Tuesday, 30 August 2016

North Lanarkshire Update



The current position in relation to backpay is that A4ES is in discussions with the Council over payment due for the period 1 April 2015 to 8 June 2016.

The aim is to make these payments by the end of September 2016 via individual offer letters to clients which will allow A4ES to check and verify the sums involved.

A firm date for this to happen has still to be agreed with NLC, but the Council officials involved seem confident that the end of September is perfectly achievable.

A4ES can certainly turn things around veryquickly, by way of individual offer letters, as soon as final agreement on the figures is reached.   

Any backpay due to NLC employees for the period 8 June to 25 August 2016 should already have been processed via the Council's payroll.

As soon as there is any further news and/or a firm date, I will share this information on the blog site.

 


NLC Update (29/08/16)


I've had lots of enquiries from readers in North Lanarkshire over the past few days on the subject of backpay.

Now I think it's fair to say that progress is being made and I expect to be able to say more tomorrow, after I've checked a couple of points.

In the meantime, those due backpay should have received monies on 25th August 2016 (via payroll) covering the period 8 June 2016 to 25 August 2016.

 


North Lanarkshire Update (09/08/16)


As regular readers know there has been some confusion over the payment of backpay arising from North Lanarkshire Council's late-running job evaluation (JE) review. 

What appears to be happening is that on 25 August 2016 any new rates of pay will come into effect and council employees will also receive any backpay they are due, but only for the period from 8 June to 25 August 2016.

The longer period when backpay may be due (from 1 April 2015 to 8 June 2016) will be processed via Action 4 Equality Scotland and HBJ Gateley Solicitors after all the figures have been carefully checked. 

Now quite why the Council is choosing to operate in this way is a mystery because it would seem more sensible to complete the whole exercise in one go instead of making two separate payments.

Presumably the 25 August payment will be made via the Council's payroll and will not therefore be subject to the same rigorous checking process as the one being made via A4ES and HBJ Gateley.

A4ES is pressing for the 1 April 2015 to 8 June 2016 payment to be processed as quickly as possible, given the length of time people have been waiting for this whole business to be resolved.

Socialists, Housing and Hypocrites



I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn thinks his old chum Michael Meacher was wealthy after the news that the veteran socialist Labour MP left £5.2 million in his will.

Apparently this staunch Corbyn supporter made a fortune in the property market after becoming a Labour MP in 1970.

During his career Mr Meacher wrote a book "Socialism With A Human Face' and spoke out against people with second homes even though in 2001 he was revealed to the the owner of at least 9 houses, maisonettes and flats worth a cool £2 million.

I'll bet you a pound to a penny that Mr Meacher was also a fierce opponent of the right to buy legislation introduced by the Conservative Government in the 1980s, yet he was obviously doing very well himself out of a booming property market. 

The following report in The Times (behind the paywall) has all the details. 

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/labour-mp-meacher-left-5-2m-in-will-wztvwgb30

  


Embarrassment of Riches (29/08/16)



The Herald reported yesterday that Jeremy Corbyn does not consider himself to be wealthy despite earning five times the average worker’s wage.

The newspaper went on to report that Mr Corbyn’s salary as MP for Islington is just under £75,000 this year, but that he was also entitled to an additional £63,000 as leader of the opposition, giving a total of £138,000.


But this figure fails to mention Mr Corbyn's pension from Unison (NUPE), his state retirement pension which he is entitled to draw being 67 years of age, his exceedingly generous final salary pension arrangements as an MP which are 'banked' for the moment and his £600,000 house in north London.

Not just that, of course, because Mr Corbyn has been a member of the House of Commons for the past 33 years during which time his MP's salary amounted to around £2.5 million (at today's prices) and he has also enjoyed outside earning with Iranian state TV, for example, for which he was paid $27,000 between 2009 and 2012.

So Jezza's way more than just comfortably off, if you ask me.

  

Mañana, Mañana



Here's the new seating plan in the Spanish Parliament which has taken the country's MPs two months to agree since the last general election was held in June 2016.

Now that sounds bad, but is as nothing when you consider the fact that Spain's been without a government since October 2015 which is when the last Congress of Deputies stood down in preparation for a December 2015 general election.

The December 2015 election resulted in political stalemate with the ruling Popular Party  (Conservative) emerging as the largest single group, but without sufficient support to form a coalition government.

A further election was called in June 2016 in an effort to break the political stalemate, but the ruling PP held its ground and even improved its voting share, while all of its rivals lost ground with both PSOE (Socialists) and Podemos (an anti-austerity party) going backwards in the polls.

Something of a farce to be sure, but all the while Spanish MPs are drawing their full salaries which must be one of the few jobs in the world where people are paid to do nothing - except decide the seating arrangements.

third round of elections now seems inevitable although these are not likely to take place until the end of December 2016.

  

Monday, 29 August 2016

North Lanarkshire Update



I've had lots of enquiries from readers in North Lanarkshire over the past few days on the subject of backpay.

Now I think it's fair to say that progress is being made and I expect to be able to say more tomorrow, after I've checked a couple of points.

In the meantime, those due backpay should have received monies on 25th August 2016 (via payroll) covering the period 8 June 2016 to 25 August 2016.

 


North Lanarkshire Update (09/08/16)



As regular readers know there has been some confusion over the payment of backpay arising from North Lanarkshire Council's late-running job evaluation (JE) review. 

What appears to be happening is that on 25 August 2016 any new rates of pay will come into effect and council employees will also receive any backpay they are due, but only for the period from 8 June to 25 August 2016.

The longer period when backpay may be due (from 1 April 2015 to 8 June 2016) will be processed via Action 4 Equality Scotland and HBJ Gateley Solicitors after all the figures have been carefully checked. 

Now quite why the Council is choosing to operate in this way is a mystery because it would seem more sensible to complete the whole exercise in one go instead of making two separate payments.

Presumably the 25 August payment will be made via the Council's payroll and will not therefore be subject to the same rigorous checking process as the one being made via A4ES and HBJ Gateley.

A4ES is pressing for the 1 April 2015 to 8 June 2016 payment to be processed as quickly as possible, given the length of time people have been waiting for this whole business to be resolved.


Embarrassment of Riches



The Herald reported yesterday that Jeremy Corbyn does not consider himself to be wealthy despite earning five times the average worker’s wage.

The newspaper went on to report that Mr Corbyn’s salary as MP for Islington is just under £75,000 this year, but that he was also entitled to an additional £63,000 as leader of the opposition, giving a total of £138,000.


But this figure fails to mention Mr Corbyn's pension from Unison (NUPE), his state retirement pension which he is entitled to draw being 67 years of age, his exceedingly generous final salary pension arrangements as an MP which are 'banked' for the moment and his £600,000 house in north London.

Not just that, of course, because Mr Corbyn has been a member of the House of Commons for the past 33 years during which time his MP's salary amounted to around £2.5 million (at today's prices) and he has also enjoyed outside earning with Iranian state TV, for example, for which he was paid $27,000 between 2009 and 2012.

So Jezza's way more than just comfortably off, if you ask me.

  

Sunday, 28 August 2016

'Shurely Shome Mishtake"



Labour's lunatic fringe (which means the party leadership these days) are calling for Sir Richard Branson to be stripped of his knighthood after a turbulent week in which Britain's favourite businessman made Jeremy Corbyn look like a prize prat over his Virgin Trains stunt. 

Now I'm no fan of the honours system, as regular readers know, but I'm not in favour of picking on just certain individuals either, especially for cynical personal or political reasons.

I mean where will it all end: will Sir Sean Connery (one of Scotland's favourite sons) be next on Jeremy Corbyn's hit list?

'Shurely shome mistake', I fear, and one which is bound to be ridiculed by both the Private Eye magazine and the SNP. 

   


Read the full story in The Independent 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/john-mcdonnell-shadow-chancellor-for-richard-branson-virgin-to-be-stripped-of-his-knighthood-trains-a7213501.html


Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell calls for Richard Branson to be stripped of his knighthood

'It should be a simple choice for the mega-rich. Run off to tax exile if you want. But you leave your titles and your honours behind when you go,' says Mr McDonnell



Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called for Virgin's founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson to be stripped of his knighthood.

Cunning Stunt Backfires (25/08/16)


John McTernan is on fine form with this article in The Telegraph about Jeremy Corbyn and his 'Traingate' fiasco.

But the killer lines are all from Richard Branson and the Virgin Trains spokesperson who says matter of factly:

"We're a bit puzzled why Jeremy couldn't find unreserved seats when he boarded the train - they're right next to him as the photo shows."

Boom, boom!

  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/24/jeremy-corbyn-will-regret-picking-a-fight-with-sir-richard-brans/

Jeremy Corbyn will regret picking a fight with Sir Richard Branson

By JOHN MCTERNAN - The Telegraph


Jeremy Corby on the train CREDIT: VIRGIN TRAIN

Rule 1 of spin is "Don't lie". Embellish the truth, gild the lily, make the most positive presentation possible but do not lie. 

Of course, sometimes you may feel that you have to make something up. This is where Rule 2 comes in - "Don't get caught." In politics, the truth doesn't have to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it just has to be a "defensible truth". Or, in other words something that no-one can disprove.

Which leads directly to Rule 3 - "Remember that people will fight back if their reputation is at stake." Yesterday, as "Traingate" unfolded, it was clear that Jeremy Corbyn and his team had broken all three rules.

When Corbyn originally released his ridiculous low-fi rail video I thought that this simply confirmed how completely incompetent his whole operation is. They had obviously not ordered those cheap advance tickets because they always come with a compulsory reservation. Obvious really, Corbyn was bound to treat Labour Party money the same way he would spend the taxpayer's money - wastefully.

Cult of Corbyn (26/08/16)




The pollster YouGov reports that a big majority of voters believe Virgin Trains rather than Jeremy Corbyn over the rumpus about the Labour leader's journey to Newcastle.

But the most remarkable figure is the 39% of Labour voters who believe Jeremy Corbyn's version of events even though the Labour leader has since admitted that he walked past unreserved seats on the train - which he didn't use because he wanted to sit with the rest of his team and/or his wife.

See the following quote from the London Evening Standard newspaper:

"Jeremy Corbyn today conceded there were spare seats on the “ram-packed” Virgin train where he claimed he was forced to sit on the floor.


"In a change to his version of events, he said he had been looking for seats for him and “a group of colleagues” to sit together, accepting that the train was not full.

"It came during a bad-tempered press conference in which he rebuked reporters for questions about the incident and whether it reflected on his integrity."


Now a cult depends on the support of otherwise people who rely on propaganda and refuse to believe the evidence of their own eyes.

So the 'Cult of Corbyn' is the only rationale explanation here, if you ask me.

  

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Floorspace in Demand



The Telegraph cartoonist Matt nailed the nonsense behind Jeremy Corbyn's stunt on a Virgin train the other day which has now backfired in spectacular fashion.

Shown below is a handy timeline of events which makes the Labour leader and his handlers look like exactly what they are - a bunch of complete amateurs.