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Week 16 Sunday
Now it can be told! Geoff Mulgan, now Director of the new Young Foundation, inheritor of the Michael Young mantle, and former Head of the Downing Street think-tank, declares that New Labour has not been radical enough. Writing in Prospect, he claims that Labour's "radical reformer" has yet to surface.
Occasionally, I take a look at the domain-origins of the 32,000 "readers" of this website. My excellent Counter gives me the statistics. And there are three puzzling features.
First: the continuing interest of the US authorities. The Defense Department has now clocked up 54 visits, and the US Government 30: each has its own distinctive domain-name, so I can tell. This is much more than could be explained by any random googling. Are US spies really spending time and money on me?
Third: Canada is far more productive of readers than the USA - Canada 318 US 130, with Japan weighing in at 223. At this point, an explanation does begin to suggest itself. These are merely classifications of domain-names, and the biggest hitter is not a country-of-origin name at all - it is .com itself, which has notched up 9,072 hits. The widespread .net domain accounts for a further 5,264 hits, and co.uk for 5,971. So it may be that the Americans are just more likely to avoid the use of their own "national" domain and to use the global generic systems.
The Midlands economy will be the stronger, without Rover. Large, weak firms are a drag upon any economy. They pin down the energies of thousands of thinking people into the pointless pursuit of doomed commercial objectives. That was Rover. Those energies are better released: every skilled worker now released from Rover is a potential growth point, in a busy future economy.
I lived through the staff reductions at British Steel at Port Talbot, once employing 21,000 men. Early cuts reduced the figure to 11,000, and then (under Thatcher) the roll reduced to 3,500. When many of the skilled men were finally released, in the early-1980s, they moved on to strengthen other smaller local firms who had not been able to compete with British Steel salaries, while the giant payroll had dominated Port Talbot.
Each small firm, indeed each self-employed worker, is a potential growth point, constantly on the look-out for something better and more profitable to do. That is a source of great systemic vitality to the economy. While coralled within the secure cocoon of a large firm, individual creativity and initiative are less likely to flourish.
Rover cars were not selling. There were no new models in the offing. Although there will be pessimism among the older workers, the overall effect for the Midlands will be beneficial.
I never dreamt I would call the Financial Times naive. But that is now my accusation. Editorial disgust was recently expressed for Directors who plundered their own companies, by rigging their own salaries, bonuses and pensions in unjust ways. The whole naive article is reproduced here: I cannot click you through to the Financial Times itself, because it is a subscription website, and it would not let you in.
Do they not realise that the facility of stealing from their companies is the principal perk of professional Directors, particularly Managing Directors? That all their striving is to achieve the blessed secrecy of the Boardroom, where theft on a grand scale is the norm, indeed socially and legally acceptable? How can the FT be so naive?
The corporate sector, nationally and internationally, is a genteel kleptocracy (i.e. rule by thieves) which offers untold opportunities for unjust enrichment which is perfectly legal. The law accords to Directors virtual freedom to write their own pay packages, policed only by fellow cronies, who are in on the same act.
Howard’s campaign on immigration is just plain wicked. His campaign is devious and malicious, drawing upon the very worst of human nature in a desperate attempt to gain electoral advantage. For every word of the headline statements, there is an unspoken parallel text of racial resentment, cultural antagonism. And for those of us who know the situation “on the ground”, the campaign is also deeply dishonest, in ways which demean democratic politics.
Timetable slip! The
planned launch of this new support charity, planned for this week, had to
be postponed until next week, with Bates, Wells and Braithwaite giving their
pro bono to help the new project. If you are a
supportive lawyer or Immigration Adviser, willing to volunteer to work
part-time (evenings, weekends) with the new charity, will you
Benedict XVI is the wrong man for the job. Fundamentalism the world over has been strengthened by his appointment. The world needed a chance to turn away from fundamentalism. The world rightly regrets the dominance of the old Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, surpassing that of elected Iranian governments. The fundamentalism of the American Right is already a profound threat to the peace of the world. The Iranian secret police is a dreaded force, comparable with any Inquisition. Whatever the specific truths may turn out to be, Al Quaida is powered by fundamentalism, religious fanaticism. Now we have our own religious fundamentalist leading the Catholic Church. It is a dark day, for a peaceful world.
Fundamentalism means one thing. It is the elevation of human artefacts (i.e. doctrine") above our common humanity itself. It elevates male doctrine above the humanity of women. It elevates the sexuality of celibates above the experience of ordinary human beings.
As weblogging proliferates, a new form of modern history becomes possible. I can now give you an insight into what was "in the news" for the matching week, one two, and three years ago. This is how the world looked to me, in mid-April -
2002- 2003 - 2004
Michael Howard v The Gypsies >>>
Countering Fundamentalism >>>
Living Wills >>>
Against Unreasonable Inequality >>>
Ralph Erskine The Great >>>
Darwinian " strangers" >>>
"Corporate Manslaughter" fallacy >>>
Labour's philosophical vacuum >>>
Forget Iraq? No fear! >>>
I will vote Labour, but... >>>
Abolish Wrongful Dismissal >>>
Adjustment Pay for every worker >>>
....drop me a line
There is one particular corner of the Labour Manifesto which gladdens my heart. It is the proposal to empower Londoners to form their own democratic, representative Community Councils, to supplement the remote system of Borough government.
This was one of the great causes upon which I worked with Lord (Michael) Young of Dartington and Simon Partridge in the 1990s, seemingly without prospect of success. Do take a look at The Guardian article which launched the Alliance, in 1998 Michael was the Chairman, and I was the Secretary, of the London Community Alliance.
Never missSteve Bell! His cartoons, from The Guardian
I confess I was flattered by The Guardian’s excellent review of Tam Dalyell’s political career. He was cited as “defying Left-Right” labels, because he was (a) deeply opposed to the invasion of Iraq, (b) pro-Europe and (c) in favour of nuclear power.That demonstrated his independence of mind. And all three are also my own personal positions, quite precisely. But I have a fourth position, on school indiscipline, which will seem odd to many people.
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050418 Make sure you
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