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!

Happy ‘I Heart Unions’ Day

Hundreds of unionised Luddites in black cabs bring Millbank, Whitehall and Parliament Square to a stand still this afternoon. Doing Uber’s marketing for them…

Corbyn Wears Sponsors’ Badge

Guido has always said that Labour MPs should wear the names of their union paymasters while they ask questions in the House, to ensure outside financial interests are always properly declared. Good to see the Labour leader agrees…

LEAK: Lansman Emails Mock “Clueless” Unite Chief

On Saturday Momentum’s 52 person National Committee convened for the first time, telling supporters that the purpose of the meeting was to elect a Steering Committee of 14 senior figures who will run the organisation. Yet in leaked emails sent the week before, Momentum chief Jon Lansman boasts that the election will be a “formality” because Steering Committee members had already been “confirmed“. In other words, it was a fix.

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Thanks for your email.

I too am looking forward to getting the structure confirmed at the meeting on Saturday. To a large extent, as you note, this will mostly be just a formality as we have already confirmed those who will be setting the direction for Momentum, myself included. These individuals will formally take their roles on the Steering Committee this Saturday.

This email was sent five days before the sham election, at which time Lansman already knew the result.

In another leaked email, Lansman is asked if the trade unions involved in Momentum will have concerns over bumper staff salaries. Lansman warns that the salaries must be kept confidential, writing that Unite political director Jennie Formby is “clueless“:

From: Jon Lansman
To: xxxx
Sent: Feb 1

Jennie is fairly clueless and as long as the proper procedures are followed on Saturday, I do not anticipate any issues.

So Lansman wants to keep Unite in the dark about how much Momentum are paying their top team, mocking Formby as “clueless” about salaries. Would be a shame if Jennie were to find out…

UPDATE: Lansman tells Guido the emails we have, sent from his email address and with his email signature, are “complete fabrications”. Lansman insists he is “good friends” with Formby and says he may have been hacked:

“I am not aware of anyone hacking into my emails but I can assure you I did not send either of those emails. If someone has hacked my email I would certainly like to know. I shall be changing my passwords.”

185 RMT Members Vote For Strike Affecting Half a Million

Conductors on Southern Rail have voted for strike action this morning, with the RMT union boasting that more than 70% of those balloted backed industrial action. What they didn’t mention in their press release was how many employees actually voted. Here is the breakdown:

Total Votes Cast – 255
Number Voting ‘YES’ -185
Number Voting ‘NO’ – 70

Just 185 people voted for strike action, affecting Southern Rail’s 447,000 passenger journeys per day…

Unions v Steel Industry

scunthorpe-steel_2716892b

The unions are demanding the government slashes energy prices and green taxes for the steel industry in response to today’s Tata announcement:

GMB: Only the UK Government acting with the EU can deal with dumping of steel and green taxes on energy prices.”

Unite: “Unite is calling on the government to support a key component of the UK economy by taking action to stop the ‘dumping’ of cheap Chinese steel, help with high energy costs and business rates and ensuring that major infrastructure projects use British steel.”

That’s the same GMB and Unite who have been campaigning for higher energy prices and green taxes…

GMB are a partner in the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy group, which lobbies for stricter regulation for fossil fuel industries.

Unite are actively calling for its members to join the the “Climate, Justice and Jobs” march in London later this month, which wants – you guessed it – tougher energy regulations. Wonder if union members would rather have a job or keep global warming below 2°c…

John McDonnell Praises Spitting as a Form of Protest

Corbyn condemed the actions of the protesters spitting on delegates and journalists as unacceptable, but it appears no everyone holds the same anti-gobbing view. Just four years ago John McDonnell praised a trade unionist who spat in her manager’s tea every day:

“I always give the example of P&O when I worked for RMT, in the P&O dispute we had some real difficulties and all the rest of it – we lost, the strike was difficult and the struggle went on.  There was one woman in all of that… she said I make the manager’s tea; I spit in it everyday. And it’s that form of we’re not taking it any more, and we’re going to give it back, I think builds up a climate of opinion, a climate of dissent, which I actually think, when combined with industrial action, will produce a tipping point that will force this government out of office and that’s got to be our objective.”

