Shuriken wrote:If you think this is bad read the parliamentary logs
Indeed. This is a good one: Richard Brooks’ presentation of evidence of undue influence on tax policy by the largest corporations given to the Commons Treasury Committee in 2011
(Check out points 9 – 11 for a run-down of some of the companies being consulted on how to write the laws that regulate and tax them).
Shuriken wrote: would that it were not against "the rules" to go in there and put them all straight. We're being "led" by a bunch of children and have been for over 20 years now
It’s been going on since neoliberalism came to the fore with Thatcher (so about 34 years and counting). The deregulation of the financial services her government brought about (and continued by all the governments since) helped to create a boom. Socialists began to look like dinosaurs in the face of this and so all our mainstream parties adopted largely the same platform.
We lost as a result a restraining force against rampant deregulation and lax enforcement of business law. We also lost those MPs from more typical backgrounds in the UK (e.g. working class background MPs are thin on the ground compared to when old Labour had former union members as MPs). Our MPs are now typically upper-middle class or above, studied PPE/law/history at Oxbridge or other redbricks and also disproportionately privately educated at primary and secondary level. We laud former business directors as MPs for having “a good business background” as if the ability to operate a dictatorial hierarchical profit-making organisation is what we need to run a democracy and help look after each other. These same businessmen, on leaving politics, then loop back into lucrative non-exec directorships on companies in the same industries that they campaigned for.
All the main parties sing the same line: “There Is No Alternative”; and the electoral reform campaign, which might have created some growth in voices that say “There IS an alternative”, has been scuppered for decades thanks to poor handling by the Lib Dems and some of the worst lies and bad-faith campaigning I’ve ever seen from Labour and the Conservatives. So we won’t see any change even if voter apathy were dealt with. And nevermind the fact that tax law is not sexy and is difficult to understand or explain to the masses (or get the news media to feature on a regular basis as a result. Benefit fraud by comparison is much easier to cover).
I can strongly recommend reading Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxson if you're interested in this sort of thing (here's a review: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 18093.html
). He also hosts a blog at: http://treasureislands.org/