Liam Fox has, rightly, been lambasted for his indiscretions as Defence Secretary and resigned in shame. His 'crime' - the one for which he was punished by a relentless media campaign - was that he may have benefited financially from arms and other deals done by his corrupt friend and unofficial adviser, Adam Werrity. Well and good.
What has hardly stirred the hearts or minds of the British media or political class is all the more instructive of their moral condition at this point in the 21st century: the pummelling of Gaddafi stronghold, Sirte, in Libya at the loss of countless lives, by the NATO-backed 'rebel' National Transitional Council's troops, followed by reports from the Washington Post and Reuters of looting on a massive scale, revenge killings, and a spiraling number of refugees from the war-torn city. No talk of humanitarian interventions any longer - the original fig-leaf for the Cameron-Sarkozy-Obama war on Libya.
Nor have recent events in Egypt - army-led and inspired divide and rule violence against Coptic Christians, leaving dozens dead and injured - led to any denunciations of, or sanctions against, the US-backed military regime that is supposedly the vehicle for a transition to democracy there. The Egyption army attacked and closed TV stations that showed army violence against peaceful protestors, moving one protestor to comment: "this is not religious strife, it is state-sponsored terrorism." (The Guardian, 15.10.11).
Nor was Liam Fox unduly detained or quizzed, while Defence secretary, by the exposure that he had effectively misinformed the country and Parliament time and again about the burgeoning costs of Britain's war in Libya. According to military journalist, Francis Tusa, who has dug deeper than anyone else into the murky world of the MoD's Orwellian accounting system, the real costs of Britain's military campaign in Libya is between £850 to £1.75 billion, NOT the ca £250 million figure bandied about by Liam Fox and his official advisers, and the official opposition foreign affairs spokesman, Douglas Alexander.
When it comes to foreign wars and military interventions, money appears to be no object. Take the estimated costs of the illegal Iraq war, for example: up to March 2010, Britain spent over £9 billion on the war there. In Afghanistan, over £11 billion has been expended since 2001, with other long term costs accumulating. No talk of deep cuts for foreign adventures, despite deep cuts to domestic social programmes.
Corruption - official and unofficial - is alive and well at the very apex of the British state and national life.