[Update at end of post]
Following their glorious failure over HS2, the dubiously talented array of non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has returned to its campaign against Trade Union facility time. The TPA continues to claim that this is “Taxpayer Funding Of Trade Unions”, and moreover that the campaign “Gather[s] Momentum”, although this merely refers to a ten minute rule bill in the Commons.
The bill is being moved by Tory MP Jesse Norman, who represents Hereford and South Herefordshire. He was educated at the well known proletarian hotbeds of Eton College and Oxford’s Merton College, taking a second in Classics. He is a former investment banker and is now a so-called “senior fellow” at right leaning “think tank” Policy Exchange, another of those bodies that will not say who pays the bills.
Now, while the TPA is continuing its campaign, the so-called Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC) has not mentioned the upcoming bill, but this is compensated by an attack in the Guido Fawkes blog by flannelled fool Henry Cole, who asserts “Unite the Union have [sic] ... poured petrol on the fire”, makes a public versus private sector assertion he cannot stand up, and accuses Labour of improper tactics.
Cole includes no citation, as he has none: this is the usual tribal and partisan knee-jerk stuff in which he indulges, rather than doing any serious investigation. And neither he nor the TPA has stood up the assertion that Facility Time causes taxpayer funds to be channelled to Trade Unions, although they continue to suggest that this is some kind of zero sum game enabling unions to do more campaigning.
Back with the TPA, they still have no example to put forward to show what Facility Time work entails, mainly because their only source of information is Freedom of Information (FoI) fishing expeditions. The fact of the matter is that Facility Time payments do not go to Trade Unions, and neither does the work of representatives in the workplace otherwise help political campaigning.
All of this may explain that, despite the appearance of under-fire Tory MP Aidan Burley in the Commons today, Norman’s bill was lost by a majority of 79, even though Labour MPs are very much in the minority when compared to the forces of the Coalition. So, rather than the TPA claim of momentum being gathered, this is another glorious failure.
That’s not very good value for all the money those overmonied, greedy and cowardly backers throw at the TPA. Coming on top of their losing the argument over both the 50p tax rate, then HS2 being approved yesterday, it’s looking more and more as if all that propaganda is having no effect, even on a Government which is rather closer to their part of the political spectrum than its predecessor.
Time to go and get some proper jobs, TPA people.
[UPDATE 1745 hours: poor Henry Cole has taken the defeat of Jesse Norman's ten minute rule bill particularly badly, and a characteristically slovenly and ungrammatical post appeared soon after the vote on the Guido Fawkes blog. In it, the flannelled fool tells "As predicted, union back [sic] MPs mobilised to defeat Jesse Norman's 10 minute rule bill" and "you can add a [sic] the payroll vote to that number next time".
Then, rather threateningly, the blubbering Cole tells that "Guido will be having a look at the union donations of those who mobilised against", so he knows where they live, then. Labour MPs are not thought to be quaking in their boots right now. Poor Henry has been reduced to sobbing into his Starbucks as he realises that he wields no influence at all over the political process. Another fine mess]