So union bod Stevie Deans jumped before he was pushed as the Unite official at Grangemouth after the weekend’s exposure of his dirty tricks and attempts to stitch up the Falkirk selection for Karie Murphy on office hours. A source familiar with the situation chuckles “Len got the local dafty to sort it out and surprise surprise he’s f**ked it all up.” Yet speculation is rife that we have not heard the last of ‘Simple Stevie’ just yet. Will Len sort out his boy, and bring him into the Unite behemoth? Or will the boss wait to see what the expected second tranche of emails in the Sunday Times brings? Sweaty palms all round…
Taxpayer funded union turkeys are convening to work how to avoid Christmas. Regular readers will remember Carl Roper, the TUC national organiser tasked with spinning for Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials. Last summer Carl got into all sorts of bother trying to spin his way out of the huge sums Pilgrims cost the taxpayer. Well now he has invited publicly-employed trade unionists to a meeting on Thursday to plot how they can “respond to the attack on facility time and… look at the legal position of reps in respect of paid time off for union duties and activities”. In other words try to fight the government’s crackdown on them wasting taxpayers’ time and money. Let Guido know how that works out for you…
A mysterious story coming out of Bristol today, with Labour candidate Josie Channer standing aside after it was revealed she had failed to pay over £2,000 in parking fines. She won the selection by beating off competition from GMB officer Rowena Hayward, described at the time by the furious CWU union as an “excellent union candidate”. Rumours swirl of yet another stitch up…
No matter how senior a Labour figure you are, you can’t criticise Len McCluskey without the mother of his love child tearing you a new one. Jennie Formby, who inexplicably happens to be Unite’s political director, has given Unite-sponsored Miliband boot-boy Michael Dugher both barrels for having the temerity to question Red Len’s leadership:
“Self-styled ‘humble member’ of our union, Michael Dugher used to work for Amicus before the merger that led to the creation of Unite. A loyal bag carrier to Ken Jackson in the AEEU, Blair’s favourite trade union leader, he has been developing an image as a political fixer in the union movement for decades, perhaps over-inflating his role.
Certainly his career path explains why he now has a tin ear for our movement today. After leaving Amicus, he entered a succession of jobs first working as a special adviser to Stephen Byers, longtime plotter and avowed critic of the Labour/union link. After Byers left office, Dugher ended up working for Defence Secretary, Geoff Hoon, finally ending up as the replacement to Damian McBride as the spin doctor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Michael’s eventual selection in Barnsley was no accident either, supported as it was by the Amicus “union machine”. We don’t remember him raising concerns over his union’s influence in politics at that time… Dugher says that history will judge unions “pretty badly”. If he represents what is now called a rising star in the Party, history will judge all of us badly.”
All together now: “Stand by your man“…
Guido just bumped into an ashen faced Red Len McCluskey in Brighton. The union fat cat is speaking at a fringe event this lunchtime hosted by Unite political director Jennie Formby, coincidentally also the mother of his love-child. When Guido asked him whether this was nepotism he replied angrily:
“That’s unfair. Why don’t you go and make things up the way Guido always does?”
Always happy to correct the record if he has written something incorrect, Guido enquired just what he had “made up”.
He was greeted by silence from the usually vocal Len…
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.
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…
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.
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”.
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Let’s take a look at the actual Electoral Commission figures:
So that’s just £354,692 from individuals in the last quarter.[…]
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.[…]
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.
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.
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.[…]
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. […]