Friday, February 29, 2008

Doctors Picket 1912

Doctors Picket

Middlesex County Council

24th December 1912

For the first time in history the rol
e of pickets was adopted by medical men at a meeting of Middlesex County Council Insurance Committee at Caxton Hall, Westminster on Christmas Eve. \the gather was attended by practioners willing to work the Act and the medical men had to run the gauntlet of members of the British Medical Association, who buttonholed every one and with all the zeal and persistence of a trade union picket, endeavored to dissuade them from attending the meeting. It was called for the purpose of a conference between members of the sub-committee and Middlesex doctors with regard to points left open for decision under the r3egulations and model forms issued by the Insurance Commissioners. After the Chairman had explained the object of the conference, the members of the committee withdrew, leaving the medical men to discuss between themselves the course they should adopt.

When they returned to the meeting, the committee were informed that the medical men had unanimously decided on the capitation method of remuneration.

A small committee of eight doctors was appointed, with whom the sub-committe might confer next week, in regard to other matters of detail under the Act.

The doctors present came from all parts of Middlesex and it was stated that those present were quite satisfied that there would be little difficulty in establishing panels throughout Middlesex
The pickets had a circular printed copies of which they distributed in those going to the meeting

In the course of an interview Mr. Glyn-Jones MP said that when he reached the hall he found about a dozen doctors mostly dressed in frock coats and silk hats in the vestibule of the hall.
"they asked if i was a medical man he said "and they urged me not to attend the meeting when it started they demanded to go inside. I told the leader they could go on the same terms as the other doctors- by signing the card”. They then said they had succeeded in keeping forty
-five men outside. I asked them what right they had to keep forty-five men out and themselves demand to come in. Someone else suggested that according to their own circular they could not enter without losing their honour and professional unity. The pickets were very persistent and followed the doctors up the stairs. Mr Ben Smith, a member of the committee who is connected with the Cabdrivers Union was very merry at their expense. He himself was wearing a badge and remarking that it was illegal for them to do the work of pickets without wearing the badge of their union, offered to lend them his own. His chaff created much amusement

January 1913 Uxbridge Advertiser

First time the British Medical Association (BMA) used Pickets

Benjamin "Ben" Smith

Lived in Acton had obviously been co-opted to this

Middlesex County Council sub committee,

Born 29th January 1878. A former taxi driver (previously horse drawn cabs). his boyhood was passed on the Warspite training ship and later served in the Navy and Mercantile Marine. He was later one of London's first taxi drivers

Ben Smith lived at 29 Birkbeck Avenue, Horn
Lane, Acton. and was active in "many committees in Acton".

He was Organising Secretary of the London & Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers Union)and then later United Vehicle Workers (formally the Cabdrivers union), later still the TGWU

Benjamin "Ben" Smith was elected on 8th March 1919 as the first Labour Middlesex County Councillor for Hayes, West Middlesex

Labour Member of Parliament for Rotherhithe 1923-1931 and 1935-1946

Died 1946


Polyclinics YES

Private Companies NO

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Groucho Marx on Race Hate

Groucho Marx
How To Fight Race Prejudice

30th October 1946

The following is the text of a speech delivered at a "Justice for Palestine” demonstration on the steps of the Los Angeles City Hall. It is reprinted from the New York Daily Worker.

I KNOW that I'm supposed to begin a speech like this by saying that I'm happy to be here. Frankly, I'm NOT happy to be here, I wish there were no need for this meeting.

Since there is a need, and a very vital one, I can only wish that I might speak with more authority than is commonly vested in what is known, in my trade, as a broken-down comic.

I mentioned this matter to the people who asked me to appear here. I told them I didn't think this was the proper occasion for a funny-man. They agreed. And they added, a little too heartily, I thought, that they didn't think I was at all funny.

As a matter of fact, my being asked to come here does have something to do with comedy. I've devoted quite a lot of time lately to public attacks against the ' stereotyping of various groups of Americans by my fellow actors and writers on the stage, screen and radio. I'm referring to those performances we've all seen and heard in which the American Negro is pictured as a chicken-stealing, crap - shooting, booze – guzzling vagabond; or the American Jew’s portrayed as a crafty charlatan who worships nothing but gold and is unable to speak his native tongue without a ludicrous and revealing accent; or the Latin-American is characterised as a shiftless, ignorant ne'er-do-well, or the thousand and one other slanders that have cast a shadow at some time or other over virtually every racial and religious group that makes our nation into the great, unified power that it is.

