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TSSA sacks Cortes and presumed successor after Kennedy harassment report – more to follow

General secretary and presumed successor both gone – with more dismissals expected

Manuel Cortes,, left, and Luke Chester

The TSSA union has sacked general secretary Manuel Cortes in the wake of Baroness Kennedy’s damning report on rampant and covered-up sexual harassment and bullying in the union. Luke Chester, until the report considered to be the ‘anointed’ next general secretary, has also gone.

Cortes was supposed to have ‘retired’ last year after ‘#MeTU# allegations of sexual harassment, but Kennedy found that he was still on the payroll without the knowledge of the union’s elected executive. Chester was accused by the same whistleblower of suggesting she give him oral sex.

Both men had already been suspended, along with a string of figures from TSSA’s ‘senior management team’, following the publication of Kennedy’s report. Further dismissals are expected to follow imminently. This week, Skwawkbox revealed that the union’s management team had suppressed an earlier report exposing the extent of harassment, bullying and discrimination at the top of the organisation.

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    1. Thanks Toffee. BBC tells us “The two-year pay deal will mean a 5% increase in 2022/2023 or a minimum or £1,750, whichever is the greater, and a further 4% the following year.”

      RMT and Aslef are still in dispute. Does anybody know, has the same offer been made to them? A bit of divide to conquer by the TOCs/Governemnt. I reckon TSSA might regret accepting this paltry offer.

      1. Yep, they’re doing the same with the NHS Unions, Q. Nothing changes. Same old Tories – divide and rule.

  1. TSSA is a bit late in the day sacking Cortes. He retired as GS in October but was re- employed again immeditely in some job which was presumable created for him or gifted to him Why did the EC allow this to happen?This is a genuine question which hopefully they will supply an answer to at some stage. As it stands it seems to be a best cronyism.
    Regarding the others who have gone or are going – good riddance. Hope it sends out the message to all Trade Unionist that there is no place in the TU movement for knuckle dragging lechs.

  2. Meanwhile, the Washington Post has written a piece on their website about Seymour Hersh’s article and they have provided a link to the article. Just possibly, eyes are starting to lift towards the horizon and wondering if it may be better to move towards negotiations. We must hope.

    1. There was a good article within the last few days (in New Yorker?) from an
      aclaimed and reputable journalist with links and/or experience in Russia.

      His questions included (1) What would winning for Ukraine mean?
      (2)_ What would peace mean?

      I wish I had a link but I can’t find it now.

      He examined the history and what could happen based on this –
      and stated that “the West” must take heed of the Ukrainian people.
      Megaphone diplomacy – as with the Unions – does not work
      and there must be negotiations so what would be a satisfactory

      He suggested one which was that Ukraine does not get back all
      of his territory but does join the EU ..

      His meaning was that it does bring back stability for the country
      even if it is not all that Zelenski or Ukrainians would prefer.

      1. The only obstacle to the end of the war are the Ukrainian leadership and its backers in the West.

        Any sanctions not authorized by the UN Security Council are “illegitimate” and “a crude instrument of unfair competition and economic warfare.”

        When it comes to Ukraine, “Russia is open to achieving its goals through political and diplomatic means,”Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the RF Government said, laying out the criteria for a “comprehensive, just and sustainable peace.”

        The Chinese 12 point peace roadmap could produce a diplomatic solution to the conflict if only Zelensky and Biden and NATO allow it to, which is unlikely.

        Solidarity with Emma Dent-Coad is speaking at the Stop the War rally tomorrow and the many Labour party members who attend.

      2. “Since becoming the world’s most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community.
        The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage “color revolutions,” instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a “rules-based international order.””
        Seems a pretty succinct and well-observed analysis.

      3. Just came across the following:

        ‘Ex-US senator: Washington started the wars in Iraq, Ukraine’

        The United States is to blame for constantly meddling in the internal affairs of independent countries and starting both the wars in Iraq and Ukraine, a former US state senator says.

        In an interview with RT published on Friday, ex-state Senator from Virginia, Richard Black said that the US overthrew the governments of both of these countries to turn them into puppets, stressing that Washington is the “source of both” Iraq and Ukraine conflicts.

        Black also pointed out that while most Americans do not want to be involved in the conflicts, the US “foreign policy establishment” pursues its own separate agenda…..

        Black further stated the conflict in Ukraine could be resolved if the country becomes “neutral” and “demilitarized,” similar to Austria during the Cold War.

