Lord Young – a talking example of why working people should never vote Conservative

Unrepentant: Ignorant old Tories like Lord Young cannot see anything wrong with starving workers - and, through lack of tax revenue, the benefits bill - to make fat profits for greedy business bosses. The families of all those who have died because of these policies might have a different point of view.

Unrepentant: Ignorant old Tories like Lord Young cannot see anything wrong with starving workers – and, through lack of tax revenue, the benefit budget – to make fat profits for greedy business bosses. The families of all those who have died because of these policies might have a different point of view.

Apparently we are living in an excellent time for businesses to boost their profits – because labour is cheap.

That is what Lord Young, who advises David Cameron on enterprise, told the cabinet yesterday (May 11). His words make it crystal clear that working people who vote Conservative are classic examples of turkeys voting for Christmas. They beg to be exploited.

He said low wage levels in a recession made larger financial returns easier to achieve – in other words, he actually admitted that bosses could use the current state of the UK economy, as caused by his own government (not the previous Labour administration, for reasons we’ve covered in the past), to push workers’ wages down and keep more moolah for themselves.

Vox Political has accused the Conservatives of exactly this behaviour in the past, but we never expected to see a member of the government admit it so brazenly.

Perhaps this is more of the government’s pet ‘nudge’ theory at work. We have seen that benefit increases have been lowered in order to instil fear of destitution in the jobless, and in those who have low-paid jobs. Now, businesses are being urged to capitalise on this, exploiting their workforces with the obvious threat: “There are plenty of other people out there who’ll do it for less!”

Let’s just back this up with some statistics, courtesy of The Guardian , shall we? UK employees’ average hourly earnings have fallen by 8.5 per cent, in real terms, since 2009. That’s adjusting for inflation, and the newspaper got its figure from the Office for National Statistics.

Meanwhile, the 1,000 richest people in the UK are now worth more than £414 billion – up more than £155 billion in the three years to December 2012. And in April, the Tory-led government gave those people a £100,000 per year tax cut.

Lord Young is not to be confused with Sir George Young, the Tory Chief Whip who once famously said “the homeless are what you step over when you come out of the opera” – but he is cut from the same cloth.

He had to apologise after telling the Daily Telegraph that “for the vast majority of people in the country today, they have never had it so good, ever since this recession – this so-called recession – started”.

For this reason it is easy to suggest that he would have stepped over the body of Stephanie Bottrill, had he been the first to find it.

Oh – do you think that statement goes too far? Please, reserve your judgement until I have explained my reasoning.

Like so many members of the Tory government, this is a man who absolutely point-blank refuses to understand the relationship between the decisions he makes and the conditions in which the majority of us are forced to live.

This former advisor to the Prime Minister on health and safety laws has advocated relaxing them, ignoring the fact that this will increase the likelihood of work-related injury that makes it impossible for people who need the money to go to work.

This enterprise advisor was asked to conduct a “brutal” review of the relationship of government to small firms, presumably with a view to cutting off as much public assistance for small businesses as possible.

This former chairman of the Manpower Services Commission advised the late Baroness Thatcher on unemployment, and we may take it that it is due to this advice that joblessness skyrocketed during the Thatcher years.

He refuses to see that his attitude is causing the problem: By ensuring that Britain’s labour market remains “flexible” (read “low-wage”), he ensures that the national tax take remains far lower than it should be; low-paid workers form the overwhelming majority of the workforce. In turn, the low tax take means the government cannot pay off its debts and provides it with an excuse to cut public spending – especially on benefit payments.

Stephanie Bottrill had an auto-immune system deficiency, Myasthenia gravis, which meant she was permanently weak and needed constant medication. Doctors said she was too ill to hold a job, but she never qualified for disability benefits.

She committed suicide because she could not afford the cost of living after the Bedroom Tax was forced on her, and it has been said by others that she died for want of £20 per week.

It is the attitude of Tories like Lord Young that has deprived her of that money – and ultimately, of her life.

29 thoughts on “Lord Young – a talking example of why working people should never vote Conservative

  1. Mark Nagle

    End of my tether with what is going on with OUR government. Why do they hate us so much, how did we hurt them so much??? Is this revenge or the start of end for anyone that do not care about what we love our freedom our health service our care of the old or disabled. Now I know why riot vans are being got ready in towns near you!!

