Skip to content

Ritchie insists that all companies must act illegally

In his list of what it would take to be a good company the Murphmeister tells us that:

12) Does not discriminate between employees on the basis of race, nationality, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and similar such issues

Which is pretty odd really. For we\’ve a whole slew of laws which insists that a company musty, on pain of large fines and possibly even criminal sanctions, discriminate between people of different nationalities.

You know, this whole visa, work permit, right to residence and employment, stuff?

In fact, it\’s really very weird indeed. On the one side we\’ve Murphy insisting that everyone obey the unknowable spirit of the law on tax and on the other that everyone must ignore the letter of immigration law.

Or perhaps he\’s just very confused and doesn\’t bother to think through his prejudices before spouting them?

32 thoughts on “Ritchie insists that all companies must act illegally”

  1. I am surprised that the word “ability” does not occur in that list. Oh! Actually it does, in “disability”. I think that must be the terms under which Smurfy is employed and why they cannot sack him.

  2. I think Murphy is a buffoon.

    Having said that, he clearly says “employees”

    Which kinda implies the work permits are all in order already, or they wouldn’t be, well, employees?

    So unless he states elsewhere that these rules are for “prospective” employees (i.e that they are recruitment rules rather than rules about promotion etc) then we can probably leave this one alone.

    After all, his opinions are already a target-rich environment, right?

  3. So according to the Great Murph himself, companies must employ disabled people even though it could break H&S rules. You wouldn’t want a blind person driving a bus would you. 😉

  4. Tim

    I’m surprised you haven’t done an even more extensive post on this particular entry. It’s like entering a South African Diamond mine in terms of gems, and very revealing of the extreme statist (I’ll TRY and avoid using the term Soviet when discussing him) mindset.

    ‘Being anti – something is not good enough. Being pro Good business requires something more’

    Which suggests contrary to Murphy’s position in the Courageous State (Chapter 5 – The Cappuccino Economy) that he sees an extremely limited role for the Private Sector and even when allowed to provide the ‘nutmeg, chocolate, and frothy milk (his metaphors, not mine) it will only be allowed to do so under planners with Murphy’s mindset – an army of self-righteous, puritanical control freaks.

    You picked out point 12 (rightly ) as being technically illegal, especially within his beloved EU, but 2 more you may want to consider (at least)

    Point 10 -Operates a Fair Pay Policy that the pay differential between the highest and lowest paid in a company Cannot exceed a ratio that is not greater than 20

    How the hell is this going to work for British companies that have subsidiaries abroad? – There appears to be zero recognition of pay differentials even within markets as (relatively similar) as the EU. As Africa (for example) becomes a higher profile base for manufacturing, will a UK employee’s earning be limited to 20 times that of, say a Ghanaian ( and in relation to which currency?)

    Point 20 – Creates and supplies products that meet real human need.

    I can see Murphy’s Cocaine, heroin and Cannabis peddlers being set up even as we speak. After all, wouldn’t such businesses meet a ‘real human need’?

    I’d also be interested to hear whether companies selling products in the UK from abroad which don’t meet these extensive qualifying criteria would be allowed to sell their products here, or as mentioned whether companies domiciled here whose production facilities are in countries elsewhere are going to be subjected to Murphy’s UK standards if the facilities are in Poland or China?

    Of course, even asking such questions to such a man is utterly pointless. Rather than engage in debate he’ll merely label you ‘a pedant’, accuse you of misrepresenting him and generally display his own boorishness.

    P.S Arnald, in advance, and hopefully without diminishing the impact of my post – Could you go and have carnal knowledge of yourself and remain blissfully happy stewing in the cesspool of your own bile and delusions?

  5. I’m also reminded of those employment ads, beloved of local authorities, that include the words “…special consideration will be given to applicants from …….”

  6. Just a guess, but it seems like Murphy has a guide to the Equality Act or somesuch, and it’s either faulty or he’s unpicked the definition of race (in the Act, “race includes: (a)colour; (b)nationality; (c)ethnic or national origins”) and not read the statutory exceptions bit (which alludes to laws that Tim mentions).

    What I find more interesting is Murphy’s assertion that a “good company… 20) Creates and supplies products meeting real human need”.

  7. Presumably his “spirit of immigration law” bears the same relationship to the actual law as his “spirit of tax law”.

  8. Tim,
    You have omitted a link to the article. Being pathetic I don’t know where to find this 1932 edition of the Soviet 5 -Year Plan.

  9. @Nick Luke

    It’s possible Murphy has found a way to block links to his site, but just Google ‘Tax Research UK’ and the UK’s ‘Number 1 economics blogger’ will appear – the post is his only one of the day thus far….

  10. 12/

    @Surreptitious Evil

    That was my thought as well, (I seem to recall Tim making a post on it some time back) I agree it’s a vain effort as even close members of my own family hang on his every word.

    In terms of ‘unreal human need’ based on his vacuous outpourings he’d probably cite maybe, the Firearms industry (we don’t really need guns), Nuclear Reactor manufacturers, I could go on – Basically, the phrase ‘human needs’ can be translated as ‘what Richard Murphy THINKS humanity needs’



    You mean the North Koreans are right when they say he isn’t dead? Thinking about it you could be right…..

  11. I think real human translates from Ritchelish to English as: Things that I the great murphon approve of.

  12. SE@14. Indeed.

    There were no claims in the supplier’s advertising about the ranking of the item amongst the list of UK Economics bloggers, either. Rich is still #1 WGCE

  13. BIS – I hate the ‘special consideration’ adverts when it applies to me. I’m disabled, occasionally there are jobs advertised with ‘special consideration will be given to disabled applicants’ in the details. Forget equality, forget getting a job based on merits. Unfortunately I can’t avoid applying for them. Positive discrimination can be as bad as negative discrimination.

  14. What are these “real human needs”? Are books of fiction needed by humans? Is the Guardian needed? Orange juice? Cushions? Pasta sauces? Binoculars? Cricket bats?

  15. Positive discrimination can be as bad as negative discrimination.

    Hmm, the worst I’ve seen in that arena is guaranteed interview for disabled candidates. But my experience, presumably, will be far more narrow than yours.

    We, currently, simply couldn’t cope with an employee in a wheelchair. For one, most of the sites we have to visit simply haven’t made the effort (largely because nobody actually works in datacentres – they all work in the shiny accessible offices next door. A few techies, under protest, occasionally have to brave the chill winds …)

  16. Yes, guaranteed interview – means you travel a distance, spend time in an interview, then get turned down for the job. One example I know the figures from, they interviewed the top 5 candidates from the application form stage, plus three from somewhere in the middle of the rejects to fulfil disability discrimination criteria. Unsuprisingly, one of the top 5 got the job.
    Like the vast majority of disabled, I don’t use a wheelchair, those who do are perhaps a little more visible than the rest of us. I can’t use a fast lift or stand for very long, but can use stairs.

  17. Hmm. So companies can’t discriminate against employees on grounds of long hair, short hair, being ginger, being female, being male, being strange, being short or being gawky. Fair enough. But, er, when you interview people for jobs they aren’t employees……

    As far as “real human needs are concerned” – anything beginning with “i-” is unreal by definition…..

  18. There was a local company that dealt with some German business customers and wanted to expand that element of the business more. They advertised in the jobcentre for an admin person for the team dealing with Germany. Understandably they listed in the requirements that must be fluent in German.
    Jobcentre pulled the advert as it discriminated against non-German speakers…

  19. “20) Creates and supplies products meeting real human need”

    From his blog, when questioned what this means his response is;

    “Well let’s start with anything advertised in a weekend colour supplement as not meeting real human need, shall we?”

    He really is a gem isn’t he, now he will be the arbiter what what human needs are. I find it hard not to see him being one of the worms who emerge and thrive in totalitarian states.

  20. @25
    Probably wrong choice of words. If Haringey council’s job ad’s are a guide “Comfortable working with the German community.” or somesuch would probably fly. There has to be an implication the beneficiaries of the ability have special needs. Anyone who’s stayed at a hotel with Germans would know how true that can be.

  21. Here‘s the story about the ad for a speaker of German. Judging by the quote from a Jobcentre spokesman, some jobsworth was over-interpreting a rule.

    I suppose the reason for the rule is to stop immigrant employers discriminating against anyone not from the same country of origin. Is that a bad rule, if applied as the spokesman said it should have been?

  22. They advertised in the jobcentre for an admin person for the team dealing with Germany. Understandably they listed in the requirements that must be fluent in German.
    Jobcentre pulled the advert as it discriminated against non-German speakers…

    That is one of those ‘stupid interpretations of the law’ situations, not a ‘stupid law’ situation.

    Of course you can say, “must be fluent in $language”.

  23. re no 11 –

    Any one of the thousands offering medium or psychic services? – can’t get more unreal .

    Any supplier of homeopathic remedies

  24. I suppose the reason for the rule is to stop immigrant employers discriminating against anyone not from the same country of origin. Is that a bad rule, if applied as the spokesman said it should have been?

    We may not discriminate for or against people on the grounds of things that are ‘protected characteristics’, unless you can show the protected characteristic is central to a particular job (or that there is a law saying you can, e.g. one requiring permits to work). That’s called an ‘occupational requirement’.

    Equality Act: “The following characteristics are protected characteristics— age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.”

    “race includes: (a)colour; (b)nationality; (c)ethnic or national origins”

    Language fluency isn’t a ‘protected characteristic’. You can require fluency in German but you can’t require Germans unless you can show that being German is central to the job.

    The usual example of an ‘occupational requirement is being female, for working as a counsellor at a women’s refuge that helps women who are experiencing domestic violence committed by men.

  25. PaulB – you mean there have been multiple occurrances of this problem in my area? Doesn’t suprise me much. Our local jobcentre, not particularly good….
    Ukliberty – taking on a German person would be a good idea however, in that instance. But not a requirement.
    The occupational requirement for a women’s refuge for any job is usually female. Even back office functions can be – if there’s any chance (and there always is) of coming across the residents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *