Jim Hopkins sees a sliver lining in the cloud of corruption:
… Yet for some inexplicable reason we expect a mere Minister of the Crown – a baublemeister, no more – to meet a more exacting standard. And when he doesn’t we howl “Corruption!!!” and demand his dismissal.
Okay, we’re a puritanical lot and righteous indignation is invariably our first port of call. But quite apart from the particulars of this case – which only involves a politician and a lawyer who may have approached the truth creatively – it’s time we reconsidered this aversion we have to corruption.
There has, after all, been quite a lot of it lately. Or, more prudently, quite a lot that looks quite a bit like it, including the jolly adventures of those poor Thai tilers and that bossy person at Immigration who was soooo nice to her own family, not to mention the lady who lost her ministerial job because her boyfriend worked for the Leader of the Opposition.
Heck, we’ve even had a Police Force that wouldn’t prosecute a particular political party for some major campaign misdemeanours, even though there was a prima facie case, because to do so might affect the result of the election.
Which, youd’ve thought, was the very reason they should have pursued the matter.
However, be that as it may, we have seen quite a lot of malodorous stuff lately and we’re going to see more. Particularly since we are, like it or not, sliding slowly but inexorably down prosperity’s greasy pole. We’ve already joined the second world and the third’s not far away. Which suggests a semi-endemic cloud of corruption will soon hang over us.
So we’d better start looking for its silver lining or endure a state of constant perturbation. Happily, that lining is easy to find. To begin with, you know where you stand in a reliably corrupt society. You can be certain, if you slip someone a few notes, that you’ll get what you want – a favour, a contract, an honour, even a photo with the PM at the opening of some flash new building with your name on it. (Hey, nobody’s perfect!)
Equally, if you know the Immigraton sheila is inclined to assist her own, then just change your name or leave an envelope on the table “To help with your cousin’s trip” when you apply for a visa.
And if the rozzers show a preference for a particular party, then join it for Pete’s sake. Get with the programme. Be certain.
Yes!! We like certainty. Certainty is good!! And corruption equals certainty. Look!! You’re feeling better already.
Another good thing about corruption is, it’s sexy. Dark. Mysterious. Enigmatic. Menacing, yes, but exciting as well.
Corruption’s a big league, metropolitan sort of thing. It’s the public equivalent of a liaison dangereuse, redolent of power – and its abuse. Corruption is illicit, hot. It quickens the heart. It stirs the loins.
That’s why it sets the blogs and talkback humming. And why we should embrace it. With much more enthusiasm, be it said, than the dreary matter that will preoccupy us next week, namely this tiresome business of carbon emissions…
The whole column is here.