Saturday, April 30, 2016

Things I don't understand about executive pay

rather apt image from
Mark price, ex head of Waitrose, decided last year to look for a better job (or, more accurately, another job to add to the list of jobs he already manages to do at once). A week ago, it came out that this somehow entitles him to £1.9 million compensation. If the rest of us decided to look for a job we liked better, I'm pretty sure our employers would not be rushing to pay us for NOT working for them. And if he was so bad that they needed to get rid of him, why was he not just sacked - like less privileged people would be?

In case you're confused about any of this, Waitrose have explained it: The timing of Mr Price's exit was agreed "in the best interests of the partnership", and this had "private contractual implications, hence the payment announced today". Aren't you glad it's all clear now?

If this absurd payment really is a contractual requirement that can't be avoided (and it seems implausible that anyone would offer such a contract), shouldn't the staff, who own Waitrose, be looking for compensation from the crazily generous individual who negotiated such a ridiculously costly deal with their money?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

1916 and all that

It's been a funny old year. One hundred years on from 1916, the Easter Rising, and Battle of the Somme, some of the old wars are still being fought. Just not quite how I expected.

The commemoration of the Easter Rising in the Republic has seen a nuanced, mature reflection on a rising whose failure is nevertheless seen as a foundational event for the Irish State. The rising was acknowledged as deeply unpopular at the time in Ireland, but the aftermath - the vengeful execution of the leaders by the British military authorities - turned the tide of Irish public opinion. The suffering and deaths, of civilians and combatants on both sides, have been acknowledged.
one of "theirs"

Up North, the picture is grimmer. Sinn Fein (North and South) seemed uneasy at the inclusiveness of the commemorations. The DUP's attitude was churlish in the extreme - it was not for them to empathise with the other tradition in this island. They even refused to attend the civic reception in Belfast's City Hall that commemorates this Nationalist event in the current "decade of centenaries". They will only commemorate "their own" events, it seems.
one of "ours"
When will we be able to deal with the divisions and hurts of the past?