Tag Archives: George Monbiot

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Rightwing thinktanks run this government. But first, they had to capture the BBC

Broadcasting House in London. Photograph: Ian West/PA
Brōdcastñhǎs in Lundn. Foṭgraf: Iyn Wst/PA

Rîtwñ ʈnctancs run ɖs guvnmnt. Bt frst, ɖe hd t capćr ɖ BBC

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 5 October 2022)

Ẃ r repriznttivz v ɖz śêḍli fundd grūps trītd az imparśl obzrvrz on flagśp nyzprogramz?

George Monbiot

Jorj Monbio, Wnzde 5 Octobr 2022

Sm v it z īzi t unḍstand. Liz Trus, a holo vesl fild wɖ secndhand îdīaz bî ɖ darc-muni ʈnctancs, b’livd ɖer aśuṛnsz ɖt ɖ majic v an unreğletd marcit n taxcuts fr ɖ vri rić wd trigr an ic̣nomic būm. Ɖ ʈnctancs mst scersli hv b’livd ɖer luc: ɖt smwn so małbl cd bcm prîm̦inistr.

On ɖ de v ɖ minibujit, ɖe croud abt tecñ ovr ɖ guvnmnt. Ɖ Cnsrṿtiv Hom fǎndr, Tim Montgoṃri, rmarct ɖt ɖs wz “a masiv momnt” fr ɖ Insttyt v Ic̣nomic Aferz (IIA), ẃć hd “inkbetd Trus n Qarteñ jrñ ɖer rli yirz az MPz. Britn z nǎ ɖer l’boṛtri.” Ɖ hed v ɖ insttyt, Marc Litlwŭd, ɖen rītwītd hiz coment wɖ a súnglasz emoji.

Abv a scrīnśot v a Gardịn hedlîn ascñ “Hz Liz Trus handd pǎr ovr t ɖ xtrim niolibṛl ʈnctancs?”, ɖ IIA’z hed v public poḷsi, Máʈy Leś, rout “Yes”. Ɖ ic̣nomic dzastr inflictd bî Trus n Qarteñ hz bn dubd ɖ Tuftn Strīt Maṣcr, az ɖ grūps ɖt dvîzd ɖer poḷsiz r hedqortrd in n arnd Tuftn Strīt in Wsminstr.

I si ɖz ʈnctancs, ẃć rfyz t rvil ɖ sorsz v ɖer fundñ, az lobiists fr hidn inṭrests. W nǒ fṛm līcs n YS rports ɖt ɖz includ, in sm cesz, tbacofrmz, ôlfrmz n foṛn oḷgarcs. Bt ɖr z wn qsćn t ẃć nwn hz pṛvîdd a cmplit n saṭsfactri ansr.

De aftr de, yir aftr yir, ɖ BBC hz pṛvîdd ɖz xtrimists wɖ a masiv platform on its nyz n cuṛnt-aferz programz. Mejr BBC programz includñ Tde, Qsćntîm, Nyznît n Eni Qsćnz? r popyletd bî spīcrz fṛm ɖ Insttyt v Ic̣nomic Aferz, ɖ Adm Smiʈ Insttyt, ɖ Taxpeyrz’ Alayns, ɖ Sntr fr Poḷsistudiz n Poḷsi Xćenj. Ɖz grūps olso hapn t hv bn retd bî ɖ campen Hu Fundz Y? az amñ ɖ most opec v ol ɖoz it invstgetd.

Ẃn ɖ IIA cmplend t Ofcm abt ɖ brōdcastr Jemz Obrayn’z dscripśn v ɖ insttyt az a “hard-rît lobigrūp fr vstd inṭrests v big biznis, fosilfylz, tbaco, juncfūd” on hiz LBC śo, Ofcm rjctd its cmplent, rūlñ ɖt h hd nt dstortd ɖ facts. Yt ɖ cmbînd platform v ɖz darc-muni grūps on ɖ BBC z śrli mni tîmz bigr ɖn ɖt v eni uɖr non-parti grūpñ.

Ɖ BBC rūtīnli torćz its edtorịl gîdlînz, ẃć stet ɖt “w śd mc ćecs t istabliś ɖ cṛdnślz v ǎr cntribytrz n t avôd biyñ hoxt”. Ẃn ɖ IIA wz set p, wn v its fǎndrz instructd ɖt it śd oṗret az a fruntgrūp: “w śd gv no indceśn in ǎr litṛćr ɖt w r wrcñ t edycet ɖ public alñ srtn lînz”. Its maṇfesto, h sd, hd bn ritn in “ceji trmz”. It wz a hox fṛm ɖ ǎtset.

