Justified 

This is the title of a t.v. show about a US Marshall based in Lexington, Kentucky who was born and grew up in a close knit community in the Appalachian mountains. His unorthodox but Justified methods gets him suspended and then transferred. His superiors send him back to where he grew up to investigate bombings and murders suspected to have been carried by an extreme anti big government group. The thinking is that he could use his contacts and local knowledge to find out  who was behind these terrorist acts and the extent of the threat. 

 

What makes this series different from the usual run of the mill unorthodox detective with a dysfunctional private life is the setting and the context. This part of the US has been devastated by the action of big business. Huge mining companies came in and literally tore the top of mountains destroying the land and polluting the rivers. Made a quick profit and then when the market collapsed withdrew as quickly as they came. Leaving people without jobs or health cover and using their influence in Washington to avoid paying ex workers pensions. The area is also in the midst of a health care epidemic as a result of the aggressive marketing of prescription paint killers. The result is that most of the locals if not involved in low level criminality certainly believe an unofficial economy is Justified. 

 

This may be an extreme example of corporate exploitation and unethical behaviour by big business but you don’t have to go to the Appalachian mountains to appreciate the need for business to have a social responsibility to the communities they operate within. This is not about improving the corporate image by donations to a local charity or funding an exhibition at the museum or a Sports wash. 

 

Social responsibility means that businesses, in addition to maximising shareholder value, should act in a manner that benefits society. Socially responsible companies should adopt policies that promote the well-being of society and the environment while lessening negative impacts on them

 

Business is more than providing employment and profit - it’s the opposite of exploiting workers and local communities. We should expect big business to pay its fair share of taxes,  be a model employer and make a positive contribution to improving local communities. 

 

Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk 

 

 

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DT