As we eat perhaps even more chocolate than usual on a day for the Christians among us, the masses go round stuffing their faces unaware or uncaring at the level of our corporate exploitation of black workers. Slavery never went away, it just got buried by those in the marketing and advertising professions whose evil daily work covers up their corporate masters greed and profiteering at any cost. Economic slaves taste chocolate for the first time
John McDonnell describes his blueprint for saving UK steel production, Save UK steel production
Money making trumps getting the best medicines to the right people. It never seems to change. TB is advancing but these medicines could help
So there’s this guy who’s in charge of of one of the big banking organisations writing about morality and money while all the while doing dodgy deals to give more money to the 1% and helping the flow of cash from illegal activities. I’m sure if he was one of us 99% he would be heading for prison but he’s a friend of the 1% so that’s never going to happen. Of course he could say that he didn’t know but let me ask you this, if you were in charge and were paid a huge amount of money to be in charge then surely if you screwed up you would be fired. But only if you were one of us 99%. I don’t remember much about my religious education but what would old JC have thought about all this? I seem to recall that he kicked the money lenders out of the temple.
What’s the general mission statement of a corporate? Produce more, sell more, automate more, use less workers, wipe out the local producers. The Cardinal Brewery started in Fribourg in 1788 and by 1904 had moved to a site near the train station. It remained there until in 2011 those bad old boys from Carlsberg moved the production of Cardinal to another brewery in Switzerland that they already owned. The old building became a museum and a place for start ups. Just what the local community needs right, I mean we are all going to be writing apps for each other at the end of the day aren’t we? But thankfully there are some alternatives to corporate blandness and one of them is La Patriot beer brewed by a local microbrewery, Freiburger Biermanufaktur, with local workers. That sounds rather good to me and tastes rather good too.
As you can probably guess I’m a great fan of individuality and have a definite hatred of corporate blandness. Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit one of my favourite eating and drinking places in Lausanne Switzerland called the Brasserie Bavaria situated at Rue du Petit-Chêne 10. I’m glad to say that nothing notable seems to have changed. The simple wooden seating is still chipped and scratched and the paintings above the wooden paneling look as yellow as ever probably through age and previous generations smoking in there. The clientele are mixed, from all ages, on their own or as groups of two or more. They drink tea, coffee, beer and wine. They are there to relax, to talk or if they are on their own to read the paper or just watch the world go buy through the large window. And then there is the honesty, none of this paying upfront. You order what you want and the bill is placed on your table. This is a very civilised place. In the middle is a long table where if it gets busy enough you will have to sit and maybe engage in conversation with complete strangers. How nice is that in the modern time of plug yourself in and shut the world out? It is an amazing place and if you visit Switzerland you would be mad to miss it. If you live in Lausanne then it’s a must as places like these need all the support that they can get in time of corporate creep as they dissolve our individuality.
David v Goliath might be the next Hollywood blockbuster, they must be making it after having made Noah etc, but in the real world Goliath Inc, Goliath Corp and Goliath PLC kill and trample all over David the good guy. And here is just another tale of the little guys losing out to the corporate monsters. So let’s start with a couple of photos to illustrate who the good guys are. This is the canal boat, Word on the Water, a floating bookshop and poetry venue. And this is the cat that lives on the boat. The photos were taken near one entrance of Paddington station on the Grand Union Canal. In an article titled, “Paddington bare”, Private Eye explains that the Canal and River Trust have selected British Land to take two new permanent trade moorings and you can guess where :-). They plan to open a floating coffee shop and “Welcome centre” in the two moorings. The article adds that there are already more than a dozen coffee outlets in the area including one on a canal boat. So huge evil corporation that has spent £470 million (how much of that is debt?) buying up the local area versus a small independent business and cultural space. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the ending and it isn’t a Hollywood one. Story copyright of Private Eye. Buy it, you will be amazed.
I’m now half way through the excellent Bad Pharma written by Ben Goldacre. A look at the dastardly corporations, institutions, regulators and people that leave doctors as much as patients in the dark about how good certain drugs are. Everyone remembers the terrible effects of thalidomide but does anybody remember about or know the name of the heart drug that instead of helping people probably killed 100,000. This book should be compulsive reading for GPs and anybody who ever has to take any medicine. Ben writes about how medicine and science should work and shows how it doesn’t. Buy it, be horrified and then ask questions. Pharmaceutical
We have just been to see Mark Thomas’s new show, Cuckooed, at the Tricycle theatre in Kilburn, London and as usual it is extremely good. This is political and activist comedy at its best and Mark pulls no punches. We have been we think to all of his shows over the last few years and they are always highly entertaining. This show tells the story of a how a very good and close friend spied on a group of activists linked to the Campaign Against Arms Trade for BAE Systems. It is funny, moving, sad and entertaining all at the same time. If you haven’t seen Mark or the show then go and see him. If you live too far away then read one of his enlightening books. http://www.markthomasinfo.co.uk/
I’m still working my way through Ben Goldacre’s excellent book on the pharmaceutical industry, “Bad Pharma” and apart from being so well researched and written it has some interesting comments. Ben relates the story of how in Thailand there are two million women and 800,000 children involved in the sex trade and how the Thai government decided in 2007 to copy a western company’s drug, Abbott’s, drug for the poor. Abbott’s retaliated by withdrawing 7 drugs in total from the Thai market. His point was that the sex industry serves many western men but his knock out comment for me was, “some of whom you may know personally”. Look around you and maybe you will see some of them.