not challenging the status quo

Schools prepare students for the labor force not just by teaching them arithmetic, English, history and so on, but also by teaching them to follow instructions, adhere to a rigid time schedule, respect authority and tolerate boredom. Lessons in this 'hidden curriculum' are taught as much in the numerous school-student interactions not involving the official curriculum as in those interactions that do. The employer trusts the teaching professional to manage these interactions in such a way as to advance the proper values.

handing over human rights

Official thinking and action on human rights has been entrusted in the hands of triumphalist column writers, bored diplomats and rich international lawyers in New York and Geneva, people whose experience of human rights violations is confined to being served a bad bottle of wine. In the process, human rights have been turned from a discourse of rebellion and dissent into that of state legitimacy

colonial india: services to britain

India was an increasingly vital market for [Britain's] staple export, cotton goods; and it became so because in the first quarter of the nineteenth century British policy destroyed the local textile industry as a competitor with Lancashire. In the second place, India controlled the trade of the Far East through its export surplus with that area; the exports consisting largely of opium, a state monopoly which the British fostered systematically ... almost from the start.

Industry and Empire

the benefits of ttip

- The Swedish energy company Vattenfall is suing the German government for €3.7 billion over the country’s decision to phase out nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

- Canada was forced to revoke its ban on the fuel additive MMT under a challenge from US company Ethyl.

- Canada had to pay out $122 million to the Canadian paper company AbitibiBowater, which was using NAFTA rules to sue its own government from out of its office in the USA.

frackers at the heart of government

Lord Browne: former BP boss, chairman of Cuadrilla and lead "non-executive" across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall.

Baroness Hogg: non-executive for the Treasury, on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States.

Sam Laidlaw: non-executive to the Transport Department, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25 per cent stake in Cuadrilla's most promising shale gas prospect.

human rights gatekeepers

When Carla Del Ponte, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) began investigations into crimes by Kagame's forces... she was told by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, that the ICTR was political, and that there would be no tolerance for investigations into crimes committed by the winners in the war, only by the losers. When former FBI investigators were looking into the shooting down of the plane of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994, an event that helped set the genocide in motion...

collapsing the syrian government

The US, UK and France contributed to the collapse of governance [in Syria]… by funding, training and equipping ‘moderate’ rebels with little realistic consideration of with whom such funds, trained fighters and ‘non lethal’ aid (such as armoured vehicles, body armour, secure military radios and weapon sights) would end up ... Similarly, the West did nothing to discourage vast flows of funds and arms from their allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others towards rebel groups irrespective of, or perhaps because of, their extreme interpretations of Sunni Islam...


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