One of the most sickening aspects of the invasion of US capital into the UK is the way that war is being normalised.
Some people are not aware, for example, that the 2011 Census in the UK was run by Lockheed Martin. They won the contract from the Office of National Statistics. Despite multiple requests under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act the Office of National Statistics (illegally) refused to tell this web site whether they had even considered the ethical implications of using an arms manufacturer to run a compulsory civil census. The EU directive on government contracting arrangements specifically permits national governments to cite morality or public policy as a reason not to award a contract to a particular supplier. So they certainly could have had this discussion and should have done.
Another example of this blending of business and war which is so characteristic of the American way; a US new media design agency based in the US has offices in England. Amongst their industry sectors they list healthcare, local government and Defence. The page on defence talks cheerily about how their systems help with battlefield simulation. If you work for them on say local government your IT work may well be transferred to their ‘defence’ clients. This blending of war business with civil business is the norm when US capital invades. We all know that US (and capitalist business generally) is “aggressive” in that it continually seeks to expand and find new markets so as to increase the returns on investment. It does not take a genius to see that when war is treated just the same as any other business it will be subject to the same drivers. For US capitalism war is not something which we do when all else fails. It is good business.
Recently the editor of this web site (and author of this post) was explaining to a recruitment consultant why he didn’t want to work for a company which sold video solutions for military surveillance. It is about war. She struggled to understand. ‘Why is that a problem’ she asked? In the end we agreed that war was “not my cup of tea”.
It seems that everyone in any kind of position of power in the UK (from the head of the Office of National Statistics to a recruitment consultant) has just rolled over backwards and accepted this. Why is that? Why is Britain a nation of spineless suckers with no values?