Category Archives: Trade Union Reform Campaign

Aidan Burley To Resign Next Year

According to The Huffington Post, Aidan Burley, the genius behind the Nazi-themed stag party for which his pal, Mark Fournier, later copped a 1,500 Euro fine from a French court, is to step down at the next general election. Burley escaped a fine and got nothing more a light tap on the bum after a Tory party internal inquiry found him guilty of ‘hi-jinx’. Now he will be free to spend more time practising his goose-step.

Jessica Elgot writes:

Burley said in a statement: “After a difficult time I have decided to announce I will stand down at the next general election.

“I will continue to work for the people of Cannock Chase until that election, and look forward to supporting my successor, as soon as he or she is selected, to ensure that Labour have no chance of re-taking this seat.

“It was a wonderful surprise to win the seat of Cannock Chase in May 2010 with the biggest swing in the country and it has been a huge privilege to represent the people of Cannock Chase in Parliament over the past four years.

“I am grateful to all those who voted for me and supported our campaign which led to our famous victory.”

Does this mean he’ll be heading back to Hammersmith and Fulham, where he was once a councillor? I hope not. This borough has enough Tory headbangers as it is.

Bye, bye, Burley.

Burley, bye, bye!

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The Tory Whitewash of Aidan ‘Nazi Boy’ Burley

I meant to write something about the long-delayed Tory report into Aidan Burley’s behaviour last week, but I was overwhelmed with other commitments.  Needless to say The Cat is not surprised that an internal inquiry (the Tories despise such things as evidence and believed every word Nazi Boy told them) has exonerated him with little more than a slap on the wrist. The internal Conservative party report into Burley’s role in the SS uniform scandal nearly two years ago concluded that he is “not anti-Semitic” and behaved in a “stupid and offensive way”. So it was all just youthful high jinks then? Not as far as The Cat is concerned. The Tories even refused to accept first hand evidence from The Mail on Sunday… The Mail on Sunday. A Tory paper!

Here are the facts as I see them:

1. Burley paid for the SS uniform, knowing that the stag party was to be held in France, a country that has outlawed Holocaust denial, the wearing of Nazi uniforms and yes, toasts to the Third Reich.

2. Burley’s letter of apology to The Jewish Chronicle was a lie from start to finish.

The Guardian says:

In an article for the Jewish Chronicle on 15 December 2011, four days after the revelations about the stag do were published in the Mail on Sunday, Burley issued a strong apology but disassociated himself from the “clearly inappropriate behaviour” of other guests.

He was given the exact words to use in his letter by someone in Tory Central Office. You can be certain of that.

Burley’s pal, Mark Fournier, was fined 1,500 Euros by a French court, yet Burley escaped punishment. The question here is: why?

There have been calls for the Tories to reopen the Burley case. In true fashion, they have refused. Anyone would think they had something to hide.

So what is so special about Burley that Cameron and the leadership of the party feel such a desperate need to protect him? Is he being groomed for the Home Office or Works and Pensions portfolio? We already know that when the Tories took office in 2010, Burley hit the ground running with his guaranteed-to-please-David Cameron venture, the Trade Union Reform Campaign. Like Burley, the Nazis didn’t care much for trade unions either and banned them outright. In their place, Hitler created the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF), headed by Robert Ley, to organize workers along nationalist and militaristic lines.  DAF subgroups like Strength Through Joy and Beauty Through Work were also added to provide diversions.  The Reichsarbeitsdienst was created with the purpose of providing cheap (often forced) labour that exploited unemployed men, who were used for work on major infrastructure projects like the autobahn network. Is this what the Tories have in mind for trade unionists and the unemployed if they win the next General Election? There is already talk about creating work camps for the HS2 project.

Today, Political Scrapbook reports that Cannock Chase Conservative Association has been accusing Ian Austin (whose father escaped from Treblinka) of orchestrating a smear campaign against their beloved MP.

Nice people, these Tories.

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Aidan Burley and The Continuing Story of the Nazi Uniform

Two years ago, Aidan Burley, the MP for Cannock Chase was caught on camera at a stag party in France at which his friend, attired in an SS uniform toasted Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. For two years the Conservative Party has evaded questions over Burley’s conduct and suppressed its own report into his behaviour.

