The UK's Bribery Act was passed with all party support before the general election in 2010. I stress, all party support.
And now the ConDem government is delaying its implementation just at the time the business lobby cries foul about it for reasons that can only be summarised as being driven the fact that they don't want to be bound by it, with all that implies.
As the OECD have said:
The Chair of the OECD's Working Group on Bribery has expressed concern that the entry into force of the new Bribery Act is to be delayed.
“It is very disappointing that despite public commitments, the UK will further delay this important Act to tackle bribery and corruption,” said Mark Pieth, Chair of the Working Group. “Establishing a level playing field for international business is as important now as ever and will help strengthen the global economic recovery. As a G20 country, the UK bears a special global responsibility and should lead by example.”
We took long enough to get this far - too long.
And now we still can't deliver an Act that says a UK company must not allow its staff to commit bribery wherever they might be.
Well it's time we did. And it says an enormous amount about the Tories that they'll acquiesce to demands to delay this essential Act designed to prevent the corruption that destroys markets and opprtunities for millions and maybe billions throughout the world.
Shame on them.