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Heather Brooke: My battle to expose government corruption

Heather Brooke: My battle to expose government corruption

(18:58) American journalist Heather Brooke (now resident in UK) uncovered the British MPs expenses scandal in 2009 that led to resignations, reform and gaol for at least six politicians involved. From a TEDTalk lecture in June 2012.

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Guest: PeterLondon (1882 days ago)
She did a great job and makes excellent points. And indeed, those MPs and such like deserved to be punished and go to jail because they broke the law. But the truth has a few more sides to it: The British public don't like to see their MPs paid much money at all by current standards, and so parliament kept those low. This is partly a result of the established mass-media who want us to hate politicians and ridicule them. That way the powerful businesses get to run things behind the scenes because the politicians are weak. So parliament came up with the "expenses" regime, that would allow MPs to claim large expenses with a nod and a wink on all sorts of things; and to mess around with which houses/flats they owned and what they could claim on those. But this started to get abused, and hence all the trouble. The people get the government they deserve; and if you constantly blame the politicians, you are just playing into the hands of big business.
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Original comment
She did a great job and makes excellent points. And indeed, those MPs and such like deserved to be punished and go to jail because they broke the law. But the truth has a few more sides to it: The British public don't like to see their MPs paid much money at all by current standards, and so parliament kept those low. This is partly a result of the established mass-media who want us to hate politicians and ridicule them. That way the powerful businesses get to run things behind the scenes because the politicians are weak. So parliament came up with the "expenses" regime, that would allow MPs to claim large expenses with a nod and a wink on all sorts of things; and to mess around with which houses/flats they owned and what they could claim on those. But this started to get abused, and hence all the trouble. The people get the government they deserve; and if you constantly blame the politicians, you are just playing into the hands of big business.
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Guest: Kerry (1880 days ago)
I don't think how much money you pay a politician has much to do with how strong or weak they are. Big business will ALWAYS corrupt the regulators except those rare individuals(Ron Paul comes to mind)that have integrity and money has no sway over them anyway. The public can not compete with private wealth in terms of remuneration. The reason big business corrupts govt. is because govt. has the power to change laws, constitution etc. take that power away and reduce govt. to a limited role of enforcing the rule of law maintaining roads, defense etc . and big business won't have any reason to try and corrupt politicians. She is right in that power is incredibly seductive. That power must be with the people ,not the govt. as it is now. Look at America and many other nations where the govt. is getting bigger and more powerful, the people are afraid to speak out because they will be punished!
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I don't think how much money you pay a politician has much to do with how strong or weak they are. Big business will ALWAYS corrupt the regulators except those rare individuals(Ron Paul comes to mind)that have integrity and money has no sway over them anyway. The public can not compete with private wealth in terms of remuneration. The reason big business corrupts govt. is because govt. has the power to change laws, constitution etc. take that power away and reduce govt. to a limited role of enforcing the rule of law maintaining roads, defense etc . and big business won't have any reason to try and corrupt politicians. She is right in that power is incredibly seductive. That power must be with the people ,not the govt. as it is now. Look at America and many other nations where the govt. is getting bigger and more powerful, the people are afraid to speak out because they will be punished!
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Guest: klavier (1880 days ago)
Latest comment: OK, so as little government as possible. Who then is to pick up the tab for such things as education and health care? Do you really think big business is the slightest bit interested in such financially non-lucrative activities?
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Latest comment: OK, so as little government as possible. Who then is to pick up the tab for such things as education and health care? Do you really think big business is the slightest bit interested in such financially non-lucrative activities?
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