October 2nd, 2011

Exclusive: Defunding Unions – Osborne To End “Pilgrims”

According to an internal CCHQ briefing, produced ahead of Frankie Maude’s speech, the government will announce a “consultation” aimed at bringing an end to full-time taxpayer-funded public-sector union officials. This is a culmination of a campaign started on this blog in April, which was taken up by backbench MP Aidan Burley with David Cameron at PMQs in May. It was then the subject of an EDM proposed by David Morris MP and highlighted at the Rally Against the Debt where speakers (pictured) spoke out against “Pilgrims”.  June saw public opinion swing behind the issue in the polls after the Taxpayers’ Alliance identified £67 million pounds wasted subsidising union activists. Eric Pickles and Frankie Maude soon got behind the issue. Last month saw the first breakthrough when the original “Pilgrim”, the full-time on-the-taxpayer Unison agitator Jane Pilgrim, was returned to front line nursing duties. She is the first of many union activists who will be put back to front line work.

Leaked CCHQ internal briefing:

The initial £30 million saving is more significant than it sounds, it strikes at the heart of the infrastructure of funding for union militancy, directly defunding the left and undermining their ability to muster state-subsidised agitators. The CCHQ briefing document ahead of the announcement refers to a term coined by this blog – “Pilgrims” - as well as crediting the research work of the Taxpayers’ Alliance. We’re celebrating this breakthrough as a huge policy victory, there is nothing we like more than bashing union militants…

UPDATE: Full story background to the anti-Pilgrims campaign here.


  1. 1
    Tachybaptus says:

    So easy to announce a ‘consultation’. You don’t even have to break any promises (not that this government would be worried by that any more).

  2. 2

    Think we know the conclusion of this consultation.

  3. 3
    Righty Joe says:

    Good result. Well done.

  4. 4
    AC1 says:

    The entire BBC staff are Pilgrims…

  5. 5
    jgm2 says:

    Is it a bit like asking your ex-flatmate to find you not guilty of cash-for-honours? Or an ‘independent’ BoE deciding that, actually, with inflation at 5% now would not be a good time to move interest rates above 0.5%? Because of the errr risk of errr deflation you understand.

  6. 6
    50 Calibre says:

    Excellent outcome thus far.

    This space needs to be watched to ensure no backsliding once common sense has clicked in…

  7. 7
    D-An Abbbottt says:

    U iz a raceist init blud

  8. 8
    Dawn Carpenter says:

    What odds are the bookies giving against a u-turn?

  9. 9
    Peter Thomas says:

    Excellent! Well done! Hope the Tories give you the credit you deserve, Guido. Perhaps this particular meaning of the word Pilgrim will end up in the OED? Another first for blogging.

  10. 10
    PC clitoris says:

    osborne should go back to being cameron”s fag/bum boy.He is only just old enough to use the grown ups toilet

  11. 11
    Rewind1616 says:

    Yes with a ‘license’ for luvvie propaganda!

  12. 12
    Boris Johansson says:

    It’s late you should all be tucked up in bed.

  13. 13
    Boris Johansson says:

    Anyone fancy a round of golf?

  14. 14
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Your mother must be so proud of you. When most folk are out enjoying the warm Indian summer with their friends and girlfriends you’re sitting posting your sad poisonous comments, a truly sad and bitter little loser. What you need is self respect and a feeling of self worth not selfish entitlement and greed. Please get a life.

  15. 15
    CT says:

    The ending of this grotesque leeching off the taxpayer is long overdue.

    I’m old enough to remember when the Prime Minister of the day could hardly take a piss without inviting the various union mafiosi to No. 10 to make sure that that would be OK with them.

    It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t democratic although it was certainly transparent – to anyone who wished to see it – in showing where power (blackmail dressed up as politics) actually lay in our country.

    A union ought to be no different from any other business and should not be treated like some protected species. If the product it’s offering is sufficiently attractive to enough of it’s potential customers then it will thrive – if not, it will die. That’s how the real world works for the rest of us.

    Three cheers for Guido and the Taxpayers Alliance.

