A downgrade from his usual choice of Scott’s, but a productive day for RMT union baron Bob Crow, who was spied by a conspirator sinking beers all afternoon.
Labour’s summer fightback has so far consisted of poor Chris Leslie giving an off camera briefing and Chuka going on LBC. Where is everybody? As questions about Miliband’s direction grow, his shadow cabinet are nowhere to be seen. Yvette Cooper is lying low, as is Liam Byrne and Douglas Alexander. Once again Ed Balls has gone missing – he has not been seen properly in weeks. He’s allies are not so quiet though…
General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes has popped up to call for a rethink on Miliband’s plan to introduce union opt-in:
“We will not dress up as a good thing the battering of the union link, nor the reduction in Party control via open primaries. By insisting upon examining the practical problems of opt-in and primaries, perhaps a re-think can be prompted. That is essential if, in future, the Party is to avoid bankruptcy or becoming a state-funded liberal party.”
Given how close Hayes is to Balls, the intervention is certainly well timed. The CWU all but ran his leadership campaign as well as endorsing it. As one Labour source put it to Guido, Hayes “doesn’t fart without Ed Balls’ permission.” What does his old chum have to say?
Is the public sector trade union Unison getting a little jealous of all the media attention that their rivals at Unite have been getting over the last few weeks? Guido hears they are splashing out over £81,000 to hire two new spinners who will earn a lot more than the typical public sector union member gets for their 35 hour week. Spending the cash fixing Labour selections would probably be a more effective way of generating publicity.
Unison clearly have the cash to spare as they took over at Doncaster on Saturday sponsoring the “Unison Raceday” with 7 races including the “Unison Speaking Up For Public Services Maiden Auction Stakes” and the “Unison Everyone Deserves A Living Wage Handicap”. Their baron Dave Prentis has no problems living on his wage, he has a £127,000 pay and benefits package so he can afford to enjoy a flutter…
Militant PCS union fat cat Mark Serwotka is trying to legal Eric Pickles into submission over ending the automatic collection of union subs from civil servants’ salaries, the so-called check-off system.
With a straight face, Serwotka is spinning this as Pickles wasting taxpayers’ money. Despite the fact that the check-off reform aims to save taxpayers’ money. And the fact that it was PCS who served the DCLG. So Serwotka is blowing taxpayer cash twice over, then blaming Pickles for… blowing taxpayer cash. He was hardly going to back down was he…
With Unite buying Labour MEP candidates in the top spot in every region but one today, how helpful of them to illustrate exactly how it works. This graphic is from their website:
They could at least try to hide it…
Bad news for the Department for Education this morning, or so the BBC would have you believe. Apparently a “university think tank” says that “the system of planning teacher training in England has broken down and risks a future shortage of teachers”. Doesn’t sound good, eh?
What the BBC doesn’t tell its readers is that the think tank in question, Million+, is quite obviously a Labour front. No mention that Pam Tatlow, quoted a length in the Beeb piece, ran as a Labour parliamentary candidate at the last election. No mention that their chairman, Michael Gunn, is a Labour luvvie who spoke at their conference last year. Nor that interim Head of Public Affairs is pally with the Fabian Society. And certainly not that the woman he is covering for, Victoria Mills, is a Labour councillor in Southwark and a National Officer for Unison. This is the top story on the education section of the BBC website. It is a classic sockpuppet…
There has been a painfully obvious concerted effort today from the Tories on Twitter to suggest Labour’s workers’ rights policy has been bought by the unions.
I see both Red Len and @ChukaUmunna are opposing employment tribunal measures that will help the job creators in small businesses
— Harriett Baldwin (@HBaldwinMP) July 29, 2013
.@ChukaUmunna purports to support small business but opposes our employment tribunal changes to ease burdens. Because RedLen won’t let him?
— Brandon Lewis MP (@BrandonLewis) July 29, 2013
We are reforming employment tribunals to help small businesses. What a surprise 2 see RedLen & his paid-up MP @ChukaUmunna opposing changes
— Julian Smith MP (@JulianSmithMP) July 29, 2013
— Alun Cairns (@AlunCairns) July 29, 2013
Of course they have a point, though attacking Labour for having a donor involved in setting their workers’ rights policy without even a hint of irony is hardly the most honest attack line ever. Readers will remember Adrian Beecroft, in the “premier league” of Tory donors, who gave well over half a million to the Tories since 2006. Beecroft lobbied Cameron on workers’ rights and no-fault dismissal and even got to write a report on it. The unions buy policy from Labour every day, but the Tories making out they aren’t tainted by dodgy donor dealings is laughable.
UPDATE: Tory source stresses “we decided not to implement the Beecroft report because we didn’t agree with it.”
The revolting PCS union are taking Eric Pickles to court over his changing the rules to stop union subscriptions automatically being docked from the wage packets of DCLG civil servants. A few of them have even bothered to protest today. Their latest leaflet would imply that they don’t have much hope for the court battle – they’ve already starting handing out Direct Debit forms for membership fees. Guido could not help notice that despite the PCS finding room for tick boxes for every conceivable sexual orientation and/or gender identification, they fail to fit in a box to opt in or out of the union’s political levy. How queer…
Pressure is mounting following the launch of the Enforcement Department investigation into Unite. Last week the Certification Officer, who by law regulates trade unions, made clear he could not become involved himself while the police investigation was ongoing. Now the police investigation is over, he is free to do so. You can read his letter here. Mark Clarke of the Trade Union Reform Campaign, who made the original complaint, has this afternoon written to the the Certification Officer once more, asking:
“that with the closing of the police investigation, you exercise the responsibilities which Parliament has given you to stand up for the rights of ordinary Union members and ensure that Union funds have been properly spent.”
Guido can’t see any reason stopping them from doing so now…
Users of Gay Hook-Up App Grindr Infected | TechnoGuido
ISIS Raising Funds Online Using Bitcoin | TechnoGuido
UKIP’s Youth Challenge | BBC
ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe | BuzzFeed
Shapps Defends Bashir Defection | Seb Payne
Tory Leadership Contenders Jostle Over Europe | Alex Wickham
Cutting Taxes is Good For You | Art Laffer
Suspects Will Now Have to Prove Innocence | Laura Perrins
Labour Cllr: Cops Shouldn’t Stop Petrol Thieves | HandF Forum
Creeping Cultural Acceptance of Anti-Semitism | Eric Pickles
Time For Greece to Leave Eurozone | Allister Heath
Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”