Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Doctor Jekyll and Mister Assad

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 12 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7616

Re: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Assad

Doctor Jekyll and Mister Assad

Yes, many governments in western countries support and even coach these dictators and pour “aid” money into their pockets. They could, if they wanted, make sure that it is used for the benefit of the citizens instead, by directly financing worthwhile projects such as building schools, roads, railways and other much needed infrastructure, but they choose not to do so.

A good example is Afghanistan. The infrastructure is limping while the politicians and some others are building huge mansions for themselves.

Charity starts at home: in so-called western democracies, such as Australia (whose former High Court Chief Judge Murray Gleeson said “We do not have a democracy, we have elected dictatorships”). The moment politicians are elected, they brazenly break the promises upon which they were elected, e.g. the promise of job creation changes after their election into job abolition. Recently, federal politicians in Australia unashamedly gave themselves a 30% pay increase to their already too high salaries, while at the same time rejected a justified request for a minute (12%) pay rise for teachers. Another example of corruption is the latest dismantling of Technical And Further Education (TAFE) colleges that offered truly meaningful and much needed further education to especially young people to acquire meaningful qualifications to be able to find jobs and instead replacing them with (and supporting financially) the private opportunistic scam, offering bogus diplomas for a lot of money to unsuspecting young people. The recent scandal about scam education for foreign students is another sordid example.

The true attitude of politicians to children and young people in general is also shown by their deeds, which are exactly opposite to their words.

Western “democracies” indignantly criticise others for corruption, while not-so-small corruption scandals time and again are rocking their own political scene. The problem is so widespread that one wonders why, and what sort of people, go into politics. I wonder how many such people would go into politics if the politicians were not paid from the public purse, and instead as in Switzerland, they would have to have their own jobs and businesses.

Vote rigging is another widespread undemocratic practice.

There is just no end to it. Despite calling itself “civilisation”, human society still seems to be a vicious predatory jungle.

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 November 2012
Dr Viera Scheibner (PhD)
scientist/author retired
Blackheath, Australia