Wed, 17 Aug 2022 05:00:07 GMT
From Teesside to Plymouth, these ‘special economic zones’ are shrouded in secrecy – and exist solely to benefit big business
Democracy is the problem that capital is always striving to solve. To maintain its rates of profit, it seeks to drive down the taxes it must pay and annul the regulations that defend the living world, workers and consumers. This tends to be unpopular. Governments that permit beautiful places to be trashed, workers’ lives to be endangered and consumers to be conned might find themselves voted out of office. So fixes need to be found.
Political funding often does the job: research from the US shows how, generally, the party that attracts the most money wins. Distraction works pretty well, especially when it takes the form of culture wars. The billionaire press does a sterling job at misrepresenting our choices – to favour the very rich. But you can never be too careful. It’s safer, if possible, to bypass democracy altogether.
George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist