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Good day. A Labor government would clamp down on emails, WhatsApp and phone calls outside of bosses’ working hours, though exemptions would be made where necessary.
A senior Labor figure recently described this bulletin as “unnecessary”, although I think they were making a specific comment on that day’s content, rather than a general direction on whether the back and forth accompanying the writing of today’s bulletin . note would be prohibited under Keir Starmer.
Some serious thoughts on politics and internal Tory debates over electoral strategy.
Inside Politics is edited today by Leah Quinn. Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkb and please send gossip, thoughts and comments to email@example.com
Working strictly 9 to 5
The UK job market is set to become a hot political issue, for the simple reason that it is the political space where the gap between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer is greatest, both in style and substance.
That supports sweeping changes planned for the UK job market, including a ban on “fire and rehire” and, according to the scoop by Jim Pickard and Delphine Straussthe introduction of a “right to disconnect” from emails, texts, WhatsApp messages and the like outside of working hours, as has already been introduced in France, Italy, Portugal and elsewhere.
Taken together, the big change that we can say with certainty would occur under a Labor-majority government is that unions and individual workers would be much more powerful and harder to remove than they are now. You can expect a Conservative government that is concerned about the inroads Labor is making with business to start talking a lot more about this.
The “right to disconnect” in particular, I think will travel widely – the policy is a messenger that, whether you’re shaking your head at the prospect or counting down the days until a Labor government implements it, will be widely recognized by the people. in most workplaces. . For better or worse, it is going to define how many people view Keir Starmer’s Labor Party.
And rightly so: Ultimately, the biggest change Starmer’s Labor proposes to make to the UK’s economic model is to significantly increase the power of workers and unions. Yes, Labor also has an ambitious plan to green the UK economy, but the Conservatives will also have a rival plan. There will not be a viable governing party that does not propose some route to net zero (and thank goodness for that). But the position of Labor in the labor market is different and therefore worth mentioning.
Another subplot to watch out for: how the Lib Dems interpret all of this. A Labour-Liberal Dem coalition of some form, either with Lib Dem ministers or with Lib Dem support on key bills and votes, but with no Lib Dems playing any role in government, I think would be very much quite harmonious. There’s a lot the two sides agree on, particularly the big issues facing the UK right now, from net zero to the importance of childcare in boosting UK growth to tackling crime. (Although there is a reasonable argument as to whether both parties are equally compromised in reality.)
But the role of unions, of sectoral collective bargaining and of new rights in the workplace are issues that clash in various ways with the different traditions of the two parties. If after the next election we end up with a Labor government dependent on Lib Dem support, which I think must be one of the most likely outcomes, then one area of friction may well be around the plans of the labor labor market.
I preferred unchecked decline
One reason to expect a change of government, in addition to the great support we got in the local elections, is that almost every day there is new news that shows how far Rishi Sunak is from being able to say that he has kept his five promises to the British public in the time of the next elections. Delphine and Jim you covered in another one of those:
Staff shortages in education and health are worse than in any other area of the UK economy, as public sector wages lag further behind those on offer in the private sector, according to a survey of employers.
In health care, 55 percent of employers had hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 40 percent of all private sector employers, according to the survey, which is released Monday.
Part of the reason it seems unlikely the government can say it has cut NHS waiting lists is staff shortages. And there are no signs that the government can claim a significant reduction in the number of people arriving in the UK on small boats. If the government makes good on its promise to cut inflation in half by the end of the year, it will probably be a close call.
The biggest consequence of that is that it increases the possibility that people will see the next election as one in which a tired Conservative government must be ousted by whatever force is best placed to do so at the local level. That was the forgotten story of local elections: the incredibly efficient tactical voting by supporters of Labour, Lib Dems and Greens.
But one political consequence of that is Sunak’s strategy for the elections, running with “I have kept these promises. . . now look what I promise to do next”, is in danger. As a result, there will inevitably be a discussion about what he should do instead.
Priti Patel’s attack on Sunak for overseeing the “managed decline” of the Tory party is part of that. (Though many may look at what Sunak inherited and think, hey, controlled decline is an improvement on chaotic, aimless, accelerated decline.) Suella Braverman also talks about the importance of reducing net migration, what you will do today in a speech. (Although personally I am not convinced that what the government needs is a sixth commitment you can’t reliably keep, but different blows to different people).
I’ll have more to say about Braverman’s speech tomorrow: but one thing to expect from the whole Tory party is a more public debate on electoral strategy, since ‘Plan A’ must surely be in doubt.
now try this
I had a wonderful weekend, largely because instead of watching Arsenal lose to Brighton yesterday afternoon, I was cooing over a cute little boy.
Spent Sunday morning reading FTWeekend in bed – particularly enjoyed Monica Mark A fascinating and gripping look at South Africa’s copper thieves and the criminal underworld behind them.Brooke Masters Life & Arts essay on the imminent end of affirmative actionand a brilliant mini-profile of Imran Khan.