“Our Common Future” Revisited

Thirty years ago, in April 1987, a new United Nations report was published. It came from the recently established World Commission on Environment and Development, and its title was Our Common Future. It was 300 pages long; and its preparation, which took two and a half years, had involved 23 commissioners and 70 or so experts and support staff. In addition, they solicited inputs from people and organizations, in many different countries, who had concerns about environmental and development issues. You can find the full text of the report at [1].

Today, most people seem unaware of this report. That’s a pity. For this is the document, which set in motion the green political juggernaut that has had such a huge, adverse effect on the lives of all good people in the Western world. The 30th anniversary is, I think, a good time to look back at, and to re-evaluate, this report. Not only in its own terms, such as asking how significant the issues it raised have proven to be, and how well these issues have been dealt with in the meantime. But also from a broader perspective, asking how well the process, both scientific and political, has measured up to the reasonable expectations of the people who have been subjected to its consequences.

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New Energy, New Jobs

This promises to be an interesting event by Parliament Street:

We have all heard the arguments against Fracking, more seldom heard are the arguments for the process.

Parliament Street is pleased to host a discussion around the positive benefits of hydraulic fracturing especially in relation to creating jobs in the north of England, in particular.

Our speakers will be argue that implementing a US-style Energy Policy will benefit us as much as it has our cousins across the pond. Continue reading

Trump finally trumped

By D. J. Webb

Trump was always a symbol; the likelihood was that he would fail in office. And so it has proved. Nevertheless, it is sad to see an opportunity squandered in this fashion. Trump is now become a standard-issue neo-con. The latest dreadful announcement was his pledge to act in some as yet unknown way against the Assad government in Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Idlib. I say alleged, as it is impossible to find out who did this, and even if Assad did it, why is it an American concern? And what is the plan to prevent further instability and further refugee flows? Far better to leave well alone, in my view.

Elsewhere in foreign policy: Continue reading

Jihad’s Triumph On Westminster Bridge

By ilana mercer

The attacks keep coming. Murder or maiming by Muslims living among us is an almost daily occurrence in the West. The latest was knifeman Khalid Masood, who plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, London, and then proceeded to slash at them with a 12-inch blade. Immoral media counted five dead, with the killer. In addition to the four murdered, 50 people were injured. Continue reading

Helen Szamuely RIP

I have just learned that Dr Helen Szamuely, erstwhile Head of Research for the Bruges Group, organiser of the Rally for Freedom, a founding member of UKIP, and longtime star of the Eurosceptic movement has passed away. On behalf of the Libertarian Alliance, I should like to express my condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time. Requiescat in pace. 

Get rid of unpleasant staff!

By D. J. Webb

Dear all,

a short blog on employment rights. There should be none.

The whole jamboree of suing for discrimination and wrongful dismissal (how can a dismissal ever be wrongful, pray???) should go. We need to restore freedom of association. Not only does the current law pin unhappy workers in positions they’re not enjoying — they can’t resign or else they will get no dole — companies also see large amounts of time tied up in pointless personnel issues with people whose presence is a distraction in the firm.

We need to recognise that companies may have any reasons whatsoever to sack staff. Sacking a black person because the manager doesn’t like working with Negroes should be acceptable. Sacking a white person because the ethnic manager doesn’t like English people should also be fine. Getting rid of a woman because she has fallen pregnant should also be legal. Showing the door to a homosexual who likes to flaunt the irrelevant issue at work is more than acceptable; in my view, it is highly commendable.

Companies could vastly reduce their personnel staff and ditch their equal opportunities policies. Those who claim companies that discriminate would lose out on talent could subject that theory to free-market forces: companies that refused to take on talented minority workers would, in this scenario, go to the wall. More likely, however, is that there are incredibly few cases where it matters who fills a particular job, and that no discriminating companies would face any difficulties whatsoever.

We would save money by ending the employment tribunal game, and cutting spending on lawyerly scroungers. To make it palatable, we could require companies to issue a no-fault three-month termination notice, giving the worker time to look for work and allowing some use of work time to write application letters and attend interviews. The worker would leave in good standing. We could officially encourage firms in such situations to provide guaranteees of good references (with no legal comeback from the firms taking those workers on; employee relations at the original firm would be legally defined as a confidential matter). Firms taking on staff could do so in the knowledge they would never have a problem showing workers who didn’t fit in the door.

As long as the benefits system remained, we could also guarantee that person access to the dole, without any of the current nonsense about “intentionally becoming jobless”. I think the dole should be available for limited periods in boom times, and for longer periods in economic slumps — it makes no sense to allow someone to stay on the dole for years in boomtimes. The dole could also be restricted in areas of the country with high job availability, and more easily available in depressed areas. Whatever is done to the social security system, *and this is important*, it should be designed to facilitate workplace turnover, allowing firms to move unsuccessful staff members on.

As far as I’m concerned, Brexit ought to be accompanied by such anti-red tape thinking. Bring it on!