Thursday, June 02, 2011

Key supports corruption

So, John Key thinks there's "nothing wrong" with accepting bribes from Westpac and other corporates. Of course he does. He is from the corporate world, where this sort of corruption is par for the course. But what he doesn't understand is that we expect better from our elected officials.

As for the argument advanced by their recipients that these bribes are meaningless, and do not result in improper influence, then why do the corporates offer them? They think they're getting something out of it - legally speaking, they're not allowed to offer it if they're not. And so should we.

And in fact, we do. Public servants are not allowed to accept such hospitality, precisely because it looks bad and creates a perception of corruption and conflict. Attendance at corporate events must be strictly for business reasons, and departments should meet attendance costs. MPs and Ministers impose these rules on public servants for good reasons. But it is absolutely hypocritical if they do not also apply the same thinking to themselves.

Update: More comments from the Dim-Post here, pointing out how this can add up to serious amounts of money over a three-year term.