United Nations sanctions Gadaffi regime

February 27, 2011

Tudor Rickards

The United Nations security council votes unanimously to introduce sanctions against Colonel Gadaffi in the interests of protecting the rights of its citizens. The move seeks to avoid the controversies over the interpretation of legitimacy of military actions in the Iraq conflict

The Washington Post reported [Sat 26th Feb 2011]

The move came as President Obama for the first time called on Gaddafi to step down, deepening the Libyan leader’s international isolation as he struggles to contain a revolt that threatens his 41-year rule. It also marked the first U.S. vote in support of a Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court, which the United States has not joined.

The article also conveyed a White House announcement of the contents of a telephone conversation by President Obama to Germany’s Angela Merkel in which the Presedent was quoted as saying

“when a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now”

The international support for the UN resolution

The United Nations is often forced into actions which demonstrate the near-impossibility of a genuinely united position regarding means as well as ends. In this case there seems more of a consensus than is often the case.

The resolution is further strengthened by the defection of Libya’s delegation to the United Nations. The article goes on to quote Libyan envoy Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgam who wrote to the Security Council president noting that his delegation “supports the measures proposed in the draft resolution to hold to account those responsible for the armed attacks against the Libyan civilians, including [through] the International Criminal Court”

More violence in Tripoli

In a separate bulletin, [Saturday 26th Feb 2011] The Post reported further accounts of State-supported violence against protesters in the Lybian capital Tripoli

Unedited news story

The above is a summary of a fast breaking global issue


The King’s Speech: Not a Film Review

February 26, 2011

Tudor Rickards

The King’s Speech is a fine film. What are its leadership messages for today?

This is not intended to be a film review. Rather, I want to reflect on the leadership messages in a tale of the trials and duties of a monarch dealing with his human frailty. Or, if you like, the dilemmas of everyman everywhere any time.

The story

The film itself has won widespread acclaim. It is expected to receive further accolades in the Oscars ceremonies this weekend [Feb 27th 2011]. In a nutshell, the story tells of Albert (‘Bertie’) the surviving youngest son of King George 5th. When George 5th died, Albert’s eldest son David ascended to the throne.

What follows is rather confusing, even for those familiar with the story. David briefly became King Edward 7th. This sort of name-changing and brand-tweeking was repeated when Albert replaced him and acquired the title King George 6th. King Albert was considered “too German” as someone said. And King David was too close the biblical King David for someone who would be anointed as defender of faith and secular head of the Church of England. The entire royal line rebranded itself The House of Windsor some years later to airbrush out signals of its Germanic ancestry.

Bertie’s background

The heart of the story is that Bertie was never considered up to being king, which didn’t matter because that was to be David’s job anyway. He was bullied quite a bit as a child, unconsciously on the part of King George, sneakily on the part of his older brother. This treatment is suggested to have triggered the stammer which played such a vital part in the story.

Edward was a bit of a wild thing, which used to an almost obligatory feature of the role of Prince of Wales, king in waiting. He was also rather popular with the masses, although this is glossed over in the film in order to get a better portrayal as a villain. He was rather a glamorous figure a la Blackadder officer class. No surprise then, that David becomes infatuated with a person with a past, a Mrs Wallis Simpson, played in the film as a Cruella deville figure.

King George dies. Hitler is rising to power in Europe. David becomes King Edward (still with me?) but constitutionally causes a lot of trouble by refusing to relegate Mrs Simpson to the substitute’s bench.

Courage and duty

There follows a display of what another recent remade film labelled as True Grit. Bertie is introduced to Lionel Logue, a speech guru and potential mentor. The clash of roles and class becomes central to the story. Logue demands an intimacy to provide technical success with the royal stammer. Various advances and setbacks occur. The audience cringes at the embarrassment of Bertie’s public performances. The leadership dilemmas are beginning to come into focus. We have a fine example of the courageous battle between duty and capability for Bertie. And between private and public obligations and passions for David/Edward

At least the dashing David/Edward had looked and sounded good in public. But the new king was determined in his demands. Duh! No Queen Wallis, no deal. Edward quits (abdicates if you like the technical term). Which of course leaves everyone including Bertie sensing all sorts of trouble ahead. And not just moonlight and dancing…

Meanwhile in Europe …

Meanwhile, events in Europe are not going well. Except for Hitler who seems to be doing very well indeed. The government in England eventually twigs that Hitler is about as amenable to friendly advances as Colonel Gadhafi proved seventy years later. Something has to be done. Change the Government.

