October 26th, 2011

CBI Beats TUC at Football
Now Fighting for Right to Hire and Fire

Yesterday saw the third CBI-TUC annual footy match; the pro-business lobby beat the anti-business lobby 4-3 to win the cup pictured above. There must be a metaphor there somewhere, especially given that Guido hears that things were quite heated with penalties awarded against both sides. The row has continued off of the pitch today in the wake of the brave suggestions, leaked to the Telegraph, from Adrian Beecroft. The venture capitalist advising the government has finally put the employment “rights” stranglehold on growth to the top of the policy agenda:

“The rules both make it difficult to prove that someone deserves to be dismissed, and demand a process for doing so which is so lengthy and complex that it is hard to implement… This makes it too easy for employees to claim they have been unfairly treated and to gain significant compensation.”

These employment rules are far more complicated than the offside rule and prevent British businesses from competing on a level playing field with international competitors. Interviewed on Sky News, Mark Littlewood of the IEA called the rules “a real burden and a real fear” in the business world, and it’s true that there are now untouchable elements within all sectors, but the public-sector in particular. It’s nearly impossible to sack a useless teacher…

There are five million small businesses in the UK. If just half of them can be persuaded to take on one more member of staff then this country would not be facing an unemployment crisis. If businesses could hire and fire flexibly they would be less reluctant to take the risk of hiring new staff. There is some suspicion that this report has been trailed today in an effort to move on the debate from Europe with something that appeals to right-wingers, but if anything it is yet again reminding Tory backbenchers of the disproportionate power the LibDems have in government. Before a proper debate has even begun, Norman Lamb, the voice of Nick Clegg, has already come out to say that it’s “madness” and they will block such a move. Sound familiar..?


  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    TUC? bet they was unfit due to all the champayne.

  2. 2
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Guido sir, Most the big payouts that i have seen have reulted in the public sector (Shoesmith as one example), The small buisness i have worked in and the one i work for now have no problem sacking incomatant and un-reliable staff (tho it uslly involves paying them a full weeks wages whether or not they have done the work).

  3. 3
    J says:

    “It’s nearly impossible to sack a useless teacher…”

    You have obviously never worked in education.

  4. 4
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Also the problem with hiring (BF works in hotel biz , high turnover of staff) is the quality of people coming forward for those jobs, even at the bottom of the market (Unskilled etc) most young people are unemployable, not so much for qualifactions , but because they cant turn up on time and do the work they are asked to do.

  5. 5
    SMEEEEEE says:

    The CBI. Representative of whom are they?

    Is is small businesses, not the big business monopolists which restrict their growth which will provide the jobs the country needs. The sooner goevrnment kicked the CBI and the TUC into touch the better.

  6. 6
    Cameron should go to the polls says:

    Time to put the brakes on the coalition and hold a snap election? Miliband’s useless and Labour have no policies. Limp Dumps would be wiped out and the Tories would get in with a small but workable majority.

  7. 7
    Frank Carson says:

    Neither have the useless teachers.

    Ba-dum tish!

  8. 8
    Enoch Powell says:

    The TUC team were hampered by several players who either had called in sick, or turned up late.

  9. 9
    Nu Attack Dog says:

    The Lib Dems have morphed from irrelevant into downright irritating. Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?

  10. 10
    Jane Pilgrim says:

    I’m disgusted that MPs will be discussing me and my comrades this evening. It’s our human right to go to Wagamama and John Lewis at the public’s expense. We provide good value. I’m a hardworking qualified nurse who works hard at taking her staff to buy furniture at John Lewis and eat noodles at Wagamama.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    and still demand thier match fees.

  13. 13
    Alistair Darling says:

    Carry on DC the Limp Dims are slowly commiting Political suicide

    Get the Boundary changes redrawn and rebalnced out to reflect a fair outcome but I expect the limp Dims to renege and oppose that and as the poster above says call a snap Election.

    Should take about 12 months.

    Then get on with it

  14. 14

    The word nearly is otiose here and may be removed.

  15. 15
    AC1 says:

    Champagne is the spelling you are looking for.

  16. 16
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Thanks :-)

    only one letter wrong tho…

  17. 17
    AC1 says:

    IMHO It’s the IOD who seem more pro rent-seeker and the CBI refreshingly sane.

