Monday, September 16, 2013

Pickles Pilgrim Reforms Will Save £400,000-a-Year

Militant PCS union getting off from their court battle with Eric Pickles hit DCLG in the pocket to the tune of £90,000. Good news then that the department’s union reforms are saving that figure several times over. New stats show cutting back on trade union facility time will save £400,000-a-year of taxpayers’ money. They have already cut back on the bonkers £245,644-a-year the department was spending under the Prime Mentalist in 2008/9, though £40,000-a-year is still far too high. An encouraging start but still a long way to go…

UPDATE: DCLG get in touch to stress that PCS now owe them money rather than the other way round.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

GMB Millions Move Forced Ed’s Weak Hand

GMB Red Ed Ballot Paper

Within days of the GMB canceling their million pound direct debit to the Labour Party, Ed exonerates the unions from undemocratically stitching up MP selections. Brutal power politics at its most raw. Union member witnesses mysteriously withdrew their allegations that they were signed up to the Falkirk Labour Party without their knowledge, Karie Murphy withdraws her candidature and everything is swept under the carpet in time for TUC conference. Ed has bottled it…

The GMB made him leader, they pay the bills, they pull his strings on policy and they have now pulled his leash. Ed’s attempt to stand up to the unions has left him looking weaker…

Friday, September 6, 2013

Karie Murphy Withdraws From Falkirk Selection

Karie Murphy has released a statement where she claims

Throughout the controversy surrounding what we consider to be the revitalisation work in Falkirk both Stevie Deans and myself have maintained that we have done nothing wrong, and that our union Unite has done nothing wrong. … our objective of getting ordinary members actively involved in a vibrant local party has been forgotten in the media coverage. … I have met with senior colleagues from both Unite and the Labour Party and have agreed that reconciliation and unity are paramount. It is therefore, with great sadness that I must withdraw my name from any consideration to be the Labour Party candidate for Falkirk…

She and Steve Deans have been “exonerated” by Labour and had their party membership restored. Wonder if Eric Joyce fancies another crack…

UPDATE:  Statement from the Labour Party:

The Labour Party began an internal process to examine the controversy surrounding the selection of a parliamentary candidate for Falkirk. At each step Labour’s general secretary and NEC have acted quickly to protect the interest of the party.Since Labour began its internal process key evidence has been withdrawn and further evidence provided by individuals concerned. Karie Murphy and Steve Deans, who were suspended, will now be reinstated as they have not been guilty of any wrongdoing. No organisation or individual has been found to have breached the rules as they stood at the time.The general secretary has determined that given these circumstances Labour should move to select its candidate for Falkirk West.These steps will enable Labour in Falkirk without further delay to choose a candidate and prepare for the general election.

Evidence has been withdrawn? Wonder who put the heavies on…

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

LISTEN: Rachel Reeves’ Donation Porky

Sarah Montague didn’t pick Rachel Reeves up on the massive fib she told on the Today programme this morning. Reeves claimed that “most of the money that the Labour Party receives comes from small donations and members”.

Let’s take a look at the actual Electoral Commission figures:

So that’s just £354,692 from individuals in the last quarter. £2,414,412 from unions. Guido thought Reeves was meant to be good with numbers?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pickles Refuses to Back Down as PCS Get Off on Technicality

Union fat cat Mark Serwotka’s plan to legal DCLG into submission over ending the automatic collection of union subs from civil servants’ salaries, the so-called check-off system, has worked. The PCS has got off on a technicality, meaning the taxpayer has to stump up £90,000. Pickles’s spokesperson says:

“This is a ruling on a technical point of employment law, based on a staff handbook drawn up under the Labour Government. We have already saved taxpayers’ money by abolishing full-time trade union ‘pilgrims’ and cutting back so-called ‘facility time’ to private sector levels. It remains Ministers’ intention to abolish check-off, which is an outdated and unnecessary practice given to trade unions, and epitomises a cosy and unhealthy relationship between the unions and the state.”

Serwotka’s claim that DCLG is wasting taxpayers’ money is risible given the reforms aimed to save taxpayers’ money in the first place. The department has a point when it rolls out the £250,000-a-year it is already saving by cutting back on union facility time. DCLG will still push to abolish check-off. Pickles is hardly going to give up that easily…

Monday, September 2, 2013

Unite Threaten Labour Conference Boycott

Unite’s NEC will debate a motion to boycott the Labour Party conference over the ongoing row over their attempts to stitch up the Falkirk selection. Unite in Scotland are urging:

“This committee also calls upon the NEC [national executive council] to consider the most appropriate means of advancing the case of Unite and its activists in relation to the Falkirk selection issue at the 2013 Labour Party conference in Brighton.  Should the suspension of Stephen Deans regional chair and Karie Murphy regional political committee delegate still be in place, the position of the Scottish delegation to the conference will be one of non-attendance in support of Stephen and Karie.””

Without prepublication of that report, there is likely to be fireworks at some point – where better than in the booze fuelled conference bubble. Or will publication only make it worse?

Via Paul Hutcheons

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gove Borrows Union Bashing Speech From Himself

Guido has been at Michael Gove’s speech laying into the unions this morning. All good stuff comparing Miliband to Kinnock and the unions to the Militant Tendency.

“The contrast with Neil Kinnock, who originally faced down the Militant Tendency over entryism, is striking and not at all flattering to Ed Miliband. While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant’s influence and Militant-sponsored MPs from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party. The sad truth is that charming, intelligent, eloquent, thoughtful, generous and chivalrous as Ed Miliband may be, in this critical test of leadership he has been uncertain, irresolute, weak. To the question of who governs Labour, his answer would appear to be, increasingly, the unions.”

One thing struck Guido more than anything else however, it almost felt like he had heard this speech before. For a reason. Worth taking a look at Gove’s speech making a very similar comparison back in March 2010.

“This is just the tip of iceberg of a new Militant Tendency in the next generation of Labour MPs. Labour’s re-unionisation has put them in bed with the past at a time when it is crucial that this country wakes up to the future. The last thing we need a political system where genuine participation in democracy is out-muscled by union power.”

And there’s more. Here is Gove today on Tony Blair:

“Tony Blair once argued that the Labour Party should not be the political arm of the trade union movement but the political movement of the British nation as a whole. That’s what One Nation politics means.”

Here is Gove on Tony Blair three years ago:

“Tony Blair wanted the Labour Party to be the political arm not of the trade union movement but of the British people as a whole. But now Labour has become once more the party of division – them and us, partisans and enemies, strikers and bosses.”

Today Gove talked of a “cadre” of Unite candidates:

“Unite wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. It would – like left wing entryist organisations – create its own cadre – or vanguard – of loyal activists.”

Three years ago?

“A new cadre of politicians have been installed, parachuted into fighting parliamentary seats on the strength of their links with the big unions, those who increasingly wield muscle within Labour.”

Points well made of course, then again he’s had plenty of practice.

Elsewhere, Gove brought his speech to a conclusion by asking “what would Tony Blair do?” Cue the first question being on intervention on Syria. Gove praised Hague again and again, insisting “I don’t know, I’m not on the national security council. My brief is education and generally domestic matters.” Encouraging words though on Pilgrims to finish up: “we shouldn’t have taxpayer subsidising union activity when that activity is often not in the public interest”. Something surely everyone can agree on…

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unite Indoctrinate Your Children With Socialist Propaganda

Imagine the terrifying image of Red Len McCluskey pouring his poison into your children’s ears as they sit defenceless in the classroom. With Unite’s creepy propaganda campaign targeting school kids, this is a reality. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, a website emblazoned with the Unite logo, has launched a series of videos aimed at teaching children how to organise public protests, make placards and fight against corporations and the evils of privatisation through the power of trade unions.

Weirdly the videos even attempt to use subliminal messaging, the fictional town featured is called Tethergo, an anagram of ‘together’. The plan is for the videos to be shown in PSHE lessons and by union speakers visiting schools. Coincidentally Labour want to lower the voting age to 16…

Friday, August 16, 2013

Falkirk Latest: Certification Officer Warns Unite

The Certification Officer – the body that overseas Trade Unions in the UK – has written to Unite the Union to make “it clear to Unite that his enquiries are intended to enable to him to ascertain whether he should use any of powers” in response to the Falkirk selection stitch up.  The body opened a review after a complaint from the Trade Union Reform Council and claims in a letter to their, CEO Mark Clarke, that the union could be “appropriately referred” to the Information Commissioner as well over how the they handled their membership data. Which Guido hears has already been done…

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Nothing is Too Good for the Worker’s Lunch
Bob Crow’s Afternoon Drinking Session


Seen Elsewhere

Liz Kendall For Leader | Indy
Bashir Booted Out By Respect | Respect
Americans Try Haggis | Guardian
Page 3 and the Art of the Self-Pity Statement | Guardian
Steven Woolfe For UKIP Leader? | Asa Bennett
Mohammed — in Pictures | Speccie
Leon Brittan’s Accusers Must Show Their Evidence | Dan Hodges
New Saudi King Renames Roads While Body Still Warm | TechnoGuido
In Davos, Carrying a BlackBerry is a Status Symbol | Business Insider
New Labour in Peep Show Quotes | Telegraph
Here is What a 7 Way Debate Sounds Like | BBC


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George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


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