Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Any Other Business

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Any Other Business

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

Metro bosses will no doubt be happy to hear that their union arch enemy Stan Herschel is in faraway Cuba on a goodwill trip.

There's no love lost following recent industrial unrest on the railway involving members of Mr Herschel's union, the Rail Maritime and Transport.

Mr Herschel is visiting communist Cuba with a UK union delegation in a show of solidarity coinciding with the May Day celebrations.

Ironically, he hit trouble soon after leaving Newcastle for London when his train was delayed for two hours outside Peterborough

"The power was affected when a pigeon got caught in the overhead line," said Mr Herschel. "I suppose you could say I got off to a flying start."

Mr Herschel, who is paying his own expenses, is visiting Havana for a May Day Rally and will be at an international solidarity conference where Cuban leader Fidel Castro is expected.

He makes no secret of his socialist views but says he does not have any party political affiliations since he quit Labour after Neil Kinnock became leader in 1983.

In a side swipe at New Labour, he reckons the way party has been heading since 1994 under Tony Blair has proved him right.

He's promised Chronicle readers an insight into life in Cuba, one the world's few remaining communist strongholds, when he returns.

Meanwhile, RMT shop stewards are handling the long-running dispute over pay and conditions on the Metro while he's away.

LIBERAL Democrats are targeting Labour leader Tony Flynn at the city council elections in Newcastle.

The party hit list includes Coun Flynn's Fawdon ward, which they held under the Lib Dem/ SDP banner in the early 1980s, though its been solid Labour since then.

In one of those delightful twists, I'm told that one Lib Dem candidate will be Brenda Hindmarsh, once a Labour councillor in Fawdon. I understand the others will be David Faulkner, the city's first Liberal councillor back in the 1970s and Marguerite Rook who has fought several campaigns in Fawdon. …

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