Somewhere along the line, national democracies, limited as they were in both scope and ambition, were quietly but comprehensively supplanted by global corporations. At current estimates, the largest five hundred of these wholly undemocratic and unaccountable monoliths have taken control of the planet its governance, its economy, its infrastructure and its culture. They control our socio-political present, they manipulate our understanding of our past and they seek, at every turn, to control our collective future. They are, to all intent and purposes, omnipresent and omniscient. Their wealth exceeds all but the biggest nations but collectively they are far, far more powerful than even the most powerful of nations. At times their support from state authorities is explicit, at other times less transparent, but always the state is forced, willingly or otherwise, to do their bidding. They employ an army of lawyers, accountants and lobbyists to ensure that national governments comply. Those that dare to resist, in even the most tokenistic of ways, are quickly dispatched. Corporations brook no opposition from whatever quarter. They bestride the globe like gods pausing only to bicker amongst themselves for ever greater status, wealth and power. They are truly the self-appointed masters of our universe. 

 

But when David Cameron came to office, he promised, like all prime ministers before him, that things in Britain would be different. His was to be the greenest government ever. He would also clean up the whole rotten tax system, stand up to the corporate tax evaders and crack down on the shadowy tax havens. And the corporations in control of Heathrow airport would not be allowed to expand their global profit making, polluting empire. No if's, no but's, no third runway. Well the facts paint a very different picture. The tax havens are still untouched by government regulation and the corporates continue to pay a derisory amount of tax. Tax breaks continue for the corporates while the working poor are hammered into the ground. Cameron's green agenda is in ruins as his government scraps subsidies for the renewables in favour of continued support for the fossil fuel industry. And then there is Heathrow. In spite of the overwhelming environmental science against further expansion, Cameron cannot find the moral or political strength to stand up to the Heathrow corporate lobby. And it's the very same story with the food industry, the giant pharmaceuticals and the privatised utilities. Everywhere we look, the corporations are holding sway over government policy despite the screaming necessity for government regulation. And the icing on the corporate cake; Cameron was caught in bed, metaphorically if not literally, with News International, one of the most toxic corporations on the planet.

In one sense we should not place too much blame on Cameron's shoulders. He is just a willing puppet with very little real power behind him. If socially progressive Barrack Obama, President of the most powerful nation on Earth is powerless to stand up to the corporate lobby, what hope for a Prime Minister of a country rapidly descending into the economic ranks of the middle order? Yes, he is an easy target, cowering as he does in the face of the Heathrow lobby. Why just today, Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways, threatened to pull out of Britain altogether unless Cameron decided in favour of Heathrow's highly toxic expansion plans. Perhaps Cameron would have liked to have told Mr Walsh to sling his hook, but in the real world of corporate power, he dare not. Instead, in the face of this outrageous affront to the democratic spirit, he remained silent.

Cameron's response to the food industry has been equally limp. These food giants like Nestle, Craft, Kellogg's and Coca Cola are systematically destroying the health of the nation with their highly processed foods and drinks saturated as they are with lethal combinations of salt, sugar and toxic fats. These companies need a heavy dose of regulation but instead they get tax breaks. There is a crying urgency for a massive tax on sugary drinks but Cameron dare not confront these multi-national giants. His belief in the nudge theory is clearly not working. And if government doesn't move soon the entire National Health Service will collapse under the strain of the obesity epidemic. The Tories and the Blairites before them have been totally steamrollered by the global corporates all in the name of light touch regulation. It's been so light touch as to be worthless. National politicians have shown themselves to be impotent in the face of such ruthless global profit making. Their only concern now is for a lucrative place on the corporate board once the electorate kick them out of office.

That leads us to the ultimate Cameron hypocrisy; the quasi legal tax havens both within Britain and off-shore. It has been well documented that the City of London is the world's leading tax haven, where dirty money flows in from around the world at an astonishing rate and is washed super clean by our much lauded financial services industry. Drug money, illegal arms money and people smuggling money not to mention the proceeds from the multi-billion pound prostitution and pornography rackets. It all flows into the City of London and rematerializes as luxury high-rise apartments clustered around Central London. Will Cameron stand up to this institutionalised criminality? Not a chance in hell. Why would he when he will soon be a clear beneficiary of all this corporate skulduggery.

Cameron will not stand up to the corporates both because he lacks the political clout to do so but also because he is very much a part of the system. Cameron comes from money and that money, stored we understand in an off-shore family trust, has enabled him to access all the privileges that money can buy; a private education, connections to the corporate world, and political connections via the Old Etonian and Oxbridge network. He started his working life in corporate marketing and he will almost certainly end it that way. 

All this raises a single question; is any national government able to stand up to the global corporates? To even imagine the possibility it will take much ideological clarity and a mass-movement of considerable strength and depth. Is the Momentum movement, inspired as it is by the Corbyn Labour leadership, capable of rallying sufficient political weight to confront the global corporations? As a relatively small national movement I would think not, but linked to likeminded activists around the globe then new possibilities might just open up. So it's all eyes on the forthcoming Spanish elections with the hope that Podemos make further inroads with the Spanish electorate. As for David Cameron, like his predecessor Mr Blair, he will soon be forgotten as just another willing corporate stooge and willing cheerleader for the West's military industrial complex. 

End JPK Copyright 15/12/15

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:39 )