December 28th, 2011

2011: The Year of the ‘Pilgrim’

Continuing with the review of the year, one campaign that Guido has been proud to put on the agenda has been the fight against taxpayer-funded trade union activists. He coined their now commonly adopted nickname: “Pilgrims”. 

Eighteen months ago Guido was chewing the cud with a source who works in education in some Westminster watering-hole. Even after four Guinnesses, he still did not believe the story he was being told. Apparently there were teachers that were paid full-time salaries, yet worked full-time on trade union activity. Another teacher had to be employed to cover for this activist, this pushed a particular school over budget. Guido didn’t really think much more on the subject until a piece of research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance came across his desk a few months later. Their formidable FoI team had scatter-gunned almost every area of the state, trying to work out exactly how much of our money was was being wasted on unions bods who are paid for by us rather than out of the union members’ subscriptions. That leaves plenty of union money around to prop up Ed Miliband and bus people around the country for astro-turfed protests. It was on…

With the unions agitating it was only a matter of time before someone said something stupid. In April one such taxpayer-funded trade union official put her head above the parapet and claimed to the Standard that Andrew Lansley had lied about NHS cuts at a pre-election visit to St Georges Hospital in Tooting. Unfortunately for the now infamous Jane Pilgrim, Mark Clarke, the local Tory candidate who had organised said visit, had a slightly clearer recollection of events – mainly that Jane had refused to meet Lansley on political grounds. The first shots were fired and suddenly Jane Pilgrim, the union-funded smearing liar, began to unravel. She had a private consultancy firm on the side and lived at the expense of the taxpayer too. Eventually she was forced back kicking and screaming to frontline nursing, but the can of worms had been opened…

Guido has seen emails sent around senior brothers expressing concern that the activities of Unison’s poster-girl could be the thin-edge of the wedge and they even speculated that her big mouth might ruin the taxpayer funded fun and games for everyone.  How right they were. Suddenly, with personification and a focus point, the outrage about the concept of taxpayer-funded trade-union staff grew. Speeches began to be made in Parliament, motions were put down and people began to realise that there is a Nurse Pilgrim in every hospital, school, government department and pen-pushing office in the country.  The TPA numbers came alive and the bandwagon was rolling

As Guido began smoking out further pilgrims, David Cameron was put on the spot about at PMQs in May. June saw public opinion turn in the polls. The tabloids waded in and Eric Pickles and Frankie Maude soon got behind the issue. As conference season approached word reached Guido that a breakthrough was imminent. On the eve of Tory conference leaked CCHQ briefings saw MPs given anti-pilgrim lines and Pickles and Maude opened fire from the podium. In less than six months a full government consultation had been announced and the figures mooted as potential savings saw even more people get behind the campaign. Union funded Labour MPs went berserk

By the end of the year the term “Pilgrim” was being used by the BBC and every broadsheet. Guido hears that the Oxford English Dictionary might have a surprise for Jane in the New Year. If all goes to plan Guido will personally nail the page to the front door of Unison’s HQ. In April their Head of Press, Mary Maguire, tried to launch a formal investigation into Guido for having the audacity to question her when she said there was no story here. Now we know why…

Guido’s jihad does not stop here though. New TPA numbers reveal the number of Pilgrims went up in the last year, a fact that could be the straw to break the camel’s back. Legislation from the backbenches is in the pipeline, Mark Clarke went on to form the Trade Union Reform Campaign to fight for a total overhaul of union funding, and Guido will be keeping a close eye on Maude and Pickle’s promised consultation when it launches next month.

The threat of ending taxpayer-funding may well be a useful bargaining chip in strike negotiations, but at the end of the day the practice is morally wrong and Guido’s in this one for the long haul…


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

    One of the best of the year!


    • 3
      Billy Blowjob is the saddest cunt ever ! says:

      Bilbo, do you EVER take a break from posting on this site you sad, housebound invalid?


    • 65
      nellnewman says:

      Hi Bill. How you doing? You’ve gathered yourself a couple of funny commenters there. Where on earth did you find them? Or are they pilgrims trying to divert attention away from their inexcusable troughing?


    • 217
      Backstairs Billy Vague says:

      You’re easily pleased, though I knew that already.


    • 250
      @a2mac says:

      Pilgrams are the foot soldiers for the Triad Unions. One of the largest money making scamsters in the world. It is the bosses we need to get and their political pocket puppets like Ed the Red and Ed the Reder.

      The UK public sector is infected with corrupt Triad Union officials doing favours, making deals for gang members and profiting through enforced contributions to the brothers.

      I believe a Mr Clarkson may have suggested a suitable solution although I prefer a more civilised hemp rope and lamposts.


    • 265
      Abraham Simpson says:

      And how have the Pilgrims progressed since?


  2. 2
    Gordon Brown says:

    I like farts.


    • 5
      Nurse Botha says:

      Yes, dear – we all take pleasure in our own. However, The Ladies are finding your unhealthy interest in their emissions rather unsettling, Mr. Brown.


    • 239
      Cell time says:

      It explains how you chose those to surround you as PM, shame they still linger, like a bad…


  3. 4
  4. 8
    john in cheshire says:

    guido, I hope you and others, including the Taxpayers Alliance, persist with this matter. Unions shouldn’t receive one penny of taxpayers money to carry out their works. I used to be ambivalent towards the need for unions; now I believe they are past their sell-by date and should be left to wither away. same for all socialist quasi-state organs of maliciousness, such as the guardian newspaper and the bbc.


