The hypocrisy of trade union leaders
GK Chesterton remarked upon the parallels between Christian and Socialist collectivism which both arose from compassion for the unfortunate and from the belief that evil in society emanates from the incessant accumulation of riches.
But that was another age.
Now, trade union leaders are content to receive salary increases of up to 20 per cent while many of their members are having their wages cut, frozen or while they are being made redundant.
The largest rise reportedly went to Tony Woodley, the joint general secretary of Unite, whose salary increases from £88,359 to £105,761. Derek Simpson, Unite's joint general secretary, received a salary of £97,027 – up 4 per cent on the previous year – along with housing benefit of £38,340 and £24,480 toward his chauffeur-driven car.
Billy Hayes, leader of the Communication Workers Union – responsible for the recent postal strikes – has received a 5 per cent pay rise to £88,438.
Bob Crow, the militant leader of the RMT rail union, saw his pay and benefits rise by 8 per cent to £91,646 in 2008. He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I don't really know if my pay rise was inflation busting.’
Well, Mr Crow, your ignorance is alarming. Your members ought to be profoundly concerned that they are being led not only by an egotistical bully, but by an hypocrite or an ignorant moron.
One might have hoped that those who preach social justice, equality and fraternity might lead by example and forego such obscene salary increases during a time of economic recession and hardship – if only out of seeming compassion.