Category Archives: Employment

Tory hypocrite Rosindell exposed over Universal Credit uplift and MPs’ second jobs

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): perhaps the Conservatives should rename themselves the Corruption Party?

Remember when Romford’s Tory MP Andrew Rosindell caused outrage by saying this on national television?

Now, with all his Conservative Party hypocrisy on display for all to see, he has defended MPs who have second jobs:

What is his rationale for these opposing viewpoints? That “people are different” and the poor don’t need money as much as his piggy friends with their snouts in the trough?

That would be nonsense. He is defending the indefensible. If Tory MPs don’t like being made to survive on £82,000 a year, they should be absolutely horrified that they are forcing people to live on less than one-tenth of that amount if they’re on Universal Credit.

But they aren’t because they simply don’t bother to think about the effect of their persecution policies on other people.

Remember, this is an MP who supported cuts to benefits for people with disabilities – then parked his campaign care in a disabled parking space:

The absolute, thundering hypocrisy of this position really bites through in satire:

Oh, and just one more observation:

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Owen Paterson no longer has his second job after being forced to quit as MP

Owen Paterson with his (former?) boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. It seems that, after being forced out of Parliament, Paterson has also “stepped back” from his consultancy work. Wouldn’t he need that job more, now?

The BBC is reporting that Owen Paterson, whose refusal to accept a month’s suspension as an MP after being found to have been using Parliamentary space and equipment to carry out his second job sparked a scandal… no longer has his second job.

Apparently he has “stepped back from his consultancy work, for which he was earning £100,000 a year on top of his £81,932 MP’s salary”.

Really?

But his former colleagues – like Andrew Rosindell – have been arguing that MPs are, really, hard-up and need these second jobs to survive (poor dears!) so wouldn’t Paterson now need his consultancy work even more?

Perhaps he needed it more than his employers needed him, after his removal from the Green Benches. So I have to ask: did he step back or was he simply dropped?

It has been argued – persuasively – that MPs are only hired by firms to represent their interests to the government. We have seen a wealth of evidence to this effect in the awarding of Covid-19-related business contracts.

Owen Paterson is no longer an MP. And suddenly he no longer has his second job.

Doesn’t this simply confirm what was argued? And shouldn’t the likes of Laura Kuenssberg admit it, rather than shrouding it with obscure verbiage?

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Care workers are treated like dirt by the Tories. No wonder they’re quitting

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

Here‘s another crisis the Conservative government has created for itself:

Desperately needed social care staff are quitting their jobs to work in the tourism and hospitality sector because they are ‘burnt out’, the sector has warned.

Exhausted staff are leaving the key worker roles to fill shortages in other sectors, as pubs and restaurants struggle to find enough staff.

Urgent action is needed to stop a “tsunami of unmet need” rippling across essential services this winter, the care regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says health and care staff are “exhausted and depleted” and working under intense levels of pressure.

The vacancy rate in care homes has steadily grown to reach 10.2% as of September – meaning in a year’s time one in 10 care home staff will not be in that job, the CQC said.

And what’s the Conservative government’s response? Make those who are left work harder.

It’s shocking – and ridiculous at the same time. Watch Peter Stefanovic’s video to grasp the full meaning of what Tory minister Gillian Keegan was backed into saying:

For fairness, here’s more of that interview, without interruptions:

I wouldn’t be surprised if every care worker who saw those clips – or the full interview when it was screened – quit their job at once.

It is clear that they aren’t valued and will simply be worked until they drop – and then blamed for the holes in the care system they leave behind.

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Tories oppose ban on ‘fire and rehire’ – supporting oppression of employees by foreign bosses?

Apologies for using the ‘foreigners own UK businesses’ line but it is important to make the point that Brexit hasn’t stopped people from foreign countries interfering in employment practices here.

On the contrary – foreign ownership of UK businesses and assets is higher than ever. Weetabix was taken over by a US corporation four years ago – after the decision to quit the European that was motivated partly by a (racist) desire to stop foreigners from taking our jobs.

How is it better for foreigners to dictate increasingly worse pay and working conditions for people in this country?

