October 3rd, 2011

Mad Frankie Swings the Axe

Hot off the podium:

“…the support they get from the taxpayer has got way out of hand. Just in the Civil Service alone this so-called facility time is costing no less than £30 million a year. Can you believe that there are around 150 civil servants who are actually full time trade union officials, all on the public payroll? We can’t go on like this. That’s why I’m announcing today that we’re consulting on limiting the time civil servants can spend on trade union work, and on ending the employment of full time union officials at the taxpayer’s expense.”

Guido will be buying the champagne later…


123 Comments

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

    And have a FAT cigar! ;-)

    Well done.

    Like

    • 13
      Anonymous says:

      What about Osborne’s speech? Now he wants to guarantee business loans or wants government to give business the loan.

      Like

      • 43
        Read My Lips says:

        “…we’re consulting on limiting the time civil servants can spend on trade union work,…”

        Doesn’t say anything about ‘scrapping’ the practice – the term ‘Long Grass’ comes to mind…

        Like

        • 63
          Percy Longprong says:

          No money will be saved as £30 mill will have been spent on consultancy fees

          Like

          • Kitchener of Khartoum says:

            Actually, more than £30 million will probably end up being spent on schmoozing the Tories’ business donors, giving them PFI contracts and other activities designed to put money into the Tories’ bosom buddies.

            I’m dead against paying union reps out of public money, but equally, I despise the notion of taking money from one shower of shits and giving it to another.

            Like

          • Boris Johansson says:

            Polly says someone called her a ‘Tory Hunt’ as she had a conference badge.

            Like

      • 47
        Anonymous says:

        Formally, the policy is called “credit easing”. In effect, HM Government is going to lend money directly to companies, buying bonds. Details are still scant, but the questions that arise from this are numerous.
        How will the State decide which companies are a good risk, and which should be denied loans? And if they are safe bets for loans, why aren’t private lenders already lending to them? Will this leave the State lending only to weaker companies, with all the financial risks that implies? What rates will the State ask for its lending? Will it undercut commercial lenders?

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/8768102/Conservative-Party-Conference-2011-live.html

        Like

        • 64
          sockpuppet #4 says:

          Staff from the bank formerly known as northern rock will do the deciding.

          Like

        • 71
          Engineer says:

          Was suggested on WATO by a gummint spokesman that this would be done through the banks. The banks are closest to small businesses, so can differentiate between fair and poor credit risks, and it overcomes the problem of banks using revenue to rebuild their capital reserves and thus having less available to lend.

          All a bit sketchy at the moment, and small businesses using bonds as a way to raise capital hasn’t been tried before in the UK, so how it might work out is somewhat less than clear.

          It’s an idea that might be worth a try. Better than more public borrowing and spending, anyway.

          Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            So you become a small businessman’s overdraft facility.

            Tell you what, you need to get some banking expertise to package all sorts of loans like that together. good ones. bad ones. then you could sell them on. That would really get things booming. (just in case anyone hasn’t twigged I’m on about the US subprime thing … right?)

            Like

          • Engineer says:

            Quite – the thought had occurred. It was mentioned on WATO that this would have to be cleared by the BoE, which rather suggests that it’s more bright idea than thought-through policy with all the loose ends tied up. Some stringent regulation might be in order, like a total ban on reselling of packaged debts, or some such.

            Like

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            What interest rate would you want, to hand over 10 grand to a local small business?

            Like

          • stun says:

            Actually, sp#4, the repackaging already occurs in Spain and has been quite successful. There is a set of conditions for government guaranteed loans to small businesses. The bank lends the SME (<€5m annual turnover) the money, if the company goes tits the bank get refunded by the government. Spain has given €1-€1.5bn a year in g'tees for the last ten years. You could argue that they're in a state now, but the principal still applies. The amount actually drawn against the guarantees has been small, and the securitisations of the SME loans (called FTPYME in Spain) have for the most part performed reasonably.

