Just Sociology

The Troubling Trend of Elites Getting Away with Crime

One of the most troubling aspects of modern society is the fact that elites often get away with crime. From politicians to corporate executives, people in positions of power seem to be immune to the consequences of their actions.

This article will examine several examples of this phenomenon, including the misuse of parliamentary funds by Derek Conway, Sir Mark Thatcher’s alleged involvement in a coup plot, Union Carbide’s role in the Bhopal gas tragedy, and Tony Blair’s deception of the public in the Iraq War.

Derek Conway and the Misuse of Parliamentary Funds

In 2007, the British public was outraged when it was revealed that MP Derek Conway had used parliamentary funds to pay his son for work he did not do. This scandal, known as the expenses scandal, was indicative of a larger problem with the UK parliamentary system.

MPs were allowed to claim expenses for a wide range of items, including food, travel, and accommodation, but there were few checks to ensure that these claims were legitimate. Conway’s case was particularly egregious because his son was a full-time student at the time and was not doing any work for his father.

In total, he was paid over 40,000 from parliamentary funds. Despite widespread public outrage, Conway was not prosecuted, and he was ultimately allowed to keep his seat in parliament.

Sir Mark Thatcher’s Involvement in an Alleged Coup Plot

In 2004, Sir Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was arrested in South Africa for his alleged involvement in a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. The plan involved hiring mercenaries to overthrow the government and install a new regime that would be friendly to British interests.

Thatcher initially denied any involvement in the plot, but he eventually struck a plea bargain with South African authorities. He agreed to cooperate with investigators and pay a fine of 265,000.

In exchange, he was spared jail time and was able to return to the UK. The case highlights the difficulties of prosecuting elites for crimes committed overseas.

Additionally, it raises questions about the UK’s anti-mercenary legislation and the extent to which former colonial powers continue to exert influence over former colonies. Union Carbide’s Role in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy

In 1984, a gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killed thousands of people and injured many more.

The disaster was caused by a combination of factors, including inadequate safety measures and poor maintenance of the plant. Despite overwhelming evidence of Union Carbide’s role in the tragedy, the company was allowed to pay only a small compensation package and avoided facing any kind of criminal charges.

The Indian government was criticized for accepting this package and not pushing for more substantial compensation. This case raises important questions about the responsibility of western corporations in developing countries, the failure of capitalist development to provide adequate protections for workers and the environment, and the role of governments in holding corporations accountable.

Tony Blair’s Deception of the Public in the Iraq War

The Iraq War, launched in 2003, was one of the most controversial international conflicts in recent history. Much of the opposition to the war was based on the assertion that the UK government had lied to the public about the reasons for the war.

Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, has been accused of being a war criminal for his role in the conflict. He misled the public about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and he committed British troops to the war without the backing of the UN Security Council.

Despite these allegations, Blair has not faced any legal consequences for his actions. This case illustrates the difficulties of holding political leaders accountable for their actions, particularly when they are protected by their position and by political institutions.


The examples discussed in this article highlight the disturbing trend of elites getting away with crime. Whether it is politicians misusing public funds, UK citizens plotting to overthrow foreign governments, corporations causing environmental disasters, or political leaders lying to the public, it is clear that the powerful are often able to avoid facing justice.

This is a problem that must be addressed if we are to build a fair and just society for all. In conclusion, the examples discussed in this article demonstrate a disturbing trend of elites getting away with crime.

From politicians to corporations, powerful individuals are often able to escape legal consequences for their actions. This highlights the need for greater accountability and transparency in our political and corporate systems.

It also raises important questions about the relationship between power and justice in modern society. By examining these examples, we can begin to understand the complexities of this issue and work towards creating a more just and equitable world.


1. Why do powerful individuals often get away with crimes?

– Powerful individuals often have greater resources and access to legal representation than others. 2.

What can be done to increase accountability for elites? – Increased regulation and oversight, as well as greater public scrutiny and awareness, can help to hold elites accountable for their actions.

3. How does the issue of elites getting away with crime affect society as a whole?

– This issue undermines the principles of justice and fairness, and can lead to a sense of disillusionment and distrust in our institutions. 4.

Are there any positive examples of elites being held accountable for their actions? – Yes, there are cases where powerful individuals have faced legal consequences for their actions, although these cases are often the exception rather than the rule.

5. What can individuals do to help address this issue?

– Individuals can support organizations and activists working to increase accountability and transparency, and can vote for political leaders who prioritize these issues.

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