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Cameron & Corruption: An Important Step Forward

Written by Robert Barrington on Friday, 5 June 2015

The Prime Minister is taking a bold step in raising corruption at the G7 meeting and going beyond the usual synonyms of governance and transparency.

The Prime Minister is taking a bold step in raising corruption at the G7 meeting, and going beyond the usual  synonyms of governance and transparency.

As he points out, though it has been increasingly discussed over the past twenty years, and while the general message has become acceptable, highlighting cases of abuse is still taboo. He is rightly using FIFA as an example of an institution that got away with corruption, with impunity, for years.

It has also become apparent that corruption is a key driver of global insecurity – causing and perpetuating conflict and the appeal of extremist groups, whether ISIL, Boko Haram or the Taliban.

What happens next? First, he needs to find a receptive audience. Secondly, he needs to be clear that the UK’s international authority will depend on the credibility of his performance domestically – within the UK, and in the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. His government must ensure that the world’s leading financial centre is not a centre of global money laundering or provider of services to the world’s corrupt elite – whether in property, corruption-resources-corruption-resources-education or sport. Addressing this part of the equation is a vital part of addressing corruption overseas.

At the same time, action will be needed to drive out the areas of corruption within the UK – including politics, the police, local government, prisons and sport.

It is encouraging that he has been quietly laying the foundations for this over the past couple of years, notably with the Anti-Corruption Plan and work on open governance. But his global message needs to be reinforced by real action at home, and not simply words. If he gets this right, it could be of catalytic importance in the global fight against corruption.

Overall, it’s an excellent starting point: we look forward to the actions that follow the words.


Read 2042 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:18

Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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