Having lived and worked in Nepal for over 2 years on return all volunteers are offered a returners weekend why they get to meet other volunteers who have been in different countries and discuss their experiences. One of the things that comes up for discussion is people’s perception of corruption. A very small number of volunteers commented on how they though it was bad that in the countries they have been in people may get paid for food for trainings or travel costs for going to training, when they don’t always pay for public transport to get there. Some of them saw this as corruption and felt it had to be addressed. To me this seemed ridiculous as the amount of money being discussed was minimal (maybe 30 pence) and the people who gained from it would simply use it for either food or trying to improve their children’s education.
My response was always that these examples were pitiful compared to our own country and that they should look at home for examples of corruption. To this many people seemed outraged deeming Britain a transparent, corruption free country, without the issues that other countries may have. My response was just that we were “better” at corruption, and engaged in it through making the rules change to suit the corruption. Whilst things may not necessarily be recognised as corruption here they truly are so and whilst there may be evidence of really small scale things that might be considered corruption by some people abroad, those things that occur in our own country and the way that “leading” countries such as our own manipulate international rules to benefit ours at the detriment of those we had worked in, would be more truly deserving of the title corrupt, as pointed to in this article with a wide selection of good references: