An appeal from Jean Robertson-Molloy (SWAN London member) for Movement  for an Adoption Apology
(Contact:  MAANPN@gmail.com)

‘Dear friends,

There will be a demo by supporters of MAA—Movement for an Adoption Apology– on Wednesday 16th October at the Odeon Leicester Square from 4.30 pm onwards just before the premiere of the film, ‘Philomena’, which is being shown at 7.30 that evening.  This film is about an Irish woman who lost her child to adoption and spent fifty years searching for him.  The stars are Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and it is based on a true story.

'Philomena' featuring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

‘Philomena’ featuring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

We expect the stars will be attending that evening—the film was shown at the Venice Film Festival and will probably pick up a number of awards. Continue Reading »

With thanks to Rev Paul Nicholson of Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), we are reproducing this example of the excellent help they are providing to claimants in the face of the Government’s welfare reforms. TAP’s work involves not only case assistance, but also some legal assistance and encourages self-organisation against benefit retrenchment and the poverty or destitution this may cause.  Whilst TAP often focuses on LB Haringey, it is relevant to people elsewhere in London and nationwide. Read on:

Council Tax Memo for benefit claimants and their supporters. Continue Reading »

A few observations from myself as unofficial convener of SWAN London on campaigns, activities and the political situation for social workers and social care/welfare users at present.

First, we hope that all SWAN London supporters (and SWAN supporters generally) will meet with us on the South London feeder march of the ‘A Future That Works’ TUC rally against austerity this Saturday, 20th October. Meet by the SWAN London banner from 10:30!

I think it is really important to be out supporting this demonstration, re-emphasizing and recommitting ourselves psychologically to a fundamental anti-cuts stance after being fed a 24 hour media stream promoting Cameron and Clegg’s individualising, pathologising guff for the last 28 months or so. This vital tenet was illustrated clearly at a meeting which I attended tonight (more of which below) against housing evictions: the disadvantaged are paying via housing benefit caps for a housing bubble crash caused by rich speculators none of whom need social housing or housing support. Continue Reading »

Writing for his own blog and for the Social Work Action Network (SWAN), a SWAN London member writes at length on his experiences of current social work / welfare related campaigns in the capital and of being SWAN member.

NB: Please join SWAN London at the Kilburn March for the Counihan Family – meet at Kilburn Square, London on Saturday 6th October at 2.30pm. Download the flyer at the bottom of this article. Please also sign the petition here. Read more about the Daniel Roque Hall campaign here and sign the petition here.

On 14th August 2012 Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) scored a major “coup” in calling a public meeting in South Kilburn which was to discuss the REAL impact of cuts and austerity on REAL people leading ordinary but REAL lives. Continue Reading »


A guest post by a member of the Kilburn Unemployed Worker’s Group and SWAN London shares his reaction to this week’s report by the Policy Exchange think-tank on social housing. The report, Ending Expensive Social Tenancies: Fairness, higher growth and more homes, advocates selling off council homes in wealthy areas where property values are at a premium, attracting sympathetic comments from Grant Schapps, Housing Minister, and the suggestion from the Policy Exchange’s Director that the poorest have ‘no right’ to live in rich areas.

His experience of social housing and the realities for people at the ‘wrong’ end of the gaping social spectrum,  includes a valiant demonstration of collective action and resistance by people up against the worst impacts of this government’s policies:

Continue Reading »

The following article was featured in the Morning Star web edition 1st July 2012:

It’s not just the Conservatives who have attacked the working class

Thank you for your excellent feature articles Our safety net is under attack by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Language used as a tool of oppression by Scottish Socialist Party co-spokeswoman Sandra Webster (M Star June 27).

Jeremy Corbyn argues that the Labour Party should see opposing the Con-Dems’ plans to dismantle the welfare state as less of a challenge and more of an opportunity.

In so doing, wouldn’t Labour have to declare itself wrong in the new Labour days?

Continue Reading »