Labour’s Brave Line on Tax Dodging Donors

tax hypocrisy mcdonnell

This is a pretty brave attack line from John McDonnell over Tory party donors who may have avoided tax:

“Is the Prime Minister happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?”

Especially when you consider that Labour’s biggest donor Unite paid no corporation tax in 2011 and 2012, despite earning £5.78 million from their £51.6 million investment portfolio. The GMB union paid zero corporation tax on its investment income of £1.6 million, neither did the Community union on their income of £4.1 million for the period. McDonnell himself received £3,000 from Unite in 2014. As of last year who were Labour’s biggest non-union donors? Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have been slammed by the Public Accounts Committee for “promoting tax avoidance”To paraphrase, is the Shadow Chancellor happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?

Red Len’s Steel Shaft

len-shaft

Why are the two unions (Community and Unite) not working together for their members in the face of one of the biggest industrial crises in years? Community is the biggest union in the steel industry and Unite should be supporting them not trying to grandstand and compete for media attention. Relations have totally broken down due to Red Len’s bully boy attitude towards more moderate unions like Community – they took their Labour NEC place off them. So the steel workers are not directly represented on the Labour Party’s ruling body.

In what was described as conference victory for Jeremy Corbyn, the moderate trade union Community was replaced by the left-wing Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union. Community relied on the votes of Unite to keep them in place, votes that were not forthcoming.

The struggle takes many forms – in Wales Unite prioritises jostling for left-wing influence over the proper representation of steel workers. Up the workers!

Proof Unite Vetted NEC Vote

Last month Guido revealed that Unite were planning to stitch up the vote for a seat on Labour’s NEC at the party’s youth conference. Well, the vote was this weekend. And whaddaya know…

Below are WhatsApp exchanges between a Labour delegate and Unite fixer Charlotte Upton, in which Upton breaches secret ballot rules by insisting she checks each vote to make sure delegates choose the Unite candidate:

And here’s the proof it happened:

A source in the room claims Unite delegates blocked access to the polling area as they vetted their comrades’ voting intentions. One young delegates was “too scared to return to his hotel room” following the incident, and is believed to have sought accommodation away from his union delegation. Labour are now under pressure to launch an inquiry

Fix! Unite Accused of Stitching Up Labour NEC Election

Len McCluskey

Serial seat fixers Unite are being accused of stitching up the election for a place on Labour’s NEC. The seat Unite are allegedly targeting is that of the Young Labour representative, currently held by Bex Bailey. How are they doing it? 

Red Len is helpfully paying for activists to attend the Labour youth wing’s conference in Oxford next month. All the kids have to do in return is choose Unite’s preferred candidate when the NEC vote takes place. Activist Rhys Morgan was one of those offered the freebie:

“At some point in the meeting it was also suggested that we endorse a particular candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee Youth Representative. We only heard the one name, and a brief summary of why we should support them. There was no mention made of other candidates standing.”

So Unite are stuffing the conference with activists who will vote for the union’s candidate. Morgan explains:

“The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that Unite are trying to abuse this inaccessibility by providing travel and accommodation for those who have been affiliated in some way with, or have openly endorsed their candidate, ensuring they’ll be there to vote for Unite’s preferred candidate… It seems very much like Unite are trying to indirectly buy more influence in the Labour party by paying for “the right kind” of delegates to attend the conference so they can vote for Unite’s preferred candidate to be elected onto Labour’s National Executive Committee”

Unite lost key influence on the Labour NEC when Steve Rotheram was kicked off. Now it looks like they are trying to nab another seat to make up for it. At a time when the NEC’s delicate balance of power is more significant than ever…

Mirror Spikes Unite’s Zero Hours Contracts Story

mirror image oopsThe Mirror has long railed against zero hours contracts. No surprise then, that when Britain’s biggest union was being sued by a former employee after they kicked off over their own alleged zero hours contract, The Mirror was on the scene:

Google picked it up:

Unite_being_sued_for_£200,000_after_hiring_activist_on_zero_hours_contract_-_Google_Search_-_2016-01-27_12.12.07

Shortly after the story went to pixel, it mysteriously vanished. Surely that was nothing to do with Unite sponsoring a weekly column in the paper? Did Len McCluskey monster The Mirror, or are they just staying Unite-d?

UPDATE:

Unite Labour Councillor in Sick Auschwitz Austerity Slur

Having served 25 years as a national secretary for Unite, career comrade Bernadette Fisher finally got the call up to be a Labour councillor in Whitstable in May.

Six weeks into the job and she is already retweeting tasteless photoshops of Auschwitz:

When she isn’t agitating, Bernadette spends her spare time working as a yoga teacher. Not very “om”…

Unite MPs Backing Burnham

andyburnham

“I am attracting support from all parts of the party” said Andy Burnham on Sunday, insisting that Len McCluskey was “wrong” about Labour’s future direction. Well, here is the list of supporters being pushed by Burnham’s friends today:

Of the eleven, seven are either members of Unite or have received donations from Unite.

  • Steve Rotheram
  • Ian Lavery
  • Owen Smith
  • Karl Turner
  • Michael Dugher
  • Rachel Reeves
  • Emma Lewell-Buck

Going for the intellectual heavyweight vote then.

Of the rest, Debbie Abrahams is backed by Unison, while Kevin Brennan and Luciana Berger are members of UCATT. He’s the “change candidate”…

Looks Like a Zero Hours Contract, Sounds Like a Zero Hours Contract…

zero-ed

Much squirming over semantics as Ed’s pledge to end the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts becomes embarrassing following revelations that over a quarter of Labour MPs as well as their biggest funder, the Unite union, employ workers on essentially “zero hours” contracts.

Labour’s line that staff employed without guaranteed hours by 68 of their MPs were on “casual contracts” not “zero hours contracts” is looking increasingly ridiculous following the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s clarification that they while they don’t use the term “zero hours”, they interpret requests for the number of parliamentary staff working on “zero hours” as “the number of MP’s staff who are contracted on an hourly rate.” In other words casual contracts..

As if things couldn’t get any worse for Labour, Unite, who just last year were calling on those MPs to stop using in their words “zero-hours” contracts, have been rumbled by an Industrial Tribunal for employing a man on “a series of short-term contracts. Or as some might say a series of  “effectively zero-hour contracts.”

If it looks like a zero hours contract and sounds like a zero hours contract…

Unite Labour Candidate Dragged Into ‘Smear’ Scandal

Decent Labour members are kicking off in York after Unite’s NHS agitator Rachael Maskell won a bitter selection battle to inherit Hugh Bayley’s seat. Local party members say Maskell was parachuted in ahead of several local candidates, accusing her of […]

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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 +

Watson Up to His Grubby Neck in Falkirk Report

When open and transparent Tom Watson quit the Shadow Cabinet he pretended he wanted the Falkirk report to be published, whinging that “I’ve still not seen the report but believe there are an awful lot of spurious suppositions being written.”[…]

+ READ MORE +



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