March 1st, 2013

Pickles: No More Pilgrims

Eric Pickles has long been a strong supporter of Guido’s campaign against Pilgrims. Today he has been fighting the good fight once again:

“For too long in the public sector, trade unions have received taxpayer funding that is poor value for money and inadequately controlled. Reducing such public subsidies to trade unions is a practical way that councils can save money, to keep council tax down and protect frontline services for local residents – including union members themselves. 

Trade union activities and campaigning in local councils should be funded by members’ subscriptions, not bankrolled by the taxpayer. Freedom from state dependency will also mean that trade union bosses will better reflect and respond to the wishes and views of the grassroots members who pay the bill.”

Guido will soon be able to report how the first stages Frankie Maude’s reforms have impacted on taxpayer-funded trade unionists. Watch this space…


  1. 1
    Lazybones says:

    He’s two years too late

  2. 2
    Casual Observer says:

    About time to. But what are the ‘bedroom tax’ mongs going to make of it ?

  3. 3
    The Proof in the Pudding says:

    Eric Pickles promised to end Town Hall Pravdas. Has he done that yet? No.

  4. 4
    it's gordons fault says:

    he needs to starve the lunatic unions of govt cash and hopefully we will get some more realistic employee representatives…….

    but i doubt it

  5. 5
    JR says:

    All councils should be made by law to disclose how many Pilgrims they have on the books. Then when it comes around to council tax increase and elections uncomfortable questions can be asked.

    Name the councils and the pilgrims!!!

  6. 6
    Empty Ed Milliband, trying to find somfing to say says:

    This is outrageous

    Pilgrims are the only people who vote for me South of Birmingham

  7. 7
    Forest Road says:

    Corruption and in places like Waltham Forest Council is endemic, but Pickles has done sweet FA about it. Why?

  8. 8
    fuGOM says:

    Does anyone really expect this shower of Jeremy Hunts* to do anything useful?

    *Tories, in case you weren’t sure..

  9. 9
    Pilgrims progress says:

    Why do folks listen to trade union reps? They really are as thick as pig shyte (hence they vote Labour). Nothing but a bunch of tossers.

  10. 10
    Council tax victim says:

    Bring it on, say I, but I won’t hold my breath.

  11. 11
    Check Facts First says:

    That`s the Police Federation well and truly stuffed. Serves them right for being so nieve.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Unions not a big problem as they were used to be. For some reason even this government doesn’t want to ban strikes.

  13. 13
    Anonymous says:

    What about fat tax?

  14. 14
    Carpet Slipper says:

    I certainly expect them to.

    But will they? Probably not based on their track record. They have done absolutely nothing to reform local government corruption and waste.

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    What about merging councils to reduce cost?

  16. 16
    Henry Brubaker says:

    The Police Federation are not a union. Police Officers cannot be members of a union.

    Some facts there for you. Would you like to go check them?

  17. 17
    Close The Loopholes says:

    No council should be allowed to pay any money to any trade union for any purpose. End of problem.

  18. 18
    Close The Loopholes says:

    The unions are leeching millions of pounds from local taxpayers and transfering these resources in cash or man-hours straight into the Labour Party or for the benefit of its sockpuppets. Meanwhile, councils are closing services and blaming the government.

  19. 19
    Close The Loopholes says:

    What about running councils properly first before tinkering about with local democracy?

  20. 20
    Call me Dave says:

    And we will be bringing this in just as soon as is humanly possible.

    Right after the 2015 election

  21. 21
    Call me Dave says:

    Yes yes yes spiffing idea, merge councils with the local Gar bar

  22. 22
    Close The Loopholes says:

    Which you will lose because Labour Councils and their pilgim footsoldiers will rig the postal votes and hide all the election expenses fiddles.

  23. 23
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Bit like cutting quangos – all mouth and no trousers.

    Cameron could have done something more substantial on Pilgrims but choose to do nothing, just as he appears to be doing nothing about the CAP, postal voting, and blaming Labour for the current mess.

    Cameron Must Go.

  24. 24
    Paniagua Dos says:

    True but they are still sucking at the teat.

  25. 25
    the shansslur of thexschekker says:

    what’s the %age of public spending that goes to these soi disant pilgrims?

    while the principle of ending such payments can be argued – isn’t the campagn a diversion for the brick-throwing mob?

  26. 26
    Nudger says:

    And illegal payments to the charity Common Purpose it receives thousands in taxpayers money from Councils for courses on political indoctrination of public servants.

  27. 27
    Call me Dave says:

    I can live with that, as it avoids a referendum on EU membership.

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    Even some of money given to bailout banks ended up a party funds for the Conservative party. But these are small amounts.

    Councils just waste money on number of areas.

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    You can still have the same number of councillors to protect local democracy. Without making these bigger originations you cannot cut waste.

  30. 30
    SP4BS says:


    * looks at brick in hand with puzzled look, saying nothing for a few secs *

    pil-grims out!

  31. 31
    Close The Loopholes says:

    Local councillors don’t protect local democracy? What planet are you on?

  32. 32
    Hand the Cat On The Bankers Bonus says:

    “Possibly the most deluded measure to come from Europe since Caractacus tried to fix the price of Woad across the Celtic lands”

  33. 33
    Skorpian de Rooftrouser says:

    If it looks like a union, smells like a union and is corrupt as a union, its a freaking union

  34. 34
    Democracy Now says:

    Every councillor and council employee who has gone on one of those ‘courses’ should be sacked. The organisation subverts democracy and should be banned, as much as we would ban any other extremist anti-democratic group from entryism.

  35. 35
    Wyle Cop says:

    Better still, just scrap the Department for Communitehs altogether and force Councils to deliver a 10% CUT in Council Tax, not a 2% increase.

    As for that tosser Maude, what’s his solution to cutting Gov spending? Why, create a special Government office to ‘look at’ the question, of course! And it’s staffed by the usual time-serving Quango-Queen troughers like Katherine Kerswell (ex Northants and Kent CC).

    And Dave wonders why he lost Eastleigh…

  36. 36
    keredybretsa says:

    ‘Watch this space’ as long as we have free speech, press and blogging!

  37. 37
    Where are Tony Blair's expenses says:

    This is just more hot air from the Tories.

    Cameron will be known as the nothing man because that is exactly what he has done since he came to power.

    The one thing he was supposed to get going was the economy and 3 years on it is flatlining. Public spending is still out of control ( higher than under new labour) and as such there is no room to reduce the cost to industry so that jobs can be created.

    Power bills are 20% higher than they should be due to green taxes

    Utilities still going up a nice and steady 4-5 % per year

    Savings rates still at rock bottom

    Public sector still as bloated as chav on a street corner with a kebab in each hand.

    Nothing, nothing, nothing – Cameron has done nothing.

  38. 38
    ReefKnot says:

    ‘Reducing such subsidies……’ This is typical – the subsidies should be eliminated, not reduced. Just as the Quangos should have been eliminated but weren’t. Pickles is a huge disappointment – he says the right things, but achieves very little.

  39. 39
    The tit in no. 10 says:

    My policy is to transfer more power to local government.
    You can trough until you’re fit to burst at local level and hardly anyone notices.

  40. 40
    Aaron D Highside says:

    Turkeys voting for Christmas? There’s more chance of reducing the number of MPs – zip, nada,

  41. 41
    Dave Prentis says:

    The Labour ones will never curb Pilgrims. Instead they will make a political point by cutting services that hurt the voters and increase Council Tax, blaming the Government. And we in the Unions will hang anyone who objects.

  42. 42
    Mike Hunt says:

    It will take at least a generation, this sort of thing is so ingrained that it is almost impossible to remove.

  43. 43
    Mike Hunt says:

    See comment 42

  44. 44
    Aaron D Highside says:

    Quite! Next time Red Ed asks a ‘bedroom tax’ question at PMQs, Cameron should reply that there is no such thing, and no plans for such a tax; end of answer, wasted question.

  45. 45
    Curly says:

    So, how much public funding does the PF receive – and from which Ministry?

  46. 46
    Mike Hunt says:

    You have no idea of just how fucked this country is.

    It will take at least 10 years to undo the damage wrought on this country by labour, and 40% of the electorate say they want them back.
    Although the voters of Eastleigh elected a member of the pervs party at least less than 10% actually voted for the socialist wreckers party.

  47. 47
    Mike Hunt says:

    Green taxes come from the crazy carbon (aka plant food) EU directive signed into law by labour and ed milliband.

    99% of the ills of this country are at the door of labour.
    Getting them to apologise would be good.

  48. 48
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Still time for George to put a line in his budget prohibiting any public funding to each and every qango. If they are that good and useful they should be able to raise their own funds – not that we want that; we want them all completely out of our lives.

  49. 49
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Union reps in govt depts should be allowed one hour a week on union business. After that, pay is deducted pro rata for the time they are away from their “work stations”. Why is that so difficult?

  50. 50
    Where are Tony Blair's expenses says:

    Why one a hour a week, why should we pay for any union rep time.

    Next time you have some work done in your house I am sure you will be pleased for the plumber or electrician to come in and sit his/her backside for an hour before starting work and then send you a bill

  51. 51
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Don’t tell Guido – that Fankie Maud is a leading light at Common Purpose – wouldn’t want the truth to get in the way of some facts now would we?

  52. 52
    Hong Kong says:

    Nothing that a few arrests can’t solve. An independent commission against corruption could probably break the back of the problem in three or four years.

  53. 53
    Check Facts First says:

    The Police Federation have serving police officers working for them, full time paid for from the police budget, as chairman in each force of our police forces. plus of course. It maybe not be called a union but it is.

  54. 54
    NE Frontiersman says:

    Or sign a contract with any company that makes donations to a political party.
    Waltham Forest Council ‘celebrated’ the Olympics with 6 ‘free’ events, pop concerts and firework displays, costing over £1.25 million. They were organised by the Coop, which stands between the Labour Party and insolvency. The same year they closed two public libraries, blaming the Wicked Tory Cuts.

  55. 55
    Rob says:

    So Eric, when are you actually going to do something about it?

  56. 56
    Clear out the dead wood says:

    Out. Out. Pilgrims out.
    When do we want it?

  57. 57
    Gordno says:

    Is my wife a pilgrim? She often goes to Canterbury without me.

  58. 58
    Jimmy says:

    You had me at the fourth word

  59. 59
    M says:

    Unions should not be funded by the tax pay through pilgrims
    Much easier to milk the tax pay through a wind farm no ?

    And the only justifiable wind farm is the HoC ……….(. The lesser of evils )

  60. 60
    Jabba the Hutt mp Mid-Sussex says:

    I eat pilgrims with pickles on. Delicious hot or cold.

  61. 61
    Athelstan says:

    When are we going to see some of these vermin removed from the public payroll. Stop talking and start sacking. You’ve had three years and our patience is exhausted.

  62. 62
    Check Facts First says:

    Made some typos below. Here goes for a second. Each police force have at least one full time Police Federation Chairman who is a serving police officer paid for out of the police budget. That is, paid for by you and me. May not be a union in name but is in all other respects.

  63. 63
    Fahrenheit says:

    Forest Road you are correct. Waltham Forest is allegedly riddled with dodgyness. What I’d like to know is when is he going to do something about the stain on democracy that is the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets. That place has got the lot, voter fraud, mayoral personality cults, extremist infiltration of the local authority and so much more.

  64. 64

    There are no conditions under which “Trade” “Unions” (which are not anything at all to do with “trade” – which is capitalism and freedom – and have no concerns whatever about their members who think it’s a “union” of some benevolent kind – it is not – ) need to exist in a modern country. They will simply go.

    When I am the Principal Secretary of State for War, “Trade” “Unions” will be shut down. (Read my lips.) There is no point in having them. If it is illegal to “combine”, then it is illegal to have a “trade” “union”. Fc*k it, you might just as well go back to the medieval “guilds” – do they really want that, even the leftoid bastards? (Oh…wait…perhaps they do after all…)

  65. 65

    Please do remember, that War, like Charity, begins at home.

  66. 66
    Bluto says:

    Is she Common Purpose?

  67. 67
    Vlad the Loudhailer says:

    Checkoff should be stopped where employers collect union dues deducted from the pay an employee and give it to the unions. Unions should have to collect their own subscriptions which would mean they would have to ensure they looked after their members.

  68. 68
    Penfold says:

    Having raised Pilgrim’s with Richmond Council last year, I note that Unison still occupy a valuable and desirable cottage near the Council offices.

    Surely Pickles can arrange for legislation to outlaw Pilgrim’s at a stroke, and if the unions want a fight, sack everybody, and re-employ on non-union recognition contracts on lower salaries and perks.

    Indeed it id time for government to refuse to deal with Unions, which is tantamount to negotiating with Labour, and introduce local terms conditions and pay.

  69. 69
    Expat Geordie says:

    Wasn’t Caracatus “British”?

  70. 70
    ReefKnot says:

    Pickles will do-nothing. I had high hopes for him but he’s all piss and wind.

  71. 71
    Tiny Tom says:

    Tories are all talk and no action

  72. 72
    Tiny Tom says:

    Tories are all talk and no action

  73. 73
    Tiny Tom says:

    No chance .Tories are all talk and no action

  74. 74
    Tiny Tom says:

    No chance .Tories are all talk and no action

  75. 75
    Tiny Tom says:

    Correct .Tories are all talk and no action

  76. 76
    adamdelved says:

    Thatcher tried the same thing with the poll tax. That ended well.

  77. 77
    Man from the Midlands says:

    The unions in the country might not have the same level of influence as they once did, but there’s still more the government should do to stop the extremists in the trade union movement from holding the country to ransom. Sensible measures would be to ban all public funding for unions and to introduce a 50% turnout thresholds for strike ballots.

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