Felix Bazalgette

18 November 2021

How do you say ‘corruption’ in English?

Jeremy Deller recently made a poster that says: ‘Cronyism is English for Corruption.’ I’ve been trying to collect the other words that journalists and politicians in England use for it. There are a lot of them. We’ve got revolving doors, outside work, private earnings, temporary secondments and second jobs. There’s lobbying, bias, cash for honours, cash for access, cash for questions. A chumocracy with preferential access, paid advocacy, sleaze, side hustles, a lack of transparency, special treatment, favours in kind, treats and gifts, patronage and not fully declaring an interest. Purges, packed boards and preferred appointees. VIP or high-priority lanes, undue influence, bending the rules, changing the rules. Conflict of interest, actual and perceived. Unenforced procurement protocols.

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