Monday, November 06, 2006


Every year Transparency International release their index of corruption perceptions.

For a student of freedom this index is a very interesting read- it reminds you that governments can be thieves as well as enablers, and that there is no such thing as a perfect government. It also reminds us that the more corrupt a society, the poorer it tends to be.

The tragic list, this year is headed by Haiti- little raised in misery since the time that Graham Greene wrote about it in "The Comedians".

From the Central European perspective is the marked improvement of Latvia and Lithuania- the Baltic bloc is now clearly a cut above the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. However Bulgaria too has improved sharply- overtaking Poland.

As for the UK, its fall reflects the steady decay of good government under our hobbled constitution.


rk said...

The UK's fall?

Well I followed your link and we're 11th, with a score of 8.6. The site also has the 2004 table and then we were 11th with 8.6.

We're the highest placed 'big' European country, higher than France, Germany and the USA.

I don't think this is a result the UK should be embaressed about, quite the opposite.

DrMaybe said...

We were 11th with a score of 8.6 in 2005 as well. We seem to be holding steady, much to my surprise.

But why should a larger country be excused for being more corrupt than the Scandinavian countries? Doesn't that suggest that centralised power might therefore a bad thing, and more devolution will produce a dividend in terms of reducing corruption?

Cicero said...

Quite Right, I misread the 2005 chart. However I would not be too complacent- my point about the imperfections of the UK still stands.

rk said...

I don't know if there is research to back this up but I'd guess that the bigger and the richer the country is the easier it is for corruption to go unchecked. There will, definitially, be more money flying around. It cannot be a coincidence that so many of the top performers are small countries. What is the methodology for the analysis? Perhaps there is a clue there.

I think we score well in this chart but I agree that we should be aiming higher and matching our Scandinavian neighbours.