  16. 16
    Carl from Isle says:

    And will Gideon pass a law that prevents young rich thugs getting away with wanton vandalism by merely writing a cheque?

  17. 17

    Great success!!
    I wonder if the unions will bother retaining them all when they actually have to pay for them themselves! Somehow i doubt it.

  18. 18
    libduck says:

    For me, this surpasses mcbride as the best thing this blog has ever accomplished

  19. 19
    Never in a month of Sundays says:

    Consultations are the polititians’ equvalent of the bankers’ never never.

  20. 20
    Jasmin Alibi Cunt says:

    Great job Tories, fuck those parasitical, Union filth

    How that otherwise unemployable cu’nt who heckled Lansley must wish she’d kept her leftist hate to herself.


  21. 21
    Martin Marprelate says:

    No problems with this. I support organised and sensible Trade Unions but do NOT see that the Taxpayer/Council Tax Payer should fund their full time officials. Giving a voluntary Shop Steward reasonable time while at work to attend to their Union Duties is one thing as is allowing Local Councillors etc the same, but if someone is working full time as a Union Official at a place of work then they should be salaried by that Union.

  22. 22
    Professor Sir Robert Winstons says:

    Great point you poof, I cant see Comrade McLuskey giving up any of his pension or expenses racket to fund the c’unt J Pilgrim

  23. 23

    Would be nice if we could manage to do something without a consultation though! Can’t imagine what the unions will say when they are consulted….seems very pointless / waste of money.

  24. 24
    AC1 says:

    and the real rate of inflation is nearer 8% than 5%, unless you believe the hedonic adjustments are anything other than a con.

  25. 25
    Mark Oaten says:

    Everyone must suffer equally. It’s much more fun than not at all. Now smash the glass under the turd on the coffee table and let’s do this thing.

  26. 26
    Professor Sir Robert Winstons says:

    Cun’t gobsyhtes like J Pilgrim got where they are today, by spewing leftist hate/lies on an hourly basis, to imbeciles/foreigners who can barely speak the language.

    There was no way she could control herself when a Tory was in earshot.

    Maybe she could become a street prostitute when the state renders her un-fucking ployed, & be sure to watch for the fucking ‘solidarity’ when she goes begging the Union baron criminals for a job.


  27. 27
    Diane "Ain't Nothing" Abbott says:

    West Indian mums will go to the wall for their kids.

  28. 28
    Diane "Ain't Nothing" Abbott says:

    Who is the monger behind the fattie? Is he the moderator? We should be told.

  29. 29
    Awesome Cripple Number ONE! says:

    and the real rate of derp is nearer derp% than derp%, unless you believe the derp derps are anything other than a derp.

  30. 30
    First Reply Guy says:

    Gideonas’s busy keeping Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and German from Fiscal Collapse.

    Cut him some slack. He’ll get to you Albanians in time. Viva the project scumbags!

  31. 31
    Jack Dromey says:

    When a politician says consultation it is the same as the wife saying headache.

  32. 32
    Don't fall for it. says:

    The first three letters tell you all you need to know.


  33. 33
    You're very stupid says:

    Surely ABC? Not sure what that tells you.

  34. 34
    Fabians are Evil says:

    Oh joy! What a wonderful result.

    Just a thought though; the problem will be that the commie scum will still be on the pay-roll spouting their Marxist claptrap. Why not cut the cancer out by making every last one of the bastards redundant – thereby saving even MORE millions and getting rid of the professional agitators at the same time – seems like a win win win to me.

  35. 35
    smoggie says:

    Osborne’s Programme of Pilgrims Pogroms.

    It’s going to be painful!

  36. 36
    smoggie says:

    They might consult s taxpayer… Or even a neglected patient whose arse needs wiping.

  37. 37
    Rat's arse says:

    Brilliant news Guido. Well done!
    Now, could you please turn your attention to this effin ‘human rights’ fiasco? I’m sure you’ll get a lot of support. The Limp Dums need a bloody good k*cking for hanging on to this obsc*nity.

    Once again, well played.

