PMQs Verdict: Miliband must avoid being a “one trick pony” – but on energy prices, Cameron is a “no trick pony”

30th October, 2013 1:43 pm

They are our leaders. They come from across the country, elected by their constituents to represent our interests in Parliament. They are, on the whole, good people who work incredibly hard to do a difficult job well.

So why did so many MPs on both sides of the chamber turn up and behave like such utter children today?

It was clear from the moment that Ed Miliband rose to his feet today what had happened. After last week’s pummelling for Cameron at PMQs, the word had obviously gone around from the story whips that their MPs were to be as boisterous as possible this week – and they more than obliged. Miliband wasn’t even able to get through his first question before the barrage of abuse became too loud and the Speaker intervened. The Labour benches joined in too, ensuring a permanent din throughout the session, rate hating up the tempers in the chamber but drowning out many of the more interesting contributions.

But as a tactic for the Prime Minister, the noise and the fury worked. He was far better today than his shambolic performance last week, successfully feeding off the heckles and opprobrium pouring down from the green benches. Miliband, unfortunately, was clearly thrown by the heckling. He began to fall back into the old habit of repeating himself (“Mr speaker, mr speaker, mr speaker syndrome” as we might call it) and was nowhere near as fluid and effective as last week showed he can be.

Yet if Cameron won on style, Miliband can justifiably claim to have bested the PM on substance – he struggled to get off the sticky wicket of energy prices and the cost of living throughout the half hour session. Miliband’s lines about Cameron being one of the “Big 7” or being a “PR man for the energy companies” never really landed. But the last thing that Cameron wants at the moment is to have to stand up and effectively defend the energy companies live on TV, whilst failing to provide any clear or credible way of stopping them from taking you for a ride.

Fortunately for Cameron, this energy price row can’t last forever, and Miliband will probably realise himself that this is the last week that he can beat the PM round the head with the latest greedy mis-step from the big six. Cameron’s barb that Miliband is a “one trick pony” could stick unless the Labour leader broadens his attacks back out to the wider cost of living debate – jobs, pay, and prices. But at the same time, Cameron attacking Miliband as a “one trick pony” tells us two important things about the PM. Firstly, the energy price freeze has hit home and put him in a tight spot. And two – at least Miliband has a “trick”.

On energy prices – Cameron’s a no trick pony.

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  • Mr Arthur Cook

    So what does that make Clegg ……..a no eye-deer?

    • Monkey_Bach

      No idea, dear. Eeek.

      • treborc1

        What it makes Clegg is the man who will hold the Tories onto power, and if the same thing happens at the next election the man who will keep Labour in power You could call him a power broker.

  • treborc1

    It was horrendous I’ve seen better behavior at feeding time at the chimp house at London zoo. I really do think if the public saw this lot at PMQ’s you’d have even less people voting it is a shambles and this is the people who are to run the country.

    When you think of the power the leader has, and the harm he and his party can do, as for Labour I see nothing yet which would make me put an X next to my MP’s name, no wonder Labour and the Tories wanted to keep first past the post.

    Shame on them all.

  • RogerMcC

    I was also disgusted by the noise during the minutes leading up to PMQs when MPs were still asking questions of Francis Maude and everyone around was talking loudly.

    You walk into any meeting or ceremony or lecture that is in progress and you stay quiet – everyone else understands this simple rule but not our MPs.

    The real danger to Labour has always been anti-politics: the ‘they’re only in it for themselves’ and ‘they are all the same’ narratives – which Tories love as for their brand of evil to triumph requires only that good men do nothing, while any form of genuine social progress requires people to get off their arses and vote for change.

    But by joining in in this disgraceful weekly spectacle our MPs reinforce that anti-politics narrative.

  • swatnan

    Good job nobody watches PMQ’s that much; they’ve got better things to do than hear a repeat of last weeks performance theatre, word for word. Same old excuses, same old slogans. Honestly the whole thing needs a new scriptwriter, and a new Speaker to improve ratings. No doubt that Ed had Dave on the ropes and Ref Bercow tried to step in and save Dave a deserved hammering. I expect to get some decent information from PMQ’s, not this kind of rubbish, with MPs primed with loaded questions and the usual PunchnJudy bash.

  • Graemeyh

    A no trick pony…I like that. I do wish our elected representatives knew just how badly they come over with all this screaming and shouting.

