The awful truth is that corruption can take many forms. In the classic sense I am sure that most of us think of countries where corruption is rife. Where whole communities are run by people in power who only work because of the gains they can make through their corrupting regimes. More locally, in the UK, I am sure you’ve heard in the news where planning permission has been granted because of some financial gain for the planner from the builder. I believe it is called colloquially, a back hander. It brings to mind so many negative ideas about the people in power. Thats the whole crux of the matter. Power. Give anyone a little power and for some they will use it wisely, for the betterment of others, but the weaker characters, and I do firmly believe they are weak, use that power to gain control and use people to give themselves an advantage.
In June 2017 we have so many news items where there are definite conflicts of interest between those who are elected to work in the publics interest, for example, Members of Parliament, local councillors etc and the businesses they or their families are involved in. So many issues have come to light recently where good legislation hasn’t stood a chance becoming law due to the elected person/groups business interests.
This might not, in the face of it, be seen as corruption per se, but it is an insidious form of using power for the increase of their wealth and not for the greater good. We have, for example, Tory politicians telling us downright lies concerning our NHS. They publically announce that they will invest in the NHS, but behind closed doors they are stripping the assets. See The Naylor report. It does not make for a comfortable read. The planned ‘secret’ privatisation of the health service has thankfully become public knowledge. The tangled web of lies and deceit are almost unimaginable. The public lose out and the wealthy, in the know, make a fortune.
The same has to be said for the privatisation of public services. How on earth can it ever make sense to sell off something which is nationally owned to profit making companies whose boards of directors are often linked to those publically elected to ensure the safe delivery of those services? ‘Consultants’ are paid vast amounts and it then transpires that they are again linked to yet more publically elected officials. The ‘system’ allows for this coercive, and quite possibly, corrupt behaviour. It is, sadly, rife.
So how do we, how does anyone stop this? The only way we can challenge and undermine this is to publically out these individuals use our democratic votes to admonish them from service.
Sadly, very sadly, I think there always will be greedy people. People who think that they have found a way to make easy money, no matter the cost to others. People who want their own way, to go against laws and legislation by offering to pay officials.
The only hope we can ever have is to call out the perpetrators and insist that rigorous investigations are made. There has to be more transparency, more collective agreements within institutions, more stringent legal actions and penalties for those who are culpable.