    • 17
      AC1 says:

      The employable would be much better served by employers competing to employ them than by unions.

      It’s therefore why the unions support job competition killers like income and sales taxes and minimum wage (compulsory unemployment) idiocy.


      • 29
        Grumpy old Man says:

        Triple pay +a day off in lieu and still striking = Driverless Trains. Unions do have a place in society to keep rapacious employers honest. Pity they’re bloody useless at that being too involved in extra-democratic activity.


        • 34
          Grumpy old Man says:

          Insisting that all Labour interns were paid at least the minimum wage would be a good start,


        • 249
          t says:

          ‘Rapacious employers’ only seem to exist when income is guaranteed, in the real world these luxories are a distant memory.


    • 66
      Hugh Janus says:

      +1. Keep after them Guido. It’s a bloody cheek that the taxpayer funds these prats – and therefore the Liebore Party too. Two birds with one stone….


    • 98
      Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the police federation Guido and other police “union” activities


    • 232
      The Pundit Two says:

      100% with you on this corrupt issue.
      Union Pilgrims should go to hell not to heaven.


  5. 13
    Billy's mum says:

    Dry hump Billy now!


  6. 15
    Hal Luxvalgus says:

    Can pilgrims still be treated on the NHS ?


  7. 24
    Dickie Keys says:

    I’d hang out the back of that Rachel Reeves all night long


  8. 26
    AC1 says:

    The late Sam Francis gave us the invaluable term “anarcho-tyranny” to describe that state of society in which “we refuse to control real criminals (that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).”


  9. 30
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Great work Guido. A simple campaign that could save us all millions. I wish you could be rewarded with just 10% of the savings.

    What I can’t understand is why all these workshy scroungers have not been sacked by now? For example the BBC clip says the DWP employ 308 of these full-time staff alone. That’s a cut anyone could support, except the unions and their Labour stooges.


  10. 31
    Gordon Brown says:

    Smell my crotch.


  11. 32
    Grumpy old Man says:

    Guido. Nailing things to other people’s doors is criminal damage. Don’t promise what you can’t legally do.


  12. 38
    Jane Pig Grim says:

    I would valiant be, ‘gainst all disaster.


  13. 39
    CiderKing says:

    “If all goes to plan Guido will personally nail the page to the front door of Unison’s HQ…..”

    are you going to do this naked?


  14. 41

    This is one of the most significant political stories in the UK this past year, and reminds us that the Left will always find ways to sponge off everyone else, as is their inground nature.

    Apart from Pilgrims, there are other subversives embedded into just about every public body in the nation, from schools and hospitals to councils and police forces. These will include Common Purpose “graduates” and others not even (yet) known about by most people, still to be discovered.

    Thus the Pilgrims issue, while hugely important in itself, is really just the start of a detoxification that will take years to deal with, and even then it is unlikely to be even close to being fully successful. That is the rot that the Left always bring to a society in pursuance of their self-centred agenda, and that’s why the Left *are* rot, absolute filthy, corrupt garbage! The Pilgrims are a good reminder of this.


    • 56
      Steve Lloyd says:



    • 117

      As you felt the need to post in that manner, it’s a safe bet that I’ve done several billion times more than you have, some of which is public knowledge (and some of that reported on my ‘blog from time to time) and much of which is not as yet.

      Yes, I too have campaigns of my own running at any moment in time, though not on the scale of Guido’s.


      • 134

        Already done my stint as an elected councillor for eight years, now operating independently of the codes of conduct that apply to all such positions, quite apart from any party loyalties and impositions.

        The inside knowledge gained from that time has been invaluable in conducting my own campaigns, some of which would have been impossible if I had been in an elected position.

        Perhaps instead of being insulting, you might like to consider that some of us know where we are best placed, and have already considered all the alternatives.

        Oh, and it’s good to have confirmation that my assessment was accurate, as if it had been otherwise it would have been challenged immediately.


      • 140
        Pawn Sandwich says:

        Just had a look, you run a good blog. Nice stuff!


    • 126
      Dickie Keys says:

      I agree with this 125%


    • 127
      Marcus Edwardius says:

      The more I hear about the way that the organisation called ‘Common Purpose’ works – the more concerned I get. Training and indoctrination paid for (in the main) by public sector bodies. A hidden (albeit left-wing) agenda, and although they have no secret handshake, a hidden membership that keep their identities to themselves. Unions and Common Purpose members work within our public sector to progress their own political agendas and undermine the rest of us. Please Guido… Let’s pull the rug from undr them ….


      • 136

        Yes, that would be a good target for next year; but they are very well embedded and not easy to discover.

        I managed to find out those working in my local council who have been sent on Common Purpose training by that council, because there are obvious records of payments made to that outfit. No doubt there are plenty more who came to our council after having had the ‘training’ (which, I understand, is a form of brainwashing).

        I cannot unearth those, especially as they operate covertly, unlike the Union bods who are (a) more visible and (b) sometimes become more public – as Jane Pilgrim did.

        Thus I, you, Guido and the rest of us have a tougher job ahead with Common Purpose – but you (and I, up the comments thread a little way) are right to mention them here. I do hope they can be tackled with this mini-community’s combined resources to extend the work already being done by StopCP.


        • 152
          apathetic mathmetician says:

          Your blog has no comments and, from that statistic, I can deduce that you have a readership of one.


          • Silly boy! I know what my non-robot traffic is.

            Every time I have tightened my comments policy it has had a significant impact, and the number of comments (especially nowadays) has little if any bearing on the actual readership.

            Fortunately, most readers have no quibble with what I write and it was largely Lefty trolls who have now given up trying – but for a while they were sufficiently worried about my ‘blog that they specifically targeted it.

            There are several clues for the perceptive in all of this, and they apply to a greater or lesser extent elsewhere, including here.


      • 137
        CYNICAL OLD MAN says:

        Marcus Edwardius, check out Common Purpose on Google. You’ll find a number of familiar names have passed through that organisation’s portals. You are correct that their graduates have infiltrated all strata of society – the idiot who oversaw the shooting of Jean-Charles De Menezes, Cressida Dick, was an attendee of their tutorials.

        The Media, politics, public services – in fact the entire establishment of this country have been infiltrated by Common Purpose. You only have to see the backgrounds of those who created the organisation and who runs it to see what their “common purpose” is. It’s also one of those taxpayer assisted fake charities that seem to have proliferated under New Labour.

        You should be concerned!


        • 155
          East India Company wallah says:

          BBC,Guardian,Arts rentseekers et al
          Pilgrims on the doss
          Trade unions sponsor most Labour MPs
          32 MPs sponsored by the Co-Op (why)
          Emilys list-pro-abortion sponsor of Labour MPs (?)
          Common purpose has made a hell of a lot of progress and with an increasingly stupid population (eduacation,eduaca………) its a wonder Labour are ever out of power and it explains why their support is hung at 30% despite being the greatest fuckin morons ever let legally into a locked bank


      • 179
        JH says:

        Common Purpose. The Alpha Course for lefties.

        Preying on the weak, albeit self-righteous minds so prevalent in the public sector.


    • 170
      Welcome to Error 666 - The Number of the Beast says:

      Not impressed, Ewa.

      What have you done to change the world … apart from drinking cider?


  15. 43

    1. No one can understand Virgil’s Bucolics unless he has been a shepherd for five years. No one can understand Virgil’s Georgics, unless he has been a farmer for five years.
    2. No one can understand Cicero’s Letters (or so I teach), unless he has busied himself in the affairs of some prominent state for twenty years.
    3. Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles.

    Do not assail this divine Aeneid; nay, rather prostrate revere the ground that it treads.

    We are beggars: this is true.

    Martin Luther

    Just off to Wittenberg to deliver his ASBO.


  16. 48
  17. 59
    chinky bear keeper says:

    perhaps guido or neo can interview jane pilgrim to she how she likes having to work for a living rather than simply sponging off the taxpayers for being a rabble rousing, political stooge?


  18. 63
    Weygand says:

    A lot of expressions of outrage but the fact that the number of pilgrims has risen since the campaign started is hardly a mark of success.

    Does the government really have the appetite not just to analyse the problem but to do something about it?


  19. 64
    Timmy Tin Foil says:

    Aiden Burley rails in the House against Pilgrims. Aiden Burley gets stitched up with that SS-uniformed-bloke-in-France business. Nuff said.


  20. 67
    TomH says:

    Funny how you don’t mention the slight hiccough you faced: the MP who was leading the parliamentary side of your campaign is one who has a high tolerance for morally outrageous behaviour:


  21. 71
    Anonymous says:

    Hmmmn – usual bunch of union bashers here – some no doubt friends of big business and others just little people who feel the unions are too big for their boots and yes attend a union meeting and all the “now brothers” rhetoric does rather stick in the throat BUT they are a necessary “….” (insert word of your choice) without unions employers would pay no heed to employment law and trample all over employess rights. God knows this country has some of the weakest employment protection already So Guido you may feel you are a crusader but before you get too smug be careful what you wish for.


    • 76
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      Bob Crow and friends need unions to fund there 100k (plus expenses) lifestyle.

      Up the workers!


      • 122
        Bob Crowing says:

        Up yours, comrade! Remind me again; who the fuck are you?


        • 158
          Bob says:

          Billy, I could not survive on 100k you huhne

          just because you opt out of the political lvy does not mean that you are not a member – everybody at your compound is a member


    • 87
      Hugh Janus says:

      Are you not (deliberately perhaps?) missing the point here? It’s a very simple one; the unions – and therefore their members – should be funding their representatives, not the taxpayer.


    • 103
      Democracy Now says:

      Having been an (unpaid) union rep with the GMB in the past, I agree with you that unions can be very important in protecting the lowliest most put-upon people in the workplace.

      However, the pilgrims are invariably indolent leeches more concerned about their cushy lifestyles and spouting crap than rocking the boat with awkward questions or even looking after their members. The vast sums of public money sloshing around union HQs mean the paid staff are not really very bothered about listening to the ordinary members if they say things they don’t want to hear. Being more reliant on dues for their wages should make unions more democratic.


    • 105
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      King Arthur + extra-democratic action to change the government = Switch to North Sea Gas in double-quick time
      Triple pay + a day off in lieu on the table and they still strike = driverless trains.