  • Monkey_Bach

    How tired I am of seeing Cameron make a show of himself, like a braying donkey, every Wednesday at PMQs. What was once a spectacle of wit and debate has, under Cameron, degenerated into little more than a tirade of insults triggered by planted questions raised by tame, third-rate, sycophantic, Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs.

    Unedifying stuff.

    Eeek.

    • Mr Arthur Cook

      The problem is PMQs is always inconclusive in terms of outcome. Might I suggest that each session concludes with a fight between a Labour front bench “champion” and a Tory opponent. The contest should take place in the Westminster car park with the protagonists wearing a red or blue leotard according to their party. The combat could be filmed and the television rights sold to Sky with the fee being used to compensate the taxpayer for the funds stolen and misused under the heading “expenses”.
      The Lib dems can hold coats and move from side to side depending on who looks likely to win.

      • treborc1

        You may bankrupt the country with a leotard for Eric Pickles.

        • Mr Arthur Cook

          I was eating my breakfast. But now I can’t finish it 🙁

  • mactheanti

    The reason why Ed was repeating himself was because it was so noisy he was being deliberately drowned out and was waiting for the Speaker to (quite rightly) intervene so he could get his question out, why have a pop at him, have you seen the size of that place? It’s so small that I doubt Ed could hear himself think with what went on today and that was what the Tories deliberately set out to do and they were allowed to get away with it by the Speaker.
    And once again the Speaker allowed Cameron to get away with not answering one single question from Miliband, instead he superimposed his own questions completely ignoring Miliband, how long can this be allowed to continue it is happening week upon week upon week.
    Also once again Cameron was allowed to get away with deliberately misleading people over the number of new jobs he keeps saying have been created.
    When is John Bercow going to grow a pair and stop Cameron from doing this, every single week?
    Cameron was rude and arrogant.

    Also you say that Miliband can’t keep going on energy prices, why not? This is not a game people are in desperate straits they need the opposition leader to fight their corner to try and get something done NOW, not a promise of an inquiry reporting next spring sometime. People struggling to survive out here are glad that Ed is trying to help.

    • treborc1

      He’s not fighting anyone corner, bed room tax great idea took to long looks like a band wagon.

      capping for twenty months lets hope then the prices do not fall in those twenty months because then your in trouble for holding prices at an artificial high.

      people want to know how your going to sort out the energy issues Ed says more competition, so do the Tories we all know that’s not the answer, we now have a cartel which some day will be exposed.

      I notice that Bankers are now hardly mentioned anymore, yet the Labour party are still in hammering down mode with welfare.

      A record number of wounded war
      veterans have been denied disability benefits in the past year after
      undergoing tests carried out by the Government’s controversial
      assessment company.

      Hundreds of injured ex-soldiers are being declared fit for work by Atos
      Healthcare in spite of physical and mental injuries they suffered in the
      conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Last night, the Royal British Legion (RBL) announced a 72 per cent annual
      rise in former soldiers having their applications to receive Employment
      Support Allowance (ESA) turned down. Several hundred wounded personnel
      were denied the benefit on the basis of physical examinations conducted
      by Atos, according to the RBL.

      This is down lock stock and barrel to the Labour party, they brought in the WCA not ATOS it’s the WCA which is the issue.

      Yet we have a banker as our minister for welfare who is going to hammer down, Labour has a long long way to go.

      PMQ’s is a game and sadly neither of the players are very good at it.

      • mactheanti

        It may have escaped your attention but Labour are the opposition not the government, Ed has just six questions which are never answered. The trouble with being an idealist is that we get lumbered with another hideous government like the Coalition or a Tory one (same difference) so people like you can carry on expecting Labour leaders to be magicians and put everything right with some kind of magic wand, you really need to get yourself in the real world. I am disabled and so is my OH, believe me your idealism is not helping us, quite truthfully it terrifies us because it increases the likelihood of us being subject to another five years battering from this callous government. Things were not perfect under Labour and I had to attend Atos twice, however, we didn’t feel attacked in our own home and we still retained the benefits we need to make our lives livable and we still got help if we needed it from time to tim. Now we have nothing but fear.

  • rekrab

    Why didn’t Ed hold Cameron to account for trying to pin the Grangemouth dispute on a shop steward? over a century the trade union movement have fought hard to represent their workers the idea that any shop steward should lay down their valiant guards and surrender the terms and conditions of a work force is just plain stupid talk.

    Ratcliffe took control of Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant in 2008, from the on set he has had an agenda to weaken the employees terms and condidtions.

