Businesses want to make money. I get that. They have a duty to their shareholders. To maximise shareholder returns. It’s part of company law.
When Sir Christopher Chope (he of upskirting fame) became the leader of Wandsworth, one of London’s Flagship Tory Councils, in the late seventies, he outsourced the collecting of the rubbish.
Not long after, he sold off council-owned properties to developers and to residents.
Young people in Wandsworth’s children’s homes were moved out to Kent and elsewhere.
Some were drugged and raped, and used as guinea pigs for Big Pharma.
Much of this was reported on in the papers, tv and even spoken about in Parliament.
But it carried on.
Capita, meanwhile, were formed and grew into a global government outsourcing firm. G4S, SERCO & Atos have also got into the government contract business.
These are all private, publicly quoted, companies.
With shareholders and a duty to maximise profit and returns.
That is their stated duty.
So while certain journalists, particularly one at the FT, start talking about purpose as opposed to profit, one has to ask if they’ve gone native, or whether they mean what they are saying.
The Moral Bank Account
The FT’s Gillian Tett, for whom I have always had time, has started a new section of the FT called Moral Money.
Though I haven’t delved deep into it, on first glance, the people operating in it were unregulated asset-stripping, venture capitalist, private equity, buy-out people who were essentially hedge fund, vulture fund, disaster capitalists styling themselves as people who suddenly cared.
The whole thing seem to be a marketing scam for that other new buzzword “impact investing”.
I couldn’t believe Ms Tett was lending them her time, platform, trust and all round credibility.
Times must be tough. Did Gillian Tett and Editor Lionel Barber convince their bosses at Nikkei that this would fly?
A nice Green market to tap into?
Green Bonds. To save the rainforest. Seeing as the other bonds are making their money from deforestation. A contrarian play.
The Hedge Fund money at Extinction Rebellion doesn’t just pay attention.
The pump and dump school of ecological & political marketing.
From Clickbait to Jailbait
Starring Gail Bradbrook, Carrie Symonds, and co-starring Roger Hallam & Boris Johnson.
Increasingly hard to tell them apart.
Except the types of activist Boris usually hangs around with are of the Oligarch variety, Crispin Odey, Evgeny Lebedev, even Mandelson, Blair and Osborne have far more in common with Johnson — hang on a second..
Equal Ops depopulation to facilitate austerity on steroids and no-one will clock?
Psychologically Eugenicising the youth by conditioning them to perpetuate cycles of conflict over ever diminishing availability of opportunity.
And let the few bits of political attention they have left be distracted by no-platforming and non-binary micro-aggressions.
This is what FT, EU, BBC, the Tory Party, Lib Dems, Greens, Extinction Rebellion and significant Labour Party operatives still offer.
And where does it go?
Given the revolution in Local Government started by Sir Christopher Chope and pushed through in Bradford and from Central Government by his Financial Terrorist chums Eric Pickles, George Osborne, & Sajid Javid, one might have thought there would have been a plethora of stories coming out from all over the UK on this stuff.
But there hasn’t.
The death of local journalism and the rise of property-obsessed Commercial Council PR operations means you are now more likely to get a report on the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza than see anything on the various forms of torture and abuse that the London Borough of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea systematically inflict on all too many of their residents on a daily basis right here in London.
It’s the psychopathic business model.
No Guilt, No Shame. No Self-Respect. No respect for others’ dignity.
Just business. Pound signs. The bottom line.
If you involve agency staff to run essential services then their mentality will take over. Which is one of economic survival and not public service.
I’ve started asking some questions – and the picture I am receiving is not good.
More in depth analysis to come.
These scribblings were sparked by my reaction to the following piece by Jim Waterson. I suspect I disagree with Mr Waterson’s politics but he’s been very helpful when I’ve interacted with him, does great reports (for the Guardian) and is good on TV.
There is such a thing in the UK as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who do do some great work. But the money behind them is not Moral Money and the staff are mainly made up of pre-institutionalised journalists who have been recruited from the mainstream media. They’re prone to stealing ideas, recruit in their own mould and lack diversity to such an extent as would make even Steve Bannon cringe.
But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.
In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.
Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.
In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.
Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.
They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.
Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.
Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.
They refer to it as cutting red tape.
But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.
Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.
Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?
A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.
The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.
Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.
She says the EU wants to punish Britain.
Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.
Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.
She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.
I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.
On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.
She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.
This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.
America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.
And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.
But Farage doesn’t point them out.
How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?
But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?
Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.
Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.
Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.
Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.
Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.
Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.
She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.
When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.
Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.
Conversation then goes to Putin.
Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.
Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.
Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.
On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.
Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.
She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.
Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.
Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.
She says that either way, they are both now on the same side.
This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.