Recently, CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck declared in an interview that he believes it is an ‘extreme view’ to regard access to water as a Human Right, and that we should instead hand our water supplies over to private companies. It’s quite hard for me, if I’m honest, to find a suitable expression for this level of sociopathic stupidity.
Only the most utterly ignorant, greedy shithusk of a being would think that something like this is a good idea. I exclude the word ‘human’ from that sentence, because presumably you aren’t one if you want to control a substance that is absolutely essential for our survival to make bigger numbers on a computer screen. Being human requires some degree of empathy, and apparently Pete has none.
However, anyone familiar with Nestles’ ‘antics’, if I can use so light a word to describe them, may not be entirely surprised. We are talking about a company who has no fear of causing death and suffering on huge scales for their sacred profit margins. You might remember the baby formula scandal from the late 1970’s for example, which still runs on to this day to some degree, and their use of palm oil contractors who destroy rainforests, drive people off their lands, and kill off endangered species as a result.
But back to the issue at hand. I’d now like to explain why water is obviously a Human Right, and why Mr Brabeck is such a prick. Actually, it’s so simple that I’m sure a 3 year old would grasp the concept without question. Here is the definition of Human Rights from the American Heritage Dictionary:
‘The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.’
There are lots of definitions, some more verbose, some more specific, but they all imply the same thing. I chose this one because it highlights a key point – ‘the right to life’. Perhaps Mr Brabeck, while staring intently at his computer monitor and masturbating over this months sales figures, is not aware of the fact that all human beings (even him – if he is one) are composed of around 70% water.
If we don’t have access to food or water, it’s dehydration that will kill us first, so it’s fairly obvious to anyone with even a modicum of a brain that this must therefore qualify as part of our ‘right to life’, thus being a key component of.. wait for it.. HUMAN RIGHTS. You simply cannot argue that the right to water is not a human right.
As much fun as it is to throw insults at Mr Brabeck and call him stupid, the unsettling truth, and in a way the real issue, is that actually all he is doing is following a preset precedent. Food is already privatised, medical care is privatised (although not entirely, yet, depending where you live), elements of education are privatised.
The problem is that we have already accepted many elements of our Human Rights being controlled by single minded corporations. For these people, the next step is water, because it’s a potential market. If you accept the above argument about water though, then you have to start applying the same argument to all the basic elements of Human Rights, in my mind.
Denying people the right to eat, or the right to shelter, or medical care is really equally as idiotic as what Petey is suggesting, so while he is certainly a valid target for those of us with a brain, we shouldn’t forget the bigger picture. He is, unfortunately, not alone.
Here is a list of of the items I noted in the month of Jan 2013.
Ask yourself how ethical or trustworthy is business today.
(1)The Irish Times – Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Steel plant pollution and bribery scandal engulfs Italians
The basic accusation levelled at the Riva family is that, over a 17-year period, pollution from its Taranto plant has poisoned not only Ilva workers and local people but also the entire eco-system of the surrounding region. The company is also accused of bribing local officials
Guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 January 2013 14.09 GMT
France shaken by fresh scandal over weight-loss drug linked to deaths
Drug company boss faces manslaughter investigation as victims complain of delays in compensation
Telegraph Mon 7th Jan
Rolls in China bribery allegations
Aerospace engine maker Rolls Royce is facing allegations it bribed a Chinese airline executive to secure deals worth a total of $2bn (£1.24bn), according to reports.
Telegraph 7th jan
Rothschild demands action from Bumi director
Financier Nat Rothschild has told Bumi’s senior independent director Sir Julian Horn-Smith he must take action over the alleged financial misdemeanours at the coal miner or consider quitting the board.
(5) Telegraph 9th Jan
UBS fires eighteen over Libor-rigging scandal
Just eighteen UBS staff were sacked over the Libor-rigging scandal that saw the bank hand over $1.5bn (£940m) to regulators, the second-largest fine ever paid by a bank.
(6) Telegraph 9th of Jan
Foxconn reviews China deals as it probes bribe claims
Apple’s technology provider Foxconn has revealed it could pull acquisitions in China over allegations its managers in the country solicited bribes from local suppliers.
As well as suffering from a string of suicides Foxconn was also exposed last year as employing children as young as 14 on its assembly lines.
Wednesday 09 January 2013 Daily Telegraph
Former HBOS managers charged in £35m fraud investigation
Two former senior managers at HBOS were among eight people charged on Tuesday night in connection with an alleged £35m fraud.
(8) The Telegraph 9th Jan
US Interior Department launches probe into Shell’s Arctic oil drilling
The US Interior Department has launched a “high-level” review of Shell’s mishap-hit 2012 Arctic drilling campaign, throwing the company’s plans to explore for oil in the region further into doubt.
Daily Mail-20 th Jan
Exposed: The regime of fear inside Barclay s – and how the boss lied and shredded the evidence
British executive at £184bn broking arm hid damning report on bullying
Intimidated staff forced to flout rules in pursuit of ‘revenue at all costs’
Huge blow to Barclay’s reputation as new CEO struggles to relaunch bank
(10) The Independent
The Swiss food giant Nestlé was ordered to pay SFr 27,000 (£18,700) compensation after being found liable in a civil case over the secret infiltration of an activist group that had campaigned against it.
A court ruled last week in favour of anti-globalisation group Attac, following revelations that Nestlé had hired the Swiss security company Securitas AG to infiltrate its meetings.
A spokesman for Nestlé noted the judge’s decision “with disappointment” and reiterated “that incitement to infiltration is against Nestlé’s corporate business principles”.
Tomorrow: Can you Trust big business? Walmart And Company Bribing Their Way Through Latin America –