Nice…

H/T: Harry’s place

First Look at “Conservative Workers & Trade Unionists”

tory union site

The Tories are planning to launch ToryWorkers.co.uk at their conference next week to accompany their newly founded “Conservative Workers and Trade Unionists” movement; the site is currently blank but Guido has discovered the finished product hidden in the Google cache. Here are the highlights:

churchill union

The potted proud history makes no mention of Churchill’s role in sending in the army to break the 1926 miner’s strike, when Stanley Baldwin insisted the army should not be armed, resulting in Churchill expressing disappointment that there was not to be “a little blood-letting”. 

tiry union history

It overlooks that Robert Peel was fighting Tory landowners led by Disraeli to only manage to repeal the Corn Law with the support of liberal Whigs. No mention either that Lord Salisbury resigned from the government over Benjamin Disraeli’s Reform Bill extending the suffrage to working-class men.

Forward comrades…

GMB’s IRA Blooper

gmb

Guido was browsing through the GMB unions’ press release about their Acting Secretary Gary Smith’s speech at the Labour Party Conference when he spotted an entertaining mistake in the copy. It refers to the RIPA act as “PIRA”…

pira gmb

Someone has the Provos on their mind…

‘We’ve Had Enough of This Crap’: Cabbies Storm City Hall

The long-running conflict between Boris and London’s cabbie trade unionists has flared up again, with irate drivers storming City Hall to protest after being denied access to a public meeting. Numerous security staff, including young women, were injured, and one person was knocked unconscious. The latest issue of Taxi, the LTDA’s propaganda rag, was keen to stress that the injuries were simply because ‘the sheer weight of numbers outside led to a crush at the entrance doors’, omitting any mention of their own thuggery. The clip of the taxi drivers protesting is reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie cockney crime caper…

Leadership Candidates Claim Union Stitch Up

The Burnham, Cooper and Kendall campaigns have written to Labour HQ tonight complaining that the Corbyn campaign has been given contact details for the 90,000 strong trade union electorate, but they have not. “It would appear unreasonable for an election to be taking place” under the current circumstances, they claim. Here is their letter in full:

Dear Iain

We are writing following the meeting with campaign teams yesterday morning.  There are two issues we wish to follow-up on.

Lists of members/registered supporters/affiliated supporters

We are concerned we will only receive accurate lists in around 10 day’s time, which hinders each campaign’s effort. It would appear unreasonable for an election to be taking place without the provision of a full list of voters. If you are sharing the information with ERS, then it is reasonable for the campaign teams to also be provided with it. It was mentioned in the meeting that the data could contain individuals who have not been fully validated, however, if ERS are able to use this data then I believe the campaign teams should also be able to use it, on the understanding that individuals may later be excluded. We believe it is essential that campaign teams have maximum ability to contact potential voters, especially as the affiliated supporters data is likely to be made available to candidates who have the respective union support. This would not be a level playing field for all candidates. We would ask that the Procedures Committee consider making this data available to campaign teams 48 hours before it is provided to the ERS. It is likely that people receiving their ballot details will vote within 48 hours of receiving them and so campaign teams will be hugely disadvantaged if they are not in receipt of the data until some 5 days later.

Lists of members still to vote

We also feel it would be reasonable to provide lists of members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters who have voted. This will help us focus our effort on voters who have yet to cast their ballots. It would also mean that we are not calling members who have already voted.

We understand the Procedures Committee is in the tomorrow and believe that these are important agenda items for discussion at that meeting. We would be grateful if you would ensure this email is tabled at the meeting, and would ask for a response afterwards.
Kind regards

Vernon Coaker (Yvette Cooper campaign)

Michael Dugher (Andy Burnham campaign)

Toby Perkins (Liz Kendall campaign)

If it’s not Trots or Tories subverting the process, you can always rely on the unions…

Via Staggers

Driverless Trains Would Gut the Feckless RMT

New DLR Rail Car 2

It’s less than a week since the last tube strike and underground workers have already announced two more 24 hour walkouts later this month. Tube drivers get paid £49,673 and up to 52 days holiday a year. They are striking because they don’t want the night-time tube plan to go ahead, despite being offered an above inflation pay rise, bonuses for all staff and, incredibly, a £200 per night bribe for drivers, who already work night shifts, to do a night shift.

