Monday, 22 March 2010
Commons Manifesto: Strengthen the Commons. Now!"A group of commoners who participated in Interdisciplinary political salons of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany in 2008 and 2009 have collectively authored a terrific new manifesto and statement about the commons" - David Bollier
“Strengthen the Commons — Now!” was written in German and translated to English and Spanish.
Quotes from the Manifesto
There‘s something new afoot – a movement to reclaim the commons!
There is a movement that reminds us of what is worth keeping. A movement that seeks to reclaim what belongs to us, that affirms human dignity and creates something new. This movement to build and protect the commons is expanding the horizon of what is possible.
It is imperative that we focus our personal creativity, talents and enthusiasm to protect and increase our social wealth and natural commons. This will required an eye on the goal to change some basic structures of politics, economics, and society...
Agents of the commons do not have one but many centers. We need them locally, regionally, and globally. Conflicts can be resolved directly in well-arranged communities and their commons. But the global commons is an almost insolvable challenge, because where does the „world community“ really come together and define itself as such? How should it agree upon the sustainable usage of its shared resources? The more complex the system, the more important it is that there is an institutional and transparent framework for the careful management of the commons. When the state achieves this and protects the commons, government action will be supported by society.
Download the full text of the Commons Manifesto from the attached PDF.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
The Truth is Out There
The Audit Commission latest discussion paper in the ‘Truth’ series, published last Friday, received further coverage:
Can more data boost people power?
The Audit Commission has published a discussion paper on how information on the web can empower the public. According to the local government watchdog, the debate is "timely" as it follows the government's recent efforts to release greater amounts of information into the public domain. The discussion paper talks about what happens after data is deposited online, noting the fact that only information that captures the public's imagination will be used. More here
Tomorrow’s public services
Steve Bundred (Audit Commission) kicked off with an exposition of The Truth is Out There, while discussion centred around the opportunities and risks associated with more open approach to sharing data in developing future public services. So, where does all this take us? For Socitm, our interest lies in how more intelligent innovation and improvement of information handling and deployment of technology can enable the breakthrough into Tomorrow's Public Services. More here
Audit Commission moves on debate about information online
The Audit Commission is taking another step to stimulate debate on transparency in the public sector in the information age. It has published the second discussion paper in its ‘Truth’ series ‘The truth is out there’. It asks questions including ‘What information will capture the public’s imagination?’ and ‘How will the public know what information to trust?’ More here
Hospital Patients 'Treated In Mop Cupboards'
Hospital patients are routinely treated in TV rooms, mop cupboards and corridors because hospitals are too full, a new survey has claimed. It found kitchens and storage areas are also used while extra beds are put on wards, increasing the risk of infection. Watch report here Also in Guardian Also in Metro Also in Telegraph Also in Daily Mail
Labour And Tories Neck-And-Neck In Key Seats
Labour and the Tories have equal support in 100 of the most marginal seats to be fought in the General Election, according to a Times poll. The survey was carried out by Populus in 100 constituencies currently held by Labour and targeted by the Conservatives. Watch report here
Opinion - Get off our backs and just let us do our jobs (Simon Wolfson, P18)
The next government must cut down on intrusive meddling as well as spending says Simon Wolfson. (Simon Wolfson is the chief executive of Next. He has written the foreword to The Renewal of Government, published by Policy Exchange today.) More here
We’ll ‘unleash hell’ on Tories, claim unions (James Chapman and Becky Barrow, P19)
Britain is in the grip of a wave of militancy by millions of public sector workers as unions threaten to 'unleash hell' on an incoming Conservative government. Alarming figures reveal the number of days lost to strike action in the public sector is now 15 times higher than in the private sector, prompting concerns about the growing readiness of union leaders to flex their muscles. More here
Health trusts s natch millions meant to help family carers (Daniel Martin, P24)
Millions of pounds meant to give respite breaks to voluntary carers have been diverted to plug NHS deficits, charities have revealed. Ministers announced with a fanfare that they would double the funds for long-term carers to have time off by bringing in social workers to cover for them…But Crossroads Care and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers revealed that just 23 per cent of the money for the first year was going to respite care. Under Freedom of Information requests, they found the money was simply added to existing budgets instead of being reserved for carers. This left health trusts to spend the money how they wished, including on reducing budget deficits. More here
SOS for NHS
The comment piece on page 6 says David Cameron will ringfence NHS budgets, but that the NHS must change the way money is spent and spend less on hiring officials. (Not online)
Carers deserve better than this diversion of their money (Dominic Lawson, P29)
In a comment piece, Dominic Lawson discusses the lack of support for carers, despite government promises to fund respite breaks. More here
Civil service strike under way (Polly Curtis, P8)
Civil servants have begun a 48-hour strike, leaving court hearings postponed, job centres operating a minimum service and 2,000 driving tests cancelled. The action is designed to put maximum pressure on the government just weeks before the general election. More here
Conservative adviser pushes for Whitehall 'living wage' (Allegra Stratton, P13)
David Cameron's head of strategy is losing a battle that would see the Conservative party introduce a higher minimum wage across Whitehall, the Guardian has learned. Steve Hilton wants his party to announce a higher rate, the so-called "living wage" of £7.60 – which is £1.80 more than the minimum wage – for low paid workers employed as cleaners and catering staff across government departments. More here
Electoral reform could define the election (Polly Toynbee, P29)
Brown has just enough time to push through voting reforms that would expose the Tories and cement his legacy. In just a few weeks Gordon Brown will call the election: the word is that he favours a long campaign, prolonging the x-ray lamp scrutiny of Cameron policies. It is, after all, David Cameron who is under most pressure to reveal his plans, since in his unwisdom he promises to swing the axe on the deficit starting "on day one". More here
Maternity services and NHS cash crisis (Letters, P31)
Under current proposals for the reconfiguration of maternity services, some hospitals will shut and maternity services are in danger of being consolidated in large 'baby factories'. More here