  38. 38
    Bald Old Git says:

    I admire your optimism but this is classic ‘Yes Minister’ territory, right down to the beautifully drafted document which promises nothing that has to be delivered. Nothing will change much.

    The single commitment is to ‘begin work’ on a consultation. Everything else is projection. All arguable and all defeatable.

    The unions will argue that it’s more efficient to have full-time pilgrims in a time when there are massive job cuts and redundancy is a major issue and as long as the govt want to continue to cut, the union activity is a necessary part of achieving it.

    The govt won’t want to take the unions on, so I would guess promising a restructuring when the new levels of civil service numbers become clear is about the limit. The transparency that’s been promised is already being established by the TPA. And a couple of headline cuts.

    Sir Humphrey 1 Minister 0

  39. 39

    Guido, I can categorically announce that Jane Pilgrim does NOT want to have your baby.

  40. 40
    albacore says:

    Ms May is on the case, R A.
    Now, if only that stout fellow, Tory Bear, pictured up there on the right, were the true face of the party, perhaps we might be less wary of counting chickens.

  41. 41
    Father Ted says:

    BOG has a point. Lack of access to advice/representation whether unions or legal aid, severely compromises “rights”.

    There is the back-up of employment legislation and EA – which are likely to be full of cases for years if the calming hand of the “pilgrims” is removed. No cost saving there.

    So again, the ideology of you right wing nutters* will do nothing to solve the issue you claim to want to solve.

    * Present company excluded of course.

  42. 42
    Kitchener of Khartoum says:

    So when can we look forward to some measures to reign in the full-time chisellers who donate to the Tory Party and in return receive changes in planning law (builders, property speculators), handsome salaries and bonuses (bankers, financiers, financial speculators), PFI contracts (too numerous to mention) and state school buildings from which to make private gain? No doubt consultancies, directorships and other goodies go with this.
    It’s not just the Left (what’s left of it) who are rotten and corrupt, it is almost everything connected with the Tories. This crew could show Maudling and Poulson a trick or two.
    £30 million is bugger all compared to what’s being raked in by the Coalition’s “friends”

  43. 43
    it's gone dark oh it's raining says:

    I believe in this lot of lefties as I believed in the lefties before May2010, consultation my fat ar*e another 20sec shout to the tv and then forgotten,rusty is not very good at keeping promises, I will keep my promise at the next election.

  44. 44
    Mystick1 says:

    Not much chance if this happening. George hasn’t got the b*lls to do it.

  45. 45
    The Colonel says:

    They (the MPs) are also going to discuss the EU….what does that mean? A referendum I doubt it – its just an exercise!

  46. 46

    I can categorically announce that any offspring produced by Jane Pilgrim would be of the bovine genus.

  47. 47
    Great Granddad says:

    If one M.P. in ten achieved as much as Guido, we should be well served indeed. Keep at it mate.

  48. 48
    PhilW says:

    I take it “measures to reign in the full time chisellers” completely air brushes the self same chisellers who donated to the Labour Party for the past 13 years but because they supported Tony and Gordon they were nice full time chisellers now that they have moved their money to supporting the tories they are nasty full time chisellers?
    Labour lost get over it.

  49. 49
    it's gone dark oh it's raining says:

    We would have a better chance of them discussing how they pick their noses and scratch their arses , than them discussing the EU , they’ve sold us down the river for danegeld and that’s all they are concerned about.

  50. 50
    Lefty stop cobble says:

    Yes cause stopping people paying for the damage they do is the right thing to do!

  51. 51
    Huhne is a Lying Cnut says:

    Huhne is going to get off scot free.

  52. 52
    Phantom says:

    Government 1 Unions 0

    Crow, Prentice, Todd, Scargill, Morris, you boys took a hell of a beating.

    Next, a £50K cap on individual party donations and bankrupt the Labour Party.

  53. 53
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Hell will freeze over before Dave and his Not-the Tory-Party fellow quislings will allow the People to be heard on the EU.

  54. 54
    Politicians are CUNTS says:

    loads of fucking announcements about Human Rights and Europe all from tories, all spectrum of tory belief ALL FOR THE APPEASEMENT of the party – nothing to do with the real world – all just fucking drivel THAT WE PAY FOR

    They really are all c’unts

  55. 55
    simon says:

    Can we send Jane Pilgrim a ‘Thank You’ on behalf of all those against trade union/left wing Labour supporting spongers. PS: since she’s back on nursing duties perhaps she needs retrained since she’s been off ‘the shop floor’ for so long….

  56. 56
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


    Who that in the picture?

  57. 57
    Mrs Havisham says:

    No, it wasn’t OK under Labour. It isn’t OK at all. Not under Tories, not under Coalition, not under Labour. Politics should be a dialogue between the electorate and politicians. Corruption of any kind is not OK.

  58. 58
    Tuscan Tony says:

    No, that’s Lembit.

  59. 59
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    tis alright, worked it out.

  60. 60

    Don’t hold your breath(s) over this one.
    Cast Iron & Boy George have had a year to sort out the union modernization fraud, but have we seen any moves on it?
    The Pilgrims will still be with us come the next general election.

  61. 61
    Sitting Bull says:

    Tell you something. Dave is wrong about relaxing planning in the countryside,

  62. 62
    codswallop says:

    Too true. Most of them wouldn’t know a day’s work if it looked them in the eye and spat vigorously. Sack ‘em.

  63. 63
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Except Brillo.

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:


  65. 65
    Hospitalpatient says:

    Guido, are you the Hunt responsible for that fat cow Jane Pilgrim attending to my “care” with Nazi concentration guard-like compassion?

  66. 66
    Hospitalpatient says:

    That is amazing. I typed in the word “Hunt” in the above post and it came out “Huhne”.

  67. 67
    Hospitalpatient says:

    And again. The word I used was a common term for a part of the female genitalia beginning with “c”

  68. 68
    Raving Loon says:

    If unions think they’ve got the right idea, why don’t they take some of their money and start a workers co-operative and start competing with corporations? Surely that would be the ultimate test of their ideas?

  69. 69
    Andrew Efiong says:

    I’ll second that. This blog might save the taxpayer millions and millions whilst improving front line public service. That’s what I call a result!

  70. 70
    Cameron is NOT a proper Tory though is he says:

    Even if the eurosceptics win a vote(and it’s a big IF)it’s not binding on the government…it’s a waste of effort…much better to ensure that the proposed Transaction Tax is vetoed,the Human Rights Act is repewaled and that we don’t throw more good money after bad bailing out the Greeks and the eurozone or agreeing a treaty change without a referendum(no bullshitting from “Dave” that this does not affect UK as we are not in the Eurozone……and bollocks to Clegg and the LibDems…call their bluff and force an election if they walk away …about time “Dave” started to “man up” and actually deliver CONSERVATIVE policies..

  71. 71
    Lou Scannon says:

    Dave obviously never wanted the no. 10 job and he’s determined to lose the next election.

  72. 72
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    why dont they re-open the mines? they whinge about energy pr1ces, so lets see them run one for the workers and the people of the country,

    Oh we tried that before…..

  73. 73
    Fake Blood says:

    The pilgrims are hardly calming hands now, are they? Their work is devoted to political campaigning and disruption.

    Fair better that left wing loons are required to work for a living. If crazy labour legislation is allowing the idle to get still more money from their employers for still less work then let’s scrap it.

  74. 74
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Kareneatstories profile

    Kareneatstories Tory scum here we come! Demo12 noon Liverpool Road (off Deansgate) http://t.co/TfupThOw 6 minutes ago · reply · retweet · favorite

  75. 75
    Phany Stroaker says:

    “Maybe she could become a street prostitute…”

    So that would be another enterprise doomed to disaster due to a lack of clients?

  76. 76
    Jenny Tailior says:

    Who put the Hunt in SHunthorpe ?

  77. 77
    NBeale says:

    Why on earth are they “consulting” from April.
    We have a national crisis.
    They should end this practice from April and use the money saved for some obviously worthwhile purpose, such as funding 2,000 paid internships in the Civil Service for young people who are currently out of work.

