Monday, March 14, 2011

Delusions of power

Many of my Tory friends used to say, "Wait until Dave gets in, you'll see we will roll back the power of Europe".
We he is in, and the powers of Europe are not being rolled back. But what is really odd, is that the actions of his goverbnment seem designed to highlight its own impotence.

So far the classic case has been the prisoner votes charade, where hundreds of Tory Back benchers have voted to prove their own impotence.

Next up is on issues surrounding maternity leave. Here again the Tories are attempting to steal a UKIP policy (just as they keep on doing, and I see that the SNP are doing similar (thanks Peter)) but this time it is one of the policies that only UKIP can achieve.

You see these ideas trailed in the Sunday Telegraph, just won't work while we remain in the EU.
The strategy is expected to include proposals aimed to address the staffing problems caused to such firms by strict maternity leave laws. In the future, companies with 10 or fewer employees could be given the right to negotiate maternity and paternity leave “deals” directly with their workers.

Mark Prisk, the deregulation minister, will meet business leaders in the next few days to discuss the plans, this newspaper understands. The Budget will be announced by Mr Osborne on 23 March.

Currently a women is allowed up to a year’s statutory maternity leave if she is an employee, no matter how long she has had the job, how many hours she works or how much she is paid. Her employer is also forced to give her old job back to her, or offer her a similar post, on the same salary and conditions, if she wishes to return.

Furthermore, under changes to take effect in April, if a mother returns to work without taking a full year’s maternity leave then the father will be able to take the remaining time, up to a maximum of six months – another moved opposed by most business leaders.
Marvellous, excellent, good on you Mr Prisk. And why not go a little further, for example our Small Business Policy.

But anyhow we are not the only ones who have noticed that this idea has one overweaning problem. The EU.
Plans to exempt small firms from onerous new maternity leave rights are being stymied by Lib Dem ministers.
Tories want to give bosses of businesses with ten or fewer employees the right to negotiate parental leave directly with staff.
But the move is being opposed by Lib Dems who have warned that any move to water down protection for workers at small firms would flout EU laws
So what are the Tories up to? I would guess that a significant majority of Tory backbenchers would like to see SMEs released from the spring tide of regulations drowning out their entrepreneurship.
What is more they would happily vote it through the House.

Only to be brought up sharp by the first employment tribunal which will make it clear, as plain as a pikestaff that the UK no longer legislates alone on employment regulation. It is at least in part an EU competance.

Yet again it appears that they Conservatives are merely underlining their impotence.

I am beggining to feel that they actually believed their own rhetoric. They actually thought that by getting into power it would mean that they were in power. I don't think that they have the first idea quite how much control has been passsed across the Channel, both on their own watch and the watch of the Blair/Brown years. All they are doing is reminding people that the EU is in control.

Which in turn drives people to UKIP.


Sue said...

I think it highlights the fact that most of the Conservative politicians really don't know how much power has been taken away.

The realisation is beginning to kick them up their backsides now, hence the growing group of eurosceptics in the party.

Anonymous said...

Are we Blair yet?

ANDY5759 said...

iDave has already driven into UKIP's arms. I would not be surprised if a few Tories cross the House over the next couple of years, and I fully expect a bold showing from UKIP at the next General election.