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Published: Aug 13 , 2015
Author: Stephen White
Last Wednesday evening was a bad time for two different groups of Londoners. At five o’clock the doors of several walk-in centres run by a high profile children’s charity called Kid’s Company closed for the last time, and thousands of children who depended on the charity for both physical and educational support were stranded. There had been suspicions about the financial affairs of this charity for some time – allegations that it was not well managed and that it was not in control of its finances. Central government was a major contributor and when the media picked up stories of financial irregularities they and other generous donors began to think twice about their funding. The final nail in the coffin came when allegations of sexual abuse of children on Kids Company premises were made; the privately donated money dried up completely, and because the charity had virtually no reserves it had to close. It is unlikely to re-open, at least in its present form. Just one hour later the iconic concertina gates at the entrance of many London tube stations were pulled closed because of a 24 hour strike called by the unions which serve the employees who work on the London Underground...
Published: Oct 24 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland
You have probably never heard of Grangemouth. Even its mother would be hard pressed to call it a pretty town, festooned as it is with tall steel chimneys belching fire into the night sky on the Firth of Forth about 15 miles west of Edinburgh on Scotland’s east coast. It is home to an oil refinery that accounts for about 10% of Scotland’s GDP and it is owned by a company called Ineos. You have probably never heard of it either, though it is Britain’s largest private company...
Published: Apr 10 , 2013
Author: David Bannister
Many words have been written in the past few days since the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, some reflect her perceived greatness and others portray her as a class enemy. I cannot hope to emulate the lyrical heights to which some have soared in the press. I can, however, look back and reflect on the way she dealt with trade unions and specifically the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1980s. During that time I was an Industrial Relations Officer in a manufacturing factory situated in the middle of the South Yorkshire coalfield. Friends and neighbours were involved both practically and emotionally in all of the events of that memorable year from March 1984 to March 1985...