‘It just doesn’t compute. Almost every day the news is filled with stories that look to me like corruption. Yet on Transparency International’s corruption index Britain is ranked 14th out of 177 nations, suggesting that it’s one of the best-run nations on Earth. Either all but 13 countries are spectacularly corrupt or there’s something wrong with the index.
Yes, it’s the index. The definitions of corruption on which it draws are narrow and selective. Common practices in the rich nations that could reasonably be labelled corrupt are excluded; common practices in the poor nations are emphasised.
This week a ground-changing book called How Corrupt is Britain?, edited by David Whyte, is published. It should be read by anyone who believes this country merits its position on the index.’
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