Tuesday, 25 May 2010

BA talks ruined by Left-wing mob's invasion after union boss puts running commentary on Twitter

By Christopher Leake and Jason Lewis
Last updated at 6:52 AM on 23rd May 2010

Talks aimed at averting tomorrow’s strike by British Airways cabin crew were dramatically abandoned last night when far-Left activists invaded the meeting.
The extraordinary invasion by up to 200 hard-liners came after a union boss posted details from inside the meeting on the Twitter website.
Police were called after the angry mob entered the headquarters of the conciliation service Acas, on the 23rd floor of the Euston Tower in Central London, pushing open a door and shouting ‘Kill Willie, Get Willie’ at BA chief executive Willie Walsh.
Shocked: BA CEO Willie Walsh on the phone while being surrounded 
by protesters
Shocked: BA's Willie Walsh on the phone while being surrounded by protesters
Making their point: The mob inside Acas's HQ shouted abuse at Mr 
Making their point: The mob inside Acas's HQ shouted abuse at Mr Walsh
Last night, the airline said that throughout the talks, Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, had been tweeting details from his BlackBerry.
A senior BA spokesman said: ‘This is why we cannot negotiate with this dysfunctional union.
'It is absolutely irresponsible and disgraceful that Mr Simpson should provide a running commentary of such sensitive negotiations when we are trying to keep our national flag-carrier in the air.
'By tweeting details of these talks, Derek Simpson is guilty of a breach of trust.
‘We have been trying to save the holidays of tens of thousands of our customers and secure the jobs of thousands of our staff.
'This ugly event has now put this all at risk. Due to the action of scores of demonstrators who stormed the talks, police have had to restore law and order at the Acas building and talks have come to a stop.’
BA said Mr Walsh was not injured during the extraordinary scenes.
High drama: Joint General Secretaries of the Unite Union, Tony 
Woodley (centre) and Derel Simpson (behind him, right) talk to the 
Socialist Workers' Party protesters
Drama: Joint General Secretaries of the Unite Union, Tony Woodley (centre) and Derek Simpson (behind him, right) talk to the Socialist Workers' Party protesters
All smiles: Union boss Derek Simpson, who tweeted via his 
Blackberry phone during the talks, outside the Acas offices yesterday 
after the meeting was abandoned
All smiles: Mr Simpson, who tweeted via his Blackberry phone during the talks, outside the London offices yesterday after the meeting had to be abandoned
Mr Simpson and Unite’s other joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, looked angry when they left the headquarters of Acas – the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – after police had cleared away the demonstrators.
They insisted the protest had nothing to do with the union, and a Unite spokesman said the union was ready to resume talks at any time.
After breaking up the talks, the protesters, carrying placards from the Trotskyist Socialist Workers’ Party, staged a sit-in.
Mr Walsh appeared shocked at the protest as he was surrounded by 30 men and women pointing and screaming at him before he left the building, escorted by police.
He called a colleague from the chaotic scene, saying: ‘The talks have been invaded by a rabble. We can’t carry on. I’m out of here.’
Mr Simpson, 64, tweeted several messages from inside the Acas meeting. One entry read: ‘Talks still ongoing . . . Still hard going and progress hard won.’
Another said: ‘Willie and Tony locking horns over accusations of unequal treatment of allegations of bullying.’
Mr Simpson added: ‘Willie claims he is misquoted on websites.’
About one hour before the Left-wing invasion, Mr Simpson tweeted: ‘Arguments over 8 sacked workers’ and: ‘Fear of more sackings to come.’
Derek Simpson Twitter page
Damning indictment: Derek Simpson's running commentary on Twitter website
Just before the meeting was scrapped, his tweet revealed: ‘Intruders from left political group has [sic] infiltrated Acas building and disrupted talks . . . Police called . . . Much noise and stamping.’
