21 July 2012 - Corruption fangs everywhere
Hailing from the so-called Developing World (which before political correction reared its head was known as the Under-developed World) can be a tiresome thing. Home or abroad you are always assailed by those – mainly from the so-called Developed World – about how unfitting it is for you to join the table of the Un-corrupt of the World, meaning the very those who are ticking you off! Life be a funny thing, Neighbour, for when you travel about a bit you don’t have to take your corruption with you; everywhere you arrive you find it already grazing.
To go back a bit: ever since a child (well, until my late teens at any rate!) I have been increasingly sure that most of what we are told as Developing Worldists by the Developed variety comes loaded with the Agenda to keep us interminably in our slavish places. One of the reasons for this, but not the only one, is that if you are looking up at the stars, with a boot at your throat, you are safely immobilised and can thus do little harm to the boot’s owner. In exactly equalled order this gives the Bootist a greater feel of power, which must in itself be a comforting feeling besides.
Another day we must go into the litany of ways in which those with the boot in the neck can, nay, must, wriggle free. Today, from London (a city I love with a passion) the intention is to give advice, while never forgetting that Corruption, whoever attacks it (including fellow practitioners from the Developed World) must be fought as hard as we fight other diseases, such as, for example, killer Aids and Malaria. For never forget that if you don’t kill it first, you will be the dead one!
It has been indeed deliciously enjoyable to hear, chapter and verse, how our Developed friends go about their Corruption. Time there was, for example, when you compared your own trustworthiness by how it measured up to your bank manager! Oh the innocence of those GOD (Good Old Days)! Yesterday as I strode my way down the London city streets, should I come across citizens with mufflers around the chin and eyes behind dark glasses, though the climate was dark and rainy, I knew without a doubt that here were bankers scurrying to and fro their places of work!
Used to be a time when, for example, Barclays Bank was synonymous with Honour, Dignity, Pomp and Circumstance; not now. Through its dishonoured former CEO Bob Diamond (now one who has “lost its lustre”, “a rough diamond”, Barclays has been fined £290 million: a mere bagatelle, a drop in the ocean. And Barclays is not the only one. HSBC, with nearly 90 million customers, a capitalisation of around £103 billion and total assets of almost £2.7 trillion, has admitted laundering money “for drug cartels, terrorists and rogue states…” A group of banks being investigated in interest-rigging scandals, known as Libor (London interbank offered rates) manipulations, are hoping to pursue settlements with regulators – some might call this corporation bribery.
Turning to Pensions, the story is just as bad. It now appears that perhaps as much as 50% of their value might be being drained by City fees charged by the companies which run them. Can you imagine saving all your life, and losing half the promised amount by Spivs feeding their bloated bellies in what can be accurately termed the City Cesspit? And yet we, the Under-developed of the Earth, sit idly by as we are continually lectured and finger-wagged by the representatives of these Swine?
In lovely Hamburg one of our hosts started talking about the corruption of Africa, Asia, southern America… Your columnist grabbed him metaphorically by the lapels and gave him a stern lecture, ending: “Why leave out where the infestation started, right here in the West?” He was gentleman enough to take the point. Brothers and sisters of the Third World, let us in the name of God not imitate what our infernal lecturers get up to!
On a personal note, my visit to Hamburg (despite the fact that we on no occasion knowingly devoured a hamburger) gave me one of the best-ever holidays of my days. Of course this city, as I found out having never known this before, was pummelled to the ground during British bombing of World War II, as were, more spectacularly, for example, Berlin and Dresden. (Not that the Brits themselves were exactly having a tea picnic from Herr Hitler!)
To end on a harrowingly more personal level. Last Sunday I prepared to go and enjoy a lunch at one of my most favourite places in the world: the magnificent Hurlingham Club, set in acres of sumptuous grounds, alive with flowers of every description, not far from the centre of town. As I contorted the body to enter a low-slung car there was a loud Ping! and a button was fired from my shirt in the centre of the midriff! Neighbour, there are moments in our lives when we know that things will never again be the same. Was this the once svelte boy-and- man, now pushing a loadful of belly before him, firing off buttons upon entering vehicles? The Five Ages of Man!