Forget about New Labour, welcome to New Con – I think we now have New Conservative in the guise of Vince Cable (or should that be Vince Cable in the guise of New Conservative?). Is this how the Lib Dems are going to present themselves to the electorate? What the hell is he doing fiddling about with tribunal awards, and bringing in legislation to make it easier to get rid of employees!
I’ve said it before – surely the most important item on the agenda is getting the economy going and reducing unemployment. So, just how much does he think reducing tribunal awards for unfair dismissal is going to help reduce our deficit? It’s a drop in the ocean, and as for the argument that these changes will encourage employers to take on more people – its just tripe.
One of the biggest problems many people running their own business face is paying wages. It’s an enormous step to take for the first time, every penny you pay to someone else comes out of your own pocket (or an increased bank loan). Talking about taking someone on and paying them a wage is jumping the gun. The first failure of many employers is at the interview stage, they just don’t know how to do it – Whether it’s a large company employing many or just a one man band, this in my view is the most important point in the employer/employee relationship.
In my experience (as both an employer and employee) many employers find themselves at tribunals because they are shit at being an employer. Over the last few days since Vince made his announcement on this issue there have been many commentators who have said that it’s often as a result of employees not being given adequate training that leads to a breakdown in relations. Whilst this may well be one of the reasons, I think an altogether ignored factor is the lack of training for the employer, so many haven’t the first clue when it comes to man (and woman) management. It’s all very well encouraging entrepreneurs (I’m all for it), The trouble is they may well be great at space science, computing, flower arranging, selling sand to the Arabs or whatever, but as business people many of them are crap, and as soon as they need to employ someone they are even crapper.
So often some poor sod comes along for a job interview and is told what really amounts to a pack of lies with regards to the job description and general terms and conditions and when after a few weeks (sometimes just days) they realise the job and/or the money is not all it was cracked up to be, is it any wonder they feel let down and disgruntled? Of course they don’t leave, jobs are too scarce, and so they just stay and become ever more frustrated with the situation. The employer on their part notices that the new guy/gal is not all that they expected them to be but instead of raising it as an item for discussion at the next appraisal (ha, ha, ha, what appraisal you ask), they hope things will improve and their thinking is along the lines of ‘if I get rid of him/her I’ve got to go through all that interviewing again’. I know it is also open for prospective employees to lie about their qualifications and experience. The difference is you can sack them if you find out you were told lies (of course, I would still say it’s the employers fault if they didn’t ask the right questions in the first place). What Vince is putting forward will in no way encourage poor employers to be better; it just makes it easier for them to be bad. I could go on about good and bad working relationships for hours. Although it dates from the sixties, I think McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y should be read by anyone contemplating running their own business and/or employing people (look it up on Wikipedia).
Why should all this make me think that we are about to see New Con? Well it’s because what Vince Cable is talking about is Thatcherism (I suppose it’s really Old Con), and what a coincidence! In the same week as this announcement from Vince we have the revelations about the Police misdeeds following the Hillsborough disaster. I believe Thatcher and her government created the environment for such behaviour by the Police. I’m not saying that the coal miners, print workers and all the others that came into conflict with the Police were all goody goodies, but using the Police the way her government did was very divisive and led those Police at the top to believe they were above the law and so able to pervert it with impunity. I know Jack Straw has already said much the same thing, (in all the years of Labour government, did he or any other of his colleagues do anything about this cover up?). Norman Tebbit has come out and said such theories are nonsense; well he would since he was part of the Thatcher government himself. You will notice that I don’t put the blame solely on her, all those who voted for her to be their leader are all equally guilty (did they see her as a nanny/matron/mummy figure?)…..and this is where we come to my opening headline; history does indeed show us that we learn nothing from history and are bound to repeat the same mistakes.
I do wish the other lot would start saying things and making statements so that I could then have a go at them. Let’s see what they are going to make of the proposals to change GCSEs,I am also watching for their reaction to ID Smith’s reform of the welfare system proposals. Are two Eds really better than one?