Friday, January 09, 2009

Work ethics

Alexander Chancellor's almost-beyond-parody article in the Guardian today is an early contender for the much coveted 'most smug and wrong column of 2009'.

For those who haven't seen it, he starts by revealing that he lives in an enormous house which is a mile away from the nearest road, and then goes on to slag off British workers who call in sick when they should go to work, based on an anecdote about a journalist and "research" by, um, Benylin. Instead they should have the work ethic of Americans (and his servants postman). He then goes on to write several paragraphs about how the Guardian no longer prints his name on their birthday list.

There are times when people don't turn up to work because they don't feel like it, but in fact a bigger problem is when British workers do the opposite and turn up to work when they are in fact unwell, out of fear that they will be disciplined or even get the sack. And far from being workshy, British workers work long hours and on average put in several hours per week of unpaid overtime. It's like the moral panic about people claiming benefits which they are not entitled to, when in fact there is vastly more money which people are entitled to but don't claim than the amount of benefit fraud.

As for "the work ethic of the Americans", bosses in America have far greater powers to bully or victimise workers who take time off when they are ill.

It is still early days, and there are a number of strong contenders who will be seeking to trump Chancellor for both smugness and wrongness, but there is something really nauseating about the Guardian offering this idiot a weekly column to write this sort of uninformed drivel.


At 7:14 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not forgetting those who can't call in sick because they can't afford to lose the money.

At 10:46 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think though mate, if it wasn't for the Guardian the unemployment rate among rich wankers would skyrocket...;-)

At 12:20 pm , Blogger Robert said...

It's nice to have rich parents so they can find work for the poor kids.

At 1:24 pm , Blogger Matt Sellwood said...

I bet this guy is a free-marketer. If so, my challenge to him is that I am sure *I* could write uninformed drivel for a cheaper rate than him. Efficiency and all that. Give me the job!


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