Unions Not the Only Ones Who Need a Majority

Labour sources were last night unconcerned by the Tories’ announcement that “the next Conservative government” will introduce a 50% threshold for strikes. Frankie Maude has pledged to force unions to secure a “double majority” for strikes to be legal, a majority of members and a majority in favour of industrial action. On the face of it this seems another welcome trade union reform by Maude’s Cabinet Office, though if it is conditional on the almost impossible event of the Tories winning a majority next year then it is little more than window-dressing. As the Telegraph’s Polling Observatory shows today, it will take a small miracle for the Tories to do so. So far the LibDems have resisted union reform this time round. If the Tories are serious, this needs to be a red line in coalition negotiations after the election…

6 Inspiring Photos of the Mass Strikes Crippling Britain

Public sector workers are striking today, causing widespread chaos across the country as picket lines overflow with vast numbers taking industrial action:

Via @robdothutton

Via @jenwilliamsMEN

Via @tangent69

Via @unisoneastmids

Via @nickmcccps

Via @uniteccbc

The workers! United! Will never be defeated! All eight of them…

Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey promises Ed a blank cheque and law breaking to fight the Tories…

“.. we will not let Labour fight for this programme with one hand tied behind its back. We will be up against the party of the rich, bought and paid for by the rich… Unite will do its bit to make sure that the next election is not financially lop-sided because democracy demands a fair fight…

The Conservative Party should not assume that we will put respect for unjust laws ahead of our duty to fight exploitation and ruthless employers. We will fight for our members within the law where possible. But let the Tories be in no doubt that if they push us outside of the law, they will be responsible for the consequences, not us.”

Stay CLASS-y: Wife-Beater Tells Labour to Put Up Taxes

The Unite front group CLASS, despite their own gender failings, is devoted to furthering equal rights and women’s causes. So Guido was surprised to see them happily embrace such a controversial figure this afternoon.

Funnily enough the very left wing, but not right on, ‘think tank’ failed to ask Thomas Piketty about the time he assaulted his girlfriend:

‘After the charges were dropped, the French news agency AFP quoted a source close to Ms Filippetti as saying: “Mr Piketty has acknowledged the facts of the violence against Ms Filippetti and has apologised, so in the interests of the families and children, she did not proceed.” When the allegations re-surfaced in the media at the weekend, Mr Piketty confirmed that he had been arrested but contested the claims.’

Instead MPs and activists lapped up the discredited Frenchman’s thoughts on why the 50% rate of tax is not high enough. That’s right, Labour are spending one of their precious few days before the next election discussing putting taxes up with an economist who beat up his ex-girlfriend.

10 People Who Signed Up to Uber Because of the Cabbie Strike

The London cabbie strike is one of the stupidest industrial protests ever, literally driving business to their new rivals. Uber is reporting an 850% increase in app downloads today:

https://twitter.com/daniel_barnett/status/476741186301198336

Use this link to download the app and you get your first £10 ride free

Unions Buy Labour’s Support in London Taxi Wars

Guido’s London readers will know that the capital’s rival taxi firms have descended into open warfare in recent weeks. Militant black cab drivers are having a hissy fit about being priced out of the market by Uber, who use an app to calculate the journey distance and fee, relay the information to the driver and usually offer a considerably lower fare for the punter in a much nicer car. It is an example of the market working to provide the best price for the consumer. As the Institute of Directors points out:

“When the tide of new technology is coming in fast, it’s unwise to stand still and hope it stops at your feet. It’s all well and good to say that companies such as Uber must fit into the UK’s regulatory framework, but there’s a powerful case to make that the UK’s regulatory framework has been overtaken by digital innovation and, in some areas, is no longer fit for purpose.”

Guido understands that the GMB union has infiltrated the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the black cabbies’ trade union, to lobby politicians against Uber. Indeed it was a GMB-sponsored Labour MP, Graham Morris, who tabled the Westminster Hall debate on this issue in April.

To little surprise, Labour have sided with a closed shop producer’s protection racket against consumers. Today, Labour have officially adopted the black cab position. Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh, who is also sponsored by the GMB, has launched an attack on Uber this morning:

“Labour welcome Transport for London’s decision to seek a High Court ruling on taximeters. Apps like Uber which involve a contract for vehicle hire must conform to the same high standards of safety, licensing and insurance as the rest of the taxi and private hire industry. It is neither black cab nor minicab, which is why it is vital that a court decides if it fits into the UK’s regulatory framework. The safety of the travelling public must not be put at risk.”

A Labour Shadow Secretary of State going back to the bad old days of formulating party policy based on the demands of her union paymasters. Not only that, Creagh is prioritising the vested interests of a party donor over the interests of the hard-pressed consumers her party is supposed to represent. Uber tell Guido that they go ‘above and beyond other operators in the industry in terms of safety’ and are confident that the High Court will agree with TFL. Guido thinks the rest of the industry should work out how they can bring their service up to scratch rather than trying to run a more competent rival out of town.

Loony Lefties Abuse Tube Staff Working to Get You Home

Spare a thought for the brave strike breakers who are working in the face of union aggression this evening…

Coffee Shop Offer of the Day

The Grill Market cafe in Holborn had this sign up outside their shop this morning in solidarity with London’s commuters. Guido popped along for a cuppa just as they were taking it down, gagged by the hordes of striking RMT workers sitting at home on Twitter…

H/T @casshorowitx

Austin Mitchell Resignation Confirms Guido Story, Despite Denial
Guardian Scrub Report of Miliband Seat Stitch Up From Website

Labour’s Austin Mitchell has announced via YouTube that he is standing down in 2015. However, this was well known after Guido revealed it was on the cards in the Sun back in January. At the time Mitchell said:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Unite Annual Report Mocks Ed’s “Seismic” Reforms

In February Ed Miliband promised “seismic changes” to Labour’s relationship with the trade unions, vowing that reforming the unions’ grip on the party would be “bigger than Clause IV“. Red Len’s baby mama Jennie Formby, Unite’s meritocratic […]

+ READ MORE +

Awkward Len Moments

An afternoon full of awkward Ed Miliband moments during Len McCluskey’s Press Gallery lunch today, not least his verdict on the Labour leadership:

“I believe the British electorate are of a mind unless there is a real alternative to say

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Loony Unite Boss Wishes Members Would Kill the Rich

One for someone in the Lobby to ask during their lunch with Len McCluskey today. Unite assistant general secretary and policy chief Steve Turner has, somewhat unfortunately, been caught on tape calling for the murder of the 85 richest people […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour candidate Clive Lewis tells the Staggers:

“I mean, in the multiverse there’s still three universes in a hundred where there’s a Green MP in Norwich, so anything could happen. I could be caught with my pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end – well, hopefully that won’t happen.”

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