Corruption

Corruption old and new

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Politics in Britain at the end of the eighteenth century was described as the “Old Corruption”. The state was, at every level, in the hands of the great landowners and their allies. It was used to serve their interests, to protect their wealth and privilege, and they ruthlessly pillaged it to further enrich themselves. Place and position were wholly at their disposal. What made all this possible was the enormous scale of social and economic inequality. This Old Corruption came under sustained assault from a number of directions in the course of the nineteenth century.

'The Great Reset’ scam in an era of kleptocracy

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It’s all about “The Great Reset”. In a few months’ time, in the wake of a year of pandemic and lockdowns,
world leaders will meet at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland to, as organisers put it, “integrate all stakeholders of global society into a community of common interest, purpose and action”.

Turmoil inside the police

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The police are facing a major crisis, caught between endless revelations about cover-ups and injustice, as well as government cuts. Matt Foot looks at the turmoil in a once monolithic arm of the state.

No one could have predicted that an altercation between a police officer and a cabinet member wheeling his bike out of Downing Street would cement the biggest crisis in the police since 1919.
Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell was disgraced and consigned to the back benches until the police version of events imploded.

The diplomatic protection unit police officer, Keith Wallis, wrote to his MP confirming he witnessed the event from Whitehall. There was a slight problem with his account however — CCTV footage showed he wasn’t there at all.

A Class Inquiry

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The Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking ended in June, no doubt to collective relief in establishment circles. We must wait until the autumn for Lord Justice Leveson to submit his findings to David Cameron. The knowledge that a Lord Justice will report to a Tory prime minister is enough to know not to hold our breath.

The 86 days of hearings have been tedious on one level and extraordinary on another. The prime minister and chancellor, chief constables, billionaire newspaper owners and their editors have been called to account, laying bare a world not just of corruption and cover up but of routine collusion, of "country suppers" and "Yes we Cam" (former News International boss Rebekah Brooks' congratulatory text to Cameron). We now know, for example, how many times Cameron met executives at News International over a period (59).

The Sun isn't shining

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The wheels continue to come off at News International. James Murdoch's resignation as executive chairman is the latest blow. It came a few days after Metropolitan police deputy-assistant commissioner Sue Akers' explosive account to the Leveson Inquiry of a "culture of illegal payments" to a "network of corrupt officials" by the Sun

Ackers' broadside came a day after Rupert Murdoch launched the first Sun on Sunday, replacing the News of the World which was shut last July. His abrupt move followed the dawn arrests of ten Sun journalists - an eleventh is wanted for questioning - sparking such discontent among Murdoch's loyal hacks that Rupert himself descended on Wapping to reassure them.

The myth of crony capitalism

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Those who suggest that we are witnessing a crisis of "crony capitalism", rather than capitalism itself, are wrong, argues Jack Farmer

Suddenly everyone seems to be talking about the "crisis of capitalism". This matters - it's one thing to say that the current economic mess was brought about by a failure of regulation, finance, greed or state interference. It's quite another to admit that the system itself might be fundamentally prone to generate destructive crises.

The best democracy money can buy?

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As workers lose their jobs and homes because of the recession, MPs from all the main parties have been caught on a spending spree with taxpayers' money. Michael Lavalette, a socialist councillor in Preston, makes the case for political representation with principles

The revelations about MPs' expenses have shocked and angered people across Britain and caused a political crisis that threatens the whole legitimacy of parliamentary democracy. The range of items they have claimed for on "expenses" is truly astonishing, from duck houses to moat cleaning, from mortgage payments to loo seats, from "hired help" to food bills, from council tax fiddles to claims for incidentals like light bulbs, bath plugs, scatter cushions, mirrors and Asda pizzas!

Guilty as charged

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Campaigners have won a landmark legal case against the government over the halting of an investigation into allegedly corrupt arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Sullivan ruled in the High Court on 10 April that Tony Blair's government had acted unlawfully when they pressurised the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to abandon the inquiry. The judges described the situation as a "successful attempt by a foreign government to pervert the course of justice in the United Kingdom".

Dirty deals, bribes - welcome to the world of the arms trade

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Public opposition to the arms trade has risen sharply in Britain, largely in response to a never-ending stream of scandals surrounding BAE Systems.

The scandals exposed in recent weeks are the latest in a saga that has run for several years. Britain is the world's second biggest arms exporter and BAE is its largest arms company. BAE has always been unpopular, but criticism reached boiling point at the end of 2006.

Corruption: Who is to Blame for Bad Governance?

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Africa is normally seen negatively, particularly from the West, which often sees itself as the saviour of a dark continent marred by problems. Hunger, war, disease, refugees and debt are the issues that typically dominate the news stories in the Western media. Lately talk of bad governance has been added to the list.

Associated with it is the question of corruption. The rulers of the world, and their institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, set "anti-corruption measures" as a pre-condition for getting assistance.

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