Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Further disappointment for enemies of our Union Brotherhood

'Lancaster Unity' took great delight in pushing the vexatious complaints of Clive Potter and his gang of agents and dupes against the Solidarity Trade Union. They also republished a story by Fiona Hamilton from the Times newspaper hyping Potter and his gang and predicting doom and gloom for our Union. Curious readers of their Blog would have found no follow-up reporting the outcome of the much heralded hearing at the Certification Office, however. Why was that?

Well things didn't turn out as expected for Potter, Searchlight and 'Lancaster Unity'. In fact the position of our Union was vindicated and the complaints dismissed. You can read the full judgement here.

Nor did they report the rejection of the appeal by agents/dupes Potter, McLinden and Mullen. On 5 November 2009 a notice was sent to Potter and to the Union. It stated:-

"The appeal has been referred to his Honour Judge Peter Clark in accordance with Rule 3(7) of the Employment Appeal Tribunal Rules 2004 (as amended) and in his opinion your Notice of Appeal discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing the appeal. He states:-

I can find no arguable point of law raised in the appeal. The basis of appeal is that the Complainants are unhappy with the Certification Officers' decision.

For the above reasons the learned judge considers that this Appeal has no reasonable prospect of sucess and that, in accordance with Rule 3(7), no further action will be taken on it."

The silence of 'Lancaster Unity' again speaks volumes.
Our Union will now be conducting a detailed study of this attempt to disrupt our good work. In particular the special unit which we have established will be asked to study the background and motivation of those involved and whether they have committed criminal and/or civil offences which are actionable.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Disappointment for enemies of our Union Brotherhood

On December 04, 2008 the misnamed 'Lancaster Unity' site published a report on the investigation of the Certification Office into the financial affairs of the Solidarity Trade Union. This was entitled 'An Inspector calls' (how original, see my previous report of the same title!). The investigation was a result of complaints made by 'Lancaster Unity', Searchlight and a disgruntled former official, Clive Potter.

It is worth taking a look at their partisan and inaccurate account. It is important to understand the mind-set of those who are paid to attack those seeking to provide an alternative to the established Unions.

LU refer to the "fake fascist Solidarity 'trade union'." Let's consider this.

Why 'fake? Solidarity represents members at disciplinary and grievance hearings. It represents them before professional bodies. It represents them in tribunal proceedings. As a percentage a higher number of our membership call on our help than most establishment Unions. A number of cases involve political discrimination but most are bread and butter Union issues.
Why 'fascist'? Solidarity recruits from all political persuasions and none. It has not barred anyone on political grounds. We refuse to discriminate in this way. The function of a Trade Union is to represent workers in disputes with the bosses. There is simply no justification for this smear but it is typical of the Stalinist tactics pursued by Lancaster Unity. In fact by misapplying the term they both devalue it and discredit themselves.

LU go on:

"It is a matter of record that the BNP was obliged to hijack its own front-group from its founders to save the skin of Patrick Harrington and to keep it on a course favoured by the BNP, which led to the simultaneous existence of two Solidarity's - the legally constituted version led by Clive Potter and Tim Hawke, and the BNP-dominated hijacked version, led by Adam Walker and Patrick Harrington."

Well no, it's not a matter of record. Our members decide who run Solidarity, not the BNP, LU or anyone else. They have made their views clear at General Meetings and in elections. Those who joined the Union early ('founders' as both Mr Potter and LU like to call them) have no more rights than any other member. I note that during the first year of the Union very little was done. I note also that the Constitution was very badly drafted and has had to have substantial revision.
There have never been "two Solidarity's" outside the imagination of those who write for LU. It is interesting to note that LU are backing Potter and Hawke and declaring them to be the "legally constituted version".

