Last week, while reading comments on an article in the Guardian about corruption in the United Kingdom, I was intrigued by a commentator who wrote “Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index, the key determinant of corruption seems to be race. Singapore, Japan, Barbados and Hong Kong are the only majority non-white countries in the Top 20. The highest ranking African country is Botswana (31). Southern Europe seems to be much less virtuous than the north, as well. Indeed, the highest ranking Romance language-speaking countries are Chile and Uruguay (21). Germanic language-speaking nations totally dominate the top 20.”
I wanted to check if that was true.
I have now reached my own conclusion. The commentator is right.
Transparency International is a racist organization. It has intentionally created ranking criteria and conditions which would always put white people countries as less corrupted compared to everyone else.
In Europe and the US, white majority countries, everything that Transparency International would qualify as corruption in Africa, is nicely relabeled “lobbying”, therefore excluding thousands of practices of nepotism, bribing, corruption in theses places from their ranking methods.
The result, White countries are whiter in their ranking, except few Asian western dominions, and all other countries comes afterward, at the bottom as the most corrupted therefore the black sheep to be mocked, lectured, shamed. This is discriminatory.
That is racism, a system falsely rational that always end up making a category of people always the winners regardless of glaring facts.
Like George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian article “The definitions of corruption on which it draws are narrow and selective. Common practices in the rich nations that could reasonably be labelled corrupt are excluded; common practices in the poor nations are emphasised. .. such narrow conceptions of corruption are part of a long tradition of portraying the problem as something confined to weak nations, which must be rescued by “reforms” imposed by colonial powers and, more recently, bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF. These “reforms” mean austerity, privatisation, outsourcing and deregulation. They tend to suck money out of the hands of the poor and into the hands of national and global oligarchs.…The UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg and Germany are all ranked by Transparency International as among the least corrupt nations in the world. They are also listed by the Tax Justice Network as among the worst secrecy regimes and tax havens. For some reason, though, that doesn’t count. … The power of global finance and the immense wealth of the global elite are founded on corruption, and the beneficiaries have an interest in framing the question to excuse themselves.”
It’s true that corruption is much more hidden in developed countries, and much more visible in developing countries. It is more palpable for average citizen in southern countries, but moves to a structural, systemic and higher level in northern countries, therefore less visible to Transparency International surveyors, which are not members of the “Old boys clubs”, golf clubs, freemasons lodges, secret societies, colleges and corporates alumni dark network, corporate boards, etc.
The problem of Transparency International in identifying corruption in western countries is comparable to the situation of financial journalists who are paid annually 60 000 dollars salaries to write financial articles giving advises to multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires. They try hard, but their newspapers end up being read more by people like themselves, and rich people just use them as public relation agents.
How Nigeria and Cameroon could be most corrupted countries in the world when combined GDP of both countries doesn’t reach 600 billions dollars, while alone the amount of money rich families in the west hide in tax havens is estimated to be 32 trillions dollars?
Isn’t it funny that Switzerland, a country where tax evasion, money laundering are legal, gets a good rating from Transparency International, and UK is an exemplar country while hosting the City, the world global center for money laundering.
My intention here is not to deny the existence of corruption in Africa, but refute the racist criteria Transparency International uses to denigrate Africa. I don’t know who finance Transparency International but they should move their head from their ass and look more closely to the practices in the West, and use criteria like volume, per capita, externalized corruption to make their ranking.
Corruption in developing world is unfair to people, but corruption in the developed world is destroying life-support by trashing the environment, voiding democratic values, and by generating wars which kill millions and cause tantamount human suffering.
Which corruption is worst?
A story said: A Politics Teacher (at A-Level) asked the class a very simple question.
She said: Tell me the problem with the Narrative of Corruption in the UK, and Europe.
One kid put his hand up and said: Miss, we don’t have any, can you rephrase the question.
The teacher replied: Exactly.
All Western democracies suffer from that illusion of respectability, because the mainstream medias and organizations like Transparency International are used to indoctrinate the larger public into a false sense of moral superiority.
If Transparency International wants to be taken seriously, and stop being a trojan for the World Bank/IMF operations in southern countries, it should stop shaming Africans while sparing the criminals next door.
Here is a list of the 10 popular corruption practices in the West that Transparency International should include in their corruption rating:
1. Revolving doors
In the West private corporations executives are moved to public administration to draft the laws affecting their businesses, therefore using public office power to transfer huge amount of public wealth to private interests or enact regulations which would help those corporations to unscrupulously rob consumers, evade tax, rig pricing in critical commercial sector like energy, pharmacy, health, consumers rights.
Isn’t that a practice of corruption which should be properly evaluated?
2. Western Multinationals corruption in Africa
Corruption is not only about taking bribes, but always about giving bribes. Western multinationals in Africa are the main providers of bribes to politicians and public servants in order to get mining licenses, public markets, and commercial deals like military materials, airplanes purchases, etc.
Like a friend put it “Corruption is a new form of business, where people get into politics to solicit bribes from multinational companies in the form of foreign investments”.
Is bribing by western multinationals added to the account of African countries or to the account of western citizens doing the bribing?
3. Donation to political parties
3 years ago, a researcher using data from the UK Electoral Commission and Companies House, found that donation from financial moguls from the City to a political party accounted to 51.4% of all funds received by the party. Hedge funds, financiers and private equity firms contributed 27% – while 50 City donors paid more than £50,000. All donors contributing this amount or more, become members of the Leader’s Group and consequently qualify for a face-to-face meeting with the prime minister.
For Transparency International, that’s not corruption but donations. For the average citizen who doesn’t have a spare £50,000 to donate, democracy only means freedom to elect officials who only listen to wealthy donors.
Under donations, we could also add International aid, an annual 40 billion corruption fund, taken from public finance in western countries mainly to buy politicians in developing countries in order to corrupt their thinking process, destroy their country, and help western multinationals agenda. The marginal benefits of aid one could witness here and there is just for public relation and justification in the eyes of naïve western citizens.
Why Transparency International won’t audit corruption at the IMF, the World Bank, and International public organizations like UNICEF, WHO?
4. Cross-corporate board sitting and insider dealings
Western politicians going on ‘lecture’ tours around the world, are paid fifty thousands dollars an hour, and are given seats on the boards of the organizations, corporations that they are supposed to be policing.
Consulting for former politicians has become the legal way to buy influence and affect public opinions.
5. Buying votes in parliament
When votes are close in parliament, senate, congress, in western countries buying votes practices are started by offering positions, careers opportunities, and making promises of infrastructures and future projects in specific areas. Money doesn’t immediately change hand but public resources are attributed in a non-democratic and rational ways.
6. Banks secrecy and offshore money laundering
You can make billions in the City of London by persuading rate-setters to move in your favor interest rates, currency rates or anything else you want to speculate on.
Transparency International looks away, while the City in London became the global center of corruption, the launderer of the world’s dirty money.
If the sheer volume of global corruption enabled and facilitated by the City of London would be investigated by Transparency International, the ranking of the United Kingdom would not be in the top 20.
7. Tax dodging and illicit financial transfer
According to an article published by Reuters in 2012, western rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues.
The total amount Africa GDP is a mere 1,7 trillion dollars, and corruption siphons about 25% annually. Now tell me, how comes that African countries are at the top of the Transparency, while 32 trillions are offshored by the world moguls?
8. Golf clubs, secret societies, alumni network and think tanks rings
As Transparency International little boys can’t pierce the shield of the Old Boys hidden networks, and shed light on their numerous places of traffic of influence, they conveniently limit their report to what is visible, transparent, the immigrant officer asking $1 bribe at the airport in Niger, or the traffic police pocketing 50 cents dollar from a taxi driver in Yaoundé.
What about the corruption at the Gold Club, the freemasons lodges, the alumni networks, the secret societies, the think Tanks, the Bilderberg Group?
Transparency International should publish another report called “Opacity International” to depict the opaque and hidden network behind the real corruption in the world.
Africa is too transparent, therefore more corrupt. What an irony, where transparency is punished and opacity is rewarded. Sounds like a debate about assumed polygamy in Africa and false monogamy in the West.
9. False wars for profit
Arms deals come in multi-billions dollars always involving western politicians, corporate executives corruption.
Beyond the huge amount of money which exchanges hands in such deal, Transparency ignore false wars for profit, or world event created with the influence of arms dealers, oil companies, and construction companies in order to make money, they won’t have made without those events occurring. The example of the interminable war in places like the Congo where millions have died so the exploitation of its resources can continue unimpeded.
Recently, US federal investigators went to investigate corruption in occupied Afghanistan. According to their findings three quarters of the suspects in all cases of corruptions were not Afghani. Wars make money, not for the poor, but for their sponsors!
We can also add to false wars, the engineered IMF/World Bank Structural adjustment program in Africa in other to sell public assets at bargain price to corporations.
Funny enough, when you go to the headquarter of the World Bank in Washington, the food in their cafeteria is subsidized. You can have a full meal with a starter, a main dish, a dessert, and a drink for less than $15. Their employees don’t pay income tax, and they have sugarcoated life insurances, retirement plans all paid by public money.
Those hypocrites would go to Africa to ask governments to cut energy and food subsidies to the most poor, reduce old people pensions, and scale back health care services.
10. Tax evasions, and illicit transfers
A recent report came to challenge the well spread idea that the West is pouring money into Africa through aid without receiving much in return. All in contrary, the report proved that Africa has lost up to $1.4 trillion in illicit financial flows to the West from 1980 to 2009. This amount is 233 times the 60 billions foreign “aid” Africa supposedly receives every year from the West.
The illicit financial flows involve the transfer of money earned through corruption, bribes, tax evasion, criminal activities and transactions involving contraband goods.
In the end, the report concluded that those illicit financial flows are fast growing and are far exceeding money coming into the continent, therefore seriously undermining the continent’s development.
What is funny is that ‘free’ in ‘free country’ equates ‘the rule of law’ while ‘free’ as in ‘free market’ equates to ‘unregulated’. Transparency has yet to understand that hypocrisy.