June 8th, 2011

Pickles v The Pilgrims
Government Calls For Review in Taxpayer Funding of Unions

Bad news for the unions. It seems that Guido’s campaign against taxpayer-funded Pilgrims is getting some traction.  In a reply to a written question from Dominic Raab, the Department for Local Government have called on local councils to review the practice of allowing public sector workers to work full-time on union activity, while we pick up the tab. DCLG Minister Bob Neil said:

“I am aware of the public and parliamentary concern expressed in recent weeks over trade union officials paid for from the public purse. The coalition Government’s transparency agenda will help ensure that cash payments to trade unions and the titles of staff posts in local government are open to public scrutiny. At a time when all local authorities need to make sensible savings to help pay off the budget deficit, councillors will rightly wish to review the merits of (full-time) union officials funded by the taxpayer and the provision of the office facilities to trade unions.”

Every year  millions of pounds of taxpayers money goes into the union coffers instead of paying for frontline services. The unions can then spend their subs on political activity, like donating to the Labour Party, instead of staffing. It’s time this whole crooked money washing scheme is fully debated in Parliament…


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Hang ‘em!

  2. 2

    Good looking girl though Guido, you will *have* to admit.

    Well done Billy on another gold medal for the (presumably) bulging cabinet!

  3. 3
    WVM says:

    Back on top form Billy, good man!

  4. 4
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    But will he follow it through, Words mean nothing, actions do.

  5. 5
    Anonymous says:

    Not the real Billy up there.

  6. 6
    Jane Pig Grim says:

    Just because I live in a commune, doesn’t mean I am a communist.

  7. 7

    Just because your squat is a pigsty, doesn’t mean that you are..

  8. 8
    Mike Litorus says:

    Pissing off Bandit Bob is going to be even more fun than working over little Huhne…

  9. 9
    Englishman says:

    But can we trust him to keep his word?

  10. 10
    drakes drum says:

    I take it The Police Federation/Superintendents Association/ACPO.
    Prison Officers Union/ Civil Service Unions etc will all be brought under the microscope as well.

    How many police officers do nothing but staff association matters? WHY should the public pay for them? Did they not open a 20 million pound Headquarters in Surrey a couple of years ago?

    Guido, you started something here but the boil is much bigger and greater savings to the public purse can and should be achieved.

  11. 11
    Stan Butler says:

    Great news. These parasites must be rooted out and expunged from any taypayer funded job immediately. If the unions want their ‘pilgrims’ to remain in place then they should pick up the salaries from union members contributions.

  12. 12
    Jane Pilgrim says:

    This is not fair! I have a right to hold staff safaris to Wagamama and John Lewis! Leave me alone!

  13. 13
    Stan Butler says:

    Every ‘pilgrim’ removed will save a real job.

  14. 14
    Tat says:

    Just because I smear shit on my bedsit walls doesn’t mean I’m a nutter either.

  15. 15
    NeverRed says:

    It will achieve nothing reminding Labour Councils that they should review whether or not they need public funded union reps, of course they will do nothing.
    The funding of the salaries of all these leeches should be removed by the government.
    The Trade Union Modernisation Fund is still in operation after a year of the coalition government. WTF. !
    I wonder if Cameron and Co. are bothered about us taxpayers who hate labour having our tax given to the labour party.
    I have already written to my MP (even though he’s a LibDem) and urge everyone who feels as I do to do the same.

  16. 16
    Stan Butler says:

    No problem with any of it luv, so long as your union is paying your salary and all the associated costs of the trips.

  17. 17
    Gordon Brown says:


  18. 18
    Postlethwaite says:

    Surprising this is only just ”getting a bit of traction”.

    I would have thought that this would be jumped upon immediately by cash strapped organisations . . . or are they run by pilgrims, i wonder?

    Getting rid of Hoon getting any traction do you think?

  19. 19
    Jane Pilgrim says:

    Me so horny! Me love you long time!

  20. 20
    Engineer says:

    Sounds like an excellent subject for investigation by the Panorama programme, or possibly by Newsnight.

    *removes tongue from cheek*

  21. 21
    Iloathlefties says:

    True. Judge this Government on what it does, not what it says. Look at immigration, the EU, Human Rights Act, increases in public spending, EU Navy and diplomatic corps etc etc.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Shut it, fatso says:

    Anyone else amused by Tom Watson’s pathetic attempt to appear serious and solemn at pmqs today? I cringed at his disingenuous “Prime minister, please, please tell me what you plan to do about this”. Fucking tosspot.

