Labour needs a shadow Minister specifically to tackle inequality

The gravy train rolls on reaching ever more sickening heights of greed, selfish gratification and disregard for the ever deeper miasma of poverty that disfigures our country.   The latest figures show that the richest 10% of the UK population, who already owned 52% of UK wealth just before the 2008 crash, have become significantly richer since the crash because of the rise in value of financial assets, during a time when averages income have fallen 8% in real terms.   Britain now has 2 million dollar millionaires, if the value of equity in houses is included, up by almost a third since last year.   There are also now 44 billionaires in Britain, up from 8 in 2000.   The individual excesses continue apace, only getting ever more outrageous.   BG Group has just appointed a new chief executive, Helge Lund, previous boss of Norway’s Statoil company, with a £15m ‘golden hello’ and potential earnings of an additional £14m a year.   At the other end of the scale are 70 former NHS care workers for the disabled in Doncaster who have taken so far 85 days’ strike action resisting the further crushing of wages and terms and conditions for the lowest paid.   Their jobs were outsourced, holidays cut, and take-home pay cut by a third.   Care UK which won the contract and ousted them is owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital and its chairman John Nash was recently made a peer after donating a quarter of a million pounds to the Tory party.

So what should be done?   The Labour party has focused on seeking to raise the lowest wages by committing to an £8 an hour minimum wage, though postponing this target till 2020 undermines much of its impact when it is so badly needed now.   But there is no clear strategy for tackling outlandish greed at the top.   Giving a binding vote to shareholders, the Vince Cable solution, won’t have much effect when shareholders are only concerned about their return on capital, not about the remuneration of the chief executive if he delivers those profits.   Guidelines from a High Pay Commission won’t cut much ice either if unaccompanied by sanctions.

There are only two mechanisms which are likely to be effective.   One is to introduce a maximum top:bottom ratio for salaries from the boardroom to cleaners on the shop floor, to be phased in over time.   In 1970 the ration was 40:1; it is now 185:1.   A 10-year phase-in period should be set to reduce it back to 40:1 or preferably 25:1.   The second mechanism would be to give a say to employee representatives rather than shareholders.   If an Enterprise Council was set up in all large companies (say, those with more than 1,000 employees) composed of representatives of all the main grades of employment and meeting at least once a year, it could be tasked with reviewing progress on all aspects of the company’s activities, including assessing pay claims at all levels of the company right up to the top.   But these initiatives are only likely to be enforced if Labour appoints a Minister with the specific brief to tackle inequality in all its forms.   It would be a highly popular move.

2 thoughts on “Labour needs a shadow Minister specifically to tackle inequality

  1. So your proposed solution to, “inequality,” would be to appoint yet another over paid politico and to create yet another ministerial post, (how many ministers do we actually need,) although it seems to many people, (myself included,) that on the whole government, (pre Blair,) worked far better with fewer minsters than it now does with more.

    And shades of these largely unwanted and virtually en-elected police commissars, for example, who were justified, (or not depending on you point of view,) by exactly the same spurious and unpersuasive line of argument and which have hardly been a startling success.

    Once again this seems more about more, “jobs for the boys,” more self serving empire building bureaucracy, more, “partners,” on the existing model of G$S, AVANTA, CAPITA, etc,and of course yet more impudent laws, everything in fact that’s wrong with Nu Labour in a nutshell.

    Or Cooper’s recent demented proposal for of all things, “A Rape Tsar.”

    The poor, the unemployed and particularly the disabled are being systematically marginalised, (even increasingly criminalised,) and quietly airbrushed out of the debate, (and out of picture,) by the well heeled apparatchiks of both political parties equally.

    I actually see nothing particularly remarkable or uncharacteristic about for example Lord Fraud’s comment, (he suggests paying the disabled less than the minimum wage,) and suspect that many if not most of his peers are equally out of touch and indifferent to this often harrowing issue.

    But since real unemployment in the UK, (still in deep and prolonged recession,) is currently running at around 3-4 million and there are frequently well over a 100 people applying for almost any vacancy, compounded by these unpleasant and predatory government scams, forcing unemployed people to do unpaid commercial work for their benefits, (to which majority have already contributed,) or these shabby apprenticeship schemes, (so called,) generally speaking jobs for disabled, (a far from uniform or homogeneous group to begin with,) are on par with jobs for rest of us.

    They simply aren’t there to begin with at any price.

    So as I commented previously, I really can’t for the life of me, see much, (if any,) real difference between Freud and Milliband’s equally despicable crew, (remember it was Labour and not Tories, who brought in ATOS.)

    The only difference being that Freud made his comments on record and in camera as it were.

    Remember this:

    “A disabled Labour Party member claims, (“claims?”) she and others were ejected from their reserved seats in order to make room for “bright young things” at the party’s conference in Manchester on Tuesday.

    “Bernadette Horton, a 47-year-old Labour Party member who cannot walk without crutches, fell over after conference organisers made her and two other partially, (“partially?”) disabled individuals move from their reserved seats.”

    Then there were those equally odious comments from that well known raving Tory, Ed, (Sticky Fingers,) Balls, about people on benefits including the disabled as, “expecting something for nothing.”

    You couldn’t possibly make it up.

  2. Rather than appoint another Minister, would another possible solution be to:
    a) Make all private donations to political parties illegal. We have a state funded broadcaster (BBC) – surely that can be used to give each party equal air time to put across their views.

    b) Write into law that no private company can be bailed out or subsidised using public money – only given to the public as a gift.

    c) All Money (including digital bank deposits) can only be created through Government Policy via a Money Creation Committee like the MPC at the Bank of England.

    d) Write into Law that the BoE can NEVER be sold into Private hands.

    e) Make derivatives trading illegal in the UK and offshore.

    f) Cut all income Tax to zero%.

    g) Maintain Tariffs to foreign corporations as a source of revenue to the Treasury. Country’s that close UK Factories and make UK Citizens unemployed should have double the Tariffs put on all subsequent imports from that Country and treble Tariffs from that Corporation.

    NO TTIP. NO ISDS. Don’t reward UK Corporations for outsourcing and don’t protect their investents in foriegn countries. Reward them for maintaining their business interests in the UK.

    If Money can only be destroyed by the Government via the Bank of England, Banks could be allowed to collapse without affecting the economy – which is why the bangsters haven’t suggested this solution themselves. A Bank would just be an agent of the Bank of England. No more Bailouts or being held to ransom by Bangsters.

    These measures would help turn the disgustingly rich into the “quite wealthy”, and the desperately poor into the “well off”. House Prices would reduce, but who cares – people who buy a House as a home be unaffected, property developers, estate agents and bangsters would be devastated – Shame!

    There is such a large gap between the highest and lowest paid that the highest paid have so little in common with the rest of us that they become a diffeent species, one to be feared – that is not a good situation as when part of society is regarded as a different species – anything can happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *