I read something of this yesterday and didn’t quite believe it. Well done UNISON, Charlie Friel and those rank and file employees in the Connexions service who had the temerity to tell the deputy leader of the council, amongst others, exactly what these closures would really mean to the vulnerable people using the service – and by extension to the council budget. We have seen the 40th anniversary of that great pyrrhic victory at Saltley Gate.
Celebrate this great turnaround of Feb 2012, for it may in time, prove more meaningful still.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Over 100 staff at Connexions had good news yesterday after hearing that Birmingham City Council have backed down and withdrawn the threat of redundancies, stating that there will not be any more cuts to this vital service in the coming financial year. We hope that whoever is in power following the council elections in May will provide a continued commitment to Connexions.

Connexions gives help and advice to young people who are unemployed and are looking for work, college or training. They also help young homeless people, pregnant teenage girls and teenage parents.

UNISON argued all along that to make cuts to this service when youth unemployment is at an all-time high and still rising was morally wrong, reckless and irresponsible and finally Birmingham City Council have listened.

UNISON Convenor Charlie Friel said

This is really good news for our members who been put the emotional wringer by this council…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

There are a few different names for this – a financial transactions tax (FTT), a Tobin tax or more commonly in the last couple of years a Robin Hood tax.

The Robin Hood of old stole from the rich to give to the poor, and his name has been appropriated for a tax that would take from the banks and give to the people, a reversal of the fiscal policy of austerity where the people have given to the banks, and continue to pay for the crisis they caused.

An FTT would put a small amount of tax on risky financial transactions. A tax of 0.05% would raise £20bn each year in the UK, and around £125bn globally – and it would want to be implemented globally (or at least in all the major financial centres of the world), since these are electronic transactions, it would be relatively simple to…

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Birmingham Against The Cuts

We heard late last night that Michael Gove, the education secretary, was to pay a visit to Ninestiles Academy in Acocks Green, and put the call out for people to join a protest for his lunchtime visit. Around 15-20 people made it on a weekday lunchtime, with BBC Midlands Today along to cover the protest.

Unfortunately, Michael Gove shifted the time of his vist to the morning so he was gone before anyone was there to protest him – a decision presumably taken upon hearing of the protest, especially given the recent 100 strong picket at Montgomery School, which is being forced to become an academy as part of a policy introduced by Michael Gove to make more schools academies.

Nevertheless, a lively and enjoyable picket was held with members of Birmingham Against the Cuts joining NUT, Unison and GMB members, and some pupils at Ninestiles who joined the…

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Montgomery Primary School Strike and Public Meeting


Latest addition to Gogwit’s Blog is a reblog.
Please give this your urgent attention and, if possible, support.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

Montgomery Primary school is being forced to become an academy, a move which both teachers and parents are opposed to. In December, all staff went on strike, and were joined by parents on the picket line. They will be on strike again on the 25th January.

The following day, Parents at Montgoomery School have a public meeting:

Thursday 26th January 7.30pm-9pm

Community Hall, Sparkbrook Islamic Centre, Sydenham Road, Sparkbrook B11 1ND (Children welcome)


  • Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green
  • Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary, NUT
  • Anne Brimacombe, national executive member, NASUWT
  • speakers from NAHT and GMB unions
  • speaker from ‘Parents at Montgomery school’ campaign
  • Richard Hatcher, Alliance Against Birmingham Academies

The government, supported by the headteacher and some of the governors, are planning to turn Montgomery primary school into an Academy owned and run by a private Academy chain. The school would no longer be…

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Hello world!

Hello World! Welcome to Gogwit’s Blog.
Full, as I am, of beer – both dark and light – and mulled cider (my God! I rate mulled cider, even when heated in a baby burco), I am now travelling home enjoying the pretty lights that Christmas offers me, eye candy, on my journey.
An interesting evening. On Twitter I have been in ‘correspondence’ with an individual under who’s skin I most obviously got. ‘Andyaj’ seems to have taken exception to my decision to strike on Wednesday 30 November and engaged in robust tweeting to this effect.