This morning Guido blew open the extent of the GMB union’s influence over legislation, and how they achieve it with a financial gun to the Labour Party’s head. Not a word out of any of them yet, but it gets worse. The leaked Shadow Justice minutes show how Labour, at the behest of the unions, will vote on various amendments, but who first tabled these moves? A GMB sponsored Labour MP of course…
Not only has Kate Green taken £6,550 off the GMB, the union even notched up another £5,000 as a donation-in-kind, in the shape of tele-canvassing. Trade union liaison officers have the kind of unfettered access to Labour MPs of which other lobbyists for other vested interests can only dream. MPs shower parliamentary passes on what are effectively lobbyists for the big unions. The GMB have 80 MPs in their pocket and their political officer Iain McNicol just happens to be the General Secretary of the Labour Party. The GMB’s 610,000 members represent less a sliver of the country, yet laws are being bought and sold in their name. This tyranny of the minority stinks, and remember that next time Ed mentions the 1%…
Guido has a bottle of the finest from the nice people at Glenfiddich to give to last week’s caption contest winner. Nothing really tickled him though, so instead the prize is going to the commenter “Selohesra” who has recently taken up limerick writing. Here’s a selection of some of the cleaner ones:
There once was an MP called Chuka
Whose left wing credentials weren’t Pukka
Privileged and greedy
With tax planning quite seedy
Lets hope he ends up in the gutter
There once was a PM called Thatcher
There are scarcely any could match her
Churchill was one
Before my days begun
So for me its the union dispatcher
A deputy PM called Nick
Came across as a little bit thick
As was plain to be seen
On the €uro he was keen
The tosser, the loser, the pr*ck
An ex PM from Kirkcaldy
Whose grip on reality was shoddy
Claimed his name was not Brown
That he lived in toytown
And henceforth had to be called Noddy
Well Guido laughed, so congratulations…
With Draper back in the fold, the old faces are coming out of the woodwork. Obviously spinning for Catholic aid charity Cafod and running the Saturday football match for his old school boys club isn’t enough for our old mucker Damian McBride. Like a bad smell, he’s back and lingering on Twitter and already discussing an issue dear to his heart – engagement with bloggers:
Why not just send them an email of concocted smears and lies instead?
Guido was perusing the notes from last week’s meeting of Labour’s Shadow Justice team when he noticed something odd. Within them is a list of various amendments and clauses to the Justice Bill and how the Labour MPs will vote on them. All boring so far, but what’s this next to one of the clauses?
Once would look bad enough, but how Labour will vote on two parts of the Bill will be determined after “checking with GMB who have very strong views on other aspects of LSC transfer”. This refers to a particularly dull aspect of pension protection and the Legal Services Commission, but that’s beside the point – one of Labour’s biggest donors is being directly consulted on legislation which affects their vested interests.
The GMB union have Labour over a barrel: eighty of their MPs are members and the union has given Labour £1,545,987.02 since Ed took over. That’s nearly 20% of all donations received and certainly blows the sums involved in the Cash for Questions and Cash for Influence scandals out of the water. Clearly the GMB expect something in return, and that is telling Labour MPs directly how to vote in Parliament. A cash for votes swap.
And who is in charge of this merry policy auction?
Step forward Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Minister and proud GMB member. He’s also the recipient of £11,000 directly from the GMB for his campaigns in Tooting. Want to change legislation directly? Better reach for your wallet with this lot…
Silvio Berlusconi has survived 54 votes of confidence over the years, but there is intense speculation that he will be the next leader forced out in the Very European Coup. The longest-serving G20 leader won’t go down without a fight. We shouldn’t forget he has survived his allies Blair, Bush, Howard and Aznar, who never really recovered from their joint adventures in Iraq.
He has a real headache though this morning: the rumours he was off yesterday lead to a significant swell in the Italian markets, which would not have gone unnoticed in Berlusconi’s own party. All eyes are on the state finance bill going through the Italian Parliament at three…
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Five Arguments Against Paying MPs More | Left Foot Forward
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Guido’s Column | Sun
Safe Seat MPs Will Be Paid More Than Marginal MPs | Alex Wickham
Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
Labour Select Union Candidate in Falkirk | Guardian
The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”