Tag Archives: equal

BBC pay row: Who will the government support?

This is another dilemma for Conservatives.

Do they support BBC bosses and ensure there’s no problem getting their propaganda to the people – but get branded as sexist misogynist dinosaurs?

Or do they support equal pay and court the wrath of BBC bosses who know the Conservative government is feeble to the point of self-destruction?

BBC women stars demanding the same wages as men faced threats, it has been claimed.

One was branded “aggressive” by asking for a rise and told: “The BBC doesn’t do equal pay.”

They told MPs: “Women have ­experienced veiled threats made against them when they raised the subject of equal pay.

“While individual managers are supportive there is still a bunker mentality in some quarters.”

The shocking claim emerged as a group of 170 BBC women gave evidence to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

Source: BBC ‘made threats to women stars who wanted pay rises to match male colleagues and branded one aggressive’ – Mirror Online


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CBI head calls for GCSEs to be scrapped – BBC News

What do we think of this – the CBI splitting with the government and calling for vocational qualifications to have equal status with academic GCSEs?

The head of the CBI says a date must be set in the next five years to scrap GCSEs and introduce an exam system with equal status for vocational subjects.

John Cridland, director general of the employers’ group, says England’s exam system is narrow and out of date.

He proposes a system in which the most important exams would be A-levels, including both academic and vocational subjects, taken at the age of 18.

Ministers are pushing for all pupils to take a core group of academic GCSEs.

Source: CBI head calls for GCSEs to be scrapped – BBC News

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Harsh criticism for Miliband’s advisors – and about time too

The right man for the job? Despite what follows, Ed Miliband must take much of the responsibility for the Sun photoshoot cock-up. If he's going to slavishly do whatever his political advisors say then he is a follower, not a leader. He should be thinking very carefully about the right thing to do - not only for his future, but for the future of the nation.

The right man for the job? Despite what follows, Ed Miliband must take much of the responsibility for the Sun photoshoot cock-up. If he’s going to slavishly do whatever his political advisors say then he is a follower, not a leader. He should be thinking very carefully about the right thing to do – not only for his future, but for the future of the nation.

Ed Miliband has lost far too much political ground by making silly schoolboy mistakes, but it is right that he should not take all of the blame.

The Labour leader is surrounded by advisors who should be warning him away from having his photograph taken with a football-promoting copy of The Sun in the week that the Hillsborough inquests were taking place. Instead it seems they egged him on to do it.

That’s completely wrong-headed and suggests that there are people close to Miliband who are working against him. Blairites who want to discredit ‘Red Ed’, perhaps? It would explain why Labour is still coming out – and getting bogged down – with ‘Red Tory’ ideas when it should be pushing a new anti-austerity, anti-privatisation, pro-equality and pro-fairness position.

The party’s former deputy chairman, Tom Watson, wants to see better results or resignations – but he’s being far too charitable to people who are idiots at best, fifth columnists at worst.

“The people around Ed… they’re very powerful political people; they carry a lot of power in the Labour party,” Watson told Radio 5 Live (as reported in The Guardian). If that’s true, then they probably gained that power as part of neoliberal New Labour. Their ideas will be as out-of-date as those of the current Conservative-led Coalition.

Look what Watson said shortly after: “We had a leader of the Labour party who was publicly embarrassed on Thursday because whoever was in charge of press let him go through a process where we had councillors in Merseyside resigning. It was a schoolboy error from someone who doesn’t understand the Labour party.” And yet, by his own admission, these are some of the most powerful people in it!

But you didn’t have to be a powerful political advisor to know what the right decision should have been; a commenter on Facebook pointed it out. Miliband should have declined The Sun‘s invitation and arranged a photo shoot of his own, preferably with a local football team; “Labour supports British football from the grass roots upward.” That would have highlighted, also, the commercialisation (and corruption?) of the game at higher levels.

It’s what I would have suggested.

So here’s a thought: Let’s tell Ed to fire whoever told him a Sun photoshoot would be a good idea and hire me instead. Not only do I know what the score is (more than his current yes-men, for sure), I won’t cost as much, and it’s a job I can do from home – so my activities as a carer won’t be affected.

You think that’s a mistake? Surely not.

How much time do you think it takes to tell a man the difference between a good idea and a duff one?

All you need is the sense to know the difference…

… and the proper political motives.

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Lucas, Miller and a law that worked so hard not to treat them equally

140417lucasmiller

Congratulations are due to Green MP Caroline Lucas, who walked free from court today after criminal charges against her were overturned.

She had been charged with obstructing a public highway and a public order offence, during high-profile anti-fracking protests last summer. Neither offence carries a prison sentence – the maximum penalty for either charge would have been a fine of up to £1,000.

District judge Tim Pattinson said the prosecution had failed to satisfy him that Lucas had “the requisite knowledge” about the Section 14 order being in place.

On the obstruction charge, he said he did not hear any evidence that any actual obstruction of a vehicle or person was caused by the protest.

It is good for British justice that Ms Lucas was acquitted – but bad for British justice that she was taken to court in the first place, most particularly because the case contrasts so strongly with that of disgraced former cabinet minister Maria Miller.

Miller claimed tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money under false pretences. You can call that fraud, if you like (maximum penalty: 10 years’ imprisonment).

Did she go to court? No.

Because she is a member of Parliament, the financial irregularity was investigated by a Parliamentary body, the Commons Committee on Standards. Rather than take the advice of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, who recommended that Miller pay back the full amount, the committee ruled that she should return just £5,800 and apologise to Parliament for obstructive behaviour during the investigation.

Surely everybody can see the double-standard here?

The least we can learn from these two stories is that the law absolutely does not treat everybody equally.

Ms Lucas was arrested, detained at Her Majesty’s convenience and now she has faced trial for the offences alleged against her. This MP, who opposes the government in Parliament, was then acquitted after a fair trial and has the support of the general public in this matter.

Miller was accused of a far more serious crime than Ms Lucas but has not been arrested, has not been detained, and has not been tried for the offences alleged against her. The then-government minister was whitewashed by her colleagues and only resigned because of a public outcry against the decision.

What conclusion can the public draw, other than that government MPs are effectively above the law?

David Cameron’s government can only redeem itself with two actions: It must remove Parliament’s right to investigate claims of financial irregularity by MPs and placing this duty firmly where it belongs – with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The other action?

Obvious, really…

Maria Miller must face a criminal trial, charged with fraud.

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Facebook campaign to make ‘It’s Raining Men’ No. 1 after UKIP blame floods on gay rights

I can’t reblog Scriptonite Daily articles, but this one will really beat the midweek blues so I’ll give you a taste and a link to the rest.

“UKIP Leader Nigel Farage’s headaches this week did not stop at being whacked over the head with a placard by protesters in Kent. A UKIP Councillor blaming recent flooding across the country on divine retribution for Equal Marriage laws transformed the party from a concern, to a laughing stock – and now a Facebook campaign is under way to make ‘Its Raining Men’ number 1 to celebrate.

“Henley on Thames Councillor David Sylvester wrote to his local paper to argue the nation was “beset by storms” because of David Cameron’s decision to act “arrogantly against the Gospel” in changing marriage laws. UKIP stood behind the comments until Sylvester went on to BBC Radio to defend them, at which point the party used emergency measures to suspend him.

“Since the show, UKIP and David Sylvester have been the butt of a million jokes, which show no sign of abating anytime soon.”

The full story is on Scriptonite Daily.

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