Since the last post has had some interest, and has guided me to a number of others, I thought I would share some with you. First, thanks Anthony for the Tweet, and it is only right to point out his post on new models of ownership, which (I think) seems to draw on thinking related to “commons” in giving ownership a role:
Last week’s Labour movement column argued that the left should properly acknowledge the importance of ownership in distributing power more equitably. Here is an opportunity to develop new forms of ownership that can be engineered towards reducing our impact on the environment . . . Each community (based on local authority area) could establish an environmental cooperative. . . . The objective of the cooperative would be to reduce that community’s carbon emissions by say 10% within five years.
“Each community could establish an environmental cooperative”. I would just want to focus on that. ‘Could’ or ‘will be made to’? Do I have to join up with other Putney people? If so, Anthony has bravely argued that to deal with Global Warming we will need quite a lot of coercive behaviour. What are the penalties for not? But if it is not compulsory, then can it really deal with this very real emergency?
I think this is John Lewis again. Some – nice – people may adopt other forms of ownership/’reinvent the firm’. But if this is not widespread, the effects will be marginal – interesting to readers of Prospect, but not worth a massive Westminster policy launch. Or it will be coercive and illiberal – ‘you may want to form a shareholder company dedicated to profit but we will not let you’.
Michael White: always very shrewd about noticing purely political aspects.
Cameron needs a flourishing range of centre-right thinktanks from which to pluck handy ideas at will; all recovering oppositions do . . . Will ResPublica’s new brand of civic conservatism be the answer ‑ or just another intellectual bubble? Blond’s stint at the ex-Blairite, pro-localism thinktank Demos ended abruptly: he may not be a team player . . . Politicians need intellectuals on tap, but the Cameroons are prudently keeping a safe distance. The Tory leader will not stay long tomorrow.
Paul Bickerstaff gets to the point:
Agency workers won’t be too enthusiastic about Phillip Blond’s bland plans for them to become part of a classless, asset-owning society Nor, I suspect, will these exploited agency workers have too much time and energy left over to join Blond’s Time Banks (the things they still call LETS, another product of the 1980s, and another pleasing venture which failed to achieve critical mass impact).
No. They’d rather have the money.
How awfully individualistic of them.
I think this is Sunder at Fabians: I like the Blond on blond theme (Blond going against Thatcher).
In other news, I don’t think CentreForum research will ever get mentioned by Larry Elliott. His piece touches on stuff thoroughly covered by A Balancing Act and Slash and Grow. But instead it talks about Policy Exchange. Ho Hum. But this is the sort of context their history lesson (see yesterday post) needed fisking with:
The reason the UK grew after 1931 was that sterling was the first currency to come off the gold standard, and took advantage of a big devaluation to cut interest rates to 2% by early 1932, where they remained virtually unchanged for 19 years. Britain also threw tariff barriers around its colonial possessions; it was the combination of depreciation, cheap money and imperial preference that caused the recovery.
Finally, not all is rosy: Dubai, going down the tubes? A very interesting story I would love to cover in more depth, but I’m busy working out how much the Bank has overpaid for Gilts. I have gone there three times on holidays, and always wondered: who is going to actually live in all these buildings? So, anyone feel like buying the World?