The CIPD is a “peddler of gloom” when it comes to economic matters, writes Jeff Randall in today’s edition of the Daily Telegraph.
The CIPD and the ‘Armageddon Alliance’
Randall argues that the CIPD is part of a so-called “Armageddon Alliance.”
He says that “many had thought [the 'Armageddon Alliance'] had expired in the late 1980s,” but which has seen something of a resurgence since the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010.
Randall defines this resurgent “Armageddon Alliance” as “a disparate and growing force, embracing academics, economists, union leaders, think-tank eggheads, politicians and, let’s not deny it, media commentators. The Alliance, in its simplest form, nurtures a culture of entitlement and grievance. It exists to demonstrate that government spending is in itself a good thing and therefore all cuts are destructive.”
‘The Chartered Institute for Personnel Development is another peddler of gloom,’ says Randall
Here’s what Randall has to say about the CIPD:
The Chartered Institute for Personnel Development is another peddler of gloom that seemed eager to forecast a jobs wipeout, but has since been reduced to scrambling for excuses by a sharp rise in business start-ups. With unbecoming disdain, it dismissed Britain’s journey towards self-reliance – more than four million people now work for themselves – as a sign that we’re turning into a nation of “odd-jobbers”. What did it expect? British Leyland to return with a mega-plant?
I’m very interested to find out XpertHR readers’ views. What do you make of Randall’s take on the CIPD?
Please do get in touch with your views. You can leave a comment via the box below, or contact me directly via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.
UPDATE 1 (Monday 29 October 2012): The CIPD are “hardly trots,” says Stefan Stern
The Telegraph article has already elicited a number of responses, including blog comments from Graham Frost and Niki Rosenbaum (see comments field, below), and a number of Twitter comments.
The latter include a great response from Stefan Stern, who points out that such criticisms of are misplaced, given that the CIPD are “hardly trots” (i.e. Trotskyists).
Here’s Stefan’s full tweet (reproduced by kind permission of Mr Stern himself):
UPDATE 2 (Monday 29 October 2012): John Philpott responds to Telegraph article
Former CIPD Chief Economic Advisor John Philpott has responded to the “implicit” attack on his own views set out in Randall’s article in a blog post on his The Jobs Economist blog, entitled Jobs reality less cosy than life on planet Randall.
This post is highly recommended.
Philpott says that “as someone who takes a broadly Keynesian view of macroeconomics, I have argued consistently since 2010 that the coalition’s policy of rapid severe fiscal austerity is misguided in an economy struggling to escape the trauma of the worst global post-war financial crisis.”
He works through each of the points raised in Randall’s piece, and rejects the article’s contention that he and the CIPD should be considered “peddlers of gloom.” Philpott concludes:
Although the recent jobs market data have taken many people, myself included, by surprise, on closer examination the picture they paint is one consistent with an economy that is seriously short of demand rather than, as the tenor of Mr Randall’s article suggests, on the up. ‘Part-time/odd job/pay squeezed’ Britain might well be preferable to the kind of ‘doleful Britain’ seen in earlier decades but it is just as much a sign of ongoing economic malaise. And those of us who wish to point this out rather than act as cheerleaders for a flawed fiscal policy don’t deserve to be called ‘pedlars of gloom’.
Please do spare a moment to head over to Philpott’s blog to read this superb post in full.
UPDATE 3 (Tuesday 30 October 2012): @flipchartrick weighs in on Randall’s “conspiracy rant”
Top UK HR blogger Rick has just published his take on what he describes as Randall’s “conspiracy rant”. In a very well argued piece, Rick points out that Randall himself authored articles that could be interpreted as ‘peddling gloom’ back when Gordon Brown was still Prime Minister.
Rick also takes issue with Randall’s argument that the rapid rise in self-employment levels seen over recent months is a sign of “Britain’s journey towards self-reliance.”
Rick argues that such a trend “is more likely to be a sign of Britain’s journey towards being a poorer and weaker economy.”
A lot of people discover the hard way that they are not very good at being self-employed. [...] Many of the newly self-employed will struggle over the coming years. Some will go back to employment but with employers cutting more jobs, they will find it difficult. Unless the private sector creates jobs to soak these people up, many of them will throw in the towel and sign on. You don’t have to be part of the ‘Armageddon Alliance’ to see that.
UPDATE 4 (Tuesday 30 October 2012): ‘Randall’s criticism of the CIPD here is misplaced.’
I’ve just posted my own perspective on the issues discussed here (please see my comment, below).