Category international politics

when work is too demeaning for robots

Get a human to do it. Indeed as The Nation article says – some of the “requesters”, the people who actually offer tiny bits of tedious piecework to a vast mob of competing – desperate – workers are actually just computer scripts outsourcing work they cannot do. The site they’re talking about is Amazon’s Mechanical […]

the changing shape of public ownership

As a community organiser working for a public services union it won’t surprise you to read that I’m an advocate of public ownership of services that benefit us. Every day I see evidence of good quality, innovative, and compassionate work done by workers in publicly owned and controlled services whether in education, healthcare, or local […]

gibralternate world

I’ve just discovered the new Gibraltar Portal developed by the New Statesman in conjunction with the Gibraltar Government. What?? I know right? Here is what the Staggers has to say about it Gibraltar has been British for over 300 years. Situated between Africa and Europe, Gibraltar is a strategically important political and economic partner within […] I mentioned the struggle of the United Nations Staff unions to fight de-recognition a while ago. It looks like they have won.

main contractor liability in Sweden

According to the excellent Nordic Labour Journal the Swedish building worker’s union ‘Byggnads’ have won a major concession from the building industry. Essentially the union have negotiated an agreement for the official industry association (BI) to establish fund that would as a last resort pay the wages for work done to the employees of sub […]

a more open government

Beth Noveck’s TED talk about how technology can aid really open government, she also importantly touches on why demands for transparency are a red herring…

post sovereignty

In this article for the Political Studies Association, Professor Michael Keating looks at the Scottish independence debate in the conext of ‘post-sovereignty’. Post Sovereignty is described thus – This is not mere political posturing but reflects a profound truth about modern constitutionalism, that the old sovereign nation-state formula no longer works. ¬†We are in an […]

oh no the interventionist left are back…

…only this time they’re different. Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition has published this apologia for Putin’s invasion of Crimea… So last time of course Lindsey and her pals were rightly opposed to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for a range of reasons not least being the legality or otherwise of such invasions, […]

world map of inequality So the Guardian have in advance of Davos helpfully published this map of the 34 OECD countries plus BRICs and others to allow us to compare relative inequality between them. Now I’m mostly interested in how Britain compares to the rest of Europe, in particular Northern and Western Europe. Why? Well because these are […]

those Ukraine protests everyone is getting excited about thanks to Brian Whelan at Channel Four for being to my knowledge the first mainstream English language journo to point out that the protests in the pro-European protests that lots of people (like in the Guardian) are getting very excited and positive about, have integral involvement from […]

a germaine post

The results of the German elections are in and the ruling CDU/CSU of Angela Merkle has remained the largest grouping in the Bundestag, in fact they almost have a majority just by themselves. However the frankly welcome wipeout of the Free Democrats (cousins of our beloved Libdems) means that the arithmetic for forming a clear […]

UN secretary general de-recognises staff unions

I’m proud to be a member of a union (the Society of Union Employees) that is affiliated to the General Federation of Trade Unions – which provides support and services to some of the UK’s smaller and more specialist unions. One of the many interesting things about the GFTU is the membership of the CCISUA […]

it’s the australian election today

which always reminds me of this gripping fly on the wall doco from the nineties about the infighting on a suburban city council… You can see the whole thing here Meanwhile today it looks like there’s going to be a significant win by Tony Abott’s lovely Liberal National Coalition… Not that the Labor Party […]