Thursday, 3 September 2009

Is the 10:10 campaign doomed to failure?

I have just published a great piece by Kathryn Corrick over on LabourList. She rightly says that the 10:10 campaign with its celebrity glitz, pr muscle, and dazzle risks failure. It doesn't help individuals measure their carbon emissions, is vague, and is too PR/ advertising focused.

I would add- though Kathryn doesn't make this point- that there should be some sort of incentive/ disincentive beyond that to really manage our individual emissions. This could be introduced further down the line once we have reliable measurement. Here is an article from a few weeks ago where I argue that case.

Here is a quote from Kathryn's piece:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, is an oft used and misused quote in business, attributed to the business management theorist Peter Drucker (points to anyone who can actually find when and where he actually said it) and attributed to a certain style of management consultancy.

The Labour government has often, and in many cases rightly, been criticized for taking such measurement + management sentiments to the max with target driven policies. Yet there is one new initiative where such thinking is desperately needed otherwise it is doomed to only go as far as any good PR person can take it – the media and no further.

To make matters worse the big launch of this project, supported by the Guardian, has all the veneer of measurement – or at least a target – in its title.

Yes, 10:10. Ten percent by Twenty Ten.
Also, on the site today is a piece from Fiona Millar, Chair of Comprehensive Future, on the back of a pamphlet they have published about abolishing selective education and the 11 plus. Fiona says:
"End the 11 plus. It is not a new idea but it should shoot straight into the manifestos of all the mainstream political parties.


Because they all claim it doesn’t work.

Because we are in an era where affluent parents think nothing of shelling out between £3000 and £5000 to coach their children to pass the test.

Because the chances of a poor child getting into a grammar school are virtually nonexistent - they take on average 1- 2% of children on free school meals.

And above all because the children who fail the test, poor but also often with special needs, frequently they end up in secondary modern schools, , many of which do a heroic job but still struggle with an unbalanced intake of children who feel the system has rejected them."

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