Socialist Worker

Cuts to red tape put bosses’ profit above workers’ safety

Issue No. 2388

Campaigning against the attacks on safety

Campaigning against the attacks on safety - www.hazards.org


The government is planning to scrap or amend more than 3,000 regulations.

David Cameron gloated that he has already amended the “crazy” Equality Act that means people cannot sue their employer if they are “insulted” by a customer.

The law was there to make sure that employers had a duty to protect their workers. Some 80,000 pages of environmental regulations will be ditched by March 2015.

Cameron added, “We’ve changed the law so that businesses are no longer automatically liable for an accident.”

The plans also include:

  • Giving more businesses flexibility to decide whether their accounts should be audited.
  • Cutting back on the rules on making people redundant.
  • Cutting rules on disabled access for new buildings.
  • Slashing building regulations.

The forthcoming Deregulation Bill will make one million self-employed people exempt from health and safety law altogether.


Shouldn’t the National Audit Office, which oversees government spending, show some fiscal restraint? 

The public auditor is currently advertising for a new chair of the board. They will be paid £40,000 a year for working just one day a week.

It’s an interesting way of “meeting greater public demand for public services with less resource” as the job ad states.


Tory Burley lied about Nazi party

Troublemaker regular Tory MP Aidan Burley lied to an inquiry into his behaviour at a Nazi-themed stag party.

Burley was forced to resign as a ministerial aide after the bash in a French ski resort, where guests, one in a Nazi uniform, chanted pro-Hitler slogans. 

A Tory Party investigation accepted his testimony that he had not been present at a bar where his group were chanting “Hitler” and “Himmler”.

Best man Burley has admitted to buying the Nazi uniform worn by groom Mark Fournier at the 2011 party.

Lord Gold found Burley behaved in an “offensive” and “stupid” way. 

The Tory report was released last week after Fournier was fined in a French court. Burley said he was not present at the Frog & Roastbeef pub. But journalists who were there have produced a recording and photo of him at the pub.


Cops reveal stop and search targets 

Cops with the Metropolitan Police face disciplinary action unless they stop and search at least 15 people a month.

The Met also orders officers to arrest eight people a month.

Met boss Bernard Hogan-Howe claimed stop and search was only used where officers have “intelligence”.

But one cop spilled the beans to the Daily Mirror newspaper. “Targets are set and expected to be obtained with the threat of management action should you not achieve them. The main one is stop and search.”

One PC investigated an allegation of “using a kettle without permission” in a flat with a communal kitchen so it could be counted as a “clear up”. 

Scotland Yard denied forcing officers to arrest or stop and search a minimum number of people.

There are no suggestions of targets for how many people the cops are meant to shoot each month.


Storage space at a premium

Friend of Troublemaker John Caudwell, the founder of Phones4U, was last week granted permission for his £250 million Mayfair mega-mansion thanks to “exceptional circumstances”.

Among the 12 parties opposing the billionaire’s 40,000 square foot project was Westminster Council’s highways planning team. They queried whether Caudwell really needs parking spaces for eight cars.

But the council decided the proposed three-storey subterranean car-park is a special case, after Caudwell said the parking spaces will be mostly used as “storage”.


£30,000 for two or three meetings

Peter Lilley MP sits on the energy and climate change committee. 

Lilley “earns” £47,000 a year for advising Tethys Petroleum, a Cayman-registered oil and gas company. 

He is now also counselling YiMei Capital, a Chinese asset manager that deals with “local and international investors”.

In return for Lilley attending “two or three” meetings a year, plus responding to “requests for advice”, the outfit has given him an annual salary of £30,000.


Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, is not the star speaker at a dinner for Britain’s defence industry.

Arms makers and dealers, ministers, and high-ranking officers will attend the £235-a-head dinner. The BBC said it “did not accept” suggestions that Robinson’s planned appearance was a problem. But because of a “change of plan” Robinson will now “not be attending the dinner”. 


Kensington councillor Matthew Palmer spent a council meeting discussing cuts while checking stock prices on his laptop.

At the same meeting councillor Daniel Moylan, adviser to London’s Tory mayor Boris Johnson, was playing a game of backgammon on his iPad.


ALL RISE

7p - David Cameron's expenses claim for a bulldog clip.

5p - Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's expenses claim for a paper clip. He also claimed 8p for a page marker and 41p for a black folder


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 28 Jan 2014, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2388
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