Tory Corruption Poisons Us All
Often, the most clear-eyed understandings come from a true grasp of what the alternative looks like. If you want a new and refreshing perspective on Britain, ask a first generation immigrant.
Years back, one of Worcester’s restaurateurs told me of his enthusiasm for Britain. Not the doe-eyed, romanticised vision of a new mother country; he wasn’t interested in being part of any ‘huddled mass yearning to breathe free’. What he wanted, pure and simple, was a fair crack at making a life for himself.
To him, Britain – though progressive Brits might despair of it sometimes – represented a land where he could set up a business, work hard and expect reward to be broadly commensurate to effort.
Transparency International currently ranks Britain as 11th in the world on the Corruption Perceptions Index. A rancid stench may emanate from enablers in the City, but the day to day experience of Brits is free of corruption. Officials don’t expect bungs just for doing their job, and police officers don’t pull us over hoping to extort a fistful of cash to waive a trumped-up charge.
Internationally speaking, this reality is not that common, and it is precious. Corruption is a grubby pair of hands strangling economic activity. It throttles enterprise and impoverishes communities. In a corrupt system, everyone pays the price. Day to day life is made harder by the demand of the official and the burden of illicit payments. Corruption is a worthless tax, weighing down growth without creating anything of value. Above all, a corrupt society is a weak society, and a corrupt country is a weak country.
The Conservative party likes to wear the mask of patriotism, but it’s approach to awarding contracts reveals this as fraudulent. If it is your sincere desire to make Britain a strong and prosperous country, you make damned sure you extract value for every taxpayer pound spent – you don’t dump public funds in the pocket of your pals in the middle of a pandemic. If your country is under attack from ‘an invisible mugger,’ in the form of the coronavirus, you don’t weaken it further by awarding contracts on the basis of self-interest rather than value.
Every corrupt action that goes unpunished is another drop of poison in the body politic. This is why it is absolutely critical this government is ejected at the earliest opportunity, and frankly, why a former Director of Public Prosecutions might just be the right man to arrange it.