            Like

        • 84
          lola says:

          Oh fuck. That’s going to work. Not.

          Like

        • 106
          Making a slow buck good, making a fast buck bad. says:

          In answer to your question “how will the state decide which companies are a good risk and which should be denied loans” I can exclusively reveal that they will utilise the talents of MR Ed Milliband who apparently has devised a system which identifies good companies from bad.

          Like

        • 114
          Archie says:

          My question is: why does the Government have to go through all this rigmarole after we – that is you and I – bailed out the banks? In other words, why aren’t the banks lending? Has the Government changed the capitalisation regs? What’s stopping the Government issuing an edict saying “O.K. Start lending!” Just askin’, like, man!

          Like

    • 25
      lola says:

      Huh. The bastards love politicking – it’s their hobby – so they’ll out-game him unless there is an outright ban.

      Like

    • 33
      Dudley Zoo says:

      The total annual cost of employing civil servants is approximately £13 billion.
      (£ 13,000,000,000)

      Saving of £30,000,0000 still leaves 12,970,000,000 ie only a saving of 0.023%

      To put it into context it would be the loss of approximately 0.3 of one gramme from a 21 stone person.

      The public sector need to get on a serious diet

      Like

      • 46
        Engineer says:

        There are about 6,000,000 people on the public payroll (up from about 5,000,000) in 1997).

        If the total cost of employing civil servants is £13bn, and there are 6 million of ‘em, the average annual salary of a civil servant is £2,166.

        Suspect there may be something adrift with the stats, somewhere.

        Like

        • 53
          Jabba the Cat says:

          That is at least 5,000,000 too many…

          Like

        • 69
          lola says:

          Plus there are about 2m more employed by fake charities and fake businesses wholly dependent on taxpayers. That’s 8m.

          Of these about 2.5m are doing something vaguely useful – military, police, medics, paid informers (aka teachers) etc etc. Give them another 1m to provide admin support and then explain to me just what the remaining 4.5m are doing, exactly. Fuck all seems to be the consenus. And even then medics and teachers need not be on the State payroll at all. They can be funded by transfer payments in the form of vouchers to sick people and students to spend as they think needful on the merit goods of health and eddikayshun.

          The really sad bit is that these 4.5m + bods were conned into these pointless jobs by New Labour. It’d be handy to send NL the bill for the dole they’ll need to claim whilst looking for proper more rewarding wealth creating work in private business.

          Like

        • 117
          DUDLEY ZOO says:

          ENGINEER I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE CIVIL SERVICE NOT THE PUBLIC SECTOR YOU FUCKWITT – ARE YOU ON THE PUBLIC PAYROLL? IF NOT YOU SHOULD BE WITH THOSE SHIT FOR BRAINS

          Like

      • 91
        mrs miggins says:

        we need a fat cun*t in charge of local government

        Like

    • 59
      Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t let you anywhere near my fat cigar, bitch.

      Like

  2. 2
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Sorry Guido but i thought i would leave this quote:

    “I love it when a plan comes together”

    Like

  3. 3

    I want to see Labour defend this…
    I’m all right Jack!

    Like

  4. 4
    les says:

    So will they be taking more sickies?

    Like

  5. 5
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    But on the other hand……….

    Osborne’s tackling unemployment by make it easier for companies to sack their workers.Is there no sense of irony left on the right?

    Like

  6. 6

    “consulting on limiting” smells like a rat. Let’s just see if they have what it takes to face down the squawking.

    Like

    • 11
      Albert Hall says:

      Well, if it’s anything like the EU referendum I aint holding me breath.

      Like

    • 22
      J . Lewis-List says:

      Absolutely; “consulting” is Tory/LibDem weasel words for kicking it into the long grass. Just like they have done with the Human Rights Act.

      Like

    • 23
      Displaced Brummie says:

      THey’ll consult and then say: OK, we’ll give you unpaid time off. How about that, eh?”

