Mandelson tells Marr unions need 21st century rethink

17th June, 2012 1:45 pm

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  • AlanGiles

    I am sure every union throughout the land will listen to what Mandleson  has to say to them, and take his heartfelt advice – or they might tell him to mind his own business.

    Funny Mandy crawls out of the woodwork the same week as the rest of the Progress shower.

    Defeat in 2015 looks ever more likely as the stench  of the past come back to stink us out.

    • aracataca

      What do you mean us? You’re a Green.

      • AlanGiles

        That’s it keep parrotting that line – it is about the only thing you ever do say.

        Just for a change ou could type “You’re a Green” and put it out as “Williams” like you used to do, or B O’Connor2 as you once did.

    • aracataca

      The Greens are great aren’t they? Try telling that to the people of Ireland. In Ireland the Green Party went into coalition with a bunch called Fianna Fail who offered people a dollop of nationalism thickened by a sprinkling of religion. This government, of which the Green Party was an important part, put the debts of the banks on the government’s balance sheet. As the banks’ debts amounted to multiples of the country’s GDP this made the country bankrupt. It was later discovered that the multi-millionaire buy-to-let landlord PM Brian Cowen was in cahoots with the developers and the banks. 
      He was enthusiastically endorsed by the Green Party and the Green Party in Ireland was equally enthusiastic about cutting pensions and welfare when the crash came. They were annihilated in last year’s general election in Ireland. Want to know what the Green Party are like in government?- Go on ask the Irish.

      • AlanGiles

        This is a cut and paste repeat of an identical post you made a few days ago on another thread.

        It just seems to be yet another of your stock replies, when you can’t think of anything else to say. Might be more to the point if you made a comment on Mandelson – the man who had to twice resign in disgrace, and made fraaudulent claims of an official document (mortgage application) and is a thorogh-going snob (“horny-handed sons of toil are not needed [by New Labour] – Conference 1997.

        Stuck for something “witty” to say, eh?

        • aracataca

          Any thoughts on the Green party’s record in government in Ireland?

          • John Dore

            We need to respect the work of Purnell and Byrne as in touch politicians. Dont you agree Alan….. Sorry Mr Partridge.

          • aracataca

            Thought not Alan. Good night.

          • AlanGiles

            I have no knowledge of Irish politics – I assume the piece you posted TWICE in 2 different threads was a cut and paste job from another site?. A man who uses three different screen-names on one site to mislead is not really to be taken seriously, which is why I ignored you earlier post

          • aracataca

            Perhaps you ought to take  a look at how the Greens have actually performed in government.After the Green Party’s tenure of office in Ireland 2007-2011 the result was 14% unemployment, an emigration rate of 10,000 per month, a ravaged welfare and healthcare system, national bankruptcy and the electoral annihilation of the Green Party. You might also want to check how they are doing running Brighton Council. It just puts the Green vs Labour debate in some perspective that’s all.

          • AlanGiles

            Well if Paul Richards becomes police Commissioner for Brighton, it might make the residents in that part of Brighton grateful that their council is not controlled by a right-wing lickspittle, whose taste and judgement  is so poor that he chose to use that poem last week to castigate the left, which I think disgusted even some right-wing posters as well as the rest of us.

            And always remember, it wasn’t the Green party that took the country to war, or made life hell for the sick and disabled by introducing Freud, or got investigated by the police for “cash for honours”, or was stuffed full with hypocritical expenses fraudsters.

          • aracataca

            Well no, but it’s sister party in Ireland was busy bankrupting the country, bailing out banksters and developers, slashing old age pensions and making poor families with sick children pay for visiting the doctor.
            It’s worth bearing in mind-no?

  • Wow, for once I agree with you, Mandy. Protecting pay & conditions is no longer a relevant task for the trade unions. Any idea what’s more relevant to people in the deepest and most prolonged economic crisis since 1930s? Caffè lattes and vol au vents in a Grimsby cafe? How about a bikini in an igloo?

    It’s always the same, isn’t it? New Labour’s anti-trade union laws aren’t the problem; the unions need to “change”. No, Mandy. The trade unions have a specific role – to protect workers – and you and the rest of Maggie’s Militant Tendency have emasculated them with anti-trade union laws and undermined their position in the Labour Party.

    Go away, you creepy little man.

    • treborc1

       The Unions have a bigger role to play then just workers, many members of the Union of course are retired people with pensions, in the GMB a  good  number of people are the sick and the disabled I’m still a member.

      Unions now in some cases are all we have left to fight for us, now that labour are more middle class middle of the road

  • Daniel Speight

    Peter Mandelson? Oh that Peter Mandelson.

    Morale very low. Colin Burgon, once a teacher, believes the Education Bill will widen rather than narrow the attainment gap. He also complained about the lifestyle of some of the New Labour elite – Mandelson, Blunkett, Jowell and her husband, and the increasingly shameless correlation between big donations and peerages. ‘We’re all contaminated,’ he said to Ed Miliband, Helen Goodman and myself as we sat in the Members’ Lobby awaiting the outcome of the division.

    Chris Mullin, Decline & Fall

    Some things never change.

  • Dave Postles

    Barren Baron Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool.  The unions are now more than ever the only hope for ordinary folk, in work or out of work.  

  • derek

    Hmm! Mandelson ask the unions to reform as the government continue to wind back the clock and focus on withdrawing tax credit from any striking worker.

    • treborc1

       You do not go on strike thinking I will lose my  tax credits do you, your already losing a day or a weeks pay. The Tories are trying to play silly games when I went on strike during the eighties of course we had no tax or child credits, I had £12 a week strike pay.

      • derek

        Yep! it’s lock out pay when on strike but the suggestion to remove the benefit of tax credit because of strike action is just another draconian measure by this shockingly bad nasty government.

  • Black spiders

    The workplace has changed completely in the last thirty years, Union membership in private companies is low. Unions needs to demonstrate that they are relevent to ordinary people lives, those people are not interested in internal Labour Party matters.

    Unions have to increase their offer, certainly more active within communities as well as the workplace. People need organisations that are on their side, without pentration in people lives before work, leaves new workers less likely to join.

    I would not complain if my political levy was spent on community activity, people will support organisations that are on their side, in these hard times the Unions with it’s millions of members can make a difference and not just in the work place.

    I am a member of UNITE and have been for 30 years and feel it is the same organisation as I joined, it is so poor in organisation, I had been without a Branch for years despite many requests,  recently offered a Branch that was NOT in my area.

     What ever you think of Mandleson, Unions need to change their outlook, if they do, not only they will benefit so will Labour.

    • AlanGiles

      Whether they need to reform or  not, the last person who should be offering advice is Mandelson.

      There are even right-wing labour figures who can’t bear Mandelson, let alone more mainstream supporters

      • John Dore

        You sound like the average racist, all hate and no facts.

        • AlanGiles

          What the hell are you talking about?

          I haven’t even mentioned race.

          I sometimes think you have “problems”

    • derek

      Branch meetings can only be as strong as the workers willing to attend? a subservient workforce has been battered into submission and the I’m all right jack greed culture is rife throughout British employment as the majority are content to work 10/20 hours above their working contractual hours.

      Mandelson isn’t talking shop and organisation, he’s asking the unions to dilute their given right to defend protect and enhance further.

      Personally, I’d take a flame thrower to these woeful days and install the sense of unity in the majority of working places.Get organised! your right! but lets get real and grasp these days by the curlies.

      • treborc1

         Well if you have a few million and a yacht  then Mandy’s the boy for you.

        • derek

          Yeah! what the hell does Mandelson know about packing shelves and picking up a wage package that needs to be subsidised by tax credits to meet the cost of living.Comes a time when you make a choice, we’ve reached that cross roads, being in it together was something I always thought belonged to the trade union movement and heck do we need that voice of collect responsibility in nowadays.

          • treborc1

            I have just noticed that the GMB has given labour a loan of well over £400,000 I suspect Progress has also given Labour money for it everyday running cost, nope seems not.