    • The_Average_Joe_UK

      Len M has written an article published in the Grauniad. Try reading the comments section where less blinkered Labour folk have given Len some very pointed feedback.

      The fact of the matter is that Unite played games with the lively hood of 800 people it CLAIMS to represent. Unite’s handling of the situation is a joke and only lauded by the blinkered left.

      • rekrab

        Nonsense, utter claptrap, The plant has a history going back to the 1920’s terms and condition are fought hard for over that time and like some flick of a switch 1,350 workers earn less today than they did a few weeks back.

        This tory led government say work should pay? are they doing their finest to make work pay a bit more than £53 quid a week.

        I guess the comment section in the Grauniad you relate to is full of tory supporting comments. This government is in a race to the bottom and they clearly have an agenda to discredit the unions, I guess your still wearing your blinkers? take them off and look at the real facts and don’t be so ridiculous, Stephen Dean didn’t threaten to close the plant, Jim Ratcliffe did, the tax exile wont even commit to his inward investment plan.

        • The_Average_Joe_UK

          Usual crap, anyone you disagree with is a Tory. I have read all the posts with > 10 posiutve rating and Unit and Len get slaughtered. So I’ll post them for you you po faced defender of everything Labour and Union.

          from Falkirkbairn

          My armchair view of the last few months were:

          Ineos
          has a large plant employing 3,000 on-site with issues – too high costs
          compared with International Competitors. Ineos were looking to cut costs
          – wages and benefits well above the average for semi-skilled through to
          highly skilled compared to local & national averages.

          Unite
          represented some 1,000 people @ Ineos. On-site Union man was Stephen
          Deans who is/was a leading light in the Falkirk Labour Party.

          Stephen
          Deans was suspended on full pay whilst his actvities at Ineos were
          examined by his employer. Unite threatened strike action over
          victimisation of their man.

          Things boiled up – Ineos closed down
          the plant over 7 days. The strike threat was withdrawn but you cannot
          restart a plant that is half shutdown.
          Threats to close the plant, as
          it was losing money, replaced the idea of investing money to keep it
          running, in the near future at least!

          Unite encouraged their members to vote against the new T&Cs of employment. Closure was announced and all hell let loose.

          Within days, the Union accepted a poorer version of what had been turned down and the plant would re-start in about 3 weeks.

          Meanwhile
          the original issue of Stephen Deans’ suspension motored on. According
          to reports, he was said to have spent a large part of his time on his
          Local Labour Party business. As the full-time, Ineos paid employee, he
          should have spent his time on Ineos worker’s issues, health & safety
          and aiding management and workers to help run the site etc etc… not
          unreasonable as he was being paid £50K+ by the company and not the
          Union.

          Faced with issues in an Ineos report on his conduct over many months Stephen Deans resigned.

          600+
          workers followed the Union in rejecting the initial company offer and
          they are paying a financial penalty over and above the losses of the
          6/700 who voted to accept or who were not Unite members. 2,000
          subcontracted staff lost at least 1 week’s wages and they are certainly
          not on £50K + that many Ineos staff receive

          Unite have failed their Gmouth members and failed them badly.
          Len
          McLuskey not only fails to own up to major errors by his Union, he
          tries to justify his and the Union’s existence by claiming co-operation
          with others to persuade Ineos to keep the plant open.

          Mr
          Ratcliffe, the major Ineos shareholder, may not be seen as being 100%
          innocent of bullying by some.However, he played his cards well and stood
          up to the Union. In the end Ineos had the Aces and could write or
          re-write the rules.

          The Union should have picked a different path
          and done the best for the workers not what was best for the Union or
          Stephen Deans.

          If you are going to pick a fight you have to be
          sure you have all your points covered and know the weakness of the
          opposition. The Union has to win every battle they take on with an
          employer. The employer has only to knock the Union out once – game over!

          Is it game over for Unite? Probably not as they have 1 million members – probably a few less in Grangemouth after last week.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from 10ptUppercase

            The published material I have seen in The Times dos show a further investigation is needed, the Unite candidate withdrew from the selection race when she knew the game was up. Lets have the Labour Party report published Len.

