Spin. A modern communication tool used by business and government. In a bygone era, we had a bovine reference for that sort of nonsense but I digress.
Spin spurs crisis. Scare people to death and they will relent to authority.
The 2008 financial crisis is a perfect example. Yes, we live in challenging times.
Now more than ever, we are in desperate need of leadership that restores balance and fairness. Money matters. People matter more.
All around the free world, the corporate model of governance is taking root. And people are suffering. The race to the bottom is littered with innocent victims who played by the rules and have either lost or are on the verge of losing everything.
The McGuinty government brought in a banker to identify solutions to problems caused by…bankers. To add insult to injury, his government, acting on my public recommendation, announced the formation of a Jobs and Prosperity Council, then handed the reigns over to yet another Bay Street banker, because as we all know bankers care about people.
It doesn’t stop there. McGuinty introduced a monstrous piece of legislation, Bill 55, designed to sell our province to the highest bidder. “Trust me” he says. “Ornge you glad I’m Premier”.
Meanwhile, the rich get richer and the middle class evaporates. Governments and bankers drone on about deficits, even though they are created by governments and bankers. How? Taxes are a percentage of our wages. Stagnant wages, supported by the corporate elite, means stagnant tax revenue. This is what big corporations want. That’s their operating principle. Starve the beast. Buy the beast and the rich get richer. Poor workers are not empowered consumers. With no real disposable income other than credit-based money, our global economic malaise drags on.
Financial deficits are serious but there is something more alarming happening. Omnibus bills. Back to work legislation. G20 police misconduct. Knee jerk legislation to limit the right to protest. All designed to chill the right to speak out against government and the new bottom-line mentality.
When organized labour steps in to protect the hard-fought rights of previous generations, spin doctors attack them with the old “union bosses” reference.
Let’s be clear. The labour movement is the last frontier protecting a viable middle class. Indisputably, as union density shrinks, income disparity rises. The connection is historical and undeniable.
I find irony in corporate types counting their seven-figure salary and denouncing unions as greedy and self-interested. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we want for ourselves, we want for all. A decent job. A productive life. Hope. And the freedom to speak up when injustice prevails. Can CEOs say the same? Can bankers?
It is time to separate the state from the iron grip of the business elite. Corporations have no business in government. And that’s no bull.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President