THE BLOG

Corporate Britain PLC

28/02/2013 15:16 GMT | Updated 30/04/2013 10:12 BST

This week has re-affirmed my belief we live in a pseudo democracy where the only interests that are represented are those of big business. Today in Tory Britain the majority of politicians are not representing the pensioner facing the bedroom tax, or single parent families struggling to pay soaring gas bills, all this whilst smug energy companies announce record profits.

Ok, so this isn't an earth shattering revelation. For the last 40 years neo-liberal economics has firmly put the interests of business before those of hard working people.

But still week after week, leading politicians and think tanks declare the only way to end austerity and return to prosperity is to trust free markets and cut red tape. They want us to forget that it was the reckless financial speculation and de-regulation of business that was largely responsible for the financial crash. They just keep on the spinning the narrative that if we trust in big business things will be ok.

Why do we accept this thoroughly raw deal presented to us by big businesses? Only this month David Cameron was asked by the oil company Shell to intervene in their tax dispute with the Indian government. I would be inclined to suggest that a company, who last year declared profits of $18.9 billion and took advantage of $200 million in tax breaks, does not need his help.

As I write this article 23 environmental activists from the groups No Dash For Gas are being sued for 5 million for their part in shutting down an EDF power station last October. EDF know there is no chance in hell these activists could ever pay the sums they are being sued for. It is a tactic used to purely intimidate and put off those who may stand up to corporations as George Monbiot astutely points out on his blog.

You don't hear David Cameron or Ed Miliband condemning EDF for intimidating and persecuting those who are standing up for cleaner energy future. In 20 years time if we do manage to make a transition to a low carbon energy system and seriously curb our global carbon emissions, the activists will be lauded as heroes.

Increasingly the tentacles of corporations reach into the lives of those who dare to stand shoulder to shoulder with communities in opposing corporations. This week it was announced that my friend and fellow Climate Rush activist, Tamsin Omond is on a secret blacklist which is shared between police, government and corporates.

Tamsin honestly has nothing but love in her heart for life and everyone she comes into contact with. The fact that she is persecuted for standing up for her belief in people and nature I find upsetting and worrying.

Increasingly we are living in world dominated by money and acquisition of material assets. If you are stand against this ideology business the media and politicians are likely to be lining up to persecute you.

But this is why it is more important than ever that we question the increasingly prominent role of business in our everyday lives. Big oil companies are already in our schools teaching kids to become oil traders and they continue to sponsor our science education at a time when we need to be moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels. These companies have proven to be poor stewards of our planet and they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near our education system.

I believe we should all adopt a healthy skeptism towards large corporations. I believe they have become too powerful and dictate an agenda to politicians that puts rampant profit making before the wellbeing of people.

A good example would be supermarkets. Just because there is an abundance of them, does not mean they provide the best quality food. Their primary concern is with profit margins, in offering staff zero-hour contracts, taking part in workfare schemes and squeezing farmers to the point where they have to outsource. Is it really a surprise we end up with horsemeat in our food?

It felt timely that yesterday that after watching a new play about the excesses of market capitalism 'If you don't dream they won't let you sleep', my friend Tom received an email from Tesco. In this email they declared that they are going to return to British sourced meat products. Putting aside my vegetarian smugness this should always have been the case.

What can we do? Firstly we need to re-connect with our local businesses, create more co-ops and community growing schemes. We need to challenge the neo liberal economic doctrine of de-regulation and austerity that punishes the poor. Targeting the large corporations who play master to our politicians.

We need to dig below the surface by carefully listening with focus to people in our communities. If we do this we will find many people are struggling due to the austerity squeeze. Through moving away from the notion of providing something in exchange for something else, we can begin to support those most in need to help and rebuild a kind society.

As for the politicians just when you hear them defend large corporations. Just ask yourself are these the people who really need help?

Thanks for listening and tonight dare to dream of a country where love and kindness are the things that matter not your material wealth.