No Corruption Please – We’re British: Cameron and the Westland Choppergate scandal

As David Hencke’s article suggests, Westland helicopters were a significant employer in Somerset, if only because of the prestige that comes from making such technologically impressive machines. The amount of corruption in British dealings with the developing nations at one time was depressingly large. Every issue of Private Eye seemed to be stuffed full of stories about dodgy payments made to foreign politicians for lucrative contracts. Unfortunately, the culture of corruption hasn’t changed. Cameron has clearly damaged British jobs and industry here through his arrogant dismissal of any British involvement in the scandal. As corruption is a major issue driving Indian politics at the moment, and the single largest factor in the election of the current BJP government, this is attitude that you could predict would result in damage to Britain’s relations with the Subcontinent.
Cameron’s attitude looks like an hangover back to the public school and imperial attitude to the Empire’s subaltern peoples. They were essentially children, to be benignly led by the imperial government, which was certainly under no obligation to explain or be in any way accountable to them. The public school officials of the Raj knew best. Well, India’s now something of a world power. Even when I was at school, they were they world’s eighth largest producers of steel. That attitude of condescension is going to be resented, and will and has harmed our commercial relations with India.

Westminster Confidential

David Cameron meeting the Indian PM on his " successful" business trip David Cameron meeting the Indian PM on his ” successful” business trip

My ex Guardian and Exaro colleague David Pallister has been assiduously  following the latest  Agusta Westland scandal which led the Indian government to cancel an order  for 12 helicopters to ferry Indian VIPs after allegations of corruption.

His latest article on the Exaro website reveals that proceedings investigating alleged corruption involving a middleman and another British businessman  and Indian  officials are continuing in both India and Italy.

My grouse is not with the pace of investigations in India or Italy into what the Indian press have dubbed the ” choppergate scandal” but the British government’s attitude to what is going on.

David Cameron in 2013 visited India with 100 business people to pledge that he wanted India to be a “partner of choice”  with Britain. As you can hear here Mr Cameron praised Westland to the skies…

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