the entire population does not condone such 'activity'. All heterosexuals then ??
Perhaps those firefighters who refused to hand out safety leaflets at a Gay Pride event might consider a move to Ghana . They would feel right at home.

Some of the firefighters involved had argued it would be embarrassing for them to turn up in uniform to the Pride Scotia event, while others claimed it would contradict their moral beliefs.
The Catholic Church supported the firefighters choosing who to work with :

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow said: "We have followed this case with concern.
"They were asked, while in uniform, to hand out leaflets during a demonstration where they had legitimate concerns about being the subject of taunts and jokes, and in which in some cases, their religious sensibilities would have been grossly offended by people dressed as priests and nuns lampooning the Church."

He added: "That the officers concerned are being forced to undergo diversity training is alarming. The duty to obey one's conscience is a higher duty than that of obeying orders."

So the Church feels its ok to pick and choose who to protect or offer safety advice to ?? Perhaps they really would like LGBT people to burn in hell.

And are their beliefs so fragile they cannot handle some gay men dressed as nuns ?My experience of Pride in Brighton is that the Firefighters at the station on route always stand and cheer the march and there is always a fire engine, with LGBT firefighters, as part of the parade. I have never seen anyone taunted or bothered by it .

Would the church be happy if LGBT firefighters refused to offer a service to religious groups , saying they find them offensive . Why is it that religious sensibilities are seen as more important and in need of protecting than anyone else's. Oops, sorry, forgot that socialists are not meant to be secular and atheist anymore. Now what is the line, oh yes, religion good.

Anyway, thought a nice pic of gay firefighters was in order ...

Home Office ignoring own guidance over women asylum-seekers

Apologies for the long post but I think it is important to take issue with.

There is an interesting article in this month’s Legal Action (no link – subscription only). The Refugee Women’s Resource Project (RWRP) at Asylum Aid did some research into the way the Home Office implements its own gender guidance for considering asylum claims by women in the UK. The report is called, ‘Lip Service’ or implementation? Up until around 2004 the Home Office interpreted refugee status by using The Refugee Convention, which had been written during the 1950s specifically based on the experiences of men fleeing human rights abuses. Women get scant mention. The five grounds for refugee status include: political opinion, race, religion, nationality or member of a social group (PSG). Gender was absent.

In July 1998 the Refugee Women’s Legal Group published Gender guidelines for the determination of asylum claims in the UK. It took 6 years to get the Home Office to adopt similar procedures. In 2004 the Home Office added Gender issues in the asylum claim to its Asylum Policy Instructions (API).

The RWRP wanted to find out whether the Home Office was implementing its own policy. Guess what? It’s not! Research shows that there is “little evidence of the guidance being used and a great deal of evidence of it being ignored”.

The research highlighted examples of where gender-specific and gender-related persecution were dismissed as not being persecution for Refugee Convention reasons, disbelief shown by Home Office Caseworkers in a context combined with ignorance or bias against women and this had a profound impact on decision-making. There was no account of trauma or trauma has an impact on recounting events. There was a basic lack of knowledge about women’s situation and status in their countries of origin and this was worsened by the Home Office’s lack of information about the countries in question.

There is also a lack of women interviewers and interpreters and this has had a serious impact on the ability of women to give full accounts especially around sexual violence. Countries for instance, which are designated “safe” (part of the "white list" countries) will have some kind of patriarchal system where women will be subjected to rape, domestic violence, forced marriage and so on. In this situation, women from these so-called “safe countries” will be detained in places like Oakington Reception centre where they will be “processed” and it is likely they will be detained along with their partnerwho may also be their abuser. Due to fear and shame, many of these women say nothing about the violence they experience. Some are worried confidentiality will be ignored.

The RWRP has launched a campaign to get the Home Office to implement its own gender guidance. There are 3 targets to this campaign: Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND); immigration lawyers/legal representatives; and women asylum-seekers. They have had meetings with senior bureaucrats at the IND with the recommendation that Home Office Caseworkers be accountable and monitored closely. Better advocacy for women from immigration lawyers/legal representatives. Also empowering women asylum-seekers to advocate for themselves by knowing their rights.

“Maryam” had been subjected to systematic rape and physical beatings in a detention camp in Somalia. She was unable to disclose her experiences during her asylum interview, which was conducted by a male interviewer and interpreter, meaning that vital information was not available to the decision-maker

She was turned down for asylum.

Corruption, exploitation and bureaucracy are endemic within the asylum system. Recently, a young woman fleeing violence from Zimbabwe, was offered asylum by the chief immigration officer based at Lunar House on the basis that she would have sex with him. She refused. This exposes how abusive and oppressive the immigration laws are. Scrap ‘em!

Random list of my favourite women artists (it is a Friday)

The book thingy got me thinking and as someone who likes art (I do except for that post modern installation conceptual rubbish...) I thought about listing my favourite women artists/photographers. Women's art is still not as noticeable or visible as men's. I worked in an art and design college for over 7 years and there was a fairly even mix of men and women students but the ones who seemed to get the plaudits were blokes.

Here are my random favourites at the moment. Majority are photographers but there is one artist. I just like their work cos its honest and real unlike a lot of pompous crap which passes as art from the YBAs (young British artists).

Julie Forman

Cindy Sherman

Nan Goldin

Hazel Dooney I have used some of her images on posts

Diane Arbus The photograph to advertise the post is one of hers (and used on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue for the V&A exhibition last year)