25th January 2010 A short exchange with Miriam Glucksmann about ‘Women on the Line’

In 1982, Miriam Glucks­mann pub­lished a book about the expe­ri­ence of women work­ing ‘on the line’ at a fac­tory in West Lon­don which pro­duced speedome­ters for cars. She had left her higher edu­ca­tion teach­ing job to work in this fac­tory, not with the inten­tion of pro­duc­ing an ethnog­ra­phy, nor with any illu­sions of ‘join­ing the…

8th January 2010 Working Time and the Pay Gap

Richard Alcock in The Guardian writes today about the ever-increasing pay gap in the UK between rich and poor. I do like his idea that pro­fes­sional hater Melanie Phillips be nom­i­nated for a nice big pay cut to see the effect on her work moti­va­tion (though if Alcock’s econ­o­mistic account of what dri­ves peo­ple to…

6th January 2010 Mesrine: the career of a killer

Dawn and I recently watched Mes­rine: Killer Instinct and Mes­rine: Pub­lic Enemy Num­ber 1, a semi-fictionalised account of the life of Jacques Mes­rine, France’s most famous bank rob­ber. Apart from a brief period work­ing in an architect’s prac­tice, Mes­rine (played by Vin­cent Cas­sel) made a liv­ing from ille­gal activ­i­ties. A pro­fes­sional crim­i­nal has to do…