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 being a Unite puppet who lived in London until only a few weeks ago. Concerns are also being raised about her alleged involvement in a “smear campaign” against her opponent in another selection, in the Erith seat in 2009. At the time the respected New Labour godfather Philip Gould claimed his 22 year-old daughter was the victim of an “outrageous and unacceptable” campaign to undermine her. Maskell was fighting for the seat with the helpful backing of Brownite bootboy Charlie Whelan. The hustings were then mysteriously called off after a ballot box was tampered with. With the Greens heavily targeting York Central, Maskell will need all the help she can get defending that 6,000 majority…

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 you know what, we best stick with the devil we know. Miliband has got to give hope to people. He has got to demonstrate that he will do something different in power… They come up with ideas but no one seems to be pulling them together in a coherent way.”

Who was sat listening attentively on the front table just a few feet away? One Angela Eagle: Chair of Labour’s National Policy forum…

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 in the world. Owen Jones and Polly Toynbee were in the audience, but don’t seem to bat an eyelid. Listen here:

“The world’s 85 richest people control the combined wealth of the world’s poorest 50%. 50% of the globe – the combined wealth of 85 people. You could put them on a double-decker bus and travel round London. I only wish it was one of our members and they’d have an incident on route, should we say. And while that’s happening, 23,000 London bus workers are members of my union and I’m sure we’ll find one to do that deed.”

Cue a sharp intake of breath from his audience.

UPDATE:

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.” Well with the report leaked this morning, for some reason Watson is keeping quiet, spending the day tweeting about Led Zeppelin. Could that be anything to do with it containing damning evidence that “a batch of approx 40 application forms was received by the party with a letter from Len McCluskey stating that Tom Watson said they were OK”, and that, crucially, regarding Unite’s “recruitment work”, “Tom Watson had given it the go ahead”. The conclusions of the report have Unite bang to rights:

Finally confirming what we knew all along. No wonder Miliband wanted to keep it secret…

WATCH: Loony Unite Militants Jump on Boris’ Car

Boris’ driver delicately negotiates a Unite ambush over in Stanford-le-Hope. Could have gone much worse…

Via Your Thurrock.

Will “Red Len” Be “All In It Together”?

Given the recession has financially crippled thousands of small businesses and seen pay freezes and cuts across the public sector, two people didn’t do too badly during the crisis. The outgoing Unite co-General Secretaries Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson will leave their jobs in charge of the super-union very rich men. Derek Simpson was on £196,497 if you add up car, salary, and perks etc. Poor Tony Woodley only managed to squeeze £135,330 a year out of the worker’s membership subs. Since 2007 they have seen a eye-watering 56% and 62% pay-rises respectfully, unheard of in the real world. Given that the average salary in the UK is somewhere around £25,000, the union-fat cat copy writes itself.

The newly elected Len “there is no such thing as an irresponsible strikeMcCluskey is a Che loving militant-hardliner, who wears his man of the people credentials on his sleeve. If Ed Miliband wants to distance himself from the union that gave him his job he might have a bit of a challenge with this one, McCluskey was a big player in the BA strikes.

The real question though is will “Red Len” take a massive pay-cut before he mans the barricades and leads the charge?

Some More Equal Than Others

Portcullis House parliamentary offices are highly prized. They are light, spacious and luxurious. Only twqo floors are currently allocated to the Labour Party and unsurprisingly, all but a small handful are allocated to ex-ministers and very senior backbenchers. But what’s this? Extraordinarily, one or two first time MPs are so highly favoured that they are already ensconced within the hallowed portals that lesser lobby-fodder plot and plead for years to achieve. What possible influence could have been brought to bear that Jack Dromey has been catapulted into the Valhalla of ex-Cabinet Ministers within a mere six weeks of arriving in the House?  Answers consistent with trade union & Labour Party values in the comments please…

Will They Break BA?

British Airways have reported a staggering £531 million loss this morning. Grounded by volcanoes and union thugs, things aren’t going too well for the old flag carrier. Add all that to the £400 odd million loss last year. Whelan and […]

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Whelan’s Gag Attempt Backfires Speccie-tacularly

Charlie Whelan might soon regret his decision to sue the Speccie over Fraser Nelson’s claim that he is an abusive, smearing bully.

In tomorrow’s edition, Fraser details how, while collecting evidence for the magazine’s defence, he was able to […]

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The Unions are Back

George Osborne gave the CCHQ boys and girls a pep-talk yesterday in which he asked them if they could perhaps, maybe, please, “work harder”, and it seems to have paid off. Today’s attack on Unite has played out […]

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