Yesterday, Political Scrapbook informed readers that the Burley case will finally go to court. The Tory Party report is, unfortunately, another matter and it would seem that the party is doing all it can to weasel its way out of the tight spot.

In the year leading up to the general election, we need to keep up the pressure on Cameron, otherwise he will continue to kick this incident into the long grass.  We can’t let them do that.

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Aidan Burley, Nazi Uniforms and the French Prosecutor’s Report: the silence is deafening

Nearly two years ago, Aidan Burley, the Tory MP for Cannock Chase was recorded on video at a stag night in which his mates are caught on camera wearing Nazi uniforms. In one scene, his chum toasts the Third Reich. We know the uniforms were hired by Burley (has anyone checked his expenses record to see if he used public money to hire these costumes?).

We were told that the French prosecutor’s report would be released for public viewing. Nearly two years later and there’s no sign of it.

The Huffington Post carried this story in February of this year.

The results of a Conservative Party disciplinary inquiry into an MP who attended a Nazi-themed stag party will not be published until French prosecutors have completed their own criminal investigation into the incident, the party said.

However the probe by senior officials is not believed to have concluded that Aidan Burley, who represents Cannock Chase, should have the Tory whip withdrawn.

A party spokesman said the in-house inquiry into Mr Burley’s role, ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron, had been completed but that its report, originally scheduled for publication this month, had been postponed.

“It would be inappropriate to release the report’s findings while French police are continuing their own investigations,” he said.

Does it really take this long for the French police to investigate the matter? This doesn’t sound right. Does David Cameron have something to hide? I would say he does.

Burley will stand again for the Tories in the 2015 election.

UPDATE 9/9/13 @ 1231

Burley may have been reselected as his constituency’s candidate but his tendency to cock things up will probably be his undoing. I found this in The Independent from last October:

He chairs the Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC), which has a list of things they want to stop unions from being able to do. TURC invited Halfon, a serious and thoughtful character, to speak at one of their meetings, and were a little taken aback when he told them that their campaign was “ethically and politically wrong”. They should recognise unions as valuable community institutions and encourage Conservatives to get involved, he suggested.

My bold. Yes, a Tory… Rob Halfon said that. It would seem that even some of his fellow Tories find his ideas a little nutty.

Burley also appears to have a lack of understanding when it comes to Kurdistan. The leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government commented on yet another Burley faux pas:

Aidan Burley’s reported remarks about the Kurdish genocide illustrate the need to amplify understanding of what happened to the Iraqi Kurds for so many years. Britain did so much to protect the Kurds in 1991 and in 2003 and is perfectly placed to help lead the way in recognising the brutal realities of genocide. This does so much to help the Kurds to continue to overcome the past and build a prosperous peaceful and pluralist Iraq with the help of deeper and broader political commercial and cultural links with the UK. Mr Burley would be wise to apologise for making light of a genocidal campaign waged by a fascist regime. He could also show contrition by committing himself to supporting the cross party campaign spearheaded by his colleagues Nadhim Zahawi and Robert Halfon.

Zahawi is an Iraqi Kurd. A fact that went seemingly unnoticed by Burley.

His Trade Union Reform Campaign has been quiet for a couple of months too. The last blog entry was 14 July, 2013. Their last event was on 24 January, 2012.

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Priti Patel: Human Rights and Hard Cash

Priti Patel, the MP for Witham in Essex, was part of the 2010 intake of Tory MPs. She’s also a supporter of Aidan ‘Nazi Boy’ Burley’s Trade Union Reform Campaign (TURC) and a member of the Free Enterprise Group (FEG), which was responsible for Britannia Unchained, a sort of manifesto for a sweatshop economy.

Following from Labour’s embarrassing Falkirk episode and Mr Ed’s knee-jerk response to sever his party’s links to the trade unions, it was only inevitable that the spotlight would be turned on the Tories and rightly so. As much as they wriggle and squirm and point the finger at Labour and whine about union funding, the Conservative party cannot hide the fact that it is supported by faceless millionaires, billionaires, bankers, hedge funds and other corporate interests, many of whom have been invited to 10 Downing Street for a bite to eat and a chance to chat with dippiest Prime Minister in this country’s history.

