1st August 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23517977
http://www.runcornandwidnesweeklynews.co.uk/runcorn-widnes-news/runcorn-widnes-local-news/2013/07/25/man-cuts-throat-with-knife-in-runcorn-benefits-office-in-protest-bedroom-tax-55368-33650506/
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/jul/30/buckingham-palace-zero-hours-contracts
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/we-need-to-make-it-easier-for-firms-to-sack-workers-claims-conservative-chairman-grant-shapps-8740703.html

My Dynamite Dave,

I was sorry to read about Paul Cruddas, your biggest Tory party bankroller, accusing you of humiliating him after you repeated allegations that he was charging people up to £250,000 to arrange meetings with you. He was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing and awarded £180,000 for his troubles, and even though these accusations were found to be unjustified, I can see why you would be upset. £250,000? How insulting. I wouldn’t get out of bed for less than half a mill at least.

Meanwhile, the scrounging plebs continue to try and make a name for themselves. No longer content with merely dying and blaming the government, they’ve taken to more dramatic measures. One guy last week, in a benefits advice office, after an unsatisfactory meeting about his bedroom tax, took out a knife and slit his own throat. My first reaction to that story was “benefits advice office?” Why do these even exist? Surely, the whole role of that office could be adequately filled by one man holding up a sign that says “Get a job!”

And speaking of jobs, the big news seems to be zero-hour contracts (where employees have no guarantee of work from one week to the next) being used extensively in the UK, including the entire part-time staff of Sports Direct and Cineworld. It also turns out that all the part-time staff at Buckingham Palace not only have similar contracts, they’re also forbidden from working elsewhere! Demonstrations are being planned right now focusing on Sports Direct and other proponents of these ‘unfair’ contracts. I wouldn’t want to be in Wood Green on the weekend I can tell you.

Despite all of this, and I’m sure you’d agree, workers still have way too many rights. Giving an employee a guarantee that they’re going to get paid is unfortunately unworkable in certain industries, especially ones where the biggest sellers are popcorn or track pants. So I am glad to see the old reliable Tory party chairman Grant Shapps coming to the defence of employers everywhere, making campaign promises that he’s going to see to it that companies can get to fire people much more easily. Thank goodness for sanity.

I just want you to know that I would quite happily sign a zero-hour contract for you, my love. I hear the job of Tory party whip might be going? That sounds like fun!

Katy Anchant

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