      That’s not representing the worker’s interests..


    • 123
      nellnewman says:

      As my old Dad used to say ‘ don’t join a union if you want to be free’


      • 135

        I had to join the T&GWU when I was young as it was a closed shop. A change had been made by the Heath government that one could donate the political levy to charity instead of it going to the Labour party. Needless to say that there was no mechanism to do this when I asked. There was no way either that I could verify what had happened to my deduction. The law says one thing. They carry on regardless.

        The trick will not be in changing the law. It will be in forcing compliance.


    • 151
      Ol' Blue Eyes says:

      Anyone trying to ban unions here? Nope. So now that your straw man is gone, why don’t you make your case for union officials getting paid by taxpayers’ money rather than union dues?


    • 164
      Weygand says:

      I can see why you wish to remain anonymous.


      You forget to mention that it was the Unions who saddled the Labour Party with Ed Miliband – trampling all over the will of the party members (more ‘little people’ as you put it) in the process – and thereby made a more important donation to the Tories than all the friends of big business put together.


  22. 75
    nellnewman says:

    So approximately £130 / £150million per annum is leached out of the public purse to pay union pilgrims to agitate and make trouble in the workplace.

    It doesn’t say much for unions does it that even with all that money and organisation they weren’t able to fulfil their threat back in November to bring the country to its knees? Something about paperbags and breweries comes to mind.

    All the same abolishing pilgrims, saving us money and making unions fund their own activities from voluntary subs has got to be the way to go.


    • 80
      50 Calibre says:



    • 138
      Labour/TUC = liars and sell-outs says:

      ‘make trouble in the work place’

      Full time union reps, like all full time union officials, don’t make any trouble. They’re never happier when cooking up deals with the bosses, whilst being fireproof themselves of course. This is what the CBI mean when they talk about ‘modern trade unions’.

      The Tories need to be careful what they wish for – democratic, syndicalist unions would be a lot harder to deal with than the staid, compliant, establishment-figures that are the excuses for trade unions we have in this country at the moment.


  23. 83
    Billy Bowden is Guido says:

    I am certain of it.


    • 92
      Billy Bowden is the greatest Pilgrim ever ! says:

      “Billy Bowden” is a car-park attendant who spends time, that he should be devoting to the job he is paid for, to do other tasks such as to Tweet Guido Fawkes to no end and post on this blog.


      • 115
        Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

        I gave up my Cristmas to keep this blog running, didn’t I guido? I kept writing little comments, 24/7, until the big boys came back. I dont care, do I neo/real? This blog is bigger than god an neo is better looking than Jesus anyway.


        • 160
          Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

          It is not a car park – it is an industrial depot for the council and im senior security here so you can fuck off


          • JH says:

            The council doesn’t seem to get much industry out of you – too busy posting on here, you attention seeking tw*t.

            You didn’t used to be head of security at George Harrison’s house, by any chance?


      • 183
        Billy Bowden is the greatest Pilgrim ever ! says:

        “Billy Bowden” is the senior security officer at a Council industrial depot, who spends time that he should be devoting to the job he is paid for, to do other tasks such as to Tweet Guido Fawkes to no end and post on this blog.

        Is that better, Billy?


  24. 86
    Ian says:

    Paid time off for union officials might be part of the EU’s social legislation – best to check this I think Guido.


    • 124
      nellnewman says:

      Ah another reason to get out of the ‘chuck good money after bad’ club.


    • 161
      Ol' Blue Eyes says:

      When I worked for a national newspaper, I was actually quite friendly with the Unite reps, though I was not a member for ideological reasons. They were decent blokes who were completely abandoned by Unite when the paper made loads of staff redundant – because I suspect the paper was a Labour supporting one. But I digress.

      They were allowed a certain amount of paid time to do their union duties. However this had to not interfere with their ability to do their jobs and cover their shifts. This I think is reasonable. I actually accept what Rachel Reeves says about this contributing to a contented workplace, although her argument is misplaced defending pilgrims.

      Doing some union work during working hours is clearly not the same as someone working full time as a union official and getting paid by the company / organisation rather than the union. There is no law that demands this and no private company in its right mind would accept such a situation. Full time union officials should be paid for by union dues.


      • 168
        nellnewman says:

        Yes just one point – in Jane Pilgrim’s and her thousands of clones in public service – not only do they get paid to work full time but then the authority has to fund an additional nurse or police officer or whatever to cover their frontline duties.

        Double whammy to the taxpayer.


  25. 93
    Kim Jong Ern says:

    No argument against Pilgrims being forced to fund themselves, but the idea of Pickles and Maude being champions against leeching off the taxpayers with their record on expenses is somewhat ironical.
    Set a thief to catch a thief?


    • 107
      Democracy Now says:

      Pickles doesn’t really care about thievery. He’s a blow hard.

      Just look at his abject failure to get on top of the endemic criminality and corruption in local authorities. Some of his planning ‘non-decisions’ have looked as if he is colluding with it.


      • 119
        Handycock, Crime Lord, Portsmouth says:

        Quite correct. All political parties in this country raise funds from planning decisions. It is entirely corrupt but very lucrative. Here in Portsmouth we have raised it to a fine art. We apply to central government for as many immigrants they will send us and get paid handsomely for it. We have sold off many of our council properties to cronies which are then let out to students. My boys, who are all extremely wealthy through illegal activities, launder their profits through property development. I organise the planning permissions and the properties are let out to the immigrants, all on benefits, so the money is guaranteed. Everyone gets very rich! Boaz.


