« History thunders | Main | Revolving Euro door »

February 02, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Kay Tie

If they are working, it's employment and the law should be followed. If they are "observing" then it's not work, and they shouldn't have to be paid.

I would have thought that part of work experience is experiencing getting paid for actual work being done.

Bet Soff

So you think all work experience or 'work tasters' (less than 2 weeks, student observing and taking part in some selected tasks but not an employee - as defined by Go Wales above) should be paid, then? Just want to be clear.

Kay Tie

"that he or she would not wish to call a halt to the work experience tradition which has helped so many students at school, further and higher education levels find out what type of work might or might not suit them"

Of course not. But why should work placement be unpaid? Is it that Paul is too mean to pay them? It would cost him only £200 or so. Isn't earning real money part of work experience?

Bet Soff

DG and Kay Tie

While I fully agree that ‘unpaid internships’ may give unfair advantages to those who can afford to do them, when I clicked on the link given by DG to the BBC article on this subject I read:
“However, if Elliott and Craig were living in Wales, they would be in a more fortunate position.
The Welsh equivalent website of the Graduate Talent Pool - Go Wales Work Placements - guarantees a minimum £250 per week, for 10 weeks, for anyone who finds an internship through the site”

In Wales, part of which is Paul Flynn’s own seat, it seems that the acclaimed Go Wales scheme means that interns are paid, which is of course to be applauded.

However, when I actually looked at the Go Wales site, I read that the time period of Paul’s intern’s work (4.5 days only) is termed a ‘Work Taster’ and is described thus:

Work Tasters are:
- Normally from 1 day up to 2 weeks in length.
- Unpaid. You observe and maybe take part in some selected tasks but you’re not an employee of the organisation while on a Work Taster.
(http://www.gowales.co.uk/en/Graduate/tasters)

The paid internships, in contrast, are ‘work placements’ and last around 10 weeks full time.

It seems to me that Kay Tie is confusing what used to be known as a week’s “work experience” (never paid) and a “work placement”. I assume – and hope – that he or she would not wish to call a halt to the work experience tradition which has helped so many students at school, further and higher education levels find out what type of work might or might not suit them, simply to score points about minimum wage policies?

Kay Tie

Paul, you are certainly right, but you continue to miss the point: you voted for a law that prohibits what you and your intern consented to. You think that you are above the law?

Paul Flynn

In 23 years over 30 marvellous people have worked for me, usually for periods of about 4 or 5 years. If any had any complaints I have never heard them.

Kay Tie

"she is entitled to her privacy and I will say nothing."

Compliance with the law is not a private matter. You should know: you voted for the Minimum Wage legislation. It is a matter of public interest whether MPs obey the laws they voted for.

"She was paid for her months work."

At least Minimum Wage I hope? And if so, was it above the wage level that Labour in opposition urges (£7.90/hr IIRC).

"It's all a huge cock-up of course as most of what IPSA does turns out to be."

No, mostly what nearly all your party's "sofa legislation" turned out to be.

You may think I'm being unfair in interrogating you. But these are matters upon which your party in government legislated. It created laws with unintended consequences, and when the consequences rebound on the lawmakers (a rare thing!) the reaction is one of horror that the law was so badly drafted (do you remember Tony Blair's nonplussed "But that's stupid!" remark in the 2005 campaign on the topic of phoning for a GP appointment?).

Paul Flynn

KayTie is under the impression that Interns are slave labour. As my present intern has revealed her name, she is entitled to her privacy and I will say nothing. Except she is a joy to work with especially because of her appreciation on the excitement and humour of politics.
But I can tell about an Intern I have in July. She was paid for her months work. Only recently I discovered that bumbling IPSA have taken sums of money from me to pay her 'pension.' It's all a huge cock-up of course as most of what IPSA does turns out to be.

D.G.

Unpaid internships have been identified as a significant obstacle to social mobility in many professions. It's great that some students can afford to take a few days out to do unpaid work, but it's unfair to deny that opportunity to others, who are busy flipping burgers and flogging insurance in order to be able to afford next year's fees and living costs.

If class discrimination was recognised in law*, then this would be called indirect discrimination.

BBC has a good article on the subject

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8551598.stm

(*I'm not arguing for such a law to be created, just pointing out the parallels)

Kay Tie

"I would like to assure you that I am in no way being exploited during the week I am spending shadowing my erstwhile local MP. "

Well, I'm afraid that the whole point of the minimum wage law was that your views are not important: the law is there to protect you from exploitation, whether you feel exploited or not.

You might argue that if Paul Flynn had to pay you the minimum wage then you'd have no opportunity for experience. In other words, no job. But Paul and others in his party strenuously asserted that the minimum wage in no way impacts on jobs, so he couldn't possibly use that excuse to not pay you.

You might like to see that Ed Milliband has given a pledge on this:

http://edmiliband.org/learnmore/fairer-internships/

Ed says:

“I pledge that if I am elected leader of the Labour Party I will campaign for Labour’s Minimum Wage Act to be fully enforced so that employers must pay their interns what they are due.”

I am sure Paul Flynn would support Ed's campaign, which is why it is so odd that when it comes to practicing what is preached, he failed to pay you.

"observing how our country is goverened behind the scenes."

Well I hope you observed that we are governed by people who glibly create laws that have consequences for other people (but rarely for themselves).

