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Corrupt trade union boss steals £165,000 from members watch

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    Ian Lavery, a top Corbyn supporter in parliament and formerly General Secretary of the NUM Northumberland area, a branch with only ten members, stole £165,000 from the members of that branch.

    He engaged in a series of dodgy transactions that, if a company director had done, would properly see them brought up on charges under the Companies Act. Lavery did the following;

    • 1994: The Northumberland Provident and Benevolent fund lends Lavery £72,500 to buy a house. In 2007 the union forgave the loan, leaving Lavery £72,500 richer…
    • Lavery also kept £18,000 from an endowment fund associated with the mortgage;
    • 2005: Lavery sells 15% of his house to the union for £36,000. By 2014 the value of the house had fallen. He bought the stake back from the union for £27,500. A notional profit of £8,500…
    • 2010: On stepping down from the NUM Northumberland Area after being elected a member of parliament, Lavery receives “termination payments” totalling £89,887.83.

    Unfortunately Paul Mason, a prominent left-wing journalist, has defended Lavery claiming that this is a Tory CCHQ stitch-up, although he doesn't deny the facts of the story.

    When I was discussing this on Twitter, a Momentum member tweeted at me, "There are far worse things to be getting mad about". I said, "By that logic, people shouldn't care about rape because murder is worse". His response; "Why are you trivialising rape and murder?". You know you've won an argument when you get a pathetic response like that.

    As a (reluctant and disillusioned) Labour Party member and someone who has been involved in trade unions as a branch officer, I find Lavery's behaviour to be disgusting. And unfortunately, his conduct is not rare in the really left-wing trade unions. Len McCluskey had his house paid for by the union, so did Scargill.

    I do not object to top union officials getting generous salary packages; I believe workers should be well remunerated and they are the head of large, complex organisations. But I do not appreciate when they use the union members money, money they have paid so that the union can represent them if they ever need the help, to be going to paying for houses for people like McCluskey and Lavery. If McCluskey cannot afford a house on his £140,000 salary, he's probably not competent to run a large organisation like Unite.
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    All Unions are corrupt. They are there to ruin this country, Labour are rimming them.

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    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    All Unions are corrupt
    How are all unions corrupt?

    They are there to ruin this country
    That is dogmatic, extreme ideological idiocy. Trade unions are there to represent the interests of their members. They exist to attempt to help get the best price for the service they sell (labour). Right-wingers have no problems with manufacturing associations or employers bodies doing this sort of things, but somehow when it's workers they assert that it is illegitimate. Your very black and white thinking evidences a crudity of thought that suggests to me there is little to be gained from debating with you. I would wager you probably haven't had an original thought in your life and 100% of what you post will simply be talking points and slogans that you read elsewhere

    In any case, given your hatred of trade unions I presume that, as a matter of principle, you forego all the rights they have won on your behalf? (paid annual leave, a five-day week, sick pay, unfair dismissal rights).

    In my experience people like you are very mouthy until you are dismissed unfairly or discriminated against, and then you come crying to the union and even complain that the union doesn't represent you (even though you never joined or paid any union subs... apparently unions are not like an insurance policy but should be a charity and cater to lazy, cheapskate right-wingers and let them freeload on dues-paying members).
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    He's a trade union boss. He was stealing his members' money no matter what he did.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    He's a trade union boss. He was stealing his members' money no matter what he did.
    Do you have a job?
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    Destroy the unions, let the free market decide wages and then the economy will run at its full potential. Every day I dream thatcher will rise from the grave and take this country back to our beautiful free market days.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    Do you have a job?
    Is this going to be your line against anyone who makes negative comments about unions generally? Because it doesn't demonstrate much to be honest.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Is this going to be your line against anyone who makes negative comments about unions generally? Because it doesn't demonstrate much to be honest.
    You mistake my meaning. I was asking him whether he has a job before asking him whether he foregoes, as a matter of principle, the employment rights trade unions have won on his behalf.

