Friday’s Question Time special featured questions from several audience members to both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. One directed at the Labour leader was on the subject of zero hours contracts, from a young man who described himself as a student. He was concerned that scrapping zero hours contracts would somehow impoverish him. But some of those watching took one look at him and smelt a rat.
Dimbleby Major quizzes Corbyn - Ed Robbins looks on
The £150 Ralph Lauren top did not suggest that he was on his uppers, and one enterprising Twitter user duly rummaged around and found rather more about the questioner, which suggested likewise, commenting “‘I need my zero hours contract to buy food, Jeremy will starve me’. if he really was desperate to buy food why not sell one of his tuxedos?” Zelo Street was duly tipped off as to his true identity.
Hello, he's been rumbled
The student pleading to obtain more zero hours contracts is called Edward Robbins, or Ed Robbins to his friends. He had a schooling which, like the upmarket wardrobe, suggests he is not going to be down to his last tin of beans any time soon.
Ed Robbins slums it round the world ...
For starters, Ed Robins went to the exclusive Winterfold House prep school, following in the footsteps of elder brother Nick, leaving in 2010, and moving up to Cheltenham College, another exclusive independent school, where he was a member of Leconfield House, which consists entirely of boarders. During the 2014-15 academic year, he again followed in the footsteps of his elder brother by being made Head Boy.
... at exclusive Cheltenham College ...
A family putting two brothers through exclusive prep school and secondary school will have needed some serious money to do so. Yet more of the folding stuff would have been required for Ed to go off on what I understand was a world tour gap year after finishing at Cheltenham College. And yet more dosh would have to have been splurged on earlier skiing trips to Cime de Caron in France and upmarket Villars in Switzerland.
... at upmarket Cime de Caron ...
Elsewhere, Robbins’ Twitter feed suggests he has also found time in his busy schedule to visit Dubai - just to cross it off the bucket list, you understand - and the available memorabilia from his time at Cheltenham College shows he has also seen at least a few excerpts from Life of Brian (“what has College ever done for us?”). Note that Cheltenham Collage is just “College” to former students, as Eton College is just “School”.
... and exclusive, posh Villars
Edward Robbins is very much one of the 5%, and he hasn’t even finished University yet (well, that world tour gap year has to take precedence, dontcha know). The idea he is going to become impoverished by a change in Government at Westminster is total and utter baloney. He and his family have no need to put silver spoons in their mouths: they would be able to hire chaps to do that sort of thing for them.
Once again, someone trying to be ordinary when they are anything but has been caught bang to rights. And once again, they get caught partly because what they think is ordinary marks them out as folk with too much brass for their own good. Another phoney rumbled.
It's just another wizard wheeze to these bastards.
I wonder if the audience in York was told the same thing before filming as we were told at BBCQT in Norwich? I'd love to hear from anyone who was there.
I wrote it up: sorry it's rather a long read.
You think he was the only plant?
Get a load of the assorted nuclear weapons loonies. Some of them look like Vauxhall Cross stuck a mic up their arse and patched it through to the Pentagon.
I wonder if the army general was looking on, the one who threatened sedition and treason against Corbyn. The one who should be dragged into court by the scruff of his old school tie to face charges.
All of which demonstrates why this country is on the same fast track to insanity as the USA.
Seven Days In May, anyone?
And we think suicide bombers have lost their minds......
Your comment gave me life. Thank you xx
Sarah - my son was in the audience. In face he's in the background in the picture above.
..but it is a rather accurate and readable read..
Have all the people who feigned outrage at Owen Jones and his photoshoot got anything to say about this?
Didn't think so.
Well worked, nice detective work.
all the audiences are chosen mainly the ones asking questions are plants .not the only show with plants most political ones are . totally wrong to fool viewers I stopped watching them long time ago it was so obvious
Is this slightly unfair? I don't remember his exact words, but I don't remember him saying he was worried about impoverishment. Didn't he say he was worried about flexible work opportunities? I.e. a kind of self-evidently privileged question ("I'm concerned I might not be able to work an hour here and an hour there whenever I fancy it"), but not actually setting out to deceive anyone? No?
I got the sense that he didn't really understand the issue terribly well, but had maybe bought some of the tedious hype around the gig economy.
He so looks like this aide to nigel le farage I saw on newsnight last night whispering in his lie filled ears. Think I got square eyes from watching tories on the tv though.
More underhand dirty tricks by the Tories
yes, it was flexibility of hours, not the remuneration itself.
Hope all goes well Thursday. I would love to see some of the big heads rolling down Wood Lane !
Yeah that's pretty much what he said, I don't really see what he said as deceiving just because he's rich his opinion is still just as valid as anyone else's. A little unfair to out his personal life on the Internet because of his view on contracts, more that a little creepy
Fact is that the Gig economy does suit many people who are either unable to, or simply do not wish to, enter a boring 40 hours a week contract: like carers and artists, for example.
You forgot the Royal Ascot Royal Enclosure photo that was on Twitter. It's at least £350 for that.
"Hello, erm... oim a starvin' student, er... gov'nor - really oi am!"
Dirty little liar.
I saw him the other night.
Should be brought to task for it
Same 'innocent member of audience' sting happened during BBC debate for the Scottish leaders debate.
How come these people pretending to be something they are not - keep appearing on dear old auntie?
Bet his zero hour contract is as a Tory MPS. Researcher and was given an expenses paid trip to heckle on behalf of his boss.
Sarah, that is an excellently crafted, informatve and very helpful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with your endeavours. x
"... at upmarket Cime de Caron ..."
I'm not sure a mountain can be upmarket. It's just quite high and cold really...
Made me laugh those banging on about nuclear weapons.. I mean, c'mon "can you tell me if some nutter in North Korea or Russia launches a missile at us you'll fire one back?"
If anyone launches at us we'll all be dead in 5...4....3....2..**BOOM**
If Russia strikes well they out gun everyone on nukes anyway the whole planet could be wiped out!
I may be mistaken, but I believe, I have seen this guy before on Question Time. I had that person down as a Tory then because of his attitude.
Worried if zero hour contracts end his family firms will have to pay a 'real wage' to the minions who support him and his siblings and their children through their 'educational experiences', more like I thought he was a upmarket student to the ones I have know who lived on tinned tomatoes on toast from the cheapest supermarkets.
I agree with Jo Lindsay Walton. His question may have come from a place of privilege, but I'm not at all convinced that he was trying to deceive anyone.
labour does things like this too
Why is the general population so obsessed with scolding wealth and
disparaging the people who seek it.
There were so many plants in this BBC audience, Alan Titchmarsh shoulda presented it.
I don't care that he's wealthy. I don't even care that he hasn't earned it. I care that he lied on national television about it and pretended to be poor in order to slander a politician who favours empowerment of the poor and vulnerable on the eve on a general election. Wealth is good. Quality of life is good. Lying to keep poor people poor is not good. Massive inequality is not good. Greed is not good. Aspiring to be wealthy before aspiring to be kind is not good. Placing wealth over integrity is not good. By all means aspire to wealth but not to amassing and hoarding greater wealth than you could ever spend whilst others go hungry and homeless. There is no beauty in that. Only ugliness.
Reminds me of a nurse that challenged SNP about Scottish nurses having to use foodbanks.
You miss a point here..... It's unlikely that Ed works anywhere on any kind of contract given his own personal wealth....
because true wealth in life is not about having the most money
Brilliant. Well summarized and clearly articulate. Non biased in its tone and truly a breath of fresh air as a journalistic piece. Don't think its the right sort of journalism for the beeb but im.guessing you're not that inclined to transmutate into another right wing peopagandist. Keep up the good work!
Anonymous,you mean poor Claire austin,pictured in fancy restaurants and holidaying in new York? Yes lying auntie beeb sure know how to rig an audience.
Watch the programme instead of reading this.... He speaks twice. Not once does he say he is poor, he's concerned about the flexibility.
Great read Sarah. Thank you.
Thanks for the recommendation for this well written and articulate article.
