Writing on the wall

Submitted by Anon on 18 August, 2003 - 6:55

  • Limits of No Logo
  • No choice
  • Poor old women?
  • NTL Fat Cat League
  • Arms sting - dicey
  • Arnie terminated
  • Dictator-mail



I have mixed feelings about the following:

"McDonald's has won a poll run by www.adbusters.org for the most infamous multinational corporation. The burger giant, which has suffered 14 consecutive months of sales decline, got 5524 votes for worst worldwide corporate exploiter and despoiler. Runners-up were ExxonMobil, Nike, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and Disney, followed by Coca-Cola, Gap, AOL Time Warner, and Starbucks."

Adidas, Reebok, and Pepsico, rivals of Nike and Coca-Cola respectively, managed to keep off the top of the list. But these firms are just as anti-union and exploitative as their more famous rivals. With the exception of the oil giant (and are Shell, BP, etc any better?) what the winners have in common is heavily hyped consumer lifestyle advertising. So it's a revolt against the style rather than content, and focuses on consumption rather than the exploitation of the production process. Still, the fact that thousands can get angry enough to vote in this poll means that they are thinking about what goes on behind the labels.
www.nosweat.org.uk

No choice

European Commission statistics have suggested foreign investment into Britain has collapsed since the launch of the euro. The UK share of foreign investment from outside the European Union fell from 48 per cent of the total in 1998 - the year before the creation of the euro - to 25 per cent in 2001. That still leaves the UK receiving more foreign investment than any other country in the EU.

Another survey published in June by Ernst & Young, the accountancy firm, reported that Britain was the location for 19 per cent of the inward investment projects coming into Europe in 2002.

The US remains by far the largest investor in the UK, with 40 per cent of total projects and 50 per cent of jobs created.

Which seems to suggest that opposing the euro as a project of "bosses' Europe" misses the point. The choice is between two trade blocs: the euro-zone or US, both bosses' projects. For workers that's no real choice.

Poor old women?

Generations of women could be facing poverty in old age because they cannot afford to save for their retirement, a study has found. Only 30% of women say they are confident they have a good pension and are saving enough, compared to 46% of men, according to the research from Age Concern and the Fawcett Society.

Married female pensioners receive just a third of the income of their partner, the research found.

According to government figures, only 49% of women qualify for the full state pension, compared with 92% of men.

NTL Fat Cat League

Not a worry for some. Like NTL's Barclay Knapp. NTL, started in 1993, rose to the UK's largest cable operator at the millennium. But the stock market bubble burst, leaving NTL without the financial backing to service a debt burden that had risen to $17bn by the time it filed for bankruptcy last May. Barclay Knapp, who led the cable company into bankruptcy, stood down with a $2.1m (£1.3m) payoff. Nice work if you can get it.

Arms sting - dicey

"A British arms dealer was arrested in New Jersey yesterday for trying to sell a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile to a buyer he thought was a terrorist but who turned out to be an FBI agent conducting a sting operation."

Shocking stuff. In a model of anti-terrorist co-operation, a potential atrocity was averted. As a concerned citizen, I would like to pass on the whereabouts of another nest of these evil-doers. September 9 - 12th, Excel Exhibition Centre, Docklands, hundreds of these death-dealers will be plying their filthy trade. Time to set up a sting.

Arnie Terminated

From the real death-merchants to their inflated plastic replicas. Because he is standing for Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger's films may not be shown on local TV stations in California in the run-up to elections. Showing his films could break rules regarding equal air time for candidates on local TV. Almost makes the terrifying prospect of him being elected worth contemplating. Nominations please for 'celebs to be silenced' for London Mayor. Oh dear, he's already running.

Dictator-mail

Hot off the mark, those deposed dictator scammers. I've reported before about receiving 'offers you can't refuse' from the alleged relatives of dead African dictators wanting to repatriate their purloined millions. I was impressed with the speed with which "Charles Taylor's solicitor" contacted me to look after his millions only hours after the Liberian chief stepped down. I'm eagerly awaiting the one that begins:

"My name is Catherine Blair and my dad, before the Hutton enquiry …"

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