Baksheesh does indeed make the world go round in certain parts of the world…The Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. It’s part of their culture, so I don’t understand the voicing of American sour grapes whenever they lose out on an arms deal or building contract. Greasing a palm is normal behaviour. Everyone does it, and I don’t even think it is wrong. Life isn’t perfect. The lowest tender for the best product doesn’t always win. In the West not so much money changes hands, but there is still a form of baksheesh…it is called political favour!
There is an alternative point of view, and it is this! It remains illegal for you and I to bribe someone in order to obtain a contract from a public body or government…but it is okay for governments to make bribes, and many of them are considerable. For instance, the British Government sends £12BILLION a year in aid to Third World countries. What can my government hope to receive in return? Perhaps favourable conditions under which a British oil company can explore for oil in Nigeria, or a British engineering firm can secure a contract to build a hospital in India? Isn’t that BAKSHEESH? Hell, how do you think the Thatcher Government back in the 1980s secured a £43billion arms sale with Saudi Arabia, at the time, the biggest arms deal in history!
I therefore find it altogether fascinating, that this week, Premier David Cameron is hosting an anti-corruption summit in London, when Britain continues to trade with Pakistan and India, two of the most openly corrupt countries in the world. Without baksheesh, nothing would ever be achieved, because no one does anything for nothing!