      Like

      • 37
        Sick of the greed and lies says:

        That is fine. At least the Tax Payer isn’t footing the bill. When the Union time is coming out of their own pocket, they won’t quick to go to the Union’s beck and call.
        Maybe the Union will make up the difference? Fat chance!

        Like

    • 29
      Old Tory Bigot says:

      Indeed Anti-Fabian. An overly optimistic caption there I fear.

      “We’re consulting on limiting the time civil servants can spend on trade union work”

      The word “limiting” doesn’t remotely amount to “scrapped” in any vocabulary.

      Like

  7. 7
    Martin Day says:

    “ending the employment of Lord Ashcroft at the taxpayer’s expense.”

    Hear Hear

    Like

  8. 8
    The BBC says:

    Did anyone see or hear that speech? We didn’t

    Like

  9. 9
    Jane Pilgrim says:

    I want my free Wagamama staff safaris you rotten right wingers!

    Like

  10. 10
    Drew Pecock says:

    Magic , make the bloody unions pay for all time spent on union matters, if not make these tossers do the job they are employed to do

    Fuck em

    Like

  11. 12
    BBC Public Affairs says:

    Sounds awfully right wing.

    Like

    • 21
      Handycock, No1 Trougher in Parliament says:

      I am in total agreement, this is undemocratic and would never be allowed to happen in Russia. Boaz.

      Like

  12. 14
    Anonymous says:

    If conservatives were patriotic they would allow their party to wither and die so that it could be replaced by something decent.

    Like

  13. 20
    Pilgrims Regress says:

    This is pure spite. Give me one good reason why I should not piss around at the taxpayers expense.

    Like

  14. 24
    Bollocks Broadcasting Corporation. says:

    Note to all news editors:
    This story should be presented as the sacking of hard-working nurses, teachers and civil servants.

    Like

  15. 26
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    Line ‘em up, Guido

    Like

  16. 27
    Steve Miliband says:

    How many Pilgrims Troll about on sites like this?

    Like

  17. 30
    Tired, tired, tired of excuses says:

    And this from a man who was quite happy to fleece the taxpayer for a second home allowance for a property three doors down from his first.
    What a hypocritical sanctimonious gobshite!

    Like

  18. 31
    Engineer says:

    Depends what the Union bods are doing. Time spent supporting members with genuine employment-related problems, probably OK; time spent on political activity or Union administration, not OK. It’s a moot point whether the first should be remunerated from Union funds with unpaid time off allowed by the employer, or whether there is a reasonable case to make it paid facility time. Maybe depends on the amount – a day a week might be acceptable, full time is somewhat harder to justify.

    This won’t suddenly end all employer funding of Pilgrims, but it might make it harder for Union activists to take the mickey.

    Like

  19. 32
    Sophie says:

    Chickenfeed.

    What about DFID & the EU? Expenditure with no benefit to the taxpayer.

    Anyone heard any mention of these stalwart Conservative principles at conference?:

    * Small state

    * Low taxes

    * Government out of the economy

    Like

    • 58
      Anonymous says:

      No benefit to the tax payer….really wow I guess your education is stuck to ‘in the good old days…’ large parts of the British agricultural sector only survive due to EU subsidies, and those stalwart conservative values are so old that they were created when the no one could even imagine what driver for change capitalism is. I fear you sound like somebody from the Tea Party

      Like

      • 89
        ex-Tory says:

        We give the EU £16bn every year. They waste most of it on pointless bureaucracy, the pockets of corrupt cronies and improving our competitors, such as paying twinnings to switch production from the UK to Poland. They give a bit back to our farmers and you call that a result? Are you a self-loathing leftie c*nt or a f*ckwit? Probably both.

        Like

        • 119
          Boris Johansson says:

          And to rub salt into the wound the Geordie workers had to train their replacements. I for one will never sup their rancid brew.

          Like

      • 101
        Anonymous says:

        “large parts of the British agricultural sector only survive due to EU subsidies,”

        Hahaha. And where does the EU get the money from in the first place?

        Its you that needs educating.

