The comment columns of online press articles about the Pfizer - AstroZeneca takeover battle are not filled with public concerns. One global corporate drug company that has grown fat on overcharges to the health service bids for another global corporate drug company that has grown fat on overcharges to the health service. What's to be excited about? Whether the takeover succeeds or not, most folk know that the overcharging will continue, the executives will still enjoy stupendous bonuses and remote, unaccountable global corporates outside national control and regulation will continue to dominate our lives. Indeed, the EU and US are just signing a secret deal (TTIP) that will give Pfizer the right to take our own democratically elected government to court if we refuse to buy their drugs.
Of course, both Pfizer and Astro-Zeneca are well represented amongst the 30,000-odd professional lobbyists in Brussels who devote all their efforts in ensuring that all new EU legislation favours their clients - the EU is driven by corporate lobbyists, not just the tens of thousands of persuaders with expense accounts to schmooze the Commission's unelected officials and bedazzle them with egregious and slick propaganda but the ERT - the European Round Table of top corporates, 40 or 50 who serve in rotation as a privileged Commission consultative body 'inside the circle' that was described by Jacques Delors as 'the driving force behind the internal market'. Miliband need not concern himself about job losses amongst the lobbyists; they're the one employment sector in Europe that has continued to grow throughout the recession.
Europe's voters are not deaf and blind to the takeover of their continent by the Corporates, even though most mainstream political parties (the supporters of Corporatism) are deliberately dumb on the subject. Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are as likely to raise Incest as an election issue as they are to mention curbing the power of the corporates. And it's this vacuum that has allowed Europe's alternative parties to look to electoral success next week; UKIP here, the FN in France, Geert Wilder's party AND the far-left Dutch Socialist party, both the Golden Dawn AND far-left Syriza in Greece, Beppo Grillo's party, all with no common policy between them except curbing the power of the corporates and breaking the stranglehold of an anti-democratic EU that's in the pocket of big business.