Tag Archives: Adrian Beecroft

National interest? Cameron governs in his own – and that of the rich

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We were discussing David Cameron and the respect due to him for his record in government.

You may recall that the phrase used most often when the Coalition was formed (publicly, at least) in May 2010 was “in the national interest“.

This week, his government’s work has included extending the amount of time new claimants will have to wait for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) from three days to seven days. This will be music to the ears of payday lender companies like Conservative Party donor Wonga.com, whose shareholder Adrian Beecroft has given more than £500,000 to the Tories since 2006.

The Coalition also awarded a contract treating NHS patients with brain tumours to the private healthcare company Hospital Corporation of America, a firm that has been accused by the Competition Commission of overcharging for its services by up to £193 million between 2009 and 2011 – but that has also donated at leave £17,000 to the Conservative Party since it came into office.

According to the National Health Action Party, £10 billion worth of NHS contracts have been awarded to private firms since the Health and Social Care Act was passed in 2012. How many of these have donated money to the Conservative Party, and in what quantities?

Meanwhile, a record five million working people are now in low-paid jobs, according to the Resolution Foundation. That’s around one-sixth of the total workforce. This is a direct result of government policies that threaten people on benefits with the loss of their financial support if they do not take any job available to them – at whatever rate of pay is being offered. The insecurity this creates means firms are free to offer the bare minimum, and keep workers on that rate for years at a time, and pocket the profits for themselves – after donating money to the Conservative Party for making it all possible.

There has been no benefit to the national economy from any of these actions; the deficit that Cameron said he would eliminate is currently at £100.7 billion per year and the national debt is almost twice as high as when he first darkened the doors of Number 10. This is because any improvement in the national finances would interfere with his real plan, which is to dismantle all public services (except possibly national security and the judiciary – albeit a court system available only to the rich) and hand the provision of those services to the private sector in return for fat backhanders from the companies involved.

The evidence is beyond question. David Cameron said he would govern in the national interest but has used his time as prime minister to further enrich his already-wealthy business donors, and consequently his own political party, through the impoverishment of working people and those who rely on the State for support.

What sort of respect is due to a man like that?

By custom, here in the UK, the prime minister is given a degree of respect due to his or her position as the head of the government – but respect must be earned and we judge our politicians on their actions.

Cameron has earned nothing from the British people other than our disgust. He is a liar, at the head of a government whose mendaciousness seemingly knows no bounds. And he is a thief; every benefit claimant who has had their payments sanctioned or their claim denied had paid into the system – via direct or indirect taxation – and had a right to expect the support they had funded.

He should be in prison.

Unfortunately, we (the people) do not currently have the wherewithal to put him there. We have to register our opinion in other ways.

This means he gets no respect at all. He is not the prime minister – he is the Downing Street squatter. There is no need to make way for him when he passes – Dean Balboa Farley was right to run into him. There is no need to pay attention to the things he says – if you get a chance to talk to him, just talk over him as though he wasn’t there. He is a pariah; he should be shunned at every opportunity.

He has disrespected and dishonoured the highest public office in the land. He deserves no better.

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The government’s plan to smash workers’ rights

You may not be aware of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

It is the Coalition’s latest legislation against ordinary working people, currently moving through the Parliamentary process. Today (October 17) was the second day of the debate on its second reading.

The Bill contains some horrendous proposals that could seriously damage workers’ rights. Here’s the letter I wrote to my MP, pointing them out:

Dear Roger Williams,

I am writing with regard to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which, as I understand it, is likely to cause serious harm to the relationship between workers and (certain) employers if it ever becomes law.

Please do not support this Bill. I know this request puts you in a difficult position as a member of the Coalition, but if you cannot bring yourself to vote against it, at least don’t vote in favour of it.

If the Bill becomes law, it will diminish the rights of all employees in this country. The proposals it contains would reduce the amount of compensation payable to unfairly dismissed workers – and this comes after the time an employee is required to be employed before they are able to claim for unfair dismissal was raised from one year to two.

I understand the Bill also proposes to reduce protections for whistleblowers at work. This is completely wrong-headed as it protects abuses and attacks those who seek justice.

If the Bill is passed, it will allow employers to make minimal offers to workers to leave, then gag the same workers from even mentioning this at employment tribunal, even if they reject the offer.

It will leave thousands in fear for their jobs at a time when the government should be making it easier for firms to hire.

Not content with that, whoever drafted the Bill has included the abolition of the Human Rights Commission’s duty to promote a society free of discrimination. Why? Is that not something we should all be striving towards?

Is the government sending a message that it intends to promote intolerance against minorites – or, to give it its proper title, bigotry?

Do you want to be a member of a government of bigots?

The product of these complex clauses in the Bill, combined with the fact the Government are also going to start charging fees for employment tribunals, has been termed ‘Beecroft Lite’, as it virtually amounts to Adrian Beecroft’s call for ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’.

Many people will agree to a poorly-compensated ‘settlement agreement’ as, for many, accessing justice will seem too complicated and too expensive.

We already have millions of people out of work – this Bill will make it easier to fire people.

The working people of Brecon and Radnorshire rely on their rights at work to give security for them and for their family.

Please consult your conscience before voting on this Bill.

I will be very interested to see if he paid any attention to me. As he is a Liberal Democrat, and therefore a member of the Coalition, my hopes are not high.