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date: 26 April 2019


  1. Follow the money.
    All the President's Men 1976 film: spoken by Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat to Bob Woodward; written by Wiiliam Goldman
  2. Say it ain't so, Joe.
    ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago players were charged with being bribed to lose the 1919 World Baseball Series
    Anonymous: plea said to have been made by a boy as Jackson emerged from the hearing, September 1920
  3. When their lordships asked Bacon
    How many bribes he had taken
    He had at least the grace
    To get very red in the face.
    Edmund Clerihew Bentley 1875–1956 English writer: Baseless Biography (1939) ‘Bacon’
  4. I stuffed their mouths with gold.
    of his handling of the consultants during the establishment of the National Health Service
    Aneurin Bevan 1897–1960 British Labour politician: Brian Abel-Smith The Hospitals 1800–1948 (1964) ch. 29
  5. Nothing to be done without a bribe I find, in love as well as law.
    Susannah Centlivre c.1669–1723 English actress and dramatist: The Perjured Husband (1700)
  6. Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than money.
    Robert H. Jackson 1892–1954 American lawyer and judge: dissenting opinion in United States v. Wunderlich 1951
  7. …Omnia Romae
    Cum pretio.
    Everything in Rome—at a price.
    Juvenal 60–c.140 Roman satirist: Satires no. 3, l. 183
  8. And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we've proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.
    Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936 English writer and poet: ‘What Dane-geld means’ (1911)
  9. There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin': ‘I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.’
    George Washington Plunkitt 1842–1924 American Tammany politician: ‘Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft’ in William L. Riordon Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (1905)
  10. To accept a favour is to sell your freedom.
    Publilius Syrus fl. 1st century bc Roman freedman and writer : Sententiae no. 61
  11. He is a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight.
    of Edward Livingston
    John Randolph 1773–1833 American politician: W. Cabell Bruce John Randolph of Roanoke (1923) vol. 2
  12. I am not worth purchasing, but such as I am, the King of Great Britain is not rich enough to do it.
    replying to an offer from Governor George Johnstone of £10,000, and any office in the Colonies in the King's gift, if he were able successfully to promote a Union between the UK and the US
    Joseph Reed 1741–85 American Revolutionary politician: reply as recorded in a declaration of Congress, 11 August 1778; the earliest version is: ‘My influence is but small, but were it as great as Governor Johnstone would insinuate, the King of Great Britain has nothing within his gift that would tempt me’ reply to Mrs Elizabeth Ferguson, 21 June 1778; W. B. Read Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reed (1847) vol. 1, ch. 18
  13. I note with considerable satisfaction that I am whiter than white.
    of the inquiry into fraud at the European Commission
    Jacques Santer 1937–  Luxembourgeois politician: at a news conference, 16 March 1999
  14. Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts, perhaps fear of a loss of power.
    John Steinbeck 1902–68 American novelist: The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957)
  15. But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt that Honour feels.
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–92 English poet: ‘Locksley Hall’ (1842) l. 105
  16. All those men have their price.
    of fellow parliamentarians
    Robert Walpole, Lord Orford 1676–1745 English Whig statesman; first British Prime Minister, 1721–42: W. Coxe Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole (1798) vol. 1
  17. The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.
    Theodore H. White 1915–86 American writer and journalist: in Time 19 November 1984