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Labour launches corruption, abroad

  • Paul Mason
  • 12 Jul 06, 05:01 PM

Emails have begun to land in my inbox about tomorrow's launch of the Development White Paper by UK aid ministry DFID. The White Paper was flagged up as being due, but not until next week and the paranoiac blogger in me is wondering why it has been rushed forward to tomorrow.

The contents of it are likely to be controversial, signalling as they do a turn away from stimulating "supply of democracy" - i.e. consultancies going in to developing world and redesigning entire legal systems - towards "demand for democracy". This inevitably involves DFID giving money to groups in civil society it believes will demand democracy and fight the horrendous corruption that exists in government in countries less fortunate than the UK.

No doubt this will involve financing newspapers that ask awkward questions about alleged government malfeasance; likewise even bloggers, who have been known to be on the front line of asking questions about, for example, positions in the legislature of these benighted countries being traded for cash.

Meanwhile, here in Britain, while a major department of state gets ready to teach the world about good governance, news has just broken that Lord Levy, the Prime Minister's personal envoy to the Middle East, and the man in charge of Labour fundraising, has been arrested in connection with the 1925 Honours Act and the 2000 PPERA.

More Zizou and nuclear malarkey...

  • Paul Mason
  • 12 Jul 06, 09:02 AM

zidane_ap203.jpgAs the world awaits Zidane's definitive account of the provocation for the headbutt, in a primary school in Salford the headteacher tells me kids spent most of Monday "practising" the Zidane headbutt, despite pleadings to the contrary. It seems to have a similar fascination for amateur video editors who, courtesy of Youtube, have been adding everything from Hollywood style special effects, to Super Mario overlays. Plus this Matrix-style compilation of Materazzi's greatest fouls. Back in the world of warm beer and elderly nuns cycling to church on a Sunday evening, curled ham sandwiches, extradited City businessmen (that's enough England metaphors, Ed.)...we are going nuclear...

Continue reading "More Zizou and nuclear malarkey..."

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