Junior Doctors: It’s All About the Money

In the words of Meja, it is all about the money:

Cg9AnwWWIAUq5px

The FT graphic explains the negotiating positions – the government is offering more money for a 7-day NHS, the junior doctors want more still. Struggling on their not undeserved triple average earnings, their strike is not about “saving the NHS”. Who are they kidding? They are diverting taxpayers’ money from the same cash-pot that funds treatments and life-saving drugs into their pockets. They are playing on the natural sympathies of the grateful beneficiaries of their treatments.

Through all this it is important to remember this is not about “stopping the cuts”, there are none, this is not about “the NHS in crisis”. It is all about the money…

Labour’s Brave Line on Tax Dodging Donors

tax hypocrisy mcdonnell

This is a pretty brave attack line from John McDonnell over Tory party donors who may have avoided tax:

“Is the Prime Minister happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?”

Especially when you consider that Labour’s biggest donor Unite paid no corporation tax in 2011 and 2012, despite earning £5.78 million from their £51.6 million investment portfolio. The GMB union paid zero corporation tax on its investment income of £1.6 million, neither did the Community union on their income of £4.1 million for the period. McDonnell himself received £3,000 from Unite in 2014. As of last year who were Labour’s biggest non-union donors? Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have been slammed by the Public Accounts Committee for “promoting tax avoidance”To paraphrase, is the Shadow Chancellor happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?

Red Len’s Steel Shaft

len-shaft

Why are the two unions (Community and Unite) not working together for their members in the face of one of the biggest industrial crises in years? Community is the biggest union in the steel industry and Unite should be supporting them not trying to grandstand and compete for media attention. Relations have totally broken down due to Red Len’s bully boy attitude towards more moderate unions like Community – they took their Labour NEC place off them. So the steel workers are not directly represented on the Labour Party’s ruling body.

In what was described as conference victory for Jeremy Corbyn, the moderate trade union Community was replaced by the left-wing Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union. Community relied on the votes of Unite to keep them in place, votes that were not forthcoming.

The struggle takes many forms – in Wales Unite prioritises jostling for left-wing influence over the proper representation of steel workers. Up the workers!

Happy ‘I Heart Unions’ Day

Hundreds of unionised Luddites in black cabs bring Millbank, Whitehall and Parliament Square to a stand still this afternoon. Doing Uber’s marketing for them…

Corbyn Wears Sponsors’ Badge

Guido has always said that Labour MPs should wear the names of their union paymasters while they ask questions in the House, to ensure outside financial interests are always properly declared. Good to see the Labour leader agrees…

LEAK: Lansman Emails Mock “Clueless” Unite Chief

On Saturday Momentum’s 52 person National Committee convened for the first time, telling supporters that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a Steering Committee of 14 senior figures who will run the organisation. Yet in leaked emails sent the week before, Momentum chief Jon Lansman boasts that the election will be a “formality” because Steering Committee members had already been “confirmed“. In other words, it was a fix.

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Thanks for your email.

I too am looking forward to getting the structure confirmed at the meeting on Saturday. To a large extent, as you note, this will mostly be just a formality as we have already confirmed those who will be setting the direction for Momentum, myself included. These individuals will formally take their roles on the Steering Committee this Saturday.

This email was sent five days before the sham election, at which time Lansman already knew the result.

In another leaked email, Lansman is asked if the trade unions involved in Momentum will have concerns over bumper staff salaries. Lansman warns that the salaries must be kept confidential, writing that Unite political director Jennie Formby is “clueless“:

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Jennie is fairly clueless and as long as the proper procedures are followed on Saturday, I do not anticipate any issues.

So Lansman wants to keep Unite in the dark about how much Momentum are paying their top team, mocking Formby as “clueless” about salaries. Would be a shame if Jennie were to find out…

UPDATE: Lansman tells Guido the emails we have, sent from his email address and with his email signature, are “complete fabrications”. Lansman insists he is “good friends” with Formby and says he may have been hacked:

“I am not aware of anyone hacking into my emails but I can assure you I did not send either of those emails. If someone has hacked my email I would certainly like to know. I shall be changing my passwords.”

185 RMT Members Vote For Strike Affecting Half a Million

Conductors on Southern Rail have voted for strike action this morning, with the RMT union boasting that more than 70% of those balloted backed industrial action. What they didn’t mention in their press release was how many employees actually voted. Here is the breakdown:

Total Votes Cast – 255
Number Voting ‘YES’ -185
Number Voting ‘NO’ – 70

Just 185 people voted for strike action, affecting Southern Rail’s 447,000 passenger journeys per day…

Unions v Steel Industry

scunthorpe-steel_2716892b

The unions are demanding the government slashes energy prices and green taxes for the steel industry in response to today’s Tata announcement:

GMB: Only the UK Government acting with the EU can deal with dumping of steel and green taxes on energy prices.”

Unite: “Unite is calling on the government to support a key component of the UK economy by taking action to stop the ‘dumping’ of cheap Chinese steel, help with high energy costs and business rates and ensuring that major infrastructure projects use British steel.”

That’s the same GMB and Unite who have been campaigning for higher energy prices and green taxes…

GMB are a partner in the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy group, which lobbies for stricter regulation for fossil fuel industries.

Unite are actively calling for its members to join the the “Climate, Justice and Jobs” march in London later this month, which wants – you guessed it – tougher energy regulations. Wonder if union members would rather have a job or keep global warming below 2°c…

John McDonnell Praises Spitting as a Form of Protest

Corbyn condemed the actions of the protesters spitting on delegates and journalists as unacceptable, but it appears no everyone holds the same anti-gobbing view. Just four years ago John McDonnell praised a trade unionist who spat in […]

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First Look at “Conservative Workers & Trade Unionists”

tory union site

The Tories are planning to launch ToryWorkers.co.uk at their conference next week to accompany their newly founded “Conservative Workers and Trade Unionists” movement; the site is currently blank but Guido has discovered the finished product hidden in the […]

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GMB’s IRA Blooper

gmb

Guido was browsing through the GMB unions’ press release about their Acting Secretary Gary Smith’s speech at the Labour Party Conference when he spotted an entertaining mistake in the copy. It refers to the RIPA act as “PIRA”…

pira gmb

Someone has […]

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‘We’ve Had Enough of This Crap’: Cabbies Storm City Hall

The long-running conflict between Boris and London’s cabbie trade unionists has flared up again, with irate drivers storming City Hall to protest after being denied access to a public meeting. Numerous security staff, including young women, were injured, and one […]

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