There’s merit in the gig economy

There are two main ways people can choose to earn a living. You can sell your time to an employer, or you can sell goods and services to customers.

Traditional employment – having a job – entails agreeing to be at your employer’s place of work, or in other places at his request, during stated hours. In return for losing your freedom over what you do for around 40 hours a week, the employer agrees to pay you for weeks when you are on holiday, and for weeks when you are sick. The employer also has to let you go home at a stated time whether the work is done or not. The employer stops you working for anyone else during the stated hours of your employment and may even stop you working at other times for another employer.

Self employment, or being a contractor, means you sell a company a given service, product or output. The company  normally has no right to require you to be in a given place at a given time, and cannot stop you working for others or doing other things as and when it suits you.  It means that the individual is not paid when they are sick or on holiday, because they are  not then supplying the good or service.

Parliament has always regulated these two different ways of working differently, and taxed them differently as well. The Labour party has concentrated in the past on improving working conditions for the large majority who opt for the job model rather than the contract model. Conservatives too support decent conditions of employment for those in jobs, and agree with a  framework which limits hours, requires minimum pay rates, and provides decent terms for sickness and holidays.

Labour  now wants to try to make many who work under the contract model work under the jobs model. They say some companies abuse the freedoms of the contracts model, effectively turning what should be jobs into self employed contracts to avoid holiday and sickness pay and the rest. They ignore the fact that many people working under the contact model have chosen to do so and do  not want to be forced into an employment contract instead.

The last three taxi drivers I have talked to about the contract model have all been in favour of remaining as contractors. One likes the contact model because he can earn more and work more hours as it suits him. One liked it for the very opposite reason. He values his time more and only works the hours that fit in with his other interests, working less than he would have to under the jobs model and going home when he wishes. The third was starting his own business which is not yet anything like self sustaining, but requires him to be able to have hours off during the working day to see new clients and customers  as need arises. The gig economy contract work pays the bills whilst he gets going with the new business.

The danger of the Labour approach is it will eliminate choice. I don’t want people to have to take precarious contracts when they want a job, but I do want people who have good reasons to work as contractors to be able to do so. There is room in life for the full time employed taxi driver and the self employed contractor driver. There is room for the staff journalist with holiday pay and the freelance journalist paid for each article. If we make everyone into an employee more of the entrepreneurial freedom loving types will go to another country.


  1. Nerwmania
    September 28, 2017

    Had there not been a Labour Party I doubt employment conditions would have progressed much since 1870. I`m no lefty but I think most reasonable people would agree that the Conservative Party has always opposed Unios and Liberals who sought to protect the ordinary worker . By the 1970s they were quite right to do so as overmighty unions failed nationalised industry and our self enforced isolation form our neighbours brought the country to its knees.
    It was then that Tony Benn , the original Corbyn, fought to keep us out of the EU just as Margaret Thatcher campaigned to take us in

    For some reason John Redwood has convinced himlse that out of Europe , the UK will default to some low regulation tiger setting . There never was one .
    It seems likley we will now get Corbyn and the resturn to what we truly were . A poor mess failing compared to every one of our developed neighbours in every way .

    After Brexit it is no good talking about economic competence and cerainly not fiscal prudence. If we must have one set of idiot revolutionaries or another I think |I will vote Corbyn , just to make sure the fools who did this are not getting what they want.

    He could hardly be worse than the economically illiterate petty Nationalist Daily Mail spouting charlatans we are suffering at the moment

    Reply I am not seeking removal of decent conditions for employees. The Conservative party has a proud record of social reform. We did not need the EU to introduce laws for better conditions.

    1. Richard1
      September 28, 2017

      Interesting mentality. You will cut off your nose to spite your face. This tone, which we also saw from the remain side during the referendum from the likes of Nick Clegg, must surely have played a major part in the victory of Leave.

      1. Hope
        September 28, 2017

        JR, sensible and logical. You need to change the language of your message so it attracts a wider audience and incorporate fear to make the young and masses understand. We have a something for nothing culture that appeals to the masses. Labour are exploiting this but no one seems to understand, again, where the money is going to come from. A bit like Labours tuition fee scam at the last election.

        However, Tories bring this on themselves through mass immigration, i.e. If these people have something for nothing why not us and give away billions in overseas aid when people need the money here at home.

        People were scared at the last election but two atrocities and Labour made it clear police numbers cut by 20,000 resonated against cut backs added to the free university. Yfour party is lost in politically correct dogma.

        Any news why Treeza Halifax May let the EU write her offer to them in her Florence speech!

        The Tories simply do have an attractive message for voters. Labour promises give always for free! Make it simple so the masses understand.

        1. Hope
          September 28, 2017

          Bombardier story being promoted to hide May’s Florence speech?

          Trade is a EU competence is it not? Like TATA steel there is nothing our govt can do. Why is it not being highlighted as a good reason to be out of the EU? So we can do our own trade deals. Was this not a key point and what is being argued about during any alleged transition period?

          How can the UK govt sort out TATA steel or Bombardier when it is an EU competence. Please explain. Moreover is it not a reason why there should not be a transition period.

          Why is Davis caving in on joint jurisdiction over citizens rights- our country our laws our courts this was the point of leaving. Weak Weak weak sell out.

        2. Hope
          September 28, 2017

          It appears the alleged negotiations are no more than a choreographed charade.

          I have not seen any compromise by the EU or anything in return for all the concessions Davis is giving on behalf of May’s weak Govt.

          Is this about as sincere as Cameron’s negotiations and his false claim to have reformed the EU?

          Time to walk away. The EU cannot give e UK a good deal because the other 27 countries would leave. May’s UN speech was absolutely clear she heralded the world order, that includes the creation f the EU.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 28, 2017

      The only really valuable protection for employees is lots of alternative jobs, if you do not like your current one you can take a new one. Building on EU workers rights (as socialist T May wants to do) actually just destroys jobs, prevents people getting rid of deadwood employees and it destroys the UK’s ability to compete in the World.

      It also mean that good workers have to carry others who cannot easily be moved on. It generates load of expensive and totally unproductive jobs for lawyers, bureaucrats, admin staff, record keepers, consultants and others. It is a further dead weight on management & business that depresses wages for all and kills jobs.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 28, 2017

        Also that for example some very poor teachers continue to teach classes of children for very many years or poor doctors, surgeons and nurses continue to treat patients for many years or poor coach drives/ambulance staff/pilots…… Do we really want damaging legislation to augment this problem?

      2. Hamsterwheel
        September 28, 2017

        Agreed. The first responder harks back to the days when e.g. the big local factory or the coal pit down the road was usually “the only game in town” and there was little or no alternative employment – then of course, they could do what they liked with you. Most Labour supporters still live in this lost world.

        Competition benefits everyone in the long run.

      3. Hope
        September 28, 2017

        Carney at it again. Scaring us about Brexit. May is of course allowing this. When is someone in your party going to push for him to be sacked?

      4. Lifelogic
        September 28, 2017

        A free market economy is ‘the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created’, Theresa May said today at an event to mark 20 years of the independence of the Bank of England

        So what about one in health care and education and taxis?

        Nothing May does suggests she thinks this at all. She is a misguided interventionist. Just like Cameron pretending to be a low tax at heart, EUsceptic Conservative.

        Green says she will fight the next election as leader so prepare for Corbyn it seems assuming his health hold up.

        We need someone to offer a proper uplifting vision not a robotic dithering socialist light to win.

    3. Bryan Harris
      September 28, 2017

      Had there never been a labour party, we would all be so much better off – We had liberal governments before labour came around, and conditions for workers would have gradually improved…. Instead now we are stuck with half the country tied to a religion that only wants to destroy what we have – labour and the unions have never done anything to help the country….and all we can expect with that damned communist corbyn is more strikes, more taxes and a miserable existance.

      I recall some a “person” who voted for blair because he felt personally able to survive if income tax went up by 2p – as stupid as he was, he thought that was all labour would take. Voting for labour is indeed akin to self harm.

