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he sums are so vast, the secrecy so shocking, that “chumocracy” doesn’t begin to capture what Britain has become – redolent as we are of banana republics, the Russian oligarchy and failed states. Lost is Britain’s self-image as the bowler-hatted beacon of civic rectitude, as our erstwhile Rolls-Royce civil service goes the way of, well, Rolls-Royce, no longer a British-owned car company. The Good Law Project, the admirable not-for-profit public-cleanser, last week proved in the high court that the government had breached what the judge called the “vital public function” of transparency over “vast quantities” of taxpayers’ money. A VIP fast-lane for protective equipment contracts... Full story

23 February