Are you going to let David Cameron abolish your rights without a fight?

Skewed view: This image (not mine) provides a startlingly accurate representation of the way British Conservatives see Europe. Do you honestly think they can be trusted to honour the human rights that European laws have granted us?
Skewed view: This image (not mine) provides a startlingly accurate representation of the way British Conservatives see Europe. Do you honestly think they can be trusted to honour the human rights that European laws have granted us?

You do realise what David Cameron means when he says he wants to re-negotiate our membership of the European Union, don’t you?

For a start, he means he wants to abolish laws that protect the human rights your ancestors fought tooth and nail to win for you.

He won’t make any deals in your interest. That’s not in his nature.

If he gets his way, you could lose the right to:

  • Written terms and conditions of work, and a job description – and the right to the same terms and conditions if transferred to a different employer.
  • Four weeks’ paid leave from work per year.
  • Not be sacked for being pregnant, or for taking time off for ante-natal appointments.
  • Come back to work after maternity leave, on the same pay, terms and conditions as before the leave started.
  • Health and safety protection for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding mothers.
  • Parental leave.
  • Equal treatment for workers employed through an agency.
  • Tea and lunch breaks during the working day for anyone working six hours or more
  • One day off per week.
  • Time off for urgent family reasons.

In addition, Cameron could relieve employeers of the legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers, including undertaking risk assessments, acting to minimise risks, informing workers of risks, and consulting on health and safety with employees and their representatives. In his cost-cutting brave new Britain you’d just have to take your chances.

Health and safety representatives from trade unions could lose the right to ask employers to make changes in order to protect workers’ health and safety, and they would lose their protection against unfair treatment by their employer for carrying out their duties in relation to this.

The ban on forcing children less than 13 years of age into work could be lost, along with the limit on the hours children aged 13 or more and young people can work.

Children who could then be forced into work, regardless of the effect on their education, would have no rules protecting their health and safety, and the rules that say they can only be employed doing “light work” could also be abolished.

Protection from discrimination or harassment at work on grounds of gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation – direct or indirect – could be dropped.

And the right of disabled people to expect their employers to make reasonable adjustments for them at work could also be abolished.

These are just your rights at work!

Cameron himself has said, as leader of the Opposition: “I do not believe it is appropriate for social and employment legislation to be dealt with at the European level. It will be a top priority for the next Conservative government to restore social and employment legislation to national control.”

And as Prime Minister: “Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that’s been visited on our businesses.”

To find out what he meant by those words, we must turn to the former leader of the British Conservative MEPs, Martin Callanan, who said: “One of the best ways for the EU to speed up growth is to … scrap the Working Time Directive, the Agency Workers Directive, the Pregnant Workers Directive and all of the other barriers to actually employing people if we really want to create jobs in Europe.”

Of course, they distort the facts. These rules aren’t barriers to employing people at all; they are structures within which people may be employed responsibly.

The Tories want to ban responsibility in the workplace. They want a return to dangerous employment conditions, abuse of workers and the removal of any legal protection from such abuse that they may have.

They will tear apart your rights at work.

So, if you are living in the UK and you’ve got a job, please take a moment to consider what this means for you. You might agree with the Coalition on its benefits policy that has led to thousands of deaths of sick and disabled people; you might agree with its bedroom tax and too-low benefit cap that has led to a rapid rise in debt and homelessness among the unemployed and those on low wages.

But now you know they’re coming for you, too.

What are you going to do about it?

Are you going to sit on your thumbs and do nothing – just meekly wait for them to rock up and tell you they’ve abolished all your rights at work and you can now go and slave for them in appalling conditions with absolutely no legal protection at all?

In other words, when it’s you that’s threatened, are you going to let it happen, just like you let it happen to the sick, disabled, unemployed and low-waged?

Or are you going to take action and make a difference?

It doesn’t take much. You could write to David Cameron and to your MP at the House of Commons. You could email them – just look up the addresses on They Work For You, or you could add your name to the letter being created by Unions Together. Yes, I know Mr Cameron says the unions are a bad thing, but in this case the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

As the leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, Glenis Willmott MEP, says: “Our rights at work are not ‘red tape’ to be slashed away. Don’t let Cameron and the Tories get away with this great European scam.”

