The Corporate Governance Green Paper: enlightened capitalism tempered by prudent reality
The Green Paper looks at the 2013 reforms to quoted company pay. Strengthen the UK Corporate Governance Code to provide greater specificity on how companies should engage with shareholders on pay, including where there is significant opposition to a remuneration report. In addition to suggesting means to strengthen shareholder powers on pay, the government also wants to look at ways of encouraging shareholders to make full use of their existing and any new powers on pay, and engage in active stewardship of the companies they own. The government recognises the “Challenging” role of remuneration committees in balancing a range of competing interests and considerations in setting executive pay, but believes that some committees are not “Sufficiently or visibly pro-active in consulting formally with shareholders and with the company’s workforce. There are concerns too, that some lack the authority or inclination to take positions that may not align with the CEO or wider executive team’s expectations.” Reducing the ability of companies to rely on “Commercial sensitivity” exemptions to the existing requirement to disclose bonus targets, either by increasing non-legislative pressure on future reporting through relevant governance bodies such as the FRC, or by requiring retrospective disclosure of previous targets within a specified date range. The government notes investor criticism of some aspects of current long term incentives plans, which are “The model of choice for almost all quoted companies. They aim to align directors’ incentives with the long-term interests of the company, on the basis of share awards which must be held for a set number of years, usually at least three years.” These criticisms include the relative crudeness of success measures such as earning per share or total shareholder return, and the encouragement of short-termism through short holding periods. The Green Paper argues that a consideration of wider stakeholder interests benefits both companies and society as whole. Section 172 Companies Act 2006: Duty to promote the success of the company. A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard to -. The Green Paper discusses the current obligation on all companies to prepare a strategic report to provide shareholders with information that will enable them to assess how the directors have performed their duties under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. It notes that the “UK’s strongest corporate governance and reporting standards are focused on public companies where the owners or shareholders are distant from the executives running the company. These standards provide independent shareholders with reassurance that the company is being run in their interests and that they have the information needed to hold the executive to account”, and that to date the differing ownership structure of private companies has meant that the governance standards expected of listed companies has not been extended to these businesses. The renewed focus on stakeholder interests and the Government’s view that “Society has a legitimate expectation that companies will be run responsibly in return for the privilege of limited liability” has led the Government to revisit where the corporate governance demarcation line is drawn. Applying enhanced governance standards through a new voluntary code for private companies – essentially a modified version of the UK Corporate Governance Code reflecting the different circumstances of private companies; and. Whilst the Government is inviting input on what threshold should apply to any future governance requirements for private businesses, the Green Paper does highlight the number of private companies and LLPs with over 1,000 employees, which perhaps provides some indication of the size of business the Government has in mind. The thoughtful alternatives put forward provide a constructive framework to advance discussion of the proper role that the consideration of stakeholder interests should play in the prudent management of companies.
Discourse On Colonialism
Césairean Négritude, as Rabaka observes, “Is wide-ranging and grounded in black radical politics and a distinct pan-African perspective; a purposeful perspective aimed not only at ‘returning’ to and reclaiming Africa, but perhaps more importantly, consciously creating an authentic African or black self.” A concern for solidarity with all colonized and enslaved people of African descent occupied Césaire and will likewise be Fanon’s concern. Césaire voices his pan-African perspective toward the end of his interview with Depestre. As part of his aim to establish a positive black identity, Césaire drew from various elements of his French educational training and created something new, something bearing the distinctive marks of the African spirit. Césaire in no way denied the French influences shaping his work. “Whether I want to or not, as a poet I express myself in French, and clearly French literature has influenced me.” Even so, Césaire states emphatically that while elements of the French literary tradition function for him as a “Point of departure,” his goal has always been “To create a new language, one capable of communicating the African heritage.” Here one might draw an analogy between Négritude’s relation to French culture and literature and the relation between African American jazz and European classical music. “French was a tool that I wanted to use in developing a new means of expression. I wanted to create an Antillean French, a black French that, while still being French, had a black character.” With this new language as his weapon, Césaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a triple staccato firing of single sentence paragraphs, each carefully crafted to condemn Europe’s so-called civilizing mission. Unlike the white Marxists, including Sartre, Césaire and the Négritude writers could not separate the class problem from the race problem, nor did they overlook the connection between capitalism and colonialism. As Rabaka observes, “Césaire understands European civilization to rest on the colonization of non-Europeans, their lives, labor and lands. His Negritude, like Du Bois and James’s discourse, was a revolutionary humanist enterprise”, attuned to the sufferings of all those exploited by the machinery of colonialism and slavery. As Césaire puts it, the Communists “Acted like abstract Communists” in their failure to address the “Negro problem.” In contrast, the colonized and enslaved, given their concrete experience of racialized existence past and present, do not have the option to overlook the race question; thus, concludes Césaire, Négritude has a crucial role to play in the ongoing reformation of Marxism. Césaire goes on to explain his interests in the surrealist movement and how it became for him a way to “Return” to Africa. Having described surrealism as a “Weapon that exploded the French language,” he then states “[s]urrealism interested me to the extent that it was a liberating factor. I said to myself: it’s true that superficially we are French, we bear the marks of French customs; we have been branded by Cartesian philosophy, by French rhetoric; but if we break with all that, if we plumb the depths, then what we will find is fundamentally black”. Having just noted that “[f]rom From Mallarmé to the Surrealists,” the goal of French poetry seems to have been the “Self-destruction of language” , Sartre goes on to say that the Negritude poets “Answer the colonist’s ruse by a similar but reverse ruse: because the oppressor is present even in the language they speak, they speak that language in order to destroy it. The contemporary European poet attempts to dehumanize words in order to return them to nature; the black herald intends to de-Frenchify them; he will crush them, he will break their customary associations, he will join them violently”. Of the capitalism of his day, Césaire writes, “Capitalist society, at its present stage, is incapable of establishing a concept of the rights of all men, just as it has proved incapable of establishing a system of individual ethics”.