If a fortune is to be made, then there will always be cowboys.

I interviewed a Sudanese government minister a few months ago while reporting on the economic crisis in the country and he spent an hour spelling out all the ways the Sudanese regime had epically mishandled the country’s finances. Gold was being smuggled out of the airport and sold to foreign parties, imported goods were seized and flogged on the black market, and senior officials were getting caught and quietly side-lined when their corruption became too blatant. “The problem in this country,” he said, “is that no one resigns or is fired anymore”. I was too young to remember a time when that happened at all in Sudan but he assured me that “there used to be a time when if you were caught, you were too ashamed to show your face, or you were fired”.

I think about that a lot these days in the context of the post-Brexit Britain media landscape. There is nothing you can do as a journalist that would either fill you with so much shame that you walk away from your job, or compel your bosses to fire you. There is no incompetence that is unspinnable, no mendacity that isn’t justifiable. Short of asking for a “final solution” for the “Muslim problem”, (and I am stunned Katie Hopkins got sacked even for that) what can you do to get fired these days?

In the past week, Isabel Oakeshott and Nigel Farage, dissimulated or held back evidence of Russian outreach to the Leave.EU campaign, and when caught brazenly rode it out. At the time of writing neither has been sacked, has tendered a resignation, or pledged an embarrassed withdrawal from public life.

We’re not talking difference of opinion or grey areas here. Nigel Farage …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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