And why is the UK’s Tory government – that pushed through Brexit as a way to counter foreign interference – supporting the exploitation of our workers via fire-and-rehire?

It doesn’t make sense, does it?

Look:

Exploitative bosses? Our Angry Yorkshireman must mean the Americans who are now in charge of Weetabix:

So, what’s the message?

Johnny Foreigner coming to the UK to do work that British people won’t touch is bad…

But Johnny Foreigner owning UK businesses and attacking employees’ pay and conditions is good? For whom? It certainly isn’t helping you.

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Johnson’s crony Con club: his government ignored 171 other candidates to employ his chum

Laughing at us: Boris Johnson appointed his former Bullingdon Club colleague to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog, over 171 other applicants. It seems clear he did it to ensure that he would never be found guilty of the many corruption accusations made against him.

We all screamed “foul” when it was revealed that Boris Johnson’s government had appointed his Bullingdon Club chum Ewen Fergusson to Parliament’s sleaze watchdog.

Was he put in the Committee on Standards in Public Life to rubber-stamp Johnson’s offences as being within reasonable standards of behaviour, we asked (or at least, This Writer did).

Now we have more evidence, and it suggests that he was.

Why else would Johnson’s government have appointed his friend over 171 other applicants who were not directly and personally linked to him – in the face of objections that the connection should disqualify Fergusson altogether?

As The Independent puts it,

The longtime friend of the prime minister was appointed to scrutinise him.

By the way: final say on who got the job went to Boris Johnson. He chose his friend for the position.

If you wanted an honest verdict on your own actions, would you appoint a personal friend to provide it? I wouldn’t. My friends would tell me if they thought I was going wrong, but they’d never voluntarily say so to strangers.

And this was pointed out by the Labour Party (even though it shouldn’t have to be):

Labour said friends of the prime minister should be disqualified from the role on the Committee on Standards In Public Life, given the nature of its job scrutinising members of the government, including Mr Johnson.

“Being Boris Johnson’s chum from the Bullingdon Club does not qualify you to sit on the watchdog that is supposed to crack down on sleaze and cronyism in our politics. In fact, it should disqualify you,” deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner told The Independent.

“This appointment is an utter joke, and out of 173 applicants of course the Bullingdon Boy fits the job description of marking the prime minister’s homework.

It is a joke. And next time Johnson gets accused of corruption, and his Bullingdon chum green-lights it, he’ll be the one laughing at all of us.

Source: Government passed over 171 candidates to pick Bullingdon Club ‘chum’ of Boris Johnson for sleaze watchdog role | The Independent

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Isn’t Labour’s new employment policy hypocritical, as Starmer practises ‘fire and rehire’?

Keir Starmer: a Tory in a red tie?

How can Keir Starmer seriously propose banning ‘fire and rehire’ policies by employers when he has brought that odious practice to the Labour Party?

This Site reported on July 21 that Starmer has almost bankrupted Labour, making it necessary for the party to axe 90 full-time jobs.

At the same time, Starmer was hiring 30-50 staff on short-term contracts. I stated:

That’s ‘fire and rehire’ because you know some of the axed staff will have been doing the same work that the new employees will be asked to do – and some of these jobs will be occupied by the same people.

The mainstream media has picked up on this, with The Independent reporting on it only a day or so ago.

How tone-deaf, then, for Starmer to send his deputy leader, Angela Rayner, out to promote a policy that condemns ‘fire and rehire’!

Consider this, from the BBC’s article on the new policy:

Labour also says it wants to outlaw “fire and rehire” practices whereby employers dismiss workers and then offer to hire them back under new, often poorer, terms and conditions.

That is exactly what Starmer is doing.

The new policy has other holes that have led critics to claim that it is merely tinkering around the edges of employment law and not revolutionising it at all.

For example, the “real living wage” of £10 per hour has been attacked as not being enough to lift anybody out of dependence on state benefits or – in extreme cases – food banks.

This is simply not good enough.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour devised policies that would have changed the UK from a country that exploits its population for the benefit of a tiny minority – which is what it is now, and don’t you forget it – into a progressive, trailblazing nation that valued all of its citizens.

Our success as a nation would have been valued, not by the number of billionaires we had, but by the absence of poverty.

But Starmer isn’t interested in this.

His plan isn’t revolutionary. It is hypocritical and so is he.

And the truth of that is clear to everybody.

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Has Sajid Javid ditched his extra-Parliamentary jobs or is he breaking the rules too?

Sajid Javid: look at that blank-eyed stare and ask yourself whether his appointment is good for the UK – or good for the banks who employed him?

Sajid Javid is going to have to try a lot harder if he wants us to think he can do the Health Secretary job better than Matt Hancock.

He has made a a ham-fist of it by trying to put down a vital question over conflict of interest between his new Cabinet role and his extra-Parliamentary jobs with JP Morgan bank and… who’s the other one with? – by failing to answer it.

In the Commons, Labour backbencher Richard Burgon asked – well, see for yourself, along with Javid’s ridiculous non-answer:

Yes, the Daily Express loved it, but that just shows the depths to which national journalistic standards have fallen.

It is perfectly reasonable to want to know whether a Cabinet minister is giving up jobs that might conflict with his duty to the nation.

I want to know if Javid is going to blab government secrets to JP Morgan and I want to know if he’s going to give away information – against the national interest – to his other employer.

That is, after all, the most likely reason they employed him.

He was warned by ACOBA – the Advisory Committee On Business Appointments – that there were “potential risks” that he could provide “privileged information” that would give his employer an unfair advantage over its competitors, in spring last year when he took the JP Morgan job.

ACOBA provided advice on how to avoid “potential risks” but it is easy to circumvent them. The only way to ensure that former ministers don’t blab is to forbid them from taking jobs until any information they had is out of date and useless.

Two years has been suggested as a reasonable period of delay but Javid took his jobs straight away and at the time of writing, the suggested period has still not expired.

It has been suggestted that Javid has already given up his outside jobs.

But if that’s true, where’s the evidence? We cannot rely on his say-so because he belongs to an organisation of liars, headed by a liar. We simply cannot trust him.

And that is the reason MPs – and commentators like This Site – are demanding full disclosure, as you can see from the following representative sample on Twitter:

Of course there are also serious questions to be answered about the decision to appoint Javid to the Health portfolio, considering his extremely shady history:

As far as his actual ability to do the Health Secretary job is concerned, Javid has already disgraced himself. But that’s another story…

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Kicking up Dido: Harding goes through with her threat to apply for top NHS England job

Useless: Tory money pit and expertise vacuum Dido Harding. She has applied to run NHS England and privatisation-loving Tories probably think she’s perfect for the job.

North American slang defines “dido” as “a mischievous trick or prank”; here in the UK, if you “kick up dido” then you are creating a fuss or a row.

How appropriate, then, is the given name of Ms Harding – the incompetent who has made disasters of Talk Talk* and the government’s Covid-19 test and trace system – now we know she has applied for the job running the NHS in England?

Dido Harding’s own ability to turn everything she touches into excrement is well-documented. Even the injection of £37 billion couldn’t make her test and trace system work.

She is also the wife of Conservative MP John Penrose, who actively campaigns for the National Health Service to be replaced by a privately-run insurance system.

This connection to a Tory MP should disqualify Harding’s application; there would be a conflict of interest and her appointment to a job that should be apolitical would be seen as politically-biased and corrupt…

But we know that complaints would fall on deaf ears because, remember Mr Penrose? The husband? Not only is he a Tory MP, but is also their anti-corruption tsar.

So if she gets the job, the Tories will merrily say there’s nothing dodgy about the appointment and Penrose will merrily agree, in the knowledge that having his wife in charge of the NHS brings him a huge step closer to destroying it forever.

And her application lives up to both definitions of her name.

All of this information is well-known:

With Harding in charge, the failure of NHS systems seems a foregone conclusion – and of course, such a failure would be used as an excuse to privatise the service:

Nobody in the UK who relies on the NHS should support privatisation.

It changes the service’s priority from improving UK citizens’ health to making a profit for healthcare firms’ shareholders.

*I should add that, post-Harding, Talk Talk has recovered very well (I’m familiar with at least one very happy customer).

