Judging by their discussion paper, Labour's future of work involves a lot of cutting and pasting

UPDATE: Labour has now added citations as footnotes which is inadequate since they continue to use material lifted directly from elsewhere without appropriate attribution and no quotation marks. Please note, however, the addition of footnotes occurred after the plagiarism was revealed on this blog and elsewhere in the media.

 

I have reviewed one small section of Labour's Future of Work discussion paper, and uncovered three clear cases of plagiarism. I can only imagine other such instances are rife throughout the document.  

The section in question is titled "Emerging Challenges and Opportunities".  In total, the section comprises just over 1,200 words.  Among them, a straightforward Google search uncovered three occasions where the drafters of the report directly lifted whole sentences and paragraphs from articles in the Economist and Business Insider.  None of them were attributed, but presented in the body of the text as if it were the drafter's original work. Straightforward plagiarism, in other words. 

Labour wrote:

Complex tasks such as programming a computer or writing a legal brief can now be divided in component parts and subcontracted to specialists around the world.  

On January 5th this year, in an article titled "Workers on Tap", the Economist reported:

Complex tasks, such as programming a computer or writing a legal brief, can now be divided into their component parts—and subcontracted to specialists around the world.

Labour went on to write:

Fast-moving tech companies competing in this arena have developed new models – such as Uber, Handy and AirB&B – that are transforming industries which have been historically slow to innovate. Transportation, grocery, restaurant and personal service industries are seeing hyper-growth in the on-demand world.

On July 13, 2014, an article in Business Insider titled "The 'On-Demand Economy' Is Revolutionizing Consumer Behavior — Here's How", Mike Jaconi wrote:

The fast-moving technology companies competing in this arena have developed new models that are transforming industries which have historically been slow to innovate. The ground transportation, grocery, and restaurant industries are prime examples of hyper-growth categories in the on-demand world.

Labour also wrote:

The “on-demand economy” is the result of pairing that workforce with smartphones and other devices, which now provide far more computing power than the desktop computers which reshaped companies in the 1990s, and reach far more people.

Also in the January 5th 2015 edition, in an article titled "There's an App for That", the Economist wrote:

The on-demand economy is the result of pairing that workforce with the smartphone, which now provides far more computing power than the desktop computers which reshaped companies in the 1990s, and to far more people.