  18. 18
    Archer Karcher says:


  19. 19
    Dyanne Fatbutt says:

    Hear me now, blud! Me iz da rudegyal of da Labour benches, yer get me, blud?! Me doin da bogle-bogle and movin me body to da riddim. My badbwoy son been keepin it real at da privation skool me sent him too. He iz proper gangsta, blud. Ryce and pee, ryce and pee.

  20. 20

    But the they should also have been followed by a were.

  21. 21
    Brown shit stains @bbc.co.uk says:

    Sack the fucking lot of them at the BBC. Parasites.
    @nell. Thanks for link to petition for the axing of the telly tax. Much appreciated.

  22. 22
    Anonymous says:

    Non- culpable inefficeny, the sick the lame and the lazy.. should just about cover all MPs

  23. 23
    Archer Karcher says:

    What would Cameron achieve with his small majority? Let’s see, high up on his agenda are the use of plastic bags and gay marriage, two issues the whole nation is gripped by.

  24. 24
    Ummm says:

    How many of those businesses are a single employee, trading as an LTD?

    Ie, businesses where taking on “one more member of staff” isn’t feasible?

    Half? More?

  25. 25

    Just as in Edward Heath’s time?

  26. 26
    Anonymous Misogynist says:

    Still only one letter wrong….

  27. 27
    I say I say Isay says:

    Some think on Blue Labour/Conservative Home that by trashing the libdems it will bring it’s membership over to Blue Labour, the persns who thought that one up really need to find a nice spot on a good fishing river and just live life, the fools.

  28. 28
    dearieme says:

    Which of the two do you consider pro-business?

  29. 29

    Added-value. Do you remember those far off days? There is a tax called after it now but Dog knows why.

  30. 30
    Moley. says:

    The easiest way to understand the Coalition is to look on it as a Pantomine Horse.

    Although most onlookers readily perceive that Cameron appears to be at the head and Clegg at the tail; Clegg is actually convinced that he is at the head which often makes the horse go in circles.

    Onlookers are confused too, as to who is the arsehole. Usually there is no doubt that it is Clegg, but there have been times when Cameron appears to be a more convincing arsehole than Clegg.

    In addition there is bitter infighting among the Liberals as to who acts the arsehole, Huhne and others appear to covet the role and make repeated take-over attempts, which causes the hose to lose control of its back end.

    The horse; being seriously afflicted by a pain in the arse at the back end, spends a lot of its time rolling on the floor making a lot of noise.

  31. 31
    Handycock, pole vaulting up the M3 on his 3rd leg says:

    This is a bad idea. I might lose my seat after all the adverse publicity I have had recently. In any case, I have to be promoted to a Cabinet Minister’s post before any dissolution. Minister for Eastern Europe, a new post created just for me, I rather fancy.

  32. 32
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Ok lol :-)

    Thanks to all that point out my spelling a grammar fuck ups.

  33. 33
    nell says:

    “there are now untouchable elements within all sectors, but the public-sector in particular. It’s nearly impossible to sack a useless mp…”

    No doubt that’s why gordon is still there.

  34. 34
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Tho i must add i have not worked anywhere with a trade union presence.

  35. 35
    nell says:

    apologies that should have read :

    “there are now untouchable elements within all sectors, but the public sector in particular. It’s nearly impossible to sack a useless….” mp?

    No doubt that’s why gordon is still there.

  36. 36
    Well it's a thought says:

    HR in companies is the biggest part of admin and production these days , if they make one mistake in getting rid of people for any reason ,then it will bounce back with a nasty penalty, they really make sure they need people before they hire, big goverment at it’s best and big expenses for companies

  37. 37
    AC1 says:

    It’s just another tax on incomes (those people who add value).

  38. 38

    Good. So

    1. you sort out your spelling fuck ups, and
    2. you sort out your grammar fuck ups, and
    3. you think about what to say before hitting that submit button, and
    4. you resist the attempt to answer yourself or post multiple successive entries, and
    5. you become sparing in what you tweet upon here…

    and then you will be perfect … and much better than any of us.

  39. 39
    AC1 says:

    Cameron should be dumped by real conservatives and the party of that name and THEN call an election.

  40. 40
    Grand Master, Grand Lodge, The Strand says:

    We are supporting you for this position Handy. Good luck it should be a doddle with us behind you. By the way, when are your boys in Portsmouth going to send more donations this way? It can’t all go to the LibDems and into your villa in Spain you know. Boaz.

