Pre-Strike Ballots and the Trade Union Bill 2015: Denying Workers the Right to Strike?

8 September 2015

By Alan Bogg, Ruth Dukes and Tonia Novitz

The Government’s indecently short consultation procedure on the important issues of restricting the right to strike, using agency workers as strike-breakers and curtailing the freedom and civil liberties of working people to publicly protest ends tomorrow (9 September 2015). The IER will be responding to each consultation as best we can given the restrictive nature of the questions and the inadequate response forms. Here we offer a critique of the Government’s proposals on strike ballot thresholds.

Yvette Cooper, Quantitative Easing and the spirit of Keynes.

Sue Konzelmann and Frank Wilkinson

16 August 2015

Tony Blair’s assertion that the Labour Party faces “annihilation” if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader, is little short of astonishing. Just three months ago in Scotland, Labour actually was annihilated – by the rise of the SNP, a left-of-centre party, opposed to austerity and strongly supported by young people. Currently, the Scottish Labour Party is being rejuvenated by the prospects of Corbyn as leader. It is clearly fanciful to suppose that Labour faces crushing defeat simply because opposing austerity will make it look too left wing.

Corbyn or the Party – Which is the Bigger Threat to Labour?

17 August 2015

By Marc Fovargue-Davies, Sue Konzelmann and Frank Wilkinson

This blog first appeared as an article in Saturday’s Morning star.

Many members of the Parliamentary Labour Party fear that the election of Jeremy Corbyn would damage the party and make it unelectable in a General Election. It is, of course, possible that they’re right – after all, their last choice of leader did exactly that. But if Corbyn does win, and his opponents’ worst fears are then confirmed, the position wouldn’t be that different from what it is now. On the other hand, acquiring a track record of interfering very publicly with the democratic process, in order to influence the result of an election, would haunt the party for a lot longer – probably permanently. And that would make Labour far less electable.

The power of corporate propaganda: review of ‘The Mythology of Business’

13 August 2015

By John Christensen from the Tax Justice Network

Why did the vibrant social democratic traditions of Europe and North America collapse so swiftly in the face of the pervasive propaganda of the neoliberal project? Was it because the post-war golden age of Capitalism – les trentes glorieuses as the French call the period of record growth and stability between the 1940s and 1970s – imploded in the face of its internal contradictions? Or was it because a series of Big Lies had been propagated by leading economists and corporate-funded thinktanks, and subsequently lapped up by a grateful business community and by politicians? This blogger tends towards the latter view.

Truckers, public safety and the government's duty of care

3 August 2015

By Andrew Moretta, World of Work PhD student, Liverpool University

Truck drivers are highly skilled professionals. A moment’s inattention when driving a 26 ton vehicle can have catastrophic consequences. Despite this, general haulage drivers are very badly paid – many are on the minimum wage and many more are required to work extraordinarily long hours. Twelve to fifteen hour days, five to six days a week are the norm in a great many firms.

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