  78. 78
    Professor Sir Robert Winstons says:

    Sadly not all obese west indian mums can earn very large sums of money simply by talking shyte on the BBC

  79. 79
    A highly paid, degenerate, lying, Union baron/Trotskyist says:

    Pilgrim can go fuck erself the stupid slag, come to me for a job ill kick he arse out on the fucking street, dozy cow

  80. 80
    Non believer says:

    Yes, judging by your post it’s clear the left have a monopoly on hateful rants.

  81. 81
    Non believer says:

    Who’s the bloater with a tramp’s hair in the pic?

    Some kindred spirit of yours, fattie Fawkes?

  82. 82
    Barnehurst Bob says:

    Agree with that RA, this is a step in the right direction for all taxpayers. But, the HRA is a lesson in ‘the road to hell is paved with good intention’. The list of single interest groups going against the will of the general population by using the HRA never seems to stop growing. In the last few weeks we’ve had travellers breaking the planning laws and terrorists sitting at bus stops amongst the general public. Thanks to the HRA. The cost of policing, bailiffs, legal advice, court time and surveillance all picked up by the taxpayer.

    Thanks Blair, and Clegg, get a grip you prick, you’re supposed to put the whole country first. Not just the sandle people.

  83. 83
    only me says:

    well done guido – yet another scalp on the olde totem pole.

    You really need graphic icon – of your scalps…… and your current targets. otherwise its only us long-term gripers who see the story thru to its conclusion.

  84. 84
    nonce watch says:

    he he, put your back to the wall C*le, I think Billy’s got the hots for you.

  85. 85
    Enoch says:

    It’s not just in Whitehall. Teaching is full of wasteful Pilgrims. This is the NASUWT’s guidance for it’s members when negotiating with new Academy schools:

    ‘The best facilities we can get – Seven Key Principles
    Time for trade union duties – broadly defined as consulting/negotiating with the employer and representing members should, as far and as practically as possible, be unlimited.’

    The world has gone mad…

  86. 86
    i'm alright jack says:

    That’s too much like hard work when you’ve been leaching off the public teat.

  87. 87
    a huhne is a hoon says:

    Write Hoon and it comes out as cuпt.

  88. 88
    HandsomeDavid says:

    I see the Labour party sponsors are organising demonstrations to pass the Conservative party conference.

    Nice for democracy. Will RedEd participate with his sponsors?

  89. 89
    the upcoming ghost of mrs thatch says:

    Worrying that you had to get the ball rolling on this one Fawkes, isn’t that the fucking job of a true Tory party, to flush out socialist rats and spongers?

  90. 90
    chutney chaser says:

    You’re always working one out on here Billy, so what’s changed?

  91. 91
    I'mnumbervi says:

    I’ll believe it when it happens.
    Until then, nothing has changed.

  92. 92
    true lies says:

    If you pay a license fee you’re the nominal owner and should be able to, but you can’t can you? There is just no way you can do it, even by democratic process. That is why the BBC is marxist and therefore, evil.

  93. 93
    Jenny Tailior says:

    You are a ‘write Hoon’ – a product of Labour’s dumbing-down of education, no doubt.

  94. 94
    (I've been renamed) DA-Notice says:

    Top job all round; cheers!

  95. 95
    a huhne is a hoon says:

    You’re just a plain old cuпt.

  96. 96
    Anonymous says:

    That’s true, the fucking useless Tory Party won’t.

  97. 97
    Hamish says:

    Guido, the final link is to your own original article.
    Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness, you know.
    Unless it is a cunning plan to get double clicks.

  98. 98
    Jabba the Cat says:

    But would it be fit to send into the food chain?

  99. 99
    rant this! says:

    Trouble is the left expect other people to pay for them, you fucking tramp.