For there to be two Solidarity's there would have to be two organisations meeting the legal requirements imposed on Trade Unions. There is and only ever has been one. Only we have submitted accounts to the CO. Only we have held elections (as required by law). Only we held an Annual Conference. Hawke has lost interest and gone to infiltrate the Steadfast Trust instead. Potter sends ranting letters to the CO still but he is a busted flush. Solidarity is firmly under the control of its elected Executive and it will stay that way. The traitors, agents and their dupes have failed and the members with a united and determined leadership have won.

Speaking of the vexatious and unfounded complaints against Solidarity LU state:-
"It was only in May of this year that the trade union Certification Office took up numerous complaints regarding irregularities in the financial affairs of Solidarity, all of them lodged by Clive Potter, Tim Hawke and Bill McLinden, with additional material supplied by Lancaster Unity and Searchlight - neither of which organisations, I must emphasise, has been in contact with, or has in any way supported Messrs Potter, Hawke and McLinden."

Not supported them or been in contact? Yeah, right.

LU then turn to making ill-informed comments about aspects of the report:-

"The inspector's looming visit to Edinburgh seems to have galvanised Patrick Harrington, since, being unable to provide an original receipt for £39 in printing expenses, he apparently did have a copy of the same "certified as an authentic copy by an Edinburgh solicitor". Since it is highly unlikely that the Edinburgh solicitor was present when Harrington came into possession of the original (and we are assuming there ever was an original) and also present when it was copied by whatever means, we can only presume that Harrington took himself off to this solicitor, copied receipt in hand, and swore to its authenticity."

In fact a certified copy is not a copy of a copy but a copy of the original. The solicitor takes a copy of the original and certifies that they have seen it. Their presumption is therefore quite wrong.
The CO asked for copies of the original receipts to be mailed to them, Solidarity took the original receipts to a solicitor who made a copy and certified them so that union could retain the original receipts, and the CO could have certified copies for their investigation. An original receipt was later mislaid, but because certified copies of all original receipts had been supplied to the CO, there was a second copy.

LU have clearly read the sections of the report relating to PayPal transactions. I was able to show that money from PayPal had been transferred to Union bank accounts or used to pay legitimate Union expenses (such as web hosting). Mr Walker, acting for the CO, notes that Mr Potter accused me of personal fraud. He found no evidence to substantiate this serious accusation. I was cleared by an independent investigation. You might expect Mr Potter to apologise and beg forgiveness but he continues his attacks on the Brotherhood. A very unwise course he may yet find.

"Section 21 deals with Potter's allegation that Harrington made two unauthorised withdrawals from Solidarity's HSBC account, and one unauthorised transfer from its HSBC Business Money Manager Account into its HSBC community account in September 2007."

I was able to show that these withdrawals were authorised by the Solidarity Executive chosen at the Special Meeting of the membership. The money withdrawn was transferred to a new Union bank account and used to pay the accountant. This was all proved to the satisfaction of the CO. All of my actions were undertaken to ensure that the Union was able to continue to provide services to its members and carry out normal activities despite the attempts of traitors, agents and their dupes to disrupt that work.

LU then go through the section of the report concerning claims that cheque payments were not authorised. It is not common practice in most organisations for every day-to-day expense to be approved. In the Union at the time only expenditure over £200 required such authorisation. Clearly the small amounts of money expended fell well below that level. They were not cheques written to me personally but to members of the Union for legitimate expenses.

"The second payment was in respect of expenses claimed by a Solidarity member who had travelled to London from Swansea for the Union's AGM. He had not been able to find the Solidarity steward redirecting members to the AGM location and had been very angry about his wasted journey. Mr Harrington stated that he and Mr Potter had agreed to pay the rail and tube fares and subsistence as a gesture of good will. Mr Potter does not dispute that he agreed that this payment be made. He alleges however, that it was paid in cash out of a cash donation made to Solidarity at the AGM. Mr Harrington denies this."