    Obviously it doesn't make sense to ask that question without first establishing that he is in employment rather than, say, study.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    You mistake my meaning. I was asking him whether he has a job before asking him whether he foregoes, as a matter of principle, the employment rights trade unions have won on his behalf.

    Obviously it doesn't make sense to ask that question without first establishing that he is in employment rather than, say, study.
    I understood your meaning fine. You know the answer to that question and it doesn't establish anything either. No 'principle' could possibly require a person to volunteer to work extra days for less money, and to take fewer holidays. If you wish to claim that unions have had positive effects for the general workforce argue the point directly, rather than through this clearly silly attempt to paint those who disagree with you as hypocrites.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Destroy the unions, let the free market decide wages
    How is a trade union any less a free-market body than a manufacturers association? (or, indeed, an insurance provider)

    Trade union members pay subs to their union in exchange for a service and as an insurance policy; you want to outlaw the right of people to make that bargain? How is that a free-market proposition?

    The trade union represents them in wage negotiations and TUPEs, they try to maximise the price they get for what it is they sell (their labour.. maximising value is the behaviour of a rational market participant) just as many industries do, they provide representation in disciplinary and capability proceedings and, if the member has been dismissed unlawfully or the employer has breached their contract, the union provides legal representation.

    If there was some kind of mandatory government union everyone had to join, or indeed if the closed-shop still existed, you would have a point. But given they don't, your claim that trade unions are inherently contrary to a free market seems to be based on a fundamental definitional confusion.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    You mistake my meaning. I was asking him whether he has a job before asking him whether he foregoes, as a matter of principle, the employment rights trade unions have won on his behalf.

    Obviously it doesn't make sense to ask that question without first establishing that he is in employment rather than, say, study.
    I am sure you were just doing a fact-finding mission, rather than trying to say that your 2 months' working at McDonald's places you in a superior position to me.

    The key point there is that they are won already. And paying bureaucratic trade union bosses millions a year, to hold conferences and the likes, is not going to win those rights any more. The past is the past. For example, I can see the value of the colonialism and what privileges it has given me, but I don't as a matter of course suggest once again taking up mercantilism and sending the fleet to the Caribbean. It's done its job and now we need to move on.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    I am sure you were just doing a fact-finding mission
    That is indeed what I was doing.

    rather than trying to say that your 2 months' working at McDonald's places you in a superior position to me.
    I've never worked at McDonalds. Although my trade union background and legal knowledge and experience in the employment law field certainly does make me superior to you in the analysis of employment law and industrial relations issues.

    The key point there is that they are won already.
    You are revealing your ignorance of employment law. The Conservative government has been removing employment rights previously established. The idea that the spectrum of rights cannot contract, that history is an inexorable march of progress, reveals an aching stupidity and lack of historical context.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    How is a trade union any less a free-market body than a manufacturers association? (or, indeed, an insurance provider)

    Trade union members pay subs to their union in exchange for a service and as an insurance policy; you want to outlaw the right of people to make that bargain? How is that a free-market proposition?

    The trade union represents them in wage negotiations and TUPEs, they try to maximise the price they get for what it is they sell (their labour.. maximising value is the behaviour of a rational market participant) just as many industries do, they provide representation in disciplinary and capability proceedings and, if the member has been dismissed unlawfully or the employer has breached their contract, the union provides legal representation.

    If there was some kind of mandatory government union everyone had to join, or indeed if the closed-shop still existed, you would have a point. But given they don't, your claim that trade unions are inherently contrary to a free market seems to be based on a fundamental definitional confusion.
    I think he was just joking...
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    That is indeed what I was doing.



    I've never worked at McDonalds. Although my trade union background and legal knowledge and experience in the employment law field certainly does make me superior to you in the analysis of employment law and industrial relations issues.



    You are revealing your ignorance of employment law. The Conservative government has been removing employment rights previously established. The idea that the spectrum of rights cannot contract, that history is an inexorable march of progress, reveals an aching stupidity and lack of historical context.
    Wait. Are you trying to tell me that you specialise in employment law? And you have the gall to suggest I am stupid?

    Hahahah, I would sooner admit to ******** myself. Yes, employment rights are contracting and we are virtually unprotected because of those evil Tories. Talk about fear mongering; but then that's what those big conferences are all about.
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    Wait. Are you trying to tell me that you specialise in employment law? And you have the gall to suggest I am stupid?
    If you're going to assert that employment law is, by comparison to yours, a practice area for dummies then you really need to be a chancery silk at One Essex Court or similarly first-class set. Otherwise you are simply engaging in snobbery that, objectively, finds little justification by reference to your presumably modest accomplishments.

    What is it you do? Teach criminal law or something like that?

    By the way, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And I do not look down on anyone in the legal profession or legal academia based on where they practice or their practice area. Most of those I've met in the legal world have a sense of solidarity with other members of the profession, something you clearly lack. I wouldn't venture a guess at why, but you do seem like quite an angry person.

    Hahahah, I would sooner admit to ******** myself.
    I don't think we require your admission to an act at which you are clearly so expert and well-practiced.

    Yes, employment rights are contracting
    They are, although the second limb of your sentence would suggest you don't actually think that is true. Which suggests to me an attitude of willful, petulant ignorance.

    Now, people can argue, in good faith, about whether things like the doubling of the continuity of service requirement, changes to the headcount trigger for compulsory collective redundancy consultation or the reduction in the limitation period for unpaid wages claims, are objectively justifiable. People with different political views, different priorities, will obviously take different views on that.

    What can't be argued is that a contraction of previously established rights has occurred. And that fact, straightforwardly and indisputably, holes you below the waterline in your implicit claim that history is an inexorable, progressive march of expanding rights and that legal rights and political conditions never go backwards or worsen.

    and we are virtually unprotected because of those evil Tories
    That is putting words in my mouth. I wouldn't say we are "virtually unprotected". I say that under this Conservative government, employment rights have contracted and that strong trade unions are the best means by which to oppose such a development. Furthermore, leaving aside the question of trade union lobbying on the question of statutory rights, I believe trade unions have a clear role to play in collective bargaining and in providing what is essentially an employment law insurance policy.

    My experience is that even people who are ardently opposed to trade unions on ideological grounds often pitch up and ask for assistance and advice (and sometimes complain bitterly when it is not forthcoming) when they find themselves the subject of disciplinary or capability proceedings. This is just another piece of evidence, for me, in demonstrating the usefulness of the institution of trade unions.

    Unions have many problems, and many local branch officers are hopeless and lazy. Some branches and some unions are dominated by hard-left extremists. Some trade unions go too far in their wage demands to the point of making the replacement of their members by machines the preferable option. But to generalise those things to the entire trade union movement and membership, all 6 million of them (many of whom are Conservative voters), is as asinine as saying that the misconduct of businesses like Goldman Sachs and HSBC shows the entire financial industry is corrupt and lawless.

    Anyway, it's clear to me you have little interest in discussing these issues seriously and in good faith. Good day to you, sir.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    How is a trade union any less a free-market body than a manufacturers association? (or, indeed, an insurance provider)

    Trade union members pay subs to their union in exchange for a service and as an insurance policy; you want to outlaw the right of people to make that bargain? How is that a free-market proposition?

    The trade union represents them in wage negotiations and TUPEs, they try to maximise the price they get for what it is they sell (their labour.. maximising value is the behaviour of a rational market participant) just as many industries do, they provide representation in disciplinary and capability proceedings and, if the member has been dismissed unlawfully or the employer has breached their contract, the union provides legal representation.

    If there was some kind of mandatory government union everyone had to join, or indeed if the closed-shop still existed, you would have a point. But given they don't, your claim that trade unions are inherently contrary to a free market seems to be based on a fundamental definitional confusion.
    lol I was trolling initially, but actually learnt quite a lot from this, a perspective I haven't seen before
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    If you're going to assert that employment law is, by comparison to yours, a practice area for dummies then you really need to be a chancery silk at One Essex Court or similarly first-class set. Otherwise you are simply engaging in snobbery that, objectively, finds little justification by reference to your presumably modest accomplishments.

    What is it you do? Teach criminal law or something like that?

    By the way, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And I do not look down on anyone in the legal profession or legal academia based on where they practice or their practice area. Most of those I've met in the legal world have a sense of solidarity with other members of the profession, something you clearly lack. I wouldn't venture a guess at why, but you do seem like quite an angry person.
    No, I only need to be involved in an area of law which isn't mainly dealt with by high-street paralegals and retired school teachers at the local Citizens Advice.

    By the way, you started these personal attacks. Firstly, with your "You even in work?" And secondly, with your claiming you have some privileged understanding by being some employment law paralegal. Really, if you're going to try to shut people down with your awesome credentials, you should ensure that they are first quite impressive.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    lol I was trolling initially, but actually learnt quite a lot from this, a perspective I haven't seen before
    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Notorious_B.I.G.)
    No, I only need to be involved in an area of law which isn't mainly dealt with by high-street paralegals and retired school teachers at the local Citizens Advice.
    What a remarkably clunky use of the English language. It's still not entirely clearly what you are trying to say.

    Also, your characterisation of employment law causes me to conclude you have very little involvement with commercial law. I don't think there are any large City firms without an employment law team. The misplaced snobbery that causes you to feel intellectual superiority over people like Robin Allen QC, Sean Jones, Caspar Glyn, suggests someone who is deeply insecure about his intelligence and his accomplishments.

    By the way, you started these personal attacks. Firstly, with your "You even in work?
    That wasn't a personal attack. If you use quotation marks, you should quote what I actually said. I asked if you had a job. This was to establish your situation before asking you a question that would be irrelevant if you were a student.

    Your interpretation of it as a personal attack is erroneous, although it's entirely in line with what I've come to expect from someone who is clearly an angry little man with huge insecurities.

    Although I put some pepper on the gloves and made a few jabs in my previous post, I also did you the courtesy of actually giving a serious and considered response to some of the points you made. It has become clear you are incapable of reciprocating that, and my instinct to call time on this futile exchange has been confirmed.

    I am not interested in further discussion with you. Good night.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    What a remarkably clunky use of the English language. It's still not entirely clearly what you are trying to say.

    Also, your characterisation of employment law causes me to conclude you have very little involvement with commercial law. I don't think there are any large City firms without an employment law team. The misplaced snobbery that causes you to feel intellectual superiority over people like Robin Allen QC, Sean Jones, Caspar Glyn, suggests someone who is deeply insecure about his intelligence and his accomplishments.



    That wasn't a personal attack. If you use quotation marks, you should quote what I actually said. I asked if you had a job. This was to establish your situation before asking you a question that would be irrelevant if you were a student.

    Your interpretation of it as a personal attack is erroneous, although it's entirely in line with what I've come to expect from someone who is clearly an angry little man with huge insecurities.

    Although I put some pepper on the gloves and made a few jabs in my previous post, I also did you the courtesy of actually giving a serious and considered response to some of the points you made. It has become clear you are incapable of reciprocating that, and my instinct to call time on this futile exchange has been confirmed.

    I am not interested in further discussion with you. Good night.
    Haha, yeah, but you are not a QC, are you? Else you wouldn't feel the need for so much pepper, in response to my making fun of your bragging about being an employment law specialist. I really have no issue with your line of work, voluntary work whatever; I just take offence at arrogance, specially where there is not a reason in the whole wide world to be arrogant given your line of (voluntary) work.

    I am an angry little man who is writing hugely long, scathing posts at 1am. Wait, was that you or me? It's late and I forget.
 
 
 
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