FIFA – What we should do to Make Mr Blatter leave

It has been suggested that a proper response to the allegations of wrongdoing at FIFA is for England to withdraw from the world cup. Of course we do not know whether anyone at FIFA has been guilty of taking bribes or guilty of other corruption, although reading the British newspapers might give the impression that such guilt has been proven. Nevertheless the seriousness of the allegations reflects badly on the FIFA leader, Mr Sepp Blatter, who has now been cast as the villain of the piece, rightly or wrongly. Continue reading

Money is not the best measure

Giving development aid to poorer (often not much poorer) nations is a habit to which some of the developed nations have acquired. They measure the value of the aid they give by money, billions of it; they even measure its value by value of their income, and seek plaudits for what they do. Continue reading

Constitutional Reform

It is possible that the referendum in Scotland, whatever its result may be, will lead to constitutional reform over the remaining parts of the United Kingdom. Certainly  there is plenty of scope for reform. The major institutions or practices that need reform or abolition are

  • the House of Lords; if the UK needs a second chamber then it should be elected, for better or worse, and not appointed.
  • the ability of elected politicians to appoint their cronies into offices of power without a proper application process.
  • the House of Commons needs to be elected by constituencies that have approximately the same amounts of voting populations. There should be fewer Members of Parliament who should be paid a decent wage and whose services should be provided by the government direct; we need to abolish the system of grants and allowances.
  • Members of Parliament of the UK should not be allowed to vote on measures that are devolved to their local national parliaments.
  • I would prefer the abolition of all titles, including that of the monarch and those of her family. However, i suspect most of the country would disagree with me on this point.
  • I cannot see the point of expensive to maintain holiday home accommodation for ministers. I know their jobs are important but they do not need to undertake them on estates of luxury surrounded by expensive art that belongs to the nation.

My prejudice is in favour of democracy. it is the least imperfect system of government and its main disadvantage is the insidious corruption that accompanies it, made easy by their being in the United Kingdom, a system to enable corruption to thrive in a perfectly legal way.

The More Laws, the More Corruption

Laws are enacted in our present civilised society virtually every day; some days many laws are enacted, too many for anyone to read. It has become virtually impossible for a citizen to understand all the relevant laws that might apply to his or her conduct, transactions, habits and behaviour. There is primary, secondary and even tertiary legislation. There are laws upon laws, laws within laws, and laws about what is not within the law. In nine years the last Labour government managed to create 3,600 new criminal offences. The present Conservative government is also busy creating new criminal offences, not quite at the same rate, but with the same enthusiasm. Continue reading

Motives that move the World

Tracing the motives that move the world is not difficult. Although there are people whose motives is to seek to make the world  a better place, and even though such people may be the majority of people in the world, their efforts and ideas are subsumed by those who seek power, greedily. It is not is much that power corrupts, but those that seek power are already half corrupted by inclination.  Continue reading

Striving for Perfection

There are many ways that humans can be oppressed; the means of oppression are threats to survival, poverty, threats to freedom and corruption and these threats in all societies are present, but as societies become more prosperous the risk of each threat changes. Continue reading

Lobbying and Corruption

Some administrations are openly corrupt.  In some parts of the world you can offer a handful of cash to a civil servant or government official in order to obtain a document that is your administrative right, like a minor permit, or a document that is your human right to possess, like a passport. You have to offer a large bag full of cash to obtain a facility to make more cash in that part of the world. These things are done secretly but the process is not too subtle. Continue reading

Corrupt Politicians

Politics always brings us scandals; despite the press attention to corruption in the UK, politicians cannot seem to learn that if use their memberships of the House of Commons or of the House of Lords to feather their nests, they are likely to be caught, exposed and disgraced. The simpler course of action is to imitate the behaviour of Tony Blair. In office he was “Teflon Tony” – no dirt ever seemed to stick to him. Once out of office he has used the connections and fame he acquired as a result of being a politician to amass a sizeable fortune They is, of course, no hint of corruption if you use the information and contacts you obtained during office bestowed democratically, after your period in office has ended. It is as good a way to amass a fortune as any, but nevertheless leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for those that watch.

We have to make politicians less important in democracies

We have to make politicians in democracies less important than they are at present and make the democratic process more important. Of course the democratic will is just as capable of making errors of judgement as politicians. Continue reading

Seven Curses That Inflict Humanity

We have blessings and we have curses. We should enjoy the blessings andf avoid the curses but some curses are impossible to swerve.

  1. Usury, or to call it by its modern name banking, impoverishes the poor and enriches the wealthy. It is necessary for people to be able to borrow, but there has to be some control on the rates charged for borrowing. All semblance of control has vanished and even though interest rates are low most people and businesses are having to pay obscenely high rates for borrowing
  2. Politics and politicians; they start with good intentions but we all know where the road leads that is paved with good intentions. They become so fixed upon themselves that they lose the plot.
  3. Passing the buck; governments often refuse to make decisions unless they can get an independent report to tell them what should be done.
  4. Corruption; all nations suffer from corruption to one degree or another. In the United Kingdom a great and insidious form of corruption is designating the great and the good to highly paid posts. It revolves not so much around the old school tie but the old university.
  5. Control by data collection; walking down the street I can be caught on many CCTV cameras and I see parking officials record the number plates of every car, to check whether the owner has paid to park. The data collected is so large that the Nazis would have been delighted to collect half the amount of data that is collected and recorded today. The scope for abuse is large.
  6. Multinationals; they are so large that they are outside the law (although they pay lip service to it) and outside democratic control. They are the modern gods who control many of our lives.
  7. An obsession with growth; we all want to grow better and stronger but we ignore that the pursuit of growth can lead to the cancerous growths that can kill us.