London Taxi Drivers Threaten “Cab Scabs” on Twitter

uber scab

Increasingly deranged militant London cabbies are taking to Twitter to shame other taxi drivers who dare to use the Uber app in order to drum up more work. Uber, the phone app that allows users to order a private driver at the click of the button, have offered an olive branch to black cabs, whose business they have been eating into, by allowing them to sign up to Uber and receive ride requests. So much for gratitude…

But heavily unionised loons are not happy that some of their colleagues are audaciously tapping into the free market in order to make more money. They have been taking screenshots of taxis looking for work on Uber and posting them on Twitter along with pleasantries such as “scabs” and “scum” and “Uber c**t”. 

In a disturbing development some cabbies are publicly identifying their fellow drivers and posting their details online:

uber cunt

Responding to the above tweet, other cabbies posted Simon’s phone number while others sinisterly hinted at finding Simon to say a “big hello”.

Bring on driverless cars…

Strike For Drunk Tube Driver Says It All

tube strike

Another year, another tube strike on the cards. The RMT union are balloting members on Monday and could be launching industrial action as early as 17 February. This time the militants are upset that one their comrades was fired for turning up to work boozed up. All out… on the lash!

It seems as good a time as any to remind downtrodden London commuters that we don’t actually need drivers. By Guido’s arithmetic there are at least 63 fully automated subway train systems in world, including Dockland’s Light Railway which has been happily driver free since its construction.

So why isn’t the rest of tube network automated? Well, much of it kind of is; the Jubilee, Victoria and Central lines are all semi-autbuttonsomatic. The ‘drivers’ literally have to press two buttons at the same time once and the train drives itself. Not bad for £50,000 a year, and no wonder they think they can do it drunk.

The RMT’s stranglehold over the Underground is so great that even though Boris’ soon to be delivered 250 new trains are capable of running on auto, they will have drivers until the 2020s.

Robots don’t strike.

Public Sector Union Proposes Private Equity Survival Deal

Secret documents leaked from the Public and Commercial Services Union show that the militant public sector union is in crisis and flogging off their assets to the private equity fund Brockton Capital. Long overdue trade union reforms are finally working. The controversial “check off” process has been clamped down on by Francis Maude, and the civil service has been reduced by 21% since 2010, leaving the PCS with a massive funding crisis:

 “The union faces an exceptional, urgent situation. The NEC noted at its meeting in December that the union will experience a significant drop in subscription income in the coming period due to the combined effects of check off removal and membership loss due to job cuts in the civil service…”

Mark Serwotka and his NEC have come up with a genius solution: privatisation of their Clapham Junction HQ:

“Several bids were received of around £20 million. A sum of this order would provide would form the platform on which a reconfiguration of our operations can be made in the medium term to adjust the union to a new, ongoing, lower level of income.

 The NEC authorised the Senior Officers Committee to agree the sale of the Clapham Junction building if a suitable deal can be reached. A bid from Brockton Capital was received which was the highest at £25 million and also allows a year of rent free occupation of the building.

Altogether, the value of this bid is at least £2.5 million more than the next highest. Brockton plan a conversion of the site into a new office building rather than a residential scheme which the other bidders were planning.”

Having spent decades striking against privatisation and cuts, the PCS have privatised and cut…

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…

Welsh NHS Blows £1.5 Million on Pilgrims

Frankie Maude won the Guido award for most successful implementation of an Order-Order blog post into government policy on Tuesday, but unfortunately his Pilgrims reforms are not being embraced further afield. New figures show that in the last three years the Labour-run Welsh government has spent at over £1.5 million on NHS staff undertaking trade union activities. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board alone spent over £500,000, this year blowing £184,231 on 2 full-time taxpayer funded trade union staff and 21-part time staff . Last year it had 37 trade union staff funded by the taxpayer, the year before it had 42. Elsewhere, the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board spent £210,000 a year for eight full time equivalent taxpayer funded trade union posts. Welsh Labour won’t win a Guido like that…

Lovers Re-Unite-ed: Red Len’s Late Night Re-Union

The last time Guido asked Len McCluskey about his relationship with Jennie Formby, Unite political director and the mother of his lovechild, he got very tetchy. Guido is sure, therefore, that there is nothing at all untoward about eyewitness reports of Jennie and Red Len gazing into each other’s eyes over multiple drinks in the Feather’s pub, SW1 late last night. It was cold and damp, but that did not stop the re-Unite-d lovers huddling outside in the cold, as Len the Lothario poured the mid-range Chardonnay, away from the prying eyes of other punters. He then bundled Jennie into a car so quickly, that our dozy half-cut super sleuth cocked up getting a snap of the pair.

Only a cynic would note that McCluskey fathered a child with Formby while he was still married to his first wife Ann, before moving into a union-funded London home with a second lover Paula Lace, with Jennie going on to marry another man. Lots of important Unite policy to discuss last night…

UPDATE: Another source says Len’s ex-lover Jenny was indeed at the pub and so was Len’s current girlfriend Karie Murphy. Our original source was clearly seeing double…

PCS Strike Over 1% Pay Rise Then Give Own Staff 1% Pay Rise

The tiresome PCS union is on strike again tomorrow, moaning that the 1% pay rise for public sector workers is unfair and demanding a 5% increase for their members instead. Since Guido enjoys nothing more than spending his afternoons reading through trade union financial reports, he thought he would share PCS’s plans for pay increases for their own staff. Lo and behold, PCS plan on awarding their staff, you guessed it, 1% pay increases for the years 2013-15:

Looks like PCS staff should join a trade union and go on strike!

