Tag Archives: Martin Callanan

Cameron’s crony honours show Britain values sycophants more than pioneers


Are you ashamed to be British today? If not, you should be.

David Cameron has handed out a dozen peerages – turned 12 people into Lords – not on the basis of any great work they have done for the benefit of everybody in the United Kingdom, but because they have done work for the benefit of David Cameron.

It is sickening to see how debased our system has become after four years under the thumb of one corrupt brat.

Look at them:

Karen Brady has been the Conservatives’ small business ambassador but rejected offers of a seat in the Commons – clearly in favour of the Lords. You know her as the one who sits next to Alan Sugar and isn’t Nick Hewer, on The Apprentice.

Michael Farmer has donated nearly £6 million to the Conservative Party and is the boss of a hedge fund. Considering the way these organisations have bet on our financial markets’ failure in order to make a buck or two, he should be in jail rather than Parliament.

Ranbir Singh Suri, head of Oceanic Jewellers, has reportedly given the Conservative Party £312,000, either personally or through his company. Have you ever heard of him?

Martin Callanan, former Conservative leader in the European Parliament, receives a peerage in compensation for the loss of his seat in May. Tories look after their own.

Sir Stuart Rose is a former boss of Marks and Spencer who apparently receives his peerage for helping Cameron’s wife Samantha get a £65 limited-edition polka-dot dress which had sold out.

Joanna Shields is a former Facebook executive who is now Cameron’s digital advisor. Now you know why your blogs knocking the Tories keep disappearing from FB or are marked as spam.

Dido Harding is chief executive of Talk Talk, and has done nothing to deserve a peerage. Sitting on Cameron’s business advisory committee doesn’t count.

Andrew Cooper worked for Cameron as his director of political operations and has done nothing to deserve a peerage.

Natalie Evans is director of the New Schools Network, which tries to help groups that want to set up free schools. She has done nothing to deserve a peerage – quite the opposite, judging by her CV.

Carlyn Chisholm is co-chair of the Conservative candidates committee and has done nothing to deserve a peerage.

Nosheena Mobarik is chair of the Confederation of British Industry in Scotland and has done nothing to deserve a peerage.

Arminka Helic was an advisor who worked for William Hague on preventing sexual violence in conflict. This might have the potential to be laudable, but then, you haven’t heard of Arminka Helic before, so how great was the contribution?

The fact that Cameron considers it acceptable to promote cronies into the House of Lords serves as yet another example of what a pathetic, pandering pimp we have squatting in 10 Downing Street.

Any incoming government should instigate a review of all life peerages, judging them by their contribution to society, rather than party political bank balances.

Knowing our Parliament, even that will be corrupted from within.

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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.”