Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Hard Grafters

David Cameron is living dangerously in his call to world leaders to take the current investigations into corruption at FIFA as a cue to take action globally against high level corruption.  After all, many of us would counter that he should start at home by looking into the financing of his own party.  Some of us haven't forgotten all that business last year of wealthy businessmen being able to get access to ministers by making contributions to the party funds in order to attend Tory party functions.  And let's not forget all those Russian oligarchs who come over here, driving up property prices in London, and make substantial contributions to Tory party coffers - I'm sure they expect something in return for their largesse.  Yet it is the, by comparison, paltry sums the Labour party receives from the unions that the press obsesses over - despite the fact that their contributions are entirely open and transparent, as are the origins of the money they give.  Then there are those outsourcing companies who bid for public sector contracts - regardless of whether they have any expertise or experience in providing the services involved - then fail to deliver when they get them: when was the last time any of them gave back the public money they'd taken under false pretences.  To cap it all, Dave and his cronies are always telling us how much they like 'hard grafters'...

But perhaps Dave doesn't believe that he's presiding over rampant corruption.  Just like FIFA's Sepp Blatter, who remains adamant that he knew nothing about any corruption and that it wasn't his responsibility anyway.  The human capacity for self deception is, after all, seemingly limitless.  Obviously Dave would argue that there's no corruption going on as all those contributions to party funds were open and above board - just like that ten million dollars the South African FA gave to arrested ex-FIFA man Jack Warner.  He'd doubtless say the same thing about all those public sector contracts - there was a fair and open bidding process.  But that doesn't change the fact that by outsourcing key areas of public service provision to companies that clearly intend making a profit from them, his government is ensuring that these area of government activity are no longer being run for the public benefit, but rather for private profit.  Which is, generally speaking, the hallmark of a banana republic.  Although, obviously, the UK couldn't be a banana republic as we still have a monarchy.    More of a Mango Monarchy, perhaps.

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