Archive for June, 2006

Online campaigns – poll shows the promise and the challenge

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

In May 2006 LabourStart asked its readers to participate in what was probably the first-ever global survey of trade unionists on the subject of online campaigning.
The survey was not in any sense of the word scientific. It was conducted only in English. To know about it, you had to be on LabourStart’s mailing list. You would almost certainly have been someone who participated in online campaigns. It was hardly a representative group of trade unionists.
Nevertheless, there were some interesting — and mostly encouraging — results.


A change in the weather?

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

The death of Iraqi Al-Qaeda boss Abu Musab al-Zarqawi led the BBC website to solicit comments from readers. And invited readers to vote on their favourite comments.
Normally, you’d expect something along the lines of the Bush and Blair bashing that usually occurs when something (anything) happens in the war on terror — the charges that Bush and Blair are the world’s greatest terrorists, etc., etc. There were comments posted along this line, such as:
Ok he was a thorn in the side of Iraq, but the real problem is Bush and Blair.
I believe that this operation to kill the above was entirely illegal.
So a minor player in the disaster that is Iraq bites the dust. Big deal! Not until the real monsters, Bush and Blair are brought to book will there be any justice to the long-suffering people of Iraq.
But something strange is happening today. Of the 729 comments currently posted on the site, the top 9 are all positive. The largest number of votes went to a Londoner who wrote, “In memory of Ken Bigley: JUSTICE has been served.”
My own 3-word long comment made it to 6th place out of the 729. What did I have to say about the killing of Zarqawi? Here’s my message in full:
Good aim, guys.

Unions: Don’t boycott Palestine

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

The decisions by major unions in the UK and Canada yesterday to promote peace in the Middle East by encouraging boycotts have come in for a lot of criticism. But I want to understand the reasons behind the decisions by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) and the Ontario section of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to boycott Palestinian products and academics.


How to set up a trade union email list

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

If one thing has become clear in trade union use of the Internet over the last decade, it is this: without a list of your members’ and supporters’ email addresses, there is almost no point in having a website.
But how do you set up a mailing list? There are basically two approaches: host one yourself, or pay someone to host a mailing list for you.