I've been doing some work on the minimum wage. Some people would rather it was lowered, some that it was abolished altogether.
There are some Conservative MPs trying to get it abolished. I think that is a terrible idea, although I know their arguements.
I'm calling for restraint, both personally and professionally. That means a sensible rise.
John Prescott, as part of the excellent Go Fourth campaign, sent me the following on facey and i thought it worthy of referencing here:
"The reason I'm emailing is that I've got a Facebook group you may be interested in, supporting the Minimum Wage against a group of Tory backbenchers who are trying to get an opt-out put in, which would essentially fatally undermine it.
"I was wondering if you'd fancy doing a little blog/vlog on the issue as it strikes me as similar to the Dan Hannan/NHS nonsense.
"What we have is the real face of the Tory party revealing themselves, with David Cameron desperately trying to avoid mentioning it or bringing it to light.
"Just as with Dan Hannan, Cameron is not commenting on the matter at all as he doesn't have the backbone to stand up to his own party.
"So given the similarity of the two cases I hoped you'd do a blog, link to the group, encourage people to join and sign the petition etc."
Alex - I'm going to do more than that. I'm launching an all out campaign to Kill This Tory Bill and expose the Tories for what they are.
This is the 'change' Cameron is promising.
On May 15 the Employment Opportunities Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons.
Proposed by senior Tory Christoper Chope MP and 11 other Conservative MPs, it will allow firms to effectively opt out of the minimum wage of £5.73 an hour and pay what they like.
The second part of the bill will force all public sector organisations to advertise their job vacancies externally, so that those outside the 'magic circle would have the freedom to compete for jobs on an equal basis.'
Christopher Chope told the House of Commons:
"It is about removing the barriers to work that have been introduced since the last recession. It is not only an essential supply-side measure; it is also a restoration of that basic human right—the right to work."
The Tory MPs backing the bill are:
Christopher Chope, Peter Bone, Philip Davies, Nigel Evans, Greg Knight, Edward Leigh, Ian Liddell-Grainger, Brian Binley, William Cash, Robert Syms and David Wilshire.
Here's what you can do to kill this Tory Bill
1. You can read the Hansard of the First Reading the Bill here http://tinyurl.com/d9g7ao
2. sign Alex Ross's petiton here http://tinyurl.com/dlvncb
3. Join the Facebook group here http://tinyurl.com/c2sxlg
4. Watch my YouTube clip here http://tinyurl.com/d2lqhx
5. Find out more about Labour's minimum wage here http://tinyurl.com/cqheph
Please pass this onto your friends - get them to get involved and let's Kill This Tory Bill together.
All this about the 'Human Rights To Work' is crap. All it is really about is the right to pay people dirt wages for their jobs, and it's not on