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Unmasking the State


A corporatocracy in all but name

The scandal engulfing the Cameron government over ministers’ close links with the Murdoch media empire, as well as promises made about BSkyB before the 2010 election, is symptomatic of a wider political disease called corporatocracy.

How governments were “bought” by the corporations, especially the so-called investment banks, is the story of how the state became a direct mouthpiece, advocate and sponsor of big business.

It parallels the rise of a global economy dominated by transnational businesses that find national borders an irritation and are prepared to move capital to the region or country where it is most profitable without a second thought.

Murdoch was doing no more than what a shareholder-driven business has to do. News Corp lobbied to win support for its aim of buying up shares in BSkyB. It made use of its connections to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt and prime minister Cameron.

The fact that the plan coincided with the hacking scandal, leading to the Leveson inquiry, blew their strategy out of the water. With the BSkyB deal off for the indefinite future, the Murdochs have no further need to protect ministers.

Murdoch’s media empire is moving away from supporting the Tories and is backing the Scottish National Party north of the border. Now commentators like Peter Oborne are speculating that the government itself could fall over the scandal. The fact that Cameron is regarded as a traitor by traditional Tories for getting into bed with the Lib Dems and being too soft on Europe is only fuelling the flames lapping at the door of No.10.

The Labour Party is making a great deal out of Cameron’s difficulties but let’s not forget that the previous Blair/Brown governments were politically responsible for perhaps the biggest scandal of them all – the creation of a deregulated banking industry.

Deregulation was not the prime cause of the financial meltdown of 2007 but played its part when the unravelling began. If Cameron had his Chipping Norton set with Murdoch employees Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, then New Labour had its prawn cocktail circuit.

Blair and Brown assiduously courted the banks before and after the 1997 general election victory. They pledged “light-touch regulation” and Labour’s endorsement of the City and financiers in general.

Sir Fred Goodwin, who ran the Royal Bank of Scotland into the ground, by 1999 was actually in the government machine itself, chairing task forces on the work of credit unions (!) and the New Deal programme. In 2001, Goodwin attended a pre-election lunch for bankers at Chequers aimed at securing their support at an election. In 2004 Goodwin became one of eight bankers knighted under New Labour.

So when in 2007, RBS decided to take over the Dutch bank ABN Amro, no one in Whitehall or the Financial Services Agency demurred. ABN Amro was badly exposed to the US sub-prime market and RBS was severely weakened as a result. The rest, as they say, is history. Taxpayer bailouts followed by recession and spending cuts. Thank you Brown, Blair, Ed Balls (who in 2006 praised deregulation) and Yvette Cooper, chief secretary to the treasury.

The official report into the collapse of RBS identifies key moments between 2005 and 2007 when the Financial Services Authority created by New Labour backed off from challenging the bank’s low levels of capital and liquid assets.

Adair Turner, FSA chairman then and now, admitted recently:

Was there, however, a pervasive influence of assumptions about the City on the UK political dynamic? Yes, there was. There was a belief that light-touch regulation, or limited-touch, would make the City bigger, and that the City was a source of employment and tax revenue in particular. And therefore there was clear pressure on the FSA at times to say, go easy on the city. The FSA never used the phrase ‘light touch’, but politicians did, and they did it in speeches, which were directed at the FSA.

Yes, the mainstream political parties are all in it together and have been for a long time. At our expense. The present state, the corporatocracy, is rotten to the core, undemocratic, beyond reform and ruling on behalf of the 1%.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor
26 April 2012

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Your Say

radfax says:

The Leveson Inquiry

If any light shines on the Leveson inquiry it will most probably show that Murdoch is not only involved illicitly with the present government, but also that it had a large dealing in the set up of 'New Labour'.

We can see that new labour are very much removed from their origin, that of the working class. The working class are not truly being represented. If they were then the cuts would be found and taken from the rich rather than the working class who are the backbone of our lands.

These Islands should take a leaf out of Iceland’s book and tell the IMF and the World Bank to go and pester someone else for money.A few months ago the Bank of England printed over £175 billion pounds, and instead of directly injecting it into the economy and the people, they gave it to the city and bank and other corporate companies at 0.01 percent interest and told them to do something with it.

Well they are, they are creaming it in, with charges and interest on loans to the Public of 4% plus.
More recently George Osborne said he will be giving £10 billion pounds of the tax payer’s money to the IMF. This is unacceptable.

£10 billion pounds would aid in the creation of new industries, jobs, health, education, housing, travel.
The people of the UK cannot accept this corrupt, illicit government, the MPs must make the call, are they with the corrupt and ungodly, or are they with the people?

We do not need to borrow more money in order to get out of the financial crisis, we just need to make sure that the billionaires and millionaires give back to people and country what they have taken.

There is enough money right now to make a difference, we do not need to be fooled into the idea that we need to borrow more.

Wake up; it is now time, to bring the unjust to justice. This is what the Public want, this is what the Country needs, and indeed demands.

The above was emailed to the Leveson Enquiry a submission of evidence and this is their reply; Thank you for your email which has been received by the Leveson Inquiry Team. You will appreciate that we have received a very large number of emails since the Inquiry was announced. Please be assured that all emails are read and considered by a member of the Inquiry Team. If you have written in with an query, we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you have submitted evidence or information to the Inquiry, we will consider your submission in more detail and come back to you if we think it would be helpful to have any additional information. Kind regards, The Leveson Inquiry Team

New Labour Originally a label given to (but not by) supporters of Neil Kinnock's changes in the Labour Party between 1985 and 1992. The label was then adopted as a brand by Tony Blair and his circle on Blair's accession to the party leadership 1994 and to power in 1997, Blair then saying ‘We were elected as New Labour, and will govern as New Labour’.

Kinnock first expelled the Militant Tendency from the party, then set about changing party policies which he believed had caused voters to defect from Labour to the Liberal-Social Democrat Alliance. The party abandoned unilateralism, distanced itself from the trade unions, and embraced the market. John Smith (Labour Party leader 1992-4) was more traditionalist, but Blair launched the theme ‘New Labour, New Britain’ at his first party conference in 1994. Blair barely concealed his admiration for Margaret Thatcher's programme of privatization, regulation of trade unions, and deregulation of utilities. 1997 the Conservatives tried to turn the slogan back on its creators as ‘New Labour, New Danger’, and failed spectacularly. In social policy, New Labour has attempted to reduce social exclusion by a mixture of targeted tax changes and moralizing. The moralizing blinded many to the fact that the targeting of the socially excluded helped to make the 1997 administration one of the most redistributive governments in British history.

Bam Nuttall have the contract of cleaning and building the Olympic Park...they have just signed a billion Euro contract with Sarkozy and Cameron to build nuclear reactors!!!! GREEN my fking ass! This whole Olympic "GREEN" theme is the high of hypocrisy!

Jeremy Hunt, isn't he the culture secretary involved with the 2012 Olympics??

And still it beggers beliefe that those found guilty of pollution and human rights abuses are not being ousted from the 2012 Olympics.

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