Taking a break

The blog is taking a break for a while. Back after some maintenance –for the blog not the site – but in the meantime a few snippets.

Readers should check out the new book by Murdoch University’s Dr Kate Fitch. The book – Professionalizing public relations: History, gender and education – explores “the historical development of public relations in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century. It offers new insights into public relations history with a focus on the changing relationship between women and public relations, the institutionalization of public relations education, and the significance of globalization in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century. Drawing on archival and interview research, it challenges common misconceptions around the origins of Australian public relations and women’s early contributions and careers,” Kate says.

Having worked in the 1960s with some of the women who played pioneering roles in consulting the blog is looking forward to reading it and will publish a review later. More details about the book can be found at www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137573087

In other snippets MSCI ESG Research has published a graph which shows that, when cumulative total US shareholder returns are calculated companies who pay below median CEO salaries get better returns while returns from companies with CEO’s who earn more than the median are about half that of the lower paid CEOs. This dovetails with the recent Australian research, referred to by the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, in a recent speech that Australia does have a big problem in productivity and effectiveness – but it’s among Australian CEOs. So far none of his political bosses have echoed this fact preferring to focus on alleged welfare mentalities and trade unions.

And for those who have been puzzled by some US Supreme Court Justices’ focus on original intent there are some interesting quotes by the Founding Fathers in a review of Joseph J. Ellis’ The Quartet by Professor Susan Dunn (NYRB 18 August 2016). The book relates the events of what it calls the second American Revolution – the centralisation of power in the US after the initial Revolution led by Hamilton, Washington, Jay and Madison. It quotes Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in 1816: “Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of covenant, too sacred to be touched.”

Jefferson also said: “They ascribe to the preceding age a wisdom more than human…But I know also that laws and institutions go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” Ellis concludes in his book: “One of the few original intentions they (the Quartet) all shared was opposition to any judicial doctrine of ‘original intent’. To be sure they all wished to be remembered but not embalmed.”

But then original intent interpretations of the constitution have never been about original intentions but rather about plucking a reason for what you want to do anyway from a mythical prelapsarian past.