  41. 41
    nell says:

    So the libdums are opposing the British electorate having a democratic say on the eu, are opposing trying to repatriate powers to the British parliament, are opposing employment legislation that would make us more competitive, are opposing making green legislation more sensible…………

    Is there anything they’re supporting apart from the labour party whom they seem to be parrotting?

  42. 42
    Clifton Fields says:

    So they’ll have no problem sacking you for spending all your time on here then?

  43. 43

    People will be sacked for small things, like spending a minute too long in the toilet. Not sure this is a great idea.

  44. 44

    I am thinking of the Germans, just across the river from me now. They still manufacture things there, to a superhumanly high quality. They sell them all over the world. Take out JCB (manufactured abroad now to a great extent) and Sheffield Forgemasters and what do you have left in the UK. Rent-seeking, do-nothing opportunists.

  45. 45
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

  46. 46
    Eu petition watch says:

    The signatures for another EU Referendum petition is 6,153 at 15.34hrs approx. Not bad considering this is only the second day of petition.

  47. 47
    kleegish says:

    J. Paul Getty once told a story of two senior execs in his company who were not so much losing him money as costing him in terms of missed opportunity. He looked to sack them, but realised that they had certain incentivisation clauses(not being met to a great extent, of course), and if he just kicked’em out the door, there might be legal and corporate governance hell to pay. He figured out, with his in-house counsel, just what kind of golden parachute to give these old men to forfend such problems, reasoning that the revenue derived from better decisionmaking by the old men’s successors would be greater than the severance packages. Getty ended the anecdote by saying, “And by the time we were through, these bumps on a log thought we were giving them an early retirement reward for long and meritorious service!” Would it could always be that easy!

  48. 48
    They're all the same says:

    If the business community didn’t have the TUC unions and Labour Party as their ‘opponents’, they’d create them.

  49. 49

    Their motto might as well be, “Under LibDems, MPs will be redundant.”

    The first ever recorded example of turkeys voting for Christmas?

  50. 50
  51. 51
    J says:


    Class 1A: remedial humour.

  52. 52
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    ‘There are five million small businesses in the UK. If just half of them can be persuaded to take on one more member of staff then this country would not be facing an unemployment crisis.’

    The problem is demand – if the customers were there, the businesses would expand. No use changing the rules to take more workers on when there’s no-one buying the stuff.

  53. 53
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    While the CBS were too idle to play themselves and recruited a few lads from Poland and Eastern Europe.

  54. 54
    Some fit white W*g poof says:

    hahaha xx

  55. 55

    Many huge business have started off from that modest state. Taking on one more member of staff is not possible if you find that you have to pay maternity/paternity leave, extended sick pay or have your employee attend some ludicrous gender awareness course, run by imbeciles who could never start a business, even if their beloved gran were to be held at gunpoint…

  56. 56
    Sarah says:

    A mere figleaf from Dave to try to put the beating he got yesterday out of mind.

    It wont.

    Dave Cameron is cutting spending at home to pay his EU masters an INCREASED demand.

    There is nothing Tory about Dave or his cabal of liberal traitors.

    Any real British men left to sort these quizzlings out?

  57. 57
    Wag says:

    Or the team captain

  58. 58
    bergen says:

    When I was a young man I worked for a few years in a then nationaalised industry.An oldtimer gave good advice-“You can make mistakes costing millions in this place but the only thing that will get you the sack is fiddling the tea money.”

    And he was correct.

  59. 59
    6000+ signed already says:

    Don’t forget to publicise, and sign

    “We, the people of the United Kingdom, are dissatisfied with the result of the EU Referendum Debate on 24 October 2011 and would like the House of Commons to reconsider its decision in light of this petition and grant us an opportunity through a referendum to express our desire on the relationship with the EU.”


  60. 60
    seriously... says:

    I can’t quite understand how making it easier to sack people will increase employment in the depths of a recession with sky high inflation. Businesses are doing shite and laying people off as it is; they’re not going to suddenly start re-hiring once the useless ones are gone. It will be used to get rid of anyone they hired when the going was good that now eat into the owners ever-diminishing profits.

    More unemployed, less people buying the useless shit the companies make, less economy.

  61. 61
    Cook my sock says:


  62. 62

    The Shadow Business Secretary says recommendations to scrap the concept of unfair dismissal are misguided and that the Government should be making it easier to hire people, not fire them. DT

    Pretty boy, Chuka Umunna, just does not get the connection, does he? Poor love…

  63. 63
    Zweistein says:

    You obviously had an unsackable useless teacher.