    4. stred
      September 28, 2017

      Heath campaigned to join the EU and lied about the true intentions. Mrs T handbagged them into a fair rebate, then made the best of it. The Conservatives operated minimum wages according to trades in a system which worked well. They carried on the national minimum wage and increased the levels recently to a point where small businesses cannot take on staff and inflation is feeding through.

      Confused neurotic leavers may well vote for a Marxist failed state rather than risk Conservatives actually leaving the EU with new leadership. Then they may find that, although many EU leaders are ex?-communists, the EU is run for big business and will not allow large scale nationalisation. In any case, the UK will be unable to expand business with ROW or import and export with zero tariffs.

    5. Anonymous
      September 28, 2017

      Slavery. Yes SLAVERY has returned to this country because of the EU.

    6. Sir Joe Soap
      September 28, 2017

      Well once these restrictions of choice which you prefer are explained to people, I think the Corbyn factor will fade. Of course, if it doesn’t, we will just have to have a second election shortly thereafter, when the self employed become un employed.

      1. Mitchel
        September 28, 2017

        They’ll all be employed on the new collective farms-there will be no unemployment in the new peoples republic.

        I hear they’ve already put Lifelogic’s name down for 12 hours shifts at the proposed Lenin beetroot kolkhoz in East Anglia!

    7. Denis Cooper
      September 28, 2017

      With recent pronouncements from Labour I’ve recalled something Lord Tebbit said at a public meeting some years ago:

      Heath argued privately that we should join the EEC because it would tie the hands of any incoming Labour government; but he, Lord Tebbit, did not agree that this approach because, as I roughly recall his words:

      “If the British people vote for socialism they should get socialism”.

      And that is what I also believe, that if the British people vote for socialism under Corbyn then that is what they should get, and they should not be prevented from getting it through any international organisation such as the EU.

      1. rose
        September 28, 2017

        I confess to having voted for the EEC in that spirit. It was independent education I most feared losing to the left wing wreckers.

      2. Mitchel
        September 28, 2017

        Or Enoch Powell’s :”No,we do not fight for values.I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government.”

      3. eeyore
        September 28, 2017

        ” . . . if the British people vote for socialism under Corbyn then that is what they should get.” I’d love to agree with you, Denis, but unfortunately the British people are not “they” but “us”.

        A vote for socialism (Corbynism? Marxism?) will be a vote for the extinction of democracy in this country. Those who think they’ll have a second chance to repair the mistake are not in the real world.

    8. A.Sedgwick
      September 28, 2017

      Everything has a life cycle and trade unions, as known, have reached the end of theirs. They only really exist in the public sector where financial reality, despite all the clamours of austerity, does not exist. 25% of the council tax I pay goes to supplement local government pensions, many recipients probably better off than me. Increasingly other taxes will have to bail out the £1.8 trillion public sector pension liability. We have seen with Tata Steel and BMW the reshaping of employee representation i.e. with employees and shareholders working more to mutual benefit, this is the way forward rather than the bombast you hear from Corbyn, McDonnell, McCluskey and Co. If Labour comes to power it won’t matter the economy will be wrecked and the reality that only a vibrant private sector can pay for a fair society.

    9. acorn
      September 28, 2017

      The so called “gig” economy is introducing generation “cyber serfs”, “nothing less than 21st century share cropping that preys on the gullible, the ignorant or the desperate, according to Guy Wroble at the FT”.

      “An economic model that is based on workers providing the capital for their own tools and bearing the risk of individual business failure, while delivering profits to the owners of an algorithm, is as sure a method of returning income distribution to the feudal age as anyone could devise.”

      Once again, conservative neo-liberals, who like to commoditise everything, forget that the more self employed an economy has, the lower its productivity and hence the slower its economic growth. HMRC hates this trend also. It becomes difficult getting the correct amount of income tax; corporation tax and VAT out of a gig / self employed private sector. Ask the Greeks!

      1. Mitchel
        September 28, 2017

        I don’t have a problem with flexible working conditions;I do have great concern over a large and increasing part of our economy being outsourced to a small number of technology platforms which the government can neither control nor tax effectively.

        Osborne’s globalist puppetmasters were ever so keen on him doing this.

      2. NickC
        September 28, 2017

        Acorn, “… the more self employed an economy has, the lower its productivity …”

        Evidence please.

        1. acorn
          September 29, 2017

          Think about why companies form. Why they split sales activity from manufacturing activity, so the guy who does the manufacturing, doesn’t waste his time knocking on doors,trying to to sell his stuff to people who say nothanks.

          1. David Price
            September 29, 2017

            You have a very outdated view of what people do in technology and manufacturing companies.

            I spent my career in global technology companies as an R&D engineer and technologist designing and developing products where a significant proportion of my time was spent talking to and visiting customers.

            It is never a waste of time for a developer talking to customers and the market, especially those who say “no thanks”.

      3. David Price
        September 28, 2017

        Large corporates are feudal systems, why do you want to condemn everyone to such servitude for the benefit of a few?

        And NickC is right – where is your evidence that high self employment is a less productive economy?

      4. acorn
        October 1, 2017

        David, so who was doing the manufacturing of the products that your R&D said the customers wanted? Did they follow you around or did they concentrate on making the stuff you told them the customers wanted?

    10. Ian Wragg
      September 28, 2017

      Lewes national. I’m old enough to remember the Health and Safety at work act 1973.
      We were in the forefront of workers rights well before the EU took over competence.
      Much of the legislation churned out by Brussels has been nothing more than box ticking excersises for jobsworth.
      We now don’t have a common sense approach to many things. Personal responsibility has been all but removed giving rise to the snowflakes of today.
      It would be much better teaching people to look after themselves rather than trying to eliminate all risk which is impossible.

      1. Bryan Harris
        September 28, 2017

        Well Put ….

      2. Des
        September 28, 2017

        It was1974

    11. rose
      September 28, 2017

      Newmania, have you heard of Disraeli? Or Lord Shaftesbury? Or Wilberforce?

      1. Diogenes
        September 28, 2017

        All three (1804-1881, 1801-1885, 1759-1833) so relevant to the gig economy.

    12. libertarian
      September 28, 2017

      Dear deluded Newmania

      You might care to look up how many rules, regulations and workers benefits the tories have imposed on small businesses during their time in office

      You are ignorant

      1. a-tracy
        September 28, 2017

        He has never employed staff that is clear.

        The Tories put in the Equality Act 1.10.2010 plus the repeal of retirement age in 2011.

        The Tories put in the Living Wage a whopping 6.9% increase pushing up incremental pay. George Osborne had “promised” the national living wage will hit £9 by 2020 to deal with “Britain’s low pay problem”. Labour are promising £10 with the potential runaway inflation, will he be putting up pensions and tax credits and other benefits by the same % increase?

        The Tories starting from October 2012 set up workplace pensions, all employers must by law offer a workplace pension scheme. Which basically created a National insurance bill for Employers of 14.8% then 15.8% then 16.8% dressed up as NEST.

    13. acorn
      September 28, 2017

      Heseltine for Prime Minister!!! Let’s do a Macron and build a new party

  2. Duncan
    September 28, 2017

    You entirely miss the point John. This is not about a choice of how to earn an income but a policy driven by the unions in an attempt to force employment upon the self-employed.

    And why would the unions want to do this? It is nothing more than a blatant attempt to try and UNIONISE a sector of the economy that remains beyond the pernicious influence of McCluskey and his clique

    The TUC issued a ‘paper’ a few months ago suggesting that the self-employed could join a union

    Len McCluskey once declared that he ‘hated’ the self-employed. This man is poison to the core. He hates those his union can’t unionise. He’s now become Labour’s puppet-master and the driving force behind their policy direction

    There’s another war on the horizon and it’s a war between the hard left unions, who are highly politicised, and the rest of decent society.

    Unfortunately for the decent majority we have a Conservative Party led by people who are terrified of their own shadows. McCluskey, Corbyn, McDonnell and Milne really have nothing to fear from May and Hammond

    Hammond lifted the public sector pay cap this month. The public sector unions will be rubbing their hands in glee. He’s capitulated to mob pressure

    We know union strike threats are issued on an almost daily basis to ministers to extract favours, deter reform or prevent change. With Hammond and May they see a weak partnership ripe for exploitation and the ruthless unions will target this with glee

    We need legislation to protect the status of self-employment and to prevent the imposition of unionisation upon this group of people

    1. Richard1
      September 28, 2017

      I agree. Labour see that only by having a heavily unionised, employed workforce can they forment conflict and disruption. Self employed workers in the gig economy are entrepreneurs – anathema to the likes of Corbyn and McDonnell

    2. Mick Anderson
      September 28, 2017

      We need legislation to protect the status of self-employment

      No, we need fewer laws and less legislation.

      This is especially true of the morass of statute surrounding tax calculation and collection. If you want to find out how expensive Government is, become self-employed. The payments in January and July (not to mention four VAT payments per company per year) starkly highlight just how much cash the Chancellor grabs to waste.

      I’m don’t understand why it is assumed that the self-employed can be Unionised. It certainly wouldn’t work for me – if I heard about somebody trying to use a union to strong-arm a client, I’d see that as an opportunity to poach that client! We are already of the mind-set that it’s every person for themselves, or we couldn’t survive.

  3. Lifelogic
    September 28, 2017

    Of course there is merit in the gig economy for both the workers and customers that is why they choose to do it or use it. So why are T May, the courts and the daft son of a bus driver attacking it and damaging the economy?

    Why too are black cabs allowed to street pick up and use bus lanes when more efficient, cheaper, more pleasant and more convenient UBER cabs are not? Also why did the socialist dope T May commission the lefty dope Mathew Taylor’s damaging report?

  4. Liam Hillman
    September 28, 2017

    Well said, Mr Redwood!

  5. Lifelogic
    September 28, 2017

    Listening to Corbyn and Labour yesterday I am left thinking:- “Are these Labour plonkers really so thick that they think their proposed confiscatory, legalised theft policies and attacks on landlords will actually work, help voters and the economy – or are they just complete frauds and crooks who are happy to say anything, promise anything and damage the economy hugely just to get into power?

    Just the threat of them is already destroying confidence and damaging the economy hugely. Thanks to the daft direction of Theresa May, Labour looks more likely by the day.

    Paul Mason types do really seem to believe in this economic lunacy. He should have stuck to teaching music as he clearly hasn’t a clue about economics. Doubtless why the BBC employed him as Newsnight’s economic editor.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      September 28, 2017

      Dear John–I cleave to the view that most people consider what Corbyn says is pie-in-the-sky drivel, taking its cue from children telling Santa Claus what they want for Xmas. Always “want want want”. I thought the Sun yesterday with its comment about flapping seals hilarious. I’d be willing to best that the majority of the brothers couldn’t spell PFI let alone say what it means or what is involved in “taking them back”. And as for McDonnell’s views on what a market value is (“as determined by Parliament”, Heaven help us). All the more reason for more direct democracy if MP’s could ever even begin to agree with such tosh.

      1. sm
        September 28, 2017

        Leslie, unfortunately there are a considerable number of people (including the kind of people who bother to go out and vote) who perceive Corbyn’s ‘pie in the sky drivel’ as entirely reasonable and achievable aspirations.

        As many of us have said, here and on other forums, why we currently have a Government formed of uninspirational, past their sell-by date, backstabbers – not to put too fine a point on it – is beyond belief.

        1. Mitchel
          September 28, 2017

          Writing in early 1920 in the midst of the Russian Civil War,Prince Pavel Shcherbatov prophetically remarked that the White Army would lose because they were fighting “behind empty banners”.Despite our host’s efforts to develop ideas on this forum he appears to be something of a voice in the wilderness and the Tory banners are indeed empty….or is it a white flag flying.Red October beckons.

      2. Denis Cooper
        September 28, 2017

        PFI is a long running scandal, but from the way Jeremy Corbyn talks you would think that it was all down to the wicked Tories …

        This is from 2006:

        “The government’s controversial private finance initiative is floundering. Patricia Hewitt’s review of the £1.28bn PFI plan for the Barts and The London hospitals trust, prompted by spiralling costs revealed last December, also raises questions about the whole policy. With 39 PFI hospitals signed up for at a capital cost of £3.2bn and another 41 schemes planned, at a cost of £12bn, the policy is out of control.”

        Likewise he talks about the Tories tracking down the magic money tree and giving it a good shake for the benefit of the DUP without mentioning that its location was first established by Alistair Darling.

        (There are actually four, in the courtyard of the Bank of England: )

        1. Hope
          September 28, 2017

          Guido highlighted that while Major started the idiocy Labour implemented most PFI contracts.

      3. rose
        September 28, 2017

        Unfortunately, Leslie, the politicians have so arranged things that soon the voting majority will not be paying tax. Keep on increasing the population and make sure it is low skilled and uneducated. That way socialism can’t fail to win elections. They tried it first in their “luny left” boroughs where enterprise was marginalised and then driven out..

      4. Leslie Singleton
        September 28, 2017

        Postscript–Corbyn I read is supposed to cost us well “over £300,000,000,000”. Is that per year?

    2. stred
      September 28, 2017

      Briefly watching Corbeau being clapped while stating his 1970s and Venezualen plans for rent control, nationalisation and attacks on anyone the unions don’t like,it is pretty obvious that the mainly young audience is composed of the part of the classroom which has been taught by 95% Labour/ Marxist teachers for the past 40 years. They have no memory of the results of 70s policies and have never been taught about the horrors of communism.The result is that we may be the only country in Europe with sufficient young voters to put Marxists into government.

      They hate UBER and are closing it mainly because they are a US agency with self employed workers who will put the state controlled black cabs out of business after they enforce very expensive hybrid cabs and UBER drivers carry on using cheap secondhand hybrids. But they forget that black cab drivers are self employed and most of them hate Labour for ruining their trade with bike lane congestion. How thick is that?

      1. stred
        September 28, 2017

        Black cabs could operate on a UBER-like hailing system, but if the number of cabs is restricted and confined to the new London taxi hybrid costing £56, 600 and needing petrol to operate for most journeys, then fares are bound to escalate and many people will avoid using them and have to walk home to and from tube stations. The street life entertainment in central London will suffer. Labour policies are already ruining business.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 28, 2017

          Indeed and as three threat of Corbne get nearer it will get worse.

  6. Mark B
    September 28, 2017

    Good morning.

    True modern Conservatism is a about choice and personal responsibility. I choose something and, I either keep my rewards or suffer my losses.

    What Labour has done, and this so called Conservative government has maintained, is an attack on the self employed or those who chose to work in different ways. These attacks must STOP !

    People choose, as our kind host mentions, to work in the self employed arena for a multitude of reasons. Being tied to one employer with long notice periods removes both freedom and limits choice for the individual and employers a like. This results in a stagnant labour market. As I said in my post yesterday, which, at the time of writing, is still in moderation :

    “It always seems to me, you can always tell where government has been, by simply following the trail of mess that it leaves behind.”

    Governments do not help, they hinder. And in typical Socialist fashion they seek to control and centralise because that is the only thing they know.

    1. Mark B
      September 28, 2017


      Recently I was told a story by someone. A large UK company has been taken over by a foreign company. It was purchased because it has won a major government / taxpayer funded project. Other departments not involved are having their work force laid off. One such chap has been working there for some 30 years. Every year he was told that he could not have a pay rise (probably not for the whole 30 years) as he was on a final salary pension. As he approached retirement age he was told that the final salary pension was no longer being offered. I have no way of validating this story but, if true that shows you the state in which salaried people are treated. Compare that to people working in the same industry doing much the same job but working as self employed and with multiple contracts. They are in control. They choose the rate of pay, their pension arrangements etc. They take on board all the risk but they know this and can plan, if sensible.

      People who do not live the lives of others should not seek to dictate how they live. But Fascists, Socialists, Communists, Marxists and latterly Conservatives, seek to do just that !

      BUGGER OFF !!!!!!!!!

