Posted by keith on February 9th, 2009
I already love “What’s Going On?” by the political comedian Mark Steel, and I’ve only just started reading it, having spotted it earlier today in my local library (I’m sure Mark will approve of being borrowed rather than bought). Like Mark Thomas’ magnificent “As Used On The Famous Nelson Mandela“, Mark Steel’s book shows just how important comedians are in getting important messages to large numbers of people – something I could only dream of being capable of.
The quotation I have picked is beautifully pertinant to The Unsuitablog:
There’s nothing especially novel about large companies eagerly making vast profits with little regard for the consequences; what is new, is that it appears to be universally accepted by all major parties that it can’t be any different. The world must be run by big business. We can’t confront them, we must involve them. For example, if Tesco are able to buy computers for schools in return for their mass advertising campaign inside classrooms, why wouldn’t it be possible to compel the company to do the same without giving them the right to plaster their logo at the eyeline of the nation’s children? It wouldn’t be that unfair, would it, if the tax system were such that the major supermarkets had to cough up a portion of their profits (made from the parents of those children) towards education.
Similarly, throughout the debates on global warming, every initiative seems to include ‘bringing business onside’, with complex formulas to try to persuade big corporations not to continue destroying the planet. No one suggests this with less serious crimes. Imagine if someone announced, ‘The important point in dealing with street crime is coming up with a plan that can bring the muggers on board.’
Take note Sierra Club, WWF, Nature Conservancy and their ilk: just because business is the biggest cause of environmental destruction doesn’t mean you have to involve them in the solutions. Do you really think businesses give a fig about the state of the planet when (to quote Mark Steel again) ‘success’ is another word for ‘profit’?