From the TUC

Johnson’s real agenda coming clearer: Watch out for your rights!

29 Jun 2016, by in Politics

Boris Johnson is at least the bookies’ favourite to become Conservative Party Leader and therefore Prime Minister, and, as the leading Conservative on the Leave side, he fulfils one key criterion for PM in post-referendum Britain (“you broke it, you bought it!“)

So it’s worth trying to get some idea of what sort of future for the UK and Europe he has in mind: never easy where Johnson is concerned. He is attempting to portray himself as the ‘unity’ candidate, presumably because he can justifiably claim to have been in favour both of remaining in the EU and leaving it in the space of just the last six months.

He has, despite photographic and other evidence to the contrary, denied that he ever promised to use the alleged £350m a week we pay to Brussels (not, of course, that this is a valid figure) to boost the NHS budget. And his position on migration is so wobbly that the slogan “take back control” implies the sort of control that a four year old has taking their first ride on a bike without stabilisers: maybe he’ll get the hang of it.

He was good enough to set out his ‘plans’ in an article in the Telegraph on Monday, although friends are apparently briefing that an experienced journalist and politician of several decades wrote it without much thought. As I say, maybe he’ll get the hang of it.

In that article, he began to backtrack from the £350m pledge (a ‘substantial sum’ ‘could’ be directed to the NHS), and also indicated that he expected the UK to maintain full access to the EU single market and uninterrupted rights for British people to travel around Europe to work, study or retire. But within the fantasy politics, one point becomes crystal clear. He wrote:

“The only change … is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation: the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal.”

It is worth remembering that the legislation he has focused on most in the past few years (apart from his ludicrous claims about bananas and pasties) has been those guaranteeing workers’ rights. As we’ve pointed out, Johnson would like to scrap “all that social chapter stuff”. And most of the cases that “Britain” has lost at the European Court of Justice have actually been victories for British people, often against their employers. This suggests that Johnson’s main target is not the economy, not immigration, but workers’ rights.

That’s why it’s so important to defend our rights at work, rights which are popular with the electorate and which even prominent Leave campaigners promised during the referendum would not be touched. We need to hold them to those promises (along with the promises on extra funding for the NHS and so on.) That’s why the TUC has set up a way to petition your MP – especially important with Conservative MPs – asking them to make a public commitment to leave our rights alone.

Please take action and sign the petition now!

6 Responses to Johnson’s real agenda coming clearer: Watch out for your rights!

  1. jo hinde
    Jun 29th 2016, 3:16 pm

    if boris implements anything that will go against peoples rights,he will have a problem,because i dont think the people will let him get away with it,or his broken promises,i know i wont.

  2. Ted
    Jun 29th 2016, 6:56 pm

    I hope you are right but with the backing of the newspapers and the BBC Boris will be able to convince working people giving up their employment rights to support the economy is quite reasonable. The current divide and rule will continue to work, plus he can make more promises.

  3. Jacqui
    Jun 29th 2016, 9:14 pm

    If he can lie and manipulate voters to leave with the support of the Murdoch press, he can use those same nasty techniques to persuade people to give up their employment rights. He is a nasty bit of work. He should be held to account but is he? No.

  4. John
    Jun 30th 2016, 3:18 am

    Is this now the real aim of any Conservative government – to make unions & working people powerless?

  5. Linda Bache
    Jun 30th 2016, 8:58 am

    We must let these Tories and their rich business friends know that we will protect workers rights at all costs.

  6. Tracy Richards
    Jun 30th 2016, 10:07 am

    This conservative government have already made it clear they would like very little in the way of protection for workers and their working rights . We only have to look at the recent new Trades union bill passing through parliment ..we must keep campaigning to protect our rights in the work place