            The
            so-called witch hunt in your article was caused by your reps causing
            trouble and the Union threatening a stirke on a business losing money.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from oldshhips

            So being paid by a company to do one thing, and actually not doing that work, but carrying out Electioneering for a Union for the Local Labour Party seat in the first company’s time is not a sackable offense. Want to know why there are no more jobs in Liverpool and Southampton Docks? Guess that is a redundant question when these people are around,

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from Raymond Dance

            Despite all the bogus self-justification here it is quite
            impossible to conceal the fact that Unite has a big problem in the
            leadership selection department.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from NotTheProfessor

            Well, I’m sure Len knows far more about the ins and outs of this dispute
            than most people. But casual observers will simply have watched fascinated as the entire Scottish and London-based political leadership scrambled desperately to ensure that these jobs and the plant’s future were ‘saved’. And also wondered when was the last time a union so overestimated its strength that it called its members out on strike,
            then advised them to vote against the deal management put directly to them, and then collapsed totally and couldn’t offer more concessions fast enough when their bluff was called.
            If Len thinks this majestic game of chess has been a perfect marketing exercise for trade unioninism, I suspect he’ll be disappointed.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from kimdriver

            The rights of private ownership must be unchallengeable. Otherwise the whole system collapses, which a few might appreciate, but those with cars, homes and some savings in the bank will not.

            If they can be challenged, no one invests, no one builds, no one works.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            I’ve had my company pension contributions cut, and had my
            pay frozen for the last 3 years, but it is the price I’ve had to pay to retain my job and assist my company to survive.

            The Grangemouth workers were on an average income of £55,000, with an annual pension contribution by the company of £35,000. In my view it was perfectly reasonable for the owners to ask them to reduce their benefits in order to avoid recurring losses and ensure the viability of the plant for the future.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from Mengtian

            Industrial palaeontologists were stunned to discover the
            survival of some living fossils in Scotland – the Mccluskeysaurus and the Deanodon.

            “We thought they were wiped out along with the
            Scargillosaurus and the Redrobboryx when they destroyed the environment around them. We can’t understand how they survived but given their behaviour we think they will definitely be extinct soon.”

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from AuSuivant

            Grangemouth demonstrates the pathetic levels of analysis and strategic thinking by Union management.
            Ifyou want to defend your members’ interests you absolutely have to understand all current factors at play. Allowing Ineos to pull this trick on the back of an ill-considered industrial action in support of a relatively insignificant Union official shows clearly that Unite members are not being well served.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from RabidMale

            ” I went to Scotland last week to save those 800 jobs and
            keep a vital national asset open in the face of a real threat of closure from the employer.”

            LMFAO. what a hero! No doubt you spent £800 on exes after celebrating in the local curry house. Trebles all round!

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from rugbyfanatic

            Well if you think we should revert to the days of lightening strikes, Union bully boys on picket lines, a taxi driver murdered with slabs of concrete through the windscreens because they dared to drive a so called ‘scab’ to work then you are dumber than I thought you were Unelected
            Unions brought down a democratically elected Labour government and allowed …..guess who ? Margaret Thatcher in the door lol ! In 1977 I couldn’t make a job interview in London due to a lightening strike by London Transport buses. All drivers walked out after a dispute about reduction in the size of sausages in breakfasts in the works canteens.
            Fronted up by despotic leaders intent on ‘regime change’ here in the UK, we had cronyism, nepotism, closed shops………..what do we have today as a direct result ?………..NO MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN THIS
            COUNTRY WHATSOEVER for our children or future generations. Take politics out of the workplace and bring in reasonable diverse workers panels to work with management.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from helen matthews

            At the start of the industrial action Unite accused Ineos
            of victimising a Union official who worked at the plant and that was where the initial threat of industrial action came from.

            A highly irresponsible line to take with a plant whose viability was already in question, and it turns out that that risk was to defend someone who was as guilty as sin.

            Clearly given the difficult situation at Grangemouth, Mr Deans’ focus should have been on work and protecting the security of the jobs and terms and conditions of his peers, they should have been his priority.

            Playing hardball at that stage was a massive gamble to take with hundreds of jobs, thousands even, to try and keep quiet a scandal that threatened Unite, the local Labour party and the Labour party leadership.

            Not a second of thought was given to the workers or rank and file union members, nor the Scottish economy.

            Clearly Ineos took the opportunity, with Grangemouth raising its head above the parapet to try and balance the books at the expense of the staff. I should not be surprised if the Unite union has signed up the Brownies and the Scouts as Union members and Labour party donors to rig the Falkirk selection.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from MiloMinderbinder02

            I notice Mr Dinosaur can’t elaborate on this idea of “traduce”. So we can heave that view out the window. “Private correspondence” – well, if it shows he’s broken the law, why not expose it? And the police has investigated him – unless they’ve nothing better to do even the filth will take accusations of corrupt practice seriously and “investigate”, a process which seemed in any case, to last about seven minutes.

