Next Left Part 3.

Employment Status

After thirteen years of New Labour we are now in the  most awful of employment situations. Blair and Brown continued to promote the Tory dogma of a ‘flexible workforce’ which may have had some merit if it worked in tandem with a flexible corporate objective. The latter did not happen. Instead we are left with an inflexible corporate regime that returns nothing in compensation for the rights its employees have lost.

Agency workers are of epidemic proportions, especially within civil society. Schools, hospitals, councils and HM Revenue and Customs are awash with ‘temporary’ labour. I highlight the ‘temorary’ because many of these posts have had agency labour in place for five years and more; the same person in the same position. How this makes economic sense I am at a loss to discover. I understand the reasoning, that’s too clear and too cynical not to see from the moon. No permanent post equals: No pensions, no employment rights and minimum wage holiday pay. As for sick leave, that’s a sick joke, with most agency staff having to go back to the benefit system. Meaning that the tax payer pay all over again.

On average, agency staff are on lower incomes than their directly employed colleagues, but that doesn’t mean the employer, (you the tax payer)  are getting a bargain. The opposite is the truth. Agencies are pariahs, robbing the employee and the employer. Usually doubling up their fee in relation to the wage paid to the employee. (If the agency worker gets £6 the Agency charges £12) How that makes economic sense to the employer is beyond me. In truth, I know it doesn’t and the reasons for it are self evident.  Keep the workers scrabbling around in the mud.

I don’t know how many of you have visited the cheap eateries that have popped up all over the country, but I bet you’re unaware of the working conditions and working practices of such places. These companies take the term ‘flexible’ to another level all together. The majority of the staff will be on minimum wage and supposedly full time hours. The reality is stark by comparison. An individual may be told they are on a ten hour shift, not an uncommon one at that, only to find that the ‘custom isn’t coming through the door’ and are sent home within four hours, without any pay. That may seem a reasonable response to some of you. The argument being that there is no work so the employer can’t afford to pay for people to sit around. Quid Pro Quo. When the place is heaving and the worker doesn’t even have time for a break, the employer, who is raking in the loot, doesn’t turn around and say: “business was good today and I know you didn’t stop, but don’t worry, even though we contravened all employment legislation by working you straight through for 12 hours, (again not uncommon), There will be a nice bonus in your wage slip.

There lies the problem. In the above example, one I know from experience, there is no flexibility in the employer, that onus falls on the underpaid employee. Remember I’m not talking about the local curry house here; institutions with dubious employment records, but large and supper large corporations. New Labour was a party to this practice.  The irony is, in the long term society as a whole suffers because of this type of ‘flexible’ working practices. If people can’t earn a consistent wage, a regular wage and can’t invest into a pension, we the tax payer foot the bill. If someone is contracted to work 40 hours then they should work them. It is not their responsibility to compensate for the marketing failings of the company they work for. In the long-term, if companies can punish its workers for its own failings then the company, over time will lose out. Being competitive in a ‘competitive market’ is about targeting your customers and increasing revenue accordingly, not by reducing the wages of your potential customers, because if you’re doing it the company down the road is also doing it, and contrary to popular belief, it’s the workers that shop at your eateries, factories, shops and not the super rich.

Still not convinced? Simple acid test. Since 1979 we have had laissez faire economics, with a flexible approach to employment and employment law. Don’t believe our Ken’s rants about red tape and Health and Safety stifling business. The majority of red tape and Health and Safety were implemented by companies to protect themselves against lawsuits by placing responsibility, ( the onus) on the employee. The majority of Health and Safety practices within organisations have no basis in legislation and more to do with companies falling over each other to protect their own backs by deferring culpability onto the donkey at the bottom who risks his life for a daily wage. So if this flexible working shite worked why have we dropped down the league of economic activity?