With this in mind, I always keep an eye on the more rabid extremes of the Tory party, because those who shout the loudest about benefit ‘scroungers’ and workshy Britons are usually the ones who are taking a lot of money from big business. Thus I take a special interest in Patel, Raab, Shelbrooke, Truss, Skidmore and all the others who regularly lambast British workers and propose further attacks on the working class.

So when I went to her entry on searchthemoney.com  to do some digging I was not astonished to discover that Patel had been given donations ‘in kind’ by the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the latter was widely reported, the former was not). She was also provided with travel by these two governments. She’s also received donations from property developer, Knight Developments Ltd and Croudace Homes and other companies like Sun Mark Ltd, owned by Dr. Rami Ranger. More on them later.

As most of us already know, Bahrain has been brutalizing its people for the past 3 years in what Orientalists and brand executives alike have referred to as the ‘Arab Spring’. While all eyes were on Egypt, Syria, Libya and Tunisia, the only mention of Bahrain came via the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage last year. Apart from that, there’s no mention of it in the mainstream media.  It’s as if someone somewhere in this country doesn’t want us to know what’s happening. And say, didn’t the disgraced former Murdoch employee Met Assistant Commissioner, John Yates take up a job as an adviser to the Bahraini Police? Oh yes, he did. There have been well over 155 deaths, some of those were caused by torture. No wonder the Tories are working to extricate Britain from the European Convention of Human Rights and replace it with a cheapo ‘British Bill of Rights’ (it fell off the back of a lorry. Honest, guv).

Gulf News tells us that Patel was part of the All Party Parliamentary Group to the UAE.

Lord (Michael) Howard of Lympne, a former leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, who was a government minister for over 10 years until 1997, was elected as Chairman, with Kevan Jones MP, a former Minister of Defence under the last Labour Government, and Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones, a Liberal Democrat, being elected as Vice-Chairmen. Mark Tami MP, Labour, was elected as Secretary and Priti Patel MP, Conservative, as Treasurer.

I guess that’s okay then. Or is it? As you can see this visit to the UAE included members of the three main parties. Nice work, if you can get it.

The House of Commons Register of All-Party Groups informs us that it was just a visit:

To promote good relations between the United Kingdom and The United Arab Emirates

Well, if the House of Commons Register of All-Party Groups tells us that this trip was all about promoting “good relations”, then that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Well, not really.

Dubai, which is a part of the UAE, is often hailed in right-libertarian/classical liberal/neoliberal circles as a kind of free market paradise. But if you’re a migrant worker it can be hell on earth. Migrant workers who go on strike face deportation.   Some are driven to suicide.  What the free marketeers neglect to tell us is how this country supports repression in the UAE through its sale of arms and other items to that country. Perhaps this is the model that the members of the FEG have in store for us in the UK? How about those Labour members of this group? Kevan Jones, for instance, is a former Defence Minister. Kerching! Need I say more?

Let’s return to Bahrain, where the country’s news agency tells us:

London, March 21. (BNA) – UK MP Priti Patel has lauded the report delivered to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa by the National Commission in Charge of Following up on the Implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), asserting that such a milestone document highlighted the positive steps taken by the government to bring about many changes and landmark achievements that meet the citizens’ expectations.

“Lauded”, eh? Let’s read on…

“I believe that countries of the Arab Spring went through difficult situations last year, and the case in Bahrain was no better. However, the Government of Bahrain has reacted positively and taken bold steps by engaging all parties in a National Consensus Dialogue, the best means through which popular demands can be discussed,” she said.

That was last year and things aren’t getting any better. In fact, they’re getting worse.

Of Patel’s paid visit to Bahrain, The Guardian’s Hugh Muir noted,

Two months later, Patel tabled a parliamentary question aimed at strengthening our cultural links.

Here’s the question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made a recent assessment of the (a) contribution of cultural links to UK relations with Bahrain and (b) merits of taking steps to strengthen such links with Bahrain.

“Cultural links”? Would these “cultural links” have anything to do with cracking skulls? Silly question…

Patel is all for human rights but not for everyone. Below is a question that she asked of David Cameron in Prime Minister’s Questions last year. Notice how it’s preceded by a disclaimer (in italics):

Priti Patel champions the human rights of the law-abiding majority.

Priti Patel (Witham) (Con): If the Human Rights Act is

“a glaring example of what is going wrong in our country”,

when will the Government put the human rights of the law-abiding majority above those of dangerous convicted criminals?

