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Sleaze and Corruption

I’m writing this only as an aide memoire,

Not listing real or imagined examples of sleaze,

Or debated details of governmental corruption

(What’s the point of that?

It would be out of date by the time it’s written);

Instead, I’m recording the difference

Between the meanings of ‘sleaze’ and ‘corruption’ -

In a Dr Johnson fashion,

Though not by eighteenth-century candlelight,

But by governmental gaslighting,

In the constituency of Stroud:

1. CORRUPTION: Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

2. Synonyms: dishonesty, dishonest dealings, unscrupulousness, Deceit, deception, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, fraudulence, misconduct, lawbreaking, crime, criminality, delinquency, wrongdoing, villainy, bribery, bribing, subornation, venality, graft, extortion, jobbery, profiteering, payola, crookedness, shadiness, sleaze, palm-greasing, malfeasance, misfeasance, knavery, malversation. Opposite: honesty

3. CORRUPTION: The process by which a word or expression is changed from its original state to one regarded as erroneous or debased.

4. SLEAZE: immoral, sordid, and corrupt behaviour or activities.

Opposite: probity, decency, incorruptibility, righteousness, virtue, honesty, integrity, honour.

Random examples taken from today’s newspapers:

The prime ministerial flat; the interference with the parliamentary standards watchdog; the breaking of lobbying rules; the hand-picked politicisation of public body appointments in the name of ‘neutrality’; the home secretary and the ministerial code; the Electoral Commission; a prime ministerial free holiday times two; MPs and second jobs; Covid contracts and cronyism; parliamentary passes; peerages and payment; deleted WhatsApps; politicised, invented culture wars.

It’s not a storm in a Westminster tea cup is it?

Call it what you will: sleaze or corruption.

It’s not a storm in a Westminster tea cup is it?

Who knows?

It might even be happening outside of there.

Call it what you will: sleaze or corruption.

Sleaze.

Corruption.

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