At frst, I ʈt ɖ probḷm wz nîīvti. Bt ɖen I sw ɖ BBC’z rsponsz t cmplents abt its fełr t istabliś ɖ cṛdnślz v its cntribytrz. Ɖe wr dfnsiv, iraśnl n contṛdictri. At wn pônt, ɖ BBC sd it wz’nt nesṣri t tel ɖ ōdịns ɖt a MP argywñ agnst clîṃt ax́n wz ɖ d’rectr v an ôlcumṗni, on ɖ grǎndz ɖt h hd dclerd ɖs inṭrest elsẃr. Sn afṭwdz it clemd ɖt ẃn gvñ ɖ hed v ɖ IIA a platform t argy agnst ny tbacoreğleśn, it wz’nt nesṣri t stet ɖt hiz orġnîześn hd bn fundd bî tbacocumṗniz, on ɖ grǎndz ɖt ɖ IIA hd nt dclerd ɖs inṭrest. F mî xpirịns z enʈñ t g bî, ɖ onli ifct v rezñ ɖz iśuz z t gt dīplatformd bî ɖ programz y criṭsîz.

In 2019, ɖ Obzrvr jrṇlist Cáṛl Cadwoḷdr spouc t ɖ ɖen BBC d’rectrjenṛl, Toni Hōl, abt ɖs bletnt disrigard v ɖ rūlz. In rspons, h ćenjd ɖ edtorịl gîdlînz t stet ɖt ʈnctancs’ afilieśnz n fundñ “śd b md aveḷbl t ɖ ōdịns, ẃn reḷvnt t ɖ contxt”. Ɖ poḷsi wz impḷmntd fr abt a fortnît, n hz bn disrigardd evr sins.

Nǎ ɖ sićueśn hz gn bynd satîr. Ɖz grūps r biyñ cōld upn bî ɖ BBC t coment on ɖ pformns v ɖs guvnmnt az f ɖe r imparśl obzrvrz, rɖr ɖn ɖ oʈrz v its poḷsiz.

I no longr b’liv ɖ BBC’z fełr t uphold its ǒn rūlz z an axidnt. I b’liv it’s a poḷsi. Bt ẃ? Apizmnt z olwz part v ɖ ansr: ɖ BBC constntli sīcs t pḷcet ɖ biłnerpres n Cnsrṿtiv guvnmnts. Mor importntli, it hz olwz bn a dfndr n pṛjectr v istabliśt pǎr.

Ɖ BBC’z ćer z Rićd Śarp. Mć hz bn md v Śarp’s dneśnz t ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti. Bt hiz rleśnśp wɖ ɖ darc-muni ʈnctancs cnsrnz m īvn mor. H wz a d’rectr v ɖ Sntr fr Poḷsistudiz (SPS), a darc-muni grūp fǎndd bî Marġrit Ʈaćr n Cīʈ Jozif. On ɖ de v Qarteñ’z minibujit, ɖ SPS clemd rsponsbiḷti fr sevṛl v hiz ci anǎnsmnts. Śarp’s faṃlifǎndeśn hz olso dnetd t ɖ Insttyt fr Poḷsi Rsrć, ẃć z mor trnspaṛnt abt its fundñ bt in trn sndz fundz t ɖ Sntr fr Poḷsistudiz n ɖ Taxpeyrz’ Alayns, anɖr opec lobigrūp ɖt hz trumṗtd its inflụns. Ɖ Taxpeyrz’ Alayns hz loñ campend t scrap ɖ BBC’z lîsnsfī. Ɖ BBC grants it, unlîc uɖr critics, a masiv amǎnt v ertîm.

I’m śr ɖr’z mor t ɖs stori ɖn w yt nǒ. It’s hard t b’liv hǎ frīli ɖ BBC brecs its ǒn rūlz t pṛmot n norṃlîz an xtrim niolibṛl cult. Niolibṛlizm z ɖ inṭlecćl justiḟceśn fr ɖ claswor wejd bî ɖ rić agnst ɖ pur. Ɖ BBC z part v ɖ tīm.

Instroduction to Ñspel

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Has Liz Truss handed power over to the extreme neoliberal thinktanks?

‘To a greater extent than any previous leader, Liz Truss’s politics have been shaped by organisations that call themselves thinktanks, but would be better described as lobbyists who refuse to reveal who funds them.’ Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
‘T a gretr xtnt ɖn eni prīvịs līdr, Liz Trus’z poḷtics hv bn śept bî orġnîześnz ɖt cōl ɖmslvz ʈnctancs, bt wd b betr dscrîbd az lobiists hu rfyz t rvil hu fundz ɖm.’ Foṭgraf: Anadolu Ejnsi/Geti Iṃjz

Hz Liz Trus handd pǎr ovr t ɖ xtrim niolibṛl ʈnctancs?

