GMB Millions Move Forced Ed’s Weak Hand

GMB Red Ed Ballot Paper

Within days of the GMB canceling their million pound direct debit to the Labour Party, Ed exonerates the unions from undemocratically stitching up MP selections. Brutal power politics at its most raw. Union member witnesses mysteriously withdrew their allegations that they were signed up to the Falkirk Labour Party without their knowledge, Karie Murphy withdraws her candidature and everything is swept under the carpet in time for TUC conference. Ed has bottled it…

The GMB made him leader, they pay the bills, they pull his strings on policy and they have now pulled his leash. Ed’s attempt to stand up to the unions has left him looking weaker…

Karie Murphy Withdraws From Falkirk Selection

Karie Murphy has released a statement where she claims

Throughout the controversy surrounding what we consider to be the revitalisation work in Falkirk both Stevie Deans and myself have maintained that we have done nothing wrong, and that our union Unite has done nothing wrong. … our objective of getting ordinary members actively involved in a vibrant local party has been forgotten in the media coverage. … I have met with senior colleagues from both Unite and the Labour Party and have agreed that reconciliation and unity are paramount. It is therefore, with great sadness that I must withdraw my name from any consideration to be the Labour Party candidate for Falkirk…

She and Steve Deans have been “exonerated” by Labour and had their party membership restored. Wonder if Eric Joyce fancies another crack…

UPDATE:  Statement from the Labour Party:

The Labour Party began an internal process to examine the controversy surrounding the selection of a parliamentary candidate for Falkirk. At each step Labour’s general secretary and NEC have acted quickly to protect the interest of the party.Since Labour began its internal process key evidence has been withdrawn and further evidence provided by individuals concerned. Karie Murphy and Steve Deans, who were suspended, will now be reinstated as they have not been guilty of any wrongdoing. No organisation or individual has been found to have breached the rules as they stood at the time.The general secretary has determined that given these circumstances Labour should move to select its candidate for Falkirk West.These steps will enable Labour in Falkirk without further delay to choose a candidate and prepare for the general election.

Evidence has been withdrawn? Wonder who put the heavies on…

LISTEN: Rachel Reeves’ Donation Porky

Sarah Montague didn’t pick Rachel Reeves up on the massive fib she told on the Today programme this morning. Reeves claimed that “most of the money that the Labour Party receives comes from small donations and members”.

[gigya src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/boos.audioboo.fm/swf/fullsize_player.swf” flashvars=”mp3=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F1581958-rachel-reeves-lies.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&mp3Author=WikiGuido&mp3LinkURL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboo.fm%2Fboos%2F1581958-rachel-reeves-lies&mp3Time=10.54am+04+Sep+2013&mp3Title=Rachel+Reeves+Lies” width=”480″ height=”160″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]

Let’s take a look at the actual Electoral Commission figures:

So that’s just £354,692 from individuals in the last quarter. £2,414,412 from unions. Guido thought Reeves was meant to be good with numbers?

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…

Unite Threaten Labour Conference Boycott

Unite’s NEC will debate a motion to boycott the Labour Party conference over the ongoing row over their attempts to stitch up the Falkirk selection. Unite in Scotland are urging:

“This committee also calls upon the NEC [national executive council] to consider the most appropriate means of advancing the case of Unite and its activists in relation to the Falkirk selection issue at the 2013 Labour Party conference in Brighton.  Should the suspension of Stephen Deans regional chair and Karie Murphy regional political committee delegate still be in place, the position of the Scottish delegation to the conference will be one of non-attendance in support of Stephen and Karie.””

Without prepublication of that report, there is likely to be fireworks at some point – where better than in the booze fuelled conference bubble. Or will publication only make it worse?

Via Paul Hutcheons

Gove Borrows Union Bashing Speech From Himself

Guido has been at Michael Gove’s speech laying into the unions this morning. All good stuff comparing Miliband to Kinnock and the unions to the Militant Tendency.

“The contrast with Neil Kinnock, who originally faced down the Militant Tendency over entryism, is striking and not at all flattering to Ed Miliband. While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant’s influence and Militant-sponsored MPs from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party. The sad truth is that charming, intelligent, eloquent, thoughtful, generous and chivalrous as Ed Miliband may be, in this critical test of leadership he has been uncertain, irresolute, weak. To the question of who governs Labour, his answer would appear to be, increasingly, the unions.”

One thing struck Guido more than anything else however, it almost felt like he had heard this speech before. For a reason. Worth taking a look at Gove’s speech making a very similar comparison back in March 2010.