There is of course a proven, reliable and safe solution to striking tube drivers. Driverless tubes…

There are at least 63 automated subway train systems in the world, including London’s very own Dockland’s Light Railway, which has been chugging across east London without a driver since 1987. In the only serious DLR incident that Guido can find, the train was being driven under manual control.

It’s not just the DLR: the Jubilee, Victoria and Central lines are all semi-automatic. They don’t even call their train drivers “drivers“, they are “train operators“. Their job? They literally have to press two buttons at the same time and the train drives itself. The £50,000 a year train operators also have to look after the doors…

BUTTONS TUBE

Do you want to live in a London free from the stranglehold of RMT militants? Let Boris know by signing this petition.

‘Average Joe’ Caller Outed as RMT Union Lackey

This is the delicious moment a tube strike-supporting Londoner calling himself ‘Joe’ was exposed as the RMT’s Political Officer Jared Wood on the Vanessa Show this morning:

Rumbled…

At Last! Automatic Union Funding Faces Axe

The reforming zeal of Francis Maude may be elsewhere post-election, but there are early signs of encouragement from his successor. Matt Hancock today announces the abolition of trade union ‘check-off’, the archaic system where union subscriptions are automatically taken from civil servants’ pay packets in a process funded by the taxpayer. Instead, public sector workers can choose to opt in to pay it and the subsequent political levy. Expect the unions to kick off, the militant PCS took Eric Pickles to court at great expense to the taxpayer when he tried to abolish check-off at DCLG. This entirely reasonable move affects 3.8 million public sector workers – at last trade union funding enters the 21st century…

CWU Backs Corbyn, Rejects Winning

tomandjerry580

“I am delighted to announce that the CWU will be backing Jeremy Corbyn MP to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

There are no quick fixes for the Labour party, but there are some easy decisions and choosing Jeremy as its leader should be one of them.

We think that it is time for a change for Labour. The grip of the Blairites and individuals like Peter Mandelson must now be loosened once and for all. There is a virus within the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn is the antidote.

We reject the notion that Labour needs to move to the centre ground of British politics. The Centre ground has moved significantly to the right in recent years. We do not see arguing for fairer wealth distribution, decent jobs with good pay, terms and conditions and a substantial increase in affordable housing for the next generation as a left wing agenda.

Jeremy agrees with the vast amount of CWU policy, ranging from opposing the selling off of Royal Mail, to offering a real alternative to austerity, and repealing anti-trade union laws.”

Punchy….

GMB Union Sue Uber

0619_uber-800x480

Union heavies GMB are taking legal action against the increasingly popular private driver app Uber, because it doesn’t cap how much money their drivers can earn. They want Uber to force their drivers to take breaks, introduce a maximum number of hours they can work and make them take holidays.

Drivers who use Uber are self-employed, earning as much or a little as they please. There will be around 42,000 Uber drivers in London by next year, as drivers take the no-brainer decision to use an app that reliably provides them work at the touch of a button. Onwards comrades…

Londoners Look to Driverless Tubes

The tube strike is over and, courtesy of Google Trends, Techno can provide some insight into what Londoners thought of the £50,000-a-year drivers who made them late for work. Searches for “driverless trains” rocketed over the last 24 hours…

driverless trains london

As Techno has revealed before, the only thing stopping the introduction of driverless tubes is the lack of political will to get tough on the trade unionists currently driving them. Robots don’t strike…

Uber Chiefs Detained in Socialist France

CIVYupwWgAE9gKQ

In scenes more reminiscent of Caracas than mainland Europe, AFP reports that the CEO of Uber France and the General Manager of Uber (Europe) have been arrested:

“The spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor says two Uber managers have been taken into custody for questioning over “illicit activity” linked to the ride-hailing company’s low cost service.”

Like in an Ayn Rand dystopia, arrested for providing customers with a better, cheaper service at the behest of unions.

Cash For Influence: How a Labour Donor Killed a Bill

Guido has written previously on how Labour have let trade union donors buy influence in the House. Well, they have been caught red handed once again.

On May 29, Labour peer Baroness Turner sponsored a Private Members’ Bill seeking to reform Easter trading laws – introducing it at its first reading in the House of Lords.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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