Victory: Full Time Whitehall Pilgrims Defeated
Guido Campaign Success as Frankie Wields the Axe

It is eighteen months since Guido launched his campaign against Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials – and tonight victory of sorts can be be declared. During his speech to Tory party conference on Monday, Frankie Maude will announce a series of radical new measures which mean the Whitehall versions of Jane Pilgrim, Hank Roberts and Julie Davies will no longer be able to rip off the taxpayer for the unions’ benefit. Civil servants will now be banned from spending more than half their time on trade union work, with a new maximum of 0.1% of a departmental budget can now be spent on union representation. Paid time off for union activities has also been scrapped meaning we will no longer be picking up the tab for PCS conferences. Any special circumstances will have to be signed off at Ministerial level and details published online. The unions are furious, but there’s not much they can do to fight transparency.

Credit should be given to the sterling work done by the Trade Union Reform Campaign in helping to expose Pilgrims. TURC chairman Aidan Burley tells Guido:

“These welcome reforms are long over-due, and it speaks volumes that a Labour government bankrolled by the Unions never got round to even ensuring that Government Departments kept basic records of time employees spent on working for trade unions.”

While TURC CEO Mark Clarke adds:

“It is great news that Francis Maude is calling time on the wasteful practice of Pilgrims in central government. But this will still leave thousands of Pilgrims working in schools, hospitals and local government. That means nurses not nursing and teachers not teaching. The Maude reforms need to be extended across the whole public sector so we end this abuse once and for all.”

A very pleasing start, that needs to be enforced across the public sector..

The entire story of how Guido and co beat the Pilgrims, ranging from the outing of Jane Pilgrim to parties with Pickles and Frankie Maude’s consultation, can be seen here.

UPDATE: The Taxpayers’ Alliance data was at the heart of this fight, they’ve also responded to the news:

“This move to reduce facility time in Whitehall will save taxpayers millions of pounds, which will be most welcome at a time when hard-pressed families across the UK are having to tighten their belts.However, similar action is also going to be required elsewhere in the public sector. Only then will the days of nurses and council staff working full-time for the union instead of doing the job for which they are paid be consigned to history.”

Brendan Barber to Pocket £1.5 Million Pension Packet

£100,000-a-year union baron Brendan Barber’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Earlier this week the TUC fat cat lectured us on Britain’s “stratospheric inequality”, and it seems he would know. According to reports Barber will pocket a six-figure golden goodbye when he quits his post later this year. That’s not all – he will then go on to receive £62,000 a year as part of a generous gold-plated pension scheme. Using average life expectations the 61-year-old Barber is likely to live for another 25 years, that leaves him with an overall pension pot totalling equivalent to some £1,550,000.

All this despite the fact that union membership has actually fallen by some 143,000 in the last year. Hardly performance-related pay…

Friend of Chinese Labourer Bob Crow Forgets Blood Ties to City

Yesterday Guido reported on Bob Crow’s £100,000 delusion as the striking fat cat blustered: “I’ve got more in common with a Chinese labourer than I do with a City financier”. If Bob’s six-figure pay packet wasn’t enough to disprove this statement, perhaps a look at his family tree will. Crow’s brother is a day trader who lives in the stockbroker belt in Berkshire. Apparently they get on just fine despite their political disagreements:

“I have differences with him. He’s made a lot of money; he’s stock market, dividend first and the rest comes after. We’re good mates…I hate him much more for supporting Arsenal.”

Bob Crow has absoultely nothing in common with City financiers. Except blood that is…

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…

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.

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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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