Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Corporate murder

I was relieved to hear David Cameron extolling the virtues of privatisation, the free market economy and minimal interference from the state at the Conservative City Circle drinks party last night. I hadn't realised that his father was the fourth generation of his family to have worked at Panmure Gordon. I was talking at Theresa Villiers who said she was on a running whip and may have to dash back at any moment to the HoC to vote on corporate murder. "Is that something like Farepak?" I quipped. My attempt at humour was lost on her. The reply came, "No, it's when, for example, a railway company runs over an employee..."

3 Comments:

Blogger Serf said...

Corporate Murder?????

Even the mere concept is an assault on our justice system. Only individuals can be responsible for crime. Companies by their very nature are incapable of killing anyone.

11:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Whisperer - are you being ironic ??

I suggest you read 'The Corporation' by Joel Bakan. Whilst it has brought many benefits, the whole point of business is that companies have no ethics, morals etc. as they are distinct profit-making entities distinct from the people who work there. So they HAVE to have barriers and boundaries to their behaviour, in the same way one has to give children some freedom, but must set boundaries on where they can go. Unless one is happy for them to wander into the road to play in the traffic.

The complete inability of Nulabour to grasp this has led to the failures of PFI and the very lack of corporate governance which has given rise to the need for 'corporate manslaughter' legislation. Not that anyone will ever go to jail for it.

If you are all in favour of removing the barriers on capitalism, you may wish to do a post on why the US of A found it necessary to bring in the draconian 'Sarbanes-Oxley' legislation when companies like Enron and Global Crossing behaved like 'anti-social teenage tearaways'...

The irony of your comment about minimal interference from the state, while at the same time bemoaning the Equitable Life fiasco is not lost on me. You are clearly a very intelligent man, and more importantly a wise one, so I do hope that the 'lightbulb' will click for you .

8:49 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Thank yoy for that book recommendation: I'll get a copy. The difference between US and UK companies used to be that in the UK bankruptcy was a stigma so if a company went bankrupt, the directors of that company were not allowed to become directors of another UK company. In the US, on the other hand, entrepreneurs are encouraged so if your company goes bankrupt you can simply close it and set up another company with no stigma. Labour has changed the law in this country to the US model which to my mind is a mistake. I think directors must be accountable and barring them from future directorships is a good stick. (PS I'm not a man)

8:30 am  

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