Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Are the new Corporate governance reforms weak?

This week the UK government introduced a series of measures to regulate corporate governance.
The aim of these is to increase trust

TUC  - feeble
Unite Union response
BBC business editor referred to it as a corporate climb down.
Guardian - Corporate governance be stronger not weaker.
FT - reforms can be effective
Institute of Directors.
CBI comment.
CIPD - earlier comment on 'fat cat executive pay'

One of the measures is for listed companies to publish pay ratios
the High Pay Centre has reports on  what the top FTSE CEOs earn and the gap/ ratio with other workers.
This recent review from CIPD and High Pay Centre found that although the renumeration of the top 25 fell in 2016, ' it would still take the average UK full-time worker on a salary of £28,000 (median full-time earnings) 160 years to earn what an average FTSE 100 CEO is paid in just one year'

Pay Compare- an non profit body also campaigns for pay ratio fairness and transparency. Its website has examples of campaigns and reports.
see the pay ratios for those it has collected.
The office of National Statistics Annual Survey on Hours and Earnings give details on working conditions in the UK

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Are your ready meals getting smaller or larger?

Last week Public Health England announced an enquiry into portion sizes in pizza ready meals and snacks eaten by children as part of an initiative to cut obesity. But have portion sizes changed over the years and do they matter?

Here are some examples of research.
Public Health England has published some facts about the scale of the problem
It includes discussion of some of the possible causes. They include this Foresight report which considers the impact of environment and calories laiden food as significant.
For further sources on discussion of the link between portion size and weight see the Harvard University website. This has an obesity prevention source which has news and links to recent reports and other research  It also has a good section on the toxic food environment
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews also has some examples of detailed literature reveiws relatign to the evidence on obesity and obesity treatments.
Pubmed from the National Library of Medicine also has some useful full text and abstract from articles based on scientific evidence. It includes an article on portion size which reviews the evidence that people eat more when given larger portion sizes and in general portion sizes have increased over the last few decades.
NHS evidence has references and some full text articles, guidelines and documents from the NHS and other major scientific journals
Other useful sources for news and comment are the National Obesity Forum which has commented on the UK government's methods of reducing calories and British Heart Foundation whose portion distortion report 2013 found evidence of increasing sizes and calories in ready meals.
Indeed the UK government has  reacted to these concerns and recent guidelines for sugar control have been introduced.
However from a different perspective  the Office for National Statistics has recently considered “shrinkflation” – where manufacturers reduce the package size of chocolate  whilekeeping the cost to the consumer the same.

Monday, 14 August 2017

70th anniversary partition

India/ Pakistan partition.

The 70th anniversary of India/Pakistan partition and independence is commemorated in  August 2017
Here are some resources for researching its history.

British Library has a chronology of independence events.
It also has a resource guide to items available in the India Office records. These include some transcripts of government documents and contemporary photographs.

The National Archives has an excellent teaching resource the Road to Partition. These include the text of primary source documents 1939-1947.
they include Mountbatten's radio broadcast, memos from Jinnah, Attlee and Churchill.
For Further details on teaching see the Runnymede Trust report on the challenges and opportunities in teaching partition

The UK Parliamentary archives has a page which lists  the files they have available.
you can also consult the 1947 act of parliament which granted independence
The Hansard Millbank website provides access to parliamentary debates regarding the reading of the bill in the House of Commons. 

1947 Partition archive - Stanford University.
consult personal memories. Many of the interviews have been conducted by volunteer Citizen Historians from 12 countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Spain, Israel, France, Sweden, and Hong Kong

For other historic images of events see
British Pathe News which has some coverage of the independence ceremony.
Express of India has published some rare photographs of events on its website
The Hindu - articles from their 1947 archive.

Useful projects
1947 partition archive
useful news, oral history accounts and links to many web resources from this site.
Grand Trunk project
developed in partnership with faith leaders, community activists and facilitated by the Faiths Forum for aims to spotlight the history, gather oral accounts and facilitate inter community communication about their stories.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Celebrating indigenous peoples

August 9th was international indigenous peoples day- read the Guardian interview with UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuzon why indigenous peoples are best to protect the environment

For more information on
United Nations Resolutions consult the special UN pages
They have a permanent Forum for indigenous issues- the website has news, resolutions and papers.
Office of the High  Commissioner on Human Rights has a Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and an

The UN library also has a useful research guide which links to UN publications on this theme.

Other international Organisations also have special sections where you can find documents and reports relating to indigenous people and development they include:
ILO research guide - on work/ employment related issues
World Bank projectOAS Resources on the indigenous people of the Americas from the OAS (Organization of American States)

IWGA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs International human rights group working for the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. It includes Indigenous World 2017 provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide and a comprehensive overview of the main global trends and developments affecting indigenous peoples during 2016
Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development has launched a new website to make more visible the role of indigenous peoples in development issues and the SDG goals

The Navigator is an interactive watchdog that allows users to keep track of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), outcomes from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and key elements of the Sustainable Development Goals — more than one-third of which are related to UNDRIP.

Docip is a non-profit organization supporting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly within the framework of international institutions. Their website provides access to documents from various bodies on issues related to indigenous peoples and oral histories.

Other useful websites on issues related to indigenous peoples and indigenous rights

UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger includes data on number of speakers and geographical distribution.

LandMark - an  online,  platform to provide maps and other data on lands that are collectively held and used by Indigenous Peoples and local communities

The Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project is a university-based research project that monitors and analyzes the status and conflicts of ethnic minority groups worldwide. Includes both qualitative and qnatitative data.