What’s Been Going on in Parliament’s Pubs?

Any guesses what’s been going on in Parliament’s Woolsack bar?…

mdi-timer January 24th 2020 @ 7:19 pm 24th Jan 2020 @ 7:19 pm mdi-comment Comments
Bercow’s Bullying of his Chief Clerk was Well Known

The Sun has run as an exclusive today that John Bercow’s bullying of Robert Rogers – which the former Clerk of the Commons reported earlier in the week – was so bad his health collapsed and he was forced to take early retirement. Certainly tallies with his bullying of his secretary Kate Emms which resulted in her being diagnosed with PTSD…

“A friend told The Sun: “Bercow told Robert he was no good, he was useless, he was f***ing this and f***ing that, all of the time.

“He tried to make him feel completely worthless, without ever making any specific allegations of what he was supposed to have done wrong.

“The clerks used to call it Bercow’s ‘carpet chewing’.”

While Lord Lisvane has only just come forward with the allegations, the truth about their relationship has been swirling around Westminster for over half a decade. In 2015, Michael Cockerell documented their relationship when, after retiring early for undisclosed reasons, Bercow abandoned the tradition of hosting a retirement do for Rogers. Choosing instead to host a rock concert in Speaker’s House…

Michael Fabricant appeared on the Matt Forde podcast in 2014, once again refusing to give away the reason for Rogers’s early retirement, tipping off a journalist present that the true reason might be something he wanted to pursue and noting the cause wasn’t something the clerk himself had done.

Westminster knew this was going on, yet it took Bercow’s retirement to really get it out in the open; showing just how terrified Commons employees were of him. Now the Labour party – supposedly the party of workers’ rights – want to give him a peerage…

mdi-timer January 24th 2020 @ 12:38 pm 24th Jan 2020 @ 12:38 pm mdi-comment Comments
The 3 Worst Virtue Signalling MPs in Britain

Holocaust Memorial Day is next Monday and last Tuesday the Holocaust Educational Trust held an event in parliament hosted by Matt Chorley. Parliamentarians attended the event to hear from survivors, educators and a speech from the acclaimed historian Sir Antony Beevor. The event was invitation only.

Eyebrows were raised by those who noticed that in the audience was Apsana Begum, the newly-elected MP for Poplar and Limehouse. Guido understands she was not invited, which is hardly surprising given her troubled relationship with the Jewish community. She sat through the speeches and hopefully learnt something.

Three other MPs dropped into the event uninvited;

  • Nav Mishra, MP for Stockport – Labour NEC member on the JC9 slate, who has supported Pete Willsman. Voted against IHRA at the NEC, and sat on NEC disputes panel.
  • Paula Barker, MP for Liverpool Wavertree – yet to speak out on the abuse that drove Luciana Berger out of the party which led to her getting the seat.
  • Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside – yet to speak out about the abuse that drove Louise Ellman out the party.

These three MPs went over to a banner, took some selfies with the banner in the background and according to a witness immediately left. Guido suspects that the pictures were taken to be shared on social media on Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday. For all her faults Apsana Begum actually listened to what was said, the other three MPs are just cynically virtue signalling.

mdi-timer January 23rd 2020 @ 12:13 pm 23rd Jan 2020 @ 12:13 pm mdi-comment Comments
Labour MP Accused of Exploitation Over Job Listing

The new Labour MP for Jarrow, Kate Osborne, has been accused of trying to exploit prospective parliamentary staffers after putting up a job listing for a ‘Senior Caseworker’ which goes well beyond the typical list of responsibilities for the role. One current staffer described it as being “senior caseworker and researcher and office manager” all rolled into one, for no extra pay…

Kerri Prince, who is a Labour councillor and staffer for Alex Cunningham MP, said merely reading the job description gave her “burnout”, and commented that “A staff member would not get through this list of work even if they worked 8 days a week” before going on to alert the Unite union to the listing. Labour MP, Alex Sobel, and former MP Anna Turley, have also criticised the listing…

The full list of responsibilities the Labour MP is asking for – for as little as £27,324 a year – are:

  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret data to ensure the Member is accurately informed on key issues and is aware of trends
  • Attend surgeries, tribunals and meetings as appropriate
  • Develop knowledge in specialist areas
  • Ensure all cases are logged; monitor progress and ensure all identified actions are taken
  • Ensure records are kept and information managed confidentially and in line with the Data Protection Act
  • Follow up on social media queries and comments
  • Gather relevant information to resolve or progress cases
  • Liaise with Government agencies, voluntary sector and others to resolve constituency matters
  • Manage and progress portfolio of casework appropriately
  • Manage projects
  • Manage the MP’s website contents
  • Monitor media coverage, liaise with media, prepare press releases as required (on constituency, non-party political matters)
  • Prepare media briefings
  • Proactive and re-active communications with all media
  • Provide briefings for the MP
  • Publicise the Member’s parliamentary duties on Social Media
  • Research local, regional or national issues to support MPs’ work
  • Respond to routine correspondence and enquiries from constituents, the media, lobbyists and pressure groups
  • Supervise other members of staff
  • Take initial action on queries from members of the public, including responding on behalf of the MP as appropriate

As ever with Labour, on workers’ rights it’s ‘do as I say and not as I do’…

mdi-timer January 23rd 2020 @ 10:15 am 23rd Jan 2020 @ 10:15 am mdi-comment Comments
Who’s Going to be Brillo’d Tonight?

7pm, BBC 2. You won’t want to miss this one…

mdi-timer January 22nd 2020 @ 5:30 pm 22nd Jan 2020 @ 5:30 pm mdi-comment Comments
Parliament Accidentally Wipes Active Casework

Parliamentary Digital Services (PDS) has today outdone itself by deactivating multiple active MPs’ staffers’ email accounts – and in the process deleting potentially years of correspondence and active constituents’ casework. PDS is often the bain of multiple staffers’ lives, and their move today has been true to form. Fibre-optic Fagins…

Following an election, there is an automatic grace period of a month, after which all former MPs and staffers’ emails are erased from the servers. This time around, however, PDS forgot to double-check whether any staffers – specifically those whose MP stepped down – have carried on with new MPs for their constituencies. Most absurdly, however, Guido has heard of a case where a staffer who received new email addresses following the election has even seen that one go down.

Guido understands there are a large number of staffers – predominantly Tories – who fit the bill; enjoying a less-than-productive day at work. This has led to multiple vulnerable constituents in need of help with housing or asylum having years of correspondence potentially permanently wiped.

Staffers are, as may be expected, up in arms, and desperately trying to find out whether the data is recoverable. Which it most likely won’t be if PDS used GDPR-compliant wiping methods…

UPDATE: A UK Parliament Spokesperson says they emphasised warnings to MPs and their staff before the election regarding the grace period, in line with GDPR and Data Protection legislation. They have been offering advice to any staffers affected, however notification was given multiple times and staff working for new members had to sort out renewed sponsorship. Sounds like the start of a protracted blame game…

mdi-timer January 21st 2020 @ 4:44 pm 21st Jan 2020 @ 4:44 pm mdi-comment Comments
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