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cashinmattress

Britain Loses Moral High Ground

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Britain loses moral high ground

Britain’s strictures to foreign governments are being mocked from Iran to the Turks and Caicos Islands, as world leaders seize on stories about MPs’ bloated expenses claims as evidence of moral decay in the UK.

Accounts of MPs billing the taxpayer for duck houses and moat cleaning have been lapped up around the world and have posed a problem for British diplomats who have previously been vocal in criticising corruption.

Mark Malloch-Brown, the foreign office minister, deleted sections of a speech he gave in Mozambique this month, fearing that his comments on higher standards of governance might be greeted with scorn.

His fears may have been justified, judging by the apparent delight being shown by leaders in recent days over the Westminster expenses scandal.

In a speech broadcast last Friday after the disputed June 12 elections, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said: “Many countries of the world, including western countries, that claim to fight corruption and money-laundering, are corrupt to their core.

“You have all heard about the [expenses scandals in the] British government and the parliament. The whole world heard the story and those were just parts of the story.â€

Britain is being dogged by the expenses affair as it attempts to stamp out corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory with a population of 32,000.

Ministers are preparing to suspend the islands’ constitution and dissolve its parliament after an official inquiry found signs of “systemic corruption†and “political amoralityâ€.

But Galmo Williams, the islands’ premier, told the Financial Times that British politicians “no longer have the moral authority to lecture other countries on corruptionâ€.

The attack was echoed by Michael Misick, the former premier who resigned following revelations over his lavish lifestyle. “We have a saying on the island – it is like the pot calling the kettle black,†Mr Misick told the FT. “How can you want to dissolve our parliament when you have these problems at home?â€

One British diplomat admitted: “There’s no question that it feels a touch more uncomfortable, whether you are a minister or official, to talk about the importance of good governance or tackling corruption.â€

The government is dismissive of suggestions that the expenses scandal has lowered Britain’s standing in the world.

This view is echoed by Alex Stubb, Finland’s foreign minister and a strong campaigner against corruption.

“Britain doesn’t usually lecture others about its own system and in any case we know about this affair because of transparency,†he said. “All democracies have to stay awake, but if there’s a problem you change the system.â€

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, claimed the expenses affair was also denting the ability of ministers to lecture City bankers on lower pay and bonuses.

Amid signs the City is returning to “business as usualâ€, he said: “You pick it up – the expenses issue has changed the psychological climate.â€

One long-time City executive said: “Who are these people to lecture us on values? At least we don’t lie on our expenses.â€

Do you think that Gordon Brown has a career in stand up?

It really is a national disgrace though, to have our illustrious leaders talk shop but walk in with sh1t all over their shoes.

Despair.

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Eventually the whole thing, probity, prudence, investment, will come crashing down, because it is a pack of lies.
No, it will just ebb away almost imperceptibly and people will accept the new reality if it unleashed gradually.

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No, it will just ebb away almost imperceptibly and people will accept the new reality if it unleashed gradually.

You reckon? I know we Brits are fallible, but my memory will not fade into oblivion in such a way as to forget this toxic Labour decade.

Actually, its all government. Epaulettes or badges aside, they are all self serving scumbags with far more sinister agendas than we would hazard a guess at.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Bishop Mandell Creighton

Edited by cashinmattress

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Britain loses moral high ground

...

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, claimed the expenses affair was also denting the ability of ministers to lecture City bankers on lower pay and bonuses.

Amid signs the City is returning to “business as usualâ€, he said: “You pick it up – the expenses issue has changed the psychological climate.â€

One long-time City executive said: “Who are these people to lecture us on values? At least we don’t lie on our expenses.â€

Any authority that MPs have to lecture bankers never came from moral superiority, but from the fact that MPs are the representatives of the taxpayer (God help us!) and the taxpayer is covering the bankers' losses.

On the wider issue, there's a qualitative difference between systems that are intrinsically corrupt, and systems where corruption once detected is publicised and stamped on. Not wishing to defend our troughing MPs, but in many places such behaviour wouldn't be seen as the least bit odd.

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"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Bishop Mandell Creighton

The quote was made by Lord Acton in a letter written to Bishop Mandell Creighton

Edited by up2nogood

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Any authority that MPs have to lecture bankers never came from moral superiority, but from the fact that MPs are the representatives of the taxpayer (God help us!) and the taxpayer is covering the bankers' losses.

On the wider issue, there's a qualitative difference between systems that are intrinsically corrupt, and systems where corruption once detected is publicised and stamped on. Not wishing to defend our troughing MPs, but in many places such behaviour wouldn't be seen as the least bit odd.

Indeed. Many nations have been subjected to parades by the elite (like us) in days gone by. But we are supposed to be above that now in Britain.

Nothing much changes though, except we play at empire without a proper monarchy or oligarchy, and no military. We just have a bunch of overgrown, weak minded, greedy children playing god with the country. At least the blood peers had a few generations to iron out the wrinkles and got some part of the feudal system down pat.

How is supposed to get better from here I ask? How? And I ask this question of a lot of people, and quite often.

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