Whilst I agree that carers do work varying hours to fit around family life ths issue is that many zero hours contracts do not pay holiday leave or sick pay, even though those on ZH contracts still pay NI and tax if above the threashold. So, whilst i accept there are people happy with this system many, especially carers/ support workers have no choice as most care agencies have implemented this system! Problem is they cannot keep their staff hence there is no continuity in the service and worse still most service users are getting different staff not only weekly but daily. So question is do we wang a professional care service with well paid staff with all thd benefits of full/part-time employment or, as the case is now do we continue with a broken system which a) does not enable staff to budget as they do not know what hours they will get from week to week and b) the service user (normally vulnerable person) does not know who is coming from day to day so there is no consistently.
I find it, somewhat, strange that people on here seem to expect Tories to be open and honest, in any circumstances
don't be silly he outed himself by going on live tv and asking a question that would never affect him personally AND THE ONLY REASON HE ASKED IT IS BECAUSE THE TORIES BACK HIS RICH PARENTS WITH TAX CUTS AND HE WANTED TO TRY CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR LABOUR I say very well done for outing him he got what he asked for HIS FIVE MINUTES OF FAME
If you've worked on a zero hour contract you would understand. The Pay as you earn Tax system contradicts itself by saying you must provide rata holiday. If you get taxed and pay national insurance you should get holiday based on any hours that you do in a pro rata manner. That would at least make the bullshit daylight robbery system at least a bit more fair. Have a 5 hour PW contract, 2 hour one a 20 hour one. Whatever the person does just bloody pro rata it and you have removed most of the problems. The other issue is people working 6 hour 'shifts' not getting paid any break then the company starting a 'new shift' 2 hours later. It's just daylight robbery, I don't know how companies can actually get away with it. Oh no sorry I do know, it's because all of these jobs are low paid jobs and fucking conservatives don't give a shit because it will never affect them only benefit them
Funny that Labour councils are infact the biggest user of zero hour contracts
Moral Crusader -spot on. I work as a carer,fortunately I do have a contract now but in my previous job didn't do, some weeks I'd get 20 hours work some less than 8. Try telling that to the mortgage company etc. Still got to work for 6 more years to get my state pension, although I've worked continuously for the past 40!
That's what happens when budgets are cut because central government is busy lining the pockets of its public school chums.
You can console yourself that you'll be next. Possibly after the tories have stopped digging up corpses to pay for their "care" before they shuffled off this mortal coil.
The tory generic term is "salami-slicing". Though others call it by the straightforward term "thievery".
Good read - thanks.
A student really interested in surviving would have thought how many minimum wage hours the £9000 fees saving was equal to - I'd have thought that would give much more flexibility than zero hour contracts.
For years not it is obvious that all questions are proposed by BBC and panel prept before the programme because of convenient note to hand.
Time qt was stopped as misleading the public.
Unfortunately just because he went to feel paying schools doesn't mean his family are wealthy, if his father (or mother) was in a job that involved living abroad for extended periods in different countries (diplomat, armed forces) they would probably get help to send their children to boarding school in yhe UK. If this guy can make zero hours contracts work for him well fair play to him, there are opportunities to be had if you can grab them but it is not a life for everyone.
I recall picking two faces out of the opening shot, young men whose gurning faces radiated contempt at the lower orders they were mingling with.
"A couple of obvious tories there", I observed.
Lo and behold, both had a contribution, and are now immortalised as "Disgruntled zero hour kid" and "swivel eyed first strike advocate".
Obvious trolls are even more obvious when they're on the telly.
Chuckle, chuckle :-)
Interesting to see how this has warped into the topic it has... This is exactly what he said on Question Time.. "Zero hours contracts provide an easy way for students like myself to get casual flexible work how will scrapping these contracts affect us.... (Corbyn response).. Um well I er (Corbyn and Dimbleby comment)... I was talking about coming from us having the option for students and us going to employers and saying we want to work this time and this time.. and not just getting told you're working this many hours this week.. (Dimbleby comment) yes.. the so called gig economy.. like riding for delivery services.." The us is clearly stated as students.. surprisingly I don't see him lying anywhere or implying he was going to be impoverished or any thing else that has been stated as actuality... It wasn't an attack as has been hysterically reported it was a question about work flexibility for students in the future if the Zero hours contracts are abolished, whether he is rich is irrelevant to that point. but anything is seized on and twisted to make up something to support their views.. all around us it is happening and it is lapped up greedily without question. Same on the other side.. and people think they are informed..laughable.. God help us..
"Work flexibility"/"Student opportunity" my arse. Nor is it irrelevant that the gobshite in question pretended he needed "zero hours" (read: employers rip off), though he plainly doesn't. Nor is it irrelevant he supports the tories who naturally push this scam to line their own pockets. In short, he's a liar.
What's laughable here is either (a) your gullibility, or (b) your pretence that you have an argument in favour of the indefensible - which "argument" amounts to nothing more than sophist claptrap.
There is no God anonymous, so nobody is coming to help you, but I've called the Samaritans for you just in case you can no longer cope.
Best thing here is get students back on grants. Scrap zero hours contracts. They're abused by employers. It was always easy enough to pick up casual work before the zero hours contract idea and it still is via local agencies. Where zero hours contracts are a problem is when they're used in lieu of permanent contracts to relieve workers of employment rights.
As for posh boy in the audience? People forget that many students are exactly the same as him. I think he did set out to misrepresent himself and score a few Tory brown nose points, so it's good that he's been outed. Don't try to conceal who you really are on national TV.
BBC really stands for Brainwash British C*nts
The Question Time audience must produce evidence and make good case for selection. This vetting procedure should ensure that a keen eyed inspector would spot a biased applicant or political stooge. A spokesman for the CND movement was followed all around the country by a person whose job was to disrupt the CND message. That person was outed at the time but he was allowed to infiltrate to his hearts content.
Well said I must say. There are so many idiots on the right we don't need to make things up about someone who isn't to justify our positions. Reasoned dialogue had not gone out the window, but it has been squashed down.
because the wealthy are the ones who want to keep the divide and not let the poorer get richer.keep the peasants in there place.
Most companies get away with it as councils pay awful rates to the companies whilst paying their own staff realistic rates. They want everything done on the cheap cheap. Some aspects of our society should not be placed In the market place. Health and social care being an example
For those confused about the question and why he's deceiving.
Zero hour contracts suit people - WHO DO NOT NEED A REGULAR INCOME.
These are people such as
People living with mummy and daddy
The very rich
The very rich's offspring
They are NOT people who need the money, there is nobody who works (and needs to) that dislikes job security.
If you want to work casually - it's always an option. However this doesn't need to be a zero hour contract.
So much hate in this blog.
He was exercising his right to an opinion on a particular policy and then Corbynister clan jump up and bad mouth him based on his schooling, clothes and holidays.
He may work on a zero hours contract through his summers to help pay for his university living costs. You don't know so don't judge him.
Just because he disagrees with a policy (of which there are good arguments on both sides) you attack him.
I haven't got time to read all the comments on here, but from what I've heard of him talking, it's a shame that you've quoted him as saying that JC would starve him, because he didn't appear to say that at all!
The only criticism I'd have of him would be that he's not exactly the ideal 'candidate' for a ZHC, and that his idea of a ZHC was a little bit skewed!
You DON'T get to choose your hours, but he appeared to want it that way.
I'm in my late 50's....I have never ever known a situation where outright lies are used to promote political purchase....we used to be respected for our honest government and admired for respect. I am ashamed of this government.
We have continually let down by government and the BBC .They continually omit information on what ever the subject and no one puts other truth.What ever they tell us we all think "are,but?".
You've never been to Villars then! Very expensive, even by Swiss standards.
Flexibility for who, though? Because it isn't for him. He doesn't need it.
Hard to tally that with his Royal Ascot Royal Enclosure costing at least £350. How many weeks on a zero hour contract to gross that?
(Trick question - it is unknowable. And that's half the problem!)
If the employee had a real say in 0 hours contract, then they wouldn't be the vile things that they are.
Imagine being at the 24 hour beck & call of your employer, who can call you in at 3am to cover a shift, then not call you for two weeks, then call for a Sunday afternoon (at standard rate) extra before a full week of holiday cover... Totally unfair. Makes life impossible, and they can't even charge a premium for it. Indeed, some don't even get fired, they just get no work for, well, forever, until they are forced to quit as flat broke (and good luck getting dole then!)
Very interesting info! Thanks
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