Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Opulence and Public Service

Driving down London's, Euston Road en route to or from work, for a while now I've been curious as to what rich probably uncaring entity, could afford to occupy a rather striking, opulent, brightly lit building between Euston and St Pancras

Due to the traffic congestion, I eventually spotted the signage for Unison (public sector union) and wonder how this brash glass and concrete building fits into the role representing Unison as the embodiment of hard done by, selfless, caring, public sector workers.

I know I'm cynical of those whose jobs are funded by the taxpayer, and frankly take the view that the majority in the public sector don't know half of what goes on in the commercial world, I'm only too aware that in the wider economy, workers have few if any rights, and ignoring rights is rife in the commercial world.

In the last week or so there have been a couple of examples of extreme abuse both concerning slave labour admittedly rare, although exploitation of migrant labour is commonplace, just where Unisons heart is in relation to such matters, I don't know, but do know where their home is and its one of the more expensive parts of London.


  1. Where does your bitter and twisted - and very anti-Liberal Democrat - jealousy end? Unison is not funded by the taxpayer. You are not dipping into your hard-earned (no-one works as hard as Tony after all) cash to support the Union. If Unison members do not like what the Union does with their money, they can deal with that. Are you happy to see Liberal Democrat Ministers - assuming you are still in the Party - being driven around in official cars?

  2. 3 45 I was merely musing on the contrast between the opulence of Unison HQ and how things are at grass roots.

    I never suggested the taxpayer contributed to unison try reading the post.

    How is it anti liberal?

    More anti labour as I know there will be quite a bit of bleating from the unions particularly with unison plan ing chaos this winter.

    I think youll find few sheep in the liberals unlike labour

    As I said many don't know the half of it

    Should liberal ministers be driven in official cars yes they should, god knows how many dodgey labour crooks have had the same facility

  3. Euston Road is not exactly the City, West End or even Canary Wharf.

  4. As I respond I'm about five minutes away going home an I can tell you this much it ain't Hackney either

  5. Your third paragraph, Tony, introduces your usual hostility towards public sector workers, and clearly links that to your point about Unison - hence my accusation.

    My suggestion was and is that your persistent ill-informed attacks on the public sector are hardly in line with Liberal Democrat values and policies. But then, as you have said, you are not a sheep. Quite how you would have fared in the context of Party unity and discipline if elected to Thanet Council, one can only wonder.

    You are happy that your tax pounds provide for Liberal Democrat Ministers to be chauffeured around the country, solely on the basis that Labour Ministers enjoyed the same perk. Whether that is your own view or your Party's view, it is pathetic and shallow.

    On the subject of organisations occupying swanky buildings when they represent the poor or low paid workers, do you know the cost and cost benefits of the Unison building? Are you conscious of the long derelict site it occupies and has regenerated - probably meaning a low cost deal? And have you ever driven past the Salvation Army's swish building on the Embankment by St Paul's, or Church House in the heart of Westminster? Why not draw them into the analysis? Or do you fear the religious lobby becoming your "bikers" for 2011?

  6. Interesting point about disunity within the Liberal Democrats, particularly coming from a Labour luvvie!

    Even down here in little old Thanet, Labour have had a succession of internal squabbles, the outing of Nottingham, Driver regularly rocking the boat and being called a 'tosser' by Richardson and endless attacks on Hart's leadership.

    Further up we have brother stabbing brother, a chancellor who showed constant disloyalty to his PM and now another whole host of would be 'kings' lining themselves up to step into Red Ed's shoes.

    Tony did have a point on opulence and it is unacceptable wherever it occurs be that in the city or the unions. I am not a union member but it never ceases to amaze me how those that are can stand by and watch their money being spent to provide OTT salaries to some leaders, lavish wining and dining, perks for life and grace and favour apartments.

    As to public sector workers, well probably the majority do a decent job for average incomes, unlike their union leadedrship, but some rip the system off, regard sick leave as an annual entitlement and could even show MPs a thing or two about fiddling expenses. Oh, and before Labour luvvie kicks off, I have investigated some of those claims with the evidently picked up receipts, personal shopping claimed against the public purse and the overnight subsistence when they were actually at home.

    So please, Mr. Self Righteous defender of all things red, try to be a bit more even handed. You are always silent when Tony is attacking the Tories, unless you join in to support the motion, and remember there are snouts in the trough in all sectors of the community even if Ed thinks they are only in the city.

  7. 8:09 well said. I have often wondered why Union leaders get paid so much more than those who they purport to represent.

  8. Anon of 08.09, you might be taken more seriously if you could a) address the points being raised rather than switching the subject and b) put forward your arguments without being rude and offensive.

  9. Many will agree with you, Don. Do you feel the same about charities that pay senior staff significant salaries, or the churches with their relatively good salaries and their vast landholdings and other investments? They profess to care about the poor too. I am thinking, again, of the Salvation Army with their glossy Thameside base and the Church of England with all its locations in Westminster, for example.

  10. Attack my party or the unions and I will attack everything from the Salvation Army to the Church. Call Tony bitter and twisted, anti-Lib Dem and jealous but then accuse others of switching off the subject and being rude.

    Very much a case I can do what I like but all the rest must obey my rules. Vety obviously a union man.

  11. Anon, in turning to childish name-calling - "Labour luvvie" - you are both demeaning yourself and your argument in one fell swoop. I manage to argue my points and to challenge without recourse to offensive behaviour. Try it for yourself.

    I have made no reference to the Labour Party or indeed the Conservative Party in my contributions here. You have taken us there. I have not defended Unison, but have merely challenged the fairness and the basis of Tony's attack on them. In challenging, I have questioned the even-handedness of those commenting - by questioning their attitude to similar organisations. I am keen to establish whether this is a moral argument about organisations representing the low-paid or disadvantaged feathering their nests unreasonably, or it is pure union bashing.

    You accuse me of defending "everything red". If that is true, then it is equally true that you are keen to attack "everything red". Your (occasionally) measured tone does not mask your own bias and prejudice. And assuming you are also the commentator on the other GP/religion strand, clearly your bias and prejudice extend to some very worrying areas.

  12. What a very reasonable chap you are, anon. OK for you to call Tony bitter and twisted,but the rest of us must mind our language and name calling.

    As to your comment about my religion that really is a private matter, something I have no problem with and certainly does not take me into dangerous areas as you suggest.

    Let's be honest. We don't know each other, obviously have differing political views, but could otherwise be quite reasonable people. You don't have to be a monster to be a Tory and a christian you know. In the same way, most of my family are Labour supporters but I still love them.