George Monbiot: The UK government’s bid to weaken EU laws to limit toxic pollution wouldn’t appear in any manifesto. It reveals a party working in the interests of corporate coal rather than the public.
It’s interesting to note how readily modern conservatism degenerates into a defence of corporate malfeasance.
By this I don’t mean a defence of corporations in general – which you might expect from a political movement aligned with the interests of wealth and power – but of the worst corporations in particular. That is not a pro-corporate position – as favouring bad practice undermines the competitive position of more responsible companies. It’s a decision to side with the worst capitalists against the better capitalists.
Because these kinds of policies appear in no one’s manifesto and no one would seek to defend them in public they are a classic indicator of political corruption. By this I mean operating on behalf of unrevealed and particular interests rather than on behalf of either the constituencies that elected you or of the nation as a whole.
Whenever you see the worst corporate practices championed you suspect that influence is being peddled – that corporate party funding is being deployed – or that special favours are being granted through old boys’ networks and other forums of elite transaction.