My latest NEW INTERNATIONALIST magazine column December 2011
Big business turns TV toxic
The ghost of Milton Friedman must be breaking out the bubbly in whatever Circle of Hell he now inhabits.
Across the globe, his Satanic little helpers have been sucking the wealth out of the system like a parasitic alien virus to feed the plutocrats at the top as public services are 'liberalised'. And now, in the Mother of all Parliaments, the Houses of both Commons and Lords have handed over Britain's glorious National Health Service to the forces of capital.
You know it's a bad thing when Cherie Blair sets up a company to profit from pillaging the NHS. Private clinics in supermarkets, no less. Croesus wept!
The October vote on NHS "reform" represents a massive seismic shift in our society ... but where have the media been in all of this?
It wasn't until the day after that some of the media happened to mention the colossal conflict of interest among those dismantling our national treasure. The TV outlets came to bury the news, not ring out a warning or a danger, or analyse what this would mean for their viewers. So while we were all watching Strictly Come Dancing, the Sopranos were making their major play. It's like the last reel in The Godfather where Michael Corleone attends his son's baptism while his enemies are bumped off.
Business is now more powerful than our democratic institutions, and to prove it, they're all over the media like a poisonous rash.
The Apprentice, Dragons' Den, Secret Millionaire ... All those toxic shows where hatchet-faced middle-managers with thousand-yard stares tell desperate losers which part of their souls they have to hack away in order to be a winner. Noticed how our entertainment is wall-to-wall with Wall Street wannabees naturalising this nightmare? If there was any fairness in the world, we'd be screening They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) on a 24-hour loop as a warning to dem yoot.
It's not like we can wait for them to die out. Their well-fed spoilt children, like little emperors, are forming a queue, assuming privilege and telling-off rights over the rest of us. Ye gods, when did we last see the child of a sleb actually studying and doing something even two stages away from commerce, where success isn't measured in share-prices?
We're entering the Heart of Darkness as the delicate cultural superstructure is sucked back into Mordor and all the little Orcs start running things, while we're dragged into the 10th century.
Kids, you won't remember this, but there was actually a time when we had the beancounters on the run. When company directors earned only 50 times what their lowest-paid workers received.
Good luck to the protesters in Greece, Spain, America, Britain ... everywhere. We need you.