Potter did make such an allegation. There are two obvious points. How would I have paid the member from Swansea on the day of the AGM as he never met up with us (that was why we were paying him!). Also I was in the company of a members from around 7am in the morning to around 12 midnight. It was a very busy day. I could get the member concerned to swear an affidavit as to the payment if need be and I can subpoena the bank for the cheque. Once again those seeking to make false allegations against me never had any prospect of success. The CO were satisfied that there was no wrong-doing.

LU then raise regular payments made for expenses.

"Most curiously of all, Harrington was paid £75 per month in expenses, but not - as you would suppose - into an account in his own name. For his own mysterious reasons Harrington had the expenses paid into an account in the name of P.A. Sharp, his briefly famous ex-wife. This does not seem to us to accord with the behaviour of real general secretaries of real trade unions. Why, and from whom, did Harrington wish to obscure the fact that he was in receipt of £75 in expenses each month? Is this still his regular practice?"

There were three payments of £75 paid into my account for transfer into petty cash for expenses. All is recorded and backed by receipts in Union accounts. Note I say that the money was put into my account for transfer. P A Sharp stands for Patrick Antony. Sharp was my married name. I pay my union subs from the same account. The accusation that I wished to "obscure the fact that he was in receipt of £75 of expenses" is false. I received no income as such but simply facilitated a transfer of funds. It is not 'curious' at all that we use petty cash. Most organisations do.

LU spend some time attacking the Union PR firm Accentuate. They speculate as to whether the CO thinks that Accentuate provide good value for money in their work for the Union. Accentuate provide regular reports to the Executive. Additionally, Union members were provided with a report and the opportunity to ask questions of Graham Williamson of Accentuate at our last Annual Conference.

Our Union prefers to engage those sympathetic to the aims of the Union and whose background we know well. This is not 'corruption' in any standard definition of the term. It is pragmatic and responsible.

The Executive and membership of Solidarity are currently very happy with the work provided. As long as that remains the case the firm will continue to be engaged by us.

LU turn: to the appointment of auditors in 2006:-

"In the matter of Solidarity's 2006 accounts, Clive Potter made the incontrovertible allegation that Harrington (strangely, for a supposed trade union general secretary) breached the union's Rule 15 in the appointment of "close friends and political allies", Messrs Lindley and Smith, as auditors."

Mr Potter complained that the Auditors had not been appointed by the Executive. At the same time he maintained that at no time did the Executive vote or express a view on the subject. Odd, given that Mr Potter and Mr Hawke would both have been aware of the need to arrange Auditors. This oddity is explained by the fact that their account is entirely mendacious. I was asked to arrange Auditors and I did. It only became an issue when Mr Potter decided to launch a Palace Coup.

Those appointed did a professional job and made no charge to the Union. I believe that those appointed were acceptable to our members. I would like to thank both Mr Lindley and Mr Smith for that work and express contempt for those who have sought to call their integrity into question here.

The allegation made by Potter (like all the others) wasn't against me but against the Union. Mr Potter never raised rule 15 of the Constitution in any email or verbally. Nor did Mr Hawke. Following collective responsiblility Mr Potter and Mr Hawke were as responsible for the oversight as I was. That Potter sought to raise complaints about it is therefore odd. The Union complied with the law, however.

The CO states "those bringing the allegations that I have investigated were more concerned with progressing [the internal] power struggle than the actual issues relating to process and compliance that I have been called upon to investigate by my terms of reference".
It is interesting to note that all of those at that time within the Union making the complaints were personal friends and supporters of Clive Potter who stood to gain if they were able to unseat myself and the legitimate Executive.

But Lancaster Unity ask:-

"Quite how that applies to information supplied independently by Lancaster Unity and Searchlight is not clear in the slightest."

I question whether the complainants have acted independently. Certainly their aims and objectives overlap in this area. LU has explicitly made statements supportive of the Traitor, dupe or agent Clive Potter many times. They are scarcely a disinterested or impartial Party.They brought similar complaints in the same period. Nor is it clear why they would have any special knowledge as to the internal workings of our Union. As such what 'evidence' could they provide and where would they have obtained it? As outsiders where could they have obtained 'evidence' from?

