Archive for February, 2013


EDF is trying to sue the activists from No Dash For Gas for £5 million. The activists shut down the first in a new generation of gas power stations, which if built will mean we won’t hit our climate targets.  You can help No Dash For Gas by leaving a nice message on the EDF Facebook page by clicking here.

For more information, click on the following links:

Channel 4 news

The Guardian

No Dash For Gas


The government’s workfare program is basically endorsing slave labour.  There is not other way around it.  Expecting people to work around 35 hours a week to get their measily £69 worth of dole money means that they have to work well below minimum wage.  Nobody is suggesting that working for your benefit money is a bad idea, but fair pay for fair labour should always overrule.  Here is a list of the companies that have agreed to take part in the workfare program.  Send them a message to show how you disagree with what they are doing.  Try to be eloquent, that always hits them harder than swearing at them.

To make life easier for you, there is also a fantastic template you can follow to send them your message of discontent.  Use Facebook, Twitter, email and everything else you can think of.

Remember, one person can make a difference at that one person may just be you!

Dear [Use full name if apparent]

I am a longstanding customer of [Name of retail outlet] but I have decided to boycott your company because I object to your involvement in mandatory unpaid labour (Workfare) schemes. I believe that the exploitation of unpaid labour is morally wrong and urge you to reconsider your involvement with these DWP Workfare placements.

I believe that as a responsible employer, your company has an obligation to meet the statutory Minimum Wage for all of your employees. I shall continue my boycott until I am provided with satisfactory evidence that your company is no longer involved in these mandatory work schemes and agrees to the principle that all employees deserve to earn at least the UK National Minimum Wage. I also believe that it is actually in your own interests that these unpaid labour schemes are abandoned, since workers with wages in their pockets are consumers and consumer spending is the principal driver of demand in the retail sector. It may seem counter intuitive that paying your staff better wages would increase your profitability, however Henry Ford demonstrated that he understand this economic principle almost 100 years ago when he made the decision to price his cars low and to pay his workers reasonably well.

I would like your company to make a public statement (press release) explicitly stating these two things:

1 That your company is no longer involved in any of the various unpaid labour or “work-for-your-benefits” schemes administered by the DWP or by private sector interests working on their behalf.

2. That it is company policy that all workers (including trainees) are paid in accordance with the National Minimum Wage.

I would appreciate it if the issues I have raised were dealt with by someone in authority. I shall look forward to hearing your response to these concerns.


[Your Name]


Complaining – it works

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Fun, protest, social

I have recently started a one woman action against the driving parents at one of our local senior schools and have made great strides.  It has had newspaper coverage and road signs have been repainted as a consequence.  Baby steps, but we are getting there.  More on that some other time.  I decided that it was about time I ceased to be a couch potato and took up an age old hobby of mine – swimming.  That is, until I saw the price of it.  Couch potato doesn’t sound so bad after all.  However, why should I have to get unhealthy simply because sports are unaffordable?  Isn’t that wrong?  So, I have emailed the Forum (where our local swimming baths are), to see how their prices work.  My email is below, I’m looking forward to their reply.

Take a guess first, however.  I foresee one of four options:

  1. They won’t reply at all, or only send a standard “thank you for your interest bla bla” response
  2. They will tell me that they appreciate my concerns but…
  3. They will give me a voucher for one free swimming session but won’t change a thing
  4. They will waver the administration fees (a girl can dream right)?

Which one do you think it will be?  Or have I overlooked an option.  Here’s my email anyway.

To whom it may concern,

I would like further information about the following:

Monthly – 6 month Committed swimming membership

All for only…

£20.00 per month per individual 

£16.00 per month per individual concession** 

Please note a one off administration fee of £25.00 is payable for this package.

First of all, you state that the subscription is “only” £20 a month (I believe this is now £19.75?).  Considering FULL membership to the Forum and all its activities is “only” around £25 a month, would it be possible to only pay £6 a month and use everything except the pool?  I can already guess that your answer to that is going to be no, but I do hope it illustrates how bizarre your pricing plans are.  All I want to do is swim, I have no interest in going to any classes or to use any equipment except for your pool.  I find it completely unfair that I should have to pay 80% of a full membership, when I only want to use a single facility.  I’m sure you will now say that this is simply the way your pricing works, but before I part with my money, I would like to know why this is the way your pricing works.  We live in a very difficult global economy at present and enabling people to stay and get healthy should be a priority, but you make it very difficult for us.  I currently do not work, nor am I in receipt of any benefits.  As a consequence, I am not even able to receive the Option 3 leisure card.  Why is it that people like myself always have to get penalised?

My second issue is the “one off administration fee of £25”.  Having worked as an administration worker for many years myself, I know how very little admin workers are paid.   An admin fee of £25 would suggest that you require somebody to work for 4 to 5 hours just to enter my details on your system.  If you were to provide me access to one of your computers, I will enter my own details in about 10 minutes, and I will even do that free of charge.  Again, please explain to me where this seemingly random amount of £25 comes from, and why there is even a need to charge this, consider the exorbitant amount a month you will already be charging me for swimming.

I look forward to your reply.