gold eagle













Confusion reigns in the DWP trenches when the troops were stood down on the verge of a new offensive after the negotiators fell for the three-card trick (again) and called it off on the promise of further talks when PETER HAIN resigned. The HMRC attack never got off the ground after the Grandees realised that there was no dispute with Departmental Management which is what MICKY DUGGAN had said but MR BEAN hadn't grasped. 4TM, now rudderless as JAKE plans his nuptials and the MAD MONK counts the days to his retirement, has been trying to score some cheap points over this but it really was a simple matter.

DUGGAN took legal advice and that advice was that the ballot was illegal because no dispute existed. The ballot itself was incomplete, having been called off the day before it was due to be counted, therefore no count took place. It's not possible to release results of an uncounted, illegal ballot. Therefore talking about low turn-out or losing the ballot is a complete red herring and proves nothing. MR BEAN, however, has demonstrated how utterly useless and incapable he is when under the influence of strong spirit. The other day I bumped into MR BEAN who was totally ratted in the pub and tried to hit on the partner of our Trades Council president. She wasn't impressed. He also kept asking me what the "critical issues" were for DWP - pretty worrying for someone who has ambitions to succeed Janice GODRICH!

It's all becoming a bit too much for JANICE these days so maybe she's looking for pastures new because the war of attrition has only just begun. Now DWP high command realise they've been tricked and we've all been told to stand-by for further action on 17/18 th March, but Management have taken the initiative. The first victim is poor old LEE ROCK , now facing charges of "serious misconduct" by the department following his appearance on the BBC Look North programme last December.

If you recall, 800 Budgeting Loan applications were lost in transit from Sheffield BDC to the North East where they were being sent for processing. As in a series of similar incidents at the time, TNT lost the packages and customers were left without payment with the official "line" from the department being to cover up the loss from the public. The BBC approached the branch for comment and "NORTHERN" ROCK went on telly, urging customers to get in touch with their office and referring to the cuts in staffing that had led to the movement of work. It's a pity ROCK , leader of the INDEPENDENT LEFT, aka Trotsky's Independent Traders and a contributor to an obscure paper called the WEEDY WANKER, hadn't heeded the PCS advice and referred the media request to HQ after similar incidents two years ago led to the dismissal of two branch reps. Par for the course with The Cockney Voice of Sheffield, who traditionally expects and courts martyrdom. Expect the crescendo of an appeal to coincide with Annual Conference, wasting important time because the great man was seemingly unable to follow HQ guidance.

ROCK won't go without a fight but PHIL PARDOE is. MR PUNCH has thrown in the towel having apparently landed a juicy sinecure at the National Union of Teachers (NUT). His criminal record for violence (see PFL passim ) was no doubt revealed and taken into account at the interview.

And back at Chateau Falconcrest the knives are out for Finance Director DAVE NEWLYN, following yet another row between the Grandees and the greedy full-time officers in the PCS GMB branch. It began when HANSON slagged off the 2007 staff pay offer that had been recommended by the GMB Branch Council and at the same time pleaded with the negotiators to ask that the allocated money be held in abeyance whilst negotiations were concluded.

Innocent enough one might think, but not for the whispering grass who claimed DAVE NOBODY had breached a confidence or had spoken out of turn given his senior position in PCS . Enter DOZY EAGLESON, the recently installed KGB station chief for Falconcrest, who after a less than forensic enquiry personally ordered by MAREK, determined that there was an allegation to be faced.

Disciplinary hearings were then instituted; but the key allegation (fuelled by a question that was clumsily raised by NORINA O'HARE at a subsequent all-staff meeting addressed by MAREK) that NEWLYN had suggested there was secret money stashed away ,was duly rubbished.

The evidence in NOBODY's's defence which also featured GMB full timer DAVE KENT, from an array of galacticos including ironically, Comrade Commissar LEON BAUGH, eventually meant that presiding Lord Chief Justice LANNING felt able to issue a minor admonishment. This was seemingly based on the premise that whilst there was no evidence to suggest that NEWLYN had spilled the beans, people may have taken what he said (essentially that for a large number of members the deal was absolute shite) with some authority given his position. So watch your tongue at GMB meetings. The Politburo's sinister agents work night and day!

Meanwhile the MOVECREST saga has started to get more legs at last with the announcement that planning permission is now being sought by the joint developers Delancy and Land Securities who need the prime Falconcrest site to realise their lofty ambitions to redevelop the whole area as a mega-shopping mall topped by two blocks of luxury apartments. For years PCS and CPSA (see PFLs passim ) had said they would only consider selling the Chateau if the sale provided sufficient funds to purchase a similar property within the same radius of central London plus a juicy windfall profit for the coffers. It was an impossible proviso for the property developers until now .

House inflation and the demand for new retail outlets on the high street continues to soar in London despite the dip in the provinces following the credit chill that followed the sub-prime crisis last year. The developers are gagging for the profits to come and are willing to up their offer and vacant offices have just come on the market right by Waterloo Station following the Eurostar switch to St Pancras. This would be essentially a local move that would obviate the need for any redundancies but there still would have to be plenty of steam on the table to make such a move worthwhile and compensate for the disruption of relocation.

The latest rumour doing the rounds in all the seedy bars in the vicinity of Clapham Junction is that the Grandees had received a £28 million offer from the developers last week. FATBOY PIERCE, the famed HR supremo, issued a panic denial along the lines that you shouldn't listen to any rumours, least of all this, on in a badly spelt and damned stupid memo (but aren't they all). At this rate he'll have to issue one a day as the speculation hots up. Still, the panicking idiot won't be able to read this from HQ after he ordered this site to be banned. Such a shame. Motions to ADC are expected to redress such fascist attacks on freedom of speech. Anyone who feels they've been maligned by PFLCPSA is welcome to discuss their problem, and they do. We always respond. Just click the "contact us" button and moan away. We'll get back to you.

The official line on the HQ building is that there's nothing doing but there have been more than exploratory discussions between PCS and the developers in recent months. Needless to say the vultures are now hovering over Falconcrest as it enters its death throes, looking to bag the juiciest pickings for themselves.

NEWLYN is not a happy man following his disciplinary for indiscretions at the GMB meeting and he wants out. He has designed the 2008 budget so that PCS can afford a VES/VER scheme and pay him off. The only problem with that is that the SFTOs want to use the money to settle old scores and get rid of MCCANN, BOYLE (who has disappeared on the sick for over 6 months), HANSON and HICKEY, so there is no money left for him unless the Falconcrest sale goes through. Thank God this is all in the capable hands on Messrs BOFF and LANNING.

credo quia impossibile est

I believe it because it is impossible

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus

150-240 AD


Action Man maker Hasbro is to be sued for failing to provide adequate equipment for toy soldiers going into battle. A support group representing the plastic fighting dolls is claiming that Action Men have been put at risk by being sent into battle with faulty or unsuitable military hardware. A spokesman for the group told reporters 'It's an international disgrace that can only be called penny pinching. Plastic boots, guns that don't fire and 'armoured' cars that afford no protection against being knocked off the sofa with a giant plastic sword; our boys deserve better.'

But Hasbro have defended their record, issuing a statement saying 'Spending on equipment for Action Man (or G.I. Joe as he in known in America) has increased by 15% in real terms in recent years, and we refute all allegations that our soldiers have been sent into battle with anything less than the very best in toy weaponry.'

One Action Man, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed 'My plastic boots were a nightmare to get on and off from day one. In the end one of the boots came off with my foot still inside it.' Another reported problems with his Eagle Eyes that left him permanently looking left. This resulted in a disadvantageous battle situation against a large plastic dinosaur and some small plastic cowboys on the difficult terrain of the living room carpet. 'Our boys should never have had to go into battle with trousers that had lost their popper at the back,' said one military expert. 'They never stood a chance against that giant real life puppy.'

This is just the latest in a series of problems to have rocked the toy-maker in recent years. Four years ago it's 'Action Man - Invisible Weapons of Mass Destruction' model failed to convince anyone, and a talking Action Man that said 'You're going straight to Guantanamo Bay' and 'Wow, these torture scenes will look great on You Tube' proved controversial. 'Extraordinary Rendition' Action Man has been put on hold and there are no plans to introduce a waterboarding G.I. Joe, although that may change if the US Olympic Committee succeed in their bid to have waterboarding included as a sport for the 2012 Olympics.

Fellow toy maker Mattel has also faced similar problems in its attempts to make Barbie more topical, with 'Burkha Barbie' and 'Suicide Bomber Barbie' both selling very few units.