...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day 2172: The Moral Dimension


"Oh minister, I do wish you wouldn’t use words like bribery…"

"How would you describe these payments, Humphrey?"

"Oh well, that’s really quite simple. Retainers, personal donations, special discounts, miscellaneous outgoings… managerial surcharge, operating costs, ex-gratia payments, agents’ fees, political contributions, extra-contractual payments… introduction fees, commission fees, managements’ expenses, administrative overheads and advances against profit sharing…

"And how are these payments made?"

"Well, anything from a numbered account in a Swiss Bank to a fistful of used oncers slipped under the door of the gents."
– Sir Humphrey Appleby educates the Minister
Yes, Minister, "The Moral Dimension"

If you can actually get past the BIG QUESTION of why exactly we are highly selling dangerous weapons to a country like Saudi Arabia Qumran that combines all of the modern freedoms of a FEUDAL MONARCHY from the DARK AGES with the open toleration of a THEOCRATIC AUTOCRACY that makes the Inquisition look like Monty Python and a SECRET POLICE STATE with some of the world's most sophisticated technology for violating human rights e.g. the electric rubber truncheon…

Dear of dear, why can't we just sell them NICE THINGS anyway?

Anyway, if you can get past that question, then you get to the relatively minor moral quandary of HOW did we obtain this LUSH CONTRACT and was there anything remotely DODGY about it?

On the other fluffy foot, if your Serious Fraud Office get too close to an actual answer, you might want to abruptly close down the investigation in case they do something EMBARRASSING.

"Opposition" politicians have attacked the UK's Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) decision to drop a corruption probe, announced the BBC.

To TRANSLATE for those who haven't already spotted it, by "Opposition" the BBC actually mean THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS because the Conservatories are BACKING LORD BLAIRIMORT on this one:

e.g. Conservatory apologist MP Bernard Jenkin said it had been a "sorry episode".He meant that we should be sorry for INVESTIGATING, not sorry for any backhanders, as he explained:

"The SFO should not be tempted to go on these fishing expeditions unless prosecutions are likely and these prosecutions are in the national interest."

e.g. former Conservatory minister and jailbird Jonathan Aitken said "…even if the allegations against BAE were true, it was the correct decision to end the investigation in order to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia."

Lord Blairimort defended the government's action saying: "look, stuff the rule of law… there's billions of quid in this deal!"

Is this really important? If we look after all the people whose jobs depend on this sort of ARMS DEAL, isn't that better than some little question about not actually employing bribery and corruption.

Well, oddly enough I think it IS important.

If we are supposed to be spreading the IDEALS of Western Democracy then (remembering that we are getting over the whole propping up bonkers dictatorships, probably not a good plan question) the basis of democracy is the RULE OF LAW.

If people are not for the most part protected and treated equally by the law, then they are not free to engage in the debate that makes democracy work; they are not free to participate in jobs and trades that make Western-style economy work; they are not free to get the benefits and opportunities of our way of life.

So really, can we NOT undermine the law in OUR OWN COUNTRY please! We are never going to enable or encourage the evolution of a free democratic state if we keep giving BIG CASH BUNGS to the very people who are maintaining the corruption.

And it is BECAUSE those states, and yes Saudi Arabia Qumran in particular, are corrupt and oppressive that they breed some of the NUTTIEST TERRORISTS in the world.

So, safety tip: reduce terrorism, oppose dictatorships.

Yes, the French, Chinese, Americans and Pygmy People of Patagonia may very well step in and seize those contracts by bribery if we won't, but "Johnny's doing it too!" has never been the most attractive of excuses, has it?!

On the GOOD side, at least WE live in a country where we can express our opinions, without fear of the RELIGIOUS POLICE breaking the door down…

Suddenly, I hear that the hunt on for a ROGUE ELEPHANT.


And a Very Merry 19th Day of Advent to All of You at Home!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greetings, there is no perfect system, no perfect country, no perfect world, as behind everything is human being, not angel. But yes, some are better than others. We just live with whatever we have, and work on it for the betterment, and keep the faith.