Power doesn’t corrupt people; People corrupt Power

I think it’s time to rewrite “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Originally, the Story ended with a little boy refusing to endorse the emperor’s delusion and everyone ridiculing their leader’s folly. If we retell the story today, when the Emperor is revealed, all his high lords would strip off their clothes and declare “This is how we do things now, Public Decency laws don’t apply to us.”

This last week has revealed at least some of the corruption in our elected officials. All of it sleazy, only some of it against the rules. MP Owen Paterson was found to have done some excessive lobbying on behalf of two firms who paid him in excess of £500,000. Because apparently there’s no problem with MP’s having second (or third) jobs. If he’s earning £500,000 from the firms he lobbies for, and just shy of £82000 as an MP, doesn’t that make Member of Parliament his second job? Which master is he more likely to serve? Spoiler alert; it’s not the British people.

The Parliamentary Standards Commission suspended him for 30 days. But the other tory MP’s didn’t like this, presumably because they either already have some similar skeletons in their closets, or would like to acquire them. So they created new parliamentary standards, that were not so much rules as guidelines, or perhaps, strongly worded suggestions.

Hallelujah, there was a backlash against this, from the public, the media and the MPs who still consider serving in parliament as their primary job. Owen Paterson resigned. I wonder if he regrets appealing against the 30 day suspension?

But the story has not gone away. The attempt to change the rules to make what he did ‘Not Wrong’, may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everyone kind of accepted a certain amount of corruption is part of government. Politicians would get away with whatever they could. The quietly whispered rules were “Don’t be obvious, don’t get caught.” Now, they want to normalise the bribes and kickbacks, like they’re entitled to them. They want to normalise the corruption.

This may actually bring down Boris Johnson. Not just for his support of Owen Paterson (at first), also for his own questionable dealings regarding Covid contracts, Donors offered seats in the House of Lords, donors paying for his flat to be renovated, donors paying for his holiday. Combine this with his haphazard, borderline incompetent handling of Covid, Brexit, the Fuel crisis, the suppy crisis, Northern Ireland. Even the Climate Conference, where he should have at least appeared somewhat statesmanlike, he bungled. Flying in a private jet from the conference, to dinner with a climate change sceptic, private jet back to the conference. BoJo is a buffoon, always has been, but he’s always been very PR savvy. I can’t believe he’s ignorant of how poor this looks, I think he just doesn’t care. Arrogance or Indifference, take your pick.

They say that Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

This is Bullshit.

Power doesn’t corrupt who youare, it Reveals who you are. A powerful politician takes a bribe. He never took bribes before he had power, because no one was offering bribes before he had power. To say ‘Power corrupts’ lets the individual off the hook, puts the blame on his situation. But he’s the same bastard he’s always been, only now he’s worth bribing.

Similarly, the old saying ‘The Devil made me do it.” Again, saying it’s not the individuals fault. Again, Bullshit. The Devil may have tempted you, but the choice was always yours.

1 Comment

  1. rcppower says:

    Very topical and to the point. Well done.


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