Labour Selects Younger Woman Over Ageism Campaigner

Unite’s Political Director was among the first to toast the news that Liz McInnes had won Labour’s selection for the Heywood and Middleton by-election last night:

McInnes is being billed by her party as an “NHS worker” and “healthcare scientist”. She is the secretary of her local Unite branch and the chair of Unite’s Health Sector National Committee. Bizarrely her Twitter account disappeared as soon as she was announced as Labour’s candidate, as did her profile page on her local Labour website. Her publicly available Facebook page however still carries dozens of photos of her waving Unite flags at union marches, attending Unite conferences and wearing a “never kissed a Tory” t-shirt. As well as some, ahem, less safe for work snaps.

Already Liz is in robot candidate mode: “Only Labour can make Britain better off, putting hardworking families first with a plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.” She didn’t always stick to the party line however, condemning Miliband and Balls in a letter to the Guardian during the 2010 leadership contest: “If only one of the Eds were an Edwina, then we might have a real choice”. 55-year old Liz beat 56-year old age discrimination campaigner Miriam O’Reilly – ageism at the heart of the Labour Party…

Only 20 Pilgrims Left in Whitehall

Updated figures from the Cabinet Office appear to show that there are only 20 full time trade union ‘pilgrims’ still (not)working in government departments.

This is down from 200 civil servants in November 2011 who were paid not to work, but to instead undertake trade union activity in business hours.

Francis Maude is playing it as a £6 million saving per year.

Victory is almost in sight. Target zero.

Unions Not the Only Ones Who Need a Majority

Labour sources were last night unconcerned by the Tories’ announcement that “the next Conservative government” will introduce a 50% threshold for strikes. Frankie Maude has pledged to force unions to secure a “double majority” for strikes to be legal, a majority of members and a majority in favour of industrial action. On the face of it this seems another welcome trade union reform by Maude’s Cabinet Office, though if it is conditional on the almost impossible event of the Tories winning a majority next year then it is little more than window-dressing. As the Telegraph’s Polling Observatory shows today, it will take a small miracle for the Tories to do so. So far the LibDems have resisted union reform this time round. If the Tories are serious, this needs to be a red line in coalition negotiations after the election…

6 Inspiring Photos of the Mass Strikes Crippling Britain

Public sector workers are striking today, causing widespread chaos across the country as picket lines overflow with vast numbers taking industrial action:

Via @robdothutton

Via @jenwilliamsMEN

Via @tangent69

Via @unisoneastmids

Via @nickmcccps

Via @uniteccbc

The workers! United! Will never be defeated! All eight of them…

Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey promises Ed a blank cheque and law breaking to fight the Tories…

“.. we will not let Labour fight for this programme with one hand tied behind its back. We will be up against the party of the rich, bought and paid for by the rich… Unite will do its bit to make sure that the next election is not financially lop-sided because democracy demands a fair fight…

The Conservative Party should not assume that we will put respect for unjust laws ahead of our duty to fight exploitation and ruthless employers. We will fight for our members within the law where possible. But let the Tories be in no doubt that if they push us outside of the law, they will be responsible for the consequences, not us.”

Stay CLASS-y: Wife-Beater Tells Labour to Put Up Taxes

The Unite front group CLASS, despite their own gender failings, is devoted to furthering equal rights and women’s causes. So Guido was surprised to see them happily embrace such a controversial figure this afternoon.

Funnily enough the very left wing, but not right on, ‘think tank’ failed to ask Thomas Piketty about the time he assaulted his girlfriend:

‘After the charges were dropped, the French news agency AFP quoted a source close to Ms Filippetti as saying: “Mr Piketty has acknowledged the facts of the violence against Ms Filippetti and has apologised, so in the interests of the families and children, she did not proceed.” When the allegations re-surfaced in the media at the weekend, Mr Piketty confirmed that he had been arrested but contested the claims.’

Instead MPs and activists lapped up the discredited Frenchman’s thoughts on why the 50% rate of tax is not high enough. That’s right, Labour are spending one of their precious few days before the next election discussing putting taxes up with an economist who beat up his ex-girlfriend.

10 People Who Signed Up to Uber Because of the Cabbie Strike

The London cabbie strike is one of the stupidest industrial protests ever, literally driving business to their new rivals. Uber is reporting an 850% increase in app downloads today:

https://twitter.com/daniel_barnett/status/476741186301198336

Use this link to download the app and you get your first £10 ride free

Unions Buy Labour’s Support in London Taxi Wars

Guido’s London readers will know that the capital’s rival taxi firms have descended into open warfare in recent weeks. Militant black cab drivers are having a hissy fit about being priced out of the market by Uber, who use an app to calculate the journey distance and fee, relay the information to the driver and usually offer a considerably lower fare for the punter in a much nicer car. It is an example of the market working to provide the best price for the consumer. As the Institute of Directors points out:

“When the tide of new technology is coming in fast, it’s unwise to stand still and hope it stops at your feet. It’s all well and good to say that companies such as Uber must fit into the UK’s regulatory framework, but there’s a powerful case to make that the UK’s regulatory framework has been overtaken by digital innovation and, in some areas, is no longer fit for purpose.”

