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CSR Martyr

Tim Nicholson has been sacked for his green beliefs. Of course, as sustainability manager for Grainger plc (a large property comapny), it is to be expected that he should have such beliefs. And his job would have been all about trying to influence Grainger to be more sustainable.

However a court has ruled that he should not have been dismissed on account of his views, just as it would not have been lawful to dismiss a Christian for their views. But this leaves sustainability looking like a life-style choice, rather than a planetary choice. Or rather the choice humanity has to face if it is to survive in anything like its current numbers.

The other side of the story, though, is what Grainger’s attitude to the matter is. They say that they are ‘increasingly aware of [their] impact on the environment and the communities within which [they] work’. But there is no serious reporting of energy use on their website…which is precisely what Tim Nicholson was complaining about.

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Racial antiVenom

The Question Time program with Nick Griffin attracted over 8m viewers – the highest ever for any episode. What a pity that the quality of discussion seemed to be the lowest ever.

Nick Griffin and the BNP attract so much venom and raise so many issues, that especially at the start of the program, most of the great and the good on the panel could not actually marshall their arguments properly. Instead they resorted to slurring Griffin’s character which simply generated sympathy for him.

The BBC is apparently not ruling out inviting Griffin onto the programme again. If they do they will need a far more capable chair than David Dimbleby. But I fear he may be the best there is.

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A Human Right to Transparency?

As Richard Welford has pointed out, despite the number of companies that have acknowledged the importance of human rights, far, far fewer carry out systematic human rights assessments of their operations. And of those that do, far, far fewer publish the results.

So we have a situation in which major companies can accept they have human rights responsibilities, but they don’t know what that means for them. Or if they do, they seem reluctant to let anybody else know about it. Of course, human rights are not of equal significance to all companies. But in the current climate of secrecy, it is hard to know.

There is no general, legal human right to transparency. There should be. We need to have a right to access information about things that affect us.