FOI and Documentation

Keeping corporate tyrants at bay

Freedom of information…, George Monbiot, The Guardian:

Modern government could be interpreted as a device for projecting corporate power. Since the 1980s, in Britain, the US and other nations, the primary mission of governments has been to grant their sponsors in the private sector ever greater access to public money and public life.

There are several means by which they do so: the privatisation and outsourcing of public services; the stuffing of public committees with corporate executives; and the reshaping of laws and regulations to favour big business…

With these increasing powers come diminishing obligations. Through repeated cycles of deregulation, governments release big business from its duty of care towards both people and the planet. While citizens are subject to ever more control – as the state extends surveillance and restricts our freedom to protest and assemble – companies are subject to ever less.

In this column I will make a proposal that sounds – at first – monstrous, but I hope to persuade you is both reasonable and necessary: that freedom of information laws should be extended to the private sector…

8 replies »

  1. Both the Federal government and the BC government are a litany of, lies, deceit, thefts, corruption, dirty tactics, dirty politics, and both governments cheated to win. Campbell twice lied, to be re-elected for two different elections. At first we didn't know, Campbell is one of Harper's henchmen.

    Elections Canada have traced the robo-calls, right straight to Harper and his ranting and raving henchmen ministers.

    Harper placed henchman Boessenkool, in with the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. Liberal Van Dongen went over to the BC Conservatives. It's quite the lie, the so called BC Liberals finally found, to explain why they thieved the tax payers money, to pay for the two patsies, Basi/Virk legal fees. This last one is just as outrageous as all their other lies. Any legal fees over $100,000, is paid by the tax payers. What if Harper's legal fees are $20 million, do the tax payers pay all of the lieing, thieving politicians legal fees. What about Christy, if she has to hire a lawyer, for her part in Campbell's theft and corrupt sale of the BCR? Anyway, the BC Conservatives also support Harper, on the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tar tankers.

    It seems, they are all the one and same party, all Harper's Neo-Nazi Reformers.


  2. Norm I have been watching the disintrigation of democracy since NAFTA. NAFTA is a device to strip unions of power and regulate us all to 3rd world status while the elites enslave us. Time for a revolution. I wish I were younger. I would be in the front line.

    I belive the fellows who fought in WW2 would not like what we are witnessing now. If this had happened just after WW2 there surely would be a revolution. I can only hope the upcoming generation take matters into their hands and deal the elites a killing blow.


  3. Ron S.

    Don't worry about not being younger, old pissed off guys are perfect for the front line, I should know cuz I is one. Hell, we got little left to lose, I would gladly sacrifice a bit of the few years I have left to get rid of assholes like Harper, Christy, Gordo et. al. so that my children and grandchildren could live in a better world and if I were to get a terminal prognosis that I believed in and thus no sanctions really mattered, there are a few folks that should start not sleeping well at all.

    I swear, back in the sixties, and even the seventies, I was an optimist, from what I could see the world had been improving in so many ways, and then the foes of the New Deal and those who really hadn't wanted to REALLY stop Hitler started gaining ascendency once again and it has been down hill ever since. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and I've enjoyed a good life already and if my life could contribute to improving the future for my children and grandchildren, I'm on………the time for civility is rapidly becoming a memory.

    It was either Jean Paul Sartre or Albert Camus who said that he who was in the mood to commit suicide shouldn't be condemned, but admired for not using his freedom from worry about sanctions (what are they gonna do, execute you?) to smarten up some evil and greedy folks and make a mark to improve the world, or at least make an attempt. The other option is to do nothing and realize that the next dominant species might do a better job of stewardship of the planet.


  4. I don't think it is appropriate to imply that violence is the next or only step for people fed up with current government. The route to change requires bringing on side the 2/3 or so of Canadians who have reasonably open minds and unshakeable sympathy for a just and fair society.

    Participants in the USA's civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's may have wondered if non-violent resistance would ever change mainstream society. Same for the follower of Ghandi or other advocates for freedom around the world, In Canada, FN people and non-whites were systematically discriminated against and disrespected in this province during my younger days and they must have despaired about advancing toward just treatment. Yet the multi-cultural world of today's British Columbia is proof that change is possible, if not inevitable.

    If we truly respect equal rights and ethical government, we must argue for wide acceptance of the powerful principles we admire. People must be convinced by the power of words, not by threats or acts of violence.


  5. So true.
    Thirty years ago, a “radical” friend from Montreal was ranting against CEOs of corporations, saying they were the real criminals and they all needed to be jailed. He saw quite clearly what was going on and how our world would evolve.
    The CEOs sit in anonymity and governments make policy to serve the corporations. As regulations disappear, the CEOs make millions in bonuses and are not accountable to the general public.
    The recent move to criminalize protesters who wear masks needs to be mirrored by putting the CEOs faces in the public eye.
    Riot police are a faceless wall of visored helmets – either they take those helmets off and show their faces or protestors get issued the same helmets. Then what do we have? Civil war and military anarchy.
    Unmask everyone or arm us all.
    Thanks for the discussions Norm!


  6. A “principled” people are a just people.

    If we are to “rescue” Canadian society from the tyranny, of the current mess of our political system, the social contract between government, business and the population as a whole, must be renewed, with new vigor and insight. The 30 year experiment in “neo-libralism” has become a dismal failure. We now have what borders on a quasi-fascist Conservatism. Corpratism and Kleptocracy are rampant at both provincial and federal levels of government.

    A “balance” must be restored to the system, otherwise the “corporate subversion” will destroy the social order, in this country.


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