James: What The Treatment Of Uber's Drivers Shows Us About Britain Now

12 October 2016, 12:59 | Updated: 14 October 2016, 10:27

In a compelling bit of analysis, James O'Brien links Uber drivers' fight for more rights with the polarised state of British political debate in 2016.

Tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the UK could qualify for holiday and sick pay, in what has been heralded as the employment law case of the year.

Uber claims its drivers are self-employed but James had one big riposte to that: "What if Uber tell you you can't work for them any more because the passenger ratings have been bad?

"If they can fire you, you're not self-employed. If they can fire you, you should get sick pay and holiday pay."

James then broadened out the discussion, saying the debate about how Uber treats its drivers is a reflection of the current state of British politics and employment law.

"This mood, that's abroad in the country at the moment, where any suggestion that we should be decent to each other gets shot down in flames straight away.

"Any suggestion...that we should be decent to our own doctors, that we should be helping - the argument always comes back to: 'My pension got decimated, why should public sector workers have a decent pension?'

"Not all employers are bad. But it seems to me to be the case that there's a move towards stripping away the protection from exploitation and poverty that post-war British consensus politics delivered.

"It seems to me that these things are being chipped away at, chipped away at."

The Uber drivers have taken the company to the tribunal with the help of the unions and as James pointed out, just look at what the papers say about unions every day.

Polish HGV driver: EU hauliers find UK visa proposal 'pretty amusing'

Polish HGV driver: EU hauliers find UK visa proposal 'pretty amusing'

'The market is going back to Europe': Turkey farmer explains crisis to James O'Brien

'The market is going back to Europe': Turkey farmer explains crisis to James O'Brien

James O'Brien reacts to petrol driver crisis as PM warns against panic buying

James O'Brien reacts to lorry driver shortage as PM warns against panic buying

James pondered the issue on his LBC radio show

James O'Brien's penny drop moment on passion and protest

'This is levelling down': Universal credit caller hits out at benefit cut

'This is levelling down': Universal Credit recipient hits out at benefit cut

James O'Brien: 'How are Covid naysayers opposed to both masks and jabs?'

James O'Brien: 'How are Covid naysayers opposed to both masks and jabs?'

James O'Brien caller despairs as conspiracist wife won't let kids have Covid jab

James O'Brien caller despairs as conspiracist wife won't let kids have Covid jab

'I'd rather Insulate Britain shut down supermarkets than disrupt commuters': James O'Brien caller

James O'Brien caller would rather 'Insulate Britain shut down supermarkets'

James O'Brien clashes with caller defending Gavin Williamson's mix-up of Black sportsmen

James O'Brien clashes with caller defending Gavin Williamson's Black sportsmen mix-up

James O'Brien reflected on the issue

James O'Brien's warning on ignoring the fine print on Boris Johnson's care deal

Sadiq Khan hits out at Tory MPs ditching masks, fearing effect on commuters

Sadiq Khan hits out at Tory MPs ditching masks, fearing effect on commuters

James reacted to the reported plans

James O'Brien's take on why the PM is concerned about social care funding

'Daddy keep away from me': Caller tells of daughter 'driven' by Covid conspiracies

'Daddy keep away from me': Caller tells of daughter 'driven' by Covid conspiracies

'It's one rule for Nazi sympathisers and another for sympathisers of other terrorists'

'It's one rule for Nazi sympathisers and another for sympathisers of other terrorists'

James O'Brien pondered the issue if masks on public transport

'What's the problem with not wearing a mask on the Tube? What do you lose?'

'Just get jabbed!': LBC's Theo Usherwood opens up about impact Covid has had on him

'I'd give every material possession I own to not have had Covid'