News of the buddy scheme that links government ministers with big business (More multinationals to get access to ministers, 19 January) will come as no surprise to those of us who have been researching corporate influence on policymaking in liberal democracies over the past few decades. This is more evidence of the emergence of a transnational capitalist class, in which those who own and control multinationals, alongside globalising politicians and officials, supported by most of the media, continue to push through a corporate, consumerist agenda. Taken with the likely lack of decisive action on the central recommendations of the Leveson inquiry, in which many more buddy relations were documented, this should be a wake-up call to all who care about our democratic way of life.
Emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economics
•?The twinning scheme for ministers and multinationals is a splendid idea. It makes a reality of the term “representative democracy”. I would like to suggest some agenda items for their meetings: tax management, the attractions of Caribbean islands, recipes for country suppers, opportunities in the health business, the polite way to address personal protection officers, internet pseudonyms, separation at birth, and board-level vacancies post-2015.
•?As mother of a brain-injured adult in a continuous struggle with the vagaries of the employment and support allowance rules and regulations (including two successful tribunal appeals only to be followed again by withdrawals of benefit and another appeal in prospect), I could do with a direct line of access to one of the Department for Work and Pensions ministers. Our telephone calls and letters to the lower reaches of the department get no meaningful response.