            As for the Angel of horror Mandy, he was out of the TV limelight, so to show us he not yet dead, and the coffin lid closed he speaks about this subject.

            I suspect next a come back plan.

  • Daniel Speight

    Every now and then Mandelson reminds me of his grandfather, Herbert Morrison, a far greater man, although not without his own failings.

    When someone suggested to Ernie Bevin, the onetime leader of the Transport Workers Union and Labour Party grandee, that Herbert Morrison was his own worst enemy, Bevin replied “Not while I’m alive he isn’t.”

  • Well Unions have a dwindling membership and a very low turnout for internal elections.  So yes, something has to change.

    I think blaming New Labour etc is just lazy.  I think the reputation of trade unionism has taken a huge hit as a result of their own behaviour, especially with London transport workers demanding bonuses just to turn up for work during the Olympics. 

    It’s always easy to accuse other people but sometimes you have to look at yourself.  I believe in Trade Unionism, I’m a member, but it has to be responsible trade unionism. 

    • AlanGiles

      Jon, would you not agree, however, that due to his appalling record where personal honesty is concerned (mortgage applications, undeclared loans etc),  and his machinations when he was Tony Blair’s chief helper, briefing against colleagues etc,  that Mandelson should not presume to tell others how to behave?

      It’s a bit like Blunkett giving sermons on personal morality.

      • Alan, you may well have a point.  But ignore the messenger, hear the message.

        • treborc1

          That’s difficult is it not when you know the messenger can tell fibs.

    • derek

      Ah but it’s ok to give Coe a few million for chairing the Olympic committee or to give Jowel a damehood for spending the money? I’d suggest that the period will be very busy, extraordinary busy.I can’t think of a trade union that would have tried to negotiate extra payments over such a busy period.  

      • derek

        Wouldn’t have!!! should have been in my thrid line.

        • Well firstly I’d say that Coe’s running of the entire Olympics project is bound to be for significant renumeration.  It’s a huge job with far more responsibility than most roles.

          MIllions of people in their jobs have busier periods, where they are expected to be more flexible with their working hours to get the job done.  I’ve never seen this as unreasonable, and it’s part of being professional.

          Don’t forget that tube drivers earn almost twice the national average, receive almost twice the statutory minimum annual leave and have pensions most could only dream of.  All of these were delivered through persistent strike action at the expense of countless ordinary workers who simply want to get to work without hassle.  As the tube runs at an operating loss, the cost of all this is passed on to Londoners through fare increases, many of whom are on low incomes but have to pick up the cost.

          I honestly don’t think expecting them to be flexible over a month long period is too much to ask in return.

          • So it’s ok for Coe to earn megabucks, and Johnson, and Cameron and all the rest. But ordinary people have to knuckle-down, get on with it and consider themselves lucky if they’ve managed to escape the McJobs trap?

            I believe you’re better than the person who appears to have authored the above. Think again.

          • I think it’s appropriate that if you have a job running a massive event/company/organisation, then you receive higher renumeration that someone with far lower levels of responsibility. Yes.

          • AlanGiles

            How many lives is a  tube or bus driver responsible for on an average day, Jon?. Certainly on the Central Line the trains are crowded every day, even at weekends, and they will be carrying far more passengers during the Olympics.

            Surely the safety of passengers lives is more important than pompous Sebastian Coe and his job as the face of the Olympics?

          •  I’m sorry Alan they are not responsible for those lives. TfL is.  Many drivers actually don’t drive – they oversee an automated system which they can only override when given permission by the controller.

            They get £45k a year and 40 odd days off a year.  Is asking them to be flexible for a few weeks on their working patterns really such a big ask?

          • AlanGiles

            If  Coe makes a balls-up over some aspect of the Olympics, though he will be embarrassed he will not have on his conscience that he killed, maimed or injured anybody, his self confidence MIGHT take a denting, but he is so arrogant he can shrug that off.

