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Our Crack Snapper

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The trouble with businessmen found with their trousers around their ankles, or not paying their taxes, or caught 'bantering' in a sexist and/or racist way, is that they think this kind of behaviour doesn't matter and won't be punished. With the words of Henry Ford or Ayn Rand heating up their thoughts and actions everything becomes permissible in business. And if everything is permissible in business, then, hell, why can't everything be permissible outside business? Which seems utterly deluded until one understands that these arrogant men are surrounded by male and, unaccountably, female enablers who, like the three wise monkeys, neither see nor hear abuse, thus never speak of it. And when said abuse is committed against people who have no power they may as well live in medieval times when lords of the manor were free to do anything they wanted with their serfs and slaves. The human wreckage is just collateral damage. History has always allowed these powerful and rich men to ‘play hard’ because society has given them permission. Of course with the advent of all forms of social media and the ubiquitous smart phone these people’s bad behaviour can now be photo’d, taped, filmed and broadcast within seconds of it happening. #MeToo has also had an effect and, hopefully, will continue to help modify and/or change men’s professional and personal behaviour. One step forward. But two steps back as businessmen like Donald Trump and Arron Banks have proven in 2018. Teflon coated this pair have gone about their business with a freewheeling contempt for anyone who has got in their way. Sure, they’ve been threatened with the law, big government and public approbation but so far remain well ahead of any meaningful comeuppance and have continued to get exactly what they want. In Arron Banks’ case Brexit. In Donald Trump’s case a nation still well in his pocket. And they’ve so far proved that their business interests can intersect with government policy in a way that’s both profitable and self-aggrandizing. And like most businessmen, with their politics well to the right of centre, both have ridden the wave of populist right-wingers suddenly making political moves throughout the world in 2018. Bolsonaro, Putin and Alternative for Germany are all supported and propped up by the kind of businessmen who see an opportunity for themselves to cut public services, increase privatisation, pay less taxes and become even richer. Extreme right-wingers don’t exist in a vacuum, they’re a mirror of society. What makes them dangerous is when vested business interests become involved and push the message beyond the usual suspects. When there’s money to be made businessmen suddenly find that they’re more right-wing than they imagined. The move from knowingly exploiting and enslaving one’s workforce to exploiting and enslaving a whole country is a relatively easy one to make. So, when someone mentions there’s yet another right-wing leader somewhere in the world, a group of businessmen won’t be far behind.