“This is just the tip of iceberg of a new Militant Tendency in the next generation of Labour MPs. Labour’s re-unionisation has put them in bed with the past at a time when it is crucial that this country wakes up to the future. The last thing we need a political system where genuine participation in democracy is out-muscled by union power.”

And there’s more. Here is Gove today on Tony Blair:

“Tony Blair once argued that the Labour Party should not be the political arm of the trade union movement but the political movement of the British nation as a whole. That’s what One Nation politics means.”

Here is Gove on Tony Blair three years ago:

“Tony Blair wanted the Labour Party to be the political arm not of the trade union movement but of the British people as a whole. But now Labour has become once more the party of division – them and us, partisans and enemies, strikers and bosses.”

Today Gove talked of a “cadre” of Unite candidates:

“Unite wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. It would – like left wing entryist organisations – create its own cadre – or vanguard – of loyal activists.”

Three years ago?

“A new cadre of politicians have been installed, parachuted into fighting parliamentary seats on the strength of their links with the big unions, those who increasingly wield muscle within Labour.”

Points well made of course, then again he’s had plenty of practice.

Elsewhere, Gove brought his speech to a conclusion by asking “what would Tony Blair do?” Cue the first question being on intervention on Syria. Gove praised Hague again and again, insisting “I don’t know, I’m not on the national security council. My brief is education and generally domestic matters.” Encouraging words though on Pilgrims to finish up: “we shouldn’t have taxpayer subsidising union activity when that activity is often not in the public interest”. Something surely everyone can agree on…

Unite Indoctrinate Your Children With Socialist Propaganda

Imagine the terrifying image of Red Len McCluskey pouring his poison into your children’s ears as they sit defenceless in the classroom. With Unite’s creepy propaganda campaign targeting school kids, this is a reality. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, a website emblazoned with the Unite logo, has launched a series of videos aimed at teaching children how to organise public protests, make placards and fight against corporations and the evils of privatisation through the power of trade unions.

Weirdly the videos even attempt to use subliminal messaging, the fictional town featured is called Tethergo, an anagram of ‘together’. The plan is for the videos to be shown in PSHE lessons and by union speakers visiting schools. Coincidentally Labour want to lower the voting age to 16…

Falkirk Latest: Certification Officer Warns Unite

The Certification Officer – the body that overseas Trade Unions in the UK – has written to Unite the Union to make “it clear to Unite that his enquiries are intended to enable to him to ascertain whether he should use any of powers” in response to the Falkirk selection stitch up.  The body opened a review after a complaint from the Trade Union Reform Council and claims in a letter to their, CEO Mark Clarke, that the union could be “appropriately referred” to the Information Commissioner as well over how the they handled their membership data. Which Guido hears has already been done…

Nothing is Too Good for the Worker's Lunch Bob Crow's Afternoon Drinking Session

A downgrade from his usual choice of Scott’s, but a productive day for RMT union baron Bob Crow, who was spied by a conspirator sinking beers all afternoon.

Via @LondonJase

Balls Ally Turns on Union Reforms

Labour’s summer fightback has so far consisted of poor Chris Leslie giving an off camera briefing and Chuka going on LBC. Where is everybody? As questions about Miliband’s direction grow, his shadow cabinet are nowhere to be seen. Yvette Cooper is lying low, as is Liam Byrne and Douglas Alexander. Once again Ed Balls has gone missing – he has not been seen properly in weeks. He’s allies are not so quiet though…

General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes has popped up to call for a rethink on Miliband’s plan to introduce union opt-in:

“We will not dress up as a good thing the battering of the union link, nor the reduction in Party control via open primaries. By insisting upon examining the practical problems of opt-in and primaries, perhaps a re-think can be prompted. That is essential if, in future, the Party is to avoid bankruptcy or becoming a state-funded liberal party.”

Given how close Hayes is to Balls, the intervention is certainly well timed. The CWU all but ran his leadership campaign as well as endorsing it. As one Labour source put it to Guido, Hayes “doesn’t fart without Ed Balls’ permission.” What does his old chum have to say?

Unions Burning Money

Is the public sector trade union Unison getting a little jealous of all the media attention that their rivals at Unite have been getting over the last few weeks? Guido hears they are splashing out over £81,000 to hire two new spinners who will earn a lot more than the typical public sector union member gets for their 35 hour week. Spending the cash fixing Labour selections would probably be a more effective way of generating publicity. 

 

Unison clearly have the cash to spare as they took over at Doncaster on Saturday sponsoring the “Unison Raceday” with 7 races including the “Unison Speaking Up For Public Services Maiden Auction Stakes” and the “Unison Everyone Deserves A Living Wage Handicap”. Their baron Dave Prentis has no problems living on his wage, he has a £127,000 pay and benefits package so he can afford to enjoy a flutter…

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…

Vote Unite in Euro Elections

With Unite buying Labour MEP candidates in the top spot in every region but one today, how helpful of them to illustrate exactly how it works. This graphic is from their website:

Click to enlarge.

They could at least try to hide it…

What the BBC Doesn't Tell You

Bad news for the Department for Education this morning, or so the BBC would have you believe. Apparently a “university think tank” says that “the system of planning teacher training in England has broken down and risks a future shortage of teachers”. Doesn’t sound good, eh?

What the BBC doesn’t tell its readers is that the think tank in question, Million+, is quite obviously a Labour front. No mention that Pam Tatlow, quoted a length in the Beeb piece, ran as a Labour parliamentary candidate at the last election. No mention that their chairman, Michael Gunn, is a Labour luvvie who spoke at their conference last year. Nor that interim Head of Public Affairs is pally with the Fabian Society. And certainly not that the woman he is covering for, Victoria Mills, is a Labour councillor in Southwark and a National Officer for Unison. This is the top story on the education section of the BBC website. It is a classic sockpuppet…

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.

Cash-For-Policy Tories Bash Cash-For-Policy Labour

There has been a painfully obvious concerted effort today from the Tories on Twitter to suggest Labour’s workers’ rights policy has been bought by the unions.

Of course they have a point, though attacking Labour for having a donor involved in setting their workers’ rights policy without even a hint of irony is hardly the most honest attack line ever. Readers will remember Adrian Beecroft, in the “premier league” of Tory donors, who gave well over half a million to the Tories since 2006. Beecroft lobbied Cameron on workers’ rights and no-fault dismissal and even got to write a report on it. The unions buy policy from Labour every day, but the Tories making out they aren’t tainted by dodgy donor dealings is laughable.

UPDATE: Tory source stresses “we decided not to implement the Beecroft report because we didn’t agree with it.”

PCS Forced to Hand Out Direct Debit Forms After Pickles Decree

The revolting PCS union are taking Eric Pickles to court over his changing the rules to stop union subscriptions automatically being docked from the wage packets of DCLG civil servants. A few of them have even  bothered to protest today. Their latest leaflet would imply that they don’t have much hope for the court battle – they’ve already starting handing out Direct Debit forms for membership fees. Guido could not help notice that despite the PCS finding room for tick boxes for every conceivable sexual orientation and/or gender identification, they fail to fit in a box to opt in or out of the union’s political levy. How queer…

Certification Officer Now Free To Investigate Unite

Pressure is mounting following the launch of the Enforcement Department investigation into Unite. Last week the Certification Officer, who by law regulates trade unions, made clear he could not become involved himself while the police investigation was ongoing. Now the police investigation is over, he is free to do so. You can read his letter here. Mark Clarke of the Trade Union Reform Campaign, who made the original complaint, has this afternoon written to the the Certification Officer once more, asking:

“that with the closing of the police investigation, you exercise the responsibilities which Parliament has given you to stand up for the rights of ordinary Union members and ensure that Union funds have been properly spent.”

Guido can’t see any reason stopping them from doing so now…

Information Commissioner Confirms Falkirk Fraud Investigation

icoGuido understands from a source close to the Information Commissioner that the Enforcement Department has launched an investigation into the Unite Falkirk scandal. Specifically looking at the purchasing of Labour memberships for Unite members. Meanwhile Miliband is still refusing to release the Falkirk report Labour handed to the police. He seems just about the only person who still thinks it should be kept secret: Tory chairman Grant Shapps has written to Ed backing up Tom Watson – who said “the report should be published – in full – and the whole truth told as soon as possible so that the record can be made clear” – and Len McCluskey, who says he needs to “bring out the truth”. Just as Unite say they want Karie Murphy reinstated as Labour’s candidate. The story will just get more and more awkward until Labour reveal what they told the police…

Cops Say Not Enough Evidence For Falkirk Investigation Now Ed Has to Publish the Report

The cops don’t want to go near the Unite vote rigging scandal in Falkirk. Which means the ball is back in the court of the Certification Officer, whose review prompted by the Trade Union Reform Campaign is now free to continue without fear of interfering with a police investigation.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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