Protecting the Workers
Think Left’s article ( 114 year workers’ rights scrapped by coalition government) reveals how long standing workers’ rights are being eroded by the Coalition government. With legal aid cut, high unemployment and rising costs of living, everyone can see people struggling. How many are aware of how poor workers’ rights and protection in the UK really are?
It is no doubt politics which preys on disaster politics and fear. Fear and lies. The graph shows that protection of permanent working staff in the UK is appalling. The effect of Thatcher’s attack on trade the unions leading to decreased union membership can be seen in perspective. The power of money over the individual struggling alone is immense. One can see how struggling to feed one’s family puts worker against worker, and provide an opportunity for right wing parties such as UKIP to move in on the scene.
The erroneous line, “we’re all in it together”, and Cameron’s patronising Keep Calm Dear , while criticised and ridiculed are tolerated by those who believe austerity is necessary, and the myth of the need to cut structural deficit though several economists argue otherwise.
The Red Tape Myth
Richard Exell and Alex Hern’s New Statesman article exposes the idea that ‘red-tape’ will hold back the economy as a myth. Laws which protect workers’ safety and equality are overturned by the Coaltion. The Mythbusters Research from NEF (New Economics Foundation) and Tax Justice Network
Deregulation is the path to economic growth
Neoliberal thinkers have attempted to take advantage of the downturn to push existing policies even further. One of the best examples is how ‘red tape’ has been blamed for delaying economic recovery. In this Mythbuster, Richard Exell from the Trades Union Congress and Alex Hern from the New Statesman explain how the idea that regulation is the problem is simplistic, overstated, and misapplied. See the full research report here
The argument goes like this: Our wealth creators are chomping at the bit to hire more people, produce more output, and sell more stuff. The only problem is that nasty government regulations are stopping them from doing it. Scrap those regulations, and bust turns to boom!
It’s an appealing argument to many in the Conservative party, because it has the side effect of shifting the blame for slow growth from macroeconomic policies—particularly the historic failure of austerity. It also lets Tories express sympathy with the aims of policies like a minimum wage, health and safety regulations, or employment protections, without actually committing to keep them.
Their case is most persuasive when attacking the idea that labour regulations in the UK mean business is lost to countries overseas with less red-tape. Businesses would be hard pressed to find any countries with less protection for workers than the UK.
What is clear, yet again is the incredible incompetence and short-sightedness of the Coalition government, who see working people and working practices as obstacles in their quest for wealth. Their ludicrous idea of us-and-them, shows they are still blind to the truth that it is the labour, skills and knowledge of people which creates growth and development. It is not the instantly created and just-as-instantly destroyed bankers’ money which permits growth. It is cooperation with all members of our society which leads to mutual benefit for all. Governments exist to manage on our behalf; it seems that the current government has no idea about the real world.
References and Further Reading:
- New Statesman Myth-busting: Deregulation is the path to economic growth (Richard Exell and Alex Hern’s article)
- Mythbusters nef and Tax Justice Network Research
- 114 year worker’s rights scrapped by coalition government
- Cameron and Co Demonstrate the Art of Disaster Politics
- Cameron and Osborne’s Big Deficit Myth