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41 Thoughts to “Are you going to let David Cameron abolish your rights without a fight?”

  1. Well said, Mike. Favourite para: “In other words, when it’s you that’s threatened, are you going to let it happen, just like you let it happen to the sick, disabled, unemployed and low-waged?”

  2. Mike,

    I’ve just read something very disturbing from Mo Stewart on the dwpexamination.org forum.

    I’m sure you are aware that she has written an extremely factual and unbiased report on the situation with ATOS, UNUM and the DWP. She has just admitted on the forum, in response to my question about the poor media coverage about all this, that 2 journalists have told her, in confidence, that the press has had a lid put on reporting this. This seems to be because UNUM is fantastically wealthy and powerful, and the press fears a law suit.

    If you don’t already do so, please check out http://dwpexamination.org/forum/general-discussion/mo-stewart-reports/#p95276

    Thank you for your excellent work.

    Nicola

    >

    1. I’m a member of the press and this is the first I’ve heard about it… Maybe you have to be in some big right-wing outfit?

  3. Over on Facebook, someone called David Marsden-Clark responded by saying the article is pure speculation and should be understood as such. Then he completely undermined himself by using an expletive to describe it.
    Nice one, David!
    I do think I should dispute your assertion that you’ve never read so much of that substance (as in my article). Have you really never read the Daily Mail or the Telegraph? I find that hard to believe.
    In seriousness, ALL blogs are expressions of opinion, by their nature, so yes – this is speculation. But it is based on fact. The former leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament made it expressly clear that the Tories would get rid of workplace rights for employees and we have seen nothing from Cameron to disprove that.
    As for Cameron himself, he’ll jump on the most populist platform to push his changes through – then he’ll stab the working people of the UK in the back, just as he did to the unemployed, the sick and the disabled.
    Prevention is better than cure. It won’t hurt anyone to send an email letting Cameron and his cronies know to leave our rights alone – or add their name to the Unions Together letter.

    1. Workhouse

      Straight off the bat, Mike Sivier you have clearly shown yourself to be a subversive. How dare you have a personal opinion, that was not supplied to you. Second subversive act, upsetting poor David Marsden-Clark. Do you not realise that he has a hyphenated name and therefore his expert opinion, goes without question? ( I know he is an expert, because he wears a suit and has four different coloured pens in his top pocket. Bet you do not have four different coloured pens in your top pocket.!) Thirdly and lastly, (fortunately) you are a subversive because you disagree with our caring sharing Government, who only seek to “Empower us”. I will finish by justifying my point with the worst expletive I know, “Ian Duncan Smith” There that is you told!

      1. I don’t even have a top pocket (anymore)!

        I do have four different-coloured pens. They’re in an old mug I use as a pen-holder and I employ those pens to write on the labels of CD and DVD-Roms, full of subversion, that I send out to people on a completely random basis!

        … Or maybe I just use them to label work I’ve saved to disc.

  4. Thanks Mike for continuing to fight the fight and keeping us informed.. posted to facebook and twitter

  5. This letter is a must sign, for all working people in this land, otherwise suffer the consequences. Also anyone unemployed and looking for work should sign, just in case they are lucky enough to find a job.

    1. I agree with all of that, with the exception that – if too few people sign, we’ll ALL suffer the consequences!

      1. Thomas M

        If only a few people sign, they’ll just get themselves into trouble. But if enough people tell him to back off, he will. I can’t sign as I’m unemployed.

      2. But you might be employed one day. Why not sign, in order to safeguard your rights for that eventuality?

  6. […] Reblogged from Mike Sivier, Vox Political. With thanks. […]

  7. I like the map Mike, I have seen other versions of this before. Hilarious, yet tragic also.Regards, Pete.

  8. Workhouse

    @mike Sivier. Just as well you no longer have a top pocket, that would be seen as a taxable asset! The Government are however looking into ways of taxing those, who have more than two coloured pens. I should say that I am not trying to detract from the seriousness of the issue, but this planet has become so insane, I think it has affected me.

    1. Agreed. Every day it seems we sink further into somebody else’s delirium. The worst of it is, it seems that sanity will NOT be restored in 2015, as hoped, because ALL the main political parties are buying into the madness!

  9. Workhouse

    Mike, I have thought about that, long and hard for sometime now. I truly do not see an answer to this cross party, yet one mind, one objective, politics that we currently find ourselves a victim of. Do you know, or anyone else out there know what would happen if there were enough spoiled ballot papers. For example, if, we wrote on the ballot papers, “no representative party.” Would they simply put themselves into a Government, ( all three major parties and ukip as a coalition ) on the basis of a tiny number of votes, or would they be forced to hold another election?

    1. From the evidence of the last few elections – police commissioners most indicative of all with an average 15 per cent turnout – they’d form a government on the basis of a tiny number of votes.

      If you know your history, you’ll know that this was how governments used to be formed anyway, right up until universal male suffrage in the 19th (?) century, which was slightly more representative, and then female suffrage in the early 20th.

  10. Reblogged this on The SKWAWKBOX Blog and commented:
    The right wing, whether Tory or UKIP, doesn’t want to exit the EU for freedom from some threat of federation, but for the freedom to abolish our human rights on employment, workplace protections, discrimination and more. Vox Political has published a brilliant summary of the threat – please read it and don’t let yourself be robbed without a fight.

  11. guy fawkes

    Are you going to let David Cameron abolish your rights without a fight? “NO”.

  12. anthony walters

    I will fight for my english rights in my country till im dead this is a complete joke this government needs to realise whats best for us on OUR OWN country maybe its time to make them stand down why cant we take charge this english people we need another SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL !!!!!!!!!!!!! I say DONT YOU DARE DAVID YOU DONT REALISE WHAT WILL START ……………WORLD WAR 3 THE RELIGOUS WAR …………

    1. I can feel a “Calm down, dear” moment coming on.
      English?
      British, I think you mean. England hasn’t seceded from the union yet.
      A Conservative government will never give the people what is best for them. It exists to serve corporate interests which is why it wants to rip up human rights laws and work-related regulations.
      The fear, at the moment, is that all the other main Parliamentary parties – including Labour – are in the same position.

    2. pete johnson

      Sir Winston Churchill, of Blenheim Palace, smashed the 1921 miners strike on behalf of the private owners whose class he represented. He didn’t give a shit about the rights of workers.

  13. Denied Human Rights already; campaign to prevent making it legal to deny rights is necessary.

  14. guy fawkes

    Although I do not want to see a repatriation of human or civil rights from Europe, I don’t think Europe has exactly done much to help those that have taken human/civil rights issues to their courts other than abu Hamza.

  15. Stella Thomas

    I don’t work either, but I did, and my children and many friends do. This of concern to everyone, whether in work or not. This government is eroding every right that we, over the years, have fought very hard for.The less we object the more they will take.DON’T let them.

  16. Jamie

    Are you serious???

    Non-inclusion to the EU does not mean we will reject every human rights act upheld by the EU!

    On a secondary note all the points mentioned outline reductions in time off… I’m sorry but this is at the core of problems blighting modern Britain; an overwhelming sense of entitlement. I see posts complaining about minimum wage, stoical security reductions and a lack of jobs. The simple fact is that people do not want to work hard and still want luxuries and a high standard of living… It’s just not realistic.

    The author needs to take a long look at both the realism and consequences of his rash posting.

    1. It’s talk like this that’ll have us all labouring in the workhouse every hour of the day, for no pay at all, while the likes of Cameron and his buddies woop it up, with the profits made from our sweat and toil.
      Put another way, you simply do not know what this government, or a fully-Conservative government, will do if it gets a chance. From past experience, any expectation that they would allow anyone else to keep their rights – working or human – is grossly overoptimistic.
      You haven’t been paying attention.