Anyone could be considered a ‘criminal’. Even those who protest could be seen as ‘criminals’ in the eyes of Patel and the rest of the FEG. But who is this “law-abiding majority”? Human rights in the mind of today’s Europhobic, headbanging Tory sounds suspiciously European. We can’t have that kind of effete nonsense getting in the way of making a profit!

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to the ECHR, Patel is as clueless as the rest of her party:

Those who support the current system or who want to see closer integration will often claim that it was British lawyers who drafted the Convention and Winston Churchill who pushed for its adoption, as Nick Clegg alluded to during his speech to the Lib Dem conference. But while Britain has a strong tradition of promoting human rights and after the Second World War and the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed it was right to look at ways to prevent future genocide and persecution in Europe, Churchill would never have allowed Europe to meddle in our laws the way it currently does. He would have stood up to put the British interest first and that is what Government ministers and Parliament must do now. Otherwise, a failure to curtail the Council of Europe and European Court of Human Rights will lead to Britain facing a further unstoppable flow of powers to Europe, which would severely undermine our democracy.

My bold. Notice how she summons up the ghost of Churchill. All a Tory needs to do is rub their Churchill talisman and the entire world will fall at their feet. What Patel and her chums deliberately forget is that the United Kingdom signed up to the ECHR in the aftermath of World War II. It was created in 1959 and is not part of the European Union – as Patel and the rest of her party would have you believe. Removing human rights legislation of any kind would be a massive step backwards and would lead to a relaxation/abolition of workplace health and safety regulations.  It would also lead to detention without trial and kangaroo courts. Patel only plays lip service to the idea of human rights. Are you surprised?

It isn’t just the Bahraini and UAE governments that bungs Patel a bit of wedge, she’s also received £2,5000 in donations from Knight Developments Ltd, a property developer in Essex, while Dr Rami Ranger has donated a total of  £17,000 to Patel as an individual and through his company, Sun Mark Ltd.  No doubt Dr Ranger, who is a big wheel in the British Asian Conservative Link,  claimed that his company was giving money to ‘charity’. The thing is, the Conservative Party is not a charity, it is a political party that works in the interests of the rich. Rich people like Dr Ranger. Then there’s Croudace Homes, another property developer (a pattern is beginning to emerge), who provided Patel with £5,000 in 2010.  When property developers donate to an MP or a candidate, it’s easy to be suspicious. Last year, Croudace purchased William Julien Courtauld Hospital in Braintree for development.  The NHS refused to disclose how much it was sold for.  Braintree is the adjoining constituency to Witham; its MP is Brooks Newmark, who is also a member of FEG. Meanwhile in Kent, Croudace are trying to cut down a much-loved ancient woodland to make way for a development against the wishes of local residents. This kind of thing is being repeated elsewhere.  Croudace must be pleased that they have someone in the Commons who can bat for them.

She’s also received payment in kind from the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society that comes to £2,500. In total, Patel has received £38,137.97 over the course of three years, which includes her work for ComRes, Ipsos Mori and others. Yes, she’s an MP but she has a second and a third job. Is this why we pay salaries to MPs, who are public sector employees, so that they can moonlight for private companies?

Who says money doesn’t buy influence in the Tory Party? David Cameron? And you believe him?

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“We need more Thatcherism” (like we need holes in our heads)

In the wake of Thatcher’s death and funeral, some senior and some not-so-senior Conservatives have been demanding the party ‘rediscovers’ Thatcherism. I must admit, I’ve been mightily amused by the Tories’ clamour for more Thatcherism. It’s as predictable as it is absurd. It also smacks of terminal desperation. Make no mistake, this is a party in decline.

The first to stick his ugly, fat, unkempt head above the parapet was Bozza. The Guardian reports,

London mayor Boris Johnson called for a show of “Thatcherite zeal” as he joined backbench MPs in demanding an overhaul of the law to make it harder to call strikes.

Johnson said was “farcical” that a strike could be called with the backing of less than half of union members and has urged the government to rethink legislation on taking industrial action.

It comes as a report by the Conservative group on the London Assembly estimates that tube strikes in the capital cost the economy £48m a day, putting the cost of industrial action between 2005 and 2009 at £1bn.

