A bribe by any other name

When a parent offers a recalcitrant child a lollipop for good behaviour, it is something the child wants, and it is paid for with the parent's own money. Some might say 'a fair contract', but it is a bribe by any other name.

Monday, 18th January 2016, 5:54 am
Updated Monday, 18th January 2016, 5:59 am

When the Government offers the Sheffield council hundreds of millions of pounds “extra” over a period of 30 years, as reported recently in this paper, for the acceptance of an “elected Mayor”, it is undoubtedly a bribe, but with what difference?

The offer is only our taxes being returned, and for something which in recent polls was rejected in Sheffield by 75 per cent of those who replied.

Enquiries reveal that the original sum over which the “extra” is offered is unknown, as are the precise terms of its use. However, using the Government’s own target figure for inflation of two per cent, applied over each of the 30 years, any capital must be increased by 81 per cent to keep its value.

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Wow! Is this a trick learnt by our Government from the rogues gallery in Brussels, and indeed one of the many impositions we have had to endure on our democracy to fall into line?

The sooner we say farewell to the EU and the “elected mayor” idea, the sooner we will regain some tranparency in government.

Are the council going to ignore the trick, rebuff the bribe or suck the lollipop?

Most would suggest that it be politely refused.

Ian Laurie