LU are disappointed that the Certification Office did not rule on who should run the Solidarity Union but that is certainly not part of that role. I can quite see why LU would prefer us to be run by Potter and Co. an ineffective, lacklustre and suspect leadership but Solidarity is a membership organisation. It is for the members to decide who runs it and they have made their views clear. By making complaints against Solidarity even the supporters of Potter have implicitly accepted who runs it.

LU are disappointed that they have spent so much time, alongside the embittered and twisted Potter, attacking the Union to no avail. The Certification Office investigated all allegations thoroughly and have published a comprehensive report. The key allegations made against the Union were dismissed.

Gerard Walker for the Certification Office states:-

"My overall conclusions, having investigated the individual allegations, is that I have found no evidence of personal dishonesty or systematic maladministration of members' money".

The Certification Office acted professionally and fairly during the investigation. The Union co-operated throughout and has learned valuable lessons from the process. Those interested should read the whole report rather than subjective and partisan accounts from tainted and unreliable sources.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cut & Paste merchants

Lancaster 'Unity' couldn't be bothered writing their own article about Adam Walker so they just cut and pasted from the Guardian. Please compare and contrast. They did manage to write an original caption for a picture of Adam though.

Adam is a teacher and a member of the controversial British National Party. He has been persecuted by the Labour establishment in the rotten Borough of County Durham. The latest twist in this story is that he has been reported to the General Teaching Council and charged with expressing views 'suggestive of racial and religious intolerance'. The irony of charging someone for expressing 'intolerant' views seems lost on the GTC! That is really no shock given the make-up of that body.

I am representing Adam at the GTC and I have objected to the presence on the panel of Judy Moorhouse. I think she is biased. Judging by the number who have signed the online petition I am not alone in this view.

Lancaster 'Unity' don't really say whether they support the political vetting of teachers or other fascist measures. The comments posted under the article make little or no sense and seem to revolve around various people accusing others of really being me or denying it! What a peculiar bunch they are! One begins to wonder why they bother at all as they are so half-hearted and lacking focus.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Latest Prophecy from 'The Seer of Norfolk'

Atreus, or Alan the Seer of Norfolk, has issued a new phrophecy. He wrote:-

"Another prize wuss is serial failure Patrick ("call me Pat") Harrington, the GenSec of the One Big Huge Vast Onion and fascist front group, the useless Solidarity "trade union".
Three members of the Onion are finding out exactly how useless it is after getting themselves suspended from their jobs at the Sita Suez depot in Willenhall, Staffs.
Now we don't know the ins and outs of this case, but belonging to the very useful Unite trade union as we do we've been able to find out that Unite members at Sita Suez weren't too happy that a fascist fake trade union and BNP front came in to break worker solidarity at the depot."

So doom and gloom for those members of Solidarity suspended by Sita Suez for daring to belong to an autonomous Trade Union. Fancy them breaking worker solidarity at the depot by not belonging to Unite! No wonder Unite (showing real Socialist ideals) went sneaking to the Bosses and asked them to take action! Things certainly looked bleak for our heroes. They had only the 'useless' Solidarity to defend them after all.

By some bit of luck or another, however, the Solidarity members have been reinstated without blemish on their record. Of course the legal threats, public petition, articles, phone calls, faxes and E-mails may have influenced the Sita management. The seer of Norfolk needs to polish his crystal ball clearly.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Confused, baffled, haven't got a clue? I can help!

They are a confused and disorientated, some might even say intoxicated, bunch over at 'Lancaster Unity'. their world is quite bewildering judging by a recent post.

Their minds are full of turmoil and questions:-

"Why does BNP webmaster Simon Bennett run the BNP, NLP and Third Way's websites?
Why are the Accentuate and Solidarity websites served up by BNP insider Lambertus Nieuwhof?
Why did Nick Griffin ask Graham Williamson - not a BNP member - to chair the BNP's last conference?
Why did Harrington's NLP stand against the BNP in South Hornchurch?"