Johnson told the Sun: “The idea that a strike can be called by a majority of those that vote, rather than a majority of all those balloted, is farcical. It often results in a strike backed by just one in 10 union members, antagonising millions of commuters in the process and costing London and the UK billions every year.

“I’d urge the government to act with some Thatcherite zeal and at the very least legislate against strikes supported by less than half of all union members.”

The call for new laws follows on from union groups raising the prospect of calling a general strike in protest at the government’s austerity measures.

So Bozza said this to The Sun? Well, there’s a surprise. He’s been having regular lunches and dinners with The Old Bastard (Rupert Murdoch to you), which he’s only just begun to declare in the register of members interests at City Hall. In the same article, Dominic Raabid, who was in short trousers when the Auld Witch was ensconced in Downing Street, tells us that:

“Margaret Thatcher injected a dose of democracy into the unions, to empower their members and protect Britain.

“We now face a hot summer of discontent, with reckless strikes from schools to airports that most union members refused to back.

“It’s high time we had extra safeguards to protect the hard-working majority from this abusive militant minority.”

“Margaret Thatcher injected a dose of democracy into the unions”, opines the humourless Raab. This nutjob is serious! Last year, Raabid called for Britain to adopt a sweatshop economy. He was supported in this endeavour by his fellow headbanger, Priti Patel, who says:

“Defending the rights of people to work without fear of intimidation, bullying or violence is exactly what Margaret Thatcher championed and this legislation could once again put the rights of workers above the vested interests of the left and their union barons.”

Come again? Thatcher was a bully and her cabinet was composed mainly of bullies. The current government have carried their public school bullying with them throughout their journey to Westminster. It is their desire to make the rest of us their fags.

The mere mention of a possible general strike is enough to get the likes of Raab, Johnson and his Nazi-fetishizing chum, Aidan Burley calling for even more draconian anti-union legislation. The next step for these bullies will be to call for an outright ban on unions. That’s how much they love ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, kids.

Yesterday, Bozza’s kid brother, Jo, was appointed to the Downing Street Policy Unit with, I am reliably informed, a remit to inject more Thatcherite poison into the Tories’ already polluted bloodstream. Nicholas Watt of The Guardian writes,

The appointment of the mayor of London’s brother, who formally becomes a Cabinet Office minister, is one of a series of moves designed to strengthen the political operation in Downing Street and to patch up the prime minister’s frayed links with the Conservative party. One senior figure described the moves as a deliberate attempt to create a more political – though not politicised – Downing Street in the mould of Margaret Thatcher’s No 10 operation.

The Tories are so deluded that they seriously believe their only salvation lies in serving us warmed-up Thatcherite leftovers from 30 years ago. It’s farcical.

The real tragedy is that the opposition Labour party can’t see how weak the Conservatives are and do nothing to help finish them off (it’s called a coup de grace, Mister Ed). There’s blood in the water and if you can’t move in for the kill, then you have no business being in politics.

Ed Miliband’s spine was last seen getting into a car on the northbound carriageway of the M6 near Congleton. If anyone knows its current whereabouts then kindly inform the owner.

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Taking another look at TURC

The Trade Union Reform Campaign has been mentioned a few times on this blog, mainly for the fact that its chairman, Adrian Burley, has a Nazi fetish and some rather questionable attitudes to difference. The Nazis, need I remind anyone, were no friends of the trade unions or the working class.  Here at Nowhere Towers, we believe that not only is Burley a Nazi fetishist, he’s more than likely a racist too.

TURC was founded towards the tail-end of last year. It has the approval of Lord Snooty, who sent them a letter giving them the big ‘thumbs up’ in their quest to smash what’s left of the trade union movement.

But they’re operating in an already crowded market with rivals like the Taxpayers Alliance and The Freedom Association working to achieve the same ends.

One thing that I’ve noticed about TURC is that its parliamentary council (not a coven then?) is mainly drawn from the 2010 intake but with one exception: Liam ‘I did nothing wrong’ Fox is also part of this gang of thugs. No doubt he’s there to lend a sheen of gravitas to this inexperienced collection of young and not-so-young bloodsuckers.

TURC’s beef is with paid union facility time, which is, like it or not, essential to workplace relations. Such work cannot be done outside of work hours. TURC thinks that it can. Like TPA and TFA, TURC refers to union members who are paid for facility time “Pilgrims”.  The only problem is that this word is entirely unrelated to pilgrims and pilgrimages but to a woman called Jane Pilgrim, a full-time organizer with UNISON. TURC likes broad brush strokes. But it’s guilt by association. Nothing more, nothing less.

