The Government’s “consultation” on Trade Unions and facility time for workplace representatives has concluded, with a variety of submissions being made, some serious and backed with a body of evidence, some blatantly partisan and ideological, and that from the so-called Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), titled because it does not want to reform unions but wipe them out, verging on the incoherent.
TURC, mostly another vehicle for the ignorance and prejudice of the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, has made a submission which has been put on its website so that all can marvel at the shaky grammar, blatant dishonesty, and puerile characterisation that should have got Cole expelled from Edinburgh University.
Justifying themselves to the Government, TURC say “we felt it was important for you to have the fullest possible information at your disposal” after wrongly referring to a workplace representative as an “activist”. So another step back, then. But they stress that “polling data suggests 86% of the public share our view”. Ho yus, and what’s that word “suggests” doing there, if not to make another of those logic leaps?
Then there is one of those non sequiturs: “The existing legislation draws a distinction between trade union ‘activities’ which cannot be funded and ‘duties’ which can be funded. The consultation exposes that a great deal of so called ‘activities’ are going on”. And your point is? What was that distinction in the first sentence? Did it prohibit those activities? No, it only says they aren’t part of statutory facility time.
Never mind, close behind is the tired canard about facility time in the private sector: “A good start would be an interim commitment to using the private sector as a benchmark – this would see facility time fall by 75%”. Really? Only if you accept a recent quote which was an “estimate” and which was never backed up with a source. Making numbers up on the fly will not help your cause.
And they’ve got an objection to the scope of the consultation: “The consultation only covers the civil service. However, our research has shown that the real abuse occurs in schools, the NHS and local Government”. Two things here: TURC has not done any research, and so don’t have any information about abuse. But “Eric Pickles is making sterling strides in the DCLG on this subject”. Bullshit. He’s just gobbing off.
Then comes the final triumphant declaration: “the issue has been subject to a number of Parliamentary Questions, Early Day Motions and Debates in the House of Commons”. Yeah, all because Astroturf groups like TURC have been feeding falsehood and misinformation to gullible Tory MPs which over the next few months is going to be subjected to real world analysis and then quietly binned.
TURC want Unions billed for facility time. TURC should be billed for wasting time.