        • 178
          Editor, Pravda says:

          I wonder if the Press aren’t already on to this Mr Cock. Looks from some of the FOI requests that they are fully aware.


        • 260
          Former Colleague says:

          Good of you to confirm what some of us Portsmouth folk have been thinking for a long time. The City Council is going rotten from the inside. Planning and Regeneration have long looked corrupt – with all the prizes going to ‘friends of Handy’ and never mind too closely about Building Regulations. Listed buildings torched too – as a way of avoiding the costs of compliance let alone the cost of demolition. Even the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in trouble for cowboy accounting and the presence of an alleged fraudster on the Committee. A check on your FOI link shows just how careful they are to avoid coming clean about sales of Council properties to Officers and Members. And who is at the centre of all this skullduggery? – none other than the lad Handy himself?


  26. 101
    conspiracy, I think not says:

    1) Aidan Burley speaks out against the unions
    2) The unions mobilise against Aidan Burley
    3) The press publish a picture of him in the vicinity of a man in a generic WWII German army uniform (while simultaneously ignoring any mention of Ed Balls actually wearing an SS uniform)
    4) There is a national media campaign against him, led by the Left-wing Press
    5) He loses his job.


  27. 104
    Anonymous says:

    What an excellent post and so very true. I’ve just about had it too now.

    Why should I bother working when there are so many parasites living off my earnings? no, no ,no, not any more. I’ve had it with this country, and don’t even get me started talking about PRODUCTIVITY either!


  28. 106
    City of Vice says:

    O/T WTF is Cameron doing, risking his newly found popularity(the EU two fingers refer) by toying with the idea of putting up the price of booze for everyone to ‘tackle’ the binge drinking ‘problem’ of a minority?

    Just Is this another one of that idiot hippy Hilton’s bright ideas?

    Pure crassness.


    • 205
      South of the M4 says:

      It is indeed the sort of Brownism that the country voted against. Big government knows best et al. Cameron is no better than Brown and we will not progress out of the mire until there is a change. Kinnock started the reform of the Labour party and that was his role. Cameron ended the horror of Brown – and that was his role. We need to move along now …………..


    • 215
      Al Capone says:

      Say, here’s a thought: Why don’t we make it illegal to sell booze altogether? That’ll cut down on booze consumption! *(Laughs up sleeve)*


  29. 112
    Athanasius says:

    There is a piece of sleight of hand in all of the answers given in favour of pilgrims: that they represent staff and are therefore well place to negotiate on their behalf and diffuse difficult situations before they become problems. The trouble is that they only do this for union members. If they carried out this function on behalf of everybody in the enterprise there might well be a rationale for the enterprise to pay them (and to select them as well). But they don’t, so there isn’t.


  30. 114

    At least I never lost the union funding – though i did lose every f*cking thing else.


  31. 128
    Spanner in the works. says:

    In the Daily Politics interview Jo Coburn admits that pilgrims exist within the BBC so even the licence payers are paying for them.


  32. 129
    not a machine says:

    Hard to imagine isnt it , nurses ,teachers roll up for work and yet some of them toddle off to do union work and a replacement has to be funded . I am also wondering if things like offices and utilities are provided on tax payer as well ? But then what is this union work ? members subs up to date ? hardly more than a couple of days , so how is the rest justified ? politicising cuts isnt really local union work , surely thats head office stuff .whole year not doing job really doesnt add up , it does need sorting if belt tightening needs to be made to keep front line effective .

    Been as few reviews of the years news have been aired , one of the most shocking and amazing bits of footage from Lybia conflict was of a rebel fighter on a stretcher , with an unexploded RPG sunk into his upper leg , wonder how he got on . In a the more video age , shame the old stills photjournalism doesnt get much of look in these days .

    Must be a little thin in Guardian , noting failure to balance with what labours budget would have meant , should run an article on how health tourists or £130 to change a light bulb is affecting things ……… you never know might get the hang of socialist economics one day .

    Labour must have decided on a horrid whiff message for the break . I am not sure if Nicks new year message is the bridge builder as it was all a little frought before christmas “things are going to be difficult in 2012″ “comming together in the national economic interest” it might have been better if he had inserted “and I am convinced that the only blame for the difficult year ahead must surely rest upon the shoulders of the previous Labour government , who not only have never provided any credible budget , but seem to believe the debt was caused by actions other than there policy of utter runinomics and I name them all as liars and deceivers of the british people and will be giving them a lesson on ecnomics and poverty at my next deputy PMQs and praising the tories more “


    • 133

      Union subs are deducted before the employee ever sees his/her pay so that is another couple of days saved. The only work that is left is political, or in the case of Jane Pilgrim and her ilk, more pocket lining.


      • 229
        Marcus Edwardius says:

        A QUESTION:

        If Union subs are taken out of an employees pay (along with PAYE tax, NI etc), is the Union subs money taxed – or is it paid free of tax? Does anyone know?

        It wouldnt surprise me to find out that no tax is paid on the subs money

        All monies that I pay for membership to organisations and is paid out of my net (tax paid) money.


