BANANA REPUBLICBanana Republic is a term which has immediate recognition especially for those who are approaching baby boomer status. To quote from Wikipedia “banana republic originally denoted the fictional “Republic of Anchuria”, a “servile dictatorship” that abetted, or supported for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture, especially banana cultivation.” The original such state so termed was Honduras. For the younger majority the term refers to South American republics of the post World War 2 era where democracy was an unknown concept and corruption of public officials was a way of life. The term is pejorative in the extreme.

Whilst the corruption of public officials in this country is of a relatively low level recent events indicate that the grey area of favours for favours, mutual back scratching and elastic use of the English language regarding all forms of “expenses” is in danger of becoming a public scandal. Ex cabinet ministers are quick to jump aboard various plc boards as highly remunerated figureheads as soon as cabinet office rules allow. A caveat of such employment positions is that once out of office these people can and do influence policy in the interests of their new paymasters irrespective of their previous take on a subject but currently although hypocrisy is not against the law it still leaves a nasty flavour in the mouth of the body politic.

In a climate where police budgets are being emasculated and the election of police commissioners is imminent to have recently retired very senior police officers on the boards of companies actively involved in bidding for public service contracts involving devolved security functions in their myriad forms leaves an unpleasant odour in the air around them.

We might not yet be termed a banana kingdom but there is something wrong in the state of England.