Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bribery and corruption

I have received an e-mail from the kindly and well-meaning Lydia Macey, the marketing assistant for International Armoured Vehicles, the body which is organising an international exhibition for arms dealers in London next month.

She also refers me to the company blog, which, interestingly, features Major General Moore, Director of Equipment Capability (Ground Manoeuvre) in the Ministry of Defence, a man who has done so much damage to the Army that one wonders whether he actually works for the enemy (sorry - I've just realised, he does ... he is employed by the MoD).

Anyhow, the e-mail requests that I "write a short blog to go on our blog page about a topic in the defence industry and incorporate a bit about our armoured vehicle event". The reward is "a free press pass to the Conference & Exhibition", which is not quite in the same league as an all-expenses-paid trip to Paris and a steak dinner in the shade of an Armoured Personnel Carrier, which is how I got to meet my last batch of arms dealers.

Nevertheless, I am sorely tempted. It would get me out of the house, and I think I deserve a good jolly, looking at new toys, even if it is at my own expense. This is an extremely prestigious and well-organised exhibition, and the tickets are much coveted. A press pass is worth several times its weight in gold.

However, I thought I would consult with my readers before succumbing to these blandishments, to see what the general mood was. Should I give in to such bribery and corruption, or not?