A bill is going through parliament to ban our intelligence services from paying bribes. Presumably they will now work on the basis of moral exhortation. Previously our intelligence services were to have been exempt.
Bribery is wrong but it can often prevent greater wrongs, in Afghanistan part of the reason the Taliban collapsed so quickly outside their heartlands in 2001 is because we paid off their formerly allied warlords. It has been claimed that the Allies bribed some of General Franco's advisers during the Second World War in order to keep Spain neutral.
This would be illegal nowadays.
Samizdata quote of the day
4 hours ago