Guido understands that the GMB union has infiltrated the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, the black cabbies’ trade union, to lobby politicians against Uber. Indeed it was a GMB-sponsored Labour MP, Graham Morris, who tabled the Westminster Hall debate on this issue in April.

To little surprise, Labour have sided with a closed shop producer’s protection racket against consumers. Today, Labour have officially adopted the black cab position. Shadow Transport Secretary Mary Creagh, who is also sponsored by the GMB, has launched an attack on Uber this morning:

“Labour welcome Transport for London’s decision to seek a High Court ruling on taximeters. Apps like Uber which involve a contract for vehicle hire must conform to the same high standards of safety, licensing and insurance as the rest of the taxi and private hire industry. It is neither black cab nor minicab, which is why it is vital that a court decides if it fits into the UK’s regulatory framework. The safety of the travelling public must not be put at risk.”

A Labour Shadow Secretary of State going back to the bad old days of formulating party policy based on the demands of her union paymasters. Not only that, Creagh is prioritising the vested interests of a party donor over the interests of the hard-pressed consumers her party is supposed to represent. Uber tell Guido that they go ‘above and beyond other operators in the industry in terms of safety’ and are confident that the High Court will agree with TFL. Guido thinks the rest of the industry should work out how they can bring their service up to scratch rather than trying to run a more competent rival out of town.

Loony Lefties Abuse Tube Staff Working to Get You Home

Spare a thought for the brave strike breakers who are working in the face of union aggression this evening…

Coffee Shop Offer of the Day

The Grill Market cafe in Holborn had this sign up outside their shop this morning in solidarity with London’s commuters. Guido popped along for a cuppa just as they were taking it down, gagged by the hordes of striking RMT workers sitting at home on Twitter…

H/T @casshorowitx

Austin Mitchell Resignation Confirms Guido Story, Despite DenialGuardian Scrub Report of Miliband Seat Stitch Up From Website

Labour’s Austin Mitchell has announced via YouTube that he is standing down in 2015. However, this was well known after Guido revealed it was on the cards in the Sun back in January. At the time Mitchell said:

With a more lucid quote given to the local press:

“There is no truth in it. I haven’t said anything to anyone about stepping down. That will be decided by me and the local party which will meet to discuss it and nothing will be done or decided until then. I don’t know who has been shouting their mouth off. It could be an attempt to try to discredit the unions, but I am totally mystified. Meanwhile, I am getting better and am feeling younger and more vigorous.”

Bizarrely the original Guardian report about Mitchell’s announcement, published at 19.48 last night, included details of how Labour and the unions are stitching up the seat for former Miliband apparatchik Melanie Onn. By 21.10 history had been re-written and the intrigue had disappeared from the Guardian’s website. Regular readers will remember that Guido also revealed the details of this plot back at the beginning of the year:

“Austin Mitchell isn’t going to be running again in Grimsby and all the stops are being pulled out to secure the seat for former Labour HQ staffer Melanie Onn. Miraculously Onn was given a cosy regional campaigning role with Unison. Labour insiders say she got the gig at Ed’s personal request. That must be Ed’s promised ‘new, more open politics’ in action.”

So who got on the blower to shut that one down?

Unite Annual Report Mocks Ed’s “Seismic” Reforms

In February Ed Miliband promised “seismic changes” to Labour’s relationship with the trade unions, vowing that reforming the unions’ grip on the party would be “bigger than Clause IV“. Red Len’s baby mama Jennie Formby, Unite’s meritocratic political director, explains how that is going in their political report for the last year. Firstly she calls Ed’s reforms “a distraction that nobody wanted”, before confirming that it’s business as usual for Unite.

Describing the Labour politicians in the union’s pocket as “Unite MPs”, Formby reveals how Unite have successfully lobbied Labour MPs to raise issues in the House, going as far as influencing voting:

“Chair of the TU Group of MPs, Ian Lavery, secured time for a 10 Minute Rule Bill on the Bedroom Tax and we worked hard both with Ian and with the Labour Party to get them to impose a three line whip on this.”

She admits “we have been involved in discussing a number of other issues with MPs in order to build support for key issues” including welfare, the NHS and low pay. And, ironically, the Lobbying Bill. 

In a section titled “parliamentary selections” Formby reports target seats are now nearly completed” but “we wait for retirements in other seats”. There is also a new “candidate training programme”, where “successful candidates will be expected to give a commitment to participate in all the training modules” and will be “judged” on their suitability to be an MP on important issues to constituents such as “commitment to working class values of the Trade Union” and “active membership of the union”How’s that seismic change-y thing working out for ya, Ed? 

* Do nothing.

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.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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