For all its hot air and bluster, Nowhere Towers thinks TURC has arrived late to Thatcher’s red-bashing party.  The punch has all been drunk and what remains of the drink is a lonely bottle of vermouth. The TURCs are envious that they weren’t there to put the boot into trade unions and working class communities in the name of ‘freedom’.

The language of the 1980s has also been resurrected. Phrases like “loony left” are routinely trotted out about by the likes of Toby Young.

TURC’s website doesn’t seem to have been updated much. The last post on the home page occurred on 13 July, 2012. Some spammers have also left comments, which I find particularly amusing. No quality control but then what did you expect?

Here’s a glimpse of their Twitter page

I’ve thought of starting a Tory Reform Campaign but the Tory Reform Group already exists. They don’t seem to do much either. How about The Campaign to Reform the Tory Party? It’s needed, that’s for sure.

I found this on the Cabinet Office’s website.

Facility time is paid time off during working hours for trade union representatives to carry out trade union duties and time off for representatives and members to undertake trade union activities.

The Government recognises that unions can play a constructive role in a modern workplace contributing to the effective and efficient operation of public services.

Many union representatives give their own time in addition to any facility time, to support their colleagues both individually and collectively through the industrial relations machinery. Where this operates well it serves the interest both of the union members and the employer well.

We are seeking to find a balance between supporting constructive engagement with employee representatives for the good of public services and providing better value for the taxpayer.

Formal consultation is between the Civil Service and its trade unions, however if you are a civil servant and would like to comment, please send us your thoughts to facilitytimeconsultation@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk or post to Civil Service Workforce Reform Team, Cabinet Office, 4th Floor – Red Zone – Bank 20, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ. 

“Consultation” is one of those words that says the opposite of what it means whenever politicians use it. This government is taking the ideas of Burley and his  chums seriously. But then, this government is also arriving late to the party because there’s barely anything left of the unions to smash. Maybe, the Toxics will turn one each other. I’m not a fan of bloodsports, by the way, but I can always make an exception as far as the Tories’ are concerned.

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Eric Joyce and Stuart Andrew: what the papers failed to mention

It was the political story of the month. It was a gift that had fallen into the lap of the subs on Fleet Street. “Labour MP, Eric Joyce headbutts Tory MP in the Strangers Bar in the House of Commons”.

We heard that Mr Joyce was slightly worse for wear or “pissed up” in the common parlance, but what was the spark that ignited the flame, so to speak? We heard that Joyce had said, upon entering the bar, that there were “too many Tories” in there. Perhaps there were. Perhaps some of them hold views that are, shall we say, a little reprehensible?

The other day while I was linking the extreme-right wing Trade Union Reform Campaign to this blog, I noticed that the alleged victim of Joyce’s headbutt , Stuart Andrew, the member for Pudsey, is on the Parliamentary Council of TURC. Was Joyce aware of this? Surely, he must have been. The Tory press was full of outrage, many of them claiming how Andrew was totally innocent. None of them bothered to inform their readers of Andrew’s other activities, namely TURC’s work to destroy trade unions. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Mr Andrew in the Daily Mail,

Mr Andrew said: ‘I was having a lovely evening chatting and relaxing. Andrew [Percy] came back to the table and said, “Excuse me, can I just get to my seat?” but Joyce would not let him. He said, “There are too many Tories” and pushed him against the wall. I stood up and said, “You can’t do that.”

But this is the most interesting part,

Mr Andrew, who briefly joined the Labour Party in 1997, said he had never met Mr Joyce before. ‘We had never spoken and there is no history between us whatsoever. I bet he was in that cell thinking, “Who the hell is Stuart Andrew?” ’

[…]
Mr Andrew said he had received ‘superb’ support in recent days. ‘People I don’t even know have been coming up to me and asking if I am all right. Constituents have been phoning with lovely messages, as have schools and sixth formers.’

How nice of them. I wonder how many of them know about his hatred of trade unions? Not knowing Pudsey, it would be improper of me to label each and every elector in his constituency as rabid anti-union types but those who voted for Andrew must be. What I find so odd about Andrew being a former member of Labour Party is his opposition to trade unions. If he joined Labour surely he was aware of the party’s history?

