28 March 2012

 “Corruption is the most important threat facing the ruling party.”

That statement could be the situation in New Zealand after recent events involving a Ministerial resignation and the disclosure of contacts made by party members seeking to benefit from their connections with the Government.

A very readable analysis of these matters under the title of “the banality of corruption” was the post in today’s Political Scientist blog. It identifies the link between cronyism and corruption and the “temptation to use power to advance self-interest”.

The statement (of course in Chinese!) was made by China’s Premier Wen Jiabao and published late Monday on the website of the State Council, China’s Cabinet. The Premier has made several similar comments this month about corruption being the biggest threat facing the ruling Communist Party, and warning of a change in the “nature of power” if it is not curbed.

He observed that “if the matter is not handled properly, the nature of power may change. This is a very grave challenge we are facing.”

That may just as easily be the feeling of New Zealand’s Prime Minister at present.

Was the Leader of the House trying to draw attention away from this situation when he baited the Opposition with references to Finland?