poetry in a crisis March 31, 2011Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation , 1 comment so far
There;’s something very poetic (but tragically so) in the Irish Finance Minister’s statement on banking:
Tuesday, 30th September, 2008 will go down in history as the blackest day in Ireland since the Civil War broke out.
The 30th September 2008 was the day on which the then Government extended the infamous guarantee to the Irish banks and decided that Anglo Irish Bank should be supported and maintained.
It quickly became apparent that Anglo was insolvent in the absence of State support, that the other banks were illiquid and that the banking system was not fit for purpose.
The banks were too big for the economy. The JCB and the swinging crane had become the logos of the banks, and Irish bankers were as likely to be funding apartment blocks on the Black Sea or dabbling in property schemes in Singapore, as they were to be investing in the Irish economy.
We are now in the third year of the banking crisis. The previous Government failed to act. They ducked and dived and procrastinated as they lurched from one crisis to the next. They went through periods of denial and periods of self justification. They paved the road to disaster with good intentions.
They never fixed the broken banks however.
police…batons…heads March 26, 2011Posted by Bradley in : fundamental rights , add a comment
From the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights Report on Facilitating Peaceful Protest, the following statement:
We were, however, surprised to find that no specific guidance setting out circumstances in which the use of the baton against the head might be justifiable and recommend that such detailed guidance about the use of batons be drawn up, and that in the meantime training reflects this concern.
That’s what I want to see – detailed guidance about when the police can hit people in the head with their batons.
poetry, elements, politics, health…. March 22, 2011Posted by Bradley in : events , add a comment
jotwell: woo recommends ayotte & skeel March 10, 2011Posted by Bradley in : jotwell , add a comment
today is international womens’ day… March 8, 2011Posted by Bradley in : gender , add a comment
and Judi Dench and Daniel Craig team up at weareequals.org:
evidence based policy-making: the ilo loses out March 2, 2011Posted by Bradley in : transparency , add a comment
According to Andrew Mitchell, the ILO is either “performing poorly” or has not demonstrated its “relevance to Britain’s development objectives”:
the review found that four agencies performed poorly or failed to demonstrate relevance to Britain’s development objectives. The review therefore concluded that it is no longer acceptable for taxpayers’ money from my Department to continue to fund them centrally. I can therefore tell the House today that the British Government will withdraw their membership of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and that DFID will stop voluntary core funding to UN-Habitat, the International Labour Organisation and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. That will allow more than £50 million of taxpayers’ money to be redirected immediately to better performing agencies. We are working closely with other countries to build a coalition for ambitious reform and improvement of all multilateral agencies.
Denis McShane criticises the decision in the New Statesman. But how can he complain, after all, the decision is an example of evidence-based policy-making:
These reviews have been thorough, rigorous, evidence-based and scrutinised by independent development experts.
Looking at the Multilateral Aid Review, UNESCO, which is not being defunded, scored even lower on the value for money index and on the contribution to UK objectives than did the ILO. But, despite this, UNESCO will continue to receive funding whereas the ILO will not. The UK will demand that UNESCO improve its performance.
Here’s the bottom line on the ILO from the report:
The ILO is making progress on gender issues and there is some evidence of good partnership behaviour. It has limited impact on UK and international poverty objectives and needs to reform its field structure to improve delivery. It also needs to improve its results reporting, transparency and cost effectiveness.
And on UNESCO:
UNESCO has high quality expertise in many areas important for development and produces useful reports and data for policy making in education. It has made some progress reducing administration costs. It needs to continue improving cost consciousness, and make a sustained effort on management for results, streamlining its strategic focus and on transparency.
So a 200 plus page report concludes that one agency which will continue to receive funds performs less well and responds less well to UK development priorities than another, which is to be defunded, and this is an example of transparent and evidence-based policy-making?
how to save money on healthcare March 1, 2011Posted by Bradley in : markets , add a comment
A news story discusses a plan to save money on healthcare in the UK by turning underspends on patient care into profits which might be distributed to investors. Think how much the shareholders could get if the doctors gave up spending money on patient care altogether.