Monday, 14 September 2009

Another Day, Another Disaster For Brown

TUC-Labour: "Britain Stitched-Up"

Aside from being utterly horrifying - just how much damage has Labour done to democracy in Britain! - this story in The Times is timed to perfection (Brown's about to grunt through his much-leaked, pathetic TUC speech) and potentially is political dynamite. It will generate a great deal of indignation, not to say indigestion, in people nationwide who read it over their Monday-morning Cornflakes.

Don't take my word for it, though. Read on and make up your own mind about whether you think the people who represent us in Parliament, however useless they might be, should at the very least be elected by us to that position, or professional civil servants with no public political affiliation. Labour has utterly corrupted that, just like they have corrupted everything else in Britain during their cataclysmically corrupt and incompetent period of power.

Just who the hell is in charge here?

Labour is funding trade union activity inside Whitehall with millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, The Times has learnt.

Government departments are paying the salaries of dozens of union officials, some earning more than £60,000 a year, who do no work for the taxpayer.

The Conservatives expressed horror last night at the “cadre of union officials” embedded across Whitehall.

Ten departments have revealed that they employ 46 full-time and 87 part-time officials to work exclusively for the unions at taxpayers’ expense. Their salaries cost between £150,000 and £4.5 million per department. They are also given access to office space, computers and photocopiers worth an estimated £1.2 million each year.

A Whitehall whistleblower has told The Times that union officials spent time on “far-left political campaigns and making up false claims about the Conservative Party”. Civil servants are bound by impartiality rules.

The whistleblower also claimed that union officials are given promotions worth thousands of pounds, despite working outside their departments’ remits. The source added: “This is a two-tier system where ordinary civil servants work for a living and strive for years to get promotion, while political cliques in unions get their chums into taxpayer-funded jobs where there is no job.”

One senior official with the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Karen Abram, lives in Lancashire but has her travel and hotel bills paid by the Department of Health so that she can work in London. The department said that Ms Abram was a “home worker” and that her expenses complied with internal guidelines.

The disclosure, which comes the day before Gordon Brown addresses the TUC conference, has revived accusations that Labour has done favours for its union paymasters.

Several departments, including the Treasury, did not respond to requests for information, which means that the total value of assistance could reach £10 million a year.

According to Electoral Commission records, union donations accounted for £5.4 million, or 69 per cent, of Labour’s fundraising in the first six months of the year.

The scale of the union assistance has caused surprise. One union source said that in an ideal world, there would be one full-time official for every 2,000 workers. However, the Home Office has 83 full and part-time union officials for its 70,000 employees: one for less than every 1,000.

Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said: “On top of office costs, it is now clear that the Government is bankrolling a cadre of full-time union officials across Government, costing millions of pounds a year. There needs to be full openness and transparency on these costs so taxpayers can know whether this is appropriate public expenditure and represents value for money.”

A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said: “Since 1996, departments and agencies have been able to set their own levels of trade union facilities time, but we do not collect this information centrally. Like many employers, civil service departments follow the Acas code of practice — time off for trade union duties and activities — when agreeing facilities with their trade unions.”

Senior union officials, including Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB union, have regarded attempts by Mr Maude to uncover information about trade unions’ work in Whitehall, as a declaration of war [it damn well should be!]. He told The Times that unions were more heavily regulated than the banks.

The three unions that work inside Whitehall are the PCS, Prospect and the FDA (First Division Association).

Trade union representatives are in theory banned from interfering in the formulation of policy, although some officials suspect that this may take place informally. This was denied by a spokesman for the PCS. “Typically these individuals take up personnel complaints and negotiations with management. In some departments, this is negotiating and some take people on full-time,” he said.

(You can't touch me, I'm part of the union this Labour government.) Do they think people will be pleased about this? Do they seriously think that we don't know that they have debauched democracy with their insidious, endless hand-greasing and egregious, shameless use of union placemen to shore up their control of the civil service and the levers of power? Do they suspect they might have done something wrong here?

The answer to all those questions is, of course, "no". They have no idea how much fury this latest piece of evidence of the corruption that lies at the blackened heart of this Labour government will generate. Or how much further damage it will cause them.

They are that arrogant; they are that stupid.

How many more nails does Brown's coffin need hammered into it before we finally get to bury him, one wonders?


  1. That's another easy cut for Cameron to implement. And it may be a pittance, they can scream 'gesture politics' all they like, but it's just plain wrong. The unions are threatening strike action to Labour if they cut public sector spending and they won't hesitate to actually do it under a Tory government but someone should remind them there's going to be well over 3 million people looking for a job soon (or 6 million if you take the unfudged figures) and a lot of these people would do these jobs and not give a monkeys about unions.

  2. Bastards. Jesus, I never thought we'd see pork-barrel politics this side of the pond in my lifetime.

  3. On that jobs thing, UB, I suppose it might be obvious if you've experienced a period of unemployment (I have too, btw) that the first thing the Tories should reform is the JSA system. For instance, stopping the benefit just because a person has found work is crazy. The benefit should be paid up to the first pay day. The current arrangement is a major disincentive that keeps tens of thousands who can't live on nothing for an entire month, and who can't find the money somewhere else, out of work (even if they've been offered a job).

    It might cost a little more money (not much), but the savings would far outweigh that. And it would help get people back into work. I can understand why Labour haven't done it - their too damn stupid and are happy to see people on benefits - they're voting fodder - but the Tories simply must change this ridiculous arrangement the moment they win power. It should be in the manifesto. It will win votes because it is a good idea.

    Oiky is dead right: the infiltration of the civil service by the unions, paid for by public money, does boil down to pork barrel corruption. This revelation goes some small way to explaining where all the bloody money has gone over the past 13 years!


Any thoughts?