The king’s battle

The increasingly important story-line is the painful battle of a suffering soul as Albert continues in his struggles to defeat his handicap adequately to fulfil his regal obligations. Concessions have to be made by King and commoner. The rights and obligations of the noble leader come into focus. The commoner pushes hard to claim rights of friendship and dismisses cherished symbolism of rights of monarch over subjects.

Leadership lessons

We see how art throws light on real-life problems. The dilemmas help us transmute the specific to the personal for beyond the story of the trials facing an anguished monarch who accepted the greatness thrust upon him.

Acknowledgements

[1] The author acknowledges the insights provided in discussion with Susan Moger for the dilemmas suggested in this post. Without her contributions, the text would have little substance beyond one person’s reactions to a considerable work of art.

[2] Image from Wikipedia


Not a good week for leaders

February 25, 2011

Earthquake damage to Christchurch Cathedral
The news has been full of leadership stories this week. But they have been not so much about heroic figures, as leaders struggling to deal with crises from Libya to London, from Wall Street to Washington. For personal heroism we have to go to rescuers after the earthquake in Christchurch Canterbury, New Zealand

The start of February 2011 has produced global shocks politically, and in their wake economically. The headlines have been reserved for events in the middle east, when attention shifted from Egypt to neighbouring Libya where Colonel Gadhafi has appeared weakened. Events there appear more like an old-fashioned and bloody insurrection than the new-media supported challenges to regimes in Tunisia and Egypt last month.

What appears to be in common to these events is the weakening or termination of authority of a long-standing ruler, charged with being out of touch with the democratic rights of their people.

Efforts to maintain a ‘strong man’ position have tended to be followed by concessionary offers of reform, which have encouraged further efforts to depose the regimes.

Drugged by al Qaeda

Moammar Gadhafi at present has refused to take such a conciliatory stance. In a telephoned speech [24 Feb 2011] to Libyan state television he put the blame for the uprising sweeping Libya on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, saying that terrorist group had been drugging Libyans and thus inducing them to revolt. Western commentators remain unconvinced.

Shockwaves

Shockwaves from the region have troubled other leaders. Prime Minister David Cameron and his Foreign Secretary William Hague have been under pressure for acting too slowly to support repatriation of British citizens. President Obama continues to take political hits as he struggles to avoid accusations of America being too enthusiastic in favour of military intervention. Stock market speculation was evident in light of uncertainties over oil supplies and prices.

And at Apple

One of the sad leadership tales of the week was at Apple. Shareholders are increasing demands for the company to reveal a succession plan for the iconic Steve Jobs, whose medical condition is seen to be a serious threat to the company’s future prospects. Unlike most political leaders, Jobs’ contributions have been visible, immense, and widely acclaimed.

A real crisis

Events even in Libya have had less human consequences than were produced in the earthquake which has devastated the city of Canterbury, New Zealand this week. There, the response has had less to do with top-down leadership than with community response and personal heroism.

Image

Christchurch Cathedral and the effects of the Earthquake [23rd Feb 2011]. Image from australiangeographic.


George Osborne. My role in his political rescue

February 23, 2011

Just as Spike Milligan played a part in Hitler’s downfall, I can claim my modest role in the rescue of George Osborne from political oblivion

Not alone of course. Gentle George may never know that I was among millions of loyal citizens whose collective efforts in January 2011 rescued the Chancellor’s political career.

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Your country needs you

You could say I failed to heed the first calls to service. As Christmas approached I was beguiled by the gentle and soothing reminders by the lovely Moira Stewart that my country needed me. Or at least it needed my contribution, however small, to buttress its finances.

I was under the comfortable impression that before January the 1st I should find an hour or so to complete my tax return on line. Maybe while waiting for Her Royal Highness to speak to her subjects on Christmas Day.

