Saturday, December 31, 2005

Abramoff scandal

Today we feature a Washington Post article on the scandal surrounding political lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which centrally features his connections with former House majority leader Tom DeLay. It's a fascinating story, but the evidently unhappy Abramoff, pictured right, has reason to feel agrrieved. Where exactly does 'normal' lobbying by big business stop and corruption begin?
The whole system is corrupt, and shines a spotlight on the close interconnections bewteen American politicians and big business - indeed key figures in the present administration have moved seamlessly back and forth between them. The United States is the world's most perfected business state. But Europeans shouldn't feel smug. Recent events have revealed huge lobbying operations at the European parliament, particularly by big drug and chemical companies. And of course the public relations/lobbying industry has grown massively in the UK under the previous Tory and now Blair administrations. Only occasionally with major scandals is the world of bribes, free holidays and gifts, political favours and sordid deals - the lubricants of modern capitalist enterprise - revealed in public.

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