Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dealing with Corruption

How serious a problem is corruption in Britain and throughout Europe?

Nobody knows for sure but the one thing we can say for certain is that there is more than is good for our society or the continent.

A report published by the European Union about corruption in the current member states (e.g. including Britain, we have not left yet) suggested that there are "breathtaking" levels of corruption in Europe (in the countries of Europe generally, not specifically in EU institutions.)

Surveys of citizens in the current 28 member states found very varied levels of personal experience of corruption - in Britain five out of 1,115 people surveyed had been personally asked to pay a bribe, which was the lowest figure in Europe, but even here more than 64% of British respondents said they thought that corruption was "widespread" in the UK.

Until comparatively recently we had a very tough code of ethics, with teeth, in local government and look at what happened to it. It had to be scrapped by the Coalition government after becoming totally discredited because far too many politicians on all sides of the political spectrum, used it to try to discredit their political opponents with petty and usually baseless allegations of unethical conduct.

I do not think there is any simple "magic wand" which we can wave to deal with corruption, but it seems to me that we need a greater degree of transparency in business, politics, national and local government. And a bit more common sense in discriminating between things people disagree with, things which should result in disciplinary action short of prosecution, and conduct which should put people in the dock. I do not think the answers are always easy but we all ought to be watching out more carefully for when things may be going wrong, and be willing to do something about it when we see something dodgy.

Fighting corruption is in all of our interests, and ultimately it is something we should all watch out for.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Plenty of corruption in Copeland.

Chris Whiteside said...

I don't think any area of the country can afford to be complacent. If you have or ever get any proof of corruption I hope you feel able to take it to the police/