  33. 130
    What's in a name says:

    Pilgrims should be Clarksoned


  34. 131
    rinka scott says:

    if there is trouble on the shop floor let the bosses sort it out themselves.

    I for one am sick and tired of shop stewards having to sort out the mess time and time again caused by inept largely English management.

    Have you ever bought an English computer?

    I rest my case.


    • 167
      Ol' Blue Eyes says:

      Who are these mythical bosses that lefty union types always bring up? In the context of the public sector, do they mean their fellow Unison members on higher pay grades or do they mean Joe Taxpayer who actually employs them?


    • 199
      Beowulff says:

      Computers were invented by the English and many of the top execs now in Computer Companies throughout the world are English.

      The reason nothing is manufactured here is because the Unions destroyed British Industry over the past 40 years, as I witnessed throughout my working life in multinational companies.


    • 222
      Another Engineer says:

      The majority of the worlds computers have a CPU designed by a UK company. Where they are manufactured isn’t the point.


  35. 132
    Graham says:

    Somebody should have asked Rachel whether these pilgrims would represent an Employee NOT in the Union?


  36. 139
    NeverRed says:

    So, No Pilgrims Progress!

    The Trade Union Modernisation Fund has still not been stopped either!


  37. 142
    Against the grain says:

    Is Tracey Emin going to be vilified by the left now that she’s said she’s a Tory voter? She’s always been a popular member of the arts. Will this change all of a sudden because she’s openly revealed herself not to be a Labour supporter?


    • 159
      Tessa Tickles says:

      I wouldn’t call her “a popular member of the arts”.

      “Talentless dipshit mong-faced slutty retard” might just about sum her up, though.


      • 165
        nellnewman says:

        Let’s put it this way – would you pay £thousands to hang/display her ‘art’ in your home?

        Bit like the pilgrims isn’t she?

        artless, talentless and part of the ‘something for nothing’ culture that labour invented.


        • 171

          I will defend her nell. I despise her art. But it sells in a free market. And successfully. She has made a lot of money. She does not see the socialist way as a good way to spend it. We can surely agree on that.

          So unlike Voltaire, or his latter-day equivalent, Billy, I would defend her position – but not to the death.


          • nellnewman says:

            If she can manufacture and sell her products to private individuals and make a profit then more power to her elbow.

            If however she makes money from galleries funded by the public purse I regret I cannot support her.


          • Most galleries are funded by donations, appеals, admission fees, sales of books and refreshments in the sense of their acquisition costs. Many works of art are gifted, some in lieu of death duties.

            Their running costs (staff wages, heating, lighting, cleaning etc.) are normally met by local authorities, or central government. Some of this comes from the National Lottery Fund although the percentage has fallen since Labour came to office in 1997.

            Clearly some art galleries are run as trusts where they were set up by benefactors who left an endowment to keep them going.

            It is possible that government funds sometimes contributes to acquisitions but the percentage must be minute as Labour did not seem to value our heritage of art at all.


  38. 144
    Against the grain says:

    That didn’t take long. Emin says she gets abuse from other artists for being a Tory.


    • 166
      nellnewman says:

      Ah I thought she was bosom pals with the last labour government – no doubt when they were giving out grants.

      Now of course it’s best to be bosom pals with the coalition government.

      All about business etc …


      • 172
        Against the grain says:

        Your comment is nonsensical because she says in the interview that she agrees with the coalition’s austerity measures on the arts. She’s never been given a grant. She sells her art on the open market. I wish people like you wouldn’t rush to judgement without checking facts first. It’s no better than the lefties abusing Emin. Save your ire for the artist who she says called her decision to vote Tory “criminal”.


        • 176
          Bored with the Beeb says:

          Did she name them?


        • 186
          nellnewman says:

          She sells her art on the open market? +++Laugh+++

          Who was it commissioned her version of the unmade bed??!!


          • Errrr..... says:

            Only a total fuck-tard would commission or buy anything from her. It’s all total shite. Surely the 1st 2.9 years of a 3yr modern art course (if there is such a thing…..where do they come from?) is spent learning how to talk shite about their latest piece of shite so as to convince some dickhead to buy it, display it or fund more of it. I remember seeing TE on tv talking about a sparrow on a pole she’d been commissioned (by the BBC) to make for some building in Liverpool. I was tempted to drive over there and kill her with it.


        • 207
          Bob Cobbing says:

          Um Emin did get a grant in her younger days for making a pillar of salt on the beach and as other have pointed out all UK artists are supported by the UK taxpayer funded gallery system (Tate, South London Gallery Turner Prize etc). T


          • say what you see says:

            Ignore nell, she’s an ignorant Philistine.


          • Mr M 'One Foot In The Grave' Foot says:

            Yes but will you admit that the grant was under a Tory government or will you ignore that little gem of history and continue you on your ill founded rant lol?


  39. 146
  40. 147
    Fake Billy © says:

    tell her we love her but she’s gotta start taking politics seriously or the world might go tits up. Excuse my language, Mrs. Bothas.


  41. 173
    Professor Henry Brubaker, Institute for Studies says:

    Good work Guido, something you can be proud of for 2011.

    For 2012 I’d be happy if you could push Huhne over the edge. Not just out of office and into prison but actually drive him to suicide.

    Huhne hanging himself would make my 2012.