  7. Roy Grainger
    September 28, 2017

    There are many reasons Labour dislike Uber: they run an operation which competes against their GMB union paymasters, they are a company based in the hated USA, and they are also instinctively opposed to free enterprise. Some of them are calling for Airnb to be banned too – that demonstrates another characteristic of Labour in national or local government – they ban things – it is easier for them to do than something constructive that would take effort – my local council recently banned a privately-run bike hire scheme whilst at the same time putting in new cycle lanes because they think cycling is a good thing.

    1. eeyore
      September 28, 2017

      “. . . another characteristic of Labour – they ban things . . .” Quite right Roy. It’s the bullying, authoritarian mentality that fits so well with the priggish, morally superior one.

      Macaulay famously observed that the Puritans banned bear-baiting not because it gave pain to the bear but because it gave pleasure to the spectators. The neo-Puritans applauding Mr Corbyn would whole-heartedly agree with them.

      Shakespeare knew better: “Thinkest thou, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” Oh for a Cakes and Ale Party!

      1. Roy Grainger
        September 28, 2017

        On the morally superior point, my council also introduced a 20mph speed limit on virtually all local roads despite the fact the police made it clear in advance they weren’t going to enforce it. Imagine the warm glow of righteousness as those councillors drive over all those big 20s painted on the road (probably driving like the rest of us at 30mh).

  8. Lifelogic
    September 28, 2017

    I see that the police, together with the NSPCC, are doing some of the terrorist’s work with their “Run, Hide, Tell” adverts. Doubtless the terrorists will be delighted by this additional publicity. Who makes these bonkers decisions?

    1. Turboterrier.
      September 28, 2017

      @ Lifelogic

      Who makes these bonkers decisions?

      The majority of our political representatives. True to form as with most of their actions nothing more than a knee jerk reaction for every occasion. A distinct case of, fire,look, aim. I am always amazed that those elevated to senior and cabinet positions seem to in a matter of days adopt this method of behaviour. Could it be their advisers brief them to ensure that they stay within their tightly controlled guide lines to ensure the security of the departments future?

      1. Lifelogic
        September 28, 2017

        Indeed actors reading the lines.

  9. Tim Chick
    September 28, 2017

    The piece lambast’s Labour for not seeing the merits of working as a contractor, but this Government can’t either via an IR35.

    IR35 involves public sector bodies using an HMRC tool to determine if a temporary worker is to be taxed (income tax and national insurance) at source and at the same rate as an employee. Unsurprisingly the nature of the questions is skewed to producing an ’employee’ result. The outcome is that someone who enjoys none of an employee’s benefits or security of employment as they may only be there whilst recruitment of a permanent staff member takes place, is taxed as an employee.

    The problem is that all governments have financial diarrhoea; they just cannot cut back on some areas of expenditure when they need to maintain essential spending, just as someone would do in their own home. Instead it’s always about finding ways to reach into the taxpayer’s pockets first every time.

    1. Bob
      September 28, 2017

      “The problem is that all governments have financial diarrhoea; they just cannot cut back on some areas of expenditure when they need to maintain essential spending”

      That is the truth of the matter.
      The economy would boom if the govt could refrain from their seemingly insatiable desire to take control of our money, which they then squander like drunken sailors on shore leave.

      The huge inequalities in wealth are not helped by the fact that millions of shareholders are not able to vote for executive remuneration packages at company AGMs due to tax rules that force them to hold savings in nominee accounts such as ISAs and pension funds, thereby removing their voting rights. So the fat cats continue to award themselves eye watering pay & bonus packages at the cost of the small shareholders.

  10. Dave Andrews
    September 28, 2017

    Woe betide your guy who is starting his own business, if he contemplates taking on an employee. All of a sudden, a tide of bureaucracy engulfs him.
    What we need is a arrangement where businesses can refer all the bureaucracy to the state if they employ less than say 10 people, in return for a contribution from profits, say 10%.
    It will then be up to the state to decide whether all the pay reporting, health and safety risk assessments, stock valuations, VAT calculating and form filling really needs to be done.
    Allow the entrepreneur to get on with what he does best until his business is big enough to employ the people to tackle the administration the government demands.

  11. formula57
    September 28, 2017

    The Labour Party may not have revealed its full hand. It may wish to allow in due course employees to have the freedoms now granted to contractees. Recall that a well-known opposition leader allegedly takes time off in lieu on a Monday if he has been doing infotainment industry interviews over the weekend.

  12. Bryan Harris
    September 28, 2017

    Labour now wants to try to make many who work under the contract model work under the jobs model We know labour always have a different reasoning for doing things than they claim – This is just another attempt at boosting union paying employees. It is about control, and giving unions more power.
    It isn’t about doing anything to help contractors.

    Mrs T didn’t go far enough in taming the unions – until they become socially responsible, the country will never truly prosper…. It is time the unions were made to act responsibly, with union barons taken to court when they cause hardship unnecessarily!

  13. margaret
    September 28, 2017

    There is much corruption in the jobs market and in both the public and private sectors.Networking has meant that rumours false or true can be spread like wild fire. People can have a share in selling off workers covertly,legal rights can be covered by union representatives who are jealous of experience and qualifications or have idiotic interpretation of the law, lawyers collude , certain workers are allowed to prosper,workers can collude claiming racism etc. It is about me,me, me. I have watched managers blackmail workers and threaten staff who do not help them to get rid of other staff.
    It was not like this 40 years ago.

  14. formula57
    September 28, 2017

    Of greater seriousness is the question about what to do when the rewards (including pension entitlements) available from many jobs that historically have been sufficient for people to make a life that included raising a family and owning their own home are now not enough to do those things.

  15. alan jutson
    September 28, 2017

    Afraid Governments of all colours do not seem to like the self employed, because they do not fit into a tick box culture, just look at the recent attempted attack by Hammond on National Insurance contributions.

    We need free thinking people in this Country who are prepared to take a risk, but the system does its best to keep such people tied up with one hand behind their back.

    Many a small company started up with the owner first putting a toe in the self employed water whilst continuing for a while in perhaps regular employment, hence the reason have home bedroom/offices or workshops in their kitchen/garage.
    Rather like your example number 3.
    These people should be encouraged by the tax and benefit system, not punished.

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    September 28, 2017

    Just like zero hours contracts, the gig economy suits many workers/employees/ contractors.

    Government’s (and opposition’s) job is not to pass judgement but to provide as little legislation as possible to ensure that exploitation on either side is not possible.

    Other than that get out of the way.

  17. Anonymous
    September 28, 2017

    From an unassailable Conservatve majority to a Corbyn certainty within weeks.

    The only hope for the Tories is to start delivering on Brexit. But do they want to ?

  18. Fedupsoutherner
    September 28, 2017

    Off topic. I see there is now talk of flights being suspended between the UK and Europe without an aviation deal after Brexit. I thought I had read on this blog that that would be illegal under international law or am I mistaken? I am sure this is another issue being used to scare everyone. Surely this will be the case for flights from the EU into the UK? I cannot see that being allowed to happen.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 28, 2017

      Then I suppose all those tourists from around the world who thought they would fly into the UK for a visit and then fly on to visit other European countries would have to be told that they could no longer do that because the EU had refused to continue the perfectly workable arrangements under the present aviation agreement. I don’t envisage that our side would want to do anything which was so obviously bloody stupid, but I suppose the other side might out of their sheer vindictiveness.

    2. Know-Dice
      September 28, 2017

      This is something that Mike Stallard has flagged up as a potential issue for quite a while now…

  19. JimS
    September 28, 2017

    The next stage will be to direct people into a job so as to exceed so-called ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ targets.

    Our cows may be starving and dry but tractor production will break new records.

  20. A different Simon
    September 28, 2017

    Aren’t there something like 40,000 Uber drivers in London ?

    Many will have taken out finance arrangements to invest in a newer car for the job . Even second hand these are likely to be models commanding premium price like people carriers, Mercedes E-class or upmarket people carriers like a VW Caravelle .

    Uber drivers will be on the hook for payments for 3-5 years with the expectation of a hefty exit payment at the end of it .

    The odious Khan seems to think having the American Uber’s license is something to boast about .

    No doubt in private he also boasts about shafting the Uber drivers he has just rendered unable to service their finance arrangements (which will in essence be full recourse loans) and depriving something like 40,000 families , many with children , of an income .

    Khan really is the dregs yet the Conservative party deliberately fielded a no-hoper candidate in Goldsmith to give Khan a by in the mayoral election .

  21. David L
    September 28, 2017

    For many the economy as it is isn’t working. I understand the attraction of Labour ‘dream’ policies when people tell me they have no hope of home ownership, contend with capped wages and foreign-owned utilities, transport companies siphoning off profits which leave the country and see properties bought up by ‘shell’ companies who profit with little tax liability. When I’m told that a Labour government would “wreck” the economy I understand that it would make little apparent difference in the minds of many. I despair at the prospects for my children if they stay in the UK. I’m looking for a Party that offers genuine, realistic hope that isn’t fixated on blaming foreigners…any suggestions

    1. A different Simon
      September 28, 2017

      I don’t think any party (including UKIP) has blamed foreigners .

      One should be able to state the thruth that lots of jobs in industries like catering which were done by less qualified Briton’s are now done by overqualified Eastern Europeans without being accused of being a racist bigot .

      This has left a lot of British families without an income and to contend with the tragic effect long term unemployment has on marriages and children’s school work .

      It’s pretty obvious to most that it is our own British Establishment which has declared war on the common Briton and lost no opportunity to sell him down the river .

      Sadly Corbyn and ……John are not clever enough which will only lead to disillusionment for the young if they were ever to get elected .

      A very small party which appears to understand the problem and to have many of the answers is The Young Peoples Party (YPP) . Take a look on Mark Wadsworth’s blog for details .
      They propose shifting the burden of taxation from labour and enterprise onto monopolies ; the biggest and most pervasive being land which worked well at keeping housing affordable for large parts of the 20th century .

  22. Mike Stallard
    September 28, 2017

    In my working life I was a teacher. For the final ten years, I had to do Supply and Temporary work. Guess who employed me? Well, it was the County wasn’t it, warmly supported by the relevant Ministry. I was upset when I had to beg a Deputy Head for a job the next day. And if I did anything – anything – that displeased her, I was not asked back.

    In her working life, my wife was a nurse. Until our first son was born, she worked full time. Then, when she returned to work, she had to start at the bottom again. Lots of Agency work there! And, again, if she did anything – anything – that didn’t fit in with what the management wanted, she was not asked back.

    Oh – and if either of us was not available at all times, we were not given work.

    So let us get it straight, shall we: the government is right in there with Uber and the sweat shops.

    1. David Price
      September 28, 2017

      The world has turned and things are not the same at all – many make a living teaching on-line.

    2. sm
      September 28, 2017

      Mike, let me tell you about running your own little commercial enterprise:

      you work all hours in order to keep your clients happy, and if that means working 24 or 36 hours non-stop, that’s what you do, at no matter what cost to your family or your health;

      you don’t take hard-earned salary rises because that money needs to be spent on more staff, or increased costs, etc;

      when the Government runs the nation into a recession and you have to make staff redundant, you go without any salary for months on end in order to make the redundancy payments required by law;

      you do a big job for a client, involving weeks of work and expenditure, and they decide not to pay you for 3 or 6 or 9 months, so you have to go to law (at your own cost) to get them to cough up;


      Working life for the vast majority of people is rarely a doddle, whether you are self-employed, employed by private organisation or employed by the State.

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    September 28, 2017

    This is where the logic of this present Labour policy is so vacuous.
    If you prevent self-employment, those people can and some will set up their own Limited Companies to become employed. If you ban this, then you halt any growth in the economy through new companies being set up. The only choice will be to work for a corporate whose corporation tax rates will mean that they can’t expand. It will unravel pretty quickly.

  24. Anonymous
    September 28, 2017

    I don’t know a single working class gig worker who wouldn’t kill for steady employment with pension, sick pay, holidays.

    When these jobs become available thousands queue for them.

    1. Mick Anderson
      September 28, 2017

      Au contraire. We have several part-time employees on casual contracts; those that that are derided as “Zero hours”. We are obliged to give them contracts, and can’t just pay them as-and-when.

      These are some of our most productive staff, but they want and need the flexibility for family reasons.

      We would be delighted to employ all of them full-time, but it is their choice. As an “evil employer” (© Labour Party) we don’t have a say in the matter.

      1. anon
        September 29, 2017

        Are these workers, less than 16 hours a week at around minimum wage?
        Which may be logical for both employer and employee given the benefit system?

  25. agricola
    September 28, 2017

    Flexibility in ones work pattern is no bad thing for those it suits. However there are abuses. Car delivery drivers that are paid by the mile at a rate that is far less than the minimum wage. It is governments job to deal with such abuses while maintaining flexibility in the workforce.

    Labour have this week supplied a shopping list of changes to the way in which our economy works, some of which may sound appealing to many. Particularly those who suffer the lack of real completion in the supply of energy , water and communication. An area that government could apply itself to without draconian nationalisation. Nationalisation just shifts the power base without benefitting the people. The most ludicrous luddite Corbyn suggestion was to tax robots because they replaced people. Yes they do for the most repetitive boring actions, but they create jobs for those who design, make, maintain, and programme robots. More rewarding activities than the rote of the assembly line.

    Before anyone gets carried away in socialist euphoria, remember this. No socialist government has left the country in a better financial state than when they took over. The last lot broke the economy and left only debt. They can spend other peoples money , but have no talent for wealth creation. Look at their shadow cabinet and tell me who is capable of running a fish and chip shop.

    1. Know-Dice
      September 28, 2017

      Whilst very true, I’m not seeing anyone to inspire me in the current Cabinet 🙁

  26. Jason Wells
    September 28, 2017

    So JR would have us all turned into small time shopkeepers, or taxi drivers or even free lance journalists, which is all very well but what about when looking for a loan from the bank or other for to buy a house or for say some business type expansion? or what about rearing a family when your income could be very much up and down? which includes paying into some type of pension/savings fund on a steady basis and then the annual insurance payment comes around and puts the worry index up? You’d want to be very well organised in your own self and in your thinking to cope with all of this if relying on your own uncertain income and resources to get by. So if this is now Conservative Party dogma going forward ie. just to be different from Labour Party policies then I think we have almost reached the bottom with the Tories and then again with nearing zero hour type contracts territory for working employees- here for zero hours contracts read hamburger joints- and as I say we are nearing the bottom.

    Perhaps JR would like to try some work like this himself when he is out of his own comfort zone maybe after the next general election- although with his gig at the financial times he hardly needs another one to get by?

    There are many people working in the gig economy and it suits their life styles very well and good luck to them- I myself worked the gig economy for most of my life and it suited me well and am now comfortably retired but I have seen others not too suited to gig style work and therefore not so lucky.

  27. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2017

    Off-topic, I’m puzzled why the Telegraph should run this stupid headline:

    “Theresa May threatens US with trade war over Bombardier row”

    As is often being pointed out we have not yet left the EU, and just as this dispute has arisen while the EU has been running our trade policy for more than four decades, and also our state aid policy, so we will not have the legal right to launch our own trade war against the US until we have actually left the EU and are free from its common trade policy – that is unless Keir Starmer and friends succeed in keeping us subject to that EU policy in perpetuity despite no longer being a member state of the EU.

    “What is trade policy?

    The EU manages trade and investment relations with non-EU countries through the EU’s trade and investment policy.

    Trade policy is an exclusive power of the EU – so only the EU, and not individual member states, can legislate on trade matters and conclude international trade agreements.”

    The government knows this, Remoaners who hold this up as an example of our impotence outside the EU know it, and the Telegraph must also know, so what is the exact purpose of this ridiculous headline?

    1. Chris
      September 28, 2017

      They obviously think the electorate is stupid and will fall for it. Alternatively someone wants to make Theresa May look bold apparently by standing up to Trump. All she would look, in my view, is extremely foolish. Another terrible policy mistake it would be.

