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NCJ Number: 65285 Find in a Library
Title: GRAMMAR OF CORRUPTION
Journal: SCOPE  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1949)  Pages:66-73,135
Author(s): C BROGAN
Date Published: 1949
Page Count: 9
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: PARLIAMENTARY POLITICS IN GREAT BRITAIN HAS BEEN FREE FROM CORRUPTION SINCE THE VICTORIAN ERA, BUT THE POST-WAR CONTROLLED ECONOMY IS PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO ABUSES OF AUTHORITY BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS.
Abstract: THE BRITISH PUBLIC HAS ALWAYS ASSUMED THAT PARLIAMENT AND THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS WERE AS NEAR TO TOTAL INCORRUPTIBILITY AS ANY HUMAN INSTITUTION COULD BE. ON THE OTHER HAND, GRAFT AND BRIBERY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRESENT AMONG LOCAL COUNCILS IN SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, AND WALES BECAUSE THE COUNCILS' INVOLVEMENT WITH COMMERCE THROUGH CONTRACTS AND CONTROLS PROVIDES MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISHONESTY. PATRONAGE WAS COMMON IN PARLIAMENT UNTIL THE RISING MIDDLE CLASS CHALLENGED THE ARISTOCRACY'S POWER IN THE 19TH CENTURY. GLADSTONE TOOK POLITICS OUT OF BUSINESS BY CREATING THE COMPETITIVE, PROFESSIONAL CIVIL SERVICE. HINTS OF CORRUPTION CONTRIBUTED TO THE DOWNFALL OF THE LLOYD-GEORGE COALITION, AND IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS CENSORS SUCH AS THE LEAGUE FOR CLEAN GOVERNMENT FOUND VERY LITTLE TO TALK ABOUT. THE SCANDAL INVOLVED IN THE MARCONI CASE, HOWEVER, WAS SOMETHING NEW AND ONLY OCCURRED BECAUSE THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT OF ASQUITH HAD BEGUN TO DABBLE AGAIN IN BUSINESS. THE GREATEST THREAT TO PARLIAMENTARY INCORRUPTIBILITY COMES FROM THE CONTROLLED ECONOMY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED IN EVERY ASPECT OF COMMERCE AND BUSINESS. COMMON PRACTICES IN COMMERCE, SUCH AS GIVING GIFTS TO CUSTOMERS, INFILTRATE GOVERNMENT AND ERODE TRADITIONS OF HONESTY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS WHERE BARRIERS BETWEEN GENEROSITY (TRADE PRACTICE) CORRUPTION (SHARP PRACTICE) ARE OFTEN BLURRED, THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL AND THE POLITICIAN FIND THEMSELVES AT A DISADVANTAGE. IN SUCH A SITUATION STANDARDS ARE LOWERED GRADUALLY, AND THE DECLINE IS HARDLY NOTICED. THE RISE OF THE CAREER POLITICIAN PROVIDES A SPECIAL CASE OF TEMPTATION BECAUSE THESE MEN HAVE NO FINANCIAL RESOURCES OTHER THAN THEIR GOVERNMENT SALARIES TO ENSURE A COMFORTABLE LIFESTYLE FOLLOWING DEFEAT OR RETIREMENT. IF THE CLOSELY CONTROLLED ECONOMY BECOMES PERMANENT, A GENERATION WILL GROW UP THAT NOT KNOWING THE OLD TRADITIONS, AND A SERIOUS LOWERING OF PUBLIC STANDARDS COULD RESULT. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Corruption of public officials; Economic influences; Great Britain/United Kingdom
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65285

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