  42. 174
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:

    Just back from making a keynote speech at Kim Jong-il’s funeral, I shall be delivering my inspiring 2012 Address to the Nation tomorrow.

    Your Glorious Leader-in-Waiting, Ed


  43. 175
    Kim Jong Ill II says:

    No you sillies. Not Kim Jong ill is ill. Kim Jong Ill-the second. Like a poor sequel with Steven Segal.
    Anyway, just reminding you that of the axis of evil leaders, two down and one to go.

    Although Gadaffi was not technically in the axis of evil club, both him and Assad and Mugabee were considered the reserve team.

    So axis of evil gang not doing too well. Especially as we have lost great leader who not only could predict the weather, but was also world’s best Elvis impersonator.



    • 181
      Lou Scannon says:

      You have been distracted into watching a sideshow. If you want to know about the true axis of evil then seek out the bankers. 1913 would be a good place to start.


      • 184
        nellnewman says:

        ‘True axis of evil’ OMG! Now there’s a concept to play with!!

        Without a doubt bliar (& his illegal wars) alycampbell ( & his use of press for backstabbling and smearing) mandy (& his manipulation of dark forces) and gordon ( with his light touch regulation and evil pact with the bankers) will be in there somewhere.


        • 259
          Lou Scannon says:

          But you’re still only talking about bit-part players, evil though they are. You need to step back and look at the big picture.


      • 257
        Olive Oil says:

        Any one else know of any ‘virgin births’ in the last couple of thousand years or so?


  44. 180
    1569 Rising says:

    I dont understand this Pilgrim thingy. I have been to Lourdes, Rome, Assisi, Walsingham etc, and can honestly say that this Jane, of which you speak, was never among the Pilgrims to such holy places. Are you sure she is not masquerading as someone of which she is not. An imposter, gadzooks.

    (Blesses himself with holy water, and waves his thurible in the air to rid this blog of such impious persons)


    • 221
      The Miller says:

      Wer tha beestlie cretur a pylgrimme wi’ oor band, I sholde ha’ notised. Mayhap she war wi’ an other.


  45. 189
    Aslef says:

    Little shop boys & girls getting a bollocking for being late for boxing day work..Ahh didums.
    Did the nasty bosses tell you off? Tell ‘em to lump it you wusses. Us poor tube drivers tell the boss man to stick it any time we like. Wots ee gonna do, eh? Nuffin is wot. Scared of us they is.

    Well go on strike like wot we dun then little shop girls and all those poofs in menswear at Harrods.. Whole country should be on strike! Strikes never dun no ‘arm to no-one. Country loved a good strike over nothing right up until Fatcher cum along and spoiled it all. So wot if we was like Greece wiff our £55k a year for a train guard who dun neven turn up to work. So bloody wot?

    Strike!Strike!Strike. Strike our way out of debt lads. Strike! strike! strike!


  46. 191
    HappyUK says:

    Why does ANY of the public sector need unionizing anyway??

    The need for a union boils down to this basic question: Do you have a bastard of a boss who wants you to work harder for less money?

    In the private sector, the answer can be yes. In the public sector, the answer is NO! The “bosses” of government employees are co-conspirators in screwing the taxpayer.

    Government workers think the job of ‘the Quiet Man’ is to protect their high salaries, crazy work rules and obscene pensions. They self-righteously lecture us about public service, the children, a “living wage” — all in the service of squeezing more money from the taxpayer to fund their breathtakingly selfish job arrangements.

    For decades now, the Left have had a good innings buying the votes of
    government workers with outrageous salaries, benefits and work rules —
    and then sticking productive earners with the bill. The money ran out long ago, time for this nonsense to stop.


    • 197
      South of the M4 says:

      In the private sector too. Union rules on generous payments and benefits are still pricing British workers out of my industry. Collective bargaining still exists and to the detriment of the British employee. If I cannot afford to pay a British worker triple time PLUS a day in lieu for a bank holiday – then I am going to ensure no bank holidays are worked. Or if I have to pay for an employee of a particular union to travel to work then I am going to ensure I only employee people who live locally. It is that or I am not competitive and do not get the contract and then no one has a job.


    • 210
      Franklin Roosevelt says:

      As lefty as I was, with the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, even I tried to get public sector workers excluded from unionising:


    • 216
      Beowulff says:

      I think it’s high time we looked to true socialist countries like North Korea and China to provide us with the best in Unions, Union Leadership and worker motivation.

      Do you know, they’re so caring of employee health and safety, they put nets under their dormitory windows and across the stair wells to prevent them committing suicide.

      That is really Unions in action


    • 228
      Errrr..... says:

      Maybe unions would develop even if there wasn’t a ‘need’ for them. Some bright spark would no doubt think ‘How can I convince this lot that they need me and should pay me enough to have a swanky house’. A bit like witch doctoring, protection racketeering and religion!? I’d love to be a fly on the wall during a government / union negotiation. Do transcripts ever get published. I suspect there’d be plenty of expletives. Must be hard work dealing with union reps.

      Never been a union member. Hope I never will be. ‘Never join a union if you want to be free’. Like it! Might feel different if I worked for a bad employer though.


    • 243
      Phil says:

      My main query is the “Union Modernisation Fund”and how many years does it take to modernise an organisation FFS or is it, like the Pilgrims, just another scam to extort money from the taxpayer which then eventually ends up in Labour’s pocket?


