How far does transparency go? George Monbiot suggests Freedom of Information for the private sector

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I believe transparency can change a great deal.

I have major concerns about the abuse of limited liability.

I ask for more information from multinational corporations, in particular. Today George Monbiot takes the issue further in the Guardian, suggesting that Freedom of Information legislation should be extended to limited liability entities, saying:

Modern government could be interpreted as a device for projecting corporate power. Since the 1980s, in Britain, the US and other nations, the primary mission of governments has been to grant their sponsors in the private sector ever greater access to public money and public life.

There are several means by which they do so: the privatisation and outsourcing of public services; the stuffing of public committees with corporate executives; and the reshaping of laws and regulations to favour big business. In the UK, the Health and Social Care Act extends the corporate domain in ways unimaginable even five years ago.

With these increasing powers come diminishing obligations. Through repeated cycles of deregulation, governments release big business from its duty of care towards both people and the planet. While citizens are subject to ever more control — as the state extends surveillance and restricts our freedom to protest and assemble — companies are subject to ever less.

In this column I will make a proposal that sounds — at first — monstrous, but I hope to persuade you is both reasonable and necessary: that freedom of information laws should be extended to the private sector.

Read the article.

There's a lot of merit in what he says for PLCs, and maybe for all companies with public contracts. But for all companies without limit? I don't know, yet.

But this is a debate to be had.