Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What the BBC Doesn’t Tell You

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…

WATCH: Loony Unite Militants Jump on Boris’ Car

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cash-For-Policy Tories Bash Cash-For-Policy Labour

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.

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.”

Thursday, July 25, 2013

PCS Forced to Hand Out Direct Debit Forms After Pickles Decree

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…

Certification Officer Now Free To Investigate Unite

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…

Information Commissioner Confirms Falkirk Fraud Investigation

icoGuido understands from a source close to the Information Commissioner that the Enforcement Department has launched an investigation into the Unite Falkirk scandal. Specifically looking at the purchasing of Labour memberships for Unite members. Meanwhile Miliband is still refusing to release the Falkirk report Labour handed to the police. He seems just about the only person who still thinks it should be kept secret: Tory chairman Grant Shapps has written to Ed backing up Tom Watson – who said “the report should be published – in full – and the whole truth told as soon as possible so that the record can be made clear” – and Len McCluskey, who says he needs to “bring out the truth”. Just as Unite say they want Karie Murphy reinstated as Labour’s candidate. The story will just get more and more awkward until Labour reveal what they told the police…

Cops Say Not Enough Evidence For Falkirk Investigation
Now Ed Has to Publish the Report

The cops don’t want to go near the Unite vote rigging scandal in Falkirk. Which means the ball is back in the court of the Certification Officer, whose review prompted by the Trade Union Reform Campaign is now free to continue without fear of interfering with a police investigation. Now the police say there is not enough evidence for their investigation to continue, we need to see what Ed gave them. Time to publish the report to avoid allegations of wasting police time…

PCS are Revolting

A nice day for civil service protest. What could the PCS be agitating over today? Poor care at the NHS? MPs getting a pay freeze while theirs is capped at 1%? Something the public could really get behind? No. Today they are protesting at Eric Pickles fulfilling his promise to end union “check off” – where union subscriptions are automatically taken from civil servants’ pay packets and instead making them opt in to pay it and the subsequent political levy. DCLG is the first department to make this entirely reasonable move, but it seems Pickles has bigger plans:

“Reducing such public subsidies to trade unions is a practical way that councils can save money, to keep council tax down and protect frontline services for local residents – including union members themselves. And my department is practising what we preach to councils. Trade union activities and campaigning should be funded through consenting members’ subscriptions, not bankrolled by the taxpayer. Freedom from state dependency will mean that trade union bosses will better reflect and respond to the wishes and views of the grassroots members.”

To the barricades!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LabourList Brings Blairite Benjamin Wegg-Prosser Onboard

Who you gonna call when you need some cash? None better than Mandy, who gets out the begging bowl in an email to LabourList subscribers this afternoon. “Dear Comrade, oops, colleague…”, begins the latest in a raft of requests for donations from the Labour blog. Could it be they are trying to wean themselves off their reliance on union gold?

LabourList are “proudly sponsored” by the GMB, CWU, Unite and Unison, though in April they added one Benjamin Wegg-Prosser to their ranks as a Managing Partner. Wegg-Prosser is a Mandelson protégé who went on to become Tony Blair’s Director of Strategic Communications, famously drafting theleaving the stage with the crowd wanting more memo. He is currently also the managing partner of Global Counsel, Mandy’s lobbying firm. If there is a coming battle for the heart and soul of the Labour Party, controlling the most popular Labour-affiliated website is a smart move… 

Unison’s Role in the NHS Crisis

Another day and another report suggesting that staffing shortages are killing people in NHS hospitals. Today it’s the Health Select Committee, where last week it was Sir Bruce Keogh who said:

“Statistical analysis performed showed a high correlation between in-patient to staff ratio and a high hospital standardised mortality rates score. When the review teams visited the hospitals, they found frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff in some ward areas.”

Guido has been crunching the numbers at the 14 hospitals that were investigated by Keogh and he’s found an obvious staffing loophole that would free up more front-line workers: scrapping the Pilgrims. Many of the hospitals or trusts are too incompetent to store data on the amount of time they pay their staff not to do their jobs, but instead act as full-time trade union officials through the controversial and absurd “Facilities Time” system. Nurses, like Jane Pilgrim, are paid not to help heal the sick and needy but spend their time politically agitating instead. All of Guido’s previous work on Pilgrims, and the case against them, can be read here.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has three full time Pilgrims, costing £61,000 per year.  Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has 2.45 “full time equivalents” at the cost of £100,000, while Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals have one and half as do the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are spending £14,000, while Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, £17,000. Guido presumes that hospitals that do not hold the data have a similar level of trade union activity blocking front-line care. There are not enough nurses, so why is the NHS subsidising Unison members to take part in political activity rather than doing their jobs? The trade union is complicit in this crisis.


Seen Elsewhere

Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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