George was too busy fighting the Generals

In hindsight I was too soothed when what I needed was a sharper call to arms. Perhaps George himself in Kitchener pose, pointing down sternly at slackers from posters on every street corner. Your country needs your taxes. But George had been fighting on the city front, urging the Generals of the banking world to do their bit. For whatever reason, the little people constituting the big society had to show their loyalty without further leadership from the top.

So sometime in the week before the deadline of of January I settled down to feed into the Government’s database the relatively straightforward account of my earnings. I know it was during that week, because the website Moira had directed me to was quite curt. “Too late” it snarled. “You will now incur a £100 penalty because it takes over a week for your return to be processed”. Hmm.

More electronic hurdles

Somewhat shocked by the news, I pressed ahead. Only to discover there were several more electronic hurdles to jump over. For reasons I can’t remember the password I had used was no longer valid. I learned how I could be sent this vital information but that is a State secret about which I will remain silent and which took a week to reach me. Then, when the system accepted my password it needed a new User ID which again could only be communicated through similar Top secret channels.

Meanwhile January turned into February. The face of the world was changes as revolutions gripped the Middle East. And I had still failed to send my contribution to help my country in its darkest hour of financial need.

The electronic doors open

But then after several weeks of regular battles to be let in, the mighty electronic doors at the Government Gateway opened up to me. I was in. A hundred or so clicks later and I had committed myself to swelling the country’s fighting funds by at least as much as a Premiership footballer does in the time it takes to play a game.

Even the Guardian, no friend of General Osborne, admitted a great victory had been won:

Government finances show biggest surplus since 2008. Bumper income tax receipts bring a January surplus of £3.7bn and could put coalition on track to meet borrowing targets

And I could feel pride in the role I had played in rescuing my country and Mr Osborne from ruin.


Alan Green, Arsenal and humiliation theory

February 21, 2011

Alan Green illustrated the potency of humiliation theory in a single remark after Arsenal’s drawn FA cup-tie with Leyton Orient

Alan Green has earned numerous plaudits as a BBC sports reporter, and particularly as a football commentator. His style captures the richness of popular opinion. He is passionate and opinionated. He remains one a fierce critic of all things stupid as he sees them. Among his targets are the malign impact of money on football, the crassness of the Football Association, the duplicity of FIFA, the ineptness of referees, the exploitation of fans, and … [well you’ve got the idea]. For all that, he is worth listening to. His pungency does not need deconstructing for hidden agendas. But his words may still reveal deeper emotional influences.

Pulsating end

Speaking in Radio 5s 606 talk-back programme yesterday [20th February 2011] he was discussing with a caller the pulsating end of the Leyton Orient/ Arsenal FA cup tie. The minnows battled to snatch a draw against The Gunners. Alan adores the FA cup (or the magic of the cup, as he puts it).

Humbled or humiliated?

Sadly I didn’t write down his exact words but here’s my best attempt at capturing them. Isn’t that the magic of the cup when a great team like Arsenal can be humbled in that way?

Eureka! ‘Humbled’. For humbled read humiliated. That was the motivation behind the commentary on MUFC against Crawley Town the day before: a yearning for the downfall of the mighty. Humiliation theory applied to football. But not complete obliteration but hubristic come-uppance of the mighty by the humble.

He doesn’t really hate Arsenal

What is not is a loathing of Arsenal. Alan Green has an equally non-judgemental enthusiasm for the way Arsenal plays football under its quixotic coach Arsene Wenger. His praise for the team mid-week in defeating the even mightier Barcelona was unstinting. No. This is more a display of human motivation rooted in social identity and insecurities. Humiliation theory is alive and well, and has impact beyond the football terraces.


Singapore’s growth presents a leadership challenge

February 19, 2011

Singapore is rightly proud of its economic gains as one of the original Asian ‘little tigers’. Now it turns to the social problem of the minority of its people left behind through decades of successful growth

The growing wealth of Singapore has produced social inequalities that are worrying the Government. Inflation also is threatening to compound the political challenge. Political stability, even with its one-party dominance has become a concern.

Mariko Oi in Asia Business Report for BBC World News explored the story [Feb 2011] using a few well-chosen statistics

Singapore’s economic success and role as a regional financial centre have amplified the problem. Wealth has been created so quickly that it is easy for people to get left behind. The economy almost doubled in size in the 10 years to the end of 2008, Department of Statistics figures show. The average monthly income increased by 40% over the same period. However, the average monthly income for the bottom 20% of Singaporean households fell by 2.7% over the same decade.

