Tuesday, 14 January 2014
How Corrupt Is Britain?
There has been a shocked reaction to the news today that organised crime has infiltrated and corrupted many government agencies including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service. There was even more shock when it was revealed that some 4,000 police officers have been disciplined or forced to resign because of criminal activities. It is tempting to ask what has gone wrong, but the truth is that Britain has always been corrupt to some extent. It is also tempting to conclude that powerful organised crime syndicates are to blame, but the truth is that they would get no where if those in power weren't prepared to be corrupted. The main culprit is greed, the "political principle" that the Tories have been so eager to push for the last thirty-five years. So eager in fact that they have legalised the theft of public assets, have regularised the taking of bribes through party "donations" and have made it acceptable to vilify and bully the most vulnerable in our society to fund tax cuts for themselves. Greed and corruption go hand-in-hand and it is no surprise that Britain is no less corrupt than any other third world country. What is surprising is that, despite the evidence of corruption thrust into their faces on a daily basis, the British public are genuinely shocked. They shouldn't be since they have consistently voted in favour of it since 1979. Greed is not good. Greed is not a political principle. Greed is not an engine of growth, it is merely an alibi that allows certain individuals to accrue more money than they can reasonably use. It is a character flaw and any politician or businessman who tells you different has been corrupted beyond all redemption. How corrupt is Britain? How long is a piece of string?