LDVideo: Nick Clegg calls for ‘John Lewis economy’

Nick Clegg yesterday called on more British companies to offer shares to their employees, arguing it will improve productivity and unlock growth: “We don’t believe our problem is too much capitalism – we think it’s that too few people have capital.”


(Also available on the BBC website here.)

* You can read Nick’s speech in full at the Deputy Prime Minister’s website here;
* Centre Forum’s Tom Frostick’s welcome of Nick’s approach here;
* And our original report with initial LibDemVoice readers’ comments here.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in YouTube.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/26634 for Twitter and emails.

4 Comments

  • Matthew Huntbach 17th Jan '12 - 11:35am

    As ever with Nick Clegg, one ends up after reading the speech thinking “OK fair enough, but where’s the real deep insight?”. Employee ownership has been a long-standing Liberal concern, featuring strongly in the Liberal Party’s attempts to build a third way when it faced being ground into extinction between Labour and the Conservatives. What’s in Nick’s speech is textbook stuff – but no more. It looks like an essay from a diligent schoolboy who’s mugged up well, said what he feels neds to be said, but it just lacks that extra sparkle, that extra something which goes beyond the textbook. “Good 2i” as we would say at university.

    The real insight I’d like to see is more engagement with the world as it is now, because like a lot of “textbook” stuff this looks like it’s based on old assumptions and the way the world was when the textbook was written and just maybe now it’s gone through umpteen editions it needs a more thorough update. I would like to see much more demonstration of critical ability, a willingness to acknowledge the arguments against. I would like to see real word insights that come from self experience and wisdom (lack of this is perhaps what makes Nick’s stuff seem so “schoolboy”, because schoolboys of their nature don’t have this real world experience). Also, try to make it a little less cliché ridden, a little less like an attempt to use what a schoolboy would think of as “clever” language.

    One of the biggest problems with employee ownership when it really is that, is that the employee goes down completely with the business. This is why I would myself be VERY wary about having my job and my investment all in that one basket. Another is the extent to which shared ownership can really work. We have the very recent example of the collapse of the Building Society movement to tell us that often people don’t really value much their shared ownership of big institutions – people were willing to give it up in this case for a small payment, most of the building societies that used to exist no longer exist, and with those few that still have this status, my certain knowledge is that most of their members don’t feel their shared ownership status means much and so don’t see it as very much different from an account with a share-holder owned institution. The reality is that most people have better things to do with their time outside their work than to engage in all that is required to be a part-owner of anything, all that reading, all those meetings (even if they would now be on-line). It’s hard enough to get people to vote in local elections, so how are wer really going to get them to be active in shareholders’ meetings?

    In practice, employee share-ownership schemes DO exist, my wife for example has a small number of Sainsbury’s shares which date back from a time years ago when she worked for Sainsbury’s and they had such a scheme. They don’t seem to mean much, the real amount in employees’ hands is tiny. I didn’t see anything from Clegg which suggested how something on a much larger scale could be initiated. So, rather than a big new idea, it looks like it might be just a near futile gesture, a way in which it could be pretended something was being done about the “evils of capitalism” which is actually just a token, rather like those payments to charities the big companies make because it makes them look or feel good.

  • Tony Dawson 18th Jan '12 - 8:55am

    Was the choice of ‘still’ frame for the start of that video deliberately chosen as being more ‘Il Duce’ than ‘Il Divo’? :-)

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim13 26th Jul - 7:52am
    Why has my post and at least one other disappeared from the site? We posted the unsuitability of this candidate for this post.
  • User AvatarTim13 26th Jul - 7:47am
    Although people see (in the poll above) Nick Clegg as CentreVan, most leftvan supporters see him as a Right Van Man masquerading as Centre Van...
  • User AvatarCaractatus 26th Jul - 5:56am
    The Doncaster seat is not in Ed Milibands constituency - according to Conservative home - Since it was established in 2004 the ward has never...
  • User AvatarCaractatus 26th Jul - 5:51am
    Blackpool Borough – Clifton: Lab 501, UKIP 362, C 283, LD 33, Green 25, TUSC 10. (May 2011 – Two seats Lab 1090, 911, C...
  • User AvatarCaractatus 26th Jul - 5:44am
    "The Conservative’s council’s housing expansion plans were the key issue in the by-election" - I do hope this wasn't the local Lib Dems whipping up...
  • User AvatarPaul Reynolds 26th Jul - 3:32am
    It us true that the German, French, Dutch and Sandanavian career-related systems in schools are not perfect. But the key point is that they are...