Thursday, 29 March 2012

Power Corrupts

by Madi Barker

My mother always taught me that ‘honesty is the best policy’ – this is, of course, with the exception of speeding fines and confessing to stuffing the last slice of birthday cake. Though, in the supposed ‘revelation’ of the new cash for access scandal, I can honestly say I’m not surprised. At all. In fact, it rather came as a comforting consolidation of my belief that eventually most power becomes crooked, driven by our innate selfishness and greed and thus a reality check is needed.

Rather, this predictable and unsurprising headline fosters minor interest due to the United Kingdom’s growing similarity to the USA. In America, offering political favours (such as access to the President or the occasional photo-shoot) in return for a healthy donation is standard procedure - so why are we making a big deal out of it? Seemingly, the Atlantic Ocean provides a half-hearted barrier between the two ideologies: the UK already (practically) functions under a presidential government in all but name and I even hear children referring to their trousers as ‘pants’. There is a lack of credulity behind the noise of Westminster halls and BBC offices.

We were surely not deluded about the fact that money oils our democratic machine, just like America, until this so-called scandal. Politicians make and break promises; our democracy has been slanted since the moment it began. Honesty may be the best policy but when the policy ain’t honest both at home and away, the British public and media should refrain from patronising themselves by pretending it’s any different. 

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