BRITAIN MORE CORRUPT THAN IT THINKS?

For the last few years Tanzanian Affairs has been explaining the extent of corruption in Tanzania while, at the same time, noting the actions of the government and especially the very free Tanzanian media, in exposing it. TA has also described the many corruption cases brought before the courts. It has recalled how the whole cabinet was removed at one stage and how many government ministers and senior officials (about 20) have been charged in court and/or lost their jobs.

This corruption has resulted in some donor agencies threatening to limit aid to the country. There has been no lack of preaching by non-Tanzanians on how Tanzanians should do better.

In the last few weeks however, the situation has changed as explained in a report by ‘Transparency International’ under the heading ‘Is Britain more corrupt than it thinks?’. The report has been reproduced in the Citizen. Extracts:

Lecturing the world
‘Britons love to lecture the world about integrity and the rule of law, but the ‘News of the World’ phone hacking scandal has laid bare a web of collusion between money, power, the media and the police. Far from the innocent, upright democracy of its self-image, Britain is showing a seamy side that anti-corruption campaigners say is getting worse, and may be politically explosive, as society becomes more unequal due to the financial and economic crises.

‘Behind a facade of probity, London offers a haven for oligarchs and despots, a place where foreign media magnates have bought access to and influence over the government. The scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has already destroyed a newspaper, cost two top police officers their jobs, seen the arrest of powerful media figures and embarrassed the Prime Minister and political elite.

‘But it points to a bigger problem in British society – overly cozy relationships among elites that are ethically dangerous, even when they do not involve outright criminality. Britain says it has been bolstering its legal and regulatory system. Just this month a new law on bribery, tightening rules for UK firms operating abroad, entered into force…..’

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