Some of the protesters are believed to have been attending a ‘Right to Work’ conference at the Friends Meeting House nearby before deciding to picket the talks.
One activist, a member of the civil service union PCS calling himself ‘Civil Unrest’, posted a message to Twitter saying: ‘Just occupied Acas reception. Willy [sic] Walsh from BA in here. Pass it on.’
He had previously tweeted messages from the conference, where BA strikers received a standing ovation. He wrote: ‘“Dave” from
BA strike gave the real story behind the Press attacks.’
It was not known if the Acas talks will resume today, but it appeared last night to be too late to stop the planned five-day walkout due to start tomorrow.
Despite the action, BA plans to fly 60,000 customers a day out of Heathrow. It claims it will take passengers on 290 of the 550 services it normally flies from the airport.
But the beleaguered airline – which announced record losses of £531million last week – is being forced to cancel 60 long-haul flights and 200 short-haul ones each day during the walkouts. Gatwick and London City airports are unaffected.
Mr Walsh has drafted in non-union cabin crew, ground staff and off-duty pilots in order to fly up to 70 per cent of passengers.
Angry: The Trotskyist protesters screamed insults at British 
Airways bosses
Angry: The Trotskyist protesters screamed insults at British Airways bosses
BA said it was confident many cabin crew would cross picket lines to work in defiance of union bosses. The walkouts – to be followed by two more from May 30 to June 3 and from June 5 to June 9 – will cost the airline an estimated £100million.
The strikes are likely to disrupt the flights of thousands of families planning half-term holidays next week, because aircraft will be stranded abroad after the first wave of industrial action. The action may also disrupt the flights of football fans flying to the World Cup in South Africa.
Before the Acas talks began yesterday afternoon, Mr Walsh had upped the stakes in the increasingly bitter 15-month dispute by challenging Mr Woodley and Mr Simpson to ‘show leadership’ and challenge the authority of strike leader Duncan Holley.
Left-winger Mr Holley has continued as branch secretary of the 12,000-strong British Airline Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA) – part of Unite – despite being sacked by BA earlier this month for refusing to work for five days last Christmas. Mr Holley, a cabin steward, claimed he needed the time off to prepare for a strike ballot in January.
A senior BA source said last night: ‘Duncan Holley no longer has access to BA premises and is no longer an employee. Yet, he still claims to represent cabin crew.
‘Mr Woodley and Mr Simpson should show leadership and have the guts to override this renegade shop steward to secure a deal for their members.’
When 54-year-old Mr Holley was sacked, it was revealed he had worked only 20 hours as a cabin steward during the previous 18 months. The rest of the time, he had been allowed ‘facility time’ to work for the union.
Backing: Mr Simpson with celebrating cabin crew after the High 
Court on Thursday overturned an earlier decision stating that planned 
industrial action was unlawful
Backing: Mr Simpson with celebrating cabin crew last week after the High Court overturned an earlier decision stating that planned industrial action was unlawful
He is said to have earned more than the £120,000 salary paid to Mr Woodley, because he was allowed to keep a percentage of his members’ subscriptions, as well as his £42,000-a-year BA wages.
Mr Woodley said BA was wrong to blame BASSA for the deadlock.
He said he had urged his members to reject BA’s latest offer on staffing and work practices because of the company’s ‘petty, vindictive attitude’.
The main sticking point between the two sides is BA’s decision to strip 2,000 cabin crew who went on strike last month of lucrative travel perks which allow them and their families to have free and cut-price flights. Unite wants the perk reinstated before it calls off the next wave of strikes.
Scotland Yard said last night that its officers were called to Euston Tower after reports of an ‘impromptu demonstration’.
A police spokesman said: ‘The incident occurred around 6pm. There were no arrests, but we left some officers at the scene.’

Frighteningly radical, set on violence - what MI5 said about Labour boss's old comrades   
Secret security service files reveal militant past of new General Secretary
(from the archives. published Mail on Sunday 2 September 2001)

THE NEW General Secretary of the Labour Party was named by the security services as a Communist firebrand and actively supported a series of student riots, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

Secret documents reveal how David Triesman - now a respected trade union negotiator and a millionaire through inherited investment and property businesses - was regarded as a leading figure in a 'potentially revolutionary movement' at the height of the Cold War.

The young activist advocated violence as a legitimate tactic for protesters, preached social upheaval and said there was no ideological difference between the Labour and Conservative parties. Yet tomorrow, he will take up a key role in Tony Blair's New Labour, with special responsibility for the party's grassroots and conferences.

His domestic arrangements have also changed since his student days. Mr Triesman lives alone in a four-storey, £750,000 house bought ten years ago by a Liechtenstein trust run by a man who managed the secretive offshore investments of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell.

The radical past of David Maxim Triesman, now 57, is disclosed in security service reports which were prepared for the Cabinet and have been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

They were commissioned in 1968, as students fought with the police outside the US Embassy in London and at university campuses across Britain.

The security services were asked to identify ringleaders and investigate whether the riots were 'organised, directed or financed' by 'international Communism'. Mr Triesman was identified as being part of a 'revolutionary element . . . associated with the Radical Student Alliance' (RSA).

He was one of the leaders of the RSA and helped lead protests against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He also led demonstrations at Essex University, where he was a student.

The report says: 'Leading members of the RSA have been concerned in the organisation of most of the recent protest demonstrations at British universities, notably David Adelstein at the LSE and David Triesman at Essex.' During the height of the trouble, Mr Triesman said: 'We are going to demonstrate . . . we cannot preclude, sometimes, the possibility of violence.

'To say that one is opposed to violence is as absurd as to say that one is opposed to sleep.' The Government report quotes German revolutionaries as saying that the RSA were 'frighteningly radical, badly lacking in theory, but dead set on violence . . . the militants look for revolution as an aim in itself'.

The security services identified a number of links between the RSA and radical groups behind student riots across Europe. The report viewed the RSA as 'dangerous' and 'a serious Communist threat to the Government'.

The then head of the National Union of Students, Geoffrey Martin, later the most senior European Union official in Britain, claimed to have evidence that the protests were funded by a Communist group based in Prague. Mr Triesman called the charge 'scandalously misleading'.

As a radical student leader, David Triesman had no time for mainstream political parties. He wrote: 'In this country, we are faced with two immense, all-but-identical monoliths. They are different in name, but not in nature - the Labour and the Conservative parties. Both come as attractively packaged as the admen can though the Labour Party, Mr Triesman said the trust was set up by his father. He added: 'I have lived there [in the house] for ten years and have at no time had any contact with Mr Frick.' Mr Triesman is involved in several companies started by his father, advertising manager and wartime aircraft inspector Michael, who died in 1991, and his mother Rita, who died in 1986.

These firms include an investment company, Maypar and Co, which generated more than £100,000 profits last year, and a property firm, Mortgage Credits Limited, which owns two factories in Finsbury Park, North London, where similar premises are being turned into luxury flats selling for a total of £4 million.

Yesterday, Mr Triesman said he had resigned as a director of the firms last month, but company records suggest he and his sister, theatre director Susan, still own the businesses.

After leaving university, Mr Triesman continued, for a time, as an outspoken radical. He was on the editorial board of a short-lived Leftwing newspaper, 7 Days, and worked at the Institute of Psychiatry's Addiction Research Unit as well as teaching Marxist sociology at London University.

It is as a trade union official that his views appear to have mellowed. He became deputy general secretary of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in 1984, and general secretary of the Association of University Teachers in 1993.

Unexpectedly, considering his past, he earned a reputation as one of the most moderate of the modern union officials.

A surprise choice as General Secretary of the Labour Party, he was recruited by his close friend, party chairman Charles Clarke, and will arrive at Labour's Millbank headquarters with the task of helping the party get its finances in order after the expense of a second victorious election campaign.

His Labour Party biography says that he was a youth footballer for Tottenham Hotspur. However, the club's official archivist can find no trace of Mr Triesman in its records.

Last night, Mr Triesman said he was unaware of the existence of the Government files on him. He said: 'I have never seen any files and am not aware what they contain.'

