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Infrastructure, ethics and people strategies

The UK is currently undergoing a crisis of identity, which is partly rooted in the question of the nation and what it means to British.  However, it is also about the infrastructure of the country and how it should be delivered. Underlying questions of service, performance, ownership, subsidies and so forth for the health service, railways, social services, education, and much else that make up the fabric of the country, are to what purpose we measure the success of these systems.  Are they purely utilitarian; to be measured by cost-benefit analysis, or are they some sort of metaphysical representation of the nation, the values it aspires to and central to the reproduction of civil society?

These questions matter because, as the pioneer of privatisation and deregulated markets, the UK continues to blaze a trail that others, encouraged by institutions like the IMF, are following.  Furthermore the answers to these questions will, in the context of Brexit, have a dramatic impact upon the…
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The New Economy Heralds the Return of Taylorism
Given that the net has proven to be a superb tool for comparing consumer prices and obtaining cheaper products and services it, perhaps, should not be a surprise that the hidden costs of some of the fast growing businesses in the world amount to a return to Taylorsim as the people management norm. As I have noted elsewhere previously, this may be dressed up as talent management, but for the average employee it means low paid insecure employment, with exhausting targets, overbearing managers and pressure to conform to company policies. Amazon, SportsDirect, RyanAir, Tesco and others have all come under intense media scrutiny for their employment practices.
Ryanair, it seems runs league tables for pilots fuel loading, employs over 70% of pilots on zero hours contracts, makes ground and stewarding staff pay for their own uniforms and drinks (at airport prices). Whilst Channel 4s Dispatches reports pilots feeling under pressure to cut …

Brexit or Bust...!

Brexit or Bust...!
How did we get here?Philosophically the Anglo-American model of the State is quite different from the European State. Derived from Hobbes and Locke, it is rooted in a belief that man is, at core, evil and government exists primarily to protect us from ourselves. For the British relationships with the State are based upon a contract, whereby citizens grant authority to the government in exchange for guarantees to protect life, liberty and property. As Margaret Thatcher discovered, whilst trying to impose a new tax upon property, governments that are perceived to have failed to honour this contract swiftly pay the price. There can be no doubt that a large number of people perceive the EU as a threat to their liberty. This contrasts with the European model, derived from Rousseau, who believed that people are basically good, but corrupted by their environment. Thus the job of the European States is to manage and improve the society, with individual rights taking se…