Germany, which has a more restrictive working practice ideology than ourselves has strengthened its position, whilst we have dropped down the places to 6th on GDP and 12th on economic activity. Where’s the logic in flexiblity? Which in real terms means slavery. If economically it’s detrimental. Greed causes need. And New Labour were and are one of the most greedy group of individuals to have ever entered power; and that takes some going. There has to be a Next-Left, but this can’t be through ‘Think Tanks like the Fabian Society, who nurtured and educated the New Labour pilgrims. We were sold a lemon and until left thinkers remove any hope of converting New Labour to Old Labour, the Right will win again and again.

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Violence!? March 26 Rally.

 

UKUncut; Black Bloc; TUC and March 26 Protesters.

 

 

Violence: The quality of being violent. Violent: using or tending to use aggressive physical force. Involving physical force. Vehement, passionate, extreme. Vivid, intense.

 

All the media hype seems to revolve around the splinter groups of anarchist and UK Uncut members. The fact that there was anything over 500,000 other demonstrators seems of little importance to the media and government ministers. Vince Cable, interviewed on the Politics Show, gave one of the greatest displays of dictatorial governance seen since the times of Tony Blair. I quote: “The fact that people are demonstrating against government policy will not alter it in the slightest.” How queer that people demonstrating in Libya not only have our government’s but the entire membership of NATO’s support. He seems to believe in the right of foreign citizens to oust their government but doesn’t like the idea of unarmed democrats telling his government that they don’t agree with and don’t believe their policies to be fair, reasonable, or economically viable.

We must bear in mind that no member of the electorate voted for the policies now being forced upon them. At no time within the election campaign were: Tuition fees mooted with regards to an increase. (On the contrary. His own party garnered votes on the complete opposite. As their manifesto stated: No to tuition fees) Swathes of cuts to the Public Sector jobs, the re-design and ultimate privatisation of the NHS and the sell off of the Post Office and the rape of its pension scheme.

 

Now we come to the violence. Running battles between 10,000 heavily armed and armoured police officers and a few hundred casually dressed running marauders. There is no debate needed with regards to the vandalism of property, whether that constitutes genuine violence in the way we envisage it is a matter for one’s own cognitive processing. But even if we are to agree that they were violent it seems to me to be a brave tactic against such well organised and heavily equipped police force. To quote from War of the Worlds: ‘Bows and arrows against the lightning.’ UK Uncut were the individuals responsible for occupying Fortnum and Mason and not as was reported by the BBC and other media outlets, Black Bloc. This is where I get to the other sides violence. UK Uncut undertook their usual tactic of demonstration by reading poetry, playing guitars and having a picnic. A demonstration that stayed peaceful throughout the occupation. The police, ultimately exposing the naivety of UK Uncut members, promised them that there would be no interrogation if they left peaceably, which they did. On the outside the police fell back into type and kettled, then arrested everyone on nonsense public order offences.

 

Black Bloc, showing more cynicism than their anti-tax-avoidance counterparts, kept a dodge and weave tactic going for the best part of the day and night.

 

So what if there was violence, although as I mentioned above, fighting helmeted, shield carrying, baton wielding police, is going to cause a lot more violence to oneself than to them.

 

This violence is incomparable with the violence being meted out on the British public. We are living under the sword of Damocles, those lucky enough to have a job, waiting for it to fall and impale us leaving our world shattered and our stomachs empty. This is where the real violence is coming from. A populace, from doctor to street cleaner all destined for the same limbo existence. Communities are and will continue to be decimated by the measures undertaken by this unelected government. (Yes it is unelected) These policies were not voted for, they did not stand on these policies and therefore, we the electorate, were duped into unelecting New Labour; a worthy cause I must emphasise, to be delivered into the furthest right-wing government in western Europe since the Nazi Party.

 

How do we know that they are that Right-Wing? Because they are intent to privatise or remove as many parts of civil society as they can in the shortest amount of time possible. By this time next year, the NHS will be under EU Competition Law and there will be no turning back the clock. They will be removing hard fought employment rights including, Health and Safety, right to tribunal and the right to compensation. If these aren’t violent acts then I am at a loss to know what is.

