Sir (but not for much longer, apparently) Philip Green was the target of multi-party harangues in the House of Commons yesterday during a debate about whether he should retain his knighthood. The consensus of those who spoke is that he should lose the title.
Of course, the issuing of knighthoods to successful business people has always been part of the mutual back-scratching between government and the corporate world. It is a process wholly outside of reality. So, why a parliamentary debate about one such honour bestowed on the former owner of a bog-standard chain of high street stores?
Of course, the pantomime is a nice distraction. The current government likes distractions. “Look at them over there! Send your ire at them. Don’t monitor our destruction of the country.” However, the primary reason for MPs of all hues getting all flustered about Green is that they are desperate to manufacture an uncontested analysis that Green, and a few others, are the exception not the norm.
The defenders of exploitative capitalism and of financial gangsters know there is growing awareness of the corrupt relationship between government and corporate parasites. Therefore, isolating one or two such low-lifes – typically those who are too stupid to hide their exploitative practices – creates a theme whereby it is just a few vagabonds who are behaving badly, and that they will be dealt with via the law and/or removal of knighthoods. The invented analysis is that some capitalists are being exploitative rather than the system itself being intrinsically and necessarily exploitative.
The methodology used by filth like Philip Green and Mike Ashley, including side-stepping employment and health and safety law and theft of employee pension funds, etc. is the norm. Lies, fraud, law-breaking and tax-dodging are the norm. These are facets of capitalism in action, they are not isolated wrongdoing of a few outliers.