Did Unite buy the silence of the blacklist support group and Guney Clark Ryan in respect of the High Court claim by providing third party funding?
It's a very simple question and one which I've been trying to raise privately with Sean Curran of GCR and Hugh Tomlinson of Matrix for some time now but they've never returned my calls or responded to the messages I've left.
I quite happily met with Liam Dunne from GCR in April 2012 and spent a few hours answering his questions on the blacklisting for the High Court claim. I've also provided ongoing information and potential evidence to GCR since 2010, but when I now attempt to raise a single question with them following evidence that comes into my possession, they don't even return my calls.
They have now issued a legal threat toward me for raising this question which I'll deal with later in this post, but for now, let's look at the facts and evidence.
1. Unite buried my evidence as far back as 2005.
2. This deliberate inaction prolonged the start of 'the end of the blacklisting' by some six or seven years (with the commencement of the select committee inquiry), which would most probably still be going on had David Clancy from the ICO not acted on my evidence in August 2008.
Hold on to this thought. If David Clancy from the ICO had not acted on my evidence in 2008, we would most probably have no GCR High Court claim and no select committee inquiry.
Covert blacklisting would most probably still be prevalent in the UK Construction Industry, as very senior Unite officials who were in possession of all my evidence (no more or less evidence than David Clancy used to locate and expose the Consulting Association back in August 2008) as far back as 2005 did absolutely nothing with it.
3. Senior members of the 'blacklist support group' have publicly broadcast and privately stated to me on many occasions that they have evidence of trade union officials contributing to their consulting association blacklist files. These people like Steve Acheson are key witnesses and claimants in the Guney Clark Ryan High Court claim.
4. An ex-employee of Unite and current senior labour manager in the construction industry has stated that Micky Tuff from Unite was instructed to cover up my blacklisting evidence back in 2005 and that the unions are currently "the only people hell bent on telling us who we should and shouldn't employ". He names ex Unite National Officer, Tom Hardacre as the "Spark's Nemesis" and "the worst for blacklist activity".
5. I was informed by Liam Dunne from Guney Clark Ryan in our meeting in Chester in April 2012 that the evidence against Unite was so concerning that GCR were considering a separate legal claim against the union.
These facts are all supported with evidence all over this website and have never been contested by Unite, the blacklist support group, Guney Clark Ryan or any other party.
So we have all this evidence and dialogue regarding Unite's complicity in the blacklisting, then, all of a sudden, around mid 2012, it all goes quiet. The key members of the blacklist support group suddenly stop broadcasting about the complicity of the trade unions in the blacklisting. Not a peep. From any of them.
Well any of them apart from Michael Dooley who continued to bombard the blacklist support group facebook page with allegation after allegation for months and months until all of a sudden, on 17 May this year, he too posts his very last post.
I spoke to Michael last week, who for the uninformed lost the Ucatt leadership election to Alan Richie in 2009 by 4,500 votes to 6,700. Michael informed me that he had now reached a settlement with Ucatt. So not a peep from him anymore now.
Blacklist Support Group Email - 21 Nov 2011
So in addition to the facts published on this website, let's look at more of the evidence that prompted this very simple question to Guney Clark Ryan.
On 21 November 2011, Dave Smith from the blacklist support group circulated the following email to a selection of people.
BSG EMAIL - 21 NOV 2011 (Pg1)
BSG EMAIL - 21 NOV 2011 (Pg2)
BSG EMAIL - 21 NOV 2011 (Pg3)
You can see from the subject line on page 1 that the email has been sent to Liam Dunne and Sean Curran of Guney Clark Ryan for their approval.
The email opens on page 1 with the following statement:
"Steve and Dave from the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) had a meeting with John Townsend & Liam Dunne from Guney Clark and Ryan about the High Court claim last Friday. Here is an update."
Last Friday would be 18 November 2011.
The following statement is made in point 6 on page 2 of the email:
"Role of Unite"
"At the BSG AGM, Gail Cartmail and Howard Beckett from UNITE pledged to support the High Court claim. The level of involvement by UNITE will have to be determined but there is a legal duty upon the solicitors GCR to discuss with UNITE. A possible outcome would be for UNITE to become a 'third party" funder of the claim. This would mean that UNITE could fund aspects of the litigation process (such as time consuming document searches etc..) but GCR would remain working for us as individual clients. We would remain the client and GCR would continue to take instructions from their clients ie: us. This option would also mean that UNITE would not be liable for potential court costs from the blacklisting firms if the High Court claim was unsuccessful."
In the final paragraph on page 3 we read:
"We support the option of UNITE (and hopefully UCATT as well) providing "third party" funding which will greatly speed up the process and would allow the unions to be party to discussions (and can therefore rightly claim that they are supporting their members in the High Court) but the client who has the final say in giving instructions to GCR remain the blacklisted workers themselves."
Blacklist Support Group - AGM - 2011
Now the blacklist support group email of 21 November 2011 refers to the blacklist support group AGM which took place on 29 October 2011.
The following email is from from the blacklist support group dated 3 October 2011 announcing the proposed agenda for the AGM and is 'blind copied' to me.