  24. 24
    Bob Crow says:

    Five dollar?

  25. 25
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:


    But that would mean looking after taxpayers intrests…

  26. 26
    Homo Watch says:

    Are you one of those gayers?

  27. 27
    It's not cricket says:

    Billy, what’s your opinion on the Muhammad Amir scandal that broke today?

  28. 28
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    Does it matter?

  29. 29

    Don’t make a habit of it Billy or Guido will slap your legs again.

  30. 30
    A full on English Cunt says:

    not real billy at No1 , But he should have his ban extended (amir), such a shame , such a talented young lad.

  31. 31
    Shut it, fatso says:

    Anyone else amused by Tom Fatson’s pathetic attempt to appear solemn and serious at pmqs today?

  32. 32
    Wear the Fox Hat says:

    Guido, does the picture of the woman with the red circle around her head mean that she is on the blob?

  33. 33
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    This alone, if it comes to anything, is a plus that tips the scales towards the Conservatives on the, “their all the same” or we’re no better off than when under evil twisted McMonster, dichotomy.

  34. 34
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    Hear hear!

  35. 35
    big balls macdougall says:

    the other wheeze which saw funds leech from the unions to liebour coffers was the so called modernisation fund – has this been stopped?

  36. 36
    Get it sorted says:


  37. 37
    Kevin T says:

    I’m all in favour of this but the wording makes it look suspiciously like this will be in the hands of the councils. Can’t see any Labour councils being in a hurry to do what the Tories tell them and sack their union spongers.

    I don’t see why there shouldn’t be a law against it. What exactly is the logic of allowing this? Have any left wingers stuck their head above the parapet on this issue?

  38. 38
    AC1 says:

    Do the Commune-ists pay the correct level of council tax?

  39. 39
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    In a sad day for all decent puppets everywhere the voice of Zippy and George has died.

    Although I firmly believe that he didn’t just die suddenly like that at his age, its all down to those evil and muppets with their foul rod controlled arms.

  40. 40
    Anonymous says:

    Pickles needs to stop talking and start acting.

  41. 41
    Eamonn U Ensis says:

    I to see that the BBC Political Directorate is making the dis-agreement(?) between “Dave” and “Ken” into their main headline on all their news bulletins…never let it be said that the BBC let’s facts get in the way of their reporting……..

  42. 42
    AC1 says:

    and the trips are done outside working hours.

  43. 43
    AC1 says:

    Maybe he’s on the shark?

  44. 44
    Just egged with sauce says:

    Highly amused. And Humungous Fuckoffanddie
    as Statesmanlike as a large turd.

  45. 45
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    True,still would not be a patch on last night.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    An Englishman says:

    That moniker, albeit crude, could just as applicably be used by a woman as by a gay man.

    In fact, I’ve known a couple of women to whom it most certainly would have applied, but I’ve not similarly known any gay men.

    Does the homophobic question indicate a supposition that all contributors here are male? Hmm, now I think of it, I suppose that I suppose that too.

  48. 48
    An Englishman says:

    It might to the bloke you pulled!

  49. 49
    Voice of Treason says:

    Pickles need to stop eating and start talking.

  50. 50
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    That is the point.

  51. 51

    Look, it really is high time that this silly toy-free-association-nonsense of “Trade” “unions” was made illegal, and a criminal offence. Employers and producers may not “combine” – legally – so who ought employees to be able to? Let’s have a “Level Playing Field” at last…. It is a LabourNazi GramscoFiction, perpetrated cruelly on the old working classes, that these “unions” should have been allowed to come into being in the first place, and they were only a vehicle for GramscoStaliNazi power-farming by the “Fabians”. It’s time their “leaders” were proscribed, their computers taken “into care” and their children seized for “hard disk analysis”. While they are forced to watch.

  52. 52
    Stan Butler says:

    You are quite right. However, played properly, this could be a great coup for the ConDems. By showing how there are thousands of these parasites still in public office whilst poor bloody bin men and lollipop ladies are being sacked, the ConDems could put a rift between the ordinary public sector employees and the unions. I mean, who in there right mind would support full time labour supporting union officials being in the workplace and being paid by the council whilst the same council are sacking half the admin staff to make savings?

  53. 53
    the last quango in paris says:

    well done Guido! This has to stop – Labour can fund itself – we all know how good at keeping money they are :)

  54. 54

    I knew this would happen if someone shook TaT’s box.
    i suppose it might have been himself shaking his own box.
    A lot of attention seekers are like that.

  55. 55
    Iain Dale's Dildo says:

    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me…

  56. 56
    Flatcap Army says:

    Hurrah! Now let’s end the laughable Trade Union Modernisation Fund as well

  57. 57
    Just egged with sauce says:

    Get that suit pressed and clean your shoes

  58. 58
    Tats mum says:


    Just wait till your dad gets home, no more fizzy orange for you. And you can forget about going to the Fabian conference this year…..

  59. 59
    Homo Watch says:

    It obviously does to your arsehole, but answering a question with a question now makes me think your a politician

  60. 60
    Must get a pseudonym one day says:

    And don’t forget the Black Police Association either – a racially offensive establishment if ever there was one.

  61. 61
    smoggie says:

    I once had a go at a bloke for going for a haircut in company time.

    He said “it fucking grows,/i> in company time”.

  62. 62
    NeverRed says:

    I have just written to Dominic Raab asking him to continue pushing this matter even though he isn’t my MP.
    I will write to the media, although the BBC wouldn’t dare raise this matter, being the coalitions opposition, (Miliband and labour are missing like Brown).

  63. 63
    Homo Watch says:

    The point being the vast majority of female posters here wouldn’t use a such a crude moniker even if they did take it up the chocolate starfish, which again the vast majority of them don’t. And because the vast majority of them don’t the small minority who do tend to keep schtum about it.
    De facto only a gayer would.

  64. 64
    Tardkilller says:

    “Conjurors offer the audience any card in the pack and always get them to take the one they want. This is the way we in the Civil Service get Ministers to take decisions.”

    “No one really understands the true nature of fawning servility until he sees an academic who has glimpsed the prospect of money or personal publicity.”

  65. 65
    Backwoodsman says:

    yup, thats the depressing reality – bit like when you tell your MP that the bbc are a bunch of rabid socialists and will never give the Tories a break and he agrees – then goes on to defend appointing patten as chairman !
    Politicians live in a parallel world , where a lot of wishful thinking and very little fronting up takes place.

  66. 66
    Blimey says:

    I don’t want to pay your wages Jane unless you are working at the bedside full time. Let Unison/Unite pay if you want to be a union employee. Is that unreasonable?

  67. 67
    Big Dan says:

    Don’t forget the GPA!

  68. 68
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    @ Homo watch

    You never got invites to collage parties then?

    And you seem to have very little knowladge of the “Real world”

  69. 69
    Maximus says:

    Mealy-mouthed does as mealy-mouthed is. Namely burger all; nothing more should be expected.

    So government now consists of wheeling out lapidary examples of the mandative subjunctive in the English language. While the troughing goes on.

    Now, OTOH, if transparency were to include names and addresses, this particular little problem would soon be dissolved. And without the use of caustic.

    When snouts cannot be ripped from the trough, it becomes necessary to consider ripping the snouts from the pigs.

  70. 70
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    @ Homo Watch

    You are not a bible basher are you?

  71. 71
    Loftus Road says:


  72. 72
    billy's bitches says:

    How the fuck did they work this pligrim flanker in the first place?

  73. 73
    David Laws Lib Dem fiddler says:

    Cameron the waster can not be trusted by what he says, nor Mc Clegg. They already have the reputation for lying and U turns within a year. McClegg makes Gordon look good FFS.

    About time we had some decent policies and action on budget, taxes, immigration, Europe, Uman Rites, defence, overseas aid- ie sack Mitchell he needs to be in a home for the mentally infirm- sovereign powers reintroduced to the UK, out of EU ASAP, no more farcical wars in the middle east that have nothing to do with us and even criminal justice. The sort of things we voted Tory for really. Where are you Tebbit, the country needs you.

  74. 74
    Engineer says:

    There was a famous (well, perhaps not) episode in one of the design offices I used to work in.

    Chief Draughtsman, “Where have you been?”
    Draughtsman, “The barber’s.”
    Chief Draugnsman, “Getting your hair cut on works time?”
    Draughtsman, “It grows in works time.”
    Chief Draughtman, “Not all of it.”
    Draughtsman, “I’ve not had all of it cut off.”

  75. 75
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:

    Now sort the EU out dave , Give the people a say as it is Thier money.

  76. 76
    Engineer says:


    You make what you thought was a satirical comment on the BBC’s political bias, and you end up with a lot of comments about homosexual activities.

    Though thinking about it, perhaps they’re not completely unconnected….