Police keep secret files on 1,900 protesters

By Jason Lewis
Last updated at 10:40 PM on 22nd May 2010

The police are keeping secret intelligence files and photographs of nearly 1,900 so-called domestic extremists, it can be revealed.
Details of the intelligence and pictures gathered at marches and other demonstrations comes as the new Government questions whether civil liberties and the right to peaceful protest have been eroded by New Labour’s extension of police and anti-terrorist legislation.
The information has been built up by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Britain’s most powerful national policing body, whose future is in doubt after it was revealed that it was being run as a private company.
The police are keeping secret intelligence files and photographs gathered at marches and other demonstrations, it has emerged (file photo)
After taking over MI5’s covert role watching groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, trade union activists and Left-wing journalists six years ago, ACPO’s National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE) has now given a detailed description of its work for the first time.
It says it is targeting domestic extremism ‘most commonly associated with “single-issue” protests, such as animal rights, environmentalism, anti-globalisation or anti-GM crops’.
It is also combating ‘crime and public disorder linked to extreme Left or Right-wing political campaigns’.
The details of the NCDE’s role have been posted on ACPO’s website. It states: ‘Clearly, the majority of people involved in animal rights, environmentalism and other campaigns are peaceful protesters and never considered “extremist’’.
The term only applies to individuals or groups whose activities go outside the normal democratic process and engage in crime and disorder in order to further their campaign.’
It says those targeted are behind public disorder offences, malicious letters and emails, blackmail, product contamination, damage to property and the use of improvised explosive devices.
The £9million-a-year unit, which has a staff of 100 including around 70 police, holds photos and other background details on 1,822 individuals.
It says: ‘Considering this is a national database...this is a very small number of people.’
Most files and photographs are ‘only retained for a short period’, although some are held for ‘several years’.
The information comes from police forces and is collated from other sources, including the media, to build up a picture of ‘extremist’ activity.
The unit, headed by Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, denies allegations that it is stifling lawful protest.
It says: ‘Thousands of people take part in protests across the country each year and NCDE fully supports people’s rights to democratically express their views on issues they feel strongly about.’

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Outrage at secret probe into 47,000 innocent flyers

By Jason Lewis
Last updated at 7:22 AM on 16th May 2010

Police secretly investigated the travel habits, family, friends and backgrounds of 47,000 innocent people last year after they bought plane tickets to fly into and out of Britain.
The intrusiveness has provoked fury among civil liberties campaigners and now may be stopped by Britain’s new coalition Government.
The flyers were singled out by the ‘terrorist detector’ database, introduced by Labour, monitoring millions of British tourists and other travellers.
Checks included scrutiny of the police national computer, financial records and analysis of ‘known associates’ before people were cleared for travel.
Police secretly investigated the travel habits of 47,000 innocent people last year
Yet it is understood the £1.2billion system has never led to the arrest of a terrorist – and police now use it to target ‘sex offenders and football hooligans’.
Police have also used it to produce 14,000 intelligence reports on travellers for ‘future use’. They can be shared by security services worldwide.
‘Suspect’ requests likely to lead to innocent holidaymakers receiving ‘red flags’ as potential terrorists include ordering a vegetarian meal, asking for an over-wing seat and travelling with a foreign-born husband or wife.
The system will also ‘red flag’ anyone buying a one-way ticket and making a last-minute reservation and those with a history of booking tickets and not showing up for flights.
A history of travel to the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iran will also trigger an alarm. The new figures, produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers, cover the ten months to this February.
Police arrested 2,000 people – out of a total of 48,682 investigated – after they were flagged up by the computer system.
It is tied into airlines’ ticketing networks and makes judgments about travel habits and friends and family to decide if passengers are a security risk.
All information passengers give to travel agents, including home address, phone numbers, email address, passport details and the names of family members, is shared with an unknown number of Government agencies for ‘analysis’ and stored for up to ten years.
The Home Office claims the system has led to arrests of murderers and rapists – and to 1,000 people being denied entry to Britain.
But it refused to say if any terrorists had been caught by the system, despite it being a counter-terrorist measure.
Even as the ‘profiling’ system went live, its reliability was being called into question. An internal Home Office document revealed that during testing one ‘potential suspect’ turned out to be an airline passenger with a spinal injury flying into Britain with his nurse.
Last night a police source said the e-borders system was proving an invaluable tool to covertly track terrorists and their associates and had also led to large numbers of serious criminals being brought to justice.
The highly-placed source acknowledged that because travel data was being examined on an ‘industrial scale’, ‘mistakes were made’ but said the system was designed to minimise intrusion into innocent lives.