Posts Tagged ‘clause I’

Monday News Review

05/09/2011, 06:03:57 AM

Ed to re-write clause I

Ed Miliband is to propose rewriting the Labour party’s 93-year-old founding principles, amending clause I of its constitution to explicitly put the principles of community organising at its heart. In the first redrafting of the party’s clauses in 17 years since Tony Blair famously scrapped clause IV, which until then had committed Labour to a programme of mass nationalisation, Miliband hopes to get party support for his wider ambitions for the party, which have so far been controversial with union leaders. The proposal, contained in the Refounding Labour document, which has been drawn up by Peter Hain, chair of the national policy forum, would also insert into the new clause I the statement that Labour is “a force for social justice”. The new clause would say the party exists to “bring together members and supporters who share its values to develop policies, make communities stronger through collective action and support, and promote the election of Labour representatives at all levels of the democratic process”. A leaked version of the speech David Miliband planned to make if he had become Labour leader shows the former foreign secretary would also have pushed for a new clause I. An attempt by Labour to try to make itself a movement with broader appeal is particularly acute as the parties all await a report into funding due to be published in October by the committee on standards in public life. – the Guardian

Clegg blocks profit making free schools

The Guardian today claims Tory education secretary Michael Gove had hoped to allow free schools to make profits in the government’s second term and quotes a supporter of Gove as saying “Gove has never had an ideological issue with profit in schools, whereas Clegg is ruling it out for ideological reasons.” Meanwhile, Fraser Nelson writes in the Spectator that some of David Cameron’s allies are “…keen to fit rocket boosters under the free schools programme – and that means including profit-seeking groups like Cognita and International Free Schools.” If Nick Clegg does indeed have a ‘victory’ in blocking the proposal it will be one of the deputy prime minister’s most significant achievement in office. More significantly, the cat is now out of the bag on free schools: the Tories do see free schools as a vehicle to turn schooling into business. What is surprising is that people ever doubted this. For free schools to be anything other than an expensive fad, with just a handful of schools run by charities, parents or as publicity seeking exercises for the likes of Toby Young, it is logical they would have to become profit-making. Michael Gove’s free schools policy was based on the free schools programme in Sweden, where the government’s initial plan was that free schools would either be set up by parents or charities. – Left Foot Forward

The deputy prime minister is to open up a new front in his disagreements with the education secretary, Michael Gove, criticising the recent decision by the Tories to heap responsibility for children’s development on to teachers. Nick Clegg‘s aides believe the Conservatives have placed too much emphasis on teachers as arbiters of authority over children in the wake of last month’s riots. In a speech to teachers and pupils, Clegg will say: “We already expect our teachers to be social workers, child psychologists, nutritionists, child protection officers. We expect them to police the classroom, take care of our children’s health, counsel our sons and daughters, guide them, worry about them – and on top of that, educate them too.” Clegg’s comments come as his party claimed to have reined in Gove’s desire to allow his free schools programme to become profit-making, and that any new wave of free schools had to be in deprived areas. In response to this Lib Dem assertion, Gove refused to rule out profit-making schools as a possibility in the future. – the Guardian

Performance pay myth

The rise in remuneration came despite a 71pc decline in average year-end share prices, according to a report by the High Pay Commission (HPC). The findings claim to lay bare the “myth” of performance pay as salary growth “bears no relation” to market capitalisation, earnings per share or pre-tax profit growth, the HPC claimed. Performance pay scales have escalated dramatically in the past decade. Lead executives now collect a bonus worth 90pc of their salary if they hit performance targets, compared to 48pc in 2002. At the same time, the base salary from which performance pay is calculated has risen 64pc. Deborah Hargreaves, chair of the HPC, said: “The evidence exposes the myth that big bonuses and high salaries result in better company performances. There has been massive growth in what has been termed as performance related pay, yet no such corresponding leap forward in company performance.” The findings of the report have reopened the row over boardroom pay in Britain’s biggest companies. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC union, said: “Runaway pay at the top is not just unfair but helped cause the crash.” – the Telegraph

Fatcat bosses have seen their bonuses shoot up by a whopping 187 per cent in the past 10 years while the rest of the country struggles with pay freezes, it was revealed yesterday. With flagrant disregard for Government warnings to cut such payments in the wake of the banking collapse, top earners are continuing to pay themselves bigger and bigger bonuses. The report, by the High Pay Commission, shows the average annual bonus for a FTSE 100 director has increased by 187 per cent in a decade, while the average year-end share prices declined by 71 per cent. This inconsistency exposes the myth of the usual claims that excessive high pay is a reward for companies performing strongly. Finance analysts say there can be only one reason: Greed. The report shows that executives’ greed is growing. In 2002 the median maximum grant of shares that a FTSE 100 lead executive could be awarded was 100 per cent of salary. By 2010, this had risen to 200 per cent. – the Express

Ex Iceland PM faces charges for banking collapse

The dust from Iceland’s spectacular financial disaster — the failure of its three biggest banks and then the collapse of its economy in the fall of 2008 — had barely begun to settle when the country set about finding someone to blame. The bankers, surely: a government-appointed special prosecutor has named more than 200 people as official suspects in a case that appears bound to result in criminal charges. The politicians, certainly: voters expressed their disgust with the long-governing Independence Party by ousting it in the 2009 elections. But the desire for justice and retribution is deep and complicated, and Iceland has taken an unusual step in the strange annals of the world financial crisis: it is pursuing criminal charges against a politician, former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, for his government’s failure to avert the catastrophe. – New York Times

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