Thursday, 7 December 2017

Former General Secretary of Labour Party praises food and farming book

Press release - immediate 7-12-2017
Former General Secretary of Labour Party praises food and farming book

“This is a serious and convincing analysis - and prognosis - in these difficult post Brexit days.” Lord Larry Whitty, Labour Party general secretary 1985-1994

Launched on 16 October, Unite member Charlie Clutterbuck’s book BITTERSWEET BREXIT: the future of food, farming, land and labour has been widely welcomed.

With every part of the food chain set to be affected by the UK’s decision to exit the EU, BITTER- SWEET BREXIT seeks converts for a radical new vision for food and farming. This consists of switching the current £3billion in common agricultural policy subsidies away from large landown- ers into labour, thus creating highly skilled apprenticeship programmes in order to make agriculture and farming, which has an ageing workforce, attractive to young people.

At a time when the government has put forward a woefully misguided Post Brexit agricultural ex- port plan, BITTERSWEET BREXIT aims to transform farming by concentrating on producing more food at home and reducing the current $33 billion gap between exports and imports.

Clutterbuck has been speaking at a series of meetings in the last few weeks. His appearance this week at Bradford Trades Union Council (BTUC) attracted its largest attendance in recent times. The BTUC secretary Mike Quiggin said afterwards: “Charlie explained that Brexit would lead to a bigger change to agriculture than anything since the abolition of Corn Laws in the nineteenth century.....the media are obsessed with the detail of the EU negotiations but we wanted to give space to debate about the way we want to the country to change for the better. Charlie was ideal for this.”

Dan Crossley, the executive director of the Food Ethics Council, a charity that provides independent advice on the ethics of food and farming and aims to create a food system that is fair and healthy for people, animals and the environment also praised Clutterbuck’s book: “It is very well written, very accessible and covers lots of hugely important issues.”

Lord Larry Whitty was the Labour Party general secretary between 1985-1994. He is a member of the Lords EU Select Committee. He regards BITTERSWEET BREXIT as a “serious and convincing analysis and prognosis - in these difficult post Brexit days. It brings in the key issues that most commentators ignore – the impact on labour (in this case already exploited food sector workers); the distributional aspects; and the sustainability and nutritional dimensions.”

Chapter 1 of BITTERSWEET BREXIT can be downloaded at https://issuu.com/plutopress/docs/ clutterbuck_issuu
A regularly updated website with new developments on the book is at:-www.bittersweetbrexit.co.uk
For more details contact Mark Metcalf. 07392 852561 mcmetcalf@icloud.com @markmetcalf07
@clutterbuckcha1

To order copies of the book from Pluto Press go to:- https://www.plutobooks.com/ 9780745337708/bittersweet-brexit/ 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Book launch of BITTERSWEET BREXIT ON WORLD FOOD DAY


ON WORLD FOOD DAY 

BOOK LAUNCH & PRESS CONFERENCE FOR 

BITTERSWEET BREXIT: the future of food, farming, land and labour 
by Charlie Clutterbuck 

Monday 16 October at 2.00pm prompt 

Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD 


Unite Education and Pluto Press have combined to publish BITTERSWEET BREXIT: the future of food, farming, land and labour. Unite member Charlie Clutterbuck has written the book, which, with every part of the food chain set to be affected by the UK’s decision to exit the EU, seeks converts for a radical new vision for food and farming.

“Currently £3 billion in EU subsidies is gobbled up by the UK large landowners. They receive £100 for each acre they own even if they leave it unused. 

“This money needs switching to labour. Farmers, in combination with training agencies and agricultural workers, can then run highly skilled apprenticeship programmes in order to make farming and agriculture attractive to young people.

“We have an ageing farming workforce. Unless young people replace them then we face problems over food security as we import nearly half of our food. 

“The government has put forward a woefully misguided Post Brexit agricultural export drive plan. We should transform farming by concentrating on producing more food at home. Upping yields and product ranges will reduce the current $33 billion gap between exports and imports,” states Charlie, a soil scientist who has spent his whole working life in food and farming and who is an active member of Unite the union.  

Charlie will be joined at the book launch by Pam Warhurst, Co-Founder of the Incredible Network and Franny Joyce, Unite regional officer for food and farming in the NW. 

Refreshments available 

Free copies of BITTERSWEET BREXIT will be available for members of the press at the launch. If you’d appreciate an advance copy please get in touch. Chapter 1 can be downloaded at https://issuu.com/plutopress/docs/clutterbuck_issuu
Website to support book and which will be updated regularly from 16 October onwards. www.bittersweetbrexit.co.uk


For more details contact Mark Metcalf.  07392 852561 mcmetcalf@icloud.com @markmetcalf07 @clutterbuckcha1


Friday, 1 September 2017

Joseph Rayner Stephens plaque and memorial, Stalybridge

Taken from the Unite Rebel Road project at:- http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/education/rebelroad/


Joseph Rayner Stephens plaque and memorial, Stalybridge 

The Tameside Metropolitan Borough plaque to Stephens is sited on Stalybridge Town Hall frontage, Waterloo Road, Stalybridge.

Stephens was a radical reformer who lived between 1805 and 1879 and was involved in the Chartist movement and campaigned against the Poor Law and for factory reform. 

For more information go to:- 




Download for free: Life of Joseph Rayner Stephens, preacher and political orator, which was written by George Jacob Holyoake.  https://archive.org/details/lifeofjosephrayn00holyrich




The memorial to Stephens is located in Stamford Park, Stalybridge. 

It was unveiled in 1888 and was commissioned by local factory workers to commemorate the work Stephens had done in promoting fair wages and better working conditions.








More details at:- http://www.pmsa.org.uk/pmsa-database/4480/


Many thanks to Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd, for the photos that appear on this page 

The latest Fred Spiksley leaflet shows how good the book is rated







The plaque commemorating the Battle of Bexley Square, Salford in October 1931

Taken from the Unite Rebel Road project.

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/education/rebelroad/plaques/#Stalybridge%20and%20the%201842%20General%20Strike%20plaque

The Battle of Bexley Square, Salford in October 1931

This plaque is on a wall in Bexley Square in front of old Salford Town Hall. 

The 1920s and 30s was an era of mass unemployment. On 1 October 1931, 10,000 unemployed men and women marched to Salford Town Hall at Bexley Square. As campaigners tried to hand in a petition protesting against means-tested benefits and unemployment they were met with awful violence from the very men charged with protecting their liberty.

Read more:- 



Take a look at the cinematic coverage at:-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA2ITFJsbfI 

One of those arrested on the day was Eddie Frow, who later established with his wife Ruth, the Working Class Movement Library http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/education/rebelroad/museums/#Working%20Class%20Movement%20Library


Please credit this photograph to Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd. 



Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Plaque commemorates first TUC held in June 1868


There is a plaque on the outside of the Mechanics' Institute, Princess Street, Manchester where the first Trade Union Congress was held from 2-6 June, 1868. Built in 1854 as a centre for working class, adult education it offered a wide range of evening classes in English grammar, writing, reading, music, arithmetic, Latin and other languages. It was also the birthplace of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and the Cooperative Insurance Society. The building, which is Grade II listed now houses the Mechanics Institute Trust and is part of the Peoples History Museum.




Photo taken by Tony Shaw, a Unite Community member from Mytholmroyd.