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
With the UK general election almost upon us isn’t time that we had some radical changes? Here are some to think about:
1. Empty properties in London and other major cities, if they are not being lived in by the owners for more than a month per year then the local councils have the right to rent them out at affordable rents to people. This would stop the one percent using our cities and homes as investment vehicles.
2. Corporations, all corporations in retail, food, clothing and entertainment to be limited. Let’s put individuality, small owners, family businesses back into the running of our cities.
3. Commercial property owners of retail space, cap and reduce the rent they can charge allowing non corporate businesses to start and flourish.
I’m sure that there are a few more that we can think of to divide up the wealth in a fairer way.
Let’s break the chains that bind us the ninety nine percent.
If we continue in our current way there can only be more war and more poverty. While some large corporations plunder our planet for short term gain the ecological poverty that is caused will affect us all. Above all we need inclusion for every human being not replacement by technology, technology must be used to aid us in reducing our individual workload not replacing individuals. The information revolution must be used to connect individuals and not in some of the vacuous ways we see at the moment in social media. Individuals who buy food and clothes from other countries must be connected with the individuals who grow the coffee and who pick the cotton or sew the clothes that they buy. Only then will we be able to stop the horrendous exploitation that occurs between 1st world consumers and 3rd world producers.
Dear AllTrials supporters
For the first time ever, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken a position on clinical trial results reporting, and it’s a very strong position! The WHO now says that researchers have a clear ethical duty to publicly report the results of all clinical trials. Significantly, the WHO has stressed the need to make results from previously hidden trials available. Ben Goldacre said, “This is a very positive, clear statement from WHO, and it is very welcome.” Ilaria Passarani from the European Consumer Organisation BEUC called it “a landmark move for consumers.” It is the position we and hundreds of you wrote to the WHO last autumn urging them to adopt. Well done everyone!
You can read more about the WHO’s statement and responses to it on the AllTrials website, in Science and The Verge and from Reuters.
The WHO has called on organisations and governments to now ensure that all trials get reported. Ben Goldacre has set out some practical suggestions on how to make this happen.
Please help share this exciting news. Can you write about it for a newspaper, journal, newsletter or blog? Make sure to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s a tweet you can use: Great news: The @WHO has said that researchers should publicly report results from all clinical trials. http://bit.ly/1CUd1v6 #AllTrials
Campaigns Support Officer
Sense About Science
I finally finished reading Dr Ben Goldacre’s excellent Bad Pharma and what a tale it tells. The premiss of the work is that the doctor who treats you, no matter how rich or poor you are doesn’t know all the data regarding the drugs that he or she is prescribing you. That’s scary, or at least I find it scary. I think I would like to know if drug A has a higher probability of harming or killing me than drug B. Although there is a supporting cast in what has happened to medicine over the recent decades the main culprits are the large pharmaceutical companies and the selective publishing of data in regards to drug trials. Ben and others have set up Alltrials.net , http://www.alltrials.net a campaign to bring all that missing data into the public domain. This is sensible for all of us. So please read and if you feel motivated then sign the petition.
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.
So here we are gearing up for another Christmas Eve. So let’s spare a thought for all those humans who will still sleep rough tonight and all those caught up in wars and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let’s not forget about all those who don’t have access to clean water or to proper toilets and sewage systems. The many that lack adequate housing, heating, lighting, education and medical services. And those that don’t have enough or proper food to eat. If you read blogs you are unlikely to be one of them, if you have bought presents made in a number of countries you have probably bought something made by one of them. So think long and hard about the 25th of December, even if you aren’t a Christian, it is still a religious day not a day of capitalism. We must demand fair wages for those who make our goods. GLOBAL MINIMUM WAGE and GLOBAL SAFE WORKING PRACTICES NOW.
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
My partner and I have been very lucky to have traveled a bit and one of the places we went to was the Pantanal in Brazil. This area is the world’s largest tropical wetland area. As such it is a very diverse place for fauna and flora. We took this beautiful photo on one of the days we were there. You can buy a copy of it from our website http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk. Unfortunately, 99% of the Pantanal is privately owned for ranching and agriculture with perhaps 8 million or more cattle now eating it. Such heavy farming is bound to degrade this very special area and we hear so many verbal alarm bells from conservationists and scientists that most humans become immune, feel powerless or simply don’t care. There are some very simple numbers regarding us, humanity, and we can’t face them. So at the risk of repeating myself one more time. When we entered this inter-glacial (and exited what was probably NOT the last ice age) period some 15,000 years ago there were supposedly 5,000,000 of us. In terms of our “clean” water all of them would have been without it. Now there are more than 7,000,000,000 of us and still increasing and 780,000,000 of that very large number do not have access to “clean” water. As our politicians and nations kick the ball of climate change around while corporations and big business stop them aiming for a goal of living within the planet’s means there seems little hope of survival for beautiful places like the Pantanal. Think about the numbers, those 780,000,000 have every right to a decent life so how much concrete are we going to have to pour and steel are we going to have to make to give these people water, housing, roads, schools, hospitals and everything else that goes with our modern life. And it is not as if we have levelled off in our numbers for our global population is still increasing. I personally think it is time for a one child policy for the entire planet until we can get ourselves down to a reasonable number where we aren’t fouling our own nest. If we don’t then in a couple of generations those children will have as much chance of seeing some of the species of the Pantanal as they will of seeing a dinosaur.