Editorial

The myth of the clean corporate

Summary

If ‘squeaky clean’ goes without saying, then it is because it comes without saying. And things that come without saying have backstories. Good to read them.

First off, there are facts and there’s speculation. We are talking of Brandix here. Theories abound. Accusations abound. People are big on claims, short on substantiation.

Secondly, yes, Brandix, like all such outfits, does play an important role in the economic life of the country. What’s missing in that is this fact: WORKERS play the most important role in the economic life of any country. Flag that. Anyway, unfair blackballing can backfire on a lot of people.

That said, it is now evident that there was negligence at some level. There’s enough knowledge about Covid19 symptoms for anyone, from householder to health worker to HR executive to notice when something’s amiss and take immediate action by way of informing relevant authorities. Didn’t happen.
The best that Brandix could do now is to come clean so that blame is kept at logical dimensions. Acknowledge error and the matter will be laid to rest sooner. Shove things under the carpet and it will be the company that trips.

Right. Now let’s get to the myth. Some are uttering the preposterous claims, ‘respectable corporates will do no wrong.’ Respectable? Really? They do use that word when they toss a few coins for some trivial project which allows them to claim they are socially responsible. That’s part of the story. It’s called brand-building. Supposedly about being concerned about the world and people, but it’s really about caring: for itself.

Let’s un-frill the business. Corporates are about profit. PROFIT. Sure, they say ‘if we have to shut down, so many jobs will be lost!’ However, they will not say ‘if there are no workers, we won’t get any bucks.’ That part of the story they will not tell.

And it is well known that the pursuit of profit, historically and globally, has led not just to cruel exploitation of labor but wanton destruction of the environment.

But we believe or we are told to believe that corporate entities are all good. Their bosses are well-dressed. Well-dressed people don’t do the dirty. They are squeaky clean. The rogues are almost always depicted in a (half-raised) sarong and a vest. The ‘body’ is all hairy, there’s bad teeth, a pistol tucked in at the waist and a mask. That’s what ‘riffraff’ looks like.

Here’s some words/terms to sober the disbelievers: Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Bond Scam, Governor, the high priests of the yahapalana project and their friends, all ‘of the corporates, with the corporates and for the corporates.’

So let’s be fair on Brandix. There’s palpable negligence, nothing more. When it comes to the virus spread; we are not talking about other stuff here. Let us be even more fair by the people: let’s toss out the innocence about good two-shoes corporates.

If ‘squeaky clean’ goes without saying, then it is because it comes without saying. And things that come without saying have backstories. Good to read them.

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