  64. 64
    Boss Hogg says:

    I will only employ mature married men who own their own property and car or cars.

  65. 65
    Filthy Lucre says:

    Just signed. Thanks for the link Let’s keep at ‘em, the bastards.

  66. 66
    Desperate Dan says:

    Now that Mr Cole has left to join The Commentator, I hope can we expect this blog to revert to its former glory with greater clarity, superior wit, better spelling and fewer “Boris. My hero” postings.

  67. 67
    Do You Think The Pols Are Watching? says:

    Just make sure “Billy Bowden” doesn’t ever declare…

  68. 68
    Anonymous says:

    Tell her to fuck off Billy it’s getting like pseuds corner round here.

  69. 69
    Boss Hogg says:

    I might reconsider employing females but only if they submit to a full hysterictomy.

  70. 70
    Me Mum Told Me says:

    During the War, pictures of Hitler were put up in factory loos with the caption, “Sure! Take another minute or two!”

  71. 71
    Durr... says:

    I had a tortoise once, is it anything like that?

  72. 72
    Boss Hogg says:

    And don’t forget to bring the organs in jar to prove it!

  73. 73
    Archer Karcher says:

    Good companies, successful companies are not run like that. They want to involve and grow good people, the dross, workshy and piss takers, are the ones who they are constrained from getting rid of.

  74. 74

    … err … yes, but much, much quicker.

  75. 75
    Voice of Reason says:

    Actually it is not difficult to sack anybody who are threatening a business or organisation through incompetence or misconduct. THe law exists to protect employees from the many crap employers that exist these days.

    Adrian Beecroft. The venture capitalist and fucking twat advising the government has finally put the employment “rights” stranglehold on growth to the top of the policy agenda: Well, he would wouldn’t he!

  76. 76
    Archer Karcher says:

    Not completely so, companies have to look closely at the cost of hiring or firing anyone. If it’s not worthwhile then they will make do with less employees. What is also holding down demand is too much being extracted by government via taxation. Government should be looking at the cost to employers of hiring and firing and the overall tax burden, both direct and indirect and slashing it.

  77. 77

    Double refunds today anonymong. Take it whilst it lasts.

  78. 78
    Edinburgh is an unaccountable game playing illiberal shithole. Can't wait to leave. says:

    What a mess!

  79. 79
    Voice of Reason says:

    These useless bastards refused to consider a cut in their extremely generous expenses. These twats can milk the system without any form of being accountable. The expenses are given regardless whether they are spent and no receipts are required. The EU is an arrogant organisation which couldn’t give a fuck about taxpayers.

  80. 80
    Archer Karcher says:

    Does any socialist?

  81. 81
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


    Censorship means no freedom, I may not agree with everything Cat says but he/she always conducts debate in a civil manner, something you could learn maybe?

  82. 82
    nell says:


    ah a piece of good news – well if it turns out to be true, on this depressing day.

    saif gaddafi wants to hand himself in to the hague.

    bliar, straw, gordon and mandy with his nate pals will be having a few sleepless nights hopefully now wondering how much of their traitorous activities are going to be revealed..

    Once they have him safe would be a good time for cameron to launch an inquiry into the uk’s past relationship with libya.

  83. 83
    Jess The Dog says:

    Fine by me …. as long as we can equally ditch inept politicians, managers, financiers, CEOs and so on…. or is this just for the “little people”? Productivity is a function of the individual, after all….

  84. 84
    Jess The Dog says:

    The biggest issue facing us is inflation and devalued wages. The response from the public sector is the ridiculous campaign for a ‘living wage’ which entrenches a feather-bedded nomenklatura at a spiralling cost to the rest of us. This is matched by the private sector with managers and executives on eye-watering salaries which bear no resemblance to ‘performance’. Mobile talent is buggering off to the Middle East, Asia and especially Australia, where economies have survived and are even prospering. The Aussies had their bank collapse a decade or two ago and told the rainbow-chasing bankers exactly where to go this time around….

  85. 85
    Voice of Reason says:

    Saif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi – both are fucking thugs and liars so I wouldn’t hold much help in getting to the truth (better they each have a bullet put in their heads). Camoron will be no different to Blair etc as his involvement will also be murky and deceitful.

  86. 86
    Anonymous says:

    Place your Bets .Duty of care on prisoners.. spill the Beans

  87. 87
    Sungei Patani says:

    Cat: have you ever heard of Rolls Royce Aero Engines. The Germans have nothing comparable.

