Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Euro tables turn

In a rather unnoticed turn-around yesterday Ken Clarke, of all people, used Europe as weapon against the Government.

Reports of yesterday’s Commons statement on wildcat strikes carried Clarke’s comments about “British jobs for British workers” being irresponsible language.

Fair enough as that’s the day’s main story, but it was not where the Rushcliffe MP began his speech.

He opened by highlighting the division within Labour over EU rules on foreign workers, revealed when Alan Johnson said they may need to be reviewed.

The shadow business secretary then challenged minister Pat McFadden to state clearly that the Government supported the EU rules as they are.

Officially ministers do, but to have said so categorically at that point would’ve been damaging.

I expected Clarke to be strong on the front bench, but was still surprised by the nuance of this – the Tory’s former difficulty on Europe was now Labour’s, and Labour’s former weapon was now the Tory’s.

More and more I think Mandelson will be the one wanting to take Clarke on to stop further points being scored.

5 comments:

Oldrightie said...

So the dreadful reality Labour have driven us to neeeds Mandy Pandy to point score? Headless chicken coop beckons ere long!

Gareth said...

There would need to be an enoblement or a by-election.

Clarke may be pro-Europe but that doesn't mean he is a shill for the EU as Peter Mandelson is, as many others in the Lords are, as are a number of MPs.

scunnert said...

euobserver reports:

"The European Commission has said it will not be pressured into making new rules on employees' rights with an EU law governing the hiring of foreign workers at the centre of a high-level dispute in Britain."

So UK workers can piss off and that's official.

Andy said...

There really is a lot of bollocks being written about this. Firstly, people are forgetting that EU rules go both ways and therefore UK citizens are able to work across Europe as well.

Secondly, if a UK firm wins a contract in Europe you can bet they wouldn't be expected to make all their UK workers redundant and then recruit a load of Europeans in the country the contract is based. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth over that one.

Lastly, people are being very selective about who is to blame on this placing all the responsibility on teh euros innit. Maybe if we hadn't privatised our utilities allowing them to be bought up by forign companies then there wouldn't be so much enthusiasm for hiring foreign maintenance firms. Now who was responsible for that one? (not that NuLab are ideoligically any better on that score these days but they got the idea somewhere.)

Lobbydog said...

Do you feel a bit lighter after that one Andy?! Spot on.

Post a Comment