Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rotten from the top down

Ashes by Sergios Gakas has a strong theme of institutional corruption, including the police itself. Here's a short passage revealing how the problem stems from the top down.

I decided to tell him. Not because he was my friend; it had not taken me long to realize that in this job you cannot have friends. I had to talk to him because he was my boss and in this case I needed him onside. The Chief was one exhausted technocrat, handpicked by the Prime Minister himself, a dull negligible character, who, for the last three years, had been failing to keep the ship afloat, a ship sailing under too many different flags. A ship that in its hold concealed some very good intentions, as well as bad ones, incompetence, corruption, hard work, bureaucracy and, above all, personal ambition. He had spent quite some time on the other side of the Atlantic, and was in all likelihood, in the pay of the Americans. Perhaps that was why he moved with such ease through the huge, worm-infested, third world sewer the Hellenic Police was still fed on. However convinced he was that the police were dealing heroin, he was just as convinced that the situation would never change in a million years. Besides, Zorro had never been a particular hero of his. He preferred to proceed with caution and settled for small improvements. "The police force is never going to change society, get used to that," he would say when we had been knee-deep in shit on various cases.

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, Rob, that's a great quote! Thanks!

pattinase (abbott) said...

You are reading up a storm. How do you do it?