26th February 2009 – Tim Worstall on paying the pension Fred Goodwin’s contract entitled him to:

It may not have been a very good contract, it might be that we or you or even they wish it had not been signed in the form it was, but it is indeed a contract.

And tearing up contracts, abandoning the rule of law, is really not an action or activity that is going to help us in the future.

8th March 2010 – Tim Wortall on paying the redundancy pay Civil Servants’ contract entitle them to:

People that it’s almost impossible to fire insisting that they get vastly better redundo than people that you can fire.

I think this is one of those strikes worth breaking, don’t you?

The right can be quite keen on contracts, except when workers bargain decent conditions for themselves, then they’re dreadful things.


7 thoughts on “Hmm…

  1. So… are you saying the left aren’t keen on contracts? I get that you’re pointing up Tim in a hypocritical moment, but you also seem to be suggesting that it’s totes fine to break a contract if you decide it doesn’t suit you any more.

    The Telegraph article in question says the new contracts were in consultation and negotiation for 18 months. It hardly counts as having your contract ‘torn up’ when your boss has been discussing the terms with you for a year and a half. The article also quotes Tessa Jowell as saying that five of the six civil service unions agreed the new contracts were fair.

    I read this as: the contracts were up for renewal, the gov’t spent 18 months consulting and negotiating with the unions, they reached an acceptable compromise with all but one of them, and now that one union’s members are striking. Bargaining for ‘decent conditions’ they may be, but ripping up contracts this ain’t.

  2. Bella has got there before me.

    Fred’s contract was the contract he had when he left the job.

    The PCS strike is about changes to contracts in the future, is part of the negotiation about what will happen then….not about what has happened.

    I would shout and scream just as much about changes in terms of contracts for those who have already been fired…..indeed, I have so shouted and screamed about civil servants who have been denied their pensions because they have pissed off the powers that be.

    Here is your contract…..OK, now, live with it, because you signed it and we have the rule of law.

    Here is the new contract that we’re offering. Want to sign up or not?

    Up to you of course but I’m perfectly happy with making the distinction between the two. You work in the civil servoce? This is your contract, as previously agreed. Want to continue? Here’s the new terms….and yes, of course, those offered the new terms have the absolute right of freedom of association to try and make those terms better.

    What they don’t have, necessarily, is my support in the terms that they are demanding. They do have my support in that they get the terms they’ve already agreed to for the work they’ve already done.

  3. I think the Left are quite keen on breaking contracts. I mean, surely, the idea is that property rights are not sacrosanct? Defaulting on a bond is a good example.

    In the end, it is a political choice.

  4. It’s funny, I always notice that Tim W posits a position of never being wrong, I notice this from Lib Con also.

    Not an endearing trait, or one that reflects well on his grip on reality.

    1. This is what you did not quote. (I’ve emboldened the bits you actually managed to quote)

      From 1950 to 1980 State spending (but not state consumption, which is something different all together) rose from around 35% of GDP to 45%.

      In this period homosexuality was legalised, the pill became widely available as did abortion, women and men gained more control over their bodies than they had ever before.

      A series of at times unpopular but precious freedoms were instituted. Not only did many things about our society get more liberal as the state grew, but society became more liberal while the state grew when we were faced with a true existential threat in the shape of the Soviet Union.

      The size of Labour’s state has not led to authoritarianism, it is not that simple.

      You’ve also commented on the wrong thread which further damages your credibility.

      1. However, *this* Labour government is eye-wateringly authoritarian. I would say that the most potent reason for this is that it also happens to be the most right-wing Labour government we have seen.

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