 

Child poverty, lack of opportunity, one of the least mobile societies in Western Europe, high unemployment, welfare cuts, housing cuts, elderly care cuts are just a small sample of a very long list. This is the real violence and as usual our representatives, those that are supposed to protect the public, line up in their hi-vis’s and helmets, batons, CS gas and shields at the ready to do their unconstitutional best and attack the innocent while the fascists, boots polished at the ready trample over a society that was ours. Now it will become a wasteland of missed opportunity and the playground for the rich and perverted.

THAT’S THE REAL VIOLENCE.

 

Deficit

Your first point starts you off in the wrong direction. The idea that the recession was caused by something other than government policy is misleading and false. Exposing the Tories and Liberals support for the policies does not detract from the fact that it was a Labour government that left us bare and vulnerable to the financial services. While the perpetual motion machine was racing along throwing out money Labour were more than happy to lord it and declare that there would ‘be no more boom and bust.’ The economic collapse was inevitable. So to somehow pretend that it was an anomaly of economics is nonsense. Brown followed the Tory model, who had followed the Friedman doctrine and we ended up with much of the same with a bit more poison to boot. The ‘deficit reduction’ budget is nothing of the sort. It’s more about reducing living standards and employment rights. Rights that were so blatantly abused by the New Labour Project. In the long term, as Thatcher found to her own detriment, the deficit will eventually grow larger as benefit payments and compensations to industries begin. At the same time taxes will reduce, due to lapse taxation laws and insufficient staff to collect and investigate taxes and tax ‘avoidance’ schemes.

This will, inevitably, lead to a reduction in healthcare provision, education support and training allowances. Which, in turn, will reduce employees skills, undermine professional apprenticeships and aid in the dumbing down of the workforce. The banks will be back at the door and demanding more tax money to bail them out, due to defaults in mortgages and their exposure to debt from CDS’s and CDO’s two lovely financial tools that are yet to come home to roost.

As for Social Democrats, ( a term that seems as meaningless as New Labour) questioning each cut as it comes, seems as irrelevant a task as I can think of. There is  no point in questioning which benefit or service is being cut and whether it is necessary. This leads to the wrong perspective. The entire concept of deficit reduction should be the starting and finishing post for the debate. 1)Why do we need to reduce the deficit? 2)Is there an alternative to it? 3)What genuinely does it mean? 4)Should we pull up politicians and commentators when they try to compare a country’s budget to a household budget?

1) We only need to if one believes that real money is being loaned to us by an individual. If, as we know, the monies are promised through funds and bonds then we don’t need to pare down the deficit.

2) In fact, bearing in mind that the money is coming from pension funds and insurance premiums, working from a capitalistic perspective, keeping the deficit increases pension fund pots and reduces Insurance premiums to the majority.

3) It’s a meaningless statement and is being used to push through an agenda based on the greed concept of ‘free market economics. (Yes. I am talking about the same economics that allowed industry to die because it couldn’t get government support, because it’s not allowed. Yet the same support was allowed when it came to the banks. Banks that owe us as much as the deficit and are still not paying back their debt. In truth, the majority of that debt is now ‘ring fenced’ which means that tax payers are the ‘sole beneficiaries’ of it.

4) We should pull them up about it; we should shake them that hard that they faint and crack their necks. A country’s economics aren’t in the remotest like a household and any comparison therein is futile and misleading.

To conclude: Labour run by Miliband, either would have been the same, will not change its position on the economic model it believes in. (Gordon Brown showed us that) They are not an alternative to the Condem-all government. They, like the brothers Miliband are the same. New Labour, because that’s what they are, have no counter argument for they believe in the same economic model. A cut of £40 billion or £80 billion means the same when you have lost your job and home. Not one of them are willing to bite the hand that feeds them, (Corporations and the filthy rich) even though that very same hand will eventually drag them by the collar down the corridor for the ‘long walk.’

Brown sold his soul for the Blairite dream but didn’t realise he wasn’t part of the club and would be left outside in the cold, exposed to the ridicule and lambast of the public and the press. Miliband thinks they’ll let him join, but again he is deluded. Education can only give you knowledge. Schooling is what will give you power and protection.

 

Bliar, Bliar, You Haven’t Even got the Spine to take the Public’s Ire

Today, 8th August 2010, is the day Tony Blair should be in London signing his memoirs at Waterstones. ‘Because of the perceived cost to the public purse’ for his security arrangements, Tony, the man who has never worried about the British taxpayers expense before, decided it would be better for him to not be there. This is a man that costs us millions in security, pensions and travel every year yet he didn’t want to place a burden on the Met. The term Bliar Bliar pops into my head every time I think of him.

What could the real reason be for his U-turn? Could it be his fear that yet another individual may attempt a Citizen’s Arrest on him? Or is it too dissonant for his arrogant mind to hear the chants of hatred and loathing aimed at him? The expression on his face and his outstretched arms as he entered the book store in Dublin spoke volumes as to his demeanour. He was terrified and shocked. How strange that a man who showed such contempt for public opinion should now show such concern and affect with it. Why anyone would be buying his book I am at a loss to understand. It doesn’t take a great degree of intelligence and imagination to know what is written within the 700 pages. I’ve not read one page but I can imagine that it talks of his rise within the Labour party, the rise of New Labour, His creation of the concept of New Labour, the policies that He created, The enemies of New Labour within the party. How he was the champion for the party fought long and hard to get New Labour ready for Government. That Brown was an unwilling participant whose lust for power was his driving force and how Tony guided him on the true path. Blah Me, Blah I did, Blah let’s have another re-writing of history, Blah bad Saddam, Blah good Tony, Blah safer world, Blah, Blah, Blah.

There will be no true worth in the book; facts that can be verified; meetings that we were not privy to; the real reasons we went to war five times under his leadership. No understanding of his deep psychology, no real scope into his motivations. Although those of us with a modicum of psychological understanding, as in the part of the public that actually thinks passed what’s happening in Eastenders or Coronation Street, know that it was pure ego and greed the drove him. The book has no incite. It would be impossible for it to have any. Blair is a liar, Blair is a self-serving individual. Blair is a self-denier.

I fear that he doesn’t truly understand his motivations for the atrocities he’s caused, but I do believe he knows he has caused them. Blair looks like man in search of absolution. For one thing we do know about him is that he believes in anything and everything as long as it is not contradictory to his own self-interest. It’s not an uncommon trait within humanity to have a similar belief system, but Tony’s is over exaggerated. He believes in Mayan Birthing rites, Catholicism, Feng Shui, probably Hong Kong Phooey, Buddhism (parts of). Tony is a believer, that’s why he was so beneficial to Capitalism and America.

He will believe in all manner of bunkum as long as it doesn’t involve any personal sacrifice or cost to his advancement.

Here lies Tony’s weakness. He is, at present, trying to find absolution for his sins, because somewhere he believes he has sinned. What these sins may be he’s not too sure of, only that he has to save his soul from the eternal punishment, that these sins will bring to bear on him. That could be seen in his expression as he walked into the bookstore in Dublin. People think he’s in fear of being arrested, it’s not true. He’s not a complete fool, he knows what we don’t want to know. The International Criminal Courts (ICC) are never going to issue an arrest for him. The (ICC) does not recognise that his actions were criminal and will never do so. He’s in the land of legal limbo, where the debates rage on and no one ever comes to a conclusion. Plus, and it’s a big plus, he didn’t lose any of the wars. There isn’t a victorious Iraqi or Serbian army circling London and asking for him to be handed over to stand trial. He’s not going to trial. Fact!

What we need to do is to create a party of the left that removes the incumbent system and our Tony is then declared a criminal in this country for his financial dealings; these will show fraud tax evasion and all manner of illicit dealings, that is as certain as death. Tony, as with many members of New Labour, are responsible for selling Peerages, selling public contracts and UK resources. The way to catch and punish the Tony Blair’s of this world is to get them on their weaknesses, their fraudulent money dealings.