Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wholesale looting

As more and more detail comes pouring in, it is quite evident here that we have an epidemic of looting. By any comparison, the amount of money appropriated by the "looters in suits" far exceeds that stolen by the street amateurs. No one yet has pieced it all together, and at this stage it is probably not yet possible. But, when you take local authorities, civil servants, quango executives and the NHS, we are well into ten figures ... the billion-mark.

It may be only a few of us saying this, but that does not make us wrong. This is a crisis – more so than the street violence of a few weeks ago. Then, at least there were measures that could be taken against the perpetrators. Here, the thieves are in our midst, and walking away with their loot, unchecked.

Of course, there is also the Jacqui Smith farce, but that is small beer compared with this epidemic of official looting. It is the looting which is costing us the money, and our supine MPs seem powerless to stop it. But, reviewing this escalating situation, by what moral authority now do they claim any obligation to pay tax? And if there is no moral authority, we are not talking tax – but extortion and theft.

The really interesting thing, though, is that this seems to be an international phenomenon, with an outbreak in the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa. This institutionalised corruption is becoming the norm. We are all the poorer for it and, if it is not stopped, it has the potential to bring down civilisation as we know it.