Pickles PMQ That Pressured Farron to Sack Ward

Sir Eric uses his last PMQ to great effect…

Downing Street’s “Nasty Tactics” Hypocrisy

Downing Street wheeled out Eric Pickles last night to stick the boot into the Vote Leave campaign, hyperbolically blasting the pro-Brexit student protesters as being part of a “nasty… strategy of intimidation“. Pickles is calling on the Electoral Commission to deny Vote Leave the official Leave campaign designation:

“I believe the actions of Vote Leave in disrupting the CBI conference and declaring a strategy of intimidation and protest disqualify Vote Leave from being a designated lead campaigner in the forthcoming EU referendum campaign.”

Seriously?

That would be the same Eric Pickles who was the subject of a complaint by the Cabinet Secretary to David Cameron after his SpAds were accused of behaving “unacceptably” by briefing against a senior public servant. 

The same Tory party that openly called on its youth wing to deliberately “form our own publicity stunt” and disrupt Gordon Brown’s announcement of Labour’s election slogan back in 2010.

The same Tories who sent CCHQ staffers to Trafalgar Square to hold up ‘Vote for Change’ placards for the television cameras as Gordon made his way down Pall Mall to see the Queen.

The same Tories who followed Miliband around with Salmond and Sturgeon masks during the election, facing allegations that anti-Labour protesters shoved the then Labour leader.

The same Tories who snuck a Conservative activist into Question Time to lay into Miliband on prime time television.

If arranging for two teenagers to hold up a banner during a speech is “nasty”, what does that make the Tories’ own campaign tactics?

Arise, Sir Eric!

He will receive a knighthood for public service as an MP, Secretary of State and in local government, Downing Street announces.

Pickles’ Godly Christmas Card: No Festive Truce at DCLG

After it fell to Ed Davey and DECC to provide us with this year’s political correctness gone mad Crimbo-ban story, Eric Pickles’ office have responded in characteristically pugnacious form:

“It’s been a busy year. We reversed the policies of Edward Heath; defended the right to (office) party; exposed Gordon Brown’s Big Macbill; bunked in with Theresa May to save £220 million; shelved Labour councils’ plans to hike the cost of your weekly shop; extrapolated Labour’s Jammie Dodgers bill; sent in Commissioners to clean up Tower Hamlets; did our bit for ‘elf and safety by encouraging bonfires; turned the screw on the union pilgrims; told the last one out of Labour HQ to turn off the lights; marked Europe Day by celebrating the liberation of Jersey from the Nazis; and commemorated Britain’s Victoria Cross heroes from a century past.

In some parts of Whitehall, Christmas cards are passed round like Samizdat in Soviet Russia. Not here. Have a very Merry Christmas!”

Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you…

Happy Hanukkah!

Found in Careline, the magazine for charity Jewish Care.

Chag Chanukah Sameach!

WATCH: Ben Bradshaw’s Below the Belt Pickles “Size” Jibe

Bit rich for Bradshaw to have a go at smokers too. Remember he likes to share his sister’s rollies

Pickles Trolls Thornberry

Earlier in the week Eric Pickles responded to Hilary Benn’s vain attempt to find waste at DCLG by sending him a signed photo and one of John Prescott’s 20,000 vanity pens, for which the former Deputy PM billed the taxpayer £3,450. Today he’s winding up Emily Thornberry by flying the flag of Lancashire:

“Whatever one’s class, colour or creed, flags like the St George’s and the Union flag are unifying symbols for our nation. We should also champion the great diversity of local flags. Let’s fly them all with pride, because this sense of shared identity is one of the things that binds communities together.”

No doubt Emily has never seen anything like it…

Eric Pickles Pictured Selling Pot

As reported recently in the Sun on Sunday, Prezza blew nearly £40,000 of taxpayers’ money filling his DCLG office with pot plants. Ahead of Eric Pickles and co’s move to the Home Office annex, they’re flogging off the said pot plants to civil service staff. And don’t they all look lovely…

Sadiq Sorry for Sick Pickles Death Jibe

Sadiq Khan thought it was all very funny when he tweeted a letter he had received from Neil Kinnock joking that Eric Pickles might not survive running the London marathon and that his death would hand Labour “a helpful by-election”:

Now silly Sadiq is very sorry:

Hardly behaviour becoming of a man who keeps accusing the Tories of being the nasty party…

UPDATE:

Paterson in a Pickle

Eric Pickles is laying it on thick in the House about Owen Paterson, saying that he and the Environment Secretary are “two peas in a pod, two brothas from another motha” and that they speak every day.