            OTOH if a tube or bus driver has an accident he will have it on his conscience – I remember hearing a radio interview once with an ex tube driver who was still haunted 30 years on by the fact that somebody threw himself under his train as a young driver – clearly it wasn’t the tube drivers fault, but if that is how suicide affected him, imagine how he would have been if it had been an accident.

            Similarily, programmes continue to be made about the Moorgate tube crash of February 1975 – I heard a radio 4 programme only a year or so ago, which continues to try to decide if driver Newson had a heart attack at the controls or if it was a bizarre suicide and murder.

            1975 is 37 years ago. If there is an admin error at the 2012 Olympics, I doubt that in 2049 Coe’s surviving relatives will have to endure that sort of scrutiny.

            Just because a bus driver doesn’t appear on TV every day shmoozing with “celebrities” and business and sports people doesn;’t make them “lesser” mortals.

            In any case Coe, I would suggest is a figurehead – most of the actual work being done by the admin staff. If only Dame Tessa had been able to run faster, she might have had Coe’s job herself. 

          • JC

            If remuneration is all about lives saved, then I should be payed huge amounts as I work in a lab testing food for bugs and poisons. However, it is obvious that this would be inappropriate as it is very low skilled work, and I don’t believe people would be prepared to pay more for their food to pay for my pay rise.

          • derek

            Are you saying that a bus or train driver doesn’t carry responsibility? Yeap! and million receive additional payments at busy times.

            You can’t compare what Coe gets with what train drivers earn? As far as I’m aware additional trains and buses will run during the Olympic period, some may say that’s flexible working patterns for you.

            You forgot? Ken promised to lower fares? has Boris recanted on that?  I simply think your on the wrong end of the argument if you think it’s ok for a handful of elitist to gain substantially from the Olympics while the hard working public services shouldn’t? 

          • I think different jobs have different levels of responsibility – and are paid accordingly.

            Yes, I think tube drivers have responsibility.  But I don’t think it’s anyway near as big as the Chairman of the committee delivering the Olympics and hence the pay disparity. As I say, tube drivers earn a very good living from a pretty low-skilled job. 

            Don’t forget that a significant number of tube drivers don’t even actually drive the tube, as it is on an automated system.

            Ken’s promises were unaffordable as you can’t deliver urgently needed investment in an ageing infrastructure and deliver a substantial fare reduction – it’s just not affordable.

          • derek

            I think some events shouldn’t be misconstrued as “work” the ethos of the games isn’t about high professional pay brackets?

            I guess some may argue that a train driver has more responsibility than a chairperson.

            And don’t forget that train lines have a code of practice to adhere to, you just can’t jump into the engine room and drive a train without any knowledge. Jonathan is this you?

            So why haven’t you said that a council tax freeze is an unaffordable tax cut?

            Your little whole is becoming a bigger whole? stop digging.

          •  haha I’ve seen nothing that you’ve written to imply there is a hole at all Derek.

            I don’t know about the council tax freeze, but I assume that is to do with managing council costs which have a completely different stream of spending requirements than TfL so they’re not remotely comparable.  I can’t see how you think they are.

            I do not disrespect tube driving as a job – yes of course you need training.  But it’s not the most difficult job in the world – especially the ones that are automated – and it’s certainly not as difficult as having primary responsibility for a major international sporting event.

            It’s the whole ‘why can’t a cleaner by paid the same as a CEO’ debate.  Some jobs are simply more difficult than others and have much larger levels of responsibility, and are renumerated differently as a result.  Anyone can be a cleaner, not everyone can be a CEO. I’m pretty certain most people understand that Derek.

          • derek

            Well, we were exchanging  london mayoral manifestos?

            And I’m pretty sure you were on the wrong side there to but it’s a common occurrence with you Jonathan. (-:) )

            I’m getting the feeling your trying to dig a mine shaft here, with a rounded spade.

            Most people would get the idea that special crowded events shouldn’t just see those at the top making starbucks while others are expected to do it for free. I so disappointed in you Jonathan I really thought you had a grasp of fairness on some issues?

