So what do the British do? Nothing, instead the story is quietly buried, at least as far as the "respectable" press is concerned and a woman filmed taking what constitutes a bribe is allowed to flee the country in style while Buckingham Palace publishes an apology on her behalf stating that she showed "a serious lack of judgement".
Serious lack of judgement is knocking back too much chardonnay at a party and dancing the Lambada on top of a table. Serious lack of judgement is telling your boss what you really think of them at the office Christmas party. I do not think the phrase was meant to cover demanding half a million pounds ($746,000) in bribes to ensure access to Britain's trade envoy. I'm sure that there are plenty of other phrases that more accurately describe what happened, pithy ones such as "greasing palms", "pulling strings" or perhaps the more formal "influence peddling".