14 October 2016
Writing for the Industrial Law Journal, Private Law Lecturer at Kings’ College London Dr Ewan McGaughey, has praised the Institute of Employment Rights’ Manifesto for Labour Law, saying it could represent a “qualitative shift in politics”.
He said: “…the Manifesto for Labour Law, authored by a host of the most distinguished labour lawyers from Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth, seeks ‘a comprehensive revision of workers’ rights’. The Manifesto’s eight chapters lend a compelling narrative, with 25 ‘principal recommendations’ for reform. The essence is a call for sectoral collective bargaining, a matching right to collective action, a meaningful floor of rights fully enforced, a renewed Ministry of Labour and an autonomous appellate Labour Court. As Lord Wedderburn turned the phrase, here are proposals supported by ‘hard legal analysis allied to an alternative social vision’.
Drawing on the “pathbreaking” Manifesto, Dr McGaughey proposed a Twelve Point Plan for Labour, which he said “builds the labour policy elements for a qualitative shift in politics”.
“Qualitative shifts are more scarce than changes in government,” he noted. “In the UK, those shifts were represented by Thatcher from 1979, Attlee from 1945, and the government elected from 1905, soon led by Lloyd-George. Positive change came with mass social organisation, not ‘leaders’ on a frolic of their own. Each was a turning point, because each reshaped the basic model of how to organise society, and how to address its fundamental problems.
“Today, almost all major social and economic problems revolve around an authoritarian model of economic governance: inequality, climate damage, and all forms of prejudice that are drummed up by politicians to divide democratic society and protect their oligarch puppet masters.
“People want a living planet for their children, a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work, and the right to shape the laws that bind them. These desires will always be stronger than the interest groups that oppose them. To drive for change, social democracy – the single most transformative movement since the Industrial Revolution – needs to regain its purpose and impetus worldwide. Our laws must come alive again, our social innovation must revive again, for ‘democracy and social justice’.”
Click here to read the full review and Twelve Point Plan