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Wednesday 25 January 2012

Relaunch Of The Young TURCs

Yesterday evening, the so-called Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), named because it does not want to reform Trade Unions but where possible eliminate them entirely, was finally launched (this should have come earlier, but then, chairman Aidan Burley had a little local difficulty to deal with). The occasion took place in a room in the Palace of Westminster.

Message from Ron Hopeful ...

Room packed. Dozens of Tory MPs and peers here and even some Lib Dems” came the Tweet from the TURC feed. Sadly, the photo on their own site shows around 30 to 35 in total, many of whom were neither MPs nor peers (for some bizarre reason, former cricketer Darren Gough, who falls into that category, turned up). So the usual exaggeration, then.

... or maybe that should be Ron Very Hopeful

The assembled gathering was treated to a plentiful supply of Shepherd Neame Spitfire, a fine ale, but no glasses, which meant nobody would appreciate the product. As Harry Callahan would have said, a hell of a price to pay for being stylish. Then came the speeches, with TURC CEO Mark Clarke first to go, following the afternoon’s revelation by Political Scrapbook.

PS had shown that Clarke, during his unsuccessful attempt to become a Tory MP – and his removal from the candidates’ list means he won’t be getting another any time soon – had been more than happy to court the union vote, telling that “Personally, I have made a real commitment to reaching out to the Trade Union movement in Wandsworth”. Pity the “reaching out” didn’t include learning about it.

But the main event was union-basher-for-hire Eric Pickles, who delivered his usual tub-thumping, rousing, red meat filled bucket of rank dishonesty with his customary bellies, oops, sorry, √©lan. Fat Eric talked of facility time payments being spent on “trade unions’ political campaigning”, that these were used to “bankroll union activists”, who were “waging class war with public funds”.

So that’s three wholly untrue statements, then. But those of us who know Fat Eric of old will not be surprised. Nor will the water-muddying “Public sector workers need proper information about the political levy many are unwittingly paying” cause many raised eyebrows. You’ve got to hand it to him: there has to be serious brass neck to link facility time payments to the political levy part of union subscriptions.

After all that, though, at least there were lots of column inches in the press about the paunch, sorry, launch. Or were there? Well, no there weren’t: the campaign managed a piece in the Huffington Post UK, which TURC “Social Media Advisor” and beer monitor, the flannelled fool Henry Cole, and his boss, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, have spent six months rubbishing. But nothing in the Standard.

Still, it keeps some folks happy. If only someone was listening.


Standard reader said...


There is a mighty puff piece about Pickles speech to that meeting in the Standard.

Tim Fenton said...

Yes, but of course that piece was published before the meeting.

Nothing since - well, not yet.

Standard reader said...

Why would they write about it twice? The whole point of preview is because the deadline is before the event. So you are wrong that nobody is listening. You should amend your spin. Why lie? Why?

Tim Fenton said...

Note the word "After" at the start of the paragraph.

There is no spin, nor any lie.

That talk of "preview" and "deadline" is interesting, BTW.

Standard reader said...

You rally against dishonest journalism, yet are guilty of shoddy reporting here.

You should let your three readers know that you were spinning to make them believe a lie.

Has there been anything in the London Evening Standard about the launch of the Trade Union Reform Campaign or not?

Tim Fenton said...

Ah, "shoddy", a word much beloved of the flannelled fool Henry Cole, who of course is never behind any of these Anonymous attacks.

Along with the stuck record tactic as demonstrated in the second paragraph.

The post as writted is factually correct on press coverage after the event, that paragraph will not be getting amended or otherwise corrected any time soon, and that is that.

Your call, "Not Henry".

Standard reader said...

Your post is bull written from a predetermined point of view and constructed around that.

Were you there? No.

Desmond would be proud.

And no, not Cole. He's your other reader.

Tim Fenton said...

You were there. You post in the style of the flannelled fool Henry Cole. Yet you are not him.

We both know who is in this discussion, Hen. Now run along to the rub-a-dub and stop wasting everyone's time.

Standard reader said...

I'm not sure the ability to see through your lies is a style just reserved for one person, but if it makes you feel better you believe whatever you want.

Your post is still more TURD than TURC

TURC attendee said...

The photos were taken towards the end of the event - when the MPs had been called back to the House for a division and others had spread out a bit beyond the room. During the launch and speeches the rooms was so packed people were squeezing in at the back.

It is a shame you didn't bother to talk to someone there before writing drivel.

John Ruddy said...

I see there hasnt been any attempt at dealing with the evidence which shows that Union Reps actually save their employers much more money than they cost in time off?

Tim Fenton said...

This welter of abuse and excuses is magnificent in the unintended hilarity it generates, but otherwise changes nothing.

The original post stands and will not be corrected, as there is no need so to do.

If the room was so packed, let's see the photo. There isn't one? I wonder why.

Tim Fenton said...

John, sorry about that - your comment was posted before I had chance to finish my replies to the flannelled fool Henry Cole and his two sock-puppets.

The TPA has tried to rubbish the figures on union reps and the costs versus benefits analysis, though they of course do not provide any figures of their own.

The TPA cannot, and will not, be providing these figures as their sole modus operandi is to work through FoI fishing expeditions.

FullFact pointed out that the TPA was "only giving one side of the story". Without that other side, their argument falls flat.

Tim said...

A big problem with making anonymous comments, Mr I-Am-Not-Harry-Cole & Co., is that they mean next to nothing without analysis and evidence. It is not the same as people taking you at your word because the TV says you are a journalist, for example.