Sunday, 17 July 2011

Oakeshott posting No1 in Lib Dem 'Top of the Blogs' this week.

I was taken aback when a colleague emailed me to say that the No.1 posting in this weeks Top of the Blogs The Lib Dem Golden dozen was our posting on Robert Oakeshott. Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

The original posting is here

Wow, in a week when the New Corp scandal dominated the head lines (and Vince was proved right once again) when the highest levels of the Met Police were shown to be dining with 'criminals' rather than arresting them and Murdoch CEO ((finally resigned) and was arrested etc etc, the No 1 blog post was on a man who spent his life advocating the unfashionable view that workers' ownership of industry is essential  -well it is not what I expected.

Nevertheless it does emphasis the renewed interest in this policy area in the party and the determination to reclaim this approach. We now see Milliband talking about mutuals and Maude and Cameron peddling them as an alternative to state ownership in public services.We need to assert our view that Ownership is important and that those who work in enterprises are at least as important as shareholders. In Richard Wainwright's time honoured phrase'labour should hire capital'

In a time when there has been a fire-sale of British companies to leveraged buy outs and this and that hedge funded backed asset stripper whose only concern is to turn the biggest and fastest buck, it is essential that we emphasis that the long term health of our industry is best served by those who have a long term interest in its success. We want businesses who invest in training, research and  employee development. We know that co-owned companies always perform well, with happier and healthier staff.

Robert Oakeshott stood for parliament as a Liberal and worked closely with Grimond on the party's co-ownership, workers co-ops policy (apparently Jo also kept him entertained with a supply of jokes!) Co-ownership was one of the signature policies of our party. We need to get it back on the agenda quickly.

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