“We are not hostile to Corporations; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I’m 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt and his Attorney General at the time, shocked both the Republican Party and the Country on the whole by announcing it’s intention to sue J.P.Morgan’s Northern Securities Company for breaching the Sherman Anti-Trust act. President Roosevelt did not particularly care about the actual breaching of a largely pointless act, he wanted instead to show the Country that the office of President was more powerful than the Office of a banker. He wanted to show that power of the public could not be bought or sold. It was a symbol against the power of private companies, even more so because Morgan ha contributed to campaigns Roosevelt had run in the past. It was an ingenious way of letting big business know “You can contribute all you want, but you do not own power over the public.”
Lately, whenever I turn the TV on, I see an advert, warning people that “we’re coming to get to you”. This is aimed at benefit cheats, it features a neighbour of a lady cheating benefits, calling the office. My instant reaction was “wow, much like when the Nazis asked people to inform them if they lived next door to a Jew.” I simply do not get upset and annoyed by benefit cheats. It doesn’t affect me. In fact, whenever I hear of a single mum struggling on the income she has, to feed her family, I would advise her to cheat the system a bit. Perhaps it’s a little controversial. My stance on this will also annoy people. But I refuse to let any take the moral high ground on the issue of scrounging a little extra cash to feed a poor family, when the tax payer has paid for a mass of Corporate bonuses over the past year, through Governments that metaphorically masturbate the big business men.
John Thain, the last Chairman of Merrill Lynch, who after destroying the company, begged for a $10million bonus, managed to secure $15million from the Bank of America bail out fund; taxpayers money. Within a month, he had offered employees of Merrill Lynch bonuses as much as $4million. He then spent $1.2million of tax payers money on redecorating his office. Thain is working at The Bank of America. Why aren’t the Governments of the World “coming to get” Thain? Surely using $1.2million of public money is a hell of lot worse than a single mum needing the extra £20 she’s “stolen” to feed her kids? Businessmen are exempt from the law.
Fox News, in particular Bill O’Reilly in 2005 began a campaign for America to boycott France, for no other reason than the fact that France are not America’s bitches. O’Reilly claimed that France had damaged America a considerable amount. And so all Americans should boycott French products. In comparison, O’Reilly doesn’t seem to have a problem with America’s destructive relationship with those great proponents of Democracy, the Saudi Royal Family. Could this be anything to do with business deals? If France had a decent supply of Oil reserves, O’Reilly would be inviting us all to his French themed birthday party in celebration of how wonderful France is.
The UK Government has strong ties to the aviation industry. They are, in essence, in the pockets of BAA and Virgin. Misleading figures and the decrediting of leading scientists who disagree and have the evidence to back it up, in order to advance their own agenda, aviation gets billions of pounds of taxpayers money, to keep prices low. BA has claimed to be taking steps to be pro-green in the future, and yet it keeps demanding extra terminals and runways. The BA website claims “Introducing a third runway at Heathrow won’t increase the overall level of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.” Clearly, that’s a lie, and impossible. There is no way that they are helping the environment rather than maximising profits. And the Government gave into them on Heathrow’s third runway.
Recently, the house of Lords has been the subject of much publicity. Four Labour Lords are accused of agreeing to accept £120,000 in exchange for changing to law to suit the person paying the money. Public policy influenced by the money of outside “donors”? No shit! The only difference between the four Lords at the centre of this scandal, and most other politicians, is that these four happened to get caught.
David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party claimed that Lords who misbehaved should be punished. Cameron himself refused to criticise the bosses of Bradford and Bingley after they systematically destroyed the company and can be partly held accountable for the mess our finance system is in today. Cameron told the BBC… “What you won’t hear from me this week is the sort of easy cheap lines beating up on the market system, bashing financiers.” So he’s quite happy to cycle to work, to prove he’s dedicated to climate change whilst his work suit is chauffeur driven in the Mercedes behind him for cheap publicity, but he wont criticise people who have destroyed the banking system? There must be a reason….. ah yes…. The bosses over at Bradford and Bingley are among the chief contributors to the Conservative Party since Cameron took over as leader. What a beautiful coincidence.
The BBC reported a story in 2003 regarding Coca Cola, poisoning a water supply in India. Coca Cola have not been prosecuted for human rights violations, which they should be. Nor has anything been made out of the story that Coke have been draining a water supply from a village in India to fuel their prosperity, whilst living hundreds of local villagers without water. Coke tried to make up for it by sending a truck to the village with the bare minimum amount of water. To me, that’s a disgrace. Local farming had to be abandoned, even though it was thriving up until Coca Cola decided it would impose it’s will and steal the water. Coca Cola is accused of even more…. dumping it’s waste in riverbed, containing lead and cadmium, which can cause cancer, and attacks the nervous system of children. When will someone stand up and say that the disgusting chase for profit, is not worth this? When will a Politician stand up to these disgusting people? They wont…. because big business like Coca Cola are much more powerful than the Governments of our Countries.
I have a deep problem with the Party funding system itself. No body donates a huge amount of money to a political party, out of the good will of their heart. More often than not, they want something in return. The government should not be privately run. It inevitably leads to scandals like the Cash for honours debaucle that plagued the end of the Blair administration.
Where have the Roosevelts of the World disappeared? Why have our governments been hijacked by weak men dedicated to the promotion of Big Business. Big Business runs the World.
Nobody seems to care that business is allowed to profit from war. Shouldn’t that be regulated? No one should be allowed to make money out of death and misery in the perverse way that Halliburton and KBR have. Dick Cheney received $36million in compensation when he left Halliburton in 2000. An extra $1million in deferred compensation followed. In 2004, he’d been awarded an extra $398,000 from Halliburton. KBR, affiliated with Halliburton, has made over $33million from the war on terror, and built Guantanamo Bay detention centre. It all stinks horribly corrupt. Both companies, have strong ties to Dick Cheney, the Vice President in the Bush Administration. Conflict of interest, between an Oil company, and the American public, during a war with a nation rife with Oil rich lands? It isn’t a conspiracy, it’s Modern Politics. It’s just how it is.
It will be of no shock to you, that I believe those like Dick Cheney and John Thain among others, should have a very long prison sentence ahead of them, not a lovely big pay packet to see them through the rest of their lives. They are criminals. Nothing more.
If Capitalists truly want the Government to keep out of Private affairs, then big business should take it’s own advice and stay out of public affairs. Big business, as we’ve seen with the War for Oil in Iraq, seeks only to maximise profit at the expense of animals, the environment, the future of the planet, and humanity. It should be Governments job to stop the trial of destruction big business leaves, before it gets out of hand. This cannot happen whilst those who need to destroy the planet in order to be able to afford a new yaht at the end of the quarter, pay for candidates to be elected officials on their behalf. The government is private.
“Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity.” – Theodore Roosevelt