Show some wage concern and back our campaign against the Tory Minimum Wage opt-out bill

May 12, 2009 11:14 am


Share this Article

Wage ConcernBy Alex Ross / @Alex_Ross1983

UPDATE: John Prescott asks David Cameron to reject the Bill that would effectively abolish the minimum wage.

On May 15th, a Private Members Bill will be debated and voted on in Parliament, allowing employers to opt-out of the Minimum Wage and effectively abolishing it. I started a campaign in Shipley against our local Conservative MP, Philip Davies, who supports the Bill. We ran a petition at street stalls and it was amazing to see people who were so disinterested upon seeing a Labour stall suddenly show such enthusiasm to sign the petition once they realised what our MP was supporting. In fact, most of the people who responded to our ‘Do you support the Minimum Wage?’ question with a ‘No’ quickly followed it up with ‘It should be much higher’. You can imagine their response when we told them their MP wanted to opt-out of it altogether!

I then set up a Facebook group, with an online petition, and while they gathered several hundred people (which were more than I dared hope) I thought I’d send a cheeky speculative email to John Prescott to see if he’d write a little blog entry about it. I absolutely freaked out when he launched a full campaign, with the backing of the unions, to ‘Kill the Tory Bill’!

Now the campaign is gathering pace, membership of the Facebook group has quadrupled, the petition has increased tenfold and we have the ‘Wage Concern‘ website where supporters can join the mailing list and see John’s blogs and vlogs.

Last night John spoke to the PLP about the campaign, asking MPs to get on board, and when he tabled an Early Day Motion – his first ever – it quickly gathered over 100 MPs backing it. We reckon it’s probably the fastest growing EDM in years.

Not only that, but during his speech to the PLP, Gordon Brown mentioned the campaign three times! It’s absolutely insane to think that what started out on a street stall in Shipley is now being supported by the Prime Minister, but it’s a testament to Go Fourth and Labour for supporting the grassroots campaign, and also a testament to the power of the internet in modern-day campaigning.

But there is still more to do. The Bill will be debated and voted on this Friday, and there will be a rally at Parliament to oppose it – so we need your help! Join our Facebook group, sign the online petition, come to the rally at Parliament on May 15th and, in the words of John Prescott, ‘kill this Tory Bill’.

Comments are closed


  • Comment Europe McFadden’s appointment comes at a time of big opportunity for Labour on Europe

    McFadden’s appointment comes at a time of big opportunity for Labour on Europe

    Pat McFadden is taking over the Europe brief just at the time when the issue can work in Labour’s favour. Provided we hold to Ed Miliband’s decision not to cave in to the calls to offer an in-out referendum. Europe is again becoming toxic for the Tories. How Cameron must be looking back wistfully to that time when he told his party to stop banging on about Europe. That’s exactly what it is now doing. And it’s largely his own […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Next Portillo Moment

    The Next Portillo Moment

    Undoubtedly the highlight of election night ‘97 was seeing Labour record the unlikeliest of victories where I live in Enfield Southgate. We did it through hard work, at the time all three Enfield seats were blue and though the Labour swing meant that Edmonton and Enfield North were going red regardless it took a special campaign lead by an extraordinarily good candidate in Stephen Twigg to record what was an iconic victory in the Party’s history. We held the seat […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The business backlash against Tory EU exit plans 

    The business backlash against Tory EU exit plans 

    It’s not just José Manuel Barroso who has warned David Cameron that his party is taking the wrong approach when it comes to talk of an EU exit. There is a clear sense of concern and anger from the UK and international business community in respect of the Tory plans for an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in 2017. This has led to a serious business backlash against the Tories. Standard & Poor’s, the international rating […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Miliband sets out 5 point immigration reform plan (but won’t join “Operation Pander”)

    Miliband sets out 5 point immigration reform plan (but won’t join “Operation Pander”)

    Ed Miliband is in Rochester today, where he’s campaigning for the party’s by-election candidate Naushabah Khan against what he called the “two Tory opponents” of UKIP and the Tories in the Rochester and Strood by-election. But the main purpose of Miliband’s speech was to set out what Labour’s approach to immigration will be – specifically an Immigration Reform Bill in the first Queen’s Speech of the new Parliament. Miliband announced it’d be based around five key principles (most of which […]

    Read more →
  • News Sadiq Khan asks Mansion Tax critics – how would you fund the NHS?

    Sadiq Khan asks Mansion Tax critics – how would you fund the NHS?

    Since Labour conference, the majority of Labour’s potential London mayoral candidates have been critical of the party’s Mansion Tax proposals. However one presumptive candidate has been consistently positive about the plans – Sadiq Khan. That’s understandable and expected, as he’s a Shadow Cabinet member and a Miliband loyalist. But Khan has now launched a public defence of the tax (calling it “absolutely fair”) and a broadside against critics, asking them “why they are opposed to hiring thousands more nurses and doctors […]

    Read more →