Staying with the “ethics” theme, I wold like to focus on Politicians today.
Since I wrote about the issue of Housing Allowances for UK MPS there have been more revelations about MP’s expenses here in the UK.
We have learned in great detail about how and what they spend our taxes on and in fact that nepotism is rampant amongst our Politicians. This is used to be normal practice in the Uganda I grew up in and may well be the case in a lot of African countries. I was however surprised at how wide spread it is in UK given all the scrutiny committees that there are as well as the availability of the Freedom of information charter!
The other reason I am surprised is the response from some of thsoe politicians that have been caught! Some have justified their behaviour by simply saying “it is in the rules”! And that may well be the case but is it ethical/morary right when so many of us taxt payers are struggling to make ends meet?
In her book DEAD AID recounts several instances of why AID to Africa has failed to lift the continent’s millions out of poverty and one of the reasons is because the money doesn’t get to those that need it and this programme for the BBC offered some insight on what really happens on the ground.
In the light of the expenses scandal here in UK some have argued that MPs are poorly paid and therefore maximise their incomes through the expenses/benefits scheme available to them. I can see parallels of this from stories elsewhere in the world this may not be a perfect example but it is the only one I can lay my hands on at the moment. Should he have accpeted that Merc in the first instance? http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/-/1066/604476/-/13a0ryiz/-/
This has lead to ask the question “Are Politicians inherently unethical?
Have we lead them down that route by not paying them a fair wage?
What would a fair wage be for a politician to ensure that they don’t abuse the trust of their constituents?
I don’t necessarily have the answers to my questions all I know is that those tht are dependant on Welfare benefits would not get away with what the MPS have been up to and if caught they would be required to pay back the money and worse could end up in prison!
I would be interested in hearing your views on this