I read this over at Craig’s place today and felt a real shudder go down my spine. His first paragraph starts thus but is not the bit that made me shudder:
I am not blogging about the EU summit. It is pointless. It will of course produce a communique to reassure the markets. It makes no difference.
The last paragraph finishes thus (the bold is mine):
That is why I am not blogging about today’s EU meeting or a specific statement of the US Federal Bank Chairman. They are all pissing into the wind that is shortly to be a tornado. I expect before I die I will see a genuine social revolution. I expect that, as always happens, middle class liberals like me will start by being elated by it, and end up being shot by those who seize on the change, to take their turn to use the power of the state to corner resources for themselves.
And now I hope you join me as you tremble. And if you do not tremble, then you are still exactly as were the Jews when in the 1930s they thought it could not get any worse.
For it was then the turn of the Guardian to bring me this piece of news:
In a report seen by the Daily Telegraph and commissioned by Downing Street, the venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft suggests British workers should be banned from claiming unfair dismissal so companies can sack them and find more capable replacements, saying this would boost economic growth. The document has generated a furious response from trade unions.
As it might very well do so.
But even those supposedly on our side only speak of the morality of the issue as an afterthought. Far more important for them is the health of our collapsing economy:
But Norman Lamb, chief adviser and parliamentary private secretary to the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said taking away protection from unfair dismissal would damage the economy because it would increase workers’ fears that they could be arbitrarily sacked.
Lamb, a former employment lawyer, said: “I think it would be madness to throw away all employment protection in the way that’s proposed, and it could be very damaging to consumer confidence.
“What we are talking about here is every single employee in the land being in a position where their employer could arbitrarily terminate their employment – and the impact that could have on consumer confidence, fear of losing your job, would potentially be very damaging.”
Only to lamely remember that:
“I just think it’s also not right to throw away that sort of scheme of protection.”
Almost a year ago I said the following:
It’s not that this Coalition government doesn’t have principles. It does.
It just so happens that its principles are limited to two: sock it to the poor and train them to understand their only salvation is that of wage slave to the wealthy. Problem is that innovation doesn’t work like that. Ideas need space, confidence and trust to flourish. Cameron’s understanding of the future needs of a society which adds value by generating and implementing ideas is so tawdry and basic that all he will achieve is a mass emigration of the clever to places where they will be better understood.
And as I continued by saying:
This government is not only going to show us how bad it is at the welfare state, it’s also going to show us how very bad it is at anticipating the needs of business – all business, that is. Innovation does not come out of slotting bright and intelligent individuals into the round holes that already well-formed organisations are prepared to allow. For true innovation to surface, everything must start from the ground up. There must be that cycle of birth, growth and maturity which joining an existing organisation could never provide.
So it is that in amongst all the unrest of a capitalism going dangerously sour, we have the seeds of total collapse. And our government’s response? Invest in the future? Look to release the imagination of the very best of our nations? Consult and debate ways of ensuring we can all be in this together?
Nope. Our government’s response is to make it easier to dismiss the workers who already fear for their jobs – and have already cut back on their spending.
I tell you what. I jolly well do feel that it’s time to unfairly dismiss some of those government ministers responsible for this chaos.
Before closing up shop tonight, then, let us just run that idea past ourselves one more time. Exhibit A – The Coalition Thesis: a stumbling capitalism is due to inefficient workers who are too confident of keeping their jobs. Exhibit B – The Coalition Solution: a flourishing capitalism will come out of making us feel all awfully insecure so we stop all our spending out of fear.
And, in exchange, the proponents of all this tawdry politicking get a) to hang onto their jobs; b) assure their future employment; c) line the pockets of their pals in big business; and d) prance around on very public stages spouting the kind of disgraceful rubbish which makes me think Craig might – after all – one day turn out to be right.
This Coalition government isn’t only mad – it’s bad; isn’t only rank – it’s inefficient; isn’t only anti-good industrial relations – it’s anti-good business.
And if you don’t believe me yet, you better start soon. Because if you don’t believe me soon – believe me, it’ll won’t be long before it’s far too late.