The Real Cost of Peterborough Pilgrims

The unions have often moaned that the investigations into their facility time are unfair. If anything figures put out by the Taxpayers’ Alliance were very conservative. Take Rona Hendry (£43,600 per annum) and Mark Burn (£29,700 per annum) for example, two Pilgrims who seems to spend their time creating ‘social communities’ online for Peterborough Council.

The TPA report into taxpayer funding of trade unions said that Peterborough claimed the cost of Pilgrims was £56,385. Further digging puts the actual true cost at almost 50% higher. In other news Peterborough have rejected the council tax freeze.

Friday Caption Contest (Kojag Edition)

Tories at War!
Friends of Andrew Lansley Hit Back at Tim Montgomerie

Guido likes Tim Montgomerie and winced at this vicious briefing. He’s certainly upset some people today. Friends of Andrew Lansley especially:

“Tim’s sole achievement in politics was to be chief of staff to the most unpopular leader in Conservative history, so forgive us if we don’t take any lessons from him. He clearly wants to take the party back to the bad old days of constant infighting and no policy. He should stick to talking about gay marriage and leave serious issues like the NHS to the grown ups.”

It’s war!

Tory Grassroots Back NHS Reforms

Ashcroft-owned ConservativeHome has an editorial this morning saying that the NHS reform bill should be dropped. ConservativeHome is perceived and represents itself as the “voice of the grassroots”, editor Tim Montgomerie says that on this issue three Tory Cabinet ministers he has spoken to have “rung the alarm bell”:

One was insistent the Bill must be dropped. Another said Andrew Lansley must be replaced. Another likened the NHS reforms to the poll tax. The consensus is that the Prime Minister needs an external shock to wake him to the scale of the problem.

Well Cabinet Ministers are hardly the grassroots, who seem far more enthusiastic for NHS reform. Tim admits in the article that the NHS is not currently a high priority for voters, in fact according to Ashcroft-owned sister-website PoliticsHome’s polling, support is strong from Conservative voters, with a small plurality of support for even more radical policies, YouGov found that by 46% to 45% Tory voters would support privatisation of NHS services. The recognition that some kind of reform is necessary over-whelming and all-party:

The unions have pushed the Labour Party to oppose Coalition reforms which were along the same lines as New Labour in government were implementing. The idea that there is widespread opposition to local commissioning is union sponsored spin and scaremongering.  The idea that Tory activists oppose reform is ludicrous. They would go even further than the government…



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Quote of the Day

Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is asked where each party leader would be most likely to go on holiday:

David Cameron: “Monaco”

Nigel Farage: “Blighty”

Nick Clegg: “Caribbean”

Ed Miliband: “The Moon, his own little world”

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