  77. 77
    I pulled a bloke last night and got my arsehole ruined and i liked it!!!! says:


  78. 78
    Engineer says:

    It grew up stealthily over many years. When times are good, and money is plentiful, managements can afford to be easy-going. When money is harder to come by, and hard decisions have to be made, management find ways to appe ase union wallahs. Either way, it takes a strong and determined management to resist this sort of stuff, and you don’t tend to get very many of those in the public sector.

  79. 79
    Anonymous says:

    No doubt there are NUJ union reps paid for by the BBC?????

  80. 80
    Fullmarks Guido says:

    the real shocker is that

    200 Teachers attend the Union of Teachers Congress ….

    and vote 93% for stike action…

    Now is that 93% of Teacher representatives who teacher, or union members who dont teach but claim they are teachers…..

    Same with polis… are they police officers union reps, or union reps who claim they are police officer but dont police…. ?

    Before long you have huge number of public servants areas – all out on strike and its a co-ordinated day of action.

    Now who voted for this… oh yes tax-payer funded, full time employess who only do union business and vote for strikes at first sign of a tory government……

    This would be a joke, if we did not have to pay taxes for the salaries and then the pensions of all this union reps….

    Cable when they heckled should have said – are you really workers – or just union reps… ?

  81. 81
    Boudicca says:

    Well you suppose wrong Englishman.

  82. 82
    Anonymous Misogynist says:

    I prefer you as Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever..

  83. 83
    Another Crap Scot's Politician says:

    It must have a legal basis as if not; then all the dept that do it will be liable for ‘misappropriation of public fund’. Being a Crap Scot Politician I wholly condone the practice.

  84. 84
    Drop some timber says:

    it is like cacking on the bog floor on a caravan site

  85. 85
    NeverRed says:

    Udoubtedly true, and I’ll bet it is the NUJ reps at the BBC who moderate all communication preventing criticism of labour!!!!

  86. 86
    Anonymous says:

    Good point.
    Pickles needs to start asking detailed questions about exactly how much this is all costing us.

  87. 87
    Mossad says:

    We’ll hunt them down !!

    Check this video out — SNP ban Jewish books. http://t.co/u6p12TT

  88. 88
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Did the modernisation fund lead to the introduction of the quaint union practice of printing images of their preferred leadership campaigner?


  89. 89
    David says:

    Why don’t we get brown to give them a lecture on saving the world. I believe slow torture is what is needed.

  90. 90
    Maximus says:

    In connection with puppets and muppets, do follow Guido’s Speccie link for a Millibandit Moment to treasure — not any old Millibandit Moment, but a real Millibandit Mong Moment to assist your bereavement.

  91. 91
    ReefKnot says:

    And where is the bonfire of the Quangos ?

  92. 92
    Barrukka Omumnnabamma says:

    So, seeing as he asked the question at PMQs, why does Chukka Umunna think all these little darkies are killing each other in London?

  93. 93
    Engineer says:


  94. 94
    Thats News says:

    “Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
    I’ll labour night and day to bin a Pilgrim!”

    Well done, Guido!

  95. 95
    Thats News says:

    Jane Pilgrim, looking after your sick relation or you?

    I don’t think so!

  96. 96
    Anonymous says:

    If these union reps lead the workers out on strike, do they still get paid?

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Red Admiral says:

    Not just local government. My Whitehall department had two such chaps on full “facility time”. Good lads, and splendid drinking companions, but still………

  99. 99
    Anonymouse says:

    At least the Union Modernisation Fund is being wound up. Another hidden subsidy for the Labour party paid for by the taxpayer (sorry government borrowing).

  100. 100
    Jane Pilgrim to Handycock says:

    Is it in yet?

  101. 101
    Specsavers says:

    We do not have a branch in Tuscany but if Mr Tuscan happens to visit the UK, he may be assured of our best attention at a reasonable price.

  102. 102
    Jimmy says:

    So is a minister suggesting councillors “might like to review” something more or less serious than an EDM?

    Another winning campaign here I think.

  103. 103
    Anonymous says:

    Wound up-it should cease instantly.

  104. 104

    Another argument for minimal government.

    Unessential government activity allows such arrangements to be buried and hidden.

    Government should have to justify everything it raises tax to fund, and there should be no discretion allowed for elected officials or civil servants to use their judgement in secret to divert funds.

  105. 105

    Oh, and all government contracts should be open tenders to stop scandals such as the Westland contract which Mr Hoon issued in exchange for a bribe in the form of unearned payment for a non-executive directorship.