        Like

    • 93
      dave (feel my lurve ladies) cameron says:

      I want to give more money to our brothers and sisters in Pack his Stan.

      They love us and are so grateful

      Like

  20. 35
    Raving Loon says:

    The % time spent on Union work should result in an equivalent % reduction in salary. Bugger paying people not to do their job.

    Like

  21. 35
    Copperbottom says:

    That`s the end of the Police Federation chairmans` jobs, nationally and in every police force then. That will teach them to get involved in politics in future.

    Like

  22. 38
    The poet lariat says:

    There was a rich tory called Maude,
    Whose speech he thought all would applaud.
    But his wonderful plan
    Went straight down the pan,
    When the conference said,
    Fuck off, we’re bored.

    Like

  23. 41
    Geriatric thrillseeker says:

    Watching the party conference?
    What sad empty lives some people lead.

    Like

  24. 48
    civil servant union official says:

    How dare you make me work a real job! …. I’m Striking!

    Like

  25. 51
    Goerge Osborne's plan A says:

    1. Rob the Brits.
    2. Give it to the EU.

    Like

  26. 55
    Jane Pilgrim aka Mouthy, lazy cunt says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • 60
      Professor Sir Smug Robert Winstons says:

      You could always try walking the streets around east london of an evening Ms Pilgrim.

      Some of our Somalia, Kenyan, Romanian, Nigerian & Bulgarian visitors might find you of interest if you are willing to receive buggery, sans rubber of course

      Like

    • 68
      Jasmin Alibi Cunt says:

      Another vicious Tory plot is mounted aganist a proud member of a trade Union….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Like

    • 72
      jOHN mOTTY mOTSON says:

      Back of the NET, Pilgrim

      Like

    • 74
      John Wayne says:

      Well hell, you’re fucked Pilgrim

      Like

      • 94
        To be born white & English is to have won first prize in the lottery of life! says:

        ….. only with a bag over her head and one to be sick in afterwards.

        Like

  27. 66
    it's gone dark oh it's raining again says:

    Scrapped and pigs were seen flying around Manchester Conservative conference, jelly has more backbone than this gang of munters, usual wait until the cry dies down and it will be forgotten

    Like

  28. 70
    Labour, the next government says:

    As is the way of British politics, they’ll be out on their arses in 2015, or when the dogshooters implode.
    Which will come sooner?

    Like

    • 77
      John Wayne says:

      If the Labour vermin get back in to begin another borrowing binge, how many of these worthless Union parasites will get re-employed?

      Hhahahahahahaha larfin at Labourites

      Like

  29. 78

    I suggest a cap on the amount that Government Departments, Quangos, Local Authorities, Health Authorities, Education Authorities and Police Authorities can spend on staffing costs, benefits and pensions. That way, to improve say pensions, an authority will have to cut its number of staff. At some level, an inability to achieve this will lead to dismissal of those leading it (without compensation) and installation of new management who would have to weed out the waste or suffer the same fate.

    Like

    • 116
      Archie says:

      Alas no, Schroed. What will happen – as it always does (Think NYC in the early eighties), is that the upper echelons will fire those on the sharp end and they’ll remain in situ. MoD seems to be a prime example!

      Like

  30. 83
    50 Calibre says:

    I have followed this campaign since it started. The outcome is a huge step forward and hats off to GF and all those involved.

    However, let’s hope there’s no watering down of the original concept that the costs of unions organising at the work place should be theirs and theirs alone.

    This original situation probably developed over many years as weak and ineffective management allowed ‘custom & practice’ to get them off the hook for letting it happen in the first place. This time no half-measures, no cosy deals. Let the unions pay with union funds and we’ll see how long the sponging bastards last.

    Like

  31. 87
    albacore says:

    O, these Tories, how they love consulting
    Talking things up and sod all resulting
    So, more beer and sandwiches for Number Ten
    Then, business as usual, brothers. Again

    Like

    • 95
      I love it when a moron comes all over me says:

      there are only two things that you need to know about maude:

      1. he’s a cun*t
      2. he’s thick as pigshit

      Like

  32. 88
    Ed (Bernie Winters) is weird says:

    Wish I had some policies last week.
    All we came up with that tother kid with an iPad.
    I blame Sue.