            Oh, and he didn’t “have to” leave his job. He chose to. Draw your own conclusions as to why. Nobody is made to quit
            their trade because they’re a union rep or because they take an interest in exposing corruption in politics. Mr Dinosaur is paranoid.

            Yes, McCluskey, I remember the 70s and 80s. A time of union abuse of power, corrupt union officials, demarcation, the union wrecking of this country’s industry and productiveness. And I remember Thatcher taking the bastards like the miners and the printers on and crushing them for their arrogance, corruption and illicit not to say illegal practices like the closed shop and open ballots.

            I’m a union man. All my working professional life. The unions got to where they are thanks to their greed, their bullying, their insane rage against modernisation, their criminality. If Unite are still reaping the whirlwind of this that’s tough. McCluskey should keep his nose out of all but union affairs, shut his mouth most of the time it’s open and get back to grazing quietly in the Jurassic ooze where he belongs.

          • rekrab

            Tory.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from jannetor

            If you push someone in the river then pull them out you could say you saved from drowning I suppose.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from pitfitter

            Trades union officials lost in the mists of time, with no thought of their members, and only looking after their own self interests.
            Interesting that “poor old victimised” Stevie Deans, had the whole workforce ready to come out on strike to support his own selfishness, and then when the evidence leads to a decision by a disciplinary hearing (following legally set out guidelines), he jumps before he was pushed. Also, how UNITE can look upon this whole sorry affair as anything other than a
            humiliating climb down, is anyone’s guess, but from the article above, good old Len has it that the plant is only staying open because UNITE “reached and agreement” with INEOS to “Save 800 jobs”. What colour is the sky on Len McCluskey’s planet??

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            from mountainman10

            The Neanderthal confrontational approach of British Unions have brought their current powerless state upon themselves.
            I had the privilege to work with the German Unions when my company took on the job of rebuilding the derelict former East German industry following re-unification. Under the East German system, employment was maximised by having all labour directly employed by the state owned
            companies, gardeners to cooks. In western equivalents like Grangemouth you have 4 indirect jobs for every direct job.
            We faced the challenge in East Germany of getting direct employment in the complex down from 100,000 to 5000. The head of the German trade Union sat on our supervisory board. The intelligent manner in which he helped us manage
            the herculean task of laying off all those people and finding many of them a new livelihood running their own businesses as suppliers of goods and services to their former employer should be written up as a testimony to the positive role trade unions can play. As management we all had the greatest respect and admiration for the role the Unions played in dealing with a very difficult and painful but necessary restructuring.
            The restructuring of former East German chemical
            industry to salvage maximum sustainable employment from the ashes of the communist approach was a great success story. Not only did the Union help to secure sustainable jobs but they also insisted on creating apprentice schools churning out skilled welders, mechanics, process control engineers and electricians who will secure the future of East German industry and employment.
            How different things could be if British Trade Unions saw their role as cooperating with management for the long term benefit of their members instead of dabbling in politics
            and seeking to destroy industries for short term unattainable gains. Mr McClusky without enlightened, constructive, positive leadership working with, and not against management, the Unions will never be allowed to regain influence over industry which is the ultimate source of the UK’s wellbeing.

          • rekrab

            Tory

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            Goodnight Derek, please ensure you wipe the egg from your face before hitting the pillow. It sticks and is a pain to get off.

          • rekrab

            Sweet dreams Tory boy! don’t dribble to much.

          • rekrab

            Tory

          • treborc1

            Our Kingdom

            Let’s begin with the background. It is
            an accepted rule in Scotland right now that you write about Ineos
            (the company that owns the Grangemouth facility) with care. They have
            thrown around threats of defamation action (mainly towards the trade
            unions) with the abandon of the powerful who wish to silence those
            less powerful. People have felt unable to describe what they see. So
            allow me; if Ineos was a person, the characteristics would strongly
            suggest it was a psychopath. It has demonstrated no empathy, no
            interest in reaching mutual outcomes, no momentary doubt that any
            course of action it believes to be ‘necessary’ is anything other than
            a divine calling, no concern about what weapons it points, where it
            points them or who it points them at, and a chilling certainty from
            day one about the course of events.

