Friday, December 15, 2006

Corrupt - who us?

There will be a few wry smiles in foreign ministries around the world, particularly perhaps at the Quai D'Orsay in Paris and the state department in Washington, at news that the corruption investigation into a huge British defence contract with Saudi Arabia has been suddenly ended.

Foreign competitors will see another performance by 'perfidious Albion', as the British government holds its hand on its heart and promises that commercial interests have played no part.

British lectures on the "rule of law" will lose some of their force. Other governments - and frankly, many of the British workers engaged on the project - will not believe that the size of the contract in question was not the determining factor. It is for 72 Typhoon Eurofighters from BAE.


This is another classic example of double standards and hypocrisy on the part of all concerned. Once again economic interest has outweighed all legal and moral principles. As long as corruption is tolerated, the world will remain corrupt. Any simpleton can surely work that out?

Why should individuals obey the law when the state does not? What is the point of integrity when corruption pays? What is the use of good practice, when bad practice is immorally rewarded? What is the point of professionalism and high standards when greed is the main criteria? What is the point of anything if the determining factor in negotiations is the thickness of a brown envelope?

During my professional career, I had numerous bribes offered to me? I refused them all and sent the "clients" on their way, refusing to have any further dealings with them. I never regretted it. Trust, integrity, respect and honour cannot be bought.

As far as I am concerned, everyone involved in this scandalous affair is an accomplice to fraud and I have no respect for any of them, British, Saudi or anybody else who does business this way. This is not business. This is fraud. This is stealing. It's much harder to be a decent and honourable person than it is to be a rich thief. Nothing good ever came of no good.

No comments: