The Sceptic Tank is a huge fan of economies built on corruption and bribes – we love Italy and can't wait for the World Cup in Russia where we are looking forward to the frisson of excitement that always comes with scalped tickets that have been acquired in a quasi-authoritarian state.
So we were delighted to learn the government is supporting plans to "bribe" local communities into accepting wind farms with the promise of annual payments and access to the business rates generated by wind farms.
Sadly, however, it seems that the Sceptic Tank's definition of a bribe is different from that of anti-wind farm campaigners. We were expecting shady wind farm developers dropping a brown paper envelope stuffed with tenners in the waste paper basket at the back of the Parish Hall. Instead, it turns out that the payments will be made in an entirely above-board and public manner into a community-owned fund. As we say, disappointing.
Although if we accept that public payments constitute a bribe then perhaps the UK is already the world's most advanced kleptocracy.
After all, the Sceptic Tank has been bribing his landlord for years to let him live in his flat, he bribed the newsagent this morning to let him have a paper and a bottle of milk, and he is about to bribe the office vending machine in the hope it will spit out a bar of chocolate.
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