Tuesday, September 11, 2012

1% Bob’s £100,000 Delusion

It takes something pretty extraordinary from Bob Crow to raise an eyebrow, but the RMT fat cat has surpassed himself at the TUC today:

“I’ve been in a minority all my life. I’ve got more in common with a Chinese labourer than I do with a city financier – I don’t care if it’s the Queen’s head or the Queen’s arse on a ten pound note… If you spit on your own you can’t do nothing. If we all spit together we can drown the bastards.”

Guido challenges Crow to find a Chinese labourer earning £100,000 a year while living in a rent-subsidised council house.

The only minority Bob’s in is the 1%…

Awkward Ed Silent on Thatcher Death Taunt T-Shirts

Talk about an awkward Ed Miliband moment. The Telegraph reports this morning that t-shirts bearing the slogan “Thatcher: a generation of trade unionists will dance on her grave” are being sold at the TUC congress in Brighton. Guido has also found sick so-called Thatcher “party packs” on sale for those inclined to celebrate the death of an old lady.

According to the seller they have been pretty popular:

While Labour types on twitter have issued heavily caveated criticisms, so far there has been no comment from Ed on the taunting of Lady T.

Being stuffed full of union cash does put him in quite a tricky position – hardly wants to upset his paymasters who are obviously keen on dancing on Maggie Thatcher’s grave.

But maybe there’s another reason he hasn’t condemned them…

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?

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…

Five to Midnight for Pilgrims

It’s crunch time for Pilgrims – today is the last day of the consultation into taxpayer funded trade union officials. Employment lawyer Francis Hoar has written on behalf of the TPA attacking public sector employers for breaking industrial relations law by delegating responsibilities to full time trade union officials. It’s pretty damning stuff:

Over to you Frankie…

UPDATE: If you can’t see the document above click here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bob Crows About His Council House

Guido would rather bang his head against a brick wall than sit through a whole interview with Bob Crow, so thankfully LBC have clipped the important bit.  The RMT’s resident thug justifies living in his luxury central London council house, because he likes it:

Crow asked “do we really want social housing purely for those people that are poor?” Well yes Bob, that is what they are for. People who can’t afford houses get state help. People earning £133,138 plus expenses should not.

Crow asked whether he would be judged for having a council house if he didn’t earn lots of money, and declared wealth should have nothing to do with it. He’s clearly never heard of renting.

He argues that because he was born in a social house he should have one for life. The Frank Dobson mantra… 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

1% Union Fat Cat Gives £10,000 to Labour

Not content with his union’s £6 million worth of donations to the Labour Party since Ed Miliband became leader, Unite political director Steve Hart forked out £10,000 of his own money to the party in the last quarter. That’s despite Ed pledging to limit all donations to political parties – including those from trade unions – to just £5,000. Hart, who backed Ken Livingstone for the London mayoralty while describing the capital as an “incoherent basket case of a city“, reckons he’s a man of the people:

Guido wonders how many other members of the 99% could afford to throw away £10,000 of their own cash…

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Unions Fund New Tory Donor Exposé Site

Political Scrapbook editor Laurence Durnan is this lunchtime launching a new website claiming to expose the “shady millions flooding into Tory coffers“.  Search the Money reveals that millionaire financiers and hedge fund executives have given a total of £25.3 million over a seven year period, with hundreds of thousands more raised through obscure dining clubs that are not required to name their members.

Guido always welcomes attempts to shine sunlight on the murky world of Westminster finances. Search the Money is somewhat undermined in that its focus is exclusively on the Tories. Why no interest in the LibDems or Labour? The data is there and the tool has been built. Perhaps the fact that the website is being funded by unions has something to do with it…

Having had a little play around with it there are a few other improvements that could be made besides making it all-party, it needs to be able to slice the data by time range – making it very difficult to compare like with like. It also comes up with some surprising results – Stephen Phillips, the lawyer who represents Sleaford and North Hykham – is reported as having received the most money, a whopping £1,264,016.87. Only when you look in detail do you realise that a mere £12,000 of that was in donations and the rest he earned in fees as a highly thought of Queens Counsel. Not sure that there is anything wrong with being well paid at the peak of his career and the top in his field.  Zac Goldsmith with a reputed £200 million trust fund would according to Search the Money be making less money than Stephen Phillips. Something very unlikely…

Of course this site wouldn’t be necessary if it the Electoral Commission website wasn’t so useless…

GMB Boss the New Sheriff of Nottingham

Given the tough times being felt by workers up and down the country Guido would have thought trade unions would be especially careful to give their members value for money. GMB subscription fees now add up to a hefty £140 per year after the latest, albeit minimal, increase.

Guido thinks that paramedics, NHS employees and retail workers will be interested to know that GMB general secretary Paul Kenny has been spending their hard-earned cash on corporate hospitality at ice hockey matches. GMB have shelled out a six-figure sum to sponsor the Nottingham Panthers, with the package including a hospitality box and ten season tickets for GMB fat cats – pictured is GMB Midlands secretary Andy Worth enjoying some face time with the players.

A Nottingham baron robbing the poor to pay for the luxury lifestyle of the rich. Guido’s heard that one before…

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unite’s £12 Million Socialist Paradise

This morning Guido revealed that Len McCluskey aims to raise a £30 million war chest to fund Unite’s takeover of the Labour Party. The internal Unite document sent to Guido shows that Red Len hopes to make up to £12 million by consolidating their posh property in Eastbourne.

According to their website the Eastbourne Centre offers 130 ensuite bedrooms, gourmet dining and two well-stocked bars, all kitted out with a plush Labour Red interior. Unite members get a generous discount. Up the workers…


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