    Like

  33. 90
    Anonymous says:

    “limiting the time civil servants can spend on trade union activities”? Does that really mean anything? Is it just a sound bite for the conference?

    Like

  34. 96
    Anonymous says:

    Great news & not before time. What about freeing up Council Homes to anyone earning over £80k pa…starting with Bob (Charming) Crow!

    Like

  35. 97
    john in cheshire says:

    Mr Maude, there is no need for consultation. Just stop the practise forthwith. Unions must stand or fall by their own efforts, and not with any of my money.

    Like

  36. 100
    Anonymous says:

    Maude’s approach is the wrong one; it simply won’t work to ban full-time union reps on public money, and here’s why….

    You ban, say, a school, from employing a full-time union rep at public expense. The school will simply employ 5 part-time reps instead to get around the rules (eg they’ll grab 5 of their existing teachers, and allow them to spend 1 day a week each on union activities, then they’ll employ an extra teacher to make up for the time they’ve lost from those existing teachers now being part time reps). Having 5 part-time reps will be more costly to the tax payer than employing 1 full time rep.

    The only solution that would work would be a blanket ban not just on full-time union reps being paid with public money, but to ban ALL publicly-funded union time/activity.

    ie you have to say:
    “nobody who works in the public sector is allowed to spend a single minute of their working time on union duties. If they want to do union duties then they must do it outside their working hours on their own time, or the union should fund an employee out of their own pocket.”

    Maude’s solution will actually make things worse and cost the tax payer more money. I applaud his instinct, but his logic is fatally flawed; he needs to have a 100% ban on all publicly funded union time as that’s the only way it’d work.

    Like

    • 108
      The wizz says:

      All union work should be carried out in the in their own time, reimbursed by the union. There is no way that a full time employee working (sic) in the public sector should expect to be payed by the taxpayer. Lets kill this nonsense once and for all.

      Like

  37. 102
    Durham Lad says:

    In 2009, using the Freedom of Information act, I found the North East Labour MEP had an office inside Durham County Council’s County Hall and was paying a peppercorn rent (started at £1,000 per annum around 1991, rising to £1,642 in 2009).

    After much deliberation Durham County Council stated it was to review the leases on all such office space. The Labour MEP had his office size halved (not sure why) and his rent went to around £4500. So he ought to have been paying around £10,000 previously…over 18 years I might add. He was getting away with at least £9,000 each year for 18 years and not a peep. He employs his wife as his Head of Staff, using a different surname, despite her being a prominent local councillor using her married name!

    This all made the Westminster japes look like tuck shop stuff, but alas nothing said, the media won’t run with it beyond suggesting this is but a few swivel-headed anti-EU picking on a defenceless elected representative…

    To make matters worse, I now find that despite assurances that all leases would be assessed, 4 offices are leased to unions at no cost to the unions – with the Labour MEP being a big union man too.

    It all smells pretty bad to me, with the irony that the same MEP is stating how printing money and increasing taxes will save the eurozone in a full page article in a North East regional paper today. He wasn’t even willing to pay his fair share, but is asking us to pay even more!

    Like

    • 105
      Blog on the Tyne says:

      The problem is that if you stuck a red rosette on a fucking slug it would still get elected in the North East.

      Like

      • 107
        Audemus Dicere says:

        I thought that is what they were doing already!

        Like

      • 109
        The Polson affair says:

        The good citizens of hartleppol once mistook a monkey for a Frenchman. What is less well known is when they caught it they sent it to represent them in Parliament and have maintained the tradtion till this day.

