Philips boss Gerard Kleisterlee has a keen supporter in Tony Blair. Blair wants to channel far more of Europe’s budget to high-tech companies like Philips, and is campaigning against the “anomaly” that the EU spends 40% of its budget on farmers, who make up just 4% of the European workforce, at a time when China and India are presenting such a high-tech challenge in science and research. But as today’s Guardian points out, a lot farmers and some of their green supporters want more subsidy and protection, not less. And, besides, 70% of French farmers voted no in the referendum. What’s going on? The Guardian reckons that “rural life is of social, psychological and aesthetic importance to a vastly larger proportion of the continent’s population” than just the farmers. I reckon that’s just half the story. Many progressive, iPod-toting, globally-inclined people voted “no” to the European constitution because they judged a “yes” to be an endorsement of monopolistic technology and science. The hunger for subsidy of high-tech Europe (which includes agribusiness, by the way) is as boundless as its cultural vision is bleak. The high-tech Europe toted by Blair and Peter Mandelson is one which equates Europe’s future with the size of its technology effort.Their vision, like Philips’, is wide-screen but narrow-minded.
Wide-screen but narrow-minded
John Thackara2005-06-20T07:36:14+00:00June 20th, 2005|[no topic]|
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