Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bullies and cowards

For whatever reason, UK Uncut's next target is HSBC. That's the bank that wasn't bailed out by the taxpayer and paid $9.3bn in corporate taxes globally in 2012:
Don’t just sit at home getting angry. Join UK Uncut’s national day of action on Saturday 20th July, where we’ll be occupying and transforming HSBC branches across the country into our own UK Uncut-style food banks, because it’s the banks that should be targeted, not ordinary people.
Once again, they are going after the soft targets of the branches. They are staffed by workers on average to below average wages, who are tasked with pushing credit cards and loans to anyone who walks in to meet tough sales targets. Failure to meet target leads to disciplinary action. These are ordinary people working hard and under pressure; they are not the decision makers, they are not the fat cats. To stop the guys at the bottom from doing their job is perverse.

But it gets better...

UK Uncut have rather cosy relations with trade union Unite. It has frequently come out in support of the organisation and their actions. You might recognise Ellie Mae O'Hagan, who is employed by Unite and is a frequent attendee at the front line of UK Uncut's "direct actions". She also writes about UK Uncut in the Guardian. So it seems strange that:
Unite exists to protect and improve our members’ interests. Within HSBC and first direct, Unite is the only union recognised by the bank for this purpose. We regularly negotiate and consult with HSBC and first direct to get you a better deal at work.
Yep, so Unite's buddies are going to disrupt and harass their members at work in yet another pointless protest. Seems a funny way to protect and improve their interests.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Why we can't have nice things

I'm having a well deserved week off so looking for things to do, I'm planning to break the habit of a lifetime and venture into Bristol city centre to see the Gromit art trail that's just been put on show:
A series of giant Gromit sculptures, decorated by well-known celebrities and artists, are being "unleashed" in Bristol.
Eighty of the 5ft (1.5m) tall models of Aardman's famous canine character will form a "grand" arts trail.
Designs include those from Sir Quentin Blake, Cath Kidston, One Direction's Zayn Malik, The Beano and Harry Hill.
They will be on display for 10 weeks before being auctioned off in aid of the Bristol Children's Hospital.
And while I'm wandering about, no doubt I'll stop off in a cafe or restaurant for lunch and maybe do some shopping. Other people will probably have similar ideas. That's good for local businesses. However, it looks like I might have to get in quick due to the sculptures getting some unwanted attention:
A second giant Gromit sculpture has been vandalised in Bristol a day after it was installed.
The sculpture called Carosello by artist Giuliano Carapia was located outside The Spyglass restaurant on Welsh Back in the city centre.
It had been prised from its plinth. It is the second of the sculptures to be damaged over the weekend.
Smashing up stuff that's going to be used to raise money for charity? Nice one arseholes.