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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Nearly 60,000 dead in UK because of Covid-19 – and Johnson wants to penalise healthcare staff

Read it and weep. First the bad news: The image above is (according to Chris Giles – economics editor of the Financial Times – on Twitter) a cautious estimate of the number of excess deaths in the UK. He says the total – as of yesterday – was 59,700. Of these, 51,000 have happened and 8,700 are estimates bringing the official data up to date using evidence from hospitals. That’s nearly twice as many as the 32,000 or so claimed by your Tory government. And even that figure is appalling because the Tories should…

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Nice – an ‘above inflation’ pay rise for public sector workers. But is it enough?

Forgive me if I’m underwhelmed by the pay rise that has been announced for people in the public sector. Their pay was frozen for two years in 2010, and capped at a one per cent increase every year since. That’s well below inflation. How much would this rise need to have been, to make up all the increases these people have lost, just to be paid in line with inflation? It seems to me that the Tories are trying to look generous in giving this increase now. In fact, it…

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POLL: Are John McDonnell’s plans to revolutionise the economy feasible?

Take a look at the video in John McDonnell’s tweet, below: Brilliant speech by the People's Chancellor, @johnmcdonnellMP, including reference to a financial transaction tax, and transplanting the 'magic money tree' from the Cayman Islands.#ChangeIsComing https://t.co/uxN5qapJlW — Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) September 15, 2018 Mr McDonnell rightly states that the finance sector should be the servant of the nation’s economy, not its master – that its responsibility is to generate the wealth we need to pay for the advances we want – and I hope nobody reading this would disagree. He…

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Labour plan for vote to scrap public sector pay cap is great politics

Hear, hear. We know that Tory backbenchers (and perhaps even some of the Cabinet) are wavering over the wisdom of the public sector pay cap. This vote will establish where they really stand. If they don’t bother to vote, or vote with the minority Tory government, they’ll be marked as “spineless” and their chances at the next general election will be reduced (because we have long memories now, thanks to the social media). If they vote with Labour’s motion, then the minority Tory government will be shown up as one…

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David Cameron won general election with series of lies? Tell us something we DON’T know!

Yvette Cooper is only half-right. Cameron certainly lied to win the election – but Labour failed to beat him because Labour did not effectively answer those lies. Labour’s five-year-long failure to deny the claim that it had spent too much while in government is the perhaps the most obvious example. But Cooper has chosen to highlight promises that were made to the people of the UK, which have been broken in the very short time since. David Cameron won the general election on the basis of a series of lies,…

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Cameron’s engineered homelessness crisis must end

David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’: What a tasteless joke. This was his big idea, when he forced himself on us in 2010: His Coalition government was going to thin out the public sector, sure, but don’t worry! The private sector would leap in, to fill the gap, and charities would be a major part of this. Four years later we get this, from Pride’s Purge: Man dies after homeless[ness] charity makes him homeless “Anthony Miller’s dead body was found two days ago washed up on a beach in Newquay. “Just a few…

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Taxpayers are being misled into funding the private firms that are raiding our NHS

It seems more than half of the UK’s voting public would be willing to pay more income tax in order to fund the National Health Service. Pollsters ComRes told The Guardian that 49 per cent of people would accept a tax hike if the money went directly to the NHS, compared with 33 per cent who would not and 18 per cent who didn’t know what they would do. This must be very gratifying for David Cameron, whose creeping privatisation of the NHS is at least partly to blame for…

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Sajid Javid, the man who trivialised the WWI centenary, shames himself on the economy

They say the secret of great comedy is timing, and Sajid Javid’s speech lambasting Labour’s ability with the economy could not come at a better time – to make a fool of him. Javid heads up the Department of Culture, Media and Sport – you know, the government organisation that offended everybody earlier this week by denying everybody but the Prime Minister a chance to write a personal message on the wreaths laid at a First World War centenary commemoration in Glasgow. Having made one faux pas already this week, Javid…

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Critics of Miliband’s speech have forgotten the magic words: ‘Check against delivery’

It really is staggering that the UK Statistics Authority has criticised Ed Miliband for a claim made in a draft of a speech that went out to reporters but was not, in fact, used. Speeches – especially those made by politicians – are checked by several people, not just the author or the person delivering it (these are not necessarily the same person), and even then, the speaker can decide to omit parts or include new information in the moment. That’s why the words “Check against delivery” appear at the…

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