Wednesday, 21 November 2012

New Edition Avaliable

Freedom to Freelance has been revised for a new third edition. This third edition takes the story from the announcement of IR35 through to the end of the first judicial review.

It has been revised and re-proofed and the new edition also has an index too.

In celebration of National Freelancers' Day the paper back copy is on sale for only £9.99.

If you are interested in a kindle version it will follow later this week, but post me or email me rosspe at if interested.

Friday, 21 September 2012

A story that needs telling...

The story behind the PCG and the campaign is a great one and one that needed telling. So many great things happened in the campaign and it was a real pioneering story.

A have had a couple of emails from people outside the contracting world and they really enjoyed the story. People often comment on how long the book, that it looks like a lot to read.

So I am planning to push people more towards the first half of the book which I have launched as 'beginning the fight against IR35'. I am revising this book - which is basically parts 1-3 to allow it stand more on its own.

Then time-allowing I will take parts 4-8 and launch as a second book.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Secret critics....

When I published the book, I knew that it wouldn't please everyone. The first week of publication saw threats of legal action against me and that was before people had even read the book. I had to disappoint one such person by telling them not to worry because they were hardly mentioned in  the book. Though this seemed to make them more cross.

The book does of course criticise the 'secret' pedants in the PCG who have hidden behind usernames.
I found this post on the accountingweb site from an unknown person

"A very large pinch of salt  ...  Particularly in respect of Mr Ross's Kalnienk Vision when looking away from his rose tinted mirror, in my humble opinion.

I know a few of the people that are mentioned in the book and who seem to have a very different recollection. To attempt to write a history of the PCG without actually interviewing any of the people involved isn't a history, it's a self-opinioned diary. Again IMHO."

My reply was :-

It is true that I didn't attempt to interview the former Paymaster General or Gordon Brown for that matter. The story is based around what happen with contemporary news articles from the time and details about what happened to me when I was campaigning. The key characters in the story are those who played a significant role - Andy White for one. I haven't talked in detail to the minor characters as I didn't need to, nor did I interview Andy I didn't have to because I was there. I know that some people are disappointed that they aren't in it more than they are. Also I am not sure what these different recollections are but would be interested to hear them, but these are my memoirs of the campaign, and that is it my story of the campaign.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 interesting, even enthralling, account of “people power”

James Webb writing for AccountingWeb says 

The book details the PCG’s history, from its infancy as the first true online trade association right through to the present day incarnation of the organisation, with particular focus on the group’s historic and impressive battle against legislation which it saw as unworkable and ill-conceived. 
Regardless of the reader’s personal political persuasions, it is impossible to come away from this account believing that the proposed IR35 legislation was anything other than a catastrophic failure.  Indeed, subsequent governments and administrations are yet to come up with a just and fair method of determining whether a contractor is caught by the legislation, and the issue is really no further forward than it was 15 years ago.
The reader is left with little doubt over the author’s passion and enthusiasm for his topic and it is clear that he has become something of an expert in the history and relevance of the IR35 legislation.  As such, this is an interesting, even enthralling, account of “people power” and a community’s refusal to be subjected to unfair legislation written by people who did not understand their industry.


Monday, 20 August 2012

Positive reviews...

Freedom to Freelance has been positively reviewed by Gail Purvis for AccountingWeb.


She writes :

'Freedom to Freelance' writes Philip Ross (contributor to is a story of how a group of plucky IT contractors banded together and took on the government. It is a story of sacrifice and endeavour, of valour and of many great deeds and successes - one of the first examples of crowd funding High Court drama, the biggest post-1997 lobby on parliament, which many have described as the world's first flash mob and first e-petition presented to parliament, and perhaps the only ever on-air apology transmitted on Newsnight. 
It also covers two campaigns: That of the IR35 direct confrontation and the second use of more gentle persuasion and diplomacy to defeat fast track visas.
This is a first person account “my story of my time with the PCG and considers the period between 1999 and 2002, at the heart of the campaign, when I believed in the cause." The biggest irony of IR35 is that a poll taken just after its release, showed the majority of those affected had elected new Labour in 1997.
The other sad, but somehow inevitable irony as is often the case with revolutions, the group turned on itself - and the leading figures ultimately replaced by more establishment characters and attempts at rewriting history.
The chapters cover the forming of the PCG, the parliamentary battle, the judicial review, political engagement, fast track visas, agency regulations, appeal and case law, thermidor and the epilogue  - 10 years on when Ross now is a UCL visiting lecturer and works for enterprise architecture consultancy Alpheus in which he is shareholder. No longer a contractor, he still claims commitment to the cause.
With an Appendix of Nominations for the New Statesman Award emails collected at the time; 56 brief biographies in the Who's Who, and a 22 organisation glossary in Freedom and a last chapter on Growing your Business in theHandbook all a reviewer can conclude is that future editions of both invaluably interesting books should indulge themselves by hiring a librarian contractor or freelance and creating indexes!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Reviewers wanted...

Interested in reviewing the book?

The book is in the process of being reviewed by various different groups, but I would be interested in a contractors review either by someone who was there at the time and to someone coming to it afresh.

Let me know if interested...

rosspe at

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Taster Kindle versions

A low cost copy of the book - as a taster - has been made available on Kindle for £1.53. (It is the minimum price that Kindle will let me retail it for). The full book is of eight parts, but I have put part 1 out as a kindle version for people to try. (I have also put together a kindle version of the first three parts of the book, which is about half of it).

Link to Kindle