Singapore’s inflation rate hit a two-year high of 4.6% in December [2010], and the central bank has warned that prices may rise at a faster pace in coming months

The government has been looking at ways of narrowing the country’s income gap and in 2007 introduced the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme. As a result, some 400,000 Singaporeans now receive financial support from the government. Top government adviser and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said last month that economic growth must benefit all members of Singapore’s community. “Otherwise,” he warned, “our community may be divided by differences in income levels within it.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is scheduled to call a general election within a year. His People’s Action Party has ruled the city-state since independence in 1965 and it is widely expected to win most of the seats. But with many of Singapore’s poorer citizens facing tougher times, the government will be watching to see if they bring any of their worries to the ballot box.

Locally-based analyst Chris Howells believes that the Government is taking a prudent approach to the issue and that the budget will not overheat.

While dishing out more than S$13 billion to households and businesses, this year’s Budget is unlikely to lead to an overheating of the economy. That is because the Government is adopting a cautious fiscal stance, forecasting a slight overall Budget surplus of S$100 million for this year, after a much smaller-than-expected Budget deficit of S$300 million last year, compared with an originally anticipated S$3 billion shortfall.

Singapore’s economic growth is expected to be between 4 and 6 per cent this year, slower than last year’s record expansion but above the country’s estimated trend growth of 3 to 5 per cent for the next 10 years [reporting Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech].

So for this year, the Budget has been positioned to avoid stoking the flames of inflation. “I would say that this indicates a very cautious Budget in the sense that there are no bold and drastic measures being introduced by the minister and the focus is very much on improving productivity over the next 10 years,” said Mr Tay Hong Beng, head of tax at KPMG in Singapore.

To go more deeply:

Government statistics
Workfare programme
Singapore’s shopping experience


Coalition crisis in India?

February 17, 2011

India has a coalition government brought about as a reaction to political crisis. The partnership of Sonya Ghandi and Manmohan Singh now faces a political crisis of its own. In this respect there are parallels with the problems of the UK’s coalition government

India and the United Kingdom both have coalition governments facing tough political situations. But the crises they are grappling with also have various differences, making comparisons difficult. A BBC report [abbreviated below] suggests

An unshakeable understanding between Mr Singh and Congress [party] President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ensured political stability in the country. Frequent meetings between the two suggested a neat division of responsibility between party and government.

In the past few months, [in early 2011] the personal equation may have continued, but things have begun going horribly wrong for the Congress-led coalition. Inflation, corruption scandals, a massive and ongoing agitation for a separate state of Telangana in southern India, apparent favours in the allocation of land, the abuse of discretionary powers by state leaders: everything seemed to go wrong at the same time for Mr Singh and his government.

Long considered a man of unimpeachable integrity, Mr Singh coasted to a second term as the prime minister of the world’s second most populous nation [in May 2009]. With the opposition in disarray, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government appeared to be on a roll.

The Phone-licences scandal

The corruption scandal erupted anew in February 2011. Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Communications, has been questioned as part of a probe into a phone-license selling scandal:

An ongoing investigation is looking into whether mobile phone licences were sold at below-market prices in 2008. Claims that the government lost more than $30bn (£18.6bn) in revenue have caused months of political conflict and shaken investor confidence. Reliance Communications shares have declined 30% in value this year, making them among the worst performers on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s main Sensitive Index. As well as hurting the stock market, the scandal has caused political turmoil in India.

Earlier this month, federal officials arrested former telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja. They alleged that Mr Raja violated guidelines in the second-generation (2G) phone license sale, and conspired to favour certain telecom companies. India’s chief auditor said in November that the 2G licences were sold for about a tenth of their value. The government has questioned the figure, claiming it is too low.

Above suspicion

Mr Singh seeks to defend his own impressively high reputation as an ethical leader. He claims that the coalition must remain “above suspicion” (the quote referring to Shakespeare’s play and the necessary status of the wife of Julius Caesar). Extreme ethical leadership presents its own dilemmas. Symbolically it places unreasonable demands on most leaders to be seen as beyond reproach, the idealism of a Caesar’s wife. This is a lot to expect of frail human beings in general, and perhaps of politicians in particular. Mr Singh may retain his personal reputation, but the rough-house of politics may make the claims harder to maintain for the coalition in its entirety.

