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15 June 2018

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Cardinal rule - any organisation, whether government, private or otherwise given time will eventually become corrupt. It is an immutable truth that cannot be avoided.

They all start out wilt the best of intentions but slowly and inevitably they become corrupt. The churches are a great example, so too are all the charities, Mother Theresa was corrupt, who would have believed it? Barack Obama as president became corrupt. Winston Churchill was corrupt.

The trick is change, constant turnover - that's the only way to ensure that corruption doesn't become embedded.

Something else too.

What about good corruption?

This is where you manipulate a system, government or otherwise, to achieve results beneficial to the people but outside the rules.

The kiaps were very good at it.

I worked with an ADC in the highlands who applied for and got funds to build roads that were already built and then used the money to build schools for which funds were unavailable.

A couple of observations.

If the government of a country is corrupt, from the prime minister down, there is little hope of tackling the broader issue. The remedy calls for a change of government as a first step.

The end game in corruption may not just be financial or personal gain. If you recall the 'Stop the Boats' business in Australia you will also remember the great secrecy that surrounded it, ministers and Poo-Bahs refusing to talk about 'on water matters' for instance.

The way the refugee issue has been handled in Australia is a form of moral corruption and secrecy is integral to it.

Peter Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, is currently keeping secret many aspects of his department's operations to maintain that level of corruption. He is not only morally bankrupt but morally corrupt.

There are plenty of other examples - Malcolm Turnbull and the banks, Barnaby Joyce and the irrigators, Bill Shorten and the unions etc.

New Zealand has less trouble with corruption because of its transparency but I don't believe there are no corrupt people there, just look at some of the previous governments like that of Piggy Muldoon.

They do well because the opportunities are limited. If they had a commission against corruption they would probably do better. They might also discover that there is, in fact, corruption in New Zealand that is just better hidden than elsewhere.

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