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 23 September 2022)

Ɖ prîm̦inistr z in hóc t a grūp v rîtwñ lobiists hu r ɖmslvz indétd t oḷgarcs n corṗreśnz

George Monbiot

Jorj Monbio, Frîde 23 Sptmbr 2022

Hu ćouz Liz Trus? Cnsrṿtiv-parti membrz, v cors. Hu r ɖe? Dispṛporśṇtli rić, ẃît, oldr men livñ in ɖ sǎʈ v Ñgḷnd. Bt ɖr r sm membrz huz profîl w hv no mīnz v nwñ. Ɖe d’nt liv in ɖ YC, hv nvr bn rezidnts or sitiznz hir n hv no rît t vot in ǎr ilex́nz. Astoṇśñli, sins 2018 ɖz foṛn membrz hv bn pmitd t dtrmin hu ɖ YC prîm̦inistr śd b.

Ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti’z rūlz v asośieśn r an opn invteśn t enwn hu wonts t mes wɖ ǎr poḷtics. Ɖr sīmz t b nʈñ t stop ejnts v anɖr guvnmnt fṛm rejisṭrñ az membrz wɖ Cnsrṿtivz Abrōd. Nr, it sīmz, z ɖr enʈñ t stop wn prsn (or wn bótsworm) aplayñ fr multipl membrśps. So mć fr ɖ parti v petrịtizm, sovṛnti n naśnl s’kṛti.

Ɖs opn invteśn, t juj fṛm ɖ litl inḟmeśn w cn glīn, hz yt t b fŭli xplôtd. Phps foṛn guvnmnts hv’nt yt riylîzd ẃt a goldn oṗtyṇti ɖ’v bn gvn. Phps ɖe simpli c’nt b’liv hǎ irisponsbl ɖ Tōriz r.

Bt w d’nt nīd t sjst a campen bî anɖr stet t si Trus az a cnd v Manćŭrịn Canddet, sbvrtñ ẃt rmenz v ǎr dmocṛsi on bhaf v undeṃcratic inṭrests. Az a rūl, ɖ mor lǎdli a poḷtiśn pṛclemz ɖer petrịtizm, ɖ mor lîcli ɖe r t act on bhaf v foṛn muni. Evri rīsnt Cnsrṿtiv prîm̦inistr hz plest ɖ inṭrests v trnznaśnl capitl abv ɖ inṭrests v ɖ neśn. Bt, t a gretr xtnt ɖn eni prīvịs līdr, Trus’z poḷtics hv bn śept bî orġnîześnz ɖt cōl ɖmslvz ʈnctancs, bt wd b betr dscrîbd az lobiists hu rfyz t rvil hu fundz ɖm. Nǎ ś hz bròt ɖm intu ɖ hart v guvnmnt.

Hr sīńr speśl advîzr, Ruʈ Portr, wz cḿṇceśnz d’rectr at ɖ Insttyt v Ic̣nomic Aferz (IIA), an xtrim niolibṛl lobigrūp. An invstgeśn bî ɖ dmocṛsi campen Trnzpaṛfî listd ɖ IIA az “hîli opec” abt its fundñsorsz. W nǒ fṛm a comḅneśn v līcs n YS fîlñz ɖt it hz a hisṭri v tecñ muni fṛm tbacocumṗniz n sins 1967 fṛm ɖ ôlcumṗni BP, n hz olso rsivd larj dsbrsmnts fṛm fǎndeśnz fundd bî YS biłnerz, sm v ẃć hv bn amñ ɖ mejr sponsrz v clîṃtsayns dnayl. Ẃn ś wrct at ɖ IIA, Portr cōld fr rdysñ hǎzñbeṇfit n ćîldbeṇfit, ćarjñ peśnts t yz ɖ NHS, cutñ oṿsìz ed n scrapñ grīn fundz.

Ś ɖen bcem hed v ic̣nomic n sośl poḷsi at Poḷsi Xćenj, ẃć wz olso listd bî Trnzpaṛfî az “hîli opec”. Poḷsi Xćenj z ɖ grūp ɖt (aftr Portr left) cōld fr a ny lw agnst Xtñśn Rbełn, ẃć bcem, in formr homsecṛtri Priti Ptél’z handz, ɖ P’līs, Crîm, Sntnsñ n Corts Act. W lêtr dscuvrd it hd rsivd $30,000 fṛm ɖ YS ôlcumṗni Xón.

Liz Trus, acordñ t ɖ hed v ɖ IIA, hz spocn at mor v its ivnts ɖn “eni uɖr poḷtiśn ovr ɖ past 12 yirz”. Tū v Trus’z mītñz wɖ ɖ orġnîześn wr dlitd fṛm ɖ ofiśl record, ɖen riinstetd aftr ɖ dliśnz cōzd a scandl.

