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Tuesday 24 January 2012

Guido Fawked – Ignorance Showing

To be finally launched with an advertised accompaniment of “beer and sandwiches” this evening, the so-called Trade Union Reform Campaign, named because it is intended as a vehicle to do nothing of the sort, is already being relentlessly plugged by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, at the Guido Fawkes blog.

There is, however, one problem here: the less than dynamic duo combines an ignorance of the chosen subject and an irrational hatred of it. This, together with blatantly selective reporting, lends an unintentionally comic air to matters, this being typified by their churning over a piece from the Evening Standard about a full time workplace Trade Union representative called Julie Davies.

Take a malicious allegation, add a smear ...

After discarding the inconvenient comment from Haringey Council, there is a typical smear as Ms Davies is accused of spending her time “agitating against the Government” (no evidence provided, and none will be), and is then described as an “organiser”, which she is not. Nor – and the Standard is as guilty as anyone here – is she a “Union Official”, not in the sense of being employed by them, that is.

... heat over a deliberately inflated flame ...

But this is a mere sighting shot: the Fawkes blog then followed up the first attack with the direct accusation that Ms Davies’ presence has cost Haringey Council over £1.15 million since 1997. This exercise in creative accounting depends on counting not only her salary, but that of a notional covering staff member. It is blatant double counting, excused by the pay-off comment “over half a million pounds ...”.

... stir in some "real (dodgy) maths" ...

This is, of course, ridiculous: that statement comes immediately after quoting the figure of £1,158,797. Cole, in particular, has been repeatedly told that he is fiddling his figures, but instead has chosen to dig himself in deeper by baselessly asserting that Ms Davies “is refusing to do [her] job”. Staines, too, has tried to justify the double counting.

... season with a little blatant invention ...

One should not, perhaps, expect any better from those who harbour such an irrational hatred of Trade Unions: the last report on facility time, signed off by both the CBI and TUC as well as the Government of the day, has been summarily dismissed by Cole as its conclusion was not to his liking. The same will happen when – or perhaps that should read “if” – he reads the latest analysis.

... and serve with a big slice of brass neck

Moreover, taking as data the dodgy dossiers of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) will not help the union bashing cause, especially as the TPA’s 2010 effort includes references to long defunct unions, showing that they too are woefully ignorant of their subject. These are folks who don’t know what they’re hating, but they do know that they hate it.

They will only become effective if they become knowledgeable. So not now, then.

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