Monday, 5 December 2011

one we prepared earlier-a Liberal economic idea

Want to spread wealth and power more fairly, tackle the obscenity of mega pay, improve productivity, get business to concentrate on the 'long-term' making it more resilient during a period of retrenchment?

Well the Liberal Party had this quaint idea. They identified the issue of ownership as matter that had to be reformed. Today we would say that the market collapse that led to the banking crisis was in significant part caused by a model of ownership that meant the Directors of a company had one over-riding duty-namely to increase share holder value. This led to some of the short sighted and risky transaction that may have been in the short term interest of the shareholders but were not in the long term interests of the UK economy.

The Liberal Part argued for decades that those who worked in enterprises have AT LEAST as much right as those who contributed the capital. The Liberal policy of co-ownership or out right Employee Ownership was a signature policy and apart from PR one of the few things that the British people knew about the party.Shareholders have shown repeatedly that they are interested only in a fast buck. The electronic dealing in shares have meant they are bought and sold in a twinkling of an eye.It is time to start arguing the Liberal case again.

If employees were properly represented on Boards of Directors you wouldn't need legislation to control top pay. Numerous examples across Europe and North America show that employee ownership effectively deals with this issue. Employee owned firms are not only happier places to work but also more productive.

This policy also gives hope of building a fairer Britain. Firms like John Lewis, Scott Bader and Baxi have all shown that this is a hard headed idea and as talk of class war raises its ugly head once more it is a policy that should become identified with our part

So why the picture of Asquith? Well Clegg must be the first Liberal leader since Squiffy not to make employee ownership a central element in the party's policy


  1. In all fairness, did Kennedy or Ming really talk about it much either?

  2. Ming gets credit for previous good behaviour and he has recently written a positive review of David Erdal's book. Kennedy was not as silent as Clegg and his parliamentary party did include many who championed the cause but I agree you'd be hard pressed to come up with many examples of his support.


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