Back in England

Which brings us nicely back to Mr Cameron, Nick Clegg, and their coalition government of conservatives and liberal democrats in the UK. Currently, [Feb 2011] Mr Cameron, while not aspiring to the ethical status of a Caesar’s wife, risks political trouble from his commitment to the Big Society concept. The coalition now risks further unwanted evidence of tensions as Clegg and Cameron lead opposing factions arguing for (Clegg) and against (Cameron) in a referendum for an electoral reform to a transferable vote system.


Wikileaks: Dilemmas in the age of social media

February 15, 2011

One of the first global dilemmas of the age of social media is the tension between individual security and freedom of information. The dilemma is illustrated by the actions of Julian Assange and the Wikileaks website following the release of the Afgan war diaries in 2010

A BBC account provides a brief history of Wikileaks which was founded in 2004. The story as a global issue has become inter-connected with the turbulent private life of its charismatic founder Julian Assange.

According to its own website, the mission of Wikileaks is:

…the defence of freedom of speech and media publishing, the improvement of our common historical record and the support of the rights of all people to create new history. We derive these principles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In particular, Article 19 inspires the work of our journalists and other volunteers. It states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. We agree, and we seek to uphold this and the other Articles of the Declaration.

…The great American president Thomas Jefferson once observed that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We believe the journalistic media plays a key role in this vigilance.

From its origins as a little-known freedom of information site in 2004, Wikileaks became a globally significant source of news in 2010 with its publicising of a vast cache of leaked documents about the War in Afghanistan. Recognising the dilemma of security versus freedom of information, it withheld information its own censored considered would put individuals at risk. It also chose to release news via three traditional news sources, the New York Times, Germany’s Der Speigel and the UK’s Guardian. The process led to Wikileaks being described as the first stateless news organization

The distinguished journalist Jay Rosen quickly noticed the significance of the strategy.

The WikiLeaks report presented a unique dilemma to the three papers given advance copies of the 92,000 reports included in the Afghan war logs — the New York Times, Germany’s Der Speigel and the UK’s Guardian. The editors couldn’t verify the source of the reports – as they would have done if their own staffers had obtained them – and they couldn’t stop WikiLeaks from posting it, whether they wrote about it or not. So they were basically left with proving veracity through official sources and picking through the pile for the bits that seemed to be the most truthful. Notice how effective this combination is. The information is released in two forms: vetted and narrated to gain old media cred, and released online in full text, Internet-style, which corrects for any timidity or blind spot the editors at Der Spiegel, The Times or the Guardian may show.

Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971, has been a frequent defender of WikiLeaks. In contrast,
Reporters Without Borders sent an open letter to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, regrets the incredible irresponsibility you showed when posting your article “Afghan War Diary 2004 – 2010” on the Wikileaks website on 25 July together with 92,000 leaked documents disclosing the names of Afghans who have provided information to the international military coalition that has been in Afghanistan since 2001.

Assange and conspiracy theories

Meanwhile, the founder figure of Wikileaksfaces criminal changes for alleged sexual offences in Sweden. Conspiracy theorists are claiming that the charges are politically motivated. A summary of the Assange allegations can be found in the BBC account.

When partners fall out

The Guardian, one of the newspapers entrusted with a cache of wikileaks, is now [Feb 2011] embroiled in a dispute with Julian Assage. According to its friendly rival The Independent

Mr Assange divides the Left. He appals many women. Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy [a book published by The Guardian] is an attempt to separate the message from the messenger. It may succeed, but probably not completely. If Mr Assange should end up in a Swedish jail, on sex charges rather than because he has infuriated the US government, the reputation of WikiLeaks, and potentially that of its newspaper collaborators, is likely to suffer.


First Tunisia, then Egypt now Manchester United

February 12, 2011

The instability in The Middle East spreads to Manchester where the United regime is under attack. Protestors have surrounded Old Trafford. There are rumours that the Red Army is poised to seize control with backing from revolutionary Qatari forces

The whole of Greater Manchester is in the grip of a revolution aimed at toppling the deeply unpopular Glazer regime at Manchester United. Crowds have been gathering around Old Trafford overnight. Police reinforcements are believed to be on the way from Chorlton Cum Hardy’s equestrian riot squads.