        Like

  38. 103
    nostradamus says:

    What is all of this “consultation ” business ? stop it NOW ! and lending money to busineses covered by the tax payers, forget it ,we are already over taxed over governed by a dictatorship. To get out of this mess lower taxes and get out of the EU, NOW, “You know it makes sense”

    Like

  39. 110
    Lickity-Split says:

    What level of carbon emissions would be generated from using all the pilgrims as fuel for coal fired power stations? If the levy on it is less than 30 million that could be quite a clean solution….

    Like

  40. 111
    hazar says:

    Ex Head of a Fraud Squad suggests –

    Entry 109 reminds me that you’re probably all too young to remember the Poulson Affair. But nothing changes. Give yourself an education. Seek out ‘Web of Deceit’ by the Sunday Times Insight Team.

    Like

  41. 112
    Stephen P says:

    Is it obligatory to give part time union officials paid time for union work?

    If it is, it may be more efficient to have one full time than 6 spending 20% on the same .

    Like

    • 113
      Anonymous says:

      Indeed (as per my post 100), it’s a case of all-or-nothing; either keep things as-is, or make it illegal for public servants to spend any of their paid time on union activities.

      A half-way house where you make it illegal for public servants to work full time as union reps but where you still allow them to spend some of their paid time on union activities will cost more money than the current situation because of precisely the point that you raise.

      In fact I wrote to my MP about Pilgrims, and he replied making the same point; banning Pilgrims will cost more money than keeping them unless you changed the law to ban all union activity by all public servants during their paid working hours, and you can’t ban your employees from doing any union activity during working-time because then you’d be up in the EU courts.

      The only solution is:

      1) Ban all public servants (and private sector workers for that matter) from performing any union duties/activities during their paid working time; let them do it in their own time, or let them employ union workers at the union’s own expense.

      then:

      2) Tell the EU to fuck off.

      I think it’s perfectly reasonable for ALL union activity, whether in the public sector or the private sector, to be carried out outside paid/working time or to be financed completely by the union. But there’s no way the tories are going to go for an all-out ban; they simply don’t have the balls/guts.

      So, you’ll get a “we saved the tax payer £250 million” headline when they ban the full-time pilgrims, but in reality you’ll save that £250 million and then we’ll be paying £400 million so that the public sector departments all employ 5 part-time reps each instead of 1 full time rep.

      Not sure why Fawkes hasn’t spotted the gaping hole in his logic on this one; I saw it, and my MP saw it before it even got in the mainstream media.

      Jane Pilgrim may no longer be a full-time rep, and she might be doing some real nursing now, but you can bet your arse that she’s still doing some union work on her paid time, and that they’ll simply be employing another nurse in the same way to make up for the lost union-time; a full-timer-union-worker ban WILL cost more than keeping the status quo unless they ban ALL union work on public money/time.

      Like

      • 118
        Stephen P says:

        Hi Any – sorry – missed your post!

        Dunno exactly what the law is. There might be an emotional value of not having people as full time union reps – esp. if you give the part timers plenty of real work, people less likely to interrupt them with moans, and they don’t plot things when between problems?

        Like

  42. 121
    Anonymous says:

    21yrs I paid for protection money trades union ,what did I get back Fuck ALL,where did my money go!

    Like

    • 123
      Another Anonymous says:

      Remember that picture of Bob Crow picking his nose while on holiday in the Caribbean?
      He sends his thanks.

      Like

  43. 122
    Stephen P says:

    Sometimes comments appear on my screen in illegible white on cream background, which I have to highlight to read.

    Anyone else get tihs? Or know why?

    Like


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Rob Colvile reviews Russell Brand’s new book:

“Oddly, the person I feel sorriest for isn’t Brand himself – although he certainly comes across as a rather pitiable figure, projecting his own brokenness on to the world around him – but Johann Hari. Drummed out of Fleet Street for plagiarism, the former Independent columnist has washed up as “my mate Johann, who’s been doing research for this book”. For a genuinely talented polemicist, it would have been a humbling experience to have to treat this sub-undergraduate dross as the scintillating wisdom of a philosopher-king.”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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