West, Michael: Australia’s march towards corporatocracy

Michael West

Australia’s march towards corporatocracy‘, The Conversation, 20 February 2017

Looks at government reliance on external consultants, compared with the Australian public service.

Such is the pervasive influence of corporations and consultants over government and the de-skilling of the public service (as evinced by the recent slew of IT debacles) that Australia appears headed down the road to full-blown corporatocracy.  If they rely further on external parties for expertise and policy advice, governments – both state and federal – are likely to be emasculated, entirely laid at the whim of private vested interests.

This comes at great cost to taxpayers as the reports consultants prepare could just as easily be done by public servants. But ‘independent’ reports are seen as having credibility. Multinational corporations are central to this development.

Should the world’s largest corporations continue to grow and the authority of governments and regulators continue to wither, ordinary citizens will bear the brunt of the consequences.

Over recent decades, rising inequality has accompanied the march towards corporatocracy. It is a relentless process of influence-peddling, complex financial transactions, cunning legal tweaks that evade public scrutiny and pernicious restructuring dressed up as “efficiencies” or “streamlining”.

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