          •  All I’ve said is some jobs are more important than others and get paid more as a result.  I honestly think most people understand that.  If you have more responsibility, or your job requires making important decisions, you get more money.  I don’t know what’s so hard to understand.  Do you think, for example, the office cleaner should get paid the same as the CEO?

          • derek

            Do you think the CEO should pay more tax than the office cleaner?

            Your post doesn’t add up, Coe is receiving far more than any one gets from a bonus payment over the period plus over the period additional workload will apply.Jonathan if you think the only people who should be rewarded is the CEO then we’re as well as ending this now.I’m truly sorry man’s dominion seems rooted too those who think their of higher worth.

          •  Derek, Coe is employed to oversee the Olympics. That’s his job.  Tube drivers drive the tube full time.  That’s their job. They’re completely separate.

          • derek

            Olmpics don’t happeneveryother month?

  • John Dore

    …… As Union membership dwindled to 6.4m from a high of 13.2m, the ideological left refused to accept there was anything wrong. and wondered why people questioned their lack of judgement.

    It does not matter that its Mandelson delivering the message, its the message that’s important. The personal attacks (Alan Partridge and his friends) make me laugh, you can just see Mandelson warning Alan Giles his trousers were on fire and Giles refusing to believe it whilst his anatomy toasted.

    • derek

      Rather than suggest trade union membership dwindled why not tell like it was, Thatcher cut over 7 million jobs out of the British industry from steel works to mining and ship building all cuts made too employment and trade union numbers.

      • John Dore

        Derek,  that’s a sweeping generalisation that does not render my point moot.

        Undoubtedly the decline in traditional unionised jobs contributed to a reduction in Union numbers but it does not explain all of it.

        IMHO a Union is a good thing, sadly they haven’t found a place in modern British industrial relations. Perhaps you’d like to compare our class war riddled Union movement to our German friends.

        • derek

          You’d be barking up the wrong tree John comparing trade unions of the UK with the Germans.I simply just don’t believe that the German workforce is a better workforce than the UK, what they do have is better terms and condition which have a good factor result in quality and quantity of production, for instance many German workers have a 13 month wage packet over a 12 month period, that’s why there are so many Germans holiday makers around the holiday hotspots in the summer. Birtain has always chained it’s workers to low pay and condition and every single gain not matter how small has been fought and paid for by litres of sweat and aches of toil and pain.

          • Peter Barnard


            Quote from Robert Bosch (he of the substantial Bosch engineering outfit) :

            “People think because I am rich, I can pay high wages. They are wrong. I am rich because I pay high wages.”

            From memory – I think his given name was Robert.

          • derek

            Thankyou Peter, and what a wonderful accurate quote.

          • John Dore

            No Derek I was comparing industrial relations no the calibre of the workforce. It is precisely because of better industrial relations that workers are paid more and are more productive. 

            Peters quote cuts both ways, Workers on German boards are there to ensure the company does well.

    • derek

      Jeez! John, trousers on fire and all the rest? look Mandelson would dare tango with Alan because Alan would wipe the floor with Mandy.

      Make the request for Mandelson to reply? dollars to doughnuts he wont.

      • derek

        Dam Wouldn’t should have been in the first line.

      • Dr What

        Mandelson doesn’t care about the little people.

    • AlanGiles

      “Dore” Your “Alan Partridge”  joke obviously amuses you strongly because you have now retold it three times. So you remember old comedy shows of the 90s. Well done. I am sure you are in line to become the Oscar Wilde of LL

      While we are at it, would you care to apologise for the “racist” remark you made against me a few posts above this one?

      It is a great pity your intelligence isn’t as big as your mouth, as it is your posts sound like the – to use your favourite word – crap that they are. I don’t like the word, but it is about the only thing to be said about them. Ignorant and ill-informed.

      • John Dore

        Thanks Mr Partridge, that was touching.

  • AlanGiles

    “John Dore 2 comments collapsed CollapseExpandYou sound like the average racist, all hate and no facts.””Mr Dore” still hasn’t explained this exraordiary post. May  respectfully suggest that before he presses the post button he makes sure his brain is working, and only does so when sober.

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