Julie Hepburn, the next MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East, highlights the scandalous and outrageous proposal by the British Chamber of Commerce’s Mr Frost (or is that Scrooge?) to suspend (or freeze) the National Minimum Wage.
Frost isn’t very festive when he makes this suggestion. While businesses (particularly those in the retail sector) are suffering during the current recession, it is their workers who are facing uncertainty and hardship. Making a profit is important to firms, but business ethics is just as important to society at large – and the individual workers who would be affected by an unethical suspension of the NMW.
Freezing (or Frosting) the National Minimum Wage would equal a reduction of low income workers’ wages in real terms. With inflation and the current low returns on savings, wages should be increased – not frozen. Also this proposal would affect women, many of whom work in minimum wage retail jobs, disproportionately – so it would be sexist.
Let’s see whether Labour, which as the Bishops rightly said is “beguiled by money”, caves into Mr Frost’s ludicrous demands.
Brussels ‘sleeper’, Lord Mandy of North Greenwich, is doing the EC’s bidding again. A europhile (after the ’83 Labour manifesto, that is), he is now rubbing salt into the wound after the earlier deregulation of UK postal services which allowed private sector vultures to pick off the best postal business.
If these vultures had agreed to take on less profitable post too, neoliberals like I would have accepted the deregulation but thanks to the EC and the post vultures, we all have only one daily delivery and if we are lucky before lunchtime.
Not content with trying to make postmen walk faster (which threatens a strike THIS FRIDAY), a report to Mandy suggests a ‘strategic partnership’ with another (EU, of course) company.
This will be part-privatisation by the back door, though the consummate spinmeister denies it, and will be a complete Labour disaster that will no doubt spark long, lingering strikes that will damage Royal Mail’s reputation even more – and, worse still, demoralise further its hard-working, underpaid and excellent staff.
The innocent 11-year-old Rhys Jones who was gunned down so brutally in Liverpool las year, a boy murdered who highlighted to us all that crime had spiralled out of control, has finally got justice.
The conviction of an 18-year-old gun-toting hoodie thug will be a crumb of comfort for Rhys’ parents but will never make up for the loss of their child.
It’s clear that, even now, Labour still has not got a grip of crime, gun and knife related in particular, and that many more young lives will be lost. Where will the justice be for them?
The dreadful announcement, and Peer Steinbruck’s accurate assessment of Brown’s economic policy, again demonstrates how Labour has thrown away the golden economic legacy they inherited from the Tories.
The fact that Woolies’ 30,000 jobs are at threat and we are now in economic decline shows why Labour must be booted out – and the sooner, the better.
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