All who have done business overseas are most surprised

Rolls-Royce plc, Britain’s leading manufacturing multinational, hired a network of agents to help it land lucrative contracts in at least 12 different countries around the world, sometimes allegedly using bribes.

An investigation by the Guardian and the BBC has uncovered leaked documents and testimony from insiders that suggest that Rolls-Royce may have benefited from the use of illicit payments to boost profits for years.

Shocked even.

But not shocked that it happened, shocked that anyone would think it didn’t.

Seriously folks, certain Johnny Foreigners really are different.

22 thoughts on “All who have done business overseas are most surprised”

  1. The fact they report that a multinational uses sales agents as if this is remotely interesting or unusual tells you everything you need to know about the author of this piece.

  2. “Seriously folks, certain Johnny Foreigners really are different.”

    Which makes the surprise by such pushers of diversity propaganda all the more baffling.

    It’s almost like they don’t really understand the world…

  3. What kind of utter tools set out to investigate corruption done by companies of your own country that creates jobs in your own country?

    Oh yes, that’s right, the wankers at the Guardian and the BBC.

    Nose, knife, face.

  4. Once you let your brain retreat into a cocoon of left-liberal loveliness, then any deviation from how you imagine the world should be needs to be castigated.

  5. Yes it happens. However, if you are prepared to pay a bribe to operate in a certain jurisdiction (and I agree it’s a choice; I offer no criticism of those that choose to) then you need to understand and accept the climate in which you have chosen to operate. I know of one very large multinational that operates in South America but refuses point blank to do business in Brazil.

  6. Hm, I do believe that one of the pair of investigators not only demands bribes, but will bang you up if you don’t pay…

  7. In other related news, British Athletics is to require UK runners to tie their ankles together before races and the British Boxing Board of Control is to require UK boxers to have their wrists handcuffed before bouts

  8. I was discussing something like this with someone who brokered minor arms deals with middle eastern governments. It was to supply a bunch of 105mm light guns to somewhere or other. My buddy knew he wouldn’t get the deal, cos the French were prepared to bribe more.

    Funny how the high priests of multiculturalism and celebrating diversity aren’t prepared to tolerate the fact that in some countries this is the price of doing business. (ISTR reading that in Germany the bribes to furriners were tax deductible as a cost of doing business). Although, I suspect they wish that we weren’t doing business at all, cos it’s “trade” and thus mucky.

  9. I love how an organisation which employs another to threaten people to gain its income is getting all worked up about bribes to foreigners.

  10. Bribes to foreigners were tax deductible on English company accounts only 20 years ago.

    Ring, ring “Err, hello Mr. Taxman, got a question. So, I’m working in Russia and I’m having to….”

    “Just put it in the accounts as “bribes”. Yes, it’s Russia, we know.”


  11. I worked in Africa for a while, many years ago, and I can remember reading in a guide that you should never try to ‘bribe’ someone to break the law – you offer them a ‘bribe’ simply to do their job.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Cynic – “The Beeb really has a plank in its eye.”

    Every BBC story I have seen in the Third World has had a local fixer. Perhaps the BBC might like to clarify exactly what these worthy gentlemen *do*?

  13. Attempting to apply 1st world standards to 3rd world shit holes has always been a pointless waste of time.

    The 2010 Bribery Act makes it an offence for British companies and British subjects to pay foreigners anything which amounts to bribes (e.g. facilitation payments, etc.).

    Where bribery isn’t endemic this might work, if it was universally applied by other Western governments, but it is not, we’ve just ended up hobbling ourselves to give advantage to those Western governments whose citizens and companies are not bound by such legislation.

    If this was done as an international treaty across most Western nations it might have been half-way sensible, but as it is we’re just cutting our own throats.

  14. > An investigation by the Guardian and the BBC

    But they’re not ideological partners, oh no, because the BBC are totally unbiased. That’s why you see just as many joint investigations by the BBC and the Mail.

  15. Is itn still the case, or was it just another urban myth, that every contract in Brunei had to specify how much would be paid to the Sultan and, if he thought he was being short-changed, he would just declare the contract void?

  16. I’m reminded of the story:
    “Oh, minister, you appear to have dropped your wallet. And look, it has £10,000 in it.”
    “It can’t be my wallet. My wallet has £20,000 in it.”

  17. Ironman,
    “I know of one very large multinational that operates in South America but refuses point blank to do business in Brazil.”

    I imagine that their experience was the same as mine, you can basically kiss goodbye to any work you do there unless you are paid up front, even Indian companies were better at paying than anyone we ever dealt with in Brazil.

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