  88. 88
    Voice of Reason says:

    Yep, the public sector should campaign for a ‘non-living wage’ and that will solve it!

  89. 89
    Sungei Patani says:

    Should wait until after the Boundaries Commission have implemented the new constituencies. This will have roughly equal, in number of electors, constituencies and cut out the significant bias in the voting system towards Labour, which has been in place for at least the past five general elections.

  90. 90

    Over my lifetime, I have had many conversations with socialists. Some of the best debates I have had. You need to have a marked difference in ideology to make such occurrences possible. They are good because you have to sharpen your act. Spеaking to someone of your own point-of-view does not often have the same edge.

    So my short answer is actually Yes, but very rarely. Increasingly rarely nowadays as educational standards slump and attention spans shorten.

    At this rate of regression, I have to admit that ultimately your remark will prove to be universally true.

  91. 91
    Max says:

    No one on here appears to have mentioned the TUPE regulations; pure Euro-socialism on our books since 1994. Under this law if you take on a contract previously fulfilled by another business you are in effect forced to adopt all of their employees working on that contract.

    Totally anti-competitive since the client/end-user likely gave you the contract because you are slicker, more efficient, cheaper etc. But now you are not any of those things because you are forced to re-employ the personnel that the client was, er, kicking out by giving the new contract to you.

    Far worse than the “unfair dismissal” legislation because the regulations are written so loosely that most disputes have to be taken to a tribunal or settled outside (generously) to avoid a tribunal. And any employee involved gets to do you for unfair dismissal as an option in any case.

    Nope, this doesn’t apply to idiot politicians because if it had the electorate could have voted in the tories (or whoever) and the incoming party would have to have re-employed McDoom and all the other Liebore idiots in their pre-election roles to carry on doing the job.

    So under TUPE you vote in Cameron or Clegg and you get to keep McDoom as the Prime Minister anyway. Euro-socialism. You couldn’t make it up.

  92. 92

    Quite correct but, like JCB, production is worldwide. Generally, we do pressings and assembly but castings and the like are invariably imported as far as I know.

  93. 93
    Cynic says:

    And who could seriously blame you?

  94. 94

    Billy. You will never read this but I am grateful for this. Likewise, I will say that you are always courteous. Our differences are stylistic rather than substantive.

  95. 95
    Drunk Panda says:

    This is a vote-losing idea as most people are employees rather than employers. Yes, employment law has gone too far, but unfair dismissal legislation isn’t the problem: it operates on a thoroughly British concept of reasonableness, unlike the pseudo strict liability approach of European regulations. It isn’t difficult to sack underperforming workers, provided you can show that they are actually underperforming rather than simply declaring it to be so on a whim.

    Where things become difficult is when underperformance is attributable to something protected by discrimination law, such as age, pregnancy or disability. Those discrimination laws will remain in place until such time as the UK withdraws from what used to be the social chapter of the Maastricht Treaty, so the burden on employers will remain. All this measure would achieve would be to reduce job security and consumer confidence.

    The application of unfair dismissal law in the public sector is definitely poor – there seems to be a view that suspending someone on full pay for a year or more is an acceptable use of public funds – but to throw the baby out with the bath water would be a grave error.

  96. 96
    Pinochet says:

    Here’s the way to revive the country:

    no minimum wage
    no restrictions on hiring and firing
    no maternity benefits unless you’ve worked for 10 years
    20% tax rate across the board
    30% salary increase for the police, arm them and abolish the IPCC;
    build up public morale by hanging Crow and Serwotka

  97. 97
    Aldo says:

    If you have no employment rights then you have no sense of security. You will be loathe to spend, take on debt, and commit to things like buying property. Who wants to toil their arse off for years only to be fired by some vidictive fuck because the tories removed the laws protecting the rights of employees? You’ll see a dearth of ambition and effort in this country if we are once again placed at the mercy of our ‘betters’. Bloody terrible idea (and I despise the labour party and voted conservative at the last election).

  98. 98
    Anonymous says:

    Anti-business – twunt!

  99. 99
    roman says:

    How on earth do you suppose people managed to earn a living and buy a home before all these perverse regulations?

