We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

1979 and all that

After Thatcher glassed the unions, you would think they would have the manners to lie prostrate and bleeding amongst the spit and sawdust. Not a bit of it. Once their pet party returned to power under a business-friendly sneer, all they had to do was lie back and wait for pro-Europeans to pass the relevant regulation.

Lo and behold: the new Information and Consultation Regulations, where you, the employee, gain state mandated power to put forward a collective voice in how the business that employs you is run. You may not have put any money behind the business, but as a stakeholder, you should have your interests taken into account by the union that will represent you.

Tim Lang, partner at law firm George Green views this regulation as “a ticking time bomb”.

Initially, the new laws will only apply to firms with 150 or more employees. However, by 2007 the laws will extend to those with 100 employees and, by March 2008, the threshold will drop to 50.

Under the new rules, employ-ees will be able to request information and consultation arrangements from their employer with a petition from ten per cent of the workforce.

There would then be a period of time for negotiating a voluntary agreement, detailing exactly what information must be provided, when, to whom and what level of consultation is required. If nothing can be agreed then a default framework, set out in the legislation, will apply.

Since these works councils will provide a huge fillip to unionisation and wage demands, we can now see that the European Union, with Labour’s acquiescence, is rolling back Thatcher’s labour market reforms and jeopardising the potential growth of the British economy.

The costs for business will always be greater than the state estimates:

The Department of Trade and Industry estimates that for those firms with no pre-existing structure, who just implement the standard legislative process for informing and consulting, the total set-up costs per firm would be £4,000 for medium-sized firms and £6,300 for large firms.

But Mr Lang disagrees. He said: “The cost in management time of this new directive could be huge, with companies having to think through their processes and then actually provide the information. Time is already short for the first businesses affected to start the process of putting measures in place.”

Like all socialists, the Labour party wishes to return to a closed shop in politics and the workplace, gerrymandering our unwritten constitution and providing new institutions for the enemy class to take over the private sector.

9 comments to 1979 and all that

  • Verity

    With respect, Philip, there’s no indication here whether this is just another piece of garbage proposed by the legally brain dead in the Labour Party/EU, or whether it’s actually passed into law. Of course, with EU directives gusting down like snow flurries, who knows what “laws” are debated any more and which ones are nailed into British law because Parliament has been directed to incorporate them without democratic debate? I can’t think of any countries in the world, outside the EU, who permit other countries to make laws for them to incorporate into their national laws undebated.

    Either way, of course, once law, we can wave bye bye to a prosperous (in comparison with Europe) Britain. Which is the whole idea, after all, isn’t it? Bring Britain down to Europe’s level by wringing the neck of the economy.

    I used to think we should try to negotiate a looser arrangement with Europe and try to distance ourselves a little. Now I think it should be all or nothing, and it should be nothing.

    Norway and Switzerland, nominally free, have hidden shackles. They have “permanent representative” offices employing who knows how many people and lawyers, and they have to accept EU directives under pain of having trade with Europe cut off.

    The world is big. We buy more from Europe than we sell to them, so it’s unlikely that even supine, non-productive EU businesses, on the rare days they are open for business, would refuse to sell us anything. Not if they wish us to continue buying.

    And even then, so what? And who needs customers who will be going bankrupt in a few years anyway? We should get out now, before the socialists sell away our financial independence and make us liable to share their vast social and business debts, which are even now mounting by the nanosecond. Wait till the euro fails and the only strong currency is the pound.

    I give the euro five more years max, after which I predict they’ll start running dual currencies. Don’t know how it will work, but I think people will start refusing to be paid in euros in around five years. The Germans will want their DM back. The French are still speaking and figuring in francs and they’ll probably want their own currency back. About the rest, who knows?

    I don’t agree with Sean Gabb (in his apology, mentioned earlier on another thread) that living in the EU is pleasant. I think it’s a socialist nightmare.

  • Guy Herbert

    Just because it has done so indirectly, and has sought to irritate the noisy left to cover its actions, doesn’t mean New Labour hasn’t been steadily reversing the Thatcher revolution since the beginning.

    Look carefully: there’s not much left except the authoritarian populist measures, the unnecessary centralisation, and a vast network of quangos from the second phase, after she stopped exterminating and started breeding them. The fact that we’ve gone back politically 20 years in 7, seems to be obscured for almost all by the evident changes in material prosperity.

  • Verity

    Not obscured to me, Guy Herbert. I’ve been keeping a hawk-like eye on Blair since he slithered under the door of No 10.

  • M. Simon

    The really neat thing about socialism is that it doesn’t work.

    In the mean time the American door is open a crack. Come on in.

  • Chris Goodman

    New Labour and the Democratic Party are very similar politically. The UK is still one of the best places to run a business in the world. Both the USA and the UK rate very high on a prosperity and freedom index. The fact that the Left is pro-tax and pro-government is not a problem that is restricted to the UK. Like most Brits I am pretty pro-American, but if another American goes on about just how damm wonderful the USA is just one more time………………..

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    America rulezz!!! Limeyland suxx.

    That was specifically for you, Chris.

  • Chris Goodman

    ;-) Thanks!

  • Guys, I hate to say it, but if this is true, (and please forgive the language), Europe is fucked.

    As it is, the only place in America where it is as comparably difficult to start and run a business, is California.

    And California is likewise.

    There is now a net outflow (ie. negative immigration vs. emigration) of people from California. Worse yet, the raw numbers don’t tell the whole story. Those leaving are the productive and successful capitalists — or at least, those who want to be such — and those left are illegal immigrants and suckers of the Statist teat.

    Oh, and the Loony Left.

    But intellectual wealth, as well as considerable monetary wealth, are leaving the state in droves.

    Why California is positively… Germanic these days. And I’m not talking about their governor, either.

  • Guy Herbert

    As far as I know, it is easier to start a business in either Britain or the Netherlands than in a number of US states. In Britain you just do it. No business license, no nothing. We have many fewer reserved occupations where entry is licensed by the state or restricted to members of professional bodies, though this is increasing rapidly.

    The difficulties come later. The punitive taxation; the problems with employing people; the dead-weight of compliance culture.