Posts Tagged ‘Andy Dodd’

The sheer effrontery of right wing attacks on local government pay

16/02/2011, 12:00:36 PM

by Andy Dodd

Last week, the institute of directors released a report claiming that the country’s debt position could be greatly improved by “progressive” measures such as abolishing the right to flexible working hours, eliminating time off for training and removing the right to a free hearing at an employment tribunal.

And now a strange study, from the independent incomes data services, bowls another full toss for the right wing to hit into the orbit of planet loony. It cites senior executives in local government who earn more than the prime minister. Predictably enough, by teatime, the forums on the Daily Telegraph web site were loaded with comments about “fake CEOs” who “take no risks” and are paid “vast sums”.

Without constructing a blanket defence for all local authority chief execs, some of whom may well be overpaid, it is a little confused to take the PM’s salary and argue that this should be the arbiter for senior management pay in the public sector. And, given the challenges currently facing senior managers in inner city local government, to say that they take no risks and are fake is absurd. (more…)

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The week Uncut

06/02/2011, 10:30:09 AM

In case you missed them, these were the best read pieces on Uncut in the last seven days:

Atul Hatwal says don’t believe the hype, Labour isn’t surging ahead

Richard Burden thinks the small change to AV could make a big difference

But Michael Dugher says the whole debate is a waste of time and money

Sally Bercow wants exploitatively high-cost lending to stop

Kevin Meagher says choosing office over power has destroyed the Lib Dems

Anthony Painter asks if the movement for change is the right direction

Andy Dodd takes a look at the big society and finds a hollow sham

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The “big society” is just a big sham

05/02/2011, 10:30:25 AM

by Andy Dodd

The prime minister, as we know, is very fond of the “big society”, the notion that the government can be rolled back to allow individuals and communities to do more to help themselves and each other. How often have we been told in the past nine months that everyone, equally, is in this together? How often have we heard the lecture that through co-operation, self-sacrifice and personal responsibility, we’ll pull through this difficult economic period and emerge stronger on the other side?

But are we really all in it together?  The recent by-election in Oldham showed the clear resentment of ordinary people who not so long ago were willing to accept the arguments put forward by the government that tough economic decisions were necessary to avoid disaster. This belief was built upon promises from ministers that everyone would be asked to make their contribution to the hard times ahead. (more…)

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Students are paying the price of this arranged marriage

08/12/2010, 02:30:37 PM

by Andy Dodd

With tomorrow’s vote on university tuition fees seen as the first major test of the Tory-Lib Dem government’s arranged marriage, it is timely to consider exactly what the vote could, or should, mean for Labour.

To begin with, it is a perfect opportunity to expose the increasingly bizarre contortions of the Lib Dems, who cannot seem to make up their mind whether they are the government or the opposition. Many did not expect the coalition to run smoothly, but they did not anticipate that it would wobble so soon and so dramatically. Increasingly, the notion that Nick Clegg’s party could apply its manifesto as part of an alliance seems fanciful. Nobody cares about the soft touches round the edges when the grand design of the Conservative majority is so brutal.

As Lord Paddy Ashdown pointed out yesterday (BBC Radio 5 Live Drive, 6 December), Lib Dem MPs should be duty bound to vote for raising tuition fees. The policy was included in the coalition agreement which was unanimously agreed by all members of the Lib Dem parliamentary party. In agreeing to form the government, each knew very well that they would have to compromise on election manifesto pledges. And yet they made that deal.

So, please spare me the hand wringing of the Lib Dem minions who are learning the hard way that you cannot run the country by cherry picking. Spare us, too, the convoluted logic of a secretary of state who develops a policy that triggers mass demonstrations across the land and then admits that he may not even vote for it. This is a travesty of government. (more…)

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