    If you take away their discretion you take away their corruption.

  106. 106
    Handycock says:

    She should be so lucky, about forty years too old.

  107. 107
    City of Vice says:

    “Government Calls For Review in Taxpayer Funding of Unions”

    Review? I thought Government’s were supposed to govern. As the taxpayer is picking up the tab, why doesn’t the Government just ban the practice? something about it!

  108. 108
    City of Vice says:

    Played properly? Bollocks. There is no long game in this. The Government should just ban the scam without further ado. The public will see soon enough the type of commie tossers who were on the on the public tit for when they start screaming about the ‘evil cuts’. Labour will have to keep their gobs shut.

  109. 109
    City of Vice says:

    I fear one of the problems in getting an abrupt halt brought to these matters is the Civil Service and SpAds. There are still so many tiers of bullshit artists ‘talking things through’ and ‘devising strategies’ in that self-justifying, complete-waste-of-space manner of theirs that nothing ever seems to get done. Even when what needs to be done is blinking obvious.

  110. 110
    Anonymous says:

    “The coalition Government’s transparency agenda will help ensure that cash payments to trade unions and the titles of staff posts in local government are open to public scrutiny”

    That’s bollocks; at the moment the “transparency” is non-existent; when the councils publish their per-item spending details, they just specify generalities for each item like “agency work” or “contractor” or “services”, they never ever mention what the payment was actually for. Until Pickles orders all the councils to specify their items properly then the whole thing’s pointless because even the councils that do publish every item still classify the items with such vagueness that it renders the whole process utterly pointless.

    Why can’t the government simply make the practice of any government body paying someone anything for union activities illegal anyway?

  111. 111
    Anonymous says:

    Indeed; I fail to understand why they can’t simply make the practice illegal.

    Unions should be funded by post-taxed income of union members and from charitable donations.

    If a Union can’t survive on the payments of its own members then that union should cease to exist.

    In the old days unions were there to protect workers against being exploited by bad employers, but now they’re more like tax-payer-funded bully-boys trying to squeeze as much cash out of tax payers (for their own existence, and to get unfair advantages for their members) as possible.

    I say let’s go back to how it was; if you want to be a member of a union then you pay the union some cash out of your post-taxed income to support the union’s services, and no public money should be used for them at all.

    All this shite where public money’s used to try and de-stabilise centre/right governments and to give unfair advantages to people in the public sector needs to stop.

  112. 112
    Anonymous says:

    It’s not just that they’re run by pilgrims, it’s also because they don’t want to admit that they wasted our money.

    No council leader is going to stand up and say to the council tax payers:

    “last year we spent £5million of your hard-earned income paying unions to try and disrupt our services and to increase our wages bill as much as humanly possible. we sacked all our lollipop ladies to fund those union activities. now we’ve got primary school children being run-down on the roads because we’d rather spend your money funding union activity than stopping children from being killed.”

    The government need to pass a law to make it illegal to fund union actitivities/perks with public money; there’s no way the councils (or government departments) will stop doing it unless a law is passed as none of them will ever want to admit that they did it in the first place as it’s a totally indefensible thing to do.

    Passing a law is the only way.

  113. 113
    Oscar Pilbeam says:

    Money spent on union reps needs to be diverted into paying more to chief executives, directors of inclusion and senior diversity officers. They don’t earn much you know, a lot less than what they’d get in the private sector.

  114. 114
    David says:

    The Taxpayers Alliance carried out a major survey of this abuse of public spending.
    Minimum identified cost of the scam £85 million PER ANNUM.
    Do take a look at the Taxpayers Alliance web site.

  115. 115
    SarumSea says:

    MoD too. Some to be found there.

  116. 116
    Ze_Beeste says:

    About time too. But isnt it worrying that Bob Neill talks about “paying off” the deficit?

  117. 117
    Cap'n Bob says:

    Disgraced Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin admitted having an affair with a woman colleague but claimed publicity about it would destroy his career, the High Court heard yesterday.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001430/Sir-Fred-Goodwin-super-injunction-Court-refuses-lift-gagging-order.html#ixzz1OszwTMBm

    His career was to career the rBS into the dicth by twice promoting his mistress and them getting rid of all internal dissent.

    What am I missing here?

  118. 118
    Cap'n Bob says:

    I guess he didn’t see his bank falling apart because his mistress had her thighs in the way of his computer screen.

    – Mark, Kent, 9/6/2011 14:34

    Had to post that. Brilliant.

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