  47. 193
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I am a Pilgrim. My union pays me to write shite here 24/7 – doesn’t stop me winning prises such as the competetion prise.

    I laugh at you all.


  48. 195
    nellnewman says:

    Night Folks. New Year’s on the way.

    edmilitwit’s resolution for 2012 = more of the same & promises for a bigger economic black hole if only the electorate will give me the chance!


  49. 212
    Gordon Brown says:

    I did not realise that you could do a poo more than once a week


  50. 233
    albacore says:

    Fawkes reckons that he’s off on a jihad
    And the best of British luck to the lad
    There’s one little detail he’s overlooked
    Before any legislation gets booked
    The chances are that he’ll have grown old
    Parliament’s too slow to catch a cold
    (Of course, if the EU were so to direct
    Pilgrims would be gone with immediate effect)


  51. 241
    The Taxpayers' Alliance says:

    Thanks for sucking our rather small cocks!


  52. 244
    Gordon Brown says:



  53. 246
  54. 247
    Fancy that ! says:

    And heres me thinking you were a brand of shampoo !


  55. 253
    D L George says:

    Dear BBC.

    Why oh why oh why are you broadcasting that North Korean f*ckn*ts overtly stupid 48 hour funeral 24/7?


    • 258
      Olive Oil says:

      Beeb World TV showed a film about that leftist fantasy “Eugenics” yesterday. Going strong until quite recently in the USA.

      Did somebody put on the wrong tape?


  56. 261
    Anonymous says:

    It’s all about you, Guido.


  57. 263
    Sir Barnabas Scudamore says:

    Watching the clip with Chris Grayling and that women with brown hair – my goodness.

    Lets just hope that Her Majesty’s present government gets a LONG term in office.

    “……less industrial action in the last 13 years under Labour….” this was her final quote of the interview.

    I feel like stabbing my eyes out with knitting needles – rusty knitting needles……….what an idiot !!!!


  58. 267
    Displaced Brummie says:

    With the unions agitating it was only a matter of time before someone said something stupid. In April one such taxpayer-funded trade union official put her head above the parapet and claimed to the Standard that Andrew Lansley had lied about NHS cuts at a pre-election visit to St Georges Hospital in Tooting. Unfortunately for the now infamous Jane Pilgrim, Mark Clarke, the local Tory candidate who had organised said visit, had a slightly clearer recollection of events – mainly that Jane had refused to meet Lansley on political grounds

    Oh. See what Jane did, there? She accepts government money to work as a trade union official on behalf of her members. Refusing to meet anyone on the grounds that she did not like his politics is not just impolite, it is proof that she is not a trade union official, putting the representation of her union members first and foremost, but that she is a Labour Party activist, diverting funds for her union activity for political activity. Isn’t that illegal? Shouldn’t she replay all of the money she gained in salary?


  59. 268
    bewick says:

    It is now over 20 years since I had responsibility for Industrial Relations in a major Local Authority. It always pissed me off that the almost full time “shop stewards” were total shirkers who would demand meeting after meeting. After all FAR better to be drinking coffee and eating biscuits than actually working.
    I was working. They weren’t.
    These bastards once ruined my Christmas, many weekends, and perhaps my marriage.

    They mainly had a few attributes in common. 1. They were elected unopposed because the rest of the members, most of them cleverer, just couldn’t be arsed. I had the serious pleasure of actually SACKING one who happened to work in my team but thought he worked for the union. He was crap anyway and I caught him for time fraud not union activity.
    2. They were failures in their chosen occupation and promotion was seriously unlikely so why not cause trouble instead. I should add that the full time officers, actually paid BY the respective unions, were far more reasonable and I have fond memories of some of those. They were as frustrated as me.

    I TRIED to fix it but this was a Labour controlled Authority and some of the unions which now come under the Unison umbrella were financial contributors as well as canvassers for Labour councillors. They were “untouchable”
    Interestingly at the time all of the teaching unions were models of decorum. Can’t speak for the health sector since that wasn’t within my purview.

    I tip my hat to Guido and the TPA for finally exposing this, GREAT. I shall, eventually, die happy.


  60. 269
    J A Jones says:

    I remember on teacher training I was told I had to be a member of the Union and pay subs to fund strikes.


  61. 270
    Marcus Aurelius says:

    well done Guido, but we have a really long way to go yet.

    The first step is to wrest the “narrative” as Gramsci theologians say, from the bastards at the BBC. My blood pressure goes through the roof listening to John Humphries whingeing about “the cuts” every morning.

    The BBC’s idea of “news” is rehearsing te latest shock statistics from the Liebore Party research deparment about the alleged obesity/ drunkeness/ waycism of the lower orders from whom they squeeze the licence fee. Part II is inevitabilly the grilling a minister as to what the “gummint” plans to do about it.

    I would welcome some questions in the Holuse about why the BBC extorts taxpayer funding instead of funding itself by trading the assets nthat it has accumulated.


  62. 271
    Trevor Wedge OBE says:

    The Driving Standards Agency HQ had TWO full-time pilgrims, bothe Executive Officer Grade. One didn’t come into work until 10am, spent 12am to 2pm in the pub, and went home at 3pm – all paid for by the taxpayer. Nice work if you can get it!


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