Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
31 October 2016, 11:31
James O'Brien Takes Aim At Uber's Working Practices
James O'Brien's attack on Uber's working practices is devastating.
This is James O'Brien's coruscating attack on the working practices employed by Uber.
The minicab app firm last week lost a court case brought by drivers, which means they must now be classed as employees, not freelance.
Speaking on LBC, James said he was becoming increasingly frustrated at the way Britons' employment rights have been eroded. And he said Uber were the worst of the lot.
He said: "There's a mood in Britain that we don't deserve protections, we don't deserve rights. It's never about what we should have, it's always about what other people shouldn't have. Have you noticed this?
"People saying 'I don't have a very good pension, I'm in the private sector so why the hell should public sector people have decent pensions?' Well because two wrongs don't make a right and just because you've been slapped around the chops by the powers that be doesn't mean you should be agitating for other people to get a kick in the proverbials.
"But we do, every day. We hear it everywhere you turn.
"'Ah, they're going on strike, they're swinging the lead, they're taking the mick, they don't know what day it is, they've got no experience of the real world. They want the minimum wage? We can't afford the minimum wage. We can't afford a national living wage. Maternity leave? Don't be ridiculous.'
"And we swallow it, day after day after day after day, we swallow it, we suck it up.
"Uber to me is the apotheosis of this process.
"The idea that a company can come along - it's got George Osborne in its back pocket, proverbially speaking, it's got a key ally, the wife of one of David Cameron's key advisors is running their PR.
"They've got millions of pounds from a son of Murdoch invested in the original set-up. You couldn't make it up. It's like the Frankenstein's monster of everything that's wrong with modern capitalism."