The Public is Irrelevant

Talking about the U.S. election campaign Noam Chomsky believes that all the candidates are well to the right of public opinion. That view seems to chime in with the feeling in the U.K. Judging by reaction on doorsteps in this year’s local election it seems that we in the U.K. are stuck in a no win situation. People believe, for example, that public services are of vital importance and no one I spoke to thought that privatising them was O.K. In fact they felt strongly to the contrary, yet none of the 3 main choices, i.e. parties likely to gain power, think differently. All favour pandering to the power of large privately owned corporations. In the U.S, we know of the connection between the likes of the Vice President, Mr Cheney, and companies like Haliburton, currently making millions out of involvement in Iraq and looking for bigger and better wars.
While MPs have voted themselves a pay and perks deal, they can also benefit business and other interests. Clearly their inside knowledge is valuable to companies on the make. When did we last hear of Philip Gould an early New Labourite. Wasn’t he snapped up by someone like Tesco for his knowledge of planning and where Tesco could buy up land for new stores as well as shutting out competition. Patricia Hewitt recently departed from the Department of Health works for Boots, not to mention Blair now businessman cum philanthropist cum opportunist cum you name it. Made us sick when in office and now we know why.

But what about those in office? What other benefits do they get a la Cheney in the US. As we know registers of interest don’t always show the full picture. I want to know what individuals know about BAE Systems and their adventures in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. Here we see Jack Straw serenading Condie Rice (health warning. View this at the risk of nausea).

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