So there is a glimmer of hope: even if Harding gets the job, she might be so bad at it that even the Tories have to admit she has to go (anything is possible).

And if she is ousted, then her replacement might actually provide an adequate service.

Hope springs eternal. So, even if this serial inadequate gets the job, she might still – possibly – help the NHS in the long run.

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Government to give employees a right to work from home – but are there strings attached?

This is home working: check out the complete lack of anything resembling a business suit, the face that hasn’t seen a razor in days, and the portrait of a CAT in a military uniform in the background. And at its height, This Site is read by 180,000 people in a day. No wonder I’ve got a manic grin all over my face.

On the face of it, this is an amazingly progressive move by one of the most regressive governments in UK history.

According to the Mail (and other news outlets), Boris Johnson is pushing forward with a 2019 Tory manifesto commitment to give people the right to work from home unless employers can demonstrate that office working is essential.

Consultation on the plan will take place over the summer, hopefully taking into account the experiences of firms whose employees have worked from home during the Covid-19 crisis.

A survey has shown that 71 per cent of firms found home working either made no difference to their productivity – or boosted it.

Labour has raised concerns over the plan.

In a comment, Angela Rayner said:

We cannot have one-sided flexibility that allows employers to dictate terms to their workers when it comes to flexible working arrangements.

The starting point must be a strengthening of workers’ rights on flexible working so that workers are not pressured or blackmailed back into unsafe workplaces.

From the Mail‘s article, that’s not what’s going on here. But I can’t advise anyone to trust the Tories to do the right thing, so we’ll have to stay sceptical until we can read the small print of the proposed legislation.

Personally, up until Covid, This Writer seemed to have a unique perspective on home working.

I quit the last newspaper to employ me as a staffer because I wasn’t allowed to work from home after the local office that was my base was moved from a barely-manageable 27 miles from home to a diabolical 41 miles away.

When the idea of moving the office’s location was mooted, I complained vehemently (although admittedly I wasn’t then the monster who writes for you today).

Because most of my stories were generated in the area where I lived, it meant I may spend a huge amount of working time on the road – time better-spent working on news stories.

I said the only way I would be able to carry on is if I worked from home four days a week (not five, because sometimes attending the office can be important).

It wasn’t until after the office move had taken place that I was told that this would not be permitted. The impression I had was that managers assumed I wouldn’t actually do any work without one of them looking over my shoulder.

So I quit. I leave it up to you to judge whether the collapse of the Mid Wales edition of that paper a few months later had anything to do with my departure and the reason for it.

Of course, all of the work I have done on Vox Political has been from home. It is now my main source of income and at one point last year I had nearly 180,000 hits in a day.

So, y’know, I’ve always been convinced that home working is not only possible, but profitable.

I’m glad Covid has demonstrated this more widely.

And I hope the Tory government recognises it in any legislation it brings forward.

Source: Shock plans to work from home forever: Ministers propose to make it illegal to be forced into office | Daily Mail Online

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Queen’s Speech confirms it: Boris Johnson is renewing his attack on your freedom – because it’s what Britain wanted

Manifesto commitment: the Conservatives made their plan to end democracy clear in their 2019 election manifesto. Every Conservative voter demanded an end to democracy and a slide into dictatorship.

Boris Johnson is getting back to business after the Covid crisis – and his business is stripping you of the liberties and freedoms your ancestors fought hard to win over the last several hundred years.

Be in no doubt: you will have lost most of your rights by the end of this Parliamentary term, and you can thank your Tory-voting neighbour for making it happen.

Included in the Queen’s Speech were announcements that all three main planks of the attack on democracy – listed on Page 48 of the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto, so everybody who voted Tory absolutely supported them – are still going forward. They are:

  • Removing your right to protest so they can use the police and armed forces to put down any dissent.

  • Imposing dictatorship by ensuring that the courts cannot stop the Tories from breaking the law.

  • Imposing indefinite Conservative government.

The only one of these that has been given prominence by the mainstream media is the last – the planned repeal of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. This has been reported as meaning that Johnson would be able to call elections before his Parliament has served its full five-year term.

But it could also mean that he will allow himself to delay elections indefinitely.

The FTP Act repealed the previous electoral law that allowed prime ministers to call elections at any time during their five-year term, but demanded that they must call an election to be held after five years, no matter what.

So repealing the FTP Act means that unscrupulous prime ministers like Johnson would be able to call elections whenever they liked – or simply neglect to call them at all and remain in power indefinitely.

This is what will happen unless he specifically writes new limitations on Parliamentary terms into his new law. And why would a corrupt liar like Johnson do that when he has a majority of 80 seats in the Commons and can currently do whatever he likes without fear of punishment?

Worse still, the new legislative programme includes more attacks on democracy, the most important being the planned limitation of the right to vote to those who can afford to show the proper photographic identification.

This, Johnson claims, is to stop electoral fraud. You may assume that this is a rampant problem across the UK, but in fact it is practically nonexistent. His plan will strip the vote from around two million people:

Here’s a graph showing the scale of voter fraud as a percentage of all votes cast:

You see the picture?

Further information is available below:

The plan will strip votes from people who are poor and young – in other words, people who will not vote for the Conservatives at the next election. It is corrupt Tory gerrymandering to prevent the voice of the people from being heard at elections.

Typically of the current Tory government, its MPs tried to justify the planned law by lying to us about it. Gillian Keegan, whoever she is, claimed you need photo ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office – and was put straight in no uncertain terms by fact-checking site Full Fact:

Many of us think valuable Parliamentary time would be better spent preventing the kind of corruption that allowed Tory cronies to gain multi-million pound contracts to provide vital supplies in the fight against Covid-19, that they were totally unable to fulfil. What happened to all that money?

Finally, shall we consider the misplaced priorities of these entitled Tories who have spent more than a decade manslaughtering benefit claimants without feeling any need to reform the system?

Come to that, why isn’t the government introducing plans to end tax evasion? I mention this because the deaths of disabled benefit claimants are linked to the Tory clampdown on claims – the so-called “magic cures” that claimed hundreds of thousands of people were not disabled at all, despite volumes of medical evidence showing they were. These people were unceremoniously stripped of their benefits and many of them subsequently died. The figure of 120,000, quoted above, is a very low estimate.

The Tories spend huge amounts of money every year on their campaign to strip disabled people of their ability to survive. It is a campaign of persecution that has been more successful in eliminating the disabled than the infamous Nazi “Aktion T4” in 1930s and 1940s Germany. In comparison, they spend hardly anything on tracking the rich Tories – let’s not deny it – who have evaded their tax responsibilities in order to squirrel away trillions of pounds in tax havens abroad.

Absent from the new legislative programme are any plans to support the rights of workers with promised reforms to zero-hours contracts and the gig economy, and an end to the practice of “fire and rehire” – terminating workers’ contracts and then demanding they take new contracts with lower pay and fewer privileges:

“Fire and rehire” is a key element of Howard Beckett’s campaign to lead the UK’s largest union, Unite. He was in London to campaign about it while the Queen was delivering her speech:

He has also made the very obvious point that the currrent Labour leadership has no interest in looking after the interests of British workers – because Keir Starmer actually refused to oppose “fire and rehire”.

The oppression goes on and on:

Long-awaited plans for reform of social care – promised by the Tories years ago – went undiscussed. There is no plan for such reforms in the current Parliamentary term.

Admittedly, Andy Burnham is right to say all parties are responsible for allowing social care to fall into the disrepair we have today; New Labour failed to do anything about it too.

And Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock has claimed the government is committed to social care reforms this year – 2021:

He spent the whole of 2020 lying about the severity of Covid-19 and justifying his decisions to award government contracts worth billions of pounds to Tory cronies who couldn’t fulfil them. What are his words worth?

Oh, and before anyone suggests that plans to address the climate crisis show at least some hope for the Tories, they don’t:

For a more detailed attack on the new legislative programme, take a look at Unite’s response (under current leader Len McCluskey). I’m sure other critiques are also available.

Last word can go to Smokey, below, who makes an excellent point despite their inability to spell the word “speech”:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook