The Corruption of Corruption
MICHAEL J BLAIR
As a long time watcher and listener of politicians and politics, I have been wondering just when corruption became the norm rather than the exception.
I mention politics first, but in business, the higher up the food chain people go, the more corruption is seemingly accepted and often encouraged, as long as any repercussions don’t touch the gilded few at the very top of the pyramid.
We often see senior executives who have cost their companies vast amounts of money, being paid to leave their positions and then picking up another high paid job, in which they are better off than they were in their former employment.
The few people who have been prosecuted for various financial scams, are mostly in fairly junior positions and are quite disposable to these companies. The people at the very top remain untouched and very often are given honours from the Queen. Not that the Queen has any say in which potential criminal receives knighthoods and peerages.
There was a time when these unscrupulous business people were actually prosecuted and sent to prison, if found guilty. Now the culture of greed, corruption and lying is not only tolerated, but actively encouraged!
During the financial meltdown of 2008, and the various useless, toothless inquiries, only a handful of people who were directly involved in allowing it to spiral out of control, were prosecuted successfully.
Most weren’t prosecuted at all, and if they were relieved of their duties, there was always another company who would happily employ them.
Back at the political circus, we have the Conservative leadership contest. It’s down to the final two candidates. Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. A horrific prospect for the membership of the party who have to vote.
I often criticise the USA for its final choice of presidential candidates, but this is as bad if not worse than the Clinton/Trump option.
Theresa May is the more experienced of the two, and is most likely to win. She is well respected amongst her peers, and could be seen as a steadying influence in these troubled times.
Her problem is that she hasn’t exactly been a success as Home Secretary. But I doubt if anyone could have made a decent go of the job anyway. A bit of a poisoned chalice to be honest.
Mrs May has the strange contradiction of keeping a low profile, while wearing very colourful and sometimes quite revealing outfits, which always grab tabloid editors’ attention.
Andrea Leadsom has been pushed forward by people who don’t care who is Prime Minister, as long as they are corrupt enough or stupid enough to do as they are told. She has lied about her employment status. She refused to reveal her tax arrangements, when all the other candidates revealed their tax history.
Wait…. Stop what you’re doing!
Andrea Leadsom has dropped out of the two horse race for the Conservative party leadership! This is no surprise to me.
She has discovered that if a person puts themselves up for election for high office, they have to expect intense media scrutiny. She had too many things she didn’t want aired publicly. It’s ok for a magazine like Private Eye to report on her financial arrangements, but quite a different thing to have the popular press raking over everything she ever did or said.
She had no experience for the leadership and that has been shown in the last few days. I have said, when confronted by irate Leadsom supporters, that she was a disaster waiting to happen! But they didn’t want to hear such heretical talk. It just shows how easy it would be to take people in, and make them believe every word spoken.
Donald Trump is a prime example of this type of illusion. Tell the people you target exactly what they want to hear. They believe they have found someone who is like them. People believe what they want to hear. It’s a simple trick and Mr Trump might just be playing a gigantic joke on the American people!
This episode should make people very wary. Because if something looks too good to be true, it always will be!
Anyone who says they know all the answers, is either a fool or a deluded politician.
I started to talk about corruption being corrupted. The ultimate corruption is the ability to lead enough people who will follow blindly and lose the ability to see the reality of what is being done in their name.
We live in a society where corruption is expected and has become the norm. From tiny local councils to multinational corporations, to entire countries, corruption is rife. And because it is, people can do as they please, with very little chance of being caught, and even less chance of being punished.
Let us take a step back and consider whether this is something we should now accept. I don’t believe we should.
Being elected into public office should be an honour in itself. Not an excuse to line one’s own pockets and take advantage of the position.
ALSO BY MJ BLAIR
Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: email@example.com. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair
[header caricature by DonkeyHotey, Wikimedia Commons]