Wednesday, April 23

British Government and corrupt practices

It has been days since the Court said that the Serious Fraud Office has "seriously" erred in stopping the fraud and corruption case against BAE for allegedly bribing various Saudi people. Now, who from the government have you heard  saying anything about this case?

This government is very quick to pronounce on everything and everybody under the sun, but not on this. So what gives? (besides the fact that Gordon Brown usually hides and bottles out whenever there is a problem, and wakes up months after the problem is screaming for attention. He met with the British banks months after the wholesale markets problem was identified)

I will tell you what gives! It means that the government knows there is something wrong in this bargain. I have been tracking this for some time now and I am positive that BAE has indeed paid bribes. Why do I think that? Well, see here. The American Justice Department is on the case and I quote:

Another US official said the justice department had concerns that approval could hamper an investigation into whether BAE violated US laws by allegedly bribing Saudi officials over a previous arms deal known as Al-Yamamah. BAE has denied any wrongdoing.

If everything was tickety boo and overboard, why on earth would the Justice Department express concerns about it? It is, after all, not just a banana republic and a tin pot dictator we are talking about. We are talking about, oh!, sorry, a banana republic after all.

What people do not realise is the damage this step has done to the country's internal political and social consistency. For a political government in the form of ministers to interfere with an independent body - which is answerable only to Parliament - is critically insane. This has violated the basic structure of the checks and balances built into our society. Between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, this finely balanced and widely admired system of checks and balances has been tampered with.

For those who think that this is a problem for another country and is  just the normal cost of doing business in those countries, no, it is not. Bribing a corrupt Saudi Prince means that each and every Saudi and Saudi Arabian resident is paying that bit more for those planes, because that excess money could have been used to build some roads, fund some scholarships, pay for some nurses...

It also means that the Saudis think that the Brits agree and accept corruption and bribery. So if they think so and bribe one of the incorruptible British Member of Parliaments, I suppose that would be fine, no? After all, if its acceptable for the Brits to bribe a member of the Saudi Government, it should be also acceptable for the Saudis to do the same, no?

When will these people in government understand that corruption drives away good money and ruins the governance of a country  resulting in decaying the country from inside? Perhaps never, because if they wink and nudge at the BAE corruption, then they are also corrupt. For further details, see Transparency International and the OECD Anti Bribery Convention which the OECD have signed AND ratified.


Technorati Tags: BAE,United Kingdom,Corruption,Bribery,Saudi Arabia.

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