In response to an FT article by Christian Oliver, Jim Brunsden and Jeevan Vasagar on 25th September 2015, entitled 'EU warned on devices at centre of emissions row two years ago'
"The inability of regulators across the EU to expose this deceit has shone a spotlight on the lobbying power of the European motor industry, which has made a huge gamble on diesel"
'Lobbying power' is such a great cop out. Typically this 'light' which is now shedding itself on the lobbying power is very selective in its 'shedding'. In matters like this, none of it ever seems to shed itself on senior officials, who, whether corrupt and/or terrified, are on the receiving end of this irresistible lobbying.
In short, either senior regulators, bureaucrats and politicians were bribed to keep quiet, or they were coerced with some sort of threat - to their livelihoods or their reputation. The NSA are not the only people with embarrassing details on public figures.
If anyone suggested to me that this corruption has never reached senior people in the regulators and the EU, I would suggest back to them that they are either incredibly naive, or a blatant liar.
I would also suggest that elements of the press have known about this, but that they too have kept quiet about it. Again, people are clearly being bribed or intimidated.
Despite what we tell ourselves in the west - we do not have free market capitalism - we have creeping 'corporatism' - the marriage of the corporation and the state with the obedience of the media. There is a word for that isn't there? In it's most recent and blatant historical manifestation, it reached its zenith in Italy and was called Fascism. That term causes outrage now, which is a useful state of affairs for the 'politicians' and 'lobbyists' who combine the power of big money and big government. Call it 'corporatism', call it 'Fred' for all I care - just don't call it free market capitalism, for if you do you play right into the hands of the people rigging the game.
The spotlight needs to shed some of itself on senior governmental figures and the media. If it doesn't, then that will simply be more of the same.
From Christofer Fjellner, a Swedish parliamentarian, we hear it is unacceptable for Brussels to pass the blame entirely to member states. From the FT: “The commission is responsible for seeing we have a control framework that works. We know there are companies that don’t give a damn about the rules”
But from a spokeswoman for the European Commission (according to Reuters this was Lucia Caudet) we get this, again from Reuters: "Let me be very clear: the Commission does not itself do the policing. This is done on the ground by Member State authorities."
Meanwhile Reuters is also citing this from: Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU commissioner responsible for industry: "Our message is clear: zero tolerance on fraud and rigorous compliance with EU rules. We need full disclosure and robust pollutant emissions tests in place."
Clearly the EU message is not clear, and clearly, the cliched claim of 'zero tolerance' is the usual guff we get from 'politicians' covering their backs and passing the buck. Anyone who has worked in the real world for longer than ten minutes will have observed that 'Zero tolerance' ranks alongside 'the cheque is in the post' as a contrarian indicator. Clearly the inflation that the ECB is desperately seeking has found it's way into the 'tolerance' market.
The crisis is not in emissions, that is a symptom. The cause is the incompetence and corruption in government and the crony capitalism it supports and enables. The breakdown of trust in government, which is thoroughly well deserved, is where the real crisis is emerging.