Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Layer 313 . . . One Nation Conservatism, Harold Macmillan, Barcelona and Unicef

It’s been so long since this country had any Tories who could call themselves “one-nation conservatives” it might be worth taking a moment or two to consider Harold Macmillan and what he stood for. He was certainly a liberal conservative who believed the State had a major role to play in national reconstruction. David Cameron has to be assessed in terms of the similarities between him and Macmillan.

Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963.

Nicknamed 'Supermac' and known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved notoriety before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement. Rising to high office as a protegé of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he believed in the essential decency of the post-war settlement and the necessity of a mixed economy, and in his premiership pursued corporatist policies to develop the domestic market as the engine of growth. As a One Nation Tory of the Disraelian tradition, haunted by memories of the Great Depression, he championed a Keynesian strategy of public investment to maintain demand, winning a second term in 1959 on an electioneering budget.

He spent the 1930s on the backbenches, with his championing of economic planning, anti-appeasement ideals and sharp criticism of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain serving to isolate him from the party leadership. During this time (1938) he published the first edition of his book The Middle Way, which advocated a broadly centrist political philosophy both domestically and internationally.

"The governing principle of the Colonial Empire should be the principle of partnership between the various elements composing it. Out of partnership comes understanding and friendship."


Macmillan brought the monetary concerns of the Exchequer into office; the economy was his prime concern. His One Nation approach to the economy was to seek high or full employment. This contrasted with his mainly monetarist Treasury ministers who argued that the support of sterling required strict controls on money and hence an unavoidable rise in unemployment. Their advice was rejected and in January 1958 the three Treasury ministers Peter Thorneycroft, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Birch, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Enoch Powell, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, resigned. Macmillan, away on a tour of the Commonwealth, brushed aside this incident as 'a little local difficulty'.

Foreign policy

Macmillan took close control of foreign policy. He worked to narrow the post-Suez rift with the United States, where his wartime friendship with Dwight D. Eisenhower was key; the two had a productive conference in Bermuda as early as March 1957.

In February 1959 Macmillan became the first Western leader to visit the Soviet Union since the Second World War. Talks with Nikita Khrushchev eased tensions in East-West relations over West Berlin and led to an agreement in principle to stop nuclear tests and to hold a further summit meeting of Allied and Soviet heads of government.

In the Middle East, faced by the 1958 collapse of the Baghdad Pact and the spread of Soviet influence, Macmillan acted decisively to restore the confidence of Gulf allies, using the RAF and special forces to defeat a revolt backed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt against the Sultan of Oman in July 1957, deploying airborne battalions to defend Jordan against Syrian subversion in July 1958, and deterring a threatened Iraqi invasion of Kuwait by landing a brigade group in July 1960.

Macmillan was also a major proponent and architect of decolonisation
. The Gold Coast was granted independence as Ghana, and the Federation of Malaya achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1957.

Election campaign (1959)

Macmillan led the Conservatives to victory in the October 1959 general election, increasing his party's majority from 67 to 107 seats.

It has been argued that "The key factor in the Conservative victory was that average real pay for industrial workers had risen since Churchill’s 1951 victory by over 20 per cent".

Macmillan supported the creation of the National Incomes Commission as a means to institute controls on income as part of his growth-without-inflation policy. A further series of subtle indicators and controls were also introduced during his premiership.

Relations with Thatcher

Macmillan found himself drawn more actively into politics after Margaret Thatcher became Conservative leader and Prime Minister, and the record of his own premiership came under attack from the monetarists in the party, whose theories Thatcher supported. In a celebrated speech he wondered aloud where such theories had come from:

“           Was it America? Or was it Tibet? It is quite true, many of Your Lordships will remember it operating in the nursery. How do you treat a cold? One nanny said, 'Feed a cold'; she was a neo-Keynesian. The other said, 'Starve a cold'; she was a monetarist.

Macmillan finally accepted a peerage in 1984 and was created Earl of Stockton and Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden. He took the title from his former parliamentary seat on the border of the Durham coalfields, and in his maiden speech in the House of Lords he criticised Thatcher's handling of the coal miners' strike and her characterisation of Marxist militants as 'the enemy within'.  He received an unprecedented standing ovation for his oration which included the words:

“           It breaks my heart to see - and I cannot interfere - what is happening in our country today. This terrible strike, by the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's and Hitler's armies and never gave in. It is pointless and we cannot afford that kind of thing. Then there is the growing division of Conservative prosperity in the south and the ailing north and Midlands. We used to have battles and rows but they were quarrels. Now there is a new kind of wicked hatred that has been brought in by different types of people.

