ANDREW PIERCE: Oh lord! Union bigwig U-turns to take peerage

ANDREW PIERCE: Oh lord! Union bigwig U-turns to take peerage

11/14/2020

ANDREW PIERCE: Oh lord! Union bigwig Tony Woodley U-turns to take peerage

As class warriors go, you’d struggle to find one more devout than Tony Woodley, the former leader of the UK’s Left-wing trade union Unite.

He’s repeatedly claimed to have nothing but contempt for the Lords, where 92 hereditary peers still have the power to pass laws.

And so it came as no surprise in 2018 when he rejected a peerage from the then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

Pictured: Union leader Tony Woodley, left, speaking to union members during a rally near London’s Heathrow Airport on May 26, 2010. He will be introduced into the House or Lords as Baron Woodley next week

Moreover, when he was put forward a second time by Corbyn in his resignation honours list earlier this year, Woodley stayed true to his convictions and rejected ermine again.

‘The greatest honour of my life was to be elected general secretary of [Unite] by my fellow members,’ he said grandly in August. 

‘So I would prefer to follow the example of my hero Jack Jones, the greatest man to hold that job, and not accept a peerage.’

All of which makes it utterly perplexing that next week, this principled Corbynite will be introduced into the House or Lords as Baron Woodley.

In a statement Woodley, 72, says: ‘I know that this change of heart will disappoint those who reject peerages on principle, but those who know me will be assured that wherever I am on whatever title I hold I will always put the interests of working people first, as I have done all my life.’

Let me translate that for you: ‘Power to the people. But especially to those in ermine.’

Did Donald Trump spend election night watching Citizen Kane? 

In the 1941 film about a newspaper magnate, directed by and starring Orson Welles, the title character is defeated in an election to be governor. 

In one scene, his editors had prepared two headlines for the next day, one declaring ‘Kane Wins’ and the other ‘Fraud at polls’. Sounds worryingly familiar…

Trump mops up Fabricant vote

Unlike most politicians on this side of the Atlantic, Tory MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant, best-known for his extraordinary blond mop, supported Donald Trump’s bid for re-election. 

Was it his fiercely nationalistic principles that he respected? His desire for a strong economy?

‘I am a Trump supporter because of his one ethos: his hair,’ Fabricant admitted. Thought as much.

Last week marked a year since Sir Lindsay Hoyle was elected as Commons Speaker, replacing the pompous pipsqueak John Bercow. 

Boris Johnson told MPs: ‘Thank you Mr Speaker for making the Speakership great again.’ Hear, hear.

Pictured: Labour leader’s Keir Starmer attends the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial

Keir Starmer’s Labour might seem to be driving along nicely, but under the bonnet things aren’t so smooth. 

For according to the party’s newly published accounts, there was a sharp drop in income from fundraising gala dinners — from £178,000 in 2018 to £26,000 in 2019. 

Perhaps donors thought Corbyn would inflict veganism on them.

Rousing Commons speech of THE week: Sir Graham Brady, who is leading the Tory rebellion against lockdown, spoke for many when he said: ‘The Government is reaching too far into the private and family lives of our constituents.’

Could this be the start of a long-term leadership bid from the respected chairman of the Tory’s backbench 1922 Committee?

A Cabinet Office job advert said it was seeking a photographer to ‘promote the work of ministers and the wider Government’. 

The salary? A splendid £60,000-a-year. 

Have ministers never heard of selfies?

Wordsmith Rory lays into Boris

Rory Stewart, the former Tory MP whose independent bid to be London Mayor collapsed in May this year, delivers a devastating critique of Boris Johnson in the latest edition of the Times Literary Supplement.

‘He has mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial,’ Stewart intoned.  

‘He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy.’

Crikey. Has someone just bought themselves a new dictionary?

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