Tory labour laws: creating crap jobs for immigrants

So keen are Tory Muppets to forget the days of mass unemployment, they neglect to mention that higher employment means more people pay tax. Given that work is such a fundamental part of life, keeping people in jobs while improving pay and conditions is the too little trumpeted prime achievement of this government.

But it looks like Cameron is still listening to the kind of Muppet who suddenly turned a deaf ear to Thatcher’s guru when he kindly admitted he was wrong. Now ex-NUJ organiser Miles Barter has got his new Action-Without-Theory blog off to a flying start with leaked details of a briefing by David Cameron to executives at Johnston Press, owners of the Yorkshire Post.

The National Union of Journalists is the recognised representative of journalists at the Yorkshire Post because a majority voted in a ballot that it should take that role. As more and more people decide that having someone from an independent and democratic body to speak up for them at work is a good thing, so the NUJ has quietly won recognition at all sorts of places, from traditional local newspapers to new media giant AOL.

Cameron thinks workplace democracy is a Very Bad Thing and that there’s far too much of it. He’s promised to roll-back legislation that enables employees to decide whether they should be represented and by whom. A couple of his lieutenants launched a campaign late last year around this Manifesto for Small Business Freedom which includes the freedom to sack people without reason or notice and without following any kind of procedure.

All this has been tried and failed before. Back in the 1980s, the Big Idea was to make Britain’s workforce the most flexible within Europe, so when the single market arrived in 1992, employers would flock to us for cheap, disposable labour. But the fly they didn’t see landing in the ointment was that Britons would turn their noses up at cheap jobs offering long toil with little protection of any kind. We tend to leave the crap jobs for immigrants from relatively poor east European countries.

And so the economic policy most closely associated with Thatcher – who wooed the National Front vote in 1978 with a call for a ‘clear end to immigration… people are really rather afraid that this country might be swamped’ – has provided the greatest incentive to economic migrants. And now they want to push it further.

Immigrants make a great contribution to British life, but does it really make sense to create crap jobs just for them?

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