  100. 100

    BBC news

    “Government plans cuts to 1076 nurses,teachers and care assistants.
    A laughing George Osborne told the BBC today that these people don’t do any proper work and are just trouble makers.
    But when we asked Dave Prentis he said it was ‘immoral that a government that wants nothing more than to bring back chimney sweep children, is persecuting hard working doctors and nurses and teachers. Just because they are members of a magnificent union.”
    {Cut to file Video interviews with Ed Miliband -either “these cuts are wrong” or “he just doesn’t get it”}
    -Interview with Jane Pilgrim at her home. She’s now ‘forced’ to live in a London squat and survive on handouts.
    -Clip of hospital patients lying in filth. – Dirty floors -closed school gates – man in hospital bed crying in pain –

    {final voice-over ..”An old man, pressing a call button, for a caring angel of mercy, who will now..never… arrive..
    This is Emily Baxingdale-Thornton..
    BBC News}

  101. 101
    Tom Fatson says:

    The troll count is getting higher, team. But I want this site under siege at the Tory conference! Can’t leave it to just you two. I’ll assign some extra help for you next week.

    BTW, particularly like the ‘I voted for Dave, but now I feel let down” line.
    Try and make it ever more looney UKIP though. Try and imply Dave is going to bailout Germany or something.

    Right must go and practice my humble look in the mirror..ohh it makes my cheeks sore. But its worth it for the 200 hours of TV coverage I can get.
    Tommy .

  102. 102
    Kitchener of Khartoum says:

    I presume that you don’t consider the last dose of Labour to be “the Left”! I do, which is why I describe them as ALSO being rotten and corrupt. In fact, there’s barely the width of a cigarette paper between any of the parties in this regard, as a perusal of Guido’s blog will reveal.

    Unlike politicians, who spend most of their time blaming their inabilities and the appalling state of the country on the last incumbents, I prefer to look at the wreckage and foul behaviour of the present bunch, whatever their stripe.

  103. 103

    No it is a link to all the articles on the subject.

  104. 104
    Pilgrims Regress says:

    I’m going on the sick. Front line duties are too tiring.

  105. 105
    Handycock, No1 Trougher in Parliament says:

    Another reason why this blog and the Taxpayers Alliance should be banned. My Russian paymasters are not at all pleased with these developments.

  106. 106
    Mike Hunt says:

    Can’t do that – Global Warming / Carbon. Not the mention Acid Rain which did for coal last time.

  107. 107
    Jimmy says:

    Class War! Smesh the Oiks!

  108. 108
    Pilgrimage says:

    The fucking free loader Pilgrim was running a business on taxpayers money and time.
    I would hate to be a patient of this nasty, greedy, bitter witch!

  109. 109
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to pay taxes support people who want me to pay more tax!! It’s not about “saving public services either”.

  110. 110
    The Observer says:

    Absolutely right.
    The Toady Programme interviewed one of the workforce who is in the firing line for the coming 3000 Bercow disseminated BAE redundencies.
    He stated he was a toolmaker, but after admitting that he would find it hard to find a new job at 54, confessed that he was now a full time union representative at the company. No query from BBC of course.
    Makes your eyes water at this blatent mission creep of the union activists in the last 13 years.

  111. 111
    The Observer says:

    It is not over until the fat lady sings.
    What are the odds that this will be kicked into the long grass and used as a weapon to simply threaten the unions.
    Cameron has certainly not shown the courage or guile he should have to carry this out.

  112. 112
    Anonymous says:

    While on the subject of de-funding the Left, how about a campaign to abolish the TV Licence tax ? The only recipient of the proceeds of this tax is the leftist BBC, and not a penny of it goes to any other television broadcaster.

    The BBC has a vested interest in promoting high-tax public-sector policies and attitudes. Why should everyone who owns a television have to pay for that ? It is manifestly unjust, and indeed corrupt.

  113. 113
    Pickled Wizard says:

    So he has gone from being a toolmaker to just a tool

  114. 114
    Pickled Wizard says:

    but in your case jack, she’s planning yours

  115. 115
    Anonymous says:

    You have got a chip on your shoulder as big as a railway sleeper,
    get over it .

  116. 116
    Hung Parliament? Hang 'em all! says:

    Yes, this is wet.

    A “consultation” on ending full-time union reps and “standardising” and “capping” the paid time they get for union work?

    Just scrap it all now. And if that needs a change of law, change the damn law.

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