So, the government have given in to the lunacy of the Agency Workers Directive. That's just what we need in a time where the economic forecast looks less than rosy: less flexibility.
The 1.3 million agency workers will get the same rights as full time members of staff after only working 12 weeks.
Now, whilst this decision is nowhere near as bad as the mindnumblingly dumb proposals originally on the table, that of equal rights from day one of an agency contract and the second one of six weeks into a job, it is still not necessary and not required.
It also shows how little power we really do have because the government's idea was that temps should work at least a year.
Surely it should seem obvious that the people this will affect is the temps, who will not get such long term contracts because it is not in the interest of the business to do so. Lots of people choose to be temps rather than being forced to do it because there is nothing else going, which means they don't want to be a full time member of staff with the obligations that puts on them.
But, you see, in the eyes of the EU who are all mad socialists (is there any other kind?) and unions who, as far as I can see would rather we all sat around not doing anything than some people achieved more than others, people who employ other people and run companies are bad, wicked mill-owners ready to ravish the poor, innocent and yet beautiful factory girl and leave her pregnant with his bastard child whilst he goes on a grand tour of Europe with his rich, ungrateful wife. Catherine Cookson stuff here, but whilst she's dead, the EU lives on.
John Hutton even says:
Flexibility has been critical to our ability to create an extra three million jobs over the past decadeSo why get rid of it now?
And of course, he can justify it by:
That flexibility has been preserved by ensuring workers can continue to have choice over their working hours in future years.
So in a nutshell, the UK have agreed to a law they didn't want so long as they can clarify some aspects of the loopy Working Time Directive that also most people don't want. But if we weren't in the EU we wouldn't have to have either.
So tell me, why are we in it?
But, hold on, for it is not over yet, for the European Parliament still has to vote:
Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne warned that Gordon Brown's own Labour MEPs could object to the working time deal.
Liz Lynne who is not a libertarian, I would like to point out, but very amusing to watch when there is even a sniff of cigarette smoke around.
But she's got a point; Labour MEPs are even more drum-bangingly left wing than those in Westminster, as are the Tory MEPs and the Lib Dems, if that is possible. Ah, yes, for their leader in Brussels likes to make speeches in French rather than the language his constituents speak.
I would estimate that the Employment committee who will get this legislation will stuff it with amendments calling for equal rights straight away, and the six week option.
The European Parliament: reliable in their stupidity.
Please, can we leave yet?