WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Tories focus on 'sluggish' CSR

David Cameron rattled a few cages at the launch of the Conservatives' policy paper on corporate social responsibility, not least those of the leaders of business organisations.

Announcing a voluntary series of 'responsibility deals' Cameron insisted the Tories could be 'both pro-business... and also passionate about responsible business' (Financial Times, 18 March). 

The proposals ranged from action over childhood obesity and teenage pregnancy, to climate change, with the first working party, under former Asda boss Archie Norman, concentrating on waste.

Cameron described the current approach to waste as 'bureaucratic and sluggish' (BBC, 17 March) and vowed to work with business on a voluntary basis rat-her than impose legislation.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, reacted swiftly, saying: 'Most companies already take on a vast amount of CSR and we get very worried when businesses are lambasted for not doing more' (The Daily Telegraph, 18 March).

Based on 14 items from 16 -18 March 2008 Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.


It's very interesting to see that the blogosphere hardly picked up on the Conservatives' views on CSR. This is symptomatic of the uttering's of the few who did discuss the issue, noting that whilst the Tories ideas come from the right direction it's a shame they don't get traction with the media or the general population.

The idea of executives facing bonus penalties if companies didn't do enough to tackle social problems wasn't a part of it, however, that was well received - coming across as naive and unenforceable.

Much of the conversation in the blogosphere around Cameron's views on CSR, morphed into wider debate around the issue of ‘responsibility'. Many argued that responsibility lies with individuals, not just organisations, and this is the problem with society today - individuals don't take responsibility, they expect someone else do to it for them.

Some felt that Cameron was pinning his ideology on the peg of social responsibility - not just that of the corporate sector but all walks of life - citing his public support of campaigns such as Jamie Oliver's school dinners.

Is the ‘Cameron Social Contract' something he truly believes in or is simply a vote-getting initiative they discussed. Good news for Cameron in that the general consensus seemed to be towards the former.

Analysis conducted by Nielsen Online from a source of over 70 million blogs www.nielsen-online.com  


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