I don’t expect Andrew,  Nazi Boy Burley or any of the other members of TURC to admit to hating trade unions or wanting to destroy them but, then, honesty has never been the strongest suit of this Tory party.

The Tories have a serious problem with unions. In other words, they don’t like them. They seem to feel that the anti-union legislation that was put in place by Thatcher didn’t go far enough. They want to break the unions by further limiting their ability to organize and to fight on their members’ behalf. They even coined a meaningless neologism, “Union Pilgrims” as a term of abuse (they’re great at slinging mud but terrible at having a reasoned debate).  Well, when I say “they”, I really mean Paul Staines and Harry Cole, whose blog is filled with bile-saturated articles about trade unionists, none of which I will quote or link to here.

You can see who else is on TURC’s Parliamentary Council here.  Two names stand out from all the others: those of the disgraced Liam Fox and Dominic Raab. The latter writes evidence-free reports, some of which call for an end to hte Equality Act. Raab also thinks that men have it tough and suffer from sex discrimination at the hands of women. He obviously missed the meeting about the patriarchy. Tories are rather adept at tospy-turvy thinking and this is one example of how they try to play victim by inverting the logic of discrimination.

Back to Andrew, this article from The Yorkshire Post tells us that he is a career politician who has no problem switching sides in order to further his career.

One commentator on the ConservativeHome website states: “Stuart Andrew defected to Labour… This was a total disgrace and displayed political treachery of the worst sort – yet now he is back.”

And on the UKPollingReport site, Jenny Whitmann, wrote: “I just find it totally staggering. How can anyone switch from being a Tory councillor to a Labour councillor then back? ”

Last night Mr Andrew said: “After the 1997 general election I was not happy with the direction of the party and found it very difficult to support some of the stances they had taken,” he said. “So foolishly – I was only in my 20s – I joined Labour. But I soon realised the philosophy of the Conservatives was where my beliefs lie.”

Laughable.

Recently on his website, Andrew’s constituency agent wrote,

Stuart Andrew MP and students from Horsforth, Pudsey Grangefield, Crawshaw and St Mary’s Catholic Schools in the Pudsey constituency returned from the Holocaust Educational Trust’s visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday 3rd May vowing to act on the lessons learned from the experience.

Now in its thirteenth year, the Project is based on the premise that “hearing is not like seeing”. Students first visited Osweicim, the town where the Auschwitz death and concentration camps were located and where before the war, 58% of the population was Jewish. Students then visited Auschwitz I to see the former camp’s barracks and crematoria and witnessing the piles of belongings that were seized by the Nazis. Finally they spent time at the main killing centre of Birkenau where the day concluded with candle lighting and a period of reflection to remember the 6 million Jews, and the Roma, Sinti, gay, disabled, black people, and other victims of the Nazis killed in the Holocaust.

Interesting, yet he still associates with a Nazi fetishist who was caught texting his chums during a Holocaust memorial lecture.

As I’ve said before: the Nazis were opposed to trade unions and imprisoned union activists. Today’s Tory Party would like to deny that it embraces a similar hatred but it’s transparently obvious that it does. Stuart Andrew, far from being just a hapless victim of a Labour MP’s violent behaviour, is involved in a campaign that seeks to destroy workers’ rights and the ability of trade unions to fight on their behalf. If I had have been in Joyce’s position, I might have reacted in a similar fashion. I despise liars, turncoats, blacklegs, scabs and bullies. It seems to me that Andrew is all of these things and maybe more.

UPDATE: 29/5/12 @ 1203

It seems that one of Andrew’s drinking buddies on that fateful evening is also on TURC’s Parliamentary Council. Alec Shelbrooke, the MP for Elmet and Rothwell was also a fellow councillor on Leeds City Council.

UPDATE: 16/3/13 @ 1023

As I came to the end of this article in The Independent, I noticed a quote from Shelbrooke that was contained in this paragraph,

A Tory MP caught up in last year’s fracas, Alec Shelbrooke, said: “I will be talking about it to a number of my colleagues who were involved last time to see if we want to take it further.”

To be honest, Shelbrooke looks as though he takes full advantage of the Palace’s subsidized food and drink. His waistline has expanded exponentially since he took his Commons seat in 2010.

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