Of course, I am painfully aware of the irony that any of my performances are given by members are given by members of the very race or religion that suffers from it. That’s why I am in favour of the resolution being advanced here today recommending legislation against prejudice. I'm all for education, I also know that education alone is not enough.

Many of those actors and writers who are constantly and quite unintentionally prejudicing public opinion against races and religions have been educated. They know that no special group has a monopoly on money, crime cowardice or evil.

What they don't know is that the little social differentiations are used scientifically by ruthless men who know the dollars and cents value of fomenting inter racial and inter religious strife.

Adolph Hitler was able to achieve power in what was one of the most enlightened countries in the world, by singling out a scape-goat. He could not have succeeded had there been laws, and enforcement of those laws, against prejudice.

YES, education is important, but too much of it is being disseminated on a full-time basis by those who peddle the wrong kind of education, by those who for their own shady self-interest are trying to set one American against another, one European against another European, one Asiatic against another Asiatic—and all against each other.

The way to deal with these men is the way civilisation has always dealt with criminal activity—by due process of law.

Racial and religious prejudice is no longer a vague unsporting indiscreet social error, gradually dissolving as the good-will of mankind progresses. A way has been found to make it a political weapon against all of us.

The creation in the world of an atmosphere free from racial and religious antagonism is not merely an abstract ideal to be achieved by abstract education. It is an absolute necessity for all of us; regardless of whether we are or are not personally suffering from discrimination at the moment. It is plain self-interest, plain common sense, for every human being who loves peace, security and freedom and I believe that includes most of us.

I think that point is best illustrated by a dream related to me not long ago by a priest with whom I was discussing this subject. He dreamed that all the Jews in the world began to believe the rumour and superstition and propaganda that has been circulated against them. They became convinced they were responsible for all of the world's troubles, and they were so mortified that they decided to remove themselves from the world. They committed mass suicide— all but one lone American Jew who had been unconvinced.

THIS one American Jew was gratified to discover, after all his brothers had vanished, that the world was pretty much in the same spot that it had been in when the Jews were in it. There still seemed to be plenty of trouble to go around.

But then people began saying it was because this one American Jew' was left. And they began saying it so often, and in so many different ways, and believing it so desperately, that even he began to wonder. It seemed to him that the only sporting thing for him to do was to commit suicide and give the world a chance. So he left town, went out into the country to a mountain he knew, and began trudging up the steep slope to a cliff from which he proposed to leap.

On his way up, however, he passed two men coming the other way engaged in a very violent conversation. It seems that one of the men was saying to the others: "Don't get me wrong, Joe—some of my best friends are Catholics! "

……. My friend, the priest, tells' me that he doesn't know whether the Jew jumped off the cliff or went back down the hill, because when the priest heard that crack about Catholics—he woke up.

Daily Worker, December 9th 1946

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Jo Brand

Region 18 (COHSE Region 6 London and COHSE Region 12 South Yorksire & East Midlands)

Famous COHSE social held at Leisure world, Bridlington Monday 25th June 1990. During COHSE Conference week 1990 25th June to Friday 29th June.

Night out for Rebels and Reds
Comedy act Jo Brand (COHSE nurse member at the Maudsley hospital, London and then staring in Saturday Night Live), Skint Video, Rebels with a cause and Disco

Probably one of the best COHSE socials ever, certainly with Jo Brand one of the most controversial, which led to formal complaints about her act, as she turned effectively on right wing, sexist delegates who had attended in error. Infact it was the last joint regional social, such was the outcry in Region 12

Pete Marshall and Bob Quick Regional secretaries

Socials were always a very important part of COHSE conference as Regions tried to out do each other to have the best

Other socials at 1990 COHSE conference included

Region 2 Yorkshire & Humberside Disco Mountbatten Club

Region 1 Northern Disco The Captains Table Restaurant, cliff Road

Region 10 Wales Music Night with Raymond Williams and Gareth Pickford

Most nights COHSE delegates ended up at the harbour lights Disco