That the head man at Unite is behind the disruption may come as a surprise to all those who thought that Tube trains were driven by members of Aslef and RMT, but the Sun is in full-on smear mode, telling readers “FATCAT Unite union boss Len McCluskey and his cronies will swan around in company cars while ordering Tube travel misery for millions of workers next week”. Someone at the Sun thinks Unions behave like News UK.
No Union boss “orders” industrial action: only when members have been balloted on a specific question may this be called. But this is a more serious smear, and it has been joined by a cabinet minister, well, Chris Grayling, anyway, who has put his name to an article titled “Union fat cats are richer than Posh’n’Becks”, a proposition which is as dishonest as it is ridiculous. How does he reach his conclusion?
Well, this is achieved by taking the Beckhams’ total estimated wealth and comparing it with Unite’s total assets - not what McCluskey, or any other official of the Union, actually earns or owns personally. But still, £243 million is a pretty big number, isn’t it? Er, well, not really: News Corp., the ultimate parent company of the Sun, had assets of $16,489 million last year. That’s more than £10,000 million. And there’s more.
Readers are told “if this week’s Tube strike goes ahead its chief agitator can glide comfortably past the riff-raff commuters struggling to get to work [not in a London gridlocked as a result of that same strike, he can’t] … calling out on strike Tube drivers on around £50,000 - twice the national average - is self-serving militancy that will spell misery for millions”. Very good - except no Tube drivers are Unite members.