Chapter six of George Monbiot’s book, Captive State, is entitled ‘The Fat Cats Directory’. The book is about the way big business has wormed its way into government, so that official decisions and policy reflects their interests, not those of Mr and Mrs British Public. In the ‘Fat Cats Directory’ he lists the businessmen and senior managers, who were rewarded with government posts by Tony Blair in May 1997. The list gives the name of the businessman, their ‘previous gluttony’ – a summary of their corporate careers, and ‘Subsequent Creamery’ – their posts in the British government. Those lists are:
Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge.–
Chairman of British Airways
– President of the Confederation of British Industry
– Put in charge of Gordon Brown’s energy tax review, and helped promote the government’s campaign against the Millennium Bug, even though his 1999 holiday brochures told customers that they wouldn’t be responsible for any problems caused by computers malfunctioning due to it.
President of the County Landowners’ Association
Owner of 3,000 Acres in Somerset
Opponent of rambling.
Chairman of the Countryside Agency, concerned with tackling the right to roam, social exclusion in rural areas, and someone, who has very definitely contravened the Countryside Agency’s rules on the maintenance of footpaths.
Lord Rogers of Riverside
Architect of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 on greenbelt land
Architect of Montevetro Tower, London’s most expensive building.
Chairman of the government’s Urban Task Force.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville
Chairman of J. Sainsbury Plc
Chairman of the Food Chain Group
Principal backer of biotech company Diatech
Funded construction of the Sainsbury Laboratory for research into genetic engineering
Replaced skilled jobs with unskilled shelf-stacking.
Minister in Government’s department of trade and industry
Minister with responsibility for science and technology
As science minister, led Bioindustry Trade Delegation to US
Ultimate control over Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Chairman of the government’s University for Industry.
Lord Simon of Highbury
Chairman of BP
Vice-Chairman of European Round Table of Industrialists
Under his direction, BP assisted the Colombian government in forcing peasants off their lands, and imprisoning, killing and torturing trade unionists. Gave money to the 16th Brigade, notorious for murder, kidnapping torture and rape.
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in Europe
One of the ministers responsible for implementing the ethical foreign policy.
Jack Cunningham MP
Adviser to agrochemical company Albright and Wilson (UK)
Member of Chemical Industries Association lobbying for deregulation of pesticides.
Secretary of State for Agriculture
Chair of Cabinet Committee on Biotechnology.
Sir Peter Davis
Chairman of Reed International, which made 900 workers unemployed.
Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Plc, company most responsible for miss-selling pensions.
Appointed by Treasury head of New Deal Task Force.
Director of Commercial Union, which possibly miss-sold 7,900 pensions.
On the board of the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority.
Lord De Ramsey
President of Country Landowners’ Association, sold part of his enormous Cambridgeshire estate for house building, and in doing so destroyed a pond of Great Crested Newts. Lobbies against regulatory burdens on agriculture. Grew genetically modified sugar beet on his land for Monsanto.
Chairman of Environmental Protection Agency.
Director of SmithKline Beecham (SB) Plc, which polluted streams in Sussex and Gloucestershire. Previously employed by BP and Schering Agrochemicals, part-owner of bio-tech company AgrEvo, which was publicly shamed for breach of environmental regulations for growth of GM crops.
Head of the Environment Agency’s Environmental Protection Directorate.
Managing director of ICI Katalco, responsible for a long list of plants polluting the environment with carcinogens. In 1999 it was listed as the worst polluting company in Europe, responsible for pouring 20 tonnes of hormone disrupting chemicals into the Tees. Also allowed 150 tonnes of chloroform to escape into groundwater at Runcorn. From 1996 to 1997 Friends of the Earth recorded 244 unauthorised pollution incidents from its Runcorn plant.
Regional General Manager, Environment Agency, North-West Region.
Non-executive director, Anglia Water. In 1999 it was prosecuted six times for pollution.
Director-General of Environmental Protection at the Department of the Environment.
Chairman and managing director of Ford UK. The company was a member until December 1999, of the Global Climate Coalition, lobbying against attempts to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
President, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which has lobbied against the Department of the Environment’s standards on ozone, lead and sulphur dioxide pollution from cars. Also lobbied against European directives against exhaust gases, removal of lead from petrol, and forcing motor manufacturers to install catalytic converters.
Chairman of the Government’s Cleaner Vehicles Task Force.
Chairman and Chief Executive of Shell UK, the British company with the most controversial environmental record due to pollution incidents in Britain and in the Niger Delta.
Executive director of BAA Plc, attempting to double size of Heathrow Airport.
President of the UK Offshore Operators Association, oil industry group responsible for lobbying against environmental regulations.
Chairman of the government’s Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment.
Chief executive of Celtic Energy, an open-cast mining corporation which destroyed the Selar Grasslands Site of Special Scientific Interest in Wales, wildflower habitat and home of extremely rare march fritillary butterfly.
Member of the Government’s Countryside Council for Wales.
Chief executive of Welsh utilities company Hyder, which sp0ent £42.2m on making people redundant, and only £700,000 on research and development. Opposed windfall tax on privatised utilities.
Chair of the New Deal Taskforce in Wales
Chief executive of Barclays Plc. Multimillionaire manager of company which made 21,000 redundant in ten years to 1997.
Chairman, Northern Foods Plc. Member of Hampel Committee on Corporate Governance. This was criticised by Margaret Beckett for failing to recommend ways for companies to regulate themselves.
Chair of the government’s Better Regulation Task Force.
Managing director for Corporate and External Affairs, Marks and Spencer.
Head of Better Regulation Taskforce’s Consumer Affairs Group, whose duties include consumer protection. This decided that voluntary measures and ‘consumer education’ were better than regulation.
Director of Central and Sheerwood plc, property owned and chaired by fraudster and pension raider Robert Maxwell. C&S merged with Robinson’s TransTec, to form Transfer Technology Plc. Company later collapsed.