Which will do little to quell the growing speculation in Defra circles that Eric is after Owen’s job on a more permanent basis…

Quote of the Day

Eric Pickles explains why he has a picture of Che…

“He’s there to remind me that without constant vigilance, the cigar-chomping commies will take over…”

Flatty Pickles

You have been missing out this summer if you were not following Pickles Road Trip where two students carried a cardboard cut out of Eric Pickles around America, posting photos along the way. The Mail have a pretty good summary today. They’re back now, and finally Pickles has come to face to face with with his wafer thin doppelgänger.

Pickles Pilgrim Reforms Will Save £400,000-a-Year

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.

Pickles Refuses to Back Down as PCS Get Off on Technicality

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. Pickles’s spokesperson says:

“This is a ruling on a technical point of employment law, based on a staff handbook drawn up under the Labour Government. We have already saved taxpayers’ money by abolishing full-time trade union ‘pilgrims’ and cutting back so-called ‘facility time’ to private sector levels. It remains Ministers’ intention to abolish check-off, which is an outdated and unnecessary practice given to trade unions, and epitomises a cosy and unhealthy relationship between the unions and the state.”

Serwotka’s claim that DCLG is wasting taxpayers’ money is risible given the reforms aimed to save taxpayers’ money in the first place. The department has a point when it rolls out the £250,000-a-year it is already saving by cutting back on union facility time. DCLG will still push to abolish check-off. Pickles is hardly going to give up that easily…

Pickles Will See Pilgrims in Court

Militant PCS union fat cat Mark Serwotka is trying to legal Eric Pickles into submission over ending the automatic collection of union subs from civil servants’ salaries, the so-called check-off system.

With a straight face, Serwotka is spinning this as Pickles wasting taxpayers’ money. Despite the fact that the check-off reform aims to save taxpayers’ money. And the fact that it was PCS who served the DCLG. So Serwotka is blowing taxpayer cash twice over, then blaming Pickles for… blowing taxpayer cash. He was hardly going to back down was he…

Local Government’s £217,130 on Foreign Travel

Of all the departments that make up Her Majesty’s government, Guido would have thought the one that doesn’t need to blow huge sums of taxpayer cash on foreign junkets would be the Department for Communities and Local Government. Somehow the department have spent £217,130 on visits abroad since 2010, no signs of a trip to a Sydney casino though. When Guido put it to them, DCLG sources pointed to the fact that the department has made savings of over half a billion pounds over the current spending review period and most of the travel was for mandatory trips to the EU. A useful figure to keep handy…

Pickles: No More Pilgrims

Eric Pickles has long been a strong supporter of Guido’s campaign against Pilgrims. Today he has been fighting the good fight once again:

“For too long in the public sector, trade unions have received taxpayer funding that is poor value for money and inadequately controlled. 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. 

Trade union activities and campaigning in local councils should be funded by members’ subscriptions, not bankrolled by the taxpayer. Freedom from state dependency will also mean that trade union bosses will better reflect and respond to the wishes and views of the grassroots members who pay the bill.”

Guido will soon be able to report how the first stages Frankie Maude’s reforms have impacted on taxpayer-funded trade unionists. Watch this space…

Guardian Diary in a Pickle

Who said perseverance never got you anywhere? After no fewer than ten days of calling his office, the Guardian diarist Hugh Muir finally got his answer to whether Eric Pickles would attend the Young Britons’ Foundation annual conference. Muir, who doesn’t like the fact YBF don’t like the NHS, ran diary story after diary story demanding an answer. There were at least four that Guido can see. Guido hears that Pickles opened his speech to the young right-wingers on Saturday with:

“I understand that a man that I’ve never met, who writes for a paper I’ve never read, is fascinated to know whether I would attend this conference. Well, I’m delighted to attend”.

Hugh took his public slap-down on the chin when Guido spoke to him earlier: “I understand he went down a storm”. He’s not too happy about his “reputable newspaper” being ignored though. Better luck next year…

Pickles Bans Serwotka From DCLG

Guido couldn’t quite believe it when he saw one of the Sundays had been briefed that the government is preparing a ban on the practice of paying union officials out of the taxpayer purse. However when he saw that Mad Frankie Maude had floated the idea in all of the broadsheets, he was more than a little chuffed. Guido has been campaigning on this issue for months, starting with the big-mouth of the delectable Nurse Pilgrim in Tooting, and taking the campaign all the way to the Prime Minister. It looks like it’s getting some real traction. The public don’t like it, and it seems someone is listening.

As the first wave of strikes look set to begin on Thursday, Guido hears that PCS boss Mark Serwotka (£86,244 + £25,441 pension + 1,076 housing allowance pa,) wanted to rally his troops in the Department of Communities and Local Government. Whitehall sources say his request to come in and encourage members to walk out on Thursday was flatly rejected by Pickles. Apparently the slap hasn’t gone down well…

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