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ROUND AND ABOUT
Christmas comes but once a year and don’t we know it. On the front we’ve been making good cheer hanging the decorations up across the trenches and stacking the booze in the dug-outs to celebrate the birth of Our Lord in the customary way. The unofficial Christmas truce is holding amid rumours of a three-month cease-fire while others speak of a new Brown offensive against pensions. In the meantime we’re doing our best to be jolly. And so we might…
BIFFA BRYANT, for one, is celebrating. He won his appeal though he was not exonerated. His punishment for striking a fellow H at last year’s IR Christmas bash was reduced to a mere £500 fine by IR management and he’s now back in post, and more importantly back in the saddle on the GEC, which he never vacated in the first place. BIFFA wore sack-cloth and ashes at his appeal, apologising for his rash action that led to his initial dismissal. He is now considering his union position on the GEC list.
It’s bad news for TED EUERS who stood to gain if BIFFA had been chopped and bad news for his new “4theMembers” faction that spent so much effort putting the boot into BRYANT on his behalf. But maybe not so bad for JAKE WILDE, the de facto leader of the former Me First/Moderati bloc during LEGS PRIESTLEY’s lengthy absence on sick leave. JAKE THE RAKE’s got a taste for being number two to the MAD MONK and STEELE and would dearly like to be Number ONE in the fullness of time. That doesn’t leave much for TED who’s gonna have to do a lot of fixing to get back on the GEC and the NEC next year.
Not so good news for CHARLIE McDONALD who faced trumped-up charges of harassing scabs and has now been found guilty by Management. He’s been sent to exile in HACKNEY and given a final written warning which will last for FIVE YEARS.
JAKE, incidentally, came fourth in the STELLA’S JOB RACE, beating WILKINSON and RATCHFORD. His trainer, GRAHAM STEELE, is thinking of moving an objection though there’s no ground for a steward’s inquiry. STELLA was declared the winner at the LUNITY cabal that agreed her candidacy months ago – the same cabal that has also agreed that DANNY WILLIAMSON gets the new Scottish officer job next year. JANE AITCHISON, a LUNITY stalwart, partner of ROB WILLIAMS and personal friend of Madame GODRICH gets STELLA’s job as DWP chair but we don’t know how far down the food chain the promotions are going to go.
But at least it’s put CAWKWELL’s nose out of joint. CORKY’s none to pleased about STELLA being his new boss as he thinks he is far more capable – a claim, like much of what comes out of CORKY’s mouth, that is totally unsubstantiated.
The MAD MONK is still on his crutches but his followers say that the “4theMembers” slate will be up on their new web-site in January and that LES will soon be back on the campaign trail (buying drinks and calling in favours). But all’s not well in the CAMPBELL clan. One of the former Moderati maidens on the NEC, BEV BAMBROUGH, has been bewailing the fact that STUART CURRIE has been treated very unfairly by his former underlings and that nobody treats her with respect anymore. So she’s stormed off in a huff. She’s going to leave the service in the New Year for the better climes of the private sector.
CURRIE may soon be joining her. BUNTER’s wanted out ever since his little Moderati empire collapsed. He’s deeply disliked at the Edinburgh DBC that rejected him as Learning Officer and dismissed his proposal to make his place of work a separate branch. He refuses to take part in Branch work or indeed turn up to any of its picket lines and about the only thing he does keep up is the National Moderate website (now and again) and his diet (he tells us that Living Room is his favourite bar, Daniels his restaurant and Starbucks his café.)
Edinburgh DBC is not noted for far left views. The sole member of LUNITY is DON MACIVER. Seventeen others who would have probably have been Moddies if it wasn’t for CURRIE are “Independents”. All BUNTER’s got is FEGAN. BUNTER’s latest intervention was to have a go at MACIVER, the Treasurer and a LUNITY and SWP man, for not keeping branch records up to date when he was off sick for six months with suspected cancer. Only FEGAN backed him.
While the Chancellor plans to slash the civil service pension scheme, FALCONCREST is ordering a similar Herodian slaughter of its own. The fat cat non-contributory full-time officer pension scheme is now in crisis. In 2001 the CPSA scheme was £9.2 million in surplus and the PTC a £100,000 in surplus. Now both are in difficulty. The CPSA fund surplus plunged down to £2.9 million and it’s running well down on that. One of the reasons is that virtually all of the redundancies at HQ have come from ex-CPSA employees and their pay-offs have come from their own fund. But the PTC scheme shows a deficit of £12.2 million largely blamed on the vagaries of the stock exchange.
AGS LEON BAUGH told the full-timers that they had to choose between paying a 3.5 per cent contribution to keep the existing scheme, or continue on a non-contributory basis but lose some scheme benefits. Their GMB branch has meekly accepted the 3.5 per cent contribution as the least of two evils. But bail-out funds will have to come from other sources and this will impact on PCS’s ability to campaign in the future. This should have been discussed with the NEC and the Trustees when the redundancies were first considered. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of that. LEON BAUGH can’t actually be blamed for the fiasco as he only became AGS this year. The staff pension funds’ problems have built up over a number of years under his predecessor. Who was that? Why none other than HUGH LANNING.
While the pension hike won’t do much damage to the serious drinkers at FALCONCREST they are becoming more difficult to spot these days. JIM HANSON remains faithful to the FALCON where he can be seen most evenings having a lemonade or two while talking to two or three retired milkmen about the likely prospects in the 2.45 at Haydock. Most of the other reprobates have slunk off to the SLUG & LETTUCE round the corner. And why not? It is Christmas after all!
Acta est fibula
The story has been completed – Emperor Augustus’ last words
As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the DWP to continue to look for better, more competitive steps to take. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the "Twelve Days Of Christmas" subsidiary:
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.
The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simple not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. Their positions are eliminated.
The three French hens will be eliminated. After all, nobody likes the French.
The four calling birds have been replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call-waiting option. An investigation is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often, how long they talked, and whether any of this breached the Electronic Media Policy.
The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Management. Maintaining a portfolio on one commodity could have negative implications for our Stakeholders. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of Blue Chip Gilts and high technology (EDS) stock appears to be in order.
The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has been long felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by the HR business partner will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.
The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, enhancing their outplacement potential.
As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the Equality and Diversity Committee. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring, or a-mulching.
Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
Ten lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of the lords, plus the expense of first-class travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work lawyers. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed Social Security lawyers this year and the next.
Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. Substituting a string quartet, cutting back on new music, and no uniforms will produce savings which drop right to the bottom line.
Thus we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals, and other expenses. Also, though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can deliver in one day, service levels will be improved. Regarding the Bar Association lawsuit seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), action is still pending. If put into effect, the Compensation Committee's proposal should help.
Plagiarised by barrabas