Our Readers' Opinions
February 7, 2014

Practise what you preach

For years now, the developed countries have been preaching to us, the people of the developing countries about the need to “put our houses in order.” They pontificate on the absolute necessity of “good governance” and warn us about taking firm steps to combat corruption. They go even further, linking not only aid but trade and economic policies to our perceived levels of corruption.{{more}}

The impression given is that these post-colonial countries like ours are breeding grounds for corruption and have to be lectured by our former colonial masters and imperial powers about propriety in public affairs. So intense has been this line that it has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by many of our own people and becomes a platform for opposition parties seeking political office. All too often they find themselves caught in their own traps when in office.

It must be a big surprise to those who follow the hypocritical preachings of the European Union and the USA in particular, to hear this week that the same European Union admit that corruption is widespread throughout its member-states. This came in a report from the European Commission to the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. It follows in the wake of a stream of revelations about corruption at the highest levels which provoked the global financial crisis, the exposure of immoral behaviour of public officials and, currently in the USA, ongoing revelations about the abuse of power in the state of New Jersey.

The European anti-corruption report defines corruption as ‘any abuse of power for private gain’ and concludes that it ‘seriously harms the economy and society as a whole’. It reveals that right across the board, all EU member-states to varying degrees are plagued with corruption. A quick glance at aspects of the report reveals that:

“High-level scandals associated with corruption, misuse of public funds or unethical behaviour by politicians, have contributed to public discontent and mistrust of the political system.

“Integrity in politics is a serious issue for many member-states. Codes of conduct within political parties or elected assemblies at central or local level are the exception rather than the rule…

“Recent large-scale corruption cases involving illegal party-funding affected politicians in some member-states. Vote-buying and other forms of undue influence of the electorate were also noted in a number of member-states.”

These are but snippets of the entire report. Years ago when they preached to us we would say “Yes, Massa.” Today, Massa is being exposed as little better than the rest of us. We all have to clean up politics and the world.

Yet another, SIGN OF THE TIMES.