Green Party, Basic Income & Zero Hours contracts

Yet again, the Green Party throws away its Ace, the Basic, Citizens’ Income, because it doesn’t understand it, and has allowed what should be the centrepiece of an anti-austerity and environmental sustainability programme to become something opponents can use to lampoon us as idiots. The Green Party’s curt “We would ban Zero Hours Contracts” is a last straw. Not ‘the’. No doubt there will be others before the election.

Against the backdrop of benefit sanctions, Zero hours contracts are an obscene form of slavery. How anyone can defend them is beyond me. I shouldn’t have to spell this out, but apparently I must, to the Green Party, let alone to others.

An employer can dictate whatever terms suits her/him. If the poor sap in his power objects that they are utterly unreasonable, he is reported to the Department of Work and Pensions, and his benefits are stopped.  Cameron can ignore this, but  I was appalled to hear a member of the ‘green surge’ say he was impressed by Cameron’s defence of them in the Paxman interview.

But against a backdrop of the Basic Income, the clap trap uttered on behalf of zero hours contracts suddenly makes sense. Yes of course there are people they would suit down to the ground.

Persuasion is better than Force

Do I really need to explain? Once no one has to work even the nastiest employer must present her/himself as reasonable. (S)he can only offer what people think is in their interests.

In case Miliband or anyone else hasn’t grasped this yet, with a Basic Income, zero hours contracts will need no legislation curbing them whatsoever.

Looking ahead to the time when anti-austerity is no longer the Green Party’s main theme, and it returns to its original raison d’être – safeguarding the global environment – the flexibility of part time work will be essential.

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6 responses to “Green Party, Basic Income & Zero Hours contracts

  1. Well yes: well argued; except for the final remark. We are right to be ‘anti-austerity. ‘Austerity’ is a further attack on the already poor.
    We want fair shares of the reduced quantities of goods, and if these are produced to meet real needs, without planned obsolescence, and made to high standards of quality, durability, repairability an, finally, suitability for recycling, then I would not count the outcome as ‘austerity’.

    • Gremlins. I tried to reply last night, but couldn’t and I don’t know why not.
      The Green Party will always be ‘anti-austerity’ as currently understood. All I am suggesting is an eventual change in priorities. I wanted the Party to adopt “A Recession can be Fun” as a slogan, but more sensible members didn’t agree.

  2. Exactly right Clive (or would exactly correct be more tactful).
    If there was an Independent Green campaigning for a Green Tax Shift to revenue-neutral resource taxes with Basic Incomes to make them progressive, I would support them.
    I have put a link to this post on my blog.
    Alison M.

  3. Pingback: Clive Lord, "Green Party, Basic Income & zero hour contracts" | BIEN·

  4. Pingback: Universal Basic Income: How the Labour Party Could Stand Up for Workers, Help the Poor AND be Pro-Business | Gold Against The Soul·

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