      1. Timaction
        September 28, 2017

        It’s fake Berkeley brother news to take the heat off of May’s appalling capitulation to the EU. Allowing them to write parts of her speech! She is a weakling and certainly no Churchill or Thatcher. Get off your knees and stand up for Britain Mrs May or get out of the way and let someone who will!!

  28. a-tracy
    September 28, 2017

    This is quite simple the self-employed must cost into their charge rate a portion to set aside for sick cover or sick insurance premium and their holiday pay at a cost of 1:9 days worked. The Employer gets no statutory sick pay back from the government for his/her employees sickness and has to cost it into their charges, they also must remember to cost in sickness holiday pay so that if someone is sick for 28 weeks they have to be paid their full rate of pay for 15 days if they normally work 5 days per week.

    If the self-employed person doesn’t cost this in and put it aside they have only themselves to blame as they are supposed to be costing their jobs professionally, they also are taking NI advantages as they contribute 9% rather than 25.8% an employed worker contributes.

    There are many more advantages to self-employment e.g it not being considered working time to get to your first job of the day being just one, this then extends your working hours and means you can be more productive per day. You can substitute your labour with another suitable person.

    1. miami.mode
      September 28, 2017

      a-t. Whilst some self-employed may be able to set a price for their work, in many instances they are simply told a rate for the job and this is probably 100% true for the gig economy that JR refers to. There is no negotiation except perhaps on how many hours are worked.

      1. a-tracy
        September 28, 2017

        At minimum, they can save the 3% national insurance premium they are saving by not being an employee to put up to cover sick pay. No-one is paying their 1-3% Nest or 13.8% employers NI contribution. They still get entitlements to the maternity allowance and other benefits if they can’t work. If a self employed worker isn’t charging themselves out at £9.15ph they are diddling themselves.

  29. Kenneth
    September 28, 2017

    Very good article – I agree with all of it.

    Socialism is an artificial construct. Conversely, the free market is closer to the nature.

    Socialism relies on a heavy rulebook and policing. These rules are built on the unsteady foundations of socialist ideas that are counter-intuitive. It then soon finds that the “law of unintended consequences” rears its head as the market “games” the rules.

    Ironically, the best gamers of these rules are the largest companies who soon learn to love them and use them to protect themselves from competition leading to an even greater gap between rich and poor.

    The socialist answer? Yet more rules and so the cycle continues.

    The ultimate end point of Socialism is a police state and Mr Corbyn’s faction of the Labour Party worries and scares me.

    1. Mitchel
      September 28, 2017

      Marxists believe socialism to be the next,final and inevitable stage after capitalism has matured(much as Islamists believe their religion to be the next,final and inevitable stage after Christianity had matured).

      Professor Michael Hudson in “Industrial Capitalism vs Financial Capitalism” (1989) wrote:”Capitalism’s historical role was to prepare the world for socialism by integrating the world’s national economies into a single market,whose business corporations would grow so large as to constitute virtual planning.All that would be left for socialism to accomplish would be to take over a finely attuned industrial system and mobilise it’s economic surpluses to uplift humanity at large.Marx even endorsed free trade as it would speed up this evolutionary process.

      Marx expressed an optimistic faith that financial capital would become subordinate to industrial capital.He described the banking system as an “integument” acting increasingly as the planning arm within industrial capitalism bringing the world economy closer to international socialism.”

      Isn’t that what,in effect,has already happened except that financial capitalism has long since taken over from industrial capitalism in the west?That paper,by the very independently minded Professor Hudson,is well worth googling.

  30. Bert Young
    September 28, 2017

    Choice and independence are synonymous partners . If an individual is prepared for life socially , academically and work-wise , they have the confidence to face most challenges and to enjoy the enviroment they live in . A balanced society provides large areas of choice for most occupations providing there is freedom ; imposed restrictions do nothing to encourage the individual and should always be subject to an overall view – hopefully the result of democracy .

  31. Prigger
    September 28, 2017

    National uniform full employment with a surplus of jobs is a natural conditioner for exploiting employers and those who would have gig-workers. Employers, if the Labour Party and trade-union machines miss a few in their particular ill-doings, make every effort in corrupting shop stewards.
    The Labour Party and its Unions with feigned tearsome glubbering are reminiscent of the
    snake in a poem often recited by President Trump
    On her way to work one morning
    Down the path along side the lake
    A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
    His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
    “Poor thing,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
    “Take me in tender woman
    Take me in, for heaven’s sake
    Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

    She wrapped him all cozy in a comforter of silk
    And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
    She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
    She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived
    “Take me in, tender woman
    Take me in, for heaven’s sake
    Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

    She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
    “But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
    She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
    Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite
    “Take me in, tender woman
    Take me in, for heaven’s sake
    Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake
    “I saved you,” cried the woman
    “And you’ve bitten me, but why?
    You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
    “Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
    “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
    “Take me in, tender woman
    Take me in, for heaven’s sake
    Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

  32. Ed Mahony
    September 28, 2017

    I agree. Plus we need to build up our economy. Once we’ve done that, and are more familiar with this gig economy thing, then we can look more at how to look after workers whilst not getting in the way too much of enterprise and business in general.

  33. Prigger
    September 28, 2017

    “The company normally has no right to require you to be in a given place at a given time..” One company I investigated insisted you attend a meeting at their HQ every month and give an account of your successes, failures, and they “assisted” you in self-training. They wanted their cake and eat it. Bizarre.
    Many times, I believe the Tory Party and trade unions are in cahoots. The presence and wicked actions of each necessitates the other. It is like a tennis match from hell where the two players use workers as the balls and secretly or openly actually consider them as spherical objects that are undeserving of any respect whatsoever. You’ve both made a terminal error in not using exclusively British-made balls.

  34. Epikouros
    September 28, 2017

    Our society it appears is driven by envy, righteous indignation and blinkered thinking that coalesce into groups of the like minded. So give birth to political parties and causes that push for, in the name of social justice and the desire to enforce conformity to their idea of right and wrong, adherence to their dogmas, thoughts and actions. Turning to socialism or national socialism or progressiveness or eccentric environmentalist. There are others as there is a place for every taste, belief and opinion. The effects of which we have to live with every day as one group or combination of groups become the dominant force.

    Which if not ameliorated by a strong opposing force generally in the shape of those who are less envious, indignant and blinkered have a devastating effect on our lives. Currently progressives and socialists are gaining in this struggle and if they succeed as would appear likely we are in for a very tough time. Shades of Orwell’s 1984 are on the horizon with it’s totalitarianism and poverty.

  35. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2017

    Also off-topic, why on earth is David Davis and his small army of civil servants in the Department for Exiting the European Union allowing Jeremy Corbyn and his chums to get away with their brazen lie that it was Labour’s idea to have a transitional period after we have left the EU, when that was expressly mentioned in Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech back in January?

    For God’s sake, before the referendum the government under David Cameron spent substantial sums of taxpayers’ money trying to persuade us to agree with his government’s policy of staying in the EU, now under Theresa May the government policy is that we shall leave the EU, and leave the EU Single Market, and the EU Customs Union, but we don’t see any active government campaign to bolster public support for that policy.

    “… as I have said before – it is in no one’s interests for there to be a cliff-edge for business or a threat to stability, as we change from our existing relationship to a new partnership with the EU.

    By this, I do not mean that we will seek some form of unlimited transitional status, in which we find ourselves stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory. That would not be good for Britain, but nor do I believe it would be good for the EU.

    Instead, I want us to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the 2-year Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards, we believe a phased process of implementation, in which both Britain and the EU institutions and member states prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us will be in our mutual self-interest. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements …”

    Oh, and, guess what, the word “trade” does not even appear in David Davis’s anodyne closing remarks earlier today:

    he is still allowing the EU to set the agenda for their own advantage.

    Enough is enough, but so far we do not have anything like enough signatures here:

    “Leave the EU immediately”

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 28, 2017

      I’ve just watched the news on the BBC and Sky, and I have a few questions:

      1. Why did the UK government agree that these withdrawal negotiations would all be conducted in EU buildings in Brussels, immediately giving the other side a significant psychological advantage? Why not alternating between Brussels and London, or all in a neutral location such as Geneva?

