Friday, 6 February 2015

Has Ed Miliband been radicalised?

Andrew Fisher finds himself astonished at becoming mainstream ... or has he radicalised Ed Miliband?

There you are innocently eyeing Twitter and you find that the Labour Party leader has (albeit tentatively) backed one of the policies in the conclusion of your book:

What Ed writes in full is:

"Employee buyouts show how self-help and mutuality can build resilience into our economy, saving productive businesses and decent work. These buyouts can be an attractive route for business succession because they transfer ownership to people with a genuine interest in an enterprise’s long-term success. That’s why we should explore giving employees a statutory right to request employee ownership during business succession"
Which isn't too far away from what I write in the final chapter of The Failed Experiment ... and how to build an economy that works which outlines both the 'right to buy-out' and the 'right to co-operativise':
"So workers should be given the right to buy too ... they should have the right to buy out owners (with government subsidies to encourage) ... could involve workers teaming up with regular customers to collectively raise the funds and then to jointly run the company in the interests of workers and customers."

"Another option would give workers the right to co-operativise their company in other words to transfer the company from private ownership to co-operative ... Current owners could be compensated by the issuance of Treasury bonds - meaning that the ownership of the company transferred to the state, but the day-to-day operation would be managed co-operatively by the workers."
I thought a friend of mine had mocked this up using photoshop, but maybe it's a genuinely unadulterated photograph:
A note of caution: despite by jubilation at inadvertently becoming Ed's new SPAD, of course Miliband does only say that "we should explore" such proposals, and only that there is a "right to request" employee ownership ( whom the request is made is not yet clear). So stand down Andrew ... you're not in the inner circle yet.

But let's keep a watchful eye on this and see how far Ed's exploration gets ...

UPDATE: In an interview in tomorrow's Guardian, Ed Miliband said:
“Cameron made this big promise 18 months ago that he was going to force UK tax havens in crown dependencies to open up and he has totally failed to meet that promise. We are sending a very clear message today.

“A Labour government is not going to have endless consultation and dithering. We are going to give six months to these tax havens to agree to publish a register of beneficial ownership, and if they do not act we will recommend to the OECD that they are put on a blacklist.”
In The Failed Experiment ... and how to build an economy that works, Andrew Fisher writes:
"The UK must also take on its tax havens - the crown dependencies like Jersey and the Cayman Islands. They are the arteries of the global tax avoidance system. These corrupt island nations could be stopped by the UK, their sponsor, at any point."
Chalk it up as another win!!

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