Friday, September 7, 2012

Trade Union Reform Campaign Consultation Submission

The Trade Union Reform Campaign have outlined the opposition to taxpayer funding of trade unions for the Cabinet Office consultation that ends today.

Although the inquiry had a very narrow remit of looking into publicly funded union activity specifically within Whitehall, the hope is that a trickle down effect will spread from central government across the public sector:

Where it is expected that full-time union activity is set to be banned, TURC are calling for full outlawing of the ridiculous practice:

“In the consultation document it is suggested that the Government end the practice of employing full time Trade Union Representatives. However, this implies that the Government might be content to see people spending 50% of their time on paid union duties.

Recently Rachel Reeves MP (Lab, Leeds West), asked what the practical difference was between one person spending all their time on Union work and two people spending 50% of their time. The cost to the  taxpayer is the same and we risk going round in circles. Abolition represents best value for the taxpayer and avoids the risk of the time they take creeping up again once the issue is out of the headlines. We maintain that abolition removes any ambiguity and polling data suggests 86% of the public share our view.”

Despite all the voodoo economics and spin from the TUC this is a moral issue. Why should the taxpayer pick up the tab to pay for public sector unions to lobby for more taxpayers’ money?

Flamed Flamby

What has happened to Hollande? After coming to London and showering the capital and the Prime Minister with praise, he even managed to crack a funny:

“We also have an excellent relationship, as was shown again today at all levels, including in the field of defence where we have some ongoing, active cooperation. This shows that, beyond our differences, the most important thing is what unites us. It is the third time that David Cameron has welcomed me to London, though I did invite him to come to Paris even though we are not planning to organise the Olympic Games any time soon.”

Now this afternoon it’s reported that Hollande is going to be furthering his planned spending cuts. After his gold-gaffe and three  months in power, it seems reality is starting to bite for Flamby.

Cabinet Office Hint at Whitehall Pilgrim Movements

Pilgrims are back on the agenda for the last day of the consultation into taxpayer funding for Whitehall civil servants who are actually working on behalf on unions. The TUC mouthpiece put up on the Daily Politics bleated on about how it was all great value for money yet could not answer why, if these Pilgrims are so effective, the rate of public sector strikes is even higher. Digging around it seems that the TUC’s Paul Novak does not really believe what he told viewers today. Speaking in 2011 he said:

“In terms of the added value. Unions do not exist to help Britain’s workplaces to run more smoothly or to make them more productive…. Our core reason for being is to collectively and individually represent our members, their families and their communities  in the workplace and beyond.”

No doubt the TUC’s submission to the consultation won’t let the cat out of the bag quite so spectacularly.

Good signals are coming out of the Cabinet Office. Guido’s source in 70 Whitehall tells him:

“Frankie enjoyed reading Guido this morning. The meeting to discuss the consultation results is in the diary for the start of next week. We look forward to reading the responses but continue to wonder how the uncontrolled spending of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ hard-earned money can possibly be justified.”

The end is nigh…

Friday Caption Contest (In and Out Edition)

Compare and Contrast: Value for Gordon

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

If Grant Shapps’ first press release is anything to go by, not much has changed in the Party Chairman’s office over at CCHQ. Tory spinners are keen to point out that he has been kicking some arse in his first few days. Unhappy with the thumb-twiddling Corby campaign that he has inherited, the new Chairman has been sending out overly optimistic memos to all approved candidates compelling them to come and meet him on the front-line this weekend. “He’s not giving them much of a choice, it’s a clear sign of a new regime at CCHQ.” Same old lines being pumped out though…

Beauty and the Brute

It seems Nadine has not taken Bruce Anderson’s latest column on ConservativeHome too well:

“Sayeeda Warsi is me in a headscarf… so says the misogynistic, sexist dinosaur Bruce Anderson. More wine Bruce?”

Could make the ConservativeHome conference party a little awkward…

Tony Blair Latest Middle East Peace Deal

Alphaville is reporting that Tony is playing peacemaker again. Not quite between warring countries but close enough – between mining giants Glencore and Qatar Holding after the Qataris threatened to pull the plug on Glencore’s massive merger with Xstrata. The deal is said to be worth £70bn so no doubt there will be a nice slice of a piece of the action for our Tone…

Ex-Screws Hack Turns Lobbyist

Former Screws Political Editor Turns Lobbyist

Ex-Screws political editor Ian Kirby is off into the world of lobbying. Kirby has joined MHP Communications as a director to develop new campaigns and advise on media strategy. His experience of changing Gordon Brown’s kids nappies should set him up nicely. The move was announced with a lovely picture of a young looking Ian and an old friend…


Seen Elsewhere

Meanwhile, in Russia… | Media Guido
Christmas TV Tips | Laura Perrins
Labour Marginal Fright | Lord Ashcroft
Osborne’ Real Deficit Reduction Record | ConHome
Blameronism | Peter Oborne
Everyone Can Lose | Staggers
Splintering of the Left | Tim Montgomerie
Fallon’s Lawyer Loathing | Quentin Letts
Speaker Bercow Defeated | BBC
Nigel Farage is Bigger Than Jesus | Speccie
Year of Sleaze | City AM


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Labour insiders turn on Ed over Powell’s latest gaffe:

“When is he going to stop promoting useless people? He was warned about her.”


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