Stockton is widely supposed to have likened Thatcher's policy of privatisation to 'selling the family silver'. What he did say (at a dinner of the Tory Reform Group at the Royal Overseas League on 8 November 1985) was that the sale of assets was commonplace among individuals or states when they encountered financial difficulties: 'First of all the Georgian silver goes. And then all that nice furniture that used to be in the salon. Then the Canalettos go.' Profitable parts of the steel industry and the railways had been privatised, along with British Telecom: 'They were like two Rembrandts still left.'


It should also be noted that in The Middle Way Macmillan advocated both a minimum wage and a minimum for payments to the unemployed.

While at university Macmillan became involved in politics. He joined the Canning Club (Conservative), the Russell Club (Liberal) and the Fabian Society (Socialist). At meetings of the Oxford Union he supported progressive causes such as women's suffrage. He also voted for the motion: "That this House approves the main principles of socialism." Macmillan supported the "radical wing" of the Liberal Party during this period and was greatly impressed with David Lloyd George, who made an entertaining speech at the university in 1913.


Barcelona and Unicef

I was reading the other day about Portsmouth FC’s bankruptcy and their phenomenal debts – over £100m – and the fact that over 90% of that money was spent on player’s wages. I hate this insanity in the modern game.

Ever since the Final of the Champion’s League this year I’ve been meaning to write something about the Barcelona team having the word UNICEF printed on their shirts. I’ve always hated clubs having the names and logos of ‘sponsors’ on their kit, and I remember fondly the days before this advertising was permitted. Barcelona had appeared to be the last team in the world to have their shirts free of any advertising. They also happen to be one of very few clubs that are entirely owned by their supporters.

So here’s the lowdown on the Unicef link.

Barça take the moral high road

Everybody knew Barcelona's shirt would end up carrying a logo sooner or later, says Paolo Bandini, but nobody could've guessed whose.

For over a century Barcelona’s club bosses stubbornly resisted the march of time and capitalism to keep their team strip sponsor-free, at a time when every other club from football's upper echelons right down to your average Sunday League side had given in to financial expediency. To be fair this may have profited them, with their logo-free red-and-blue-striped tops taking on something of an iconic status worldwide, and it was always assumed that when they did eventually sell out they would be all set to command unparelleled sums for the taking of their sponsorship virginity

Instead, quite without warning, Barcelona's top brass have gone in a very different direction. Last Thursday, president Joan Laporta signed up to a five-year collaborative agreement with Unicef that will see Barcelona not only sport the children's charity's banner on its shirts, which they did for the first time yesterday night against Levski Sofia, but also contribute just over £1m to its humanitarian projects each year. Obviously that sort of money is barely going to register a dent in the club's finances, but if you take into account how much they could have made from selling to a conventional sponsor [surely even more than Juventus's £15m-a-year deal with Tamoil], the decision is staggering.

"For the first time in our more than 107 years of history, our main soccer team will wear an emblem on the front of its shirt," said Laporta at a Unicef executive committee meeting. "It will not be the brand name of a corporation. It will not be a commercial to promote some kind of business. It will be the logo of 'Unicef'. Through Unicef, we, the people of FC Barcelona, the people of 'Barça', are very proud to donate our shirt to the children of the world who are our present, but especially are our future."

The conspiracy theorists will paint this as just another cynical marketing ploy by a club that is doing a fine job of casting itself as 'everybody's second favourite team', but with the sort of popularity and worldwide appeal they already had, I find that argument hard to swallow. Barcelona's squeaky-clean image has been overstated at times and I don't doubt for a second that they have been guilty of as much gamesmanship and underhand tactics on the pitch as any other team, but after constant reminders of the greed in football over recent weeks, let's give some credit where it's due to a team that's giving something back, even if only a little.


NEW YORK, 7 September 2006 – Futbol Club Barcelona and UNICEF today kicked off a global partnership to benefit children in the developing world. The first beneficiaries will be vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in Swaziland. During the announcement ceremony, the legendary sporting club unveiled its 2006-2007 jersey featuring the UNICEF logo on the front, the first time in the club’s 107 year history that a logo has been featured.

In addition to the UNICEF-branded jersey, Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) has also agreed to donate at least €1.5 million per year to UNICEF over the next five years to support UNICEF programmes for children all over the world. The first year’s donation will support programmes in Swaziland aimed at preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, providing treatment of paediatric AIDS, preventing HIV infection among adolescents and protection, and providing care and support for children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

"This partnership joining UNICEF and the Barcelona Futbol Club will help push open a door of hope to thousands of children," said Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director, during the announcement of the new partnership at the United Nations. “Barcelona shows us that sports can be a powerful, positive force for children.”

The sporting club’s philanthropic history includes its foundation, Fundació Futbol Club Barcelona, which is committed to social, cultural, educational and humanitarian activities in Catalonia, and has expanded internationally during the last few years under its motto “More than a Club.”

“At FC Barcelona, we are aware of the global dimension of soccer. The increasing number of FC Barcelona supporters and fans around the world in the last few years has been spectacular. The club has an obligation to respond to this enormous positive wave. The best way to do so is by using soccer as a tool to bring hope to millions of vulnerable children in need around the world”, said Mr. Joan Laporta, President of Futbol Club Barcelona.

During the first year of the agreement children affected by AIDS in Swaziland will benefit from this partnership. Swaziland is working hard to stop AIDS, but faces enormous obstacles. The country is estimated to have the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in the world. In 2004, 43 per cent of women seen at antenatal clinics tested positive for HIV. But just under 12 per cent of HIV positive pregnant women are receiving the drugs necessary to protect their newborns from contracting the virus.

The first year’s donation will improve children’s lives in Swaziland on a number of fronts. Education and sports programmes will be strengthened to provide better protection, care and support for orphans and vulnerable children. Those same programmes and other outreach efforts will raise public awareness to limit the spread of AIDS. Children and their mothers will have improved access to life-saving drugs to prevent transmission of HIV and dangerous opportunistic infections of the virus, including access to life-prolonging antiretroviral treatment.

UNICEF is spearheading the Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS global campaign which aims to ensure that children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic are an integral part of the global AIDS response.

FCB is one of the most beloved and accomplished teams in professional soccer. More than 60 million fans follow its exploits, and it has earned 57 major national and international titles. While the value of the signage on the jersey is estimated at $20 million, for UNICEF it is a donation that will remind football fans everywhere of the importance of putting children first.

“For UNICEF this is a priceless donation,” said Veneman.


For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


Since its founding, Barcelona has never worn corporate advertisements on their shirt. On 14 July 2006, the club announced a five year agreement with UNICEF, which includes having the UNICEF logo on their shirts. The agreement has the club donate €1.5 million per year to UNICEF (0.7 percent of its ordinary income, equal to the UN International Aid Target, cf. ODA) via the FC Barcelona Foundation.


BARCELONA, Spain (March 15, 2010) — Lionel "Leo" Messi, one of FC Barcelona's bright young stars—and a member of the Argentine national soccer team—joined the ranks of celebrated UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors today.

In a sun-filled room above Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's legendary home in the heart of the Catalonian capital, the 22-year-old soccer player signed a two-year commitment to work on behalf of the world's most vulnerable children.

Ready to do everything I can

Football star and newly appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel 'Leo' Messi with children from the FC Barcelona Soccer School.

Football star and newly appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Leo Messi with children from the FC Barcelona Soccer School.

"I know there are a lot of children that have diseases, many that don't have an education, many that don't have good nutrition. I am ready to do everything I can to help them in my collaboration with UNICEF," said the newly minted Goodwill Ambassador.

"We are very proud and very excited to welcome you to the UNICEF family," Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Philip O´Brien told Messi, speaking on behalf of Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. "This is a commitment you are making not to UNICEF, but to children," he added.

Across-the-board commitment

FC Barcelona has shown deep commitment to UNICEF and its mission. Through the FC Barcelona Foundation, the club runs educational programs at its stadium, where local schoolchildren learn about fair play, health and education—and gain a solid appreciation of the beautiful game, as soccer is often called.

In 2006, FC Barcelona signed an agreement with UNICEF that placed the agency's logo across the front of its team jerseys, earning the club the distinction of being the first sports team to use its uniforms to advocate for a cause, rather than advertise a commercial sponsor.

Beyond agreeing to display the UNICEF logo, the club pledged $5 million to HIV and AIDS programs; it has committed another $3 million over the next three years. Some of that funding will go to Haiti, where families and communities are struggling to rebuild from the devastating earthquake in January.


Futbol Club Barcelona

In 2006, UNICEF and Futbol Club Barcelona renewed the second year of their five year partnership with the handing over of this season’s team shirt bearing the UNICEF name and a pledge to give a further 1.5 million Euros for children.

This follows another 1.5 million Euros donated to UNICEF by FC Barcelona the same year. The funds were used to help children affected by AIDS in Swaziland, the country with the highest estimated HIV rate in the world.

"At FC Barcelona, we are aware of the global dimension of soccer," Joan Laporta, President of Futbol Club Barcelona, comments. "The increasing number of FC Barcelona supporters and fans around the world in the last few years has been spectacular. The club has an obligation to respond to this enormous positive wave. The best way to do so is by using soccer as a tool to bring hope to millions of vulnerable children in need around the world."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment