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From: The Socialist issue 483, 19 April 2007: Kick big business out of the NHS

Search site for keywords: World Bank - US - Paul Wolfowitz - Iraq - George Bush - War

Bush's man at the World Bank in corruption scandal

WORLD BANK president Paul Wolfowitz is under fire, mired in a corruption scandal. He is under pressure from a number of countries to resign but he continues to enjoy the support of his patron, George Bush.

The former US deputy defence secretary and architect of regime change in Iraq stands accused of promoting and financially rewarding Shaha Riza, a 'close female friend' employed at the bank.

Ms Riza was seconded to the US state department shortly after Wolfowitz was appointed president of the World Bank in March 2005. She has since received some hefty pay cheques. These include an estimated $193,000 annual salary in 'compensation' for her move - some $60,000 more than she was earning when employed at the bank and $10,000 more than US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice receives!

Unfortunately for Wolfowitz this hasn't gone down well with World Bank staff, who heckled the neo-conservative hawk when he attempted to apologise for his actions.

But while 'helping out' those close to him, Wolfowitz has been demanding that low income countries accept a neo-liberal agenda before receiving any loans. While countries that wouldn't sign up to the US-led 'war on terror' suddenly found that loans had dried up.

And, with rank hypocrisy, he has insisted that any loans are dependent upon tackling corruption and showing 'good governance'.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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