    2. I really don’t think you understand what’s going on. A systematic attempt to take the UK back to the conditions obtaining prior to 1945, is exactly what. Do you want that? Think hard.

  17. There’s great hope for democracy and a bright future if UK residents become informed, get pro-active and establish practical, decentralized alternatives to EU tyranny. A centrally-controlled Federal Europe is identical to the Nazi dream, not surprisingly, as the EU was founded in 1957 by a prominent Nazi lawyer, Walter Hallstein. 500 million Europeans legislated into poverty and slavery by 27 unelected men – the EU Commission who override any attempts at actual democratic participation by the elected MEPs who are thereby effectively impotent – is not a good idea, for any of us. Please take a little time to read this very well-researched story of the true history of 20th-century Europe and then consider a more enlightened way ahead: http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/uk/index.html

    1. I think you’re right about the first part, and I agree that the EU is currently undemocratic and desperately needs reorganisation.
      Also, if you’re saying that the likes of David Cameron aren’t the kind of people you want creating alternatives (as implied by the hope that UK residents “get proactive”) I’m with you on that as well.
      The origins of the EU aren’t as relevant now as they may have been in the past, I think. It’s what we do with what we’ve got that matters.

      1. Thanks, Mike. I’m wondering how the now well-documented transformation of the Nazi regime from a military tyranny into a far more effective though much slower-moving bureaucratic tyranny (i.e. almost no-one has noticed) isn’t as relevant as it was in the past? Can we now afford to ignore the same enemies of freedom simply because they wear suits and ties instead of military uniforms and have spread their insidious influence throughout the administrations of 27 EU member nations? The book I mention is a credible account, written by eminently qualified people, of precisely why we are where we’re at today. The Nazi roots may be old, but a monstrous tree has grown from them, which somehow needs to be cut down with the sword of truth, i.e. by spreading public awareness of what the EU really is, as opposed to what we’re constantly being led to believe it is. That won’t happen if we just pretend this 55,000-strong bureaucracy isn’t seriously overshadowing our daily lives, now more than ever. Please read the free online book, or at least the intro and then let me know if you still think the Nazi roots of the EU are not relevant.

      2. Maybe… My gut instinct is that it is corporate domination that causes the threat, rather than any remaining Nazi element.

      3. “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Benito Mussolini

        You’re quite right, Mike. If you do get a few minutes to browse the book though, please let me know what you think. It all makes perfect sense to me.

  18. BROKEN BRITISH POLITICS – IS CAMERON UNSTABLE
    Cameron has certainly had many changes of mind since 2009 when he was totally for an in-out Referendum on the EU .He is now defending their Gravy Train Lifestyle by objecting to an EU publication showing just how pampered the Unelected Gravy Train Revellers live off our backs .
    Whilst all this posturing is going on we are getting more enshrined in EU Radical Doctrine.Our Energy Companies are owned by EU Countries that are allowed to rip us off and pay their Taxes elsewhere .
    We are the only EU country that adheres to EU laws the ones to our Detriment .Our EU Equality on alcohol and tobacco are ignored and we are treated as suspected criminals by customs.Successive Governments hide behind EU Laws to pursue their Draconian agenda’s .The Human Rights Act is virtually inaccessible to the ordinary UK person when we all really need it .OUT – let us the Public have our Country back . http://brokenbritishpolitics.simplesite.com

    1. Tell us just how much this “Gravy train” really costs? Do you know? Take a look into it – it’s very much less than the Daily Heil would have you believe.In our case its 0.24% of GDP. Whereas France pays 0.34% and Germany 0.37%. It’s no use, most just have no idea and endlessly spout utter shite..

  19. JK

    All of the rights listed are guaranteed by UK acts of parliament. We could leave the EU tomorrow and ALL of those rights would still be guaranteed.

    1. All right then, let’s have a list of these rights and where they are enshrined in UK law – I’ll need sections and paragraphs. I don’t mind checking out whether this is factually accurate or not.
      I went with information that had been passed on to me for the article; if it isn’t accurate then fair enough.

  20. […] Are you going to let David Cameron abolish your rights without a fight? (June […]

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