Make yourself useful to a corrupt leader who has the morals of a sewer rat and then name your price in the form of a top job as payment.
As the world holds its breath and gasps at the news that Germany has been egregiously used as America’s pawn in a sick power game which is filling the coffers of U.S. companies and making Joe Biden’s buddies in the military industry billionaires, many will reflect on the judgement of Olaf Scholz and ask whether he is fit to be the German chancellor. He may have known about Biden’s plan to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines which would guarantee that Germany would not only throw itself into the war against Russia, but stay at it in the long run, which is bad enough. Or he may not have known and was as shocked as anyone when it happened in June of last year during a NATO exercise.
In either case, Scholz’s judgement will be examined now for a very long time and a process of opprobrium has in fact already started in the same building where he announced that he would throw the lever on a 200 billion euro spending spree to ‘rearm’ the German army: the German parliament.
While the German press follows its lead from their masters in the coalition government which Scholz presides over by pretending that the Hersh piece doesn’t exist, MPs like Sevim Dağdelen regale the government in a bold speech. “Stop defaming the journalist & his sources! The German government must disclose its findings on the #terrorist attacks on #NordStream , considering that revelations by #SeymourHersh point to the responsibility of the #USA & #Norway” she summarizes in a tweet.
Scholz is of course in a quandary. Whichever way he turns he sees his career shot to shreds so the best course is to hope that the media will serve him admirably and help him with the ruse of simply closing one’s eyes and hoping the commotion will die down.
But the debate is actually gaining momentum in some strange places and this will only serve the purpose once again for social media to ask the critical questions for the incumbent journalists to write up, like stenographers.
In the UK, it is Boris Johnson who, despite no longer being PM, is still making the news for being an inept buffoon who can’t help getting entangled in sleaze and corruption scandals – some about him or others simply about bent MPs who he goes to some length to protect.
This time it is the appointment of the BBC chief, who, it turns out is a crony of Johnson’s who he owed a huge favour to. Richard Price, according to a parliamentary report, arranged for Bojo to have 800,000 pounds ‘loan’ from a Canadian businessman. After arranging such a kind gesture Price, who was an advisor of Johnson in Downing Street, made it be known that he wanted the top job. And he got it.
It’s this kind of ‘jobs for the boys’ corruption stories which most Brits wouldn’t be too bothered about as, apart from only expecting this from Johnson whose entire tenure in government is a trail of havoc of lies, deceit and sleaze, the UK public is getting used to the idea that Whitehall and Parliament are now fully-fledged US style centres of corruption.
The remarkable thing about the Richard Price story though is that it was not the fourth estate who broke it. Given the tawdry, unhealthy relationship between big media in the UK and the establishment most investigative journalists have taken up other professions as ‘graft’ as a subject isn’t an easy commodity to flog to those in the media who themselves are tacitly as corrupt as the elite they serve. Such journalists are in dwindling numbers in the UK.
And so it was Nicholas Wilson, an anti-corruption sleuth, who dug the dirt up and joined up the dots creating this latest sleaze story about a bent BBC boss, who, while a Johnson advisor managed to get 600,000 pounds from the government for one of his companies. This is how UK governments work these days. A little bit more sophisticated that brown envelopes or insider trading. But not much. Make yourself useful to a corrupt leader who has the morals of a sewer rat and then name your price in the form of a top job as payment.
But judgement is also an issue here. If Johnson was happy to harangue close friends for money and put it out that he was looking for a large cash donation, then surely any third-rate hack would ask “what about the Ukraine war?”. Does Johnson have a financial stake in this war? Recently he was in Kiev and then Washington doing his bit for lobbying. Given this new role and the fact that he was the first western leader to send ammo to Ukraine, is it not fair to ask “Is he on the Zelensky payroll these days?”. Was he also in the loop on the pipeline bombing plan? All reasonable questions that UK journalists would no doubt like to examine. Be patient. They’re no doubt waiting for an out of work activist to get onto Twitter and do their jobs for them.