John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, is demanding that Vedanta be delisted from the London Stock Exchange. Really, that’s rather a Stalinist move, isn’t it? The police in India kill some people – that’s the state acting note – therefore private sector shareholders in Britain must be punished?
Well, yes, obviously so, if something wrong happens in India it must all be the fault of the capitalists in London, mustn’t it?
Tamil Nadu said on Thursday that it was seeking a permanent closure of a big copper smelter run by London-listed Vedanta Resources after 13 people died in protests demanding the closure of the plant on environmental grounds.
“The government’s position is very clear, it doesn’t want the plant to run,” said Sandeep Nanduri, the top official of the district where the plant is located, after a meeting with senior state government officials.
Well, that’s fine. Copper smelters can indeed pollute. I think it’s unlikely that this plant is but do have an open mind on the subject. Equally, I’m just fine with the government of Tamil Nadu enforcing environmental laws in its own region of sovereignty.
The state pollution control board disconnected electricity supply to the unit on Thursday morning.
However no one had been working at the Sterlite Copper subsidiary of Vedanta Resources for almost two months.
The company’s operational licence had expired in April and the company was waiting for the government to renew it.
Sure, we might think that a little more vim and vigour in the bureaucracy might be a good thing but still. Their gaff, their rules, right? But then:
Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called for Vedanta Resources to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange to “remove its cloak of respectability”, following the killing of protesters in police firing in Thoothukudi earlier this week.
“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 protesters against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action,” said John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor.
But it’s not Vedanta that has killed anyone, is it? It’s the police – presumably the police under the control of the government of Tamil Nadu. But, you know, McDonnell, it must be the capitalists to blame, right?
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, calls for Vedanta to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange:
“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 people protesting against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action. This is a major multinational company that for years has operated illegal mining concerns, trashing the environment and forcibly evicting local people. Campaigners and international NGOs like Amnesty International have accused Vedanta of a string of human rights and environmental abuses in India, Zambia and across the globe.
“After the massacre of the protestors this week, regulators must now take action. Vedanta must be immediately delisted from the London Stock Exchange to remove its cloak of respectability, restore confidence in the governance of the Stock Exchange, and prevent further reputational damage to London’s financial markets from this rogue corporation.”
It’s not the corporation doing it. But it should be those who own the corporation, the shareholders, punished as a result.
Stalinism’s almost too polite for this, isn’t it? Then again, he has insisted that he’d like to destroy capitalism, hasn’t he?