On Wednesday (Feb 26) Guy Standing spoke on the ‘precariat’ at a lunchtime meeting in Rutherford House, Wellington. The meeting, attended by 30-40 people, was organised by the CTU’s new youth initiative. Standing is professor of Development Studies at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and was previously professor of Economic Security at the University of Bath. The ‘precariat’ is one of his main fields of study and he was written several books on the subject.
The talk was a mixture of good and bad. Frankly, the good wasn’t particularly groundbreaking or interesting and the bad was straight up pro-capitalist reformism.
The make-up of the crowd was primarily unionists and other activists; I could be wrong, but looking round the room I think I could well have been the only person there who could be properly defined as ‘precariat’. I get the impression, though, that he tailored his talk towards ideas about how union and (more…)