        The ex-state senator emphasized that Russia’s security concerns were justifiable and without a doubt needed to be taken into consideration by its neighboring countries.

        Holby, when you say: ‘why didn’t they [Russia] try these diplomatic means BEFORE they invaded’, are you seriously suggesting that Russia/Putin could have sucessfully secured Donbas and Crimea by diplomatic means?

        What complete and utter nonsense. As if!

        Had the US/Nato addressed Russia’s security comcerns and agreed that Ukraine should be neutral and never become a member of Nato they could have prevented all the death and destruction and devastation, but THAT was NEVER on the cards, because the plan was ALWAYS to engage in a proxy war against Russia, along with economic warfare by sanctions galore.

  3. Russia will end te war if its gets what it wants ..

    However it has already illegally occupied an area of Ukraine and
    taken over Crimea ..

    That seems like blackmail to me – for why didn’t they try these
    diplomatic means BEFORE they invaded. This is like blaming the
    UK and Allies for the Nazification of Germany because of the way
    they crushed Germany after WW1. By invading a non NATO country
    Putin has by this act justified the NATO troops encamped in countries
    in former WAsaw Pace countries – which many condemn ..

    They also – wrongfully – accuse Ukraine of being fully of Nazis – so
    presumably they want a government of their own choice? In fact
    thee are less Nazis in Ukraine than any other part off what was
    once Russia.

    They also claim that Ukraine id REALLY part of Russian and not an
    independent entity because of some imagined past and no independent
    Ukrainian culture of any worth – a typical right wing attitude.
    In particular – I wander what LGBT in the Donbas and Crimea
    think of that idea..? A human Rights commission toured Ukraine
    – including the Donbas and Crimea and they found various
    infringements in non-occupied Ukraine – but in occupied Ukraine
    they found their efforts curtailed.

    Before the Maidan uprising the former President had illegally imposed
    his own requirements for closer links with Russia above what the
    Ukrainian Parliament had voted for – which was closer links with the
    EU. In response they impeached him – a perfectly legal process.
    He wanted his corrupt way of living to continue and they
    wanted it to stop. Was the attempt at impeachment of Nixon, Clinton
    and Trump illegal?

    If NATO wanted to impose their own wishes on Ukraine why didnt they
    impose financial strictures on the dirty money sloshing through the
    London markets

    1. Re: “However it has already illegally occupied an area of Ukraine and
      taken over Crimea ”
      I would urge you to stop asserting that certain actions are illegal. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone commenting here is qualified to make such a ruling. Such a ruling would need to be made by the International Court of Justice and it has never been asked by Ukraine to rule on the matter.
      My guess is that, if such a ruling were to be sought, the precedent of Kosovo would compel the court to rule that Crimea, Lugansk and Donetsk had the same right to declare independence as had Kosovo, and that, since Russia signed a defence agreement with Lugansk and Donetsk, it had the right to go to their aid when they were attacked.
      We are unlikely to find out if I’m correct, since I don’t expect Ukraine to refer the matter to the ICJ.
      By all means, if that is what you think, assert your view that Russia’s actions were wrong and, if you think that an ICJ ruling would be the opposite of what I suggest, state your reasons for thinking this. But please don’t state something as fact when it is opinion.

    2. Oh, and re: “why didn’t they try these diplomatic means BEFORE they invaded. ”
      Russia did try diplomatic means.
      2008 – Suggestion for a European Security Agreement – Turned down by the US (what business is it of theirs?)
      Minsk 1 – Abrogated by Ukraine. France and Gedrmany fail to keep their commitment to guarantee the treaty.
      Minsk 2 – Ditto
      2019 (I think) – Russia tables 2 documents with proposals for a European security structure – Rejected by the US
      March 2022 – Negotiated agreement in Istanbul – Zelensky doesn’t accept it

      1. goldbach:

        The two win-win European Security Architecture Documents were submitted on 17th December 2021.

        The proposal for such between the US and RF can be found here:

        I will post the link to the NATO document in a separate post below.

        Suffice to say that both were rejected outright by Washington, London and Brussels. The only positive spin one could put on that outright rejection is that at least, unlike Minsk, the absolutist freaks running the West did not pretend to uphold an agreement whilst murdering by proxy Russian speaking civilians opposed to rule by Nazi’s who looked upon them as fodder to be exterminated and, as the record demonstrates, acted accordingly.

        Refusing point blank pleas by these people – many of whom fled to Russia – for EIGHT years to pursue in good faith a Western guaranteed agreement (Minsk) which they had no intention of upholding in order to arm Ukraine to invade Russia whilst simultaneously murdering Russian speaking civilians is hardly the actions of someone wanting to create an empire and take over other peoples land as is being claimed here.

        Indeed, much of what Holby writes is mere projection of the exceptionalist ‘do as I say not as I do/we make the rules, you obey the orders’ behaviour and attitudes of the elites in the West he is providing cover for – intentionally or otherwise.

        Holby has a responsibility and duty here to operate on the basis of facts and proper good faith which at present is difficult to discover in the contributions such is the presentation which paints black as white.

        A good start would be to point to a single agreement which has been upheld from the very inception of the USA.. The First Nations peoples learned that lesson very early on and the rest of the world are have learned the very same lesson that we dealing here with people who are non-agreement capable.

    3. And further re: “This is like blaming the UK and Allies for the Nazification of Germany because of the way they crushed Germany after WW1. ”
      It is the, almost, universal view of historians that it was indeed the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles which produced the conditions in Germany that led to the rise of the Nazis. Historians lay the blame for this at the door of France and the UK, and the general view is that Woodrow Wilson was so ill he didn’t have the energy to oppose the harsh provisions.

    4. Oh, and re: “Before the Maidan uprising the former President had illegally imposed
      his own requirements for closer links with Russia above what the
      Ukrainian Parliament had voted for – which was closer links with the
      EU. In response they impeached him – a perfectly legal process.”
      I have never seen any evidence that Yanukovich imposed closer links with Russia. Did he sign the trade agreement that Russia had offered? Had the parliament voted to reject the agreement? I’d be grateful if you would link to evidence for this.
      And the “impeachment” was NOT a perfectly legal process. I suggest that you check the vote and the threshold required for a vote to pass. The threshold was not reached. If memory serves, they were 38 votes short of the required number.

    5. Oh, and re: “They also claim that Ukraine id REALLY part of Russian and not an
      independent entity because ……………..”
      No. They (I assume you mean Russia) state that the Crimea regional government carried out a referendum in which a large majority voted to declare independence from Ukraine and to apply to join the RF. No one could quibble with that. Some people may question the legality of it, but they would need to have a ruling from the ICJ in order to state it as fact and [see my comments about the ICJ and Kosovo].

  4. The revisionism on display tonight from the MSM, Starmer and Berger is utterly outrageous.

    Facing deselection by her CLP, for her serial disloyalty, this disliked and unrepresentative MP, who was parachuted-in decided to quit the party.

    Earlier in late June 2016, when resigning from a ministerial role she wrote this:

    Dear Jeremy, …

    You have served with great principle and have shown me nothing but kindness and courtesy since appointing me.

    [She ends with]

    It has been a privilege to serve.

    We’re expected to believe this revisionist nonsense from Starmer about there being a “culture of bullying, bigotry and harassment.” The only place that it has been revealed operated like that , was Labour HQ staffers, plotting against Corbyn as shown in the Forde Report.

    1. Labour have also taken £2million from Sainsbury – in a sure sign the unions are going to get completely shafted post -GE.

      1. in a sure sign the unions are going to get completely shafted post -GE.

        You think those (affiliated) unions are getting any value from them, now?

    2. Quote “I know we’ve more to do but we’re unrecognisable from the party that forced her out.”

      Forced her out? What hope when the leader of the party brazenly LIES about members and voters like this?

      Who forced her out?

  5. There is Zero evidence that Russia wanted to take back Ukraine or has plans to bring back other Baltic States
    What has happened is Russia has been forced to rearm due to the duplicity of the West
    Now they will neutralise Ukraine, effectively taking it back to pre the 2014 coup
    Would the Yankee Doodles allow Russia to base nuclear weapons in Cuba, is all you need to know about Biden apologists and the complete distrust two thirds of the world has for the West

    1. When it come to Ukraine, the governments of the US, the UK and the EU are giving their populations a narrative that is divorced from reality.
      However, I F Stone was spot on.
      “All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”

    1. “Why is Starmer less popular than Sunak when voters hate the Tories?”
      Surely that has to be a rhetorical question, Andy.

    2. Andy – There is a simple answer to that, he’s not. All the recent polls I’ve seen put Starmer out in front of Sunak.

      Perhaps the question that you should be asking yourself is why a RW journalist who used to work for The Sun, Express and Daily Mail is writing for the Independent and more to the point why you are giving him so much credence.

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