Thatcherism on steroids.

A report from the Financial Times indicates the Johnson government is preparing to undertake the biggest onslaught on worker’s rights and protections in decades. Thatcherism on steroids is here.

Here’s a quote from the Guardian:

“Proposals include an end to the 48-hour maximum working week, changes to rules about breaks at work, and removing overtime pay when calculating certain holiday pay entitlements, the Financial Times said. Another proposal would be to get rid of the current requirement for businesses to log information about daily working hours, to save on administration costs. The package is being drawn up within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the newspaper said, and while it has not been put to other ministers, the department has consulted some business leaders.”

This isn’t a “new” blue collar Conservative party, it’s the same lot. Johnson has promised business leaders comprehensive liberalisation of the labour market, and he’s set to fulfil that promise. The extreme centrists who proposed this would be superior to a Corbyn government must hang their heads in shame today.

The labour movement, the Labour party, and all progressive groups in society must now unite to oppose this, bringing about mobilisations that dwarf those of the austerity era. Mass civil disobedience may be necessary to prevent the Johnson government from taking away hard won rights and protections.

The consequences of these measures would be to set back the clock further on progress, to cause serious harm to people’s financial wellbeing and protections, and to complete another step of Thatcher’s demonic neoliberal project. This is the Thatcherism-on-steroids we were all warned about. This has no benefits for working people, and let’s call it what it is: a shift of income upwards, robbing working people blind at the behest of wealthy Tory donors.

Centrists dragging up Lexiteers to blame for this are literally still using a huge assault from the right that all progressives should unite against….. to attack the left. There are real and credible left arguments to get out of the EU, arguments to which I and many subscribe.

But to claim Lexit was a real force in the referendum is fallacy, and to insinuate this is what we wanted is to ignore that the damage caused by the People’s Vote fanatics is what handed the Tories such a large majority and killed the Corbyn project stone dead by splitting its coalition in two.

Lexit was never to be delivered by a Tory government. The Tories want to do this inside or outside the EU, and the EU was never a bulwark against such assaults. The left must right this terrain, get a Labour government, and reverse the damage and ENHANCE the protections.

The belief that we should surrender all democratic control of rights and standards to unelected Eurocrats is bizarre, and demonstrates a shocking lack of ambition from the left, wanting to cede economic policy to yet more austerity peddling neoliberals who would sell out rights and standards in a split second if it suited them.

Let’s resist this hideous development for what it is: a rightwing government bringing in hard right economic policy. Not about Leave or Remain, it’s about the TORY government that’s been elected. We must fight this with everything we’ve got.

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Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.