It isn’t like we think our system is perfect. I would be the first to admit that it is seriously flawed. A first past the post election system that skewers results to give a victor, in what is becoming an ever more divided and pluralist country. But I am not writing here to malaise our recent election results; what does, however, concern me is the corruption that is becoming ever more prevalant in our politics.
I am personally guilty of looking at our system and then at our American counterparts and simply thinkin; well, it could be worse. The Citizens United verdict essentially allowed corporations and wealthy individuals, such as the Koch Brothers, to buy off politicians and elections. Although, they are allegedly taking a backseat in this election (potentially as the choice is between a douche and a turd sandwich). The level of corruption is blatantly obvious, even in what is puported to be the peoples party (The Democrats); with scandals and accusations including Anti-Sanders plotting, vote rigging, email breaches, manipulation of party rules and most recently the revelation that roughly 1 in 10 of the superdelegates in the party are registered lobbyists!
Yet, conspicuous corruption is not been isolated to the US alone. The “Panama Papers” leak earlier this year simply reaffirmed the belief that the government officials and those at the very top, are not playing by the same tax rules that the rest of us have to adhere to. Our Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, was (un)fortunately not personally incriminated (though his father was), and nothing much more was heard about it after the initial shock and outrage. Though, it is likely that investigations may go on for years to come.
Today brought us Camerons honours list. Though the idea that honours can be bought so obviously may seem a little far fetched, there is little argument that can’t deal with some simple maths.
4 x Pro Remain Ex Cabinet Members = knighthoods
Director of Britain Stronger in Europe + Ex Foreign Secretary Father = CBE
£1.6 Million + Head of Vitol Oil = CBE
£1 Million + CEO of William Cook = CBE
Wife’s stylist = Priceless ….. just kidding she is getting an OBE!
What is most shocking about this honours list is the fact politicians and businessmen are being rewarded for their failed effort to keep Britain in the EU (although we are yet to see whether we actually leave). Jeremy Corbyn failed to lead the remain campaign to victory and despite massive public support for him, he was rejected and abandoned, albeit temporarily, by his party. I didn’t see his name on the honours list David?
I don’t think anyone could argue with my maths (apart from my old teacher, but that is besides the point), so we now have to ask; how do we prevent this from happening again? Perhaps, there should be more scrutiny on the reasoning behind certain honours? Or more specific criterea for nominations? At any rate Cameron’s list is awaiting approval and is unlikely to be challenged by Theresa May at the risk of setting a dangerous precendent. So, as is becoming a rather familiar to us brits these days, we shall simply have to wait and see what sort of backlash there is, if any.