Viewing posts tagged george monbiot

Glug Glug Glug

Read this.  Please.

Want a taster?  Here are some sentences from the article:

Almost as soon as it took office, this government appointed a task force to investigate farming rules. Its chairman was the former director general of the National Farmers' Union.
...

Thanks to a wholesale change in the way the land is cultivated, at 38% of the sites the researchers investigated, the water – instead of percolating into the ground – is now pouring off the fields.
...

The crop which causes most floods and does most damage to soils is the only one which is completely unregulated.
...

We pay £3.6bn a year for the privilege of having our wildlife exterminated, our hills grazed bare, our rivers polluted and our sitting rooms flooded.

I propose a new fly-on-the-wall docudrama: 'Benefit Farm', detailing how the feckless, greedy, welfare-guzzling farmers are to blame for "Sunken Britain".

Cottage Industry vs. the Spectacular Tentacular Draculas

According to Miles and Wood, Barry Letts' eco views were very much influnced (as were many people's) by a text called Blueprint for Survival, co-written by Edward Goldsmith (now deceased) and published in the magazine he founded, The Ecologist, in 1972.  It was supported by many scientists and was subsequently released in book form to became a best-seller.  Miles and Wood identify it as the real-world model for Sir Charles Grover's Last Chance for Man in 'Invasion of the Dinosaurs'.  There is indeed something of Goldsmith's politics (small-c conservative; anti-industrial society) in the fictional Grover, who is simultaneously an eco-radical and an establishment elitist who wishes to turn the clock back (literally) to a kind of enlightened feudalism.  George Monbiot has described Goldsmith's politics as "a curious mixture of radical and reactionary", saying that he "has advocated the enforced separation of Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda and Protestants and Catholics in Ulster, on the grounds that they constitute 'distinct ethnic groups' and are thus culturally incapable of co-habitation".  According to Monbiot, Goldsmith

assumes that culture is a rigid, immutable thing: that different communities can live only within the boxes nature has ...

Life and Taxes

Here is George Monbiot, on possibly the most scandalous domestic story of the year (which, in the age of the ConDems, is really saying something).  Please read this.  In a sane country, this issue would trigger an Egypt-style revolt.  It's essentially a government conspiracy to help massive corporations and banks (you remember how helpful they've been to the world in recent years?) defraud the country of perhaps unprecedentedly vast amounts of money.  It may even amount to the effective abolition of taxation upon the wealthiest organisations in society.

Here's a sample:
At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don't get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil plc pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match our rate of 28%. But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches.

Foreign means anywhere. If these ...

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