Tag Archives: Liam Fox

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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Nile Gardiner – visionary?

It shows you how long Nile Gardiner has been living in the States. He seems to have completely forgotten how the British political system works and, instead, conflates the US system with the British system. This is from a blog that he wrote for the Torygraph in May of  last year.

As I wrote in my op-ed piece earlier today, Nick Clegg is the first major party leader to run for Prime Minister on an anti-British ticket. He is filled with a self-loathing for his nation and its institutions, which came across in spades in his response to The Times letter.

First, no one “runs for Prime Minister” in this country. The leader of the party with the largest number of votes becomes the Prime Minister. Second, how is Nick Clegg “anti-British”?  While I have no love for Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats, this rant is quite bizarre and seems to come from the same wellspring as his Moonie faith. It’s the same kind of rant that he normally reserves for Barack Obama.

Gardiner spent the entire 10 days during the coalition negotiations fretting about a possible Labour-Lib Dem coalition. Little did he realise that the Lib Dems would hop into bed with the Tories – even I knew they would and I am not a well-paid political hack who writes third-rate articles for right wing magazines.

Here’s a taste of his paranoia.

Shamelessly, Gordon Brown is threatening to stay on as Prime Minister as late as September, despite overwhelmingly losing last week’s general election. In the meantime, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, according to Gordon’s grand plan, will stitch up a “progressive” government that will also include the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Once this government is formed, Brown will ask Labour to hold a leadership contest, with David Miliband as the likely front-runner to succeed him.

Simple arithmetic meant that a coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour wasn’t going to happen.  A Tory minority government would have easily collapsed. Gardiner persisted.

It is frankly the sort of farcical development one expects in Khartoum or Caracas, and not in one of the world’s greatest democracies

Khartoum? Caracas? Is he off his trolley? The short answer to that is “Yes, he is”. He chooses Khartoum simply because it is the capital of Sudan, a country that has long been associated with Islamism (remember ‘Chinese’ Gordon and the Mahdi Revolt?) and Caracas because it is the capital of Venezuela and it is where the US right’s Number One bogeyman, Hugo Chavez is in power.

On the very same day, Gardiner, presumably unable to sleep and sick with worry over the prospect of a Lib-Lab coalition,  wrote this blog. The headline screams “David Cameron should say no to a coalition with the Lib Dems”.

It is simply an illusion to believe the Liberals share with the Conservatives some kind of common vision for dealing with the massive debt crisis and saving Britain from a financial meltdown. They are, even more than Labour, the party of Big Government and endless state intervention, and are the enemies of free enterprise. Their socialist-style solutions will strangle the markets, force wealth out of the country, and scare away much needed investment. It is worth remembering Clegg’s pledge in the third televised debate to heavily tax banking profits and restrict bonuses in the financial services sector, the surest way to kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance.

“Socialist-style solutions”? In Britain? Gardiner is not a man of vision. Let’s put it this way, he’d never cut it as a seaside clairvoyant. The Petulengro family must be mightily relieved to hear this. But notice how he stirs up the paranoia, which he serves up with lashings of bile and hyperbole. That line “kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance” is meant to appeal to our collective sense of reason but quite honestly, I couldn’t care less if the banks pulled out of London. The British economy has recently been built on the daft products that have been dreamt up by City numbskulls looking for new ways to extend their greed. Those aren’t real products like ships or steel girders; they’re purely imagined.

Here he is on the Mellon Scaife-owned Newsmax Channel giving his ‘expert’ opinion.

His analysis is, again, wanting. A Conservative minority government? Is he serious?

In September, Gardiner made an almighty great cock up over prisoner’s voting rights as this blog points out. I quite like this quote,

The problem with Nile Gardiner is that he is a hypocrite. For a so-called expert dealing with the US led alliance against rogue states, not to see when the UK is itself a rogue state in Europe shows that he is either blind or as daft as George Bush and that he has the morals of Tony Blair going into an illegal war with Iraq and claiming he did what he believed to be right!

By the way, the Bush family was very close to Moon.

In 2008, this blog by Paul Waugh appeared in the Evening Standard. It’s about the former Labour minister Shahid Malik who was tricked into meeting with the Universal Peace Federation, a Unification Church front group. This is the most important bit,

Rev Moon was considered so dangerous that Michael Howard banned him from coming into the country in the Nineties. His views on Jews and homosexuals leave a lot to be desired to, it appears.

It was Michael, now Lord Howard, who was Home Secretary under John Major who issued the ban. Even though the Moon is banned from the UK, the Universal Peace Federation is allowed to continue its work here.

In October 2010, the baby-faced one was chuffed with Liam Fox, of whom he gushed,

Liam Fox is that rare politician of tremendous principle, who unfailingly places country before political self-interest. He believes strongly in the greatness of Britain as a nation, and that its continuing role as a global power depends upon her ability to project military force, including a capacity to fight alongside the UK’s closest ally, the United States.

It’s almost as if he’s writing about the US here and not the UK. What’s he trying to tell us? The headline says it all “Liam Fox is the Churchill of the coalition”. You see how he summoned up the ghost of Churchill, just as Thatcher had done in the 1980’s? This offers us a window into his thoughts. He uses Churchill as a mantra or a magical incantation that is intended to cast all demons aside – as though he were a shaman.  Trouble is, it is ineffective and makes him look desperate. His idol, Thatcher, tried to use the same trick and it blew up in her face.

Gardiner is an obsessive and a scaremonger. He’s also failed to tell us whether or not he is still a member of the Unification Church. However, it is unlikely that he’s left because Moonies don’t often leave the ‘church’ of their own accord.

Here is a quick look at what the Unification Church is and what it does,

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