I will try to help these troubled souls (though not by postcard).

Third Way runs its own websites we pay designers and for web-hosting as we need it. Third Way doesn't discriminate in the award of contracts. In fact we have an equal opportunities policy!

Lambertus Nieuwhoff is Webmaster for Solidarity and Accentuate. He does a very good job and both Accentuate and Solidarity pay him for it. He is not even a member of the BNP! Many lies have been told about 'Bep'.

Lancaster Unity claim:- "The Solidarity website is served up by Lambertus Nieuwhof's company Noisy Dinosaur, as is Accentuate. Lambertus Nieuwhof, for those who don't recognise the name, was one of a trio of men who planted a home-made bomb at the Calvary Church School (in South Africa) in protest against the school's decision to become racially mixed. When the bomb failed to go off, one of them lost his nerve, gave himself up to the police and turned in his two associates, one of which was Nieuwhof. At the end of the resulting court case he received what Searchlight rightly stated was a derisory twelve-month suspended prison sentence".

Really? Are you sure about all this my friends? I suggest you check your facts. My information is rather different. Bep is a great guy with a young family. He has started a new life in our country and is not involved in conflicts in Africa. The likes of LU and Searchlight are stalking him simply because he is a personal friend of Arthur Kemp. It is a disgrace. We have made it clear that he has spoken with us about SA and his past and we are happy with his account. End of story.

Nick Griffin didn't ask Graham Williamson to chair the BNP's last conference. Why would he? Graham is not a member of the BNP but of the National Liberal Party which stands against them in elections. The source for this is, it turns out later in the article, the North West Nationalists blog. This band of disillusioned Nazis who hate Nick Griffin is scarcely reliable! Assuming that anything they say has any foundation in fact is rather foolish. LU also state that:- "We heard recently that he was asked by Griffin to watch over Richard Barnbrook at the London Assembly, to make sure he stays out of trouble." I think you are being led up the garden path Ketlan and Denise!

The National Liberal Party did not stand in South Hornchurch. It backed the Independent candidate Michael Burton who went on to win the seat. Michael is black and the NLP supported him with activists and a statement on his election leaflet because he was the best man for the job. The NLP has a long-standing relationship with Independents in the area. NLP recruits from all ethnic and faith communities. NLP has no electoral pacts or deals with the BNP. Simple enough one would have thought so why the confusion?

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Solidarity, PayPal and Lancaster 'Unity'

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story". That phrase could have been coined for the amateur journalists at 'Lancaster Unity'. Take a look at their article on the Solidarity PayPal account. It illustrates this general point.

The Solidarity PayPal account had temporary restrictions placed on it as a result of the automatic triggering of procedures designed to prevent money-laundering. These (as any ebay seller will know) are put into place when money coming in goes above a set limit.

Yet posters on 'Lancaster Unity' sought to give a different impression:-

"Paypal have already suspended the Solidarity account because of complaints."

and from another poster:-

"Allegations of money-laundering?

Sounds like Nick Grifin is somehow involved here.

The Paypal account is not the only likely fraudulent issue with Squalidarity."

How foolish they now seem. After the submission of the required documentation the restrictions were lifted and the account is now operating as normal. Go and make an online donation to Solidarity! Solidarity collects donations and membership subscriptions using PayPal but this represents only a small fraction. Once collected the money is used to pay bills or paid over to the Union account. All PayPal transactions are electronically stored in the 'History' section and can therefore be easily audited.

The great democrats at 'Lancaster Unity' also call for people to write to a bank asking them not to provide services to the Solidarity Union. Here they begin to cross into areas covered by anti-stalking and anti-terror legislation. Solidarity will request copies of all correspondance sent to any financial institution regarding the Union. Solidarity is carefully documenting their transgressions. These kind of fascist tactics go beyond acceptable debate and those involved should know they may face civil and criminal sanction.