#CorridorsOfPowder – hypocritical Tories will force big employers to do random drug tests. What about Westminster?

It seems Priti Patel has picked up on Tory London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey’s plan to force firms that employ more than 250 people to subject the workforce to random drug tests. Her endorsement follows one by Iain Duncan Smith last month. But how strange that the UK Parliament, where the House of Commons alone employes around 2,040 people – not counting MPs, is to be exempt from any such legislation! The Conservative government are planning to introduce legislation which would force big employers to carry out random drug tests on…

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Why does Sunak have billions for dormant companies, but not a penny to safeguard our jobs?

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak has again been urged to extend the furlough scheme that safeguards huge numbers of UK jobs during the Covid crisis – a scheme he is adamant will end on October 31. The Commons Treasury select committee has urged him to renew support for sectors of the economy that are still suffering because of the pandemic, saying the alternative is mass unemployment and an end to viable firms. But you can probably see the problem Sunak has in the committee’s own words: “Effectively targeted assistance to those…

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Do you believe this ‘four-day working week to create half a million jobs’ bunkum?

Someone’s trying to lead us up the garden path: The public sector should switch to a four-day week to create 500,000 jobs and help ease a predicted spike in unemployment following the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report. The Autonomy think tank said “the time has come” for a shorter working week as the end of the government’s furlough scheme in October is expected to cause an unemployment crisis. Research by the thinktank suggests public sector workers could move to a 32-hour week without any loss in wages at a…

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Distraction tactics: why pay attention to all this right-wing fiddling while your country burns?

We all know bank holiday Mondays are where the news goes to die but August 2020 was particularly bad. Judging by Twitter, the event that caught everybody’s imagination was a poll by right-wing Times Radio that resulted in a nobody presenter – This Writer has never heard of him – having to declare that Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had. WINNER: Jeremy Corbyn is officially the Times Radio’s best Prime Minister we ever had 🎉 pic.twitter.com/JJfd71ONAq — Ben (@BenJolly9) August 31, 2020 (It means he would…

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25 jobseekers for every job on Tory government’s own website

Do the Tories really intend to penalise people for failing to get work – according to Universal Credit rules – when there are so few jobs available? Thanks to Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, and their government’s inability to manage Covid-19 properly, there are now 2.3 million UK citizens claiming Universal Credit. Sanctions have been reimposed so they must follow the rules and go after the jobs that are available – no matter how unsuitable, or indeed distant. The situation is absurd – as the Frank Zola blog pointed out while…

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Will glue company come unstuck over ‘two weeks without pay’ offer to Universal Credit claimants?

Why is the Tory government allowing this? A glue company called Bond It has advertised jobs via Universal Credit work coaches – which may sound great in these recession-ridden times. There’s only one catch: The firm is asking UC claimants to do the work without pay for two weeks. Not only that, but the job does not appear on Bond It’s own site, nor is its two-week unpaid “trial” mentioned on any other site that advertises jobs. As Ben Claimant points out below, it is specifically for Universal Credit claimants.…

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Is this Tory scheme ‘to help disabled people work from home’ actually any good?

The Department for Work and Pensions is offering people with disabilities – who are able to work – financial help so they can do it at home. This Writer hates to say it about the Tory DWP but it actually seems to be a good idea! Please let me know if it doesn’t behave in the best interests of the people it is supposed to be helping (I can’t find out myself because I’m not disabled and Mrs Mike – who is – doesn’t work). The blurb on gov.co.uk – sorry,…

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Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is? He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied. In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it. The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.…

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?

I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich. In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit. Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place: The A levels are the ruling class brazenly saying – “we’ll fix society now like we always have” Only thing, this time you can see the workings Mind you, anyone who dares to REALLY challenge…

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Were the Tories complicit in the great Covid-19 maternity pay dodge – or just incompetent as usual?

Thousands of pregnant women may have been cheated out of maternity pay because the Tory government didn’t act fast enough to prevent employers from doing it. The government changed rules in April, to ensure pregnant women and expectant fathers did not lose out on maternity/paternity pay if they had been furloughed on 80 per cent of their normal wage and had seen their pay fall below £120 a week (the cut-off point for wages below which the benefit isn’t payable). But the same government imposed lockdown in March, meaning dodgy…

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