Colin's Cornucopia

Welcome to my world of discovery

Foul Play in Industry

Return to Letters 2

24th May 2012

The Prime Minister,

Dear Sir,

I went to dinner at my daughter’s house tonight. I had phoned her to ask about arrangements and could tell that things were not good so I went and bought a meal and prepared it for her and my granddaughters. They are nearly adult now and we prepared everything but had to sit down and eat it at 6:00 because mum was not home although we knew she had been on the road for at least an hour.

When she got in she could hardly speak. She likes to claim that she was no worse than I had been at her age but she clearly did not know what went on within me at that time. She was utterly devastated and could not even speak or eat. She went to lie down and sang songs to herself. I feared for her sanity.

I built a substantial manufacturing company forty years ago against massive odds and we became very successful. It was nearly devastated by a major customer moving production offshore but we fought back and she took the company from me via several massive traumas. She, with others, has run the company successfully for twelve years. She is a highly competent accountant and experienced manager.

But now she is under continuous attack from nasty thugs using nasty tactics devised and empowered by nasty no-win-no-fee lawyers empowered by nasty employment laws which have utterly emasculated small employers. Later tonight I listened to a recording of a disciplinary hearing she had held today and was appalled at the vicious bullying tactics of the man who was being disciplined. He is a labourer, the man who sweeps the floor and empties the bins – when he chooses. He quoted chapter and verse on endless health and safety issues, changed the subject often, made utterly irrelevant comments, was extremely rude to my daughter in a totally inappropriate manner and used all the nasty tactics of evasion, perverting the truth, avoiding the issue, changing the subject and introducing irrelevancies that mark the crook. All the things, indeed, that I have learned through the last ten years of my involvement in politics.

My daughter is an honest broker, as I taught her, and she cannot deal with this lying rubbish. Had this happened to me when I ran the company the man would have been out of the door within seconds but a host of pathetically inappropriate employment laws have made it mandatory that she pay this man the courtesy of listening to all his drivel and lies for 28 minutes and then reply to each and every one of his contrived points of rubbish. If she does not he will sue for constructive dismissal – at no possible cost of threat to himself- and win because fancy, nasty, no-win-no-fee lawyers simply keep upping the ante because they know that in the end the employer must cave in or go bankrupt. The employer cannot possibly win. The thugs always win.

The no-win-no-fee laws combined with grossly biased employment laws and smothering health-and-safety laws have put enormous power in the hands of these thugs. For that is what they are. There only purpose is to drain the wealth of small businesses. This is just one letter of ten similar ones that I have in preparation. It will not be long before I have written a book on the subject. And this is without going knocking on doors to find out what is happening to others. This is just from my immediate family, friends and colleagues.

The outshot of this was that I persuaded her to turn her five-year retirement plan into a five month one. At the end of that time a superb manufacturing operation will disappear and a lot of good people will be thrown out of work and another part of Britain’s manufacturing heritage will have disappeared. And all this because you prefer to empower thug lawyers to rob honest men of industry using thug’s laws.

My son runs his own company which is a sort of co-operative of a dozen computer programmers. They could grow their company massively for they are all highly competent. But they will employ no-one because they know the dreadful consequences of doing so.

You have talked the talk about regenerating British Industry. You are talking rubbish. And that is being very polite. Get rid of the laws described above or watch the continued decimation in industry. Most of these draconian laws have come from Europe. I suggest to you that we leave the EU as soon as possible or find ourselves in the situation of Greece, Italy ,Spain and Portugal.

If you think the above is a rant you should know that I am a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, there being only 100,000 of us in total in the whole country so my credentials are impeccable. I started and built my own manufacturing business in Coventry in the decade in which that city started a major decline. Never-the-less I succeeded. My business is now one of the longest surviving businesses in the city. I have fifty years experience in industry and twelve in local politics. I know what I am doing and for good measure I hold philosophical views which are as near a perfect set of propositions and arguments ever to be found.

I challenge you to send one of your officers to meet with me for a few days and learn first-hand just what is going on in small companies. If you will not do this then you clearly do not give a damn about British Industry.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Walker.

Return to Letters 2