            As we shall see below, if you are
            reading this anywhere other than Scotland you probably don’t know all
            of this but there was no threat of industrial action against Ineos
            until Ineos made it virtually unavoidable. It began when Ed Milliband
            handed a report on the claimed irregularities on candidate selection
            in the Falkirk bye-election to the police. Since one of the key
            organisers maligned – and subsequently cleared – in that action
            is a shop steward at Ineos, the firm decided that if Ed Milliband can
            cast aspersions, they can act. Ineos suspended Stevie Deans on the
            grounds that it was believe he may have used a work email address to
            carry out some Labour Party business. (God help us all if using a
            work email for non-work purposes can get you suspended…) I shall
            refrain from elaborating further for reasons of care on specific
            allegations; suffice to say, there was more done to provoke the
            union.

            What’s really happening at Grangemouth and what it tells us

            Robin McAlpine 23 October 2013

          • rekrab

            As a fixed rate employer Ineos will conduct quarterly tax and profits margins. Ineos has imposed a three year ban on strike action, the fourth quarterly shake up will come in April 2014, now given the company has a free hand to do as it likes because there isn’t a threat of strike action can we expect the first 200 jobs to go at the petrochemical plant. What’s really going on? is the greedy few want their bucket to be full and they would rather bin Grangemouth petrochemicals.It was never a single issue about a shop steward it was about Ineos getting the proper break downs in place to close a sections of the plant.

          • rekrab

            Tory.

          • rekrab

            Holy S****! do you really believe all that crap?

            You know ! when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour! they said they had awakened a giant, I’ll tell you this boy! the giant is stirring the might of justice will roar and no walls will keep out the real move.

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            You live in cuckoo land

          • rekrab

            No such place!

          • rekrab

            Tory

          • rekrab

            Tory.

          • rekrab

            Tory

          • mactheanti

            Yeah because we should all take notice of what right wing rubbish the Times is putting out today. Personally I wouldn’t pay to view it, but each to his/her own.

          • rekrab

            Jeez! I read the first few lines on comments? ” wages and benefits well above the average for semi-skilled ” are they and you suggesting wages and benefits lower than the national minimum wage? where the government have to top up earnings to make ends meet?

            Are you Francis Maude’s paper boy?

          • The_Average_Joe_UK

            Grow up little boy.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      I think that Ed Miliband probably wishes that he’d never heard of Grangemouth, Derek, so he’s unlikely to raise it as a question.

      The CLP appears to have been out of control in the selection process, the internal Labour report a disaster and itself possibly made useless by people changing their statements, the business caused a huge argument about the union link that will be just as poisonous next spring. Then Ineos discover that Mr Deans is doing all of this CLP work on an Ineos computer on Ineos time and investigate him (1,000 emails), and in their investigation discover that there are potential breaches of the Data Act. Now that is under investigation.

      Meanwhile Unite the Union decide to play bully tactics to get Ineos to drop the investigation and threaten a strike. That strike then becomes about terms of employment. The union advise the members to reject the offer, so they do, and are told they are going to be made redundant. The union then cave in and accept the offer. Mr Deans whose activities started all of this then is resigned the day before he is sacked.

      You will notice that the tories had no part at all in this disaster. As you often say, there are more pandas in Scotland than there are tories. And now in your head, you think it a wise thing for Ed Miliband to have tried to attack Cameron with at the PMQs?

      • rekrab

        The CLP got out of control when Blair changed the selection process, that’s why Falkirk got dumped with Joyce, a punched drunk mad man, who hasn’t never shook a proper working man’s hand.

        Ed, was just a little boo peep! Cameron is a disgrace and out time will come.

    • treborc1

      Well of course it’s not just the Tories who are attacking the Unions labour are having a fair old go even having a special conference, and I do think Grangemouth will have an affect on the Unions .

      Yes I agree Unions have done a great deal of good but are now being hammered by legislation which Labour did nothing to remove at all.

      Blair’s view of the Unions was well known and so is Ed’s I would not expect to many Union people to run to join the Labour party soon that’s for sure.

      But I expect the Levy is vital to the Labour party so long as people keep paying it or the Unions do not vote to end it.

  • Daniel Speight

    So why did so many MPs on both sides of the chamber turn up and behave like such utter children today?

    My answer would be to go look at the backgrounds of the majority of the MPs. It’s connected I suspect with university debating ‘skills’. Such close up aggressiveness in a normal workplace would probably start fisticuffs.

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