Monbiot on the corporatisation of government

While the board contains retired senior executives from AstraZeneca and Merck Sharp & Dohme, it includes no one from a patient group, or any other body representing people whose health could be damaged by its decisions.

The other council members include executives or directors from Pfizer, Kardia Therapeutics and Microgen Ltd, but no one who makes their primary living working for a medical charity or any other public interest group.
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Yet its board contains no members from passenger groups, unions or transport campaigns.

There was no one representing groups protecting the environment, landscape or animal welfare.

This is just a snapshot of the committee-nobbling in which successive governments have engaged. As well as excluding people who represent the wider public interest, David Cameron\’s government has snuffed out the bodies which might have balanced these one-sided boards, such as the Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Its bonfire of the quangos was in fact a bonfire of dissent, as committees which told it what it didn\’t want to hear were selectively purged.

You can see where the anger comes from of course. For the entire point of the vast NGO movement is to become \”community leaders\”, centres of biased knowledge about this or that that then have to be included into the governance structure. This is the whole point of the fundraising, the campaigning, the dreary hours spent mimeographing. To gain access to those corridors of power.

And if doing all that work no longer gets you seat on those committees then what has a lifetime\’s campaigning been for?

And now to ask a slightly different question. That Sustainable Development Commission. When it was in existence was there a single free market environmentalist anywhere in it ever? No, I don\’t mean was there someone from business, or a corporate drone, but was there actually any diversity of viewpoint on it at all? Anyone at all who even occasionally muttered that perhaps markets suitably constrained by Pigou Taxes, just as an example, might be the best way to deal with environmental problems that were agreed to exist?

No, there wasn\’t? Really?

Well, if you get to pack the committees that you can pack then I\’m afraid that when you complain about other committees being packed then you can just fuck right off matey.

8 comments on “Monbiot on the corporatisation of government

  1. After I read the Monbiot piece I had a quick look at who were the directors of the Guardian Media Group and Scott Trust. To see if their ranks were full of union officials or representatives of ordinary readers.

    Surprise, surprise, the vast majority were Guardian journalists or executives of various GMG companies with a few retired senior lawyers and CEOs to add diversity.

  2. The Scott trust, Sustainable Development this’n’that and the rest of them are private bodies – companies, clubs of like-minded individuals and so on. Of course we don’t get a say in their managment structure.

    It is wrong however for the government’s decision-making and advisory bodies to be so overwhelmingly dominated by business (actually, big business) interests. We all have to tolerate the government being imposed on us – it’s as odious for the government to be captured by one set of producer interests (tories/big business) as another set of producer interests (old labour/labour).

  3. And the truth will out… “but no one who makes their primary living working for a medical charity or any other public interest group.”

    Yes quite. “Making their primary living” – that is the purpose of these organisations these days, cess pits for useless, incompetents who cannot get proper jobs in a real workplace, so they can have no-brain, well paid jobs and generous expenses, funded by morons in the general public who cannot think for themselves. – and of course Government hand outs.

  4. But haven’t they learned the lessons of the madmen world? Set up the straw man and knock him over with the answer already dreamt up by you and your mates. They will work, funded by benefits, until you all make enough noise to get noticed and rewarded with a nice, fat Quango.

  5. that would be the govt handouts like £30 million to A4E that nice corrupt company with a crooked boss…you could scrap other useless quangos like health and safety as all that red tape about people getting harmed gets in the way of profits..

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