BSG - AGM 2011
If you study points 3 and 7 you'll see the following:
"3. High Court claim - a representative of the Guney Clark Ryan legal team will be in attendance."
"7. What are the official unions doing? - UNITE - UCATT - RMT
This bit will be where the collusion issue will be discussed."
Guney Clark Ryan Legal Threat - 10 Sept 2013
Over the last eight years I've simply sought to expose the blacklisting of construction workers and get to the truth in what happened to me and over 3,200 other workers. This has not been easy and has cost me at least sixty thousand pounds.
I'm pretty sure I'm the only blacklisted worker who has turned down an offer of twenty thousand pounds to quietly back down and walk away.
I don't have the unlimited financial and legal resources the construction companies and trade unions have. I don't have the political advisers or mainstream press support the politicians have, and nor do I have the benefit of or can afford any legal support.
I just have me and this website and all I can do is ask questions of and post the evidence in my possession to try to help myself and the other three thousand or so construction workers who are currently either not privileged to be represented by GCR or the GMB or do not yet know that a blacklist file in their name exists.
So after trying to ask Guney Clark Ryan, a company who I've done nothing other than help over the last few years, the simple question I've attempted to ask on numerous occasions over the last few months, I get the following threatening letter following an email to them yesterday, again asking the very same simple question.
Did Unite buy the silence of the blacklist support
group and Guney Clark Ryan in respect of the High Court claim by
providing third party funding?
GCR's letter dated 10 September 2013 to me can be viewed here:
GCR LETTER - 10 SEPT 2013
In this they state the following:
"We can categorically state in open correspondence that neither the UNITE union nor any other union for that matter has provided any third party funding or any insurance in respect of the High Court claim that is currently being brought by this firm."
Now that's fine and I'm happy to publish this as requested, but then they go on to threaten legal action, stating that my comments in their view amount to libel. They demand removal of the 'Coming Soon' post and an apology within 24 hours and threaten an application in the High Court of which they will seek to recover costs from me. They go on to threaten further legal action and threats of more costs etc, etc, etc.
Dear, oh dear, oh dear...
Guney Clark Ryan threatening a blacklisted worker with legal action and costs for, based on the evidence now published on this website, attempting to ask them a very simple and legitimate question.
As previously mentioned, there would most probably be no Guney Clark Ryan High Court claim or select committee inquiry without my ongoing efforts, sacrifices, website posts and evidence over the last seven or eight years and blacklisting would still most probably be prevalent in the UK construction industry.
I can categorically confirm that I have never had any intention to damage the reputation of Guney Clark Ryan or any of the solicitors who have worked on the case and have simply tried to engage with them on the evidence now published that demonstrates that third party funding by Unite was proposed, discussed and considered.
So my message to Guney Clark Ryan in response to their legal threat is "please do now wind your neck in and let me get on with trying to help myself and the many other blacklisted workers who are not privileged to be part of your High Court claim".
And maybe next time, please also just have the simple courtesy to pick up the phone and return my calls. It's not rocket science...
We're on the same side.
The High Court Claim
To the best of my knowledge, only approximately 400 people from the 3,200 known blacklist files actually know they have a file.
Again, to the best of my knowledge, Guney Clark Ryan are only representing a selection of these (say 100) and the GMB union are representing approximately the same.
So who is representing the other 200 people, who like myself are most probably gasping for air as they drown or have drowned in the financial and emotional debt caused by the backlisting?
The answer is most probably no one!
On the subject of legal threats, the question still needs to be asked as to why key founder members of the blacklist support group, all who have been very vocal about the complicity of senior trade union officials in the blacklisting have suddenly gone quiet on this.
Were they making it up? Were they telling lies?
One reason could be that these very vocal blacklisted workers have been silenced with legal threats.
The following two pages are extracts from the blacklist support group Facebook page.
The first is a link to the Steve Acheson Defence Campaign' from April 2013 which is currently calling for donations, stating that Steve is in serious debt (to the tune of some 25,000 pounds) and about to lose his home. In this, Michael Dooley comments: "UCATT have threatened to sue Steve in the High Court unless he pays money and stops saying things about ucatt. Denis Doody is on the UCATT Executive Committee and wants people to stop criticizing UCATT."
DOOLEY - FACEBOOK (Pg1)
The second details an extract from a lengthy conversation in which Dooley asks Denis Doody why his union, Ucatt have instructed OH Parsons to demand money from Steve otherwise he will be sued in the High Court.
DOOLEY - FACEBOOK (Pg2)
Dooley and Acheson are founder members of the blacklist support group and very close. The conversation is there to view in full on Facebook. Well I say in full. It does appears to have been censored.
Blacklist Support Group - Facebook Censorship
At 07:03 am this morning, a link to this website was posted on the BSG Facebook page. A screenshot of this can be seen via the following link:
BSG FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP
An hour or so later, after a few posts from Dave Smith and 'Hey Presto', it's gone. Disappeared. Just like magic...
It was then posted again a couple of hours later with slightly different wording and again... Disappeared. Just like magic...
One More Thing
On the role of the trade unions in the blacklisting:
THERE'S AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM