Monthly Archives: July 2008

Act NOW! Free jailed woman trade union leader

Act NOW!
Turkey:

Ms. Meryem Özsögüt, trade union leader and management board member of PSI’s affiliate SES in Turkey (the trade union of public employees in health and social services) was arrested on the morning of 8 January following her participation in a press conference on 14 December 2007 to denounce the killing by the police of activist Kevser Mizrak. Ms Özsögüt’s attendance at the press conference was the result of a fax message received by her trade union, requesting that the union participate in the press conference. PSI understands that at no time before or during this press conference did the police or other authorities issue a warning that such a gathering or activity was viewed as ‘illegal. Several other people who were arrested at or around the same time as Ms Özsögüt, ostensibly for the same reasons, have since been released.

However, Ms Özsögüt remains in custody and her trial has now been postponed several times. PSI remains convinced that the arrest of Ms Özsögüt was motivated solely by her activities as a trade union leader. Her continued detention in one of Turkey’s notorious “F-Type”, or small group isolation prisons, is further evidence of the Turkish Government’s hostility to trade unionists and its determination to use whatever means at its disposal to repress the legitimate activities of trade unions in Turkey. A response by the Turkish government to PSI’s letters of protest claims that Ms Özsögüt was arrested in connection with “being a member of a terrorist organisation” and “for making propaganda in favour of the terrorist organisation”. PSI calls on the Turkish government to secure the immediate release of Ms Özsögüt, to take any necessary steps to guarantee her safety and to abide by the international norms ratified by Turkey.

Please sign Petition etc here,
http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=394

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Ally Campbell and Kenny Livingstone scratch each others back’s..

Yesterday [Mon 30/6] I tuned in to London’s LBC to listen to the city’s former Mayor Ken Livingstone making his debut on his new radio show. To my horror his first guest was Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former press secretary and a man who played a major role in drawing up the ‘dodgy’ dossier that Blair used to justify taking Britain to war against the Iraqi people.

 

In the past Livingstone has on more than one occasion described this invasion as a war crime, yet here he was all pally with one of its main architects as far as taking Britain into this war was concerned. Did he storm into Campbell, did he rip the scum bags political heart out, not at all? The two men spent a large part of the program comparing notes on just how wicked the Journalist Andrew Gilligan is, it seems both men have suffered from Mr Gilligan’s pen and regard him as the devil incarnate, never mind that they were both major political players at the time thus fair game.

 

Once they had finished bad mouthing Gilligan, who I hold no brief for, I thought Red Ken would get onto the Iraq war, but no, all he did was allow Campbell make a self serving statement about back then he and Blair were responding to the information before them; and people should take into account that 9/11 had just occurred. Never mind that Campbell along with his pliable pals in the security services had a hand in drafting the very documents he now uses to absolve himself with. Rather than remind him of this fact Livingstone felt it was more important to tell his listeners that he and Campbell both enjoy Jack Breil, the singer, to end the interview he allowed Campbell to reinvent himself as a charity campaigner.

 

In an hour long program, which is billed as a phone in, only five calls were taken from members of the public, which to my mind tells me that most callers were hostile to Campbell and LBC researchers refused to put them on air, yet one caller did get put on air to tell Kenny and Ally how she too loves the music of Mr Breil.

 

Now I realize some readers of Organized Rage will be feeling smug and may not be able to resist telling me “I told you that Ken was an arsehole when you wrote that Londoners should vote for him.”  Whilst I do not regret doing the aforementioned I have to say I was shocked and sickened by his groveling behavior towards Campbell. 

 

But it goes further than that, for me what the broadcast once again highlighted was the incestuous nature of the UKs political elite, when push comes to shove their loyalty seems to be towards each other not the electorate. The media plays a part here, time and again we have seen failed, rejected or corrupt politicians, after their exposure or downfall being given a birth in the media to reinvent themselves. This is just what Campbell was doing on Livinstone’s Radio show as indeed was the latter himself. Michael Portilllo was another example, sent packing by the electorate who breathed a sigh of relief that they had seen the last of him, only to find the guy is back in their living room via the TV only weeks later.

This is how the British political system works, whilst in office brown envelopes are not prevalent, politicians do favors for powerful forces when in office and the payback comes when they are out. Whether it is former Prime Ministers being given millions of pounds dressed up as a book deal, or speaking tour, or those like Campbell and Livingstone who operated further down the food chain being given the chance to reinvent themselves as broadcaster or charity workers. What ever way you look at this it looks like corruption to me all be it corruption without the brown envelopes.

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