Corruption

The Ex-Ministers' Club

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Ex-ministers are making big money from consultancies.

David Blunkett resigned from government after his office interfered in his lover's nanny's visa application. Tearfully Blunkett vowed to spend time getting close to his biological son, 'that little lad'. It seems his battle for the boy's heart and his work duties representing the electors of Sheffield Brightside are not enough: he has a new part time job 'giving seminars on the relationship between government and business' for Indepen Consulting Ltd.

Diagnosis: Psychopathic Tendencies

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The Corporation is the latest anti-capitalist blockbuster to hit our screens. Emma Bircham spoke to writer Joel Bakan about the rise of corporate power and his optimism that we can fight it.

You started writing the book and making the film before the big corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom and even before the Seattle protests in 1999. What made you start this project at that time?

Hutton Inquiry: Indecent Exposure

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Was Alastair Campbell responsible for the government's deliberate lies about Iraq's 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? The Hutton inquiry evidence suggests not.

Instead the e-mails and memos show the whole government machine was behind the 'sexing up' of Saddam's threat. Campbell is there, but so too are Jonathan Powell, John Scarlett, Godric Smith and a host of press officers, all obsessively worried about the drafts and ever more melodramatic redrafts of the government's dossier. The initials 'TB' recur, showing the prime minister's close involvement in the propaganda programme and subsequent squeeze on Dr Kelly.

Corruption: Who Said Crime Doesn't Pay?

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The last time there was a crisis in the international stockmarket they made a film about it.

It was called 'Wall Street'. Michael Douglas played Gekko, the intended villain of the piece, a greedy gambler who had made a fortune on the stockmarket chiefly by buying and bribing inside information, and then betting on it, knowing it to be true. The film was such a realistic indictment of the market and its values that it quickly became a cult movie for thousands of yuppies swarming like bees round the honey of the stock exchange. When Gekko is finally captured by the regulators of the Securities Exchange Commission, most of his admirers felt sorry for him.

Dirty Business

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With New Labour facing yet another cash for favours scandal it's little wonder that the public consider them even more sleazy than the Tories.

Oh dear, oh dear. The old Tory governments of Thatcher and Major, New Labour assured us, were 'drowned in sleaze'. Corruption was their undoing, and the constant pledges of Labour's new, young, clean politicians, led by Blair, Brown and Mandelson, were going to clean up the whole mess. Now New Labour is back for a second term with an impregnable majority, and what is this? An opinion poll finds that the public consider New Labour even more sleazy than the Tories ever were! Blair and Co regularly mock and contradict that finding.

Heralds of Free Enterprise

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The collapse of Enron has shone the torch into a cellar full of crimes.

Luckily for Bush and Blair, the relentless drone of the B-52s has helped mask the thunderous clatter of the biggest bankruptcy in corporate history. Not only was the Enron corporation the world's biggest energy trader, but it had also emerged over the past decade as the archetypal global corporation, dominating the world's energy markets through online manipulation of supply fluctuations, and constantly changing prices for gas and electricity.

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