    1. Keith

      They have to hate us, to demonise us, to make us less than them… otherwise they couldnt do what they so selfishly want to do: acrue more and more and more.

    2. Frank Psychosis

      Heartening to see people actually waking up to the reality that constitutes the Tory party…nothing has changed in their mindset and it never will, the same as they always were. I don’t care why they hate us any more, but they do hate us…..it will continue for as long as we compliantly let it. If enough people wake up they can’t hold us, a few thousand teenagers had them running about like headless chickens in 2011, we need weeks of it, Chipping Norton reduced to ashes

      “Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or knife and lay in wait on the steps of the palaces of the rich and stab or shoot their owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination and without pity. Let us devastate the avenues where the wealthy live” Lucy Parsons

      1. Mike Sivier

        I can’t condone acts of physical violence against anyone.

        Also I think you’re wrong to say they hate us. I don’t think they see it like that at all. A friend of mine, here in Mid Wales, had it right when he said they look at us in the same way a farmer might look at livestock. That’s what we are to them. Livestock.

        Having said that, you’re right, it must not continue. The way to do it is not to beat them at their own game, but to stop playing it altogether and construct something new, according to our own rules, that they won’t understand and therefore won’t be able to pervert.

  2. Lou Phillips (@Louise_1x)

    Just as in Thatchers era suicides are over looked as it’s a reduction in the weak minded/bodied therefore welcomed as a saving financially, for proof of this see the proposed euthanasia discussion.

  3. Glen Train

    It just shows how out of touch this this government is. They should be taken to court and done for MURDER

  4. derek flaunty

    Where do you think jobs come from ‘The jobs Fairy?’…If wages are low companies can expand & create others, they also pay more taxes which help the economy & theirt workers pay more taxes which help the economy. It amazes me sometimes how one dimensional some comments are in the persuit of political dogma!

    1. Mike Sivier

      You don’t get jobs from Tories, that’s for sure!

      Conservatives like to keep unemployment high, specifically so they can keep wages low. Look at the figures in the article – they speak for themselves. Average earnings for workers – down 8.5 per cent. Average worth of the riches – up by more than £155 billion, plus a nice little £100,000p.a. tax cut.

      Not convinced? Need a few more figures? Okay – average salary for executives in FT350 companies has risen no less than 850 per cent over the last 30 years. They’re eight and a half times what they were in 1983! Average salary for the people who, by their sweat and hard work, earned that wealth, has risen by just 27 per cent – less than inflation during the same period.

      If wages are low, workers don’t put the effort in and the product is poor. The workforce is demoralised because they believe (rightly) that they are not valued as assets of the company. They also fear for their future as the cost of living rises and they start to drift into debt. Maybe they become sick and get sacked (there aren’t any unions worth their salt who’ll stand up for such workers now) and be replaced by somebody who gets hardly any training before being thrown in at the deep end to produce a poorer product. The company starts to lose orders. It can’t afford to employ as many people so it cuts the workforce and those who remain are told to work harder. Bosses keep their pay. The company pays less in taxes, harming the economy. Eventually it might go to the wall, or be absorbed by a larger company.

      Alternatively, a firm could pay the workers a living wage. They then feel valued as a vital part of the organisation and put effort into the product. That is noticed by buyers and orders improve. The company is able to employ more people – at living wage or maybe more – and the cycle goes around again. Orders pick up further. With more people earning, the government tax take increases. That’s common sense.

      What YOU are suggesting, Derek Flaunty, is away with the fairies!

    2. HomerJS

      All business is focussed on profits, and to maximise profits they like to keep the wage bill down. They do this by paying as little as possible , but also by employing as few as possible. They will not create any extra jobs unless they absolutely have to, and having increased profits will not lead to them employing more people. If they decide to expand then yes they will likely create more jobs, but the wage paid is not the key factor. Expansion costs will come from borrowing rather than profits, and the key decision will be whether they can make more money (i.e. the demand is there) rather than how much the staff are paid.

      1. Mike Sivier

        The profit motive asserts that a firm should expand if it has the opportunity to do so and this is provided, not by borrowing, but by an increase in orders. I’m saying that this increase will come if employees are paid a decent amount rather than an ever-decreasing (in real terms, due to inflation) pittance. Happy workers produce good work. Good work means more orders. More orders means more money, allowing expansion without borrowing.

        You don’t get more demand by cutting corners (depressing wages and workforce redundancies) because you end up putting out an inferior product that nobody wants. We have seen this in industry many times. It’s a false economy.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I think part of the problem is that too many bosses think as HomerJS here suggests. They absolutely refuse to try a different plan and so doom themselves and their workforce to failure.

  5. Dr Michael White

    Thank you. I think your piece gives a good point of view, but errs on the side of generosity. These times remind me so much of the end of the Thatcher years ~ poll tax riots. Seems that politicians have great difficulty in learning from history? Greed and uncaring then manifests as stupidity … and down it goes.

    I wonder if the overall plan is to try and get people into the ‘workhouse’, which of course would now be privatised 🙂 Mike

    1. Mike Sivier

      They are relying on the bulk of the population being tranquillised by trash TV or given someone to blame, like immigrants or the disabled.

  6. sparaszczukster

    Mike, your statement about Stephanie was definitely not going too far. It needed saying.
    I think you might be mistaken about her not qualifying for disability benefits, though. According to one report I read she never claimed them. This suggests to me that she was one of those people who don’t like to’ be a burden on the State’ and to me confirms she was definitely NOT a ‘scrounger’ and did not deserve to be brought to destitution and despair by this morally bankrupt government.

    1. sparaszczukster

      Lord Young was interviewed this morning on Radio 4 about his comments. The interviewer read them out to him. He DENIED saying it and more or less accused the interviewer of being a liar.Unbelievable!

  7. denise clendinning

    My husband worked for one of the small enterprises Buisiness Link for 22 years and 5 months after winning the election he was gone from his job he only had 5 years until retirement . we had a life and something to get up in the mornings for now i,m afraid life is a waiting game as he gently ticks towards retirement. This government could not even give him the grace of working his time out i look forward to 2015 and will look on and watch this government fold as they have failed everyone in this country..

  8. beetleypete

    I like the livestock comparison, and agree that the ‘Anarchist’ sounding murders quoted from Lucy Parsons do sound a bit extreme. Why only ‘dirty lousy tramps’ anyway, why not all workers? I think that the Tories still fear the working classes deep down, and are quickly trying to flatten all possibility of protest, by wearing everyone down with poverty traps and depression. (As well as that trash TV, Facebook, and computer games. ) Good post Mike. Regards from Norfolk. Pete.

  9. guy fawkes

    What’s wrong with a bit of trash tv – I think it can help make you a more balanced person and in touch with the majority of the public who are not necessarily academics only interested in the scientific purity of what they watch.

    Labour are as guilty as anyone for the greedy mindset of business/professionals, for not only attracting the middle class from the tory party who subverted it’s policies and agenda to mimic that of the tory party, but also because of their commitments to Europe created an explosion in immigration that was partly responsible for keeping wages low.

    In some respects I am pleased that business is flourishing in third world countries to increase their living standards and build their infranstructure, but wish they would fight the exploitation of the capitalst in an effort to increase their economies so that we could compete on a level playing field, leaving the greedy capitalist with no safe cheap countries to operate in. Most are so rich there is no need for them to keep increasing their wealth and could retire living in comfort for the rest of their lives anyway but greed drives them on.

  10. Eowyn Rohan

    Lets not forget that the failed MP, and EU Commissioner, Mr Peter “Grand Pooh-Bah of British Politics” Mandelson was quoted as saying that he was extremely relaxed at people becoming filthy rich.

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  12. GrumpyScotsman

    Nothing wrong with profit making it’s the methods employed to achieve them that stink!
    Watched Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” recently…….pretty much reflects the current state of affairs…downtrodden underclass feeds the “machine” to keep the upper class living in luxury.
    Mind you in “1984” the Inner Party managed to enjoy the better things in life whilst the members of the Outer Party lived a less than comfortable lifestyle.
    So perhaps the ultra-right wing philosophy of Metropolis and the pseudo-socialism of 1984 are the two sides of the same coin…….depressing thought innit!!
    Will we have any real choice come the election in May next year???

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