Cerian Jenkins

Dear Kay Tie,

I would like to assure you that I am in no way being exploited during the week I am spending shadowing my erstwhile local MP.

In fact, quite the opposite is true and I consider it a real privilege and a great testament to a democratic system which allows members of the public to observe the internal workings of our government.

I took the initiative in requesting these few days, and Paul Flynn very kindly agree to accomodate me.

It has been a wholly worthwhile experience to spend this time between my university exams and the start of the new semester (I'm a politics student) observing how our country is goverened behind the scenes. Not only has it been extremely educational, but it has also inspired me in my chosen subject.

Junican

""Politics is the art of the possible"".

Something like that.

Principles do not really enter into politics. If A has principle 1, and B has principle 2, the art is in compromise. If no compromise, then conflict (not necessarily physical).

The problem is that politicians love to throw insults around based upon principles (or lack of). Yet they know that 'real politique' does not allow for adamant adherence to principles.

Its a huge game - of no consequence whatsoever.

Kay Tie

"With a name like socialist international, some level of left of centre politics should surely be required."

Well Egypt was a shoe-in with the oppression of the people thing.

Kay Tie

"Do you honestly feel they remembered the principle"

Nah, not really.

"that wonderful expression of Cameron's "there are grievances that people have and they need to be met and matched", pretty much showed that they had little or no interest in anything other than lip service to the concept."

It's pretty lame, yes. I suppose that's how diplomacy is done when you're not very powerful: you might end up saying something harsh then later have to sit down with that same person and deal with them.

HuwOS

Okay, well glad we are in agreement on the important issues.


Nonetheless your suggestion of equivalance between organisations to which many belong to address particular aims, such as disarmament, peaceful resolution to conflict etc. like the socialist international or the UN and a grouping of supposed like minded politicians into what is effectively a political party with one set of policies seems wrong..
They really are not comparable situations.

Aside from that, the biggest shock for me is how on earth either the NDP or the New Labour party are considered to fit the criteria for inclusion.
With a name like socialist international, some level of left of centre politics should surely be required.


"yet only when the people themselves seize the initiative and do it for themselves does it remember this principle and conveniently stay silent on how it supported the totalitarian regime for years."

Do you honestly feel they remembered the principle, I took their hedging and their constant assumption that of course Mubarak would remain in power, he just needed to listen to the people and address their concerns, that wonderful expression of Cameron's "there are grievances that people have and they need to be met and matched", pretty much showed that they had little or no interest in anything other than lip service to the concept.

Mubarak may have miscalculated today by his or the NDP's actions, but nothing that can't be headed off with FUD if that suits our governments.

Kay Tie

"would you like to tell us what your income is Kaytie?"

I'm paid more than minimum wage. Do you pay your intern more than minimum wage? Or do you even pay them at all?

Kay Tie

"just plain badness actively supporting the regime?"

I forgot to address this point. Of course the American support for Egypt, mostly in the form of military aid, is hypocrisy. The US is supposed to support democracy and freedom, yet only when the people themselves seize the initiative and do it for themselves does it remember this principle and conveniently stay silent on how it supported the totalitarian regime for years.

Kay Tie

"Yeah, attempting to build a partnership to improve the lives of people is hypocrisy."

No, throwing rocks at another party and then doing worse than you accuse them of is hypocrisy.

Of course I'm not complaining about pressure on Egypt's ruling party. I'm complaining that Paul's holier-than-thou attitude to the Tories over the ECRG is hypocritical.

You're more intelligent than this comment of yours, so I can only assume it's a wilful attempt at misdirection. Perhaps you'd like to address the issue: how on the one hand Paul Flynn can be high and mighty about the company one keeps, and on the other, how the Labour Party until recently kept company with a torturing totalitarian party.

Paul Flynn

would you like to tell us what your income is Kaytie?

HuwOS

Yeah, attempting to build a partnership to improve the lives of people is hypocrisy.

May we have a comment from you about the hypocrisy and just plain badness actively supporting the regime?
Or are you going to stick with only ever trying on your fake outrage with those you perceive as being socialist.

Kay Tie

Why, when they knew about torture and totalitarianism for years, do they do it now? It proves the point: they were happy to sit alongside dictators until the gaze of publicity turned to them. And where was Labour's moral outrage of the kind they affected over European Parliament groupings?

Sheer hypocrisy.

HuwOS

But surely KayTie, you only became aware of the affiliation, from the news that threw the NDP out on the 31/1.
http://www.socialistinternational.org/images/dynamicImages/files/Letter%20NDP.pdf

Now if only the capitalists had removed their support as quickly, we might not have had the events of today.

Kay Tie

"How much are you paying your intern, Paul?"

Oh, since your intern is writing blog postings, perhaps they could tell us how much they are paid?

Hello intern! How much are you paid?

Kay Tie

Paul, it seems to have escaped your notice that the Socialist International group with which your party is affiliated also has a certain totalitarian socialist party of Egypt.

On the basis that the company you keep damns you (as you so strongly asserted over EU party groupings) you must therefore be horrified that Labour is rubbing shoulders with torturers. Is this an admission of the nature of Labour or the usual run-of-the-mill hypocrisy of the Left?

Anthony Masters

But doesn't the British government only own between 15-20% of what is mostly commercial woodland? Also, if it is such a bad idea, why did the last Labour government commit to sales of woodland worth £100m?

Kay Tie

How much are you paying your intern, Paul?

The comments to this entry are closed.