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Free-market fundamentalism hasn’t freed us – it has trapped us. It’s time for the left to embrace a workplace revolutionWe are unlikely to spend our last moments regretting that we didn’t spend enough of our lives chained to a desk. We may instead find ourselves rueing the time we didn’t spend watching our children grow, or with our loved ones, or travelling, or on the cultural or leisure pursuits that bring us happiness. Alas: the average full-time British employee works 42 hours a week, well over a third of the time we are awake. Some of our all too precious time is being stolen: British workers do around two billion hours of unpaid overtime each year. So it is extremely welcome that Labour’s John McDonnell has approached eminent economist Lord Skidelsky to head an inquiry into potentially cutting the working week to four days. It should be part of a new crusade for the left: of defending and expanding personal freedom. The champions of free market fundamentalism promised their creed would bring us freedom. But it wasn’t freedom at all: from the lack of secure, affordable housing to growing job insecurity and rising personal debt, the individual is trapped. Nine decades ago, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technological advances and rising productivity would mean that we’d be working a 15-hour week by now: that target has been somewhat missed. Continue reading...