Mor importntli, Trus wz ɖ ostnsbl fǎndr, in 2011, v ɖ fri-enṭprîz grūp v Cnsrṿtiv MPz. Ɖ grūp’s webpej wz rejistrd bî Ruʈ Portr, hu at ɖ tîm wrct fr ɖ IIA. Ɖ IIA orġnîzd ivnts fr ɖ grūp n s’plaid it wɖ mīdịbrīfñz. Twelv membrz v ɖ cuṛnt cabiṇt, includñ sevṛl v its most sīńr figrz, b’loñd t ɖ grūp. Tde, f y trî t opn its webpej, y r rīdirectd t ɖ Fri-Marcit Foṛm, ẃć cōlz itslf “a project v ɖ Insttyt v Ic̣nomic Aferz”.

Trus’z ćīf ic̣nomic advîzr z Máʈy Sncler, formrli ćīf xektiv v a similr lobiyñgrūp, ɖ Taxpeyrz’ Alayns. It z olso fundd obskrli bî foṛn donrz. Sncler rout a bc cōld Let Ɖm Īt Carbn, argywñ agnst ax́n t privnt clîṃt brecdǎn. It clemd ɖt: “Eqtorịl rījnz mt sufr, bt it z intîrli poṣbl ɖt ɖs wl b baḷnst ǎt bî eriaz lîc Grīnḷnd.” In uɖr wrdz, w cn tred ɖ livz v biłnz v ppl agnst ɖ prospects v sm v ɖ līst inhaḅtd plesz on Rʈ. It’s amñ ɖ most caḷs n ignṛnt stetmnts I’v evr sìn.

Trus’z inṭrim preșecṛtri, Alix Wîld, wz rsrć d’rectr at ɖ sem orġnîześn. Hr hlʈ advîzr, Caṛlîn Elsm, wz sīńr rsrćr at ɖ Sntr fr Poḷsistudiz, ẃć wz listd bî Trnzpaṛfî az – y gest it – “hîli opec”. Hr p’liticl secṛtri, Sofi Jarvis, wz hed v guvnmnt’ferz at ɖ Adm Smiʈ Insttyt (olso “hîli opec”), n fundd, amñ uɖrz, bî tbacocumṗniz n YS fǎndeśnz.

Ɖz grūps repriznt ɖ xtrim frinj v niolibṛlism. Ɖs mntenz ɖt hymn rleśnśps r intîrli trnzax́nl: w’r motvetd abv ol bî ɖ psyt v muni, ẃć śeps ǎr bhevyr. Yt, hlerịsli, ẃn y ćalinj ɖm abt ɖer fundñ, ɖe dnî ɖt ɖ muni ɖe rsiv inflụnsz ɖ pziśnz ɖe tec.

Fr decedz, poḷsidveḷpmnt on ɖ rît wz śept az foloz. Oḷgarcs n corṗreśnz fundd ɖ ʈnctancs. Ɖ ʈnctancs pṛpozd poḷsiz ɖt, bî śir cǒinsidns, sūtd ɖ inṭrests v oḷgarcs n corṗreśnz. Ɖ biłnerpres – olso ǒnd bî oḷgarcs – rportd ɖz poḷsipṛpozlz az briłnt insîts bî indipndnt orġnîześnz. Cnsrṿtiv fruntbnćrz ɖen sáitd ɖ prescuṿrij az evidns v public dmand: ɖ vôs v ɖ oḷgarcs wz trītd az ɖ vôs v ɖ ppl.

In hiz ōṭbîogṛfi Ʈnctanc, Madsn Piri, fǎndr v ɖ Adm Smiʈ Insttyt, xplend hǎ it wrct. Evri Saṭde, in a wînbar in Lstr Sqer, stāf fṛm ɖ Adm Smiʈ Insttyt n ɖ Insttyt v Ic̣nomic Aferz wd sit dǎn wɖ Cnsrṿtiv rsrćrz n līdŗaitrz n coḷmnists fṛm ɖ Tîmz n Teḷgraf t plan “straṭji fr ɖ wīc ahd” n “co-orḍnet ǎr activtiz t mc s mor ifctiv c’lectivli”. Ɖ Dêli Meil weid in t hlp ɖ lobiists rfîn ɖer arğmnts n enśur ɖr wz a s’portiv articl on its līdrpej evri tîm ɖe publiśt a rport.

Bt nǎ ɖ ʈnctancs d’nt nīd a rnd’bt rùt. Ɖe r no longr lobiyñ guvnmnt. Ɖe r ɖ guvnmnt. Liz Trus z ɖer canddet. T dfnd ɖ inṭrests v globl capitl, ś wl wej wor agnst eni comn indevr t impruv ǎr livz or pṛtct ɖ livñ planit. F Lebr z lcñ fr a ʈri-wrd slogn wɖ ẃć t fît ɖ nxt ilex́n, it cd d wrs ɖn “Mnd Ɖs Cuntri”.

Instroduction to Ñspel

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: Trussonomics is a fanatical, fantastical creed, and the last thing Britain needs

Illustration: Nate Kitch/The Guardian
Iḷstreśn: Nêt Cíć/Ɖ Gardịn

Trusonomics z a fnaticl, fantasticl crīd, n ɖ last ʈñ Britn nīdz

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 17 September 2022)

Jst ẃn w nīd viźnz v a betr wrld, ɖ prîm̦inistr z pṛclemñ ɖ toxic gospl v niolibṛlizm

George Monbiot

Jorj Monbio, Saṭde 17 Sptmbr 2022

Sn, ɖ foc̣s wl rtrn, n ɖ c’laps v mni ppl’z ic̣nomic prospects wl doṃnet wns mor. Az wintr aproćz, it wl bcm clir ɖt ǎr poḷtics z spectaklrli lacñ in ansrz.

Ẃ? Bcz ɖ doctrin dstroyñ ǎr cndiśn v lîf z ɖ doctrin Liz Trus hz promist t xtnd t ny xtrīmz. Ś z fnaticli dvotd t an îdioḷji mslidñli cōld Ʈać̣rizm or Reġnizm (az f ɖe invntd it), bt mor akṛtli dscrîbd az niolibṛlizm.

Ɖs doctrin insists ɖt poḷtics sbmits t “ɖ marcit”, ẃć mīnz, ẃn trnzletd, ɖt dmocṛsi mst sbmit t ɖ pǎr v muni. Eni impedimnt t ɖ akḿleśn v wlʈ – sć az public ǒnrśp, tax, reğleśn, tredyńnz n p’liticl protest – śd b torn dǎn, îɖr qcli n nôẓli or slǒli n stelʈ̇li. Ẃn cnsymrćôs z unincumbrd bî p’liticl inṭfiṛns, ɖ marcit z alaud t bcm a Gret Winowr, siftñ s intu a naćṛl hîrarci v winrz n luzrz.

Ɖ doctrin hz rlijs, qāzi-Calvnist aspects: in ɖ cñdm v ɖ marcit w cn si hu z dzrvñ n hu z undizrvñ ʈru ɖ gres bstoud upn ɖm bî ɖ god v muni. Eni poḷsi or protest ɖt sīcs t dsrupt ɖ formeśn v a naćṛl ordr v rić n pur z an unwoṛntd ste upn ɖ dvîn wil v ɖ inviẓbl hand.

Fr 40 yirz or so, niolibṛlizm in ɖ YC hz bn unćalinɉbl. Fr ɖ Cnsrṿtivz, ispeṣ́li ɖoz popyletñ ɖ cuṛnt cabiṇt, ɖ dogma canot b śecn bî mir evidns v harm, īvn ẃn ɖs includz ɖ desttyśn v miłnz n ɖ c’laps v Rʈ sistmz. Fr Lebr, it sets bǎnḍriz ɖt canot b crost, fr fir v puniśmnt bî ɖ biłnerpres. Az ǎr poḷtics hz trnd frɖr n frɖr twdz niolibṛlizm’z gliṭrñ srṭntiz, eni dīvieśn fṛm ɖ doctrin z acin t blasfmi. Bt ɖ cuntriz in ẃć ɖ îdioḷji hz bn most firsli aplaid r ɖoz ɖt hv sìn ɖ stīpist dclînz in bʈ ɖer ic̣nomic n sivic prospects.

Niolibṛlizm promist ɖt it wd jeṇret groʈ. Ɖ beṇfits v ɖs groʈ wd tricl fṛm ɖ rić t ɖ pur, inhansñ evrwn’z cndiśnz v lîf. Bt groʈ, fr betr or wrs, hz bn slowr gloḅli jrñ ɖ niolibṛl ira ɖn jrñ ɖ yirz bfr Ʈaćr, Regn n ɖer mni iṃtetrz cem t pǎr. N it hz bn oṿẃlmñli capćrd bî ɖ vri rić. Far fṛm enśurñ ɖt muni triclz dǎn, niolibṛlizm z ɖ pump ɖt śifts wlʈ fṛm ɖ pur t ɖ rić.

In ɖ YS, fr xampl, jrñ ɖ 1960z n rli 1970z, ɖ gretist beṇfiṣ́riz v ic̣nomic groʈ wr ɖ purist 20%. Bt fṛm 1980 onẉdz, ɖ prosīdz v groʈ wr trnsfŕd fṛm ɖ purist ppl t ɖ ultṛrić. Mīdịn incm in ɖ YS rouz at jst wn-ʈrd v ɖ ret v GDP groʈ, ẃl ɖ incm v ɖ rićist 1% rouz at ʈri tîmz ɖ ret. Bî cmparisn t ɖ prīniolibṛl trend, ɖ botm 90% lost $47tn btwn 1975 n 2018. Btwn 1990 n 2020, ɖ wlʈ v YS biłnerz, ajustd fr infleśn, incrist rufli twelvfold. Ɖr’z a similr stori in ɖ YC. V ɖ purist 10% v hǎsholdz, olmst haf nǎ hv mor déts ɖn asets.

Nn v ɖs z axdntl. Niolibṛlizm z sold t s az a mīnz v inhansñ frīdm n ćôs, bt in riaḷti it’s abt pǎr. It śifts tax n reğleśn fṛm ɖoz hu r rić n pǎrfl on t ppl hu r pur n wìc. Ɖ taxz ɖ wlʈi wns peid hv bn trnsfŕd t ɖoz wɖ far smōlr rzorsz.

Lc at Trus’z pṛpozl fr adresñ ɖ eṇjibilz crîsis. Instd v taxñ ɖ record profits v ôl n gas cumṗniz, ś’z yzñ ɖ taxz ɖ rest v s pe t alǎ ɖm t cīp rêcñ in monstṛs sumz. Īvn ɖs poḷsi, prizntd az a mīnz v hlpñ pur ppl wɖ ɖer bilz, wl, ẃn cmbînd wɖ ɖ ny cuts in naśnl inśuṛns, enśur ɖt ɖ rićist hǎsholdz rsiv twîs az mć hlp wɖ ɖer livñcosts az ɖ purist hǎsholdz.

Ɖ “plan fr groʈ” on ẃć Trus campend wz pyr niolibṛl gospl: “cut taxz nǎ, unśacl biznis fṛm brdnsm reğleśn, implimnt s’plîsîd rform … criet ny, lo-tax, lo-reğleśn ‘invstmntzonz’”. Hr ci advîzrz r drwn fṛm covrtli fundd niolibṛl ʈnctancs. Ś wl g az far az ilectṛl poḷtics alǎ in trnsfŕñ wlʈ fṛm ɖ pur t ɖ rić, atacñ tredyńnz n pṛtstrz, oṗnñ ɖ fludgets fr p’lūśn n grīnhǎs gasz n dsmemḅrñ ɖ NHS. Olrdi, hr guvnmnt hz flotd pṛpozlz t scrap Ñgḷnd’z anti-obiṣti meźrz n t rmuv ɖ cap on bancrz’ boṇsz, ɖ prṗs v ẃć z t dscurij ɖ reclis gamblz ɖt cōzd ɖ last fînanśl craś.

Aftr 40 yirz v ɖs xperimnt, w cn stet wɖ confidns ɖt ɖ ic̣nomic s’xes it pṛclemd z iluẓri. Its bai-nǎ-pe-lêtr īc̣nomics wrcs bî infletñ asetvalyz n hǎsholḑét n brnñ ʈru hymn rleśnśps, cndiśnz v implômnt n ɖ livñ wrld. Nǎ ɖt ɖr z litl mor t brn, Marġrit Ʈaćr’z fîr z rdyst t embrz, az z mć v ɖ wrld w ń. Yt Trus sīcs onli t briɖ lîf intu ɖ colz. N ɖs z ẃn it gts riyli denjṛs.

Az niolibṛlizm wejz wor on sośl s’kṛti n ɖ public sectr, impovṛśz miłnz n dstrôz cndiśnz v implômnt, its p’liticl consiqnsz cd b az dzastṛs az its ic̣nomic consiqnsz. In ɖ 30 yirz folowñ ɖ secnd wrldwor, olmst evrwn in poḷtics rec̣gnîzd ɖt privntñ ɖ rsrjns v fasizm mnt enśurñ evrwn’z nīdz wr met, ʈru a stroñ sośl seftinet n r’bust public srṿsz. Bt niolibṛlizm stript ɖz dfnsz awe, ẃl śutñ dǎn ćôs in ɖ nem v ćôs. Ʈaćr pṛclemd “ɖr z no oltrṇtiv” n Lebr apirz, evr sins, t hv agrìd. Wrs stl, ɖ dogma hz at ɖ sem tîm pṛmotd xtrim slf-inṭrest n īgosentriṣti. At its hart z a maʈ̇maticli imposbl promis: evrwn cn b Nu 1.

In ɖ gap btwn gret xpcteśnz n lo dlivri, hymilieśn n rzntmnt gro. In ɖz cndiśnz, it z īzi fr deṃgogz t blem ɖ fṛstreśn v ppl’z hops on scepgǒts: wimin, asîḷmsīcrz, Mŭzlimz, Juz, blac n brǎn ppl, dsebld ppl, LGBTQ ppl, yńnz, ɖ left, pṛtstrz. Hisṭri śoz ɖt ẃn p’liticl ćôs z lacñ n ppl si no prospect v rlif, ɖe bcm hîli ssptbl t ɖ transfr v blem. Ɖ transfr – atacñ refyjīz n f’mntñ culćrworz – z olrdi wel undr we. Trus’z tecnīcs v dstrax́n opn ɖ dor t fasizm. I no longr fînd it imposbl t si ɖ faŗît swormñ intu ɖ poḷsi vakm left bî Cnsrṿtiv indifṛns n Lebr tmidti, n tecñ pǎr in ɖs cuntri.

W nīd riyl, inspîrñ oltrṇtivz, poẓtiv viźnz v a betr wrld, rɖr ɖn cmpitñ modiḟceśnz v ɖ dzastṛs îdioḷji ɖt got s intu ɖs mes. W nīd hop.

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Fṛm Đ Gardịn: What price British democracy when a rich elite has the government’s ear?

Illustration: Bill Bragg
Iḷstreśn: Bil Brag

Ẃt prîs Britiś dmocṛsi ẃn a rić ilīt hz ɖ guvnmnt’s ir?

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 23 February 2022)

Ɖ inflụns v ultrrić Tori donrz z mor xtrim ɖn at eni tîm in livñ meṃri

George Monbiot

Jorj Monbio, Wnzde 23 Febrri 2022

Imajin ɖt a hostîl pǎr manijd t infltret ɖ YC’z guvnmnt. Imajin ɖt it set ǎt t dmoṛlîz n dbiḷtet ɖs cuntri, dstroyñ ǎr sns v comn prṗs, unḍmainñ ǎr stbiḷti n traśñ ɖ lîvz v mni v ǎr sitiznz.

Imajin ɖt it hd t oṗret b’lo ɖ redar, wɖn ɖ strucćrz v a nomiṇli deṃcratic sistm. Let’s folo ɖs ʈt xperimnt fr a momnt. Ẃt wd sć a hostîl fors set ǎt t d?

It wd sīc, frst v ol, t dstrô trust. Ɖ ppl it plantd in ɖ guvnmnt wd lî pṛlificli, ɖen lî abt ɖ lîz, untl w wr so disorịntd w no longr ń ẃt t b’liv. Ɖe wd damij ǎr sns v naśnl chīźn wɖ a bletnt disrigard fr ɖ rūlz ɖ rest v s mst folo. Ɖe wd sīc t enśur ɖt w lost feʈ in ɖ p’liticl sistm n sīst t b’liv ɖt ɖoz hu guvn s hv ǎr bst inṭrests at hart.

Ɖ hostîl pǎr wd olso set ǎt t dstrô, ʈru sutl n insidịs cuts, ǎr sośl infṛstrucćr: ɖ ifctiv dlivri v hlʈ, edyceśn, sośl, invîrnmntl n locl srṿsz. It wd alǎ ǎr fizicl infṛstrucćr – public trnsport, suwrij, public bildñz n uɖr isnśl srṿsz – t dtirịret untl, in sm cesz, it cem clos t c’laps.

It wd atac n unḍmain crūśl simblz v naśnl prîd, sć az ɖ NHS, ɖ BBC, ɖ Naśnl Trust n ɖ yṇvrṣtiz. It wd frɖr harm ǎr sns v neśnhd bî traśñ mć v ẃt w treźr n luv, sć az clīn rivrz, ɖ grīn blt n wel-pland sitiz.

It wd sǒ dviźn bî pṛmotñ iniqoḷti, ineḅlñ a prospṛs ilīt t akḿlet evr mor v ɖ cuntri’z wlʈ. Aftr ol, az Jorj Orwél rmarct jrñ ɖ secnd wrldwor, “ɖ ledi in ɖ Rolz-Rôs car z mor daṃjñ t mral ɖn a flīt v Goering’z bomñpleinz”.

It wd impid tredñ rleśnz wɖ ǎr nebrz n mejr ic̣nomic partnrz, in ɖ hop v cutñ s of fṛm ɖ wrld. It wd unḍmain pīs’grīmnts n impoz intrnl bordrz. It wd alǎ crîm t run rampnt, pmitñ an xploźn v devstetñ frōd n fnanśl crîmz sć az munilōnḍrñ ɖt frɖr harm ǎr inṭnaśnl standñ n ɖ consept v iqoḷti bfr ɖ lw.

Far fṛm stampñ ǎt proḟtirñ jrñ a naśnl crîsis, ɖ hostîl pǎr wd criet a speśl ćanl, ineḅlñ fevrd inṭrests t guzl public muni. It’s hard t ʈnc v a betr poḷsi fr dstroyñ trust in public lîf n ɖ sns ɖt w r ol in ɖs tgɖr.

Y cn si ẃr ɖs z gwñ. It smtmz sīmz t m ɖt f ɖs guvnmnt hd set ǎt t harm ǎr cuntri, it cd scersli hv dn a betr job. It sīmz pvrsli cmitd t ɖ dstrux́n v sivic lîf, naśnl prîd n a sns v b’loññ. Y cn mor or les pridict Tori poḷsi on eni iśu bî ascñ yrslf: “Ẃt’s ɖ most toxic n harmfl straṭji ɖe cd hop t gt awe wɖ?”

So ẃt z gwñ on? Hz a hostîl pǎr manijd t inḟltret ɖ YC guvnmnt? In a we, yes. Ɖt pǎr z oligarcic capitl.

At ɖ wīcend, ɖ Súnde Tîmz rportd ɖt ppl hu hv dnetd at līst £250,000 t ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti hv bn invîtd t jôn an “advîzri bōrd”, wɖ speśl axes t ɖ prîm̦inistr, cabiṇtministrz n sīńr guvnmnt’dvîzrz. Ɖe hv yzd ɖs axes t lobi fr ćenjz in guvnmntpoḷsi. Ɖ 14 îdnṭfaid membrz v ɖ grūp hv a cmbînd wlʈ v at līst £30bn, n hv dnetd £22m t ɖ Cnsrṿtivz. Amñ ɖm r proṗtitîcūnz, fnansịrz, tū ppl wɖ cnx́nz t ɖ Cremlin, a tbacomagnet n an inṭnet ontṛpṛnŕ cuṛntli fesñ trîl fr rep n sx́l asōlt (bʈ v ẃć h dnîz).

Ɖ grūp n its ajnda hd hiɖrtu bn cept sīcrit. Ɖ Súnde Tîmz rportñ wz best on a trov v līct dokmnts. Ɖ advîzrigrūp apirz t cros ɖ lîn ɖt seṗrets partibiznis fṛm guvnmntbiznis, ispeṣ́li az ɖ ofiśl fasiḷtetñ it z on ɖ public pêrol.

W hv olso bn tld ɖt ɖ Cnsrṿtiv parti z hlpñ its donrz t aplî fr ci guvnmntpziśnz, ẃć lcs lîc anɖr obvịs trnzgreśn v ɖ lîn. Anɖr trānś v līct dokmnts sjst ɖt oḟrñ a goldn ladr t prestijs public apôntmnts z yzd az līṿrij ẃn pswedñ ɖm t part wɖ ɖer muni.

P’liticl fundñ hz loñ bn a mīnz bî ẃć ɖ vri rić cn x’sîz inordṇt inflụns ovr public poḷsi. Bt ɖs inflụns nǎ sīmz t hv bcm crūdr n mor xtrim ɖn at eni tîm in livñ meṃri. Far fṛm sīcñ t cnten plūṭcratic pǎr, Boris Jonsn hops t strip ɖ Ilectṛl Cmiśn v its pǎrz t stop abysz v ɖ fundñsistm.

Big donrz r nt ɖ onli oligācs wɖ inordṇt inflụns ovr ɖs guvnmnt. Doṃnic Cumñz clemd ɖt Boris Jonsn rfŕd t ɖ Teḷgraf, ǒnd bî ɖ biłner Freḍric Barcli, az “mî riyl bos”. Rūṗt Mrdoc n hiz sīńr xektivz hv hld sevṛl prîṿt mītñz wɖ Jonsn n membrz v hiz cabiṇt.

R ɖ vri rić dlibṛtli trayñ t harm ǎr cuntri? In sm cesz, phps. Ɖr z a strand v capiṭlizm ɖt wonts t jeṇret crîsīz, ɖen sīz naśnl asets at fîrseil prîsz. Bt no sć intnśn z rqîrd t xplen ɖ jenṛl damij inflictd bî oligarcic capitl. It z simpli ɖt ɖ inṭrests v ɖ vri rić r nt ɖ sem az ɖ inṭrests v ɖ neśn. W śd nvr fget ẃt ɖ biłnerstocbrocr Pītr Hargrīvz, hu dnetd £3.2m t wn v ɖ līvcampenz, sd abt Brexit: “W wl gt ǎt ɖr n w wl bcm increḍbli s’xesfl bcz w wl b inṣkr agn. N inṣkṛti z fntastic.”

No rsponsbl guvnmnt wd alǎ ɖ dmandz v ɖ ultrrić t oṿrîd ɖ nīdz v ɖ neśn. Bt w hv no rsponsbl guvnmnt.

• Jorj Monbio z a Gardịn coḷmnist

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