Green, gold, red and blue

Some of the protestors are waving green and gold scarves. Others are dressed in United’s traditional red. There are also groups of troublesome neighbours dressed in blue and believed to be part of the Tevez brotherhood, led by the treacherous Carlos Teves, a former United warrior.

The red army may take control

The most sensational rumour is that the revolution has been backed by wealthy Qataris who plan to install a new regime. It is unclear how the day will unfold. The Red Army is believed to have thrown their weight behind the destabilising faction. President David Gill denies the rumours and says he intends to stay in charge.

Stop press

Rival red ands blue factions seem intent on doing battle before sundown. A 500 strong faction marches in Levenshulme together with resistance leader Gerald Kaufman (Bathist regime).


The People’s supermarket: A communitarian innovation?

February 9, 2011

Tudor Rickards

The People’s Supermarket, as televised on Channel 4, appears to be a social innovation offering a communitarian local alternative to the international retail giants. But there is more to this project than meets the eye

The People’s supermarket exists as a physical entity in London, with two entrepreneurial founders and a group of local members. It also exists as a Channel 4 television series. It can be said to exist as a visionary dream with social and communitarian values.

Over a million people watched the TV launch of the People’s Supermarket. This is sort of publicity most entrepreneurs can only dream about for a new venture. As I watched [February 2011] I had trouble getting my head around what I was seeing. Is this whole thing a creature of the media? A little more research and I discover even more publicity for the project in a recent [23rd January 2011] Guardian/Observer article.

The People’s Supermarket is giving it a go. Set up by Arthur Potts Dawson, who was behind London’s environmentally sound, award-winning Acornhouse restaurant, the mission statement is “for the people, by the people” which in practice means a not-for-profit co-op. Pay a £25 membership fee and sign up for a four-hour shift once a month and you become a part owner, have a say in how it’s run and receive a 10% discount on your shopping. The store itself, in London’s Lamb’s Conduit street, opened on 1 June [2010]

So what’s going on?

The initial fund-raising event involved sixty people lobbing up top-dollar prices for a special dinner cooked by a celebrity chef. That bit I understand. It’s a classic fund-raiser much loved by politicians. The creative edge was food ‘obtained’ from discarded stuff acquired by volunteers and discarded by the major supermarkets (but that’s another old media story, isn’t it?). The diners got their few minutes of TV exposure. Health worries were reassuringly addressed (they had begun to worry me, anyway).

By the end of the episode, the critical elements of the business model had become clearer. The success of the enterprise depends, pretty much as the Guardian indicated, on whether the community membership and volunteers will go on supporting the idea, and whether the products will generate footfall and satisfactory financials.

A bit of a mash up?

While the TV mockumentary would like to preserve the story line, information in today’s multi-media environment means that we can experience a bit of a mash-up. The Retail Gazette reported:

Kate Bull, the former Marks & Spencer commercial executive and co-founder of The People’s Supermarket alongside chef Arthur Potts Dawson, told Retail Gazette: “Average spend per person has grown from £3 to £5 in recent months. “On a Saturday – our busiest day – this has grown to just under £10.” The evidence suggests that the store is drawing a small percentage of locals away from the top grocers at weekends.


What happens next?

I just have a feeling there will be a few crisis points in the mini-series. Viewers will share the roller-coaster as Arthur, Kate and chums experience the pains and pleasures, the highs and lows of becoming involved in creating social reality. It is likely that the future of the venture will remain unresolved.

Maybe inferences will be drawn regarding David Cameron’s vision of The Big society. Or perhaps comparisons will be made with communitarian dreams such as that of the famous Mondragon community venture in the Basque region of Spain, or Ricardo Semler’s Brazilian vision.

Stop Press

By March 2011 the project had become a political football. The publicity had included a visit from Prime Minister David Cameron. But Labour-controlled Camden borough council had moved to claim unpaid rates of £33,000.


The Grigor McClelland Conference

This post was prepared as part of the celebrations planned for The Grigor McClelland Conference to be held at Manchester Business School, Friday April 8th 2011.