      2. Why does the UK mass media insist on treating our leading opponent in these negotiations, Michel Barnier, as if he was some kind of superior presiding officer, almost a god-like figure – Mr Barnier said this, Mr Barnier said that – rather than supporting the UK by laying into him and the EU in general?

      3. Why is the UK side caving in to whatever the EU side wants and getting nothing in exchange, and yet getting the blame for a lack of progress?

      4. When is David Davis going to say “Right, that’s it, we’ve bent over backwards to try to accommodate you but it seems that you’re not really interested in serious negotiations, so there’s no point in fixing a date for the next round”?

      1. Bob
        September 28, 2017

        “we’ve bent over backwards to try to accommodate you but it seems that you’re not really interested in serious negotiations”

        I get the impression that neither side is serious about Brexit, it’s all a big show to keep the plebs quiet.

      2. Know-Dice
        September 28, 2017

        1. Agreed
        2. Agreed
        3. Agreed
        4. Agreed

        Barnier and Tusk have said we have not capitulated enough yet to talk about trade, I really don’t understand why this Conservative Government is putting up with being treated like naughty school children…

      3. James Neill
        September 28, 2017

        Let me try and answer these questions for you Denis

        1/ The UK is leaving the EU and not the other way round

        2/ Mr Barnier is a civil servant, a very senior civil servant, he has his orders from the EU Commission and the EU Council, but he also reports to the EU Parliament. Barnier is a serious player in all of this and he will not compromise because he is not allowed to and is only going by his orders and the EU rules. The UK media are right to highlight and take note of what he is saying- he will be the one to recommend and decide whether sufficient progress has been made from UK side or not? the way it is set up is that there will be little or no compromise from the EU just if the UK meets its demands.

        3/ The UK side only appears to be caving in but in fact is just coming to terms with the stark reality of the situation we are in, ie. starting to realize that leaving an economic bloc of 500 million consumers on our own doorstep, with all that spending power, for a leap into the unknown is a brave move indeed that not all are psychologically prepared for yet?

        4/ The three points for a satisfactory exit from the EU have yet to be agreed, the movement of people – both EU and UK, the Irish border, and then the money owed from budgtry obligations and commitments made in times past for projects going into the future. There is no getting round these three things, sufficient progress will have to me made before talks can move on to the next phase- DD and Mrs May understand these things very well by now and soon all will become clear- so there is no point in worrying ourselves unduly- I’d say that by December next it will become clear that we are not really in any position to leave the single market or the customs union and the next phase for a transitional arrangement and then a type of Norway deal will evolve. Just my thoughts.

      4. Glenn Vaughan
        September 28, 2017


        A brilliant post and I strongly agree with all four of the points that you’ve raised.

        Thank you also for pointing to the existence of the petition to “Leave the EU immediately”. It has just under 40,000 signatures to date. I hope that all those who complain about the Brexit capitulation/surrender will sign the petition.

      5. Chris
        September 28, 2017

        I think we probably know the answers, and they do not augur well for Brexit, obviously. I see that another Jeremy Heywood ally has been appointed to government – see Guido tonight, and also my comment below. Hardly the action of a committed Brexiteer PM. There now seems to be a quite blatant demonstration that Brexit is not likely to be Brexit and TPTB don’t seem to care who knows it, nor do they seem to mind that the public can see exactly the steps they are taking apparently to thwart Brexit.

  36. E.S Tablishment
    September 28, 2017

    However good or bad the gig economy the Tory Government has magnificently succeeded in getting people back to work or work for the very first time with the idea they should work, that life is not an always available food bank.
    Its failure and it is a massive one, is allowing “poor” public sector worker unions with the virus laden Labour Party in pushing the idea that say nurses are poor. They are still the largest and highest paid workers in my northern very large town. My medically employed friends ranging from the lowest paid care worker to doctors of some standing can not only out drink me and do, but can afford to do so 24-7. One feels genuinely sick of hearing a nurse who can afford the transport costs to get to a BBC studio whining about pay without holding up her predominantly female wages’ slip for all to see.
    Well we have near on full employment, cut the crap about dedication, I know scores of you and you should get a better paid job if you can. Off you go or shut up! I guess you’ll sleep on it, probably on the night-shift from what you openly admit!” Maybe its an NHS thing but staff tend to drink the best high priced lager than cheapo beer and smoke King sized cigarettes as opposed to those regular sized ones.

  37. A S Read
    September 28, 2017

    We saw how effective Theresa May was at the general election. Now we are seeing how effective (not) is her handling of Brexit. However crazy we might think Corbyn and Labour, there really does need to be someone with star quality leading the Conservatives, a brexiteer. Otherwise, with Hammond’s transitional period we could well get to the next election and watch on as Labour win it. And then undo everything.

    1. Chris
      September 28, 2017

      I actually think Hammond could live with that, along with some other Tory Remainer MPs. I believe that is why there apparently is this air of complacency amongst Tory Remainer MPs i.e. just let things extend/spread out over years.

  38. Dennis Zoff
    September 28, 2017

    Are we to take anything Labour says with any conviction? After “Labour’s tuition fee scam debacle” to win quick votes, which was mendaciously deplorable, surely has blown their political credibility?

    I cannot believe the youth’s intelligence is that grim that they would continue to believe this charlatan and his bunch of sophistical cohorts!

    1. Comrade Bligh
      September 28, 2017

      Youths grow a little each day. Revolutionary zeal diminishes each and every leaflet they are asked to sore-foot deliver for a comrade who always seems to stand, always is a chief comrade, and has less and less time to deliver leaflets himself as he is conducting the revolution from sedentary position coincidentally also out of the rain and cold. Viva! Viva! Viva,!Up with comrade!! Yes, I’ve been there , got the Karl Marx tee-shirt..costing a revolutionary comradely amount of money for Party funds to help elect comrade over and over in Perpetual Revolution as comrade Leon Trotsky advocated in his revolutionary pamphlet “One Step Forward Two Steps Back On Doorstep Canvassing in the Kolkhoz”

    2. A S Read
      September 29, 2017

      They like his “star quality”. They think he is “genuine” and not like all other politicians. They think they can have nice jobs and opportunities, and have marxism. So they voted for him. And will do so again.

  39. MickN
    September 28, 2017

    John will you be joining the Campaign for Conservative Democracy that it is reported will be set up at Conference? This for those who have not seen it mentioned elsewhere is a campaign to return power in choosing candidates for elections to local branches instead of CCHQ. I wonder how many of those Conservative remoaner MPs in Leave constituencies would have not been selected if the decision to let them stand was at the behest of the local associations.

  40. Peter
    September 28, 2017

    The danger is when a traditional employment model of work is dressed up as a self-employed contract model. This can be a ploy by an employer to save money and/or skirt regulations which apply to the traditional job form of employment.

    It is not too difficult to see situations where this applies. It is not unreasonable for a government to take steps to prevent the exploitation of employees in such circumstances.

  41. E.S Tablishment
    September 28, 2017

    I read a headline on the BBC website that Home Secretary Rt Hon Amber Rudd is banning or proscribing, based on her own obviously valid and valuable opinion more political or terrorist organisations on the basis of what they say on their websites. I’d never heard of them until she by her alleged actions brought by the way the information, names of, their policies, opinions, aspirations, principles into the public domain. Maybe she will later outline for those she has interested how they get hold of application membership forms.

  42. libertarian
    September 28, 2017

    This Conservative government is at war with self employed and small business. They have imposed rules, regulations, stupidity ( see IR35) in return for the fact that SMEs have created the greatest job creation miracle .

    Business rates are an oppressive over the top omnishambles designed to finally kill off the high street.

    There are very simple ways to manage personal service limited liability companies…. the government has ignored that and gone for an industrial steam hammer to crack a peanut

    I have spent last two weeks under repeated attack from various government agencies trying to find a reason they can fine me ( they haven’t found one yet) , take me to court, close me down or impose outrageous extra levies. None of which are legitimate

    Why do the Tories hate small business?

    1. Mitchel
      September 28, 2017

      “Why do the Tories hate small business?”

      Because socialists hate those that can support themselves and do not need government intervention – the kulaks;the original Bolsheviks loathed peasants and small business owners more than they did the aristos and the bourgeois.

  43. Denis Cooper
    September 28, 2017

    Off-topic again, I’ve quickly scanned through the latest version of the joint technical note on “Comparison of EU/UK positions on citizens’ rights”:

    and the points of continuing disagreement between the two sides seem to have relatively minor practical implications for well-behaved EU citizens settled in the UK.

    Therefore I would say that it is high time that the EU side stopped using this as an excuse for refusing to talk about trade in parallel to these ongoing discussions.

    Of course the EU side was handed the opportunity to make a big thing of it when Theresa May accepted terrible advice from Sir Ivan Rogers and allowed it to be understood that she would use these people as “bargaining chips”, rather than going ahead and making a unilateral declaration of how she intended to protect their positions.

    After which she had apparently accepted some more bad advice when she hinted that if the EU did not agree to a satisfactory deal with us we would stand by and allow innocent people to be blown to smithereens by terrorists even if we had information which could have helped to save them.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 28, 2017

      Oh look, somebody holding up a banner saying “I am NOT a bargaining chip”.

      “Two heavyweight organisations have launched a rare direct attack on the Government over its handling of EU citizens’ status after Brexit.

      The Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) joined forces to say the uncertainty facing four million European and British citizens had become “intolerable”.

      Their two leaders wrote: “After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing four million European and UK citizens has become intolerable.”

      Thanks to Sir Ivan. From August 2016:

      “Sir Ivan Rogers, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, advised all candidates for the Tory leadership to use Britain’s three million EU nationals as bargaining chips in Brexit talks because he thought it would be the only bargaining chip Britain had. Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid all regarded the idea as disgusting, and said so. Even if destabilising Polish nurses and German mechanics in Britain would give the Foreign Office a nice chip to play, why would a humane government wish to do so?”

  44. Elastic band planes
    September 28, 2017

    I feel one airline CEO’s love of the EU was not based on completely understanding of EU law in regard to passenger compensation. One finds this up in the air lack of clarity in many Remainers’ minds.They did however get it right in one sense…they are indeed remaining just where they are.

  45. Juiliet
    September 28, 2017

    Labour dislikes the gig economy immensely, it stops them from legislating a flat pay scale in increasing saturated low skilled unskilled job market which will depress wage

    Gig economy was only supposed to be viewed as an alternative second job work solution for self employed full time part time independent skilled workers. But at the opposite end of spectrum is unskilled low-skilled workers which is now heavily monopolised by non-tax paying migrant workers who do not qualify as self-employed on minimum wage from EU, and recent immigrants from Non-EU who also claim tax credits with periods of unemployment.

    Labour wants to implement mandatory £10+ London living wage across industry sector to import more low-skilled unskilled people into the UK, but failing this they will happily tax firms more for automating, Labour cannot justify a living wage because the Gig economy is app driven, and gig businesses like Uber who pay min £5 per hourly wage do not recognise the 40,000 people who use the app as a third party service as employees

  46. MikeW
    September 28, 2017

    Michael heseltine says it all for me..we are not in a negotiation wilth them we are there in brussels to face up to our terms of departure..all ideas and moves about how to do this will come from our side only anď if acceptable then we will be allowed to move to the next phase which according to our side will be a traspnsitional arrangement. But all talk about transitional arrangements are coming from the uk side only and as yet the EU have not talked or agreed to this in any clear way. And to have a transitionak period must mean that there would be chance of a type of new trade deal at the end. Yes heseltine makes perfect sense about all of this, we are the ones leaving the EU and not the other way.

    1. Biggles
      September 28, 2017

      If there were a war between the UK and anyone,we should install JR as Leader, make a mock Cabinet( in the sense of not really existent ) and have him stand for a few periodic photoshots in front of cardboard cutouts of members to allay fears of a dictatorship. Then beat our enemy soundly. Any other course of action and we can see it with prowling Heseltines, Blairs and Majors would end in our utter defeat. They are like leeches on reality.

  47. The Prangwizard
    September 28, 2017

    The Labour model or the Socialist/Communist model is all about control of the individual. It must be opposed.

    It is interesting that those on that side of the argument are still unable to accept that free will exists and can be exercised. Here in the US it is being reported that Michele Obama has said that those who voted for Mr Trump did so because they are unable to think for themselves and had to be guided.

    etc ed

  48. MikeP
    September 28, 2017

    This week’s reporting of a well-known airline’s problems shine a light on the worst abuses of the contract model where we taxpayers are subsidising the low fares model they operate.

    Their pilots are self-employed, “hired” with around 150 hrs of flying time, they then have to personally stump up thousands of pounds to pay for their flight training (or the bank of Mum & Dad does) and only when they pass are their “companies” paid by the airline, at around £1500 per month, on a zero hours contract. If the flight rostering requires them to stopover in Brussels, pilots have to pay for their hotel stay themselves and – wait for it – charge that to their companies as an expense to their business (rather than to the airline) thereby reducing their “profit” and therefore their tax.
    The airline has required pilots to stopover and fly home the following day but incurs nothing for contractors to stay away from home as might happen to an employee. This is employment by any other name, yet very insecure for the pilots concerned so it’s no wonder so many are leaving and causing the present issues. Here’s a pilot on air recently

  49. BertD
    September 28, 2017

    Listening to DanielHanan on Ch4 news story tonight leaves me is this guy just like Gove and IDS, speaking in such confident tones, the same old nonsense that everything is going to be so easy..we want to set up an economic bloc in competiton with the EU it seems and we expect that the EU is going to facilitate us all the way just because we are britain…crazy crazy stuff

    1. Simon Coleman
      September 28, 2017

      Yes, Hannan is completely deluded…although at least he has the pragmatism to realise that the 52-48 vote is not a mandate for a hard Brexit. He’s said that more than once. Compare that with Mr Redwood’s position…although he’s gone a bit quiet about Brexit since May’s Florence speech!

  50. Simon Coleman
    September 28, 2017

    No, Labour has said that it wants people to continue to be able to negotiate flexible working. The abuses in the system are real, whether you want to believe it or not. Workers being charged for time when they’re off sick? Sports Direct? ‘Conservatives support decent conditions of employment…’ !! I’ve come to the conclusion that you like having a laugh at the expense of people who actually believe such cobblers.

  51. Chris
    September 28, 2017

    This, if true, seems to be an important development. what is going on, Mr Redwood? I do not like the sound of this at all:
    “Civil servant Olly Robbins is setting up a Brexit team outside DexEU
    Senior civil servant Olly Robbins is setting up a team of Europe-focused specialists, pulling more resource away from David Davis’ Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU).

    Robbins, who earlier this month moved from DexEU to Number 10, is in the process of pulling together a crack unit of around 20 people, to form a “a major Whitehall power base”, Politico reported this morning.

    A spokesman for the Prime Minister told City A.M. the team was being established to support his work for Theresa May as EU adviser in the cabinet office. Staff will be brought in from DexEU, as well as other parts of government, he added.

    The move will consolidate more of the Brexit braun away from Davis’ dedicated department under May and her deputy Damian Green, and comes amid rumours of a clash between Robbins and Davis during the critical negotiations about Britain’s future relationship with the European Union. …”

  52. Histolstoy
    September 28, 2017

    Corbyn says Capitalism is facing crisis 2017. Lenin’s revolution 1917. Corbyn can’t read.

  53. APL
    September 29, 2017

    JR: “There’s merit in the gig economy”

    Yes, there is. We could apply the principles of the ‘gig economy’ to our Westminster representatives. There are often times when you all could be back in your constituencies doing gainful employment. There is no reason you should all be employed as full time staff with fat salaries and fatter tax padded state pensions.

    You could all just be called up ( on the same basis as the TA, but with much less risk ) and paid for your attendance at a debate. Or the once or twice a week you sit and listen to the half dozen constituents that bother to turn up to MPs ‘surgeries’.

    The rest of the time, you could all be out contributing to GDP instead of wantonly spending it.

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