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From this month’s editor
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There’s nothing like a good corruption scandal. Especially if it involves the high and mighty with their pants down. Judges and politicians are especially good value. At times it seems we almost revel in the depths to which the powerful will descend in their abuse of power. Th e frisson of shock is then followed by the knowingness of cynicism. Th en the implications sink in. Will the Canadian Liberal Party ever recover from the Quebec sponsorship scandal? Readers in Britain might be asking a similar question as they absorb the latest in the oh-so-British ‘cash for peerages’ Labour Party funding scandal. As Americans reach some kind of ‘closure’ watching Enron malefactors go to jail, the Foley furore comes to take its place. While for the Irish there’s always Prime Minister Bertie Ahern’s colourful ﬁ scal life to look out for. On the opposite side of the globe readers in Aotearoa/New Zealand may still be fuming over US chemical giant Dow’s coverup of DDT pollution on North Island, while their neighbours assess the fall-out from the Australian Wheat Board revelations (see page 5). Despite the raw newsworthiness of scandal, there is a cumulative, depressing, and relentless character to such stories. We are shocked and outraged. Th en it blows away. Th en comes the next round of corruption. Again shock and outrage. Plus ça change. Well, actually, it can and does change. Which is why this issue of the New Internationalist tries to focus on some of the people who are making a diﬀ erence, who are standing up to challenge corruption. And, naturally, being the NI, we point to things we can do about it.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist Co-operative
2 Can the rot be stopped? Vanessa Baird traces the wily ways of corruption – and the war against it.
6 BIG MOUTHS – ﬁ erce ’toons from Ed Hall.
8 I was a city boy, a soft Asian Prize-winning novelist MG Vassanji on the psychology of mundane corruption.
10 Arms, farts and bribe fairies Comedian Mark Th omas has a go at defence giant BAE Systems and its cronies.
12 Corruption busters! Bravery and integrity from around the world.
14 Killer sting Sandhya Srinivasan takes a closer look at the World Bank’s ‘success’ with malaria in India.
15 Corruption’s big funder – or how to lose $100 billion without really trying Tainted projects brought to you by the World Bank.
16 THE FACTS
18 Anatomy of a scam Whistleblower John Githongo speaks to Vanessa Baird; plus extracts from his explosive dossier.
20 More scary than terrorism? Anti-corruption isn’t always what it says on the label. Anna Winterbottom sounds a note of caution.
21 Action Contacts, campaigns and other useful stuﬀ on where to go from here.
22 Currents + Seriously 25 Worldbeaters 26 Mixed Media 28 Southern Exposure 29 View from Osumenyi 30 Essay 32 Big Bad World + NI Prize Crossword 33 Making Waves 34 Letters 35 Letter from Mauritius 36 Country Profile – Mozambique
Magazine and front cover designed by Andrew Kokotka. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.