What cost equality?

What cost equality?

51.5% of Labour MP’s are women and 20% of Labour MP’s are BAME.

But what about the class background of MP’s?

29% of MP’s went to private school (7% of the population did), 14% of Labour MP’s went to private school.

25% of MP’s went to Oxbridge (0.5% of the population did)

50% of MP’s went to the Russell Group of Universities, 24 ‘top’ universities (11% of the population did).

In 1979, 15% of MP’s came from ‘blue-collar’ backgrounds. In 2019, 3% did!

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Fighting Corruption

Fighting Corruption

Sadly I have been looking to see what’s being said about Corruption and Anti-Corruption. I made a wiki post which includes some links on management strategy, which includes an article from McKinsey’s Journal which offers a brief taxonomy of corrupt practices, this is augmented by Transparency International’s tool kit, to which I link. TI also note that, “The UK Bribery Act, which was passed in 2010, introduces an offence of corporate failure to prevent bribery.”. There are also some specific action plans inc. current advice from the MoJ. Interestingly, to me, the action plans share many ideas from risk management practices and IT Security controls that I have been working with for many years, and that having a robust programme of controls is the only defence against the aforementioned corporate crime.

Construct a taxonomy, develop controls, measure the effectiveness of the controls and fix those that are broken.

This costs money and time, and companies may lose business because of it. No-one says it’s easy.

I have now made a post on my linkedin blog, which while repeating some of that I say here, looks at the MOJ Guidance and their six principles and offers some important definitions of pertaining to bribery.  I highlight the concept of ‘improper behaviour’ from within the legislation. …

Sectarianism

Sectarianism

This article is a review of Anatomy of the Micro-Sect, by Hal Draper, dated 1973. It thus refers to political sectarianism. I was particularly taken by this quote,

What characterizes the classic sect was best defined by Marx himself: it counterposes its sect criterion of programmatic points against the real movement of the workers in the class struggle, which may not measure up to its high demands. The touchstone of support (the “point d’honneur,” in Marx’s words) is conformity with the sect’s current shibboleths – whatever they may be, including programmatic points good in themselves. The approach pointed by Marx was different: without giving up or concealing one’s own programmatic politics in the slightest degree, the real Marxist looks to the lines of struggle calculated to move decisive sectors of the class into action – into movement against the established powers of the system (state and bourgeoisie and their agents, including their labor lieutenants inside the workers’ movement). And for Marx, it is this reality of social (class) collision which will work to elevate the class’s consciousness to the level of the socialist movement’s program.

There’s more below/overleaf, including a commentary on the featured image. … …

Class Wargames, a review

Class Wargames, a review

I read Richard Barbrook’s “Class Wargames” having played his referendum game. I was unprepared for two chapters on the history of the Situationist International. The book has been inspired by Guy Debord’s Game of War; I had assumed that Richard was fascinated by games for the same reason that managements are, that one learns quicker by doing than by listening but his enthusim and praxis comes from the tactics of the Situationist Intentional. He categorises the tactics as provocation, détournement, urbanism & participatory creativity and while it’s a bit difficult to see how war games is a tactic of urbanism, it’s clear to me how the others fit in by challenging the states monopoly of military knowledge and strategy, the revisiting of military history and the liberation effects of personal participation. Anyway everyone, or nearly everyone enjoys a good board or table top game.

The “Game of War” is simple, some might argue overly so and would seem a bit too like chess although Debord argued that it was good enough, or better than that.  …

Class Struggle 1939-1945, & Elbe Day

I was pointed at this review of, Chris Bambery’s book The Second World War: A Marxist History (2014) which takes a different from normal view of the politics & the history of politics of the second world war; the story where the people’s of the last democracies in Europe united with the United States to fight its fascist blight. I wrote a little review of the review and posted it on my wiki, in an article called “Class Struggle 1939 – 1945”. The wiki article looks at the US financial contribution to the Allied war effort, the Tory Party, even Churchill’s, ambivalence in fighting fascism, and US Capitalism’s contribution to the fascist victory in Spain. The review is more comprehensive and the book would seem to be even more so.

While looking for pictures to decorate the wiki article, I looked at my David Low cartoon book to see if there was one cartoon that would work to be used to decorate my article and my review but Low was contemporaneous with the events and reproducing pages for the book is hard to do with quality of my lockdown IT. In the book, Low draws a cartoon to mark the meeting of the US & Soviet forces on the Elbe on 25th April 1945. Low’s cartoon is typical of his portrayal of allied solidiers but on looking I found this image, published in an article about the 70th anniversary of Elbe Day which I assume from the article is still celebrated in Russia.

 

 

While I think this is a fabulous picture illustrating the penultimate phase of the war against Nazi Germany in Europe, and the, at least, short lived solidarity between the US and Soviet soldiery I wanted to find something closer to Low’s cartoon with a bit more of a personal voice.

 

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A note on redundancy

There’s redundancies coming! I wrote a short piece on our Union branch web site, emphasising the need for speed; the consultation period is only 45 days now. I briefly touch on the issue of economic viability; for redundancies to be legal and fair, the work must have gone or about to go. It will be harder to argue that jobs under threat are viable while CV19 is looking over the economy like a black rain cloud. I also discuss the need for transparency and fairness in selecting people for redundancy in cases where judgement is required. (Some business units may be reducing in size and so there remains the opportunity stay in employment for some, in these cases the decision must be fair, impersonal and transparent. …