10 June 2000.
Editorial opinion expressed on
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HONOUR & CORRUPTION.
Power corrupts. More power means greater corruption.
The communications revolution is a power amplifier. People at the top
have greater power.
Corruption is not necessarily illegal. Corruption is dishonourable.
It is a betrayal of the public trust.
Legal experts are dishonest when they advise clients how to avoid
paying tax, or avoid prosecution for anti competitive behaviour, or otherwise
advise criminals how to avoid their just deserts. Although they may
obey the letter of the law in so advising, it is a fudge.
Sportsmen are dishonestly turning their abilities into money.
Some are doing it directly, agreeing to "throw the game". Others
are using chemicals to enhance their performance.
Politicians are dishonest when they consider themselves to be
rulers who know better than ourselves what is good for us. This is
the substantive position of any politician who attends an in camera
meeting connected with the office held.
Party politicians in Australia are dishonest because they do
not vote their consciences, but follow the instructions of their party.
This is a special problem with the Westminster two party system.
Honest men should neither impose nor accept such a system.
Political Leaders are corrupt when they manipulate the political
process to obtain legislation that is not wanted by the people.
When it comes down to it, we need a "top down" cleanup of democratic societies.
We are not likely to get it while we retain representative
The GST was not wanted by the Australian people. Political processes
were manipulated by elected representatives to produce GST legislation.
This was dishonest use of power granted by the democratic process..
Spate has the Fiji people's mandate. The elected representatives
of Fijians have dishonestly manipulated democratic processes and were not
representative of the majority interest. (The elected government
was attempting to enact land legislation that would have resulted in a
huge transfer of wealth to the Indian population.) Since our own
government used similar tactics to enact the GST, it did not recognize
that a wrong was done. Behind the scenes our government is now attempting
to provoke violence by the Fiji Army that might restore the corrupt democracy.
This is a dishonest use of our government's power.
The Solomon Islanders are also dissatisfied with the corrupted representative
PM Howard has reportedly met President Wahid of Indonesia to reassure him
that it is OK to continue oppressing people in Aceh, Ambon and West Irian.
(Howard was so proud of his stand for East Timor!). Mr. Howard
would do everyone a favour by keeping away from President Wahid.
President Wahid is an honourable man who is more in touch with the majority
feelings of the Indonesian people than is PM Howard in touch with the Australian
people. Juxtaposed comparison will starkly illuminate the tackiness
and dishonesty of PM Howard.