Saturday Seven Up

7upLast week was a monster of a week with super-injunctions, and the breaking of them, driving readers here to find out more as the papers held back for fear of Schillings. Twitter triumphed beating Schillings and the judges with a little help from transparency campaigner John Hemming MP. In a chilling legal environment we kept readers up to date with the battle and made the case against Schillings forcefully.

This blog has also been at the forefront of the Huhne hunt, pushing it along and tracking every development in a story which is now entering its fourth week. You have to admire Huhne’s limpet-like quality in the face of adversity. He spins even faster than he drives, yesterday The Telegraph fell for his line (Guido was sceptical from the outset) and it took until yesterday evening before Vicky Pryce got her rebuttal out via Michael Crick. We’re eagerly awaiting what could be the fourth Sunday of newspaper coverage tomorrow…

All this newsflow made last week the busiest week of the year so far, Monday alone saw 104,923 page views from readers keen on discovering more about super-injunctions and the latest developments in the Huhne saga. The week saw 119,737 visitors making 348,984 visits to view 582,110 pages. Thanks to you we’re Britain’s favourite blog, the one you love and they hate. The top stories last week in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Hank the Teaching “Pilgrim”

This is Hank Roberts. He’s a geography teacher at Copland School in Brent. Well sort of, that was before he became a “pilgrim”. A full-time union official, paid for by the taxpayer to do full-time union duties, rather than the front-line role he should be doing. The last figures that Guido could get his hands on showed that our Hank cost the school £53,000pa to have him on full-time release for his union activities.

The struggling school has to pay around £106,000 every year to three union officials not to teach. However the local authority only budgeted the school with £70,000 for this malarkey in 2009/10, and £78,000 in 2008/09. In the last two years, a school in one of the most deprived areas of the country has had to pick up a £64,000 shortfall in union funding, out of its already tight and struggling budget . It is feared that this annual shortfall could have been going on for as long as twenty years…

But it gets worse. Despite being paid to work for the brothers, it seems Hank has even grander ideas. He spent the summer term of 2008 as part of the “Wembley Park Action Group”, sitting up a tree to stop a City Academy being built.

This action resulted in him being convicted at Willesden County Court and fined what he called “a substantial sum of money”, believed to be around £3,000. All the way through this mess, the taxpayer was funding his activities, to the despair of his school and Brent Council.

Hank’s personally-aggrandising website states that he is the “Organising Secretary of UNIFY and a member of all three teacher unions” as well as being elected Senior Vice President (2011), National President (2012) of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Presumably taking more money from these positions…

Guido spoke to Hank earlier and he claims that from September he will be going down to three days a week on union activity. Which makes everything ok. There’s more to this one though. Complaints about Hank have been raised in the past, and fell on some very interesting deaf ears…

Saturday Seven Up

7upThe blog has been busy at the forefront of breaking news this week, leading on two front-page issues: Huhne and super-injunctions. On Monday we were the first to exclusively reveal where Vicky Pryce was on that fateful night in March 2003, pipping Michael Crick to be first to pixel. On Tuesday our poll of over 4,549 readers revealed that 96% thought Chris Huhne was lying.

Wednesday morning economic data released showed the unemployment rate falling, we suggested Ed Balls go back to the drawing board. PMQs was rowdy, Aidan Burley MP asked the PM to back Guido’s campaign against “Union Pilgrims”, the taxpayer-funded union organisers paid to agitate full-time instead of doing their frontline public sector jobs. Thursday marked Day 11 of the Huhne speeding story, the point where Alastair Campbell says the game is up.

Thursday we outed the doctor who has appeared in political adverts for Miliband, Brown, Sadiq Khan and Tony Blair. Friday was super-injunction day again, we named the billionaire who has muzzled Britain’s press and laughed at Ryan Giggs for being the fall guy for Schillings, the lawyers who more than any other firm have brought the law into disrepute. For good measure we revealed that the Shadow Chancellor’s political adviser had failed to declare his financial interests in breach of parliament’s rules.

Last week saw 97,086 visitors make 298,256 visits to view 467,784 pages. Thanks to you we’re Britain’s favourite blog, the one you love and they hate. The top stories last week in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Pilgrims Picked On At PMQs

Regarding full-time union officials, or Pilgrims as they have come to be known, Guido wrote last week:

“There are 2,493 Pilgrims across the public sector, union officials, paid not to provide the service they represent, but instead do political activities that should be funded by the unions. Without having to pay their staff, the unions can spend the money raised through their subs on other things, like keeping the Labour Party solvent.”

Well there was certainly one happy reader. This is what Aidan Burley had to ask at PMQs:

Mr Aidan Burley (Cannock Chase) (Con): There are currently 2,500 trade union representatives across the public sector paid not to provide the service that they represent but to carry out campaigning activities that should be funded by the unions—and because the unions do not pay their salaries, they can spend their subs on other things, such as subsidising that lot over there. Does the Prime Minister not think it time that that was reformed?

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend raises an important point. [Hon. Members: “No he doesn’t!”] It is interesting that whenever someone raises a point about union funding they get shouted down by the Labour party, because Labour Members do not want any examination of what trade unions do, or how much money they give to the Labour party. [Interruption.] I think that they protest a little too much

This week, Guido will be exposing another Pilgrim, this time a teacher. In the meantime Guido strongly encourages Aidan and his collegues to sign EDM1799 demanding an end to this obscene loophole.

Video via Dom Robinson

Saturday Seven Up

7upGuido has spent the week “Huhnting”. Last Sunday’s papers revealed that the wily Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne, had forced “someone close to him” to accept penalty points to avoid losing his driving licence. A criminal offence and a resigning issue. After much tracking down of former staffers, Guido clicked. What if it was Vicky, his estranged wife, who coughed the arrangement, that took the bullet? While she isn’t necessarily going to incriminate herself this Sunday, it will be interesting to see how far she is willing to twist the knife into her soon-to-be ex-husband’s career. The crosshairs even came out.

Super Injunctions have also been the order of the week and Guido certainly gave Adam Boulton a fright on Sky News on Monday, when he gave some very simple media advice to the rich and the famous, it was such good advice that it was repeated last night on Have I Got News for You.

Meanwhile, Neo-Guido, also known as the site’s News Editor, fresh from sparring with Polly Toynbee on Newsnight on Tuesday, stuck it to David Laws and his spinners on the BBC News Channel on Thursday night, highlighting the £99,000 “gift” that was the real reason for the harsh punishment the LibDem golden child.

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Pilgrim’s Progress to Parliament

Regular readers will remember the fun that Guido had with Nurse Pilgrim, the Unison rep posing as a nurse to smear Lansley, who was making money on the side with her sly consultancy firm and lives in a hippy commune. Yeah, that one.

Well to cut a long story short, Jane Pilgrim’s poison has come to the attention of Parliament, and an EDM has been tabled to fight against the thousands of union officials, just like Jane Pilgrim, depriving the public sector of a front line salary:

Trades Union Officials Funded from the Public Purse. EDM 1799

That this house notes the existence of full time Trades Union officials whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer; further notes that these have been nicknamed “Pilgrims” by the media as a reference to Jane Pilgrim from UNISON who attacked the government whilst claiming to be a nurse, it was subsequently shown that she didn’t practise but instead claimed an NHS salary to work for the union; believes that this practise is deplorable; further believes that we do not know how many Pilgrims there are in Britain but each one deprives the taxpayer of valuable frontline services; resolves to continue to work towards a ban on Trades Union Pilgrims.

Guido knows there are MPs reading this, and he might put you on the nice, rather than the naughty list if you sign it.

Council Pilgrims

Tory MP Alok Sharma has been digging into the union officials that are paid full time by the state. Basically local government versions of Nurse Pilgrim, whom Guido exposed last week.

Sharma asked the number of council-paid employees working full-time on trade union business, as well as the aggregate bill and the estimated cost of any other resources used by these officials

319 of 429 councils responded to the FOI request. 132 had a paid full-time union official in at least one of the last 3 years, whilst 187 did not. As yesterday, 110 councils had not responded including the  slashing Labour controlled Manchester City Council.

The total salary bill over the last three years for full-time union reps was £35 million. This does not include the cost of employing someone else to do the job vacated by the union reps. The unions should be paying for these staffers, not the taxpayer.

Meanwhile our favourite Nurse Pilgrim is causing trouble again. Outraged that the hospital she works at won’t be shutting down for the Royal Wedding she is organisng an official complaint

From: Jane Pilgrim [mailto:Jane.Pilgrim@███████.nhs.uk]
Sent: 26 April 2011 16:48
To: ████████████████
Subject: RE: royal wedding
Sensitivity: Confidential

Dear All,

It seems that the Trust are putting up stiff resistance to our various letters,

It does now seem that a collective grievance would be appropriate. UNISON has agreed to this..

Please let me know if you wish to be part of a collective grievance by 11th May,

Many Thanks

Jane Pilgrim ( Staff Side Secretary)

Guido wouldn’t have had this “peace and love” hippy squatter down as an arch-monarchist. Especially as she has now joined the Green Party who are abolitionist. Heaven forbid she might actually have to do a days work though. How exactly is Jane expecting lives to be saved if everyone at the hospital gets the day off?

A Pilgrimage to Westminster

Following exposés by both Guido and the Mail on Sunday into the activities of Jane Pilgrim, pressure is now mounting to make the practise of employing trades union officials full time on the taxpayer illegal. David Morris MP just raised this at today’s Health Questions:

“There have been press reports recently that money earmarked for frontline NHS services is being used by hospitals to pay salaries to Trade Union officials. Does my Rt Hon friend (Andrew Lansley) believe it is acceptable to spend taxpayers’ money on union hatchet people and will he order an urgent investigation.”

The reply came with the usual expectations of “behaving responsibly”. But Pilgrim’s activities did not go unnoticed in parliament and in councils around the country. Plates could well start to move on this issue soon…

Do You Know a Nurse Pilgrim?

Last week Guido revealed how Unison rep and former nurse Jane Pilgrim was depriving the public of a nurse in a frontline role at St. George’s Hospital in Tooting. Yesterday the Mail on Sunday exposed how she is also depriving […]

+ READ MORE +

Saturday Seven Up
There’s a Nurse Pilgrim In Every Hospital

7upLast week saw 77,034 absolute unique visitors make 219,392 visits to view 351,392 pages.

Guido has been doing some digging this week into a Unison representative at St George’s Hospital Tooting. Jane Pilgrim is paid a front line nurse’s salary […]

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Pilgrim’s Progress

The St George’s Hospital Trust was quick to distance themselves from Jane Pilgrim when Guido spoke to them a moment ago. And it’s not hard to see why, take what one St George’s employee said this morning:

“It’s a disgrace

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Unison “Nurse” is Privately Pocket Lining Too

Remember our good friend Nurse Pilgrim? She’s the taxpayer-funded, full time Unison union-worker who made up details of a meeting with Lansley that she didn’t attend. Well it appears that whilst we pay for her to work for a […]

+ READ MORE +



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