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 Post subject: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:22 am 
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One of those icons of British engineering and inventiveness is the Bailey bridge. Nothing stands still, of course, and the design has been updated and improved, now called the Mabey logistic support bridge (pictured in Afghanistan) - but it remains recognisably the same basic design as its predecessor.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:03 am 
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Yes, a pity...but they're not quite big enough for the gumment to declare 'national interest' & make sure the collar-feelers are confined in the kennels.

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:24 am 
And do you think the French bridge manufacturers will be announcing details of the bribes they've paid any day soon? Hell will freeze over first. If a British manufacturing company wishes to pay bribes overseas in order to get business I don't see what the problem is. Its their money. If they want to give it away, thats their problem. Let the countries involved take them to court if they want to. Whats it got to do with the UK govt? Govts are the biggest criminals out - all taxation is legalised theft and extortion, so I'll take no lessons in morality from them.


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:51 am 

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Location: Oxford, UK
Repay its bribes? What the hell does that mean?


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:27 am 

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Trying to use impractical Western morality in areas where it doesn't apply would simply mean you can't do business there.
This judgement is wrong and incompetent, and anyone who thinks one jot less of the company for the export orders it won for the UK has misunderstood the hypocrisy of whoever brought this action.
Should the company go to the SFO and clear every action before they do it?
Since our government in Brussels can't even get its accounts passed I'd argue that the Company should go to the ECJ with the argument that what's good enough for the EU is good enough for them.
There's something very Harriet about prosecuting people who came to you openly! PDT_Armataz_01_35

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:51 am 
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SandyRham wrote:
Trying to use impractical Western morality in areas where it doesn't apply would simply mean you can't do business there.


Fine ... don't do business there. And, while we're about it, stop giving aid to corrupt governments and institutions.

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:20 am 
A £5,000 civil penalty notice would have been more appropriate for a technical breach of the rules. After all, baksheesh is sadly as much a part of business in third world countries that fail to pay their civil servants properly or recruit by nepotism as the London Congestion Charge is in central London.


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:53 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:03 pm
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A longstanding friend of mine who used to be a rep for a respected american company will tell you that, with a few exceptions (China being one of them), it is impossible to do business without giving bribes. By the time of his retirement he was ringing his clients in advance of his visit to enquire what "present" they would like. It worked well but then he wasn't caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:57 am 
I wonder if a companies will now just ignore the Serious Fraud Office altogether. It seems like a growing trend; massive state intervention on all levels courtesy of the government and the EU and most likely a whole swathe of other organisations. Yes there were bribes but I do not see them investigating any of Britain's 9,000 arms companies or clamp down on one certain Typhoon affair - ohh I forgot that was stopped by the government. Good riddance.


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:03 pm 
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madbiker wrote:
A longstanding friend of mine who used to be a rep for a respected american company will tell you that, with a few exceptions (China being one of them), it is impossible to do business without giving bribes. By the time of his retirement he was ringing his clients in advance of his visit to enquire what "present" they would like. It worked well but then he wasn't caught.


Yea ... and so perpetuating the system. This is not a "victimless" crime ... it hampers economic development and cements in corrupt and inefficient governance.

http://www.atimes.com/reports/BL13Ai01.html

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:26 pm 

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Location: Oxford, UK
Quite so, bribery is wicked. What we need is for some companies to be big enough to lobby in Brussels so they can encourage over-regulation that will push small players out of the market altogether so the big companies don't need to bribe anyone any more because they have the field to themselves. Thank God the EU doesn't succumb to any sort of bad commercial practice.

OK, I know it's a 'yeah, but' sort of argument, and beneath my dignity, but it's a bit high-minded to say a bridge-seller can let that bit of business go in the name of anti-corruption when all of his business is done in countries with a flexible attitude.


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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:32 pm 
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Mosquito wrote:
Quite so, bribery is wicked. What we need is for some companies to be big enough to lobby in Brussels so they can encourage over-regulation that will push small players out of the market altogether so the big companies don't need to bribe anyone any more because they have the field to themselves. Thank God the EU doesn't succumb to any sort of bad commercial practice.

OK, I know it's a 'yeah, but' sort of argument, and beneath my dignity, but it's a bit high-minded to say a bridge-seller can let that bit of business go in the name of anti-corruption when all of his business is done in countries with a flexible attitude.


Actually, the Mabey concept is unique ... there is nothing else like it. Thus, if these states want it, there is nowhere else to go. The company could walk away and its potential customers would come crawling back. By indulging in illegality, you perpetuate the system ... if you perpetuate the system, everybody loses out. It makes long-term economic sense to root out corruption. The company was taking a narrow, short-term view. Think how many customers it will now lose ... it is a major supplier to the US government, which will now think twice about dealing with this company. There is nothing high-minded here. Supporting corruption is long-term economic suicide.

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:31 pm 

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Quote:
Supporting corruption is long-term economic suicide.


Quixotically taking it on single-handedly is short-term financial suicide.
Frankly coming from the EU and lecturing African nations about corruption is monumental hypocrisy.
No corruption is not 'Right', but 'corruption' is in the eye of the beholder and there are many countries where this whole discussion would lead to befuddlement.

If you want to take on corruption world-wide surely we don't sacrifice our exporters.

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:52 pm 
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SandyRham wrote:
Quote:
Supporting corruption is long-term economic suicide.


Quixotically taking it on single-handedly is short-term financial suicide.
Frankly coming from the EU and lecturing African nations about corruption is monumental hypocrisy.
No corruption is not 'Right', but 'corruption' is in the eye of the beholder and there are many countries where this whole discussion would lead to befuddlement.

If you want to take on corruption world-wide surely we don't sacrifice our exporters.


This is not a single-handed effort ... there have been many initiatives and we are signatories to treaties and many international agreements on the issue. We need to stand firm and then blow the whistle on others who do it. But yes, I agree the EU point ... some of the more corrupt practice comes from ECHO and other EU institutions, about which the FCO is strangely silent.

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 Post subject: Re: Is nothing sacred?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Sandy, regrettably, is right...corruption (by any convenient name) has been around since long before Pontius wasn't a navigator...and we should be the last to point fingers.
St.Richard is right too in that the world would be a better place without it...but then so it would without a lot of things, and, yes, someone always has to foot the bill & that someone is the taxpayer but....
I believe there is both 'good' & 'bad' corruption. Cases abound where palm-greasing has secured contracts of enormous economic benefit, the additional costs of which are small when set against the positive gains.
Cases also abound where it's not just 'bad' but bloody evil...and for examples look no further than Brussels where they have never provided audited accounts of their machinations.

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