  100. 100
    Aldo says:

    I’m guessing we’ve had pretty extensive employment regulation in this country since the start of the ‘post war consensus’ in the 1940s. Prior to that only the rich owned their own homes and most people earned just enough to pay for slum accomodation. Earning an existence as opposed to a living, I would say. I think employers and the CBI and all that forget one really important thing. Yes, we need them – but they also need us. I think the treatment of employees should reflect that. If you’re incompetent or behaving improperly you should be out the door – but these things have to be proved. The day employers get to behave like Alan Sugar on the apprentice will be a sad one indeed.

    I’ve just realised that the longer a government is in power, the more I drift towards the opposing ideology. But it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for Millipede or Ballsup.

  101. 101
    Marcus Edwardius says:

    I think you might be right.

    The LibDems seem to be doing all they can to make this a one-term Conservative led Government. They will be very happy to see the Coalition come to an end – and to be replaced by Labour. Perhaps this is the agreement that they came to with Labour during the negotiations that took place after the election…?

    Let’s see how many Lib Dem MP’s cross the floor and become Labour MP’s just before the next election. For many it is their only chance of remaining MP’s. Again. maybe this was also part of the Lib/Lab pact that took place before they agreed to the coalition with the Conservatives/

    Or am I just getting paranoid…?

  102. 102
    Marcus Edwardius says:

    It’s easy enough to hire somebody.

    The difficulty lies in the responsibilities that you then take on an an employer.

    For instance, your new employee gets sick or pregnant (or ‘stressed’ – this is very popular nowadays). The employer now has to keep their job open for them while they recover or take leave. While they are away, you have to find ‘temporary’ staff to fill their place (who now also come with their own set of rights) – and you pay again. The costs go up – and for many roles (for example a sales role) it is just not possible to get a ‘temp’ to do the job as it requires special skills and knowledge of the customers etc.

    The long and the short of it is this, once you begin employing your business is not your own anymore, you are now beholden to the rules and regulations that have been put in place overt the last 20 years or so.

    The people who make employment rules have never employed anyone and paid for them out of their own pocket…

  103. 103
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    Boaz, your Royal Highness.

  104. 104
    Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry darling. After this country has finished falling to pieces you and all your liblabcon mates will be sorted permanently.

  105. 105
    Anonymous says:

    Sadly, we don’t have any good companies in Britain as they are run by thick-as-pig-shit tories.

  106. 106
    Anonymous says:

    Yep, one rule for the bosses and another for the workers.

  107. 107
    Anonymous says:

    Very true Mr Voice, but this stuff isn’t supposed to be true; it’s just an excuse for Herr Guido and his fuckwits to demonstrate their hatred of the English working class and support for third world immigrant peasants.

  108. 108
    saffron says:

    That guy Saif and his oppo,if the Hague option works out,then singing linnets springs to mind.

  109. 109
    Pale orange says:

    When will the LibDumbs finally realise they are both irrelevant and disliked?

  110. 110
    Jess The Dog says:

    What about the private sector? No pay rise in 3 years for most people.

  111. 111
    Jess The Dog says:

    It’s already easy enough to sack someone, whether for a breach on the employee’s part or through restructuring and redundancy. Most private sector firms in my line of work have dumped about 10% of employees through redundancy. There are employment tribunals but these do not give people their jobs back and will mainly compensate for unfair dismissal and procedural failings.

    The key issue is the application of this process. It does not work in the public sector because of trade union activism. Even this is not consistent across the board – in many areas there is a cosy relationship between shop stewards and local management, and a good number of public sector workers view unions with cynical contempt. But in general there is a ‘one out, everybody out’ fear that keeps the useless in post. That is the problem.

  112. 112
    Atualpa says:

    They had too many strikers.

  113. 113
    Sir William Waad says:

    The amount of our GDP represented by manufacturing, 15% or thereabouts, is average for richer western countries. The ‘we don’t make anything’ cry is a fallacy of both left- and right-wing commentators and perhaps arises out of (a) metropolitan insularity (b) a long tradition of Establishment snobbery (c) the ignorance of the commentariat and (d) the media only covering stories that drop into their lap.

    We ought to make more, though. It is ridiculous that we splurge billions in state aid for the financial sector, while imposing ever-greater regulatory and tax burdens on manufacturers. This year, for instance, we have the increase in employer’s NI and ‘green’ taxes making electricity more expensive, while soon there will be compulsory employer’s pension contributions. The Chinese don’t do any of this.

  114. 114
    Failed? says:

    Agreed. This is why, for all that people here bleat that there should have been an outright Conservative majority against the worst Labour leader in history, gaining ANY majority within this rigged casino was an outright victory.

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