“Democracy is not enough. We need to hold corporations to account,” says Billy Bragg. While democracy may or may not be enough, contra Bragg, in the City of London –where the Bank of England is located and Bragg is set to deliver a speech on accountability – democracy would make a huge difference not just to the residents of this rotten borough, but the entire world. It isn’t clear whether Bragg doesn’t know or doesn’t care that the 80% of City of London councillors are ‘elected’ on undemocratic business votes and that local residents have virtually no say in the running of the area. Bragg implies we already have democracy when we don’t. It’s also significant that the rotten borough Bragg’s being feted in is the power base from which the finance industry plots its course of state capture and tax havenry around the world. Establishing democracy in the City of London by – among other things – abolishing the business vote, would do much to curb the unchecked power of the wealthy elite’s financial lobby.
The ‘culture’ corporate funders like the City of London back impoverishes us and the world. Rather than understanding culture as a living and evolving part of our community, the City and its friends want to impose their vapid tastes on us. The aim is to displace living cultures with a dead one based on consumption, where the bottom line is coldly calculated in cash. For us what must always come first are the social relations that create cultures; in stark contrast the ‘City of Culture’ model is based on the commodification and reification of human activity. City of London artwashing is both an attempt to throw a cloak of respectability over the money-grabbing activities of the rich, and a continuation of these activities by transforming what were truly human activities and relations into economic calculations in which objects and balance sheets are valued over what really matters – the people!Read more "Boycott City of London Artwashing"
The City wants hot money looted by corrupt elites from outside the overdeveloped world to pour into London and other global centres, where it can be invested in property and thus hyper-inflate the housing market. As a result rents and mortgages get puffed up, and so do potential profits for financial capital as debt increases. As the last crash showed, the periodic failures of this system are often the means by which yet more wealth is transferred from the poor to the rich. The City and its offshoots such as The Housing & Finance Institute want London and many other urban centres blighted with ghost homes, since this forces up house prices and leads to ordinary people overspending on necessities and in debt.Read more "The Denizen & The Plutocracy’s Programme For Growing Inequality"